Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Very Happy New Year here

With moving to Florida I fell way behind in 2015.  Art supplies got packed up and put in storage and we stayed in a lovely rental near the beach for four months.  I haven't posted in nearly a year so it's about time.

Starting fresh, 2015 is a bit of a blur now.  I may have overdone it but I've signed up for 5 online classes already.  I was very art deprived.  3 are a full year, 1 is til May, and 1 just 2 wks.
LifeBook 2016 and Let's Face it 2016  have a new lesson on Monday, both are a year.
Wanderlust and LoveArt ECourse (til May) are on Friday.
Jeanne Oliver's Art Journaling 2 wk class starts Jan 18.
I have index cards on the bulletin board overhead to keep track of everything.

I think was a warm up.  I used magazine pix for collage.
Still warming up in an old textbook.
I'd watched the first 2 videos on Lifebook and LoveArtE Course and was drawn to Klimt again

Caught up now with Let's Face it first 2 wks, and I am feeling very happy with how this came out.
I'm learning from all the teachers and their helpful hints and videos.  I think it's going to be a great year!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Jennibellie's Birthday Bash

I signed up for Jennibellie's BB on    It's her birthday today and she gave away a free class! So sweet and generous!
 I wanted to make the community project, a flag/banner.
 Not having done any sewing in years I used paper and paint and lots of mod podge.
I started with 300 lb hp watercolor paper that I'd been saving.  I wet it, dripped acrylic ink and sprayed some more water and let it run.  Dragged the end of brush through it too.
I'm a little addicted to the Martha Steward punches, polka dot washi tape around the edge. I used a stamp from, added beads; and charms from Industrial Chic by Susan Kazmer.   I'm so happy with how it came out!  Thank you Jennibellie!

Lifebook 2015

Where did the time go?  End of week 8 already.
These classes are so much fun!  Some of the work and teacher for that lesson.

Jill K Berry

 Rachel Rice

Tamara Laporte

Patti Ballard

Rachel Rice

Violette Clark

Mati Rose McDonough

Joanne Sharpe

Violette Clark

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Lifebook 2015 week 2

      I had a large jar for the next lesson, and stick on tags available.   Mostly made from pastel colored tissue paper, some textbook pages, duck tape and matte medium.

And my favorite part was adding a flameless pillar candle with a timer.   Love the glow!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Lifebook 2015

      My first year with Lifebook and it's already far exceeded my expectations.  Although I rarely have taken an online art class and been disappointed,  we're only in the second week and I love it.
I'm sorry I didn't join sooner!

The warmup exercise for the first week.  I'll probably use this for the cover at the end of the year.
In the envelope I've written my intentions for the new year.

I haven't gotten to the second assignment for the week,  the "Beacon of Light".  Instead I painted over a gessoed page in an old textbook.   She sort of is a beacon.

Making tags.   I cut up watercolor paper and worked in several mediums.  A few I had already 
painted in watercolor and scrunched up plastic wrap.   The rest were in fluid acrylics.   I used doilies and old greeting cards for stencils, and a few stamps.     A couple of the seashells were local.  I enhanced a lot of the white doily areas mostly with a white Sharpie poster paint.   I'll probably write more on these, and make another batch. Now to get more ribbon and change the raffia.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Imitation is its own reward

     While taking several  online classes this year I was still disappointed with my portraits.   I loved Misty Mawn's  "Full Circle" class.  She brought so much to the class in the way of different mediums,  going from paint to clay and wall hangings.  I've even been asked to give a workshop at Sachem Library making a "mixed-media mobile" next month.

     In Jeanne Oliver's "Studying under the Masters" many talented artists selected their favorite masters to copy.  One of my favorites was given by Kate Thompson.  She introduced me to the soft delicate style of Francoise deFelice, who I continue to be awed by.

     I then took Kate Thompson's "Fractured Angelics" class, continuing to try and improve my faces.
By September I was taking Gillian Cox's "Unearth, Gather, Create".   I truly enjoyed her class also,  but I still wasn't thrilled with how my own portraits were turning out.

     I came across a quote by Picasso, "It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child".  As  I had already been painting for many more than four years,  I thought painting like a child was the easier route.

    I had been drawing since I was very young, but it remained a hobby.  Something I always found time to do.   Art in some form.  When I went away to nursing school I brought my acrylics.

