Update!

I’m very excited to tell you I’ve uploaded 4 of my artworks to Redbubble. If you are unfamiliar with the site, it’s a place where artists of all kinds can sell their work on things like clothing, electronic accessories, home goods and more, as well as prints and framed prints. I’ve added a link to my Redbubble profile page in the menu at the top of my blog. The menu is the little icon with three lines to the left of the heart. Even if you aren’t in the market to buy right now, Redbubble is still a great place to visit to simply immerse yourself in the beauty and variety of artwork posted there. It’s amazing! I absolutely love their stickers. I’m a collector of stickers but I’m picky. Redbubble has a wide variety of stickers and there’s definitely something for everyone there! I’m going to share a photo of my laptop which shows 11 stickers I got from Redbubble. The other stickers were collected on family trips and shopping trips to different stores. The photo isn’t for sale or download but I did want you to see an example of the artwork available at the site. While my particular favorites are pretty rare and in a definite genre, I think they still show a decent scope of the variety you’ll find at Redbubble. Please do visit the site and please keep supporting your local artists and small businesses! We really appreciate your business!

This is my laptop. 11 of these stickers are from Redbubble and the rest are from different places I've visited or gathered from shopping excursions. I love collecting stickers!

This is my laptop. 11 of these stickers are from Redbubble and the rest are from different places I’ve visited or gathered from shopping excursions. I love collecting stickers!

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Black and White Photo

My husband, John, is the photographer in our house but I like to take snapshots and edit them on my cell. I just have fun with it and don’t intend to make a career out of it like he is doing. We are also certified storm spotters and we take as many opportunities as possible to check out storms in our area and keep and eye on what they’re doing.Β  I do admit to being fascinated by lightning, charmed by thunder, and mesmerized by cloud formations. As we were following a couple of storm cells in our area, John found an excellent place to stop and this tree was right there, begging to be photographed. πŸ™‚ You can see John’s photo of the tree (a much better quality, and a panoramic photo, as well!) on his post for today, by clicking here. So, without further ado, here’s my photo.

Isn't this the perfect set-up for a stark black and white photo? I thought so... I took this photo with my cell and edited it with the Pixlr Express app. If you'd like to download this photo for personal use, you can do so from my deviantART gallery.

Isn’t this the perfect set-up for a stark black and white photo? I thought so… I took this photo with my cell and edited it with the Pixlr Express app. If you’d like to download this photo for personal use, you can do so from my deviantART gallery.

“Antarctica is otherworldly, like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Stark, cold, beautiful desolation.” ~ Mark Hoppus

Artistic Inspiration

I have some photos of things that inspired me over the course of the past week…or2…or 3… I can only hope that what I see in my head translates well through my hands and fingers! Anyway, I’d like to share these photos with you. I’m still not mentally ready to begin the last canvas for Mask series #8 but I’m getting there. There’s just too much going on right now and I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to work as quickly or be as focused as I feel I’ll need to be. I’m probably thinking too much…but I really do want to be able to work without too many deadlines and activities fluttering around in my head. As soon as we are done with the play, I plan to start the work and we’ll see what we will see!

This is a close-up photo of my headphones. There's a whole story behind these. I'm not really a 'blingy' sort of gal but this is dark bling...with spikes. Yeah, that's more like me.

This is a close-up photo of my headphones. There’s a whole story behind these. I’m not really a ‘blingy’ sort of gal but this is dark bling…with spikes. Yeah, that’s more like me. I used my cell to take the photo and the Pixlr Express app to edit it.

When I started experimenting with my acrylics two weekends ago, this was the first practice sheet. I limited myself to 4 shades: black, red, golden green and copper. This one was done all in black. I took the photo with my cell and edited it with the Pixlr Express app.

When I started experimenting with my acrylics two weekends ago, this was the first practice sheet. I limited myself to 4 shades: black, red, golden green and copper. This one was done all in black. I took the photo with my cell and edited it with the Pixlr Express app.

These are dark, metal coin charms I found at the craft store. I'm going to use them in the next mask project but I'm not sure how yet. I took this photo with my cell and edited it with the Pixlr Express app.

