Tag Archives: Mixed-Media

Back to the Future…

Back to the Future…

Looking back I could see it coming. Burn out….I was going to need a break.  How about a four month hiatus from blogging?  Last year was much like juggling flaming knives while studying for finals during a hurricane while riding a roller coaster… in a kilt.

me_juggling_torches_1_20070909_crop

(Photo credit  here…)

I hit a wall. I needed a LONG hot bath and a nap!  Real life had left little time for Art. Or teaching. Or cleaning.  Or thinking.

Honesty, I did not plan to take the break.  It was forced upon me. One week led to two weeks to a month and well, you know….

I did have every intention of continuing my 365 project on Instagram as a means of staying in the loop. That lasted about a month or so until my 2 year old smartphone – 187 in cell phone years – stopped wanting to upload, download, or otherwise communicate with the internet.  It was in my face….take a break!

DSCN8865

Did I do a ton of art in the meantime?  Not as much as I could have.

Is my house super clean and ready for a magazine photo shoot?  Not so much.

Have I been teaching classes in art/history/math/science.  Well, yes. Yes, I have. I am a homeschooling mom.  But even that hasn’t felt as complete as I would have desired.

Maybe it was that long cold winter we had here in the mid-Atlantic…DSCN8452Too much snow time?DSCN8619Feeling a bit confined….So exactly what have I been doing with all this “extra” time?DSCN8857Reading!  I read a stack of books. More than what’s here. Art books, business books, fun books, life books.  Some on a device, but lots of real, hold it-in-your-hand, turn-the-page kind of books. live with art lampRepurposing some tattered IKEA lamps headed out to Goodwill….StevensonL_EdwardsCreating a little mixed media statement art for a friend….DSCN8850Handcarving stamps…Hines bath (2)Adjusting to our newest family member, my Christmas present….Big Daddy Hines….sweet, but maybe a tiny bit overenthusiastic…Experiencing dog parks for the first time – ever…wow!  Add dog training books to the list above.Hines mirror (2)He’s a good-looking lad. A tad narcissistic? Maybe just confused…big head (2)He is a kind of big-headed….those itty-bitty little feet, though!…perspective is everything!GOLD window seats (2)Helping my girl figure out how to make these window seat box cushions for her Girl Scout Gold Award project!!! Thanks to the most generous donation of cabinetry for the entire room from Closet Factory, our church’s youth space is handsomely outfitted for the many uses it must handle. These cushions were just one part of the many pieces of this project that was completed in March.  Yay!  Girl Scout Gold Award…Check!  DSCN8512 (2)Celebrating her 17th birthday with some FUN fool-the-eye cupcakes made with rice cereal/marshmallow-type toppings with all kinds of flattened, cut up, dipped and sugared candies pretending to be Chinese take-out…Cupcake fortuneThe broccoli is really lime Tootsie Rolls split and dipped in green icing then dipped in green sugar.  Flattened and folded caramel squares made up the fortune cookies with special custom birthday fortunes….DSCN8831Teaching…did I mention that I am teaching Driver’s Ed to this one? (add dyeing my hair to the list!) This mode of transportation was a tiny bit less stressful of a ride along….a blast actually!DSCN8786Spending time with these girlies doing RVA!  This is their last year together as Girl Scouters.  Some have been with us since Brownies….sniff.DSCN8794Checking out the Girl Scout Commonwealth Council of Virginia Century of Leadership display at VCU Branch Cabell Library…DSCN8816Posing at the Jefferson Hotel…DSCN8825and lunching at Tobacco Company in Shockoe Slip…

Lotus

Restarting a yoga practice abandoned long ago after a neck injury, which led to a weekend trek to Yogaville with a group of wonderfully adventurous women.   We laughed, meditated, hiked, did a little yoga, slept in dorm rooms and made new friends.Gorilla

The latest project has been working with my girl on gorilla costumes for an upcoming production of Tarzan. Not the greatest cell phone picture but I can’t blame it on my shiny new device….DSCN8849She’s a beaut!  We have four of them in our family now (and one S4 for the black sheep)…Pretty stunning the advancements in just two years…  Crazy good stuff!sam bday cakeBaking and decorating what I am sure is the first ever backwards birthday manatee cake in our house…colored coffee filters (2)Dying coffee filters to feed my apparent obsession with paper flowers.coffee filter flowers 1 (2)….more about that project in my next post….

Looking to start up some more workshops and classes to get an Art in Real Life Revolution started.  Been spending a lot of time looking around the area for the kind of art experience I want to have.  Looking and looking.  There are things going on in RVA, for sure.  But nothing that felt like the right kind of space for the FUN ART experience I have been searching for.

It’s possible, though, that the space has found me.

….more about that in a future post, as well…. promise it won’t be four months!I

Hope you have spent the first months of 2014 doing something good for your soul….

Lindi

Buried Treasure via The Altered Page

Buried Treasure via The Altered Page

Welcome and hello, fellow Treasure Hunters and friends of Seth – Thanks for stopping by my tiny bit of the blogoshpere.

