January Gray and Red

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Yesterday and today we had blue, blue skies, but that has so not been true of the rest of the month.  It is likely to end tomorrow evening, with a return to gray and gloomy.  I could not live in the Pacific Northwest, as I’ve found my energy levels are very much affected by the lack of sun.  But even in the gray days there has been some spots of color, the last of the leaves on my oak tree, the winter cardinal visiting my feeder. 

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I’ve been busy getting All Dolls Are Art faculty profiles written and scheduled on the ADAA blog.  It’s fun to see what people who teach and create for a living have to say about their process and inspiration, but it’s very tiring putting together all of the posts.  I’ve got three done so far and four more to go if I’m counting correctly.

I took a break from that this evening to play with the kittens.  They have a new favorite toy:  small, very bouncy, rubber balls.  I can get one started in the hall and they both take off after it, sliding across the wood floor to avoid running into the walls or door.  When they wear themselves out, Calla drops in and takes up a post in between the laptop and the printer where she entertains herself playing with the cursor on the screen.

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I didn’t do much creatively this weekend as I spent Saturday looking at venues with the Etsy Local ATX Artisans team leaders and then Sunday was spent cleaning the house.  But now that my floors are clean, and a blog post is done, I started a new spread in my art journal.

First I scribbled on the ungessoed pages with Caran D’ache Neocolor II crayons. 

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Then I applied gesso over the crayon.  While that dried, I was actually working on my blog posts. 

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The next step was digging through some of my collection of papers and I found several in the teal/turquoise/navy range that seemed to work with my right hand page color.  So, I tore, arranged, tore, rearranged and have pasted this arrangement down.  I’m letting the matt medium dry overnight before trying anything else!

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Art-Xscape 2015 Call for Proposal

I’ve spent the majority of my week, outside of my day job, working on getting Art-Xscape 2015 launched.  Hotel contract signed: check.  Website update: check!  Call for Proposal sent: check!!  Art-Xscape 2015 will be held October 8-11, 2015 at the Holiday Inn Austin Midtown.  That just happens to be the second weekend of the Austin City Limits Music Festival, so there will be a LOT of people in town.  Anyhow, if you’d like to submit a proposal, leave me a comment and I’ll be in touch.  The deadline is March 6, 2015.

The week between Christmas and New Year’s was spent with my baby brother, Andrew.  One of the things I did with him was visit the Hope Outdoor Art Gallery, aka the Graffiti park!  I had planned to go by once a month last year, but that fell by the way side.  Hopefully, I will make it back more often this year.  Andrew and I had fun clambering around the levels.  While we were there, I listened in on 4 gentlemen in work clothes talking about structural changes.  My fear was that they were going to tear the park down.  I checked in with the guys in the check-in booth and they reassured me that that was absolutely not the case.  The guys were from the city and they are working on improvements.  Hopefully, the work that is done will not close the park down for any length of time!  Here are some of my favorite photo’s from this visit.

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The shading on Batman is pretty incredible.

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My favorite work in the park was by ER.  This Einstein (Think Harder) was amazing!

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The turtle was also done by ER.

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The light was perfect this day (Tuesday before New Year’s).  The day before and the day after were cold and gray and rainy, but we had this one gorgeous day!

2015: A New Year, New Art

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2014 was the lost year.  Seriously, I can honestly tell you I don’t have a record of most of what I did outside of my day job.  To combat that this year, I’m leveraging an idea I’ve seen several other places, including Stampington’s Resolutions blog post, to create an “accomplishments” jar.  When I do something that is on my annual goals list, something big from my to do list, or something creatively fulfilling, I’m going to write it on a slip of paper (already have cut up a stack), date it and put it in my jar.  That way, at the end of the year, I will have a way to know WHAT I actually did this year.

One of my goals for this year, as it was for last year, is to post more.  I failed miserably at that last year, part of the “lost” items for last year, but am trying again this year.  I have a few things that I do remember from last year that I never shared.  The first Art-Xscape was a success.  I’m hopefully close to solid dates for the next one.  My beloved Marigold went across the rainbow bridge to wait for me.  The 4th All Dolls Are Art went in the books and the 5th is open for registration.  I went to Barcelona for work.  I adopted two rescue kittens.  I participated in the 2nd annual ATX Artisans Etsy Local market.  I opened a new Etsy shop!  So, I have a lot of catching up to do with you here.

