Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I Love My Mailman!

OOOh, look what I got in the mail today!! I was in a Doodle Postcard Swap and the theme was a word beginning with "F". Fiona, my swap partner, did a fish. :o) Isn't he cute? Getting mail is always a thrill, especially these days when everything is email. Her postcard is so nice that I've joined the next letter, "G". Maybe I'll be lucky and get her again as a partner. *Jenn crosses fingers, toes and eyes.* Ok, enough silliness, let me show you Fiona's art. :o)

Thank you, Fiona, for a wonderful postcard, it's the nicest thing I've received from a swap and I look forward to continuing to swap privately with you! A pen pal allows one to create small pieces of art and know there is someone who will love to get it. Give it a few weeks then I think you have full recourse to start accosting your mail carrier, telling them to "cough up the postcard!". 

Now, I have to go and think up something fun and interesting to paint on a 5x7 piece of 140lb paper! I love that I feel challenged because my new pen pal is also an artist. This is gonna be great, I feel so inspired to create something unexpected!

We'll talk soon, I'm always good for a few words, right? Yep.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Do You Need A Facelift?

I do. But not the kind you're probably thinking of. I take my facelifting examples from Sunflowers. They happily lift their bright yellow faces toward the sun to soak up all that warmth. That's what I need, some warm rays of summer sun on my face. When my close friend requested a painting of a sunflower, I scooted to the computer to look up some photographs. I also discovered some beautiful painted examples of these happy flowers. So, I decided they would be the perfect subject for my Tuesday Mosaic with Artmind.

(moving clockwise...)
  1. "Abstract Modern Sunflower", Watercolor, Ginette Callaway (purchase print)
  2. "Sunflowers", watercolor, Marilyn Ventresca DiChiara
  3. "Good Mornin", Acrylic on Linen Board, L. Diane Johnson
  4. "Farmer's Market Sunflowers 2", Watercolor, Sally Probasco
I remember when we lived in Saskatoon, seeing many a crop of sunflowers standing at attention and swaying with the breeze, their faces  upturned, following the sun. They heralded summer so well. The sight of them always made me smile.

Gosh, these lovely flowers, with their seeded heads and bright yellow petals, make me yearn for SUMMERTIME. It probably doesn't help that Victoria seems unusually cold for this time of year. I'm sitting here with our new (this winter) little space heater pointed at my feet, hoping to warm up before having to crawl into a cold bed. I think I need to find a boyfriend or a dog. :o)

That's it for tonight, I'm off to that chilly bed. Enjoy your happy slumber and the rest of the week! We'll talk again before the weekend, K? 

Monday, March 29, 2010

Making An Impression

I've been working on this new painting for a few days. It's really my first attempt at an Impressionist painting. I love how it turned out. :o)  The painting is called "The Blue Tulips".

We have a house guest. I'm giddy with happiness about this fact. It's funny how one changes when one's favorite people are around. I have these urges to "dote" on the house guest as though he's a favorite pet. I have to curb my enthusiasm so I don't inadvertently make him totally uncomfortable and wig him out. Hehehe. Good thing, though is that he's staying around for Easter next weekend so we'll be able to do up a whole feast, including having the requisite chocolate bunnies hopping around. It's gonna be a good week. I hope you all enjoy your upcoming long weekend. Hugs from me and I'm sending you all virtual chocolate bunnies. We all know bunny chocolate is special. It's the bestest!

Tomorrow's Mosaic Tuesday so you won't miss me much. See you soon.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tangles & Moos.

I know it's been several days since I said hi. So...

