Friday, August 30, 2013

Tropical Whimsy

An Instagram friend called this style Tropical Whimsy.  I love that description!

My boyfriend, Ben, is holding up a painting I painted last week.  I made it for my friend, Virginia, and her family, to give as a gift.  They came up with some very interesting and creative ideas for the components they wanted in the painting.  I would never have dreamed up a coconut scepter, for example.  But they did!  I thought that was so cool.  That is why it is so fun to collaborate!  Thanks Virginia!

Monday, August 26, 2013

the art of making a journal

I recently had the pleasure, and good fortune, of taking a class with artist, Tracy V. Moore.  Check out his blog here.

To read about another class he held recently in making journals, look here.  You will see some lovely photos of wonderful journals.

This is the journal I made in the workshop.

We made our own journals out of copper and leather.  I had no experience in book binding at all before this class.  I think I speak for all of us who took the class when I say we had a ton of fun.  We did not want the class to end.

This is my talented friend, Nicola.  I met her in the workshop!  A very fun thing about attending workshops is getting to meet some amazing artists.

This is the cool journal that Nicola made in class.  She used flattened pennies she had been collecting.   They made a really great embellishment.  I love the red thread with black leather.

We met in Tracy's awesome studio/workshop, where he taught us how to create a cool journal.  I'd seen many of his handmade journals in the past at ArtFest and other art retreats.  I knew, from having seen those, that he has some mad skills.  In addition to that, he's a great teacher and fun to hang out with!  He is also a wonderful journal artist.

I used a small metal piece, which I had made years ago in a jewelry/silversmithing class, as an embellishment on the journal.  It is a silver and copper flower.  

Tracy taught us how to make our own rivets to attach whatever we wanted to use as an embellishment.

Tracy has a bunch of fabulous power tools that were fun to try out too.  For example, he has a drill press, a power sander, and a power buffer, in addition to a lot of other wonderful stuff. 

I hammered the copper with a variety of hammers to create texture.  Then I applied some sapphire colored rub n' buff to add color to the recessed areas I had created with the hammering.  After letting the rub n' buff sit for a few minutes, I buffed it with the power buffer.  Then I buffed it some more with Scotch-Brite.  

We filled the book with pages made of Fabriano hot press watercolor paper.  It is going to be a lot of fun making art journal pages in this journal.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

art trade

Last Sunday I was lucky to be able to hang out with my wonderful friends, Jenny and Violette.  Jenny and I drove up to Violette's magic cottage in Canada.  

We had planned to do an art trade, which turned out to be a lot of fun!

I made two pieces, one for each of them.  They are each 6" x 6".  Violette told me that she'd like a piece with Yoda on it and that turned out to be super cool to make.  I used some bright greens and blues and incorporated some of Daniel Smith's luminescent acrylic paint to give it a shimmer.

This is a photo of the Yoda piece on Violette's colorful coffee table.

The piece I made for Jenny, shown below, features a simple quote by Ray Bradbury.  "Creativity is a continual surprise."  As I think about it, I do like the surprise element.  I get surprised every time a make a piece of art.

You can see the paint-drip sides I did on Jenny's art piece.  I love doing this as a way to "frame" the piece.  I did the same on Violette's piece.

Jenny made us each a super fabulous, 3D collage in a shadow box.  Mine features UFO's and I just love it.  It is so me!  It is creative and unique, just like Jenny herself!

Below is a photo of the awesome shadow box Jenny made for Violette.  It is so cool!  I've never seen anything like Jenny's doodle, collage, dimensional shadow box. There are glittery parts too, that are hard to see in the photo.

Violette allowed us to choose art from her vast collection of funky and beautiful things.  I picked a "talking head" that says quirky and a cute little "freak" with a freak flag.  I felt those summed me up and I cannot wait to display them in my new home in Wisconsin.  She also gave each of us a Violette dog tag necklace, which I really love.

Violette did an interview with me on her blog.  You can read that here.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Douglas Adams

I took a break from my usual Viking art when I created this art piece for my friend, Bianca.  She requested a piece of my art that featured a quote by the late, but very talented author, Douglas Adams.  I love his book, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  Comedy and science fiction make a great combination, it turns out.

I made a stencil of Douglas Adams, which I spray painted over with Montana Gold brand spray paint.  The background is mixed-media.

Friday, August 9, 2013


For this piece, I cut a Dean Martin stencil out of a manilla office file folder. Whenever I use spray paint I feel like a pseudo-street-artist and I like to do the piece sort of graffiti-like.  At least that is how I feel about it while I'm creating it.

The idea of adding silver leaf doodles came, in part, from reading Mati Rose's new book.  She likes to use silver leaf and I think that's something I can really get into more in the future.  The doodles are a definite nod to artist Keith Haring.  I used a silver leafing pen by Krylon.

The text in this piece, "your glögg has given me wings" is a parody of "your love has given me wings" which is a line in the Dean Martin version of the song, commonly called, Volare.  

Volare is an Italian word, which means "to fly".  

The story of how the song was written is quite interesting.  It was inspired by two paintings by Marc Chagall.  Go here to read about the background of the song.

There's a version of this song, which, incidentally, is not really named Volare, by the Gipsy Kings on You Tube, which you can see here.  The actual name of the song is "Nel blu dipinto di blu".  They give it a fun Latino groove.

I painted this art piece on a used board (previously it was building material), which I got at the Re-Store in Bellingham, WA.  It probably used to be a cabinet front.

The hearts with wings are a Scandinavian woven heart design.   They are collaged on elements.

Below is a video of the song, performed by the man who, along with a friend of his, wrote it.  This is on the Ed Sullivan show.  

Below is a video which shows the English translation of the original lyrics.  "Your love has given me wings" is not in the lyrics!  I've learned that the song was Americanized to contain those words.  In fact all the English words that Dean Martin sings in his version are not in the original song!

This Dean Martin painting is going to be part of the glögg collection at Simon's Tavern in Chicago.  It will be on display during glögg season, which is in the wintertime, around Christmas.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.