Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas Art

Since I started my full time teaching job this year, my studio time has been cut to almost zero. I'm still journaling, but have not created any new canvas pieces all year. I think I avoid going down to my studio because I get depressed seeing all the unfinished pieces and projects, and knowing I don't have enough time or energy to create on a larger scale right now. Don't get me wrong, I love my new job, but I think the planning, teaching all day, grading and managing students has sucked up all my energy and there's just not much left when I get home.

This weekend I cleaned off my desk in the small office off my laundry room, and moved all my journaling supplies up from my studio with hopes that I can do more journaling in small chunks if it's right in front of me. I went down to my studio tonight and found these pieces that I'd really like to sell before Christmas, so I'm offering discounted prices. Details are listed below. Shipping for first class mail in the U.S. in included. Just email me at if you are interested and I'll send you a paypal receipt-first come, first serve.

This Baby Jesus mixed media piece has heavy texture and is painted on an 8 x 8, 1-1/2 inch thick gallery wrapped canvas with finished edges. It is on sale for $40.

This mixed media cross piece is on a 6 x 6, 1/2 inch thick burlap canvas with finished edges. It is $25.

This mixed media Santa is on a 12 x 12 inch, 1/2 inch thick canvas with finished edges. It is $45.

This mixed media Santa is on a 16 x 20, 1/2 inch thick canvas with finished edges. It is $75.

I also have two mixed media packets left. This color infused kit contains over 30 pieces that will give you a fresh start for your mixed media projects. Great for journals, canvases, scrapbooking, mail art and more. Each kit varies slightly, but includes handprinted and stamped papers, texture pieces, glue gun stencil, foam stamp, old book pages, tissue paper, and more. This is a great way to spark your creativity, try new supplies, and handy enough to take with you when you when traveling. $8.00 each or two for $15.00.

Last but not least, I have the above printed cards from my original paintings available. They are $3.00 each or a pack of 6 assorted cards for $15.00-envelopes included. They come clear wrapped with ribbon.

Free delivery and gift wrap for local orders.

As always, I still have art available at Scallions Restaurant in the Heights and Reinvented Vintage in Breckenridge Village. Buy local and hand crafted this Christmas!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Strike a Pose and Learn about Lines

Here's one of my first fifth grade lessons I taught this year. Keith Haring has a great kids website with some fun lesson suggestions, but my inspiration for this came from Cheryl Trowbridge over at Teach Kids Art. I've used the aluminum sheets before for art projects, and they always yield great results, but they are a little pricey when you have 75 kids. So instead, I used heavy duty aluminum foil and it worked just fine, and the kids thought this project was the "coolest thing ever"!. 

For this project, we were learning about the Elements of Art, and specifically focusing on lines. First, I asked for volunteers to come to the front and "strike a pose"- of course, there are always a handful of class clowns who love helping out here. On the white board, I showed the children how I would draw each pose in a stick figure form. Then I showed them how to use a contour line to draw an organic shape around the stick person.

 Next, I had the children get into small groups of two's and three's and "strike a pose" and draw three stick figures on a piece of scratch paper. Then, I instructed children to draw their stick figures larger onto a piece of paper and trace around them with the contour line. Then we traced the three figure design onto a piece of tracing paper.

I had prepared ahead of time, a piece of cut poster board covered with heavy duty aluminum foil. Each student taped their tracing paper over the top, and secured down to the desk. They traced over their tracing paper design with a pencil or sharpie pen lid and it leaves an imprint into the foil.

The last step is to color in with sharpie markers. It's hard to tell in these photos, but make sure the children leaven the silver imprint lines silver (or showing) to divide up the colors.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Art Journaling Kickstarter

I'm excited to give you a sneak peak of the new Art Journal Kickstarter by North Light Books. I will have one of my favorite journal entries published in it, and I can't wait to get a copy in my hands. It will be in stock and ready to purchase in a few weeks. If you would like a copy, North Light Shop is offering free shipping on orders over $25. Please click on the orange link to the right if you would like to order one.

My journal entry that is featured in the book is very near and dear to my heart. I've spent time the past two years creating art and journaling at a monthly art night with the women at The Dorcas House, an outreach for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. I've been so blessed to be able to witness firsthand how God can change a life and bring healing and hope. These women have inspired me so much, that I created a journal page reflecting how so many of them are when they come to Dorcas, and how God delivers them. How exciting that my first published artwork honors them and God's grace! 

I'll be posting more once I get the copy in my hands, but pre-order yours now!!! Remember, please use the orange link the says "Art Journal Kickstarter" in the column to the right, to order-that way the order will link back to me. Thanks so much!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

School is in session

I started teaching 5th and 6th grade art on Thursday at my childrens' school. I've taught art in my studio for the past 6 years, but teaching in a classroom setting is a big change. I have 8 classes that I teach over a two day period, with around 120 students. I'm so blessed to be teaching in a Christian environment where I can share my faith. I don't know how else I could teach art because my faith is such a part of my artistic journey. To me, you can't have art without God. His creation inspires all art; and because we are created in His image, we are have an innate ability to create.

After just two days of teaching and getting the year kicked off, I have a whole new appreciation for teachers. I have been working pretty much 24/7 for the past two weeks, but loving every minute of it. There's planning, parent correspondence, setting up a grading system, discipline policies, entering lesson plans, etc. I'm not a very organized person when it comes to these type of things, so they have taken a lot of energy to wrap my mind around. I finally had some extra down time this morning to sit and reflect, be thankful for God's provision and direction, and do a little art journaling.

