Friday, November 25, 2011

A little fun with ACEOs - Funtry Friday!

What's an ACEO?  A little collectible work of art that is 2.5 x 3.5 inches created in ANY media.  Art Cards Editions and Originals or ACEOs are similar to Art Trading Cards or ATCs.  They are the same size, both are collectible art, and both are lots of fun! 

So what do you do with these little gems?  Well... they are fun to frame, keep in an album, give as gifts (especially since they are VERY affordable!), enclose in a greeting card, use as a bookmark.... or decorate your Christmas tree! 

"Christmas Heart"

"Arizona Christmas Lights!"

"Christmas with Mr. Random Dude"

"Christmas Lights Arizona Style!"
You can find all of these fun ornaments in my Etsy shop, tapestry316, - along with lots of other things that will make your Christmas decorating fun!

"Merry Christmas"
There's a Country Christmas just around the corner around here!  Time to have a little Funtry Friday fun and start decorating!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Almost finished!

There was a beginning...
Some progress...

A bit of a middle...

A little bit more progress...
A few more details added...

And now it's almost finished!

Just a few more little finishing touches and Kolar's painting will be ready to travel to his home!  This has been a really fun giveaway painting to do.  Kolar's photograph really shows his wonderful personality - isn't he an absolute cutie? 

Sometimes people have said that I have a gift for painting, but the gift doesn't come from me.  God has graced me with a talent.  I never paid for it.  I didn't go to the store to buy some talent.  Brushes, yes... practice, definitely, but buy this gift?  No.  I am very grateful that God gave me this gift - and I really enjoy using it and sharing the talent He has given me. 

What gifts have you had the chance to share with others?  Hope you had as much fun as I have had with this little portrait!


O, give thanks unto the Lord;
call upon His name:
make known His deeds
among the people.
Psalm 105:1

Friday, November 18, 2011

Welcome to my cave... Funtry Friday!

Oh...  This cave seems to be occupied...

Yikes!  Is that a bear in the cave????  *backs away quietly*

Oh, well, maybe this cave is a little bit small for a bear...

Well, look at that!  It's Benny Bunny!  And... ah... he's been doing a little bit of digging...

I think he is quite proud of himself.  He dug a hole so big that I had to move his house...

...before his house fell down the rabbit hole.

Certainly pays to watch where you step around here - every day of the week!  Happy Funtry Friday!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Nothing quite like some fun art in your mailbox!

I just love to be surprised by something fun when I go to the Post Office.  Well, I did know that these little treasures were on their way to me - but I didn't know *when* they would arrive.

When they arrived, I was sooooo delighted!  I won the 7 Card Draw on Etsy and these delightful ACEOs are what I won.  These beautiful ACEOs came with some lovely cards, too!

Their packages are like little works of art, too!

So who are these fun people who sent me all of these creative gifts?  Well, here they are!

Carole - rsully2photography – Delicate bloom

Linda - Raedawn  - Last Day at the Beach

Marlene – Lazyhawk -  At the Beach, Lighthouse

Johnnie - johnniebelinda - original miniature art painting blue seascape

Lee - leepierce  - ted d bear Paris

Betty  - pinkglitterfae – Goat smiling

Jeanne – nannysroom – Red, Yellow, Blue, Pelican

Thank you all for entering your lovely creations in the 7 Card Draw!  I am so delighted to have added these beautiful ACEOs  to my collection!

Pretty soon someone is going to receive a gift from me, too.  Remember my giveaway?  Well, here are a couple more work in progress photos of her lovely little dog ~

He is such a cutie!

I am really enjoying painting him!

So, have you had some fun surprises in your mailbox recently?  Or are you going to surprise someone else?  Have fun!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

A little work in progress ~

Remember my little giveaway for a free 5 x 7 inch watercolor painting?  Were you wondering what the winner wants me to paint? 

