Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"Sheeple" Tea Bag Painting

Another teabag painting, just out of my head! It was meant to be a sheep, but it's face looks more human, so I'm calling it a Sheeple! :D


The sheeple (white gesso) and back ground were finger painted on to start with. His face started out a finger print. Then there's a layer of Posca Marker Pens to make the blue lines, grass, flowers, legs, nose, and wool. Then a layer of stabilo pencil, gel pens, and watercolor pencils, some fixative spray, and I called him done. Fun stuff!

Someone comment that he looks like he has a secret. I said, "He does." :D

Rooster P's First Kittens

Rooster Poot (hubby's name for her) came here back in the spring and adopted us, mostly hubby. A couple of weeks ago she literally made a nest out of the leaves in the open car shed and had four kittens. She kept them here for several days, before moving them into an abandoned boat in front of the house, which hubby covered with a tarp to keep them dry.



These pictures were made the day after they were born. They are beginning to open their eyes now.

Yesterday, she moved them to our kitchen door stoop, and they started appearing and disappearing. One time we would look and there would be different numbers or different colors. The next time it would be different kittens. We couldn't figure out what she was doing and why.

This morning when I looked out there were two kittens, but different ones from last night. I got a cup of coffee and looked again, just in time to see Spotty B, one of the other cats, get a kitten by the nape of the neck. I yelled at her to drop it, but she grabbed it and took off out the driveway with it.

Mystery solved! Spotty B is stealing Rooster P's kittens and poor little Rooster P is stealing them back. It's funny, but it's also sad that Spotty B wants the kittens bad enough to steal them from a loving mother cat like Rooster P. It reminds me of stories about women who lose, or can't have, babies and want them so desperately that they steal some other mother's.


Rooster P and her babies


Spotty Belly, the kittenapper


Bloomer is just amused by it all!

Nothing much we can do about it, but hope they work it out. They're not fighting or anything, just moving kittens back and forth. Maybe they can both mother them! I've seen cats do that before.

Nothing like early morning drama to wake one up! :D

Tea Bag Art-First Attempts

First I saw an awesome class on tea bag art offered online, but I didn't take it. Then I researched it on Pinterest, and watched a couple of youtube videos. I have cataracts and am not seeing the best right now, but I decided to give it a try, because I love miniature things.

I had previously saved some used bags and opened them up to sheet size for use in mixed media journals, etc., but, for these, I saved used tea bags until I had a few. I let them completely dry with the tea still in them (to add to the color), cut a small slit in the side, or bottom, or the bag and poured the dry tea out (I saved it in a little jar to use for something else), and got started.


I started the middle one by collaging (gluing with gel med) a piece of brown paper that I had used to clean off my paint brushes, stamps, etc. onto it. You can seal the bags with a coat of white, or clear, gesso, but I tend to forget that step. For the left one, I brushed on a layer of white gesso for the background, then mixed white gesso with sort of a reddish brown acrylic color and painted in the shape of a head and shoulders. For the one on the right, I just brushed in a bust shape while I still had the paint on the brush.

Not necessarily how other people do it, but it's how I'm doing it. :D


Works in progress: Curley Dots has had acrylic inks, some irridescent, and stabilo pencil added to her. White lady has  had white acrylic paint and stabilo pencil added, and Lost has had a word, washi tape, acrylic paint, stabilo pencil, and gel pens added.


Calling them done after adding a few stripes, gold gel pens, and a bit more stabilo pencil. I wrote my name, date, the title, and the medium on the back and sprayed with fixative or sealer.

"Lost"

Close ups:                                                      
"White Lady" and "Curly Dots"
I have enjoyed playing with these a lot, and have some more ready to paint. I've seen them opened up and painted on too. I'm thinking it would be cute to use them in art journals, collaged pieces, or put a few of them together in a frame or on a book cover. Yesterday, it occurred to me that if I painted both sides and laminated them, they would make cute ornaments or gift tags.

The tea bags are sturdier for working on than one would think, Water colors are especially pretty on them. So I will be trying some of those too.

I have so many irons in the fire already, but I'm currently taking Ivy Newport's mini portrait class, Between Shadow and Light, although I've only watched the first three videos so far and haven't actually done any work yet. I've also signed up for Olga Furhman's year long class, Paint Your Heart and Soul, with 24 teachers and classes, which starts in January 2018.

