Artist in Lo de Marcos

Beach Sculpture

Beach Sculpture

Only a few more days of my extended stay in Mexico left and I have to say that I have met some very talented artists while here.  There are many musicians that come together and form bands for the duration of their winter stay or have jam sessions where we can go and listen and enjoy some really great music.  Besides musicians there are painters of all mediums and I am inspired by their many talents.  A week ago a few of us got together to paint on the patio facing the beach

The artista table

The artista table

and it was wonderful to see all their different techniques and learn some new ones myself.  Being a self-taught mixed-media artist I am always watching for new techniques to help improve my skills especially in water-colour and acrylics.

Where we held the day of art was at Villa del Ray which is owned by an extremely talented artist Lonny Ford,

3 Amigos

3 Amigos

he has decorated his rental suites with his art

Donkey planter

Donkey planter

and the property and it is fun just walking around and seeing all his different sculptures – every time I went there I discovered another piece that was amazing.

Pelican Pilots

Pelican Pilots

Interesting enough, he does not sell his art, it is strictly for his own enjoyment and those that stay at his house and suites.

I have included e few pictures of his amazing and often humorous art work.

 

Until next time

Michelle

My Art is in Uncommon Thredz Clothing Store

I am so excited that my art is for sale in a friend’s beautiful clothing store, Uncommon Thredz in Mission, BC.   Angie the owner has been so kind and encouraging and offered to display my art on consignment.  Thank you to my good friend Cyndi for introducing me to Angie and for all her encouragement.

My Art on Display

My Art on Display

Uncommon Thredz, one of the most original shops in B.C. It’s a boutique dedicated to women, focussing on fashions that make them feel confident and beautiful.

Designer Angela Morrow knows quality and style, and offers her customers both, along with sound advice in a warm and funky atmosphere, where a jazzy tune is always playing and a warm smile is waiting. From soft winter sweaters to colourful summery dresses and all the accessories in between, Angela carries the finest products in her fashion style house.

If you are in the area please stop in for a great shopping experience and check out her website for latest fashion finds, etc. http://www.uncommonthredz.ca

Michelle

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

Love Who You Are…

Love who you are…

I am sure I am not the only one that needs to be reminded to love who I am, for the unique individual I am, we are all different and we all have our gifts and talents.  So many times throughout our life we often forget to love and believe in ourselves and to remember that we are each a special gift.

This digital collage is a combination of a 3 of my handmade collages and I amalgamated them into a new piece and when I was taking a final look at the finished piece the words “Love who you are” kept resonating with me so they ended up on the finished page.

These are the scanned collage used in this piece.

Until next time happy creating,

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.

Delicious new art supplies!

My Christmas wish list this year was mainly art supplies and I received the majority of them under the tree.  I was so excited to get the Pan Pastel Starter kit, which included a few sponges, Shades of Grey pitt pens, pit artists pens, mini canvases, a How to Draw for the Mixed Media Artist and art magazines.  I have been playing around with my new supplies the last couple of days now that things have settled down from Christmas celebrations and have been having fun experimenting.

Practice makes perfect have patience

Still have lots to learn about pan pastels, so think I will try Donna Downey’s Pan Pastel 101 on-line workshop http://www.donnadowney.com/shop/product.php?productid=2587&cat=16&page=1 so that I can hone some techniques and make the most out of my pan pastels.

Gratitude

These picture to the left is my first attempts trying out my new Shades of Grey Pitt Pens, and following a Pam Carriker Tutorial http://pamcarriker.com/tutorials/….still need lots of practice learning how to shade.  The one to the right is done with pan pastels and watercolours and some charcoal pencil to add more depth.

I am so grateful for these mixed media artists sharing their talents and providing such great tutorials so that others can become better artists too.

