Monday, May 29, 2017

Thrift Store Art Supplies and The Lisa Mermaid

I am a lover of thrift stores! There's just something about hunting for hidden treasure that I love. I get this from my mother who has always loved thrift stores. She and I can spend hours on a Saturday morning on the hunt for something special. 

About a year ago, I found one of those treasures, canvases for 99 cents each! There were probably 50 of them, I bought 10. The canvas was covered with a piece of faux brown suede. People tell me that they were probably used in a sound studio to muffle noise. It is a 16 x 20 inch canvas which is a nice size.

I took the fake suede cover off  and found that underneath was some thin green foam, about 1/4 inch in thickness. Here's the foam after I removed it. 

Unfortunately they had glued down the foam in certain places and the foam did not want to come off!

I tried everything, a knife, a razor blade, acetone, sanding paper. I was able to get almost all the foam off but that glue must have been made from the stuff they glued the Apollo 13 with, because nothing I did even made a dent. I had several big blobs of glue!

I was taking an acrylic art class at the time, so I took it to class to get some advice from my art teacher, Alex. Alex said, "Well, if you can't remove it, make it part of your painting. Try some mixed media. Paint the glue blobs to be 3-D rocks." Brilliant Alex....just brilliant! Why didn't I think of that.

I happened upon a YouTube video on how to use tissue paper to create art. The video below is from Amy Pearce at Her Art from the Attic. It's amazing and now that I've watched it again I think I am going to try this one today.

I figured that the tissue paper would give the canvas enough texture that you wouldn't notice the lumps where the glue was so I added the tissue paper and again showed it to Alex who said that it looked like waves in the ocean and I should try doing an ocean painting! Brilliant! So I painted it like this to start with. 

If you look closely you can see the lumps where the glue was.

I set this aside for several weeks and one day I happened upon another YouTube video done by Angela Anderson at Angela Anderson Fine Art. It was a tutorial on how to paint an Ocean Coral Reef and lo and behold, I already had the basics of it done!

Following along with Angela, I was able to come up with the painting below. I knew I wanted to add a mermaid but because of the ridges in the texture the tissue paper, I was scared to try it. I usually draw my subject in with white kids chalk and the ridges didn't allow for smooth drawing. By now the art class was over so I didn't even have Alex for ideas!

One night I held a paint night for myself, my sister Lisa and our friend Lupe. We try to get together every few months to paint, de-stress and just spend time together. Lupe had found a picture online that she wanted to try to paint and when she saw the ocean reef painting she insisted that I take the mermaid picture and use it. I loved it, it was perfect. Thank you Lupe!

The great thing is that the mermaid is not facing me, so I didn't have to deal with trying to draw a face with all those ridges. So instead of doing a drawing first I just went for it and painted her in.

So here she is, my finished painting which I am gifting to my sister Lisa because she is a true mermaid, a lover of the sea, the ocean, the beaches and anything oceany!

I give you The Lisa Mermaid!

Here's a close up of the mermaid herself. I used some glitter paint in silver and white for her tail. You can't really see it here but her tail glistens with glitter. I also used a glitter paint that dries clearly on her skin, so her skin glistens. She's absolutely beautiful.

Now I have to figure out what I'm going to do with the other 9 canvases that are covered with suede! Yikes! Any ideas?

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Born with Talent? Happy Mother's Day

Mothers are Artists, for anything they touch turns to Art.
Kishor Bansal

I've always known that my mom was my super hero. The one person that could accomplish anything. The one that could and would also supply whatever I needed and many times just what my little heart desired.

But I want you to know why my mom is so darned fabulous and a born genius!

Recently my mom has gotten into bead work. Mom has always been crafty. She can sew, quilt, embroider, crochet, paint, and she was always the brains behind my dads brawn! Together they were invincible, but that is another story.

As I was saying, mom is doing bead work. She started working again on making Rosary Bracelets using Memory Wire.

This is a wire that is made to remember always to conform to a circle. Sure, if you wanted to you could take pliers to it and form it into a long string of V's, but why would you want to?

Mom can take this wire and any beads and create this! I call this my Sand Dollar Bracelet as the shape and color of the beads brings to mind the sand dollars one finds on the beach.

It's four complete circles of the memory wire. The beads are from an old necklace I had that I never wore and gave to mom to use, she broke it down and created this and I love it, goes with everything I wear!

I mentioned above that mom is making Rosary Bracelets, the one above is just a regular bracelet, but here's a Rosary Bracelet she made me as a Christmas gift.

She follows the design of the actual rosary which is the crucifix where you say The Apostles' Creed, then 1 bead for the prayer The Our Father, then 3 beads in a row where you recite the Hail Mary for each bead, then 1 single bead again where you say The Glory Be. 

Then you have 10 beads in a row which is called the first Decade and you recite the Hail Mary for each bead, then 1 bead for the Glory Be and the Our Father, then you have 4 more sets of Decades where you pray the same Hail Mary and Glory Be and Our Father and you complete the rosary. Since it is in a bracelet format you can wear it and recite the rosary any time that you choose.

It was a beautiful gift for Christmas, she gave one to my sister and my two sister in laws as well, each designed in their favorite color. Here's mine again, I tried to spread it out a bit so you can see how the memory wire works. My favorite color is green and you can see how mom worked that color into the bracelet making it perfect for me.

Here are a few others that she has made for me. I love the color of this one and the shape of the beads, they remind me of little teeth, except for the fact that they are a turquoise/baby blue color.

I call this one my Golden Beauty. I love the beads on this one and it can make any outfit I wear seem much more elegant.

I mentioned to mom that it sure would be nice to have a matching pair of earrings when she makes me a bracelet so she surprised me with these two custom made bracelet and earring sets.

I mean who doesn't feel happier wearing something like this with butterflies and beautiful pink beads? And I love the way she did the earrings, I love dangly earrings! She also went to the trouble to find earring hooks that are Nickel-free since I am allergic to almost all metals except Gold. She's amazing right?

So in love with this one! It goes great with a grey sweater that I wear a lot! Love the butterflies....yes, I'm a great lover of the butterfly. The special thing about mom is that she notices things like that. Of course I have about a gazillion butterfly things around the house, so it's hard to miss!

On this Mother's Day, I want my mom to know how much I love her and how proud I am of all her accomplishments. She's the best mother I could have ever hoped for and I am in awe of her intelligence and artistry and I hope that one is born with talent for I would love to think that I got a little bit of that talent from her.

Happy Mother's Day mom, love you forever!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

My Art Journey - Rainbow Unicorns

So I'm sure you are all dying to know how my art journal is going right?

Well it's going great, I'm still in love with acrylic painting and I know I am getting better and better every day. 

My latest and greatest was painting a very special painting using a tutorial from Cinnamon Cooney, The Art Sherpa! 

You know that big craze that was going around a couple of weeks ago? Starbucks came out with the Unicorn Frappuccino? This is what it looks like.

Pretty right? So bright and sparkly and cheerful! I really wanted to try one, but the carb count is pretty high on this one. I like to stick to 20 to 30 carbs per day, this one drink is 67 carbs!!!

So I was thrilled when the Art Sherpa did a tutorial showing us how to paint this! I give you my carb-free version of the Unicorn Rainbow Frappuccino! 

Kinda cute right? I just love the bright colors, I'm a sucker for bright pretty colors.

I took it to work to display in my office. It adds a lot of color and it just makes me happy to see it every day.

If you would like to watch The Art Sherpa create this just follow THIS LINK. Even if you just want to watch her, she's adorable!

Did any of you try this drink? What did you think of it?It's gotten very mixed reviews by the people I've asked.