Wednesday, March 25, 2009

blue & green colour combo ATCs

My green & blue ATCs for the month of March!

I recently got into doing a lot of hand sewing and even some beading for the monthly color-combo ATCs I do for the Colour Groupies . . . Here is this month's results. I sewed paper images from the Green World Collage sheet (ARTchix Studio) and a faux post sheet (also ARTchix), did some embroidery, beading and a few stitches . . .
I almost forgot to mention -- the beautiful little clear blue trumpet and flat blue flower beads are from Alpha Stamps - check them out by following that link -they are very cool! Most of this I did while traveling or back home, waiting for appointments. It is an interesting way to strike up a conversation with someone on a plane!
The most common question I got was, "What are you making??" : )

But probably my favorite part, is to make or decorate envelopes for my friends before I send off my ATCs to them. I try to keep to the monthly colour combo and it is just a fun, creative challenge for me to do this for them if I can. I hear that Frieda's postie in Scotland is even admiring the envelopes!! : )) Click on any photo for more detail.

Peach and creame are the colours for April, so I am going to go gather some items quick before we leave to visit my parents for a week in Florida. I am sure to be able to have some fun with this while traveling : ) (note on 3/27 - I am already working on them!)

The back of these ATCs were not fabric, but watercolor paper to which I added blue & green water color crayons!

I hope you enjoy!

Two more entries . . . i luv artchix!

When I was uploading art here on my blog earlier this week and went looking for a link describing the ARTchix Studio Sticker Contest, I realized I had not paid attention to the specs of the contest! My first try was a 4" x 4" piece . . . and what I was supposed to make, what is needed for this contest, is an ATC-sized, 2.5" x 3.5" piece. oops! So back to the drawing board, and here is what I came up with.

To the left, my entry uses a lovely image from ARTchix Studio's Art Nouveau collage sheet and 2 images from the Heart and Soul collage sheet. The contest requires 3 current products to be utilized and my 3rd one is the Gold Lace Border you see along the bottom. I also used a opaque white pen to tie everything together. I really enjoyed creating this little piece.

I just adore the collage sheet Birdsong so much, and so I started with an image from that for my second contest entry. I added a heart I had cut out from the Heart and Soul collage sheet and then I added the tiny stamped music notes (Claudia Rose) within the heart. My 3rd product was a Brass Heishi that I used for the bird's eye. Too much fun!

Thanks for the challenge, Helga!

Read about the contest HERE. Entries are due April 15th and you need to be a member of the ARTchix Studio yahoo group to join.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

ARTchix Weekly Challenge 3/24/09

Weekly Art Challenge: Get Inspired by Art in Your Home!
Helga, the owner of ARTchix Studio wrote on her blog:
For this week, look around your home and find a piece of artwork that inspires you. How to play in this art challenge: Take a photo of a piece of artwork in your home that inspires you. Then make a collage or anything you'd like that is inspired by this piece. Be sure to include a photo of your art inspiration along with the art that you create. Scan and post it to your blog and the leave a comment on this post. Deadline: Tuesday morning, March 24, 2009. Prize: I will pick my favorite from those entered in this challenge...and the winner will receive a fun goodie bag. I will announce the winner on Wed, March 25.

I almost forgot to say! I was one of the winners that Helga chose for the 3/18/09 weekly challenge with my 'She Rocks' altered ART Blast playing card- how cool is that?

To the right is the piece of art I found in my home that has inspired me . . . it is a sculpture done by my husband's father, Ed Deming. When Steven and I were first falling in love in 2004, he brought this sculpture over to my house to show me and never took it back home. It stayed with me, even when Steven went back to his condo. I was impressed with the facts that #1, Steven left it with me, and #2, it is titled "Modern Dance". I studied modern dance for many years, most of my life in fact, and found it serendipitous this was the piece Steven brought over as he did not know that at the time. The same sculpture, at a different angle below-if you click on it you can see the title on the base. Plus, a photo of Steven's dad sculpting a different piece, below. Steven took this photo. His dad died in 1986.

