Monday, April 28, 2008

Graffiti Love

Blue is my favorite color and I love it with orange, it's complimentary. This is a collage piece I worked on during my last class. It has different types of papers underneath, including my favorite mailing envelopes and some altered magazine pages.

While working on this I discovered something fun. If I wrote in cursive and connected all the words and then over-lapped each line with the one above it, I could write a secret message. It is not readable! This one happens to be a love letter. My teacher suggested I take that one step further and write either a word or letter much larger. I created the word love (also connecting the letters) on a piece of watercolor paper using ink and then collaged it onto the canvas board.

It started to remind me of graffiti. So I wanted to make it look like it had been on a wall outside and the colors had started to fade and run. I used oil pastels to do this, choosing several different shades of blue and orange. They were a lot of fun to work with, as I could blend them with my fingers. I also used some chalks for the same effect, and could easily rub them off if needed. The bottom layers have acrylic paint on them. Need to frame it or find some way to varnish it. For now I like it propped up in my art area.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Collage Tags / Fair Challenge

The collage tags I had so much fun making last summer. I found the "angel wings" at the craft store, ( the flower looking pieces) that are meant for adding color in paper-making. They spread out beautifully when you apply them with gel medium. Also has some old stamps, magazine clippings and fibers. I had made one and liked it so much that I just kept going. After creating a dozen of them, I felt like I had come to the end of my inspiration flurry!

I framed them to enter it in the County Fair in the collage category. That was my first time entering any of my art for the public to see. It was an intense time for me! Lots of self-doubting going on and was obsessed with it for weeks before the fair.

I also boldly entered 6 other items in the categories of - oil painting, ink drawing, acrylic painting, altered books, button collection
and refrigerator magnets...I sanded and painted some old magnets and glued on some 1950's ads of (what else - refrigerators!) complete with a lady in an apron. Was hoping that the judges would have a sense of humor!
Sad to say, they did not. The entry they chose over mine was of a basketball sewn on plastic canvas - no creativity or I wouldn't have minded so much!

Viewing the winners of the "fine arts" categories made me feel worse! Clearly the judges liked art to have a country theme. Did not seem to understand abstract. If I had painted a picture of a cow, I might have a ribbon to show for it. Trying not to sound bitter here, it's just that I put so much of myself into it, that I came away feeling crushed.

I am still glad I did it and must forgive the judges. It is not their fault that all of this was so terribly important to me at the time and being so greenishly new my hopes were way too high. Experience (even when it hurts) is what helps us to grow. I had challenged myself to try (and in that I won first place in my mind)

The good news is that my buttons won second place out of nine entries! The total number of entries is important to note ........because I did win 3rd place on the magnets.... when friends started to congratulate me, I shook my head, smiled and said.... but there were only 3 entires (laughter) .

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Garden Room

I made this during a recent collage class. It is on watercolor paper using acrylic paint and some drawings from my sketchbook (I like drawing flowers and leaves).
Also some found papers from an old math book and maps . The white "netting" is paper that our teacher shared with us and reminds me of a trellis. After we completed it, we trimmed the edges with an exacto knife. I liked how it seemed to finish off the sides. I have problems with getting my corners to look right. At home, I decided to make a second piece since I still had lots of the papers left. I included the scraps I had cut off and layered the first piece on top.

I have just joined a yahoo art group called "arttechniques" and they have been most welcoming! I created a folder on it with some of my art work, including this one.
To my happy surprise when I was just looking in, I discovered they have chosen this to be this weeks home page art! I was so excited to be honored this way that I threw up my arms and yelled Yahoo!! (How fitting = ) .

I named it "Garden Room" because it reminds me of the room I shared growing up with my sister. Her favorite color was pink and mine was purple, so our room was a mix, that did look like a garden!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Art In Your Hand

I like making ATC's, though I have yet to swap one! There is something about little pieces of art that are so intriguing. Anything miniature that you can hold in your hand and examine up close just seems to connect you to it. This cigar box I decorated, seems just the place for them. I get them out once in awhile when I need to be "near" my art.

