Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mr. Whimsy

I love owls and have had the pleasure of seeing a few of them in my backyard. Ever since my Grandma passed away (about 9 months ago), there has been an owl that frequently hoots and flys by me when I am outside. My son, Carson and I decided it's probably Grammy watching over us. And that makes us happy!  Owls are very popular right now in all different shapes, sizes, colors, mediums...AND, because of Grammy, I wanted one in my house, too!

Inspiration: These Pier One prints...

I liked the colors & idea, but didn't like it in person. It's a print on gallery wrapped canvas, but it looks just like that...a print. The cost was $40, I think. My way of thinking...I can go buy a canvas on sale and make my own painting! So...I DID!

Making it "More Personal/ Unique": 
Like I said above, the colors and image were the appeal for me. I had a specific wall that I wanted to hang a painting, so I decided to choose colors that would be complementary with my room.  The "canvas" I chose is actually a 16 x 20 hard wood with a canvas front, so I can draw on it (you'll see)! AND, it was on clearance for $14!

The Process:

I begin by taping off my background design by tearing strips of painters tape & making my favorite harlequin pattern. 

Then, I sketch in my owl design.

I start to paint on my base colors...

Then, peel off the tape. Right now, it looks pretty flat and boring. No depth and pretty simple. So far, I have spent about a total of 4 hours on this.

Next, comes the FUN PART: Drawing the designs!

Owls have sooo much pattern and detail in their feathers , and even though this one is more cartoonish/ graphic/ abstract, I wanted him to have a complex amount of detail. Sharpies are the best!!! I have about 3 different sizes of tips, so they work great and sooo much easier than using those graphic pens that I used in college that you have to fill & clean & unclog...you get what I'm saying.  This part of the process took about 3 more hours.

I wanted to give the background design a little more depth, so I mixed complementary colors (lilac for the yellow and red for the green) with a blending gel so that I could smudge on the color with a sponge and wipe off what I didn't want on it.

I filled in the rest of my designs.

Then, I painted the sides black, making sure to dry brush some black paint along all of the edges on the front. The last 2 steps maybe took 2 hours.

I signed & dated it, sprayed it with a couple of coats of matte polyurethane and...

"Mr. Whimsy"

And, in my room...

And, another close-up! :)

Materials: 16x20 canvas covered board & paints & misc. materials = $24
Time Spent: 9 hours total (spaced out over a week's time) @ $10/hr. = $90
Asking Price for a Custom Piece (if I were to sell it): $114

To read more about my "beliefs" on artwork and pricing, click on this link Anything Artsy  at the top of my "pieces of me" blog!


Friday, November 23, 2012

My "Funky Finds"!

I have to preface this project by saying that the hardest part of this was done 3 years ago...and, No I didn't take any before pictures. I am getting better at that, though! ;)

This particular piece, I bought at a rummage sale with another table for a total of $50! It was a yellow color with a formica top. I pried the formica top off to find some sort of stainable wood underneath...Yay! I removed the brass pulls (which have aged and look pretty cool), pried off some wood appliques (which is what prompted this next step) and sanded everything down to accept paint and stain. I decided on a rose mahogany stain for the top and a satin black paint for the rest.

I think it turned out pretty well! The only thing that has "bugged me" about it (for the last 3 years and because I have a little OCD) is that when I removed the wood appliques, they left an impression in the front of the middle drawer and no sanding could fix it.

Can you see it???

Here was my plan: I have always liked the harlequin pattern and you will see that I use an aged cream and black  color scheme in a lot of my pieces. I like it's simplicity and classic look...pretty much, goes with anything!

Step 1: Drawing the pattern

Basically, I just used my math skills and a ruler to divide the drawer in half and create even diamonds. When doing this, you might find that you have to adjust your sizes a little bit to make it all even. For example: I wanted to make sure that my hardware was centered in a diamond and that I also had a diamond centered in the drawer, as well. I just made some minor adjustments and no one would be able to tell that each diamond isn't exactly the same size.

Step 2: Adding a Crackle Medium

If you are not comfortable with your freehand skills, then you could tape this off with painters tape.  I applied the crackle medium (generously, but not so much that it would drip) to each diamond. I did this in steps because you only want the crackle to get tacky and to not dry completely before you brush on the top coat of paint. If the crackle medium dries, it won't crackle your paint.

Step 3: Add the Base paint

I used a Buttermilk color and just brushed it on in all different directions...look at those crackles!!! One thing to remember is once you brush on a color over crackle, don't go over that stroke again otherwise, it won't crackle...it will just look cloudy. 

Step 4 & 5: Age and Seal

For the aging, I mixed a Gel Blending Medium with a Rich Espresso metallic paint. I used a sponge and just wiped it in areas that I wanted it. The gel helps the paint stay more translucent and spreadable. I then took a little piece of sandpaper and "roughed up" a couple of areas. Once that was dry, I sprayed a thin layer of a matte polyurethane to seal it. Put the hardware back on and...


Here are some bedside tables that I did last summer that are also in my bedroom. I bought these from a girlfriend's garage sale for $7 total! AND...I did take before and after pictures! :)



Sunday, November 18, 2012

Deck the Halls with...Red and Green! Falalala...lalalala

I know, I know...Thanksgiving hasn't happened yet and I'm already posting Christmas things! It has always been one of my biggest pet peeves when people decorate or celebrate one holiday before another one has happened, AND don't even get me started about "those people" who leave Christmas lights on AFTER New Years! Ha!

At any rate, like most busy people, I am trying to get a head start on my decorating & shopping so that I can actually enjoy the holidays! It is what it is, right?!?!

