Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Where oh where is my table??

I am getting ready for a holiday show. Seeing as my year was filled with teaching and stencils, I haven't done a show for a long time. And since it is holiday time, that means I am making some functional products in addition to wall art. As usual I am also attempting to re-invent the wheel.
I mean seriously. You know how easy it would be to paint up some products and be done? But oh-no, I am taking this time to experiment, play with different palettes, discover some new stuff. And on and on and on......these things make me happy though, so no complaints!!
Here is an aerial view of a portion of my table. This is after I cleaned.
No joke.
Yesterday (that was the day I should have stayed in bed cause my head was killing me) I stumbled into the studio with my cup of coffee which I promptly spilled all over my table. Then I spilled my dirty paint water while I was trying to clean up the coffee. Needless to say there were bad words, oy oy oy and I had to cover impressionable little kitty ears.

I am continuing to play with the Annie Sloan Chalk Paints. Love 'em. Here are some initial layers. The crackle was achieved by using Wood Icing's Fissure product which works beautifully with the chalk paint.
I have a lot of new ideas. My head is spinning but you know, I kinda like it that way. And guess what, no headache today, hooray for that!!!
So tell me, blog friends, what is on your table these days?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sale is over now.....stay tuned for another one in the future.

Yeah, yeah, we did this on Black Friday, but it seems just plan ole silly to skip Cyber Monday so......
let's do it again!!
StencilGirl Products is having a Sale. 
Pick a FREE 6x5 stencil with any order. Woo hooooooooo!!!!!!
That means you get to 'break up' the sets and pick one of our little stencils.
For Free.
All you need to do is Click HERE and place your order.
Then email me:
stencilgirlproducts at gmail dot com
to tell me which stencil you want.
That's it!
One per customer please, Monday only.
Designers include Judy Wise, Michelle Ward, Pam Carriker and Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch - with more designers coming soon!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

StencilGirl Products Sale - can you say FREE Stencil!!!!

Yep, you heard it here first (well, maybe not 1st as I did send a Promotion earlier today). 
StencilGirl Products is having a Sale. 
Pick a FREE 6x5 stencil with any order. Woo hooooooooo!!!!!!
CLICK HERE to see details.
Designers include Judy Wise, Michelle Ward, Pam Carriker and Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch - with more designers coming soon!!!

Happy Turkey Day to all of you in the US. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Another kind of painting

Some of you might be wondering what the heck I've been doing. Not making any of my usual art, that is for sure. But I am working on art of another kind, putzing around the house to prepare for Thanksgiving and the onslaught  welcome arrival of 11 extra family members, all staying with us.
And some people might think this would involve cleaning and cooking. But no, for me it tends to involve painting of another kind.....

This is a child-size chair that I picked up on my drive back from new Hampshire (Squam) a couple years ago. Yeah, as if I didn't already have the car packed to the gills, I managed to jam this $5 chair in. I have meant to paint it for years and finally got around to it over the weekend. I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint that I got from the Wood Icing store. I will warn you it is expensive, about $35 for a quart. But worth every stinkin' penny. Seriously. This paint rocks.
First of all, you don't have to do any prep work to the surface you are painting. Huh!?!? But it says so right on the can and that is what I did. My photography is not terribly good, but this color is called Duck Egg and I did a swoon when I saw it. Oh my.
I first painted some Wood Icing Fissure in random places on the chair and allowed that to dry overnight. The next day I painted on coat of the Annie Sloan paint. Wherever I had put the Fissure, it started cracked in a gorgeous way. It dries super fast, this paint does which is perfect when working on furniture. I found that one coat was plenty.
I also used the Clear Wax (another Annie Sloan product). Again, following instructions on the can, I applied a light coat, buffed, then distressed with sandpaper. Just a little bit here and there.
I love how it turned out and wish you could all feel the surface - it is so smooth and silky. Just amazing!!
And here is the finished product, sitting with its companion chair (that is little Remington underneath). So much fun!! I will definitely be doing more with this paint. Fantastic!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Well smack me down with a feather

Just lookie here, my name is on the cover of a magazine. I feel like Steve Martin in that movie where he sees his name in the phonebook for the first time. 
When I got my issue I was literally dancing around the house. It was the night I had cooked dinner for my stepdaughter & her family. I was so wound up about showing them the magazine that John and I drove over to their house without the food. Yes. Without.The.Food. Geez, had to get a pizza.
RicĂ« Freeman-Zachery wrote a great article. She really crawled into my head in the nicest way possible. I think that she gets me, ya know? 
Obviously I knew the Portfolio had been written but I didn't tell my Mom cause I wanted to surprise her by mailing it. Of course it hadn't arrived yet when she saw (I mean what are the odds!?!) the magazine in a bookstore. Needless to say she flipped and instantly bought it while also notifying anyone withing spitting distance that was her daughter. My youngest brother says he feels like he is related to a famous person. Ha, just wait till I start telling stories.....as if.....
Anyway, I am beyondo thrilled to be part of such a lovely issue full of inspiring projects and eye candy. One of my blog acquaintances, Kate Crane is in there. Her name is on the cover too.  I want to meet her some day, hopefully I will get to travel to England to do it, wouldn't that be fun?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Can you say Cruise Time??

