Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Home

This morning I dug out an old issue of Somerset Studio magazine, the May/June 2011 issue.  The featured artist in this issue is Sabrina Ward Harrison. I remember reading the article, written by Christine Mason Miller, and there was one quote of Sabrina's that has stuck with me, it resurfaced in my brain this morning but I couldn't remember all of it until I found the magazine in my studio. She says, "It's about following the light, about following the stories in my life with quiet curiosity. I can't force certain moments to happen, but I feel the most fully engaged with my life when I let a little wildness into my day-to-day experiences, which can happen anywhere, at any time. The way I do that is by looking for artistic solutions to questions of how to live in the world."

These words hit me right in the heart. Especially the part about looking for artistic ways to be in the world to feel fully engaged with your life. Yes. Making art and sharing art allows me to be more fully engaged in my own life. I love that, and I'm grateful for it.

Last night I finished another collage. It's called "home", it's 12in x 9in on a wood board. Some pictures:







 I'm excited about these new collages I'm making. Playing with paper towels and paint is fun! I'm going to check in over at Creative Every Day before I head into the studio for some more paper towel play.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

A good day

I spent some time last night and this morning playing around with watercolors, gouache, gesso, and paper towels. I'm getting all sort of yummy and subtle colors using this process. Here are some pictures of a work in progress:



ALSO! I bought my wedding dress today!!! I'm not going to share the exact dress but the designer is Yoo Lee of Saja. Such beautiful dresses. I tried on several dresses and they are all so comfortable. My good friend Mia came with me and we had a glass of champagne in Soho afterwards to celebrate my purchase.
It's been a good day and I'm grateful for it.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

More envelopes and a send off

I keep making more and more envelopes. I often paint with the kids at work and lately I've been saving my creations to turn into envelopes (looks like I'll be sending lots of valentines this year!). I thought I'd share these over on the Creative Everyday page too. Here are a couple photos:

My brother Colin was in town the last few days. He came to visit Tyler and I before he set off on a road trip adventure. I'm excited for him! But I will miss him too. Safe travels Col!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My wish came true!

I took this picture outside of work yesterday. It snowed all day! A snowy Manhattan is very pretty very briefly. It soon turns to brown slush. Still, my wish for snow was granted and it was so lovely to watch the snow fall outside the window all day long. Today is very cold with negative windchill. Feels like home!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Wishing for snow

I talked with my mom this morning and she said that it's snowing in Syracuse. I miss the snow. I don't miss the long long winters that extend into late March, but I miss snow. It's going to be cold here in Brooklyn this week and I believe tomorrow we might have some accumulation. Yes!

I made another small collage the other night, titled "something more". 6in x 6in on a wood board. I'm having fun with these collages. I'm hoping to get them into my Etsy shop soon. Here are some photos:




I've continued reading Simple Abundance and I'm really enjoying it. Every morning I wake up and write one page in my  journal while I have my coffee. Then I read that days entry in Simple Abundance. It's a good way to start off my day and it's a practice that I intend to keep up.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Inside a process

Sometimes it's the smallest and simplest of inspirations that result in the creation of the prettiest art! This morning I was inspired when I was doing the dishes at work. I work as a teaching artist with young children and after our (very messy) classes I often clean the paint trays. Sometimes the paint that is left in the tray or the paint that falls into the sink looks so lovely. This morning's sink paint was too beautiful to wash down the drain so I grabbed some papers and pressed them on top of the paint. The resulting painted papers were so beautiful! I've done this many times before and have a lovely collection of leftover paint papers. I've also done this and not liked how the papers looked. You don't have control of how the papers turn out, you just have to trust the process and experiment. I checked on the papers later in the afternoon and found them to be just as beautiful once dried. I then had the idea to turn them into envelopes with sewn edges. So that's what I did. Here is how they turned out:





I think I will use them when I mail out valentines next month!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Becoming

Tyler and I had a nice day yesterday. In the morning we headed up to Greenpoint to have breakfast with some friends. It was lovely and relaxing and a good reminder for me that it is nice to be social on the weekends sometimes! I'm such a homebody and treasure my time at home over the weekend, but I most often enjoy myself when I get out. We walked around Greenpoint and Williamsburg afterwards. Tyler was record shopping and I poked my head in a few boutiques and second hand stores. I went into one store called Old Hollywood . They have lots of cute clothes, homewares, and jewelry. I bought a sheet of pretty wrapping paper and a pack of old book pages and ephemera- all for collage making.

