Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Discovery Wednesday - Amongst Friends

Here is my inspirational mosaic for this week's Discovery Wednesday.


1. Hole Punch Flowers ATC, 2. Flower ATC, 3. Watercolor Flower ATC's, 4. Summer Flowers, 5. ATC_ violet flower, 6. ATC Pretty Newspaper Flowers 2/2, 7. Landscape: Spring Flowers, 8. Flowers ATC, 9. 3 flowers, 10. Traded: Springtime ATC, 11. flowers ATC, 12. ATC Traded - Button Flowers, 13. flowers - atc

Here is the ATC card I was inspired to create.

"Amongst Friends" ATC 2.5 x 3.5 inches mixed media.

Here are some pictures I took as I worked my way through the process of creating this ATC card.




(1) I used Strathmore Watercolor cold press 140lb paper as my base, glued a thin sheet of white tissue paper with Golden mattee medium, glued a hand torn piece of (single sided printed) designer scrapbooking paper half of the way up to start my composition for the field of flowers and finally added a glaze of Golden (heavy body) Titan Buff mixed with Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid Gloss (1:1 ratio) over the entire surface and dried with my heat gun.

(2) I then began to play with my permanent color ink pads (golden yellow for sky and green for grass) and dried with my heat gun.

(3) I then continued to add more acrylic paint to build up depth, shadow, highlights and dried with my heat gun.







(4) I then played with texture adding marks using a metal ring and bubble wrap.

(5) Finally came the time to dive into my homemade collage paper I had painted the night before on Canson Mixed Media 98 lb paper. I have found this paper weight and brand to be my favorite so far for collage; especially on an ATC sized base so that it does not become to bulky when I overlap sheets. I hand cut various circle sizes and glued them on 2/3 of the way to add to the composition.

(6) The next step for me was to play with my oil pastels to continue to highlight the texture from the tissue paper and add depth to the overall image.



Hope you're having an excellent Wednesday and are inspired to go out and play and create art and of course stop and smell the flowers;-)


Enjoy,
Sandra

Monday, August 29, 2011

PLAYMAKERS make a difference in our society.

Had to share this with you just in case you missed it. I found out about PLAYMAKERS by reading Stacy Julian's blog page (which I now follow). Stacy was the day 12 BIG PICTURE CLASSES instructor and her word of the day was PLAY.




If you have not done so already you must check out Stacy's blog page you will not regret it. What an inspirational artist and humanitarian. Way to go Stacy to get the word out about the power of PLAY.

Enjoy,
Sandra



Sunday, August 28, 2011

Big Idea Festival - Day Twelve: Play "My Creative Spirit Sings With Joy!"

WOW! I hope everyone weathered the hurricane well and is able to get back to life as "normal". In Lancaster, PA (I live about three blocks from downtown Lancaster city) it was mostly lots of rain and blasting winds. The wind more than anything alarmed me because I have a locust tree that sits smack in the middle of my courtyard which is over 100 years old (same as my house). Lucky for me the home association I belong to paid to have the tree trimmed last summer after a previous rain storm caused some over sized tree limbs to split in half, which nested amongst the remainder limbs just waiting for the next storm to come crashing down. I awoke this morning at 6am and ran to check out any damages to the courtyard and trees. I was happy to discover that only my little white flowering dogwood tree had minor damage (one long tree limb had split in half - easy enough for me to cut off).

Things are still windy but the rain has stopped and I feel safe to get back online (I was worried about power outage, lighting, and anything else that might zap my lap top or mess up  my Internet connection: better safe then sorry). But funny enough without the Internet I was able to really PLAY last night and complete my last entry for the Big Idea Festival: Words to Live by challenge and at the same time start my own personal art challenge... read on and you'll understand.

LAST DAY of Big Idea Festival art challenge.
Day 12: August 27, 2011
Featured Artist: Stacy Julian
website/blog: http://stacyjulian.com/
Challenge word: PLAY

This is my entry for day twelve (the last day) of the Big Idea Festival scrapbook challenge.

Day 12: Play (digital page created using Photoshop CS3)


My volunteer work at the heART of Friendship Art Gallery has me questioning my art abilities as they translate to "realist fine art". I consider myself an artist (because "I MAKE IT MY OWN" as Michelle Ward would say), yet I don't define myself as a traditional or realist fine art artist. I consider myself more of an Outsider Artist if I had to give myself a label but more then anything I view my work as visionary and I'm okay with that. Or at least I thought so until I met Lynn the full time art teacher at heART. Lynn is a beautiful Christian woman who has easily over 30 years experience in the realist visual fine arts both as an artist and teacher. As a volunteer working along side Lynn to assist the heART artists I have learned to better appreciate what the world of realist fine art (landscapes, portraits, nature studies, and any combination of still life acrylic paintings) have to offer.

