Friday, July 31, 2015

Show Your Face...Two New Faces

It's Friday and you know what that's time to Show Your Face with Kim Dellow. If you don't already know about this fun challenge you need to check it out, especially if you like to draw or paint faces.

Today I'm sharing a couple of new drawings I did. I'm thinking of making these into a coloring book. Let me know what you think of that idea.

This first one is my Art Deco girl. I finished her a couple of days ago. She might be a band majorette, too! She has to be very careful when she walks or her headdress will fall off!

I'm not sure who this girl is but I like her. Maybe some kind of exotic princess.
Yesterday I talked about drawing faces and how mine have changed/or not over the years. Sometimes when I sit down to draw, I catch myself starting out doing things like I did several years ago and I have to stop myself and say "you know better now"...old habits are hard to change! The "princess" girl above has eyes that are too big. That was one of my biggest challenges when it came to changing how I did faces. But I love doing faces whether they're "correct" or not. In real life, not many faces are perfect or completely symmetrical and that's what I keep telling myself!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Blank Faces...and More

Since I'm on this roll of sharing some of my older art, I thought I'd show a few of my early faces. For many years I thought I couldn't draw faces. I would draw women in long, flowing dresses but none of the women ever had a face. I just left it blank...

Lettuce Lady

Flower Petal Lady

I'm not sure where I first learned to draw a face, or learned that there was a "formula" to use to get things in the right place but I started drawing faces all the time. I have several small moleskine journals that are full of little faces. Today I'm sharing a few of them...

I've always liked curvy lines...and what else do you see?   Dots and circles! The theme continues!!

Here is a spread in a moleskine with eight faces...some I like, some not so much! More curvy lines except for that one on the top row, second from the right and the second from the left on the bottom row.  I'm not sure what I was thinking with that block head!!And I didn't finish any of their eyes. I usually put a little spot of white but for some reason I didn't.

Sad as she seems, this girl has always been one of my favorites. I'm not sure why but I like her so much. I purposely elongated everything in this drawing. I especially like her wilted flower!! I have days when I feel like this!!

This girl didn't get finished either. I colored her face and stopped. Again, here are those curvy lines but no dots or circles!! When I first began drawing faces I always made the eyes too big. I've gotten a little better with that but I have to keep reminding myself.

The lesson here, is don't give up. If you've never drawn a face, give it a try. The first one may not be as good as you'd like but don't give up!! Keep practicing. Heads are not usually round, they're more of an egg shape. Eyes go in the middle of the head, and then measure down halfway and that's the tip of the nose; halfway again and you have a place for the mouth. These are just some loose ideas to follow. Play around with drawing faces. It's fun...and can be addictive!

Be sure to check back tomorrow for more faces!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

How to Turn an Old Book Into Your Art Journal

I've been doing a few posts about how I work in my art journal and I thought it might be helpful to see one of my latest journals. In the beginning I bought journals, then I made a few...paper and binding and all that, but mostly I like to find an old book and turn it into my art journal. Thrift stores and library sales are great places to look for old books at inexpensive prices.

This is the book I'm working in now. It's an old book about flowers. I bought it originally because of all the brightly colored pictures but I love the size of it so it's now my latest art journal.

I seem to be going bigger and bigger with each journal. As you can see, this book is about 14" x 10". It originally had 320 pages and the spine was about 1.25" thick. You may not want a book this big. It just depends on how you like to work.

The first thing I do is to prepare the pages. I take out every third page leaving just a small piece attached to the book. Oops! I forgot to mention that when I look for books I look for ones with the pages sewn in and not glued. They hold up much better to all the wear and tear of becoming an art journal.

Here's another view of one of the cut out pages. See the little lip still there? That keeps the book from falling apart. If you tear the page out completely right up to the spine then the page on the other side of the book will come out, too, and it will all loosen up the binding. Eventually the book will fall apart.

This is an example of what NOT to do! This is my very first art journal. I used one of the black, hardcover sketch books that you see in every art supply store. But as I added things to the pages it grew...and grew...and this is now as far as it will close. It has to sit alone on a shelf. And it takes up a lot of space!

This is a close-up of the top of the book. You can see that the pages are sewn in but I didn't remove any of them. I didn't know I had to do that! Live and learn!! You can also see that the book is beginning to come away from the covers.

This is inside the front cover. I will eventually have to do something with this book or it will fall apart completely. So learn from my mistakes!

I hope some of this gives you a good idea about how to choose a book for your own art journal. I simply love to cut things out of magazines and create fun pages with them. I also like to smoosh paint around and make interesting backgrounds for whatever I decide to layer on top. Having an art journal to play in is one of my favorite things. It's where you can experiment, have successes or failures, but none of it matters if you're having fun.

If you don't already have an art journal, I hope I've inspired you to give it a try. And just because I use an old book doesn't mean that's right for everyone. Look at already made journals either in an art store or online. Think about making one yourself. There are tons of tutorials on YouTube about making art journals from scratch. Think about how you like to create and then find what works for you. If you do give it a try I hope you share it with others...and with me. I love to see other people's art journals.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Happy Buyers...Happy Seller

Yesterday was a good day. The people who bought paintings at my art show reception came to pick them up. The rest of the paintings will remain until late September but I didn't want the buyers to have to wait that long to get their paintings.