I still have art classes half done, and I'm really wanting to work on my fabric books, and I have a yen to work with my weaving again. How does one learn and do everything? Yikes!!!

Oh, well, I'm thankful for what I get to do and learn. There's so much wonderful stuff for us creatives online, and so many generous teachers that I'm genuinely grateful for, that it's kind of overwhelming, but I LOVE it, and will keep doing as much as I can!

Keep learning and doing whatever it is that makes you happy!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sunday Morning Doodle Sketches & Decluttering

I haven't been doing much art since Mom's death in June, but this morning, early, I couldn't sleep, so I picked up my mixed media sketch book off the bedside table and did a few doodle sketches before I even had my first cup of coffee.


This is just a sketch done with a black gel pen. Love doing these!



These two are doodle sketches, thus all the pencil lines still visible. These are the images that wanted to come forth this morning, and I love them. I used a brown Stablio pencil, which I can later go over with a water brush and/or some paint if I want.

It's been an emotional week for me, especially Friday. I am also losing my hair, thus the bald heads, I guess. I like these women though! They're doing the best they can in a world and life full of chaos, as are all the other characters that emerge from the pencil marks.

Still have several works in progress and lots I want to create, but right now, besides going through the grief process for my mama and one of my favorite cousins, who died in March, I am trying to declutter our home before I can go through mama's home and see what I can do. I am an only child, so it's going to take a while. That's okay though. I prefer to do it alone.

I haven't felt like cleaning out anything in about thirteen years, since my dad died, and before hubby retired, so lots of stuff accumulated. So far I've filled eleven big garbage bags with old clothes that we can no longer wear, or even want to. Many discolored from hanging so long. I'm taking time to cut the buttons, trim, and small pieces of fabric for creative purposes. Same for old curtains, etc. All gone to the recycling place.

I also filled another large bag with old personal papers/receipts/etc., after I went through several years worth, and burned them yesterday.

It's hard to let go of stuff, especially for a family of pack rats, but it feels so good once it's gone, and in a couple of days we don't even notice it's gone. Hopefully, if we lose weight at some point, we can buy some more, because if we can't wear it right now, it's out of here.

I  have come to realize that we're getting old, and, at some point, one way or another, we're going to have to leave all the material stuff behind anyway. Kind of depressing, but truth!

Anyway, we need room to get around in the house without tripping over stuff. It already feels better, and there's more to be gone through and gotten rid of.

Creating is a necessity though, and my work space is a high priority for decluttering, but I'm going to make creating a priority while I'm decluttering too. I'm going to make it a point!

Here's to living creatively! :D

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Rabbit Hop Eclipse 2017


August 21, 2017: I'm a little late sharing, but I'm lucky to have gotten any pictures at all of the eclipse. We are in Tennessee, but only got a partial eclipse. It didn't get totally dark; more like dusk for a couple of minutes. By the time I got outside, it was already light again, but the shadows were awesome. It was a little eerie feeling, but the light and shadows were intense and amazing. The pictures don't do them justice, but nobody every accused me of being a great, or even good, photographer.😀


This picture was made across one corner of our front yard from the front porch first...


Then I noticed the amazing crescent moon shadows on the porch and steps of the front porch, made from the sun shining through the trees. The figure on the right is a statue of a little girl sitting on a stump painting. My dad gave her to me years ago. The mate to it is a little boy fishing. He's on the other side of the step.


More on the porch and steps...

More crescent shadows on the end of the porch, not as sharp, but just as fascinating...

different angle...


And last, one made from the back door across our driveway of my grandpa's old school bus turned into shoe repair shop years ago, now a memory, but I love it.

Thankful we got to experience some of the eclipse It was eerily quiet while the moon covered the sun, transforming Rabbit Hop into a more magical place than usual!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Side by Side Field Trip

One day this past week, hubby and I rode in our yellow side by side, which I christened "Ole Yeller" when we bought it, down to the pond on our property. We sold all the cattle, horses, and goat last summer, a year ago, because of aging parents needing more help, plus we're aging ourselves.

The pond is one of my "go to" places when I'm feeling down or just need to be alone. We hadn't been in a while, and it is unreal how overgrown everything was in just a short time of no cattle or bush hogging the fields. I didn't make pictures, because hubby was driving, and he whizzed through growth higher than the side by side. The field roads were all grown up. We couldn't even see where we were going or where the roads used to be. It was kind of scary, and I was glad I didn't go by myself this time.

