Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Totally Frivolous Purchase . . . Some Coach Love :)

First I want to thank everyone who commented on my last post. It was a difficult sketch to share but the warm responses you all left meant so much.

Today I wanted to share a completely girly post (sorry guys!) and show off my new Coach bag! Now I am not one who spends tons of money on shoes or handbags. At this point in my life I would rather buy art supplies. Having said that there was no way I could pass this up!

Lou and I were out shopping over the weekend and this cute bag caught my eye. I love the colors, the graffiti pattern, and the hearts! What I loved even more was finding out it was on clearance for 50% off! Typically when I shop I go through all the stores find stuff I like and then leave with nothing only to return a few days later to discover the items are gone.

At first I walked away from it, we shopped, came back and it was still there. Lou had to nudge me to buy it. So I caved! When I was at the checkout the cashier gave me a 20% off coupon so it was 70% off!! I love a good sale!! Actually this was a great sale!

What was your last frivolous purchase? Do tell!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

What I See. . .

'self portrait'
graphite sketch

"Scars are souvenirs you never loose,
The past is never far . . ."
~ John Rzeznik, Goo Goo Dolls

I did this self portrait sketch over a month ago. I am nervous about sharing it. I guess because it is so raw and personal. As some of you may know already I am a 10 year breast cancer survivor. I have been wanting to sketch this type of portrait for months now. Maybe it took me so long because I was afraid of what I would see. And yet I see this image each day when I get out of the shower and look in the mirror. It is something that has become a part of who I am. Although the scars have faded they will always be there. The emotional scars though are what have taken a toll. Those are the scars that I battle each day in my mind.

My husband reminded me the other day of this song by the Goo Goo Dolls which I have quoted above. It has always resonated with me because of all I have gone through even outside of my cancer experience. For me it is so true. Although the past is never far, (for me and all of us I would suspect it is just a thought away) somehow we need to keep moving forward.

This is what I have been struggling with lately especially with all that happened during 2011 in my personal life. I am longing to put the past behind me. Yet it creeps up in my mind on a daily basis haunting me like a bad dream.

It was healing for me to get this image out on paper.
Art is saving me in more ways than I ever imagined . . .

Sharing over at Sunday Sketches

Friday, January 27, 2012

Love Me Some Collage

I am continuing to have fun with digital collage. I find that what I enjoy layering are my own paintings and sketches along with a photo image. Its the mystery that keeps me going with these pieces. Its the element of surprise that gets me excited as I work. Seeing something cool pop through from underneath is one of the things I love about this medium.

For this piece I used a photo I shot in NYC of a lamp post with "love me" written on it in graffiti, along with a sketch and the mixed media painting below. I had alot of fun creating this painting using layers of collage, stamping, and two of my fav colors. . . payne's gray and raw umber mixing each with varying amounts of titanium white for lights and darks.

"beyond the trees"
mixed media collage on 11x14 wrapped canvas

I am sharing this over at Paint Party Friday today.

We are expecting unseasonably warm temps for winter in NY so I am planning on some long walks at the trail! Wishing you a lovely weekend!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Simplicity . . . Love Is Enough

I am taking Kim Klassen's new ecourse 'Beyond Layers'. It is a fab course that goes for 52 weeks full of inspiration and photography. As you well know by now I am a big fan of Kim's work and am thankful that I found her as she is how I discovered textured photography.

Kim challenged us to texturize an image with simplicity in mind. Well, I have to say that I had a hard time with that concept! When I add texture to my photos I go all in. I love to use "multiply" blend mode and grunge everything up. Although I do love to look at images that are simple and soft I just never thought I could do it.

Well, the image above is my attempt at simple. I used a photo I recently shot along the walk trail with alot of negative space. I actually shot it in manual mode trying to get a lovely blur effect which I think I succeeded at. I added 2 layers of Kim's 'awaken' texture set to soft light at 100% opacity. Then I added the text expressing the words that popped into my head at that moment.

I will be sharing more about this class as I go along.
Hope you enjoy this monday inspiration!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hold On To Love . . . Back to Some Whimsy :)

Aside from my digital collage addiction ( click HERE) I enjoy sketching my whimsical girls. I think I will always love to draw. No matter where my art journey takes me I know that graphite pencil and paper will never be far from my hands. And as long as I can incorporate hearts, well, that feeds my soul.

I am thinking of putting this girl on canvas with collage, acrylics and stamping. Its has been awhile since I have done a piece like that. She may have inspired me to get back to some paint. I also thought about using watercolors but collage and texture is calling me.

I am sharing this girl over at Sunday Sketches today.
Hope you are all having a lovely weekend!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mystery at 42nd and Park

"42nd and Park"

One of the things I love about digital collage is the mystery. All the layers create these hidden spaces where anything is possible.

Yesterday afternoon I meant to paint but as soon as I opened up my iphoto I began a search for images to create a story. My favorite images are of NYC. I used one of those that I shot of city traffic on the corner of 42nd and Park Ave combining it with one of my mixed media paintings and a sketch I posted a few days ago.

A couple of the things I love about this piece are in the details. The taxi cab in the bottom right has the words 'love today' written on the windshield. And then there is the street sign popping through on the top left. The buildings create depth and the eye on the upper right is so mysterious. I wonder where she has been.

I am really learning to love creating this way. Its like painting for me. I hope I won't ditch the real thing for photoshop!

As you can see I am trying to change things up a bit around here. I finally figured out how to make a proper size blog banner. I used a cropped image from this collage. I feel like it represents pieces of what I am about as an artist. I am pretty fickle though so we will see how long it stays there!

