Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Girl(s) made me a real artist….

Beautiful weather has finally hit Michigan. This past spring was hard to take- we had only 1 warm spell and it only lasted 2 days.  We are on to greener pastures- literally and figuratively.  Unfortunately, the dandelions seem to LOVE the cooler spring and are everywhere.  I wish that the lilacs or the peonies were everywhere instead.

I am currently in between eArt courses.  Hard to believe, I know.  I thought about looking for one and then decided that I needed to catch up on all the projects I planned and haven't finished.   As for the blog- I have lots of stuff still to show from the other classes I took.

I took a mixed media art class called SheArt giving by the cutest artist around, Christy Tomlinson.  She owns Scarlet Lime which I think started out as a "kit of the month" club for scrapbookers.  It has evolved with a "bead of the month" project and the recent addition of a mixed media store.  She also jumped on the eCourse train and taught SheArt as a 3 week class.

I've always wanted to learn how to make those junky cool backgrounds that my favorite artists make.  To me, those backgrounds are truly the defining line between "crafter" and "artist".  I know... that is pretty stupid and not even close to being accurate…  At least I know it "intellectually" but "emotionally" the messy junky background is my line in the sand and I want to make some.  I have asked for instructions, I have purchased magazines for directions and bought books with step-by-step instructions but I never figured it out.  Instead of something an artist would make and worthy of hanging in a gallery (or even my kitchen wall), I would end up with a muddy messy mess destined for the trashcan.

Here is how my class experience went:
Monday:  In the first video of SheArt Christy should her technique and while it seemed pretty simple, I must admit I was terrified.  How would I know what colors to use?  What amount of paint is good to start with?  How will I now what else it needs?  How will I know when to stop?  Will I know to stop before I am left with a brown sloppy mess?  Shading?  What?  Are you serious? I hate shading.  I get the concept but I can never do it.  I end up with every line shaded like a big nuclear bomb just illuminated the world. UGH! I suck….So I went to bed without starting.

Tuesday…. Ok, you can do this.  Start with one color and we shall see… go slow….. ok this is working…. slow……slow down……. watch out…….. Whoa!  What just happened?  I made three girls and they look ***** (I know what word I would use here but you insert whatever word you feel comfortable with) AWESOME.  OHMYGOD I did it.

Wednesday: cranked out 2 more pieces of art.  I can do this for sure.
Thursday:  Started the backgrounds of 5 pieces

I'm addicted.   The process is just as fun as I knew it would be and I am pretty good at it after all.

Without further ado…. my "girls"

Ryann took this girl for herself.  The bottom is covered with German Glass glitter
My first attempt at a non-girl based work of mixed media

Friday, May 6, 2011

April comes in like a Polar Bear and out like a Penguin or where the bleep is the sun?!

The last month has certainly been one of reflection by me but also of many others.  My last blog post was about my father and how the loss of him in my day-to-day life effects me.   Having not put up another post  meant that every time I opened Safari or went to my blog, I saw my father's picture smiling back at me.  While it is nice to see that smile again, it reminds me of what I have lost.  The last few weeks have been full of loss.  Several weeks ago, my mom's friend lost his son to suicide.  This coming just a little over a year after they lost their wife and mother.   Two weeks ago,  Kalamazoo Public Safety Officer Eric Zapata was killed in the line of duty.  Oddly enough, the other officers involved happened to be my neighbor and the brother of a pilot in Rick's squadron.  In Kalamazaoo, the police and fire are one and the same meaning the officers do both jobs.  Because they rotate between the two departments, they are called "Public Safety Officers" rather than policemen and firemen.  PSO Zapata, was in his 30's and the father of 3 beautiful children who have to grow up without their dad.  He was the first officer ever killed in the line of duty in Kalamazoo.  Last week I also learned that a young Army Pfc Robert Friese, from my tiny hometown of 2000, was killed in Afghanistan.  Too many senseless deaths.

This year's cold Michigan spring certainly mirrors the mood of those around me.  Thankfully, spring is in the air, giving us a glimpse of rebirth and regrowth.  My neighbor Sonja, gave birth to her 5th child on April 28th.  A beautiful  9-pound baby boy named Conner who spends his waking hours being passed around for all of us to "ooh" and "ash" over.  The little group of neighbors that includes those who live near the new baby are basking in the beauty of new life and the splendor of watching 4 siblings add a 5th member to their ranks without so much as a whimper of protest.  As the sun finally returns from its LOOOOOOONG winter hibernation, we are greeted with the beauty of the spring blossoms that are finally brave enough to emerge from their sleep and face the cooler than normal weather.

I have been remiss about my blogging and really my only excuse is a broken camera.  My options were to buy a new one, use Rick's or use my iPhone. I was too distract to adequately shop for one.  Rick's fancy camera scares me almost as much as the idea of using something of his does.   You see he ALWAYS finds something wrong with the way it was used, put away, looks, works…..  I try to stay away from his toys.  I did take a few with my iPhone but the results weren't that interesting.  When Rick got back from his last trip I begged him to take some pictures for me and he did so I have quite a few things to show but I think I will spread them out over several posts….

I took several more on-line art classes- mainly because they are fun and nobody ever comes near me to teach anything.  I posted about Mouse Paper Scissors but never showed the pics.
The class was about the move to "hybrid scrapbooking" or crafting.  Hybrid refers to the melding of the new digital crafting with old school paper and glue crafting.  I took the class because I have owned Photoshop Elements for over a year and hadn't even uploaded it onto my computer.  I really enjoyed the class and now I know how to use basic PSE with brushes and papers that are widely available, relatively cheap and reusable.

The first project was this book called "10 Little Things"  As you can see I haven't  added any photos yet but I really enjoyed the project. Definitely not my aesthetic at all with the bright colors but I love the yellow polkadot and the look overall.  First is the book called "10 Little Things".

The other project was a really cool album.  I love this type of multilayer album and the use of the random envelopes and little places to tuck things is just icing on the cake for me.  I also really like the colors of this project.  This adorable book is called "I hope you know" and again I didn't put photos in it yet but isn't it the cutest thing?  I just love the colors.

Tomorrow I am off to take two classes by the famed Jenni Bowlin at the Great Lakes Mega Meet in Novi.  I hope it is a good time and I learn a thing or two.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's.