Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Canvas Cat - Painting My Fear

Most people know I have a fear of felines. Not a dislike, but a fear, so I have never included a cat in any of my art.

The other day, my grand daughter brought over the cutest coloring book called, Cats With Hats: Coloring for a Purrfect Day

She was showing me a few of the pictures she already completed and I found myself flipping through some of the cutest illustrations. I found one that I loved and decided to incorporate it into a canvas.

The background is actually a napkin that I applied to an 11 x 14" canvas. I used an acrylic wash on the kitten before applying it to the canvas.

Loving the colors, I painted a few butterflies to match and then decided where I would put them. 

I added some paint to the background to suggest a daytime garden. I stencilled the kitten's cap in a victorian pattern. I painted a few more flowers, some limbs and then details to round out the painting.

Finished 11" x 14" Canvas
Thank you always for following my life and art journeys.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Byrd Street Studio: Classes for Kids

Yes, Byrd Street Studio offers classes for kids.

Last Saturday, we hosted a private class for two sisters ages 7 and 9. I was so excited as their dad chose the media for me to teach.

Setting up required very little as I had already done a lot of the prep work. The class was to run from 12 Noon to 3pm.  I popped a bowl of popcorn and waited for their arrival.

The girls were creating 12 x 12 canvasses with a lot of mixed media elements as well as metal flowers. 

First they picked background tissue paper and then we did a mini lesson in how the metal flowers were cut (I had already cut some in advance). 

They chose the flowers they wanted and then picked what embossing they wanted their flowers to have. They ran them through the Cuttlebug and were all smiles when they took them out of the embossing folders.

They layed the flowers on their canvasses to figure out the placement and we took pictures so they could refer to them after we inked the flowers and added more to the canvasses.

We had to let their canvasses dry and also re-energize as children can't necessarily stay on task for the full time allowance of a class. The good thing about Byrd Street Studios is we have a POOL!!!

The girls took a break and then back to the studio to finish their canvasses. They seemed to have a great time and look how proud they were of the their finished paintings.

This is why I love what I do!

Thank you as always for following along in both my life and art journeys.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Friendships Improve the Quality of Our Lives

Last month, I traveled to North Carolina to be present at my great nephew's birth. While I was there, I took a side trip to Asheville and was able to meet up with some friends I knew only from Facebook interaction.

The evening we met for dinner, I actually met someone I had not met online, but was affiliated with one of the other girls at dinner. Nedine and I seemed to connect and I left dinner feeling so glad that I met her and suggested that we meet up on her future trip to Florida.

Hoping it would happen, but being a little nervous about this new connection, I awaited contact from her...........

One day, she messaged me and we were able to set up the visit. She was flying into Orlando, so it would require her driving over an hour to meet me and she was more than willing to do that.

I can't begin to tell you what a wonderful day we had. This was a surprise weekend for her son and I commend her for pulling it off. What an awesome mom!
M (her son) had never seen the ocean and I live just minutes away, so off we went.

M loved the ocean. He chased the gulls, rode the waves, collected shells and managed to get his trunks full of sand... I loved watching him!

Nedine and I just sat and talked for the longest time. We definitely connected and found such commonality between us.

The quality of my life is better knowing these two people.

Look what they brought me !!!!!

Thank you as always for following along in both my life and art journeys.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Your Child's Art: From Fridge To Wall

The other day, my grandaughter came to my house right after school and wanted to show me the coloring she did that day. She was so proud. My instinct has always been to take that piece of 'art' and put it on the refrigerator.

This is how we let our kids know that we love what they created. We wouldn't hang it up if it wasn't the most marvelous thing we had ever seen, right?

I decided to try something different this time. Olivia actually brought THREE owls home from school. I told her they would look awesome as a painting and she agreed. She cut them out and left them on my table in the studio.

Later that night, I found a background that I made a while back with left over pieces of paper. It was very sturdy, so I thought it was a good choice.

I had some napkins that I have been using for some current projects and thought one floral in particular would add the additional the color I wanted to see.

I arranged the owls and thought that with additional painting to tie everything together, Olivia would really like it. Because crayons are wax, I painted the owls with clear gesso so I wouldn't have a problem if I wanted to add paint to them.

I added a little green paint  to the background to make it look more like a forest of flowers. A little dark blue added to the top looks more like the sky. I added black around the perimeter to tie in the black elements of Olivia's owls.

The finished painting includes splatters and a more defined tree limb. I think Olivia is gonna love this and now her art can hang on the wall instead of the refrigerator.