As part of Seth Apter’s Buried Treasure blog hop, I am reposting a favorite project from October that was inspiring, fun and part of what I see as more of Art in Real Life’s focus.  Using everyday materials, found objects and supplies to create something as beautiful as it is meaningful.  Take a visit to Seth’s blog and check out all of the other wonderful artists who are involved, as well.

Lately, real life has been taking quite a bit more focus than blogging about the Art in Real Life but I think we all have  experienced that at one time or another. Honestly, blogging is a lot of hard work! It takes time, focus, organization and content.  Even just doing a repost is a labor of love.  Kudos to each and every blogger who has found their groove and can maintain it.  I am getting there!

In the meantime, I am keeping up with my 365 Project which is a self imposed discipline that has been a tremendously beneficial exercise in observing and learning about the world I live in. My day to day world.  The Art of my Real Life, Lots of beauty and wonder for which to be grateful, for sure, as well as plenty of kids and cats!  Wow…

This post from October is a place a remember well and long for daily. As soon as I finish moving my studio, I will be deeply immersed back into the paint. the paper and the mixed media mayhem.   I look forward to meeting each of you at your blog home on this adventure.   I promise to to take the time to comment on as many blogs as I can when I visit on this journey;  I hope you will feel so inclined as to say “hello” let me know you were here. Knowing you took the time to stop by and leave a comment is a true treasure.

Here’s to sharing the treasures of our adventure….Thanks, Seth, for your never ending generosity.

Lindi

 

Originally posted October 4, 2012 –

Holy Smokes! Do you have any idea how many Capri Suns hot sweaty kids on a soccer field can drink in a season? TONS!   My trunk was full of all of the empty cases, flattened out, headed for the recycle bin.  Or not… They kept calling to me as perfect painting surfaces to something on….so, I kept them….all…yes, along with all of those plastic bags, I know, I know, I am a borderline hoarder!  That’s been established!

Knowing I wanted to paint them, I started by sanding the shine off the boxes. For the “cover”, I used one whole box  and then dissected the rest into “pages” for the book.

Primed with gesso…

…painted with acrylic paint and

taped the edges of the cover with masking tape.

… prepped “pages” and some stenciling on the inside cover…

Then, using the awl, punched some holes, and started adding grommets…34 in all…

Not exactly my favorite part of the project…

After that all dried, it was on to the mixed media mayhem -my favorite part!  Playing with paint, india inks, oil pastels, rub-ons, stamping, sewing, washi tapes, modeling paste, stencils, watercolor, masking tape, wire – you name it!  SO. MUCH. FUN!

adding inclusions, sewing, and typed text from my turquoise Smith Corona….

 and embossing powder…

…glitter and collage…

…more modeling paste, paint and more inclusions…

…stamping with handmade stamps made from flip-flops, paint, stencils, distress ink, tags…

…beads, felt, paint, fabric, and a fork cut-out from a Trader Joe’s bag…

…inspired by the Brave Intuitive You class I took with Flora Bowley…

…collage, stamps and dimensional butterflies cut from a stencil…

…fabric run through the printer, ruffles, masking tape, tissue, thread, wire, dictionary pages, doodles and text…

 

…it all adds up to a fat, pouffy, book of goodness!  Is it fine art that you will find in a gallery? Not so much.  Is it technically challenging and hard to do? Not at all!  It was FUN art!  I loved working on it and now just holding it and looking through it makes me extremely happy!  Capri Suns will never look the same!

In fact, the truth is, they don’t! The new Capri Sun cases are not built the same as these!  I couldn’t believe it when I saw them in the store!  Must be the first time in a decade they have changed the design!  Could not do this the same way with the new case design but I am sure there are alternatives.

So, look through your recycling bin or just around your house for something that might be the perfect base for a FUN fantastic project!  What so you think you will make?

See you next time…(hopefully, sooner than later!)

Love..love!

Lindi

Altered Page Today

Altered Page Today

 

altered page

If you are visiting here for the first time by way of Seth’s blog, WELCOME!  Thank you for coming. Make yourself comfortable and take a look around.  Art in Real Life is in its infancy but is growing all the time  We have been learning to walk this year and hope to cover more ground in 2013.  To my regular readers….

Today, my 5 x 5 piece is one of 10 featured on Seth Apter’s blog,  The Altered Page. There are some amazing artists sharing that space this morning.  If you are the least bit smitten with mixed media art,  this blog is a wealth of images, artists and links to wonderful people and places all over the internet.

Seth does crazy good mixed media pieces himself, using metal, paper, wax, wire, string and more. He is based in NYC as an author, an artist, a psychologist (really!) and a friend to all artists.  I am forever grateful for his unselfish hand up on this journey. Seth has been a supporter, mentor and a “virtual” friend. We met on the internet and one day I hope to meet in the real world. Who says social media isn’t social?!  I am a big fan.

