Archive for Art Classes

Art Night

Before I get around to posting those last few calligraphed Christmas gifts, I’m interjecting this post about the fun we’ve been having at Art Night lately. We’ve been using Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun by Carla Sonheim as the basis for our activities each Wednesday evening when we all gather around the table. This week, we used chisel-tip markers to quickly draw the same dog over and over on 20 index cards.

At first, 20 cards didn’t seem like all that many. But by the time I got to 20, I was ready to stop drawing that darn poodle.


It was a great exercise in trying to get the dog’s features down quickly. And it was weird how hard it was to draw it much differently each time. My hand just kept doing the same things.


Anyway, she suggested that we each pick our favorite to enlarge and doodle on this week, so I picked this one.


Some of the kids whisked off their pictures, but I managed to get photos of a few of my favorites. Here’s Joey’s adorable dachshund:


Lydia’s and Charlotte’s:


Eleanor’s and Margaret’s:


And Tim’s:


These exercises have forced a different part of my brain to work, especially since the exercises are almost all done quickly. So, I’ve been learning–and laughing a lot–with the crew on Art Night. Can’t beat that!


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Mixed Media Calligraphy, Part 2

As promised, here are some more of the mixed media calligraphed Christmas gifts I gave to Joey and the older kids. These were on a significantly smaller scale than the two I previously posted. I used the same scrapbook papers, stencils, acrylic paints, inks and stamps and rub-ons (oops, I think I forgot to mention those last three in the previous post), etc. that I used in the larger pieces. First, Tim’s:


I calligraphed his verse with my calligraphy pen in Roman miniscule and capital letters.


One serendipitous event was discovering (while I was trying to “tone down” the yellow in Amelia and Stephen’s piece) that gesso and acrylic paint mixed and applied thinly gave a texture with a nice “bite” for calligraphing. Otherwise the mod podge I used for creating the backgrounds would have been too slick for my calligraphy ink. I needed that texture for Margaret’s:


This piece is calligraphed in Uncial (which, as you probably know, was the script of the early Christian texts–cool, eh?). I probably need to be sealing this one soon, too.


Okay, this one is Eleanor’s:


It is calligraphed in Copperplate (English roundhand) which I adore as a font.


I’ll save Joey’s and Peter’s for another post. PLUS, Clara and Levi’s was a different technique…oh, the suspense.

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Mixed Media Calligraphy

I had an inspirational time this past Christmas since I was creating gifts with what I had on hand. I calligraphed favorite Bible verses for the older kids (and Joey) on a wide variety of backgrounds that happened to be hanging around my craft room. For example, I made this for Amelia and Stephen:


I loved using the techniques I learned in Christy Tomlinson’s online SheArt workshop I completed last year.


The canvas for this piece started out as a very ugly still life oil painting that I bought for 75 cents at a thrift store. With some scrapbook papers, stencils, acrylic paints, mod podge and gesso, I was able to get a background that (I think) perfectly reflects the decorative scheme of Amelia and Steve’s house.


I then used acrylic paint to form the lettering (Proto-gothic miniscule and Gothic capitals, for those who love fonts as much as I do). I had never painted lettering quite like that before, but I would do it again because I like the way it turned out.


I used a similar mixed media technique for Jacob’s gift’s background.


But his started out as a dry-erase board paired up with a cork board (that Joey had bought at the semi-annual hospital rummage sale). I just took the dry-erase board out of the frame and flipped it over to have a more porous surface on which to work.


I didn’t paint the letters, though, I actually got out my good old calligraphy pen to form the (Art nouveau) letters.


I might need to seal this eventually, but I was happy with it, too.


It was a fun challenge to transform these surfaces and experiment with calligraphy again. The other pieces that I completed using mixed media were much smaller that these two. I’ll stick some of them in a second post…so, as usual, stay tuned.

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Some Recent Art

Despite–or, maybe, because of–being in survival mode, I’ve had the opportunity to complete some art the last few days. First, I got to participate in a quick, fun Artist Trading Card swap hosted by the lovely Lauren. I got to send an ATC to Karen.



