Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Take Me Home . . . Something New I Tried

Take Me Home
8x10 mixed media on canvas board

I have to admit I almost didn't post her. She started out as a sketch and then I had to paint her. This is the first time I have tried one of my faces/figure onto a landscape background. I like how the background came out and am warming up to her slowly!

I am still finding my way. Trying to find my own style and what I like. It is hard when I try something new. That is when I can be most critical of my work. Have any of you felt that way when you go in a different direction for a piece of art?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Some Happy Little Flowers . . .

I am having fun painting faces right now but still enjoy my landscapes. So I thought I would share something cheery and bright on this Monday morning. At first I wasn't pleased with how it came out but after stepping away for a bit I realized that it makes me happy when I look at it. This was done on 9x12 canvas paper (which I have been using for practice) with acrylic. I did use red cadmium light as a base which helps add some color with all the green.

I have a hard time painting a scene off of the top of my head at times but this was one of them and I like how it came out. I did some more sketching over the weekend and hope to get painting later so I can share them with all of you!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Be Still . . . New Angel Painting

Be Still
8x10 mixed media on canvas board

I hope everyone is enjoying the weekend. I wanted to share another angel painting I did yesterday. She is a similar style to my recent post Listen to the Angels . . . She's Painted!(see that post here) I am just not sure about the hair thing. I am a fan of the wavy hair because it is easier for me to do! I had to stop myself from starting all over with her hair. I transferred the sketch onto the canvas board after I did the background. It is strange to see how different it looks with paint versus the pencil.

The words I wrote just popped into my head. I suppose because she told them to me! I like her and I hope you do too!

Any tips for doing straight hair? I always appreciate any input you have!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Capturing the Ocean in Black and White . . .

I shot these photos last fall when my husband and I took a long weekend trip to Rhode Island one of my very favorite places to go. It is less than a 3 hour drive from our home in NY. I have been going up there for 10 years now and there is just something about the area that I love. We usually go to Newport and stay at a beautiful B&B situated right on the ocean shore. The above shot is the view from our beach cottage which is pictured below.

Soon after I was diagnosed with cancer 9 years ago I took a drive up to Newport alone and spent the day sitting on some rocks near the ocean shore. It was 2 days before my surgery. I sat there for hours just listening to the waves crash against the rocks as I pondered life and death. I found peace there that day that I believe helped me to move forward with all the dark road that lied ahead.
I will never tire of spending time near the water. It is what brings me peace and helps calm me. It is the place I turn to for solace and for hope. I believe that nature can heal us with its energy.

Where do you go to find peace? In some of your darkest moments what has helped you?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Listen to the Angels . . . She's Painted!

Listen to the Angels . . .
8x10 mixed media on canvas

She was calling to me yesterday. I have to admit that I freehanded the sketch onto my background. So she looks a bit different than the sketch I posted the other day. I did use that as a guide. I had fun making the background. I put down the yellow first and then mixed some red and raw umber to wipe around the outside. I like how the yellow makes her look as though she has a glow behind her. That was something I didn't plan. I am finding that most of what I do with these paintings has no plan. And that is the way it is meant to be.

I picked folk art italian sage for her shirt but wanted to leave a little of the background showing through. Have you used that color? I so love it! I wasn't sure how the lashes would come out on the painting but I used the same technique as the sketch and I really like her eyes. As you can see I am a fan of large eyes.

I have always been drawn to angels. Maybe because I feel as though those I have lost are watching over me amongst them now. I like to think that now I have my own personal angels protecting me.

Are you still amazed at the far off land that your creations seem to come from? I know I am!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hearts . . . One of my first paintings

8x10 acrylic on canvas

I have always loved hearts. Not only for what they represent but the colors and shapes of them. Heart shapes are one of my favorites when it comes to jewelry as well. One of the first gifts my husband gave me when we were dating was a small silver heart on a delicate chain. To this day it is my favorite piece. I can see myself incorporating many hearts into my art.

This painting was one of the first ones I did back in the winter when I finally picked up a paintbrush for the first time. Although I really didn't know what I was doing I just had fun swishing the paint around. I used crimson and white to mix the shade of pink I liked and also mixed an ivory shade for the background. I used a 2 inch paintbrush for the hearts. I was pleased with how it came out for the first try.

Is there a favorite shape you like to incorporate into your art? Are you a fan of hearts?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Listen to the Angels . . . New Sketch

Thanks to all of you for your lovely comments on yesterday's post and for the transfer advice! I haven't started painting yet but I did more sketching! This one seemed to be calling for angel wings. I used the dark grey colored pencil again along with my Pitt artist pen and my trusty shading tool . . . a Q-tip.

