Monday, January 30, 2012

Artists in Blogland- "Soul" Challenge

Whew, I wasn't sure I'd finish in time to enter my new painting in the monthly challenge at Artists in Blogland hosted by Marcia Beckett...but, finish I did and here she is!
 For my working title, I've been calling it "Soul Music"  I may change it later but for now; 
I'm just happy to be done!  Go check out the link to see lots of other art full of "soul" and after the 31st, there will be a poll to vote for your favorite!  I'm really excited because there are a lot of artists I already know there plus a lot of "new to me" folks too!  Go check it out!
Update: If you've known me for a while, then you know that I just can't leave things alone!  I had issues with the negative space on the left side; felt like it made the right side bottom heavy.....anyway, I added some moons and stars and I think it is FINIS!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Paint Party Friday- Week 46

It's week 46 of Paint Party Friday and although I had a really busy week, I did manage to get a new painting started....mind, it's in a VERY rough stage and again, I'm once again, a little embarrassed to share.  I usually sketch and sketch tons before I paint anything, but every once in a while I do a free-for-all style painting where I start with a rough idea of what I want to paint and then use the paintbrush as a sketching's fun and frustrating at the same time, but it's also good for the perfectionist in me to let go every once in a here's what I have so far:
 for whatever reason, the colors aren't showing very well, maybe because it's a really overcast day?  Anyway, it's enough to give you an idea.....and like I said, it's in very early, rough stages! Here it appears that I've just used complimentary colors but there is a lot more range of color than is showing.  For today, I want to work on the tree, unify the background areas and do a little more color emphasis on her face- also, her arms and hands are driving me bonkers......all this will have to wait until later as I have to leave now to take my daughter to the doctor......but my "cello chica" will be waiting for me when I return and I am starting to like her more, the better I get to know her!  For now, Happy Paint Party Friday!  I'll be by to see what every one else has been up to this week- you should too, it's always incredibly inspiring!



Thursday, January 26, 2012

Palette & Paint Thursday!

It's Palette & Paint Thursday and here's my palette of the week- I have a new WIP and right now; the colors are predominately purples and blues and magentas.  I'll be adding more variety today and we'll see where it goes.  It's one of my "freer" paintings where I use a big brush instead of sketching, a good exercise for the perfectionist in me!  And yes, there's a person in this, but she's not ready to be shown yet!  I'll share her tomorrow at PPF....
In the meantime, go check out Tracey Potter's P&P Post featuring last weeks artists and link up a photo of your palette from this week- it's lots of fun and Tracey always makes us look GREAT!
See you all tomorrow at Paint Party Friday!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Poppy Love!

 I finished my new painting- as always the minute I get it up on the monitor, I see things that I would touch up  or change a bit.  But it's at that point that it needs to be finished.  So, I'm declaring it "finished"! 
And for the most part, I'm really happy with it!
I just listed it in my Etsy shop- click HERE for more info and images.
 And I'm linking with Creative Color Challenge- go check it out!

Have a wonderful day, all!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Paint Party Friday- Week 45

WOW, is it possible that Paint Party Friday has been going strong for 45 weeks?  Incredible, and I'm happy to say that I've posted for a LOT of them.  Not all like I would prefer, but I'm happy with how many I've manged! 
So here's what I've been working on this week:
This is one of those times when I'm a little embarrassed to share my WIP's.  The first thing I'm doing today after I get off from here is change the background.....turn the stamens to black and intensify the oranges and then I think I'll be happy with..  Believe it or not, this supposed to be a poppy- see why I'm kind of reluctant to share :D
Go see what everyone else has been working on this week- there's always a great combination of talent at Paint Party Friday!
Have a great day!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cedar Wax Wings!!! (Or why you should leave privet in your garden...)

This isn't a great photo, but you can see the bright yellow on his tail!
Today was the second time this season I've been lucky enough to see Cedar Wax Wings in my garden, and I'd NEVER seen them before- so I feel twice blessed!  Along the back of our garden, we have lots of privet, and I don't mean the pretty manicured kind, I mean the kind that is basically a weed.  My husband has been trying to get me to let him cut it out for the last several years and I've always said NO, because we have many Cardinals nesting there every my garden is registered as a natural wildlife habitat and having brush is one of the requirements.... Anyway; Cedar Wax Wings- they are named that because the tip of their tails are bright yellow- like they've been dipped in wax....and they feed in swarms, so when you see lots of birds diving in and out of berry laden bushes, (like privet ;)) go take a peek- you might get lucky too!

Lots of swooping in and out to visit and feed.....
So that's all for now- hope I haven't bored you with my bird watching geekerery!
See ya'll tomorrow for PPF!

Palette & Paint Thursday!

