Saturday, December 5, 2009


Oh my goodness. I feel so ashamed. I can't believe how long it's been since I posted, and even worse since I did any art.

I don't know what got into me, but right after finishing that large gallery piece and the painting for my mom, I kinda checked out of the art world.

In fact, I can't seem to get back in. I have zero motivation, and It's really weird, because it seems like things were just starting to go well for me art wise, and for some reason, the fire went out.

Does this sound familar at all to anyone? I keep feeling so guilty for not wanting to go and create, which of course makes things worse. I even try flipping through magazines, for inspiration, but it doesn't help.

I think this whole thing started with my teeth. I know that sounds weird, but the day after my mom's painting was done, I came down with some serious tooth pain, which led me to seek a dentist, and find out I need a root canal. Well money isn't flowing that easily, so I decided to wait a bit.

I went for two weeks of serious agony, where the only thing I could do was stare at my computer screen, and watch my screen saver bubbles. Meds wouldn't touch the pain, and I seriously considered more than a few times, of pulling the tooth out with pliers.

Luckily after two weeks, the pain disappeared and I've pretty much been fine ever since. But the problem is, even though I feel better, I have no desire to do my art now. Arggggh! It's frustrating.

In fact, I've been addicted to the food channel lately, and I all I can think about is cooking now. Btw this is not a good addiction to have, as now I find I'm about 4 times as hungry as usual watching these shows. Crazy!

Anyway, this picture you see now, is a 5x7 collage on canvas I did right before Halloween. It's actually hanging in the gallery now with 6 other 5x7's for their Gift of Art show, but honestly I don't know that I really want to sell it.

I priced all my pieces high partly because of the commission the gallery takes, and partly because I won't be at all sad, If I get to bring it back home at the end of the month. I mean really, the wall looks kinda empty without it. This kind of attitude gives me pause. What kind of artist am I anyway? Isn't selling your work, supposed to be something we all strive for?

Okay so you can see, I'm in a serious rut here, and I need to get out fast. I do not want to stop creating my art, because I know how much I love it when I do it, but I just can't seem to pick up that darn paint brush. Help!! Please tell me this is normal....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Just when I thought I would have time to roam around and blog hop, I remembered I needed to make a piece for my mom's birthday. This is what I came up with.

Something new and different. It all started when I read the new issue of Cloth Paper Scissors and saw the article on Zentangles.

Boy did those look like fun, and they reminded me a bit of Hundertwasser's art, which I love. Needless to say I was totally intrigued to try some. I made one that night, and then another the next night which is the one I made for my mom.

This drawing was originally made on a square piece of paper, about 4x4, and then I took our handy dandy art projector and projected that bad boy onto a 10x10 canvas. I traced as best I could in pencil, and then set about to painting it.

What a change to be painting again! A lot more detail work that's for sure! But it was fun and it was meditative which was nice. I have another one in the works, which is more Hundertwasser-y I think, but I'm guessing it will take awhile to make. I definitely can't bust 6 of these out a night that's for sure!

Soooo, now I think I'm ready to finally catch up on blogs. I feel really bad, I've been neglecting everyone out there, but I hope to remedy that real soon!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Wooo Hoo!

Finally! It's done! Now I can get back to normal and start visiting everyone again. I know I've missed a lot of cool art out there, so I have tons of catching up to do.

I'm off to submit it to the gallery now, I hope it makes the show.

P.S. Please excuse the photography, no matter how hard I try I cannot get a real good picture. There is too much detail to try to capture for my amature photography skills, and the piece is 30x30.

P.P.S. it's really a lot brighter in person. :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Halloween is right around the corner, so I thought I'd post another seasonal collage.

Now I have no idea what my pictures look like on your screens, but on mine they are always dull, (the photographs are excellent), but they look washed out on my computer.

Therefore I usually end up fussing with the colors a bit, but then it dawned on me that other people may be seeing some pretty crazy looking saturated photos on their own screens. I really hope this isn't the case, but if it is, I'm sorry.

On another note, things here are bit crazy at the moment. I'm getting ready to submit my next piece to the gallery next week, and since it needs to be huge, it's taking me sometime to finish. I can't wait until it's done so I can show you all, I think it's going to turn out really cool.

You should see my house though, it's turned upside down for this project. Since I don't have a worktable big enough in my studio, the kitchen has now become a temporary art headquarters, everything had to be moved upstairs, and my pantry is stocked full of supplies, to keep away from the inquisitive furry occupants of my home. It's a little disconcerting when I open the doors to grab a snack, and find a mountain of ribbon instead.

Anyway, now you know what's been keeping me away from talking to folks, blog and flickr hoping and even hanging out in my Ning groups. This will all be over in a week, and then things should get back to normal.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mushroom Land!

Here's another piece I made recently. This one is 10x10 on canvas.

This one was a hard one, and believe it or not nearly the whole original piece was covered up in pink and yellow paint.

Nothing I did worked for this originally. I usually use bits of paper in my collages, and many of them have designs. Well no matter what I did, almost all the designs clashed or were too busy with the mushroom house. I usually work with images of girls so they are a bit easier to place with backgrounds I guess.

This piece ended up working once I got rid of the busy-ness of the background and used more solid colors.

It's a fun piece, and definitely one I could see hanging in a little girls room someday.

In other news, I'm getting ready to start my piece for the next gallery show next month. Who knows if it will be accepted, but I sure hope it is. And this one is a biggie. At least for me. The minimum measurements allowed for the show is 30x30. So that's what I got, because honestly trying to fill anything larger than that with the way I work, is gonna take my whole stock of supplies!

