Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Riddle and an Answer

Where's Hercule Poirot? Sherlock Holmes?Miss Marple? There is a mystery to be solved and we need them!
Here is the riddle...
What do you get when you walk into a room and see blood, sweat, dog poop, wood shavings and a broken window?

I think that some creative individuals could come up with many entertaining scenarios but the truth is that you would find me and my dad putting in a window A/C unit. Sad, but true. How does this all add up you might ask...

Blood- my dad cut himself ( yet again) on the sharp edges of the A/C unit.
Sweat- my house still doesn't have A/C (hence the window A/C unit) and putting in a window unit is hard work!
Dog Poop- I stepped in this before walking into my house and didn't realize it until after I had apparently taken a walk through my house that would have made Billy (The Family Circus) proud. You put dog poop and me anywhere within 5 miles of each other and we'll find a way to collide. I have a dog poop magnet somewhere in me and medical scientists haven't been able to find a way to remove it yet.
Wood Shavings- Because we are putting a window unit into a window that has a sliding door, my dad had to jerry rig a window piece to fit in the space above the A/C unit. Well it wasn't fitting right so my dad decided to whip out his pocket knife and whittle the piece to the right shape. My living room looked like wood shop.
Broken Window- My dad didn't undo the latch right when he unlocked the window and when he shoved the window open the latch scratched, and subsequently broke, my window.

None of this is the worst part though. After all of this, we couldn't get the window unit and the jerry rigged window piece to fit right. So all of this was for nothing.

I suppose that I should have mentioned tears somewhere in that riddle because there were plenty of those while I was cleaning everything up.

                                 'The Family Circus' ~ Bil Keane

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Facebook Giveaway

Just wanted to share some exciting news. My facebook fan page has been growing and is now at nearly 200 followers! Once I reach 200 followers, I am celebrating by having a giveaway! You must be a fan of my page to participate, so if you aren't already, please go here and "like" my page. If you are an artist and have a FB fan page of your own, feel free to post a link to it on my page. My page isn't just about my work, it's about sharing the work of others. It's essentially an arm of this blog. I always strive to share exciting artistic finds that I stumble across. Whether it's the artwork of masters come and gone, or the work of artists and artisans who are up and coming. My main goal is to inspire others.
I have recently signed up to take an open drawing session entitled Burlesketch. I am SOOO excited! I am assuming that they were inspired by Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School, where they often draw burlesque models and such. I have always loved figure drawing and am excited to try something different while still honing my skills. The classes begin in mid-October, but I will be sure to post some of my drawings/paintings here for you to see.
If you research Dr. Sketchy you will come across all sorts of lovely work. One of my favorite drawings is by Audrey Kawasaki.

Whether it's corsets, bras or pasties, I'm sure that it's going to be lots of fun! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Using the Body as a Canvas

As an artist, I suppose it's only natural that I should love makeup. I'm like a kid in a candy store whenever I encounter a Sephora store. It feels as if I'm walking into an art supply megastore. Waking up in the morning, my favorite thing to do is to choose what my palette is going to be for the day and then paint my face with it. Just as I use a plethora of colors and brushes to create my paintings, so do I use a plethora of brushes and colors to apply makeup to my face. (it doesn't look as bad as it sounds, I promise! ) I pay attention to values, tones, etc. I'm not sure if all women enjoy this, or if it's just me being a bit of a weirdo.

I think that many women view applying makeup as a necessary evil and fail to see it as a fun thing to do. We also often fail to view this as a creative exercise and an artistic one as well. However, makeup is a pretty amazing medium to work with. With it, we can completely alter the look of our face, body, etc. Our noses can look narrower, wider, smaller. Our eyes can look sultry or large and doe-like. Our mouths can appear to be full and pouty, bow shaped, tight-lipped, etc. It's amazing what some carefully placed highlights can do! I haven't even gone into the amazing creations that FX makeup artists are able to do!

Here is an example where an artist has blurred the line between art and fashion. Makeup, painting, photography, you name it.

Her name is Ragen Mendenhall and her work is truly inspiring

After she has created these beautiful works of art on the human body, she creates elaborate backgrounds and photographs them. Here are a few of my favorites.
 The photographs are so beautifully composed that you can forget that they are a photograph and mistake them for a painting. I also love the way she has incorporated her background and headpieces into her body paintings. They remind me of my years as a costume designer. When working on a production, you are essentially working to bring the director's vision to the stage/ screen. It's as if you are the hands of the artist and the artist is the director. I miss this collaboration. In the end, you would often end up with something like this. Where the lighting, set and costumes move seamlessly in and out of each other.

If you would like to view more of Ragen's work, you can go to her website
If you would like to see more of Ragen's artwork and photographs that are for sale, you can go to her etsy shop.

Hope that you have been inspired and that you have a wonderful night!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Transferring Images onto Polymer

I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to write this post. I've been keeping pretty busy these days with my day job and my more artistic "night job". I went to the rheumatologist to get the results from my blood work. I do not have an auto immune disease. An auto immune disease would be something like arthritis, lupis, scleroderma, etc. Actually, Venus Williams was recently diagnosed with an auto immune disease. I do have the genetic makeup to develop something in the future, but I am relieved that I haven't developed anything at this time. The aches in my hands have improved since the doctor told me to get a bit more sleep so that's no longer a worry. Instead I have been diagnosed with flat feet and wonky knees due to the muscles keeping my kneecaps in place being weak. Anyone know of shoes with good arch support? Hahaha!

