My new kind of crazy project!

I’ve been working on what feels like a really big and powerful project.

It feels big and powerful in the sheer number of elements involved. But it also feels big in a way that means it will change things. Probably just for me, but maybe for others too.

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I’m starting what I’m calling 100 Mantra Cards. These little cards will hopefully pack a pretty powerful punch. They are part inspiring, part artistic, and part personal. They’re inspiring because I hope you’ll find something from the message or the artwork that encourages you to pick up your artistic tool or find a way to be brave in your life (or both). It’s artistic because I will paint, collage, doodle, or whatever on these cards. I’m not making any parameters about how they are completed other than sticking with a uniform size, but more on that later. Lastly, they’re personal because the messages on the cards will come from me or have been inspired by something I’ve read or heard. I have a pretty long list  of mantras that can be used on the cards. And I’m sure so many more will come to me as the project continues. That’s actually a large part of the project- listening and being open to what messages are coming at me. Sometimes we hear positive things and sometimes negative. My hope is to filter these through my own beliefs and values then put them on the cards.

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So what are the logistics? I am a logical person that mostly needs to think in parameters in order to think beyond them. However, with this project, I’m keeping things pretty simple. I’m starting with a white card that measures 4.5 x 3.25 inches. Truthfully I came to that size because I have a pack of card stock precut that way. From there, I’m not limiting myself to certain techniques or mediums. I can create on that card however I feel lead. At some point, it will get a mantra. Lastly, it will get backed with another piece of card stock for stability and the corners will be rounded. That’s it. All the parameters in one small paragraph. I’m learning to work without so much structure, which is nice.

What am I not doing for this project? I’m not making this a daily project. I love the idea of daily projects, but I put so much pressure on myself that I ultimately fail (or at least in my eyes). I do want one card for every day of the year. But I have time to make that happen. And because it’s not daily, I can make as many or as few in a day as I want. 

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What are my hopes for this project? Because what is a project without a good why behind it? I hope to improve my artistic skills and continue to shape my style. I hope to become a better listener to messages around me. I hope to inspire myself and others to create something. I hope to make people feel better with an positive message.

As you can see, this is no little project. But it feels like my project. It feels like the project I’ve been working towards for years. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m overwhelmed (in a good way). I’m hopeful.

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Painted Ceramic Tile

As I mentioned a bit ago, I recently took a trip to Pittsburgh to visit my sister. This is still a new to me city and I enjoyed exploring it! My sister made sure the trip would be inspiring to me! She's the best!
One of the coolest places we went was called Construction Junction. It's basically Goodwill for construction materials. They had everything from used furniture, to used toilets (lol), to pieces of salvage wood and materials. I was so interested in looking through everything I didn't take any pictures! However, I purchased a set of 10 white square tiles for $1.50. I knew somehow they would make a fun painting surface! 

For this first tile, I stenciled some flowers with texture paste. After a few hours of drying time, I add some acrylic paint. As it happens, acrylic paint doesn't like to stick to this non-porous surface. I kind of figured that would be the case, but decided to anyhow. While I was wiping the paint off, I saw that it actually tinted the texture paste more than usual. My original thought was I could get the pink paint in the background and wipe it off the paste leaving white flowers. I was left with opposite which looked really cool. So now I had to decide what to do with the background. Realizing the mediums were drying on the tile better than regular paint, I mixed a little matte medium with teal paint. I used a palette knife to smooth on the mixture and add a few details. After drying overnight, I called it finished!

I really love how the colors turned out with this one! I'm going to add a way to hang it on the wall. 

Mornings and a Red Balloon

This morning I woke up early, before my alarm went off. I’ve actually been doing this while and I like it. It helps me steal away some of the early morning moments for painting, creative play, and prayer. It’s like my body and mind know I need it more than extra sleep. I like to watch the sun come up through the trees before I actually get out of bed and start painting. This morning, I finished up a small painting I had started a few months ago. I knew it wasn’t quite finished then. But I put it away as if it were. Then yesterday, I started thinking about what to give my friend for her upcoming birthday and I remembered this painting. She has a thing for red balloons. She even has a photo of one on the home screen of her phone. It comes from a children’s book but I can’t remember what it’s called. All it took to finish this painting was taking the magenta balloon to red and having someone to give it to. I find it difficult sometimes to create for unknown people. Most of the time I just try to create for myself, even if I don’t intend on keeping it. Other times, images and stokes flow quite easily.
Thank you for stopping by today and spending a few of your spare moments with me.  

