i recently hosted a swap at www.illustratedatcs.com that was a monochromatic 4x4 PAT. what the heck? basically as folks signed up they were put in groups of 6 and asked to pick a color. they then had to make a 4x4 piece of art for everyone in their group in the colors people had chosen. here is the art for my group:
i was in old town on saturday because the art supply store had an announcement that they were getting rid of shelving and displays for free by their dumpster. lucky me found some fantastic holders for my markers. originally made for pencils, they'll suit my markers just fine. and they were free!
across the street form the art supply store is st. vinnies. now like all modern women i enjoy thrifting now and again. but truth be told, i really hadn't much luck at thrift stores in the area. they are heavily picked over or way to pricey! i mean st. vinnies was selling 1980's particle board dressers for $30 + which is ridiculous in my book. but! saturday was my lucky day. i found 3 beautiful glass bottles, that look to be vintage, for under $10 for all 3. i quickly snagged them up before some other shopper could.
my last set of finds happened in the book section. i am into books on many levels. 1, i am an avid reader and am always looking for interesting books for cheap or free. saturday i found 4 readable books ofr $.75 a piece, score! the other way i am into books is artistically. i like to use the text of old books for found poetry and i like to alter the books themselves. i found 2 vintage hardback childrens books in stellar condition that i can use for both. i can remove some of the pages to have room for altering and i can use those pages for found poetry, another score!
all in all, i spent less than $20 and got some great finds. what did you score this weekend?
one of my greatest pleasures these days is hosting atc swaps on www.illustratedatcs.com and www.atcsforall.com (the 1st site is juried, the 2nd site is not). part of the fun is coming up with interesting themes that i'd like to collect. my recent obsession has been with antlered folks. you know, people with antlers. of course i know they don't really exist, but they look so awesome in art. and the cool thing is, it's easy to make antlered folk whether you are a hand drawn artist or a mixed media collage artist (like me). it's accessible.
just find some antler images online, print them out (and in my case color them), and add them to the person of your choice. antlers make anyone look striking.
what was really fun for me in make these particular cards was i also played with my other 2 obsessions: spray paint, and cool color combos--in this case yellow, aqua, and pink. to me, they mix a look of ancient times, when fairies existed, with a more modern look.
as always, i've added bits of intriguing text to further the sense of story. text is a common denominator with the majority of my art. here it is added in the background--finnish text, and then an english word or phrase. i really love how these turned out. what are some of your fave techniques?
a week or so ago i had the itching to go to some yard sales. i hit pay dirt at the 3rd one i went to where someone was selling old gun and ammunition boxes. at $5 a piece i bought the 2 she had and decided i wanted to repurpose them. so now, instead of supporting war and terror, these boxes support the earth and nourishment. they have become my garden! since they didn't have a lot of space i also added a big black tub for some herbs.
a couple of weeks ago i started a knitting class with my friends laurie and natalie at college of the redwoods community education program. i absolutely love it! our teacher paula is kind and patient, and has the best stories. and the class affords me a couple of hours each week with my girlfriends.
our 1st project was to make a seamed hat--more of a winter cap. i used merino wool in some lovely colors for my 1st hat. it's made using a garter stitch and is super easy to do.
so easy in fact, that i made a 2nd hat so i could continue practicing. this hat is done i blues, teals, and purples. i am not sure who i am going to give it to, but the 1st hat will go to my niece thea.
i went to northcoast knittery today, for world knit day and got some help with my 2nd project--a coffee cup sleeve. it's much harder for me as it is knitted in the round and i get confused easily. if anyone has any tips for me i'd love to hear them!
so, many of my blog posts have been about the art i create--visual art that is. today i indulged in another favorite hobby of mine--creating edible art. beef stew is a simple rustic dish that wheb done well has layers of flavor--the meatiness of the beef, the rich aroma created from wine and the blend of herbs. below you will find the recipe i use when making beef stew, it's simple, hearty, and delicious.
1 lb of stew meat
1 large red onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 med red potatoes chopped
1 small bag of baby carrots
2 tsp thyme
1-2 bay leaves
1-2 C red wine
2 tbs tomato paste
1 small bag frozen peas
salt & pepper to taste
dredge meat in flour and brown in a small amount of oil.
in the same oil, saute onion and garlic over low heat.
when onion becomes translucent stir in tomato paste and coat onions with it.
stir in the mine to this mixture, making sure you scrape up the bits on the pan leftover from browning the meat.
after wine has reduced by 1/4-1/2, add potatoes, carrots and meat. stir in enough broth to almost cover the mixture.
add herbs and salt and paper. raise heat and bring to a simmer. cover and reduce heat. cook until meat is tender, 1-2 hours.
when meat is done, remove from heat and add peas, serve immediately.
the last place i expect to see nature rearing it's gorgeous head is at work. work is about paperwork, and deadlines, and driving, and courthouses, and tears--many things, but never nature. yesterday when i went to leave for my lunch break out the back door i happened to glance down. and what did my squinty eyes behold? a tiny, gorgeous, perfect tree frog. this little guy was so perfectly still, except for the blinking of his eyes. i am calling it a he, but of course it may as well have been a she. either way, a bit a beauty that made me pause during a busy day. lucky for both of us i carry my camera everywhere i go!