 

Shades of Grey with a touch of Pan Pastel

 

 

 

Discovering Creative Learning Resoures and Inspiration

It’s funny how you come across great magazines when you least expect it and they are treasures just filled with wonderful creative ideas, resources and new venues to develop your art.  One magazine in particular that I am really falling in love with is Somerset Studio it is chalked full of wonderful artists sharing their art and techniques.  These are definitely magazines that you keep on your bookshelf close at hand to refer back to off and on when you are needing a creative boost or looking for an idea.  Their website is also an interesting and informative place to check out where you will find free how-to videos, project ideas and new products and more http://somersetstudio.com/

While reading one of  the articles in the latest issue of Somerset Studio I discovered a link  for learning more about using moulding paste in collage and art pages – the link was  http://PamCarriker.com – well what an exciting find this site has been and I have  found myself returning many times this past week to continue to soak up all her fun techniques.  Pam Carriker is an amazing multi-media artist and she has done some videos on how to use your art pages again by making copies of them and then cutting, tearing, etc. different pieces of the previous art  page copy and giving it a whole new life on a new page.  Pam’s site also led me to a link to Stratmore’s Artist free on-line workshops another great find  http://www.strathmoreartist.com/vjworkshop2011.html .  I have  enjoyed watching all of Pam’s workshop videos – she is an incredible teacher and her techniques are really something I want to incorporate into my art pages and collages as I continue to learn and grow as an artist (still got those training wheels on).  I would be remiss not to mention that there are two other artists – Linda Blinn and Roz Stendahl also teaching Strathmore Artists Workshops on art pages and they are both really informative.

I have  scanned some of my pages, printed them off and have been having fun trying out Pam’s techniques while creating a totally different art page.  I am still working on my first page not quite finished…..but soon.

So if you are looking for some inspiration and to learn some more techniques for your art page do  check out the links I have shared in my post, well worth exploring.

Til next time happy creating

Michelle

Artist With Training Wheels

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced” Vincent Van Gogh

I see myself as a budding artist with training wheels, and I am very new to the collage and art journaling community I am loving the growth I have made in the past few months and know that the training wheels may be required for quite some time. If you had asked me 8 months ago if I would be painting and doing art journaling, I would have likely said ‘me I’m not a painter’ – because I have this voice inside –  that ‘EGO’ voice that stops me from doing so many things in life because of the fear it can instill if I allow it to.  That is why I chose to start off this post with the quote from Vincent Van Gogh  so we can remember to silence that voice otherwise we stop ourselves from experiencing our creativity and many other adventures in life. 

This past week I have continued to experiment with my art pages by incorporating and altering  magazine photos.  It is such an interesting transformation and it is amazing how something so simple can create such different and unique art pages. 

I was reflecting on the past few months and am so pleased with the progress in my art and all of the different techniques I have been learning.  When I think that up until 4 months ago I had not tried  painting or doing collage for that matter I  had really no thoughts of trying these different mediums, instead  I had been  creating wire wrap jewellery for about 4 months which I loved but I was searching for more.  Creativity opened  another door to me in December when I was inspired by a couple of collages a past co-worker had hanging in her office.  She had recently taken a class and created these striking wax collages and ‘ voila’ I was overcome with  inspiration and a tweaked curiosity to sample collage as an art form myself – it stirred some excitement within me.  I remembered doing collage of sorts back at the age of 19 when I covered the exterior of an old claw-foot bathtub with pictures and quotes to cover the ugly peeling paint – I wonder what the landlord thought of my artistic refurbishing of the tub? 

So now with  a new area to explore I started searching on-line and found many videos to watch on the collage process, painting, mediums, etc. – trying to learn all that I could.

Collage art page prior to being altered

I am so grateful that I stumbled onto the 21 Secrets Workshop Artists Workshops  http://www.dirtyfootprintsworkshops.com/2008/09/21-secrets-art-journal-playground.html through Violette’s  Creative Juice blog http://www.violette.ca/  where I discovered 21 talented artists who are willing to share their many talents – feeding my hunger to learn more techniques and try new things.  I look forward to where my creations will go in the next months while I wander down this exciting road of art discovery with my training wheels firmly attached – learning not only art techniques but more about my inner self from  these very talented instructors but also from the incredible 21 Secrets community that is rapidly growing with other artists willing to share their new artistic adventures and growth. Still three more months of fun in the playground.

So who says you can’t paint? – just give it a try, have fun, art journaling is a wonderful way to discover that child within and to experiment, use your hands – get messy and learn so much more about yourself as it is a very therapeutic past time.

