Sunday, June 24, 2012

mommy camp day 3

OK, so day 3 kind of turned into day 4, 5 and 6! I had to take a break from playing with my art classes to make a bunch of silver charms to restock my Etsy shop.

I finally finished my project from Wyanne's lesson in LifeBook today. The finished project is actually an envelope which will be used to store copies of compliments and kind letters that other people have written to me. The written details on the envelope were created using words and sentences from the kind things that other people have shared with me.  I really enjoyed going through old cards, emails and notes that other people have written to me.
One of my favorite notes was from my daughter Madi listing the top 10 reasons why she loves me.
Wyanne suggested that we look through our letters and pull a few words out to write on the leaves of the tree. Next we were to include positive statements that others wrote about us, change them to the first person and write them on the sides of the envelope.  This was such a fun lesson and the envelope will be a great place to keep personal notes.  The envelope and it's contents will be a wonderful positive pick me up on a blue day.

I also finished my first page of the 2013 Sketchbook project.
I got the idea of the quote from a journal that Allison and I are working on together. She had a similar quote on her page:
Since Allison moved to the Boston area we decided to create a round robin type journal together. Here is my first page:
If you would like to see more of Allison's amazing artwork check out her blog Thoughtful Creations.

This week it's back to jewelry and maybe a little Lifebook too! I am also starting an online blogging class with Kim Klassen and Xanthe Berkeley called "Behind the scenes: a creative guide to blogging your passion." The class registration is closed, but Kim is giving away 1 spot on her blog if you'd like to try to win a spot for this session.

"Be the light of your world." by Madi

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

mommy camp day 2

Today at Mommy camp I worked on portrait drawing with Tamera Laporte's Fabulous Faces class. I won this class at the beginning of the year when I won the Life Book class, but haven't had a chance to even start it until today. I really enjoying the first week's lesson and feel proud about how my first fabulous face turned out.

Next, I was back to my tree from Wyanne's lesson on Life Book. First I removed the coffee filters and found that I got different results from each of the three paintings. 

This painting that I did as a redo after spraying my first piece with alcohol ink turned out the best. I like how the watercolors turned out after removing the coffee filters.
I love the soft variations of color on the leaves and grass.  The opps painting came out OK, but the colors weren't as strong.
 The page in my sketchbook didn't work at all. I used gesso on the pages because the paper is so thin, so the watercolor did not take.  I decided to use gel medium and collage the painted leaves on. I think this method turned out really interesting as well.

 The next step for this project was to mask the leaves off using a liquid masking fluid. Well, this didn't work too well for me...the liquid masking took off the watercolor paint! It still looks pretty cool though, but a different look that I was thinking of.  We were supposed to paint the background with coffee...that didn't work for me either!! The coffee hardly produced any color, so I used watered down watercolors and am happy with the result.

All in all, I'd say Mommy camp day 2 was a success! For day 3, I'm going to visit my sister in law who just had surgery. I am making her a beef roast with veggies for dinner and bringing her a bunch of magazines. They have a pool, so we are planning on relaxing by the pool and catching up. Sounds like a good day 3! See you back on day 4 for more artwork.

"Do good things, have more luck." by Madi

Monday, June 18, 2012

mommy camp day 1

This week my daughter is attending a dance theater camp. So, I decided to have a Mommy camp week. I cleaned my jewelry studio, set out all of my favorite supplies and jumped back into Life Book.
The lesson that I am working on is called "Overcoming the Inner Critic" with Wyanne. Our first job was to sketch a simple tree with pencil, then lightly erase it so that just a hint of the drawing remained.  The next step was to paint with water over the tree and using acrylic paints, paint over the water. The next step was very interesting...after letting the tree dry for a few minutes (you don't want the painting completely dry it should be wet in spots) you spray the painting with a water bottle.  Here is the result:
I love how the water created such cool patterns in the paints. 

For the next step I cut leaf shapes from coffee filters (coffee again, see why I love this class!).  Using clear water I painted the background of the page around the top of the tree.  While the page is still wet, I laid down the leaves.  Using water color paints, I painted the coffee filter shaped leaves.  