Surprise!  Here are some little work in progress pictures of the painting ~

my sketch transferred to the watercolor paper
I like to do my sketches on tracing paper so that I can use a light box to transfer my drawing to watercolor paper.  The tracing paper is thin enough to clearly see the lines even though the 140 pound watercolor paper is very thick.  By tracing with a light box, I am able to use a mechanical pencil with just the right line width and density.  That becomes very important when the lines are no longer needed and I want to erase them.  I don't transfer all of the lines on my sketch - just the main ones that I will need to define the shapes.

laying in the dark areas
The first thing I do is put in a mid value tone in what will eventually be the darkest areas.  I use a mid value tone so that I can easily make it darker or lift the color if I want to change the painting.  Things are very loose and 'sketchy' at this point, but each wash layer adds more and more definition.

putting in a little color and detail
Let the fun begin!  I am now adding a bit of detail and a little more color.  This sweet little baby has LOTS of fun hair to paint and I can hardly wait to get to that part *smiles* but first, I have to refine my shapes and put in some of the darkest darks.

This is such a cute dog and I can really see a LOT of personality peeking through in the pictures!  Hope you enjoyed seeing this little work in progress.  I am really enjoying doing this giveaway.  Have you had fun with a special project for someone recently?  Hope so!

Happy creating!

Friday, November 11, 2011

If you can disagree with the President, say thank you.

Yep.  If you can publicly disagree with what the President of this country says, say thank you - to a Veteran.

"Through the Eyes of a Child"

Did you go to church this week?  Did you choose not to go to church this week?  Say thank you to a Veteran.

Did you have a chance to vote?  Did you have the option not to cast your vote?  Thank a Veteran.

Did you write a letter to the editor and get to express your own opinion?  Thank a Veteran.

Did you launch a public protest?  Or decide to ignore one?  Yep.  Time to thank those Veterans.

The freedoms that we sometimes take for granted, are not free.  Many people have placed themselves in harms way to protect those freedoms.  Some have paid the highest price possible.   Don't take your freedom for granted.  Thank a Veteran.  And remember!

God Bless you, Veterans!

Veterans Day... Armistice Day... Remembrance Day...  They mark the Armistice that ended World War I in 1918.  In 1919,  President Woodrow Wilson declared that November 11, 1919 would be a holiday.
"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Back in the old days of silk screen...

Sometimes it was called serigraph... sometimes silk screen... but I always called it fun!  I showed you one silk screen that I did in a recent blog post, and thought I would tell you a little bit about the process I used.
Here's a detail of "The Craftsman".

I used several methods when I worked in silk screen.  The basic silk screen process involves a fabric 'screen' that has some kind of 'block out' medium applied to it and paint that is then forced through the fabric in the 'non-blocked' areas to a piece of paper placed underneath the screen.  When this process is used, you need to have a block out medium that will not be dissolved by your paint.  In other words, using a solvent soluble block out medium with a water based paint would work.  Also, using a water based block out with an oil based paint, works.  Mixing different solvents works, too.  Lacquer based block out mediums work with oil based inks that are washed away with thinner.

Clear as mud?

Well, maybe if I tell you what I did here...

All of these little lines were cut into a lacquer film using a cutter with a small circular blade.  Larger solid black areas were carefully removed by cutting around them with a straight blade.  Basically, I was drawing on a piece of film with a blade.  The film was then placed beneath the screen and I began to carefully work the lacquer thinner over the entire screen in order to disolve the film slightly and attach it to the screen. 

Very carefully!  Because a "heavy hand" would result in the fine line details being completely destroyed.

Once the film was attached to the fabric screen, then the printing could begin.  Due to the fragile nature of the screen, not a lot of images could be made.  Once the edition had been printed, I washed the ink off the screen and then removed the film with lacquer thinner.

I was fond of this process because I could achieve a line quality similar to my drawings.  This particular screen print was based on an original pen and ink drawing that I did.

Since the line quality is so strong in this method, it was easy to convey emotion.

also done from an original pen and ink drawing

done from a sketch created specifically
for this silk screen edition

I enjoyed the versatility of silk screen so I explored several different screen printing techniques.  There was just one little drawback to working in this medium:  the chemicals were toxic.  When I found that I was pregnant with my daughter, I put aside the solvents and thinners and devoted my creative energies to less toxic endeavors.
Exploring different media has always been something I like to do.  How about you?  Do you like to try something new, too?   What have you explored recently?
Happy creating!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Where is your passion?

If you have been hanging around my blog for a while you know that I have loved horses for as long as I can remember.  You also know that I can't remember a time when I wasn't drawing the horses that I was dreaming about.

Pencils, crayons, paint... Black and white, colored pencil, ink...  And more paint...  And more horses...

An oil painting I did in grade school.

And then there were art classes at school - and more paint and drawing and mixed media fun.  Look, I branched out in subject matter, too!  (high school humor... good thing I kept dreaming about horses and not about being a comedian.)

