Monday, August 31, 2015

September Mixed Media Monthly Challenge

It's always a fun day in the studio when I work on creations for the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge Blog. This month's challenge was something different - a photo inspiration!

If you are new to the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge, it's a fun way to get motivated to create (if you need motivation) and just for participating, your name will be put in a random drawing for a prize? How cool is that?  Just create something for that month's challenge, photograph it, and link up your image on the MMMC homepage. It's so easy!

Our prize this month is a one month free membership to Brave Girl's Club!  Brave Girls' Club "Brave Girl University" opens September 1 and Angela Magnuson (owner/creator of Unity Stamp Co and also a Brave Girl contributor) is giving away one month free to our random winner (value $24.95).

We are so excited to have  Julie Balzer as our guest designer this month!! Be sure to check out her creation as well as the entire team on the homepage! 

Here is the inspiration photo for the September challenge.

Isn't that a fun photo? So many things to jumpstart a creation. Large shapes (circles, faces, flowers, buttons...) and there are even plants and plates with fashion models on them. And the color!!! 

So here is my creation for this challenge.

I found a paper that resembled the fence, and a large flower stamp that I used to represent the tires. I rummaged through my stash and found a die cut with a lady on it that I added. At the bottom of the inspiration photo, you can see the word "enjoy" so I added the quote using "Joy". I used paint, stamps, Stayz on ink (black), stickers and a punch.  The base is a 5.5" x 5.5" x 1.5" block of wood. I love using this size - it's fun for gifts and doesn't take up much room on a shelf, desk or wall. 

I can't wait to see all the wonderful creations based on the photos. Thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Artist Appreciation Month

I'm late in the month, but August is Artist Appreciation Month. No, that doesn't mean you send me gift cards, but you can if you want. For this post I'm going to share which artists inspire me. I was informed of this wonderful holiday by Patience Brewster, an artist known for unique handmade gifts and Christmas ornaments, to share my story of which artists have impacted me personally.

Here is one of Patience Brewster's "Dasher" ornaments that I think is so absolutely fun.

So, thinking about my journey as an artist includes so many influences - from my first oil painting instructor (and I can't seem to find where he is today but has become active in Arts for the Parks), to my first watercolor instructor, and on and on. All these teachers inspired me, grounded me, and taught me tremendously... But somehow I still wasn't "free". There was still something more that needed to be released.

I wrote on my paper crafting blog in the spring of 2010 about the start of a new artistic journey. After setting painting full time aside and diving into the world of designing papercrafts projects for manufacturers and publications for a few years, something new was brewing. This is my journal entry:


As of late, I've had an obsession with Alice. I saw the new Alice movie last month and was "enchanted" with the artistry in the film...the costumes, the color (or lack of), the characters. It was all so "artsy". I wanted to see it again the next day, but didn't. Besides stirring the artist in me, I related to Alice in a strange way. Grown up Alice was "expected" to conform to society, she was expected to dress a certain way and marry a certain man and live a certain life. I tried this mold on for the past seven months. I took a corporate job, sat at a corporate desk, and brought home a corporate paycheck. But I was dying inside. After three months the artist inside of me was screaming to get out. Yet, I was so tired at the end of the day, that I couldn't physically do anything creative. After months of prayer and patiently waiting, I finally found my way out and couldn't be happier in my spirit.

The first thing I painted on my new journey - without consciously thinking about it - was - Alice. I was inspired by a recent issue of Somerset Studios magazine - their theme throughout the magazine was Alice. I picked it up on a recent trip to Texas, and I couldn't put it down. I also was inspired by Kelly Rae Roberts. But what turned me on to Kelly Roberts was an art post by Courtney Walsh on her blog several years ago. Courtney, you have no idea how much I was screaming on the inside while sitting at the corporate America desk bored out of my mind reading this post. I guess one just doesn't know how much we can effect the lives of someone else. Thank you for being the little white rabbit for me to follow. I didn't know it at the time, but it was the beginning of a journey.

So....I came home from our trip to Six Flags and opened my box of art supplies that the UPS man delivered the week before. (Yes, I haven't even opened the box because I knew once I did, there was no turning back) I followed the techniques in Kelly Robert's book and drawing from inspiration in the books and magazines, came up with several whimsical versions of Alice.

Since that blog post five years ago, I have had an amazing fast paced artistic journey that still keeps me out of breath. The sky is the limit and the feedback and comments people share are heartwarming. My love for mixed media has not dulled, and my imagination is soaring with ideas that I can't implement fast enough.

I have done several more "Alice" mixed media pieces. This is one of my favorites. It's 20"x 20" and has a home with a beautiful little girl.

If you are a mixed media artist, considering joining the challenges at Mixed Media Monthly Challenge. There is a wide variety of artists and crafters that participate, and frankly, I would welcome more mixed media "art" projects. We have some very cool prize sponsors coming up for the rest of the year and some fun challenges. 

This is one of the latest of my mixed media paintings.

I would love to hear in your comments about some artists that have impacted you personally through your journey.

And after you comment, check out the fun artistic ornaments by Patience Brewster

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

I Love Going Coastal

I love going to the Gulf Coast. There's something truly amazing about the waves crashing to the shore. I love to take my dime store beach chair (the kind that you can put in the water) with me and sit and sit for hours until the sun sets.

I was blessed to go with over 75 ladies from our area for a Peace, Love and Girlfriends Beach Retreat.(Just days after a weekend in Hot Springs with family) We stayed a beautiful condo on Orange Beach, were pampered by the most amazing women who left treats on our pillows every time we left the room, and shared fun times.

One our last night, we ventured to Lulu Buffet's Restaurant in Gulf Shores. Can you tell we are all from the same group? lol.

We closed our retreat with a fun get together in one of the conference rooms where we performed fun skits and shared girlfriend time.

I never get tired of beach umbrellas, beautiful beach homes, and walking along the shore picking up seashells.

This is just one of the fun photos I took and sent to hubby throughout the week. I call this one "Waiting for sunset".

And there it is...... beautiful sunsets. I love the reflections in the water.

We just secured a beautiful rental in the 30A area of Florida for another girls weekend in 2016.

Meanwhile, I'm getting ready for cooler weather, fall activities and chipping away at art orders that have been piling up. I'm going to make a point to update my blog more often than once a month. If you haven't found me on facebook or instagram - be sure to follow me there for daily posts.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Mixed Media Monthly Challenge for August

I always have a blast working on mixed media pieces for the Mixed Media Challenge Blog. This month's challenge is to use text in your project. I LOVE using text in my projects.

 If you are new to the challenge - please join in! Go to the homepage for the place to post the link of your project.

Here's my project.

"Swamp Tours" is 28" x 30" on stretched canvas. I used papers, burlap, gold leafing, seed beads, cardstock tag, fabric alphabets, cardstock stickers and paint. The surface was sealed with a layer of resin.

Here's a closeup of the alphabet before I poured the resin.

We can't wait to see what you come up with for the challenge. Here are the rules:

Please follow these rules to be eligible for placements and prizes

* You must use our challenge graphic in your challenge post.
* You must comment on at least 3 design team member's blogs. 
* Your post must link back to the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge post
* Add a link to your direct postnot your entire blog, a YouTube Video or a Pinterest Board
* You can combine with up to 4 other challenges. 
* No Backlinking allowed! Any back-linked entries will be deleted.
* You can enter up to 5 times, create whatever you want, and HAVE FUN!

Thanks for stopping by!