I want to share my journey this year with you. I am so thankful for the web and all the bloggers out there who share their ideas. I couldn't have put my year together without you! I even purchased a great planner/curriculum workbook from Patty at Deep Space Sparkle that helped me to get organized-the link is HERE.

Here's my first couple days and a pdf that you are welcome to use. I found several great "Get to know You" ideas out there, so I combined all my favorites and created my own sheet. I've had so much fun looking through all my student's sheets and getting to know them better!

Here's the link. Feel free to use in your classrooms. I've never embedded a pdf in my blog before, so let me know if you have problems accessing it.

Another thing we did, was take a quick look at the art of Origami. The "art of folding paper", originated in China, but was brought to Japan by monks who coined the term oru-kami, to fold-paper. We talked about familiar origami like paper airplanes, boats, hats, folded dollar bills, and looked at some more detailed animal pieces. I found a template for the "fortune teller" pieces by googling origami fortune teller-there's a ton out there. I let the students choose their own questions and use these as an ice breaker to get to know their classmates better. It was a fun and great exercise for a short class period for those first days. One smart student told me that these used to be used to hold spices in the kitchen.

 I found a great website here with lots of info about these. Being a child of the 80s, I also enjoyed making mine-brought back some childhood memories!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Traveling Artist

My oldest child plays AAU basketball, so from April till August, we are on the road a lot. When I used to travel for an occasional vacation, I would just bring my art journal and usually a pencil, a small set of watercolor pencils and a few pens. Now, I have quite a collection of supplies that I haul along with me. As my husband affectionately said on our most recent trip, "We have to make room for all mom's arts and "crap" stuff. 

I've seen a lot of posts this summer where artists have shared their travel art kits, so as I packed mine up this week, I took some pictures so I could share with you.

I always include my favorite pens, pencils and a couple brushes. My favorite black and white permanent pens for writing, doodling and accenting, are from Scarlet Lime. I also always bring a few of my gelly roll pens.

For journaling and summer icad 2014, I usually always use the Elmer's painters pens. They blend and cover so well. I also like the Faber Castell pens, but mainly use the white one for accenting.

I bring a credit card for paint, a water brush, my mini mister (Scarlett Lime), sponge, binder clip, some mod podge, some baby wipes in a baggie and scissors. I also like the Uhu glue stick because it doesn't dry up like the other brands.

Have to have my neocolor water-soluble crayons. I use these all the time!

Some of my stamps and an ink pad.

A few small stencils.

A small collection of my favorite colors of ink sprays and acrylic paint. I also bring a small bottle filled with gesso. I usually always bring some of my mini bottle of Golden acrylics (they have a great sampler set that is perfect for traveling), but I forgot them this trip.

I put it all in the small rubber container that snaps shut and had a handle on the top. This is probably 9 x 6, and maybe about 6-7 inches deep. It holds quite a bit, and depending what I put in it, I can usually fit my journal inside (not this time).

I also bring a small baggie with some paper scraps and other elements to help spur my creativity. I have a couple of these for sale in my Etsy Store for $8. They are perfect for traveling, art journaling and mixed media projects.

This trip I took my three favorite journals. One sketch and two mixed media.

It all fits perfectly in this cute little bag that one of my students gave me for Christmas one year.

So there is my current art travel kit. What do you have in yours? Any of your favorites I need to add to mine? 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Index card a day-A creative challenge

If you've been following me on Facebook or Instagram, you've probably seen some of my posts that say #icad2014. If you've been wondering what that means, it stands for Index Card A Day, and it's a creative challenge hosted by Tammy at Daisy Yellow

I've followed Daisy Yellow's blog for awhile, and I've always thought there was no possible way I could find time to fit art into my life everyday. A 60-day creative challenge at this time in my life seemed like an impossible goal. I work full time, have three children and many other activities on my plate. But as I looked through last year's cards and challenges, I started to get inspired and think, "Maybe I really could do this".  So I committed...and it has been a life changing experience in an artistic sense. 

I would highly recommend that if you want to grow as an artist, or just as a creative person, to give ICAD a try. Here's what I've learned in just a short 43 days.

I've learned not to over think, and go with my impulse-to trust myself and my artistic instincts. I really have more natural ability than I give myself credit.

I have shared the challenges with two of my children, ages 12 and 9, and they have loved doing them, plus we have spent quality time together creating.

I've found a great and creative way to memorize and display my favorite scriptures, and share them with others.

When I'm finished, I will have a beautiful supply of cards to use in my art journals, as idea reminders, and for color inspiration.

I have loosened up and started to see my style emerge, and I even like it. 

I've gotten to practice up on my skills like drawing, color, stamping, collage and more.

I'm inspired daily by other artists and their creative ideas-they do things I would never think of.

I've gotten brave and tried things I didn't know I could do-l like carving my own stamps, trying new techniques and experimenting with new materials.

On the downside, I've spent way too much money on art supplies since I started it. Every time I learn about a new product, I want to buy it :)

I have also met so many talented artists through this summer's ICAD challenge, and have been encouraged by their kind words. I have been so inspired, that half the time I don't even need the prompts. They are great prompts, but it's like my creative fire has been ignited! 

 Thank you Tammy for hosting Index Card A Day Challenge. It has really helped me to believe in myself at another level!

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