I've been busy with (as the title suggests) Zentangling! I'm addicted. I have spent the last 4 days searching the web for examples of tangles and patterns. See, the husband & wife who created Zentangles came up with some basic official patterns. You get these patterns on a sampler sheet when you order their kit, which also includes everything you'd need to start zentangling (3.5x3.5" tiles, good pens, pencil, eraser etc.) I have all those supplies but I don't have the pattern chart and I wanted to learn the patterns. So, I got googling. It has taken me the better part of 4 days (with little sleep) to make my own comprehensive "sampler". I now know how to zentangle, totally. *Jenn rolls eyes and grabs another Tylenol to stop her left hand from aching from all the drawing.* Although I have confirmed that I am an obsessive person, especially when it comes to art, the tiles do look very cool. There are 24 of them. I told you I was obsessive. :o)

OMG! My Moo cards arrived! And they're gorgeous!!! Let me say that again... they're GORGEOUS! I love Moo. I mean, hey, ya gotta love them just for their name alone. For serious, every time I think of my business cards <---- this pops into my head. But I digress. :o)  As I was saying, the cards came and they rock. The quality is quite extraordinary. They are thicker than usual business cards and they have a clear velvety laminate covering on both sides. This gives them a wonderful "hand", as they say in the garment industry. The coating isn't overly reflective so they don't look all shiny which, I think, can make a card harder to read. They are printed on both sides so my artwork is on one side and my particulars are on the other. I even got to add my "signature" like I add to the end of my posts. AND the text color matches the "paint" dripping off of the paintbrush. That was a nice coincidence (that they offered that exact shade). Even more coincidental, the only card holder they had in stock to purchase at the time was also the exact shade of pink! Hehehe. God loves me, did you know??  Yup. :o)

My artwork looks great even in small scale. I was afraid detail would be lost but their printing process is top notch. Seriously, these cards are so much more than expected. In fact, they're even better than better. It's like you discover, when you check your Lottery ticket online, that you've won $100. You go to claim it and the cashier says it looks to her like you really won $1000, and you think YAY! Then she swipes your ticket only to find that you actually are a $10 000 winner!!! Holy Cow! (that was an appropriate expletive, hehehe.) I have 12 different prints on 100 cards. They come in their own sleeve holder and on the front it says... "Quick, schedule a meeting! Your business cards have arrived!" :o) This is what arrived yesterday.

You know, now that I think about it, I'm not sure I mentioned that my new "artist" stickers and address labels arrived from ArtofJoy. (Etsy Store here)  They look great and it's so nice to be able to add a label to out going mail and artwork. Here they are...

Lots of yummy stuff comes in the mail, doesn't it? :o)  I love shopping online, so now I'm spending my extra minutes researching waterproof marker pens. I've got my eye on either Prismacolor Artist markers or Copic Original markers. I'm trying to find out whether they will feather on cold pressed watercolor paper (Arches). I'm probably going to go with the more expensive Copic, since I can guarantee it will work for what I want it for. They're just soooo expensive. You don't even want to KNOW how much each is in Canada. Ok, I'll tell you, since you begged. $8 each! EACH!!! I'll be very picky about color selection, that's for sure.

Anyhoo, I gotta put this post to bed (been working on it off and on all day, ugh.) and I have to put ME to bed too. Long day tomorrow, housecleaning, artwork that's been waiting for a week to be completed then (yiippee!! ) coffee with my Uncle. Lurve him. :o)  That'll be my treat midday if I'm good little worker bee.

G'nite all. We'll talk real soon, K? Yep, soon.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mosaic Zen

It's Mosaic Tuesday with Artmind! Have you heard of Zentangles? Well, if you haven't, let me say, they're a new & popular kind of art. They're a combination of meditational, mindless doodling, complicated patterns and artistic line drawings. I'm in the end stages of making a Zentangle Sampler all my own. (a sampler is a collection of patterns that can be modified, combined with one another and twisted to form more tangles)  Here are four of my tiles...

Try one, just cut out a 3.5x3.5" piece of paper, grab a fine tip marker and go at it. Enjoy your work week everybody.

We'll talk tomorrow, promise!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hopelessly Devoted To You...