It's Palette and Paint Thursday , and evidently, I'm on a roll 'cause here I am for the THIRD week in a row!  I hope to keep this trend going, because it's such a great group to be part of: :D plus it really keeps me motivated to create!
Anyways, for this week's palette, I went back to acrylics and I'm working on a little painting for the Creative Color Challenge- the color of the month is in honor of Pantone's Tangerine Tango color of the year. 
 And, here's my palette.....
I'll be sharing my new painting tomorrow for Paint Party Friday.  And, some pictures from art class SOON, I promise!  In the meantime, for anyone who's curious about what we've been doing in my classes; here's the link to my Artsonia Gallery.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Paint Party Friday- the 13th!

Eeeeee- it's Paint Party Friday time and Friday the 13th- 
who knows what will happen on a day like this?  I'll be waiting to see....
In the meantime, I finished my December pages for the traveling sketchbooks!
I wanted to keep it simple and not especially traditional, so I did a 
dove inspired by Picasso and surrounded by swirls a la Klimt... 
and layers of patterns punctuated with lines from Christmas carols. 
 You might have noticed that I am totally obsessed with making pop ups right now!
and my signature page, again in non-traditional colors......
I had a lot of fun with this, and NOW, I'm all caught up- or mostly- 
there's still a little tweaking I want to do on my November page.....
In the meantime, while I'm waiting to see which of the Sistas these books are going to, I'll be visiting PPF- won't you come too?  There's so much beautiful art to see, and fabulous people to meet....
Happy PAint PArty Friday!
x- Stephanie

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Palette & Paint Thursday

Hey guys, it's Palette and Paint Thursday again and I've been moving along with getting these sketchbooks done and in the mail tomorrow!  For today's palette, I'm sharing a bit of my December pages...
Why don't you take a pic of your palette and share too- it's lots of fun and Tracey is awesome too!
I'll be finishing this today and sharing tomorrow for PPF....
See ya'll then!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Catch up time.....

Last week, I wrote about my current pages for the Sisterhood of the Traveling Sketchbooks and then on Saturday, I had two more journals arrive!  Luckily, I knew they were coming so I had time to get an idea of what I'm doing in them.  
First I had to finish Jaime's journal- so here it is:
 this is the main spread with the words to a Day of the Dead poem written in

 and then the signature page.....with part of the poem again.  I've copied the poem in it's entirety at the bottom of this post for anyone who would care to read the whole thing!
 This is definitely one of those pieces that looks better in real life, but hopefully ya'll can get the gist here ;)  I used lots of shimmery metallics which I just can't seem to capture with my camera!

And then on to November:
I've been wanting to start participating in Haiku my Heart so I centered this page around a haiku I wrote.  Last Fall, I was teaching my students how to draw leaves and I noticed how much they look like stars- at least they do to me! 
 again with the metallics not photographing well- it's also really overcast today which helps nothing!

finished with one of my little joie de vivre figures.....
I'm linking this with the "Just Journals" Blog Party....FUN!
So I want to finish this one and the December book by Friday to get them all in the mail- the sketchbooks are more than halfway through with their travels, and I can't wait to see the end!
Here's the poem I used in Jaime's journal:
Message in Colors
Lit candles. Faces. Memories
and an entrance that's a rainbow: protection for the place
of rest and meditation.
Necklaces. Cempasuchitl, pre-Hispanic links, songs,
paper medals, flames talking to the wind
the diverse language departed.
It is the prime time of the celebration
or death's thread, threaded
through time's needle.
It is the decomposition of matter, transformed into art.
It is the final curtain awaken from death in Ocotepec.
Yes. An eternal dream of uncorrupt flowers and of
It is death's lament, fading away
and it is also the respect made a tribute.
Who could have imagined so much beauty on a tomb?
Mole. Glass of water. Copal. Salt. Prayers.
Firecrackers. Fruits. Bread. Music.
Corridos. Bolas. Romantic songs.
History, praised. Creativity, expressed
in its most raw form...
And it is the color purple, elegies in white, blue, pink.
It is a blow from grace so heightened as artificial fire
that reveals the soul's presence in the darkness.
Something like the flowering of martyrdon in flames.
An arrangement for the end or the posthumous splendor.
In Morelos everything is possible
gloom battles with life and its victor,
it is once again for a little which, happiness, live tradition
which overcomes reality.
It was before these ornate gravesites, when I knew
that in Ocotepec, as in my heart,
those that have departed return every year to remind us of
their love.
And that only LOVE can save us.
Julie Sopetran
(Spanish poet, 2000)
I just LOVE the words she used!
Happy creating friends!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Paint Party Friday- YAY I Made it!

This past week, I've been working on getting reorganized and trying to create a schedule for myself where I can get everything done on my list and still have some art to share in time for Paint Party Friday, a place I have truly missed being part of!  And here I am!

