Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Amy Genser

Each Wednesday from now going forward, I'm going to highlight a different artist I have come to admire and be inspired by.  This week I thought I'd start with an artist whose work fascinates me and who inspired me to take my first step into creating mixed media.  Her name is Amy Genser.

Her works are inspired by the natural world.  Many of them are shaped to show aerial views of the sea- coral reefs, moving currents, and tide pools just to name a few.  Each piece just bursts with color and texture, though her neutral colored pieces are some of my favorites.  Here's one from her 2014 collection.

Graphite Tide

When I think of the time, creativity, and patience she must put into each piece, I can't help but be inspired.  Check out this installation she completed for Nemours Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington Delaware.  Absolutely breathtaking!
I am very grateful to Amy for inspiring me with her talent and helping me have the courage to give mixed media art, something I'd always wanted to do, a try.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Scrapbooking questions

Every artist, crafter, scrapbooker, painter, etc. has their own style- a way of creating that is comfortable for them not only because it incorporates what they love, but because it involves techniques and supplies that they understand and have used countless times before.  When it comes to scrapbooking, my style has always been rather simple- I use plain cardstock, a few embellishments, my photos, and maybe just a couple extra treats thrown in.  This page I finished tonight is a pretty good example of what I'm talking about.  

It only took me an hour to put this layout together.  It's simple and pretty (at least I think so!) and was fun to make.  As someone who is obsessed with patterned scrapbook paper, however, (and who has drawers full of Bo Bunny and Basic Grey designs) I have to confess that I'd like to develop a new style of scrapbooking.  

I worked on two other layouts this week- ones that work with layers of patterned paper.  I must admit, I'm fairly disappointed.  

This layout just looks off.  Oh Masters of the patterned scrapbooking art- what is it about this page that doesn't work?  Perhaps I tried too hard- trying to add paint and texture paste may have been a bad idea, but I worked on this page for 3 days and still can't quite figure it out.  I know that practice makes perfect, but if you all have any tips for me, I would really appreciate it.  :)  

This one turned out much better, thankfully. So there is some hope that I can teach myself new ways to use the paper I love.   

By the way, how do you all takes pictures of your layouts?  Do you have a scanner that will fit the pages?  A camera?  Or something else?

Friday, January 23, 2015

My new studio!

As everyone knows by now, (because I mention it in every post- sorry, I guess I'm a bit excited still) my husband and I recently bought a home.  We've done some projects to start getting things the way we want them, but none of them has me more excited than my art studio.  For years, I've been dreaming of having my very own studio space, usually while my art supplies were strewn across three rooms and multiple pieces of furniture in rather desperate attempts to keep creating.  You can see from the top two pictures just how messy and disorganized things were, and most of my supplies were in other rooms at this point.  (I couldn't bring myself to take pics of the other rooms... *shudder*)  So, this past weekend I took the plans I had made, and got to work.  

First of all, the horrible yellowish tan color had to go.  I wanted things to look clean and bright, so I painted over the walls with white.  Of course, the purple accent wall was a necessity to bring in some color and stimulate my creative juices.  It is also a chalkboard wall, to write reminders and deadlines and to sketch new ideas.  :)  Lowe's has tintable chalkboard paint that is available in a bunch of different colors, and I couldn't resist.
My arms were starting to hurt at this point, but the Ikea furniture I had ordered had been delivered that morning, so I couldn't stop!  

I had taken measurements and ordered Linnmon tabletops and Alex cabinets that would fit along three walls.  I want as much counter space as possible!  I love Ikea because all the things I ordered from different collections still fit together so that all the counters are the exact same height all the way around.  The stacked tabletops you see have Capita legs on them, and they still come to the same height as the rest of the counters.  :)  Perfect!  
I have 4 different stations so far- my sewing machine is next to my accent wall, and I'll be scrapbooking and doing mixed media on the corner table next to it.  On top of the stacked tables is where I have my cricut and where I'll put any other machines I may collect that can't take up space on my work stations.  In the far corner is where I'll be doing encaustic painting.  
I have to say, getting all this done in one day was pretty exhausting, and my legs and arms haven't been this sore in awhile.  Thank goodness for my new electric drill or I wouldn't have been able to do it.  

I'm so happy with how it's turned out so far!  As I organize my tools into the drawers and cabinets, I'm slowly starting to clear the mess I made trying to create without having a place to do it. It's also a ton of fun finding things I'd forgotten I had.  My next step is to hang some shelving.  I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to do that, but I'll keep you updated!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Flashes of Gold

Yay!  New artwork!  Goodness, it feels like forever since I've finished an abstract quilling piece, but it is a new year with new goals and new energy.  

I used no paint for this piece- the splashes are walnut ink, and a cascade of modeling paste adds texture and ground for embedding my paper pieces.  The flashes of gold leafing on the paper gives it just a little something extra.  I did have to seal it with an acrylic finishing spray since the ink is not permanent and will run.  
I really like the movement in this one, and the fact that it's so simple.  It's nice to be able to challenge myself in different ways, since a few of my other projects I'll be sharing soon are quite ornate with lots of layers.  

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Happy New Year everyone!  It certainly was for me... as you can see from my nearly empty wall, I sold several pieces over the holidays and I couldn't be more excited!!  We all know that the new year is the perfect time for making resolutions and setting goals, and I've been thinking of what mine should be in view of my success this past month.  :)  It's hard to decide what goals are realistic for me and still challenging.  I still have a full time job, and realistically I'm not ready to jump into full time art making just yet- too many student loans... sigh...  but I have made some goals I'm pretty excited about and I wanted to share them and also hear about some of yours.  
 My first goal is to get my studio in order.  I'll be posting about this as it progresses, but essentially right now my art supplies are either still in boxes from our recent move, or scattered all over our basement.  My goal for my studio is to have a clean, organized, dedicated space where everything has a place and my time and creativity won't be hindered by struggling with the mess.  I can tell you, the past few days I've really been wanting to rip my hair out in frustration.  
My second goal is to start making videos.  I'd like to open up my own youtube channel with tutorials and videos of my creative process.  
Third goal- join at least two design teams this year.  I've applied for a couple in the past and haven't been accepted- competition is fierce!- but this is my year!  I can do it... right?  Keeping my fingers crossed...
And my final goal so far- sell online!  I have an Etsy shop that hasn't done well- I still have a lot of learning to do.  But whether through Etsy or some other selling site, even my own website, I am confident that with enough consistency and the right format for pricing and pictures, etc., I can finally see some success in this area, too.  
So, those are my goals!!  I'm excited to share my progress and looking forward to hearing about your goals, too.  I'm always looking for inspiration so lay it on me!  And Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Just a picture of a collage I finished a couple months ago and never posted.  Life gets so busy, especially around christmas time, and though I have quite a few projects in the works, I have yet to complete one.  Perhaps after our extended christmas vacation is over...  :)

Have a Very Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Altered Boxes

I'm starting off pretty simple with these projects, but I'm hoping as I get more comfortable I'll be able to make them more wild and fun.  :)  I love the fact that these boxes don't have latches- just a small magnetic button that holds the top and bottom together when they're closed.  

The square one is about 3 inches by 3 inches inside, and the rectangular one is 2 inches by 4 inches inside.  What types of treasures would you hold in these boxes?