Sunday, November 29, 2015

DIY Handbag Design: Wings

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I had some quality art + design time.  
You know what that means (*wink, wink*) I painted something.

I wanted to use my wings sketch on a handbag.
So I broke out one of my Thirty-One purse skirts,
and promptly began altering it.

Because of its length, this grey purse skirt was perfect for the job.
First, I sketched my design on the bag in pencil.
Then I used a black Pentel gel roller for fabric to trace my design.

The fabric has less cotton content than that of a canvas bag.  
That just meant that I occasionally had to clean little fuzz bits 
off the point of my pens. 

I love my Posca fabric pens.  
Originally, I was not planning to use the white marker, 
but my daughter talked me into it.

Time to put the skirt back on the purse!

I enjoyed this project.  One challenge was finding wings that were appropriate for the size requirements.  Through my sketching, I learned that it's very easy to get wings wrong.  
Let me know if you try this project and what you think about it.

Happy art-making!  

Friday, November 27, 2015

Simple Pleasures of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is an American holiday, but its universal themes of family love and togetherness resonate across cultures.  I hope that this weekend, you can take a break from the fast pace of life, and, in the quiet moments, enjoy life's simple pleasures.

Much love,

Monday, November 16, 2015

Inspiring Artists: Focus on Fall

Fall is my favorite time of year.  Crunchy leaves underfoot, tiny acorns hitting the ground, showstopping color displays in fiery hues.  It's nature's last "hoorah" before settling down for a long winter's rest.

Here's just a sample of Fall's beauty from the North Carolina mountains.  My college minister, Cherrie, spread these gorgeous, enormous leaves on her windshield after a recent hike.  (Thanks for letting me borrow the photo, Cherrie!)

Another simple pleasure that I enjoy especially at this time of year is the work of artists who use Fall as their muse.

It's not easy for an artist to capture the explosive color displays and ephemeral beauty of Autumn.  I gathered a small sampling of the work of these creative people here for you to enjoy, too.  So, grab a cup of hot cocoa and take a moment for yourself to enjoy the essence of Fall before the cold winter winds drive it away.

Here is a quick sampling of artists who find their muse in Fall.

J E N N I F E R   C A V A N 

I have followed Jennifer's work for years.  Her specialty is oil pastel, which has an unrivaled hue and luster.  Jennifer lives in one my favorite places in the world:  Angelfire, New Mexico.  

You can see more of her outstanding landscapes on her website or her Facebook page.  

"Sweet Dreams" by Jennifer Cavan


S U S A N   G I L C H R I S T

Can you imagine how much patience you need to draw on paper with a miniature crow quill dip pen and a bottle of ink?  Susan Gilchrist painstakingly paints each little wrinkle of a dying leaf in her recent pen and ink fall leaf pieces.  

Her work captures the essence of the end stages of a life cycle. You can find more of her fascinating images of leaves on her Facebook page.

Susan Gilchrist, pen and ink


E M I L Y    A A R T S E N

I will leave you with a Fall poem by Emily Aartsen ©.

For November


They say it is the month of death,
But I have never seen such beauty in decay.

Remains of Autumn,
Still smoldering,
Cling to the branches,
And the earth is painted a thousand shades of red.

When a heavy fog smothers the ground,
Breathe in and let it fill your lungs.

It is at this time the world seems still
And the fear of winter is forgotten,

If only for a moment,

Before the light fades,
And we return to darkness once more.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Inspiring Artists: 3 artists "discovered"

When I come across artwork that makes my heart sing, I want to share with all of you.

Instagram Discovery:  Erik Davis

In the last few weeks, I have fallen in love with the work of three artists.  Two of them I have recently "met" over social media and (that wondrous creation) the internet.  One of them is an old friend who has teamed up with me to sketch at least monthly at our local Barnes & Nobles Cafe.  (Do you love Starbucks as much as I do?  I think our friends and families are starting to wonder if it was really necessary that we meet at the Cafe to sketch. *wink wink*) 

I follow a LOT of talented artists on Instagram, and one of those is Erik Davis.  You can follow his insta account also at @sketchererik.  Recently, I bought (for a great price) his new holiday cards.

If this poignant watercolor painting doesn't get you in the mood for the holidays, then I don't know what will!  Contact Erik through his website to order your cards, too.

(Side note:  If you like beautiful artwork and/or photography, Instagram will be your new best friend.  Artists actually interact there, and end up forming a supportive community.)

Blogger Discovery:  Cassie Stephens

I have been beefing up the number of artist's blogs that I follow.  That's how I found a fantabulous blog by Cassie Stephens.  She is an elementary art teacher in Nashville, Tennessee, and she makes the cutest artsy dresses you will ever see.  Click on the photo below to see her blog post about the art dresses she wears to school.

Some kids don't have art teachers in their school.  And some fortunate artists-in-training have Cassie Stephens. Cassie's humor and excellent teaching skills come through in her writing.  You will LOVE her blog, and you can follow her on Instagram, too.

Real Life Discovery:  Lou Ann Peters

I've known Lou Ann for years, but you know how life has a way of taking over and then, one day, you wake up and reconnect with a friend?  Lou Ann and I reconnected over Facebook, even though we live in the same city.  We hatched an awesome plan to get together and sketch on a regular basis (read:  draw a bit while dishing about art shows, events, and other gossip) while drinking some glorious coffee.  

Lou Ann is an outstanding painter of realism.  Lately, she has been churning out small works with a door theme, like this 5" x 7" painting below.  You can see more of her work on her Facebook page.

Please check out these artists to learn more about their work and to put a dash of inspiration into your day.


Sunday, November 01, 2015

Spooky fonts, y'all!

Last night after Trick or Treating, our family watched The Invisible Man, H.G. Wells' film from 1933.  I often sketch while we watch movies, and this one got me in the mood for spooky typography.

Along the way, I noticed that Alex had found my sketchbook again, and added his own scary ghost (below).  

Alex's ghost has black gloves.

Even Clarice has decided to hijack my sketchbook by surreptitiously adding her own message.  "Yasssss, Work it! Sassy YOLO," all comes from her. (*sigh*)

I hope your Halloween was spookalicious, entertaining, and full of artsy inspiration.