Yes I am. I love you, the way you make me feel. How you make me feel happy and fulfilled, no matter what the circumstances. Yep. It's hopeless. I'm sunk. I'm lost without you. Good thing you're always there, even when I tell you to go away. That I'm too busy for you. I can't resist. I need you. Seriously, you're my drug. Stick a fork in me, I'm done. :o)

Is it weird to write a Love Letter to my Creativity? Of course it is, but I don't care, I'm addicted. I couldn't even stay away 24 hours. Tonight I found myself joining a swap on Swap-Bot just so I had an "excuse" to make some art. I even fit in some web surfing yesterday, looking at other people's art. I am pathetic, aren't I? Yes. I think I need a 12 step program for  serial artists.

I did come across a cool new trend, though. Something called a Zentangle is becoming a popular new art form. It's actually an old art form brought into the 21st century. A Zentangle is a doodle. The actual Zentangle has some simple rules to help the newbie figure out how to make one, but in reality, it's just a meditation in doodling. What the creator of the Zentangle Kit realized was that doodling had the same effect on the body and mind as meditation. It took one out of the stress of life and let one get lost in the minutia of creating. It just requires a good black pen and a piece of paper. The kit uses 3.5x3.5 inch pieces of good quality paper (I'm guessing it's probably 90 or 140 lb hot pressed paper) and a few different black archival ink pens in different thicknesses. In the kit there are also 12 reference patterns that you can use to doodle.

Obviously the experienced artist doesn't need the rules to help them create a doodle. I do like the size restriction, though. I think it makes for a beautiful piece of art if one combines 9 related squares, like these. (click to see the detail)

What I did was combine the new swap I joined and a Zentangle. The swap was to make a postcard using a word starting with the letter F. I chose the word "Flutter". My doodle was done on a 5x7 piece of 140lb watercolor paper (it's supposed to be a postcard, hence the size).

So, there it is, my first Zendoodle. Since the swap partners aren't assigned yet, I feel safe posting this. Sneaky, I know. He/she, prolly won't go perusing my blog and by that time this will be safely burried in a bunch of other posts. 

I guess this means I'm hopelessly addicted to the Creative Process. I can't even go a day, now, without painting/drawing something. Oh well, I'll just have to sleep less. Maybe I'll get a love letter from my pillow... "Jenn, come back to me, I miiiiiissssss youuuuuuu!!" Hehehe. I think I need some sleep, I'm going a bit batty. 

But before I go... On the topic of sleep, counting sheep comes to mind. :o) Rachel Maddow was giving some info on this St. Patrick's Day about Ireland. She seriously makes me laugh every time I watch her. She said that there are actually more sheep than people in Ireland but they are having trouble getting the exact count of sheep, since every time someone starts counting them they fall asleep. :o)

I'm off to find a herd... "Hey, buddy? Ya know where I can get a small herd of sheep?"
Hehehe. Night, you. 

Obviously we'll talk later, 'cause I can't stay away!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Self Portrait Mosaic

This week Mitsy at Artmind challenged her readers to make a mosaic that expressed who they were. Making a self portrait using pictures is quite a difficult endeavor, as I have discovered this week. It took me all week just to come up with an idea of how to come at this. A loved one suggested that I think of words to express who I was then put pictures to the words. She's a smart one, that. (Thanks Mom.) 

