Monday, August 26, 2013

More Mail Art for Monday

I've been a bit quiet this week, pondering painting again. I've really loved playing with all the water soluble media--watercolors, pencils and pastels, but it's been forever since I touched my acrylics and it's a bit intimidating thinking about diving back in. Honestly, I don't know why. I painted only with acrylics for years. Just being out of practice makes me feel awkward and unsure of myself. I spy these other more familiar materials sitting there on the table and I'm drawn to what I'm confident in using...But I also have all this gorgeous art floating in my head from the studio tours and I just want to paint!! So, I'll be practicing...a lot...for a while. I'll get there again, if I let myself play and grow and find that groove.

I have been tangling and mail arting, not just day dreaming and lolly-gagging all week long. Certainly not giving up on these outlets I've come to love. These are a few  postcards I did last week:

A doodle flower postcard for Random Acts of Mail-Sharpie and Derwent watercolor pencil

and a couple abstracts using my old acrylics, Sharpie and white gel pen:

I never really played with anything abstract and it was so much fun to let go and experiment! I'd like to change up the colors and play some more--which is probably a good thing since I have TONS of old paint just sitting there taking up storage space...

And this is our last week before school starts, so lots of emotions swirling around...Sad summer's gone so quick, scared of my baby going off to middle school, happy to have some freedom back and not have to listen to whining about going grocery shopping and running errands or arguing about getting chores done...I have a bunch of stuff I want to cram in to our final week--beach, family movie night, bike trails...should be a great week! Hope yours is, too!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Mail Art Monday and Studio Tour Wrap Up

Here we are, Monday again. Two final weeks of summer before the kiddos head back to school. We need at least one more beach day, a serious hair cut, and time to play with friends before September gets its claws dug in...
We had a gorgeous final weekend for the South Coast Artists Open Studio Tour. This time we headed for Rhode Island and two little coastal towns: Tiverton and Little Compton. Thirty studios claimed space along the way, so lots to see in not a lot of time. Saturday's studios weren't quite as inspiring as what we'd seen in July and last weekend for the Art Drive, though I did fall in love with one artist's work, Don Cadoret, and we nearly missed seeing him as the brochure had his work listed as a storybook artist, and I was more interested in locally inspired seascapes. Thank goodness we stopped! His incredible detail paired with stunning saturated color has completely stirred my own desire to paint again--acrylics, not just playing around with water soluble pencils...So--we'll see! I seriously need to stock up on some new paints as most of my old acrylics are drying up or just too clumpy for any decent work. Shop, shop, shop!! Haha--life is so hard!
But, yesterday, I fell in love with Little Compton! Such a beautiful, quaint, picturesque seaside town! We veered off course for a little while to go exploring along the very tip of the town:
An aerial view shot I snagged online--gorgeous area!
Huge old houses, lots of farms, and some seriously expensive real estate down in here! We stopped at one house that was up for sale (for just over a million and a half...) because of this gianormous tree that took up most of the front yard:
For $1,695,000 you could call this place home...


Could just hang out under here forever, I think...

Such a groovy, swirly trunk!
I fell in love with the incredible enormity of this tree and it's beautiful, twisted trunk and branches! If ever existed the perfect dreaming tree, this was it...Love it!! Then, off we went to finish off the tour--met lots of super nice folks, saw some great art and beautiful scenery. Definitely looking forward to the holiday tour coming up at the end of the year--and...maybe kinda hoping to be showing in the tour next year...You never know!!
But, back to reality...and Mail Art Monday! This is just a quick card I did for Random Acts of Mail last week-a daughter who is the sole caretaker of her elderly mother and just feeling the pressure and weight of that responsibility. It was pure joy to send a little love her way:

Sharpies and Neocolor II's

Inside sentiment
Last but not least this morning, got the cutest shot of Pea and Tuck out back the other day and just wanted to share:
Which way did he go??
Today, back to cleaning and card making while studio dreaming and reminiscing over all the beautiful pretties we got to enjoy this weekend--so much fun and inspiration! Have a great week!!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Daily Paper Prompts #'s 7, 8, & 15

I'm continuing to play with some of Daisy Yellow's Daily Paper Prompts this week. I reversed the order for prompts 7 (leftovers) and 8 (faded). I started with the page on the left--spray ink spritzed with alcohol to create the faded look, then allowed the wet ink to drip on the page to the right--thinking that the drippage would be my 'leftovers' but it didn't drip very much...Plus it's on just sketch paper which curled from the dampness--not so great. I played with a little stencil and made it worse--that page is probably headed for the garbage....
But, I took my faded page and, using prompt 15-words- and lettered a Scripture quote:

It could also be better...but, you'll have those days. Just have to keep moving on to the next project. Think I'll do a little tangling today and dreaming about the art studio tours coming up for the weekend! Yay!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Daily Paper Prompt #4 Flowers

I had picked up a copy of Cultivating Your Creative Life by Alena Hennessy a while back after hearing lots of great things about this book. I thumbed through it only to put it aside like I so (too) often do...I knew I'd come back to it when it was time. And that time must be now since I picked it back up yesterday and finally worked on the first few exercises.

