I`m a Late Bloomer

I am so excited to be featured on this lovely blog for late bloomers http://www.imalatebloomer.com/ it encourages me and inspires me to continue on my artful journey.  I love reading the amazing stories of others that started on their art journey later in life and how it has added more joy and happiness to their life.

Michelle

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Big growth for the little town of Sayulita

I think it was about 6 years ago that I last visited Sayulita, Mexico, when it was still a quiet little town about 40 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta.  When we were there it was just a few dirt streets, very few shops and the restaurants were all along the beach where it was mainly surfers enjoying the lovely waves that Sayulita is known for.  I remember the city bus that commutes between Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita dropping us off at the top of the hill and walking down the dirt road to the main part of town, very few cars or tourists.  Fast forward to my visit in February 2012 –  we caught the bus from Lo de Marcos to Sayulita for a mere 25 pesos and it took about 25 minutes to get there.  We were dropped off on the side of the highway and told that there would be a bus in about 20 minutes, so we decided that we would just start walking in towards Sayulita rather than standing around waiting for bus that could arrive who knows when.  It took about 15 minutes to walk into town and was I surprised when I saw how much it had changed since my last visit, there were lots of cars and so many stores and restaurants.  We were warned that Sayulita was undergoing lots of road work and it was difficult at times to manuever around piles of dirt and rubble….they were not kidding, I don’t think there was a road that was not being torn up and re-done with lovely cement brick work and new sidewalks it should look really pretty when it is completed.  Needless to say that the noise level was very high with all this construction, though a lot of it is still done by hand, such as carrying buckets of cement to be spread out by another worker. 

We were wanting a drink of some sort and my friend was really wanting a coffee so we stopped at this lovely little coffee place right at the town centre, I can’t remember what the name was I think something like Loco Choco.  I had a delicious fruit smoothie and my friend Jenny thoroughly enjoyed her coffee which is roasted and ground right on location.

In the town square where there were lots of vendors working on creating there wares and lots of children playing.  We weren’t meeting our friends for a little while so we wandered about and checked out some of the shops on the main street – discovering that Sayulita has a very large artist population and the art comes with a big price tag as well.

One of the main streets that goes down to the beach was really torn up and it was like hiking over piles of rocks and sand, but we managed and then found ourselves in the midst of the local vendors who were very persistent about trying to make a sale.  The beach was crowded with umbrellas, chairs, vendors and of course surfers.  We had now hooked up with our friends and us girls decided we wanted to get some lunch, so we left the guys to do their thing and we found this great sandwich shop, Reubens on the same street that goes to the beach.  The shop was very small but had some prime seats that faced  out onto the road so you could do some serious people watching while enjoying your delicious sandwich – if you visit Sayulita be sure to stop as it is well worth it and the service was very good.

After lunch we all met up at the beach and spent the afternoon sipping cold beers and fending off the countless vendors that stroll the beach non-stop.  The waves were not exceptionally big this visit so the surfers were mostly just hanging out waiting for even the smallest wave that they could ride in.

Overall the visit to Sayulita was great but I have to say I was happy to be back to sleepy little Lo de Marcos and being able to walk down the beach without a soul in view and just enjoy the sounds of the waves and best of all no traffic.  I thought about staying in Sayulita prior to this visit but now I would not even consider it, it has grown so fast and is so crowded now it has lost the small town charm  that I am drawn to and I imagine it won’t be long before it is just an extension of Puerto Vallarta but it is worth a visit and I will pay a visit next year to see how all the improvements have turned out.

Til next time

Michelle

Just doodling through January

Life is Magical

January in the Pacific Northwest can be rather damp and gloomy and sometimes some cold and snow thrown in just to keep it interesting.  Now that January is at an end we are beginning to ge little signs of spring, daffodils starting to poke out of the cold ground, some buds starting to form a few bushes, perhaps they don’t realize it is only the end of January, but it still gives us the feeling that spring is just a few short weeks away.

These past few weeks have been spent indoors and I  have had the leisure of spending them doodling,painting and gluing collages one of the advantages of being retired :).  I have been experimenting with my new pan pastels learning how to blend and mix colours, what I like most is that I can also use watercolours and acrylics with them.  Here are a couple of my latest art pages using an array of mixed media.

Experimenting and trying new techniques is always fun, it’s letting go of the fear of making a mess that is the biggest challenge but once I start laying the initial layers my fear diminishes and the creativity flows, I think it just takes picking up the paint brush and putting down the first few strokes.

Hope you find a few minutes to release your creativity today.

Michelle

Life is magical and time waits for no one, treasure every moment.

My First Art Apron

“The trouble with trouble it usually starts while having fun.”

I have been playing with the idea of creating an apron to protect my clothes while I am messing around with paints, and gel mediums because I always seem to be splattering paint on me and then rushing to get a wet cloth to try to get it out before it in-beds itself forever.  I had bought some unbleached muslin a number of months ago and wondered if I might have enough fabric to make a full apron and sure enough there was exactly enough fabric for what I would need.  I used an apron that I wear while cooking big dinners at Christmas and used it as a pattern for my art apron.  It was quite easy and quick to sew and then I washed it  to remove the sizing out as it was very stiff, forgetting however how wrinkled unbleached muslin can become once it has been put into the dryer.  So then I had to iron out all the wrinkles and some of them just refused to disappear, oh well it  kind of lends a unique look to the fabric.