 

Flower Canvas

I find that I am very drawn to floral and natural elements in my art. I'm not sure if it's because I grew up on a farm or because I long to be able to grow flowers like my mom. Whatever it is, it seems to make it's way into my art quite often. 
For this canvas piece, I started with a small 4x4 inch canvas. Using transparent gloss texture paste, I stenciled the flower in the center. After this dried for an hour or so, I started adding some paint. While the texture paste most resists the paint, some of it gets tinted. I continued to add paint in a circular pattern.Then I added a few white paint splatters. When that was all dry, I added some teal paint mixed with matte medium on the edges. This gives just a bit more dimension. Lastly, I added a bit of glitter for a bit of texture and sparkle. 

 

When I'm coming to the end of a piece, I like to ask myself if it has enough texture and dimension. Then I tend to add a bit more for good measure. :) 
I hope you enjoyed hearing about my process. If you are interested in purchasing this, you can find it in my Etsy shop here. 

Thanks so much for stopping by today! 

 

Layers, Ogres, and Paint

"Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. You get it? We both have layers." -Shrek

There are two things that seem to always show up in my work: layers and reused materials. Today I'm going to talk about layers.

I love working in layers. It’s such a process all on it’s own. And everything changes from one layer to next. If I don’t like something, I know it can be covered up or altered. If I like something I can try to save it from other layers, but I can never truly protect it. Letting a painting evolve takes time and patience. Just like discovering our souls. People, like onions and ogres, have some many layers. And the more time we take to discover those layers the better human beings we become. Art is one way I discover my layers. With each painting or project, I leave a little bit of my old self behind and learn a little more about my true soul. Like onions, self discovery is not always a glamorous process. But it’s leading me to something much better. 

With the painting of this girl, I started with a layered green background. Then I sketched her face and started to paint her. I didn't intend to make her look like ogre, it just happened. I've noticed I usually paint faces in unnatural colors. As I worked on her more and more, I realized the background wasn't right. This happens to me often. The good thing is, the green background didn't go to waste. It was used to tint my new teal background. That's one of the cool things about layering- everything seems to slightly affect the next layer. 

So I hope that you are taking some time to peel back your layers. And don’t forget to laugh. Life is no fun when you take yourself too seriously!  
If you are interested in buying this canvas, you can check it out on Etsy!

Abstract Canvas Series

Usually when I set out to paint, I have a rough idea of what I want it to look like. However lately, I've been trying to let the canvas evolve in a more organic manner. This takes a lot of letting go and trusting the process. 

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For these canvases, I knew I wanted to paint three small pieces and use a bit of magenta. These canvases are 4x4 inches. That's all the parameters I put on myself. When I started, I just dove in with my magenta paint. From there, I took each layer as it came. The good thing about painting on three canvases and using acrylic paint is there was time for all the layers to dry without stopping much. I don't remember how many layers I ended up with, but there are quite a few. I used texture paste and stencils, embossing powder and glitter, gloss medium with paint, and randoms marks to add interest through out. 

In the end, I'm very happy with how they turned out!  

Africa Canvas

In August, I'm going on a mission trip to Africa. Rwanda to be more exact. It feels big and exciting and impossible and crazy. But I'm going. In an effort to sort through some emotions surrounding this trip, I created this canvas. Art really does help me understand and identify my emotions more than anything else. This canvas helped me go from nervous to more excited than nervous. I love that about art! I don't have any step by step photos because I was really just in the moment with this. But I can explain my process.

I started with a black canvas. I picked up a pack of these at Michaels a while ago and still figuring out how to use them. Since I am planning to hang this in my room, I don't mind a dark background, just not black. So I mixed some browns and blacks and blues until I was happy with this dark shade. I covered the whole canvas with it. 
Then, using my finger, I smeared some dark blue paint along the edges to provide a bit of a frame.
Next, I worked on the cut out "Africa". For this, I used a piece of painted and stenciled paper and my Scan N Cut. I found an outline of the continent on the internet and used the online software to cut it out. It worked great! Then I used the side of my paintbrush to apply the dark brown paint to the sides so there weren't any harsh lines. 
Before adhering the cut out to the canvas, I used some water downed paint to create some paint splatters. I didn't want the background to be too plain. 
Using matte medium, I adhered and sealed my die cut to front.
For a finishing touch, I threw on a bit of white marble glitter. It looks more like sand than glitter and adds a bit of texture.

I hope next you are unsure of how you are feeling about something, that you will try to create through those emotions. It can bring so much clarity to a situation! Thanks for stopping by today!

PS: If you are interested in hearing more about my trip, feel free to email me!