Dragonfly

I love stained glass…the color….the illumination….it’s awesome.  This is one of my photos out of my stash.  I just love the way the dragonfly looks lit up surrounded by the beautiful colors of the glass.  I may be listing this photo soon in my AliveWithColorEtsy.

I would love to try learning the stained glass art….my mom and dad used to do it when I was a kid…I remember some things, but I would need a definite refresher course 🙂

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Art Instruction on Acrylic Collage on Canvas

This is my collage acrylic painting “Altered Garden.”  First, I took an acrylic glaze and mixed it with a bright green paint and worked it into the entire background of the canvas, paying attention to sort of “scratch” in details of floral background, giving depth and textural interest. 

Next, I took several digital kaleidoscopes that I had made from my photography stash and printed them out on various photo papers and art papers.  I then cut out these various kaleidoscope designs and attached them in various locations on the canvas with an acrylic gel.  After attached, I added the same acrylic gel to the face of each design to give them a protective coating. 

After these designs were added, I painted in the stems, vines, leaves, etc. for each of these kaleidoscope flowers. 

Then I added various other hand painted flowers and vegetation until I got the desired effect that I was happy with.  Finally, after allowing all of this painting and collaging to dry thoroughly, I added a good spray finish to provide a protective coating.

Our Government Is Failing Us!

When I was younger, I was an Independent, but I always leaned towards the Republican side, because generally, that was the conservative, moral side….as I got older, I became a Republican….that soon will change.  What I want to say is I am appalled at the way that the Republicans are turning against the working middle-class people.  How can they push for a 30 hour stay of voting on the extension of unemployment!!!  There are families who don’t know what to do about feeding their children, paying the mortgage/rent, just getting by.  And then they say that people want to take advantage of being on unemployment….come on, they don’t have a clue about sending out hundreds of applications and resumes and maybe getting an interview or two, but being told at the interview that they are one in about one hundred applicants…..where’s the freaking jobs!!!  Obama claims he is creating jobs….WHERE!!!  Not here in NE Ohio!  Oh, and yes….we are having a ball on unemployment…let’s go to Europe on vacation like them…GET REAL….Have any of you politicians ever juggled the bills…it’s fun, like the lottery….or have you ever shopped at an Aldi’s or Walmart, I think not.  Just keep sitting up there in your Ivory Towers and enjoy yourself!  Oh, and don’t forget to give the rich their tax cuts…and keep sending money to Pakistan and other countries….and keep having those Wednesday celebrity entertainment nights at the White House….that’s all much more important than providing our struggling American people help.  Just another FYI…we paid into unemployment insurance all of the years that we worked!
I had to get this off my chest!!!  Amen.

How the Sunflowers are done…art instruction and kind of an art supply review.

In this painting of sunflowers, I used “Arches” 140 lb. cold pressed paper and “Winsor & Newton” and “Grumbacher” watercolor paints.  In my opinion, Arches is the best and most professional art paper to use for most art projects.  It is durable and takes well to scrubbing and excessive water and brush lifting back of color.  If you’re a watercolor artist, you will probably understand what I am saying about the need of a good durable painting paper….actually, to get really specific, Arches is made of 100% cotton rag.  I’ve used many other papers, but I have to say that Arches is my favorite…and I’m really into using the watercolor blocks.  Arches also comes in 300 lb., which is nice and thick….I have a friend who uses nothing but that….and also comes in the usual hot pressed, rough, and what I prefer, cold pressed….and it’s available in sheets or blocks.  If you watch your art supplies sources, you can usually find Arches on sale frequently.  In all, I believe, it’s really worth using.  Now this,…just for the newbies to watercolor…I used to wonder this too, before I got really into watercolor painting, so don’t feel dumb….watercolor blocks are basically several sheets of “paper” kind of glued together on all sides, like a note pad might be on the top, forming a thick block of paper…you can only get to the top sheet to paint on, until you gently cut around the sides to remove that top paper.  So when you are painting, you are painting on a thick hard surface.  Ok…now on to the paints….

I’ve been using “Winsor & Newton” and “Grumbacher” watercolors for a while, and I’ve used others before, so I’ve got to say that I really like using these two professional brands.  They work beautifully….I love the product and the result that they produce.  Like the Arches, these too can be found on sale frequently if you watch your art supply sources. 

