Monday, October 25, 2010

Journal Page

I've wanted to create an Art Journal for a long time.  I finally made myself one but had only completed one 2 page spread based on the art of one of my favorite artists.  The first project in the Art, Heart and Healing course went in there too.  Yesterday I was inspired to do another.  I love pumpkins.  The color, the shape, the promise of fall and all that it brings.  I was reminded just the other day of a wonderful analogy using the pumpkin.  It seemed the perfect time to combine them into another spread for my journal.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

First Art, Heart and Healing Project

I spent the day completing the first project in the free Art, Heart and Healing Course.  The single most enjoyable project I have ever done!

This is the first lesson in a free art class I'm taking called Art, Heart and Healing.  The first part was to write down on the left side of the page all the negative things that the inner voice in my head tells me that keep me from feeling good about myself or my art.  Then I had to consider that the voice is simply bad at communication.  I then had to turn the negatives into the positive things that the voice is actually trying to say and then paint over all the negatives.
Then I had to come up with one positive statement to encompass it all. 

The lesson also included instruction in drawing, painting and shading a face and creating a layered background.  I'm so excited about it.  These are things I've been dying to learn and I'm so thrilled with the way it turned out.  I cant wait to do more and I cant wait for the next project lesson on Monday. 

I would highly recommend this course to anyone.  Its completely free and so much fun.  You can just click on the link at the bottom of this page, sign up and get started.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Altered Women: Paintovers Swap

Here are some cards I just finished for a swap hosted by the same person who taught the wonderful paintovers class. 

Here are a couple of Blind Draws that I did for a personal trade.  A Blind Draw requires that you actually close your eyes and draw a face.  Then you color it, give a it a background, name it, even give it a story.  Some of the ones I've seen in the swaps I've done have been hilarious.  People really get into these.

This is Timmy.  His mother was horrified when he got into his first fight.  Timmy, however, thought the black eye and the split lip made him look cool.

This is Frankie.  Picture Day at school was always a nightmare for poor little Frankie.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Whole New Buddy!

I completed another assignment in this awesome paintover class.  Having so much fun with this technique!  Here is our beloved Buddy.  He sure looks good in green, dont ya think?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Muse is back!!

Love when a creative slump finally ends and the muse comes back!  Feeling much better and now finally able to create some projects for an online art class I'm taking.  This one is called Artful Paintovers and teaches techniques for taking photos, pictures, even clip art and changing and painting over to make new and exciting images.

The first project I tackled was a vintage photo.  This is not one of my vintage family photos.  I simply couldnt paint over any of them.  This is a Xerox copy of one I found online.

The second one I tackled was a project in my art journal using vintage clipart.  I love this technique and cant wait to try some fun projects with family photos!

So glad I took this course and I cant wait to see all the ways I can find to use the techniques.

The free Art and Healing Class starts tomorrow so if anyone is interested, click on the link at the bottom of this page and sign up.  Sounds like it is going to be great!

I'd love feedback on my art work.  Let me know what you think, really!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I have been so tired lately and I havent got a creative thought to save my life.  I've got projects backing up, classes to complete, a craft show coming up and nothing...absolutely nothing!!  So incredibly frustrating!  I need to get out of this slump and get something created. 

My kingdom for some inspiration...and energy!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Second Swap

I just finished up hosting my second swap on AFA (  All the cards are swapped and ready to go to the post office tomorrow.  The first swap was a photo swap and the theme was Old Abandoned Houses and Buildings.  I was limited in my first swap to 12 participants and it was such a huge success that I chose to use the same theme and have a Part 2 so others who didnt get into the first one could participate.  The second swap is limited to 20 participants.  I received fabulous cards from 18 people (one dropped out and one never contacted me again after signing up) all over the world.  Its such a thrill to get to see all the great cards that people make for these swaps.  Most people send an extra card on the theme as a gift for the host.  I also make cards for the swap so I trade my own as well.  That leaves me with an amazing stack of cards to add to my collection.  Woohoo!  Lucky me!!

Here are just the cards I get to keep!  Totally forgot to lay ALL the cards out and get a picture.  That would have been quite a site.

Once these start arriving I can start my third swap.  This one will be limited to 30 participants.  After that I can run as many swaps as I want, have as many participants as I want and offer other options like trading 6/6 instead of the usual 3/3.  Not sure what I want the next swap theme to be.  Any ideas?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Whirlwind Week

Last week was crazy and we spent more time in the car and on the road in just a few days then we have in months! 

