Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Winner! (and a guide to the friends)

So, finally!  Finally I am posting the winner.  Thanks to everyone who entered.  This time, for the first time ever, I had way more entries on Facebook than I did on the actual blog.  Way, way more - over 600% more entries came in via my Facebook message box.  How the world is changing, huh?  So here you go -

The official drawing basket...

The official daughter drawing a name...
(do you sense a Hello Kitty theme in our house?)

The official winner!
The Melange Team's own
Linda - Midwestie Lady!

Linda will receive this magazine, the latest issue of Cloth Paper Scissors...

and this piece of art, made by me...

And if you're curious, this amended picture has the names of each friend (There were actually 76, but I realized that you would really have to be familiar with them to have seen a couple of them - so I just included all the entries):

(the names can be read if you click on the picture)

Optional Reading:

The Excuse(s)

I am terribly sorry it has taken me so long to get this posted.  It's been a crazy week and a half!  In eleven days we celebrated Thanksgiving twice at 2 different locations, each an hour's drive away, Rexy has not been in school since the 18th - 1 sick day, 3 snow days, 2 school holidays, and 1 teacher workshop day, The DH did not go to work on the 3 snow days, I attended 2 school meetings, 1 school arts/music event and somehow managed to keep my sanity despite my loss of Mommy's Me Time that was essential to my schedule for being ready for the two shows I'm selling at on Thursday and Saturday of this week.  Panic?  Me?  You betcha, sister!!!  Oh, and my dishwasher is broken.  (Okay, sure, I did manage to break away and go see Harry Potter with a friend - but I'm pretty sure that was necessary decompression, or something.)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Art Every Day Month, Days 17, 18, 19, and 20 - oh, no!

Ack!  I'm falling behind!  I worked on this painting over several days. (After starting her "fast and loose" I am now in "slow and tense mode" - sigh.) Mostly just fighting with the crookedness of everything.  Still not satisfied, and of course more to complete!  Much, much more!

I have, indeed, picked a winner for the contest - yahoo!  But I have yet to photoshop the pictures of the drawing.  I'm behind all over the place!  So much so that I am ending this post here.  I'll be back!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Art Every Day Month, Days 15 & 16

November 15th

Day 15 seemed like it would be a day with lots and lots of time for art.  Somehow, though, that theoretical time never materialized.  I suppose if I hadn't insisted on sitting and watching "Chuck" - instead of efficiently watching it while doing something - I would have gotten more done.  But I was lazy, lazy, lazy.

So this is what I did while Rexy was at school.  These two paintings got some got some - very scant - attention.  What I did is noted.  Yes, that's the poppy painting that I was working on months ago that I meant to send in to Somerset Studio.   (That's Pam's art on the cover this month!)  I just didn't like it at the time.  I had to ruminate on it for a while and I didn't build rumination time into my timeline!  (not the first time that lesson has hit me over the head!)  Nor do I feel it is done yet.

I also messed about on Photoshop with a new profile picture for Facebook.  I took the picture I had to send in for the book and Warhol-ized it.  I was liking it until I realized that the top of my glasses don't show very much and it looks like my eyebrows are the top of the frames - making it look like I have on giant 80's glasses!  Oh, no!  I also think I should have exaggerated it more, the op-art-ness of it isn't really showing up very well.  

November 16th

So on Day 16, I decided to get my act together.  I worked on this painting.  As you can see, I can't quite decide what to do with the background.  I usually try to get the background squared away before I get started on the main image of a painting - but this time I decided to just give up and move on.  This is a terrible photo, but I really like the dress.  It's looking very filmy and Jane Austin-ish.  I realize her head looks quite large, but that's mostly from the angle of the photo.  It's much more in proportion in real life.  I'm actually happy with how she's turning out - but she's far from done.  

Speaking of the book, there are now some inside pages to see on the Amazon page.  Click on the pic below to check them out!

To learn more about Art Every Day Month, click here

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Contest!

Do you want the latest issue of Cloth Paper Scissors delivered to you completely for FREE?  'Cause I have an extra and I'm giving it away!  I will choose a winner at Random from the correct answers to the following question:  How many stuffed "Friends" are there on Rexy's bed?  Each one has some part of it visible, usually the head.  Click on the picture to see the large version. (The Hello Kitty head in the bottom left corner is a pillow, as it the large pink and white item in the far right corner that the pink spotted coat bear is sitting on.  They don't count.)

