Friday, April 30, 2010

Wonder Full!

the dictionary describes wonder as:  
a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, 
caused by something beautiful, 
unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable
I found  these beauties at Art Fest and fell in love with them instantly.  
They were created by the very talented Stephanie Lee.
The play on words jut gripped me and made me chuckle.
Wish I could be full of wonder all the time. 
Why does that part of us sometimes just disappear?  
The one place I know I can still find wonder is in nature-
the colors and textures never cease to amaze me
and cause me to grin
and buy every plant I find just because...
so lucky me-
we ripped out our old shaky, moldy deck of 23 years
and in its place we now have a new stone patio and pots
(I will blog about the process later)
and lots of new places for plants to be tucked.
So watch out nurseries here I come!
I will take one of everything please...

For me this old hymn says it all -
O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

maybe these will remind me...
Where do you find wonder?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

found some cute cards on etsy...

Look what I got in the mail the other day...
cute little cards with everyday sayings...
that brighten your day...
all made by her
and you can get them here.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

santo, crows, mattisecolor and maru

I am hoping to spend time with her today...
and them -
definitely love my crows...
My paints arrived in the mail 
so I am excited to work with them.

But first I need to prep stuff for two art lessons Monday -
we are finger painting and building robots out of clay,
attaching nuts and bolts and wire.
Then I need to plant, pay bills, and clean and you get the idea.

I wanted to share this cool site with you
Vicki has put together a wonderful site that features her beautiful photos
as well as art by different artists.
I am going to be one of those featured artists this month so stay posted...
I am soo excited!
and finally I just can't pass up a cute cat 
obsessed with fitting his large body in a tiny box.
Maru lives in Japan with his owner who posts many movies of him 
throwing himself into any ol' box.
good for a chuckle around here and
my cat loves them too...
check Maru out here on YouTube
and his blog is here
-wish he could come live with me...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

giraffes can dance!

spring art club is back in session - 
I missed those kiddos.
Our first project is based on this wonderful book.
Read it today if you need a smile...
We experimented with Portfolio Oil Pastels.
I was introduced to this product at Art Fest 
by a wonderful artist and teacher named Lynne Perrella.
She loves to work with these pastels
 and has achieved beautiful looks with them.
Check out her site and etsy shop too.
This is what I created in her class using pastels, paint and toner copies.
OK back to this lesson,
If you don't know this wonderful product please check it out -
you can buy them at Staples and they are very inexpensive 
and are easy to use and mess free.
Just draw and then go over the color with water for a beautiful look
or just blend like I did in this mixed media piece.

We worked on our giraffe and background the first week...

and waited a week for them to dry,
then we cut out our giraffes...
and glued them on to our background that had already dried.
Next we added a friend such as this zebra dancing on his head...
and these 2 elephants and hamster riding on the giraffe.
This guy dances solo...
and a monkey joins in here...
and a baby is with his mama...
and this one was created quickly as it did not have 
a background ready to go...
and this guy really loves to boogie!
Just love these guys.
Finger painting and paint mixing 
that I learned from Jesse Reno next week...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Sunday Blessing

I am reading the book
The Creative Call
by Janice Elsheimer.
I found the following quote from it to be very true:
Our gifts are not from God to us, but from God through us to the world... When we try to live without exercising our artistic gifts, we may feel restless and empty.  Life lacks fullness.  Something buried deep within longs to emerge.  Job wrote, 'For I am full of words, and the spirit within me compels me; inside I am like bottled-up wine, like new wineskins ready to burst.  I must speak and find relief; I must open my lips and reply' (Job 32:18-20).  If we have neglected to develop and use the talents God has given us, we feel incomplete, unfulfilled, unfinished, even depressed.  We are 'like new wineskins ready to burst'.  We devour books, we travel, we acquire possessions, or we busy ourselves in relationships and careers (not that these are bad things - just that they won't fill that gap).  We engage in diversions of all kinds in an attempt to find that elusive thing called 'fulfillment'.  We spend our time and money in a fruitless search to 'find ourselves' instead of finding out how God wants us to use the talents he has given us.