We made a fairly quick trip, with very little stopping for pictures, but I did get a few.


These three trees are beside the pond, which I call Papa's Pond, because he's the one who had it dug when I was a child. I call them the three muses, and I've made numerous pictures of them over the years in different seasons. There's just something that draws me to them.


Some people call these passion flowers. We call them wild apricots, and we used to eat the fruit from them when we were children. There are some tiny ones on here, but not noticeable. The flower is pretty though. These are also beside the big pond.


Papa's pond, which is usually pretty, is now stagnant and not so pretty in this summer heat, with not livestock and all the overgrowth. This dead tree had vegetation growing out of it in an interesting way. It's very sad to see the changes that take place with no human tending, but, in another way, nature has very interesting ways of re-claiming what was hers to begin with.


Coming back from the pond via the old tractor road, which is now full of ruts and cedar trees growing up in the middle of the road.


We came through the patch of woods that is also one of my favorite spots, with a big flat rock, which I've always wanted to set up and paint from, but never have. These are some of the smaller rocks and tiny white flowers scattered about.


More tiny flowers at the edge of the woods, just before we crossed the fields and headed back to our house, just over the hill.

We really miss the cattle, the horse, the pony, the donkey, and the goat. Not the same without them. :(


When we got back to the house,  hubby decided we might as well check the river out. It's just across the highway and down a little hill from our house. It's also a favorite local boat landing and fishing spot. On this day we had it to ourselves.

I waded in the river's edge; something I hadn't done in years. The water was very warm, but the sand was shifty. It was very peaceful. The picture above was made going toward town, which is just off the right edge of the photo.

We rode around the edges of the fields along the river before coming back to the house, tired and thirsty. Dodging limbs, tall weeds, thorns, and bouncing over really rough grounds will do that to you!

Anyway, it was a good evening of bonding with my hubby, even if he didn't drive as slow as I like, and it was too cloudy to get good pictures. I'm thankful for the adventure. :)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

More Quirky Doodles and Grief

I am still in a state of grief and denial over the loss of my mama last month. I can't seem to unlock my insides to want to do anything that I don't HAVE to do. But I am slowly beginning to want to do art again by doing my quirky doodle sketches. I feel a freedom doing them, because the marks tell me what, or who, they want to be, and I let my pencil follow the lines to let them come forth. I don't worry about them being "perfect", and I love their quirkiness! Each one tells a story of some kind, sometimes loudly, and sometimes quietly, but it's there.

At night my head is filled with thoughts of mama's illness and passing, and I have trouble sleeping. This morning I woke up at 5 a.m. and couldn't go back to sleep, so I got up, went to the bathroom, crept into the kitchen, got a banana and my Kindle, and crept back to bed, where I sketched for a while. These are what came forth. I added a little color to the background with photo editing, just for a little variety.


I love the characters of the ladies that step out of the marks, and I could write a short story about each of them! I may do that at some point, and publish a book of short stories with my own illustrations!


Cats are a pretty common theme. I guess it's because we have some!


Love this lady! Her expression reminds me of a young cousin and our great niece, who often make these lips in their selfies. She looks like someone fun with her bird and scarf!


Another Koi fish? I love them and think they're beautiful, but I don't know why they're swimming around in my marks and mind. 


A rare sketch of fruit, grapes and a peach on a checkered tablecloth. Don't know where that came from either, unless it's because eating and sleeping is how I've been dealing with the grief over mama, but also a dear older cousin that we lost in March, whom I considered my older sister.

It's been a hard four months for us, and it will take time for us to heal. Hubby and I are not young any more either, and not in the best of health, but still very blessed.

After my doodling, I read a few of Kahlil Gibran's writings from a Kindle book that I had bought some time ago. I was introduced to him by my Literature teacher, Jack Anderson, who also became a friend, when I went to community college at age 47, the same year I lost my little 16 year old pekingese, Kibbles Marie. His writing is very thought provoking and somehow soothing.

I went back to sleep for a while, sleeping much later than I meant to, but that's ok. I have laundry going, we've had breakfast, and hubby has the 1945 version of The Picture of Dorian Grey on. It's too hot to be outside anyway. All we need is a bowl of popcorn! :)

I will tell you that I've been looking at tea bag art and bullet journaling, so don't be surprised if my attempts at that pop up on here...

Do something creative every day, even if it's only five minutes! It's good for your soul!