These are dark, metal coin charms I found at the craft store. I’m going to use them in the next mask project but I’m not sure how yet. I took this photo with my cell and edited it with the Pixlr Express app.

I crinkled some aluminum foil, then unfolded it. I was intending to cut shapes out of it and use it "as is"...but I had the (hopefully) brilliant idea of painting it gold. Then when I got home, I realized we had gold spray paint, as well as some matte black spray paint. I used those two and this is the result. You'll probably notice I didn't totally uncrinkle the foil before painting it so that I'd have some of the silver still shining through. This could be quite interesting by the time I'm through.

I crinkled some aluminum foil, then unfolded it. I was intending to cut shapes out of it and use it “as is”…but I had the (hopefully) brilliant idea of painting it gold. Then when I got home, I realized we had gold spray paint, as well as some matte black spray paint. I used those two and this is the result. You’ll probably notice I didn’t totally uncrinkle the foil before painting it so that I’d have some of the silver still shining through. This could be quite interesting by the time I’m through. I took this photo with my cell and edited it with the Pixlr Express app.

I tried to keep a theme of black and white throughout the photos but I couldn’t take all the color out of the last one. It’s still not an exact representation of the color but you get an idea…a vague idea. I’ll be sure to post updates as the project progresses. We have 4 more showings of “The Diary of Anne Frank” with our last show being this Saturday. Once the show is done and we strike the set, I’ll have a little more room in my schedule for art. I can’t wait to get back at it! I’m so thirsty for the opportunity to express myself in my art once again!

“Don’t think that because you haven’t heard from me for a while that I went to sleep. I am still here, like a spirit roaming the night. Thirsty, hungry, seldom stopping to rest.” ~ Spike Lee (This quote is so appropriate, it’s kinda scary!)

Uncertainty

I am uncertain whether or not I’ll be able to post with any regularity over the next 10 days or so. Between work, school, and the theater production, I don’t have much time left over. But I’ll do my best. That’s all anyone /can/ do, after all. Please don’t give up on me! I’ll definitely have something for you on Saturday and I hope to have something to share with you before then.

“Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.” ~ Robert H. Schuller

I captured this shot of my favorite little wildflowers. They come back year after year and herald spring. Good stuff! I used PicsArt app to take the photo and Pixlr-O-Matic app to edit it.

I captured this shot of my favorite little wildflowers. They come back year after year and herald spring. Good stuff! I used PicsArt app to take the photo and Pixlr-O-Matic app to edit it.

 

Farmer’s Market and New Artwork

I learned today, that it is indeed possible to pack up some paint, water, and tools and bring them along to the Farmer’s market. Just having to sit still while I know I could be doing something productive or fun is really tough. So I pulled out my travel watercolor kit, filled a plastic container with water, and “carefully” packed some acrylic paints, a straw, and a small palette in our market basket. (We have a huge basket that stays packed with our display things and the items we feel are appropriate to sell at the Farmer’s Market.) The paints arrived safely, I’m happy to say, as did everything else in the basket. And I was able to paint.

It’s been quite a while since I was able to do any straw painting so I decided to try doing that today. I like straw painting because while you /can/ control the flow of the paint to create fabulous and intricate pictures of exact things, it can also be a random, crazy, thought-provoking roller coaster ride. I like the second option better. I like to see what the paint, the paper, my own breath, will present to my imagination. What kind of story will my artwork tell me each time? I don’t always know!

I focused mostly on red and black but my favorite work has golden green and coppery brown added to it. I watered down my black and red to an ink-like consistency. I practiced with the different brushes on one of my 4 sheets of paper to see what kinds of lines and such I could create with them, as well as how much paint on the brush achieved what shade of color. Here are the results, in the order they were created. I’m happy with them! I hope you enjoy them, too. The last photo is of our table at today’s market.

For some reason, I worked in sets of three for this painting. Each section of black lines was created with three dots of paint. I had a lot of fun with the maned spirals. I think they might be baby dragons but I suppose that's up for interpretation!

For some reason, I worked in sets of three for this painting. Each section of black lines was created with three dots of paint. I had a lot of fun with the maned spirals. I think they might be baby dragons but I suppose that’s up for interpretation! Oh! And this photo is a scan of the original. The only adjustment was the ‘autofix’ option I clicked to smooth out the lines and show the red a little better.