A textured mixed media painting I did in High School.
College art classes?  Lots of them... painting, drawing, and one very fun printmaking class.  I was captivated by the variety of printmaking choices.  This was one of the most interesting processes that I explored.
Collograph limited edition print

After college, I kept drawing and doing printmaking.  Sometimes the drawing and the printmaking merged.

silk screen "The Craftsman"

And sometimes the printmaking and painting seemed to collide.

silk screen "City at Night"
And then I returned to watercolors and horses...  and, look, the tree showed up, too!

Recently I added dabbling in oils to my artistic endeavors - and, of course, the horses were there.  Actually there was a tree, too, in another unphotographed, unfinished piece (loosely described as an) oil sketch...

A return to my childhood passion?  Well, to return to something you have to first leave it.  There never was a time that I pushed aside artistic creativity.  There never was a time when the dream of living in the country and having a horse was erased.  These things are just part of me.  Part of who I am.

I left printmaking for sewing, pattern design, and lots of baby diapers and toddler chasing.  I left pattern design, and collector doll making, for the creative designs in picture framing.  I left the art retail and picture framing creativity, for painting in watercolor... and for another little passion.  A treasure, if you will...

four little seeds ponder what the future will hold

I don't get as much painting done (yet!) because I am immersed in the excitement of creating not just an image, but a personality.   Painting a dream and making it come alive!  Creating some lasting treasures that will, hopefully, fill little hearts and minds with dreams of their own.  Challenging?  Yes!  Fun?  Definitely!  My passion?  Positively.

Making the words of my daughter's story spring to life has been one of the most satisfying and most creatively challenging artistic endeavors that I have ever painted my way through.  It has taken longer than I thought it would, too, but then no one ever said that treasure seekers find their pot of gold in the first five minutes!

However, passion keeps me hot on the trail!

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Matthew 6:21

Where is your heart these days?  Are you a treasure seeker, too?  Share with us!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Stretching a bit - without a *yawn*!

Absolutely no yawns since I was stretching all my artistic muscles by attending an oil painting workshop led by Phil Beck.  Yep, you heard right!  Oil painting! 

someday it will be Billie Jane... hehe!
Why, you might ask, did my watercolor loving self wander into the oil painting workshop?  Welllllll.... I had a little help from my friends - hehe - two of whom encouraged me to explore the world of oils.  And, I already had a lot of oil painting supplies that belonged to my mother.   They were just sitting there in a box... calling me...  saying "paint in oils...paint in oils... paint..."

Okay.  Well, maybe it was just the voices in my head saying that I had everything I needed to paint in oils so why not do it!  Never mind that it had been over 40 years since I touched a brush to oils and slathered them on canvas...

But then there was the fact that the Phil Beck workshop was focusing on painting animals.  Hehe - right up my pasture, I would say.  Sooooo.... I packed up some supplies and headed to Scottsdale and painted away for three days.

Phil did two demos - I really liked his little rooster!  You will note that his reference photo is on his computer.  I have painted this way for several years and I really missed my computer during class.  I just didn't want to haul it down there...  it's heavy!  If you haven't tried this, I really encourage you to do it.  The colors are way better than any photo and you can zoom into your image and see all the details.  Without bifocals...

So here is Phil's little rooster at the end of his demo...

And here is a painting of Hershey that I was working on during the last day of the workshop...

See what I mean about the photograph versus the computer?  Sooooo much easier to get the details in there when you can zoom into the image...

Okay, and I kept on painting and picking up lots of hints and suggestions from Phil and his wife, Marty (they team teach).  And I slathered a bit more paint on Hershey...

Here I am "mucking" around with the background.  Ahem.  Literally.  I was playing with colors to see what I wanted on there... and, nope, I still haven't decided.  Any ideas?  And, yeah, he's still not finished either *lol*

But, as my daughter said - "Well, Mama, it is oils.  It will be wet for a while."  Haha - so I have time to still go back and work in a few changes here and there before it's dry.

So, there you have it.  Moving from very fluid watercolor to squishy thick oil paint was quite a challenge but it was also lots of fun.  Am I thinking about giving up watercolors?  Nope!  But I will dip a brush in oils now and then, I am sure.

Have your stretched your creativity lately?  or are you planning to?  If so, share what's up in your corner of the world!

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