Thanksgiving… Already?!

Thanksgiving… Already?!

My C3 Lab studio art wall featuring a current work in progress: The Grid” – hanging on the lower right corner

Here’s a statement that puts panic into my heart:
Thanksgiving is next week.
You know what that means, right?
It means Christmas is barrelling down at us.
And I’m NOT ready!

How did I lose October?
And the beginning of November to boot?
One moment, I was chugging along to meet September deadlines.
Then I took a short hiatus to visit my family.
Made a few Halloween arts and crafts.
And then… what?
I zoned out an entire month?

That can’t be right.
I’ve really been working on all sorts of things.

“The Grid” for one.
A series of small mixed media pieces on 6-inch by 6-inch cradled artist board.
My ultimate goal is to create & hang 99 pieces.
I completed 45.
Overcame my fear of power drill and actually hung up 36 of the pieces.
So that’s something, right?

Got a top-secret project in the pipeline.
Can’t tell you about it now,
but it’s another time consuming obsessive-compulsive type thing.
Exactly the stuff I like.

Made a crazy wig for myself out of all the skeins of black yarn folk keep giving me.
Attached a hand sewn felt crow to the top of it.
Wore it proudly for Halloween.

Crocheted a half dozen pumpkins.
And am currently preparing madly for this year’s upcoming
Small Business Saturday at C3-Lab.

So you see?
I didn’t exactly “lose” October.
I think all the creative days just sort of fused together into one big making bonanza.

But it’s still a shocker to realize that…
Next week IS Thanksgiving.
So  let me wish you a very happy turkey day.
Eat lots.
Take a nap.
And thanks for checking in with me.

In Series

In Series

I’ve been blogging only sporadically.
Part of the reason is because of Instagram.
(Sure, let’s blame social media)
I snap a pic when the mood strikes.
Write a one-liner.
Hashtag it.
Hit post.
Near instant gratification.
Easier and faster than blogging.
With the upside of potential “likes” from friends & followers.

My other reason for being an infrequent blogger?
Because I can either make art OR talk about making art.
I’m just not skilled enough to do both.
Add to that a new method of creative madness.
Working in series.

A few favorites from #the100dayproject

I’ve always liked things in multiples.
For example, I don’t want to buy just one of something.
I want to buy a whole set.
Then I want to take it home and line it up just so.
I figured it was part of my obsessive-compulsive leanings and went with it.

This past spring/summer, I participated in #the100dayproject.
Quite frankly,
It made me a little nutty to crank out a mixed media drawing a day for 100 days straight.
But thanks to those OC tendencies,
I powered through those 100 days.
And in the process learned that my attraction to multiples carried over into my art.
It was a real a-ha moment.

I decided to shift my focus from stand alone pieces to series of smaller works.
So here’s some of what I’ve been chipping away at since.

Poppets 2018 (Ink on collaged 8×10 inch canvas)

The poppets are goofy little Halloween figures that are supposed to be cutely-creepy.
They crack me up.
A bunch of the 2017 poppets sold immediately.
I rather miss them.
So I made a new set for Halloween 2018.

“Round and Round” (mixed media on 5×5 inch canvas)

I’ve spent the last two years focusing on oil painting.
But over time, realized that oil paints don’t exactly play nice with other mediums.
More and more,
I’ve been itching to experiment with mixed media.

“Round and Round” is a 10-piece mixed media series
on 5-inch by 5-inch gallery wrapped canvas.
Though I’m quite pleased with result.
I wanted to upgrade from canvas to cradled artist board.

Round 1 for “The Grid” (mixed media on 6×6 inch cradled artist board)

Here’s Round 1 for my next series, “The Grid.”
I’m very satisfied with the clean look of the 6-inch by 6-inch cradled artist boards.
And I LOVE playing in mixed media.
Round 1 consists of 9 pieces.
I’m planning at least 9 more rounds to form “The Grid.”
Like I said,
It’s a whole new direction in my method of creative madness.
In series.

Cutting, Pasting and Waiting Out the Storm

Cutting, Pasting and Waiting Out the Storm

It’s Hurricane Florence weekend.
I’ve spent the week prepping as much as I could for this.
Grocery shopping.
Hauling the outside stuff in.
Really, for the most part,
just doing the usual stuff that has to get done,
But this week with an edge of nervous energy and tense anticipation.

We watched news of the storm hitting the NC coast and then crawling across the state.
Winds picked up yesterday.
Lights flickered a few times.
Rain hit Charlotte today.
But to our great relief, it appears that the storm is sweeping around us.
The weather will be nasty another few days.
But we are spared the onslaught we feared.
(Though never say never about power outages).

So here I am.
Fridge stocked with food.
Power happily still on.
Family quietly scattered about our house.
One kid drawing.
One kid gaming.
Spouse working out & enjoying some quiet time.
And me in my studio.
Furry baby sprawled sleeping by my feet.

I’ve sorted all my hoarded scraps of paper color.
Tearing some of the paper.
Carefully cutting images from other sheets.
Pondering what’s next.
Waiting out the storm.

