Monday, April 13, 2015

"The Birthday Girls." (A Step-by-Step Tutorial).

"The Birthday Girls"
4 x 4 & 6 x 6 canvas collages

So I recently had a birthday. And when I say recently, I mean like over six weeks ago. But, in the vein of my last post in which I shared my all-consuming schedule lately, I'm only just now getting to some of my formal thank yous. In particular, I wanted to do something special for a group of my girlfriends who hosted a slumber party for the occasion. SO, instead of the traditional thank you cards, I'm sending the following collages - "The Birthday Girls" - off instead.

Wanna see the process? Oh good. 'Cause I took pictures along the way just in case. Ready? Here we go:

Step 1: Gather supplies including a group of original drawings and tiny blank canvases 

Step 2: make color photo copies of some of your favorite images or sketches

Step 3: apply Gesso to canvases with a flexible palette knife

Step 4: find some of your favorite spray inks. 

Step 5: ink away and dry throughly. 

Step 6: apply heavy-bodied acrylics or acrylic Gouache to bits of your canvases. 

Step 7: adhere some of your favorite collage materials to the canvases. 
(Included here are decorative napkins, tissue paper and candy wrappers).

Step 8: spray / splatter some acrylic paints to the surface of your collages

Step 9: carefully cut out your colored copies and then fortify the lines with a black ink pen.

Step 10: glue your images to your collaged canvases

Step 11: add final touches including confetti stars, liquid shimmer (acrylic ink) and Stickles glitter.

(Close Up) 

Step 12: add color to the edges of your canvases with oil pastels smudged with your finger.

And there we have it: 5 little thank yous all lined up in a row. It was fun, fast and guess what? Actually complete. Yay, Me! 

Wanna try it? If you do, please let me know: I'd love to see what you come up with!

To Love, Art & Getting Things Done,
Kristin xo

Monday, April 6, 2015

Yes, I'm Still Alive (& Other Such Ambitions)

I know that sounds dramatic. But it came from a girlfriend who recently texted the question, "Um, are you still alive?" To which I replied several days later, "I'll get back to you on that." Tongue and cheek though it was, the truth is, I've been feeling totally overwhelmed and-altogeher-not-myself lately. And I know the cause of my affliction: Ambition.

It's Ambition that made me feel I that could homeschool the cutie above and still be consistently creative (oh yeah, & a Mom & a Wife & a Homemaker). It's Ambition who gave me the courage to begin a creative business and say YES to every opportunity that came my way, and it is Ambition who told me that I could stay on top of a Daily Art Journaling project with ease. Well, Ambition, you were wrong. Oh at least I was wrong in thinking that I could do it all happily, easily and with a perma-grin.

Now, don't get me wrong. I think that to be ambitious is a good thing. I was raised to believe that if you worked hard enough, you could have everything in life that you desire. I'm totally passionate about creativity and I have a business plan that outlines a future of teaching across the country and beyond. I love to teach. I love to create. And I love to inspire other people to do the same. I think that's why The Summer of Color brings me so much joy. It's not the color, but the creativity and the community that inspires one another along the way. . . . 

But I digress. So let me just say here that I have totally and completely failed on the Daily Art Journaling  thing. I'm sure it's my embarrassment of having just quit that led me to the longest blogging break I've ever had (not that it was a purposeful thing, mind you. I just had nothing to share). But the truth is, I just couldn't keep up with the pace. And because I take forever to do anything, my "quick little pages" were becoming "long, drawn-out projects" and adding stress to my life instead of it's intended purpose, which was to provide a refuge. SOoooo, I officially declare the end of my Daily Art Journaling project and the beginning of a more rational approach to my art.

Rational approach to art? I just mean that I'm going to create when and if I can. I'm going to remain Ambitous (because that's how I'm built), but in this season of my life where I have a little one at home, I'm going to be less of a "YES" (wo)Man and more of a "I would LOVE to - let me look at my schedule" (wo)Man. See where I'm going with this? In the end, I want to do more of what brings me joy and less of what doesn't. More art just for fun, more teaching because I love it with every fiber of my being and more excitement with The Summer of Color. 

Speaking of loving it with every fiber of my being, wanna see the last class I recently taught? It was on Mixed Media Portraits and to be honest, a total blast. Here we go:

And for my next tick? Another Mixed Media Portraits class coming up next week:

Click Here if you wanna learn more

And last but not least, I just finished filming my first lesson for Life Book which airs at the end of this month. This project - more than any other right now - is making me giddy with excitement and filled with gratitude. Honestly, I'm like a little school girl waiting for my turn to present my project to the class. 

And there you have it: The ups and downs of Ambition and what I've decided to do with it in the future. Oh, and what that also means? I'm done with my unintentional blogging break, and coming back to you with my hand in my heart and paint under my fingernails. Um, as soon as I get around to it. . . .

To Love, Art & Intentional Ambition,
Kristin xo

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Artistic Exploration . . .

