Saturday, July 25, 2009

Grunge Art Play

My newest inspiration is Alisa Burke I've had her book, Canvas Remix for a while and have been wading through prior commitments so I could try some of her wonderful techniques. I'm anxiously awaiting the start of her online class: Grafitti Chic.
In the meantime...
Yesterday I got to play in the studio - and I do mean PLAY - I actually ended up eventually using my hands to smear the paint! I can't begin to tell you how much fun that was and so liberating and free. At first I was stifled and trying to make it "perfect". It didn't look anything like I was picturing in my head. I was frustrated and didn't want to get up AGAIN to clean brushes so I globbed paint on my finger and patted around daintily. The next thing I knew I had a kalidescope of colors on my hands - both of them - and messy and finger painting and smearing. Not only was it a lot faster and freer - I think it was more of an open expression and made for good art. Isn't that what our Creative Muses keep trying to tell us? Don't over think it - just DO it?

So I did. Try it. It was FUN FUN FUN. Yes, it may look like a horrible mess and accident gone awry, but it was the very look I was trying to express. The first doll body above was not gessoed first; I think if I'd have had a neat print fabric for a base, it would work. But I stopped at this point because I'm going to gesso over it. See the second doll body picture? That is the first doll body I did, but I gesso'ed it before I started adding paint. The colors are more vibrant and it has more of a canvas texture for the paint to adhere to. I thought maybe the gesso would make the doll body too stiff, but it's not - still quite pliable. I think this is the beginning of a new generation of Flutterbugartgirl Spirit Dolls.

The Cougars on Passion Island

First I'm going to show you what I made my mom-in-law for Mother's Day - a wallhanging of her and two of her girlfriends from work. They went on a cruise (Mom O's second!) this spring. They had this photo taken at Passion Island. My m-i-l Joy is on the far right. (She said they teased her about her vacation hat - said she looked like Gilligan from Gilligan's Island!) I took the photo and scanned it on t-shirt transfer, transferred it on to fabric and went to work with paints, stamps, markers, etc. I wanted a sweet yet humorous piece that played on the Gilligan theme but also the three "Cougars" at Passion Island. My Inner Critic wavered at the final result, but Cowboy previewed it and said his mama would love it! He was right. She got a kick out of it and so did the girls. She let me borrow it back to photograph, and I had trouble getting a good one since I had finished it with a shiny finish. My artpal Heather (who is also a photographer I've found out among many OTHER artful talents) gave me a tip on how to cut the glare. Not the quality she would produce, I'm sure, but it's good enough to see so I'm posting it! *smile* Fun, yes?!?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Studio Redeux 2

I'm still playing with this (blog) and not sure how to post more pictures in the same blog entry. I need more practice here! I'm sure there's a way but my pics keep migrating to the top. So hang in here with me...
Well at least this one did end up to the side instead of at the top like all the rest I've been attempting to publish... Now you can see ALL the junk I still have. Do you think I need ANOTHER go through and toss out more? If you have any ideas or suggestions to improve this little space PLEASE share with me!!! All ideas welcomed.

Why on Earth has this project taken forever?? Junk I'm telling you - junk. Well ok, maybe not junk to me, but I MAY have had to personally touch a whole bunch of it before letting it go... and then there's the stacking and restacking, and taking it from one pile to another and second thoughts and trying to stay focused, and let's not talk about all the interruptions that happen with life and work and friends and family and am I trying to point the finger to everyone but ME? OK. Busted. It's just so hard to let go! (Do the whiney voice thing here I don't do that so well unless you ask the Cowboy but he's not allowed to weigh in on this topic at the moment, okay? (*grins*)...

But the ARTDOG now... he approves of everything I do. He's so sweet and generous and loving. I let him sit in my chair if he wants. I make his bed up on the table when he's sleepy. Now if I could just get him to drag off some of this extra stuff.... hmmmmm....

Studio Redeux

It seems like it has taken me forever to "hoe" out my art room. First it was the spare bedroom, then the sewing room, art room, and now art studio. That "s" word is a big word, but we're trying it on for size. It's getting easier to say out loud. *smile* I can't believe all the junk I had stuffed into that little room. Here are some pictures of how it looks now....