Anyway, to celebrate this good news I have completed a new video. In it I show you how you can transfer an image onto polymer clay. Once you have transferred the image you can create a pendant, brooch,etc.
Here are a few examples:
   This brooch was made using an original drawing that I xeroxed, colored with colored pencils, transferred and then painted with acrylics and mica powders before varnishing and adding the decorative frame.

         The wings on this fairy brooch are actually created using an original colored pencil drawing that has been transferred onto polymer and then painted with mica powders and varnished. The rest of the sculptural pieces were then added afterwards.

To see how you can create your own wearable art, watch my video.

If you enjoy this, please subscribe to my channel! Have a splendiferous evening! ♥

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remember Remember the 11th of September

Today marks the 10 year anniversary of the September 11th bombings. There were many loved ones lost on that day and many more have been lost since then during the subsequent wars. For Americans, it's a day of reflection. I spent today praying and spending time with my family, while a friend of mine spent the morning honoring the firemen at their local fire station by bringing them donuts, apples and coffee. A small offering to put a smile on the faces of men who risk their lives so many times as they help others. Wasn't that a wonderful gesture?

What I have taken from this tragedy is that we never know when the end will come. Whether it's in a horrific tragedy like this one, or a car accident. We don't know how much time we have with our loved ones and should therefore live each day to the fullest. Life is short. Sometimes too short and we need to spend our time wisely while we are here.

No matter the grief that our country has suffered, our country's citizens are still filled with an amazing capacity for love and compassion. This act of hatred has not managed to take that away. Many countries have suffered similar acts of anger and hatred and I continue to see them rise above it. The world is filled with such suffering, but people's hearts continue to love. This is, in my opinion, the true miracle of humanity.

" The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places. But still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater." - J.R.R. Tolkien

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Exciting News and New Art!

For those of you who follow my blog, you may recall my blog post about the Handmade Artists' Shop and their giveaway for a free shop for life. Well, I'm amazed to say that I won!! I am still sort of in shock because I never win anything (seriously), but I am just thrilled as can be! I have already set up my shop page and am slowly but surely adding items to it. Right now I am focusing on getting my jewelry up first, but soon it will also have prints of my original art as well as some original items. I am just so excited! I had been wanting to start a shop there, but just couldn't see adding another art-related expense at this moment. What a blessing!
Anyway, in other news, my painting of Spring is finally finished.

I have really been loving researching and painting flowers for these past two paintings. ( to see my finished painting of Summer, click here )

My original painting is available at my etsy shop. 10% of the proceeds will go to UNICEF.
I am always dedicated to helping those less fortunate than myself and feel blessed to be able to use my God given gifts for the benefit of others whenever possible.
Some VERY nice fine art prints are also available on society6

Now that Spring is finally done, it's time to work on Autumn. All of the research I've done on leaves, mums, etc has really put me in the mood for some cooler weather! Sadly it's still pretty hot here...

 I have completed my Autumn color study and am just now starting to begin work on the final painting. Looking forward to sharing her with you!

I have recently discovered some really terrific artists and am looking forward to sharing their work with you in the near future. Until then, have a fantastic day!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Changing One's Perspective

Today was a horrible, rotten day. We were incredibly busy at my job and I spent a decent portion of it running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. However,  I am quite proud of myself. I handled every single customer with the utmost care and was still able to smile and laugh with many of our guests. It would have been a very nice day, until Mr. Impossible walked in. Mr. Impossible is the name I give anyone who is impossible to please.

This particular man has the unsmiling face of a bulldog and the unpleasant attitude to match. I have never once, in the many unfortunate years since I’ve known him, EVER seen him smile. Not ONCE. I have also NEVER had him dine with us without complaining about something. The wine, the food, the service, etc. The man seems to take some sort of perverse pleasure in finding reasons to complain and be unhappy. Today, I had the unfortunate experience of being his object of complaint. I was declared to be decidedly unpleasant and unfriendly by Mr. Bulldog because of something that had nothing to do with me. He had decided that I was going to be the scapegoat for someone else's error. If I HAD been unpleasant, then I would feel some sort of guilt. The sad thing is that I had made extra efforts to be nice to him. I always do because I hope that this will be the day when I see some semblance of humanity in his face. Some sort of smirk... the faintest impression of a smile... So this accusal came after my sickeningly sweet attempt at being pleasant and welcoming. Perhaps it's forever opposite day in Mr. Impossible's world? I might have fared better if I HAD actually been unpleasant and unfriendly.

I suppose that I should wish ill on this man (and in the past I may have), but I can’t do anything but pity him. He is doing quite well financially, but it has clearly brought him no happiness whatsoever. He has the most sour face of practically anyone I have ever seen. He delights in creating drama where there is none. How sad! What a pathetic life! 

Perhaps you have encountered someone who has sought to do you ill or who seeks to make others unhappy. I ask you to look at them in a new light. Don’t hate them. Don’t bother wasting time even being angry. Just pity these people. Someone who seeks to hurt others is a person who must be suffering a great deal within themselves. Whether it’s with a low self-esteem, depression or any other manner of demons. Take a deep breath and let the poison of anger and hate pass through you and not take up residence. Then be grateful for the many blessings that you have and your infinite ability to love and laugh and ENJOY LIFE.