DSCN0213 (2)

I copied this from the original post when I found out I was one of 18 selected to be published in the magazine:

“Where have you been?” seemed like what my art would say to me if it could talk.  Good question! Where HAVE I been and what have I been doing as far as being an artist goes?  Although I have spent a great deal of my life being creative in many ways, it hasn’t been until the last couple of years that I have been open to rediscovering my “artsy” self.  I have stored, packed, moved and lived with art supplies that I have not used much since art school over the years.  I must have known that my time was coming…

Please leave a comment and a link to your site, if you have one. I am having such a great time on this journey and would to “virtually” meet you. Who knows where it may lead…

Happy Holidays….

Lindi

Walking Art part 2….

Walking Art part 2….

medium display

Tah-dah!  There you go…sticks and stones….that funky twig-covered plaster and brick-filled Goodwill box doing its thing supporting the fused plastic bag that I entered in the CBAG (he-he) All Member Recycled Art show…  Think about what the bag would have looked like without that display!   No question the bag benefited by its elevated status. My sleep benefited knowing that the bag wasn’t sagging over or wondering if the handle was posing in an awkward position or if the whole thing may have just flopped right off the pedestal somehow.

amber view

There were some interesting pieces in this show and I was curious to know more about the artist and the pieces – what they were made of, why did they choose those items, is there a story behind it?  Some were kind of obvious but others begged for more information. Instead, gallery protocol called for a piece of paper with a list of the following information –

  • a number (which corresponded to a sticker on the piece)
  • the artist’s name
  • name of piece
  • price.

fish art

Now, I must admit, I have never been much of a gallery girl. This is really the “why” of  Art in Real Life.  Don’t get me wrong. I love looking at art and definitely appreciate fine art but I have found the whole gallery experience, sometimes, to be a little dry.  Sterile. OK,  boring.  Maybe even pretentious. Nothing wrong with solitude and quiet contemplation especially in the presence of awe-worthy masterpieces of historical significance or sensitive subject matter.

However, for the everyday person who enjoys the expressive nature and creative talents of real people, not unlike themselves, who have managed to find a way to channel that nature, the gallery environment can tend to come across as detached and disconnected.  There can be, in my experience, a separation of the viewer from the art in that environment. Of course, I am not suggesting that every art show should be a keg party and I totally get that not everyone feels the same way or that every gallery is the same, obviously. I am talking about the customary gallery experience.

I am just letting you know, Art in Real Life is all about good art, for sure, but it’s more about fun art not necessarily fine art. Breaking down the stiffness of the gallery experience by taking art off of the “pedestal” so to speak (ha! – that’s ironic!) and inspiring a spark in those who may be thinking “I could never do that!’  For me,  It’s just art – it should be fun!  There.  I said it.

closeup tag

I fudged the non-info rule a little by incorporating a tag on the piece to share something about the materials and my website.  The show is up for the month of December so I am curious how anyone who wanders in would know anything at all about these pieces.

closeup bag

Therefore, allow me to share some of the Art in Real Life experience about my bag here (see Part 1 about the stand here) – turquoise, yellow, red and black.  Those colors just jumped out at me from my hoarded stash of plastic bags. Richmond Times Dispatch newspaper sleeves as well as my favorite turquoise bags from a surf shop in Virginia Beach and red Target Christmas bags make up the exterior body.  The black is recycled curtain material from my fabric stash I’ve had since I was sewed curtains for a living back in the day.  It was turned inside-out so that the printed pattern doesn’t show.  The fabric has a nice heavy hand and gave the bag the weight it needed to elevate the feel of the plastic. The feathers are all hand embroidered with thread that I have kept  for well over 20 years when I was doing embroidered samplers and cross stitch. Mounted at a slight diagonal, one feather has a buttonhole and acts as a closure along with a recycled button from one of my mom’s classic trench coats.art handle

This is the only photo of the bird on the strap, so I am including it, because the feathers on the bag relate back to my brown foil coffee bag bird and his turquoise wing. Unfortunately,there are a few pictures shot in a “soft focus” effect because I got a new camera (yea!) but I am still clumsily learning how to not change the settings accidentally(boo!!) or film unintentional videos!!    We’ll move on now…handle inThe text that is on the handle was created using a technique printing on muslin fused to freezer paper.. Inside, where you can’t see here, is a pocket with a sepia version of the photo on my “About” page peeking out.handle real lifePersonally, there is something about the mix of the fabric, thread and plastic that just makes me happy. Mixed media, baby!.  Just like the black painted wood, the natural look of the twigs and the shiny black glass rocks.  Love the combinations.  Come to think of it, a good casserole gets me going as well!

wide bag displaySee that cool framed piece on the far wall? That is the fabulous work of my sister artist Tresa from Art Junkie @ Rockstockonline.com. Check out her custom stamped stone trivets and coasters there, as well.  They suck! (moisture, that is, from your glass….like a coaster is supposed to!)

tbpiece

How cool is this!?  Her whole piece was a collection of samples of the many wonderful leather cuffs she makes from recycled leather belts.  She can customize the color, the width, the metal, the words, any of it for you.  She’s got great stories about how she uses her talent to help raise money for charities. Pretty awesome! The frames are from Goodwill and the hangers are more belts, obviously, connecting the two frames together.close tbpiece

