Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Giveaways you won't want to miss!

These are two exceptional giveaways that you won't want to miss.

Go visit sweet Rainey from Dublin known as Josie Baggley Co and see her  giveaway that ends April 4th... so hurry hurry! You won't be sorry you visited her blog... she's a fun and spirited/talented artist that you will want to continue following.I love it when she calls me 'Petal'. :o)

Secondly ... but certainly not for less... is Jan Thomason's (from Texas) blog,  The Polka Dot Barn. Despite a very heartbreaking and trying time Jan has decided to make the best of it and offer a giveaway.. a very generous one... to make her happy. Dash over quickly as this one ends tomorrow. Take some time to read on past the giveaway as Jan has an incomparable sense of humor that will leave you in tears.

Good luck to everyone... and enjoy these two ladies blogs.



Saturday, March 27, 2010

What's Your Number?

For no accountable reason I love the number three. I think most of us have a favorite number and I would hazard a guess that many of us don't know why.
I decided to wander around the studio looking for number 3 or arrangements of three and create a montage with the photographs. Here is the final print.
3... 3... glorious 3!

Have a great weekend!



Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A work in progress... well... done now :o)

As I mentioned in my previous post, my daughter took me to see Alice in Wonderland 3-D and I was inspired to do a painting after seeing all the gnarly/beautiful trees in the movie. So here is a step by step progression of that painting.

First I found a shadowbox frame and layered in a background with vintage encyclopedia pages and covered that with a wash of Nickel Azo Gold and a coat of medium.

 Then I stamped the background randomly with some script and Staz-on ink.

Followed by some stamping with gesso and a roller stamp. No, I'm not all that sloppy.. I have a heavy sheet of glass down so I can smear paints all over it and not worry about the table top. :o)

After another coat of medium I laid in a light wash of Pthalo Blue for the illusion of sky and Jenkins Green for the bottom... then another coat of medium.

In order for me to get the proper balance I like to lightly sketch in my tree with charcoal.

Tah dah! Tree!  And I added a bit more wash around the edges with Burnt Umber and Raw Umber and a coat of medium.

Decisions.. decisions.... what color to paint the frame. I decided on black.

Still struggling with the look of the frame I thought perhaps a light suggestion of gold around the edge might be nice so I rubbed on some antique gold.

Hmmm.... too subtle? Let's just lay on a whole lot of gold leaf and see how that looks.

Arghh.... not liking that at all!
I'll save you all the arduous work of sanding it all off and re-painting the black. After that I painted in the Mad Hatter's hat at the base of the tree and a few mushrooms for color. They were both a bit bright so I covered them with a very light wash of Burnt Umber, more medium...... and here is the final piece:

You can't see it in this picture, but I have painted the sash of his hat across the front edge of the frame, and the hat pins are actual pins with beads on them.

I've called it "Impossible Things" and if you've seen the movie then you understand the meaning.

I hope you have enjoyed following me through the process.



Monday, March 22, 2010

Fat Rats

My daughter came for a visit and we have had a great time every minute of her visit. One of the first things we did was to go see Alice in Wonderland 3-D together... or should I say my daughter took me to the movies. I'm so glad she did! My first thought was ... ohhh... what eye candy and inspiration! Second thought... this movie is amazing in all ways! Johnny Depp was the highlight of the movie with all of his subtle quirks... very memorable indeed! I won't go into all the details... I'll just say that this movie was pure magic and if you haven't seen it yet you really should. It inspired a painting for me... will share it soon.

How can you resist this face?  :o)

 On Friday my daughter, Janet and I decided to take a trip up to Red Hook to visit a bead shop and a favorite haunt of ours.... an old barn full of antiques and junk. It was a glorious sunny day and our first taste of spring. It's like someone pushed a button that said "It's Spring now!".

