Saturday, November 29, 2008

New Art...without birds!

Hope everyone is enjoying their Saturday so far- I have just finished three new collages and wanted to post them. They will be on etsy as soon as the husband mats them and photographs them for me. I actually did three collages without including a single bird! Unbelievable! I have moved on to new animals! I am really digging deer right now. So we shall see how many deer collages I can do! Here is a picture of the deer that come into my backyard frequently. They destroy my garden in the summer but are so cute!

Here are my new deer collages. I prefer to make my deer colorful!

Here is a new sailboat collage. I know it is kind of summery but oh well...I am already thinking of warm weather! You kind of have to when you live in the snowbelt!

My sailboat collages are inspired by my summers at cottages on Lake Erie and Lake Michigan. I just love the water and someday hope to have a house on the lake. How wonderful would it be to sit outside and have coffee every morning overlooking the lake?! Or hear the waves at night? That is my kind of heaven!

Well have a great Saturday, hope it is productive whatever you do! The husband and I have a family Christmas party (we do things early around here!)so should be gone all day. Tomorrow will be my productive day I think.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Altered Book

Well I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Mine was very hectic but fun. My husband and I went to 3 Thanksgivings! Lots of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and pie! Yum...I am totally not complaining!

I just wanted to post a project that I have been working on for awhile that some of you might find interesting and fun! I have been working on an altered book. An altered book is basically any book that you take and alter the pages and cover through painting, drawing, collaging, stamping and cutting. It is so much fun and cheap! All you need is an old book and your normal art supplies and you ready to go!

My favorite books to use are old, hard-covered books because I think they give a lot more support than paperback books. I also like to use books that have some interesting pictures and text that I can allow to show through.

Usually I start by gluing pages together in sets of 10. I use matte medium and use an old piece of mat board to smooth the pages and make sure the matte medium in evenly distributed. This process can easily take a couple of hours so usually I put on some good music or a fun movie to keep myself occupied during this process.

Next I usually paint my pages or collage the pages with papers that I have made, fabric, interesting images I have found, etc.

Then it is time to start drawing/painting whatever you want to have in your book! You can pick a theme or just draw or paint what you want. Here are some images from my book. My book by the way is kind of random. I used a lot of different media and I did not really have a solid theme. My whole goal with this altered book was to experiment with different subject matter and to also play around with media.

Here is my cover:

The book was called: What's the Big Idea...I left the word Idea visible because I thought it went with the whole idea for my book.

Here are some of my images from the altered book. I usually like to do a spread, in which the artwork takes up both of the pages. I think it visually looks more interesting.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monochromatic Underpainting Video

Happy Tuesday! I just wanted to post a video I made on painting a monochromatic underpainting. It is kind of long...a little over 9 minutes...I really need to work on cropping video footage! I am pretty new to making videos using my mac but am working on it!

I have also made some follow up videos for this landscape painting and hope to upload those soon.

I am also including the finished painting that I completed from these videos.

Thanks for watching, I appreciate it! Any feedback would be great!

Monday, November 24, 2008

F is for Feather

Here is another illustration for my book that I am working on (illustrating each letter of the alphabet with something that starts with that letter). I still have a ton left to go but hopefully I will get some time soon to do some major work! I kind of skipped over E though..what would be a neat idea for E? I was thinking egg..or elephant...hmmmm...I am open to suggestions!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tis the season....for more birds!

I have been working hard this weekend on some new collages/paintings for my etsy store. Here are a couple that will be going up today. All I need to do is photograph them and have the husband mat them (he is amazing at it!)and then post to etsy! I am going to keep working on some more art today and hopefully get at least two more done by the days end. We shall see!

I have also been working on that picture book for my niece that I posted about a couple days ago. Things are going well and I am really excited about it! I will have to post some pictures soon! Thanks for all of your sweet comments concerning the keeps me going!

Hope everyone has a great day!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Just wanted to post this really quick because it totally made my day! I am featured on TimothyAdamDesigns blog for his Saturday Super Shop Feature! Yay! You can check it out here:

I am so honored! Timothy is an amazing metal artist from Canton, Ohio and also has a great blog where he shares his knowledge of marketing with fellow artists! He is a wonderful resource to have:) Be sure to also check out his etsy shop, you will not be disappointed!

Feels like Christmas Already!

Even though it is not even Thanksgiving yet, in Cleveland it feels and looks like Christmas! We got a couple of inches of snow last night (I had to drive in it-yuck!) and it made everything white and pretty! This is outside my kitchen window looking out into my backyard. Notice the stained glass of my favorite things that I found at an antique store in 3 Oaks, Michigan! All I want to do today is put a fire in our fireplace, get some hot chocolate and snuggle up on the couch! Too much to do today though:)

My husband and I already started decorating for Christmas...slowly but surely. We put out our ornament bowl of blue and green bulbs (my favorite colors!), we hung ornaments from our window (Martha Stewart idea-love her!) and plugged in our mini little tree with the white twinkly lights! I LOVE this time of pretty! Tuesday night we are going to go all out with our decorations. We are going out of town for Thanksgiving so we are doing all of the decorating before so when we come back it will be all set up!

Hope everyone is having a relaxing and peaceful Saturday. I am finally going to pull myself away from this computer and get some work done.

