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The one with She Art

4 Jan

Happy New Year!

I can’t believe it’s 2014; a brand new year with so many possibilities. As I was preparing my photos for this post, I scrolled through my blog roll and noticed many bloggers talking about goal setting for 2014. One Little Word (by Ali Edwards) is pretty popular. I’ve also seen beginnings of new 365 projects (like the one by Gretchen Miller). It all got me to thinking that I’ve never really made creative goals for myself at the beginning of the year. I will have to give this some thought. Of course, if I do decide to take on one of these practices, I will share!

Today however, I’d like to share one of my projects I finished up in December. I made this for my cousin (one of my very favorite people) and the phrase “Carry On Warrior” comes from the book of the same name by Glennon Doyle Melton. My cousin introduced me to this book and fantastic author and her wonderfully funny and real blog. If you haven’t read Ms. Melton, I highly recommend her! Anyhow, this is my second attempt at She Art (created by the amazingly talented Christy Thomlinson) and I’m pretty pleased at the way it turned out!

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SheArt6So, that was my last mixed media piece completed in 2013. I have a bunch of projects I’m working on this week and I’m looking forward to all the opportunities this year will offer.

Do you have a creative goals practice? Are you doing the One Little Word or any daily challenge? Share in the comments below.

See you next week,
Cheers,
Michelle

The one with the yellow flowers

28 Dec

Good morning and happy Saturday.

Last week, I finished a granola box canvas for a good friend. She has been a great supporter of my work and encourages me regularly. I had a lot of fun creating this for her.

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I am happy to report that she loved this piece when I gave it to her last week.

Don’t forget, if you are in Nashville and you would like to purchase one of my granola box canvases, stop by Atmalogy and pick one up.

Have a safe and happy New Year!
Cheers,
Michelle

The one where I visit The Estuary

8 Dec

Good morning,

You may recall that I was fortunate enough to get a space in Atamalogy in Nashville to sell some of my mixed media pieces. I went back earlier in the week to decorate my space and I’m excited to share that I have sold my first piece: Blue Whimsey!

Whimsical Blue Flowers

SOLD! Blue Whimsey

And here is what my space looks like now:

Studio Bukowski space in Atmalogy

Studio Bukowski space in Atmalogy

IMG_2301This week I’m working on new pieces to add to my space:

IMG_2348Yesterday, at the invitation of a friend, I had the pleasure of visiting  The Estuary. We participated in an art journal workshop led by an amazing woman named Larkin. Doesn’t this space look arm and inviting?

EstuaryFive women gathered to work on art journals. We began by writing what we wanted in our lives in our journals. After a while, Larkin led us through the layers to create our layouts. Of course, as we were working, we got to know each other, laughed a lot and had fun. It was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning and I’m so glad I took the time for myself outside of my studio with some other creative minded women. If you’re in Nashville, I highly recommend checking out The Estuary!

I didn’t finish my journal layout, but here is what I worked on:

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I look forward to finishing this layout and working on some more! What do you think?

Till next week,
Cheers,
Michelle

The one where I take the next step

30 Nov

Good morning and happy Saturday!

I am very excited to share with you that I have entered the world of selling art. Last night, I dropped off my first five pieces to my new friend, Heather, at Atmalogy on West End in Nashville. I have my own little space (which I get to make my own so guess what I’m working on this weekend) in Atmalogy and I can add more pieces as I finish them. She also hosts a Makers Market monthly and I hope to participate in that in the future. If you’re in the Nashville area, go check her our her space. She rents out unique meeting spaces, has a fantastic cafe (great coffee!) and supports new artists. Plus, she’s pretty cool herself.

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So, this big step is one closer to my dream of being a full time artist and teacher. I’m off to work on my “shop” and continue working on next steps. Thanks for checking in with me this week.

Cheers,
Michelle

The one with 5 finished pieces

9 Nov

Happy Saturday.

I spent the last two weeks finishing up 5 granola box canvas art pieces. There are a few galleries in town that sell local art and I am hoping to get into a few of them. So this week, I won’t be sharing a narration of my process; just the individual finished pieces.

Each canvas began life as a granola bar box and they are 5 7/8″ x 6 5/8″. I use old book pages, magazine pages, and other papers to create the focal elements (the flowers and houses). And the rest of my mixed media consists of acrylic paints, water colors, gel medium, drawing inks, acrylic coating and varnish.

I’d love to know what you think. Feel free to leave comments at the end.

Grayscale flower

Grayscale flower

Sideview grayscale flower

Little houses in a field of purple

Little houses in a field of purple

sideview - little houses purple

Little houses in a field of green

Little houses in a field of green

Sideview Little houses green

Yellow flowers at dusk

Yellow flowers at dusk

Sideview - yellow flowers

Whimsical Blue Flowers

Whimsical Blue Flowers

Sideview - Whimsical Blue flowersSee you next week (and don’t forget to leave some comments.)

Cheers,
Michelle

The one with the canvas that took months to complete

19 Oct

Happy Saturday!

Last month, I shared a few photos of a canvas piece I’ve been working on for a friend. Today, I am happy to report that I have finished it! I will warn you; this is a long post as I’ve been taking photos over the last few months (I think I started this back in April?). So, grab a blanket and a cup of coffee on this gloomy fall day, and take a look. And if you are so inclined, I’d love to hear what you think in the comments at the end.

