Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Texture Tuesday

Its been awhile since I participated in texture tuesday over at the lovely Kim Klassen's blog. I am happy to be back with some texturized photography! This weeks challenge was "white". So I decided on a photo I recently shot of some roses I had that I set up on my white desk. I just shot in AV mode to play with the light and just held up my camera above the roses and clicked randomly. Love this quote by thoreau that Kim shared as part of a brush set. I think it goes well with the feeling of this image.

I used Kim's "shine" texture. I processed the image with 2 layers set at soft light 100% and multiply 50% for another layer.

Here is my original image . . .

I am sharing this today over at Kim's blog. Come on over to see the lovely photography being shared this week!

I will be back soon with another writing post!


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Back To Still Life . . .

I am still enjoying cardboard as a substrate. This piece I ripped off one of my watercolor paper pads and collaged lots of paper onto it. Then I gessoed it and began sketching. I used a marks all pencil and some graphite and attempted a vase with flowers as you can see. What I struggled with though was getting the flowers to not look like boobs! lol After much frustration I think I succeeded. It is still amazing to me that once you draw that line behind your object it immediately gives it a surface to rest on and establishes depth.

I used some watercolor crayons along with the marks all pencil on this piece. I love to draw and am discovering how much I like to combine it with painting. Of course for me this piece was just not complete without the dripping. And I think I may have gone a bit overboard with drips but I like it.

I am sharing this over at Sunday Sketches. Hope you are all enjoying the weekend!
And thanks so much to all of you who commented on my last post!! I was overwhelmed with all of your lovely words!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Love And Texture

Sometimes I just never know where art will take me. I had this 8x8 canvas collaged and ready a few days ago unsure of what to do with it. Then I realized I wanted to try a heart. I hadn't used my molding paste in a long time so I thought the texture would be cool. And I even mixed my own blue for the background. I used a combination of phalto blue (green shade) and some titanium white. I am getting pretty lazy when it comes to mixing. So I have been using a lot more of the folk art craft paints. They are just fun!

This is how the canvas started out . . .

I promised myself I would be patient and wait for the molding paste to dry. In the past I have screwed it up by painting over it when it wasn't fully dry. I added some stamping and then more texture to the background with white paint and bubble wrap. I am really loving that technique lately as you can see from my past few paintings! :)

I had a letter stencil that I purchased months ago and was excited to use it on this piece. I thought the black would be too bold for the lettering but I figured that my other colors were pretty bold (at least for me) so I just went with it. I used my black faber castell gelato for shading on the heart and the edges. It is so fun to use as it smudges really well dry.

In the end I am really happy with the finished piece!

I am sharing this piece today over at Paint Party Friday. If you haven't joined us yet be sure to check it out!

Click HERE!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

This Pug Is Crafty !

We are still having issues with Rocky. I realize he is still in puppy hood but the lack of sleep we have had for the past 4 months he has been with us is quite maddening! He is consistently up at 3am every morning ready to party.

This photo was taken the other night during an attempt to keep him up during the evening. We are wondering if that it is the reason he is up in the wee hours of the morning . Well, as you can see this is where the craftiness of the pup comes in. Rocky had just about taken enough of us and wanted to lay down somewhere and sleep. So he went behind the couch and snuck between the couch and end table. He then proceeded to climb up on top of the pillow I lodged in there to keep him out.

I knew it was the perfect photo op. I felt bad having to get him out of there but I was worried about his little body being jammed in such a tight space. He was not happy with me at all!

Any suggestions for getting your pups to sleep through the night? I would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

She's Painted! :)

So I decided to go with pink and chocolate brown. And I really think it fits her well! I initially thought about blue and yellow but I am pleased with the pink. I added a layer of collage to the canvas, then gesso (love gesso!) and added the pink. I have been liking bubble wrap for texture lately. I used a new faber castell gelato in black for shading to make the circles pop. Those gelatos are great! I only have black and white but they are creamy, smudgeable, and water soluble too!

