Monday, April 30, 2012

Finding Your Muchness...

Sometimes it seems like making art is all about the journey. I am constantly being inspired and influenced by some new style or technique. I am all over the board, trying to find a look that I can grow with. I realize that, as I mature as an artist, I will need to settle into something that works for me. Something that gives me the chance to create the impression I want, to invoke the feelings I want, yet still have the essential ME for all to see. This is difficult to do, as a new artist. Learning is copying, to some extent, it must be at first. But after you learn, you must go on to find the YOU inside the new style or technique.

                                     “You used to be much more..."muchier." You've lost your muchness.” 
― Lewis Carroll 

Sometimes life gets in the way of this discovery. It is a rare person indeed, who can spend their days discovering their unique self and doing nothing else. There are children, jobs, housework, gardens and other responsibilities. They draw us away from the search, and use up our passions and creativity. I am trying to stop that, trying to rearrange my life to make my art a priority. It isn't easy, and it would help if I could be more than one person. But I am just me and this isn't Wonderland. Time keeps moving along at a steady pace, pretty much in a forward motion, with no sympathy for my inability to organize my day.

“The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” 
― Lewis Carroll

I have never been good with schedules, and it seems my life is chock full of parallel priorities. But I am working on it, and I am finding my muchness again...and this time, I'm not letting it go...

The art work above is a new technique for me. It is a page from the play Romeo and Juliet printed in German. This I bonded to a sheet of watercolor paper, then applied acrylic paint with a brayer. After this was dry, I sketched the details, then painted them in with more acrylic paints. I highlighted the sketching using a permanent pen...I think I love this new look! I used a snippet of this background to create my twig inchie as well...

The theme for Every Inchie Monday this week is "twig";

to see the others, please click here!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Outside My Comfort Zone...

When my daughter started designing her new living room, she took a walk on the wild side by going with an African theme. She surprised me by asking me to create a piece of art that would work in the room, but also had some personal imagery. This sort of request is way outside my comfort zone. More painting than collage, custom theme, not really cutesy...But I decided to give it a try.

I started with a 14"x18" canvas panel, and layered it with papers and ephemera. I found magazine photos of elephants and giraffe, a map of Africa, and a great line on cardstock called Safari Chic, by DCWV. I gave it all a really good coat of gel medium and used my brayer to smooth it out as best I could. The magazine pages gave me some real fits, right from the start and even after they were down flat as can be, when I started adding paint, they lifted right up again, and made bubbles, which I don't like, but have to live with...
I added washes of color, and used the brayer to added thicker, grungy layers of acrylic paint. Then painted the mountains and background, working my way forward to the tree.

My daughter is a redhead and became the warrior in the piece. She is very fond of her cat, so I made him a bit larger, more of a panther sized, to be a companion in her wanderings. I was pretty nervous about painting the two figures, so I created them on a scrap of paper first, using a sketch and watered down acrylics, then cut them out and collaged them to the painting. I left the foreground mostly untouched, so that more of the collage papers would show through. I can't seem to do anything about the wrinkles in the lower right corner, and I am trying to accept them as a "textural element"...
I added a coat of acrylic encaustic, which did help smooth the pieces out a bit, and blended the figures into the background, so they didn't seem so "cut and paste". So here it is, my finished mixed media canvas; "Forever Fierce". I hope she likes it...

This weeks Every Inchie Monday theme is "makeup", you can see the others in this challenge right here!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Believe in New Beginnings ATC

I just finished making my four ATC for our groups monthly exchange. This months theme is "Believe in New Beginnings" and I decided to try my hand at watercolor sketches. Here are the results...

I am enjoying this new medium, and it will travel well, and since travel seems to be very much in my future, I guess that is a good thing. It is also Every Inchie Monday and the theme this week is "fire"...
These really do look so much better in reality than they do scanned, I sure wish you could see them!
Until next time...enjoy.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Wise Soul and Scheduling Creativity...

