Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Mixed Media on Canvas-Give It To God

I came across this painting that I had done several years ago while I was cleaning out my studio. I called it done, set it aside, and forgot about it. I painted it during a dark time in my life, during which my aunt died, and the preacher, who held her funeral, made the most awesome talk about giving everything to God. Whatever is going on your life, good or bad, give it to God.

What he said stuck with me, and I created this mixed media 18" x 24" canvas, using some of the techniques that I had been learning in some online classes. It's been a while, so I don't quite remember what all I did, and I'm sure there's a blog post somewhere showing step by step, but for my purposes here, I'll just give the highlights, because I'm basically trying to make it better.

I think I covered the canvas with a layer of acrylic paint, then I know I collaged the whole thing, and probably added another layer of paint to tie it all together. I used stamps and other stuff all over it to give it interest, made a photo of myself in this upright fetal position (I was feeling pretty forlorn at the time), sketched and painted the figure, and glued cut out painted doves over the background. The large letters were stamped on with sponge stamp alphabet stamps.

I don't know why I chose these particular colors, except they seemed to match my depressed mood at the time. The upper right corner still needed something, so I used a brush to paint a spiral, representing the sun lighting the darkness. The doves were also leading me out of the darkness.

When I rediscovered the painting, it didn't seem finished, so I decided to work on it a bit more. However, I couldn't get to my supplies, due to everything still being in boxes to be sorted from the decluttering/organizing process, plus nowhere to work.

A box of Posca paint markers was within reach, so I sat in the recliner, held the painting on my lap, and touched up a few things, plus I added the words "Good or Bad" in the upper left corner to kind of balance things out. The spiral I'm still too happy with yet, so I'm sure at some point I'll work on it some more. In the meantime, I'm enjoying it as it is, kind of folk artsy, and it's a good reminder for me that God is always there to talk to.

I read somewhere that one of the famous artists said that a painting is never really finished, that the artist just finds a good place to stop. I guess that's true, because of the number of paintings in history that have been painted over, added to, or re-worked over time. I've done a few of those myself!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Photos From Around the Yard in April

Practicing with my cell phone camera while I got a little exercise walking around the yard as the sun was going down. I'm still learning to use the camera, plus I have trouble holding it still to snap the picture, so some are a wee bit fuzzy. Sorry!

The old school bus that my grandpa converted into a shoe shop when he moved out of his town shop in his later years. My parents got it when he passed. The bicycle, although it looks a lot like the one I had as a child, is actually one my dad picked up at a sale somewhere. He had plans for it before he passed away. My mom moved it away from the house and leaned it against the bus. It's always captivating to me, no matter how the light is falling on it. Perhaps, because of the memories!

Same photo with a gray toned filter on it, which I printed a copy of to use in an art collage.
Bloomer Cat eating something in the drive between our and my parents' house.
An old pine tree that died and is rotting in the back yard, not another place for insects and birds to live and eat...
A bird feeder that my dad built for me when I had a flower bed, not in a state of decay, but a good perch for the cats! Photo with filter.
The little flower garden I used to tend, and it was beautiful with the fountain running, but I no longer have the energy. Hubby stirred the dirt and planted some wildflower seeds in it this year, but it's looking doubtful that they'll come up. Besides, the cats think he made them a toilet...
The big old oak tree that was struck by lightening several years ago fought a valiant fight to live, but lost the battle last summer.
Yard decorations that my parents bought for me one year, also in decay. The little fisherman had a pole, but it's long gone, and the back is all broken where the wind blew him off the porch a couple of years ago. Wasps build nests in his head now. The little artist had a long brush in her hand, also long gone. They are no longer in good shape, but there is still something kind of magical about them to me.
Same photo, but with a little editing...
Papa's road, also our driveway, toward the main highway, into the sun...
Same scene, different angle...
Yard wildflowers and grass that needs mowing as soon as the ground dries up enough. If you look close enough, you can also see a fishing boat underneath the tree limb...
Wildflowers in the end of the yard.