Also I really wanted to thank everyone, who has commented on my work and congratulated me on the gallery show. I love receiving your comments, and try to get back to everyone, but lately I have fallen grossly behind and I'm very embarrassed. :") A few things have gotten in the way of having me attend to my blog duties lately, so please know that I do appreciate each and every comment and am trying hard to reply back as soon as I can.

Oh and one more thing, I desperately need help finding a name for myself. I'm trying to open an esty store, and in the process of getting cards made to hopefully sell in stores etc. I need a name for myself now, and somehow the Cat's Pajama's doesn't quite convey an art image does it?

I was thinking somewhere along the lines of Pixie something or other, stuidos or gallery. I like fairies a lot, and thought it would be fun to have that in my name. Unfortunately Pixiedust Studios is already taken.

But what about Pixiemadison Studios? Or Pixie Madison Studios? Madison was going to be the name of my child if I had a girl. I've had that name picked out since I was like 12, so I really like it. But it never happened, soooooo I'm thinking of using it for me! For some strange reason those two words sound good together. Or so I think.

Then again, I could always try to use my real name and something with Mixed media in the title. But somehow, Michele's Mixed Media Madness seems a bit much don't you think?

So, does anyone have any ideas?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Magic Carpet Ride

So this is the piece I was talking about last night. It was such a troublemaker in the beginning, but I love it now. I think it's the sixties look to it. Plus, the colors are my favorites, and it just looks so fun.

My very favorite bits are the candy looking necklace at the top, and the bits of fringe on the door. The door by the way is a picture I took in San Francisco. I altered the colors in Photoshop, to be more exciting, because the original brown just wouldn't cut it for me. The canvas is 11x14. I really seem to like that size. So much so , that I just received my shipment of 10 more today.

When ever I get my new shipments, I always feel a little overwhelmed looking, at all those blank canvases and thinking, holy cow, now I have to fill all those! Then before I know it, they are all used up, and I'm ordering more.

Oh yeah, I finally sent my Alice piece off to Somerset today, so I guess I find out in March if it made the magazine or not. That would be so cool if it does!

Have a great weekend everyone, I'm off to the annual Artists Open Studios tour tomorrow. I was too late to sign up this year, but hopefully next year I'll get in.

My 15 minutes of fame!

I went by the gallery that is showing my work today, and just had to take a picture to capture this monumental occasion.

Then because I'm still so excited about being in this show, I thought I'd post it! Tee-hee.

So back to business. First of all I finished my Alice in Wonderland piece for Somerset, it will be shipped out tomorrow and I'm so keeping my fingers crossed that it will be published.

I'm still bummed I couldn't enter my original one, but with the Disney characters on it, I guess it would be kinda stupid to send it in. I totally didn't think about copyright issues, until someone brought it to my attention. Whooops! I have learned my lesson though, no more Disney characters for me!

I also finished two other pieces tonight, and one that I hated in the beginning is now one of my very favorites, I cannot wait to post it, it's so much fun.

Unfortunately the one I'm working on now, is a bit of nightmare. I had to leave it be for the night, because we just weren't getting along. Pooh.

Other than that, I need to play catch up on blog hopping, and emaiing, and I'm trying so hard to find a place to get prints made of my work. I really want to try to sell stuff in Etsy, and I do not want to rely on my printer as I don't trust it.

For any of you out there that sell on Etsy or anywhere really, can you tell me how you get your prints? Are you running down to Kinko's every time you get an order, or is there a good place online to go?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Someday Her Prince Will Come

This is one I finished last night. A little something different. She is another sketch I drew, and then pasted onto the finished collage.

Now this character started out on sketch paper, and then was glued to watercolor paper. Originally I was going to make my own book filled with characters like this. Diamond Lady was also one.

But, I can't seem to stay away from using canvas. And while she looked pretty and really cool on her watercolor journal page, I couldn't help but wonder what she would look like in a collage. The problem was I like the idea of making a book, and the journal page looked really good. But I think I may not have the patience to do it. I like to see results pretty quickly, and the book would take me forever to do. Hmmm...still it sounds like fun.

Anyhoo, I made the background on the canvas thinking there is no harm in doing that. I didn't have to put the picture on it after all.

I started out slopping on some gesso and heavy gel, like I usually do, but I stopped mid swipe with the palette knife, and thought, hmm I wonder what it would be like if I tried to duplicate the journal page? So I left the blobs of gesso and gel where they were and started experimenting with stamped and designed tissue paper.

Oh my goodness, I found a new friend. I love tissue paper for collages!! Especially the ones I stamped, so many new possibilities there.

I eventually ended up smearing around the blobs of goo, and added paint, and well the whole thing just took off from there. Tons of fun to make, and I need to sit my butt down and draw another character, so I can do more of these collages.

On a side note, I will never use watercolor paper in collage again. I could not for anything get it to glue down. Not only that, it was two pages glued together so it was extra thick. It was so hard to rip from the journal page. I actually tried setting it on fire, but the darn stuff wouldn't even burn! Ugh.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pumpkin Surprise!

I know it's not even October yet, but I've been in the Halloween spirit, for about a month now, so I thought I've give the fall season a little kick start with this collage.

I found the pumpkin image on Flickr, and I'm almost positive it was from Suzie Q. She has a lot of good vintage Halloween pics for using in art, so I'm pretty sure it was her. If it wasn't I'm really sorry. Sometimes I download so many pictures at once, and occasionally get the owners mixed up.

This piece is an 11x14 collage on canvas. I have to admit, I really like this one, and surprisingly it has become a favorite of my family. Usually my collages look better in person, because they are filled with sparkles, embellishments, etc, but this piece looks awesome as a print. I love it!

My grandfather has been taking professional pictures of all my artwork, and he prints out copies of each one, well this one looks so darn cool, if I ever get my Etsy site up and running, I'm selling it for sure.

Oh yeah, and before I completely forget -though I can't see how I would really, as I can't stop smiling for the last 24 hours- is that I actually made it into a local gallery!! I'm so excited with myself for actually following through on something and making this happen. The show goes for 1 month, and who knows someone might actually buy and or like my work, and if I never get shown in a gallery again, at least I knew I did it once. Whooo hooo!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Diamond Lady

Well! Here is something completely different. This is the one I was talking about the other day. I drew the girl on sketch paper, colored her in with colored pencil, pen, paint and glitter,and then added her to the painting/collage at the end. I love her hair!

It came out totally different than what I was going for, but I'm still happy with the results.

I tried doing tons of texture in the background, and the houses were scrapped out of gesso in the first layer.

I liked the result, but as I was wrapping up dinner in tin foil, I noticed how lovely and silver it was, and wouldn't that look good in my collage! So I made the houses out of it. Fun!

The only thing I'm really bummed about on this piece is the lips, which I assure you, looked good until I put that string gel over it, and the ink from the pen ran. Ooops!

I'm finishing another one today, which came out pretty cool too. My new favorite tool, is stamped tissue paper, love it!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I made Dreamy about a month ago. This started out as a problem child, but I'm really warming up to it now. I think it turned out alright after all. It certainly was a challenge color wise!

This canvas is 11x14, and the image is from Lisa Kettell. Now I'm not sure how it looks on your computer screens, but on mine, the colors seem off. I assure you it's really bright in real life, as are all my collages. :)

Oh, and thanks for those of you who posted helpful comments to my gel dilemma. I'm still trying to figure out what went wrong, it has me so perplexed because the product worked so well, until last week.

I think now I'll try some of the products you guys use, just so I don't have a repeat offense, it has ruined two collages now.

On another note, I made a collage last night, that is totally different from what I normally do. I've been creating little characters and drawing them on sketch paper, then placing them in my painting. It came out pretty cool I think, I even used tin foil in it! Hopefully it will be dry soon, and I can post a picture of it soon. I hope to make more of them, and eventually learn to draw the character and do the background all in one piece.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Beautiful Dreamer

I did this one so long ago! It's another 5x7 with images by Itkupilli. I'm a little bummed as the image is somewhat cloudy from the gel I put on, I think it mixed with white paint, so It didn't dry completely clear.

Speaking of that gel, I'm totally dumbfounded right now. I can't figure this out. I've been using string gel by Liquitex to cover my collages from day one. I've always had beautiful results.

Until now.

The other day, I decided to to do a second coat of gel on one of the collages I just finished. Well I went downstairs to collect it the next day and the image was gone!!! I'm not kidding it completely disappeared. In it's place were a bunch of cracked lines.

The only thing I could think of was that the second coat must have somehow messed with the inks. So I used it again on a collage I finished yesterday, only using one coat. It did the same thing!! But only on half. See, that particular collage I had printed two pages of inchies, and it only ruined one of the pages.

So naturally, I thought it was the paper. I had used different papers to print the images, and maybe that was the issue. To experiment I took one of each paper, printed out an image and coated it with the string gel. I let it dry overnight and guess what?

Nothing happened!!! The pictures are perfect. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!! I don't know what to do now. It was such a good product, it sealed everything, enhanced the colors and dried perfectly clear, but now I'm afraid to use it for fear of ruining even more collages.

Has anyone ever had this happen to them, or do you know of any good varnishes/sealers, that don't ruin your photos??

Monday, September 14, 2009


Oh my goodness, I've got so many collages to show you all, that I can't seem to keep up. I've done five more in the last couple days too which doesn't help matters.

Sassy I did so long ago, and I really like this one, though it started out a bit rough. I know you won't believe this, but the image is not by Itkupilli. Did I just hear a gasp?

Well as shocking as this may seem, it's actually by Lisa Kettell, and if you don't know about her yet, you have to check her stuff out. It is so much fun to look around her magical faerie world. Plus she has this awesome set of images on flickr to use for free in your artwork . I think you have to friend her first, but believe me when you see her art, you will want to.

Anyhoo, I'm off to go finish some more pieces, I'm totally on a roll right now. OH yeah and I just signed up for one of Monica Zuniga's classes over at her Hands and Heart Ning site. I'm super excited about this, she's another artist to check out if you don't know who she is yet.

Now, I'm off to paint!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Oooh La La!

Time for a new collage! And no it's not the purple disaster I've been talking about. I can't post that yet, because I've somehow lost my brush that I use for applying the string gel to my collages as a final touch. I can't figure out where it went, but I do have my suspects. One furry black one in particular.

Anyway today I will go on a massive hunt for it, and hopefully be able to coat that darn picture, so I can show you all what I've been complaining about for the past two weeks.

Anyhoo, this collage to my left is titled Oooh La La, and I really like how this one came out. Somehow it all seemed to come together so perfectly to me. I really liked playing with this color palate. Lots of fun.

She is another 5x7, and yes the main image is from Itkupilli. One of these days I'm going to shock everybody and do one without one of her pictures. In fact I might do it today, because the Halloween bug has hit me, and I may not be able to contain myself once I get down to my studio.

With that in mind, I'm off to paint!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dancing Girls

One of my latest creations. I actually have about 10 or so that are done and hanging on walls, that need to be photographed so I can upload them to the blog and Flickr. I feel so behind, but at the same time I have plenty of material to post about.

Anyway Dancing Girls is an 8x24 mixed media on canvas, with images provided by the lovely Itkupilli. One of these days, I'll have to use someone else's pictures, but right now I can't get enough of her stuff.

This one was a challenge, as I'm not used to this size canvas, nor did I have a lot of supplies in the right colors. As you can see, I had to seriously improvise with the glass rocks at the top and bottom of the canvas. I didn't have anything else that would look good there. However, that isn't necessarily a bad thing, because it forces me to stretch my creative boundaries, which is something I need to do on a frequent basis.

In other news I finally finished the purple disaster which turned out not to be that purple. Feeew! It didn't come out that great, but I think it's okay. It just needs a layer of string gel and it will be ready for photographing. In fact I think I'll post it next just to see what other people think of it. Maybe I'm crazy, but it is one of my least favorites right now.

Alright I'm off to have dinner and read me some Somerset magazine. Have a good night everyone!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

La Vie En Rose

Collage number 5! It's a 5x7 mixed media collage on canvas. Another lovely image from Itkupilli.

This is the one that I rubbed the face off of while trying to wipe paint off. I had to wait until my new printer ink came, so I could print another photo and finish it.

Finally here she is, in all her pink and brown glory. I do like this one a lot. It's weird to for me not to make it all bright and colorful, but it's also a challenge to explore new color combos. So it all works out good. I can't make ultrabright rainbow collages all the time right?

So I'm still working on my purple disaster. In fact I haven't really touched it since that first night, but I did make a run to Michael's today and grabbed some new purple paints and a few other lovely items, so maybe I'll be able to finish it this weekend.

In other news, I set up a new art station upstairs in my writing room. I'm beyond excited about this, because truthfully, I really don't like going downstairs to the real studio. I have a very nice space set up there, and it does look out on some beautiful nature, but I can't stand the mustiness. It stinks to high heaven, of dirt and mold. Our house is on stilts on a mountain side, so part of the downstairs is underground and all I can say is peee ew!

Originally I wanted to set up the whole shebang upstairs in my little room. I measured everything, and though a very tight squeeze, it all would fit. When I told the Mr. about this new plan, he was somewhat bent of out shape. You see he likes to be able to do art together (this is some dream of his) , and we have desks that sit side by side. He likes the fact that we go and create together, and feels that if I move upstairs that would be too much separation.

It's pretty sweet, but I still don't like going down there much. So I compromised. I kept all major stuff, for painting and collage making downstairs, and upstairs I moved an old art desk and very minimal supplies. I plan to use this space mostly for art journaling, drawing and stamping. Stuff that wouldn't be too crazy messy, but I can still go to, and create if I/we don't feel like breathing mold spores. Plus it's close to the kitchen. Never a bad thing.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


This is one of my newer collages. Just finished it the other day. I really like how this turned out. Once again it was a complete accident.

I knew I was going to use the window and originally I was thinking of a theme along the lines of something deep, such as the window to my soul kinda thing.

I pretty much had this collage done (or so I thought), when I ran across the Alice in Wonderland stickers.

Seeing how the Cheshire Cat matched the decor, I put him at the top of the window. Well I liked what I saw, but he didn't really fit with my theme so I took him off. I was still hunting around for a couple more pieces, but couldn't really find anything.

Just for giggles I stuck Alice on. As soon as I did that, I knew it would be a Wonderland theme. Besides the mushrooms totally matched too. How could I not do it? As a fan of the movie and the story, it just seemed right. In fact the decorating of our house was very much influenced by it. It's sort of Alice in Wonderland, meets Tim Burton, and they go to Disneyland.

After the stickers were in place, I went crazy embellishing. The little square blocks with letters on them spell out "curiouser and curiouser". I have to say, the cat dangling the clock on a string was my husbands idea (he always comes up with good ideas) I wish I could take credit for it .

I can take credit for the window though. It is a picture I took in San Francisco a few weeks ago. I enhanced the color in Photoshop. I have a slight obsession with windows and doors now, so you may start seeing them in more of my art.

In the meantime though I'm working on a disaster. I don't know what's happening, but it just isn't working out. Part of the problem is I don't have the right colors. For some weird unexplainable reason I don't have much of anything with purple in it. And I really like that color! I can't figure it out. Obviously I will have to remedy that problem, but for now, I'm trying to use what I have, and it is giving me a ton of problems.

I think I'll stop for the night, because only time will fix this collage. I did however make a really cool one tonight, that won't be ready for public viewing for another few days (it needs to dry). Plus I still need to finish showing you the last 3 of the six I made that one night. I'm really behind on getting pictures taken and up on the web.

The good news is I now have 2 weeks worth of blog material. I should probably post more frequently huh?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pretty In Pink

This is collage number 4! It's another 5x7. Image once again from Itkupilli, and scraps of paper from K&Company.

There are going to be at least 6 of these 5x7's as I'm using images from a collage sheet I bought. There are 8 ladies altogether, and I will most likely do them all, but I'm not sure yet.

This one was interesting to do. Like the black and white one I did, I was a little daunted at first with the all pink image. I'm so used to many colors, that this was a bit of a challenge for me.

It was actually fun to do though, and I like how it turned out. It's very "soft". Naturally, this one is titled "Pretty In Pink".

Friday, August 21, 2009

Girls Just Want To Have Fun!

Alright here's the 3rd collage out of the 6 from my very productive art day last week.

This is an 8x10 mixed media collage on canvas. The picture once again is from Itkupilli, and the papers and some stickers are from K&Company. They have the best papers don't they? I know they are for scrap booking, but I find so many cool ones, that I just buy those big books. I love them!

This one is called "Girls Just Want To Have Fun", because for some weird reason the girl reminds me of Cyndi Lauper, and all the bright colors make me think of fun and happy times, so naturally I thought of her song, which in turn reminds me of my childhood, and this collage is very childlike to me. Strange how thoughts go round in your head isn't it?

That's it for now. Right now I'm taking a break from painting to eat dinner. I've got 3 collages finished today, and a fourth one waiting to be finished. Not bad. Those 5x7's go fast though and I made two of those tonight.

Just when I thought I was in a slump too. All this week I've been sort eh about creating anything. It was fine to roam around everyone else's blogs and look at their art, but me? Nah. Didn't feel like it.

So, inspired by a show that's coming up at our local gallery I wandered downstairs and picked up an image I wanted to use in a collage. The next thing I knew I had completed three of them! Love it when that happens!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Some Like it Hot (This one's for you Tony!!)

This piece is one of the 6 collages I did the other day. Maybe I made enough for the week, because the last two days I haven't been all that inspired. Weird. Tomorrow is my Friday, so hopefully my creative juices will start flowing again on my days off.

Anyway, this piece is inspired by the movie Some Like it Hot. My all time favorite film. I had this image from...can you guess? Yes that's right Itkupilli. It came on one of the collage sheets I purchased. I always loved the photo, but the fact that it was in black in white threw me a bit.

At first I was thinking what the heck can I do with this? Is has no color! Ahhhh... then a light turned on over my head. Let's make it a black and white collage! That will be something different!

In fact I always thought it looked just a bit like Jack Lemmon's character in Some Like it Hot. The face does anyway. :)

I am a HUGE fan of classic Hollywood. All the old films, the actors and actresses, the era, everything! This piece reminds me of that, and the whole time I was making it, thoughts from Some Like it Hot and Tony Curtis's recent illness (did you know he's an artist) were "Running Wild" in my head. So even though there are no actual images from the movie, it was definitely my muse for this collage. Hope you get better soon Tony!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


So yesterday I had a seriously productive day! This doesn't happen often. Believe me. I was lucky enough to be able to spend pretty much the whole day in my studio, and I finished 6 collages!! I have one more that partially done, so that will be a total of 7. Not too shabby.

Before you think I'm some kind of artistic/creative genius (snicker), I must admit that the canvases in question were pretty small. 3 5x7's and 4 8x10's. So it wasn't that hard to finish them. I kind of got on a roll and just kept pumping them out.

It helped that I had a ton of cool images from Itkupilli who does an amazing job manipulating images and then lets people use them! How can I not love that? You'll be seeing her name a lot as I've used her images in almost everything I've done lately. Except for today's picture actually. The image of the dancing lady is from Lisa Kettell who has a very fun blog over here. If you don't already know her, check her out, you could get lost in her magical world.

This painting came about in a funny way. I had the image forever, and never got around to using it. Well one day I finally fooled around with it in photoshop to change some colors and decided I would use it in my next collage.

Well! Those darn colors! Believe it or not, I didn't have the right shades. I tried so many different things to create those colors, mixing paint, pretty papers, beads, etc. Nothing worked. I was so disgusted, that I gessoed over almost the entire collage.

What I created totally grossed me out. I let it sit for a few days, and in the meantime made sure to purchase the correct color paints.

What a difference that muted yellow makes! Man, when I started again, the collage just flew together. I just kept adding piece after piece. All of a sudden so many things went with it, where before I couldn't find anything to complement it.

Long story short, it is now one of my favorite pieces. It reminds me of Christmas! I guess it's the colors. I just really like this one a lot. It sure came a long way from the disgusting mess I made earlier!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Goth Lady

Please excuse the really bad photography. I am not and probably never will claim to be a photographer. I know what button to push to take a picture and how to turn off the flash. That's about it.

Anyhoo, this is my newest. 5x7 mixed media on canvas. Image credit goes once again to Itkupilli

Love her stuff so much! Also the background papers are mostly from K&Company. Love them too!

This one was fun, as it is the tiniest piece I've ever done. I bought a collage sheet from Itkupilli and it had 8 ladies on it and I plan to do a series of these 5x7's with those images.

Since it is so small it sure is quick to make, I think I'll bust out a few today. If I ever get downstairs. I keep lolligagging on everyone else's art blogs, now the afternoon is almost gone, and I've yet to put paint to canvas.

Oh and I'm so excited because I just recieved my shimpment of canvases I ordered online. Yea! It's like Christmas in August. Plus a few days ago I hit up Michael's and Joann Fabrics and they are having huge sales right now and I got even more canvas, paints, and fun papers to use! I can't wait to create.

I better get my butt downstairs.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Que Sera Sera

My latest creation. Yet another mixed media collage on canvas. This one is named Que Sera Sera and is 10x10. I'm slowly working my way towards smaller and smaller surfaces. This is the smallest I've done so far ever! I really do like the smaller sizes right now.

I've named this one Que Sera Sera, because I like the meaning. Whatever will be will be. Something I need to remember on a daily basis, as I have a propensity to worry about unnecessary things. Especially the future.

The girls are images from Itkupulli and I chose them to hopefully convey a fun and carefree attitude. Basically worry free.

The rest is made up of various scraps of paper, stickers (some from K&Company), acrylic paint, buttons, glitter, and colored fibers.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Anne of Cleves

Oy! I spent too much money today. I went to the scrapbook expo, and oh my goodness, did they have loads of good stuff.

Now I don't actually scrapbook, but I do use a lot of the supplies, like paper, stickers, glitter etc. So I still managed to do a fair amount of damage to the 'ol pocketbook.

It was fun though, and I got tons of cool things to use in future collages. I would take a photo of all my loot, but seriously, I couldn't fit it all in one picture, so you'll just have to see in worked into each collage.

Anyhoo, today's painting is a collage based on Anne of Cleves, Henry the Eighth's 4th wife. I'm not sure those are the colors she would have used, but the rest is all her.

In fact the alll the written words are copies of her signature, her motto, and a letter she wrote to Henry agreeing to their divorce. Pretty cool.

I don't know why but I totally took to Anne and Katherine Howard. I guess it's because I feel sorry for them. Well I suppose you could feel sorry for all of Henry's wives, but Katherine and Anne really got to me for some reason.

I did a Katherine Howard collage last year, and I really don't care for it, so I think I'll redo it more in the manner of Anne's.

As you can see, I tried using the same technique as the last one. It didn't come out nearly as involved as the Fear collage, but I still think it's alright. I especially like the beads and glitter I added at the end.

The rest is acrylic paint, heavy gel medium, gesso, beaded medium (for texture), fabric, string and images copied from the internet pertaining to Anne of Cleves.

I put that string gel on it, and for some reason the painting seems to be a bit glare-y. Which bums me out, but in certain lights it's not so bad.

I really like this kind of collage, it's a lot of fun to make a big mess, and see what come of it. Plus it's pretty easy to cover up mistakes! I think I'll be doing a lot more of these. I'm still trying to find my groove, but I'm slowly getting there.

Now tonight I get to play with all my loot!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Face Your Fears

And now for something a little different. This is a collage I did last night. Another happy accident! For a long time, I have been wanting to play around with this kind of collage, but no matter how I tried, the backgrounds always came out "pretty" and not very well blended.

With this one however, I told myself I would concentrate on building up the background with layers and textures, and not worry about "ruining" the picture. This seemed to work well for me, probably because I didnt' even have a picture to ruin! I had no idea what was going to go in the collage, ahead of time. It was a great experience, and pretty soon, I was lost in the process of creating, and amazingly not worrying about messing up. If I didn't like something I just covered it with more paint!

The way I did this was, first I slapped some gesso on the canvas with a palette knife. I didn't spread it everywhere, and left it in big chunks. Then I stamped some images into the gesso, which you can't reallysee now, but I'm cool with that. I drizzled some red paint on, and smeared that around a bit, and then just started adding papers, stamps, tissue, dyed paper towels etc.

I used a lot of the heavy gloss gel and that beaded gel too for more texture. I don't think I used a paint brush at all, except at the end when I spread on the string gel, which is like honey and apparetnly is great for this kind of collage. It brought it all together and glued everything down that might have been sticking up. While the string gel was still wet, I stuck on the thicker embellishments and dumped glitter in some sections.

I wish the picture was better, but after about 20 different attempts this was the best I could get. Obviously it doesn't show the detail real well, and there is a bit of glare. It's not a sunny day today, so the light in the house isn't great. Oh well. You get the idea right?

Overall, i'm pretty happy with the results. In fact I think I'll go try to do another one today!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Dancing Queen

My newest collage on canvas, which I actually gave to my grandmother today for her birthday. This one is done in the same manner as the last one I made, and I'm really liking the whole sketch the subject on paper and then pasting it on canvas thing better.

I actually had a really tough time with this one as opposed to the last one which was done quite by accident. I guess I was expecting the same thing to happen, and boy it sure didn't!

The collage backgrounds are mostly fabric, some decorative papers and stickers from K & C company, the crown is a generic google image, and the "queen" is drawn by me, and painted in acrylic paint. The face is colored pencil and pen, which is probably why it doesn't really show up well, but in case you are wondering, yes, it is colored!

Anyhoo, after all that hard work, I'm actually gonna miss her. I sure hope she likes her new home!

I wonder if all artists feel this way after giving away their artwork?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Betty Buttons

Well, here is my latest collage. I did this one last night, totally by accident. It's true, I wasn't planning to do art at all last night, as I was overstuffed and lazy from a gigantic burrito I had for dinner. All I felt capable of doing was sitting around and checking out everyone else's art blogs.

Somehow around 11 pm I happened to waddle downstairs to the studio, purely for the exercise of course, and within seconds I started fooling with a drawing I had made, and before I knew it, I had made this collage! I love it when happy accidents like that happen.

As you can see I have tried a different technique. It's not perfected yet, and now I wonder if I should have blended the background better. I keep trying to master the layering/blending background technique but so far I haven't figured it out. I think this is the closest I have come. The problem is if I were to blend the background better, it wouldn't be as colorful, and we all know how much I like my color. Oh well, I'll get around to trying it someday. If I'm brave enough.

So like I said, I used different techniques. For this painting, I did an acrylic wash of teal all over the canvas. Once that was dry, I started gluing random scraps of paper, magazine cutouts, ribbons etc. everywhere. For the first time ever I didn't think about what the images were! I didn't try to make them fit into any theme, I just grabbed and glued. Though, I did try to find scraps with my color theme, but that was it. It was so much fun!

Then when I thought there was enough junk on the page, I added the drawing of the girl, which I had already sketched and cut out. This is new. It never ever occurred to me before, to draw the subject on another piece of paper, cut them out and paste on top of the background.

I always would paint the subject and then piece the background pieces around it. It never really worked out the way I wanted and always looked choppy. Pasting the picture of the girl on later, was a much better idea.

I have to say I stole that idea from a few other artists, who I noticed did the same thing. It was like a light bulb went off above my head. I should try this! And I did, and I really like how it worked out. I'll definitely be doing this more in the future.

After she was pasted and painted, I dabbed a little lime green paint around (my attempt at blending), sewed on embellishments and viola! Betty Buttons (husband named her)- not to be confused with belly buttons which is what I keep seeing every time I look at the title,- was born!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Marie Antoinette Gothic Arch

This is my really late entry for the Gothic Arch challenge this week. I wish I could have finished this sooner, but I had a really hard time with it.

Once I saw the theme was Marie Antoinette I knew I would do something whimsical. Well actually when don't I huh?

It just so happened that I had gone to a museum a few weeks ago and saw a painting there of a lady of some importance wearing the widest dress I ever saw in my life. Seriously I'm not sure how she would have gotten in and out of doorways with that thing.

Since it was so outrageously huge, I remember thinking, gosh it's like she's wearing a sofa. I swear that's what it looked like.

So when I saw the Gothic Arch challenge this week, naturally I had to use a sofa as her dress. The problem with the sofa however, was what to do about her appendages. Hmmm...well, wouldn't it be kinda cool if she had some arms? And maybe little feet? No not feet....How about... Roller Skates! Why not? Let's have fun with this.

So she got her arms and skates, but then it occurred to me, wouldn't it be even better if she were holding a cake in one hand a fork in the other? After all one of her famous quotes is, "Let them eat cake" right?

Just so you know, the arms are me, the fork is mine, and the cake is our wedding cake. After spending way to long looking for the just the right picture of people's hands and cakes, I decided to do it myself. Much faster that way.

So after adding all that, I felt the inside of the arch was way too serious and plain. It was really bugging me, and just the other day, I read on Lemoncholy's blog, something about when in doubt add polka dots! I couldn't agree more. I added the words and the dots inside and I think it gave it the final whimsical touch it needed.

My husband liked the more serious version better without the red hair and polka dots, and birthday party look as he calls it, but sheesh, a girl's gotta have fun right?

P.S. Please excuse the photograph, I took it tonight despite what I learned the other day, and it's just not as bright as it should be. I know I should have waited til daytime, but I just couldn't wait to get it posted. I will take another picture in the daylight and update it later.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Yippee!! My teapot is done! I have been working on this for over a month. I am super slow, but it's not like I've been doing it everyday. It took about seven visits to Petroglyph, until it was finished.

Speaking of slow, my husband is still working on his bowl, which means that I got to purchase a latte mug to paint while he finishes. Hee-hee. Now I'll have two pieces. *Smile*

I cannot wait til his bowl is done! When it is, I'm totally showing it here, because it will blow you away. I'm not kidding, it's like the best bowl ever. Too cool.

Anyway the picture at the top is the front of the teapot. The designs are doodles I did while at work. Yes I was working at the time, just that I was on the phone, and isn't it like the law to doodle while talking on the phone?

I did the insides and back to, which if I remember how to add more pictures I'll show you right now....

Teapot again
This is the back. And...

teapot insides

These are the insides.

What a project that was!! It takes forever and a year to paint, because you have to add 3 or 4 coats of paint to make it smooth, and when you do something detailed it's that much slower.

It's also distracting because when the colors are painted on they are so light, it's really difficult to know what it's going to look like. For instance I'm not at all happy about blue top. It so doesn't go with the dark purple background of the rest of the pot. I wish I painted the top purple too, but it was done first, and when I was painting the body, it went well with the blue on top. Well! Now I know. I will not make that mistake again!

Mushroom Queen

Okay here is a mixed media canvas I did tonight. It's my first real completed collage on canvas. Well, one that came out decent anyway. ( Don't get me started on my Katherine Howard one).

Anyhoo, I'm going to do three of these little 11x14 canvases. Each with a different character. This is the first.

Images are from my personal stash of magazine cutouts and papers from K&C company.

I like this girl, but something is missing I think. I'll work on the other two tonight, and hopefully it will come to me, what to do to make it better.

It's not as busy as I usually do, so maybe that's it. Then again, maybe less is more?

If they turn out okay, I might continue with this idea. I really like this size canvas too, it's so easy to work with.

I'm also working on a large piece right now, that was supposed to be entered in a couple of last week's challenges, but it's not coming together and it's driving me crazy. The size is very awkward for doing collage, at least for me it is. I'm used to my art journal which is a tiny bit smaller than this canvas. I guess it just takes practice, practice, practice.

Okay, back to the studio today, hopefully I'll get something accomplished!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thanks for the memories...

No this isn't a painting I've done recently. In fact it's pretty darn old. Probably 8 or 9 years old actually. But the reason I'm putting it up today, is because last week I had the extreme pleasure to see the original Monet painting at the Legion of Arts Museum in San Francisco.

I know! Imagine my surprise. I had no idea it was there, and the crazy thing is I almost missed it. It was the very last room we went in, and it we had almost skipped that section earlier by accident. Thank goodness we didn't.!

Now I have to admit, that most of the artwork at the museum didn't ring any bells for me. I know. I'm supposed to appreciate all that fine art, and I do! I totally appreciate all the work and details they put into each painting. How they are able to make them so realistic looking is beyond me. I will never be able to do that. It's just that the subject matter is not my cup of tea. Loads of dead animals, and religious paintings. Plus everything is in browns, blacks and grey. Um. I love color. So yeah it was a teensy bit drab for me.

The truth is, I don't really start digging Fine Art until we start getting into the impressionistic period. That's more up my ally. Something about not being too detailed, the use of color, and more interesting subject matter.

Anyhoo, Monet is my favorite artist from that period, and back when I was just venturing into the painting world, I used a lot of his paintings as subject matter. Like I said the painting above is one of my favorites. It really caught my eye, and I set out to duplicate it.

Well, as you can see, I didn't exactly make it identical to his. Obviously my love for bright color came through loud and clear, (the original is very pastel) plus I don't do the whole little brushstroke/dot things that impressionists did.

However, I do like this painting a lot, even though it's not at all my style anymore. I probably wouldn't make anything like this again, but at the time I thought it was the bees knees. I like it so much I made an oil pastel of it too, which actually came out better I think, but unfortunately I don't have a picture of it.

So, since I don't have any recent artwork finished other than a ton of backgrounds I made for my art journal, (playing with water crayons and gesso, so much fun!), I thought I would pay a tribute to the artist that started it all, and show you guys this painting from way back when.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fairy Of Secrets

This is my entry for this week's Created Byhand Challenge. The theme is fairies.

Right away I knew I wasn't going to do a typical fairy. I had the Mona Lisa face, and saw the cabinet in a magazine, and thought wow that would make a cool body. Let's put the face on it and add some wings and voila! The Fairy of Secrets was born. Though honestly I never knew until now, how masculine Mona Lisa's face is. No matter what I did, she still looks like a man dressed like a girl to me. Strange.

Anyhoo, I thought the cabinet for a body, indicted that she had things locked inside her, hence the secret idea. Then I found the lips, and thought oh boy a zipper would be good here, but totally forgot that idea, until my husband saw it and said he had a zipper I could use. He actually drilled holes into it, so it could be sewed onto the canvas.

See, I would have glued it, and then it probably would have fallen off. It's a good thing I have him around to make sure my artwork is stable. :)

Oh yeah, I totally stole the words Fairy Tale and the butterfly from Nancy's Crowabout Challenge pages. Thanks Nancy!

UPDATE: I have since gone back to the Created byhand Challenge website, and realized that you are supposed to use images from them for your challenge. Oops!

I also have uploaded the a new version of the picture, since the first one was wrong. I took the picture at night, and the colorswere way off. The background wasn't supposed to be all orange. It has been bothering me ever since I posted it, and today I decided to try to fix it. The picture now reflects the true colors of the painting, *smile*, unfortunately the resolution is terrible. Oh well. One thing at a time.

Parlor Queen

Here is my journal page for this weeks College Play with Crowabout. It's a wee bit late, but oh well. It's still so much fun to create these collages that I decided to finish it and post it anyway.

I really love this group, and it is very cool to see what other people do with the same images. The hard part is not peaking until you are done with your own collage, since I don't want to let anyone's pictures, influence me.

Oh yeah, I just want to say that some of the colors are off. So whatever looks to be grey or blah looking is actually flourescent pink or orange. I don't know why but the scanner won't scan those colors.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My First Mosaic

Well here it is, 7 months later, and I'm finally writing the post for this picture.
I swear I have no idea what happened to me after Christmas. I was busting out art left and right, and then come Thanksgiving, I put all my effort into the mosiac you see in the picture.

This was my mom's Christmas present. It took a month and a half to make, and for some reason that was the last bit of art I did until recently. On my husbands birthday, we went to Petroglyph. You know, that place where you paint your own ceramics. It's a pretty cool place, and right on our way home, so we gave it a shot.

For the past 5 weeks (yes we are reallllly sloooow), we have been working on our pieces (I'm doing a teapot, he's doing a bowl), and after painting there for a few hours, we are inspired to do more art when we get home. Of course that meant I had to check out all my favorite art blogs again, which totally fired me up even more, and then I found a whole slew of new artists that I have to follow which means that I spent a large amount of time looking at wonderful, and inspirational art work. Oh and don't get me started on the art challenges, I've been missing. What was I thinking?

Obviously It was time for me to re-enter the art world. I have started working on challenges again to give me a jump start. Right now I'm working on a challenge for the Three Muses, and Collage Play with Crowabout, which reminds me I need to finish my piece tonight!!

I also as you can see, revamped the look of my blog, and I have to admit, that I totally stole the idea from Nancy Baumiller once I saw her site. Sorry Nancy, but it was too cool to pass up, and I tried a load of other cool Wallpapers from Itkupilli (where I got my background) but as cool as they were, they were too busy once my art pictures come on board.

Alright, now I'm ready to go, and hopefully I won't stop creating for such a long period again.

Which reminds me, I want to talk about that mosaic.

Now that project started thanks to Laurie Mika. Oh my gosh I love her stuff! I grabbed her book in an art store one day, and fell in love. I have always wanted to do mosaics, and I just had to try it now that I saw what could be done.

It was so much fun, but seriously time consuming. Like I said it took a month and a half, and honestly when I was done, I wanted to keep it for myself! Don't worry I didn't. I gave it to my mom, and the shriek of delight upon opening her present was worth every second.

I still really need to do one for myself though and I will, but I want to get some canvases and journal pages done first. I'm really trying to incorporate my collages onto canvas, and for some reason it's a lot harder! I'm hoping to get the hang of it soon, and my goal is to get enough pieces that I can finagle my way into our local gallery. Wish me luck!