Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I'm going to paint owls!!

    If your anything like me you are probably in love with owls, I just cannot seem to get enough of them! This little obsession started a few years ago with some fabric, then a shirt, an iron on ... then a key chain and recently a little owl creation of my own (see previous post).  Owls seem to be around every corner and each one makes me *squeal* with joy or *awww* in adoration. I find them mysterious, varied and cute! 

   So you can understand my excitement when I came across the blog of artist Juliette Crane. She has such talent and you know what? She, is pretty darn skilled when it comes to creating (you guessed it) OWLS!  I have spent much time perusing her posts and admiring her art (not just owls, but all of it) and gaining a lot of inspiration!

  She, too is a mid-westerner and the first part of her name is JULIE, which is a pretty fantastic name ... if I do say so myself :)   As if all this wasn't exciting enough, she happens to teach an e-course called,  "How to Paint an Owl" and yesterday I signed up for the Fall class!!  I've received my "Welcome Info" and I could not be more thrilled to take this fun, skill building, artist refining, owl creating class! I'm radiating happiness!

  So if you're in love with owls (or art in general) and want to try your hand at some mixed media, then I suggest you register for the class that starts at the end of October. I mean it, there are limited spots and when I start posting all the pictures of the awesome owls I'm creating you don't want to be sulking in front of your computer screen because you didn't act quick enough. :)

  Did I mention I'm radiating Happiness??!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Summer Days Melting into Fall Nights

This mixed media painting went through quite a transformation from start to finish and over the course of several days. Today was the first day when it all clicked and I had a real goal. I challenged myself a lot during this painting and while I broke some of my initial rules (I didn't want to create a full scenery, ie tree, sky clouds etc), I was just drawn toward this. 
I truly love mixed media, I enjoy the 3D appearance and the texture it gives. Most of the time touching art is a big no-no, but in this case it is acceptable. 

I do like the concept I was able to create ... summer is slipping away while fall has already started to settle in. Widget (the owl) is enjoying the last bit of summer fun flying his kite before the bitter cold sets in. The trees are already starting to change color and the days are getting shorter.  

The biggest struggle I have with this is how it looks like an 8 year old painted it. How can I get beyond this mindset and how can I improve? 

I enjoy feedback, let me know what you think and if you have suggestions please let me know! Smiles

Saturday, September 24, 2011


When talking about shopping at art supply stores I should know better then to use phrases like, "I'll just be a second. Or, I just need a couple things." Not only am I lying to those around me, but I am totally lying to myself!
I get in those places and time stops, life's problems are checked at the door and all of my senses are enticed.
I find new things every time and suddenly my "couple of things" have become "many things". ;)
Tonight was no different, I was going to buy ONE tube of paint, burnt umber... But there was a sale. I ended up with 4 different colors of paint (at least I was focused enough to get the original item I needed), canvas paper AND these lovely, ornate and wonderfully textured origami papers!! These will look great in some mixed media pieces, can't wait to see what I come up with :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

In progress

At 10:30pm last night I was overwhelmed with creative spirit and rather then talk myself out if it (being so late) I went with it. I chose to set a challenge, here are the guidelines;
•No drawing
•No crisp lines
•Use new (to me) techniques i.e. palate knife
•Create texture
•Keep it simple
•Let the process take it's course
• Above all Have Fun!
I must say, I love the direction this has taken. Im most surprised with the color and the tree... I've never really painted a tree before, so I rather like it. :). This is still a work in progress as the sky is too angry looking.
What I am really excited about is the introduction of Widget my little owl. He is one of many owl doodles I've created, I'm rather smitten with him :)

Let me know what you think and check back to see the finished product!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Jill of all trades (master of none??)

I wanted to post pictures of some of my creations the last few months and over the last few years! For those of you that have seen all this work, well thanks for taking another look and for those that haven't I'd love to hear what you think :)

                                          This was my first painting on canvas in June of this year.

                This was painting number 3 ... I feel like these look like paint by number or coloring book pages.
                I can assure you they are neither of those. I like concepts and techniques in each of these :)

     This is painting 2, 4 and 6. This pull toy concept jumped into my head and was created for a friend with
      a baby on the way. I really enjoyed watching this come to life. I really lucked out when I found that
      spools that matched the size of the ones I painted ... it was a over sight that worked out in the end
      (whew). I love what happens after the eyes are painted, its like the personality of the animals comes to
      life :)

                                        One of my first mixed media pieces, this I REALLY enjoyed!

               For the last 18 years I've been painting on this medium, it started as a need for cheap
               (yet meaningful)  Christmas presents for people. I was 14 when I started and with no
               money this was something I was able to do. I started with small ornaments and worked
               my way up from there. Some of these larger statues take hours and hours to complete.
               I rare paint things for myself, so this snowman took me 7 years to finally complete only
               working on it in-between everyone else's gifts during the Christmas season.

                I don't often sway from the Christmas items (as those are my favorite to paint), but this
                my husband purchased several years ago for about 7 dollars on clearance. Since he
                had never gotten to this I decided to paint it. He was really fun to watch as his personality
                begin to show. Despite the picture he is actually 3/4 the size of a real human bust ... he was
                sitting on the dining room table right after I finished him and in the middle of the night (getting
                a drink of water) scared me half to death!  I keep him out during Christmas too, he looks
                much less blood hungry in a Santa hat! :)

                  After taking one art class in college I purchased all the necessary equipment to
                  make these Stained glass window panels. I've only made a couple, it's a tedious,
                  complex (designing, measuring, glass cutting, glass grinding , soldering etc),
                  MESSY art form and without a good place to do it, I don't get the inspiration
                  very much.  This is my own design. I used foil instead of lead. I really like how
                  this turned out. And my friend was really happy to receive it! :)

                          Sometimes art can be found in the mundane. This is a martingale dog collar
                          my Italian Greyhound Luigi wears this. I have several others too. I took apart
                          one of this collars he outgrew, bought the hardware online and I was able to
                          figure out how to make them. I make standard clasping dog collars as well.

        So as you can see I am a "Jill of all trades" and hate to add "a master of none".  I just like art in all forms and enjoy making it. I'd like to think make things that make people smile and like to think I create better than mediocre art! I really love painting above all. The sewing is the lowest ranking of all artistic visual mediums (I've been playing the clarinet for 20 years), that I do. I'm self taught in everything except the stained glass (and the clarinet) and have a long ways to go ... this is definitely a FUN journey.

                                                             Thanks for looking!! :)