So I'll go through the list of words and ideas that I came up with to describe myself and relate them to the photos. (starting at the center then upper left, working in rows across)
  1. I am essentially a combination of high distractibility (Oh look, a Squirrel!), curiosity about the Universe around me, wide eyed wonder at said Universe and dealing with the fear of failure etc. (I try to confront the things that I fear, even though I'm... well, afraid. :o)
  2. I Luuuurrrrve Rain. Period. Exclamation point. Rain through the trees, shining in the sunlight is bliss, total, absolute bliss. My happiness is grounded in nature.
  3. The stairs represent complexity. I always say "I'm not mysterious, just complicated."
  4. I'm also all about the Love. I use compassion as my first option. Love everybody.
  5. I'm Playful. Life is supposed to be enjoyed.
  6. I love color... and detail. I'm a colorful perfectionist. :o)
  7. Being comfortable with Aloneness is about finding peace & happiness within oneself. I like just being with me, I'm ok with me.
  8. I guess I'm a strange combination. I know about and have experienced the evil that's out there, lurking; but I rise above it and quixotically still hold on to my love of the good around me. I still live my life in innocent wide eyed wonder.
  9. I'm Colorful, Unusual & Unexpected but still beautiful in my own way.
  10. My favorite thing to paint right now is the juxtaposition of leaves and flowers. I'm very sybaritic, I am stimulated by the gratification of my senses... color & texture, they make me want to LOOK and TOUCH.
  11. The rainbow in the sky represents my spirituality. I have very strong core beliefs. I live my life by those few essential rules that stem from them.
  12. Sid, from the movie Ice Age represents my quirky & twisted sense of humor. I find something to laugh about in every situation. Even when I'm down, I still have my humor.
  13. The palette is obvious, I'm an ARTIST. It's what defines me. That and "Oh look, a Squirrel!!" ;o)
An exciting thing happened yesterday afternoon. I saw my artwork framed, matted and hanging on a wall. What a moment that was! Mom and I went and found frames for some of my paintings and when we got them up on the wall I just sat on the entrance chair and stared. I was transfixed with the sight for several long minutes. It felt so good to treat my paintings as the real art it is instead of just keeping it all in a box (which I'm still also doing at the moment). Did you know that frames and matting is expensive??!? Thank God Michael's craft store had a 40% off sale on some of their mounting options. I don't know how I'm gonna frame and matt the larger paintings I want to do. Mom's so lucky, when she starts painting again she won't even have to frame her stuff as it's on canvas and doesn't require a frame (she paints in oils). 

Here's what you see when you enter my apartment now. :o)  I Luuuurve it! 

*doing the happy dance again* :o)

There prolly won't be paintings for a couple of days, I have to finish learning how to upload to ebay and how to add Paypal functioning. I'm selling my set of Royal Albert "Jubilee Rose" china. I have a complete set to 12 but it's just not "ME". I guess learning how Paypal works etc. will help when I upload stuff to sell in my Etsy store. I just hope it's not difficult.

St. Patrick's day will soon be upon us. I am already wearing my green proudly. my nails are a combination of lime Sparkle glitter and bright lime green cream. Since I probably won't be posting until the 18th, I'll wish you all the Luck O' The Irish and a Happy St. Patrick's Day. On the 17th, put on y're green an' go find yerself a lad or lass to have a pint wit'. Enjoy the spirit O' The Irish. Hugs & Shamrocks ta Y'all!

We'll talk later, mee friends.  

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Quick Post: Nail Polish Giveaway

NailJunkie is having an awesome nail polish giveaway this month. She's giving away a bunch of wonderfully interesting things, look at all the loot in the picture! I thought I'd pass on the info, just in case you wanted to enter. :o)

I thought you'd want to know that Sawan is also having a nail polish giveaway at her blog. To celebrate both St. Patrick's Day and Easter she is giving away all five of Claire's mood polishes and for the first prize winner, also a seche vite top coat. These polishes are so cool, using your own body temperature they form a color gradient on your nails!

That's All Folks! Go win yourself some nail polish! You're welcome. Muuuaaah!
Don't miss me too much, we'll talk later, promise. :o)

Flotsam, Jetsam & Art

So, here's a quick post for the weekend. I did another fuchsia flower. I'm especially happy with the background. I am in love with Payne's gray! It has such a wonderful dimension of color and makes really rocking backgrounds. Yellow Ochre is also a fantastic background color. I think it's because they both "sit" within their cool or warm section and relate to all colors there. Payne's is neither gray or black nor white or blue. It's all of them at once, depending on the amount of water one adds. Ochre does the same as a warm hue. Both colors are not too much of any one color, and I love their mutedness, which isn't a word, but who cares. They are neither "muddy" nor "clear". Ok, so enough waxing poetic about the philosophy of color theory. Here's the painting. It's called "Purple Fuchsia" for anyone who cares. ;o)