This is so darn exciting it is going to be hard to wait till next year. 
It is expected to sell out, so I would suggest you sign up quickly - nothing would thrill me more than to have a bunch of peeps that I know on board, oh how fun would that be!??! So do let me know if you sign up, ok? Just cause I am nosy like that.

and ps.......is it just me or do all of the participants have the same hair cut? Jim says he thought his was different, ha, ha. But seriously it cracked me up. And I have to chuckle when I do that 'head tilt' thing, awe geez....... My hubby says I automatically do it whenever I'm within a mile of a camera.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Lesson re-learned

I have written about this before. The Lesson of getting my brain out of my own way. See here for reference. I will probably write about it again because it is just darn hard. The idea of letting go and allowing the art to be what it wants to be. And not beating myself up so much when my art goes in a direction other than what I originally intended. Oy vay, it can be hard, can't it?

I signed up for a swap, yeah, I know, what the heck was I thinking, but it was a group of really cool women, some whom I knew and others who I wanted to know. I was flattered to be asked so, even though I have like a zillion things on my plate, I said yes. I mean we're all busy, right? They are busy too and they are doing it. Plus it's only 13 months.  Ha, ha, ha.....right.....
The projects are masks and last week was the week to mail our first project. Naturally I had waited until the last possible moment to work on mine.

I had encaustics on the brain, partly because I am taking Judy Wise's class and partly cause I just love the wax. So I got this brilliant idea to paint my mask with encaustic pigment. I've never done a 3 dimensional piece, but lack of knowledge (or experience) typically never stops me. This can be a good trait or an incredibly stupid one depending on your vantage point.

In retrospect, I don't think my encaustic skills were ready for a 3D experience. I have this tendency to over-fuse, which means I allow the wax to get really liquid-like. Imagine how that might work with the curves on this face and you will immediately see where I went wrong. Wax sliding off the cheeks. The forehead, the chin. Over. And over. And over. Because I am nothing if not persistent. I used wasted so much wax. I worked on and off for a couple days. Being stubborn and trying to paint the mask of my dreams. I would get within spitting distance and then manage to mess it up, ugh.

The mailing date came and went. I persisted with more layers of wax. I carved, used oil sticks, painted, tried all the tricks I knew. But remained incredibly frustrated and uptight with my work.  Angry even, I will just admit it since I am trying to be honest here.
Finally I gave it up and stopped. Period. Put her under my table.

Grabbed another substrate and decided to collage. I pawed through my box and found some really cool hand painted tissue paper. I loved the way the paper had turned out and had been saving it for some unknown project. I tore smallish pieces and started gluing it to my mask. I added some tar around the edges. Painted the lips, added a little eyebrow texture with Wood Icing. Put it up on the wall and pronounced it done. It was that easy. 
Perhaps not genius, but I liked it.
Looking back at the encaustic mask(which is still under my table), I don't hate it as much as I did last week. What a compliment, huh? And I do want to try again because I still love the concept.

My question for you is why oh why are we so hard on ourselves? Artists seem to be their own worst critics. I frequently point this out to my students and urge them to be gentle with themselves. A lesson I definitely need to take to heart, huh?

Friday, November 04, 2011

Change is in the Air

Don't know if you have heard the word, but 2012 will be the final Artfest. There are some spots left, so you might wand to sign up right away. Two of my classes are already filled, but there are still openings in my Parts class which is going to be fun-fun-fun!!
I am so grateful to be part of the final event. Teesha writes more detail about this decision in her recent blog post, which you can read here.  I respect her so much for going with her gut. In my opinion, Teesha tends to be on the leading edge with things, so I very much look forward to whatever comes next.

And for me.......well, I said change is in the air, didn't I?
You have asked and asked and well, asked again. And I am finally going to do it.
I will be offering an online class early next year.
Yep, I'm working it all out before I post specific details. But suffice to say I am very excited, so stay tuned for more information.