Thursday, February 28, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 59--Restoration Project

Thursday is Restoration Project Day! Today we affixed the wheels onto this coffee table and stained its sides blue. Just a coat of polyurethane, and the table will be ready for abuse use by teenagers!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 58--Mixed Media

Today I completed the project I worked on yesterday, using decoupage and hot glue to affix paper, punchinella, tulle, and a pre-made butterfly onto the muslin. I made this piece as a gift for my daughter.

Creating Challenge Day 57--Mixed Media

Today I created a background for a mixed media butterfly piece I've been inspired to do through the Art of Wild Abandonment class I'm taking. (You might remember that I gathered the supplies for this way back on Day 5 of the Creating Challenge.) I had previously gessoed this canvas, and today I finger painted purple, white, and blue acrylics onto it.

I also gessoed a piece of muslin, painted it with watercolors, and penned "Fly" with my brand new Faber-Castell pens in preparation for the final pieces which will come tomorrow. (Sorry you have to cock your head to look at it! Still learning how to import pictures as they show up on my computer!)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 56--Checking In

Today my erstwhile friend and Brilliant Chaos partner-in-crime Wendy Balman and I had a virtual summit, meeting via Skype to touch base on our creating challenges and our Brilliant Chaos online community. As I reflected on the past fifty-six days, I acknowledged the good that I've experienced: the ways I've stretched myself artistically, the new techniques I've learned, and my general sense of accomplishment for sticking with this challenge up to this point.

I also realized that I have not given myself permission to pursue part of the challenge: reading books and magazines and watching videos that will give me new art ideas and inspiration. I have felt compelled to create, to have some visual image to post each day that reflects my learning and exploring. This compulsion has added a performance focus that I had not intended, and that has hindered my freedom to lose myself in an art book or video just for the enjoyment and education of it.

Having recognized this, I am now declaring myself free of this compulsion! I give myself full permission to pursue the education part of this challenge without having something to show for it!

I will continue to create a blog post each day to track my progress. To that end, today I am sharing that I read more of iPad for Artists by Dani Jones, a book I've mentioned in previous posts. I feel inspired to create more on my iPad, yet I also feel overwhelmed by the number of apps with which I could indulge myself. I may just have to splurge!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 55--Art Journal Page

Finally! After enticing you all with the building of this page (see Creating Challenge Day 42, Creating Challenge Day 43, and Creating Challenge Day 47), here is the end product! I've wed my fascination for origami with other mixed media techniques to express a phrase that has inspired me over the past few weeks.

Creating Challenge Day 54--Mixed Media Notecard

Here's the notecard I created using the background I painted yesterday. I played with pen, acrylics, stamps, ink, and watercolor crayons--mixed media rocks!

Creating Challenge Day 53--Background

Much of my creative energy today has been spent organizing and throwing my daughter a birthday party extravaganza. However, I was able to slip into my studio to create this. It's just the beginning of a note card for a friend. Nothing like getting a brush into watercolors to soothe myself while tween girls squeal on the other side of the door!

Creating Challenge Day 52--Restoration Project

It's Thursday (well, in I'm-behind-on-my-blogging-and-today-I'm-catching-up world), and that means another Restoration Project day! Today we affixed this prepared palette (sanded and stained) to a base for a table top. We also screwed more palette pieces to the sides of the base to create a clean look. Next stop: polyurethane.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 51--Creating Space

Today a dear friend of mine, Beth, and I transformed my creating chaos into creating space. Here are the Before pictures (I can't even believe I am sharing these ON THE INTERNET!!!):

I always have more than one project going at a time. Projects have ended up on top of projects. Supplies never walk themselves back to their storage places, perhaps because they have no storage places! I find myself creating on the small space on my desk, having to move papers and junk around to  dig out enough space to gesso, let things dry, paint, let things dry, decoupage, let things dry. It's a hassle, takes way more time than it should, and harbors the potential of artwork, papers, and/or electronics being damaged.

I've made this space work, but it really isn't the best set-up. (Could I have underemphasized that any more?) 

Here are the After pictures. It took us only 1 1/2 hours and $0.00 to get this much done (Beth is an amazing upcycler! She inspires me!):

I had many of the baskets and containers languishing in my basement. Now some of them adorn my wall and hold supplies I can see and grab at a moment's notice. We also used an old closet door to create more table space.

My current art projects are now in those green bins (which were also gathering dust in my basement). Now, instead of artwork stacked on top of artwork, courting potential disaster and damage, they are in separate bins, and I can follow the muse at any given moment.

We even turned my closet on its side! (Actually, the computer did that--arg!) This area still needs work, but at least I can walk into it and use whatever is in there. I'll organize this another day.

I am THRILLED to have this space so clear! My head feels much clearer and ready to create! Thanks, Beth!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 50--Doodling

Yes, it's a Poodle doodle [insert eyeroll here]. I have no idea from where in the deep recesses of my twisted brain this picture emerged. I just began my drawing circles, and this was the result.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 49--Inkpad App

Who said painting on an iPad isn't messy? Here is the brilliantly chaotic mess I made on the Inkpad app I gifted myself this morning (it's my birthday!). After perusing most of the iPad for Artists book I've mentioned in a previous post, I believe I'm going to be acquiring a number of new apps. This particular app is completely different from the other ones I currently own. The programs I've used previously are pixel-based, which allow for texture and nuance, but the images become blurry if you want to enlarge them. Inkpad is vector-based, which doesn't allow for as much nuance but does make enlarging images possible without blurriness or pixelation. Apparently this type of app is good for line art and icons, and I believe exploring this will increase my range of possible artwork in the future.

