Monday, June 27, 2011

Annual Girlfriend Reunion...

38 yr. old gum wrapper chain.
Cindy and I started creating this in Jr. High School.
Each one of us took home a piece of the chain.,

Last year, some of the girls that I went to junior high school, high school, and college with, decided that we should get together.  All 6 of us had gone on with our separate lives over the year, getting jobs, getting married, having kids, and some of us had moved away from our hometown.  We occasionally kept in contact through the years, but as time went by, it was less and less frequent.  But in 2005 tragedy struck one of the 'girls'.  Her tragedy brought us all back into contact through email and other occasional meetings.  Her tragedy made me realize that we should not let time and our busy lives cause us to lose contact with people that were important in our lives.  The 5 other girls (including me) were connected because of her.  We wanted to be supportive to her and each other during this time. But because of the distance that separates us and so much time had passed, it was not easy to be there for her, except through prayer, phone calls, and emails.  About 2 years ago, with the help of Facebook, I started talking to these girls and we started trying to plan a trip or weekend together.  Finally, last year, our 1st Annual Girlfriend Reunion happened.  We had so much fun talking and laughing and spending time together, that we decided to do this every year.  This past weekend we had our 2nd Annual Girlfriend Reunion. The picture of the bird garland was hanging in the kitchen of the house where we stayed.  It is so cute and reminds me of the 6 friends that are connected by our friendships.  Again, we had a great weekend together making more happy memories and made our plans for our next reunion in 2012.  Life is too short to lose contact with family and friend that you love. 

Contact an old friend today...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What did you do during the summer...back in the day?

Tiny Clay House
Listed on Etsy
When I was in school, we filled our summers with activities that took some creativity and imagination. I have always liked to do artsy and crafty things, but I think that came about because we had to entertain ourselves.  I have always enjoyed creating little houses and villages and creating little imaginary places. Even to the point of creating a little village in the dirt, using moss for the grass and little sticks for trees, and the little boxcars that I played with back then.  Yes, I played with dolls some too, but little cars were up there on my playtime to do list.   We had to find things to do to entertain ourselves during the long summer months. (summer vacation was actually 3 months long back the 60s and 70s).  Of course, this was before  I was old enough to drive, so I had plenty of time to fill during the summer.  This was also before video games, cell phones, computers or internet, and probably even cable TV!  I don't remember when we actually started getting Cable, but I do remember the summer when the only thing on the 3 channels (+Educational the channel with things like Mr. Rogers...ugh)  that we got on TV was non-stop coverage of court hearings about some boring old political corruption called Watergate!  Being too young to drive, I was pretty much stuck at home to play outside in the heat, ride my bike to a friends house, or ride my bike to the pool.  I even played softball a few summers, even though I am not all! My sister was the athletic one. I was the creative one.  I certainly was not interested in watching Watergate hearings.  So when it was too hot to go outside, we (my sister and I) spent time reading books, playing games, and stitching designs on dish cloths for our Mom, going to friends houses, talking on the telephone (that was plugged into the wall).  I didn't have a lot of art supplies like paint or clay or access to a kiln back then.  I can only imagine what I would have done if I had had that!  (After I started driving, that's another story!)  But now I am never 'bored' or have 'nothing' to do.  I have paint, colored pencils, and clay to create my little houses and buildings and accessories. So this summer will be filled with some creative time, mixed with time to relax and watch some TV (not much), even though there are 100s of stations on the TV now, and  internet time (which I love), and maybe even a little cleaning around the house (not too much).

What did you do during your summer break...back in your day?


Sunday, June 12, 2011

More experiments with textures

Just thought I would show an experiment before I show current projects. Currently I'm working on some custom clay tiles that aren't finished, then I have some
pen and ink custom home portraits.  So for now I will show a project that I worked on a few months ago.  Along with my students, I have been experimenting with mixed media paintings.  I tend to be very detailed with colored pencils and pen and ink, so I love the looseness of working with torn papers and modeling paste for textures and layering the variety of media allowing for previous layers to show through in places.  Here is a piece that I experimented with, although I still feel like its not quite finished.  The roof of the house needs another section on the right side. Although I was going for whimsical, it looks a little off balanced, so I am going to add a little more to it.

Some of the layers include: paint, then torn papers with architectural details and musical notes, tissue paper (crinkled up), black pastel for sketch, more paint, more layers, more paint. I didn't take photos as I went. I really need to start taking photos along the way. But here are some close ups so you can see the layers and the textures.

Enjoy the process!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Blog or Website?

...or both?  If I want to market my art, what is the most effective use of my time and money? I have been blogging for several years now.  Before I discovered the blogging world, I was journaling about my art on my computer, which no one saw except me. Then I found blogs and it took me awhile to get the courage to actually start my own.  I really didn't think I had anything to say, much less anyone would want to read about it. Well, along the way I did pick up some readers and met some very nice artists.  I have no idea how much this blog is actually read, but for me its still more about journaling about what I'm doing with my art.  I'm not sure that it has any effect on marketing my art, but I guess it gets my work seen by some people, at least.  Being from a small town, there are no art galleries or local places that sell original art. (That's the subject for another blog post.)  I do have online shops where I sell my artwork and I have links on the sidebar of this blog, set up to both of my Etsy shops, Hearthomes, where I sell my little clay houses, and BMacre, which I sell my pen and ink drawings and other drawings and paintings.  I also set up a page on Facebook to display my artwork, which has brought in some business from local people, which is great!  It has always been hard for me to talk about myself and show what I do either because (1) I feel like no one is interested, or (2) it feels a little like showing off.   But I can't sell my work if I don't show it to people, right?   ...This is why I did not go into sales, but I'm learning.
Custom Pen and Ink
House Portrait

So my dilemma is, should I have a website? Do people actually go look at websites that stay the same for long periods of time? How often do websites get changed?  So far, having the blog and facebook page has worked for me.  I can very easily add pictures of what I am working on currently. But would a website make a difference? I have a free website with WIX, but it is very limited on what I can add to it. And it needs updating if I keep it. But I think that if I have a website, I will be using my domain name. Problem is, I just don't know how to set up a website, or the time to learn anything very difficult.

If you have any thoughts on this subject, I would like to hear your comments.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Time to Straighten Up the Studio!

Now that school is officially out, I have plans to get into my own studio and get creative. Before I can do that, I must get it organized though. Or at least put things away.  Summer will be over before I know it!  I have several projects that are waiting to be started, plus I have several that I want to work on.  Shown is a sample of a few houses that I was able to work in over the last few weeks. I've also been experimenting with different accessories, like the fencing.  So, I hope to get to work soon.  Now off to straighten up the studio.

Hope you are having a great weekend!

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