Again, I used sets of three for the black. I didn't count the red streamers because my goal was to create a pleasant background for the focal points. I called this one "Lines Of Third Connection" because the three dots connected to each of the other sets of three. The lines are crazy, but they still connect. Again, this is a scan of the original, using only the auto-correct button to smooth out the harsher texture of the paper and bring out the vibrancy of the red.

Again, I used sets of three for the black. I didn’t count the red streamers because my goal was to create a pleasant background for the focal points. I called this one “Lines Of Third Connection” because the three dots connected to each of the other sets of three. The lines are crazy, but they still connect. Again, this is a scan of the original, using only the auto-correct button to smooth out the harsher texture of the paper and bring out the vibrancy of the red.

As the sun sets, the tree showers down a few leaf-kisses in farewell..."Golden Goodnight Kisses". I used the same black and red and the intensity alters with how much paint is on the brush and how many times you paint over the same area. The tree trunk was created with a good bit of paint and a straw. Yes. There is a bit of white shining through, here and there. I left it. I'm truly satisfied with this picture. It's one of my better ones. This is a scan of the original and I only used the auto-correct button to smooth out the harshness of the paper and bring out the color vibrancy a bit more.

As the sun sets, the tree showers down a few leaf-kisses in farewell…”Golden Goodnight Kisses”. I used the same black and red and the intensity alters with how much paint is on the brush and how many times you paint over the same area. The tree trunk was created with a good bit of paint and a straw. Yes. There is a bit of white shining through, here and there. I left it. I’m truly satisfied with this picture. It’s one of my better ones. This is a scan of the original and I only used the auto-correct button to smooth out the harshness of the paper and bring out the color vibrancy a bit more. This one is John‘s and my favorite of the three.

I use acrylics. I haven’t done much with watercolor, or the watercolor pencils that came in my portable kit. I needed to use a medium I knew very well today. I did use two watercolor brushes because I knew they’d be better for the ink-like consistency of my paint. My brushes: Royal brand, Round #2; Master’s Touch brand, 785 Round #8; Master’s Touch brand, 7520 Oval Wash 1/2″. This is the first time I’ve used the Master’s Touch brushes, though I’ve had the kit for about 2 years. I really liked them! (I don’t do the affiliate thing. Probably won’t ever do that because it seems like an extra hassle I don’t need.)

And here’s the photo of the table we set up today.

This is our small table set up for the Farmer's Market. I didn't put out much of my chainmail today. Most of our items were John's paracord items he's been experimenting with. We also had the girls' painted glass stones on our table and my three paintings as I completed them. You can get a better idea of the small size of the paintings in this picture. I took this picture with my cell and edited it in Pixlr Express, an Android app.

This is our small table set up for the Farmer’s Market. I didn’t put out much of my chainmail today. Most of our items were John’s paracord items he’s been experimenting with. We also had the girls’ painted glass stonesΒ  and charm bracelets on our table, and my three paintings as I completed them. You can get a better idea of the small size of the paintings in this picture. I took this picture with my cell and edited it in Pixlr Express, an Android app. (Magiba was ready to call it day.) I am loving my birthday present. I think this new phone will make it easier for me to present better photos online.

Of necessity, we had to limit our wares as we had to go straight to the theater for practice. We had to leave before the market closed, even, in order to get to practice on time. It all turned out well in the end. It’s my intention to blog about the nightgown I finished up today in tomorrow’s post, so stay tuned! Thanks for reading and feel free to leave comments or ask questions. πŸ™‚

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink, Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” ~ Lord Byron

 

Musings and Busyness

As the time for the opening night of the play we’re working on draws nearer, we are getting busier and busier. And with school starting tomorrow (I can’t believe how this weekend flew by!), it’s going to be more difficult for me to find some quiet time and a place where I can just be present…just BE. Today I worked almost exclusively on lesson planning with a bit of blogging and research on the side.

