Tuesday, May 29, 2012

We Have A Winner!!

I'm happy to announce that Mary of Paper Run Amok and Ellen of CardmonkeysPaperJungle are the winners of my Giveaway! Each woman will receive 5 individual pots of shimmery goodness. The introductory sets donated by Leslie at Luminarte have 5 beautiful colors, Olive Vine, Gargantuan Green, Snapdragon, Ice & Ginger Peach. These new amazing acrylic paints have mica particles and other propriatary ingredients to make them wonderfully shimmery and sparkly. Remember, if you'd like to learn how to use these paints, Dion Dior does give a spectacular class that teaches you everything you'd need to know or were afraid to ask, lol. (Email her for info on classes or peruse her blog or click on the Joggles link in her sidebar, her classes are also offered there). I'm taking the class now and it's so great!

I must admit, I was pleasantly shocked when Ellen won one of the sets as she's a good bloggy friend of mine. I thought, "what are the chances with 64 comments that she was chosen, but I guess there are several friends who entered. I just hope both women truly enjoy their new products. (The picking was done totally fairly and without bias, just sayin'.)

I'll be mailing out your sweet prizes this week, please leave me a comment or shoot me an email when they arrive! Congratulations Mary & Ellen, enjoy your wonderful Silks!

I'll be back soon with art, I know you're waiting with bated breath...
Don't miss me too much, lol.


If you're looking for this week's APR, just click here!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Last Day To Win Blog Candy!!

Just a reminder that the GIVEAWAY that's currently running ends Tuesday. I am giving away two sets of introductory shimmering Silks acrylic paints with mica added for sparkle. Each set has five colors, Olive Vine, Ginger Peach, Gargantuan Green, Ice and Snapdragon. If you'd like to enter to win these wonderful paints that were generously donated by Leslie from Luminarte, the creator of both Silks and Twinkling H2O's (shimmering watercolor paints with mica), just click here and leave a comment on that post. The Giveaway ends noon Pacific time on Tuesday May 29th, 2012.

The giveaway is being done to promote both Luminarte's new Silks and Dion Dior's classes teaching Silks (A Taste Of Silks), Twinkling H2O's (Mastering Twinks) and her Watercolor Pencil Workshop. Her luscious courses can be found offered on Dreaming In Color, Luminarte's website and on Joggles.


If you're looking for this week's APR, just click here or you can always click the Artist's Play Room Button in my sidebar. That will always bring up the latest Challenge.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Artist's Play Room #11

Scroll to bottom
for the new theme!
We're into APR #11, I can't believe we're into week eleven! Thank you to all the wonderful artists who support my link up when they can, I'm touched that many of you leave me comments saying you're sorry that you ran out of time but will be back next week. That's sweet loyalty and it touches my heart. You guys ROCK.

Oh, and you should all know that I've had several comments from across the blogosphere applauding the high calibre of art that's submitted in my Play Room. I totally concur, so you guys not only rock but are talented too!! Ok, enough, I'll swell your heads and I'm thinking encephalopathy isn't gonna be conducive to good artwork!

Before I get to the newest theme for this week, let me show you all the beautiful submissions from last week's Artist's Play Room. The theme was Bookmarks (or books if you want to expand it)... Mine is there on the right ------->

I painted a bookmark for my good friend Tracey as we decided to do a little swap between us. She's addicted to chocolate of any kind so I thought I'd make a bookmark that could torture her on those days she has eaten all her chocolate stash and is reading a book!! Bad Jenn, bad! (click it to see it in all it's chocolaty glory!)

Now on to all the other arty goodness from my talented participant friends, almost as good as chocolate! You guys seriously inspire me to go read with all your lovely art! Here we go!

Gloria made a lovely
bookmark using
colorful zentangles.
Love your creativity!

Elizabeth showed many
of her beautiful
altered books but I
fell in love with the
bookmark she also
Kim's gorgeous Tag,
also called a bookmark!
Go over to her blog,
she made a bunch more.
Always for sale in her
Etsy Shop.
Vonny says a shy book
gnome showed up on
her bookmarks, I would
too, those books
are COOL!!

Darla makes stretchy
bookmarks so they never
fall out!. Just "bungie" them
around several pages and
you're done. Brilliant!
Tracey painted all the kinds
of bookmarks she has
scattered around the house.
Her post made me laugh!

Cindy has created a lovely
stout bookmark, I don't
care if it's a little wide, I
think it just makes it unique.

