Saturday, December 24, 2011

....And to All a Good Night

I wish you and your loved ones a joyous Holiday Season!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas, Colds, Getting Nothing Done....Fa La La

Last week was a tough week in our household. Both our kids got colds. They are still toddlers so, a simple cold has them up every 90 minutes during the night. My son has it tougher though. He has Allergy Related Asthma (that's what the doctor called it). Normally it's under control with medicine but when he gets a cold he gets a horrible cough he can't shake. Sometimes he coughs for 5 minutes straight. It's horrible to see him there struggling, just wanting to sleep but a cough attack is preventing him from rest. And,of course, if he isn't sleeping neither am I. Needless to say, very little got done last week with the family/Christmas to-do list and my art making to-do list. I did manage to practice shading with pencils in my sketchbook. I'm taking Suzi Blu's Petite Dolls e-course and she shows how to shade with pencils. I think I did okay on my first go. 
I found coloring with the pencil to be rather soothing. I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it as I tend to have the brush in my hand more than the pencil. I think I will keep practicing with colored pencils since they are portable and will likely help improve my shading skills.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Consumed With Christmas

I didn't fall off the face of the earth, I've just been all wrapped up with Christmas (pun intended). I always try and have the bulk of the shopping done by Thanksgiving weekend, but that never happens. Fortunately, I am pretty much finished with shopping. I just have mailing gifts, Christmas Cards and wrapping presents to do. We aren't into the double digits of the month yet so, I'm feeling pretty good right now. I have been sketching daily too.  I've been pretty good about keeping up the practice. I love curling up with my sketchbook after the kids have gone to bed and just practicing or doing home work from the numerous e-courses I'm taking. I am also discovering tools that I like and don't like. For example, I prefer the Strathmore Visual Journals (mixed media and drawing version) over the Canson Mixed Media Journal. Canson claims to handle water media but the pages buckle and wrinkle like crazy. Not so with the Strathmore. Here are some things I've been doing and you can see that some of the pages have buckled. I suppose I can iron them but, I barely have time to do art!  In future posts I will tell you all about the e-courses I'm taking. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

AEDM- The Final Day

The Art Every Day Month challenge has come to a close. Even though I didn't post to my blog every day, I can say I did create almost every day. I may not have been in my studio 7 days a week (more like 2 days a week if I was lucky) but I did sketch almost every night before bed. I have a nice little set up with pencils and water soluble markers and crayons. I might do homework from one of my e-courses or just sketch something random. My creative time may have only been 10 minutes some nights, but it was something. I'm happy I took this challenge because it got me into the habit of doing daily sketching and that was a personal goal. 

This past weekend I also created profit for the retail industry (Merry Christmas Shopping!) in addition to the work pictured below. 

This is some homework from my I Heart Drawing e-course. 
This is homework from my She Art 2 e-course (still working on her). 
This is from my sketchbook.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

AEDM- Alton Brown, Thanksgiving Day Hero!

Cooking the perfect turkey is an art.  Ask anyone who has had a dry turkey!  The secret is in the brine, baby!  I learned all about brining from Alton Brown.  I'm a big fan of Alton Brown. He is the host of Food Network's Good Eats.  The show explores the science of cooking with a very fun and often silly flare.  He has a great episode on cooking the perfect turkey. I followed his recipe to the letter last year and it was the BEST TURKEY we ever had!  This year I'm only cooking the breast but I am still brining. The brine insures a juicy turkey. You can see Alton's recipe here. You can also check YouTube for the Alton Brown brining video! 
Salt, spices and an iPad help me make the perfect turkey. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

AEDM- I Heart Drawing Homework

I am taking I Heart Drawing from Jane Davenport. It started this week and it looks to be a very fun and informative class! We will be learning to draw the female figure 3 ways; realistic, whimsical and fashion. Below is homework. I haven't colored the girls in yet, but it's a good start. There is still time to sign up. If you click here, Jane is offering a discount for all my friends!

Monday, November 21, 2011

AEDM- She Art 2 Homework

Had a chance to start my first lesson for She Art 2; A She Art Girlie with a Face. I used a 9x12 canvas panel and created a painted background. Then I used paper from an old magazine to create the head and neck. I lightly sketched in a face. When I will be able to return to finish her up is always a mystery in my house.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, November 20, 2011

AEDM- Girl Tilting Her Head

I didn't get to create as much as I was hoping to this weekend. My son had sleep problems. I did manage to work on this in my sketchbook. I'm still trying to improve my shading and I've never done the tilted head before. In my first version it looked like she was trying to drain water from her ear. This attempt is much better. I think she's kind of cute.

