A new move

There are a few loyal people who always take the time to look at my humble artwork when I post it here and leave lovely comments for me.  I just wanted to let all of you know that I have moved my blog.  After a lot of hard work I have set up my own domain name and designed my own blog.  If any of you would like to come over for a visit I would love to see and hear from you.  The new blog is www.anewdayartstudio.com

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Black & White

I did a black and white face over the weekend, it was inspired by one of Ariana Almanza's courses over at the Doll Dreams Ning site.  I really liked the way it turned out, I liked the fact that it was kind of rough and uneven, it may actually be one of my favorite paintings yet. 

I then decided to try to do a very similar one again on a piece of wood that I have, I modified it a bit added music sheets as the background and worked some oil pastels on it.  I am quite happy with the second try as well but I still think the first is my favorite, I think it is something about here eyes.  I decided to share them both here.  Do you have a favorite?

The Poppy Spree

I love poppies, they are so bright and cheerful.  In the summer there are a lot of them in bloom in our neighborhood and I love to take photos of them.  So imagine how happy I was to find this little gem.

A lovely friend of mine, Margot, is offering an incredible deal on her blog over here.  She is doing a workshop on painting watercolor poppies for the month of October...and...she is offering it FREE to anyone who wants to take it.  There is something so cheerful and uplifting about painting bright red poppies in October with the cooler weather rolling in. 

I have to admit I have wanted to learn more about painting flowers with watercolors for quite some time but watercolor intimidates me so I thought this class was the perfect was to give it a shot without a big investment.  So far I am loving it and I am really happy with some of the poppies I have created, they are far from perfect but much better than I expected.  

Here is what I have created after the first week.  Some are just exercises and some are attempts at actual little paintings, all were so much fun.

Check it out if you would like to learn more about painting these cheerful flowers. 

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Painting BIG with Connie Hozvicka

So my BIG, Fearless painting class with Connie over at Dirty Footprints Studio is officially over even though my final project remains half finished on my easel.  It will get done but right now dealing with the passing of my father-in-law has taken priority for a couple weeks. 

What can I say about BIG.  I can say it is hard, really hard but like anything new in our lives it is so, so, so worth the effort.  I learned that there are so many ways that my mind disquises fear and how to recognize them and push on despite them.  I learned that if my intuition says start painting a mermaid don't fight it for a week just paint the darn thing because that is what you are going to paint in the end anyway.  I learned to reach for the bright colors I normally would ignore.  I learned that the cat will indeed walk across the wet paint on my artwork creating his own work of art across the hardwood floor. 

What I just can't really express is how BIG changed me inside.  I can feel the change, I know it has happen but it is so hard to express exactly what changed.  It feels like all of me is bigger.  Even outside my painting practice I have been playing big.  I jumped backwards off the zipline platform over 100 feet in the air, I applied for the promotion I don't think I have any chance of getting because my intuition told me I would regret not applying and I told a friend who had really hurt me months ago that I was angry with them because I no longer wanted to hold it inside.  These are just a few of the life changes I experienced.

The artwork I created during this course is certainly not remarkable, except perhaps for the size of some it  but then again BIG isn't about the artwork, it is about the process and that is one thing Connie told us right from the start.  So if anyone out there is looking to expand their horzions, learn to listen to their intuition and trust their creative source I would highly recommend you go visit Connie over here

Below is my last fully finished project from BIG, the final one is still in the works, this is the mermaid that had to fight me for a week in order to get painted.  In case it isn't obvious from the picture this is over six feet tall.

Beautiful Girls

I have been taking the courses over at Doll Dreams for a couple months now and I can't recommend them enough.  They are so much fun and Adriana breaks it all down so I really think anyone can do these.  They aren't meant to be realistic but they sure are pretty and fun to draw.  Here are a few of the pieces I have done from these classes.

I would highly recommend the classes on this site to anyone looking to create pretty, little ladies. 

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Contour Painting

I am now officially one full week behind in my BIG painting class over at the Dirty Footprints Studio.  I am not too worried about it, I have plans to make it happen it is just life threw too many things at me over the weekend.  All good, fun things mind you so I can complain.  But I thought I would post a couple of my paintings from last week. 

Our assignment was to do a contour painting, for this you sit in front of a mirror and try to paint yourself. This was fairly easy although I don't think the finished product actually looks like me I do like the painting.

