Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 30--Yet Another Apple!

I had so much fun yesterday playing with Paper by FiftyThree, I wanted to create with it again today. And since I've been obsessed with apples, why not paint one more?!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 29--iPad Painting

Here's a doodle I created today using my favorite iPad art app: Paper by FiftyThree. I enjoyed layering colors using the various brushes available. I even treated myself to the in-app color mixer tool so I can create my own colors such as the purple and navy blue. Total freedom and fun!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 28--Junque Bow

Over the holidays I took an online art class called Twelve Artsy Ornaments of Christmas. Margie Romney-Aslett taught one of the projects, which was a canvas ornament adorned by a junque bow. Junque bows are amazingly easy to create, and they add an instant bling factor. I tied this one atop a friend's gift (the handmade beaded bracelet and earrings from yesterday). If you know me, I am Miss Hurry-Get-the-Gift-Wrapping-Done Girl. In the past I've felt as if wrapping packages was a waste of time because they simply get ripped open. This time I felt like taking that extra bit of care--and seriously just a few seconds more--to create a memorable package. I liked how it turned out...and my friend did too! ;-)

Creating Challenge Day 27--Beading

Not too much to say about this, except that I was in a really bad mood when I began beading and in a much better mood when I was done. Art of all kinds is so therapeutic!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 26--Watercolor!

I've got sunshine on a cloudy day! Especially when I get to play with my watercolors--both watercolor crayons and straight watercolors. I smeared gesso on a plain notecard, sketched the design, then painted.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 25--Sketching

I've had an idea like this in my head for quite some time. I finally decided to attempt it, and while I know it's not perfect (what is?), I really love it! I captures something heartfelt.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 24--Power Tools!

When I began this Creating Challenge journey, I had a sense it would take me places I could not imagine. How true this has already turned out to be! I've found myself learning how to wield power tools in service of upcycling some palettes into coffee tables. My daughter has joined me on this part of the journey. Here she is with our friend, fellow artist, and teacher, Judah:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 23--Gesso!

Today my brain went crazy imagining creative projects, so I've prepared a few different surfaces with gesso. Gesso is one of my favorite and most frequently utilized art supplies. A coat of it can make almost any surface ready for paint. Here I've layered a coat of it onto a couple canvases, some art journal pages, and the front of a note card:

Here's a close-up of the art journaling pages:

While I appreciate gesso for its ability to prepare a surface for painting, I like it even more for another quality. Spreading gesso onto surfaces is like finger painting in its purest form: no care for design; simply the sheer bliss of spreading liquid over a surface with my hands. It requires no thought, therefore I can simply be in the moment and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 22--Finger Painting!

As a preschooler, I was the queen of finger painting. The teacher would tie up my smock and dump a blob of paint on my paper, and I would go to town. I'd smear the paint all over, feeling it squish between my fingers. I'd create squiggles, lines, and designs with my fingertips, then make them disappear with a swipe of my palm. Once again I had a clear slate for a new picture. I could probably have spent hours doing this if I'd been allowed, but preschoolers have to nap sometime!

Perhaps I never grew up (though now I revel in nap time) because I still love to smear paint all over pages. Junelle Jacobsen gave me permission, so it's OK!

Today I needed that tactile connection with art supplies. After sketching and coloring with colored pencils for a few days, I ached to make a mess. And I felt pulled back into my art journals. This is part of pressing deeper into my creativity--getting a bit wild and letting go of pretense and expectations. So, for Creating Challenge Day 22, I finger painted a background for an art journal page I'm working on (above). I thoroughly enjoyed squirting the acrylic colors on the page and letting them play together. Don't you just want to give it a go?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Creating Challenge Days 20 & 21--Coloring and Shading

I've finished my little apples drawing. Imagine my joy when an 18 month old looked at my picture, pointed to one of those bright round orbs, and said "apple." It must resemble the real thing somehow! Then my balloon deflated a little when a teenager pointed to another one and said "this one looks like a tomato with leaves." Alas, he was right. I can accept it though. I've enjoyed myself drawing these, and I'm learning a great deal about shape, shading, color and loving the artistic process!

Day 20:

Day 21:

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 19--Inspiration

I was attempting to nap, and as I rested I started imagining a vine. I felt so inspired by it, I had to get up and draw it! As I drew, I found myself thinking of one more element then the next. I enjoyed the process of following inspiration as it came as opposed to having a finished product in mind from the beginning.

Creating Challenge Day 18--Apples Part 3

Today I started simply by sketching circles to see what they'd become. How do you like them apples?