Oh and by the way, everything used for this piece, including the canvas, is recycled (well, except the paint and adhesive). Yes, this fantastic 3′ x 3′ canvas was given to me by a good friend (her company prints photos on stretched canvas and when they are done with them, she gives them to me!)

So heres where we started. One large 3′ x 3′ canvas. First layer was of course, gesso (not pictured).

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I knew my color pallet was going to be purple (my friends favorite color) and yellow (to match her office) so that part was easy. A lot of times my second layer of miscellaneous paper helps me determine the colors I’ll use. Since that wouldn’t be the case here, I went with papers that would complement my pallet.

2I used Regular and Soft gel medium to adhere the papers (I used both cause I ran out of the regular part way through). I used the old gift card to smooth down the bubbles.

3 I used a combination of book pages and wall paper samples.

4Using one of my favorite stencils, I added some texture down the left side of the canvas with Golden Course Modeling Paste. I love using the paste as it gives the piece dimension and interest (and it’s so touchable!)

5Here I’m starting to add acrylic layers. I used all types of “tools”. For example, a large plastic bowl as a circle stencil.

6I began adding more color using a (new) kitchen sponge. It adds great texture.
Ok, I have to be honest here. I wasn’t too happy with the the way the background was turning out. Actually I was getting frustrated. This process usually comes together nicely and I’m always pleasantly surprised at how it all comes together. Especially since it’s so random. That’s part of the fun! But, this wasn’t turning out how I pictured it in my mind and I started to panic. After all, this is going to hang in my friends office (where we both work) and everyone will see it. I know, artists; we’re kind of a mess. So, I left it alone for a bit. I imagine she thought she was never going to see it completed. And everyday, I walked by it and hated it even more. Until I realized the purple wasn’t right and that was throwing it off for me. So, I bought a new tube of purple (more blue than red this time), started over (and by that I mean new layers on top of the hated layers) and LOVED it!

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Look at all that textury goodness!

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This time, as I added layers of paint, I pulled some off with cling wrap. Now, I am loving the background.

13Next, it was time to concentrate on the focal element. I knew I was going to use my signature flowers and my friend had given me her favorite proverb. So, I covered about a dozen pages of thick magazine pages with gesso, allowed them to dry, and drew the petals using Winsor & Newton black drawing ink.

14After a few attempts to choose the right shade of yellow, I finally settled on this. Too bad the purples were all off.

16As you can see here. I thought I had the petals completed but when I put them on the canvas, I realized the purples were too red compared to what I had going on in the background (a more bluish purple). So, I made new sets of petals……

17And finally landed here. Or so I thought. More on that in a minute. I was really pleased with the center parts of the flowers (the anther). I used painted granola bar boxes and a circle punch to create them.

18Ok, so here we are. Flower petals (before I redid them) and the proverb (printed out on printer paper) which I went over with drawing ink so it was really crisp. I’m playing with the placement (and not too happy). It seemed too heavy with this design.

19Moving things around…..

20Finally deciding that yes, these are the correct placements….

22And that’s when I realized that I still didn’t like the insides of the flowers. The purple was too much. Yes, after I had adhered them to the canvas. Yep, I was back to hating it. Until I decided to soften it up by adding some yellow.

24Much better!

23I also decided that the printer paper was too dull. So I cut each letter out with an exacto knife and glued them down on gesso covered book pages. Again, much better! That took an entire afternoon.

29And now we have this……

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26I think it was a happy accident that the placement of the proverb makes an upside down abstract flower (do you see it?)

So, from start to finish, this took about 5 or 6 months. And it was quite a journey. It reinforced my love for paining and mixed media. Even though I had moments when I hated this piece, I think in the back of my mind, I knew it would all come together. That’s the beauty of it; you get to keep trying till you get it right. Kind of like life. I’m back to my much smaller canvases this week, but I am ready to challenge myself again on a large canvas when the inspiration strikes.

Oh, and my friend loves it. We’ve joked for a while now that I would know if she liked it based on where she hangs it in her office. You know, if she hangs it behind her, not so much, but if she hangs it where she can see it, then clearly she likes it. Yeah, she has it on the wall right in front of her desk so she sees it all day. Now, if she could just get me to quit parading people in her office to take a look at it. First I was afraid for people to see it and now I want everyone to see it. I say it again, artists. We’re something else!

Till next week,
Cheers,
Michelle

The one where it’s my one year anniversary!

15 Sep

Happy Sunday!

I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since my first blog post; something I never thought I would do. In fact, the reason I started blogging was to hold myself accountable. I figured I would keep creating if I had to produce a post every week. And then I thought about it; for a long time. And kept putting it off.  I guess it was partly because sharing my art so publicly was a scary idea and the nagging voice in my head kept telling me that no one would care enough to read it. But I was talking about it a lot and one of my friends suggested choosing a date to launch and sticking to it. That was really good advice. Thanks Viki!

Over the last year, I’ve created a lot and tried to post every Saturday (and sometime on Sunday). I’ve received lots of good feedback and comments and it’s been more fun sharing than I anticipated.

So, I thought the best way to celebrate my one year anniversary would be to share some of my favorite pieces from the last year. Let’s start with the art cards:

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art card 6How about some of my favorite art journal pages:

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LayoutAnd my favorite granola bar box canvas pieces:

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GB8It’s been a pretty amazing year. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve been developing my style. I’ve shared art journaling with a lot of people (on the blog and in person). I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for me.

Thank you for joining me on this journey.  I truly appreciate it.

Till next week.
Cheers,
Michelle