The first painting that sold was Faded Memories and here is the buyer with me and the painting...

I'm not sure why I'm making such a funny face but at least the painting looks good.

The buyer was nice enough to send me a photo of the painting hanging in their home...

It looks like it belongs there.
I hope they enjoy it.

This is me and the buyer of Spring Has Sprung. I had several people who wanted this painting but this woman got it first. She said she will send me a photo of it in her house and I'll share that later.

I was recently asked if I feel sad when one of my paintings sells, and the answer is no. I always take photos of everything I create plus it makes me happy that someone wants to display my painting in their home or office. I also know that when I free up space by selling a painting then I'll create something new to fill that emptiness. It's a cycle of creating, letting go, and creating again.

Monday, July 27, 2015

You Don't Need a Lot of Money to Create an Art Journal

Today I want to share a few of my older journal pages that were created without having a lot of expensive supplies. When you first get started with an art journal you only need a few things. Some paint or something to add color to a page is foremost in my mind. Here are some examples of things you can use...

The page above was made with security envelopes, bits and scraps of patterned papers and a small amount of paint. If you read yesterday's post you might also notice....dots and circles!! A recurring theme in my art journal.

More circles!! These were cut from a was a picture of dinner plates. I just cut away the centers and used them as rings on the page. Also a bit of paint and maybe some patterned paper again along with some doodles.

This one has paint and small strips of color and design cut from magazines. I added some doodles and it's a journal spread. You might notice the date on the side. I did this in 2010...and I still like it.

This one is another of my favorites from that time. The background is watered down paint, the border was cut from magazines, also some of the squares and rectangles are from magazines or from small scraps of patterned papers. I added some doodles and lots of...what else!...DOTS!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Texture, Color and Layers in Art

Do you like texture and color? Those two things seem to drive me when I do art. I love seeing a painting or a journal page with LAYERS and LAYERS of texture and color...and I love bright, happy colors most of all.

The photos here all all small snippets from my earlier journal pages. 

Blue and green together always make me happy. I tend to like the lime/avocado/sage greens and more in the turquoise area when it comes to blue. I started this page with lots of writing...don't remember what I wrote and it really doesn't matter because it's just the first LAYER on the blank white page. Then I've used stencils, some freehand doodles, and some splops of paint that form circles...another of my favorite things. You will probably find circles or dots in most of my artwork.

The page above has a lot going on. I don't normally use a lot of pink but I think this was a challenge for pink. I see scrapbook papers, smooshed paint, stencils, and once again...dots! Lots of LAYERS!

More color in this and green. This one has stencils and stamps. And guess what...the stamp is a dot design!! Do you see a theme here? Am I getting dotty??!

Now this one was a failed attempt! I cut large strips of solid color magazine pages and glued them to my pages. Then I added a stencil using white paint. Didn't like it so I smeared it out a bit and still didn't like it. But seeing it here in a small snippet like this, I like it! It's a beginning. Maybe it needs a few more LAYERS!

More strips of magazine doing this. You can get a wonderful LAYER of pattern and color and it's inexpensive. I put a light wash of gesso over the strips and they look worn and aged. LOVE that look!!

Do you have favorite things that always show up in your art? How do you add texture and layers? Or do you like something without all the layers?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Lost...But Finding My Way

This is going to be me just rambling today. And I'm inserting some of my already seen art because that's all I have right now! It's Saturday morning and I'm studying!, studying. I'm determined to learn how to be successful at selling my art online. By successful, I don't mean I want to become a millionaire!! I'm not in it just for the money. I love to create. I want to be able to get my art "out there" and have it seen/purchased by people. My biggest thrill is when people see my art and smile. That makes it all worthwhile to me.

As I've said numerous times on here, I'm not a techie person. I get confused easily. I didn't grow up with computers so it's all been new territory for me. (Remember, I'll be 72 this September so I'm no spring chicken!) It's a struggle for me to just change the banner/header on this blog! But I want to have an attractive blog that people feel happy to see and want to visit.

I don't have a lot of $$$ to spend on having someone create a new blog for me so I'm trying to learn new things...stretching and taking risks. In the coming days/weeks you might see some weird things happening on my blog. Just know that it's me learning...trying to make it better for you and more enjoyable.

If any of you out there who read my blog have any suggestions as to where I can find info on sprucing up my blog, please let me know. Also tell me what you like and don't like about the way it looks right now.

I'm trying to fan the flames of my own get things get serious about learning new things. My mind is whirling with ideas that I want to implement in the coming months but I need a good solid base to work from. That's what my blog is for me. It's my base. My starting point.

photo from online

This is where I feel like I am right now. More lost than very lost...but still not where I want to be. The road ahead may be twisty and turny but I hope it smooths out as I go along. So buckle your seat belts. We're in for a bumpy ride!!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Show Your Face...and Some Other Things, Too

Here I am again...just popping in to give you an update on what's been going on around here. First of all, this is Friday so that means Kim Dellow is doing Show Your Face. I'm bringing out an oldie to share this week. It's one of my personal favorites. I hope you like it, too.

