Monday, December 31, 2012

A collection of things to think about in your new year...

Old Artwork, New Images...Using Your Ipad to Create Something New!

From this Original Painting...
From this original painting to.......these cool images!

Using the ipad app "Pho.To Lab" (free) you can use this kaleidoscope filter to generate numerous, unique images to print and use in your mixed media art and jewelry. I stayed up way past "sensible" making these last night. It became addicting, wanting to see what each new image would look like!
I have barely scratched the surface of what I can do with this amazing tablet! If you have a favorite App you like to use in creating and/or managing your artwork, please tell us about it! Comments are always welcome here at Artplaytoday and I look forward to them!

Happy New Year!


Friday, November 30, 2012

Experiments...always a good way to discover cool new techniques!

The other day, my daughter asked me to do a resin pour on a little project she had going. I ended up with a lot of resin left over, so I grabbed all sorts of odds and ends I had laying around and started experimenting with wire, tissue, foil, vintage catalogue pages, beads and jewelry findings. Anything with an edge that I could pour the resin into. The picture below is a collection of all my new little "charms" that I will eventually use in my jewelry projects.
Towards the end, when the resin was starting to get too thick to pour, I mixed in some pearl-ex pigment powders and found out it makes a really cool, faux enamel look! The little red, green and blue are the ones with the pigment mixed in. For me, this is a great discovery! Now I won't have to waste any extra resin, because with the pigments mixed in, you don't have to worry about getting any bubbles out. Ordinarily, for a clear, topcoat pour, you have a fairly short working time to be able to use a torch and release bubbles so its perfectly clear. This new discovery has got me thinking about all sorts of new ideas!
The night I did this, I couldn't sleep a wink because my brain wouldn't stop spewing ideas that I want to try. I hate it when that happens, but I also love it, because it opens up the floodgates for all sorts of renewed inspiration.
So if you are stuck in a rut, or creatively blocked, or just need a change, try something new that you haven't tried before with your existing art supplies!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Make your own texture stamps using a flip flop!

A few days ago I posted a really cool video on my Facebook page about using different kinds of foam you might all ready have at make stamps for your mixed media work or paper craft projects. If after reading this you want to see the video you can see it  HERE.

I decided to see how we'll it worked and was pleasantly surprised! Here are some samples of the stamps I made, by cutting up an old flip flop.

Here is what you will need for this project:
A foam flip flop ( you can buy them at the dollar store)
A heat gun
A variety of objects from around the house to use for impressions ( I used jewelry findings, my daughters plastic headbands, beads etc...
Scissors or a craft knife
A heat safe surface

1. Cut your foam flip flop into squares, rectangles, or whatever shapes you like.
2. Lay out your object(s) that you want to use for your impressions in an arrangement that will fit your foam piece
3. On a heat resistant surface, use your heat gun to heat the surface of your foam ( keep heat gun moving and hold about an inch or 2 above the foam). Heat for approx. 20 to 30 seconds...don't burn your foam!
4. Quickly take the heated side of your foam shape and press it down on to your chosen object(s). Press hard with even pressure for about 10 seconds. You should now have an impression embedded in to your foam...yay!
5. Now test your image with a stamp pad or paint on to paper or fabric. If you don't like the image you get, simply reheat the foam and try again! You can reuse your foam pieces over and over again, because the heat gun will return the foam to its original flat surface!

And that's it! Five easy steps to making your own stamps! Here are some ideas for using them in your art...

---Make your own decorative papers to use in collage work.
---Use fabric paint and stamps to create unique fabric prints to use in your quilting or sewing projects.
---Use your new stamps to create beautiful backgrounds for art journals, ATC's, paintings etcetera...
---Create fun gift tags and cards.
---Make your own patterned gift wrap.
---Create fun borders around stationary or frames.

I hope you have as much fun with this as I did!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A new work in's almost finished!

Here is a quick look at a painting I've been working on...I think I've almost got it nailed, just a few minor tweaks I plan on doing to it. The photos are a progressive look from start to today.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Attention IPad Users! What are your favorite apps that you use for blogging, social networking, art, photography...etc?

