Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Autumn Magic

I made this digital piece for this week's challenge at Digital Whisper.ning. The challenge was to take the autumn forest scene that was given and make a piece incorporating your favorite Fall poem. I added the park bench, the fairy and the girl looking out of the fogged window.

I don't really have a favorite autumn poem but I did a search on the web for poems with the words "autumn" and "magic" in them. I found this poem:

Autumn Magic
Lysia Holub

On a cool autumn night,
When the air is still,
You can see a great sight,
Just beyond the mill,
The place where leaves dance,
In the still air,
There Fairies will prance,
With the seasons in their hair.

The greatest sight you may ever see,
Even still you will believe,
Because they live with you and me.
Only on an autumn eve,
Will you see them there,
Sneaking out of sight,
Only the trees know where
To find them at night,
But, in the morning through the dew,
And beyond the trees,
You may see them peeking at you,
Hanging on a breeze.

Never overlook these sneaky fairies,
They may look like leaves,
They may be hung up in the black berries,
But their only joy comes to tease,
So spare them the time,
And chuckle on the wind,
To complete the rhyme,
And bring it to an end.

Just something fun that I thought I would post today!

Friday, September 25, 2009


I've been neglecting my digital art lately and when I found these awesome images, I had to get back into Photoshop! So, what to put into the room? I've been playing with the idea of reflection, self-reflection, the future self, etc. and this came together.

It's not my usual type of thing but it speaks to where I am right now: taking a look at myself and wanting to change so many things, physically and mentally. I like where I am with my art. I like that I'm branching out and experimenting with different media, all the while learning and growing.

But physically (both with my body and my living space) there is definitely room for improvement. I think it's time for another good de-cluttering of the studio space as well as the entire upstairs. I've been avoiding my studio because it is so cluttered with current projects, past projects, future projects and a lot of items I've held for too long "just in case". So, today I begin the purge. I need to clear my space (and my head) so I can work in there!

I think a lot of this has to do with the arrival of Fall. This is my favorite time of the year. Some people love the Summer but I come alive in the crisp air, the turning leaves and sweater weather. Bring it on! And I become more physically active; something I've neglected for way too long. I love long walks in the cool, or even cold, air. I am NOT a fan of heat, humidity and temps over 80 degrees.

So I'm having a little confrontation with myself; facing hard facts and finally beginning to act on them. I know the results will be worth it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Taking A Deep Breath

This is my latest painting (11 x 14, Acrylic). I finished it yesterday and it's called Sunday Morning Mist. It must have about six layers of paint on it. I kept painting over it until I figured out what it was I wanted it to be. That's why I love abstract art; so much freedom to experiment and bring it along until you're satisfied. I think it looks peaceful, almost like a mist rising. I didn't intend to create anything like this when I started. What I originally had in mind will come out when it's ready. I haven't given up on that idea just yet. :) This one is hanging in our living room and every time I look at it I just want to take a deep breath. Hubby was very complimentary on it, too.

I want to finish the paintings I've started before tackling the 18 x 36 size that we'll paint in the next class. Here is Mountain of Mine which is from Jared's free video found here:

This one gave me a few fits but I was happy I finished it. I'm still working on Black Ice and hope to have it up soon.

I finally joined FaceBook. I'm slow to come around, but I'm glad I did. I'm discovering lots of my friends on there and it's like a little party whenever I hear from them. *waving to you all*

Other projects in the works: I've got a couple of face sketches that want homes in a digital background so I'll have to tend to them next. Then there's the big (for me) canvas to start... Jared's painting is 18 x 36 but there was no place in town that carried that size canvas so I ended up with a 24 x 36. We'll see how it translates. And I've been neglecting my art journal so I need to give it a little love. So, busy trying to juggle all of these at once. I'll post whichever one I finish first!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Exploring Possibilities

This is one of my favorite sketches so far. I found the model for this one in a fashion mag. I often use fashion models as the base for my sketches. I'm not real good at producing a face completely out of my imagination. They all seem to look alike. :) I'm still having issues drawing the nose, as you can see. And drawing at an angle gives me fits but I keep practicing. I am also trying to give them more emotion. I think she looks like she's exploring possibilities.

I'm certainly doing that. I'm enjoying the abstract painting. It really is fun! The whole idea of painting with no preconceived idea of an image is very freeing. You paint your emotion. Good stuff. I put on some music that reflects my mood for that particular moment and then go with it.

I am finding the artist tube paints very nice to work with. They don't dry out as fast as the Golden fluid acrylics. And my new best friend is titanium white. I have gone through three tubes of it so far. I found out you can actually order it by the gallon online so I did. In the long run it's cheaper than buying tubes every few days. The next painting we will do in class will be 18 x 36. That will be a blast!