Art Apron

I decided to use a t-shirt transfer of one of my collages I had created a while ago as the main focal point of the apron and I created the words ‘Create Art Everyday’  and used another t-shirt transfer to adhere the words to the apron.  The  top border of the apron I used some acrylic paints, stamps, india ink, and gel pen as I wanted to keep it simple and easy on my hand since I am still only about 75% rehabilitated from my joint replacement 2 months ago.  It still gave me a feeling of accomplishment and progress being able to do a little painting by hand.  Most things I have created lately have been digital, but I am trying everyday to use a paintbrush. 

I really enjoyed sewing and creating my own little art and I am sure it will soon be covered with spatters of paint and goop before I know it, but that will just give it character and make me happy that I haven’t ruined another sweater. 

Until next time I hope you find some time in your day to be creative.

 

Michelle

Photo Collage – Experimenting with Adobe Photoshop

Since I have been living a left-handed life for the past 5 weeks, I have  continued to play and learn more about doing digital collage.  It is a very interesting medium since there are unlimited things that you can do with Photoshop and its many tools and filters.  This past week I have been trying different things using my own handmade art that I scanned, the various filters, the masking tool, and practicing selecting objects from photos.  One of the projects I have been working on is a picture of my girlfriend and I that we took while on the ferry coming back from Vancouver Island in the summer of 2010.  We had such a wonderful time on our road  trip up and down the island so I thought it would be nice to take the photo and create something that I could frame and hang on the wall to remind me of our adventure.

I changed the colour of the photo to sepia because

Road Trip Summer of 2010

I wanted a bit of an old fashion look to the layout.  Some of the background layers are scanned corrugated cardboard, water-coloured canvas and I selected the raffia ribbon from another painting and added it as a border.  I also used some custom brushes that are black writing over top of the corrugated cardboard layer.  

I want to increase my skills with Photoshop so I ordered a book bySusan Tuttle ‘Digital Expressions’ Creating Digital Art with Adobe Photoshop Elements – it has arrived, so I plan to do the different projects to increase my knowledge of the various tool, brushes and filters.  Apparently the methods she uses can be created in both Photoshop  Elements and Photoshop CS3.   I figure this is a great way to keep my mind active learning new things and the creative juices flowing.

So til next time enjoy creating an artful life. 

Michelle

Canvas and recycled cardboard

I am going through creative withdrawal this past couple of weeks as I had to have surgery on my right hand…I am right-handed .  So I have this cast on my hand and arm allowing me very little mobility, so no messing around with paint and collage for a while.  I have a cast on for 6 weeks!  So I’m  trying to find other ways of being creative.  I have been checking out various artist blogs and storing  inspiration for when I am able to paint again.One of my favorite artists right now is Donna Downey http://donnadowney.typepad.com/ She has some wonderful art journal tutorial videos.

Seek the Power Within

Just prior to my surgery I went on a creative frenzy trying out painting and collaging in squares of unstretched canvas.  I found I really enjoyed this process and did a few in just a matter of days.  Then the question of what to mount these canvas pieces on and I decided to recycle some cardboard, applied some gesso and then painted with various colours to coordinate with  my canvas creations. 

Pure Joy & Bliss

I then  mounted the canvas to the cardboard  using embroidery cotton and some recycled raffia I had just to add a bit more interest to the frame.  Afterwards I roughed up the cardboard with some sandpaper to give it a more weathered look and then used a bit of distressing ink.  I really like how they turned out and can’t wait to make some more. 

Until I can actually use my hand again I am going to try doing collage digitally in photo shop….need to have some creative outlet for the next 4 weeks otherwise I may go crazy….

The pics I have include are not the best as I scanned them and they were a bit bigger than my scanner. Hopefully it won’t be long before I can hold a camera again.

Happy creating to you

Michelle

Paper mache and collage come together

‘Being creativemeans trusting your own purpose and having an attitude of unbending intent in your daily thoughts and activities.’

I have been busy the last little while trying some new techniques to incorporate into my collage art.  One of the techniques that really intrigued me was making little fun foam forms covering them paper mache toilet paper using diluted soft medium gel with water.  I learned this technique from Pam Carriker’s book ‘Art at the Speed of Life’.  It was really fun to do, I designed my little dresses and cut them out in sticky back fun foam and then attached some detail to the top of the forms attaching  them to another larger piece of foam to keep them from moving around.  I then took sheets of toilet paper and separated them so they were single-ply placing each sheet individually on  the forms spraying them with the diluted gel medium to adhere together.  Approximately 8 – 10 layers – as I added each layer I gently pushed out bubbles forming the paper around the details and shapes of the dresses.  You have to let them dry for at least 24 hours and then it easily lifts of the form – gently and carefully tear off any excess along the edges. 

Paper mache and collage come together

I had painted and collaged a 8 x 10 flat canvas that I had purchased at the Dollar Store and when I finally got it to the point where I liked how it looked I added a little clothes line to attach the dresses to.  Before attaching the dresses I used some distress inks to add a little more detail and depth to the paper mache dresses and attached with these little clothes pegs I found at the Dollar Store.  The Dollar Store is a great place to find items to use in your collages!   I also glued the dresses to the canvas with some gel medium and I am going to attach a saying of some sort to it to finish it off – there is a temporary one in place in the pic in the post.  I am very happy with how it all turned out.  The border outline I did with black paint and tar gel to just give it a bit more pop. 

So this was an experiment that turned out the way I hoped it would and I am excited to try it again very soon. 

Stay tuned for more on my collage adventures shortly. 

Til next time happy creating!

Michelle

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