Now about using “quality” supplies….as an artist, I’ve found, that it’s worth a couple of extra dollars (and usually it is only a couple of extra dollars if you watch for sales) to buy and use the professional quality art supplies.  When you create something, you want it to turn out great and last forever, especially if you are selling your artistic creations….you want your customers to be very happy with their purchase.  I know that is important to me as an artist.  If you are just starting out and don’t want to make that investment yet, it’s understandable to use the less expensive products, but as soon as you get more serious about your art, it’s worth the investment in the long run….start out with one good paper (or canvas, or strand of gemstones, if you’re a jewelry artist, or any supply for whatever facet of art you’re in) and maybe the three basic primary colors of  paint (red, yellow, blue….you can mix your colors)….I know, I’ve been there!

Now, to the “Sunflowers”……I like to make my backgrounds by wetting the paper (this is why you need strong, durable paper/rag) in small sections and adding watered-down pastel paints to different areas and letting the color spread, but also guiding the color with my brush to control where I want it.  I keep doing small areas until I’ve covered the whole area….but, gently blending in one small area into another.  I use different colors where I want ultimately creating a diffused background…kind of what you get when you photograph flowers and you see the blur of the rest of the garden in the background.  After you get it the way you want, now it’s time to let it dry….and I mean, leave it alone for a while to really dry….this makes a big difference in your next step of adding your subject.

I want to interject something here, right now…..when you do watercolors, if you are at a point where you either cannot get something the way you want or you feel something is missing or not right or you’ve worked at it for a while and it’s frustrating you…..STOP and LET IT BE….walk away from it for a few hours…a day….when you go back to it, you may be very surprised at how it looks after it dried.  It’s amazing.  I can’t tell you how many times it’s surprised me.  You also may have a different perspective then and can complete your piece. 

Now it’s time for the actual subject, the sunflowers.  I collected several photo references of sunflowers (you can use your own photos, or ideas from magazines etc…) and slowly added in the outlines of my subjects (you can do this in whatever way works for you…like a light pencil drawing to guide you or you can lightly paint a faint outline of each by using a watered-down pale color that will blend into your final subject)…I find a real watered-down sepia works for many outlines.  After all of this preparation, it’s “paint away” time….of course in this painting I used MANY shades of yellows and browns….I find, I like using many shades usually, especially here in the petals of the flowers to create a luminous look.

I decided in this painting to make my sunflowers different in the centers and their position….when you paint, let your artistic flair loose….this is art, express yourself.  Everyone has a different style and way of doing things.  It’s important to enjoy yourself and be expressive…paint what you see, not what someone else tells you to see. 

If you or anyone you know may be interested in purchasing my painting, please click on the link below or contact me if you would be interested in prints or cards are anything else this starving artist is selling….thanks 😀

http://www.etsy.com/listing/50701813/original-watercolor-floral-painting

OK…This is OT…Deadliest Catch is on tonight!

I know this is “off topic” since this is basically my art blog, but I just LOVE the show “Deadliest Catch” on Discovery channel.  Tonight’s episode is in honor of the great late Phil Harris, captain of the Cornelia Marie, one of the crab fishing ship’s in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska.  For anyone who has never watched this show, you are really missing a great one.  This show documents the rough life of the Bering Sea fisherman.  They are like family to each other….and I believe, in a way, a part of each viewers family, in their hearts.  The show not only shows how hard it is to fish for crab (and sometimes other catches, like cod)…but, also tells the story of each fisherman’s life and the trials that they have to deal with.  It sure puts a new perspective on each time you sit down to a crab dinner.  Many fisherman have died performing the job in which they do.

Tonight they will show the episode that will honor Phil Harris….a great captain, who always showed his love for his sons and crewman.  I remember in late January and early February of this year, when the news alerted Phil’s fans of his massive stroke….I believe most fans hearts sunk….I know many prayers went out for him.  He will be greatly missed by many.

Anyway, I don’t usually get really “tied up” in most TV shows (well except for Lost and Eureka…), but Deadliest Catch has become a regular in my life and my family’s life.  Tonight we sit down and watch with heavy hearts and a tear in the eye….Goodbye Phil….you will be missed!  God bless.

Also, on an artistic point of view….I would love to paint those beautiful ships….hum…gives me an idea.

Wedding Jewelry

Wedding Jewelry - Bride

I love to do custom orders….it’s so rewarding to make something for someone and have it turn out just the way that they want it.  This photo is just part of an order that I had for an upcoming wedding.  This necklace and earring set was made for the bride.  I used freshwater pearls in white and cranberry….the white pearls had Swarovski crystals embedded in them…what sparkle!  I used Swarovski crystals to accent the pearls also, and an awesome rose clasp with crystals. 

I also did the bridesmaids jewelry, the flower girls jewelry, and the mothers of the couple.  Anyone interested in having their perfect piece hand-crafted by an artisan, I would love the opportunity to oblige.  Check out my other jewelry at Bohemian Ice or email at bohemianice@gmail.com.