After altering the magazine photo collage

Til next time happy creating

Michelle

21 Secrets Workshop – a very fun playground

I am so excited that the 21 Secrets Workshop started on Friday.  I couldn’t wait to start exploring the various artists workshops – 21 artists created workshops that assist you with your creativity in your art journal pages and other art forms.  The first one on the list was “Three Little Words” – to begin you are instructed to go through your journals, favorite books, etc and pick out strings of three words that speak to you and just start making lists of these phrases. At first I thought I would not get that many on my list but so far I have created three pages with two rows on each page!  Some examples of my three word phrases:  embrace the funky, place of calm,

In the moment - my own emerging

learning to enjoy, my creative life, permission to create, what feels real, warmth that influences, energy of being, discover the tears, the open heart.  By doing this exercise it has created a wealth of phrases that I can use in my art pages, and they are words that speak to me and how I am feeling at a particular moment and helps to remind me that I am on a creative journey.  So far I have used six of the three word strings in three different pages I created.  What a great tool this is – I love it!

You can jump around and join in any of the workshops whenever you like which is great cause you don’t have to do them in order or be structured, just go where you are called to at the moment – so the next one I checked out was the  “Child’s Play Workshop“, it was number two on the list so I wasn’t jumping around too much yet.  Here I learned how to create my own stamps to use with paints and inks, how cool is that?   It reminded me of when I was a child and we made potato stamps, she didn’t do this but used strings, a

Everything is possible - set the course

 sticky back foam, etc.  So I had to try it out – I need to refine my designs but it worked and I used the stamp on some pages and I actually liked how it looks.  I will have to dig deep into my memory and try creating a few potato stamps just for the fun of it.  So now I am looking around my studio for things I could turn into a cool stamp. 

There is so much to learn through these workshops and the community is growing daily, it looks like it will be a really interactive one that I will enjoy getting involved with. You can post your creations on the forums for the various workshops too and see what others are creating as well.  If you are interested in joining in on all this creative fun check out the playground by visiting http://www.dirtyfootprintsworkshops.com/2008/09/21-secrets-art-journal-playground.html to register is only $59 and you get access to the site and community from April 1 to August 1…..well worth it. 

 Til next time happy creating!

Michelle

Reflection and Memories – creating a Birthday card collage for my niece

I have a niece who is four months and 11 days younger than me, yes my mom and sister were pregnant at the same time, something you don’t hear about to often.  We have a rather different family story as I never had contact with her for close to 48 years because when my sister and her husband divorced her dad took her away when she was about six and her brother stayed with my sister.  So all these years I wondered where she was and if I would ever get to see her again and then miraculously I was able to find her about 6 years ago.  She was living in Victoria, BC.  So I wrote her a letter and when she received it she immediately called me with great excitement that she was going to be able to reunite with her mom and family.  We had a reunion shortly after this with my sister and her youngest daughter and my mom.  It was a wonderful and emotional reunion.  Since then I have seen her many times, she has reconnected and spent time with her brother, I went to her dad’s funeral a few years ago, she attended her grandmother’s 100th Birthday and I have had the opportunity to meet her two grown children and her grandchildren.  My sister has developed a relationship with her long-lost daughter and with her granddaughter and her children.  We are looking forward to another reunion with my niece’s children and grandchildren this coming July. 

Since I enjoy creating collages I got this brilliant idea to create a Birthday collage for my niece.  I had this vision of incorporating a

Baby Bonnita

 picture I had of her when she was just a baby of six months sitting on her mom’s lap.  I also wanted to include a picture of her mom as a baby and found a picture of her grandmother as a child to include as well.  Her Birthday is on April 5 so the deadline for mailing a card was getting really close so I knew if I was going to actually do this I better get started.  Of course I have been stalling  for about the past five days, afraid that it won’t turn out the way I envisioned it and that it may not be art-worthy or good enough to send and share with her – that old FEAR thing again.  So yesterday I took the first steps  and reduced the scanned photos, created some text and decided to use an old book cover for the canvas. I read about using old book covers for canvasses so thought I would try it. I  did feel guilty cutting the cover off a book, but I did find it in a free bin, so I let the guilt go.  I painted the book cover and then put it aside as I didn’t know quite where to go from there.  Today I got busy and started adding ripped piece of coloured and patterned scrapbook paper, then added the photos and framed them with these little paper frames that I found, then added the text.  Next I covered the area that still had paint showing with a crackle medium to create an aged weathered look.  So that the collage could be

Birthday collage on recycled book cover

 hung up I added a piece of recycled sari silk with a couple of buttons to finish the ends off.  Then I added a coat of Modge Podge to seal it.  On the back I will write a personal note.  I am pleased at how it turned out and I hope that my niece likes it and if she wants she can display it.  So there – I did it a Birthday Collage Card – another very fun day of creating.

Til next time – happy creating!

Michelle

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