Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Genesis 1:1 says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour fourth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. (Psalm 19:1-4)

I love the song "Indescribable" by Chris Tomlin. The lyrics to his song inspired the painting above. 

"...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).

I am so thankful that God continued to pursue me, even when I choose to do life my way. He is faithful even when I am not. God has gracefully taught me that I am in desperate need of a Savior.

     "And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  
Luke 2:8-14

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,  and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:15-20

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:22-23

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. " John 3:16

"For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve." 1 Corinthians 15:3-5

"For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed." Romans 8:19

"Even the sparrow has found a home,
    and the swallow a nest for herself,
    where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
    Lord Almighty, my King and my God." Psalm 84:3

Revelation 21: 1-6 says, "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”  And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. 

Thank you Lord for sending Jesus. Thank you for teaching me your truths, and lighting my path. 
If you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus, I pray this Christmas you will discover the risen Christ!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Embossed Christmas Ornaments

Here's an old post, but a fun craft to get you ready for Christmas-only 30 days!

Well the kids are out of school and bored already. What's a mom to do??? At our house it's project time-I try to keep 'em busy. And since everything I do with the kids is pretty easy and inexpensive, I thought I'd share what we did today so maybe you moms, grandmas or friends out there might try it over the holidays. You'll need some medium weight aluminum (I ordered mine from DickBlick awhile back, it's called Art Emboss Aluminum Sheets from Amaco Craft, but I think you can get aluminum sheets in craft or hardware stores), Sharpie permanent markers and scissors. You can also use heavy duty regular aluminum foil but you will need to glue it to a cardboard backing of some sort for support.

It's a pretty simple, so I'll let the pics explain the process. Be sure though to emboss the design with a blunt pencil on a piece or cardboard and then flip the ornament over before you color in with the Sharpie.

You know I like me some fun, funky colors, but I was thinking the gold and brown sharpies would look gorgeous for those of you who have the more neutral color palettes.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Finding your Artistic Style

I was preparing to take these three pieces to display at Scallions, and I had to chuckle at the variety. I painted each one in the past six months, however they are all completely different styles. The Country Cow painting was done in oils from a photo that I took, and the other two are mixed media inspired by some angel Christmas ornaments I saw at a store. I’ve painted pretty consistently for the past three years now, and I still struggle with my style. I also can’t seem to stick with one particular medium.

If you’re an artist, do you have a style? Do you think it’s important to limit yourself to one style?

I’ve really been perplexed over this the past week after seeing my paintings side by side, and I’ve boiled it down to this theory. It depends on my mood and how much time I have. The cow painting obviously was very detailed and took me about four lengthy painting sessions to complete. I don’t seem to have a lot of extended time slots to paint, so starting a piece like the cows, that requires so much concentration, is intimidating. I also don’t see that this style of art, at least for me, leaves much room for expression. Sometimes I love working on a piece where I have to concentrate and really challenge myself, but more than not, I like to paint something that has moved or inspired me and be able to express myself and push it past “looking so perfect”. 

The older I get, the more I rebel against the pursuit of perfectionism. I feel like art needs to reflect the artist, not look “just like” the object or someone else’s work. I love mixed media because I can be messy and free and don’t put pressure or expectations. That make the creative process fun and enjoyable for me! I found this article over at the Empty Easel on finding your artistic style. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Smart Fab Pillows

Smart Fab Pillows

I was so excited to get three rolls of Smart Fab to try out for some new project ideas. First I watched their demo video and my creative juices started brewing. According to their website, Smart-Fab is the smart alternative to paper and cloth and it's available in a range of brilliant, non-fading colors. This innovative non-woven fabric is easy to cut, fold, glue, sew and staple – and even paint and draw on. Smart-Fab is strong, yet flexible - but doesn’t fray. And, it’s recyclable! Children and educators love working with Smart-Fab. It’s perfect for an unlimited range of indoor and outdoor projects, including bulletin boards, banners, arts & crafts and scenic design.

My middle child is sewing now, so I enlisted her help with my idea. I'm always wanting cute outdoor accent pillows for my screened in porch that I can change out for each season, but don't want to spend the $$, so I decided to give Smart Fab a try for some fall designs.