I enjoy the details the most although I must say that I got a stiff neck gluing all the little butterflies on to the canvas! You are probably thinking "what the hek is wrong with her?" lol seriously though it doesn't take much these days to tighten up my neck.

I really love how she turned out. I need to get to sketching more of these girls.
I so love them!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A New Sketch And A Blog Update

"flying on wings of butterflies"
5x8 sketch done in graphite and pen

I forgot that I sketched out this girl! I had so much fun with her hair. She is similar to my girl with the hearts I shared a couple of weeks ago. I am planning on getting her to a canvas soon. I am enjoying using black pen over the graphite to make the sketch pop a bit. Those words popped into my head as I finished her up. So weird how that happens but I always welcome it!

Not sure yet of the color palette for this painting. I always get stuck at that point in the creative process which is probably why she isn't painted yet! Any suggestions? I had thought about a light blue background and her dress either yellow or white. Hmmm . . .

I wanted to take a moment and discuss blog comments. I always enjoy each and every comment I receive on my posts. And I want to reply to all of them however some of you have a "no reply" as your address so I cannot send a response. I have felt bad about that. But thanks to my friend Silke over at Metamorphosis I have now embedded my comments into my post which enables me to reply to each comment individually! So now you will find my response right below your comment. Very cool thing! :)

I am sharing this sketch over at Sunday Sketches. I hear it is the 2 year anniversary for this lovely sharing party hosted by Sophia! Happy Anniversary!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Meet Emma . . . A Portrait

mixed media on cardboard 8x10

As I have mentioned too many times on this blog I am scared when it comes to portrait painting. So much so that I avoid it at all costs. I just don't have the patience for anything less than perfection despite the fact that I love art that looks messy and imperfect.

I am continuing to be inspired by Misty Mawn's class and was finally ready to try a portrait. I went into it thinking that I would be messy and not worry about getting everything just so. I was the first portrait I ever tried with just starting to shade in shapes. Typically I would sketch out something perfect and try to fill it all in. While that may work for some artists I enjoyed this process more.

I used a piece of cardboard again that I layered with paper collage and gesso. Using only watercolor crayons and gesso this girl eventually emerged. The most fun for me were the final touches, the stamping, outlining, shading around the edges to bring it to life. I really like her face. I surprised myself with this piece. Of course in the end I got a bit perfectionist when it came to her eyes but I just love the eyes!

The name just popped into my head when I finished her. Not sure where it came from but maybe she told me! ;)

I am sharing Emma today at Paint Party Friday.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

'The Rockefeller Proposal' - A Writing Exercise

image processed with snapseed

Today I thought I would share some of my writing. I have wanted to mix it up here on my blog so this is a first step for me in starting to share more of my creativity outside of photography and mixed media.

The following piece was written by me 2 years ago around the 20th anniversary of my first engagement. Most of you know by now that I was widowed when I was 25 years old. And although I have been happily remarried for 9 years now the difficult times I have gone through often fuel my writing. This was a moment I didn't share in my memoir. I took it on as a writing exercise one day to practice writing in the present tense. I feel as though the present tense really pulls the reader into the story or at least that is what happens for me.

Thanks for taking the time to read . . .

I am standing on the sidwalk staring at my mittens. My hands feel so cold I don't want to take them off to refasten a button. It's the button high up on the neck of my new grey and pink stripped wool coat. My fingers feel numb and I think maybe I should invest in a new pair of much warmer mittens. The wind whips through my long hair. I feel it burn my cheeks on its way past me. I refuse to wear a hat as not to mess up my hair. I am wearing lipstick so a much needed scarf across my face just won't do.