"An artist is an explorer. He should begin by seeking himself, seeing himself act. Then, not restraining itself. And above all, not being easily satisfied." 
-- Henri Matisse

Helloooooo! I have a few new Art Journaling pages to share and an update on what I'm calling the world's largest palette cleaner - a huge-to-me 30 x 40 canvas - that has been sitting on my studio floor awaiting extra inspiration or, which is really the case, awaiting any left over paint, bits and/or bobs from my journaling adventure. But I digress. Wanna see my latest explorations? Yay! Here we go:

Days 17 - 18: Inspired by my fav colors and a black-and-white illustration of an octopus

Days 19 - 20: Inspired by the documentary, "Exiled by Choice."

Days 21-22: Inspired by vintage illustrations, ledgers and children's "Word Mastery" lists.

Playing catch up with days 13-14: Inspired by Dina Wakely's new book, Art Journal Courage.

As far as that way-very-big "palette cleaner" I was referring to earlier, here are a few detail / WIP shots of what's currently going on there:

And here she is as a whole:

Thanks for taking a peek!

To love, art and artistic exploration,
Kristin xo

Monday, January 19, 2015

Daily-ish Art Journaling: Still At It . . .

"There have been setbacks, illnesses and other obstacles, so inevitably I've had disappointments. 
But once you realize that things can't always go your own way, you're right on track to being able to handle your own life."
- Diana Quick

Sooooo, yeah. It seems that the moment I declared my joy in having finished the first eight days of consistent Art Journling this year, we all got sick. As in, really-bad-flu-that-made-us-catatonic-for-dayzzzzzz sick. I didn't even have the energy to "art" in bed. Which, naturally, made me question the whole idea of Art Journaling on the daily. Not only do I hate the idea of being "behind," but I also question my ability to get it all done, and in a way that makes me happy. 

Case in point: in last week's post I mentioned that my original idea was to create a page in about 15 minutes per day. Um, ok. How in the world I thought that was possible is beyond me. I take longer than that to gather supplies. Having said that, I truly enjoy playing in my tiny little journal and do want to allow myself the freedom to grow as an artist by doing so. SO, here's the deal: I'm still at it, but the terms are getting looser. In order to keep it up, I realize that I have to be gentler on myself. So, if that means that a page doesn't get done one day, or if a spread is much less detailed than I would prefer, that has to be okay. I have to just move on to the next day if I want to keep it up. So, some days may be fabulous and some may just well, be. 

With that in mind, here's where we are now. "Behind" but still at it . . .

Days 8 & 9: "I was just really sick for days" 

Days 11 & 12: Playing with textures and collage.

Days 13-16 all look like this. Meh. I've moved on out of necessity, but I will do something with these pages (perhaps even adding photos?) by the month's end. 

Having said all that, as far as the creativity begets creativity part, I've started working on a huge canvas (as in, 30 x 40 huge) since the beginning of the year. And so far, it's been the largest palette cleaner ever. I plan to work on this for a while - as it's really being influenced by my journal - but here's a tiny peek at it's beginnings:

And that's it! Back to the studio now for today's page. Until next time. . . . 

To love and Art,
Kristin xo

Thursday, January 8, 2015

So I Have This Idea . . .

(Art Journaling Day 1) 

"Writing the little daily journal is fun. I have to set my usual two pages of writing as the day's work. I don't know if I can keep this up from the beginning, but I will try."
- John Steinbeck 

So I have this idea. In an effort to create more often and really document 2015, I've decided to make a tiny Art Journal for each month of the year. Each book will be about 30 pages and approximately 5 x 5.5 inches. So in theory, by the end of the year, I should have 12 bitty books to show for it. The original idea was to dedicate 15 minutes a page to just play on a daily basis. (Or um, three days at a time if that's what happens). Point is, I'm giving myself permission to create, grow and learn by allowing myself the time the do it. 

Handmade journal made from a single sheet (22 x 30) of Fabriano Artistico paper.

And as I write this, I've actually completed a page a day since I started. Having said that, the whole 15 minutes a day thing has in reality been more like an hour and 15 minutes a day. Hm. So, while there's still some kinks in the plan, I'm gonna keep trying to make happen as often as I can. So, wanna see what I've done so far? Okay, here we go:

(Day 2: Inspired by the documentary, "I Am" by Tom Shadyac).

(Day 3: Inspired by the unexpected loss of my friend's mother. Quick study in oil pastels)

(Day 4: Inspired by the documentary, "Bound by Flesh," about conjoined twins The Hilton Sisters.)

(Day 5: A "mad" portrait)

(Day 6: Altered collage)

(Day 7: Inspired by neon paint pens, vintage children's illustrations and the idea of play)

(Day 8: A painterly little girl)

And there we have it. 8 days and counting. And the coolest part? I've become incredibly productive in the process. Why? Because at least for me, creativity begets creativity. In other words, the more I do, the more I want to do. And the more time I spend on my art, the more my mind seems receptive to other ideas, other challenges and other, well, other ways to express myself. It looks like I'm in for quite a ride. . . 

Wanna join me? I'll post the Art Journals here on a regular basis, but if you want to see the pages created daily (remembering that daily is a loose term), just pop over to my Facebook or Instagram accounts to take a peek. And, if you decide to try your hand at it, let me know! I'd love to follow your progress as well.

To love, art and the dedication to our crafts, 
Kristin xo