Color to come.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 17--Process and Play

Today my blog post IS my creation! A month or so ago I played around with some acrylic paint and foam brushes. Inspired by an exercise in Flora Bowley's book Brave Intuitive Painting, I squirted various colors of acrylic paint on a spare piece of cardboard then had at it with foam brushes of various sizes. I pulled a brush across the cardboard. I swirled it. I pulled and swirled it at the same time. I took the end of the handle and made dots. I flopped the foam head over and over and over. After utilizing the foam brushes in ways Bowley suggested, I pressed in and made up some of my own maneuvers. It was a mess, and it was a blast! I ended up with this:

For whatever reason, I felt inspired to use some of these techniques to create a background for some art journal pages. Knowing more of what I could accomplish with these brushes, I had a concept in my mind's eye. I started with that idea then let inspiration flow. Here's the result:

I'm not yet sure what I'll journal on this page, but I sure had fun creating it. I enjoyed giving myself the permission, space, and time to play around without needed to have a result. What I discovered is that I could go beyond my limited beliefs about what I could do. I also had new energy for creating something with a determined purpose. Process and play. As a former perfectionist, this kind of experience is a breath of fresh air!

Creating Challenge Day 16--An Apple a Day?

I loved my little apple from yesterday so much, I thought I'd create it again! This time, I used watercolor crayons. I always feel happy when I create with watercolor crayons. I find it easy and relaxing. Bliss!

P.S. The photo turned out a bit more sepia than the real thing. I'm still working on the photography aspect of this deal!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 15--Colored Pencil

Yesterday morning (yes, I admit, I'm a day late!), I had the word "apple" spoken to me. It must have lodged in my brain because later that afternoon, I found myself sketching the drawing above. Interesting inspiration...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Creating Challenge Days 11-13--Sketching and Painting

I must admit I've been a tad busy to post over the past few days, but I have still been creating. Here is my most recent creation in its various stages:

Day 11--sketching

Day 12--painting foreground, using watercolor crayons

Day 13--painting background, using traditional watercolors

I usually outline these kinds of paintings, but I've not yet decided whether I'll do that this time. I'm going to sit with it a bit first.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 10--More Doodling

What is this? Do you have any ideas?

As I did yesterday, today I drew from exercises in Figure Drawing for Dummies. It seems that the compilation of the exercises created its own picture. Cool, huh?

If you have a brilliant concept of what this is, I'd love to hear it!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 9--Doodling Toward Figure Drawing

Today I drew some doodles. Big accomplishment, eh? These doodles come from exercises in Figure Drawing with Dummies, a book I've just begun to read and use. These simple doodles will, they say, prepare me to draw figures and faces. I am indeed a dummy when it comes to any kind of figure drawing (though I'm not bad at stick figures--just play me in Draw Something to find out!). I'm looking forward to doodling more as well as delving deeper into this book and learning this craft.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 8--Gessoing an Art Journal

Today I finished creating my own art journal out of an old hard-bound book. This is a process I learned from artist, photographer, and farm girl Junelle Jacobsen via this blog post. It involves tearing pages out of the book and smearing the remaining pages with gesso. It reminds me of fingerpainting in preschool--complete bliss!

And now to fill these prepared pages with whatever art I want to create. (I have already begun!)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 7--More Origami!

I will not be defeated.

Today I felt inspired to tackle the origami tato box that bested me yesterday. I sensed I should make it three times. I started small, then tried the middle size, then went large.

I learned a few things:

  1. Start large (exactly what I did NOT do--haha!). I find it easier to learn a new origami pattern on a larger scale then bring it down to smaller pieces that require more precise manipulating.
  2. Practice does indeed make perfect...or at least better. The more I folded this box, the better I became at it. I realized what the instructions were really communicating, and became more adept at following them.
  3. Familiarity breeds ingenuity, not contempt. By my third attempt (fourth if you count yesterday's "creation"), I managed to develop my own folds that made creating this box even easier. I must say, I'm pretty proud of myself!
Today's experience gave me encouragement for tackling more origami, and I can't wait! I might even treat myself to some new papers. I have a thing for beautiful paper, and origami is the perfect way to indulge myself in it. As well, I'm brainstorming ways to include origami into my art journals and mixed media pieces. These boxes would make pretty flower heads, and imagine hiding surprises in them for viewers to find!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Day 6--Origami!

I have always been attracted to Origami. I picture myself serenely folding beautiful papers into fascinating shapes.

Then comes reality. The directions are never as clear as it seems they should be. I fold and unfold and refold until the paper looks more like Calvin's rejected homework than some recognizable shape.

Today, however, I prevailed...mostly. The yellow tato went a bit wonky at the end, but I am pleased with my efforts. I shall attempt this again!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Day 5--Learning and Gathering

Today I watched a couple of videos on creating an art journal butterfly page. I also gathered some materials I have scattered around so I can assembly my own butterfly journal page.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Day 4--Sketching

Fun fact to know and tell: my 2013 Creating Challenge was almost one of 365 days of sketching. Sketching is definitely a practice I could afford to do regularly, but when considering The Challenge I didn't know if I could maintain a commitment to that. I'm the type of person who likes and needs variety. That said, I do want to sketch frequently because I've read in many different places that it can greatly improve one's artwork.