I guess I had always had a fear to try this type of realist painting style with the thoughts that I'd be horrible since I don't have any formal training in the field. At this point in my art journey I had favored created abstract art just to create; to play, to be happy without the worries of 'does it look real' or having to learn all the fundamentals; your basic art foundation.

My personal abstract art: ATC collage "PLAY" set of five cards.
For I am the happiest when I am learning and sharing without limitations; breaking rules or not following rules per say. Yet spending time with Lynn and the heART artists at the art gallery has opened up my mind to revisit my thoughts and views on realist fine arts and what I am missing out on by side sweeping this style of art making under the rug? I thought to myself 'am I asking myself to be open to the world of structure, formal process, and many, many rules on how to create art' did I understand what I was inviting into my life? After all creating art is my release from my stressful structured, formal, rule abiding lifestyle. Did I really want to drag that into my art making? So I thought about it for some time, and after about 48hours I answered myself without even over thinking it (which I love to do - analysis this... LOL).

Hurricane Irene was a blessing in disguise for me this is what it lead me to create. Without the Internet as a distraction and nothing good to watch on TV (I have basic cable 12 channels only). I started organizing my art books and came across a how to book "Be An Artist in 10 Steps" by Ian Sidaway. I opened it up saw the hot peppers exercise and thought 'what do I have to lose' so I started the art challenge of creating a realist style painting. It took me several hours from start to finish and I'm not yet finished (I want to add some graphite to the image to add more of a mixed media flavor - I can't deny who I am) smiles.

Acrylic painting "Hot Peppers" the process of underpainting. I'm learning so much about the tools I have.

The results of three hours of working with various layers of acrylic paint mixed with water and gel medium.


God is good... he is opening my mind to receive the courage to be public with my art abilities; first by sharing through this blog site with 30 DAYS OF GET YOUR ART ON. This made me more comfortable to join other art challenges like an ATC card swap with Creative Swaps and then try something new with digital scrapbooking with the Big Picture Classes.

All to this point have been online art communities but with my volunteer hours (twice a week for 3 hours a day) at the heART of Friendship Art Gallery God has planted a seed within me to move forward on this art journey in my 'real' life. A scary thought to allow your 'real' community to view your creations. It's one thing to be open to allow online strangers to potentially speak badly of your artwork (you can always block them) but to allow people who you know and interact with the opportunity to say things that might hurt your feelings (although most people have good intentions) that was enough to cause me to have a panic attack. But that's just what happened. Not the part about negative online art comments (my online art communities have lifted me up in my stages of insecurity - funny what kind words can do no matter if said by loved ones or strangers, and then there's those strangers who become friends like Rasz and Maggie).

I say God is good because I would of never chosen to put myself "out there" I tend to be a wallflower with a secret superstar spirit within - only revealed to a small pea pod size number of close friends and family. But God spoke to me to become a volunteer this summer at heART and at the Lancaster Farmacy and both have contributed to my spiritual growth, in term my self-esteem. Who would turn down a self-esteem jump start? NOT THIS GIRL!

Well, if I must be honest at first I wanted to turn it down; volunteering at heART my first week and seeing the fine art work being produced at the gallery (for sale) and here I was being asked to assist in the development of said art. I was like "someone made a mistake, this is not a good fit... I can't help in this process, do these people know who I am, what I'm not capable of..." I questioned everything; my art abilities, if I had the right to call myself an artist, was I going to be more of burden then a blessing to this nonprofit and its heART artists. It's scary when the business side to art making comes knocking at your door. I thought I would be a volunteer to JUST help develop art with the heART artist. I was so consumed with the imagery of the joy and fun art making provided me and how much I wanted to share that joy that I completely forgot about the realization that each heART artist strives to create art to sell at the gallery which provides them a personal income. All this became real on my first day of volunteering. Yikes!

I wanted to run but God had other plans for me. For this was not any nonprofit this is a Christian nonprofit who works with adults with intellectual developmental delays (heART artists) and staffed by two fabulous Christian women who embraced all my fears and doubts and invited me to try it again; to stay on as a volunteer. For both ladies (Lynn, full time teacher and Marsha, gallery coordinator) saw something in me that I could not see myself; they say my spirit... the real me.

