Thursday, January 29, 2009

Talented French Papier Mache Artist

Oh my goodness, I was on Facebook cleaning up some of my email and ran across a person named Laetitia Mieral who has the cutest avatar. It looked like the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood. Ever curious and easily distracted, I sent an email asking her if the little avatar was an original painting she had created. She wrote back and told me that it is actually a papier mache figure she created and she sent me a link to her website. (You can click the name of this blog to get there.) It is just amazing to me that she can create all these fabulous figures from what started as strips of paper from the comics! Wow! You will love them. I can't read a bit of French, but she has her profile in English, so if you are foreign language limited like I am, there is hope.
Check it out, I think you will love it!!
All the best ~ Linda

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Beach Memories Linger

Back in Beeville, did my 5 AM 3-mile walk on the walking track at Coastal Bend College in 40 something degree temperatures. Hard to believe I was on the beach yesterday morning. Glad to be back to my art stuff, but the memories linger of my wonderful days at the beach. Lots of good resources for future works of art.
BTW, the moon was odd this morning. It was very a small sliver and yet the moon itself looked much larger in circumference than usual. It looked very much like an eclipse. I decided it was making room to hold all the hope for the world.
Here's hoping your week is fabulous!
All the best ~

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What is the single best drawing tip you have given or received?

Eastern bluebirds have been frequenting the bird bath and they are such a welcome sight! In the dreary days of winter their blue sky backs carry the reminder of brighter days. I am not used to seeing them in the winter, but with our current drought situation, they have been regular visitors to the birdbath just out side the window for drinks of water. They usually come in groups. A few years ago, I saw a pair of them at our previous house, but only for a few weeks one spring. Since we moved (a few hundred yards away from the other house) almost 4 years ago, I haven't seen them at all until a month or so ago. Now I see them perched on the phone lines and fences where they keep an eye out for food in the open fields. We have seen as many as 10 clustered around the rim of the birdbath. I have nesting boxes that haven't been put up. I read that the Eastern bluebirds were indigenous to the area many years ago but had been displaced by the sparrows which are not native to this country, having been brought here from England.
Now to the burning question: "What is the most useful tip that you have been given or have given to others in regard to drawing?"
I have to think a while about the best one I've received. (I've received a lot of them!) When doing realistic artwork, the one that I repeat the most to my students is: "Draw what you see, not what you think you know." The most common reason for giving that tip is when I see students drawing something they have probably drawn and/or doodled a zillion times and have imprinted on their brain that is what the object looks like. Period. I remember one student doing a great job of drawing and rendering a squirrel - except that the animal had a very humanistic eye which was totally blowing the whole artwork. When the student got to the eye, she just drew what she thought an eye looked like without noticing the eye in her reference photo was very different from what she was drawing. It is very easy to slip into that type of mistake.
Much of the art I do is inspired by something I've seen by really looking. It makes me sad that so many people zip through life without seeing the amazing sights that exist if they only took the time to see them. Maybe by capturing it in a painting it will bring focus to the beauty and wonder that is in the ordinary.
Now, what are your favorite tips?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Oh where, oh where did my photos go?

Well, there WERE photos with the blog I did on Jan. 12 showing the progression of the ice cream cone collages. For some reason after I posted the last blog they disappeared. I have asked for help from the support forum, but so far, no help has been provided. So, yes, I know there are blank boxes where the photos used to be and I don't seem to be able to figure out why. Thanks for looking at the other pics anyway! Linda

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ice Cream Cone Collages - Done!

The ice cream cone collages are done. They were SO much fun! I can't wait to do more. The only thing left to finish these two are a couple of coats of varnish. I especially enjoyed including little "surprises" in the torn bits of paper. The cherry on the chocolate cone includes foil paper from a Baskins Robbins hard candy wrapper. The word "chocolate" was ripped from magazines and included in the ice cream. Musical note paper is worked into the cone.

In the strawberry cone painting, again there is Baskin Robbins wrapper paper, the word "strawberry" appears several times, along with Flavors and Gather round. Gathering round are a doe and fawn, a buffalo cow and calf and even a wolf appears - to wolf down the ice cream!
I hope you enjoy looking at these as much as I enjoyed making them.

Have a great week!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I scream 4 ICE CREAM collage begins

I have started my ice cream collage as you can see here. First, I began with a simple pencil drawing on a 10"x8" sheet of birch plywood. Next, I painted very general areas of color and let that dry before applying paper to the collage.
And then there were two...

