Monday, July 18, 2011

Wire Earrings Jewelry Class

Here are the two sample earrings that I made last week for the class I will be teaching in September. I am excited for the class. If you live in the area and are interested in taking the class, it is scheduled for Wednesday, September 14th from 6:30 to 8:30 at Firehouse Pottery & Arts in Mt. Airy, Maryland. 

Thinking of maybe adding a few wire earring styles to my Etsy shop, what do you think?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Photo Shop Class

I just finished my Photo Shop class this week. We had fun putting together a slide show with music, so I thought I'd share it with you. Let me know what you think.

I decided to use one of my favorite songs "Motherland" by Natalie Merchant as background music.
I was surprised at how easy the process really is using Photo Shop. What a cool program!

Today it's a bit of jewelry creating in the morning, a bike ride with my daughter and then off to the pool for the afternoon.

Hope you are having a wonderful day!

"Use your mind. It is a very useful tool." by Madi

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Back from the beach

Nothing like a week at the beach to put everything in perspective. It was great to have the family time together without the pressures of work, car pools and other day to days. The kids had a wonderful time with Daddy, playing in the pool, body surfing and playing mini golf.

This week I'm catching up with the bills, filling jewelry orders and getting back to healthy eating (after a bit of candy and junk overload at the beach!) I am working on a few Wire Earring samples for a class that I will be teaching in the fall. I'll post photos later this week.

Have a great day!

"The Earth is a glowing marble. Enjoy it. " by Madi

Friday, July 1, 2011

Artist of the Month - Niki Jackson

Niki and Ellie

Niki Jackson has a style all her own. Her paintings are both soft and comforting. I really enjoy her use of soft pastel colors and her gentle kind style.
Winter Sunset

Niki has a way of capturing feelings and emotions that is truly unique. Niki lives in Suffolk, United Kingdom with her husband Mark and her dalmatian Ellie. Suffolk is about a 2 hour drive from London, located in East Anglia with is on the east side of England. Niki was born in Essex and moved to Suffolk when she was 9 years old. She loves it in the country which is where her heart is.

Niki loves to sketch out ideas of paintings but sometimes just gets an image in her mind of what she should paint next and goes straight to her desk to paint it out. She recently started a great new project on Flikr called The Journal Project. She started this project to encourage other artists to make drawing a regular part of their life. Niki herself struggles with fitting drawing in to her day to day life. The Journal project has helped her to draw more and hopes that it is inspiring other artists too. Take a look at the site and see if you'd like to join us for a bit more creative time. I joined a few weeks ago and have enjoyed taking more time to draw.

When I asked Niki what her favorite part of creating her paintings and mixed media pieces was, she said;

"I love bringing things from my imagination to life in a painting or drawing. It's fun to take everyday things and paint my impression of them using my whimsical style, I just love that. I think the thing that brings me the most joy is painting something special for someone and knowing that it means so much. Being a part of that is wonderful."
My Friend

My Sweet Heart

Niki mainly uses acrylics to paint and either adds in pencil or charcoal pencil, glitter or collage papers. Over time she has developed a colour palette that really defines what she loves; vintage shades which are fairly soft and inspired by the country and vintage lifestyle.

Sweet Blessings

Love is in the Air
Niki's artwork is inspired by nature and the joy that she feels when she hears the birds singing and the sun shining. When I asked her how ideas come to her, she said;

"People always ask me how I come up with my ideas and really it's a case of God speaking to me through everyday life and experiences, things I enjoy etc and I take that and paint it!"
Poppies by the Sea
When I asked Niki what her least favorite part of her work was, she said;
"Blank canvas syndrome is the only one I can think of for the creative part and definitely the marketing and business side of it all. I kind of have a love/hate relationship with it all, some days enjoying the change of pace and others just wanting to spend the whole day painting or drawing. I also wish I could 'see' people, it gets hard sometimes not being able to connect face to face with my online customers."

Niki also is an amazing photographer. Niki started exploring photography a few years ago. 

"I am so inspired by the sky and the different sunsets every evening, so I created a series based on those and also other things in nature that really inspire me. I dip in and out of photography and I expect I will always be like that, it's fun to take the camera out and really look at nature closely. I offer prints of my photography in my shop also."


I asked Niki where she sees her work going in the future.

"I think I will continue to explore my love of vintage and the country, I don't think I could ever run out of ideas. I hope that I can offer more online classes in the future. I loved creating Mixed Media Basics, sharing all that I'd learnt was fun and very insightful. I love to encourage and support others. I leave the rest up to God to direct me :)"

Niki just moved her artwork from her Etsy shop to a more community style store where she can offer all of her creations in one place. If you'd like to purchase a piece of Niki's artwork or just get to know her better, stop by her new website: The Vintage Artist

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Niki and her artwork. Thanks so much for joining me for the Artist of the Month post.

I will be taking a little blogging break, returning the week of July 11th. See you then!

"Friends are a smile from God." by Madi