I was so excited the day I found this website, it is chock full of info on how to make them. I would like to formally thank the wonderful person who took the time to put all this great inspiration online. ( If the URL doesn't work - try doing a search with "how to make ATC")

I keep a box under my desk where I put all the little scraps from my latest creation. They can be the "right" touches needed for artist trading cards. Sometimes I have grabbed a handful and given myself the task of making art out of just those pieces. I pretend I am the teacher and the student (and therefore can change the "rules" as I go along! ) I challenge myself to really see differently, things that may at first, not seem to go together. One day when the box is over-flowing, I may swap some but for now they bring me joy!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Art Therapy

My little art studio ( after a good cleaning). When I am in the middle of creating - stuff is everywhere! The magnetic board above my desk is where I put pics of things I like and ideas of things to try. The painting under my desk is one of my early ones and is a "copy" of a Georgia O'Keefe. My hubbie gave me the easel for Christmas and has been very nice about the fact that he keeps bringing in bookshelves ( for his books of course) and I keep filling them with my art stuff. This little corner of my world is what kept me sane during the long winter we had. It is in the attic of our home that is one big room, so plenty of space to spread out. I often work sitting on the floor, listening to CD's my daughter made for me of favorite songs.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ellen's Gift

Before and after shots of painting I am working on right now. The bottom layer has dress pattern pieces, mailing envelopes, string and fine pumice gel which I scratched into while wet.
After it dried, I mixed silk paints and acrylics in gels to make glazes.

The lines that show through reminds me of sheet music, which reminds me of my daughter who is an amazing musician. Her piano playing can make me cry sometimes, it is so beautiful! I wrote a poem years ago that she inspired and dedicated to her with love from Mom!

"Piano music speaks to me - touches chords of my heart.
Sends them vibrating among my senses
floating on tinkling waves.

It is a language that is felt
a sweetness too keen
a softness so comforting!

I am swept from lofty peaks - on clouds of vibrant color
Quivering on breezes of sound
pattern on pattern intertwining with each other."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Waterfall Memories

These are the waterfalls, as we called them, that I grew up near. My siblings and cousins and I walked across them many times. We were wise for children, as the "rule" was to sit on the edge and place one foot down and if the water was high over your foot, we didn't try. When the water was low and just barely covered the top of our feet then we would go across.

We lived next to the river and by walking along it thru neighbors backyards we would come up to the left of this bridge. When you stand on the bridge and look to the right, you see the falls. Very pretty.
Have many happy memories of summers here. Would come to the falls as a teenager when I was sad or needed to think. Just sitting by the water was soothing.
We have recently learned that our falls are going to be taken down next spring. It is the DuPage River and the thorium pollution has long been a concern. We are all sad about this. We plan to have a reunion there this summer to say good-bye to them and take pics. Sometimes when you are about to lose something ,is when you realize how much it means to you.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Star Gazer

There are 5 layers on this canvas. It has looked 4 completely different ways until I finally came up with this and like it. I love bright colors with a touch of black to make them really stand out.
It reminds me of outer-space. There are lots of textures underneath, including a paper clip and string. It is now hanging in my living room.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Think In Three's

This is my first piece of art to hang in a show.
It is at the Downer's Grove Library, who have a wonderful gallery and I am excited to be a part of it!
I created this to be interactive for the children.
It is a game. You try to think of a word that describes each group. You Think in Three's.
There are no wrong answers. For ex: " two, ten, three" can be numbers, ages, time etc.
I painted each section on rice paper, mailing envelopes and brown wrapping paper and then collaged them onto the canvas.
The show is called "Alphabetica" and is sponsored by The Midwest Collage Society. The artists each chose a letter and created a picture using it.
I chose the letter T for my first name. As I thought about it lots of words popped into my mind and this is the result.