My spirit was dim after so many months of self neglect not allowing time to create art during my full time employment and the added stress of being laid off for a second summer in a row due to budget cuts in education (I worked for a nonprofit in the public school system of Lancaster County). Which really gets you to ask why life cannot be more smooth and organized, what lessons was God putting forth for me to learn. I knew that staying on as a volunteer at heART was part of my journey that God had created for me. So in usual "Sandra" style instead of volunteering once a week I bumped it up to twice a week. I always feel like if you're going to do something sent by God better put in double the effort so I don't miss anything. Or in other words I needed at least two days to learn, one day was only enough to introduce me to the questions I would have I also needed a second day to reflect and share with Lynn and Marsha so I could better put my skills and studio time to use with the heART artists.

Its now been over five weeks since I first started volunteering at heART and now when I walk in to the gallery it's like visiting old friends. The heART artists always have such great smiles and kind handshakes to greet me with. I feel like Norm in the sitcom "Cheers". I feel so comfortable with the staff and other volunteers we sometimes sit after the heART artists have gone home and discuss openly about our personal views of art (which are all very diverse) we create ourselves and society's view of art (good and bad). This really nourishes my creative spirit and allows me to share my concerns with my art process and what God is calling me to do with my skills.

I know Lynn embraces the newness that my love for collage art has to offer (even though it is completely new to her and not a mainstream art favorite in an art gallery setting) for she along with Marsha have both invited me to help lead in instruction with various collaborative art projects that heART artists will be showcasing in future fundraisers. Here are some images of what has been created thus far. I instructed the Wednesday class to work at a small scale (ATC size 2.5 x 3.5 inches) during the brainstorming process. It was well received by the heART artists who enjoyed turning their past watercolor artwork into new creations. Everyone lite up with delight when I introduced them to the packing tape transfer technique which we used to capture the cityscape image for the ATC on the far right.

ATC collage brainstorming/idea cards completed by Wednesday's Class.

Full page 8.5 x 11 inches collage created by a Thursday Class heART artist (in progress).


This has lead me to where I am now; if a fine art gallery can be open to investing in collage art (mixed media) then I too could invest in learning more about the other side of art which to me is fine art "realist" - investing in reading, practicing, and need I say it, YES creating UGLY art for it will take time until I am happy with the results of my creations.

So this is my new art challenge - to develop my realist fine arts painting style which will in the process enhance the artwork I have always loved to create (mixed media visionary art). I will work my way through the "be an artist in 10 steps" book and blog about it from week to week. The season is changing and public school starts this Monday; in turn I hope to start my full time employment sometime soon. With those ideas in mind I don't want to fall back into old ways of self creative neglect but I also have to be realist that I won't have time to do as much art as I have in the past two months. So what I want to do is allow myself the opportunity to devote more time to studio discoveries one acrylic exercise at a time and and combine those new skills with my mixed media work. I will share the progress and results weekly thus allowing myself more time to get caught up on reading some of my favorite artist blogs and taking time to make comments on them. I hope you return to visit my blog (become a follower to stay updated) and continue to share with me your comments/feedback. I still plan to share any free classes I learn about and/or other artist blog sites and artwork with the Discovery Wednesday feature.  

Funny how God reminds us of lessons learned from our past, that life is to be lived in BALANCE. Like I knew that but sometimes 'living life' makes us forgetful. (smiles)

If you have gotten to this part I thank you for reading and I hope you have a blessed day and may you nurture your creative spirit every moment of the day.

Enjoy,
Sandra

Friday, August 26, 2011

Big Idea Festival - Day Eleven: Embrace

Day 11: August 25, 2011
Featured Artist: Nic Howard
website/blog: http://www.nichoward.co.nz/
Challenge word: EMBRACE

This is my entry for day eleven of the Big Idea Festival scrapbook challenge.

Day 11: Embrace (digital page created using Photoshop CS3)





This is a picture of my grandmother with one of her sisters. My grandmother was the youngest out of 13 siblings. She really loved her family. I love their hairstyles and innocent expressions in this photo as they share an embrace. My grandmother came to live in the USA with my parents in her old age leaving a majority of her family behind in Lima, Peru.

Enjoy,
Sandra

Big Idea Festival - Day Ten: Moment

Day 10: August 24, 2011
Featured Artist: Steph C., owner of the Daily Digi and host of the Digi Show
website/blog: http://thedailydigi.com/
Challenge word: MOMENT

This is my entry for day ten of the Big Idea Festival scrapbook challenge.

Day 10: Moment (digital page created using Photoshop CS3)


This is a clay sculpture piece I created while taking a hand-building clay class at my local university during the Bush administration. I had tons of fun creating it and playing with the figures afterwards. It really captured a moment in time for me. Here are more photo of the process of creating the figures (my inspiration for the body type was indigenous warriors of South America). Our class project was to take a primitive style of an art form and reintroduce with a modern twist.