The second assignment was to do a blind contour painting.  To do this you still look at yourself in the mirror but you do not look at the paper.  Of course what you end up with is rather comical and looks a little like a Picasso.  It was still a great exercise to do although it is really hard not to look at the paper.  Here is my end result.

It's quite comical isn't is???

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"Fearless" Morning Pages

As part of our exercises for week 4 of painting Big with Connie over at the Dirty Footprints Studio, one of our tasks was to do a 20 to 30 minute art journal page each morning.  These didn't have to be big, it was more about the practice of just letting things flow and getting all the junk out.  I have to admit a trip out of town to my parents did interfere with this a bit on my end.  I only got pages done on five out of the seven days but it was fun and a great discipline.  Below are the four pages I actually did.  Mostly they are done with oil pastels except for the mandala which is done with copic markers.

Fearless Painting Week Three - Let it Shine

Yesterday I hated her.  She was ugly and she was driving me nuts.  This morning I decided I was going to ignore her and maybe look at her later this afternoon.  But she called out to me softly and helped me finish.  She was going to be sad and shedding a tear but she told me that wasn't what she wanted.  She looks peaceful and content to me and in the end...I love her.

So we come to the end of week three in our BIG Fearless Painting journey.  It hasn't been easy and really hasn't even been that fun, what it has been is a BIG push out beyond my own boundaries.  And so far the journey has been well worth it.

Art Journal Pages

Here are a couple more pages out of my Teesha Moore inspired art journal.  I made the journal after watching her You Tube videos which I found very inspiring.  What I like about these pages is that I wasn't trying to make pretty art.  I was just trying to push my own creative boundaries, to think in a way I haven't before when looking at my art journal.

Week 2 of "BIG"

This is my week two project for Connie Hozvicka's "BIG" painting class over at the Dirty Footprints Studio and what led up to it and creating it really was an amazing experience.  I started meditating about three months ago.  I mostly use guided meditation because I find it very hard to shut my mind down so guided meditations are great because they involve my mind but in a directed way.  I have to say mediation has changed my life and I would recommend it to anyone.

So this week I decided to try a new meditation practice called "sohum".  Basically as you inhale you say so and as you exhale you say hum.  Very simple...amazing results.  The very first time I tried this form of mediation I had a vision, maybe not really a vision but I simply don't know what else to call it.  I saw plain as day a frame with a single large eye in the bottom of it.  This was actually at the very beginning of my mediation and when I least expected to have any such experience, but I think that is always the way, we never experience it when we expect to.  Anyway, once I finished meditating and had time to reflect on the image I saw I realized it was a sign to me that I need to be open to and follow my intuition.  I am quite intuitive but at the same time very analytical (not sure exactly how that happened but anyway...) so I can talk myself out of a lot.  But lately I have been actively trying to grow my intuition and not question or stifle it.  So I decided the memory I wanted to paint was this because I never, ever want to forget that vision or its message.

So the painting below is what came out of it.  It is ugly and messy and it flowed out of me like nothing I have ever painted before.  There wasn't a moment of hesitation and the second it was done I knew it.  I think this will be a great reminder for the weeks, months and maybe even years to come to trust myself.  It was a very powerful moment for me.

The Queen and The Priestess

I have been reading the novel "The Mists of Avalon".  It is an amazing book, one of the best fiction novels I have ever read.  It is one of those books that is so good when you look up from it you don't expect to find yourself in your living room because it seems so real.  I felt inspired to do a painting of two of the characters from the book.  Morgaine, the priestess to the pagan Goddess and Gwenhwyfar, the Christian Queen.  Two more opposite women could not be found yet they both pursue life with intense conviction.  So here is my tribute painting to the strong, courageous albeit fictitious women.  I am really happy with how it turned out, as a matter of fact I may scan it and offer prints of this once I open up my etsy shop next month.  They may not speak to anyone else the way they do to me but you never really know.

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Fear Gremlins

As I mentioned before on my blog I am taking Connie Hozvicka's BIG course over at the Dirty Footprints Studio.  I have been planning to take the course for about three months, waiting anxiously for registration to open.  I was even one of the first four who registered when she had an early registration offer.

I just had a feeling that this course was going to change my life.  So now the course has opened and on Sunday I did my first couple of FEARLESS painting exercises and that was fine but after that I was struggling, I didn't want to watch the videos, didn't want to do the exercises.  I was still painting and drawing other things but I was fighting painting BIG.  Finally yesterday when I was really honest with myself I realized that I had set really high expectations for this course.  Maybe they were so high that even Connie couldn't get me to where I had dreamed I wanted to be not because she isn't amazing, because she is, but maybe the expectations were simply beyond reason.  How could anything live up to them.  So subconciously I think I decided that if I just didn't do the work then the course couldn't let me down, it was my choice not to do it.