I really like her too. For me the sketching can be just as fun as painting. And both are meditation for me . . .

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sunday Sketching . . .

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend! Yesterday it was a rainy day here in NY so I got out my sketchbook and here she is! I used a dark gray colored pencil and outlined some areas with a Pitt artist pen. I use a Q-tip to smudge the pencil...comes in handy for shading.

She is different from my other faces and I like her. She is cute and I love her big eyes! I have been wanting to try eyelashes. And this is the first time I drew a nose and did not connect it with the eyebrows and I like it. I wonder what she will look like painted? Hmmmmm . . . that may come next!

Any suggestions for transferring a sketch to canvas? I know if I try to replicate her free hand it won't come out the same. Strange how that happens! But I guess that's part of what makes art original!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Welcoming The Unexpected . . .

I almost didn't post this one. I painted her yesterday and I have to say I was unsure through the whole process. It is so different than my last one. And that bothered me. I don't know why. Sometimes I try to hard to have an image in my mind of how I want it to turn out and it never does. Maybe its because she seems darker to me. But that should be ok. This is my first stab at long hair. I also started a heart necklace and am unsure of whether to keep it or not. No title yet. I am waiting for her to tell me!

I am sure I am thinking too much . . . that is what I often do. When I finally stepped away and went back to look at her from a distance I saw how good she came out. I like the colors even though they are a little dark. Have any of you felt this way where you were not sure where a painting was going and wondered about the results? Maybe this is what happens in the process to find my style. I wonder if she is a mirror of my emotions or just her own being . . .

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Botanical Gardens

I was born in the Bronx. That is where both sides of my family are from. I lived there till I was 8 years old and then we moved to the burbs. My grandma continued to live in the Bronx and it was always fun to go visit her on the weekend. She would take us on the bus, we would go the Bronx Zoo and Botanical Gardens. I had not been back to Botanical Gardens since I was a teenager. My husband and I went last fall. It was a beautiful day and of course I brought my camera. I love flowers. I enjoy taking pictures of them and macro shots at that. This first one I had to be quick with my camera because I am terrified of bees! And I needed to get super close for this macro shot!

The colors were beautiful and we enjoyed walking around. I love the richness of the purple in this shot.

There was something pretty around every corner. I thought these looked so interesting. They looked like lavender cotton balls to me.

This orange flower struck me with its deep color. I am looking forward to returning this fall when the weather is cool and crisp and walking amongst all its splendor . . .

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Believe" . . . New Painting!

8x10 mixed media on canvas

I had fun painting this one! And with the more I learn the more fun I have! I really love her!

I painted her with acrylics, colored pencil, black Pitt artist pen, distressed ink, and added butterfly stickers. I am loving the effect the distressed ink gives to the background. I enjoyed watching her come to life! I have to say she looks better in person.

I am still trying to figure out where to add the word "believe" or maybe I should leave it out. What do you guys think?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blog Awards

I have been pleasantly surprised as a brand new creative blogger to have been given two blog awards since I have started on this journey!! I am very honored to be the recipient of these awards. Normally I always play by the rules but in this instance as I am so new to this blog I am going to break them by not passing them on (I couldn't possibly pick 15 bloggers) but express my gratitude to those who graciously gave them to me.

First I need to say a long overdue thank you to Debbie Malloy over at The Wugs Backyard Blogspot for presenting me with the "I Love Your Blog Award" last week! Head over and check out her lovely blog here!

I was also presented with "The Versatile Blogger Award" from Claudia Del Balso over at her fabulous blog Claudia Del Balso, Writer. Her blog is geared toward new writers and provides inspiration and guidance for navigating the writing world! Be sure to check out her blog here.

Thank you again ladies for taking the time to follow my creative journey and giving me these great awards! I have met so many wonderful people in my short time here at Artsy Butterfly and look forward to meeting more! It is such a warm and wonderful community. It makes me wonder why I waited so long to dip my toe into the creative waters . . .

Monday, August 16, 2010

Having Fun Flying With Kelly Rae Roberts

This is a mixed media painting I just completed using techniques I learned from Kelly Rae Roberts' book Taking Flight. I am loving this book! It is a fun read, full of great mixed media techniques and also shares ways to feed your soul through the creative process. Even though I am just a beginner it was easy to understand. If you haven't read it already do pick up a copy!

This was my first time doing a collage background. And I also used distressed inks for the first time. Love the effect they give. I am pretty pleased at how she came out. I am looking forward to trying another one! So fun!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Angels and Love . . .