Her Cat Went Everywhere With Her

I did this face at least a year ago. 
It's in one of my art journals.

Here's a close-up of her face and the cat.
I had fun with this one.

Now if you just popped over for Show Your Face you may not want to stick around for the rest of this post...that's okay 'cause I'm gonna talk about other stuff.

I have been doing a little bit of drawing in the evenings. This girl is very art deco to me and she isn't finished yet. You might be able to see some pencil doodles on the left side of her headdress. I'm trying to decide what I want to do in that area.

She's definitely a WIP...not sure where she will lead me but so far I like her.

And I'm continuing with my decrapifying of the house. I saved the worst/best room 'til studio. It seems to be in a constant upheaval no matter what I do. It's a small room...only about 10' x 10' with a big window on one wall and double doors on another. There's very little wall space because I used one of the solid walls as book shelves. There's a LOT that goes on in this room so if I don't keep after it, it gets crazy very quickly.

I still have more work to do...but most of these shelves have been re-done.
There's still some open space and that's good...
but there's still stuff stacked on the floor.

This is my work table and as you can see, it's not been cleaned off. I'm using it as my sorting area so everything gets dumped on it while I'm cleaning and re-organizing. I have red rosin paper taped over the entire surface...that's blue painter's tape along the edges holding it in place. I'm getting close to the finish line. And believe it or not, I've taken three armloads full of books to the senior center and my book area is still stuffed. I have the toughest time getting rid of books!

So now you know what I've been doing while I haven't been blogging! I hope to be finished with this decrapifying before too much longer...although I plan to keep at it so things don't pile up again. I have a fairly big house but I must say whoever designed it wasn't thinking! There's a lot of wasted space, and since the house is so open there isn't a lot of wall space in any of the rooms. Bad for an artist!

Okay, I'm off to finish that studio space...see you soon!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Going Back in Time...

Caution - Photo Overload!!

As you may know if you've been reading my blog recently, I am in the process of decrapifying (I love that word...wish I could remember where I saw it) my house. My mother and my grandmothers were all "keepers" of things. Don't misunderstand...they were not hoarders but they kept things neatly tucked away someplace in the house. I'm about to share with you some of the things my mother kept...and they all relate to me.

I found an entire box of papers from my early school years which means they are from the early '50s! Here are a few of the things I found...

These are just some of the school papers.
Notice the cheap quality of the paper!
It's very delicate...but then it's OLD!

 I found several packets of papers pinned together with a straight pin! Didn't they have staplers back in the dark ages?? I think the teacher pinned these together and not my mother. By the way, my first and second grade teacher was Miss Nellie Dale Grissom. I still remember her. She taught us to write cursive in the first grade because she said no one used printing! She would have a fit if she could she things now that they're trying to do away with handwriting in the schools.

As you can see, I was always good at spelling...
maybe not so much anymore!

It wasn't math back was arithmetic.
These must have been those story problems...
which I hated.

There were also lots and lots of drawings in the box. I love this one! It's supposed to be a little brown mouse but it looks more like a cat to me. At the bottom it says: This merry little mouse liked to dance. She danced all day long singing, "why rub and scrub all day in the house? It's better to dance like a little brown mouse." My sentiments exactly except I'd say it's better to do art all day!

I'm assuming this is a frog looking up at a bug.

I actually remember drawing this!
I still like to draw flowers shaped like this.

I sure wasn't very good at profiles!

We must have been studying something about these birds.
They sure weren't in my everyday environment!

Now this is a bird I might have seen.

I have liked purple as long as I can remember.

This lady is all dressed up...and having a little drink. The bottle on the table is Mogen David! I remember hearing that name and I thought it was something special.

I found that I have apparently liked to draw (and paint) trees most of my life because I found numerous drawings of trees in the box. The themes seemed to be mostly trees, houses, and flowers. I only branched out into other subjects as I got a little older. It was fun going through all these old papers. Now I have to decide what to do with them. Should I toss them out or keep them...and if I keep them, do you have any ideas about how to store them? I have a pretty big stack of these drawings and school papers. If you have any suggestions I would appreciate hearing them. I thought about maybe trying to make a book out of them. 

Now I'm off to see what other things I can discover hidden away in boxes!! Wish me luck!!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Rapunzel...It's Serendipity

Last evening I started doing an abstract line drawing with nothing much in mind. This morning I got it out again and started working on it. At one point I turned the paper completely around and Voila!! I saw a head and shoulders in the drawing! So I went with Rapunzel!

You can see the spiral edge on the right...when I began drawing I was using the tablet of paper with the spiral to the left. Turning it around was the key. I love serendipitous art!

HB said she looked like Rapunzel with all the hair. At last, I did some hair!! Well, sort of.