Enjoy,
Sandra

Big Idea Festival - Day Nine: FREE

Day 9: August 23, 2011
Featured Artist: Karen Grunberg
website/blog: http://www.karenika.com/
Challenge word: FREE

This is my entry for day nine of the Big Idea Festival scrapbook challenge. Karen is providing her readers a free online self pace class called Embrace Imperfection. Check out the details by going to her blog or click on this link. http://www.bigpictureclasses.com/imperfection.php. Thanks Karen, for your generosity!

Day 9: Free (digital page created using Photoshop CS3)

This is a page from my moleskin art journal. To see more pages from this journal with the theme "FLY" check out my Flickr account at http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgranthon88/5958630453/in/set-72157627182590872
The book was printed as a travel journal of the city of Boston. I received it free from a friend and decided to recycle it and make it into my pocket size art journal (easy to carry in my purse). The pages are very thin so I first had to glue several pages together so it could support the acrylic paint and images I planned to glue on. I also experimented in making tabs that overhang off the page attached with decorative brads. I drew in the flower after I stamped the hummingbird image... the poor thing looked so lonesome without some sweet nectar nearby.

To me the word FREE reminds me of the empowerment I feel when I am able to create art, art that frees my soul to fly like our winged friends but more importantly fly in a metaphoric fashion to free myself of stress and the world of nonsense that I sometimes find myself consumed with. Nonsense to me is the world of negativity the world of materialism and consumerism. All I need is a small little book to carry my big uncaged ideas and wishes. 

Enjoy,
Sandra

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Big Idea Festival - Day Eight: LIVE

Day 8: August 22, 2011
Featured Artist: Lisa Day
website/blog: http://www.lisaday.typepad.com/
Challenge word: LIVE

This is my entry for day eight of the Big Idea Festival scrapbook challenge.
Day 8: Live (digital scrapbook page created using Photoshop CS3)

I used a free download pdf sketch available to readers if you visit Lisa Day's blog page. I placed the pdf image on my background layer to use as a template and then started to layout my page. I used photos taken today of my niece Amelia and the clay stamps we created. We used the air drying clay that she received as a gift for her birthday. We now have to wait for 48 hours for the clay to completely dry. Next Monday she will come back to my house so we can move on to the next step of using our stamps to make ATC cards. I cannot wait!

We had so much fun today and I can't image living life any other way then creating art, with an open mind my eyes wide open, full of exploration and discovery, with opportunity to use art for healing and surrounded by love of family and friends.

Enjoy,
Sandra

Monday, August 22, 2011

Big Idea Festival - Day Seven: CHERISH

Day 7: August 21, 2011
Featured Artist: Amy Sorensen
website/blog: http://www.amysorensen.typepad.com/
Challenge word: CHERISH

This is my entry for day seven of the Big Idea Festival scrapbook challenge.
Day 7: Cherish (digital scrapbook page created using Photoshop CS3)
 
Enjoy,
Sandra


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Big Idea Festival - Day Six: NEST

Day 6: August 20, 2011
Featured Artist: Emily Falconbridge
website/blog: http://embers.typepad.com/
Challenge word:NEST

This is my entry for day 6 of the Big Idea Festival - the word for today was NEST.
Day 6: Nest (mixed media from art journal, photography, and edits using Photoshop CS3)

You might notice that this entry is quite different from the other postings in layout design and style. I am still evolving in my personal style of digital scrapbooking. In playing around in the studio this evening I discovered that I enjoy the results of merging (hands-on crafting and digital editing using Photoshop CS3). Its the best of both worlds for me.

Hands-on crafting: here is a photo of the original "real" layout of corrugated cardboard pieces covered with various collage papers sewn together in my art journal.
Mixed media in recycled art journal.



Photo taken at the Farmacy of an artichoke.
Hands-on photography: here is a the original photo I took of an artichoke at the Farmacy I volunteer at. I used Photoshop CS3 to weave new elements to the background of the page, add embellishments and tweak the color tones, light levels and added text to tell the story of what the word "nest" means to me.