So why do I fill up my life with things that I do not need 
and my time with unimportant filler?
It does give me that instant gratification and 'instant high' 
(which society enforces everywhere we turn).
But my prayer for myself and you is that we would not be seeking
 that instant fix and instead would create from out hearts 
that which must come out of us or we will burst.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

look what I found in a museum

regarding my last blog...
just save all 
your old, hairless goopy brushes,
stick them in a cool coffee can
and sell them to the Philadelphia Art Museum
for 'beaucoup bucks'...
You too can be rich and famous!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

old friend

As I was tossing this very old brush in the trash
I paused to check his beauty...
yes you heard me right...
he has been a trooper and I have abused him
and taken him for granted,
and what did he ask for in return?
Simply to be cleaned off and placed with his friends.
So I decided to put him out to pasture with 'said' friends 
and he won't be visiting the trash can.
Do you kindred spirits have an old art tool that you can't bear to part with?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Art Fest Painting #1

My santos is slowly coming to life 
and has already undergone quite a metamorphosis.
Change is happening daily -
don't you wish it was that easy to recolor our world
and paint out the areas in our lives that we don't like?
She was started on day #1 with Misty Mawn  at Art Fest
and looked like this when I came home.
She is cute, but the composition is boring and
I hated the wings... just not me.
But I loved the background, pattern and color...
Misty's class was titled "Paint Weaving"
and was about painting layers to create
a dynamic, layered, mixed media painting.
Misty paints with her fingers and scrapers
made from credit cards or cardboard,
pours paint and inks, blots with paper,
tears papers and glues them down,
scrapes away and writes in the wet paint,
 all while working very quickly and not over thinking -
She builds up one layer after another with stencils, bubble wrap,
collage, stamps and transfers to create a gorgeous story of texture.
Two of her favorite toys are Neocolor II Caran D'Ache
water soluble crayons
 and my personal favorite -a black Aquarella Stabilo Marks All Pencil
(I have them in white and dark green also).
She is an extremely gifted, gracious and a very encouraging teacher.
This is my background with layers of stencils, stamps etc..
I experimented with a new color palette of paint
by Claudine Hellmuth that Misty brought for us to try.
OK, I was hooked - the paints were thick and vibrant
and I failed to get the same effect with my paints back home,
so I ordered 5 of them yesterday here.
The other cool items that Misty brought to share were the above stencils
 by Mary Beth Shaw.
I was instantly hooked on them and she sold out of them 
quickly at vendor night.
Just look how fun the wheels and circles looked made into hair below.
Who would have thought!
Lucky you can order them here.  
Sorry to get you hooked too!

So back to the santos...
I painted her out -
that was hard to wipe her out as if she did not exist,
but I will know she is in the background enjoying herself 
with all those yummy colors right?
I sketched the new santos on packing paper and glued her down 
- easier than drawing right on the painting and less distracting.

Then I decided to be bold...
probably something I would not have done before Jesse's class
- never want to make a mistake you know.
I have this framed 'unpainting' which has been
waiting for many years for me
to bring something to life on it.
It is huge and there is no place for it in my home
so it has sat and waited patiently for me to get my act together.
I took a deep breath and attached her to her new home...
I attached her with modge podge.
Does anybody know why I shouldn't use this product?
It is half the cost of gel medium, dries clear and works.
What is there not to like?

So now I like her body and dress and I am
slowly building up the background.
Her skirt hoop will be open echoing the cage with a crow stepping out.
And of course there will be some very overfed puffy crows strutting around the bottom.
And maybe I will call it As the Crow flies.
Who knows -
I can change and add whatever I feel like right?
I will let you follow along as
she morphs into a finished composition,
but now I must patiently wait for my new paints to arrive!

Monday, April 5, 2010

30 years

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband
of 30 years!
Here we are in Spain in 1977...
and getting married in my parents' backyard in 1980...
(don't you just love the hippy shirt I made him -
he was a real sport about that one)

Believe it or not we went to the same school since Kindergarten,
but it wasn't until Chemistry of our Junior year
(when we conducted the 'perfect hard-boiled egg' experiment
and received an A+)
that we got to know each other.
Then Senior year I painted a rainbow and clouds 
on his bedroom ceiling,
and we finally started dating the day after 
we graduated from high school.

I love you Doug -
thanks for the best 30 years!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

a Sunday Blessing

All hail the pow'r of Jesus' name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
and crown him Lord of all...

Happy Easter everyone!

Friday, April 2, 2010

ready for Easter...

Oh I had fun getting out the Easter goodies
and cleaning the house for lots of family on Sunday...
missed making Easter baskets for little ones,
but I have a grandniece that will be ready for one next year -
don't think she will quite get it at 7 months ...
so I will patiently wait.