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04/30/10
Today’s Art - ATCs and Pastels
Filed under: General, Painting, Creativity, Drawing, Creative Every Day, ATCs
Posted by: Mary @ 7:50 pm

I did a star themed ATC this week and took pictures of it drawn in black and then colored with markers and gel pens. These are so much fun I am thinking of doing an accordion fold book of ATCs. There may be a theme and they may be random - haven’t decided yet.

From last week’s blog post I am doing my first ever ATC swap with dindie in Indonesia and I am thrilled! For the next batch of ATCs I drew a 3×3 grid to make 9 ATCs on watercolor paper and painted it with background colors of alizarin crimson, cerulean blue, ultramarine blue, and winsor violet washes.

At the Middletown Art Guild meeting earlier this month there was a demonstration by Aleta Gudelski who did an abstract underpainting in watercolor and then after that was dry she drew on top of the watercolor painting with pastels and it is interesting to see what develops. Tonight I found the underpainting I had started recently and began laying down colors with the pastels and this is how it looks tonight.


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04/26/10
ATCs and Mandala Video Links
Filed under: General, Creativity, Design, Drawing, Creative Every Day, ATCs
Posted by: Mary @ 6:49 pm

Here are a couple of hand drawn ATCs I did recently. This mandala ATC was inspired by a wonderful Vimeo Athena Mandala on Daisy Yellow and YouTube Zendalas by Milliande is another great mandala drawing video. ATCs are so portable and you can work on one anywhere. If you want to learn more about ATCs including their history, visit atc - artist trading cards. There is a nice guide to making ATCs at Art in Your Pocket: ATCs.



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04/22/10
Art Journal - Calligraphy and Painting
Filed under: General, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal, Design, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 7:11 pm

This is something I have wanted to do for quite a while now and I finally did it! My sources of inspiration were several Somerset Magazine publications, Lisa Engelbrecht, and a library book - Hand Lettering for Crafts by Sandra Salamony. Then I came up with my own idea and ran with it.

Basic Supplies: Colored pencils, HB pencil, hand sharpener, eraser, art journal/sketchbook

Painting Supplies: water color paints, brushes (small or medium flat wash and small round are good), palette (i have several kinds but you can even use a disposable plastic plate), water container, mister bottle (an empty pump hair spray bottle works well), natural sponge (if you have one), and paper towels

First I drew a shape, in this case a circle but any shape will do. Use light pencil marks as you will erase the lines later. Next, draw a line across the page somewhere above the top of the shape. Curve or bend the line as you go. Then you echo the first line drawn moving down the page and keeping the lines about the same distance apart (equidistant). Let the line disappear inside the shape (or erase it afterwards) as you are going down the page. Stop after you get past the bottom of the shape, leaving some white space above and below your design. This does not have to be perfect but you can always erase and adjust some lines if you want.

Now think about words flowing across the lines that you’ve drawn. If you don’t know what to write, copy a passage from a book that inspires you, excerpt song lyrics, or combine different phrases together. Sometimes if you start writing the words will just come out. In this case I intermixed remembered phrases with my own thoughts. Pick up one of your colored pencils and keep a small hand sharpener nearby. Get comfortable and loosen up. Relax your hand. Take a cleansing breath and just start writing, slowly, one letter at a time. For reference I had alphabet sampler pages printed in various fonts but I put them aside and did not use them. Instead I decided to embellish my own letterforms. I took my time and thought about each letter and word as they slowly flowed from my hand. I totally lost track of time and was pleased with the results. The hardest part is getting started. Once I get going I am in the zone. And yes, I made a mistake in there but it’s OK. Not easy to say for someone who counts proofreading as one of her many job duties :-)

I put the piece aside to think about it and decided to put paint down the next night. When I am going to paint or collage in my art journal, I gluestick two pages together and run a brayer over them (you can also rub them together with a wooden spoon) for better support. At some point I erased all the original light pencil lines. I was not so sure about doing this but the colored pencil letterforms remained intact. There was paint on my palette from a previous project - a red, a blue, 2 greens, a yellow, and a tan - so I spritzed them with the mister bottle and they were usable again. My intention was just to put light washes down so that the lettering would show through, so I watered down the paints and dipped the wash brush in first the red, then the red and blue, and so on. Closer to the bottom are muddy but interesting colors which is what you get when you mix colors that contain all of the primary colors (red, blue, yellow). If it gets too wet you can blot it with a paper towel. Put the paint down lightly and try not to go over it too much as it will look fresher, cleaner, and more spontaneous. It is easy to overwork watercolor and it is better to stop before you think it’s done. Less is more. I used the natural sponge to dab paint into the circle, first blue and then green. If you don’t have a natural sponge try using a household sponge or a crumpled up paper towel. This was so much fun and I plan on continuing on with this form of expression. Enjoy!


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04/18/10
Artistic Goals and ATC Box
Filed under: General, Mixed Media, Creativity, Drawing, Creative Every Day, ATCs
Posted by: Mary @ 12:39 pm

Living a creative life and making a commitment to Creative Every Day is somewhat of a challenge for me at times. At the same time, through blogging and the blogland creative community I have been much more motivated to experiment and try new things. On Friday during my lunch break at work I came up with some new artistic goals to help keep my focused on my art and creativity. These goals are rather ambitious for me but it is better to set high goals as you will achieve much more than if your goals are low and easily attainable. There is no incentive to stretch yourself if you don’t reach for the stars.

This weekend I painted a new wooden ATC box and then decorated it with scrapbooking paper. My intention for this is to create a new ATC every week and keep them in this box. I already have a plain wooden box which is almost full of ATCs, many from the Vision Journaling Workshop this past winter. The box and the scrapbooking paper are from a trip to Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores yesterday. The ATC was hand drawn lightly in pencil first and then colored in with colored pencils and a gel pen. I used my son’s old colored pencils from Middle School and afterwards I found my own colored pencils.



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04/11/10
Sketchbook/Art Journal Pages
Filed under: General, Art Journal, Drawing, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 11:11 am

Here are some pages taken from my sketchbook/art journal this week. One thing that I have noticed is that drawing brings me to a special place of heightened awareness. It is hard to describe exactly what happens but it is an unconscious way of losing and then finding oneself. The process of drawing or physically making marks on paper causes a shift from left brain to right brain thinking and lets you tap into a whole different type of seeing and opens up a new perspective.

When I stopped at Staples to buy computer paper, I spotted a canister of gel pens on sale and brought those home too. While playing with the gel pens I realized the differences between the concepts art journal and sketchbook  overlap for me.

This abstract swirl drawing started out as a way of dividing space in an interesting manner. Just letting the pen move on the paper can lead to interesting results. The writing around the edge was spontaneous: Time waits for no one. Better to seize the day than lament the passing of the dawn, leaving only regrets for what might have been. Awake to a brand new day, going forth in the sunlight to shine your own light anew.

This drawing of SpongeBob Squarepants done from memory needs reworking - the proportions are off and the details are not right. The important thing is to get started and keep going.


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04/05/10
Best Friends
Filed under: General, Photography, Family and Friends
Posted by: Mary @ 8:21 pm

In tribute to the True North Arts Fabulous Friendship Festival, here are my best friends. They are always there for me: to lift me up when I am down and put a smile on my face, to get me to try new things like playing World of Warcraft, cooking new foods, or rearranging the furniture. They candidly share their unique perspective when I am over-thinking something. They always bring joy to my heart.



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