Friday, February 27, 2009

Different Strokes Challenge

Last night I was floating around the internet and came upon this blog: I was instantly fascinated by all this and the process. Every 2 weeks the blog curator (sounds so important, huh? ;) uploads a photo for the artists who participate in the challenge to paint. At the end of the 2 weeks all the photos are submitted and posted to the blog. Challenges can collect anywhere up to 90-100 artists in one session. It is fascinating to see all the different methods and styles of painting one photo.

I decided now was the perfect time for me to give it a try. The photo at the time is a photo of a bunch of mannequins and wigs in a shop window. Perfect for my style of recent girlie paintings. Here is the original:
I would like to take a moment to say: this photo is the property of Different Strokes From Different Folks and does in no part belong to me. Nor have I altered it in any way.

At first it seemed daunting to me. So much going on all in one photo. Then I started to simplify it to fit my style. I decided I was only going to use the main grouping on the right side of the photo. Here is my rough paint sketch and out line work I came up with after staring at the photo for a bit:

Not too bad. You can see the general idea of the photo. Next, I decided I was going to turn this into a gathering or crowd of women instead of a window display. So on went the colour:

Looking quite good in my opinion. On I went and this is the final product:

"Gathering" - 5 x 7 canvas board. Mixed media - acrylics and papers. Sealed in Krylon finish.

I am thrilled with the results and loved how my vision turned out. Could I have made it more in depth and comlicated? Yes, but that isn't what my aim was. I aimed for simplicity in the chaos of the photo. I think I acheived it in my own way. :)

Furniture Redo

My husband and I recently purchased our very first house! Yeah! As soon as we moved in I was determined to finally make it my own. Too many years of living in an apartment I wasn't permitted to paint had put it's strain on me. So on a determined day, I bought some paint and decided I was going to paint some of the furniture!
What better to paint than a dresser we picked up out of the trash at the apartment that needed a new lease on life!

The first step: sanding it. Now here was the complication: it was December. It was cold and snowy out. The only sander we owned did not collect the shavings at all, so I couldn't sand inside the house. After some careful eyelash batting and "please!" I finally convinced my loving husband to sand the dresser in the garage. In he went and out he came an hour later. "It's ready!" he declared. So off to the store we went.
Now I have recently begun my love of bright colours. It has slowly been creeping up on me over the years. I have now such a love for colour I have no ability to choose just one. So after 45 mins standing in front of paint chips I finally chose a colour for the base coat: Rapture!

I had my paint, so back home we went. The first coat went on and then the second and we stood back in amazement. Now, it would be a great time to mention to you all that the reason I skipped the important step of priming the dresser is due to the fact that this dresser had already seen a coat of primer, paint and varnish in its life time. When we sanded it, we made sure to only sand it as far as the primer. Thus deleting one important step in the process.

After that paint dried the fun began! The acrylics came out and I got to work painting the dresser! Here are my results:

"Celebration Dresser" - Latex, acrylics and varnish sealant.

Jewels tried, tested and safe!

I loved the process and the finished product. I will definitely be painting more furniture, but I think I will wait until the warm weather comes. It would make the process SO much easier!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Video Art!

Ok, so it is not so much art as it is Jewels promotion!

Dyson is hosting the Next Top Animal contest. From now until the end of the year. Each month a video will be chosen by the world and they will win a Dyson vaccuum. Of course I just HAD to enter my Jewels (who is fabulously talented by the way!)

Here was my video:

I hope she wins!!! Not so much for the vaccuum (which WOULD be fabulous) but just for her winning! I love when she wins and I get to play the proud Mommy! She is too cute for words in my eyes and I love when people agree with me! :)

Check it out and be sure to vote!

PS. Jewels will send you doggy kisses to everyone who votes for her! She LOVES doggy kisses!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Phoenix art

As mentioned in a previous post here is the process of my Phoenix painting.