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First, I’d like to introduce my new girls, not so little now, Calla (the calico) and Cookie (the Siamese).  They are sisters, and soon will be 7 months old.  They are sweet and funny and definitely brought a blast of sunshine into my life.  Calla is the innocently ornery fearless one.  Cookie is the vocal lover when she wants to be and is more timid than her sister.  They think I’m a softer, louder, more fragile cat tree. 

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Second, I’d like to introduce my new Etsy shop: AnLiNa Mixed Media by AnLiNa Designs.  I have put a lot of my new work there and will be transitioning my art dolls there are they expire on my first Etsy shop.  AnLiNa Designs will remain where I stock my hand-dyed velvet, rayon, cotton and trims.  I’ll be adding digital collage and paper packs in the future.  (speaking of the ornery fearless one, she’s in front of my screen trying to play with the cursor!).

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Last, I’ve been spending more time in my art journals lately.  Yes, that is journals, plural.  I’ve given up on just working in one.  I have one that I’m chronicalling my life and thoughts in and another that I’ve gelli printed in.  The third is my painting journal.  I’ve not gotten very far with it yet, but after spending lots of time online looking at art journalling videos, I broke it in this week.  Here are two spreads, not so well documented in stages as I took some of the in process photos on my cell phone and some with the camera.  This is definitely not my usual style, but I like it. 

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This is the second or third layer on the 2-page spread.  I started with Dylusions spray inks through stencils, then FW inks dripped and spread around the page.  Then a charcoal pencil and Caran Dache Neo Color 2 crayons.  Paint and more marks with black FW ink.  Matte medium over the crayons and to glue two news paper circles down.  More paint.

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This has lever layers of paint on top, white on both sides, an orange on the left outside the bird (which I didn’t like once I got it down, so more white).  Then I started stencilling, painting, drawing with FW ink and a skewer and just kept going.
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I think this is the finished spread, but I could change my mind still.

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“Be There” scanned in to my laptop.

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And “Flowers”, also scanned in.  Very subdued color palette, which is not my usual style, but I’m pretty happy with it.

Enjoying My Flowers

My life tends to be full of tasks and I don’t often slow down enough to notice small stuff.  This spring however, I’ve been taking the time to inspect the new flowers I planted this spring; a variety of rudebekia, daisies and coneflowers; and the birds and bugs that have visited me.  I have hopes that my observations will help me in artistic endeavors in future!  But I am certainly enjoying the opportunity to slow down and see the daily changes.

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This Rudebekia has been opening slowly and the petals have been lengthening.  Here is a photo of it from this weekend, approximately 1 week later:

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You can see the center becoming fuzzier the longer it is open.

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This is another Rudebekia of a different variety.  This plant is covered in blooms right now.

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This is the last of the Rudebekia varieties to bloom.  This plant has only put up one flower stalk and has been progressing very slowly.

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My orange coneflower keeps adding on new blooms.  It’s really striking!

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I had a parsley plant that not only survived the winter, but thrived – growing into a 4’ tall bush.  These guys have been munching on it and making a dent in the seed heads by a small bit.  More of them show up each day and I guess the mature ones are dropping off to form their cocoons.

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I’ve never seen a green fly before, but this guy has been hanging around my rudebekia and I managed to catch him on the rock lily bloom with a Micro lens.

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I noticed this spider hanging in thin air.  It took me quite a while to find its web and even longer to get it in the frame in focus.

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This nice lady, a black crested nuthatch, has babies in one of the birdhouses on my back patio.  I noticed her eralier in the year scoping it out, but enver heard babies in it so didn’t realize she’d laid eggs in the nest I discovered there.  The wren family is in another birdhouse on the patio so it makes for interesting listening when both mom’s are delivering meals.

A Love Affair: Gelli Printing

I am continuing my love affair with paint and a Gelli plate.  I continue to try new color combinations and mutliple layers of stencils or combing.  Here is a look at some of my latest pages, many of which are sure to get more layers going forward.

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All done with Golden fluid acrylics, stencils from TCW stencils via Scrapbook.com and of course, my Gelli Plate (8×10).