But one of the awesome things about today was that I was able to hang out with a person who meant a lot to me in my past. We lost touch after high school and only briefly reconnected when I moved back to this area. But through this play, we’ve really been able to reconnect and enjoy good conversation and friendship. Today’s task for the theater was to make the awful badges the Jews were forced to wear during WW2. One thing that became blatantly obvious to me was the fact that many kids don’t know about the Holocaust (or they mistakenly believe it was a hoax), and those that do know about it, treat it like most people treat all of history. “Oh, well, that was then. This is now. It has nothing to do with me and it doesn’t matter.” Um…no. It still matters. We can’t truly grasp the enormity of the lives lost in the concentration camps. We can’t. How do you envision, grasp, the number 6,000,000 in terms of Jewish humans, much less the 11,000,000 total humans who died in those death camps? This play has been very hard for me. Maybe because I’m a mother. Maybe because I consider myself a realist, knowing that nothing stays the same forever and that some changes are very ugly indeed. Maybe it’s because I firmly believe that history does repeat itself, mainly because of human stupidity and ignorance. Maybe it’s because I’m an empath. I feel things very deeply, can put myself in someone else’s shoes, and when I read a story or watch a movie, it’s almost like I’m absorbed into it. I have to be very careful what I read or watch. I don’t know for certain. But I do know I’m going to need a rest when we’re done with “The Diary of Anne Frank.” It’s a story that should never be forgotten. It’s a story that should cut like a knife. And it’s a story that I’m proud to have a part in the telling.

We made star badges today. I’m so thankful those badges were for a play and not for real, right now, in this life. I’m thankful for my freedoms and my rights and I don’t ever want to take those for granted. Those freedoms and rights didn’t just show up one day. It was a lot of hard work to set those up and get them in place, a lot of blood-sweat-tears kind of work. Do any of us even know what that means anymore? I have to wonder… What has been taken from you forcibly at gunpoint today? What loved one was torn out of your arms at gunpoint today? Which loved one did you have to watch die day by day because they didn’t have enough to eat and their body was weakened by sickness that no one would cure? And which one of you had to live the rest of your life knowing your entire family died in the concentration camps in spite of your efforts to save them? So the next time you complain because your cell phone battery died and you can’t shoot the breeze with all your friends…the next time your washing machine breaks down and you have to go to the laundromat…the next time your meal isn’t fixed to perfection at your favorite restaurant…or the next time you deride your neighbor for keeping a watchful eye on the actions of the government, be kind and think smart. It could always, always be worse.

A heavy post indeed today…and many heavy thoughts. These things inspire me, too, though. They are part of who I am and that all goes into my art, my songwriting, everything I create. I don’t expect many likes today. People don’t like to hear about terrible things. But they are just as real as beautiful things. They should not be forgotten.

This is the journal I'm keeping for our school work. I chose this one for the simplistic, calming message on the front. These are words I want to live by, strive to live by.

This is the journal I’m keeping for our school work. I chose this one for the simplistic, calming message on the front. These are words I want to live by, strive to live by.

β€œI swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” ~ Elie Wiesel

 

Mask Series #7: Inside The Inner Workings

“Inside The Inner Workings” #7 of my mixed media Mask Series is finally complete! I used acrylic paints, flat-backed glass floral marbles, nail enamel paint, antique brass beads, copper wire, silver-tone metal findings, antique brass gears, zinc plated star washers, antique brass toggle clasps, silver-tone beads, antique silver eyelets, black/gold mesh fabric, copper stretch fabric, black with gold hologram dot fabric, black sequin fabric, white iridescent square printed fabric and put the elements together on an 11 x 14 canvas. The mask base is purple lace with hologram dot sequins scattered throughout. It’s embroidered in gold. I wanted to go for a Steampunk feel with this one. I feel like I got close but I’m not entirely certain. However, I’m really pleased with the result. I hope you’ll enjoy the photo! I have to thank John for herding cats so I could sign the artwork and then snap the shot. This piece is for sale. If you are interested, please contact me.

Mixed Media Mask Series #7, "Inside The Inner Workings," is complete!

Mixed Media Mask Series #7, “Inside The Inner Workings,” is complete!

“Happiness consists in activity. It is running steam, not a stagnant pool.” ~ John Mason Good