It began one day in Aug 2008 with my mothers' bday fast approaching and me with absolutely no idea what to get for her. She declared one day she wanted a mural painted on a blank wall in the hallway of her home. After I thought it through and tried to decide a plan for a mural - she decided that what she really wanted is a painting of her 14 year old dog Phoenix:

After thinking I would rather paint a mural then try my hand at Phoenix - I decided I had absolutely no supplies for this kind of painting - so off to Michaels I went! After 30 mins of floating around the painting aisles, I left with a bag of every colour I could have possibly used for Phoenix and some canvas. Next I sketched it out:

I liked how the drawing turned out so I left it for the night - looking at it and thrilled. I was terrified of painting over it - sure I was going to ruin it - so I did the only thing I could: The Background:
Ok, now I was stuck. I was unable to go any farther without actually ruining my drawing - so I dived right in and I painted the entire thing. After deciding the colours I used were so completely wrong - I tried again and repainted it. Here is the first layer:

Not too bad. The shading is coming along. The eyes and nose are just black in this photo with no definition yet. Whew! It is not so bad or scary! So I continue on:

I finish with this stage and leave it overnight - but something is off; something is not quite right. So a little more work is needed and:

I'm done! I'm actually done and I love it. It was not as bad as I thought! I didn't ruin it. This picture doesn't really show the eye shading, but it is there. Here is a closeup:

"Phoenix" - 16 x 20 stretched canvas. Acrylics. Sealed with Krylon finish.

Now they have asked me for 2 - yes 2! - paintings of Ebony. My heart flutters even thinking about it:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

In the Past - Acrylic

Here are some older paintings I did pre-house. Still done with acrylics but not so much mixed media. I will post my older mixed medias at another time.

My very first acrylic painting:

"Jewels Peaking" - 5 x 7 Acrylics on canvas board. Sealed in Krylon finish.

I was thrilled with how this came out. It was my first try at painting anything substantial and I love the look in her eyes. Here is the original for a comparison:

Next, I decided to take on the world of Mexican celebrations and make a Day of the Dead skull painting:

"Day of the Dead" - 8 x 10 canvas board. Acrylics. Sealed in Krylon finish.

Not too bad. I still think I should re-do the background and add some depth to the eyes. Maybe one day. But for now it is safe just the way it is.

I took a breather after this and created a series of phone book mixed media paintings. I will post these on another day. Next came a painting I was asked to create for my Mom for her birthday. It was a portrait of her dog Phoenix (RIP 2008.) I was thrilled how it turned out and it was my first fully shaded and defined piece I had tried so far. It was also a larger size than I had tried prior (16 x 20.) I will make another post to detail the process of this one as well.

My spirits were high and my confidence soared. I could paint! Soon I discovered an artist by the name of Suzi Blu and was inspired. This mixed media thing was exactly what I have always wanted. After years of doing similar pieces in ATC form bringing it to canvas was a dream come true! I had to try it out!

"Starry Night" - 8 x 10 stretched canvas. Mixed media - acrylics, glitter, various papers, paper flowers, watercolour, ribbon, stamps & beeswax (not shown in picture.) Sealed in beeswax.

I liked her. She was pretty and cute and exactly what I had envisioned. Onto some bright girls that spoke to me in my dreams:

"Contemplative Thinking" - 8x 10 Stretched canvas. Acrylics & glitter. Sealed in Krylon finish.

"Little Friend" - 8 x 10 stretched canvas. Acrylics & glitter. Sealed in Krylon finish.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Art of Business (Cards, That Is!)

I came up with the idea of painting little paintings and using them as my business cards. I have been collecting business cards (and even received a box of old ones from my hubby) for a 'rainy day' when I figured out what to do with them. Well, today it poured! :) I have been painting and painting and came up with 13 of them. Now I just have to decide what to do on the back to display my info. Hmmm....

The first step was to either paint the front (the back is blank on these ones)

Or to add phone book pages to both sides of the card ( for damaged, embossed and glossy cards.)

Next, I decided what images to paint and went forth painting them.

And painting...

Finally, here are some of the finished product. Still no backs yet. I will update later!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Process

I decided I would try to show a little of my process to my paintings. I have to admit I am not good at stopping long enough to grad the camera. I tend to be a paint-in-one-session kind of artist. So here is my first try at my process!

I start out every canvas by adhering phone book pages to the canvas. I do this for a few reasons - I like the texture. I like the wrinkles and the words visable through the final paint. I get asked whether I should be using other peoples phone numbers, names and addresses in my artwork - I say: Sure! Why not? I get the pages from the Yellow Pages which are public knowledge anyways. You can find all the info on the pages I use on the internet - now there is privacy for you! :)

Stage 2. The first coat of paint. I actually had to stop and go to work at this point. I also found out (rather late) that I was completely out of white paint and in need of going to the store first. So far - I don't like the face. Too perfect and bright. I'll have to fix that!