I was excited to get home and use my new finds. I wanted these new papers to be used in the first collage that I make for the Creative Every Day Challenge. I'm hoping to participate in this challenge weekly. I think it will be a fun way to meet other creative bloggers and I am excited about that! So, here is the collage that I made last night:




It's called "becoming". It's 6in x 6in and made on a wood board. I used papers, gesso, pencil, colored pencil, and tape. I like the color palette, it's a bit subdued for me. I think that happens in the winter, makes sense. I started another one this morning (8in x 10in) using some of the same papers, I'm excited to see where this one goes.

Now to finish the laundry and head back into the studio...

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Allow. Happening. Ease. Trust.

I have so much creative energy lately which is wonderful, but I feel like it is pulling me in so many directions. I want to blog, I want to paint, I want to work on submitting art to publications, I want to look into shows/residencies/retreats, I want to collage, I want to read, I want to make connections with other artists. So far I feel like I'm effectively using my free time but there just isn't enough of it! If only there was more time in the day. Late last night (by late I mean 9pm) I had an urge to go into the studio. Tyler was painting big in the living room and I was painting small in the studio. I'm glad I went in there. Here is a picture of last night's process and a picture of the resulting work in progress:

Words that kept coming up for me while I was making last night- allow, happening, ease, trust. I like how the words "special instructions" show through on the piece. These are my special instructions to myself: there are big changes happening and I will to allow them to happen with trust and ease.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Inside a process

During this past fall I started making a series of wall hangings. I got hooked on making them. I continued making them throughout the fall and into the winter. I made a Thanksgiving banner for one of my sisters in law (Kate) and for Christmas I made another one for another sister in law (Kaori). I've gotten addicted to making them! Here are some photos and info about my process:









The backgrounds of each panel were made as a whole, on a 9in x 12in piece of cardboard. I used different papers (sewing pattern paper, book pages, my own painted papers, different lined papers), pencil,  colored pencil, and gesso to build up the layers. After I was satisfied with the background I used my oil pastels to add and blend color to the foreground. It's fun to get in there with your fingers and blend, mix, and smudge the colors to your liking. After that I sealed the collage with mod podge mixed with glitter. Next I cut the collage into 4 6in x 4.5 in pieces. I then layered a couple of papers together and added a hand painted leaf (or tree) to the top. I embroidered the leaf (and beaded the tree) onto the other papers. I then adhered the embroidered leaf/tree collage onto the mod podged background. Next I used my awl to make holes in each panel so I could connect them to each other with metallic hemp thread. The pictures that show all four panels aren't the best snapshots but you get the idea. I had so much fun making these. I have a feeling that I will be making more of these, tweaking and perfecting my technique as I go!



Monday, January 6, 2014

Getting it together

I spent some time yesterday organizing my art. I gathered, named, and resized a lot of photos. If I'm going to put my art out into the world this year I need to have it ready to send out to publications, submit to shows, etc. Figuring out how to organize and resize my images has always been a deterrent for me, a hurdle in the process of getting my art out there. Tyler helped me find Picresize, a program that resizes images for free (I didn't know there were programs for that!). It was fun to look at old artwork. Here are a few old favorites:





I also got into the studio for a short time. I continued my experiements with mixed media collage, wood, and the woodburning pen. Here are some shots of my latest, titled "it's a new thing":






Over the weekend I started reading Simple Abundance. I've realized that I need an attitude and outlook adjustment. I'm not sure when it happened but I've become more negative, easily annoyed, and closed off than I used to be. I don't want to continue on that way. I want to be positive, relaxed, accepting, and open. And I want to have a stronger awareness of and appreciation for all of the good in my life. I think this book will offer some good perspective.