Thursday, April 24, 2014

A hike a day keeps the poundage away?

Okay, I admit its cheesy, but I made you look! LOL  I was invited to an early morning hike today by my girlfriend Marta. I had been wanting to go and even though it was last minute I decided to jump out of bed and get out of the house. We went to the Hartford Springs Nature Reserve, it is a rocky place with trails and lots to see.

The weather was perfect, just what we ordered and I brought Randy's camera so that I could take lots of pictures to sketch from later. We hiked for about an hour and realized how out of shape we all are, the whining started about 3/4 of the way through. Marta started it!

We managed to get a tiny bit lost but climbed up onto the hill and could see which way we had to go to get back to our car.
Marta was the trail docent!

I found this rock that looked like it was going to fall!

Resting, even docents need a break

Gypsum Weed, poisonous and grows wild. I heard that kids were dying from smoking it!  

Another sketch of some of the flowers and the view from the hills

Our hiking selfie!!! Yeah we rock!

 Just being outside, hiking with friends, exploring a new place can just fill your whole day with sunshine. I even went home and did a few sketched of the things we saw today.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Blooming during any Season

A bloom is the culmination of stored energy that bursts forward with color & fragrance.   


We all have the ability to bloom, wherever we are, each and every day. We don't have to be defined by our circumstances only, but more by the way we live in spite of them.  Learning to bloom where we are can be life changing. By believing in ourselves and finding the color in each day we can better weather the different seasons in our lives creatively.

Are you feeling as though its winter in your life? Are you creatively barren and fruitless. Has the snow packed in around you that you are wondering if it will ever let you go? Remember the bloom is inside of you! Storing up energy for the season will turn and there will be a spring again. I think that this happens to all of us creatively. Try getting out and seeing other peoples art or visit an artist friend. Sometimes by changing our surroundings we can get back that little bit of creative spark that can burst forth into a wonderful, warm, glowing creative Bloom!

Maybe you feel as though its summer in your life. When the pressure and heat from all those outside forces feel as though they are causing you to wilt beneath it. Remember that during these times what remains only grows stronger. 

I always think of plants that are grown in a hothouse. A place where everything is controlled, the temperature, the humidity, the fertilizer. Its called a hot house but really its a bubble of protection. Any time you buy one of these plants they tell you that you need to harden it off before putting it out in the direct sun. A time of limited exposure to the sun so that the plant can harden itself off and wont die when exposed to the direct elements. By living in that direct sunshine we are being hardened off so we can take the heat. 

You can bloom in any season, find inspiration during the harshest of conditions by looking for the beauty in the moment. I want to encourage you to find the beauty in today. The day I was writing this I was walking to the mailbox and out in front of my house I saw a tiny petunia that was growing in the crack in the sidewalk. The most inhospitable place to try and grow. The conditions are not conducive to growing and even farther from blooming yet, this little flower was growing where it was planted, blooming in spite of the conditions. When you bloom in the desert everyone will notice!!!

When you bloom make it spectacular!!! 

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Blog Hop Today!!!

We are doing a blog hop to celebrate Lynn Krawczyk new book! I have been playing with many of the techniques in her book. It is a great book for giving you the courage just to throw caution into the wind and go for it. She gives you some great info for setting up your workspace and even has projects for you to try.
This is one of my thermal fax screen that I had done from my Baccus man fountain. I love him and started adding paint!

Another screen and adding inks

Some of Lynn's thermal fax screen prints, I like how she uses them on colored fabric.

 I love the featured artists pages, where they have taken her fabric and created their own masterpiece too. I hope you will give it a look over, oh and wait, LEAVE A COMMENT here for a chance to win Lynns book! Thats right leave a comment on this post and on April 16th I will draw a name from the comments list and send you the book!!

Draw, stamp, screen print and more to create gorgeous art cloth with the help of surface design artist Lynn Krawczyk’s new book, Intentional Printing: Simple Techniques for Inspired Art Fabric(Interweave/F+W Media; $26.99.) Take part in our blog tour with stops along the way at:

 I can't wait to see who will win! 