It is amazing what you can find amongst the everyday items laying around the house that would make good composition for a photo. I took this photo last winter. It is an angel statue my friend gave me when my father passed away 2 years ago which I set between votive candle holders. It is set on the shelf of our tall standing lamp with the light shining on it. I took this in color but digitally altered it in sepia (my favorite tone for many photos!) because I loved the antique feel it elicits.

I also used this picture for handmade Christmas cards I sent out last year. The sentiment it exudes just felt right for the holidays. I will be listing it in my Etsy shop. It is one of my favs!

Hope you are all having a great Saturday!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dreaming And Some Birthday Love!!

First I want to take a moment to wish my new friend Silke Powers a very Happy Birthday!! She is the beautiful spirit who was the first to welcome me to this great creative blogland! I had been a stalker of her blog for a few weeks before I finally let her know I was there! During that time I was admiring her art and enjoying all of her posts! She was the one who inspired me to try painting my own faces!

There is a birthday party going on today in blogland for Silke. Find out more about it at her fabulous blog Metamorphosis (click here) and send her some birthday love if you haven't already!

For today's post I wanted to share my latest face painting "Dreaming".

This is mixed media on 8x10 canvas board. I have to say I had a little trouble with this one. I really wasn't sure where she was going but I really like how she turned out! I was trying to go for an image that would look as though she were by a window looking toward the stars . . .
Silke, I hope all your dreams come true!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Landscape On a Red Canvas . . .

This is acrylic on 9x12 140lb canvas paper. I started with a red canvas....red cadmium light to be exact. I learned through a workshop I took recently that when you are painting landscape that has alot of green using a red canvas can give richness to the green as well as the other colors.

I really love how this came out. It is my first landscape on a red canvas. I think that all of the colors are more richer and look better with the red showing through them. And of course the key is to allow the red to show through. Sometimes when I paint I loose myself in what I am doing and forget about that! And with acrylic I need to be more aware because of the quick drying time so I don't loose the red!

Do you find that your background colors enhance the colors of your painting?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

NYC in Black and White . . .

Last summer my husband took me to dinner in the city for my 40th birthday. We have been to the city many times as we live not too far away up in the burbs. I always bring my camera when we are there because I love to take pictures of the city sites. These photos were taken that evening in color and I digitally altered them in black and white. I think black and white makes pictures look timeless. I love the look of it. So as you can see, here is the Empire State Building peeking through the trees and tall buildings.

This one was taken just outside of Grand Central Station (GCS) . . .

And another near GCS . . .

This shot of the Chrysler Building was taken a couple of weeks ago when we went to the city to see a show for my 41st birthday!

Have you ever been to NYC? Do you take pictures in black and white or color? Which is your fave?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Free To Be . . . Mixed Media Painting

So here she is .... my second face painting! And I really like her! I like her more than the first one I posted the other day! I worked on it last nite. I am still not sure about collage elements because I overanalyze way too much but I like how the butterflies look. I used molding paste again on an 8x10 canvas board and 3 colors of paint for the background, 2 of them metallic. I also used colored pencils for some of the shading and details. I originally had her shirt yellow and then changed it as I thought it needed to pop more. As you can see I was going for some wavy hair and I hope I pulled it off!

Taking the photo was tricky because of the metallic background. I hope you can see the colors of the background. When you take photos of your art to share do you use a camera or scanner?

I notice that each time I finish a painting I fear that I won't be able to do another one as good. Is that silly or what?!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sketching Faces . . . My Grandma

Thanks to everyone for all the great comments on my last post! I am still trying to figure out what is next for her! I may like her just the way she is! I will keep you posted on that one!

Before I tried to paint a face I did some face sketches. This one is a recent sketch I did from my grandma's wedding photo. I used graphite pencil which helped with the shading. It is one of my first attempts at a realistic face sketch so it is rough although you are all so kind that I feel as if I can share freely here! I am proud that I tried it and I feel like I captured the light in her eyes and her sweet smile that I will never forget.

Here is the original photo I sketched from . . .

This next photo is the last one taken of her and I. It was Christmas day back in 1999, two years before she passed away in 2001 while I was in the middle of my chemo treatments. It was very tough to loose her. But I keep my fond memories of her very close to my heart.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Painting Faces . . . My First Dip Into Mixed Media Waters!

A few weeks ago I signed up to take a painting faces class on All Norah's Art with Sharon Tomlinson. My first time painting a face. I have done a few sketches with colored pencil but have wanted to try my hand at painting one. I completed 2 small faces for Sharon's class on 5x5 canvas' and it also introduced me to some mixed media which I had never done before. And it painting a face was harder than I thought!