So, above is a sketch for the Challenge. I hope it's the first of many. I'm currently attracted to teacups. I like to drink tea, first of all, so I often have a teacup nearby. Secondly, teacups come in a variety of shapes that I want to explore. As well, those shapes are relatively simple ones, giving me the opportunity to explore nuances and focus on shading.


P.S. Confession: I sketched this yesterday, and put it in my Creating Challenge rainy-day fund. I had a hunch a time would come when I would need a bonus creation from a previous day. Today's the day! It's all good--I made my Creating Challenge rules flexible for that exact purpose!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 3--Jewelry!

Today I beaded myself a necklace and earrings using beads I'd picked up years ago on clearance. I found it fun to put something together by gathering odds and ends I had around the house--found the turtle charm and just knew it would be the perfect focal point for the necklace.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

365 Days of Creating--Day 2

This simple sketch captures an inspiration I had earlier today. I believe it will become a mixed media artwork for a dear friend who is a healer. I have many ideas swirling in my head as to how this will look in the end, but I'm happy to have this image on paper so the not-yet-decided elements have more room to play.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

365 Days of Creating--Day 1

And so it begins...

After years of refusing to make New Year's Resolutions, this year I've made a declaration: I want more CHAOS in my life! To this end, I've committed to 365 Days of Creating with the intention of developing artistic acumen and projects. Above is my first little doodle for the year. And it's enough for today. I am holding this challenge gently and myself gently within it as I invite more CHAOS into my life.

Why would I want more CHAOS? Well, you may know that I and my partner-in-crime, Wendy Balman, host a Facebook community called Brilliant Chaos. Brilliant Chaos is a group of creators who encourage each other in the creating process. For the past seventeen months, we have held monthly Creating Challenges designed to spark people into loving something--artwork, music, books, websites, businesses, curriculum, clothing, etc.--into existence. We believe that creative energy is powerful, and the more of it that we let loose into the world, the better place the world will become. (If you're interested in joining us, you can sign up here.)

As 2012 ended, Wendy and I felt a shift happening. We each wanted to amp up our creating level. We also wanted to encourage our community members to consider their own creating edges. And because we've instigated Brilliant Chaos, we felt CHAOS was the perfect structure for developing and holding ourselves to our new intentions. Below I've pasted portions of our FB document that describe this. After you read it, you just might want more CHAOS in your life too! (If so, let me know! And join our group so we can all support you!)

2013 Brilliant Chaos Creating Challenge

The new year approaches, and at this time of year, many people create goals. Perhaps you’ve heard of SMART goals? Well, on Planet Chaos (the home of Brilliant Chaos), SMART goals are sooooo early-2000s. No, on Planet Chaos, we ask ourselves “What CHAOS do we want to create in the coming year?” This is our way of inviting you to develop your own Creating Challenge for 2013.

What exactly do we mean by CHAOS? Well, let us tell you:
What exactly do you want to love into existence?

How will you know you’ve accomplished it? What kind of parameters do you need to complete your creation?

Can you realistically complete this creation in the time alloted? What resources do you need to do so?

O-OMG (Oh.My.Geefwidiousness!*):
On a scale from 1 to 10, how geefwidious* is this creation for you?

How long do you want to take to achieve this creation? How often do you want to work toward it?
*Geefwidious®: A word of Brilliant Chaos’ Chaotish Language®, meaning full of wonder and discovery with a sense of satisfaction.

Here, at Brilliant Chaos, we will be creating our own CHAOS around the world. And you know what? We’ll be doing it brilliantly.
What constitutes CHAOS? Here are some broad categories:
  • Project: What does not exist now that you want to have exist by the end of 2013? (Example: book, business, website, painting, building, etc.)
  • Time: How often do you want to create? For what duration? (Example: one project a day for the first week of the month.)
  • Learning: What new skills are acquired and/or needed? (Example: mastering watercolor painting or developing your website-building skills.)
  • A mixture of all of the above.

Lisa’s CHAOS:
365 Days of Creating: Developing Artistic Acumen and Projects

Do at least one thing a day to move artistic skill and/or projects forward
Examples: sketch, begin an art journal page, finish an art journal page, begin an art project, finish an art project, watch applicable videos, read applicable books and magazines, experiment, post on blog daily, post blog link on BC page daily

Time set aside each day (10 minutes to 2 hours) to create.
Grace to make up a missed day--if I miss one or more days, I create multiple things on following days.

O-OMG (Oh.My.Geefwidiousness!*): 
I am completely exhilarated and slightly overwhelmed. I’m at a 10--a great place to be! Very important to the impact I want CHAOS to have on my life!

I will take all year, a bit of time each day (10 minutes to 2 hours) to complete this goal.