So what can be better than 1 ice cream cone, but 2? I decided while I had the paint out I should go ahead and make a quick background prep for a second cone. Besides, I couldn't decide between chocolate and strawberry anyway and I think a companion piece might be twice as nice. You can see that I have begun applying paper to the background of the chocolate one. I ordered some mulberry paper from a seller in Thailand that took a while to get here - about 2 weeks - but it love it and it is so much fun to work with. It is spawning ideas for other things like big cabbage roses or copying the photo of a confederate rose I am using as wallpaper on my computer these days. Since most of it is sheer, it is fun to layer over other patterned pieces of paper. I have such a hard time trying to "loosen up" with art, that this seems to be the ticket for doing that. (I had initially thought I would enjoy doing collage with fabric, but have realized I like ripping pieces of paper much more than cutting fabric.)

Here the collage progresses with the background finished and the cone and ice cream are beginning to take on shape with pieces of paper I have torn and glued on. (The flash caused a pretty bad glare on the glue so please try to see past that.)

Since taking the last photo, I believe I have actually finished with the chocolate cone but should know for sure by the time it is dried. (Hopefully, tomorrow.) I will post the finished product. This has to have been the most fun thing I've done with art in a while. If I can figure out how to get the medium off my hands when finished...I ordered some exam gloves to wear on at least one hand and hope there will be enough tactile sensation to work while wearing them.

Until then, all the best from

Thursday, January 8, 2009

ACEOs & Making a little progress

Yippee! I am making a little progress. I uploaded photos of my artwork which will be added to the Cloudcroft Art Society Website.
And, I got my check in the mail to cover my dues for CAS 2009 along with the website. It's great to scratch something off the list. This business of art keeps us from making art but has to be done if we want to generate any financial benefits from our efforts.
Now, about ACEOs. It's an acronym for Art Cards, Editions and Originals. There is a great article about them here that you might consider reading. Originally, the concept started as artist trading cards(ATCs). Artists who couldn't afford to make investments in art by their fellow artists exchanged small pieces of artwork among themselves. There was no money or payments involved, simply trading of artwork. That has evolved into the more recent ACEO movement. The only restriction on ACEO's is that they must be in the same size format: 3.5"x2.5" which is the size of a baseball trading card. They can be collected and displayed in a variety of ways. They are produced in all forms of media and supports. In fact, they have become so popular, you can buy blank ones ready to go in a number of different types of papers and other supports. If you have trouble cutting a straight line - like I do - the precut varieties are a godsend.
The little cards make great gifts and are a wonderful way to collect some fabulous artwork from artists who participate and whose work might be otherwise unaffordable to the collector.
I like to work on ACEOs while I am "watching" TV in the evenings with my DH. It gives me a chance to try out techniques in a small format, experiment with art that I might not want to do on a larger scale and work on thumbnail ideas for future compositions. eBay is an excellent venue for selling and buying the little cards and I enjoy perusing the listings there. The artwork at the beginning of this and my previous post are both ACEOs that I will be listing for sale on eBay.
Last month, I had to deal with another eBay user stealing one of my ACEO's and posting it for sale as if it were his own. The really bizarre thing about it was that the other user posted the card as an original and listed it 3 consecutive times. Duh! If the person who bought my card hadn't brought it to my attention, I probably would have been totally unaware of it happening. In a future blog, I will write about things I could have done to prevent it from happening in the first place and the hoops I had to jump through to get the problem resolved. BTW, that seller is no longer a member of eBay...
Tomorrow I will start on my first attempt at a very simple collage ala Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson. I love, love, love her work. She has been very kind and generous in sharing information with me via email and has a wonderful article in which she explains her methods in the Nov/Dec 08 issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine. I'm starting with a very pared down version of an ice cream cone. I will share photos of the progression with you - success or failure!
All the best -

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Another Year and so many goals

How could it be that a year has passed and I have attained so few of the goals I had last year? I start the year with a burst of resolve to achieve certain things relative to my art career, but somehow I get distracted. It's not that I don't do ANYTHING, it's just that what I do is not what I had intended to do. I would like to blame it all on my A.D.D., but I think that would be using a cheap excuse. Maybe I will just resolve to be more focused this year and that will make things fall into place? I love it that my mind fills to abundance with ideas and creativity, but I get equally as excited as each new idea pops into my head and they are so frequently unrelated. I spend hours and hours gathering reference materials, making sketches and gathering my tools and materials in preparation for the fabulous idea I'm nursing. Unfortunately, by the time I've done all that, I'm onto a new idea and preparations for it. It is frustrating with little to show for the efforts. I think I might pursue some professional assistance with this. I wrote a little haiku that attempts to illustrate the feeling:
Thrill of a great idea
Interrupted by
Thrill of a great idea.
And on that note, I will go tackle at least one thing on my to-do-list for today!
Happy New Year to all ~