I'm using a new app for posting to my blog. It's called Blogsy. This is kind of a test post. You see, in our household, the only computer we have is "my" MacBook. I say "my", because now that my girls are older, they have commandeered the laptop as their own. It's always been easier for me to post to my blog using the computer, it's just not the same with the iPad. Every time I've posted using an app called BlogPress from my iPad the formatting ends up all wonky and I have to wait until I can use my computer to make it look right.

This new app "Blogsy" looks promising! If it really does all it says it should, then I will be jumping for joy! I'm wondering if anyone out there reading this also uses their iPad for blogging and other day to day tasks.

One of the really cool things I do with mine, regarding making art, is to use it when I come to a standstill on a painting. If I'm afraid of messing it up, or am stuck and don't know what to do next, I take a picture with my iPad, upload it into an art app, like Artrage, or Sketchbook and add to it within the app. That way, if I "ruin" it I can simply delete the layer that I added, and start again. I can try out multiple ideas, come up with something I like and then have confidence continuing on with the real project. I love that I can do this! Here is an this painting "Urban Dreams" I came to a point where I knew I liked parts of the painting, but hated others and was afraid to continue for fear of destroying the whole thing. I uploaded it into Artrage, created a new layer and started painting away, deleting, and experimenting until I came up with something I really liked. Then I was able to come up with something I knew would look good and began painting it onto the canvas.

This is where I was stuck...

This is the Artrage embellished solution...

And this is the actual painting after applying my idea to the canvas.

Another way I use my iPad is to use the various photography apps. I'll upload a picture of a piece of finished art, and use various filters, frames and effects to embellish it in a variety of ways. I would really love hearing what apps you like to use. There are so many out there! I used photo lab pro to make this...

into this...

Here is another question for you, does anyone use their iPad for making videos, or video tutorials? That is something I would LOVE to do! Taking pictures and video with a camera and then uploading and editing on the computer is SOOOOOO time consuming! Is there a better way?

Well, I guess that's about it for this test blog post. Thanks for visiting!

Friday, September 14, 2012

I'm Back...with updates from over the summer and a work in progress...

Hi! I bet you thought I was never coming back, but here I am! Now that the school year is fully underway, I can feel free to spend time again on my art and my blog. I am so excited to be back in full swing again!

My summer was extremely busy! I spent most of it coaching soccer (my daughter's select team won 3 out of the 4 tournaments we entered this summer, and took 2nd in the last one). And the rest of the time was spent enjoying my family, friends and my dogs! The first dog is Slash, he entertains us 24/7...the second is Bella, the sweetest girl you'll ever meet ( when she's not barking anyway...) and the last picture is of myself and my daughters Mylie (13) and Ivy (10).
I am really excited about the doors that are opening for me in the art world! I am showing my work in three local galleries now, and have sold two paintings and quite a few of my domino art pendants as well. Three of my pieces were also accepted into the Puyallup Fair Juried Art Show, where this one (below) won an honorable mention award!
I am also working one day a week at The Crazy Lady on 4th Street Art Gallery, which is situated within the larger Amy Burnett Art Gallery in Bremerton Washington. This is really exciting, because I'm meeting all sorts of new artist friends. And if things are slow, I can even get some painting in!
In the two days I've worked I've managed to start this new work in progress...
I still have a long ways to go on this, but I think I'm off
to a good start, and can't wait to see what it ends up looking like!

I'm also working on this larger painting, and after looking at it all summer long, and not being happy with it, I think I'm ready to scrap it and start all over again,
I guess that about sums up what's been going on in the past few months. I hope you all enjoyed your summer and are still finding time to play and create!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thrift Store Finds and Creative Art Journal Tutorial

I don't know about you, but I get totally excited when I run across great deals at the thrift store! I found  13 of these books for $1 each at Goodwill the other day. The reason they are so great is that they are all hand bound with gorgeous heavy weight, slightly textured paper with deckled edges. 

These books will make beautiful art journals and I'm thinking I will prepare the pages for journaling, create unique/artful covers and then list them on my Etsy shop. When I finish a few of these I will be sure and post pictures.