Friday, November 18, 2011

AEDM- Playing in the Sketchbook

I had some time to play in my sketchbook today. This is a small one I try and carry around the house with me. Unfortunately, once my kids see it and my art supplies, they just want to play in it too. Luckily they were napping while I was sketching! I looked at some bird photos online and drew this little birdie then colored him in with my Derwent Inktense Pencils. Love them! The colors are so vibrant. They are also water soluble so I used my water brush to create a watercolor effect. The great thing about these pencils is they are ink based. Once they dry it's permanent. Therefore, you can use other water based media on it and they won't run or wipe away. Hopefully I will get a chance to play this weekend and add some texture to my little painting.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

AEDM- Prep Work

Today was a prep work day. I'll be starting a new class on Monday, I Heart Drawing and I needed to gesso some journal pages. Very exciting. I have 3 different kinds of gessoes on hand: A Liquitex brand- I found it very thick and hard to spread on the page, a Liquitex clear gesso- that one went on the page very easily. The last gesso i used was from Daler Rowney and I found it in Walmart. gesso I found in Walmart. That one went on very smoothly. I don't know how they take media and drawing yet. They are drying at the moment. I am also trying my best to sketch every night before turning in. Even if it's just for 10 minutes. Trying to fit creative time in with toddlers, the approaching holidays and everyone being sick is a challenge. I am changing my attitude from "Ugh! I only created for 10 minutes!" to "Hurray! I created for 10 minutes!". I figure this way I won't be disappointed in myself.

Here are some collage journal pages to play with in the future and one of my "bedtime sketches".

Monday, November 14, 2011

AEDM- Monoprint Papers With Gelli Arts

I was able to do some creating today while my kids were visiting Nana and Pop Pop. I found a wonderful product from Gelli Arts. It's basically a gelatin plate without having to make it at home.

All you need is acrylic paint, a brayer, a variety of stencils, texture making materials, foam stamps and paper and you can have a paper making party!

I rolled out a couple of colors on an acrylic sheet (you can use a paper pallet or roll it on the Gelli Plate)

Then I put a variety of things down on the plate to create texture

Then I laid the paper on top. Gently rubbed around. Lifted the paper off to reveal my print. You can do this several times to create more layers and interest.

Here are the papers I made today. I used solid color scrapbook paper, crumpled tissue paper and plain copy paper.

Click here to see more about this product. It's lots of fun to use! I have also done this technique on the shiny side of freezer paper instead of the Gelli Plate with my kids. (if you want to try some monoprinting and can't wait for the Gelli Plate to be delivered to your door)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

AEDM: She Art Angel

I made this angel for my cousin. I used the methods I learned from Christy Tomlinson's She Art e-course. Christy loves texture in her mixed media and that's what I was really drawn too. Her style is fun and messy and you can adapt and tweak what she teaches to make it your own. She Art 2 starts November 14th. I am very excited. Check out a sneak peak here if you are interested. Registration closes Monday.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Jane Davenport's New Class

I recently took Jane Davenport's e-course, Supplies Me. I was intrigued because this course covered how to use a multitude of art supplies. I have quite the stash do, this course was just right for me. Another element of the class was drawing girlies. I had zero interest in drawing girls, mostly because I thought I couldn't do it. Well, after drawing along with Jane, I have managed to make some pretty decent girls. I still need to practice to get better and Jane's methods are easy to learn and follow. Now, here is the best news. Jane has a new class starting November 21st. It's called I Heart Drawing. It is eight weeks of drawing the female form. Even better news, click this link and you can get a special discount because you read my blog. Jane has an awesome personality and an awesome teacher. Her classes have continuing access after the run so, you have plenty of time to draw along with Jane.

Here are some photos of what I've done taking Supplies Me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

AEDM.....Refilling the Well

I wrote earlier that I was going on vacation for a few days. I managed to make art on my plane ride but didn't have time to make anything else. I think I was doing something a little more important; refilling the well and connecting with family. I haven't seen these family members in four years! Even though the visit was short, it was totally worth it. I also needed a "Mommy Break". I'm a stay-at-home mom of two toddlers. I've gotten some breaks from the kids over the years. A few hours here and there on the weekends but, I was still available if I was needed. This vacation was a true break. I was many miles away and could not be called to come home. It was great! Don't get me wrong. I missed them very much. It was just nice to not hear "Mommy do it!" for a few days. Now I'm home and we are all sick with colds. Oh well! I'm going to try to get back into the groove of making art now that I'm home. I will also get back into the Mommy groove. And then there's the holiday groove...... Busy times ahead!

