Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Back to School/Back to My Life

Forever the procrastinator, I am finally posting about Crusade No. 33 which is due by Oct. 1... Oh well,
I guess I've just been busy learning new things.
I haven't posted anything since early Sept. and that post was dedicated to one of my 'learning' experiences-
a fiber workshop with Jeanne Beck.  I had been wanting to join a group of artists in my area and I found
a fabulous group--the North Suburban Needle Arts Guild. I joined in early Sept and did the workshop they sponsored the very next day. Talk about jumping in head first! I loved the workshop and learned quite a bit about painting and layering on fabrics. I'm busy playing around in my studio with some projects which I will post later.
At the beginning of this year I began a wheel thrown pottery class and have been enjoying a love/hate relationship with it. I have done handbuilding for several years but wheel thrown is a whole different animal.
Patience, patience and more patience. I wasn't sure if I was going to continue but I decided to push ahead
with this wheel thrown class and keep learning. Next week I will attempt a vessel WITH a lid! Something I have never made before. So the schooling continues...
My art is a scattered mix of many mediums and I keep saying I need to focus on one thing but I REALLY enjoy mixing it up and combining many different forms. SO...I will continue to work on the things that I love
but will focus on taking things to a different level than before and keep pushing the button that says--WHAT IF....
I have recently read the book 'Eat, Pray, Love'. I just love that book. I want to visit Italy, India and Bali now.
But most importantly I want to do some research on sanskrit and somehow incorporate that into my art.
Maybe a series on ancient sanskrit along with some artwork interpreting chakras... hmmmm. Things to think about...
I also want to take a class on photoshop! I keep playing around with it myself but usually end up pulling my hair out, so I think I'll pay to take a quick workshop on layering and digital collage.
As far as the rest of my life goes... I told my hubby to get ready because I'm signing us up for dance lessons.
We have always loved to dance but I feel like lessons would be such fun. Especially after watching a few of the  'Dancing With the Stars' episodes. Learning the samba or the tango... Wow! Or just improving on the way we already dance would be a good start. I'll let you know how the dancing goes.
So September has come and almost gone but it was a full month for me. I even cleaned out and reorganized my studio so I could find things and actually have space to work. With the cooler, crisp air that has been hanging around all week, I find that I want to spend more and more time working in my studio.
Can't wait to get started on the research for my new projects, as well as finish up the pieces I'm already working on .
I will keep you posted on my journey of learning new things. I also will carve out some time to visit my blog friends, who I've neglected in the past few weeks.
As always, live your life creatively~

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

So much Art, so Little Time...

I cannot believe it's been OVER a week since my last post. And I had sworn I'd be posting daily now that my daughter is back at school and I'm back to work in my studio.
You know how that laid plans seem to always go awry.
First of all, I spent an entire weekend doing artsy things. I went to the American Craft Expo at Northwestern University on Fri. Aug 31. Then the next day, dear hubby & I went to The Art Institute of Chicago (well worth it). I took some great pics for inspiration which I will post to flickr one of these days. Then we went to a market that runs the last weekend of the month from May to October I believe, called the Randolph Street Market. It is a pretty huge flea/antique market. Taking dear husband to the museum was fine, but he's not a good partner for doing the flea market thing!
I did manage to buy some WONDERFUL old books, that I plan to use for some mixed media
pieces and maybe even altering. Then the next day, I went to an art fair in Highland Park, called Port Clinton Art Fair. I had heard this was a really good one. I wasn't too impressed with it. I'm getting really tired of seeing the same old, same old.
There were a few booths that caught my attention but nothing that bowled me over.
I did however, go through at lightening speed almost like my husband speeding through the flea market. I didn't go to the art fair until late afternoon and thus I wanted to skim the crowd quickly so I did NOT stop at every booth. I may have missed a few nice ones. Oh well, didn't need to spend any money anyway.
The next artsy thing I did was on Tuesday last week. I finally went to a meeting of
the North Suburban Needle Arts Guild. I had found out about them last spring and wanted to go but was unable to get there before they took the summer off. This was
their first meeting of the season and I finally was able to go. Decided immediately that I had to join and also was able to register for a 2 day workshop with the delightful Jeanne Beck! She was the lecturer at the meeting then held a surface design workshop that was SO MUCH FUN! Below are photos of some of the fabric backgrounds I created in her workshop.
Once I got them home, I decided they were my favorite pieces so I have started to
embroider on them and will now add some seed beads to.

The photo below shows them all lined up together which I think will become a wall hanging. I will somehow piece them all together. The colors and shapes remind me of underwater life.

The piece below is piece of silk that was scrunched and painted, then I added some Shiva oil paintsticks. I failed to iron it prior to photographing it. It would definitely look better ironed flat!

The piece below is cotton and I'm thinking I got a bit carried away with this one.
Maybe a few too many layers and colors.

This one below was actually a piece of cotton that I was using to clean off my painting area and then I decided to print on top of it to see what would happen. It's not too bad for a cleaning rag.

The next 2 pieces are 2 more backgrounds I did. Not sure if I will use them for anything.
Maybe useful for cutting up and incorporating into some other project. We'll see.

If you ever get the chance to do a workshop with Jeanne, please do so. She is a wonderfully talented lady and she's also a patient and quite humorous teacher.
In between the workshop and spending a somewhat relaxing weekend with my hubby I also spent time working on Terri's, Marsha's and Becky's artwork that I promised them
a few months ago. I am not going to post it just yet, as I want them to be surprised.
The items are not quite ready to put in the mail but hopefully they will be on their way to their new owners by the end of this week.
Have a wonderfully creative week~

August Swirl Theme Reveal

Our AE team member Marsha chose swirls for this month's theme challenge. What a fantastic theme as it opens it up to so many ideas. Only...