I have been working on canvases to enter in my Etsy shop, which I finally launched last week! I cannot believe how nervous I was, or how incredibly simple the process actually turned out to be. Here is a 5" x 7" canvas panel I just finished and am listing this morning...
I am so pleased with the way my little owl turned out, and the colors just went together so nicely.
I have made the commitment to myself and my art to work on something everyday, and still find it difficult to get everything else done around the house. I told a friend over the weekend that I wished I were three people, because it seems like everything that needs to be done, can only be done by me, and cannot be hired out. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the weeds are growing. My next step is to make myself a schedule, with items listed such as "wash the dishes", "plant the lettuce", and "go make something in the studio"...Things like, "get some exercise" and "scrub the bathtub" aren't even in the running right now. I am still learning how to pace myself, and still get everything taken care of.
  The thing is, creativity is very difficult to control like that. Inspiration has no sense of timing, and my muse doesn't really care about dishes and laundry or whether there is food in the house. So I am perpetually dancing from one mundane project to another, then into my studio in a fever of ideas, then back out to a chore whose importance is increasingly difficult to remember. By dinner I am exhausted and have a dozen partially completed tasks, and nothing crossed off my list! Sigh...
Never the less, I am enjoying this creative journey I am on, and know I will learn a better way to organize and utilize my allotted time. Are you like me, scattered to all corners of your life, or are you one of those enviable people that "has it all together"? Got any secrets to share? Bring 'em on, maybe we can make something of this mess...
  By the way, it is Every Inchie Monday, with this weeks theme being simply "blue". Right away I started thinking of the pretty mountain blue birds that nest in my birdhouse out by the tool shed every year, and decided to depict one in my own little way..
Oh, that reminds me, I need to get that cleaned out, both the shed and the birdhouse...
The theme for this month's creative Every Day is "language" and I have a poem to share;

My Studio
by Sally Rose

Paint, brush, and canvas.
Paper and easel.
Inks, dyes, and crayons.
Pencils and pens.

Sewing machine, fabric,
thread, twine and string.
Unfinished projects, sparked ideas
that then sputtered.

Magazines and books,
clippings, sandpaper.
Glue, tape and staples,
frames, shelves and plans.

Some baskets to store things,
not nearly enough.
Bags, boxes and cabinets,
and piles of more stuff.

Snippets of floss,
bright colors spilling.
Buttons and ribbon and
“Where did that go?”

“I didn't know I had it!”
and, “Isn't this pretty?”
Files and magnets,
and needles and beads.

Lost orphans, found items
and stories to tell.
Inspiration bombarding,
and me with no helmet.
Not enough lifetime
to fully explore it.

Story of my creative life...until next time, enjoy!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Collage Chic...

This is a new 8" X 10" canvas panel I just finished. It is a mixed media collage, with an acrylic encaustic finish. It is my first piece of art that I am listing for sale, hopefully soon to be followed by many more!
Thanks for looking, until next time...enjoy!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Studio Play Day

Over the weekend, Mr. How2 and I went to Spokane to visit with family. It has been a long winter and we hadn't seen many of them for months. I was pleasantly surprised to get an e-mail invite to a Quote Collage Studio Play Day hosted at Spokane Art Supply. I was able to wiggle our visiting schedule around enough to attend and had a wonderful time playing with other local artists for the better part of the day.
   Our instructor was Maryjo Mcgraw, and she is not only an amazing artist, but she is generous with both her knowledge and her art supplies. You can learn more about her, see her art and consider taking her new online class by clicking here. Here are the canvases I worked on that day...
 This one, I felt, I had ruined, the top portion lost much of it's detail while I was experimenting with Montana Spray Paint, and stencils. However many of the other artists there said it was their favorite...
I really love how this one turned out but I don't believe it is finished yet, so I am waiting for inspiration to hit me...
  If you are like me, you spend a lot of time alone in your studio learning your style of art. But art shouldn't exist in a vacuum. It is meant to be shared, otherwise why bother to get it out of your head and into the world? Next time the opportunity arises, go out there. Go to workshops, classes play days and art shows. Meet other like minded souls, learn from them and then teach them what you know. You and your art will be better for the sharing, and you never know what may come of it...
Today is also Every Inchie Monday; and today's theme is "River"...
Thanks for visiting me this week, until next time...enjoy!