Even though I had figured out this was exactly what was going on in my head actually doing something about it was very difficult, it took me until 7:30 last night to finally pull out the paint and brushes and actually do one of the assigned exercises.  I think it was the perfect exercise for where my head was at, it was flowy and soft and when I finally showed up my painting met me where I was.  So for now I think I have pushed past this hurdle, I am sure more will surface as I go through the FEARLESS painting process but for now I feel ready to tackle it head on.

Below is my FEARLESS, BIG flow painting.

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The "BIG" adventure begins

Today marks the start of "BIG" over at Dirty Footprints Studio.   I am so excited, almost too excited I am afraid.  You see I have this idea that this course is going to change my life, not just my artistic life but my real life as well.  I am not sure I can even explain why I feel this way but I do.  What makes me a little afraid is that when I usually come into something with such high expectations I am almost always disappointed, but I am not going to worry about that now.  I am just going to paint big and fearless and let this journey take me where it will.  No worry, no doubt, just letting the paint flow.  

Below is a fearless painting that I did last weekend.  I had painted the background over a month ago when I was playing with the new fiber paste I had bought but I had no idea what I wanted to do on top of it.  Last weekend I decided to paint a face.  I had done quite a few faces but never have I just picked up my brush and painted one.  I always draw them out first so I can make them pretty, but this time I just picked up the brush and went with it.  She isn't perfect, here face is lopsided (my husband nicely suggested perhaps she has the mumps) and the texture I had been playing around with underneath kind of looks like acne.  I was tempted to try to "fix" her, paint more hair over the lopsided part of her face but the more I looked at her the more she told me that just like all of us she is perfect just the way she is.  She doesn't need to conform to conventional ideas of beauty.  So I didn't fix her instead I gave her the name, she is Sandy.  I don't know why that is her name but it is. 

Fearless Painting

Occasionally on facebook I will put up a status that says I am fearless painting and I know full well that none of my friends or family have a clue what I am talking about.  You can find out all about fearless painting over here at the Dirty Footprints Studio.  Fearless painting is just about letting go and letting your intuition guide your painting. 

So here is one of my very imperfect, but completely fearless paintings.

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Journal Page

I am trying to add more actual writing to my art journal pages.  I used to think I had to have something profound to say but I decided to let that go and just put down the exact thoughts and feeling I was having that were frustrating me. 

I think this is one of my favorite journal pages to date.  Not because it is at all artistic but because it flowed out of me and I was able to release some of my pent up emotions onto the page which is, of course, the whole idea behind art journaling.

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Coptic Binding

Well I finally did it.  After watching every You Tube video out there and reading numerous books I still was not able to wrap my mind around how to do a Coptic bound art journal.  But finally a ray of hope, through the Willowing website I was able to find a workshop put on my Rhomany of Rhomany's Realm that teaches a simplified Coptic stitch and low and behold...my first born Coptic art journal made all by myself.  It is far from perfect but I am confident that with some more practice they will get better.  If you are at all interested in learning this technique I would highly recommend Rhomany's ecourse, it is very well taught and easy to follow.

My What Big Eyes You Have!!!

So over the weekend I took some time to watch Teesha Moore's  You Tube videos on how to make a 16 page art journal and then the videos that walk you through her process.  You can find all of these videos here.  It was a fun and simple way to make a journal but I wasn't very confident about the collage and drawing part but I thought I would give it a try. 

I did two pages side by side and the one I thought I wouldn't like turned out the best and I ended up ripping up the collage off the other side of the paper because it just didn't work for me.  The issue then was a spent the rest of the day trying to force something onto that page and nothing would work at all.  I finally realized after a couple frustrating hours that I was just trying to hard and I needed to let it go for now and the right idea will come later.  I decided jus to enjoy the picture I had completed that I surprising liked, although she still scares my husband a bit. 

So here she is big eyes and all. 

Collage Couture

I was at the bookstore the other day and I came across a great book called "Collage Couture, Techniques for Creating Fashionable Art" by Julie Nutting.  I quickly flipped through the pages and fell in love with the ideas. 

