Friday, January 21, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - "A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember"- Amanda Blake Soule of SouleMama



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

paper lanterns

It's taken me a bit to get back into the swing of things after our busy weekend.  There was lots of hockey, sledding and birthday celebrating.   Yesterday I was finally able to find enough energy to do a little painting. 
I find that if I'm really tired I can work on a painting that is already in progress, but if it's a new painting, which was the case, I really need a certain amount of energy to motivate me to get going.


My little girl looks like she is having a garden party.  I'd love to have a garden party with colorful paper lanterns hanging everywhere, lighting up the evening sky.  Since it's January and I live in Wisconsin, summer parties are a loong way off.  Luckily this painting didn't leave me longing for warmer weather. I actually enjoy winter and I'm not ready for it to be over, too much hockey and skiing to do yet!


I thought I'd show you a little bit of my process.  I love it when people show their works in progress. To start with, I draw my idea out in my sketchbook first, which I forgot to take a picture of and decide on the color theme I'm going to use.  I then use acrylic paint on some tissue paper (which was left over from Fischer's birthday party.)  Tissue paper is so delicate and tears so easy.  Every time I'd get a hole, Amelia would say "That's ok Mommy."      I then put the tissue paper over my drawing and traced all the lantern parts and cut them out.


I then traced my little girl onto some tracing paper so I could figure out how to position the lanterns and also to trace the drawing onto my scrapbook papers for the dress.   For her face I used the kids drawing paper and painted it with watercolors, and her hair was from some leftover  tracing paper that I had painted black.


Here she is in all of her pieces.  It makes me think of playing with paper dolls, which is something that I never cared for as a kid, but I definitely enjoyed it here.  I start by gluing her head first and then work my way down and ta-da, a little girl appears.  A few little touches were added to the paper lanterns with acrylics and also to her face and I glued a little colored tissue paper for the grass, and I was done.

paper lanterns

Thursday, January 13, 2011

party preparations

Picnik collage

These past few days have been filled with preparations for Fischer's birthday party on Sunday.  In case you can't tell by the photos, the theme is dinosaurs!  I like to have little party favors for the kids to take home.  I love using things that I already have around the house.  I have some  leather that my dad gave to me probably 15 years ago from a deer that he got.  I've held onto it over the years knowing that someday I'd find a use for it and I finally did,   leather  pouches for everyone!    The leather pouches are to hold all the fossils that they'll find on their fossil hunt.   This morning was spent making coffee ground fossils.  All week I've been saving my husbands used coffee grounds for this.  I made some dinosaur teeth and footprint fossils that I then turned into necklaces.  The coffee ground dough has a nice  earthy color and texture to it.  Fischer made some awesome fossils by pushing images into the dough of crabs, shells, seahorses and whatever else he could find.  With the left over leather scraps I made some dinosaur bracelets.  I used my wood burner to burn the images onto the leather, I'm not sure how this will hold up in the long run, but for now they look great.  I'm also planning on having a "cave"  with cave drawings in it.  I'm going to set up a large cardboard box with a black light over head and the kids can draw with white chalk and crayons and hopefully they will glow.  With all this preparation, I decided to go the easy route and I ordered a birthday cake!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

two tulips

two tulips

i haven't' done any of these little girls in this style for awhile.   when i was getting all my artwork together for my art show, i saw all the little girls i had done previously and was inspired to do some more.      this one was really fun, it came together really well.  with these collages, i have a drawing first and then i trace all the different parts and pieces (head, hair, hand, dress pieces, etc.) on painted tissue or tracing paper and cut them out.  the only thing in the drawing that is not pieces is her eyes, nose and mouth, otherwise everything is cut out.   i then glue them down onto paper and hope that everything fits in its proper place.  i can usually do about 3  paintings in this style and then i start to get really tired of precise cutting and pasting  and i start to feel a strong  need to do some paintings that are more loose and free. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

our weekend

as i was getting the pictures ready for this blog post, i realized that this weekend consisted of a lot of firsts for us.  the weekend started out with my husband and i doing our first skate ski race.  the race we entered was brand new and this was its first year for it, unfortunately we did not come in first, we actually were the very last 2 to finish!  the race was a 10K so really my goal was to just finish.  if you've never heard of skate skiing, here's a video that shows the sport.  it's an awesome workout and i'm definitely not as efficient as the skier in the video.
the race was part of the Kickapoo Valley Reserve Winter Fest which had dog sled races,  snowshoeing, ice skating, chili tasting and many other fun outdoor activities. 
it was here where i got to meet my first turkey vulture named Uncle B.  he was a pretty amazing creature to look at,  kind of cute in his own way.

uncle b

we also had our first experience in a Ho-Chunk Nation warming hut.  it was actually very cozy inside, while the temperatures outside were in the single digits.  we had some nice hot apple cider which was warmed up over the fire.



to top the weekend off, i set up my first ever art show at the Viroqua  Healing Arts Center! they are located in a very beautiful old house and they offer all kinds of natural healing care such as acupuncture, massage, counseling and even shamanism.  luckily a wonderful friend of mine came to be my support person and to help me set it up because of course i was very nervous. 