I wanted to convey the feeling this sculpture gives me when I look at it. I am not skilled at drawing, but that was what I thought would work for this, so I practiced . . .

1st try . . .

I was getting where I wanted so I jumped in and tried for the same thing on a canvas panel, and got pretty close --

-My final painting inspired by Dr. Edward Deming's sculpture, Modern Dance.

I was not really sure how "passable" this piece I did was, but Steven whole heartedly disagreed with me! He said he could really feel the movement in my painting and he loved the bold brush strokes of the figure (I wondered myself if they looked child-like?!).

Usually I would paint a background first & then the main images would come next. This time I did the figure first with a broad tip Chart Pack permanent marker, and then practiced what I am currently teaching, background paint techniques with acrylic paint on canvas. I used rubbing alcohol and walnut ink and a heat gun to get these effects with Dye-Na-Flow paint because it is already thin & watery -what I needed to work with the rubbing alcohol. It was a freeing, fun experience to let myself go and try to do something I did not think I could do. Thanks again for the challenge, Helga!!!

"Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are not great because of their technique; they are great because of their passion."
- Martha Graham

Saturday, March 21, 2009

we love artchix studio

This is my first entry for the Annual "ARTchix Sticker contest" over at ARTchix Studio. Click on the link to find out more . . . but note, you need to be a member of ARTchix Studio's yahoo group in order to participate! You can enter more than once so I hope to have another entry for you soon.

The images used here are a lot of fun, and from the Hats in Bloom sheet! The background is a rubbing alcohol and acrylic paint background done on canvas paper, a technique from my collage on canvas class. The heart in the middle was painted with Lumiere paint.
I do love ARTchix!

Do not fear mistakes . . .

"Do not fear mistakes - there are none."
-- Miles Davis

Shown here to compliment this quote is a photo of a signed poster I have framed, done by my watercolor teacher from the West Hartford, CT Art League - Frank Federico.

The reason for this post is I have so many quotes saved up in a signature file, my guess is I will never be able to use them all as a closing line in my emails! My son Decklin, who is now 27 years old, set up a program for me a long time ago (was he 15 at the time? I think so!) that would randomly choose a quote paired with my name and my website that I could paste into an email. When I switched computers the program was out of commission for a while, but not too long ago I begged Decklin to set it up for me again. He did.

I've decided I will choose a quote from my bank of quotes from time to time and simply post it on my blog. This one by Miles Davis stood out to me this morning for a couple of reasons. I am in the middle of teaching two online courses and I always think of this quote when I think of my students. One of my favorite sayings of my own, that evolved from teaching others over the past 2 decades is: "There are no mistakes, only creative recoveries!"

Students laugh and embrace this and for good reason! It gives them permission to try without failing. To enjoy the creative process and not suffer. I often have to recover from "mistakes" I make in my own artwork and it often makes the piece even stronger than I originally intended. Go figure!

Another reason this quote has meaning is to me is that Miles Davis = Jazz to me, and Jazz it will be tonight with my nephews performing in Pops 'n Jazz at West Hartford CT’s Hall High School, which is the home of one of the nation’s top high school jazz programs. Hall was one of the first high schools in the United States to integrate jazz into its daily curriculum, and Hall students have performed around the world. More than 100 student performers are featured in Pops ’n Jazz ’09. They are pretty impressive, if I do say so myself! Decklin & his girlfriend Tina will be coming down from Cambridge, MA today to go with us to see the performance later today . . . my dad is doing well and still in remission from liver cancer, fighting it with radiology now . . . Steven & I go spend a week with my parents starting on the 25th of March, and I am definitely counting my blessings.

Friday, March 20, 2009

O is for Olive

On the Alpha Stamps yahoo group I participated in a 3 for 3 Artist Trading Card swap. This was a "with one stamp" swap using the O is for Olive rubber stamp! What fun. Here are my 3 for the swap plus 1 extra for me.