Enjoy,
Sandra

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Big Idea Festival - Day Five: ENJOY

Day 5: August 19, 2011
Featured Artist: May Flaum
website/blog: http://mayflaum.com/
Challenge word: ENJOY

Day 5: Enjoy (digital scrapbook page using Photoshop CS3)

Enjoy,
Sandra

Friday, August 19, 2011

Big Idea Festival - Day Four: GIVE

Day 4: August 18, 2011
Featured Artist: Wendy Smedley
website/blog: http://www.wendysmedley.typepad.com/
Challenge word: GIVE

BIF Day 4: Give (digital scrapbook page using Photoshop CS3)
Here is my entry for day four, the prompt word is 'give'. I decided to work around one of my favorite family pictures. It includes my grandmother, mother and niece. Three generations of strong females with creative minds and huge hearts. My grandmother was a self taught seamstress who made all of my mother's clothing growing up in Lima, Peru. My mother as I shared in an earlier post enjoyed drawing pretty girls for me to make into paper dolls when I was a young girl (and as of late has taken to doing folk style painting on recycled yard sale items). My niece as you saw in my first BIF entry for 'share' is a natural artist who not only paints, she does collage and ceramics since age 5 through our local art museum's children's classes. And when possible (she has a very busy enrichment schedule with brownies, YMCA swim team, Girls on the run 5Ks, and the list goes on) I instruct her in my art studio with various arts and crafts projects. We will start doing ceramic arts on Monday (she received a child's size clay turning wheel for her birthday last week). 

I am so thankful for all these ladies and I try to give my time and energy to them always. My grandmother is now deceased (since 2005) but I still visit with her memory everyday when I enjoy my coffee on my sofa next to her picture. It's a cute picture maybe I will share this image in a future post. 


Enjoy,
Sandra

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Journal Fodder Junkies and Deck of Prompts Swap... Michelle LaPoint Rydell

Call me crazy but I'm already thinking about my next art challenges. As I was uploading my most recent art journal page "adventure" on Flickr I discovered the artwork of Michelle LaPoint Rydell. who also shares her artwork in the Art Journal Everyday Group I belong to. Check out this "WOW Artist" mosaic I created with images of her artwork for you to explore. Super fun stuff going on there. So inspiring. I'm now a follower of her blog because I don't want to miss a thing this fab lady has to share. A WOW Artist she is!! To find out  more about the art challenges Michelle participates in check out her blog at http://inspirationeverywhere.blogspot.com/2011/08/journal-fodder-junkies-and-deck-of.html

Snapshots of artwork done by Michelle LaPoint Rydell.

1. FTB Grand Finale Journal Inside Pages, 2. Inspiration Journal Back, 3. Look For Beauty, 4. Four Full-Tilt Boogie Journals

Enjoy,
Sandra

Big Idea Festival - Day Three: LESS

Day 3: August 17, 2011
Featured Artist:Peppermint Granberg
website/blog: http://www.onelittlebirddesigns.com


Challenge word: LESS

My entry for day three, the prompt word is 'less'. I used a page out of my art journal which already contained the word and message for the featured image on this digital scrapbook page.

BIF Day 3: LESS (digital scrapbook page using Photoshop CS3).

Enjoy,
Sandra

Discovery Wednesday - Nature Inspired!

Here is my inspirational mosaic of artist images that inspired me this week to create my journal page titled "adventure". 

1. altered envie journal page 7, side 2, 2. opposites WIP- would like to add opposite colors to the yellow orange- Where do I go from here? I didn't even think of a background..., 3. Another fallen tree, 4. Olive Green Tip In Pages Right


Art Journal page 8x7 inches mixed media titled "adventure".
What I discovered in the process of making my own personal artwork was that I enjoy creating in a monotone color palette infused with a punch of highlight color. I also discovered that while I like the color harmony that was created in my journal page I also enjoy the irony of the opposing messages the images communicate. 


The page is titled "adventure" with a subtitle of "a point at which to pause and think". If you study the top image (a packing tape image transfer of two hunters walking side by side carrying their 'prize') and the beauty of the bottom image of a songbird perched ready to start it's day you will glide over the letter 'Y' that was placed to sound out loud the question of why we hunt.

I have friends who are hunters and come hunting season they will proudly seek their weapons and children to join in their family tradition of hunting for deer and turkeys for the holiday festivities. I'm not trying to say they are wrong (I am a meat eater after all) but I do pause and wonder of all the animals in nature that find their end by the hands of humans and what might of been their destiny if given an opportunity to sing a song. Just something to think about. 


Enjoy,
Sandra


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Big Idea Festival - Day 2: WONDER

Day 2: August 16, 2011
Featured Artist: Tami Morrison
website/blog: http://bcre8uv.typepad.com/
Challenge word: WONDER

BIF Day 2: Wonder (digital scrapbook page using Photoshop CS3)
As you can see I am a day behind with my Big Idea Festival challenge entry - yesterday was a big day with both volunteering at the heART Gallery and the Farmacy... did not finish at the farm until 8:30pm and I was covered in hay so I had to quickly take a shower and then the exhaustion hit in (ever been there). So I hit the bed early and now I'm trying to get caught up. I'm soon off to the art gallery again but I will be posting my Day 3 challenge later this evening and of course my Wendesday Challenge mosaic images.