Another cool thing I learned about was painting with skewers. Who would have thought! My painting buddy, Kimmie, sent me a YouTube video showing how to paint Jackson Pollock style using skewers. You have to have liquid paint, of course, to be able to fling it around but it looks so cool! You can vary your marks, drips, etc. I'll have to work that into something...maybe just painted backgrounds to scan for digital works.

Like I said, exploring the possibilities...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Inner Storm

This is my first finished painting from Jared Knight's class. It's 11 x 14, Acrylic, and I call it Inner Storm. This was not the painting that you do along with him in his video. This one is from inside of me. It's funny because I started painting his painting Black Ice along with him in his video and when I got to the best part of the painting (the knife work) I couldn't get it to turn out like I wanted. So I've started three more Black Ice paintings in hope I'll get one of them right. It's just my perfectionist taking over. I let myself off the hook and decided to start my own painting and use the knife however it turned out. I really like this one and am hanging it in our living room. Hubby said it looks exactly like the title says. You see all that unrest below the surface, churning away, and eventually it rises and explodes. :)

It's been fun challenging myself to do something that, for me, is totally different. I love the freedom of abstract painting. I had Melissa Etheridge blaring in the background and just went at it, painting my soul. There are lots of paintings in the works now in various stages. This particular one started out as different shades of violet. There are probably four or five layers painted over in this one. I kept changing my mind as I went along. What a rush! I told Jared that now it's time to make a new class video and he said he's working on one.

Other things I'm working on: I have a bunch of new sketches that I'm playing with. I've been scouring the fall fashion mags for pretty faces to sketch. I don't make up my own faces very much.; a few have been and I've liked them. But there are so many different looks and poses in the fashion mags that I'll just pick a girl and concentrate on her facial features and sketch her. I'm working on giving them more emotion. Looking over the earlier ones they all seem to have the same frozen expression. So, hopefully, you'll notice more emotion in these later sketches.

That's it for today. Off to paint and play.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Rebel Spirit

After sketching this gal I noticed right away that she had an attitude. I liked her rebel spirit so I placed her in an appropriate atmosphere. Part of the background is from the super-talented Christine Honsinger (Fidlette Designs) at ScrapArtist.com. This is from her black and white collage kit. I added a bunch of brushes and lots of color, a cool font, etc. but the black and white background was a great starting point.

So it's with this attitude that I'll start my painting with Jared Knight's videos (see previous post). I've done a couple of preliminary warm-ups while following along with him on his videos. Now I'm ready for the real thing. I don't have any expectations of doing this perfectly. I just want to experience the freedom of the abstract design. I acknowledge to myself that I am a beginner and I will only learn by doing. So I'm off to do just that ... bringing with me a little bit of this rebel spirit!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


This little lady was a sketch I did last week and she certainly proved to be ... how I'm feeling right now! Have you ever just had so much stimuli coming at you at once that you didn't know what to do first or what direction you should follow? That's where I am right now.

It's all good! So many new things I'm learning and being introduced to and now my mind is reeling. I was recently introduced to a new artist through Kimmie, the awesome artist and host at her website, Digital Whisper.ning. She introduced me to the art of Jared Knight through his website at Jared Knight.com. He's a fantastic, energetic, awesome abstract painter. I loved his work as soon as I saw it. And, guess what, YES, he teaches classes.

So I watched his intro video and am completely hooked on his process: action painting. I've just ordered my first class and plan on starting it tomorrow. Yes, yes, I know, I'm in so many different classes right now going in so many directions. Where do I focus?

I don't know. All I know is to follow my heart and what I want to do. I want to do it all! I want to draw, paint, do mixed media, and I'm doing all of that. I don't see anything wrong with multiple interests. Someday what I really want to "concentrate" on will reveal itself. I've got a passion for all of these things right now and am pursuing all of them with the same zeal. The more, the merrier.

So, in addition to more faces (Yay! Monica's class this week is on drawing the mouth), a new SuziBlu class on Marie Antoinette, and a Frida Kahlo shadow box (you didn't know about that one, did you?), you will see some abstract art thrown in just to mix things up.

So, to answer the little lady in the above piece, indecision isn't a bad thing. You don't have to decide on ONE thing! Go where your Muse leads... and follow your bliss.

Friday, September 4, 2009


This is my latest sketch. I told myself I wouldn't make any more until I finished painting the ones I have mounted on wood first. But my Muse didn't listen, as usual, and I started this one a couple of days ago. So now there are three faces mounted on wood waiting to be painted. ;)

I wasn't sure what to do with her after I looked at the raw sketch. I just stared at her for awhile and I thought she looked like she was waiting on something...or someone. A secret meeting? A rendezvous, that was it! Scanning the sketches into Photoshop does open up a lot of possibilities. We'll see where she goes when the real painting begins.