As we approached the storefront for the bead shop we saw a sign that said 'For Rent' and nearly died on the spot thinking that it had closed. Well...... lo' and behold... it was the second to the last day of their closing sale and everything was from 50% to 75% off! OMG... we were so excited! Murphy's Law didn't get us this time! I dropped them off and parked the car .. joined them inside where I could see their eyes bigger than saucers and lots of hyperventilation going on... lol  It really was a beader's paradise... so much inventory.... such beautiful inventory... and oh my the prices! We really did make out like 'Fat Rats' that day! Here is some of our 'haul'.

Higher than kites we left the bead store to have a little picnic and browse the barn for goodies. Unfortunately we didn't do the 'Fat Rat' number there ... it seems their prices have gone sky high and there weren't so many treasures to appeal either. I did however get a little antique doll and some of the old porcelain bird seed feeders.
We spent the remainder of the day full of the bead excitement and laughing until our stomachs hurt so I would have to say it was a perfect day. Oh.. and did I mention the McFlurrys that we treated ourselves to? :oÞ

The rest of the weekend was mostly studio time... me working on my painting and my daughter working diligently on her jewelry pieces.  It's so nice to sit down with your daughter and create together. She's been working on some beautiful new earrings that I think are amazing as well as a new wedding line of necklaces and earrings that sparkle like ice. Her store is Mystikal1981... check it out. :o)
What a great few days with my daughter and best friend.... and it's SPRING!!!

Have a great week...  



Monday, March 15, 2010

Baskerville Designs Totemic Collection

As many of you know, Janet Baskerville and I are best friends... a/k/a ... 'The Biffs'. In fact we call each other 'Biff' most times. Because we spend so much time together working in the studio, doing workshops and treasure hunting, I get to see many of her jewelry pieces in progress. I'm always astounded at her thought process and the talent and ability to make her ideas come to fruition. Every piece she creates is a piece of who she is and she puts her heart into every single creation. When we do shows together it's wonderful to see people's reaction to her work.. their appreciation not only of the beauty but also the workmanship.

On that note I would like to encourage you to go see her latest "Totemic Collection" as part of Baskerville Designs. It's very earthy/tribal and so so Janet in every way. Perhaps you can drop her a note on her blog to say hello and let her know what you think of her latest work.

There aren't many of us that have made a connection both in heart and in art but Janet and I have. We both feel so lucky to have one another to create with.

In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: "It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them."

lol... I was getting too serious!

Ohhh.. and did I mention that I probably have the largest Baskerville Collection??? I want to show you what Janet gave me last week. We are both proponents of giving gifts just because and she gave me this piece... just because. It's called 'Time Be My Friend'.

Thank you Biff!  

Have a great week!



Sunday, March 14, 2010

Denise Aumick's Solo Exhibit - Celebrations at Wallkill River School Gallery

Last night Janet and I went to the Wallkill River School Gallery to attend their Celebrations show which included a solo exhibit by our friend and fellow artist Denise Aumick. Her textile art, abstract paintings, pastel paintings and ATC's were featured and the turnout was great especially considering that it was a night of high winds and torrential rain.

Here is Denise in front of one of my personal favorites, her pastel painting of an old truck. The colors and depth are amazing!

Denise and her oh so proud daughter Heather..

Here are some examples of her textile work...

This particular one is mesmerizing with it's color and depth and of course I am in love with trees so this is also a favorite of mine.

Two more pastel paintings which I'm proud to say were inspired by two of my photographs. Denise did such a beautiful interpretation of them. 
(Please forgive the reflection of the lighting on the glass)

 All of her pieces were for sale and all proceeds go to the Carla Aumick Art Scholarship Fund at the Wallkill River School. The fund enables local teens to enjoy free art classes in the summer.

There were also live demonstrations of painting techniques...

Here is Shawn Del Joyce, one of the founding members of the Wallkill River School standing by two of her paintings...

As if this all weren't enough.... there was a lovely array of wines, cheeses, pastries... and oooohhhhhhh.....  you haven't lived until you've tried some of Denise's Olive Tapenade! (You have to be one of her very dear friends to get the recipe)  ;o)

All in all it was a great reception with Denise receiving well deserved accolades for her beautiful artwork. To see her work you can visit her website www.deniseaumick.com or her blog Wild Thread Studio.



Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Little Poison My Dear???

Okay now I'm wondering how to type a *cackle* to go with that heading.. lol
I've always been fond of tiny things... miniatures of any kind. So in the course of my collecting I have accumulated many tiny little bottles, one of my favorites being a gorgeous cobalt blue bottle that my daughter gave me marked 'Poison'. I have no idea what was originally in the bottle but it sure is intriguing.

Here is a picture of some of my tiny little bottles along with the one marked Poison. Please feel free to use these as inspiration in your work.

Have a great day.... Spring is coming!



Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I couldn't help myself... really I couldn't

Remember that day trip over to Beacon to the art galleries and the antique shops?

Remember that solid oak library card file cabinet that I said if we could have carried it on our backs we would have taken it home?

Remember how I was thinking and thinking about it?

Well......................  yep......... I did it (I'm so weak) (Broke too)

Isn't she beautiful? If you remember back when I took pictures of my studio I mentioned my '72' which is another card file with 72 drawers... this one has 56.... so just like Agent 99 she is my Little Miss '56'. Not quite full yet. I'm trying so hard to be methodical and de-stash while reorganizing. No easy feat for 'The Accumulator'. I could be at this for months! The fun part is discovering things that I'd forgotten I had and getting new inspiration from them.

Just had to share. :o)



Thursday, March 4, 2010

Be Prepared.....

Last week we had an incredible snowstorm with wind gusts of 40mph toppling trees and leaving 100's of thousands of people without power including ourselves. Our road was blocked for 3 days by trees that had fallen across making it impassable.

There was a 90' tree of ours that fell down on power wires and was leaning precariously against my precious Sycamore tree ready to eventually land on our driveway as well as a smaller tree that fell against the side of our house and now lives on my side porch.

And so it goes.... everyone without power and lots of work to do afterward. I tried taking pictures of the storm in progress but the wind was so powerful it made it impossible but I did take some pictures the day afterward that I thought you may like to see.

Look at my beautiful Yellow Cyprus tree ensconced in ice and snow, looking like a prehistoric monster... and if you look to the right you can see the side of my house where the tree that fell is still laying. The next picture is how the tree looks on the porch through the glass doors.

 This last picture is where I tried to walk down our driveway to photograph the 90' tree leaning on the wires but as I approached it and saw how precariously it was balanced against the Sycamore I chickened out. It's hard to see with all the white, but the entire driveway had trees leaning down so heavily that it was a gorgeous tunnel of trees that you had to bend over to get underneath. Of course my husband (fearless?) zipped right through all the trees in his jeep to get out.... no thought of the tree ready to fall.

What I would like to pass on is how you absolutely need to be prepared for situations like this. Over the years I have learned.... sometimes the hard way.... to be completely prepared at all times. I ran lots and lots of water the day before the storm, checked the batteries in the portable radio, made sure we had lots of matches and candles, checked the oil level in all the lanterns and made sure there was plenty of people and dog food along with a manual can opener. I can't tell you how many people were caught without many of these things and I heard that the stores were ransacked for food, candles and water. We did some cooking on our wood stove and other times my husband grilled on the front porch so we were never without the essentials.... food! lol  We even emptied our deep freezer into a cooler, packed it with snow and buried it in a snow bank until the day after our power was restored. Everything stayed nicely frozen.

I must say it's awfully nice to have our power back on and be able to take a nice hot shower or flush the toilet without lugging a bucket of water. I really didn't miss the TV but have to admit that I was hyperventilating without my computer for 5+ days.  It's so nice to be back! :o)

Remember I won the $50 gift certificate to Jeanette Janson's Vintage Supply Company??? When we finally were able to get mail... lo and behold... a box from Jeanette! Here is a picture of all of my goodies. I had so much fun picking everything out.. although it was tough deciding as she has so many great treasures for sale. Thank you so much Jeanette!
I hope you all had a great week and you will think about being prepared for storms and power outages at any time. ...  You'll be glad you did!