Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Well here's something you don't see every day

I was just reviewing our pictures from when we were in Cape May over Memorial Day Weekend. We did the Dolphin/Whale trip out on the Atlantic Ocean. I was looking over the pictures to see if anything would inspire me for a painting and I found this photo of a dolphin pod we took pictures and upon further inspection, I noticed a dolphin baby!!!

So here it is, if you look carefully, you see the little one next to a large dolphin. I would say momma, but apparently raising a dolphin baby is a family thing...so it could be auntie or a sister.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Finished Jackie's Giraffe

My daughter has a pastel giraffe that I painted for her, hanging in her room. Her friend Jackie loves giraffes and wanted one was well, so for Jackie's birthday, I painted this giraffe for her.

It's a watercolor and this giraffe looks more like a girl compared to the linebacker I did for my daughter.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dream Boogie

In additional to Kelly Rae's Flying Lessons class, I am taking SARK's Summer Session of Dream Boogie. It's pretty good. There's some thought provoking creativity going on. It's very interactive and there's a lot of positive energy. I love SARK's books and I am equally loving the class! Helps me with finding my goals. I recommend both classes.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

I did this little collage for my husband for Father's Day. I was playing with some ideas from the collage exercises in the book "Taking Flight: Inspiration and Techniques to give your Creative Spirit Wings." While my husband was making my work table a few weeks ago, I asked him to cut me out this heart shape. I didn't know what I was going to put on it until I thought of the e e cummings Poem "I carry your heart" which I first heard in the movie "In Her Shoes" read by Cameron Diaz. It almost made me cry when she read it on the screen and it's how I feel about my husband.
I did this with some things that I had, a clipping from Hoofbeats magazine since he drives trotters/pacers...I put a little photo of a teapot and a coffee cup for all those times we like to just sit together and just have that "cup of." I put a little "X O" that I clipped out of a magazine for hugs and kisses. I also used a piece of tissue paper with birds and nests and birdhouse all over it because birds are something we enjoy plus the symbolism of birds in Native American culture has a meaning for us. You can't see all of it but it's there...the heart was cut out from those paper doilie hearts...I had painted the doilie pink and was pressing it on the work to see if I could get the imprint in pink.
I had to get my daughter to pose her hands for me so I could see how they would look. I was going to use the big doilie heart but it didn't look right, so I cut it down and made it a little heart which worked much better.
I added some touches with ink and pastel. And I wrote the "I carry your heart with me" with a buff colored pastel stick. To hold the pastel down, I sprayed it with matte UV fixative. Not happy about the matte, but I could always respray with a glossy one. I fastened eyelet screws and wire to the back for hanging.
I gave it to my husband this morning and of course he loves it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Four Wheeling on the Beach

It's been a tough week. I had a medical scare that required immediate testing, results came back ok. It's amazing how exhausted you can be from fear.
To end the week, John took me four wheeling on the beach in our Jeepie, as he calls it. We have a gold Liberty that turned out to be tougher than I gave it credit for... I walked on the sand for the first time since I shattered the ankle. I didn't do too bad, needed a little assistance from my hubby. Found some nice shells that weren't crushed by the SUVS.
It's mid June and still chilly, I can't wait until it's warmer.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Yesterday In Philadelphia

We were in Philadelphia yesterday. John and I are members of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, aka The Art Museum to locals. The Late Renoir show is hanging and for those of you Impressionists fans, I urge you to pay the museum a visit. Its a wonderful show.

John and I were laughing hysterically over a painting of Matisse that was included in the show...Matisse paid Renoir a few visits, Renoir told Matisse he was a bad painter! He commented on how Matisse could get the color black to work in a painting, so he guessed he could be a painter, but that his paintings were terrible. I never knew that. A lot of people were cracking up. We were also laughing at the audio version of "Claude Renoir as Clown." Poor Claude was made to dress up in this clown outfit. He didn't want to wear the tights and drove his parents nuts. They were bribing him, threatening him, it was just funny to hear about parents in the early 1900's having having the same struggles. John was saying, what could they threaten the kids with back then? They couldn't take away their cell phones!

The photo above is actually the back of the museum, most people think of Rocky running up the steps, but this is what the back of the museum looks like. The front overlooks Ben Franklin Parkway, the back overlooks the Schuylkill River (pronouned SKU-kill). I grew up in Philly, so I spent a lot of time at the art museum. It's a wonderful place to spend the day.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Some experimentation

I've been working on some collage techniques that I found in Kelly Rae Roberts book "Taking Flight: Inspiration and Techniques to Give Your Creative Spirit Wings."

Sometimes an artist needs to experiment with new techniques, experimentation leads to new discoveries and inspiration. I'm mostly a pastel/pencil/pen and watercolor/gouache gal. Mixed media and collage didn't hold an interest for me until I started reading a few books and saw Kelly Rae's whimsical styles...I decided to try some stuff out in my Art House Coop Sketchbook.