Yesterday, when I shared my palette for Palette and Paint Thursday, I mentioned that I'd been working on my Traveling Sketchbook again.  And so, here it is:
I wanted to use Autumn inspired colors since it's for the month of  November and I'm focusing on Día de Muertos or Day of the Dead for my theme.  This is the background I painted in:

These are scraps of paper leftover from my art classes and I just painted free form swirls and stuff.  I'd planned on cutting them into pockets to hold the 13 (to represent each of the Sistas) sugar skulls.  But, now I like them so much, I don't want to cut them we'll see what I end up doing with them......

Here's my winged skeleton- I'm planning to cut him out and glue him down in pop up format with the sugared-sistah-skulls poking up and around him.  IF I can get it to match my vision, it should look super cool.......

Now, I'm off to start painting the skulls......I'll you all later at Paint Party Friday!

Here is what the skeleton looks like cut out and folded before I glue him into place.  I want to get all the skulls done and planned out before I do anything final!

 Obviously, it will be a LOT neater when I'm I'm off to read more PPF posts.....

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Palette & Paint Thursday- I finally made it back!

Hooray- the kids are back in school and I've already planned my classes for the week- no "holiday-gift-paintings" in the works, so I can finally turn back to painting.  And even better, painting for the Traveling Sketchbooks!  We all took a little break over the holidays so I'm actually working on my November entry.  I'm just going to show a couple of sneak peeks of the journal page since this post is about palettes.  I used liquid water colors for this- I DO love how saturated the colors are- fabulous!
 I'm linking with Palette & Paint Thursday go by and see this fun collection- I'm so happy to be able to participate again!  I'll be back tomorrow for Paint Party Friday another blog party that I have sorely missed. 
Now I'm off to get supplies out for this afternoon's art class- we're doing snowman (girl?) self portraits!
Till Tomorrow,

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Garden didn't know it was Winter......

Yesterday was the first hard freeze we've had this Winter; up until then, many of my flowers were still behaving as if it was much warmer!  Luckily, I read the forecast and took some pictures before everything shriveled up and turned black- a kind of final hurrah to my garden of 2011 if you will....

So here they are.;
 this rose; Perle d'Or has been blooming since just before my birthday in April....
that's .eight months!

 these are African daisies and they too have been going and going and going...
I'm really hoping they've reseeded but if not, you can be sure I'll be getting as many as I can next year- cheap, beautiful and long lasting; my favorite kind of flower!

where I live, snapdragons and pansies do bloom on and off all winter- I just couldn't resist sharing how pretty they are ;)

At the time I took these pictures, we also still had some peppers and pineapple sage going strong in the veggie garden, I just didn't make it back that far.

And, on a final note, my art classes started back up yesterday.
Here are my 5th graders working on their Name Kaleidoscopes- so easy yet SO effective!  I'll share more pictures when they're finished.

I'll be back soon to share pictures from my Christmas camps, which was a blast!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year to YOU!

I've definitely been gone, but hopefully not forgotten!  The computer I had been sharing with my daughter (since my own computer died last Spring) finally crashed and while I've been using my hubby's think pad for reading blogs, I have really slacked off on the actual writing of my own blog!

This last week I've been thinking and thinking- trying to come up with some good resolutions for this bright new year  And as always, I had something of a hard time narrowing it down; BUT I did come up with a few.... 
  1. Keep the Quit- many of you know that I quit smoking for the umpteenth time last August; my goal here is to stick with it!
  2. Be Grateful- remember the gratitude journal I made a while back?  I need to get back to daily entries.
  3. Stay Positive- this is not always an easy thing for me, but I'm gonna work on it!  
  4. Be a Better Juggler- parenting, wifing, arting, teaching, blogging- these are just a few of the things that I love in my life and I need to do find a better way to balance them all...get those balls back in the air if you will!
To be honest, 2011 was the hardest year I've had in a long time.  There were a lot of health issues that led to financial issues both of which have had me in and out of a funk for a while now.  But there were also a lot of good things that happened last year!  And while I am grateful to begin a fresh year; I do want to take a moment to think about some of the 
blessings that 2011 has brought my way;
 Being able to combine teaching with being an artist- I love the freedom of my little classes- and having time to paint is such a wonderful feeling!

 Our new little kitten- Mojo has been such a wonderful, funny addition to our family.....

   helping start the Sisterhood of Traveling Sketchbooks- I have loved this physical connection with my bloggy, artist friends!

And then of course, there are the blessings that have only gotten better over the years.....
 my sweet (mostly) husband Bill- I can't believe we're about to have our 20th anniversary in a few weeks!
my "babies" on Christmas morning, sleepy, but beautiful!
I'll end my rambling of resolutions and gratitude here.....I hope you all had a blessed 2011 and an even better beginning to 2012!
Love and Hugs,