Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Trying Encaustic

Oh my gosh!!!

I waited and saved a LONG time to invest in the materials needed for Encaustic painting. I have been watching videos for the last 6 months and I am mesmerized by this medium.

Though many claim you can 'make do' with some things you already have, that was not for me. It seems that when I try to cut corners in art supplies, I am not happy. I never get the results I expect and hence, I will abandon that project very quickly.

To give myself a fighting chance with encaustics, I knew I had to invest  a bit . So, first I ordered a griddle from Amazon that had the same amount of surface space as the large encaustic heat surface sold by the major companies.

Next, I ordered an encaustic sampler pack and a few extra colored waxes by R & F. I also ordered some oil sticks.

I went to Home Depot and bought a panel of masonite and had them cut it down to various sizes for practice pieces (They will cut it for free).

I spent the next few weeks putting all my "YouTube" lessons to work. These are some of the pieces I created:

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Abstract Painting: Trying Something New

Copics and whimsical girls with long necks are my comfort in art. Lately, however, I have been playing with some abstract art. I think it has been a step towards branching out and finding other mediums and genre that I enjoy.

Thought I would just share the paintings that I have posted on Instagram. I am not very good at keeping them to myself until I can share in a blog post.  So, if you follow me on Instagram, you will have already seen these.

Laying down some color

Finished painting
after MANY transformations.

Thank you, as always for following my art and life journeys.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Holidays are Almost Over

***I began this post back in November and realized today that I never finished it or posted it. Hence, a few older notes are included.

One year after her diagnosis and 6 months after her surgery, my daughter in law's blood work came back CANCER FREE! I can't tell you what a relief that is to hear.

Life sure does move fast the older I get. Seems days are never long enough to complete what I would like and I am a procrastinator as well, so most days I am reeling not knowing which way to turn.

I am making art at both my studio table and my dining room table when needed as another grandson has taken residence in the studio for a while. I used to paint at night.  I am usually most relaxed and inspired at night, but that's hard to do in someone else's temporary bedroom.

I completed  two more canvasses over the last couple months.

I had an idea of making some that would be sort of a series. The following are the first two:

I have been working part time at Staples in Print & Marketing (glorified name for the copy center..haha) since last February, so I hadn't experienced the business as everyone is printing cards and art gifts for the holidays. I've taken on extra hours, so some of my co-workers could spend more time with their families or shop for gifts. After New Years, my hours go back to 'just a few" which is what I prefer. That's why I retired to begin with.

For about 6 months, I have been consumed with watching videos of a 'new to me' type of art. I am saving my pennies for some basic supplies and I can't wait to try it. More info to come when I try it  and see if I am a success or failure ( meaning, whether I enjoy it or not).

In preparation for the holidays, I painted a few Christmas cards:

Baked some cookies:

Used recycled packing paper to wrap gifts and made the tags out of the same... one gift was in an envelope I made out of a piece of scrapbook paper:

On Friday, we had our Southeast Vilello Family Christmas.

It was just awesome. We had a great dinner and played fun games.

I am blessed to live closer to my kids now.

Had to steal this pic from my daughter's Instagram cuz even though
I have my phone in hand, I TOOK NO PICTURES!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous holiday..

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Studio Update-Life Happened

Since my last blog entry, life has happened.

My daughter in law has completed her cancer treatments and has had both of her surgeries. She is doing very well and is happy to feel somewhat normal after this whirlwind last year. As most know, the cancer scare does not end at the end of chemo and surgery. Her yearly checkups need to be clear, so we pray every day that her body is as much of a warrior as her mind.

I have a new great grand baby. She arrived April 15, 2017 and is named after her grandmother, my daughter, Emily. She was born in Utah and though I have not seen her in person, my granddaughter video chats me pretty regularly. I hope I won’t be a stranger to her when we finally meet. 

My eldest grandson (Zeter) has returned from his pilgrimage in Japan. He is back to work and I am counting on his Burlington discount...haha

Another grandson, Tony, graduated from his IT program in Utah and has come to stay with me until he gets on his feet. He is currently residing in the studio on an air mattress. I have to get used to not hanging out in there all day; at least for a while.

Family and friends have come to visit and I have enjoyed every minute.

Hurricane Irma happened (almost a year to the day after Matthew hit us) and I feel blessed that I had no damage to my house and only 3 days without power. 

I have been learning the process of recording tutorial videos of a mixed media class. As I complete them, I have been sending them to my girlfriend whose daughter is creating a painting from them. They are giving me feedback and I am learning a lot from that . For some reason, I can teach a class in person in the studio, but I get so very nervous trying to record myself teaching. I need to get over the nerves and think about investing in a camera for this purpose, Right now, I am just using my phone. Everyone has to start somewhere, eh?

I have been able to create a couple of art pieces in the last few months. Two of them sold after I uploaded them to social media.