I like this color palette. I can't take credit for the poppies (aren't they gorgeous?) I got them from Scrapbook Flair.com from their Labor Day kit. There are some awesome digital scrapbook kits out there that make gorgeous backgrounds for digital art. I don't scrapbook but I love the papers, embellishments, etc. that they have. This paper is just a plain peach background with the poppies. I added some overlays, brushes and some other elements but I loved the soft color of the peach and the contrast with the poppies. Another favorite site for digital collage kits is Scrap Artist.com.

I also told myself I wouldn't sign up for any more classes until I finished the ones I was in. Wrong again. Suzi Blu has a new Petite Dolls workshop starting Saturday: Petite Marie (Antoinette). I wasn't going to sign up for it at first but then I saw Suzi's painting. Now I have to do it. My obsession with faces and fashion keeps growing. I had so many ideas for things I want to try with these paintings that I woke up twice the other night to write them down in my bedside notebook so I wouldn't forget them.

Ooh, speaking of classes, Suzi also has a Petite workshop coming that has something to do with Tarot. I'm already planning for that one without even seeing what she's going to do. And I think there's one that has to do with the circus...and then there's the Goddess & Poet 2 in December. I may as well just get a permanent spot in her little school! Plus, Monica's class should have the next lesson up any day. I hope it will be about drawing the mouth. I seem to keep drawing the same mouth; I want to learn different looks. So I'm looking forward to that lesson.

That's it for today. College football started last night and tomorrow is the first full Saturday of games. Hubby and I LIVE for college football! I wanted to post this today because I probably won't be around the computer for a few days (except to register for Suzi's class). Ooh, how I miss going to the Ohio State Buckeyes football games! Go BUCS!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Dancing In The Moonlight

This is my entry for this week's digital challenge at Digital Whisper.ning. The theme for the challenge was moonlight and we were given the image of the moon reflecting on water (provided by Stock Exchange). I added this incredible background from a kit I bought a long time ago that I keep coming back to again and again. It is from Madame Mim and Milla Designs and it's called Enchanted Forest. It is an awesome kit; tons of gorgeous, magical elements. Love it!! The kit and her designs can be found at catscrap.com in their shopping section. The dancer is an image I cut out of a fashion magazine a couple of years ago. I just loved the silhouette and have used it in some of my other digital art. I added some more moonbeams coming from the moon just to highlight her a little better.

I've got two face sketches mounted on wood that I am starting to work on today. I always get a little nervous when I start these paintings. I'm afraid I'll "mess up" the sketch. I need to get over that; the worst thing that could happen is I do mess it up. I still have plenty of options. The sketches are saved on my computer and I could print out another one and mount it. Or I could go with the "mistake" and keep painting to see where that takes me. Suzi Blu said in one her classes that procrastination is fear. I can relate to that! I've been putting off working on these pieces because of my fears that they won't turn out like I want.

Also on the agenda today: mail out the Artist Trading Pin I made for a swap in the Art Techniques Yahoo group I belong to. I've said before that I am not a jewelry maker but I love jewelry. I've got a little workshop set up in the basement with my Dremel drill and lots of wire, charms, beads and miscellaneous findings. I push myself to sign up for some of these swaps just so I'll go down there and work with these fun things.

I had never even heard of an artist trading pin. It's just what it sounds like: you make a little pin to trade using collage, paint, beads, whatever you want. There are some very talented artists in that group and I'm always learning from them. This is the same group I made the 240 fat pages of my fabric paper for. As a matter of fact, part of that batch of fabric paper was used as the background for the little collage in this pin! The theme of the swap was the fall season. I thought the fabric paper had the perfect fall colors. I added a transparency of a snippet from a song called "October" that I found in a song book I picked up at a flea market last summer. And I found the perfect little leaf charm to finish it off. The pin is 1.5" x 1.5" and I made it two-sided so the wearer could have two options. Here is the "front":

Here is the back:

There is a glare on the glass in this photo. That's why it shows up kind of pale. This is basically the same background with a butterfly rub-on added.

I had made another pin first but was not happy with it at all. It was something that I had tried on wood. At least I did try. But after looking at the album of some of the other pins that were made I was reminded of all of these little supplies I had down in the workshop. Yay! I think I will make some more of these for gifts (with different themes, of course). Hopefully the person that gets this pin will like it.

Now, off to the post office and then I'll tackle my fears and my paints and get started on those two faces. ;)