Now onto the flotsam & jetsam I mentioned in the title. I use a plethora of links when I post something new and I was thinking that it may help someone if I put a bunch of the useful and interesting (even fun!) links up here in a list. I have enough of them to fill a minivan! I hope they help:
  1. Hyper Dictionary - I use this dictionary many ways. First, as a dictionary... like I wanted to check that "flotsam" was actually the word I was looking for, did it mean just what I thought it meant or was I a bit off? Second, if I can't for the life of me, come up with a good word for something I can put the generic word in and HD usually gives a huge list of "related words". It works great if you're having a less than stellar brain day. :o)
  2. Add A Border - I think it makes all my artwork look more professional, as though it had been matted and framed before I took it's picture. Hey, everybody loves to get dressed up , right?
  3. Color Picker - This can be used with the above link. I wanted the "frame" on my paintings to go with my other blog colors. This lets you find the perfect color then gives you the hex code, beautiful!
  4. Mosaic Maker - I'm sure I mentioned this one before but it's so great, here it is again. Use flickr or your own pics!
  5. Tips For New Bloggers - I used this site A LOT, with all it's widgets and easy to understand explanations on how to...  
  6. Skitch - I should own shares in this company, I use them sooo much! It's the easiest way to collect stuff from the web, just take a snap of it. It's free and AMAZING.
  7. Copyright Your Blog - It makes you feel safer. Say it loud and proud, "this is my stuff, keep your mitts off!" 
  8. Tiny URL - Upload your pictures and get a tiny link for it instead of a huge one. 
  9. Wufoo - Make your own email form or host a sign up giveaway like I did for free postcards. You get to create your own form easily, it gives you the code and you get emails when someone signs up with all their info that you asked for! It's free with limited use (like my usage) or you can upgrade to a payer. Very cool site.
  10. Moo Business Cards - Put your own image on your business card (each card can be a different image!!) and print your particulars on the other side. Great prices, very cool cards.
  11. Swap-Bot - Do you want to get stuff in the mail? Go here and join a swap then! Like, you send your assigned partner your favorite candy with an easter themed postcard and you get candy and a postcard from a new friend. What could be better?
  12. People Are Crazy Or Stupid... (or both.) - Now for a laugh and some fun. Here you'll find annoyed service people write in with their stories of their worst customers. OMG, people are stupid! Ya gotta laugh, though.

That's it for this weekend. I better get to bed, I already lost hours of sleep, just by staying up but on top of that I lose the designated hour this time of year... remember, it's daylight savings time so Spring Ahead, people!! Maybe I'll just sleep 'til noon. Hehehe. Prolly not, although, right now it sounds awesome!

Hugs, we'll talk soon.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Abstract: Existing In The Mind.

I did it. I really, truly did it. And it turned out beautifully! Yippee! I'm so happy I could jump around and do a jig, in fact I did. The jig, I mean. The thing that caused all the giddy dancing??? My First Abstract Painting!! It turned out Fantastically. Tony the Tiger would say it's Grrrrrreat! Here it is. It's titled "The Grasses". (I've seen people call this style either Impressionist or Abstract... I'd say it's both.)

I also made some new bookmarks and took some time to complete them with beaded tassels. This is the way I'll be selling them in my Etsy store. I'm thinking I'll set the prices at around $10 - $15 each, depending on the design. I think they turned out fab!



That's all for now. I have four or five new pieces drawn out and ready to be painted tomorrow. It'll be a happy day. All paint, all day. Woo Hoo! I better write myself a note...

Maybe if I staple it to my forehead... but then I'll need a mirror... hmmm. I got nuthin'. I guess I'm looped and I'll just have to wing it. I'll have to train the bird one day to remind me to do stuff. That'd be useful, for serious. :o)

Talk later?  Have a great weekend everybody!


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