She was able to sneak a little information in her piece, too.  We never were good at following the crowd.

quilt descriptionThis art quilt did have an explanation of her piece pinned to it.  It was awesome to read why she chose the images she did and how they all came to be put together in this piece. (Rule breaker!)

glass fiber fisheriesThe bag on the table was by the same artist.  I think she may want to talk to someone about her display.  Just saying….

lee sunset

 

fisheries jewelryThere were paintings with driftwood, shells and nylon line embedded in them, jewelry made from pieces parts of collected items cleverly displayed hanging on a painting…

magazine boat

…yachts made from rolled magazine pages incorporated into paintings….  Lots of creativity and I am sure some very interesting stories.alan galleryWalking on with the art…. the next gallery  was a bit more lively probably because there was wine!  The gallery was showcasing the work of students from  the workshops that had been taught there over the past year.  Nice idea.portrait sittingThis lady was drawing pastel portraits in exchange for a $5. donation to the Colonial Beach High School Art program.  She had a presence and stories.  She told us great little tid bits about her husband and her drawing circle that meets on Thursdays at this gallery to figure draw with a model….clothed, of course!  She wanted us to know…(note the return of the “soft focus” effect. Dang it!)portrait finishedNext we hung out at a pottery studio down the street. There are all different kinds of artists and crafters who rent spaces there – jewelers, stained glass artists, painters, potters.dulcimer trioThe live music set a Christmasy mood and there were lots of things for sale -jewelry, stained glass, wood, pottery and…duct tape bags…duct tape purses.  My niece’s favorite! They were really cute – the purses and my niece!  riverviewentranceAs we headed out to the next venue, an Art Deco style motel, probably from the 60’s, we heard music in the air.  We had heard it earlier and couldn’t tell exactly where it was coming from.  Not the spots in town where bands usually play but somewhere totally new.  It sounded like some place we might want to be.riverview windowThe motel front office was a tiny space and it was cram packed with art and people.  The manager happened to be the artist.  She was a lively fun person you could tell. Her art was encaustics and paintings.  That’s her in the hat.motel room galleryThen there was art hanging in a room of the motel behind the office that you accessed by walking through a store room of sorts.  OK, interesting if not awkward…definitely not pretentious and stiff. riverview roomGood way to show the rooms in the motel, I suppose…santas workshopBack outside, that music was still playing and the wine decorations were making us feel a little more festive as we art walked on.visions exteriorThere were a couple of more stops on the tour including this shop and a gallery next door.visions interiorTons of food and candy with a lot of people packed in this tiny space. Almost too crowded to enjoy but it was nice. The owner is an artist of some local acclaim and a member of the Guild. One cool feature of Colonial Beach is that it is a golf cart community, so we climbed back on our ride and headed out. That music was still playing and really calling us by now so we headed in that direction to see what it was.populuxe exteriorAnd look what we found!  A full out blues band – Big Money – playing in the parking lot of a new venue that was not on the CBAG (he-he) list!  Populuxe! Who knew?  It was a kitschy, lively, crazy stylish, FUN venue that was holding court on this side of town.sock monkey

Cool curated vignettes everywhere…populuxe interiorOkay, I really have to apologize. These photos are pretty bad because they were taken with my phone. Of course, my camera battery died and I was freaking out at how cool this place was.  I needed pictures! Great mood lighting, but not for cell-phone-tography!  One advantage of bright overhead fluorescent lighting in a government meeting room, right?dominic populuxeThat’s Dominic, a DC attorney, tending bar and Charlene, his wife, who opened in this location recently. They were both very welcoming and they obviously had their own unique style and point of view.   An artist friend of theirs was taking pictures and she had work hanging in their shop. (That’s a piece on the wall beside Dominic) She and her partner stage the photograph with models, clothing, hair, etc. and then create these unique wooden pieces.  I could not photograph it at all with my phone but they were cool.  Again, it was nice to hear the story about how they conceived the idea and what went into them.

Our hosts were pretty busy and there was so much going on that we only had a few moments to talk but they used to be down on “gallery row”, I’ll call it,  where we just were – but found they felt more at home in this location.  There is a story there, I feel sure.  They also have founded a blues society in Colonial Beach and are planning events for that!

Another artist, unrelated to Populuxe, as far as I know, has a studio in the same building, but his gallery was not open this night. There is definitely some art mojo happening on this side of town.  A different vibe…intriguing..

Little Colonial Beach, VA with a rocking Art Walk!  Who knew?   I have been a visitor there for the last decade but this was my first Walking Art experience. The scope of venues and art was wide-reaching.  The people all interesting and unique.

2013 holds lots of promise!

Thanks for coming along…

Lindi

 

 

 

 

Capri Sun Art!

Capri Sun Art!

Holy Smokes! Do you have any idea how many Capri Suns hot sweaty kids on a soccer field can drink in a season? TONS!   My trunk was full of all of the empty cases, flattened out, headed for the recycle bin.  Or not… They kept calling to me as perfect painting surfaces to something on….so, I kept them….all…yes, along with all of those plastic bags, I know, I know, I am a borderline hoarder!  That’s been established!