Sandee's Mermaid bookmark
is really a sweet submission.
Mermaids certainly are the
stuff of dreams!

Diane had fun collaging
some new papers she
got, what a gorgeous
finished product!

Minn did a great
watercolor & ink
bookmark, I love it,
looks like the beach.

Lynn made bookmarks using her
signature "Doodly Birds". Aren't they
adorable? I think so too!
Neesie rushed to get this little cutie in,
I'm so glad she did. She's new to APR
& such a talented edition to the play room.
On the left is Lou Anne's lovely undersea bookmark, it's quite beautiful but to see that you're gonna have to click and make it bigger!! Please do, it's worth it. Unfortunately, to fit it into this post I had to use a small picture of it, it's a very long but beautiful bookmark. Sorry to Lou Anne for how I've showed it, I couldn't come up with another way!! 

If you haven't read the rules & guidelines, please go here. If you've landed here after this challenge has been completed but would like to participate in a current or future Artist's Play Room Challenge, just either click on the APR button in the sidebar or click here and you'll be taken to the latest APR Challenge!

Are you having trouble using the Mr. Linky to add your submissions to APR? Well here's some help! Just click on HELP and you'll be taken to my Linky Help Page. Cool, huh? I've got your back!

This week I took an idea sent to me from Tracey's daughter. It also allows me to go back to my roots of painting, which I haven't done in a coon's age. The new theme is "Magnify". I intend to paint a macro flower, which is an extreme close up of the flower. Please feel free to magnify anything your little heart desires, here are some examples to help inspire you!

Dion's close up of a butterflyMy close up of a daisyBianca has sketched a persian
cat face close up
And I just LOVE Minn's macro of a juicy tomato. I wonder if it's for sale?? I'll have to ask her.
Ok you lovely, multi-talented people, go do what you do so well, make beautiful art then come back here and link it up so I can SHOW IT (and you) OFF! Be inspired to look closer at your subject and get your nose right in there.  As always, all artforms are welcome, watercolor, oil, collage, altered art, photography, digital, crochet for that matter! Make art, go for it, you don't have to be great, just create!

Have a great day my bloggy friends!
I'll be back soon with art or somesuch, maybe even a new Blogging 101.

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Mermaid In The Mist

This week one of our newer members at Inspiration Avenue, Lou Anne, is doing her first challenge which is always daunting. They're actually not hard but the very first one always leaves the host biting her nails and asking many "is this ok?" questions. I was so flattered when Lou Anne turned to me for that advice. I think she did a superlative job of fleshing out what her theme is and it's origins. Her theme, as my title indicates is MERMAIDS. I'm not surprised that she chose this theme since her blog's name is The Misplaced Mermaid.

Ok, so I really don't do human forms. Maybe some day I'll get my mom to school me in the intricacies of how to draw the human body as she took art courses when I was young. So, don't expect beauty here but I wanted to support Lou Anne's first challenge and to do that I gotta make a mermaid, lol. It was a nice challenge and she turned out ok.

title: "Mermaid Turned To The Right"
I'll see you in my Artist's Play Room on Saturday for the wrap up of this week and the introduction of our new theme for the upcoming week.


(I would love it if you followed me using my Linky Follower Tool.)

Happy Birthday Phantom Steve!!!

It's my good friend Tracey's daughter's birthday today, we call her Phantom Steve because she likes it that way. P. Steve is a wonderfully unique and newly minted 16 year old! I have happily gotten to know P. Steve as I got to know Trace. She writes about her fantastically brilliant daughter in her blog posts sometimes but it's through personal emails that I've gotten to just love this girl. I must admit, I wish I had been as unique and interesting a human being at 16. P. Steve, as you can tell just by the name she likes to sport, is creative and unafraid to be herself. That's mighty unusual in this day and age and it makes me want to meet the young lady who breaks the rules of teenage-hood and marches to the beat of her own drummer.

I hear from Trace that P. Steve has decided to adopt my Birthday Week concept and she's doing it just at the right time, her 16th birthday, always a special milestone in a teen's existence. So, although I apologize to Trace for complicating her life, I think it's GREAT that P. Steve will spread out her birthday to a week of celebrations from now on, I wish I had started this earlier in my life, it's makes all the difference and takes the pressure off everyone. Now P. Steve doesn't have to cram EVERYTHING into one 24 hour slot. She can let special friends take her out to coffee (or tea in this case if she's anything like her tea addicted mom!) and still have that extra special day, May 26th, for family celebrations etc. She can even pick a day in that week to do as SHE pleases, her very favorite things that only she likes. I, for instance, feed the birds EVERY birthday. This year I could only find one lonely crow (I swear an angel sent him to me, but more about that in another post) to feed my McDonald's fries to but he was a seriously happy camper and made me laugh out loud.

