Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Photoshop and hands back in clay today...

Just thought I would post a photo of some of the clay houses I've been working on the past week. There are many more on the drying shelf.  These are just a few that I picked out to photograph. They are little larger than the ones that I've been selling.  These range from about 3" to 5" tall.   Most of the ones before ranged from 2" to 3 1/2" tall.  I will still be making those, but I'm also adding this larger size to the 'collection'.   The taller one, with the cut out windows, will have an opening in the bottom for a candle.  I plan to make a series of those as well.

I am also trying to learn how to do some things on photoshop. I need a new banner on my Etsy shop, so I am trying out some new designs, but I need help with the Photoshop Elements. I have been looking on You Tube for tutorials.  There are alot to weed through, but there are some pretty helpful ones.  So I've been working on that when I have a little computer time.  But I really wish it were easier to use! We didn't have computer classes when I was in college...or at least anything that I can use now!  If you know what data punched cards are, then you know what I'm talking about.  It seems so ancient, but it was ony about 30 years ago! But that is a whole new post to fill up with 'technology' of the 80's!
So enjoy your PCs and your laptops! They've come a long way!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Latest Pen and Ink Drawing and Facebook

I'm feeling like a broken record this month! I have had more pen and ink commissions come in this month than I have in a few years!  This is my latest.  I guess that word of mouth is partly the reason for the sudden interest in the pen and ink drawings.  But I love it and these little house commissions are only 8 x 10 inches, so they do not take too long to complete.
The great thing about these pen and ink drawings is that I only need a few materials. Black drawing pens and a good drawing paper. My favorite pens include both Zig Millineum and Sakura Pigma Micron in several different sizes. My favorite paper for these drawings is Strathmore Smooth Bristol Board. I love it because it is smooth and the pens do not get caught on the texture of the paper.

I also post photos of my latest work on Facebook , on my 'Fan Page' (separate than my personal page).  And I have found that it really makes my artwork visible and makes people aware of what I do.  So, I have found it beneficial to participate in the 'social networking'.  Although, at first, I found it very difficult to post pictures of my work, so publicly! Its still difficult, but its getting easier.  Some people that I know from everyday life, have told me that they did not know that I was an artist!  So that is a positive thing and I get good feedback on my work from people that I have, or someone that I know has, some connection  with.

In other news, I am also still working with clay. I have been accepted to show and sell my work at the Norcross Art Festival in Norcross, GA in October, so I will be busy behind the scenes working on many, many more clay tiles, houses, ornaments, and more! The photo to the left shows some beads that are in the process of being glazed.  The beads are added to the hanging houses and ornaments.   I will post more photos as I go.  I'm beginning to get a little panicky, though....I realized the other day that I only have 3 1/2 weeks until I go back to work to my full-time teaching job! So I have to get as much done now as I possibly can.  I always feel this panic about this time, though.  Lots to do and not enough time to do it in, but I am so thankful to be able to do what I love. 
Stayed tuned for updates! ~ Beth

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Blog and New Pen and Ink

Image from My New Blog:
View from the Highway

I love to take random photos when I go on trips.  I take pictures from stores, signs, scenes from the road (View from the Highway).  But those photos just go into my ever expanding digital files on my computer.  So I decided that I should share some of my favorites from my travels.   So I started this new blog called 'View from the Highway".  Those photos do not quite fit into this blog, so from now on, whenever I go on a trip I will be posting those photos into my new blog.  If you are interesting in following along with View from the Highway, feel free to 'follow' me over there! Hope to see you over there! 

Below is my newest Pen and Ink commission. 
Pen and Ink on Smooth Bristol Paper
8 x 10

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pen and Ink House Drawing

Private Commission ~ Pen and Ink
8 X 10 Pen and Ink in Frame
I've drawn a few homes and businesses over the years. Many of them have been done with black pen. This one is my most recent home drawing commission. I have 2 more orders that I will be working on over the next week.  I love drawing houses and architectural structures, as you can probably tell by looking at my artwork.  Many buildings, parts of buildings, plus the many little houses that I have created out of clay.  Yeah, I probably should have been an architect.  But I didn't go that route.  Sometimes I wish that I had, but this is pretty interesting to draw and paint and sculpt them.  So a realtor, who happens to be my neighbor, commissioned me to do this drawing for her client, and she has ordered 2 more drawings. So you will be seeing more pen and ink artwork soon.

As for the supplies that I use, I prefer a smooth acid free paper (this one is Strathmore Smooth Bristol 100 lb.)  and I use a variety of black pens, but for commissioned artwork, I use either Zig Millennium or Pigma Micron, in different sized tips. Both of these types of pens are acid free, lightfast, and waterproof. So these drawings should last and last!

So enjoy and I hope to show you more next week!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Go Hogs Go!

For the Razorback Lovers
Order a personalized Hog ornament

It won't  be long before football season is here and Razorback Stadium will be filling up with thousands of Razorback fans!  I am currently taking orders for a Hog Ornament, similar to this one, that can be personalized.  The ornaments are glazed on both sides.   Colors can be changed, filled in, whatever.  If you have any other ideas, just ask!  Many people have very creative ideas that I haven't thought about!
I can make them larger, smaller, heart shapes, square... pretty much whatever shape. I make each one from wet clay, so I am flexible!  You can send me an email here.  Or contact me through Facebook or My Etsy shop.

Thanks for looking!

Happy Fourth of July!

Have a Happy and Safe 4th of July!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

So many choices!

For several years I have considered myself to be a colored pencil artist.  But being the art teacher by day, I have to be familiar with many different materials to introduce to my students. Which also means that I get to experiment with many different materials! Which can be really fun!  I still work alot with my colored pencils, but over the last few years I have begun to work alot with clay and mixed media and collage.  I bought some painting mediums for my students a couple of years ago, to mix with acrylic paints to add texture.  Many of my students really loved the paint mediums, as I do.  At first we just experimented.  But I have come to love how they can add texture to the acrylic paints. The sample to the right is my first experiment/demo with the paint that I mixed with Goldens Molding Paste. I got a sample pack of the different textures that are available in the Goldens, so I don't remember if this was the Light Gel, or the Extra Heavy Gel.  It also has some tissue paper painted/layered in there to get another texture.  While it was drying, I also applied some objects that had textures on them, to get more of a variety of textures.  This one is not finished at this point though. I plan to get it out one of these afternoons and add more texture.

The sample to the left is one that I did this year where I demonstrated getting the texture down...not really knowing at first what I was going to do with it. This was an abandoned canvas that had pink painted allover. So I partially covered it with blue. 

Then, I decided to add the shape of a house, to add to my house theme collection!  I didn't have an acrylic painting of one of my little houses. After adding layers of paint, I decided it needed more embelishments, so I created some 3D pots of flowers out of clay. After glazing and firing, I glued them to the canvas. I think it needs some more work with some detail or added dimension somewhere. So it is a work in progress. You may see it again someday.

This summer, I plan to play around a lot more with the mixed media materials.  Mixed media really seems to be a popular technique with artists today.  I have been seeing more and more magazines, blogs, workshops and websites that showcase some really cool mixed media art. 

So many choices...and not enough time!  I have old books! I could alter them, I could cut out of them and use parts of pages!  I can create some printed text with my computer printer!  But I also need to making lots of little houses and some new things that I'm thinking about.  So there's never enough time! But that is a great feeling to have alot of ideas jumping around in there.

I hope to show some of my progress with a variety media and techniques this summer.  So many things to do, not enough time in a day for me to play!

I'm off to play in the studio. Have a nice day!

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