First, you start with 'Weeding'-writing down negative thoughts about your creativity that you've either heard someone say along the way or your own self-doubts that become that negative self-talk that loops endlessly round and around in your head, nagging at you and pulling you down. Then, scribble over those remarks, cross them off, literally dismiss them. Done and gone. Then over top, you 'plant new seeds' of positive thoughts (it's all very deeply psychologically stimulating...) So after my scribbling over of the nasty negatives, I painted a layer of gesso, let dry, then drew this little garden of Permission--to grow, bloom, dream, and play--which also fell into line with Tammy's Daily Paper Prompt #4 for Flowers--tada!

I am way behind on prompts (ooo, shocked, right?) But definitely having fun playing! Hopefully I'll catch up a little more today...Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mail Art Monday!

What a fantastic weekend we've just had! Our Bugga was fever free and feeling 100% better Saturday morning so off he went to spend the night at a friend's house and off hubby and I went on a much needed date! We haven't had a date night since our anniversary in March, I think! So, yeah, definitely overdue. We both wanted to see the movie, Elysium, with Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, and wow! This is seriously a Must See--I'd go see it again in a heartbeat, even though I cried and was so angry at the end...I just cried again while watching the trailer for the link above...Okay--so I'm sappy. Just go see the movie--you won't be sorry. Powerful message...and great action--and, heck, Matt Damon is really easy to look at--haha!
Oh! Then! Sunday we went on another open studio tour for the Art Drive and spent the afternoon cruising the coastline, soaking in some gorgeous sea and landscapes as we visited another dozen art studios--all completely different from the tour we took last month. The weather was perfect, sunny and bright but not too hot or humid. The houses and studios, some of the gardens we saw were amazing works of art in their own right...Most of the studios yesterday were right on the water, or near enough that phenomenal views could be enjoyed from the was down on a peninsula-the Westport Harbor--which is probably my favorite place on earth. We always see this picture perfect harbor town as we drive over the bridge to Horseneck Beach and I ogle out the window at the simplistic beauty of shingle clad Cape Cod houses and all the fishing boats, the sunlight reflecting off the water...Then! To actually BE there--so gorgeous...I was in heaven. Of course the guys headed straight to the water and found horseshoe crabs swimming in the shallows, a swan was lounging on the other side of the pier, lazily eating bread someone had left out in a pan while a seagull patiently waited for its turn...I almost forgot we had a studio to see there! Beautiful...Definitely have to go back!
Next weekend is the second half of the South Coast Artists Open Studio Tour and I'm already excited for that as well! We'll be heading to Rhode Island to see the studios we missed from the July tour--can't wait!
Anyways! So, it's Mail Art Monday and I have a little slew of cards I've been busy, busy working on all week! First up is a thank you note I did up for hubby and his sister to send to their cousin that they stayed with in New York the week before:

Sharpie, Signo Uni-ball white pen, and Inktense blocks for shading
Hubby has been my best customer this week! One of his lab guys just became a dad to a beautiful baby girl, so I did a cute little congratulations postcard with a matching envelope (not shown-sorry):

Sharpie, Derwent watercolor pencil
Then, sadly, another had lost his dad last week, so did a simple sympathy card:

Sharpie shaded with water soluble graphite
And our Ashlee turned twenty-six on Saturday! Hubby had already bought her a card so I prettied up the envelope...I love writing her name, it's so swirly and loopy and just so fun!
I found this quote and immediately the picture sprang to mind, so did up another quick postcard, either for a swap or Random Acts of Mail:

Sharpie and Koi watercolor
Working on finishing another card today for Random Acts of Mail, and I've started receiving swaps for Mail Me Some Art--it's so great to open your mailbox and find something bright and pretty besides just bills! Too fun! I love it. If you want to play or just see more fun mail art, click on the button below:
Mail Me Some Art

Friday, August 9, 2013

Paint Party Friday

That's the only party going on in our house today...My sweet Bugga is sick, throwing up, fever of almost 103--poor thing! Woke up this morning to him curled up beside me in tears--if that doesn't break a momma's heart...He was supposed to go to his buddy's for a sleepover tonight, but fortunately there are still a few weekends left to summer for sleepovers. Not going anywhere farther than the couch and the bathroom today, little one!