So, I wanted to Celebrate Your Birthday here in Canada and send you a shout out on your very special day. I feel privileged to be getting to know you and I'm glad to call you a sweet friend (OK, neice!). I also wanted the Birthday Girl to know that I think she ROCKS!


Ok, so I'm not a professional videographer... this is our first attempt with the new camera to do a video, we forgot that there is no way to turn a video 90 degrees, oops. We couldn't re-film 'cause the candle burned out and I ate the cupcake. Hey, it's the thought that counts!

Your Birthday present is the custom bookmark above, now if you catch your mom red handed using your bookmark you'll have proof it's yours, I mean, her name doesn't start with a "P" for Phantom, does it?? ;o) I'm sending a small care package to you in Queensland Australia with a few extra goodies you and your mom tucked inside like a bookmark for her so she finally leaves YOURS alone!! (Trace likes to steal P. Steve's bookmarks, she's notorious about it, then, it seems, she promptly loses them! Since mother & daughter are having a meter high stacked book read-a-thon to see who can finish their stack first, I'm thinking stealing bookmarks would be like cheating on a test or bumping an elbow in a pool game. I call FOUL!!

Tracey's and P.Steve's bookmarks are my entries for my APR this week as the theme is appropriately "Bookmarks & Books" (inspired by P. Steve's challenge to her mom.)

I'm sending much love, hugs & kisses your way, hopefully they don't leak out of the box and accost the post guy 'cause I really dislike our postal system (but that's a post for another day, probably on my new blog that I'll be co-hosting with my bloggy friend Ellen. Go here for the curious!)

Talk to you all later, hope to see you in The Artist's Play Room on Saturday for our new theme and a wrap up of this week's submissions!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Featured Artist - Dion Dior

It's that time again, another month has gone by and I'm featuring another artist in my continuing series that showcases talented, spectacular artists and allows you to get to know them better through the virtual interview they graciously participate in. This month I'm also doing a terrific giveaway so stay tuned, I'll tell you all about it and how to enter at the end of this post

(Please remember you can click on any picture to enlarge it!)

This month's amazingly talented artist is Dion Dior. I am lucky to count her as one of my new friends. We have been slowly getting to know one another over the blogosphere, reading one another's blogs, sending emails back and forth and each participating in an article I wrote for Featuring Magazine a few months ago. I have learned she is generous, kind and one of those special women who make you feel cherished just by talking with her.

Plein Air from her sister's garden (on vacation in Australia)
I started following Dion's blog many months ago, her art was different than most of the other artists I followed. It's the perfect blend of reality and the artist's eye. I've never really loved perfect art, the stuff that is so perfect you wonder if it's a photograph. I'm drawn to art that shows that there's an artist behind the creation, someone who sees the world a unique way and is willing to share that with us. Dion is one of those artists and I'm envious that she makes her art so elementally beautiful you want to study it.

I think Dion's genius is in her exquisite use of color. She uses the brightest, happiest colors in her art but more than her choice of color, she knows how to expertly blend and balance them to please the eye. That's actually REALLY hard to do and she makes it look effortless.
Jenn: How did you get started making art?

Page from Dion's sketchbook
in "The Sketchbook Project"
Dion: I've been making art since I could first pick up a pencil. I don't know what it was, but I always had a passion for art as a kid that just never went away. I never went anywhere without pencils and a sketchbook, even as a young child. Everyone thought I was so studious, but it was art that was driving me. I would draw, color, or paint every second I got. Even now my mother has my art framed and on display all over the house. The art from my early years is rather embarrassing, but it's all part of the journey.
Jenn: Do you sell your work, where?

Dion: I don't really sell my work. Most of the work I do is very personal and I never have a commercial perspective in mind when I create it. I'm not opposed to selling it, it's just not my focus right now. I get asked ALL the time, where I sell and can people buy prints. I may do it in the future, but for now I can't seem to find the time to put into it. I have been offered quite a number of comissions, some of which I've accepted, but most I turn down simply because I haven't had the time to really pour myself into the projects. All part of the future I suppose, however I do have a room full of art that would probably make a great exhibition.