Because I like the Bible, calligraphy, crayon and embroidery, that’s what I used to make my card. Plus, I added some glitter. Clara had the brilliant idea of using the pattern of a tin ceiling tile as the inspiration for my design.


The card I received in the swap is from Lauren.


It totally made me smile.


The next piece of “art” I completed was something I had on my “to-do” list for several weeks. It is a thank-you card to my dad. It’s nothing special to see. It’s not very beautiful or artistic.


It’s not even intended for public viewing. In fact, it is, by its nature, quite personal. So I hesitated to put it on my blog.


But I hoped that if I included it here, someone might be inspired to write a big thank-you card to someone in his or her life. Before it is too late.


Then, I actually completed my first SheArt piece! Oh, my! I was so thrilled!


I have been waiting and waiting to use the ideas I learned in Christy Tomlinson’s class. (Which, btw, I highly recommend…take it if you have the least inclination!)


Everything she presented in the course was so foreign to me–from the layers and texturing to the quick pace. I mean, to think that I completed this in about an hour blows my mind.


It’s almost like stream-of-consciousness art.


I was determined to use every basic technique she taught in this first piece I attempted. I used paper, acrylics, spray washes, stamps, stencils, rub-ons. You name it.


And I love, love, LOVE the finished product. I mean, I LOVE it. I could not be more satisfied with it.


Now, I’m working on some ideas for more SheArt. Stay tuned!

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Farewell, Silver Bella; Hello, Art and Soul

I have officially registered to attend Art and Soul in Portland this fall! Not only do I get to learn new crafting skills (more to come on the classes), but I get to stay with the ever-fabulous Joan!! And, Amelia is joining us! Can I use any more exclamation points before the exclamation point police come after me?!

While I am still sad about Silver Bella, I am excited about Art and Soul!

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Karla’s “Cut From a Different Cloth” Giveaway!

I was so excited to be the winner of Karla’s giveaway on her Cut From a Different Cloth blog!


I am SO thrilled with the contents of this package!


While the rick-rack, lace, medallions, ribbon, buttons and hooks and eyes are fabulous in-and-of themselves, it is the FABRIC that makes my heart go pitter-pat. Look at those TEN scrumptious pieces of fabric! They are calling my name. They want me to embroider them! Just look at them. Look at their textural variety. YUM!


The additional fun associated with this giveaway was that, since I am in Karla’s neighborhood once a week, we planned to get together instead of her mailing my fabulous gift. That ended up being easier said than done because of illness and unforeseen circumstances, but this week, we were able to meet up at her house. AND I had the bonus of seeing Lynn. It was a mini-Silver Bella reunion!

And that reminds me: I am still sad about Silver Bella’s cancellation. I met Karla and Lynn through Silver Bella. My Google Reader is filled with the blogs of women I met at Silver Bella and who I now consider friends. I can honestly say, without drama or exaggeration, that attending Silver Bella changed my life. I met so many women who also have the desire to create art. Through these women, I made connections with other women. These relationships encourage me to keep making art, even if it is challenging in my responsibility-filled life. Through these relationships, I have discovered resources that help me prioritize art in my life: instructors, classes, supplies, books.

So, I even though Silver Bella is canceled, I want to keep the momentum going in my creative life. I did a little searching around and I think I have a plan. Stay tuned….

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Windows to My World Art Journaling: Last Spread–For Now

Here’s my final spread from the class:


We randomly chose several of the techniques we had learned and incorporated them into the final spread.


I used paper, doodling and stamping on this spread. It gave me a nice, clean lay-out and plenty of room for text. I almost hate to admit, though, that I kind of think it looks a little too clean.


Probably the only thing I would add to this spread is a little watered-down acrylic somewhere and perhaps a background paper (like the graph paper I had used in earlier spreads). Once again, I really liked the opportunity this journaling has given me to compile the important Scripture that represents what I’ve been learning lately. I think that I’ll keep adding to this journal for that very reason!

Thanks for looking at all of my journal pages!

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