As you can see, I have a huge learning curve in front of me, but I have huge learning curves all over the place, so what's one more?!

Creating Challenge Day 48--Origami

I've been wanting to delve into origami again, so here are a few attempts. The two flowers are, supposedly, water lilies. I first attempted it with the pink, and I feel I improved with the yellow. The butterfly, in my humble opinion, rocks. Then again, when you use pretty papers, how can you go wrong?

Creating Challenge Day 47--Art Journaling

I continue to build my art journaling page, and am having so much fun following inspiration as it comes! Today I decoupaged glittery green tissue paper into the grassy areas, and I blue washed (as opposed to white washed) the river.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 46--iPad Painting

I imported my ice picture from Creating Challenge Day 39 into my Inspire Pro iPad app, then used the airbrush tools to paint over it. It's fun, and I like the result. I'll probably make another one in the near future.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 45--Brushes 3 App

As I'm making up ground in my creating challenge, I've wanted to take some time to further my learning about creating art on my iPad. I've recently procured the book iPad for Artists by Dani Jones, and I'm discovering all sorts of ways to spend my money cool apps for sketching, drawing, and painting on my tablet friend. Today I downloaded the Brushes 3 app. It's really fun, though I'll have to figure out how to manipulate the brushes so I can make them do what I want. Some of the brushes are non-traditional, creating all kinds of designs. I used some of those in my experimenting. Of course, I had to try to paint an apple with this app, so here it is!

Creating Challenge Day 44--Tape, Paint, and Play!

Today I took the board on which I've been experimenting with Flora Bowley's Brave Intuitive Painting exercises and embellished it with a trick I learned from this blog post by Christy Tomlinson. I first covered it with painter's tape in a design I felt was interesting.

Then I painted over it in white and cream acrylic paints. I also dashed a touch of neon green across the board from time to time, just because it was wet paint on my palette and it seemed to feel like playing!

When I was satisfied that the paint covered the board adequately, I let it dry. When I lifted the tape, I ended up with this:

I like the end result, and it all came from playing!

Creating Challenge Day 43--Building Art Journal Pages

I have a confession. I am playing catch-up on my creating challenge! It has been a hectic week with birthday celebrations and Valentine's Day. Fortunately, I built grace into the structure of my challenge, so all is well!

I continue to build my art journal page from Creating Challenge Day 42. Here is what I have so far:

I've decoupaged tulle in some areas. It has a 3D flair to it at this point in time. It's getting fun!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 42--Background

Here's the background I'm creating for an art journal page using acrylic paints, tulle ribbon, and decoupage...for now! Who knows what else might end up on this page as time goes on. I'm finding that building a good background is an important and adventuresome phase. When I'm not yet clear on what the foreground will be, it's interesting to follow the muse and create whatever background I think will serve the page. There's definitely more to come with this one!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 41--Process and Play, Part 2

Today I dipped back into Flora Bowley's book Brave Intuitive Painting and when to town with some of her prompts for using paintbrushes, rags, etchers, and fingers (yay!) for painting. I painted over the board I'd used to play around with foam brushes in my first experience of following Bowley's prompts. I had a blast! I'm looking forward to using these techniques on paintings and art journal pages in the near future.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 40--Value Scale

Today I read a section of Figure Drawing for Dummies on creating my own value scale for shading. Here is my attempt. I feel I need to work on this more. The author recommended using a softer pencil lead than what I own, so I may need to shop for more supplies (oh darn)...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 39--Photography

OK, photography is a generous term when describing snapshots I've taken with my iPhone. Nevertheless, on my walk today I saw some interesting ice formations and photographed some of them. I plan on importing one or more of them into one of my iPad art apps and playing around with it/them. But I find them to be beautiful in their own right. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 38--Staining

Today my daughter and I went to work on our upcycling project. We're learning so much about creating something beautiful from old things many people would throw away. This afternoon we stained tabletops (made from sanded wood pallets). I love the different tones of stain (the red is my favorite)!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 37--Bad Apples

Yesterday a dear friend of mine, Michael Warden, told me that he's just waiting for the apples to do something crazy, such as being shot out of a cannon. Well, Mike, this post is for you! Here is a series of thumbnail sketches of When Apples Go Bad...

Creating Challenge Day 36--Thumbnail Sketching

This month's Sketchbook Challenge theme is Sweets! Sugar and Spice and everything nice. When approaching a sketchbook challenge, I often enjoy thumbnail sketching about the theme. This is a technique I learned from Junelle Jacobsen. I simply draw a grid on my sketchbook paper, then fill the individual squares with quick sketches of potential ideas. When I do this, I often am inspired to do an art journal page or a larger piece of artwork using one of my ideas or blending several ideas together.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 35--iPad Painting

Teacups are another theme for me these days. I needed to step away from the evening scurry, and iPad painting seemed to be the way to go.

Creating Challenge Day 34--Art Journal

Today I created an art journal page using the apple I drew on Day 15 and the background I painted on Day 22 (augmented with some stamping and watercolor crayon around the edges). I added the banner, did some outlining, and this page is ready for my personal reflections!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Creating Challenge Day 33--Adding Color

I drew this little girl a little over a week ago (Creating Challenge Day 25). Today I gave her color using watercolor crayons and a Scarlet Lime pen.

Creating Challenge Day 32--Let's Go Fly a Kite!

My friend Leslie Graves is looking for images of kites, so I created one for her. Her request gave me another excuse to paint on my iPad, an activity which has brought me much joy this week!