So see you later this evening for more art sharing and joy;-)

Enjoy,
Sandra

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Big Idea Festival - Day 1: SHARE

So today I started my new online art challenge facilitated by Big Picture Classes: Big Idea Festival (its free and you can still join it runs for 12 days).  Each day a new artist provides a challenge word of the day and followers are to create a scrapbooking page (real or digital) and/or art project using the challenge word.

To my surprise when I went to post my image to the BIF gallery I discovered that BPC provides an opportunity for you to win cool prizes for entering your artwork to the gallery folder. Winners will not be announced until August 28th so you could still join in the fun!


Day 1: August 15, 2011
Featured Artist: Amy Tan
website/blog: http://amytangerine.blogspot.com/
Challenge word: SHARE

Day 1: SHARE (digital scrapbooking page using Photoshop CS3)
As always I welcome your comments and feedback.

Enjoy,
Sandra

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Giveaway! Art By Manon


http://manonpopjes-manonpopjes.blogspot.com/

Here is just one of the three little prints Manon is giving away in September, check out her blog to view the other two prints and directions for how to win one! Thanks to Diane for posting about the giveaway on her blog. You must also stop by Diane's blog to view her "Recycling My Roosters" artwork. Super amazing work!

This is what I love about blogging - so much to see, learn, and share...you have until Sept 11 to enter this giveaway so pass it on and bring a smile to someone you love. Thanks ladies for being such inspirations to me and happy art making. 

My entries for ATC Creative Swaps - August Theme "I AM"

For my second art challenge I registered for the Creative Swaps ATC - August theme "I AM". This is my first ATC swap and I am so excited!! I think I am finished with my entries (see image below). I figure I'll let it sit on my art table until Friday and if it calls to be altered or edited I will do so if not it will be mailed out as is so I can make the Sept. 3rd deadline.

 Mixed-media ATCs for Creative Swaps (August - "I AM") 2.5 x 3.5 inches.
The August theme is "I AM". I started off exploring what I had to use in my stash and scraps bags/boxes where I found the cute chipboard letters, and text. For my background I used old library index cards (purchased at the Lancaster Creative Reuse) cut down to size, stamped different winged animal images (humming bird, owl, and butterfly) using archival black ink, then just started playing with my ink pads and finished off by adding pink chalked heart rubber stamps all over.

Exploring design ideas for my ATC cards for the August swap.

I allowed the ATCs to sit like that for a couple of days before I added the chipboard letters and corresponding small text underneath. I then added the "I AM" on the top using rub-on letters, allowed them to sit again for  some days and then tonight I found some small images that helped me finish off the ATCs.


Each ATC color scheme was inspired by the small color image above it.

The small images above each ATC were there to help me with the color scheme and harmony so I had some direction. You can see what type of color mood I was aiming for within each ATC. What do you think - did I match the ATC to the small inspiration image? I finished off by adding the words "be yourself" on top of the "I AM" as a subtitle to the main theme. It fit for me since that's what I aim for - to be myself; whatever that happens to be;-) 

I think they are finished but like I said I'll keep them on my work table and wait until Friday to mail them out for the swap - just in case I find something that MUST be ADDED to each ATC before mailing... although I like how they are I don't want to overload them with too much stuff. What do you think?

Enjoy,
Sandra

FYI: Starting tomorrow, August 15th, I will be starting a new art challenge - the Big Idea Festival (check it out) at Big Picture Classes website. It's FREE and self paced ;-) Of course I'll share and post my progress along the way. Let me know if you sign up and I'll follow your progress too;-) Can't wait!


PS
I can finally post the ATC card I made especially for Lenna. Thanks Lenna for your personal emails and comments on my blog site.

"I am on a journey"
ATC 2.5 x 3.5 inches mixed media





Thursday, August 11, 2011

Discovery Wednesday - Watercolor & Typography


Click on links below to see artist work on Flickr. Marica Beckett is #2. Five



Another new discovery this week is the use of Mosaic Maker to create the image you see above. I was first introduced to this tool by Marcia Beckett (a Flickr friend) from her blog http://marciabeckett.blogspot.com/2011/08/mosaic-monday.html Marica was kind enough to add me to her Mosaic Monday group - I am #10 WORRYless. This is such a cool tool - I hope you enjoy using it as much as I am! And of course please visit Marcia's blog page and let her know I sent you. She is a K-6 art teacher and her work is amazing and inspiring with vibrant colors and fun handwritten text!! Way to go Marcia and thanks for sharing this tool.