Animal Paintings: Student Artwork

My painting class just finished their animal paintings using a limited palette. Students were to use only three colors plus black and white. I encouraged students to use the primary colors so they would be able to mix any color they needed. Some students did, some didn't.

These paintings were done in acrylic paint on a canvas board. Students started the painting by underpainting the canvas board with a color of their choice-anything to get rid of the white of the canvas board. An underpainting is the initial layer of paint applied to a ground (like a canvas board, canvas and paper.) I usually recommend painting the canvas with a complementary color of whatever is the dominant color in the picture. For example: If the picture has mostly greens and blues I would paint the canvas a peachy-red color. I think it just gives the painting a lot of depth and I like the underpainting to show through in spots to provide some interesting contrast. If you want to keep your paintings more natural and realistic a black and white or brownish underpainting works really well.

Next up we are doing a watercolor landscape, I will post those when we finish!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

B is for Bird!

Good morning! Hope everyone is having a wonderful Wednesday...half-way through the week! I just wanted to post some artwork from a series that I am working on. I am working on a children's book for my little niece (she is 3 months!) I am going to be illustrating each letter of the alphabet with something that starts with that letter....aka B is for Bird!

So far I have C is for Camera, D is for Dragonfly, F is for Feather and I is for Ice Cream!

I am doing them in a different style than my usual art...what do you think? I am hoping to get this done before Christmas....we shall see about that!

I appreciate any feedback...thanks:)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Today I was featured in a treasury on etsy by OhFaro! If you get a chance please check it out! I feel so honored:)


Monday, November 17, 2008

Sketchbook Love

Here are a couple of drawings taken straight from my current sketchbook. They are messy, colorful, sketchy and definitely NOT perfect...but isn't that what a sketchbook is for?! I have many, many sketchbooks and love to look back through them to see how much I have changed as an artist in terms as the media I use and the subject matter I draw. I sometimes love to draw from observation and other times it is strictly from fashion magazines! The sketches shown are a mixture of watercolor, pencil and ink and even a little collage. I just love combining media! Recently I discovered a collection of 1950's National Geographic magazines and am in LOVE!

Keeping a sketchbook is so important as an artist and I strongly suggest drawing, painting, collaging in one as much as possible! You can even sew in one (I am dying to try this!) My favorite book on sketchbooks or visual journals is the book The Decorated Page: Journals, Scrapbooks and Albums Made Simply Beautiful by Gwen Diehn. I bought it when I was student teaching (a whole six years ago!) and I constantly use it as a source of inspiration!

In my classes I assign a weekly sketch that usually we do in class on Fridays. This week's sketchbook assignment is to draw something or someone you are thankful for. I am hoping to get some interesting drawings...usually I get car keys, ipod and cell phone drawings! What is this world coming to!!!

If you had to do this sketch what would you draw?

The pARTsy

I have just been featured on the blog

Yay! Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Oh Deer

Happy Sunday everyone! Hope you are doing well! Today I plan on getting some lessons done for school but also hope to work on some new collages for my etsy store. I am posting a collage that I just completed yesterday. It is a little different than my usual art but reflects my love for warm, rich colors in the fall. I seem to like different colors at different times of year...I think we all kind of do! This artwork is called Little Blue Deer and was inspired by the four deer that hang out in my backyard time to time. I love watching them for the most part except when they eat flowers from my garden in the summer!

It is snowing here in Ohio today and I love it! It makes me excited to make more Holiday collages! I just downloaded from itunes two new Christmas Cds that I think are pretty good. They are: This Warm December: Brushfire Hoidays Vol. 1 and The Hotel Cafe Presents Winter Songs. Usually I love jazzy type Christmas songs like the traditional Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Harry Connick but these Cd's have some of my favorite musicians like Jack Johnson, Rogue Wave, Mason Jennings, Ingrid Michaelson, Lenka, etc. If you are in need of some new Christmas music I highly recommend these!

Well it is back to work on lessons! Have a good one!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Holiday Bird Series

Here is a series that I began at 3 am on Thursday! I woke up wide awake and could only think about when that happens! So I got up and worked until I had to get ready for school at 5:30 am. I just finished them last night and am going to be listing them on my etsy site today after I photograph them:) I think I might turn them into Christmas cards as well!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Book Recommends!

As an art teacher I am always buying tons of art books to help myself and students learn new techniques and tricks. Here are a couple of my favorites:

1. Drawing Nature by Stanley Maltzman

2. Expressive Drawing by Robert Kaupelis

3. Acrylic: Artists' Questions Answered by David Cuthbert

4. Mixed Media Nature Journals by L.K Ludwig

5. Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson

6. Drawing and Sketching by Jackie Simmonds

7. 100 Creative Drawing Ideas by Anna Held Audette

There are a million more that I love but these books have really helped with lesson ideas and creating my own art. I usually buy all of my books through because the books are usually cheaper and you get free shipping if you spend over $25! Yay!

What is your favorite art book? I am always looking for new ones!

Italian Perfection

Hello! Sorry I have not written on this blog for over a week! I have been super busy with school and have had a broken camera so it has been difficult to motivate myself to write without including new pictures!

So...I was going through some of my old photos for inspiration the other day...perhaps looking for an image to paint or draw and I found some of my photos from Italy. I have traveled to Italy twice now and want to go back as soon as possible! Here are some of my favorite pictures from Florence and Venice. Maybe they will bring you some inspiration!