Category Archives: Painting

Ms. Messy Comes Home

10 Months.

I can hardly believe it’s been that long since I blogged here.  When I popped in to harvest some photos from this blog and got looking back at the postings, I realized that I miss Just Make a Mess.  I miss it a lot.

So I’m back.

I’m afraid I got terribly sidetracked.  I looked at the post about how I over-analyze and second-guess myself at times, and that’s certainly the case with this blog.  I thought maybe I should do a different blog.  Different name, different focus, different format. I created a blog for my art studio and there it sits…sad, lonely and pretty much empty.  I tried another focus with a Homesteading theme.  It’s ok but nothing special.  Here are some of the other things that were a result of this wandering journey:

I started teaching art classes…

My band played some gigs….

I even planted a garden…

Oh…and I’ve lost 93 pounds.  Yay me!

So I dabbled with other sites and flirted with different formats, but I have come to realize that I need to just stay here.  I like it here.  It’s home.

And there’s no place like home.

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Doggy Bag

Because I have to divide my time between my home studio and my work studio, I end up having to haul a lot of stuff back and forth.  If I intend to get anything done it’s necessary that my art and jewelry supplies follow me around.  What this mostly means is that I cuss a lot because something is invariably missing from my bag because I forgot to pack it.  I am very, very good at sabotaging myself, apparently.

I do, however, have a wicked-cool doggy-bag to haul all my stuff around in.  This is one of my Laurel Burch bags.  Yes, one of them.  I also have a purse and a suitcase designed by Laurel Burch.  It’s not all that surprising that I’m drawn to her work…just LOOK at those colours!!  A bag like this can lift your spirits from the depths of the doldrums and put a definite skip in your step.

What came out of the bag at home today:  gesso, acrylic retarder, impasto medium, iridescent medium, camera, large tube of acrylic titanium white, large tube of an amazing copper/burgundy/metallic gold acrylic paint.  I don’t remember what the colour is called but it’s the kind of colour you just want to squeeze a glob of into your hand and smear  all over your canvas….or your face.  I know.  I’m weird.  But this colour is THAT yummy.

What went into the bag to come to work with me:  my journal, my sketchbook, watercolour pencils, 6 x 6 watercolour paper, letter-sized watercolour paper, water pen, scotch tape.

Things that stay in the bag all the time:  archival ink pens, drawing pencils, a small ruler, gum eraser, white eraser, a very basic drawing pad, a bottle of masking fluid, and my camera  manual.

This poor bag has a constant ebb and flow of supplies.  Things go in, things go out.  It’s like a daily tide of supplies and goodies.  Sometimes everything stays inside because I don’t get to it or my Muse takes a powder, but sometimes…..sometimes magical things happen when things come out of the bag.

Now a question for all you creative types out there:  Have you ever bought an art or craft supply just because you fell in love with or were intrigued by it, but didn’t have a single clue what you were going to do with it?  Something you just HAD to have that you may or may not have ever done anything with?  Sort of like a tube of amazing copper/burgundy/metallic gold acrylic paint?  Let me know in the comments.  Come on….fess up….have ya huh?  The lady with paint all over her face promises not to laugh.

Kid Art with The Keaster

I spent yesterday with one of the coolest kids on the planet.  Keaton’s mom is a good friend of mine and suggested that he and I should do an art afternoon.  I see Keaton fairly regularly and know he’s a very artistic child and he and I have developed a bit of a connection.  Besides, when Mom emails you in the morning to tell you he’s sitting at the window watching and saying  “When is she going to come? Huh Mom?? When is she coming??”, you just know it’s going to be a good day.

This is Keaton with the Leprechaun Trap he built.  I was informed, however, that the sneaky little Leprechaun escaped.  He moved the ladder to the inside and crawled in and out that way instead of jumping down the trap-tube.  At least he left some chocolate behind.  It must have fell out of his pockets in his haste to get away once he realized it was a trap.  He also left the recipe for Stardust.  Keaton had told me about it and when I arrived I was gifted with a fresh batch he had whipped up just for me.

Mom printed the instructions as were dictated to her by Keaton.  Apparently I can grow plants in it as well and then they will be magical.

So I asked Keaton what kind of art he wanted to do and was informed that he wanted to learn how to use chalk pastels.  He’d had some in his supply stash for a while and hadn’t used them yet.  We had a blast smooshing and blending and getting pastel powder everywhere.  He really liked rolling the black ones all over his hands and putting 4 colours together to draw with all at the same time.  I just realized now, writing this, that I don’t have pics of the pastel work.  I’ll have to rectify that soon.