Knowing I wanted to paint them, I started by sanding the shine off the boxes. For the “cover”, I used one whole box  and then dissected the rest into “pages” for the book.

Primed with gesso…

…painted with acrylic paint and

taped the edges of the cover with masking tape.

… prepped “pages” and some stenciling on the inside cover…

Then, using the awl, punched some holes, and started adding grommets…34 in all…

Not exactly my favorite part of the project…

After that all dried, it was on to the mixed media mayhem -my favorite part!  Playing with paint, india inks, oil pastels, rub-ons, stamping, sewing, washi tapes, modeling paste, stencils, watercolor, masking tape, wire – you name it!  SO. MUCH. FUN!

adding inclusions, sewing, and typed text from my turquoise Smith Corona….

 and embossing powder…

…glitter and collage…

…more modeling paste, paint and more inclusions…

…stamping with handmade stamps made from flip-flops, paint, stencils, distress ink, tags…

…beads, felt, paint, fabric, and a fork cut-out from a Trader Joe’s bag…

…inspired by the Brave Intuitive You class I took with Flora Bowley…

…collage, stamps and dimensional butterflies cut from a stencil…

…fabric run through the printer, ruffles, masking tape, tissue, thread, wire, dictionary pages, doodles and text…

 

…it all adds up to a fat, pouffy, book of goodness!  Is it fine art that you will find in a gallery? Not so much.  Is it technically challenging and hard to do? Not at all!  It was FUN art!  I loved working on it and now just holding it and looking through it makes me extremely happy!  Capri Suns will never look the same!

In fact, the truth is, they don’t! The new Capri Sun cases are not built the same as these!  I couldn’t believe it when I saw them in the store!  Must be the first time in a decade they have changed the design!  Could not do this the same way with the new case design but I am sure there are alternatives.

So, look through your recycling bin or just around your house for something that might be the perfect base for a FUN fantastic project!  What so you think you will make?

See you next time…(hopefully, sooner than later!)

Love..love!

Lindi

#14 – The Week as Art

#14 – The Week as Art

THE WEEK AS ART – #14

Blogging 101. Do it every day for 7 days and see how much you appreciate those luxurious moments of time in your life… like brushing your hair and bathing…yes, well…

Those photos that I spent so many hours searching for yesterday?  Found ’em.  First time I looked this morning…what is that?  SO…just to let them know they did not win…here is a little backtrack to “13” …

My own handmade little much loved dirty coneflower stamp.

That 200 year old stash of vinyl letters…

and  this, my favorite #13 piece .”Homeschooling Hearts”.  Okay, now I can move on..

My outdoor encaustics studio got set up last month for an impromptu class while I worked out the details of my 14 piece.

My first thought was to stamp on the clayboard background the word “fourteen” and begin wax painting over that.   Hated it…

Then I decided to write the word out on tissue and embed it in the wax.  Not it either…

These metal numbers caught my eye and since I began this whole journey with this piece…

Notice that clever little “13” at the peeking out behind the “5”.  The background was created with instant coffee and white glue then layers were fused with the tag, metal number, colored wax and oil paint.

Oil paint and colored wax layers built up with incised white wax and a ticket stub created  this piece by one student.

Book text, oil paint rubbed in impressions made from beads and layered with photos from a magazine fused in clear wax by another.

To learn more about encaustics works we have done in other classes check out the post here.

Thank you! I am extremely grateful if you have been following along this far or even if this is your first visit.  It’s exciting to learn and bring more to the blog while exploring art in real life.  Sharing methods and techniques that anyone can do – stamp carving, basket making, story bowls, bookmaking, painting, mosaics, jewelry, photography,  as well as organizational projects and inspirational people.

I am going back to having a life away from the computer now…for today anyway.  Have a Phase 10 tournament to join.

See you soon….lindi

Week as Art – #13

Week as Art – #13

FRIDAY –  the 13th

This is not the post I thought I was going to do today.  Thirteen has always had a special place in my family and I thought that I would do something really BIG and oh-so special.  But no…that’s not happening.  Today has careened out of control – technology-wise. I had pictures that somehow show up on the camera but my computer say aren’t on the SD card.  They are not on the camera when the SD card is not in it though. So I have been arguing with these two devices all day.

I have had another really HUGE deadline to meet – see below – so it took precedence today.  I almost didn’t post anything at all but that’s not how we do things around here.  I had a goal to post every day this week and dagnabbit!  That is what I am going to do!

I was having the same issue with this number a few weeks ago when I was working on piece for the CreateMixedMedia.com challenge.  I had big ideas, tried to get them going several times and was not happy with any of it. The deadline was looming so the result was this tiny 6 x 6 canvas using my favorite colors, my favorite hard-loved cornflower stamp – 3 times for my 3 kids, and vinyl letters which I have been hoarding since Cheers was a hit show on TV.  It was time to give them a life.  What the heck have I been saving them for?  Tiny, cute and simple not so BIG and oh-so special…but it’s okay. You do what you have to do. I still am happy with it.