 This painting was my second attempt at the lesson.  The first time I tried spraying the painting with water I used a bottle that was filled with alcohol ink! Opps! I did like how my opps turned out, so I am continuing to work on it.
I watched the remaining videos for this lesson last week while I was working on jewelry and did see that we do something really cool with the background and coffee!  So I did want to redo my opps so I can continue the lesson.
I am also working on my sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project 2013, so I did a similar page in that journal.

The final step for today was to paint the bottom of the page with water.  While wet, paint with watercolor paints and then cover with coffee filters. 
Now it's time to let everything dry and pick up my daughter from camp. I hope you'll join me for day 2 of Mommy Camp tomorrow!

"Dreaming is a vacation in your home." by Madi

Monday, June 11, 2012

in the dark of the night a star shines

in the dark of the night a star shines

There is always a star shining somewhere, even in the darkest night sky.

"Shine your star." by Madi

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Finished Life Book Calendar

Here's my finished calendar for Life Book. I have to say I learned a lot doing this exercise. Even though I feel like I'm always happy, I feel like there were a lot of days when I was feeling cranky. Made me think to try to change my attitude. I also really enjoyed using my new watercolor paint pens and Copic markers :)

"The most simple things can be magic." by Madi

Monday, June 4, 2012

Jill K. Berry Awesome Giveaway!

Jill K. Berry Artfest Giveaway!
Head over to Jill K. Berry's Blog for a chance to win fun goodies from Artfest in her super giveaway!
Good Luck!

"Joy is a present you get when you do art." by Madi

Friday, June 1, 2012

Artist of the Month - Courtney Prahl

Windy Day
This month's artist of the month is mixed media artist Courtney Prahl.  When I began to look for images to include in the post, I found myself falling in love over and over again with Courtney's art. 
Her work just inspires me.  Courtney lives in Urbana, Maryland with her husband and two sons.  Her boys, the oldest in 5th grade and youngest in 3rd both really love to draw.  Courtney grew up in Walkersville, Maryland and studied art in collage with a concentration in sculpture and 3D arts at Marymount University and Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

There are so many different aspects of Courtney's art that I enjoy. The colors are bright, but somehow subdued. I love the messages that she incorporates into her work. 

Courtney worked at a biotech company before she had her children, then stayed home with them for 7 years until her youngest went to school. She always worked on her art, but really feel in love with mixed media once she had her little one.  She currently works as an instructional assistant at Centerville Elementary when she's not being a Mom and an Artist.
Everything she wanted

I asked Courtney how she goes about her design process, and here is what she had to share:

"I usually have an idea in mind.  I often will lay down background on many pieces before I dive into a specific project." 

I thought that was an interesting idea.  I often find myself stuck when I am working on my art journals and have finally starting allowing myself to just do as much or as little as I choose on each page.  In the past, I always felt compelled to finish a page once I started working on it.  It's a nice discovery of freedom.
Dream II
 Courtney uses a combination of vintage paper, old hardware, tissue, old magazines and junk mail in her artwork.  She also loves oil pastels and found objects.  I asked Courtney what her favorite part and least favorite part of her artistic process is:

"I love the beginning stages when the unexpected can happen and you can see your vision playing out.  My least favorite is the final touches (glazing, finishing edges, hanging hardware and photographing)."
  Courtney also creates beautiful one of a kind sculpture pieces like these.

The artists that inspire Courtney include; Danny O, Cathy Nichols, Gennine Zlatkis and Sarah Wyman. You may remember I wrote an Artist post about Cathy Nichols a few years back. 

Courtney sells her work through The Muse and will actually be there this Saturday, June 2nd for an artist reception from 5 - 9pm.  If you live in the area, you should definitely check it out.  She will have some of her new art pieces there to share.

 I asked Courtney where she sees her future with her art and this is what she shared with me:

"I would love to illustrate children's books.  I did just sign a contract with a licensing/graphics company to use some select images for reproduction and products.  Who knows where this will lead?  I would also love to set up a non-profit/mentoring program for kids to further their pursuits in art." 

Flower House
 I hope you enjoyed getting to know Courtney and her artwork. To see more of her work visit her blog Finding Home, her Etsy shop, or her Flickr photostream. Thanks again for joining me for the artist of the month post.

"Art=Joy" by Madi