These are a few I recently completed and still have in the studio.

I am also painting in my journal in an effort to art most everyday. My journals are pretty personal, so I usually show the painted pages on Instagram before I add my written journaling.

Tomorrow, I hope to scan some paintings and list on Etsy and Society6.

Thank you for your interest in my life and art journeys.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Studio and Life Update

Its been such a long time since I have had a chance to update here.

My daughter in law is fighting her battle with breast cancer with such grace. This week she will have her 7th (of 8) treatment. They changed her chemo drugs after the first four treatments and this drug comes with a whole new set of side affects. Where the last drugs caused her to be sooo tired, this drug is causing pain and she is unable to sleep through it. That said... Look how beautiful this fighter is!!!!

A long time ago, I received some requests from friends that lived far away, to make an online class for their kids. So, recently, I have been working on a kids/beginner mixed media class. This is my first time making a tutorial video, so you can imagine my stress level just trying to figure it all out. Of course, whatever CAN go wrong , HAS gone wrong.

I had to figure out how to record, edit, make an intro... and of course right in the middle of me slamming this new endeavor, my computer stopped working. Literally wouldn't boot to windows. I thought I lost all of that work as well as all my personal files. I was really freaking out.

Black Hole Makers (a local pc repair shop) was able to get my pictures, working files, and personal documents backed up before having to install a new hard drive. They are the BEST!

Once I got my computer back home, I spent the weekend loading some of my programs back on.
I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT PHOTOSHOP! I lost Office, and no longer have the disk, but I was able to download Open Office and for the few things I use it for, I think I can survive with this.

Did I tell you???? I took a part time job at our local Staples. I am working in the Copy Center a few days a week. Having worked in a copy/print shop for 17 years, I should do well at this job. I hope all goes well and I can keep this job for a while. Its about a mile from my house and is giving me the opportunity to get out and socialize a bit as well as help customers with their print needs which is extremely satisfying.

I have painted a little in my art journal and if you follow me on Instagram or my Facebook business page, then you have probably seen these already.

Well, I think I need to get back to video recording and getting this class completed. I have a young lady who is taking the class as a demo and her is going to give me feedback to see if I am going in the right direction. Ill let you know, when I get it finished!

As always, thank you for following my life and art journeys. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Intimidated, But Moving Forward Anyways

I have watched so many of my artist friends create videos, that I really wanted to try it. I have posted a couple of Facebook Live videos of my grandaughter and I artting and baking together.  That was only slightly intimidating (on a scale of 1-10, it is usually a 6) as Olivia is the star and she loves to be on camera.

I, on the other hand, HATE to be on camera. And, I especially dislike the tone of my voice. Whenever I hear it back, I wonder how people can stand to listen to me for any length of time.

That said, I love to teach in person and I'm on a journey of self acceptance, so I am taking the leap. 

A fellow artist shared with our group how she made an inexpensive camera stand. She shared it a while ago and I procrastinated ever since then of trying to make one and trying to make videos with my phone. So, after getting much support yesterday from a couple of artist friends, off to Home Depot I went with my list of supplies and funny diagram.

I am not sure what took me so long to do this, because it was sooooo easy. They cut all the pieces for me at Home Depot and I assembled it in the store to make sure I had everything. I think I may have encouraged a fellow shopper to make one as she was intruigued as she saw me putting it together.

Of course, I had to take it apart to go through the check out. I came straight home and reconstructed it on my diningroom table. I was so stinking excited.

This morning, I took it into the studio and set it up in my workspace. I was able to attach my phone and capture the desk area that I wanted to video. 

However, when I turned the video on to make a short recording (just to see if the set up was ok), I realized that I was very afraid. I don't think I said "um" that many times in my life as I said it in that 15 seconds! Do I need to prepare a script?? Perhaps I should start with voice over? 

I am going to move forward even though I feel extremely intimidated by sharing with the public via video, but surely could use some pointers from the more experienced. Help me get over this hump?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Life and Studio - Tiff's Fundraiser & a Wine Bottle Class

There was good and bad for many in 2016. I think we all are hoping that the bad will turn around in the new year. We will work hard to put it behind us and  put all that lingers in perspective.

In October, my daughter in law, Tiffany, was diagnosed with an agressive breast cancer. She has begun chemo and will undergo a double masectomy at the conclusion of her treatment.

Saturday, her friends and family rallied in support at a fundraiser that was beyond words. They raised over $15,000!!!

Tiffany and Rachel (identical twins) and the greatest friends a girl could have!

My nephew from New York, Ryan, even surprised us by showing up.


I was not surprised that the turn out was so great for the fundraiser. My kids have an amazing group of friends who have each others' back ALWAYS!

The day after the fundraiser, we had a wine bottle class in the studio. It ended up being just two wonderful neighbors. I wanted to share their awesome bottles with you (I feel like a proud momma).

Thank you so much for following my art and life journeys.