THIRTEEN. – The number seems to always show up somewhere when something  significant happens. Even in small ways it’s usually around.  My mother was the keeper of all 13 related things that happened in our family.  That’s one reason it is so hard for me to believe that this post took on the nature that it did.  We’ve got a million of them but here is just a few choice items from the list to give you an idea:

– My dad was a full-bird colonel in the Army and when he was commissioned, he was the 13th officer in the ceremony.

– When my parents and brothers traveled to Europe by ship where my father would be stationed in Germany, their onboard stateroom number was 13.

– I was born in Germany while my family was living at 13 Stienhour St. and my oldest  brother was 13.

– My wedding date is on a 14 but so much of my memories are tied into the night before – Friday the 13th. (We were also married in what was at that time the literally “the last house on the left”on the  Virginia coast before the Back Bay Wildlife Area starts and becomes North Carolina.)

– When my son was born, the nursed rolled him to my bedside all bundled up in a fancy hospital bassinette with a big “13” stenciled at the foot.

– My mom passed away 13 years after my dad.  When we were in DC at the hotel for her burial at Arlington National Cemetary, our room was on the 13th floor of the hotel.  It was called the 14th floor, as they do, but it was actually the 13th.  Sneaky..

– This year marks 13 years I have spent with my three wonderful children on our homeschooling journey and 13 years since we moved into this house.

The main reason my post is so late and short today is that I have been busily preparing for another deadline. An entry in a contractor competition featuring a wine room that I designed and the fabulous team at Closet Factory built and installed.  I have been working on putting this together for over a month working with a pro photog – definitely not my little blue rubber band camera! – writing and editing descriptions, reading rules, getting signatures, etc.  And that’s just the entry…never mind the actual designing and building of the project!  That’s been going on for nearly a year.

A wine tasting lounge extraordinaire!  This kind of creative makes me really happy as well.  How’s that for mixed media!?

The deadline is Monday but I really needed to turn it in today.  Why?

Friday the 13th and my entry number? 113…wish me luck!

See you tomorrow… for the final number in this series – #14

Lindi

UPDATE: As I was doing some behind the scenes work on the blog this morning,  I realized that my first “Welcome” post was on Dec. 13 and this post is actually my 13th post with art content.   Told ya…. 

Week As Art – #11

Week As Art – #11

BEING BRAVE

(What could be braver than posting that last picture on yesterday’s post?)

Number 11 began with two cardboard “ones” cut from my stack of cereal boxes and wrapped in Washi tape.  The background was developed from layers and layers of mixed media. It’s kind of like a whimsical art casserole- comfort food. There’s a bit of homespun charm with a whiff of the romantic all mixed together.

Something about the grungy, multi-layered, distressed, colorful style of it all I find very appealing. The lack of perfection and sense of fun is probably the biggest draw.  It’s so free form, non-fussy and intuitive.  In my work as a designer for Closet Factory, everything has to be precise and drawn out with a ruler, grid paper or in CAD software.  Spaces are measured to a fraction of an inch; fit and function are as integral to the finished project as beauty. Mixed media is all about messy layers, instinct and inspiration. It hardly ever requires the use of a ruler, unless you want it to.

Mixed media art makes it easier for me because there really is no one form or style of art that I can say I prefer over all others. Having to choose one exclusively kind of makes me a little panicky.  Mixed media allows me to do it all – sometimes in the same piece.

While taking an online class with Christy Tomlinson called “She Had Three Hearts”, I came across the work of Junelle Jacobson.  Her photography and journals are beautifully inspired by her life on her farm.  She is a bit of a freak about her lambs.  They are pretty cute, actually. The piece below was inspired by a photograph of one of Junelle’s  projects she did for that class.

This was a gift to a dear friend for her 80th birthday this year.  Our family worked on it together. We used rolled papers from her life and work for the background – copies of documents that had significance to her – hymnal pages, deeds, contracts, maps, calendar pages, etc. – along with collage, paint and fabric to create a personal testimonial to her that reflected all of the things we wanted her know we felt about her. She is all about comfort food.

Brave Girls Club Soul Restoration class gets the credit for being the seed that put me on this path, along with many others in my world. While new concepts to me then, art journals and this particular style of mixed media have been the jumping off point for discovering more and more ways to be step out, be brave and try things some that have been on the shelf for a long, long time.  Having fun being creative and not taking it all too seriously is what art in real life is all about.

Mixed media is where my heart is but I have been rediscovering other styles of painting as well. More on that on the 12th.

Blogging this much on a daily basis truly has been challenging. I have a whole new respect for those who blog full time! It’s been complete immersion. Thank you so much if you have made it to this point with me – all three of you.  Have you learned as much about me as an artist as I have? More than you wanted maybe…

Tomorrow…#12 – The Deep End.