You can leave a comment with questions - or the answer - or you can message me on facebook.  I will draw the winner on Friday at about 9pm Pacific time.  I will cover the postage and I will also include something made by me - but I don't know what yet.  It will be a surprise!

Here's why I have an extra copy:

Do you ever do this?  I subscribed to Cloth Paper Scissors a while back and was told be the service that it would take X number of weeks for it to start.  I immediately forgot when that would be.  I hadn't received it and so kept buying it each month.  Basically, I assumed that if it was in the store and I hadn't received it yet, then I wasn't going to for that month and so figured I should buy it.  Skip to last week, I'm at JoAnn's and they sell magazines at a discount.  There the latest issue was and I hadn't received it - so I bought it.  Today I go out to the mailbox and there it is!  Sigh.  Oh, well.

So, if you want the latest issue of CPS completely for FREE - enter this contest!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Art Every Day Month, Day 12, Day 13's Life Lesson, and Day 14's Lameness

This little painting is what I worked on on Day 12.  My goal is to make affordable art for the two sales I'm doing this holiday season.  They're both small events, so I really need to be the one people choose to buy from if we're going to have Christmas this year.  I keep fighting with myself, because I want to be true to my self - but I need to sell, too.  Then I get into that dilemma of trying to make what sells instead of what makes me happy.  Agh!  I guess that's the eternal dilemma for artists, isn't it?

Day 13 was a bit of a bust, artistically.  I went to a huge arts and crafts sale called Best of the Northwest with Rexy, Rexy's new little boy "friend," and his family.  (More on that later.)  I had gone to this years ago and thought it was a little lame, but this time I was surprised.  There were some great artists there and if I'd had the money there were many things I would have bought.  One thing that I found completely amazing, though, was the number of people who not only weren't on Etsy - but had never even heard of Etsy!  

What?!?!?!  I felt like I was late to the party by not opening a store until April of 2007!  And I already knew about it from 6 dozen people by then.  

Then I felt kind of sad.  These people who haven't even heard of it are probably living in sort of an artist-vacuum.  Meaning that they probably don't have a lot of artist friends.  I know that can be a lonely place.  Even when you have other friends.  Years ago, gosh - probably 25 years ago - I used to do a lot of writing.  I didn't know any other writers and my circle of friends didn't include any dedicated artists.  No one with a drive to create.  I was out one night with my oldest friend and a new-ish acquaintance (What was that guy's name??? I really am getting old.).  I don't know what we were talking about, but I mentioned a poem I had written during the course of the conversation.  My friend laughed and started to give me a hard time, but then the new acquaintance popped in with, "Oh, I write poetry, too!" and my friend immediately shut up (that guy was pretty cute - and had an Australian accent.)  I had the most amazing feeling of being understood.

I also at that moment realized how trapped I was in my past and that people from my past were invested in the image they had of me.  I started to notice that any deviation in dress, or occupations, or life choices from what people considered the "norm" was threatening to some.  Very threatening, in some cases.  It had never occurred to me before that my friends and family didn't necessarily have my best interest at heart, that they might actually be trying to shield themselves from a scary unknown.  Believe me, I didn't have a Sunshine Susie upbringing, but this was still news to me.   Somehow I'd missed that lesson.  

Wow, that was a huge digression!  Anyway, suffice it to say I was completely surprised by the number of people who said, "Etsy?  What's that?" at an art show.

Of course that didn't take the up the entire day, the rest of the day I helped out the DH with a small vintage bicycle event he was hosting.  What I also did was stand up most of the day in the boots I haven't worn since last winter.  Ouch!  By the time we got home I was good for nothing but lounging about on the couch (and the computer).  Today, wasn't much better, either.  We had company today and I had a school fundraising meeting (that I accidentally showed up for an hour early!) and in between, what did I do?  Why, lounged about on the couch!  However, since I did show up for the meeting an hour early and had some time to kill, I roughly sketched scrawled some ideas into my school notebook.

(I said roughly!)

Anyway, consider this the official renewing of my Art Every Day Month vow.  See you tomorrow.