The other thing we did was a little thing called Spin Art.  Do you remember Spin Art?  They used to have these things at carnivals and fairs where you could pay a couple bucks and make your own masterpiece.  There are now kid-versions of this.

OMG….you wanna talk fun??  There’s a little spinner-handle on the side you flick to make it spin.  You just drop runny paint on this and give it a whirl; the centrifugal force pulls the paint outwards.

You can mix colours, blend colours, swirl colours together with a stick or a brush.

You can drip water on it to make things more runny.  Ohhh the possibilities.

This photo amazes me.  When it was taken, that piece of paper was spinning so fast it was a blur.  The camera actually caught the paint as it pulled to the outside.

These were some of the finished pieces.  And this next one….the MASTERPIECE!

Isn’t that just totally cool???  This is why I love Kid Art so much.  There’s a freeness and spontaneity that we as adults often try to work hard at because we’ve forgotten it’s ok to just let things happen.  We get all bound up in “Is this good, is this right?” and don’t allow ourselves to just let art BE.   Thank you for the lesson Keaton.  I learn more from kids than I have ever taught them.

I know I’ve got to do this again.  It was the most fun I’ve had in ages.  Besides, when you have a partner in crime like Keaton, who at 6 years old did art with me for over 2 hours…… 2 HOURS (much longer than most kids would stay focused on any one thing), you just know you’ve got to do more.

I have to go.  I need to find that old box fan I know is hiding around here somewhere.  Did you know you can make a Spin Art from an old box fan?  Yup.  The internet rocks for that kind of stuff.  Now….where’s that hubby of mine…….

Serenity in Solitude

Ever find life to be a little…..well…..manic?  I know I do.  The minute I step out the door I often feel like the world is going so much faster than it needs to.  I guess I’m getting old.   Let me rephrase that…..I AM getting old.

Between the connectivity within society via cellphones and other electronic marvels and the “acquire stuff”  lifestyle that the media and advertisers mercilessly promote, is it any wonder that we often feel like we’re trying to dart across an eight-lane freeway that’s full of freight trucks only to find that when we get to the other side we’ve got to jump the train tracks before the next commuter train roars through?

Stage 1 - Soft Pastel, Gouache, and Icky Masking Fluid

It affects kids and teenagers too.  They are seldom solitary.  Between school, friends, sports, and a plethora of other extra-curricular activities, they don’t get much alone-time.  Add to that the fact that their cellphones are seldom turned off and are constantly beeping the next incoming text, where can they escape to?  I’m still looking for the up-side to all of this connectivity.  I do know the down-side is the inability to escape negative peer pressure or  bullying.  In the olden days (way back in the 60’s and 70’s), you could just go home.  If you didn’t want to be around someone or deal with them, you didn’t answer their phone calls and just hung out with people you liked being with.  Now kids are subjected to all that negative stuff via Facebook and cellphones.  To me, that’s a real down-side.

I love my solitary time.  For some, me-time means going out with their friends, golfing, or traveling.  For me, me-time is the best when it’s just being able to be at home.  Whether it’s to knit, write, garden, paint, or build jewelry, it’s time that’s Mine.  While not strictly solitary as my hubby is usually around and about, he’s my best friend so it makes for a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.  Even when we travel, we’re happy to just put up a tent and stare at the lake for a week. It’s nice to just get away from all the zoom-zoom.

I encourage everyone reading this to try some quiet down-time.  Turn off the phones, shut off the computer, maybe even make the kids do the same.  Take some down time.  Some time for yourself and your family.  Talk to each other….listen to each other….have some fun reconnecting with each other without all the electronic bubble and fizz that has become such a huge part of your life.  Try it.  I dare ya.  Let me know how it goes.  I’m betting you’ll find some serenity…something we can all use a little more of.

 

Serenity in Solitude – Little Pink Houses Series

11″x15″ — Soft Pastel, Watercolour, Gouache, Archival Ink

For The Birds

As I enjoy my week off from the music studio I’m trying to finish up some projects I’ve had dawdling along for a while.

Pastels continue to intrigue me and watercolours are finally feeling like they’re a medium I could seriously work with.

The entire Little Pink Houses series has evolved out of a need to have relatively simple subject matter to work on while I explore all these new mediums in an attempt to discover what I might be good at.  After all, houses are one of the first things we draw as children, they’re the apex of the Canadian (or American) dream, and they come in all different sizes, shapes, and colours.

With Spring having finally sprung I’ve been awakened every morning by birds in my yard.  The twittering and warbling are very welcome…the crows I could live without.  But even the crows need a home, along with all their musical little friends.  So, this is……For The Birds.

8 1/4" x 11 1/2" -- Pastel, Watercolour & Archival Ink