Thursday, April 28, 2016

Spring carving

Although I've been doing some art, I haven't a whole lot to show for it.  One reason is that I've started carving again.  I signed up for the Carving Consortium's Spring Postcard swap.  My dog has been so excited to chase balls again now that they don't get lost in the snow.  I decided to do that for the carving.  But first I needed a photo for reference.  This took a couple days to get one that I liked.  But I forgot that with my "new" computer (already a year old), I have no easy way of getting the photos off of my camera.  So I drew the dog from the camera (which kept shutting off).  This drawing turned out much better than the one of my kids!  Then to the carving and printing!  I left some of the stray marks in for motion marks.  Usually I like a very clean carving, so leaving print marks is out of my comfort zone.  I like it in this case though.  Here's a photo of one of the final prints.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

DLP #32

August Theme: Faces, the Human Form & Characters
August 8
Art Challenge: Characters
Journal Prompt:  "If you're going to be weird, be confident about it!" Author Unknown

For this challenge, I practiced some lettering styles and tried to draw my kids from one of my favorite photos of them, but the drawing turned out so horrible it will not be shown here.  Instead, I traced the photo onto deli paper and pasted it to the page.

Friday, April 15, 2016


I have had a clean work space for a couple weeks now!  Maybe that's why I've been so productive.  Thought I would give you a quick tour of what I used to call my craft room but which I've started calling my studio.

Here's a long view to give you a feel of the space.  I have two tables placed together in the middle of the room with various chairs surrounding them.
 On the far wall, I have a rubbish bin, paper storage, and storage bins for stamps, pencils, paint, and other tools.

 I love this cabinet.  My aunt gave it to me and my sister hauled it to my house from Utah when my aunt moved.  I had told my sister that although I loved it, I didn't need it.  She disagreed and I am so glad.  It used to be a dusty blue, but I painted it red.  It holds all of my ink pads, my carving tools, paper scraps, wet wipes, etc.
 This is my makeshift photo booth.  Seriously, I need to figure out another system!
 Another gift from my aunt when she moved.  I'm currently using it to hold larger stencils.  I'm tending to use them much more now that I can see them.
 I used to have a lot of this art clipped up there.  It's clutter, but I love seeing this stuff.  A new way to display might be a good idea though.
 This is a cabinet my husband made.  It separates my art area from the TV area.  As you can see, it holds my art books.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Life with an open heart

Here's the painting I did with the prompt "life with an open heart" in mind.   I have a few photos of the beginning, but again got to caught up in the process to remember to stop and take pictures.   I started by just writing some words that came to mind when I thought of the prompt.
 Circles were calling to me.
Some swooshes got added and I made some marks with plastic from a soy bottle and white paint.

At this point, I rotated the canvas and things really started moving.  Here's the end product:

It's interesting to me how very little of the first layers remain in the finished product.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Metaphorical portrait of an abuse survivor: a study

I have this idea in my head for a self-portrait-ish piece.  Here's a sketch.  Not sure where this will go or if it will become a carving or a painted piece.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Another Intuitive painting attempt

This time I was trying some therapeutic painting-- trying to work through some complicated emotions regarding a family member.  I love how this turned out actually.
Kind of bummed that I didn't use heavier paper so it got warped from the wet paint.  But this paper was free and I imagine I'll be doing a lot more art therapy with it.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Life with a closed heart

I'm trying out some intuitive painting techniques.  I am finding myself drawn to it, but still unsure of how to go about the process.  I've been wanting to try it out for a while, but was too scared.  Finally I gave myself the prompt to paint "living with a closed heart."  Here's a blow by blow of what happened:

 I think part of me felt that living with a closed heart was also an angry,violent place to be.
 I love how this step turned out-- I painted on some black and then put a stencil over it and pulled off some of the black paint.
 Lots of steps in between, but at this point I was too into the process to stop and take photos.  Here's the end product:
Kind of funny that I couldn't just keep it to painting-- had to add in a handcarved self-portrait (stamped on separate paper and adhered with matte medium).

I actually had another canvas going at the same time that was "living life with an open heart." I was trying to switch back and forth to let the paint dry on each before adding new paint.  But this one took over for me and I haven't finished the other one yet.  Soon!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

What I see Clearly: DLP #31

August Theme: Faces, the Human Form & Characters
August 1
Art Challenge: Expressive Faces
Journal Prompt:  What I see clearly now

Friday, April 8, 2016


I have been reading a book called "The The Zen of Creative Painting: An elegant design for revealing your muse" by Jeanne Carbonetti.  Fun book.  One of the exercises in it was to create a mandala.  Here's what happened when I tried it out.  I really need to figure out a better way to light my photos!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

At this moment: DLP #30

July Theme: Ephemera
July 25
Art Challenge: Real Life
Journal Prompt:  At this Moment

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


One of my husband's friends decided to give away these letter hooks that she had bought.  They used to spell her name: Marsha.  I changed the 'h' into a 'T' so I now have:
I also changed the 'S' into a 'P' so I have my initials too.
To alter them, I painted white gesso over the face.  I sponged various distress ink colors on, did some sanding, drew in the new letters with a sharpie and finally painted them in with black gesso.  A  little more sanding and voila!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Who? DLP #29

July Theme
July 18
Art Challenge: Photographs & Memories
Journal Prompt:  "All that I have to remember you"-Jim Croce

The baby photo is one that I got in a stack of stuff being discarded from a printer in Albuquerque many years ago.  No idea who the little person is.  The photo on the bottom right was one inherited from a great uncle, no identifying information on the back.  It's a little sad not knowing the stories behind these photos and a good reminder for me to be better at documenting Who, Where, and When on my photographs.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Time keeps on Ticking: DLP#28

July Theme: Ephemera
July 11
Art Challenge: Focal Point vs. Layering*
Journal Prompt:  Time keeps on ticking
*Your challenge is to create a focal point on your piece this week. Add layering as you choose.
This page I really ended up liking.  Just let go and let things happen on their own.   Used masks and stencils by Tim Holtz, some American Arts stencils,and one handcarved stamp.  Practiced some lettering.  Super fun. 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Mom's One Line a Day Book

I have been thinking for a while that I would like one of these books-- each page has 5 entries for each day of the year.  So you fill in a short synopsis of that day for five different years.  It's been fun so far.  This one was on clearance at Target, but I have to say that I hated how it looked.
So I turned it into this:

Friday, April 1, 2016

Fail and accept: DLP #27

July Theme: Ephemera
July 4
Art Challenge: Using Old Maps, Letters, Tickets & More
Journal Prompt:  Life...with a history

Not too happy with this page but putting it out there anyway.  I'm glad to be playing around and seeing what works and what doesn't.  I like some of the the ideas behind this page, but just couldn't get things to gel.  Maybe I'll come back to it another day.