Art Every Day Month, Days 11 and 12 --- Um, just make that Day 11

November 11th and November 12th

Well I spent much of my time yesterday and today working in photoshop and searching the internet for appropriate - and free - photoshop brushes.  I was working on a Save the Date card for the school auction.  Which will have to relate to the eventual invitation and program.  The school's theme this year is "under the sea," or something of that nature.  Hence the shell/seahorse/water images.  Of course I second, third, fourth and fifth guessed myself.  I decided to make a printout of each one and take them to the next meeting.  Part of the problem is that they have to be cheap, cheap, cheap!  That means one color printing.  We can buy colored paper and cardstock, I just have to be sure that I get enough of each so that we don't have a "color discontinued" issue at the last minute. As you can see, school related activities get me a little bit tense and humorless.  I kind of don't recognize myself at these times.  What is the deal?  Am I the only one with this issue?

The other thing I worked on today is this little painting.  My goal is to make affordable art for the two sales I'm doing this holiday season.  They're both small events, so I really need to be the one people choose to buy from if we're going to have Christmas this year.  I keep fighting with myself, because I want to be true to my self - but I need to sell, too.  Then I get into that dilemma of trying to make what sells instead of what makes me happy.  Agh!  I guess that's the eternal dilemma for artists, isn't it?

Uh, never mind!  I wrote that, then went to take a picture and - the camera's battery was dead.  Sigh.  I'll save Day 12 for the next post.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Art Every Day Month, Days 9 and 10

No time! No time!  Quickest entries ever -

Day 9, I only did some sketching - and I wrote a poem, but I forgot to take a picture.

Day 10, I worked on the girl on the left's shirt some more - still don't like it - and started this little house painting and the background and sketch on the canvas behind them.

To learn more about Art Every Day Month click here.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Art Every Day Month, Day 8

Day 8 and A Blog Post About it on the Same Day!

Today I made myself work fast and loose.  Or at least I gave it my best shot.  I also made myself use a stiff bristle brush.  I usually - okay, always - use a soft bristle brush.  I like smoothing everything out and blending imperceptibly.  Except I like looking at art that isn't so painstaking.   So for today's painting (the portrait) I made the fast and loose vow and I used a stiff bristle brush.  I didn't do too badly at the fast and loose part.  I definitely got what you see done about twice as fast as I normally would.  I still blended things pretty thoroughly, though.  It's ridiculous, really.  You wouldn't believe the debate I had with myself about leaving the paint under the right eye a little rough!  You'd think it was world peace or something...

Then I sketched out this little guy and threw on a first layer of paint.

I'm starting to panic a little about the amount of work I need to get done before the holidays sales I'm working.  So far, I haven't finished a thing you've seen in the last week - except the jewelry.  I think sometimes that I freeze up when faced with big projects.  I find it tough to get myself to pick up the paintbrush or pliers, although once I get started I'm totally into it.  I've been reading Twyla Tharp's fantastic book, 
The Creative Habit:  Learn It and Use It for Life.  One of the things she talks about it is having a ritual that you do every day before you begin - something to "prime the pump."  I've been trying to think of something that would work for me, but no great ideas are standing out yet.  

Twyla's book on Amazon:

To learn more about Art Every Day Month click here,

Art Every Day Month, Days 6 and 7

November 6

Well, Saturday was pretty slim in the art making department.  I decided that I would have to include the apple tower I made on Rexy's lunch plate!  That's really reaching isn't it?

I also worked on photoshopping this picture. This is Rexy's bed.  On Rexy's bed are her many, many, many stuffed friends.  It was originally two pictures - because I don't have a wide angle lens - and I blended them into one. I am sizing it really, really small on purpose because I've decided to have a contest!  But!  Not today.  That's why the small size, I don't want it to be too visible because the contest involves telling me how many stuffed friends you can see on her bed.   I will be giving away something that is not yet complete.  Check back for more details

November 7

This is what I worked on on Sunday.  But I forgot to take a  picture!  I sketched in the woman, but forgot the picture taking part - and then started painting her today!  Oops.  

To learn more about Art Every Day Month click here.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Art Every Day Month, Days 3, 4, and 5

November 3rd


Well, while I am participating in Art Every Day Month - what I'm not doing is blogging about it every day.  I meant to, honestly.  But then I took these photos.  Ugh.  I couldn't get a single picture that I could love on Day 3.  These are the best of the bunch, if that tells you anything.  After messing about with them on photoshop and then having photoshop freeze up suddenly so that I had to close the whole thing down and lose all my edits - well, suffice it to say that swear words were flying about with abandon.  

Today I decided to tackle the editing again.  I just couldn't bring myself to take another picture of this stuff after the 2 dozen or so that I already took.  Clearly, I will have to take pictures again anyway.  Just not today.  I decided that these would do for here.