Jenn: What is your process in creation? (do you like plein air best or use of a photograph, or your own imagination, or follow where the art supplies take you?)

Dion: I love plein air but I don't get time for it these days. I have two young children and I'm a full time stay-at-home mom right now so sitting for a while just sketching when I'm at the park is not something I can do. Most of my inspiration comes from my garden or around my house. I use magazines or the internet for reference, but mostly I play around with my subjects, apply my own flavor to colors and vibrancy. I love bold, colorful art that explodes with energy.
Jenn: What are your favorite artist's supplies?

Tulips painted using Twinkling H2O's
Dion: I use Twinkling H2O's mostly in my work. They are shimmering, luminescent watercolor paints that come in a staggering array of colors. They definitely lead the way for me and give my art a personality even I couldn't imagine. Luminarte, the makers of Twinkling H2O's has just come out with a new line of acrylic paint called "Silks". They are an acrylic version of Twinks and are very quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Another favorite of my is watersoluble mediums such as watercolor pencils and crayons. I use Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils and Neocolor II's a lot.

Jenn: How does making a spectacular piece make you feel?

Dion: The feeling I get when creating art is WHY I create. That rush in my belly, the racing of my heart every time I open a pot of paint is just perfection. I get my inspiration from nature because I seem to have an affinity with it. I see a garden through an artists eye, bursting with color and shimmer. My work never comes out like the real thing, but that's art. It's always my interpretation. I think I see color more vibrantly than it is in real life.

Jenn: What do you do with a less than steller piece, do you rework until you're happy?

Dion's interpretation of ocean waves.
Dion: Imperfect art is a fact of life I'm afraid. I never dicard imperfect art, I don't even spend a lot of time reworking it, I simply accept that it's not my best, I put it away and then start again. I love going back and looking at my disasters, it's great to see how far I've come, or what I could do better....which is a lot!! I'm never REALLY happy with any of my work. I'm always in pursuit of perfection, but know I'll never achieve it. Learning is a lifetime pursuit and I've lived long enough to know that everything waxes and wanes, especially my art.

Jenn: Is there anything else you'd like me to include about you or your art? (anything you'd like to elaborate on would be greatly helpful!)

Doodling with Color
Dion: I love what the interenet has done to enable sharing. The art community has benefited from this so much. Being able to share with, learn from, and befriend other artists has been the most enriching and inspiring thing that's ever happened to me.

Thank you Dion, for allowing me to interview you, I loved learning more about you, your process and your beautiful and unique art. I'm blessed to call you a friend, thank you for being so available and generous with your time. Before I get to the giveaway, though, I must show one more set of photos. Along with the three other courses Dion teaches, she also gives a class on Mandalas. Her class is called Wisdom Circles and is part of the 21 Secrets art class conglomerate where 21 talented artists each offer a class. Here are several spectacular examples of Dion's Mandalas. (click to enlarge)
Our Celebration Giveaway!

In celebration of Dion's classes (teaching Twinkling H2O's, Watercolor Pencils and the new Silks) and the launch of the new Silks acrylic glazes by Luminarte (Dion is their Premier Teacher of Silks!), we're doing a spectacular giveaway! Luminarte has generously donated (thank you Leslie) two introductory sets of Silks! Each set includes five colors, Olive Vine, Ginger Peach, Ice, Snapdragon and Gargantuan Green. If you'd like a chance to WIN your own set of these new amazing paints just leave a comment with this post. Please make SURE you leave your name and a way for me to contact you if you are the winner, don't just comment anonymously.

If you'd like to purchase Twinks (shimmering watercolor paints with mica) or Silks (shimmering acrylic paints with mica) just click on the product links in my sidebar, it'll take you directly to Luminarte's website, Dreaming In Color. The contest will run for one week and the winners will be chosen and announced next Tuesday the 29th of May. Make sure you check back here in a week just in case YOU were the lucky winner of an introductory set of Silks. I will be talking more about both Silks and Twinks in the weeks to come as I'm now taking the Silks course that Dion is giving. I've heard so many wonderful things about these products that I'm giddy to start playing. I just know they're gonna be fantastic and add such life to my artwork.

Dion's Links:
Flickr Feed
Workshop Info

I'll see you all soon for the APR wrap up and new theme announcement, tune in Saturday for that bunch of excitement. Hope to see your lovely artwork linked up this week!

Gosh, I need a cuppa hazelnut coffee. It's a serious addiction, people.
I'm out!


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