I had to drop out of 2 swaps I was signed up for because I just had no time and no inspiration.  I did finally complete some cards for a swap yesterday and it felt so good!  I'm dying for just a solid block of time to concentrate on really getting some things made.  I really feel this is where God wants me to put my energy but dang life just keeps getting in the way! ;) are the cards for the swap.  The theme was Color Wheel People.  They had to feature people and be made in only 2 colors that were opposites on the color wheel.  The choices were blue/orange, purple/yellow or red/green.  I wasnt sure what Id be able to come up with but I'm happy with the results.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Old Doubts-Renewed Faith

So I'm so excited about this class and another that I'm currently taking and I'm thinking of all the ways I can use the new skills, the projects I can create and then...the old voice of doubt chimes in.  "Are you kidding?  Did you look at the work of some of these other artists?  You cant do that...not even close.  You dont have that kind of talent.  Your work will just look like an amateur or a child made it.  You are such an idiot for thinking you could ever do anything like that!"  Just as my hand started shaking and the wonderful visions of all the future art I want to make began to fade once again God reaches out to me through the radio and another favorite song.

Oh,what I would do to have
the kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown
Where Jesus is,
And he's holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name
and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
time and time again
"Boy, you'll never win,
You you'll never win

But the Voice of truth tells me a different story
the Voice of truth says "do not be afraid!"
and the Voice of truth says "this is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth
from Voice of Truth by
Casting Crowns

I have to believe that God has me on this path for a reason and I choose to listen to the Voice of truth!  I will trust in His vision, His ability, His inspiration working through me.  I am human, weak, flawed and nothing without Him.  With Him, I can do anything!

Fantastic Opportunity

I'm so excited!  Just found out about an amazing opportunity to take a free Art and Healing Course from an amazing artist!  Yes, I said free!  Check out her website and sign up!  I cant wait to get started.  It looks like so much fun and I'm so excited about all that I will learn from it.  Thank you, God for continuing to bless my journey and providing opportunities like this to learn and grow!  What a blessing!

The course starts on Oct. 18th and I'll be posting my projects and progress as the 4-week course unfolds.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My Main, All Consuming Passion...ATCs

My passion in art right now and the thing I spend most of my time doing is creating and trading ATCs. ATCs or Artist Trading Cards are simply that... trading card sized little pieces of art that are made to trade with other artists. I was lucky enough to find a community of artists from around the world at a place called There is so much that goes on there and I've been so blessed by the people that I have met and traded with that I simply cant explain it all in one post. Believe me, youll be hearing a lot about it. It is truly a joy to create these little treasures and then send them around the world only to receive beautiful, fantastic creations in the mail in return.
You can do personal one on one trades with anyone in the community. If you like one of the cards they have posted in the gallery you simple ask for a trade and if they find one of yours that they like you exchange addresses and pop them in the mail. Simple as that. Another fun option is to participate in a swap. A host chooses a theme for the swap and then opens it up for people to join. The participants make 3 cards in the chosen theme and mail them to the host. I always send a 4th card as a gift for the host. When all the cards are received the host will swap them all out and send 3 cards back to each participant. You dont know what youll get or who will get yours. Each swap had a thread of conversation that you can follow along, posting pictures of your cards before you mail them, oooing and ahhhing over the cards made by others and just generally encouraging and getting to know the people in the swap.

I spent today finishing cards for a swap that simply required you to use newspaper somewhere on the card. I was surprised at how difficult this was for me. I really struggled with ideas for this one but once I got into it thankfully the ideas came and I'm really pleased with the results. I'll have to get them in the mail ASAP as they will have to make their way all the way to the Netherlands!

Big Projects=Big Headaches

So I'm currently working on an annual project that I do for the middle school youth at our church. When the 8th graders graduate to the high school youth group they are given a gift which I've been blessed to be asked to make for the last 7 or 8 years I guess. The youth director comes up with an idea of what he would like, a vision if you will and he lets me take it and create it. Up till now, the gifts have always been a type of large medallion sculpted from polymer clay but this year's design seemed more appropriate for something that would sit on a table or shelf. The photo on the left is my work space. The drawing on the right is the design for this year.

I purchased all the clay for the project and unfortunately got an absolutely awful batch of red. If you are not familiar with polymer clay, it is made to be sculpted and then cured in the oven at a low temperature ( 275) for a short time (15-20 min) which makes it hard and permanent. Unfortunately, this batch either sat on a hot truck or on a sunny loading dock for too long and the red clay is partially cured making it almost impossible to condition and mold. Normally this type of clay is very pliable and it is a simple matter to condition it with your hands and sculpt and mold it into whatever you would like. In the first picture you see normal clay that is pliable and very easy to condition on the right and the dry, crumbly clay that has been partially cured on the left. In order to make any of this clay usable it had to be mixed, blended and conditioned into the little bit of good clay that I was able to get. The second picture is in the middle of the process as I add more and more of the dry, crumbly clay to the good, smooth clay.


Needless to say, it took days of mixing and conditioning with my pasta machine to get the red clay usable enough to make the simple heart shapes needed for these pieces. It was maddening and exhausting but thankfully that part is done. Now I'll move on the the real sculpting and hope that the white clay I need to use has not faired as poorly as the red.