Thank you as always for following along in both my life and art journeys.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

No Procrastination the Last Few Days For This Girl

One of my biggest challenges is procrastination. I own it, but some days I can't avoid it. I make a list that is doable and yet I manage to stay busy getting everything else done except the tasks on my small list. So, I add those to my list for the next day. Which, I don't complete, so I add them to the next day and so on and so on. The worst part is that they are not things that I dislike doing.

Then, I have days that I underestimate the time it will take to get things done and I work furiously and don't complete them. So, I add them to my list for tomorrow. Which, then puts tomorrows list at bay.

What the heck is this???? This, friends, is the story of my life.

However, there has been no procrastination the last few days for this girl. I have been busy and I am getting her done!

Since Sunday evening.......

I found prints of my artwork and made cards out of them. This took me about a day and a half. I added them to some notecards I made in NC and my card rack is filling up. I even sold four cards by just talking about making them.

 Our Mixed Media Wine Bottle class is coming up soon, so I managed to soak the labels off the bottles and they are ready to have the gesso applied. I am going to complete this step myself in order to keep the class time reasonable.

Believe it or not, I have started working on "The Chair" !!! I finished sanding it and I have two coats of primer on the legs. 

I am hand painting the first 2 coats of primer. I will flip it over and get the top primed and then one or two coats of spray primer before I begin to paint it. The table in the picture will also get painted, but I have to glue some loose legs first.

And, last but not least, I have all the aluminum flowers and leaves cut for my class on Saturday. 

And let us not forget, I even got this post written on time :)

Thank you as always for following along in both my life and art journeys.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Life Around Here - Part 3: My Return from North Carolina

Hi All...
Returning to Florida after a wonderful two weeks in North Carolina was difficult and hectic.

Two weeks is long enough to get attached and to feel like a home away from home (oh my heck, I bet my niece was so glad to get rid of me by then... I was growing roots, people!)

I came home and the house remodel did not skip a beat.

Getting ready for stucco
Stucco going on

Back wall stucco done

Painted to Match My Hair (gray)

New Gutter  

Fire pit build

While the crew was busy on the house, I was busy in the studio planning for classes and creating my own art.

This first project was for a class we are having in a couple of weeks. They are altered wine bottles and I believe we have 4 people already attending.

I just scheduled  my first private class for a couple of young girls. I believe they are ages 7 & 9. We are going  to make mixed media canvasses with metal flowers similar to what a previous student (and friend) Carolyn  did here.

My latest painting came about after watching a Discovery channel movie on whales. I was mesmerized by the sperm whale and I have always been intrigued by the myths of unicorns and mermaids. Here is a step by step pictorial.

Thank you as always for following along in both my life and art journeys.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Life Around Here - Part 2: My Trip to North Carolina and More

Poor baby Liam had a very rough first week and I think all four adults were awake 24/7. I can't relate to the struggles of breast feeding for moms who don't have a smooth ride as I wasn't able to breast feed my kids. We cryed right along with this poor guy as he struggled to nurse and my niece struggled to pump.

My niece keeps me updated with pictures ( I won't bore you with ALL of them), but I am just enamored by this little guy WHO TURNED ONE MONTH OLD! 

OK... just one more picture... my niece thinks he may be a "Professional Roller Coaster Rider" when he grows up...haha

What I left out of my blog post in Part 1 of my North Carolina adventure is that I was able to do a little art while I was there. One night I just rough sketched the picture and added some watercolor.

I kept it simple as I only took Copics, water colors and some alcohol inks.

Though I liked her, I realized her left shoulder was catawampus. It was driving me cRaZy and I couldn't figure out how to fix it with the limited supplies I had. Sometimes, the better paintings come from the worst mistakes. I fixed her once I got home.

I was also able to make some notecards with alcohol inks while I was there.  

I would really like to experiment more with these inks on other substrates (the cards are inked on blank gloss notecards I got from a clearance sale online).

I began this next painting while in North Carolina, but this is as far as I got before I had to return to Florida.

When I got home, I contemplated for a few days trying to figure out the direction I wanted to go with her. Here is the progression.

Listen To Your Heart, Your Angels Dwell There.

Since I have been home, I have been busy with continued house remodel, working on studio classses and have tried to be more active in my art. 

So, I guess that means there will be at least a Part 3 update and possibly a Part 4. Hopefully that will get us up to the current goings on. Stay tuned as I write furiously... haha