You might be wondering where the "before" pictures are...hehehehe.... nope I'm not posting them. It's too embarrassing or maybe really you'd be impressed with how much stuff I was actually able to cram in to such a small space. Ha! Regardless, here's the end results. I think I need to sew a skirt around the tables to hide the storage underneath. What do you think? At first I was toying with the idea of using vinyl table cloth material but then realized the lime green stuff went out with the first round of tossed out stuff. So I might buy a pretty fabric that I just love. Did I say BUY fabric??? Well don't tell Cowboy - he'll croak!! I don't happen to have enough yardage of one pattern to make a skirt. I'm estimating I need 4-3/4 yards at 29" to match the height of both tables (the brown one is slightly taller than the smaller white table. I'm so glad to have the tables cleared off and everything in it's place. Now I can create to my abandon!!

There's the little issue of a few piles still in the living room/dining room area... left over after the "give aways", the garbage, more stuff I'm still mulling over tossing out or keeping or even going through and looking at to decide. Yes I'm probably a classic hoarder. I "might" use this, oh! I "might" use that... I see potential in so many things, but will I actually use it? The REAL question is: Will I actually be able to find it again in my piles? Gosh the truth hurts sometimes! But I have to tell you I feel so relieved to be in my neat and tidy space. If I could hire someone (is that Cowboy volunteering in the back there??) to just gather up what's left over and get rid of it and not tell me what's in there, I'd probably be just fine without it. Know what I mean?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Published in Quilting Arts!!

So here it is: "my" page in the current issue of Quilting Arts Magazine. My "Imagine" or "John Lennon" art quilt on page 72 in case I didn't mention that a hundred times already! I'm still excited about it, I look at it a little less now (it was every single day there for a while) and I was almost stopping strangers on the street to say, "See this? This is mine." Or maybe just a simple "I did THIS." Strange but true. My 15 seconds of "fame". Well I love it that my quilt made it onto those hallowed pages of QA. I know I must move on. But I can't. Just yet...

What will really be neat is when I get it back and can hold it in my hands again. I've had a couple offers to buy it but I'm not so sure I want to sell it. This piece of art is a first, a first of a kind and I'm not sure I can really part with it. Maybe I can make a replica or two. I'll toy with the idea for a while, I've got some time.

Besides that, I've been very AWOL in the blog department. July so far has been quite busy with obligations, family visiting, and work. Everything has seemed to have picked up pace in the last month. So much swirling. The "lazy days of summer" have been anything but. We did get away with my brother who was visiting from Oregon. We took a road trip that ended up being not so much on the road as it was in air conditioned hotel rooms. It has been a scorching hot summer and Steve was thinking about maybe retiring here one day. Scratch that thought. We nicknamed him "The Snowman" as he thought he was going to melt. We had to coax him to walk on the beach at 6:30 in the morning, and threaten him to get him out of the room and into the truck so we could take him out to experience a little Cajun cafe called "Crawdaddy's" in Corpus Christi. Never mind that he ordered the spicy Cajun crawfish platter. He only thought he was hot until he started in on that pile of crawfish... We actually found a snow globe in a gift shop that was made just for him: inside the globe was a snowman sitting in a lawn chair in the snow, underneath a palm tree with an "umbrella drink" in one hand. (I think there were Christmas lights strung in the palm tree too). It was the perfect "official" souvenir for him to take back to Oregon. And to remind him, in case he gets the crazy idea again that he might want to move to Texas.

So that's it in a nutshell for me the past few weeks. Juggling everything and spending not as much time making art as I intended. Life tends to interfere if we let it. I did actually sketch a bit while we were gone and have a few projects in the works. I'm hoping to spend at least part of tomorrow and all of Friday in my art realm. Instead of "hoping" I ought to be determined. Otherwise I think there will always be something trying to take up my time. Prioritize. Do what's important and what makes you smile. Even for a bit. A little "Katie-1st" going on. Maybe I'll gather everything up I've been working on and snap a pick -- it'll be a pathetic pile of doll bodies with heads rolling around, half-done drawings and a few "I-wonder-just-what-it-is-I'm-trying-to-make" pieces. I figure a bad start is a start, nonetheless. Better than staring at a blank piece of paper.

Hey, I just learned today I can blog without posting a picture. Ha ha! Seriously, I will get my routine down and blog by Tuesdays, picture ready or not. That will be my goal. There I said it out loud and in print. So it's got to be.

And one more thing before I sign off -- I heard that Heather's jewelry is selling like hotcakes!! Congratulations Heather!! Click on her link over to the right or her website here: She also has an Etsy store. Isn't that what we artists hope for? Can you imagine not being able to keep up with demand??!!! Let's happy dance for her on our way out shall we?!! Happy Arful Day til later ~~