Studio insights, classes and tutorials

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Staying Power in spite of myself

Perseverance; steadfast in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

Entering a contest means studying the assignment, creating your best work and knowing you gave it your all.

I have had the challenge of entering a global contest and knowing this would be so out of my comfort zone.
When presented with the rules, assignment, and research, I thought I could do it.  Little did I know that when I signed up, there would be many obstacles ahead.  I am used to doing my work early in the morning hours,while the house is nice and quiet.  Taking my coffee into my studio and beginning with devotions and then laying out my paints, paper and other supplies I will use. 
The day the contest started, was the day our son moved back into our home while his house was being renovated. He brought along his beautiful dog, my granddog and thought the time would be about a week.  That was two and a half weeks ago, and he is still here.  Bathrooms have been delayed and more and more clutter has turned up into multiple rooms of our home.  
We have a hide a bed inside of my studio and that is where he has been living.  As soon as he got up each morning, I went down and began to draw and paint.  Oh, and did I mention that two days later we had company from Atlanta and the Virgin Islands.  All during my one week window of time to create my designs.  UGH!
This is the first one on a re-purposed composite board.  Acrylics were used in this and the painting developed over a few days time. Not sure this was what I wanted my Terrarium art to be, I decided to try another and used all the Pinterest ideas that I could accumulate.  Wish I had a photo of those pages spread out all over my drawing table.  Along with all my supplies and more, leaving a small space to create in.
This time choosing watercolor paper and paints.  I began feeling a little underwhelmed with my next design and a little overwhelmed with my circumstance.  Thinking another, possibly, more simple design might woo the judges.  This most likely came from trying to simplify the circumstances surrounding me at the time.
Of course by this time I was driving everyone, including myself crazy, asking which they preferred.  The results were split and I began to think the art was all looking alike.
And, guess what!?  I decided to do one last one!!  This time a simple acrylic on a light background.  This one was my favorite and is not pictured.  Then, putting it into the right format took a village as well. 
At the end, I thought I wasn't going to get it sent.  I took it to a printer and though the photography and colors were excellent, it was too large to send.  Again, and at the last minute I got some help and was able to send it off.  Just in the nick of time too!  Whew!
 The results were posted today.  I didn't make it to the 50 finals (out of 999 around the world).  But, I did have the satisfaction of pushing through the obstacles and not giving up along the way.  In spite of all the activities around me, I feel it was a miracle I got anything done, let alone four individual pieces of art.
This was a true learning experience for me and in the past I may have given up or just sent the first piece I did.  I know that the Lord carried me through this, as I prayed and felt his piece in the midst of chaos.

I hope I remember this lesson as I move on in life and my career.  "I can do all things through Christ who
strengthens me."  

Perservrance, staying power!

Thanks for listening and hope to see you again real soon.

Don't give up, no matter what your circumstance.  You will win in the end!



Tuesday, August 5, 2014

You are my sunshine; my only sunshine... Love this song and sunflowers always remind me of it.  


             I want to share a fun acrylic watercolor tutorial with you. 

Begin with a canvas or any other surface.  Add your gesso, collage papers and some washes to the background. I used some vintage botanical images and sheet music. I love adding washes and then letting them run down the surface, using a spray bottle of clear water.  

Draw your design in with pencil, begin adding washes of acrylic paint to the subject matter. 

I also thought it would be fun to take these Formica samples and gesso them as well.  They are going to make great gift tags.  Watch and see..........
You can add collage to them as well, but I chose just to gesso and add some washes and splatters.
Here is a look at the supplies I used.  I also used a dark green which is not pictured.  I like Golden's
Sap Green Hue.  One of my new favorites!
                          I add the layers of acrylic paint with washes and glazes as I go along. Building colors and let them dry in between.  You can use water for the glazing or Liquitex glazing medium.
                                           You can see the little gift tag sample in the corner.

                        Continue to layer the colors, drying in between.  Work until you are satisfied.  
I added a few more drips and splatters before I began to outline using my fine point black pen.  Make sure you pen  is water resistant.  Faber Castell gelatos were used to antique the edges.  I love the patina they create.  Just rub onto the edges and use fingers to blend.
Add more white here and there to pull out the highlights.  Add a few more dots to the centers and spray with a good Matte sealer.  I like to use Americana to seal my work.  
Add some jute or ribbon to your tags.  I even added a little gold heart to one.
Print off some fun sayings and glue them to the back of your tags.  Add some washes and of course, always SPLATTER!
With my left over palette, I decided to paint a pillow form that I had laying around.  Washed the edges and corners with paint. Spattered the background.  Added  "You are My Sunshine" lettering to the back.

You make me happy when skies are grey.....  

Sunflowers make me happy! 

I hope you find some time to paint, create and enjoy the sunshine!! 

If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

See you soon.