Inspired by Marica I plan to make Discovery Wednesdays a weekly repeating feature of my blog where I will showcase Flickr artists who have inspired me that week to explore my personal art making process and style. I will provide links to their Flickr photostream and/or blog websites so you may also enjoy in the discovery of these incredible artists.

Enjoy,
Sandra

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Taking mixed-media to a new level.

If you've been following my blog since the first day (thanks for your interest) you will recognize these two images as the cover and pages 1-2 from my Teesha Moore inspired art journal.  You will notice some changes since their first initial posting - I have finally taken the big step to add text to the images. Originally I wanted to add handwritten text to the pages but since I'm not yet comfortable with my skills I decided to try something different (adding digital text using Photoshop CS3).
Cover Page - "Process of Becoming" mixed-media art journal.
Pages 1 and 2 of "Process of Becoming" mixed-media art journal.

 I have to admit that I am LOVING the digital text! I'm a computer nerd as it goes so it was a no brainer when I started to play in Photoshop CS3 that I was going to be hooked ;-) Yet another journey in the development of my personal style for creating art.

Enjoy,
Sandra

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

stars in the air

I found myself with an unexpected burst of energy this evening to revisit a drawing in my moleskin journal done over a year ago. That's how it goes with me sometimes - I will draw some interesting images but for whatever reason I will not work on them for long periods of time. I think partly it's the fear of "messing up" the drawing with paint. But after exploring video after video of how to paint lovely ladies on YouTube I finally find myself more comfortable to take the next step with these drawings. This art project is still a work in progress but I am happy with where I am with it. I have numbered the images so you can follow along with the process.
Stars In The Air - Mixed media in moleskin journal.
Enjoy,
Sandra

Monday, August 8, 2011

Change is good.

So I finally finished the mixed media on wood art project I started back on day 21 of my 30 DAYS challenge.

Change - Mixed-Media on wood panel 8 x 8 inches.

This was a lot of fun adding paint with my fingers, practicing my handwriting skills, and just exploring all the different techniques I've acquired through the years. The butterfly is a cut-out I made using a template to which I added some personal journaling. I used my $1 mini stamp set to add the word "change" along with some decorative stickers from the AMERICAN CRAFTS remarks accent set (black).   
Up close details of my personal journaling and stamped word "change".

You can also see the detail of the circle pattern I transferred onto the wood using Golden soft gel medium matte. I printed the pattern using my Kodak ink jet printer on cheap copy paper. I then tore the sheet by hand to create a soft organic feel before adhering it to the pre-painted background. When doing this transfer technique it is very important to apply gel medium on both the image and the canvas you are transferring on to. I also then apply gel medium on top of the image and allow for it to fully dry before I use my fingers (wet) to rub off the paper pulp to reveal the transferred image.

Circle pattern transferred onto wood canvas using gel medium.

I love how the background colors pop as they peek through the transfer image.
I had to experiment with different gel pens when adding my personal journaling. My Sakura gel pen (black) worked best; although I did have some problems writing on top of dried acrylic craft paint. The paint was too thick and it became super elastic in texture and the pen tore through the layer to reveal the white gesso background.

Art In The Mail! For those of you who follow my blog and emailed me your home address you will be receiving a letter that looks like these in the next couple of days depending where you live. Thanks again for your support and I hope you enjoy the gift ;-)

Thank you cards mailed out to friends enclosed with a magnet of my personal artwork.
Enjoy,
Sandra

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cool, Rainy Days!

Hi all! Just a friendly reminder that tomorrow I will be mailing out the magnet requests I received thus far (a gift for my "30 Days" blogger friends - read the end of my post from Aug 1st for details after the PS) . Or just click on the link provided.

Below are two images I recently added to my flickr account. I hope you enjoy them; they have a fall/winter theme reflecting the months in which they were made.
Art Sentiment Card (mixed media)
"Quiet" ATC (mixed media)


In other news... I've been very busy on the farmacy and at the heART Gallery this week but enjoying every minute of if! Below is a picture of the 100 + watermelons we harvested on Tuesday at the farmacy. Yesterday I did a lot of weeding around the squash (very muddy business working in and around the rain; but so inviting after the heat wave from weeks past).


Watermelons from the Farmacy - harvest on August 2, 2011.

