The Marie canvas of which I posted a sneak peek here, left Indiana for sunny California and recipient Kathy Jacobson a few days ago, so hopefully it is safe to post the finished piece now. This was my canvas in Maria Rodarte's "Marie Bits & Baubles Swap." The idea was to use an 8.5" x 11" canvas and create 12 different sections, although it was completely open to interpretation. I used a bit larger canvas and there are 12 sections, although irregular in size.
There's a pocket wherein I stuck a Marie-inspired tag, an artist trading card and some Marie ephemera. I also love the old glass bottle in the lower right corner. I wired it on to make it a vase. The turquoise pin is a brooch I bought a few years ago and seldom wore. There's vintage millinery from an old hat I took apart (the turquoise velvet leaves and buds), a ceramic bird, lace, ribbons and lots of great stuff. It was fun to make!
But that was last weekend's work. This weekend started on Friday when I got some great beads half price at my LBS: Bead Source in Fort Wayne, IN., which has been in business well over 10 years. I went for pink and that's what I got. In fact I had this bracelet in my head, and spent several hours last night making the various dangles, then cutting and wire wrapping them, and then attaching them with jump rings to the bracelet. There are more than 25 different stacked dangles with glass and resin beads, vintage buttons, sterling and other metal bits, crochet beads amd ceramic beads from Earthenwood Studio. I can't decide if I will sell it or keep it, but if I sell, you can always find it in my Etsy shop!
I also stopped by my LSS: Stamping Day and Night in Fort Wayne, to pick up the latest Catch Up magazine from Stamper's Sampler and while I was there sweet Sarah showed me a new old technique which uses alcohol inks and blending solution on glossy paper to make some cool backgrounds. I couldn't wait to try that either, so sometime after midnight I let my tired jewelry-making eyes play around with that. I'll cut these examples up for backgrounds for greeting cards or artist trading cards (ATCs).
At the bookstore I got two exciting books, Journal Bliss by Violette and Painting with Watercolor, Pen and Ink by Claudia Nice. The journaling book is just a RIOT of color, and I couldn't wait to start doodling, so in the wee hours, when I had finally settled into bed- sort of- I started doodling faces in my sketchbook. Can't wait to play with that later today!
Meanwhile, after getting to sleep at 4 a.m., I somehow sprung up at 8:30 (yes, a.m.) to go buy flowers and plants. Although we had sleet, snow and hail in northern Indiana just Tuesday, we have now had two (count 'em, two) days in a row of sunshine and 80F degrees. There's definitely an Indiana (and maybe even a redneck) joke in there somewhere about planting too soon, but I just couldn't stand it another minute. Everything was looking so bare, plain, ugly, drab, blah, you get the picture.
So I loaded my little car at Wal-Mart, Lowe's and the local greenhouse and came home with a huge fern, a couple of hanging plants, filler plants, geraniums, pansies, and dirt as well as a dozen solar lights for the landscaping after running into an acquaintance who said the $2.99 lights work like they cost a million bucks. At dark, we'll see. If they do work, I have a feeling I'll be making a return trip. With a graduation open house looming, 'sprucing up' takes on a meaning of astronomical proportions. And since it is only April 25, this won't be the first year I'll probably be dragging plants in and out of the garage each day, to protect them at night.
One of my purchases was a real pineapple plant, with the cutest pineapple ever growing on it! Photos next post-if it doesn't snow. Ack. I feel the gardening muscles coming back to life after half a year and starting to ache already.
So about Art. No, not Art the college algebra instructor who was barely two years older than my flirty 18 and who at 6'5" was extremely more interesting than 'x' and 'y' unless you were talking chromosomes 'back in the day' at Ball State U.
No, not local car collector Art Gakstatter and his wife Cookie, to whom I sold Longaberger baskets for a time. I just got a kick out of saying their names. Of course, my children use 'gak' as a verb to alert me to partially-digested cat deposits about the house.
And no, not Art M., one of my all-time favorite customers from work: the kind of person who makes doing business a pleasure, who enjoys a good chat about families or business, and who shows you he gets that having a life and having a job are two different things.
So about my art: I was thinking while I was doodling random heads that my faces weren't half bad. No, not Picasso good. Not even like-my-famous-art-friends good. Just good 'for me.' See, I never thought I could draw. In fact, I don't think I could when I was a kid. My drawings from imagination were nothing special, no perceptive perspective, no amazing use of colors. But, by junior high school, I must have shown either some kind of talent or perhaps just amazing organizational skills (OCD, anyone? Yes, just a little), or maybe just enthusiasm, because a couple different art teachers took me under their wing, not necessarily for drawing, but for creating stuff.
Suddenly, I could do 'it.' And the more I believed I could do it, the better my 'stuff' seemed to look, at least to me. I remember being asked by the librarian to make bulletin boards when I was in seventh grade, and it got me out of some other class. I remember making an album cover in eighth grade that was a highlight because I learned to score paper. Big deal, right? By ninth grade, drawing all those biology cross sections was a breeze, and I still remember with pride my frog done in pencil that the teacher gushed on about.
So, my question is: could I do it just because I believed I could do it? Or did I/do I have some artistic talent that comes from a gene pool that just needed to be let loose? Could I draw those faces last night because I believed I could, fully intended to, before I even got out my pencils and sketch pad? Or was my right or left brain (whichever side isn't still thinking about algebra class) just properly engaged with all the drawing neurons from eye to finger firing?
I don't know. But either way, I like it.