 

 

 

 

 

Waxing Artistic – Part 2 – Art in Real Life…

Waxing Artistic – Part 2 – Art in Real Life…

Here they are!  Proof that when you take simple materials, have fun with wonderful friends, learn a technique, even make some mistakes – you can make inspiring art!  Wonderful, meaningful, personal art! One of a kind art pieces that you would be proud to hang in your home and look at every day. Uniquely yours….Art in Real LIfe!

The results of the many talented friends and students from our equally fun and inspiring encausitc sessions…

 

Framed and hanging in the artist’s home now, this pair of encaustic pieces is very personal.

Family photos embellished with bits and pieces of the landscape from their home and encased in an etherial glaze of wax and resin.

The star, made of bamboo pieces from a dear departed grandmother’s garden, is representative of the Army symbol honoring her son who has recently enlisted.  The text is copied bits from his first letter home. (The black diamond shapes are actually from a net produce bag!)  Perfect!

Some of the pieces done by me were to show techniques as much as be part of my collection of art.  Using a stencil, the gessoed background was spray painted with gold acrylic spray, then spackle was pushed through the same stencil in places and gone over with Distress ink in crushed olive. The words are German from a card I recieved in an art box swap and they refer to directions on a compass.  The bird and butterfly are from a Melody Ross collection of clear acrylic embellishments and the lettering is silver on black stickers, all encased in wax.

Similar to the piece above, however, the stencil used was a floral felt placemat from the dollar store. Using same collection of embellishments with the absence of spackle texture but the addition of rub-ons – the black circles – i like the effect of the jewels on the butterfly. Notice the nice straight bottom edge of “whoever” cut that piece out with a jig-saw on a rickety table by had with no straight edge just as it was getting ready to storm and hadn’t had coffee yet…can we all say it?… art in real life!.

Five is one of my favorite numbers – I like odd numbers and have always had 5 in my immediate family.  This old house number was a find on the street somewhere. The background was done with instant coffee and white glue, then a textural tag was imbedded in the next layer above and the 5 on top.  Burnt umber oil paint was used to darken the edges of the piece.

This beautiful piece almost didn’t happen!  This woman is so accomplished, daring and unique in so many areas of her life but she claims she has no creativity when it comes to art.  NOT! She was so frustrated she almost chucked the whole thing in the trash and started over but she spent some time pushing through and exercising her intuition, found the birds that spoke to her and bam!  Look at that!  She says it’s the first art project she has actually finished and here it is framed hanging in her home for her to enjoy!  Beautiful!

 

Using printed tissue paper in the background, this piece was inspired by the unbelievable cuteness of the artist’s son in this photo.  She polished the final piece with a clean white cloth until it shined.  So adorable…love the hints of blue wash from the wax in the photo.

These are a couple more of my technique inspired pieces…above, spray paint with stencils on gesso, spackle through a stencil to get the squares, india ink caligraphy on paper for the word and red and black oil paint over the squares for color.

“Think Happy Thoughts” has a similar background but with the addition of embedded jute twine and a map fragment into the wax along with an ATC (Artist’s Trading Card) acquired from the art box swap.

This creative lady was on a roll producing different pieces on her own.  She did one panel using torn pieces of a watercolor painting she had sitting around at home and this one is done using black Stazon ink with a rubber text stamp on the background and some of that produce bag netting.  Love it!

 

How happy is she!?  Love her smile!  This talented girl had an idea when she came in the door and went for it.  The vintage camper trailer at night was her vision and I think she succeeded!  She, like all of the class, had never done encaustics but started working right away on her vision and I think she was pleased with the results. Love the beads that look like colored lights around the edge of her camper.  Her forte’ is leather cuffs and photography. Check out her blog at www.farmgirlpaints.com.

 

Here is another interesting technique I did as a simple demo piece – the background is simply charcoal and pen line drawing on the gessoed background.  Several layers of encaustic medium were applied then coated with shellac.  While the shellac was still wet, it was lit with a match to form those bits of caramelized color and bubble texture. Way cool!

Art IS magic – and this was a demo piece I did to show just how simple it can be to make a statement with art in a medium you may not know much about.  Spray painted stenciled circles in the background, stickers sandwiched between layers of encaustic medium.  Simply stated.

A couple of the pieces from the teen class -love this use of ephemera that had meaning fr her with stamped background and the vibrant colored wax. This artist used burnt umber wax on the edges opposite the orange.  Love. It.

In a true celebration of the question “What if?”, this student asked, “What if I put glitter in the wax?  Would that work?”  The answer: “Try it!”  The effect was brilliant – literally!  We loved it. Everybody wanted to do it after that – even especially me!  Again, simple stamped gesso background, swirled blue and white wax paint layer over that,  sticker letters, jute twine and bits of paper for the “banner”then a swath of that micro-fine blue glitter.  Perfect…

Here’s my play time with glitter and there’s that net again!  Love that it was used in so many different styles.

Loved working with these women – all of them! Sorry I don’t have pictures of every one. I cannot imagine a more interesting and fun way to spend time.  Except maybe doing it all at a unique destination art retreat vacation!