Good luck with your holidays! Here are some of my handmade picks! :)

Ever Blooming Originals has a great selection of wreaths and door swags for the holidays. I like them because they are not your typical pine wreath.

For some reason, I am a huge fan of fun pillows...I just love them and have them all over my house. 
So sorry that you have to throw them on the floor to sit on my furniture! Ha! 
Thought these were cute, festive choices for the holidays!

Just look at these cute little babies from The Pink Shrimp! So adorable...looks like they NEED a tree to call home! :)

How about a sturdy handmade stoneware coffee or hot cocoa mug from Warrenfeltz Pottery?
The colors are so rich and once again...No one else will have this one of a kind item, or buy the set!!!

Handmade in Chico makes these cute little scrabble tile pendants that are sooo fun. 
Maybe a great teacher gift?!?!

I don't even know what these are from Skye Art, but I thought...How adorable! I believe they are little pottery pieces that would look great just about anywhere...on your table, the mantel...

This is a different idea for a wall hanging from Aqua Xpressions that brings that red and green in or out...maybe hang some lights on it too!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sunny Yellow!

With the onset of winter, fast approaching, I thought I would revisit my "sunshiney" blog that I posted back in March to remind me of Spring & Summer...just makes me, well...SMILE! :)


It's true....I love the sun, sooo much!!! It just makes me feel...well, HAPPY! It doesn't hurt that it's mid March in Indiana and this is our second, I repeat SECOND week of record breaking temps! The flowers have bloomed, the grass is growing...I could go on and on! Let me hear a Wooo Hooo! 

I don't know about you, but I become a SUN ZOMBIE...that is my definition of someone who can't function (ie. do the things they are supposed to be doing) when it is a beautiful day out. I admit, all I want to do is be outside, soaking in those glorious rays of sunshine! I feel so guilty and then I kinda don't care...I'm living in the moment! I met a girlfriend for breakfast, lounged on my deck and looked through some magazines, visited with neighbors, and picked our son up from school in our...YELLOW JEEP with the tops off! We will probably top the day off with dinner on the grill and a trip to our local Dairy Queen! Hey, I do live in Indiana...we could have a blizzard next week!

So, with that being said, I have added a few "rays of sunshine" for you to check out (especially, if you are living in a place that's not so sunny right now). 

Just "click" on the descriptions!

*Yep, I have this!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Butterfly

I am sometimes asked by friends if I would paint a picture of another piece of art, be it a print, a painting, or an image that appeals to them. The answer is "Yes" and "No"... Let me explain....

I can easily reproduce another piece of artwork, but I won't. Silly as it may seem to most (and in most cases the original artist would never, ever know that there is a reproduction of their piece), it's a matter of principle. I do custom work, but it is original & in my style. I don't like to reproduce other artists works because if you are getting a painting by me, it should be a representation of my talents not someone else's. I see artwork that inspires me on a daily basis, too and "I get it!"
What I like to do is direct my friends towards having a unique piece that is an original by me, using the piece/ image that they love as inspiration!  Some say "Ok!", some take a pass...and that's Ok, too! I do all of my custom work with this option: If you don't like it, you don't have to buy it! I never make anything that I don't absolutely love. If you are not happy, then I am not happy & you shouldn't have to buy it!  I will list it on my website to sell (or hang in my own home)...no worries!

So, with that being said...Here is the process of one such instance. One of my sweet friends' liked an image and wanted it put on canvas! :)  She was up for MY interpretation!!! Sooo fun...I LOVE THIS!

Inspiration: a clothing tag (see below)

Making it "More Personal/ Unique": 
Colors and image are the appeal for my friend. She is not opposed to me rearranging the composition. She is not interested in adding any sayings or other images. She would be happy with a square canvas. Yay...the "wheels are spinning" in my head!

The Process:
I am a big fan of texture. I begin this process, by taping off my background design, then by "scraping" on thick paint. Once it is semi-dry, I peel off the tape. The paint color doesn't matter because I am going to gesso (paint primer) over that anyway.

Then, I sketch out MY butterfly design (notice that I drew one flying at an angle and chose to enlarge it and place it so that it's edges go off of the canvas).

I cut the butterfly out and tape the negative space to the canvas. I am going to build up the texture of the butterfly with a spackling compound (see below).

I wait for it to dry, then gesso the whole canvas so that it is ready to take some paint! So far, time invested is about 2 1/2 hours.

Next up is adding the base colors, then waiting for it to dry to add layers of color over the top (see below). Once again, the hubby comes in to see the painting in progress with the look like "that is so ugly"! I don't have to explain to him anymore...He knows, it's NOT finished! Ha!

 Pearlized paint added next. Wait for it to dry.

 Then, I add the "veins" with black paint in a plastic baggie & the tip snipped off. It comes out pretty thick and fast, so I have to be steady and quick.

 Notice the dental floss. I pull the floss through the wet black paint in all different directions until I get the effect I am going for. After that, I proceed to add more shimmering black paint to the negative space (space around the butterfly). Overall, another 3 1/2 hours spent on the above steps. Let all of this dry, sign and date it, then put 3 coats of spray polyurethane (so as not to smear the paint colors) to protect it.

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.
~Irish Blessing

Materials: 12x12 gallery wrapped canvas & paints & misc. materials = $20
Time Spent: 6 hours total (spaced out over a week's time for drying, etc.) @ $10/hr. = $60
Asking Price for a Custom Piece: $80 

To read more about my "beliefs" on artwork and pricing, click on my page (or this link) Anything Artsy  at the top of my blog!