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Giving away feels so good

It is said that most of us spend the first half of our life gathering things and the second half giving them all away. I come from a long line of givers, that group of people that only feel complete if they can share. It could be possessions or talents or knowledge or time but the only way to feed our souls is if we share ourselves and give it away. I feel so very blessed and we all know you receive so much more in return!

Are you one of those too?

Do you glow in the sharing but wince in the receiving? I have been working on my receiving skills for a long time. That can be harder than giving since it can be unexpected and feel undeserved. It often feels uncomfortable, like I am wearing someone else's clothes. But I have learned over the years that it is all part of that giving cycle, of blessing and being blessed. 

 I was a receiver this week, twice! Carolyn Brinely sent me some adorable Easter Baskets made from one of my patterns. An unexpected gift from a complete stranger that touched my heart! What a completely unselfish thing to do, I am displaying them with pride! Carolyn is another giver.

And then my fabric company sent me the quilts they had made from my fabric to have! I had offered to pay them to cover their expenses but they declined the money and just sent the quilts, pillows etc! My cup runneth over this week.

Today my grandson Blake came to visit. Last year I had made some things to display with my Monster truck fabric line with Blake in mind. I am now done promoting the line and it was time to give him his gifts from Nana. Nothing fills me up more than someone who loves my gifts. That is what fuels us to keep giving, what keeps us charged. Creating what you love, with love, and then releasing it is the best. My daughter has been sending me pictures of him wearing his backpack around the house during the day and carrying his little monster truck carrier everywhere he goes, perfect joy for me!

Tommorrow I am sending out another love gift to a special baby who needs some comfort! Blessing abound!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Warm and Cool, who knew!?

I loved last months theme on the Sketchbook Challenge, it causes me to stop and think about something I do naturally, without much thought anymore. That's the one nice thing about practice, pretty soon it just becomes natural and organic and it can be done without over thinking it. I also need to admit that I am not one to follow rules when it comes to creating art. It needs to be a bit intuitive but knowing some basics about cool and warm can help you create more successful artwork. I thought I would share some simple tips that I use when I am painting that have helped me and I hope they will help you too.

COOL TIP: One of the things is that is cool about cool colors is that they go back or make things look like they recede in the painting while warm colors come forward in your painting. That is why when you look at landscapes you will notice that mountains are often painted in blues and purples for a few reasons. First, like I mentioned, those cool colors recede but also the farther things are away from us the more layers of atmosphere cover them. So I always think about layers of blue sky covering things as they get farther away from me. This atmospheric layering also softens the colors so as they go back they also get lighter.
Remember my sketch from Crater Lake, I was tucked in the lodge when the blizzard hit but you can see here how the warm colors of the rock wall stand out from the cool colors of the trees. As the trees got farther away they became less colored and lighter. See how if gives the feeling of depth.

In this sketch from the window at my moms house you can see how the warmer colors come forward and lead your eye through the painting. As the hills get farther away they became cooler and softer.

HOT TIP:   Warm colors bring things to the front of your painting, they tend to draw your eye. Norman Rockwell would use red in selected areas in his paintings to move your eye around the painting. Next time you see one of his paintings see if you can catch it. It is often something we do with out even realizing it. Do you remember the movie, The Sixth Sense, they used red in much the same way, to bring attention to a specific thing.

This is a painting that I have done on fabric with acrylic inks. I use cools and warms together to lend interest. Do you notice how your eye follows the red up the path, jumps the road to the bushes on the left and then across the roof to the bushes on the right? I am asking the viewer to explore the painting.  See how the stronger colors are close and soften as they recede. I did darken the cypress behind the Duomo to make it stand out even more. But do you see how the warm building comes forward off of the trees behind? I will be teaching this at the San Diego Quilt Show in Sept!

Greens can either be cool or warm depending if you use a green blue or a yellow green , do you see that here? Scan back up and see if you notice the warmer greens verses the cooler greens. Cool huh!

warm forward, cool back

I love to mix cools and warms, the results are sometimes so exciting! 

Well, let me encourage you to try and see if you can create the feeling of things receding and moving forward using cool and warm colors this week in your sketchbooks.  But most of all have fun!! Hope to see you in San Diego!

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