She is basically creating fashion figures using collage art, she actually used to draw sketches for a fashion designer so she is very talented but she breaks it down so simply that even an art newbie such as myself can follow along.  You can check out the book on Amazon here

It's not a book I would have picked out if I was online shopping so I am lucky I found it in the local Chapters because they typically do not have a very good selection of art books. 

Anyway here is a painting I made based on one of the techniques in the book.  I named it "She's So Lovely" but I don't really think she is.  I think perhaps she is actually a bit homely but for a first try at something new I am okay with that and I thought I would share her anyway and talk about this great book.

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Artist Trading Cards

I have done a few ATC swaps now and I am starting to feel a little more confident doing them.  I find doing these swaps kind of intimidating because I don't yet have a lot of confidence in my art so I tend to try to use stamps and other things to make nice cards that don't require me to actually draw.  But for my last swap I really wanted to draw something so I decided to give it a try. 

These were for the May swap over at Willowing and the theme was owls. 

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Finished - Many Thanks!

I had asked for help from anyone who happens to read my blog because I was stuck with this paiting.  You can read the original post here.  Thankfully two lovely ladies, Ingrid and OStarr gave me some great input and today I was finally able to finish my painting so i thought I would show you all the finished product.  It isn't perfect but since it is only the third piece I have done on canvas I am quite proud of it. 

I added branches (yes, those are branches and yes, I know I need to work on my branches :) to fill in some of the empty space and then painted a very light metallic gold wash over the whole painting to tone down the brightness in the middle and make it a little more cohesive.  I have a cheap, cheap metallic gold craft paint that I just on just about everything I paint it was the best $2 I have ever spent.  I then touched up the bird and the butterfly outlines which I had done in oil pastels. 

Just a note about oil pastels.  I love working with them.  I like to outline certain things in my paintings and add depth with the oil pastels and to me they work so well for that.  I had been told that there isn't really a big difference between cheaper and higher quality oil pastels.  Based on this is was blithly running through life using a $3 box of oil pastels from the dollar store but the other day I was at the art store and they had $60 boxes of Rembrandt oil pastels on sale for $20 so I thought since I like them so much I would give them a try and see if it does make a difference.  All I can say is "WOW" there is definitely a difference between the cheapies and the higher quality and my friends, I will not be going back!

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend, my is about to include a glass of wine on the patio. 

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21 Secrets "Beautiful You, Radiant You"

Here is another art journal page from the "Beautiful You, Radiant You" workshop over at 21 Secrets.  This workshop is taught by the amazing Ingrid Murray, who I have to say has amazed me with her wisdom given that she is so young.  You can find Ingrid on her blog My Peace Tree

This isn't the best photo of my painting/collage but it was too large to scan so I had to make due.  The images may not seem very cohesive to someone just looking at it but to me they basically spoke one word and that is "free" and a little freedom is something I have been longing for.  The large circle is supposed to be a manadala and I am afraid it doesn't look very mandala like to me except that it is a circle but overall I really like the way this piece came together and spoke something from my heart.  I see more mandala art journal pages in my future, thank you Ingrid!

Renaisance Princess

Here is my princess I think she looks like she is from the renaisance era myself.  I drew her in graphite and then added the color with water soluable oil pastels, which I am really growing to like, and a little bit of white acrylic paint.

She's Mine

I stayed up late the other night and just decided to start drawing a face.  I didn't have anything specific in mind and I think for the first time I wasn't looking at someone else's drawing of a face as I was doing this.  I have been trying to find "my face" the one that feels like it is mine when I draw it and not just a copy of someone else's work.  Tonight I think I found her.  She is on a post card I made up because she was going to be part of an art swap I am doing but after looking at her for a few minutes there is no way I am letting her go.  All I can think of is "she's mine".  That may not make sense to anyone reading it the way it does to me but anyway...

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A Cry for Help

Below is a painting I have been working on this week.  I like elements of it but overall it seems to me that something isn't working but I can't figure out what so I am looking for some constructive criticism regarding this painting.

Is it that the bird just doesn't suit it?  Are the colored ink blotches to much (I think that may be part of the issue, I was having a little too much fun with my alcohol inks:)?  Should I try to lightly paint over some of them, or try to blend a layer of sheer gold over them to soften them?  These are some of the things I considered.  So if anyone has anything to share please feel free to leave me a comment as I really am looking for some feedback on this one.  Thanks everyone!