At least I've gotten headed back in the right arting direction yesterday! I pulled out my list of Tammy's Daisy Yellow Daily Paper Prompts (only a week....and a day....behind....could be worse--I could not be playing at all! Are you??) But first I had to make a sympathy card for the hubster, one of his lab guys lost his dad this week (you can see it next week for Mail Art Monday--an overflowing post! So excited!) Then on to day one's prompt: a rainbow! I love rainbows (can't say that without hearing Cartman's "I hate rainbows!" Ah, South Park...hahahaha) Anyway--I had previously pondered this prompt and how I wanted to approach it. The thing I loved most about Tammy's Index Card a Day challenge was the freedom to just play. I didn't feel pressured to create something with a purpose--these were just index cards! And now that it's no longer such a simple canvas, the pressure is back to find a reason, to find a purpose--why am I making this? I so want to art journal but I struggle with the why? What's it for? Who will care? And feeling purposeless makes it hard for me to create--but I'm working on it! It's all growth and learning and experimenting, experiencing...and that is enough purpose, right? Right.

So: Daily Paper Prompt #1-A rainbow:

I decided I wanted to do a journal page with the stripes of the rainbows being the lines for journaling. And since that nagging pressure for purpose just wouldn't let go (you can't just make a page for journaling on later--it needs to be written on and finished now...Oh the battles I have with my brain...) I scoured online for the perfect quote and came up with this from C. JoyBell C.:
 “I am a flawed person. A brook with many stones, a clear blue sky with many blackbirds. I have many shortcomings. A rainbow that’s not long enough, a starry night with clouds. But I can only be thankful to the God who loves me just this way, and I can only be grateful to the people in my life who accept the clear blue sky with many blackbirds and who are patient with the rainbow that isn’t long enough. And because of this, I am taught love, because of this I love my God, and I love these people.”
I had played with my watercolor set on my work up page but wanted more control with the color (always the control! I really need to learn to let go!) so used my Derwent Inktense on the finished page and added a little sparkly doodles with the Stardust Gelly Rolls. The purple row looked so dark, I went over the lettering then wished I had just let it go--I think it would've been legible as it was...ah well, too late now. Live and learn and for heaven's sake, just let go!!
And now Tammy has prompts posted up to the twelfth already...goodness gracious! So I should I have plenty to keep me busy over the weekend while I'm home taking care of my baby Bug...Thanks for popping by!


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Getting Back on Track-Zentangle Thurzday

I know I've been a bit quiet here lately--it's just been a little busy with friends in for the weekend and naturally, we spent the whole time playing--what else would we do?? Too fun! And so thankful for gorgeous weather (for the most part) that let us wander and explore around town and chill at the beach. It all just went way too fast!

But I've been busy busy this week catching up and have quite a slew of mail art to post for Monday (haha--gotta come back if you want to see it!) and I did a little tangling, too! Jane from OneTangle is way, way, way ahead of me--she's got a full month of strings posted and I've only managed to make it to strings nine and ten:

String nine on the left I did a simple doodle fill just to play around and, well, not exactly crazy about it...String ten on the right I did another Ixorus monotangle but I have to say, I really like the previous one I did much better.

Then Ms. Laura posted the week's Diva Challenge to use CZT Jane MacKugler's pattern Henna Drum this week. I've always loved the look of Henna Drum but for some reason never really played with it, so this was a fun excuse to finally give it a go:

I did the centers and petals in sepia but it doesn't want to show up very well for some reason...This was definitely a fun pattern and I look forward to playing with it again in the future! Another great Diva Challenge!

Looks like the rain is heading our way for the next couple of days but should be clearing up for the Art Drive happening here this weekend in Westport and Dartmouth, which is another open studio tour that I'm really looking forward to seeing! Next weekend is the second half of the South Coast Open Studio tour that we did in July--can't wait for that as well!! I couldn't sleep after the last time--the whole night my brain just swam with all the beautiful art we'd seen that day! So cool...I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again--I totally love living here!!

Back to the drawing table again today--more cards to make and, hopefully some more tangles to play with, although I also need to pay some attention to Tammy's Daily Paper Prompts at Daisy Yellow--I'd almost forgotten trying to catch up on other projects! Must Play!! Life is good...Have a super great Thursday--come back again soon!