After having been so inspired by Silke Powers' art and the wonderful texture she uses as a background for her beautiful faces I wanted to try some molding paste. So I added molding paste (so fun!) to this 8x10 canvas board and then used some folk art paint for the background color. Then I added my face sketch. I hesitated when it was time to paint her face because I was afraid I would mess it up! But I tried not to do too much thinking and just let the paint lead me. I used a combination of paint and colored pencils. I used the colored pencils to outline the eyes with black which was easy to smudge and used some pencil on the brows and to shade the lips.

I love the texture! I have to say that I might be hooked on the mixed media! It gave me a sense of freedom and I felt less anxious about making mistakes! I am now trying to figure out what to add like some collage or words to dress her up a bit. And I am not sure if I am done with her hair.

Would love to hear what you think of her!

Friday, August 6, 2010

View From The Hill . . . A Landscape

One of our favorite places to visit is Newport, Rhode Island. I have always been drawn to the ocean. Actually to any water really. It is very healing for me to hear the sounds of the waves crashing and breathe in the salty air. There is a B&B there right along the ocean where we love to stay when we head up there. I took this picture last fall. We were heading down the hill from the main house where we had just eaten a wonderful breakfast. I love how the trees line the path.

This year when I started painting I thought of this photo and how it would make a good landscape painting. I gave it a try with the help of my instructor in a workshop I took back in March.

Here it is on a 16x20 stretched canvas in acrylic . . .

Each time I look at this painting I think of that hill at one of our favorite places . . .

Thursday, August 5, 2010

First Landscape . . . inspired by Bob Ross

Around the time I started really wanting to pick up a paintbrush back in February I started watching reruns of The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross. I found it entertaining, relaxing, and inspiring to watch him paint. He made it look so easy. I thought . . . "hey, maybe I can do that." Although I knew it certainly wouldn't be easy I knew I wanted to give it a try. I kept the episode on DVR and my husband surprised me the next day with some brushes and acrylic paint.

I watched the episode again (I am such a visual learner) and headed over to my kitchen table with some black and white paint, brushes, and an 8x10 canvas board. I was scared to make the first stroke with the brush but once I did I was hooked. I know this is a very rough beginner piece but I am proud of it nonetheless. I like my happy little trees! And I hope you do too.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Meet Bosco . . . My Photogenic Pug!

First of all I want to thank all of you for the wonderful comments and warm welcome you have given me to the creative blog community! It is so exciting for me to have met so many of you on my very first blog day! I can feel the love already! I had been thinking about starting this blog for a while now and although I was nervous it really helped to have been welcomed right from the start!

Today I wanted to introduce all of you to my little man who you will most likely see quite a few times on this blog! He is my 6 year old pug Bosco. I never had a pet growing up. Every birthday wish as a child for as long as I can remember was to have a puppy. My parents told me it was too much work. And then I had gone through so much during my twenties and thirties that I couldn't imagine having to take care of anyone else but myself. It was all I could handle.

When I met my husband Lou during my chemo treatments 8 years ago I shared with him how I always wanted a dog. He had a couple of big dogs during his life and loved the bond that he shared with them. We married a year later and for our second Christmas together he wanted to get me a dog. I had always loved pugs. Mostly because they are so darn cute. I never imagined how important he would become to me and how much I would come to depend on him. I am so in love with this little boy!

He is the subject of my photography quite often! Here are a few more favorite shots of him. . .

When did you get your first pet? What was it? Do you snap alot of pictures of your pet?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Pastel Butterfly

I wish I still had a picture of it. Actually I wish I had kept it. I was in fourth grade. We had to draw a picture in pastels. I drew a butterfly. It certainly was not perfect but I remember using a different color for each of the sections of the wing and the body was yellow. It was pretty and bright. To my surprise I won first place in the art contest with it that year. The only award I ever won for art.

I remember loving art when I was a child. I was always doodling something, making my name in bubble letters on my notebooks, and even though I could barely draw stick people that didn't matter. I had fun. And then life got in the way. A crazy childhood, my parents divorce, becoming a widow at 25 and then breast cancer at 31. I went to college for a degree in occupational therapy and worked for almost 20 years in that field. Then I started writing. And most recently back in February of this year I picked up a paintbrush for the first time. And I haven't put it down since.

My life after cancer has been tough at times but what I have found is how much creativity helps me deal with stuff that comes with that. It helps me deal with the fear I live with. It gets me to a nice place in my head and quiets my mind. I get lost in those moments with my camera or with my paintbrush. And although I am just beginning I am enjoying the process. I am having fun learning the how to's and seeing all that I am capable of which is more than I ever imagined.

So I have decided to write all about it here. This is my art journal. I will be sharing my photography, my art, and all things creative that I am working on. And I look forward to meeting and getting to know you along the way!

When did you know you loved art? Do you remember your first art project? Were you hooked from that point?