He is standing next to me. I can feel the warmth of him coming through his winter coat. It is my first time seeing the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center and I am in awe of its beauty. The lights are twinkling so bright I can feel the corners of my mouth burst into a smile. It feels like I am somewhere else. Somehow transported to another place. I am thinking about how magical this time of year can be. I feel his arm slip around my waist. I am home is what I think. We have known each other for so long how can it not feel that way. The crowd is two deep at this point. It is like we are the only ones here. I barely feel him grab my mittened hand as he is leading me over to the other side of the tree. I am glancing up at the angels so bright and white. I am unsure of where these steps are taking me.

The wind is kicking up again blowing the smell of roasted nuts from a street vendor toward my nose. We are both silent. I am wondering if he can read my mind.

"Hey Cat...take your mittens off. " I hear him say.

"No way! Its freezing out here! My hands are cold as it is."

"Just for a minute. Please..." he says.

I don't want to but I do it. I would do anything for him. I am hoping he will hold my hand to keep it warm. I feel him slowly grab my hand.

As I am turning around to hug him I watch him lower himself to the ground.

"What are you doing? Its freezing! Did your shoelace come untied or something?"

He is now on one knee. I still don't get it. My heart is racing. I am not sure why. I think that maybe this is the moment. My eyes are beginning to widen despite the cold hard air blowing into them. He is glancing up at me with the smile of a wide eyed child. It is happening too fast. I don't want to miss it.

"Cathy, I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?" he asks.

I am wondering if this is really happening. I don't want it to end. I am in shock. I see only him. The tears are welling up. I am afraid they may freeze on the way down my cheek. My lips are quivering now.

"Yes! Yes! Yes!!" I say.

I feel the ring slide on my finger and then become intertwined with his hand. As he is pulling me up to him I am thinking about how happy I am. I almost feel giddy. I can see the tears in his eyes too. I can feel them now as his cheek is touching mine. His arms are holding me tight. And I am thinking again how good it feels to finally be home...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Finding Hearts ♥

image processed with snapseed

Happy Valentine's Day!

I thought sharing this photo today was quite fitting. I was looking at this tree in our yard that was pruned last year. I never realized that there was a heart shape where one of the trunks was cut! So cool!

Love truly is everywhere . . .

Wishing you love today and everyday!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Sketches

Thanks to all of you who commented on my last post. I so appreciate the encouragement especially when I try something new. Today I have a new girl to share. I sketched her out late Friday night. I am always my most creative at night. Not good for sleep but good for art!

I used graphite and then added a black pen to outline and make her eyes pop. (you all know how I just love eyes!) I was not too happy with her hair but it was late and I just didn't want a do over.

I am sharing her over at Sunday Sketches this week.

Hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend! Been painting today, a new portrait I am excited to share soon! Amazingly I don't hate it! lol

Lou and I went to the movies earlier today to see "The Vow". OMG sooo good!! Seen any good movies lately??

Friday, February 10, 2012

Challenging Myself . . .

mixed media on 8x10 cardboard

I feel tired as I write this post. I was up late last night painting. Creatively, I seem to do my best work at night. I try not to though because I need my sleep! But this was just one of those moments when I had to break the rules.

I am taking Misty Mawn's "Open Studio" online class. Up until now I have just been soaking it all in and not creating much. But something finally got to me and I needed to try to take my art to another level. I have been wanting to paint faces and also sketch directly onto the canvas. I wanted to not be afraid of painting a messy face. I want to embrace the imperfect. I am finding that of many things I am learning from Misty that is a big lesson for me.

I used a piece of cardboard for a canvas and I love it! I also loved painting directly onto a layer of gesso. The texture and tooth feel good under my paintbrush!

It was just fun to be messy and just let this girl speak to me. It was a whole new experience for me. As you can see from the initial sketch below I didn't intend this girl to be sad and teary eyed. I was originally thinking, light, happy, and lots of hearts. I initially resisted the colors I chose, didn't like how her face was coming out, and then just gave in.

I initially resisted the colors I chose, didn't like how her face was coming out, and then just gave in. And I am so happy that I did! I really love her! I think I will be using more cardboard for a canvas in the future! Its a cool surface to paint on!