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You are Nothing Less Than Perfect

It is such a difficult thing.  We all hear it, we understand it but yet we continue to be so hard on ourselves.  Yes, I think the media plays a role in it but I think it is a mindset that goes back long before media was part of the problem.  I think as women we are genetically wired to be hard on ourselves and to not take credit for our beauty and our accomplishments.  And I think this is something we need to continue to stuggle to change. 

Even just yesterday I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror and thought wow, I look so old and fat.  The truth is we do age, we can't help it.  We can slow some of it down with costly procedures but we can't stop it but no matter what we are all truly beautiful because each one of us is blessed with our own unique gifts and we each bring a different perspective to the table each and every day.  So this art journal page is my celebration of that beauty and those gifts, even if I stuggle most days to believe it myself.

Goddess Meditation

I did this little watercolor after listening to Goddess Leonie's guided meditation which is part of her workshop on 21 Secrets.  I have to say it was a powerful meditation, I actually cried through a lot of it.  It is hard to describe and unless you have heard it you wouldn't really know what I mean. 

At the end of the meditation we were supposed to journal what we saw during the guided meditation and the little watercolor below is my journal page.  It is the first watercolor painting I have ever done and while it is far from perfect there is something about it that I like.  I have always been a mountain girl, I just love their majesty and rugged beauty.  

Please be sure to check out Goddess Leonie's blog here for some amazing inspiration.  And if anyone is interested in 21 Secrets the course dates have been extended and it will run until the end of the year.  So check it out if you are looking for some love, acceptance and some amazing sacred art journal experiences.

Fabulous Faces Week 1

I purchased a DVD of Tamara Laporte's online course "Fabulous Faces" off of her Willowing website a couple of months ago.  I loved the short lesson she gave on drawing faces as part of her free "Art, Heart and Healing" course so I wanted to give this more in depth course on faces a try.

When I was showing my mother some of my drawings she asked me why I decided to start my foray into art with faces which are one of the hardest things to draw.  I can't really say except that I find that is what interests me more than anything else.  I keep practicing faces and copying ones I find in books and magazines in an effort to find what I would call "my face" as in the face I most feel like drawing.  I haven't found it yet, I figure in the long run it will likely be a combination of all the different faces I have learned to draw through the many online art classes I am taking.  Yes, I may be becoming an online art class junkie but I do think there are worse habits out there to pick up, and really it is a lot cheaper than the shopping addiction I used to have.

So anyway, back to topic, here is the first face I drew after watching the first weeks video from "Fabulous Faces", she is done entirely in graphite.  I have to say, while the nose is far from perfect, noses continue to challenge me.  Although maybe they challenge me because I let them intimidate me...hmm...food for thought.

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Paint over

Here is a second paint-over collage painting that I did based on Tamara Leporte from Willowing's technique.  I took her workshop over at 21 Secrets to learn this technique and I have to say it is a lot of fun to do.  I love the change from the original collaged look to the finished painting. 

Here are the before and after pictures:

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I have been working a lot on faces lately.  I am kind of trying to find my face, the one that I want to draw so I am experimenting with a lot of different materials, shapes and styles.

Here are three ladies that I drew the other evening.  They aren't perfect but they are quite different from anything else I have done.

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New Art Journal Pages

Below are a couple new art journal pages.  They aren't my best work but my goal with these was to focus more on using new mediums that I haven't tried before so the result vary but I had fun working with these new to me products.

The background and face on this first page are done almost with Tombow watercolor markers.  I used acrylic paint for the tree, sparkling H2O watercolor paint for highlighting and a white conte crayon to add some highlights. 

This second page is done using Faber Castell aquarelle pencils with a little bit of marker for adding some shading. 

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A Beautiful Day

Today I spent pretty much the whole day painting.  It was lovely!!!  I spent most of the day working on two of the workshops from the 21 Secrets Workshop.  I have watched a lot of the videos and incorporated a lot of the tidbits into my art but I haven't really done a lot of the workshops from beginning to end so I devoted today to that purpose.  Below are the results of my "Paint Over Collage" workshop with Tamara Lapore.  I am so inspired by Tam, she is actually the reason I signed up for the 21 Secrets workshop, although I have to say I have been blown away by all the workshops. 

If you are interested you can still sign up for 21 Secrets, just click on the button to the right or the link above and it will take you there.  The workshops will all be available until the end of July so you still have lots of time and the instructors are SO amazing. 

So here is the collage before I started painting...

And here is the finished "painted over" work:

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