I used playing cards for my base (pink!!) and stamped Olive on 4 different materials: patterned vellum, watercolor paper, coated cardstock and interfacing. I layered these together with the playing cards, used watercolor crayons and did some rubber stamping with StazOn inks. The stamp sayings are from old, treasured rubber stamps from my Diva rubber stamp collection - not in business anymore, as far as I know.

"Don't get your knickers in a twist" just seemed perfect to me for this character! If you look closely you will see tiny 2mm iridescent glass spheres bubbling out of Olive's martini glass! I absolutely love these glass spheres!

Thanks to Caroline Outz Hay for hosting!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

ARTchix weekly challenge: purple*yellow*green

I am very happy to say I did not forget, or make any excuses this week, when it came to Helga's weekly art challenge on her blog. I even completed it early! (3-17-09 in the am, is the deadline)

This week our challenge was to play with the colours purple, yellow and green.

Helga said: "This week, dig out your art supplies and focus on papers and paints that are purple, yellow and green. I recently played with this color combination when I made these ATCs for our Art Flourishes swap. I was pleasantly surprised by how well they looked together."

To play I needed to make a collage of any size or shape featuring those colors and scan and post it to my blog, flickr account or website. Next, leave a comment at the bottom of Helga's post about the challenge, linking back to my post with my results of her challenge. I also needed to link back to Helga's My Artistic Life blog. Easy! I have enjoyed the challenge, found it gets me out in my studio more, and I love Helga's prompts. If you did not know, Helga & her husband James own ARTchix Studio! My challenge entry started with one of ARTchix's new Art Blast playing cards.
I used my trusty watercolour crayons to add yellow to the woman's collar, purple to her hair and green around the border of the card. I also added a bit of Citrine Lumiere and a bit of glitter to the border of the card to give it more ooomph. I cut out a yellow butterfly from the Papillion Post faux postage sticker sheet and partially stuck it to her hair so it looked like it was flapping it's wings. The door is part of a door image from the Dazzling Doorways sheet and the small button "roof" above the door is actually the roof only from one of the houses on the Happy Home image sheet. I can't believe I reached for words from the Her Words sheet once again, but I did . . . adding a little purple watercolour crayon . . . and I am so glad because I think these words are just perfect for this ATC!

I am really quite pleased with this little piece. The colours are very lovely together, you are right, Helga -- I created something . . . I can even keep it, and I had fun!!!!!!
Thanks once again, awesome fun! : ) lenna

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Twinchies (2"x 2")

These are Twinchies... very small collages sized only 2"x 2". I had forgotten just how small they were until I went to go make them for a collaborative swap sponsored by ARTchix Studio! (click on them to see more details!)

The only rules for this swap were to make 6 or 12 twinchies, and for each twinchie that you make, explore only one color. We were also required to use at least 1 ARTchix image on each twinchie from at least one of the following sheets: Ruby Red, Tangerine Travels, Hello Yellow, Green World, I'm Blue, Lavender Lovelies, Sepia Sentiments, Fade To Black, Passion For Pink. I chose to use Hello Yellow for my 3 Twinchies shown above, and Green World for my Twinchies shown below. I also used some other ARTchix Studio image sheets, including "Her Words". I seem to be hooked on this sheet!

What I will receive in return . . .
6 Twinchies from other talented artists* 3 Chixies Twinchies collage sheets* (created from the returns of the swap) and one winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to the online ARTchix Studio shop !

note: You must be a member of the ARTchix Studio YahooGroup in order to participate in this swap/ project. : ) It's all good!