Here are my little ones on Halloween.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

AEDM- on a plane

I managed to do this on a shaky plane. Not too shabby.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, November 4, 2011

Teaching Myself

I never formally studied art. Not in high school or college. Everything I have learned has been through art store classes or books. Recently I've been working from You Can Draw in 30 Days by Mark Kistler. He has hosted the PBS Show, Mark Kistler's Imagination Station for years. I have some of his children's drawing books and he breaks down the drawing principles into simple steps. This is his first book for adults. I have to admit I found the beginning a little boring. It was a lot of shapes and shading. Then I made this guy
and it's been fun ever since. Other drawing lessons from my other books make more sense now and I'm doing pretty good drawing girls from an e-course I'm taking. I have not been doing the book on a daily basis so, the title doesn't apply to me. I am drawing better now then when I started over the summer so, it does teach you how to draw.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Doing Some Soul Searching

The time has come for me to revamp my blog. The "21 Day Project" was a pretty cool idea, unless you are a mom of two toddlers under age four! I have been pretty good with creating almost every day. I'm doing several online courses (which I will blog about separately). They are keeping my creative juices flowing. And I signed up for Creative Every Day Month. I want to keep the momentum going. So, stay tuned for the changes coming.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Best $30 I've Spent....and Remembering Steve Jobs

I admittedly have difficulty blogging on my computer. I always have my iPhone or iPad with me but, never the photos until I discovered this:

It's a camera connection kit! I can hook up my Canon Rebel Camera or my SD card and download my photos directly to it. Then, using my BlogPress app, I can write a piece for my blog. Who knew?

The passing of Steve Jobs saddened me. Our household is definitely an Apple household. MacBook Pros, iPods, iPhones, and iPads all live here. I personally love the iPad most (iPhone almost ties it since I use it all the time). The iPad is such a cool invention. My kids who are 3 and 2 both use it. They are learning their numbers, colors, shapes, words and so many other things. It is just amazing to me how user friendly it is. I use it for blogging as I mentioned. It's my cookbook. I use it for the e-courses I'm taking; to talk to people (some face to face); to read up on my "Flying" Facebook friends and so much more. I thought the iPod was cool when that came out. I wondered how Apple would top it. Then came iPhone. Okay, how are you going to top that? Then iPad. Steve Jobs had a vision for what people needed and wanted before we even knew we needed or wanted it. He was just amazing to me and he will be greatly missed. Thank you, Steve for all the cool things you gave us. You will always be an inspiration to me.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Yes, I've Been Absent, but I Have a Good Reason.....

I've been putting together my art studio! I'm so excited to have a whole room devoted to art instead of a corner in our guest room. We are fortunate enough to have a finished walk-out basement. This room used to be a workout room, now it's my studio. It is adjacent to the kids' playroom and I have windows to see into the backyard. I'm hoping my kids will be willing to let me work while they play. So far, they haven't been that willing. Eventually they will have a space for their materials so they can create with me. It is still a work in progress. I am mostly fine-tuning and organizing it. Everything I need to create is at hand and I actually worked in there today for several hours. I'm so excited!

Here is a before photo of the space.

Here it is now!

My work space.

My computer space.

Some of my storage area. Well, this is the pretty stuff. Whenever I saw a sale or had a coupon I would get some of the nice shelving in anticipation of the room.

These French Doors open into the kids play room.

This second She Art Girl I managed to finish today.

I hope you had a wonderful day creating!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Busy Week

It's been a little crazy here since I finished my first 21 Days Project. We are potty training my son. This has been a "Many Months of Trying to Potty Train Project", but he is finally getting the hang of it. Unfortunately, milestones like this can disrupt sleep. He has never been a great sleeper so this "milestone" has made things worse in the sleep department. It will all straighten itself out eventually.

I have been pondering my next project and I know I want to focus on making art. I loved doing the Gratitude Photos. I feel I really captured some special moments that would've just passed by had I not been focused on being present. Towards the end though, I wasn't feeling that excited about the photos. It was wonderful for me and my family but, not focused on developing my artistic voice. I love painting and collage and I really want to make time for that. I've started two new e-courses and they are really fun. The She Art Workshop from Christy Tomlinson and Sketchbook Delight from Alisa Burke. Both courses are self-paced. Christy has a wonderful, fun method for creating collages and Alisa takes all the fear out of keeping a sketchbook and shows you simple methods for creating pages that actually look finished. Both courses have lots of videos too, which I love. I even completed my first She Art Girl as you can see.

I am so proud of this piece. It is the first artwork I have completed since I got pregnant with my son over four years ago! I want to create so much and these two courses are giving me the tools and inspiration to do so.

In a few days I'll announce what my next 21 Days Project will be. I hope you'll take the time to check out these courses or any other e-course that may interest you. They are so much fun!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Gratitude Photos Days 19, 20 and 21

Well, I did it. 21 Days of Gratitude Photos. I didn't quite manage to post every day. Life does continue to happen and it throws other things in the way of plans. All that matters is I captured moments I am grateful for. Here are the final batch of photos.

Playing with friends.

Sketching and doodling.

Last days of summer.

Tossing the ball to Mommy.

Exploring bugs. (there is a praying mantis in the bug container. We set it free and he is happily living in one of the bushes)

Eating Eggies that Mommy Made.

Playing with Nana.

Blowing Bubbles with Thomas the Train.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone