Friday, February 24, 2012

Crude Gestures - Lesson 3

Welcome to Lesson 3 of Carla Sonheim's Book, Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artisits.

In this Lesson, we are supposed to do super quick gesture drawings of a moving pet.  Using a charcoal pencil or other soft utensil and just seconds per drawing, the goal is to get the idea of the animal and it's position and/or movements.

But before I show you mine, I want to give a  Thank You to NatashaMay for nominating me for an award on her blog!

Part of the requirements is to share 7 things about yourself. The other part is to pass it on to 15 other Bloggers....and I just don't know how I'd I'm going to skip that part.  I always love finding out more about my Blog Friends, so feel free to consider yourself nominated and spill some juicy beans ;P

Anyhoo....back to the lesson!

I used a 6B pencil....otherwise, I'd be covered in charcoal!

1. I'm one of those left-handed people that has their hand all curled upside down....smearing everything in it's path.  I usually succeed in transferring it to other parts of me, clothes, surfaces, etc. when I use anything soft-leaded :)

I found this exercise to be difficult for me.  I like to take more time than the allotted 2 seconds Carla recommends.....and trying to draw a moving kitten (more spastic than an adult cat, I think,...haha!) was more than challenging.  I found myself more than once trying to "fill in" where I thought limbs and such to be after Sally had already changed positions.  I guess I don't follow directions very well :)

2. Which leads me to my cooking style, too. Some of my family's favorite recipes of mine are ones where I've just thrown stuff together.  I like to tweak ingredients and add more than the usual stuff....I put veggie puree in my meatballs, cilantro in my turkey chili and sour cream in my pancakes....I make Island Water (that's what we call it, anyway) for my daughter and myself with a splash of coconut milk, sliced ginger root and water over ice.  I love French Toast with a hint of orange zest in the egg mixture and I eat them with a layer of berry preserves instead of syrup...
I know, I'm zany....what can I say ;P

3.  I loathe washing dishes!!  I will scrub toilets all day long over hand washing a sink full of dishes.  I bring this up because our dishwasher is broken!  I never had one in the 13 years we rented.....and ever since having one here at the house, doing dishes has been fine....pleasurable, even!  But now, aaarrrgghh!  I never seem to catch up :(

This one is my least favorite of what I'm showing you today....but, trust me when I say there were others that were worse.  I just don't want to show them to you  ;P

4. I used to have a huge dark side.  Brooding and depressed, I'd entertain fantasies of running away, waste a lot of time feeling alienated from what "normal" people wanted and enjoyed, was convinced that no one understood me.  I always thought that this is where my creativity came from...that this darkness made me special.
But, once you have a child, this way of thinking can be detrimental.  It can cause resentment to build.  Motherhood has been the most wonderful experience I have ever undertaken, but it made my demons feel trapped and angry. A lot of things began to suffer....including my marriage.  Something had to change. I originally started Blogging because I was tired of feeling torn....
The name of my Blog was another attempt at me being clever....and was to elude to me "painting" myself in a better put the best of me forward and focus on paint myself pretty, rather than the ugliness I felt inside...
Had I known, though, that it was going to be such a great experience, and that I'd be opening a shop, too....I would've picked a shorter name....haha!

5.  I still love dark, brooding images and places.....all things forbidden, gothic, scary and macabre...I adore cemetaries, fairy tales with unhappy endings and blood and gore......but, I've learned to not dwell there.

6. Blogging really is better than therapy!  It allows me to connect with real artists....moms....women...who have taught me that I am not alone in my struggles....and who give me a reason to paint and laugh and share and rush to my computer every day!  I can't imagine my Life without it now ;)

This one is my favorite.  Sally had put her paws up on my lap and was watching my pencil as I sketched her.  Everything that moves is potential prey to a it was time to stop.

7.  Trying to think of something you don't know....hmmmm....let's see.....
How about this.  I always knew I wanted to be an artist since the first time I could hold a pencil.  I decided I wanted to go to a prestigious art school  in Laguna Beach, jumped through the hoops to get in, took out the loans...and didn't even complete 1 semester.  And I am SO GLAD I didn't!!
As much as I feel foolish for being so flakey....I never, then, would have gone to Bartending School and gotten a job at Embassy Suites.  I would have never met the cute, polite, interesting Room Service guy who would later become my Husband.  I would not have my daughter....sure, I might have a daughter, but not this daughter, who is all the goodness I strive to be :)

Please link your gesture drawings here:

I am really so honored to have you here with me...on my little journey to become a better artist and all around happier person :D

I hope you paint yourself a wonderful weekend!!
Group Hug,

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Two Revealing *UPDATED*

Sometimes I think I'm so clever with my silly, punny post titles....haha!
I'm referring to the big reveal of the WIP I sneak peeked to you on Friday.
Remember this?

Well, I actually have 2 paintings to share with you.....
Hence the title....
Okay, so maybe what I think is clever is only slightly amusing.....
Let me distract you with some art so it won't matter how lame my sense of humor is :)
But before I do, let me tell you how these pieces came about.

My super sweet and lovely Bloggy Buddy Carmen and I are doing an art trade.  Her only criteria was that it should have a crow in it (her fave) and feature some words of wisdom to ponder and nod one's head in agreement to....

This is the above girly all finished.

It is inspired by this Roald Dahl quote:

"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."

Mixed Media on 8x10 inch Canvas panel

I decided to do 2 at one time, using the same criteria, the same color sisters born of the same spark.
I want Carmen to pick her favorite.  The other will then be put in my Etsy Store.
I'll let you know which one she chooses :)

Here's the second.....

The words say:
"Everything in the Universe is within you. Ask all from yourself." - Rumi

Her crow guide brings her the key to unlock her heart and to rediscover all the wonders within :)

I think I know which one she'll pick....I'm curious to see if I'm right...heehee!  Which would you choose?

***Carmen chose "Watch with Glittering Eyes" and "Within You" is now SOLD Thank You, Lisa! ***

Oh, and I'd like to mention another Giveaway to you, Dear Readers, offered by Jenn at Broomsticks and Lace.  She is part gypsy, part fairy princess and part witchy-poo all rolled into the most delightful being!
But, hurry, she announces the winner this Sunday!

Blogland is inhabited by some of the bestest peoples :D

Hope your days are full of everyday magic...and that the transitioning Seasons are revealing their beauty to you.
Love you guys,

Friday, February 17, 2012

Doodle Who?

Hi Guys!
Just finished this an hour ago to join fellow Butterfliers in this week's theme of Doodles.
It's a great easy theme...and yet, I'm here again at the last minute!

So, without further is my offering:

Sharpie and watercolor pencils with a touch of white gel pen and acrylic spots.  I really think something like these would make such pretty bookmarks :)

Fun stuff :)
Y'know, I've been using Sharpies quite a bit outline details (like in her hair) in the Daydream piece I shared with you a couple posts ago.

...and to make my lines more visible for painting in this work in progress...

I hope to have her done this weekend to share with you early next week!

Also, I'll be putting up Lesson #3 in Carla Sonheim's Drawing Lab next week which just so happens to be titled "My Pet Project" and has you doing quick gesture drawings of your pets.  Perfectly coincides with Butterfly Effect's theme of Pets!  

What a nice co-inky-dink ;P

One last thing!  My friend, Heather, just opened a new Etsy store and is having a little giveaway to celebrate!
It would be grand if you could pop in and wish her luck :)

Have the bestest weekend everyone!
Hugs all around,

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Blind Giraffes - Lesson 2

Okay, so the giraffes aren't really blind in Lesson 2, but instead, are blind contour drawings...

To jog your memory of what a blind contour drawing spend your time looking only at your subject and not at your paper while slowly moving your pencil/pen in unison with your eyes.  You are supposed to use one continuous line to draw your subject.

It was hard to fight the urge to look down and "correct" myself....but it's a cool feeling to have your drawing be revealed to you in all it's wiggly, askew and sometimes scary glory and think "Hey, that's not half bad "  :)

The book author does say it's okay to lift your pencil to begin the interior details...which I did for the eyes above.....but, I didn't look while I was drawing them....I swear!  That head on the top left is my favorite.

I started enjoying the I tried a couple more.
I cranked up the contrast on this so the lines would stand out a bit more.

Barn Owl

Penguin Chicks


Every time I see that squirrel drawing I hear Gollum in my head saying, "My Precioussss"....haha!!
I told you they sometimes turn out scary :)
But I hope you give this Lesson a try.  I learned to slow down my pace, to really take the time to notice all the curves and details (even if they didn't register on the drawings) and to be open to the end result without expecting too much from it. This allowed me to be pleasantly surprised rather than miserably disappointed :)

Please link up here to share your adventures in blind contour drawing!

Can't wait to see what your blind animals look like :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Favorite Things

Hello Bloggy Babes!!
It is a beautiful sunny day here today....
...a perfect day to think about what some of my favorite things are....and squeak in just in time to join Butterfly Effect :)

I hope I get repetitive when I tell you that sharing my Life and my Art here in Blogland is one of my most favorite things of all....because of you!!  I had never imagined finding a place that offers so much support and inspiration, friendships and talent....I love it here!  I am in awe of you all and enjoy being here on a common journey :)

One of my favorite things to engage in with you is SWAPS!   I can't turn down an invitation to trade a little handmade goodness!  It's a addiction....and so darn much fun! Haha!!
Here are just some of the wonderful works I've been fortunate enough to acquire through swaps....

Cool, huh?!  Remember I did say these are just some of the lovely art pieces I've received.  Rest assured if yours isn't shown's because I was rushing around like a mad woman trying to gather them quickly to get this post up....not because I don't LOVE them!
I treasure and adore everything I'm sent, so please don't feel left out...ShereeMichele, Heather, Allison, name a few I've not featured here....thank you, too!   I have the best  Blog Buddies ever! 

Other favorite things include:
Rainy days with nowhere to go
Staying in PJ's all day
DESSERTS!  Isn't it funny that stressed spelled backwards is Desserts :)

Hearing birds singing when my windows are open
Blaring dance music with naughty lyrics in the car when I'm alone ;P
Looking up at the night sky in remote locations & seeing a thousand stars
Picking homegrown fruits & veggies
These 2 together

My morning cup of coffee
Pedicures with extra massage time added.....ahhhhh
Having a dedicated Art Room!
Big commanding moons

This was ours last night...a horrible picture of what was the biggest,
yellowest, lowest in the sky moon I'd ever seen!

Eating scones with all the fixins at a lovely Tea House
Catching my Husband's gaze when I least expect it
Strolling around quaint shops and craft shows

Here's my latest:

"Daydream" 8 1/2 inches square Mixed Media on torn Kids' book cover.

This is the completed project from Amy's magazine paintover class I did on Jan 20th.  I told you I'd show it to you when I finished it.  Hope you like it.   It's in the shop if you really like it...heehee ;)

A few more faves:
the color green
Foggy mornings
Blooper Reels on DVDs
Drumstick ice cream cones with the caramel center
Thin Mints cookies kept in the freezer

Okay, I better go....can you tell I'm hungry?! Haha!

Thank you for visiting my little space here....
Have a fantastic weekend....hope it's filled with some of your favorite tthings!
Hugs and other sweet stuff,

P.S. If you are participating in the Drawing Lab Lessons, you can link up by clicking the Lesson 1 Link at the top of my sidebar or simply scroll down to the previous post!  Happy to have you join in!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cats, But Not in Bed - Lesson #1

Helloooo Bloggy Friends!!

I had mentioned last post that I was going to try to tackle this book.

I can't tell you how thrilled I am that so many of you accepted my invitation to dive in and play along!
My intention is to have this be an ongoing project that anyone can join and link their lessons up to.
I need to figure out how to do it (Mr Linky and adding categories is new to me), but I want to have this on my sidebar so we can keep track of everyone's progress :)

So, thank you so much for the great excuse to learn a few new tricks in the real world and the Bloggy one!

Lesson one is all about drawing cats.  You're supposed to draw them while lying in bed....I didn't do that part....cuz once I get in bed, I sleep....I wouldn't be able to keep my eyes open, let alone hold a pencil....haha!

They are supposed to be out of your imagination....and the instructions say to make your lines "simple and expressive".  I told you I had trouble with letting go of details.  These were the first 3 attempts.
Then I did these.

I started looking at her examples and applying that feeling to my drawings a bit more....
Then, I realized I was supposed to be using a pen....oops...
....promptly switch utensils...aaaaand....
This page came about.

I was numbering them to keep track of how they were flowing.  Maggie wanted to write the numbers for me...and after that got boring, she did her own cats...

These just make me smile!

She even numbered hers, too :)

I finished up with one last alien superhero colors...

....just to try to loosen up and be ridiculous...

I've got a long way to go....haha!

Please link up your posts as you complete the lessons!
This will be for Lesson 1.

I'm going to shoot for a lesson a week.
I'm hoping you can still link if these are accessed from the sidebar *crossing fingers*
We shall soon see!

Can't wait to see what you do with this book!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Remember Me?

So, I try to get back here often....I really do!
I always feel so good when I have a new post under my belt.  I'll be sailing on wonderful visits and delightful comments for a few days.....then a few more days will pass....and I'll keep saying that I need to put a new post up....then a few more days go by....and I start feeling stressed and couldn't have been a whole week already, I never finished (fill in the blank) to share!

Well, that's just the way it goes ;P
I don't have as much as I'd like to show you, but, things start to get even busier starting I hope it will suffice until next week.

It's been pretty warm around here for Winter.....has me thinking of vacation, which gets me excited about Glass Beach....which, in turn, makes me realize I need to make more hair clips :)

It's almost therapeutic sifting and searching through all my found bits of glass and shell....putting them together to make little pieces of wearable art.
I say "almost therapeutic" because while it is relaxing to my brain, my neck protests ;)

Being able to find the perfect way to use those extra special finds is gratifying, though.  I've hoarded them long enough...haha!  That mussel shell above is gorgeous in person.

These are among my favorite colors to find on the solidified water droplets.....they almost glow in the sunlight...
See, only 4 new clips....not much.....but, it's something.  I'm working on other things, really!  Like my submissions for Stampington....getting close to done on that whole process....
...and....Lisa from the Wright Stuff and I have decided to do the lessons from this book together every week or so....
Haven't started yet....
Soon, very soon!

Do you have this book, too?
Do you wanna join us?
It looks really fun....loose and playful....
I get so hung up on details and have trouble being loose like this.  I think it will be good for me...for us...
C' along if you can :D

Oh, and if you are on Skype, let's totally set up some crafty Playdates!!

Hope your February is already starting out wonderfully!
Hugs to you all,

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