I will be teaching more encaustics, as well as mixed media classes, at the Snowy Mountain Worshops retreat in September.  Check it out! It is filling up and registration closes soon – www.snowymountatinworkshops.com  (There are also flexible payment plans available but you need to sign up soon!)

We are going to be experiencing the west at it’s best, eating great food, drinking great wine, experiencing the luxury of guest ranch accommodations while creating fabulous art with the wonderful Donna Downey – www.donnadowney.com  – who will be teaching Pan Pastels and Mary Grissim teaching art basketry and journal making!  In addition, we are going to be team teaching a Power Pillow workshop using some high tech printing and low tech sewing one night and there will be open studio time at every available hour so you can work on your projects as much as you want to. Did I mention the opportunity to meet and work with some of the most amazing creative women from around the country?   We will start the day with morning yoga as well as lots of cowboy culture.  Even a guided field trip to the alpine region of the Snowy’s for some inspiration and an on-site massage therapist will be available. Don’t miss this life changing art experience!  You will never regret the decision to be a part of this adventure!

I will be teaching encaustics locally, as well, so if you are interested in finding out more leave a comment and I will give you the details!

Give yourself the gift of creativity and try something new!

 

 

Boxes can be books…

Boxes can be books…

See all those cases of GS Cookies stacked up at the back wall?  What does one do with so many empty boxes?  You make mixed media art journals, of course!

 After taking many of the boxes home, that surfboard-carrying Samoa-person stared me down until I got the masking tape and the box-cutter out.

Now what?  Coming at a project with absolutely no expectations but plenty of raw materials is liberating.  If one method doesn’t work, no worries, trash it and try something else! How was the book going to hold together? Would Mod Podge and muslin work?  Why not?

After plenty of masking tape and gesso, the muslin Mod Podge method did work and a book was born.  Great!  Now what?  I had no idea.  I went into my studio/work room and sat down.

Here is my little home studio workspace.  There are tons of materials in baskets and shelves all around the room and the printer has since been moved so there’s a bit more tabletop but, essentially, this is my dedicated space.  After searching through some of my stash, I ended up gluing down some book text. That turquoise color called to me so I started slapping it on. Then I found some computer paper in a similar color and decided to twist it into a shape.  It ended up looking like the center of a flower so I went with that and drew the flowers in.  I found some cardboard stencils I got at a discount super center in their craft department for a couple of dollars and started painting in the leaves.  I liked the palette and wanted to add a word.  I found a bright embroidery floss and started trying to write with it as I glued it down. I did not stop to take pictures because all of this was truly evolving as I went.  The process was so much fun that I didn’t want to stop and interrupt it.

The word “Transformations” came to me for the cover so I decided the whole book would be about transforming one thing into another – like the box into a book.

Materials used: stencils, book text, acrylic paint, Sharpie poster pens, embroidery thread, rolled/twisted computer paper and Mod Podge.

I found an acrylic painting I had done in a class about negative space.  Loved the colors, hated the painting – it was supposed to be a conch shell…not!We had just discovered Zen Tangles around here so after I cut out the painting with a “paisley” stencil, the shapes were covered with zen tangles.  They seemed to resemble water drops and the theme for the page was born…

Materials: Micron pen, Acrylic paint, paper, stamps, white India ink, and of course, Mod Podge.

Searching for pattern and color I found scrapbook paper that had these flowers on it.  I liked the flowers but wasn’t crazy about the paper itself so I cut them out and Mod Podged them down on a background of acrylic paint which I had layered with stencils and washes of paint.  I found some gold foil I had saved from Chipolte’s special anniversary burrito wrap and loved the accent it gave the page. Some of the blue butterflies were cut from the same painting the water drops were on the last page. It was pure fun!

The quote from www.thinkexist.com. It says: “If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies. Not quite flower, not quite bird.”  Transformation…

Materials: Acrylic paint, stencils, scrapbook paper, gold foil, Mod Podge.

This page became a tribute to my parents and my mom’s name, Bea, represented in a couple of different ways. The old photos are copies held on with black photo corners.  There are layers of stenciled colors, papers and images from my own hand-carved stamps (daisies).  They were really easy to make, using a ball point pen and scissors to transform plain old craft foam into an original design.  I loved the result and use these stamps all the time now.

Materials: Book text, Acrylic paint, photos, corners, fabric, wrapping paper, die cut chipboard. India ink, stamps.

Keeping it simple, the back cover is a mix of color and alphabets done with  stamps or chipboard with a few added accents.

Materials: Acrylic paint, stamps, chipboard alphabet, glitter, stamp with Staz-On, drywall tape with metallic paint.

There are a few more pages in the book and who knows, they may show up here in another post sometime, but for now, you get the gist of the project – transforming simple materials into art.  I love this little book.  It’s a reminder to sit down and do the work. For me it was a matter of not over-thinking and pre-planning. Just letting the materials guide my next move.

What kind of transformations have you created lately?  Will you try something like this?  I would love to hear about it.

Creativity is transforming.  You just have to start somewhere.