Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sea Dreams

I am so with this sculpture ! I have been craving the sea for some time now. Last November I was able to spend two entire weeks in a beach house in California. I had not taken a real vacation in decades and it was a dream come true. Now I am craving MORE. I don't need it to be California...any beach will do.

Tuesday is my thrifting day. Most weeks I go to a particular, very small shop in an upscale area, then once a month I go to a megastore. In between there are various antique malls and yard sales. Today I was hunting for sweaters as a chill creeps into the air. This desert girl is still lacking a killer winter wardrobe. I am still hunting for cute coats, boots, whatever I need to get me throuogh these Midwest ice storms. Well, today I scored a wonderful pair of soft, soft corduroy pants in a gray paisley and a silk sweater with very understated beadwork to go with them. I am not exactly a sweatshirt and jeans kind of girl and running suits are for running. since these two items were only a few dollars, I can paint in them with a clear conscience and still look cute if I have to dash out with my DH.

I had almost escaped the shop when I glanced into an etagere near the door and there, in all of its glory was the most amazing blown glass paperweight. the bottom portion is a swirl of cerulean and white, creatinga bed of ocean waves. A gold and blue fountain leaps up from the center and falls in a glory of bubbles and topping that jet of glassy water are three wonderful dancing dolphins!!! I LOVE DOLPHINS. I was enchanted by a pod that lived off the shore of the beach house in California and I visited them every single day..sometimes for an hour or two. What magical creatures ! I tried to find a memento of them in San diego, but anything that wasn't a cast plaster nightmare made in China was prohibitively priced so I returned empty handed.

So I traipsed back to the counter and asked how much is that dolphin in the window ? Yep, I really did. The lovely volunteer went oout with her key and removed it. She told me it was a little pricey as it was handmade and all that. I could feel my heart sinking into my shoes when I heard her say it was $10. TEN DOLLARS. IT WAS MINE !!!!!! She looked a little puzzled as I jumped up and down and said YES< YES< YES..kind of like that scene in "When Harry met Sally". You know which one I mean..where the little lady told the waitress she wanted to order whatever Sally had ordered.

So the dolphin filled ocean now sits on my desk and I grin every time I peak at it. There is a school of thought that says if you really want something you need to ask the universe on a very regular basis for that particular thing. Since I grew up on the Atlantic Ocean I thought the best possible request is to tap on the glass every once in awhile and whisper "There is no place like home, There is no place like home..."

I'll let you know if it works.
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Monday, September 15, 2008

carved rubber stamp art

AH ! I found it ! I thought I had a photo of the original project in here somewhere. These were designed as Valentine gifts for my Sacred Space group. Some are single, some divorced and I wanted to make sure everyone got a Valentine. I created and designed these without spending much cash...the only thing I purchased were the decorative studs holding the ribbon on. The papers were all free in many years worth of "Somerset Studio" magazine. Some issues had as many as four sheets of printed papers. I tore them all out at the beginning of the year so I would use them. There are two designed papers on each heart, front and back. I cut out the hearts, pasted them together with glue stick, then edged them with a gilding pen.

I carved the stamp out of EZ Kut, which is very much like a thick sheet of rubber eraser. it carves very easily and I love working with it. I can carve a pretty intricate stamp in less than an hour and a simple one in minutes. This one is based on an antique paper cut which I adapted by adding the heart balloons and puppy. I used a black "Chalk" ink pad to stamp the image. the ribbons were what I had lying around from other projects as were the rhinestone jewels. The lettering is done with a "Glaze" gel pen in black. It is kind of thick and you can manage some tapered strokes with it.

They were all tucked into a lovely white basket lined with a lovely floral fabric desgined by another artist friend and were delivered to my church group. I actually had quite a few leftovers as I had gotten just a little carried away making them, so I just wandered through the building hanging them on doorknobs, musical instruments, brooms, whatever. It was such a wonderful expreience to be a secret valentine to folks I really didn't even know.

A few months later one of the friends from Sacred Space asked if I would make 30 of them for her special group. She wanted mostly yellow and white as colors and we chose a pink, yellow and white ribbon and plain round studs in various shades of yellow. She is calligraphing them herself , but my little parade gets to march on !!!!

I've cut a few more "shadow" figure stamps and have more planned. My next project is a Halloween Raven Heart. Ooooooh Scary! Maybe he'll get a rhinestone neck chain to sparkle plenty with.
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Magica Pajamica Investments

Let's see, I've got my comfy travel shoes on, my magic pajamas. Yep, I am ready for take-off !!!

I am still limping around with a slipped disc, but that can't hold me down for long. I attended a wonderful parade on Saturday followed up with a trot to a great art festival where I invested heavily in handmade soap, vintage postcards and a giant ice cream cone that seemed to amaze everyone I passed with it. