Sunday, May 31, 2015

Scary Part of Being an Artist

Art by Jeanne Donnelly 2013
Lots of people love to create great works of art that they hide in the closet.  They take the time and passion that they put in each piece then surrender to fear. I believe this happens to every creative person. So many wonder if their art is good enough, or amateurish or just plain stupid.                                                                                                       I did. For a long time stuff just got shoved in the closet. Am I a great artist? Eh. 

But something happened at one point where I just decided not to care who would like it. I thought about Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. When they were toiling away making their crazy inventions, did they care that some people were looking down their noses thinking they were freaks? Or did they just keep going? Were they not artists of their own crafts?                                                                                                                                               Vincent Van Gogh didn't have such an easy time with his art. He was thought of as weird, maybe deranged, and died way too young. He never got to see how his art would be appreciated, yet still he painted. If I could time travel I'd go back and bring him here, to the MOMA in NYC, and show him all the people who stand in front of Starry Night taking photos and admiring the genius of his art. It would be wonderful to let him know he is loved today. That his art is loved.                     

Gifting my art helped suppress the fear. Some of the things on this blog were done as gifts. People seemed to like it and would tell me others were asking about it. I don't know if that's what made me feel braver or if, as i got older, I sort of came to a mind set that it is what it is. Some of it I love, some of it's goofy, some of it's fun. Overall, I just want to keep creating, painting, woodworking, stain,  and exploring new mediums.

I always tell my fellow artists and writers to "Let it Fly!" Send that art out into the world and stop worrying. Let those who love us love us and those who don't, don't really matter.                                                              
                                                                                      Go out and create and remember those who laughed at Van Gogh and Edison eventually came around to love them. Perhaps their souls grew a little and they learned something.                                                                                                                                                   Bottom line? All art is beautiful to someone, but you'll never find that someone in your closet. Set your art free and let it fly out into the universe. You'll be happier for it. Freedom is a wonderful thing.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Staining Flower Art - 1st Try!

I saw this on You Tube (you can learn anything there) and had to give it a try. Although my project didn't turn out as good as I would have liked, I found something to do with the finished piece.

First I found this pre-cut piece of wood at Lowe's.  I thought I picked a pretty good piece of wood, but after watching the way the stain sucked in and didn't give me clear lines, I'm not so sure. I'll try a different kind of wood next time.

After sanding, I put on  rubber gloves and used an old t-shirt to dip in the stain and color. I used Minwax stain in Mahogany. I wanted a dark stain for contrast. It went on really easy. The hardest part was thinking in shadows. The darkest part would be the shadows within the petals of the flowers.

Starting at the center I worked outward. The dark stain of the next petal would outline the top of the previous.

 Once I had the stain on I realized there was one point across the center that took the stain a little weird. This is common when working with wood as the grain has a mind of its own. You can see a couple of spots that are actually knots in the wood. I was really tempted to paint ladybugs on the knots. :)

I think getting this stain-flower technique down will take practice. I'm also going to check on another type of wood.
I put three coats of Polycrylic on the top to make it weather-proof.

Not wanting anything to go to waste, I took a plastic flower pot and flipped it upside down to use as a base and screwed the stained-flower wood disc on top. Now I'll use it on the deck for a little table. My daughter thinks I should paint the base brown. What do you think?
Brown? Blue?or leave it green?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Diva Dawn's Metal di Muse at Steampunk Worlds Fair

This awesome artist was found with her rocked out van selling her handmade metal art. She lays out the red carpet for those who come to check out her fine work.                                                                            Diva Dawn uses a variety of metals to create wearable art in the spirit of Steampunk, Victorian, Goth, and Vintage. You can find her art on Etsy here. 

 This piece is one of my favorites and can be found on her Etsy site under Victorian Steampunk Game of Thrones.  Click the link for a better view of this beautiful piece.

Staying with this old world Steampunk theme is the Tatsu Dragon Cuff. The amount of fine workmanship shows through in the detail and imagination Diva Dawn puts into her art. I think the Tatsu Dragon Cuff is my favorite!

What struck me most about her metal art was the intricate  detail in each piece. To breathe this much beauty and emotion into metal shows me Diva Dawn is very passionate about her art. A skilled artisan with a variety of metals, I hope to see Metal di Muse at the next Steampunk fest or maybe Voltaire's Wicked Necrocomicon in September.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Artist Abigail Larson at Steampunk World's Fair

Spent the weekend discovering new artists at the Steampunk World's Fair. These artists ranged from pen & ink, to leather artists, creators of costumes, and creatures of all mediums.

One of my favorite finds of the day was pen & ink watercolor artist, Abigail Larson. These hauntingly beautiful pieces depicted ghouls, ghosts, and things that go bump in the night. Her use of color, both dark and light, brings a spooky yet soulful feel to her art. It's the kind of art you keep coming back to stare at to find out where the emotion of the piece will take you. Innocent, expressive, and melancholy at the same time, the passion of the artist shows in each beautifully poignant piece.

We purchased two unframed prints on Saturday and when we went back Sunday we found this Edgar Allen Poe piece. (Please forgive the flash bounce. This photo does not do justice to the haunting beauty of the piece. ) It now sits on my writing desk to inspire. Thank you Abigail!

Check out Abigail's online Gallery here. Prepare to be awed and surprised with the dark beauty of this work.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Silhouette Cameo First Try

Confession; My first attempt with the Silhouette was a bust. I put the blade in upside down, couldn't get the vinyl to feed and this thing that looked so simple in all those YouTube videos was frustrating me!

So, how did I figure it out? Back to YouTube. :)

The white part of the blade with the numbers goes
"down." Move the sliders on the bar in so it can grab the vinyl to feed it. Connect  to my computer and hit send to Silhouette. I'm trying to cut, "Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History."

Fail! What now? Still not cutting. It's grinding and moving but the cuts aren't there.

Oops! Change setting to "vinyl." Try again. Still not cutting.

I change the blade setting to 2. It says set it to 1 but that's not working so I figured I'd just step it up. Maybe I just bought fat vinyl? I also made a simpler design. It cut it perfectly. I "weeded" it, which in Silhouette speak means to remove excess vinyl. I used the little tool that looks like a sharp crochet hook that I got in my Silhouette Vinyl Kit. Then I cut the transfer paper to size and put over it the vinyl. It came up nice and easy. I wasn't sure what to do with my cut out so I placed it on my Silhouette Cameo, peeled away the transfer paper slowly, making sure the vinyl stayed and done!

Lesson learned? Patience, Grasshopper, Patience. And when in doubt, look it up on YouTube!

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Art of Lettering

If you've ever really looked at my art, you'd know I stink at lettering. Keeping all those little characters neatly lined up, making each one look kind of the same, then remembering to spell everything correctly. Don't get me wrong, I'm a good speller, but when painting letters I'm thinking more about lines and color than how to spell Welome or Welcome. It's so easy to miss those little letters! My biggest problem? I love words and quotes on furniture and stuff so I'm always trying to improve.
This one is supposed to day Go out for adventure ~ Come home for Love.  I wish it was clearer or I'd thought it out better. I love the piece but....

So for Mother's Day my sweet family pooled their gift money and got me a Silhouette Cameo! (Truthfully, I just asked for gift cards I could save towards one, but they surprised me!)  I'm so excited! Now my lettering won't look like scribbles.

Don't get me wrong. I know how to letter. Take the ruler, measure carefully, make lines, measure, measure, measure....blah! I think I'm just too anxious to get the project done that I rush the lettering. (Yeah, that's a good excuse!)

I went to Michael's because the Silhouette Cameo didn't come with any vinyl or transfer paper or anything, but since it was Mother's Day the place was picked clean. Going online to order a few supplies tonight and hopefully I'll have a project to share by the end of the week.

Do you have a Silhouette Cameo? What do you use it for? Have you made anything exciting?

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Do All Great Artists Steal?

Great Artists Steal - by Austin Kleon
In writing they say there are no new plots, only new twists on old plots. When the family of Marvin Gaye sued singer/songwriter RobinThicke, I had to wonder if music wasn't the same thing. How many ways can you play cords to get a different rhythm or tune? Was the music familiar because at some point in Thicke's life he heard the song by Gaye and his sub-conscience remembered it? It appears Thicke is standing by his song and asking for a new trial. See that here.

How many times do you see someone's work and think there's a bit of the technique of VanGogh or Monet? Is it stealing or is there really no new techniques? Or could it be no one recognized that technique before this one artist stepped up to show it to the world?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Photography Friday!

Found this photographer on Fine Art America. It's one of my favorite sites to find paintings and photos. If you're any type of artist and looking for a venue to sell your art, check it out here
Today's awesome photographer is Pierre Leclerc from Quebec, Canada. I love the landscapes and his use of light. This is a screen shot of the art he has up on Fine Art America. Visit this site and you can find some great shots of the redwoods in Sequoia National Park . The angles he uses for these trees gives a unique perspective of these giants. The sunsets he photographs bring out the vivid colors of nature and so make me wish I was there. Isn't that the best part of art? It pulls you in and makes you want to be  part of the scene? 

This screen shot is just a sample of Pierre Lecleric's photography, but check him out and see a great use of light and perspective.  

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Art, the Pinterest Addiction & Marketing

I have to confess...I'm addicted to Pinterest. I do have facebook and twitter accounts but Pinterest has pictures! And if you put art, painted furniture, mosaics, oils, acrylics....anything art in the search bar, all this beautiful and creative art pops up. I love it!

Sometimes I pin things I'd like to try, other times its to study the technique the artist used. Sometimes its just because the pictures are pretty. Pinterest is a little bulletin board on the net where things can be saved.

I have multiple boards, but my two art boards are Painted Home Furniture and Art & Painting. I have others for painting Theater sets, writing, reading, dog rescue, etc. But my art boards are the most active.

In my pinning addiction I came across several articles on How to Sell on Pinterest. Although I've never put anything for sale on Pinterest, I can click through to artist websites and people selling their art on Etsy. Most of my stuff is either special order or in a shop in Middletown, NJ called Artfully Repurposed.  If you post on Pinterest you can get a button for your browser to pin anything you're looking at, even your blog posts! Pinning your posts will bring people to your page where you can also sell your art.

I think pinning your art won't make you rich but it will get your name and art out there for more people to see and maybe buy. Or perhaps they'll pin it to their board and the people following them will pin it. And your audience grows.

Happy Painting! Happy Pinning!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Artist Reality Show Needed

I watch shows like I Brake for Yard Sales, Flea Market Flip, and Love it or List it. I loved White Room Challenge but I'm not sure its on any more. All I see is reruns. America's Next Great Artist was awesome too, but its gone. :(

So here's a show I'd love to see; Artists Take My Room!

In this reality show homeowners surrender one room in their home to an artist and lets them use their art skills and talent to re-imagine it.

Take 3 or 4 artists, they each get a room in a different home and a crew to help with the work. Maybe a half hour to interview the family and then create something that matches the family's personality. They they go to town with whatever art technique they want redoing walls, floors, furniture, window treatments, etc. These have to be artists, preferably those who use more than one medium, and not designers.

Let it be a competition and have some artist judges? Or just let the homeowners have their say at the end?

I wanted to pitch this to HGTV but they don't take ideas from lay people.

Can you imagine having a while room, furniture and everything as your canvas?
I get excited just thinking about it!

What do you think? Would you let an Artist Take Your Room?

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