I used a 12 x 12 canvas as my template for a square and added and extra four inches to the outside. Using chalk, I traced my shape onto the Smart Fab.

I sketched out my design in chalk.

I used acrylic paint for my pumpkin design. I did have to use a couple layers because the Smart Fab really soaked up the paint and dulled the color, especially on the black fabric. I used masking tape to secure the edges to the table so I could paint without it sliding around.

I put the finished fabric outside on a hanger to dry for about 15 minutes.

My daughter stitched the edges, and then I used scissors and easily cut the fringe--and yes, crisp clean edges-no fraying! I stuffed with some cotton filling and now I have a cute fall pillow. This project took me about 1 hour total, including the drying time.

Click on this LINK to see a great video with more creative ideas for using Smart Fab. You can follow Smart Fab on Facebook HERE. I'm looking forward to doing some more ideas with my Smart Fab samples :)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Art for Non-Profit

Each year, during my birthday month, I like to give an extra gift back to an organization that is close to my heart.  At my age, it's really the only thing I can get excited about on my birthday :) So, this year, during the month of October, half of all my art profits will go to The Dorcas House. I've been working with the women at Dorcas over the past year, and they are some of the bravest women I've ever met. I have been in amazed to witness firsthand the healing power of Jesus in their lives.

If you need art for your home or office, or to give as a gift, please consider purchasing some art from me during October. I have price points ranging from $18 to $600, and have pieces at Scallions in the Heights, Reinvented Vintage in West Little Rock, and Massage Envy in Midtowne Plaza. You can also view my art online at www.stacyspanglerart.com, or purchase prints at www.fineartamerica.com. I would also be glad to do a custom piece on a commission basis.

You can learn more about The Dorcas House by clicking HERE. If you are local and interested in volunteering with our monthly Art Nite Out at Docas, or would like to donate to our Art Nite fund,  please email me.

Feel free to pass this along this email and flyer, or email me with any questions.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Painting Pumpkins on Canvas

Yes, I teach art. But, as a parent, art is a great way to spend time with your child, and make some cute art for your home. Here's a lesson I've done before with a class, but YOU could easily create these with your kids. Just have fun with it, and you will end up with some great art for the fall season. Add your own personal touches, like words, patterns and color schemes.

 First, I teach students how I draw a pumpkin-use the steps above. I always teach that before you paint to practice your drawing and plan your painting. And I love talking about painting fruits, and stress that there's not such thing as a "perfect" pumpkin. They can be fat, tall, bumpy, lop-sided, etc. Students painted on a 12 x 12 stretched canvas with acrylic paints.

When drawing your design onto the canvas, DON'T use a pencil. You will have a very hard time covering the pencil and correcting mistakes. Use a light color paint or chalk. I have students use baby wipes to correct mistakes. They remove wet paint from a canvas almost like it's a dry erase board.

For younger children, just coach them on what to do one step at a time. For instance, "First we are going to paint our pumpkin shape. What shape do you see? Now try that on your canvas." Remind them to paint big. If they mess up, show them how easy it is to erase it and try again.

Outlining with a darker color helps the colors "pop" and gives the art a more "finished" look.

We added a little green puff paint for the vines and tricked out our edges with stripes. Students were kindergarten through 2nd grade (one fourth grader), and completed their paintings in a 2-hour workshop.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fall Leaves Project

I wanted to show you a new product that I tried and loved the results. I ordered ArtEmboss Aluminum Sheets from DickBlick. They are 9-1/4' x 12" and come in a pack of 12. I didn't know what to do with them at first, but got inspired last week when all the leaves started turning, and decided to use it in a lesson to teach about warm and cool colors, and also using lines in drawing. All you need is a good selection of warm and cool colored Sharpie markers, a soft pencil (we used Ebony pencils), a piece of soft cardboard, assortment of fall leaves, and the aluminum sheets.

I collected a bunch of leaves in different shapes and colors and had the students trace the leaves on the "back" of their sheet. It will emboss better if you place a piece of cardboard under your work space.Then turn it over and begin to color, giving instructions to use warm colors for the leaves and cool colors for the background. Also make sure students are careful not to color over the "raised" portions so that they will have the silver lines define their shapes. I did this project with 2nd and 3rd graders and it took about an hour. Stunning results! Reminded me of stained glass windows.

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