"Star Gazer" - 8 x 10 Stretched canvas. Mixed media - glitter, confetti, acrylics, gems & papers. Sealed in Krylon finish.
Overall, I am quite happy with the look. As you can see I changed the nose and added more depth to the face & features. I also changed the background to a different colour by adding a blue wash over the grey I had (it is difficult to see in this pic.) I love the final appearance of the sky. This piece really looks great in the sun!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Midnight in the Garden of Jewels

So I painted another of my kitties today. They are just such a joy for me - all of their little faces and their big eyes. Here she is:

8 x 10 on stretched canvas. Mixed media - confetti, acrylics & papers. Sealed in Krylon finish.
What should I paint tomorrow I wonder? I am also looking in to some canvas that is a larger size than my typical paintings. Maybe I'll venture into that soon also. I have a few mixed media techniques I would like to test out soon. Ohhh - very exciting all these new developements!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Kitty Cats Galore!

I really enjoy painting my 'vase kitties' as I call them. I love their long necks and bright eyes. Here are a few from the past few weeks including today's painting:

"Benny & Jett" - 8 x 10 stretched canvas. Acrylics. Sealed in Krylon finish. I made this one for a friend. These are her 2 cats.

"Samantha" - 5 x 7 canvas board. Mixed media - acrylics & papers. Sealed in Krylon finish.

"King of the Mouse" - 8 x 10 Stretched canvas. Mixed media - acrylics & papers. Sealed in Krylon finish.

Today's painting:

"Mardi Gras" - 5 x 7 canvas board. Mixed media - acrylics & papers. Sealed in Krylon finish.

Blo-gging Behind....

I told myself I would write as diligently as possible - but here I am - with a new baby blog and not writing every day. I will get better, I promise.

To catch up on what has been going on, here are some more paintings I have done recently:

"Suzanne" - 8 x 10 stretched canvas. Mixed media - acrylics and papers. Sealed in Krylon finish.

"Going Home" - 8 x 10 stretched canvas. Mixed media - acrylics, buttons, papers, wooden shapes & confetti. Sealed in beeswax.

"Lollipop Trees" - 8 x 10 stretched canvas. Mixed media - papers, acrylics, confetti & ribbon. Sealed in gel mediums and Krylon finish.

Top: "Caramel Apples & Candy Corn", Bottom: "Cotton Candy & Lollipops" - 5 x 7 canvas board. Mixed media - acrylics and papers. Sealed in Krylon finish.

"Fancy Free" - 8 x 10 stretched canvas. Mixed media - acrylics & papers. Sealed in Krylon finish.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


To ease myself into the wonderful world of blogging I have chosen to also join I will be trying to update my goings ons and doings as much as possible both here, Twitter & Flickr. Stay tuned for more art!

You can find me at and

Until later! :0)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Where to Start?

Whew! Today is the first day this month I have taken off from painting.

It has been a daily trial and error (mostly trials) of the wonderul world of painting. I hope to be able to start selling on line on various websites soon. (Ok, so I am scared sh#tless of selling my art - but I have to start somewhere as this was a goal of 2009.)

So after finally settling in the new house I began painting again. This was the first creation:

It is a 8 x 10 wrapped canvas with phone book paper glued on for texture and then painted in acrylics. Her crown is painted newspaper. I'm pretty happy with the end result. I like the colours and textures.

I immediately felt much more confident and continued onto another painting. Ugh! What a mistake! I hated it within the first few strokes of the brush. (Sorry I didn't even take a picture of it - I'll try better next time!) After adding my layers and more paint over the old - this was born:

Originally the painting was another girl with a bird in the background. It looked nothing similar to this one. This fabulousity (yes, it IS a word ! :-) ) is another 8x 10 stretched canvas with phone book paper and acrylic paints. The house, tree and embellishment is scrap book papers and it is entirely sealed in beeswax (my very first attempt!) I love the end result! It was totally unexpected and nothing I have ever created previously.

I thought nothing could stop me now!