100 Days of Learning

100 Days of Learning

93 days ago, I joined #the100dayproject on a whim.
I happened to see a friend’s post about it.
It was our first morning on spring break vacation.
I had a little time on my hands.
So I thought,
“Why not?”

Days 1, 2 and 3 were effortless.
I was on vacation, after all.
I woke up a good hour or two before everyone else in the morning.
I’d grab a cuppa and draw quietly while I waited for our day to start.
Things got a little more challenging after that.
Around day 10, I started struggling over what to draw next.
I actually felt a bit of despair over the thought of all the days of drawing and posting I’d committed to.
I gritted my teeth and drew on.

I felt a big sense of accomplishment on day 40.
Until I remembered that meant 60 more days to go.

Day 50 came and went unnoticed.

Somewhere between days 70 and 80,
a fellow artist commented that 50 days sounded like plenty.
Why not just go 50 days?
Why 100?

I’m sure the folks who came up with the 100 count had their reasons.
And “100” does have a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
I’d learned plenty by day 50.
But personally,
I’m glad I kept slogging on with 100 days as my goal.
Because a few things didn’t start clicking for me til well after day 50.

I discovered:
I like to draw small objects.
I like mixing ink and watercolors.
I LOVE the look of “dirty” watercolors.
Especially when I layer color on color.
I don’t particularly care for colored pencils.
It’s ok to draw from photos.
But the photos are only a reference.
And I can make changes to what I see.
I don’t have to love everyday’s drawing.
I shouldn’t fuss too hard about what to draw.
I just need to draw.
The most important thing from all these days of drawing?
I’ve remembered I love to draw.

Just a few more days to go til I hit that magic 100 day goal.
I’m not going to say I had fun.
But I will say it’s been a good thing.
And call me crazy,
but I’m thinking to do it again next year.

End of First Year

End of First Year

Just one year ago,
I embraced the title “artist.”
It was a bold move for me.

By admitting art was way more than a hobby,
I opened myself up to be vulnerable.
Most friends and family applauded my efforts and tried to take me seriously.
Some did not.
I try not to let that bug me.

By setting up a public studio, website & Instagram account,
I lined myself up with other artists and put myself into the public eye.
Talk about scary.
I was convinced I’d be outed as a “hacker.”
But the art community welcomed me with open hearts.
I am happy to have the chance to share ideas and inspiration.
But even more importantly,
I am thrilled to have made so many new friends and connections.
It was absolutely worth the “scary” to step out and find a place in this community.

It’s only been a year.
So many days it’s just me working alone in my studio.
Mostly making mediocre art.
Sometimes failing spectacularly and churning out downright bad stuff.
Occasionally creating something that really works.

There have been some major highlights as well:
Becoming part of a local textile group.
Reconnecting with my interests in fiber and fiber art.
Rediscovering my childhood love of drawing.
Discovering my drawings actually resonate with others.
Being offered an opportunity for my first solo art show!
Actually selling some of my art…
And not just to my friends!

Looking back,
I realize,
It’s been quite the year.

And now it’s time to head back into my studio.
To dream, experiment, create and then dream some more.
I try to remember that this is for the long haul.
My goal is not to sell or to please others…
(though both selling to and getting a like from others make me pretty happy).
My overarching goal is learn as much as I can and to be the best artist I am capable of being.
But that’s a rather nebulous thing to reach for…
I also have a concrete short term goal:
I’m making art for my house this summer!
I painted the “Blues” pictured here for my bedroom.
We’ve been in our house three years now.
Though there are paintings, drawings and fiber projects displayed all over my studio,
I’ve been hesitant to fill out the rest of the walls in the house.
But now it’s time.
So come back & visit my blog to see what I come up with this summer.

Mixed Media Drawings #11 – #25

Mixed Media Drawings #11 – #25

Still plugging away at #the100dayproject.
One day, one mixed media drawing at a time.

The hardest part is deciding what to draw each day.
One day, some small tchotchke might catch my eye and I’ll draw that.
Another day, I’ll browse online for a photo image to draw from.
Some drawings work out beautifully.
Others fall (splat!) face down and I’m tempted to just start over.
But I post it, like it or not.

Even though I’m trying to keep things simple and quick,
It’s been more time consuming than I thought I would be.
(Story of my life)
It’s worth it though.
Some real interesting stuff is starting to shine through these little everyday drawings.
Planning to redo some of them on a bigger scale soon.
But in the meantime,
Let me show you #11 through #25 of my mixed media drawings.
And then I’m off to work on today’s piece.

11/100 (pen and ink, washi tape)

12/100 (pen and ink, watercolor pencils)

13/100 (pen and ink, watercolors, collage, oil pastel)

14/100 (pen and ink, watercolors)

15/100 (pen and ink, watercolors, washi tape)

16/100 (pen and ink, watercolors)

17/100 (pen and ink, watercolors)

18/100 (pen and ink, watercolors)

19/100 (pen and ink, watercolors)

20/100 (pen and ink, watercolors)

21/100 (pend and ink, watercolors)

22/100 (pen and ink, watercolors)

23/100 (pen and ink, watercolors)

24/100 (pen and ink, watercolor pencils)

25/100 (pen and ink, watercolors)