For those of you who have painted on cardboard . . . any tips on finishing? I need to spray fixative on her but other than that what do you recommend?

I am sharing her over at Paint Party Friday. Click HERE to join us!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

An Unexpected Surprise

original pencil drawing by James Watson

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted through my etsy shop by James Watson, an artist requesting my permission to sketch one of my pug photos. I was very surprised especially given the amount of pug images listed that he would want to sketch mine.

It was also emotional. As most of you know my pug Bosco passed away back in September. It is still hard for me to look at his picture. Although he is all over my etsy store and on my computer! I cannot go too far without seeing his sweet face.

This is the image he worked from . . .

James' work is AMAZING!! My husband and I love this drawing!! He captured the emotion in my photo and sometimes I think it looks better than the original image! He sent me a scanned image that I printed out and will frame. The original sketch is available in his etsy shop. He also does commissions.

Check out James' work on etsy HERE and on facebook HERE !!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Drippy Landscape

abstract landscape on 5x8 journal page

After having spent the past 4 hours decluttering my art space I am exhausted. Physically and emotionally. I have a huge desk with drawer space that has not been used other than to house personal clutter in the form of papers, old photos, and surprisingly my wedding ring from my late husband circa 1992, among many other things. Thankfully I was able to hold back the tears.

I fear for what all those hours of standing and poor bending techniques will do to my already tentative back. I was in such a zone that I didn't even realize how much time had gone by. Thankfully I had help from Lou who is super organized and sadly I am so not! Anyway, I am finally sitting, relaxing with a new clean space to work and am happy to finally writing this post.

I quickly sketched out this landscape scene the other day with charcoal pencil and just this morning added some black caran d'ache crayon with some water. I also added some pitt pen marks to doodle a bit. I may have gone drip crazy though. This is the first landscape I have sketched. I wanted to try one for awhile. I approached this one abstractly, hence the messiness.

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

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hold On To Love . . . New She Art!

"hold on to love"
mixed media on 8x10 gallery wrapped canvas

I shared the sketch that inspired this painting in this post. I was anxious to get her on canvas but not sure how I wanted to do it. I was inspired by techniques learned in Christy Tomlinson's She Art classes which I am still enjoying .

I am new to this background color. Its 'patina' by folk art. It is bolder than what I typically use but I do like it. I used another folk art paint "fire engine red" which I like against the blue/green of the patina.

Usually I don't take pics while I am working. This time I did so I wanted to share her beginnings! The heart you see peaking through on the left is a photo of mine that ended up getting covered by the end of the process. I just didn't like where it ended up after my girl was on the background.

I did a bit of cheating here. I decided to make a paper copy of my sketch and glue it on the canvas rather than trace with graphite paper. It was a good outline for me and then I painted over it. I had so much fun painting her hair!

I am pretty pleased with how she turned out and had so much fun adding all the little details, like the heart necklace, bracelets and the hearts on her dress. I am finding that I enjoy using my own script to add words on my art. So that was the finishing touch on this piece.

I am sharing her at Paint Party Friday this week.

I miss creating these girls! Of all the girls I have put on canvas I can easily say this one is my favorite!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Vintage Movie Theater And Snapseed

I never thought I would fall in love with iphoneography. I mean, I have my big girl canon, a point and shoot canon so why would I need to get crazy with my iphone? Well, I am here to tell you that I have indeed fallen in love! lol

I am a huge fan of all the Rocky movies so when I saw the poster in the window of this old movie theater in town I knew it would make a great photo!

These images were altered with the new snapseed app I installed on my phone. Wow! These filters are so cool!! I even bought snapseed for my mac so I can have even more fun with all of my photos! I love the vintage grungy effect it gives the images. Lou loves the close up of the theater sign below.

Any other iphoneographers out there? Have you ditched your fancy camera for quality time with your iphone? What are your favorite apps?