Don't you just LOVE inexpensive "Retail Therapy"! This is just what I needed to get back on track.
Summer vacation with kids out of school has thrown me for a loop for some reason. I love spending more time with my kids, but can't seem to balance that with my creative, art making, blogging side.
So........Sorry I haven't posted in so long! I'm feeling really guilty about that. I've set a new goal for myself to post at least twice a month until School is back in session, and then at least once a week.  

At any rate, thanks for sticking with me. I promise new and fun things to come on this blog!

Finally, I found this great video tutorial on how to make a great journal recycling your collection of greeting cards from various occasions. I really enjoyed the creativity that went in to creating these journals, and the simple technique used to make them.  

For more great journal tutorials and a very fun blog visit Jennibellie at Jennibellie Studio. I just discovered her today on Youtube and really enjoyed her blog as well. I think you will too!

Have a fantastic, creative weekend!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Break Free from the Mold...Express Yourself

Break free from the mold and express yourself...I borrowed this description and photograph from my artist/painter friend Jani Freimann.  What an awesome piece of art/sculpture!  I love it.  And doesn't it fit perfectly with the struggle that most of us share...finding our own style and breaking free from repeating what we see other artists doing.  

Jani and I were just discussing how we wish we could find our "Niche", our own unique style, recognizable not just by our signature, but by our individuality shining through our work.  Here are some of my thoughts on how to eventually create art that speaks of your unique art personality.

  1. SCHEDULE TIME TO CREATE:  this has to be the number one thing that will lead to your unique style. The more you create, the more you'll discover the Who, What, When, Where and Why of your style...Who do you admire? Who inspires you? Who makes you want to be your best? What do you enjoy drawing, painting, sculpting? What art supplies do you enjoy the most?  What techniques do you tend to use most often? What is your favorite substrate? When are you most creative? Where do you find inspiration? Where are you most comfortable creating? Why do you enjoy the creative process? These are just a few of the things you'll discover along the long as you continue to allow yourself the time to be creative.
  2. FIND INSPIRATION:  take a field trip to a local gallery...what type of art are you most drawn to? Start a notebook with inspirational art from other artists. Keep a journal of words, phrases, subject matter and other things that get you inspired to create. Interview another artist whom you admire and find out more about their journey. Take time to slow down and be inspired by the world around you. Be in the moment and observe your own thoughts (easier said than done, especially for us ADHD types).
  3. EXPERIMENT: Try something new. Try a new technique. Play with some different art supplies.  Create in different mediums and/or Genres. Take an online art workshop, or a local art class.  Keep an art journal to play and experiment in, you'll discover all sorts of new things about your creative style by doing this. For me, an art journal is non-threatening and allows me to feel less inhibited, less attached to the results. With an art journal anything goes, and you don't have to share it with anyone if you don't want to! This is one of my biggest tools in developing and improving my technique and process.
  4. PLAY:  Just have fun with your art. Make art for the sake of the joy you find in the process rather than the product. Relax and let go of any preconceived notions of what your creations should look like. The whole idea behind the name "Art Play Today" came from my firm belief that art/creating should come from a place of joy and passion. You should find time to play each and everyday! Even if it's just a doodle on a scrap piece of paper while your on the phone or watching TV. It all makes a difference!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

SOLD...My First Painting at the Bluewater Artworks Gallery!!!

I just received a phone call from the gallery where some of my artwork is displayed! They sold my Triptych. This is the first of several paintings there that has sold, and my first ever gallery sale ( other than a few pendants). I'm doing the happy dance. This is just what I needed for an extra shot of confidence and inspiration! Woo Hoo!

Now I'm really curious about who bought it!
Happy Father's Day, hope everyone is enjoying their family today! Which reminds me, I'm off to call my own dad!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

New Domino Pendants

Here are some new pendants I've been creating the last couple of days. About 2/3rds of them actually have another, different image on the back side, so when finished they will be "2 pendants in 1". These are not the greatest pictures of them, but oh well. They look better in reality.