Not very plain pictures, but still memory evoking for me! I can see uses for each of them in my creative endeavors, if I choose...

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Potholder Needle Book

This may be considered cheating, but I found this brand new quilted pot holder among my mom's kitchen linens after she passed away and thought it would make a pretty needle case, which I have been wanting to make for a while now! It's a little larger than most cases I've seen, but that's ok!

I don't particularly like new stiff things smelling of dye, so everything is washed before it's used. Same with this pot holder, which is much softer now, and ready to embellish, or not?!

I'm thinking this side for the outside cover, folded in the middle, of course, with possibly an embellishment, or two...

and this side for the inside cover! Now I just need to add three or four sewn in felt pages to match, a pocket, and to sew a button on to hold it together. It already has a loop!

There are so many awesome ideas on Pinterest for needle cases/books that are made from scratch, but I'm going to try using an altered pot holder for now.

I will share pics when it's done, right after I find my supplies and tools among the chaos that is called de-cluttering/cleaning!

There's usually more than one use for anything, if we just get a little creative! 😉

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Still Uncovering Forgotten Treasures in the Studio

It's getting there...slowly! The final corner of my dining room/studio has had everything moved and cleaned, including the wall and floor. Creative stuff and boxes were piled, literally, over halfway up the wall. It had been accumulating for years, some of it empty containers that I meant to store stuff in. Not just art supplies, but doll making, weaving, sewing, fabric crafts, beading, etc., all mixed up together with the tools mixed in among them.

Anyway, everything has been moved and cleaned up, behind, and under. Now comes the task of sorting/organizing what's in the boxes/drawers and on the tables. Much has been thrown away, and I suspect there'll be more to come.

I am easily distracted, I'm trying to clean/de-clutter my bedroom at the same time, plus I tire really quickly and have to stop and rest often. It also contains a whole corner full of fabrics, yarns, weaving looms, sewing machine and stuff, crocheting, etc. Above is what this corner looks like today, before I start working in it again. The boxes you see already have items in them, to be added to, so that's a start! The two large envelopes contain large sheets of pastel, watercolor, and assorted sheets of paper that were buried under the heap, as well as a couple of large sketch pads, one filled, one not! The shelves and china cabinet behind are temporary resting places for things I'm sorting.

A 16" x 20" acrylic painting on canvas that I painted at some point was also excavated. I love to learn and try different styles and techniques! The preacher at my aunt's funeral talked about giving everything, good and bad, to God, and it struck a chord with me. I haven't forgotten it. This was a reminder.

Opened this little chest that my niece gave me to find several filled sketchbooks/art journals and an altered book containing a number of ATC cards that I had painted a few years back. So much fun!

For a long time when I rode the 4-wheeler around the farm to check on the cows, I picked up wild turkey feathers, which were plentiful at the time. I found this bag full, as well as the stuffed limbs for a cloth bed doll that I have started among the treasures. The nesting baskets were also a gift from my niece. There are several of them, from large to small.

This was the last box on the very bottom of the pile and I couldn't remember to save my life was was in it. The turtle shell is another treasure I picked up while riding around the pastures down near the pond. It is totally intact, top and bottom. Why I picked it up, I don't know, but here it is!

The closed duck taped box above, opened, contained a slew of paintings and classwork from various online classes that I have taken in the past several years. Totally forgotten about for a while, but I can't wait to have time to look through them properly! The small envelope in front contains quite a stack of works in progress waiting to be completed. Can't wait to look through those either! It's amazing how looking back through old work can inspire your creativity and show you how much you've grown over the years.

Anyway, this is where this room is at right this minute. As I said, it's slowly getting there, and I can't wait until I have a cleaned off place to work again. I'm having creative withdrawals!

Be well and stay creative!💖

Friday, May 3, 2019

Lil Red and A Hollow Tree

The other day I walked around the yard practicing making photos with my cell phone and turned around to find that I had a buddy walking with me!