1st art show

the two paintings above are in the counseling room, which worked out really well because one is named "reaching for the stars" and the other is "make a wish."  it feels kind of crazy having my artwork up like that, kind of surreal.
and one last first that i almost forgot about, last night i was woken up by an owl outside our window!  pretty cool.
hope your weekend was a good one too!



Friday, January 7, 2011

a little trio


last night i painted these little birdie sympathy cards for my uncle and cousins who lost a wife and a mother this past week to Alzheimer's.  my Aunt Helen was only 64 when she passed away.   my Uncle Butch stayed by her side the entire time and kept her at home  from the beginning of the disease to the end, may we all be so fortunate to have such support and love.


  i have a hard time buying cards, but i also have a hard time being inspired to make cards, but i do like these little guys.  i'm not very good at watercolors, but i keep trying.  i tried to paint in Geninne Zlatkis' style, but mine didn't seem to "pop" like hers do, (her artwork is so color popping beautiful!) so i also added the black outline, which i think helped.


unfortunately my uncle and cousins live in Kentucky and i'm not able to go to the funeral this weekend, so hopefully lots of strength and love was sent their way while i painted these and when they open them.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

don't go fishing today!

how's your New Year starting out?  ours is starting out a bit rough, lots of coughing, runny noses and even a bit of throwing up yesterday for Fischer, but it still feels good to have a fresh new year ahead of us.

i had to share this calendar that we got from my mom,  she got it for free at her local hardware store and my husband and i ooohed and aaahed over it so much that she really had to give it to us.  it's one of those old fashioned calendars that i remember hanging at my grandparents house.  it doesn't have beautiful artwork gracing every month, but it is loaded with so much useful information.  did you know that yesterday was the new moon? or that today is not a good day to go fishing, or that the moon is in the sign of the goat and your knees will be more sensitive today?  our old calendar didn't even tell us when the full moon was!  this one tells us when the moon and sun rises and sets and the day length.  we gain over 40 minutes of day light this month!  yeah!  my dad said he remembers his grandma planting and harvesting during certain phases or signs of the moon.  this year i'm going to try to garden more with the signs of the moon and zodiac and see what happens.  my carrots never came up last year maybe it was because i planted them under a wet sign such as Pisces.  did you know that if you pick apples and pears in the old of the moon the bruised spots will dry up and if they were picked in the new moon, the spots  will rot?  i just love this calendar!  some day when i have my own studio, i'll have a beautiful calendar filled with inspirational artwork, but for now this is the calendar that is getting my attention.  i'll have to keep you informed through the year to see how it all works, but i think it has a lot of information that has been lost over the last few generations.

in progress

this is a collage/painting that i did a few weeks ago, but haven't finished.    the little tents were meant for a background, but i loved how they looked and couldn't imagine covering most of it up, but now i'm not sure what to do with it.   maybe little dragons peaking around the corners, or little princess girls with pointy hats with ribbons, i'm not sure, i feel stuck with this one and can't come up with anything that inspires me.

while writing this blog post, miss amelia was busy painting and sipping on her tea.  it's so much fun watching her do things that i also enjoy.
Picnik collage

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

out with the old and in with the new.  new year's eve has always been a bit of mixed emotions for me.  i'm always a little sad  when i have to say goodbye to the old year, but it's also exciting to greet the new year and all of its possibilities.

right before Christmas i filled up my old art journal/sketchbook and began my new one.  it's always fun to start a new art journal/sketchbook.    a blank slate, endless opportunities and ideas just waiting to be put to paper!   a little intimidating, but always exciting.  it took me just over a year to fill my last journal/sketchbook.  this seems like kind of a long time to fill it up, so one of my new year's resolutions will be to draw more. my art journals are just like the old year, it's always fun to look back on them and see what has happened over the year.  the pages of my old journal are mostly filled up with pictures of girls, lots and lots of them.  the first page of my old journal started with many sketches of girls faces and  while getting the photos ready for this blog post, i realized that i did the same thing on the first page of my new journal.  hmmm, what does that mean?  i'm not really sure, but i wanted to practice drawing faces from different angles and it just happened to be the first page of the journal.   i can't say that i see much of an improvement in my drawings, but i think i'm starting to see my own style start to emerge which is exciting.  all of this only reinforces my resolution to draw more.

Picnik collage

i welcome this new year and all that it has to offer.  it's time to bring on those new year resolutions and new goals.  it's time to open up an etsy shop,  it's time to be more confident and brave with my artwork,  it's time to become a better writer and blogger, while still finding time to create, and with time i hope to become a better listener, a more patient mother and wife and organize my time better and finally it's time to open myself up to more friends.  

Happy New Year!
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