What this stuff is, is some jewelry that I made.  I'm participating in a Trunk Show on December 2nd (if you're on facebook you can view the event here.)  And I'm going to be selling both jewelry and mixed media stuff.  

So I've been trying to make a lot of things.  I've been only marginally successful, so I'm glad the Art Every Day Month came along.  I'm better with structure.

So how cool are these two pendants?  The one above is purportedly hundreds of years old.  I must say that I sort of doubt the truthfulness of that claim.  Still, it looks old - and cool.  I love the one below, too.  It's huge, 2-2.5 inches in diameter (I haven't actually measured it.)  It's carved from some mystery stone.  It's a mystery stone because I can't remember what they told me it was at the bead store.  I always have problems remembering what stones are.  I guess it pretty much doesn't matter to me as long as I think it looks pretty.  I know it matters to some people, so I should make more of an effort to note what different stones are...but...I'm pretty much a slacker when it comes to that.

 November 4th

On the 4th day I worked on this friendship painting some more.  I attempted to shade the skin some more and fix the hands a bit.  I painted in the faces, but I wish they looked a little happier.  I began filling in the hair on one of them, it's just a sketchy start though.

I also slapped some background paint on three other canvasses.  The middle one, though, is the same one that I put green on the other day.  I was so unhappy with the green coverage that I decided to just cover it up.    I've no idea yet what I will be putting on these next three canvasses, but it's easier to start with a painted canvas than it is to start with an empty one.

November 5th

On day 5 I decided to sketch some stuff out in my sketchbook/visual journal.  

Sadly, I also sketched this poor gal.  Yikes!  She's a little bit Little House on the Prairie, isn't she?  And bitter about it, too!  (Did you know that water color pencil doesn't really erase?)

Okay friends, that's the last 3 days.  I'll write about today tomorrow...

To find out more about participating in Art Every Day Month click here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Art Every Day Month, Day 2

 Whew!  I was afraid I would crap out on the 2nd day - but I didn't!  Granted, I didn't do a lot...but I did something.
First, I worked on yesterday's job.  I fiddled around some more with her hair and filled in her skin tones.  I only got so far as the whites of her eyes, though.  Which gives her kind of a devil look.  Or zombie.  Or something bad.

Anyway, I thought I would put more distance between the painting and the camera so that you could see how small the canvas I'm working on is.  It's very small.  Very, very small.  I have a hard time working small.  So why, you may ask, did I put this on such a small canvas?

It's the tissue tape.  See it there on the right?  I love it!  But it's kind of small.  Skinny, I guess.  And I really, really wanted to use it.  But it seemed to get swallowed up by surface area on a bigger canvas.  So I had to go small.  That link takes you to Kris Hubick's Retro Cafe Art Gallery store's Tim Holtz page where you can see all the different kinds of Tissue Tape.  It rocks.  Apparently it goes transparent with the application of wax or encaustic medium.  I can't wait to try it!

The only other little bit of art that I did today was to put some green paint on top of the beginning of another painting that I decided against doing.  Two things were working against this sad little canvas (well, edging into medium sized, really).  First, I was using a crappy little house paint trim brush to apply the paint;  Second, the paint was waaaaaaaaaaay more transparent than I expected it to be.  And kind of watery.  Hmmmm...  Now I've got odd ridges.  Guess I'll have to work with that.  I may have to mix my own green to get some opacity.

See you tomorrow...

To learn more about the Art Every Day Month, click here.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Art Every Day Month, Day 1

Oh, geez.  I'm not sure I should've signed up for this, being the slacker that I am.  But I did.  And here's day 1:

 I worked on this WIP.  I sketched in faces and I sketched in a fix of the hairline of the one on the right.

And I worked on this WIP.  I fixed the face shape, fiddled with the hair length - still unsure about it, decided the neck shouldn't be six feet long and so made the body more proportionate, did a wash to try out bangs...and still can't decide about them.

While teaching a jewelry making class at Rexy's school today,  I whipped out this little bracelet using the kids' beads.  She loved it and was inspired to come home and make more jewelry.

And lastly, I photoshopped these pics today.  The first one is Rexy and I sitting next to our freshly carved pumpkins (which subsequently landed on the cutting room floor); the next two are of my girl in her Halloween princess costume while trick or treating.

Learn about Art Every Day Month here.