We live in the country, so feral/stray/abandoned cats often find their way to us. Most won't let us near them, but they will let us feed them. Lil Red is one of those cats. He's a gorgeous orange color, but my husband, who is the current cat keeper, sees him as red, thus he became Lil Red. 😃

This is a dying tree in the narrow woods between my mom's and the neighbor's house. It has a hollow trunk and some other hollows, where branches once grew. It has been/is home to many insects, birds, and squirrels. It has also furnished food for woodpeckers, places for squirrels to hide nuts, privacy, and shade, among other things

It has lived a beautifully productive life, and even in its decaying state, it is still beautiful and giving of itself. It is a miracle how nature works, if we just take the time to learn from her.

Every walk in the natural environment, or just sitting outside for a while, provides endless knowledge, entertainment, and inspiration. It's all quite miraculous when you think about it, isn't it?

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Hobby Lobby Haul

So, I finally got to go back to Hobby Lobby after a year and a half! I live in a rural area and it takes a while to get to the nearest one.

2 Krylon spray sealers (clear and matte), 2 pks of white gelly roll pens (different sizes), a box of beads to get one particular peacock feather bead, 3 jewelry charms (owl head, elephant, cross),  2 pks of mini wooden fabric stamps, large black ink pad, 6x6 watercolor pad, 5x5 Handbook sketchbook, and 4 tee shirts, which I plan to paint on, plus two free cup holders from the Dragonfly coffee shop on the way!

Much of it was on SALE! Can't wait to use the new stuff!

It was actually a delayed trip to Alabama to celebrate our 49th anniversary and hubby's 72nd birthday, and it was a beautiful day! He went to Harbour Freight and I went to Hobby Lobby, which happens to be in the same strip mall, thank goodness, so we were both happy.

We also ate at the Cracker Barrel, using a gift card that our nephew's family gave us for Christmas, and hubby went in a couple of sporting goods stores while I waited in the car. I did go in Target, but something I had eaten disagreed with me, and I had to leave after a fast trip to the bathroom. Not fun!

After the hour and a half trip down there, over an hour in Hobby Lobby, eating at Cracker Barrel, and waiting for hubby while he was in the sporting goods stores and the grocery store, I was spent anyway, so we got ice cream on the way out of town, to eat on the road, and headed home, another hour and a half. Got back to Rabbit Hop and home late evening, both exhausted, but happy. It was a good day of togetherness without even a cross word. Thankful for the bonding time together!

These road trips are getting fewer as we get older and our health more fragile, so we cherish them when we do take them. 😊

Star Quilt Mama Made

The last hand quilted quilt that mama made for me, before she passed away in 2017, fits my queen sized bed. I recently wanted a change from the Dutch Doll quilt that I had been sleeping under for many years, so I pulled this one out and put it on my bed. It doesn't show in the pictures, but the bed ruffle is the same color as the curtains. Also my original artwork on the walls, which is also about to be replaced, except for the large one over the bed.

My mom also made the crochet doily over the lampshade on the night stand.

My large weaving loom waiting between the bed and the window for me to finish the piece started on it...

I have many beautiful quilts given to me by my grandmothers, aunts, and several by mama over the years, plus I inherited what she left behind, plus a few from hubby's mom and aunt. I love quilts, and quilted some as a teenager, when one neighbor would hang quilting frames from the ceiling and other neighbors would come and they would all sit around and work on the quilt while they visited. I never really took to quilting myself, although I did piece together and sew one on my sewing machine once when I was younger. Takes a lot of patience, even on a machine!

My mom lived alone the last fourteen years of her life and spent many hours at night quilting on frames that could be held on her lap, or crocheting doilies, while listening to the TV. Most of them were given as gifts to people she loved.

Why do we not realize how special the people in our lives are until they're gone? It's so sad how we take them for granted when we have them, and can not begin to even imagine how hard the loss will be when they're gone.

Yesterday would have been mama's 87th birthday. Happy Birthday, Mama! RIP 💔