   When I started reading "Flow" by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, I felt the connection between happiness and art.  When I can lose myself in painting a canvas or in an art journal, or even making a paper house.   I am truly happy to have completed the piece.   Being able to do something I loved as a child,  making covers for book reports was something I looked forward to doing.

     I had made a journal with Fabriano Artistico hot pressed watercolor paper and decided to work on copying a few of my new favorite artists.

    Getting ready to start next class, Lifebook 2015.

             Joan Dumouchel

     Francoise de Felice

      Maria Pace Wynters

                                                 HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Summer of Teaching Art Journaling classes to teens

I had a wonderful time teaching art journaling this summer at the Sachem Library in Holbrook.   Over 8 weeks I learned a lot about how I wanted to teach art classes.   I also learned that although I had spent many weeks getting supplies ready, I had to be more flexible.  School was out!  It's summer after all and it had to be fun.  One student did Anime drawing in a nature journaling class and another student saw nothing wrong with using watercolors as if they were oils, in thick goopy layers.

The teen librarian and I had worked together to meet their requests, affirmation journals followed by nature and steampunk.  Three two hour weekly classes. For the first session,  I also wanted to show them the different types of themed journals they could make and some that I've made.   I used Violette Clark's Teen Dream Journal as I guide, as well as the art work of Teesha Moore.  I couldn't leave out travel, junk, composition and steampunk journals.

I brought I Bristol board and card stock to make a ring binder journal, and for the 3 week classes each student had a folder to save their work.  I supplied all materials for 20 students, sketch paper and card stock, pencils, and markers.  I also brought in stamps, paper punches and printed card stock pads.  To encourage writing affirmations, I brought in lists of journaling prompts and inspirational quotes to get them engaged.  

One thing didn't mix, paper punches and Elmer's glue.  One group went overboard with the punches and began gluing tiny papers on the journal pages and all over themselves and the tables.
The next two classes went fairly smoothly.  The kids preferred to just cut and paste the quotes on their pages.  I had accumulated a good assortment of printed and colorful paper tape that was popular.
I did bring in several different stamps, but permanent ink pads were not a good idea.  During the class I made several 3D butterflies and seriously encouraged them to make some of their own art.
The third week I brought in Prang watercolor sets,  water brushes and watercolor paper.  I made a big mistake not giving a separate watercolor class first.  Also,  some students did not take all 3 weeks, and just showed up for the last class.

For the 3 weeks of nature journaling we had access to the library's beautifully landscaped garden.  Each week I started the classes with a brief drawing lesson before bringing our sketch paper and clipboards outside.  I included several of Claire Walker Leslie's books as references, as well as Cathy Johnson and Irene Brady.    We also took several nature guides out to the  garden and identified some of their plants and trees.   Hopefully, they will continue to use their garden.

The second week I brought in colored pencils and the watercolors for the third.  We were so lucky to have beautiful weather for all three weeks.  After being out in the garden sketching there wasn't enough time to teach watercolor.  While we were out there I tried to encourage them to write notes about color and light on their pages, stressing observation.  

One of the few flowers in bloom was the Black Eyed Susan,  I did two watercolors for them, one with my watercolors and another with the Prangs.   I gave the one with the Prangs to one of the kids who wanted to learn watercolor.  Again, I was sorry I hadn't offered a beginner watercolor class first.  I gave them a very brief lesson on washes and color mixing.

For both the affirmation and nature journaling, all 20 spots were taken.  However, the average class size was about 10.

The last two Steampunk classes were on the same day, afternoon and evening.
I had been busy making my own steampunk journals and collecting books about steampunk.  As much as I wanted to bring in the stamps I had made, I knew the ink would be a problem.  

To save time I gave each student two 9x12 bristol board covers, 3 sheets of white card stock, one black, pencil, pen, black and white markers.   I punched out 3 holes for each and gave them the rings.  The first class was 15 girls.  They also used preprinted victorian paper pads, regular markers and washi tape. Most of my supplies I found at Michaels.   I gave them printed images of steampunk robots, bugs, people and the ones I had made.

With an hour in between classes,  I readied for the last group, which turned out to be only 5 boys.   They worked quietly drawing robots and writing in their journals.  As with the first class I talked a lot about the  books of Jules Verne, HG Wells, Mary Shelley and Edgar Allen Poe, hoping to pique their interest.  For most of them, "Torchwood", "Hugo"  and "Dr. Who" were their modern steampunk images.

After 8 weeks my summer of teaching was over, I learned so much from these classes.   Each class gave me ideas for new ways of doing things, new classes to teach, new media to use!