This is an info card I made using Photoshop CS3 of the completed painted glass vase a heART artist created this week. I'm now volunteering twice a week this allows me to get more familiar with the heART artists (adult artists who have developmental and intellectual disabilities)  so I can better assist them with their studio needs during their class time. Lynn the full time art teacher has been a blessing to me. Her patience and mentoring during my first weeks as a volunteer has provided me a new zest for creativity that I have begun to put into my volunteer work and personal artwork. Lynn echoes what a lot of my online art mentors have shared with me "relax, play, and allow art to be healing".


As always I welcome your comments ;-)

Enjoy,
Sandra



Monday, August 1, 2011

ART SAVES!

This post is being sent out to all my blogger friends. It first started as a reply to Maggie's comments from my Day 30 post but as I began to type my reply I thought it was appropriate to send it as a post so everyone can read what an impact this online art community has had on my life. For it was not just one person that made this new blog experience such a joy to me but my whole interactive blog community. Thanks ladies, God Bless!!



"ART SAVES" collage mixed-media with chipboard letters and embellishments

Here is a image of a collage mixed-media piece I created over three years ago when I first began to actively create art for healing. Please feel free to right click and download this image to save or print for your personal use. I made magnets out of the image and gave them to the women in my life who mean so much to me like my mom, sister, close friends and I also donated a print to one of my close friend's women's church retreat silent auction.

I cannot say this enough - ART SAVES! Thanks to Jenny Doh for starting CRESCENDOh and Suzi Blu for first bringing it to my attention (Suzi's videos launched my spirit to start my alchemist process back in 2007 and I've only become brave enough since 2010 to begin to share openly with the public - its scary to know people are judging you but then again the healing that sharing your art can bring to others out weighs the personal fear I have). Jenny says it best here:

"We at CRESCENDOh believe that art is all of that and more. Art is what comes out of each of us, as we use our diverse spectrum of talent to elevate and beautify our lives. Art can be a quilt ... a collage ... a rubber stamped card ... a poem ... a musical performance ... a well-loved garden ... a delicious meal ... a warm conversation. Art is what gets us through the moment, the hour, the day, the years, the lifetime. Yes indeed, ART SAVES."

Now this is the original start of the reply I was typing to Maggie which I have copied and pasted here:

You have been such an uplift throughout this blog process and believe me it has not been easy (especially when real life concerns outside of art making kicked in during the month of July; pushing my posts into late hours of the night). That's when art making became a saving grace to me along with working on the farm to release my stress and anxiety. Maggie {blog friends}, you have made me smile with every comment you have shared. I believe that God puts the right people in your path at the right times to uplift your spirit and remind you of all the goodness in this world.

Although I LOVE my family and close friends I felt I was missing a connection with my creative spirit and finding this art community and blogging has been a saving grace for me during my job layoff. It brings me great comfort and peace along with BIG SMILES when I can share my love for anything and all things art related with others who also get a jump start from mixing paints with their fingers, squealing when they learn about a new YouTube video on how to make recycled journals and just want to make markings on any surface to see what develops (and not think it was time to call the head doctor) LOL.

This message goes to everyone who has left comments on my blog or become a follower. Although the 30 Days challenge is over my blog is not at all ending and although we might all find new art challenges to participate in our futures, my hope is that we continue to revisit each other and share in our new art discoveries and how they are transforming our lives.

I call my blog ALCHEMY - Art Memories just for that reason. I am a believer that life is to be lived honoring the changes in ourselves, our environments, and our society. Along with living my life with a CURIOUS GIRL mentality I also work very hard to put into practice my self defined definition of living an alchemist lifestyle through the process of 1.discovering 2. exploring, and 3. enjoying. Art Memories is just one chapter in this on going process and I look forward to sharing with you my journey along the way.

Thanks again for all your caring and support and remember this change in art challenges is not an ending but a new beginning - let's continue to share for we are all interconnected in this thing we call life ;-)

Enjoy,
Sandra
PS
I would like to mail a gift (a magnet of an image of your choice from any of the images I have shared in the 30 Days challenge including today's ART SAVES post) to all the people who have left comments on my 30 Days challenge posts - you can look back on the comments posted to remind you if you are one of them and also to my 9 followers.  If you would like to receive this gift please email me at: sgranthon88@yahoo.com with your address details. This is my thank you to you for helping to shape my future as an artist.

Adaptive - Day 30

For my last blog post for the 30 Days of Get Your Art On challenge I am sharing a journal page spread I did in my mini watercolor art journal. Thanks to everyone who has shown an interest in me and my artwork. I have enjoyed this process and look forward to continued conversations with you all. I will be starting a new challenge as of August 1st as a registered member of Creative Swaps ATC see details here http://creativeswaps.blogspot.com/2011/07/new-creative-swap-august-atcs-i-am.html.



Enjoy,
Sandra

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