Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just wanted to drop in to say Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a great day with family and yummy food. I'm taking a little break from blogging and videos and the internet in general to hang out with family, so I will be back in a few days with a new video and more blog posts.

Ruby Roo can't wait to have her annual plate of turkey...

See you then!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Video Coming Soon...

I usually post a video on Sundays, but I'm in the middle of working on a big painting, so Altered Books: Part 2 will have to wait until later in the week. I don't have a photo yet of the painting because it is still in progress, but it is a big (for me, who is used to painting small) 18" x 18" canvas. I am pretty happy with it so far! :)

For now, I'm showing you some photos of my new little painting with baby alpaca roving used as hair. Roving is the stuff that hand spinners (like me!) make yarn out of. I had some that was the perfect shade of auburn lying around, so I decided to give this painting, called "Gwen," a little hair-do. The alpaca roving is super soft, so her hair is really nice to touch! She is living in my Etsy store because I made an extra one for myself to keep... I have SUCH a hard time parting with art, which is really silly, since I am trying to make a living as an artist. I can't help it, though, and the new painting I am working on is going to look great in my bedroom!

I also wanted to ask what people are interested in seeing as far as the how-to videos go. Please post a comment (please!) and make a suggestion... What is a technique you've always wantedd to learn? Or would videos that would get you motivated about what subject matter to draw or paint interest you more? Screenprinting? Image transfers? Anything is game! Just let me know...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

MADELINE, The Hand Painted Cloth Doll

Here's one of the little cloth art dolls I've been working on lately. I just put her in my Etsy shop, and the only reason I can part with her is because I made a twin doll just like her for myself to keep, hee hee. :)

Madeline is a little french gal who is just full of love! She holds a tiny paper heart cut from her favorite author's autobiography (Simone de Beauvoir). She loves curling up with a good book, cute puppies, and warm chocolate chip cookies straight from the oven. She is wearing her very best red dress, and she can't wait to find a brand new home!

She was made from muslin, cut and stitched from my very own pattern. She was then covered with gesso (primer), sketched on and painted (with acrylic paints), and finished with a matte varnish spray for longevity.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Stacks of Paintings

I hope you enjoyed the new video on altered books (below)! It was a lot of fun to make, and I am still learning with the video editing stuff. Adding music was definitely new and exciting for me. :)

Here are some photos of the recent paintings I have been working on. They are stacking up by my painting desk, and I need to start attaching some hanging mechanisms on the back and getting them up on the walls. That's the part I love to procrastinate on, though! I am constantly moving things around on my walls to accommodate the new paintings, so it always looks different around here. I feel a re-decorate coming on today...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

How to Make an Altered Book VIDEO, Part 1

How to prepare a book to turn it into an altered book or sketchbook.

Supplies needed: Old book, masking tape, white paint, paintbrush....

Friday, November 14, 2008

102 Posts!

Wow, when I logged in to Blogger today, I just realized this is my 102nd post - eek! That's a lot of random blabbing by me, ha ha! It's kind of cool, actually. I'm glad I've been doing better about keeping up with posting lately. Sometimes life gets in the way and posting gets hard, but since I don't really keep a diary of my art or anything, it's nice to have a record and something I can look back on, and I love being able to share my work with people all around the country. I actually just made a book on of all my posts, so that I can have a hard copy diary of it, just in case the internet goes bonkers (hey, it could happen!) and I lose all of the writing and images. Some of the images on here are really only on the blog, so it's nice to have everything in a tangible format that I can flip through. And I have always been a lover of books, so to have my own little self-published book on my shelf is quite exciting!

I'm happy to report that I officially got out of my funk! I woke up this morning wanting to paint so badly, and that's a great feeling. I don't have a picture of the new painting yet, but I am pretty happy with it and it was definitely a lot of fun to make. I love putting on music and sitting down to paint for a few hours. That's my idea of a good time.

A few days ago, I did a whole bunch of screenprinting and made a set of these little prints on retro sanitary bags:

They were so much fun to make, and I am offering a few in my Etsy shop, since I think they are fun conversation pieces and might make good gift bags for the holidays, hee hee.

That's all for now! Hope you have a fun weekend. :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Doggy Day

Do you ever have one of those days? Where making things just kind of seems silly and pointless? And you just kind of want to hang out with your dog all day? Maybe it's just me, but sometimes I feel like that. Today was definitely one of those days.

I usually don't have a hard time getting motivated, but lately it's been a lot tougher.

What do you do when you get in a funk like this?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

How to Video #1: Start with a Silhouette

This is my very first how-to video for YouTube, and I'm nervous about it (how does my voice sound? oh no, the camera angle is weird! is this stupid? etc...) but excited! I've been wanting to put how to videos on YouTube for a while now since I enjoy watching them so much, and I've finally gotten my act together to start doing it. I have also seen YouTube work really well as a promotional tool for artists, since it is so new and different, so let's hope it can bring some traffic to my blog and Etsy shop as well! And some recognition to the star of the video, Miss Ruby Roo, of course...

I decided to start with a really quick and easy stencil silhouette project, since I know a lot of people are fearful of the blank page or the blank canvas, and this will get an image on there really quickly and easily. I call it "stress-free artmaking." :)

I hope to do a video around once a week, and next week, I'm going to do a basic primer on altered books,. I hope someone will try out some of the weekly assignments (pretty please?!), and you can show me your results via a YouTube response video, on your blog, or you can send me a photo at tm1224(at)gmail(dot)com. I hope this little series will be lots of fun, and it's a great way for us to make art together. I need more art friends since all of mine moved away when they finished up grad school, boo hoo...

If you are interested in trying out the altered book project, pick out an old hardcover book that you don't mind turning into art for next week. I'm looking forward to it!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Of Dolls and Boxes and Beeswax

I've been doing a lot of experimenting lately, trying to use some different materials to make things just to keep things interesting. I have been working on some cloth art dolls that I hope to show you tomorrow, as well as a few new clay creations. Working in 3-d has been really fun for me. When I was little, I used to sell polymer clay figurines, jewelry, and little boxes at art festivals. I haven't really used clay in years, so it's cool that things have come full circle, and I'm beginning to use it again.

This is Charlotte, named after the Frozen Charlotte dolls of yesterday, which were dolls that had frozen little legs but sometimes jointed arms. Her little arms are jointed with wire, and she has a tiny heart cut from Simone de Beauvoir's autobiography glued onto her chest. She was finished with a crackle effect to make her look like a vintage relic...

I'm also working on printing on vintage stuff, not just clothing, like with this little silkscreened squirrel box:

I've also been in love with finishing my drawings and paintings with beeswax, although I did burn my finger really badly on the mini quilting iron I use to flatten the beeswax! This is a fast folk artsy sketch I did, filled in with watercolors, and coated in beeswax. It's called "Little Love."

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Simone the French Bunny

New little beast in the shop soon! I've been working on 3-d things lately and loving it. I also silkscreened my butt off today. So much art to make, so little time... ;)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Put on Your Kitty Kat Hat!

This painting is based on a illegal photo my friend Sharon took of me trying on a kitty kat hat in a costume store. It's an illegal photo because we were reprimanded for taking a photo in a costume store; apparently that is not allowed..."rights of privacy" or something like that were mentioned...