Tea Time : )

Helga Strauss, owner of ARTchix Studio, began writing an incredible blog this year called My ARTistic Life. I have been following her blog for a while, and I'm always amazed at what wonderful things Helga does. She and her husband James run ARTchix Studio together and I have been working with her cool products from the start of her business in 2001. You'll find my featured artist page as well as a number of free online classes I wrote for ARTchix Studio: Fabric Transfer, Fabric Collage, Valentine Necklace, Bottle Cap Fun, Mini Accordion Book . . . all on the ARTchix Studio website.

Anyway! Each week on Wednesday on her blog, Helga shouts out a weekly artistic challenge. I have been watching but not playing . . . making excuses, finding other things that "had" to be done instead. This past week's challenge was to "Have a Cup of Tea & Make a Collage With the Packaging!". : )))

I think I may be getting this in just in the nick of time as the deadline for posting the challenge on your blog is Wednesday morning . . . well, it IS still Wednesday morning, 11am! Thank you Helga. After being sick last week, it was great just to get out in my studio and play again. Can you tell which teas are my favorite ??

Here is a closer view - click on the photo for more detail.

The transparency image of a woman under the moon is from the Starry Night Transparency sheet. I used many of my old Tea-themed rubber stamps . . . yes, I do still love to add stamping to my art! The Tea package images are various favorites, placed on the copier bed and color copied onto card stock. The base was a piece of canvas which had been painted with plain brown and pearl white Lumiere acrylic paints for one of my collage on canvas classes. The round tag ("T") is a scrap booking tag. I punched a hole through the canvas and used a purple ribbon to attach the tag; I stamped the tag with Tea cups as well!

I sewed the piece of canvas to the striped fabric with a little batting behind it and a zig zag stitch on my machine. I am very happy to have completed this challenge, the first of many My ARTistic Life challenges -- I hope! : ) lenna

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

collage on canvas workshop - online!

Have you ever wanted to learn how to jump in and get started creating a collage on canvas? Need ideas on how to layer and complete a collage?

Good news! I have taken my collage techniques 'in person' class and written an online version, complete with step by step photos, consisting of 3 lessons totaling 77 pages in PDF file form.

Lesson 1 gives over a half a dozen different background techniques for canvas using everyday household products and acrylic paint. The techniques are shown via written instructions, photographs and are all very easy to do. We will spend one lesson exploring the techniques on canvas paper and canvas boards. Then, the 2nd and 3rd lessons will take you from start to finish, step-by-step through the creation of a number of mixed media collages. You can work right along with me as you learn about jump starting your collage and layering. This 3 lesson workshop is designed for both beginning and experienced students and will give you the information and experience you need to create many collages . . . on a canvas panel, a stretched canvas or even mat board!

What is special about this new online workshop is this: Because I had enough interest to merit it, I am offering you an invitation to join me and the other students signed up for the workshop in the creative lenna classroom yahoo group March 18 - April 18, 2009. This will be a private yahoo group, via invitation only for those who have registered for the class prior to March 18 and wish to participate. This yahoo group will allow for sharing of your work via file uploads and conversation about the class and the techniques between the group members. How exciting and rewarding! Please let me know via email or via a note on your PayPal payment invoice IF you would like to be part of this class - or rather do the lessons one-on-one with me, thanks!

Want to learn more and register? Go to my teaching web site - and look on the Collage on canvas Workshop page. The cost for the workshop is $35.00 for all 3 lessons and the classroom experience, if you wish. You'll find a PayPal button on the web site to register with. Any questions, let me know.

In conjunction with this, I am also hosting a collage on canvas swap, 3 for 3, on my creative swaps blog - You will find all the details about this swap, due in June in the original post.

SO glad to be feeling better again! A viral type flu-bug has now run though our home and touched both Steven & I. We are glad to say we are moving around easily again and I am happy to remind you of this workshop & swap! : ) lenna

Thursday, March 5, 2009

happy birthday, steven!

Happy Birthday to my husband Steven!
I thought you would enjoy a 'digital review' of some of the happy times we've spent together over the past few years . . . . Now, are you sure you are 53 today? You don't look it! : ^ ) xo with love, lenna


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