So far I am liking it . . . although it may warrant a background color change.
See what I mean?! :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sketching and Sneezing

graphite on drawing paper

Despite the fact that I have been sneezing and stuffy for the past few days I picked up my graphite pencils and created this new girl. She looks rather calm so I am guessing she obviously does not sense my frustration with my sinuses and nose! But no words came to mind maybe because I feel foggy. Allergies be damned! I never had them in my life and now the past couple of years I seem to get them every once in awhile.

I am sharing her today over at Blue Chair Diary for Sunday Sketches hosted by the lovely Sophia.

Click HERE!

Short and sweet today (she says reaching for a tissue)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Watercolor Flowers And Drips!

"Its a lovely life"
watercolors and pitt pen on 5x7 journal page

As you can see I am still having fun with watercolors. Most of you know by now my need for instant gratification. And that is some of what watercolors do for me. I saw this image in my mind when I was in bed last night trying to fall asleep. That is always the time when my mind races, ideas appear, and words come to life. Of course the same thing tends to happen while I am driving! And always when I am not near a pen or too lazy to get out of bed and record any of it.
But luckily I was able to recall this image when I woke this morning. Although it didn't come out exactly the way I hoped (I need to work on my flower skills!) I do like it. I think I need to get a bigger journal though, the 5x7 is just not enough room for me especially when I love to smear and get messy with this medium. You can see the flowers are just busting out of the edges. lol

I am sharing this over at Paint Party Friday today. Won't you come by and join us? :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Sketch, A Journal Page, And Hearts . . . More Digital Fun!

I can't seem to tear myself away from photoshop. I have been playing with digital collage using my sketches and paintings and am becoming seriously addicted! lol

Yesterday I took a recent sketch and collaged it with a journal page you may have seen in this post. I played and played till I liked how she emerged from the background. Obviously I am liking just the faces of these girls without hair.

Whether its photos or collage, photoshop seems to be my go to creative outlet.

What is your go to creative outlet that you find yourself returning to again and again?

Would love to hear about it!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

First Self Portrait . . . I Am Here

self portrait, 1/2012
taken with iphone, processed with instagram filters

I am here
always fearing.

I am here
wondering truly what there is to be afraid of,
hoping to let go of it,
and trying to be more patient with myself.

I am here
still feeling the pain of lost love,
gazing over my shoulder
staring at the photos of days gone by,
fearing the pain will never go away.

I am here
missing, always missing.
missing the love,
missing the moments
missing the present.

I am here
longing to be free,
just wanting to be brave,
and let myself live.

I am here . . .

Friday, January 6, 2012

Bouquet of Love . . .

'bouquet of love . . . from me to you.'
watercolor, pitt pens on 5x8 watercolor paper

I finally found some time to try the tube watercolor set Lou bought me for christmas. I had sketched this image out quickly in my journal knowing I wanted to paint it. I used payne's gray (so excited as that is my fav color! lol) burnt sienna, and burnt umber along with some black pitt pens.

Funny how I am liking adding my own script to these pieces. And I enjoy scribbling with the pens.

There is certainly much to master in working with watercolor. It is hard to get used to the techniques. I don't like that I cannot cover up mistakes like with acrylic but I am so loving the washed effect. That is what keeps me coming back.

I am sharing this today over at Paint Party Friday which I have missed with all the holiday craziness and of course my recent obsession with digital art!
Hop on over HERE and join us!

It is another lovely unseasonably warm day today here in NY and the weekend as well. And I am not complaining at all! Just going to enjoy it!
Wishing you all a lovely day!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Adding A Burst of Color To My Sketch

'you can see love'

Ok so I am pretty addicted to this digital collage thing! This time I took one of my whimsical sketches you may recognize from a previous post and collaged my watercolor painting over it. I played with layers, opacity, and that eraser tool till I was happy with it.

I love the results! Its pretty cool how I was able to add all this color to a black and white sketch! Looks like it was a painting. I thought the drips at the top were perfect with the rain drops in this sketch. Fun!

In other news I just signed up for Misty Mawn's new online workshop "Open Studio"! I missed her workshop last year so this time it was a no brainer for me! I have wanted to take a class with Misty for some time now. I am excited to get started! I just hope I can tear myself away from photoshop! lol ;)


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Her Mind Was Filled With Hopes And Dreams . . .

'Flower Girl Dreams'

Happy New Year my sweet friends!! It was a quiet NYE in our house. Lou and I just laid low at home and watched the ball drop in Times Square. This has been a tradition of our for a while now. I hope wherever you were it was a wonderful night!

Its quite hard to believe another year has passed. 2011 was a very tough year for me filled with much loss. Rather than dwell on that I want to focus on the new year which always holds such possibility and hope.

I have been thinking of my word for the year. I have seen many of you do this and it has inspired me to choose one for the first time! The past year I was filled with alot of worry and anxiety. Some of it was related to circumstances and the rest of it is just how I am. I long to live more in the moment. Although it seems like with each loss that comes along I loose a bit of myself and sink deeper into anxiety with only my creativity to help me out.

So my word for this year is . . .

I am actually a bit scared sharing this out loud fearing (there's that word again!) that I cannot live up to the challenge. (this is why I never make resolutions! too much pressure!) But all I can do is try. So try I will!

Yesterday I created this new digital collage using the same sketch from my last post along with two of my textured photos. I LOVE this one! I so enjoyed creating this. It feels like painting to me without all the mess!

I look at her and she reminds me of myself. Her mind looks very busy but filled with hopes,dreams, and beauty. I will let her inspire me to fill my mind with only good things.

Wishing you all peace, love, happiness, and hope . . .