The Art House Coop sketchbook needs to be filled up by December....last year's sketchbook project found me struggling with the thin light weight paper, watercolor washes killed the paper...ahhh, this year, one side is my standard sketch...the other side, I am experimenting with the mixed media techniques....should make for an interesting sketchbook, LOL....

Here's my Wizard of Oz Mailbox in the tree from the Higher Grounds Coffee Shop in Cape May...that mailbox in the tree still cracks me up. I paired it up with the psychedelic pink and purple experiment. What can I say, I like pink and purple. My sketchbook theme is Happy Thoughts, pink is a happy color!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Extreme Sketching

It's JUNE, it's cold and rainy, so cold, that when I came back from my Wednesday night sketch outing, I put the heat on when I got home. Did I mention it's JUNE? It's supposed to be warm in June, right?

One wouldn't think that sketching could be an extreme "sport," but sitting in a car by the bay, in the middle of a wannabe monsoon, chilled to the bone by the dampness, it comes very close to extreme. My fellow Sketch Club member, Susan, said we were the only brave ones this evening....brave, or crazy.

I am sitting back at the studio now, with my heat and my cup of Cinnamon Plum tea (Republic of Tea makes it) and thawing out. But it was worth it, rain and all, to get out of the house and to sit by the water in the rain to sketch. Sketching on a dismal grey day gives you another color palette to play with, the ones with the greys and muted down colors.

It's just another art lesson from Mother Nature.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Books and how they can inspire you

Artists like myself get inspiration from anywhere. We get it from something see on a billboard, lyrics in a song, an issue going on in the world, like the BP mess. We also get inspiration from what we read. In the movie "You've Got Mail," Kathleen tells Joe the first time that they meet, "when you read a book as a child, it becomes part of your identity in a way that no other reading does."

I agree because all the books I read as a child are still with me. Although, some books have a way of pulling you in and you become part of the story, even books read as an adult can hook you and become part of you. Some can make you think. Some, like the Dan Brown books, make you think "What if?" Books can shape and mold the people that read them and for artists, they can take us down paths we wouldn't have thought of without the idea that a book gave us.

There have been some books I have read that are not in everyday "gotta read it" list but I found them inspiring:

Einsteins's Dreams by Alan Lightman. This is a book about time, it really makes you think "what if?"
The Secret Supper by Xavier Sierra. A historical type novel about the painting of the Last Supper.
Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper by Harriet Scott Chessman. (read this twice)
Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair both by Sue Monk Kidd are very good books.
Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier.
The Art Spirit by Robert Henri
Any of the Pern books by Anne McCaffery.

I have read a loved a lot of books and have lots of favorites, but the must read book in my personal opinion is The Stand by Stephen King. I love all of his books, many folks don't like him but his genre isn't for everyone...but this one, read as a teenager, will always have that "something" in my psyche. A classic good vs. evil. His books have an "atmosphere" that can stay with you long after you read them....try 'Salem's Lot and you'll see what I mean.

Of course I like James Patterson and Dan Brown for entertainment, and of course I read all the Harry Potter books. A good book can tell a story better than any movie can.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Cape May Coffee Shop

While we were in Cape May, there was this great little coffee shop which I was totally smitten. If I were to open my own, it would be a lot like this one. It was an artist's paradise. I loved the way it was set up inside. Outside, it had an adorable garden, complete with all sorts of neat decorations that made it begged to be sketched. There was a little sparrow that was guarding his nest and he was chirping to be sketched.

There was a pair of children's galoshes that were designed as ladybugs that were reused as planters. There was a birdhouse made out of boards that used an old flagpole holder as a perch. As you can see in the first photo, there was a fireplace mantle with a chiminea in front to be used as a fireplace.

Another unique decoration was a mailbox shoved into a tree to be used for the birds, but it made me think of the Wizard of Oz.

Friday, June 4, 2010

E-Course by Kelly Rae Roberts

Some of you may have noticed a button on my sidebar that says "Flying Lessons."

This is a great e-Course that I am attending. I read Kelly Rae's book "Taking Flight," and when she came out with the e-course, I signed up. I am glad I did now, it's been a great class so far. It's being done in a private blog and we are discussing all sorts of topics from Blogging to marketing your art.

She also provides links to great speakers that I never heard of but you watch the video and just say wow.

You'll see some upgrades on this Blog as a result of this course. The internet is amazing where you can take classes and squeeze them in your evenings and weekends.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Uh oh Heart by Sandy Gingras

We went to Cape May this past weekend. It's still a little tough getting around...any walking was met with many breaks to sit down and rest the foot. Walking is exhausting right now.

We stayed at the Chalfonte, where my sister got married several years ago. I needed a hat so we picked up one...Hubby looks tres chic in it...We visited this little shop called the Mystical Mermaid. I found this awesome pitcher for 10 bucks, a Diva fish to hang in my studio and this little book, called The Uh oh heart. This little book caught my eye...I wandered around the shop and kept coming back to it...I told my husband I'd like to do books like this....and I bought it.

Well I read it when I got home and that little book says a lot. It has quirky drawings but it talks about life and love, a broken heart and moving on...and I would recommend this little quirky book to everyone...it says a lot in a few words.
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