it's memorial day and i am at home with the kitties preparing to head into the studio. i have many projects afoot from swaps on iATC's to a moleskine journal on AFA. i am hosting 3 swaps on iATC's: monochromatic 4x4 PAT (pick-a-theme), altered photo ATC's, and antler people ATC's. all of them need work done but they aren't due until july at the earliest. the moleskine for AFA is what needs immediate attention but i must admit to being stuck. the theme is ' the enchanted garden of oddities and delights'. basically a scene of oddness. previous entries include a zombie carnival and flowers with eyeballs. needless to say i am intimidated. but it's time to get this show on the road because i have been holding on to this book for far too long!
in other news, i have finished my swap cards for the blind drawing swap on AFA. the rules: with your eyes closed draw a face, then with your eyes open take that face, whatever it looks like, and create a character. i had fun doing these, even more fun was thinki9ng up the story behind each character. my fave is the sister mary catherine. which one is your favorite. leave a comment and let me know!
i last mentioned my 2 loves over a year ago when atticus (black kitty) was sick. he is still going strong, but as older cats do, he is becoming scrawny. he is 13 this year. elke (grey love muffin) is HUGE! she must way over 10 pounds! they are the loves of my life and are co-workers extraordinaire in the studio. elke loves to climb on the table and perch there like a queen. atticus has a special spot on top of my paper bin--it allows him to survey the world out the front window.
i wanted to take the time to introduce the 2 to ya'll again. i haven't spoken of then often, but the are my comrades and the world would be dull indeed without their mischief.
i am doing a collaboration with joanna crawshaw aka rubypaleface at iATC's. she is working in an altered book of mine and i am adding work to a journal of hers. i was silly and didn't scan her backgrounds 1st, but here are 2 finished (unless she wants to add to them) spreads in her journal.
it happens to the best of us. months of feverishly making art turn into listless weeks of inaction (at least where art is concerned). my friend annie (eraserqueen) posted some a burnout exercise. below are my responses. i encourage anyone else who is feeling the burn to give it a try. post it on your blog and let me know about it!
What kind of block are you experiencing?
i am definitely having an idea block and a collage block. i've been focusing a lot of energy on drawing lately (faces and more faces) and i can't seem to come up with any collage ideas for other projects. i am in a rut. i feel like everything i do is old and boring. i am sick of it, of the art i make.
How is this making you feel?
FRUSTRATED! i want to create! and i can't. i want to get messy and jucy with layers and instead i feel stuck in the mud.
What artist do you currently admire?
currently i am enamored with anyone that can watercolor decently. the first person that comes to mind here is reneenault.
with her art i love the simplicity of her lines and the juicyness of her colors. i love the intricate detail work she does as well. and her themes are always thought provoking.
Pretend you can right now travel to where ever you want and create art isspiried by your surroundings. Where would this be? What would you see there? and What would you make?
i would love to travel to berlin. it's art scene there is alive and well and i really dig urban settings. i lovelovelove german accents too, lol, and german food. i am german by heritage and i would love to explore the history there as well. but mostly i want to go for the humming, vibrating, colorful city. What colors currently excite you, and why?
i love complimentary colors. all different kinds of them. i love the push-pull they create and their ability to make eachother seem more alive.
i also dig layers of pink with layers of orange. again, it's juicy.
How can you immerse you self in the color you love? Is there anything you can paint your favorite color?
i could paint anything those colors, but i can't think of anything i want to paint. i need some impetus to paint something those colors. like a swap theme or a trade.
What forms currently excite you and why?
faces. i love faces and the human figure.
How would you like to surround yourself with this form? What room do you want this form to be in?
just when you think you can put your feet up and smoke a fat one (kidding folks!) life throws a pie in your face and you have a big mess to clean up. so. i got evicted. and no, it wasn't cause i forgot to pay my rent. my landlord decided he wanted to move a friend into MY apartment. except it isn't mine, not anymore.
i feel a bit bereft, and even though i have until mid march to find a new place, i feel...homeless. as if this is no longer my home. so i am on a search for better and brighter digs. and i think i have found a place. maybe. they still need to check my references. it's a 1 bedroom in an old victorian. the living room is more of a parlor that opens up into to the bedroom with a sliding pocket door. it has a wood floored hallway that you walk into when opening the front door, it is wide enough to put a desk and chair in it. to the left is an eat in kitchen with a bay window and a dishwasher (glee!), to the right is the living room with another bay window. past the kitchen on the left there is the bathroom with washer and dryer hookups (anyone in humboldt getting rid of a washer and dryer?). straight ahead is the door to the bedroom.
so it won't be until early next week that i hear if it's officially mine. until then keep your fingers crossed, light a candle, pray to angels--whatever it is you do. many thanks!
wow, over a month without a post. i am a baaaaaaaaad blogger. the holidays got away with me what with all those gift swaps to complete. i did end up scoring some rather wonderful art!
on www.illustratedatcs.com a thread was started about how ones art can and will progress through years of making atc's. folks were posting cards from the beginning of their atc career until now. i thought i'd do the same.
i've only been making atc's since early in 2008, but this is a good 2 years worth of progress. i've definitely started playing more with layers, therefore more depth in later pieces!
what were your 1st atc's like? did you have any idea what you were doing? do they make you cringe now?
and what are they like now? how do you feel about the progress you have made?
i dare ya'll to post in your blogs your atc progressions. please comment with a link if you do!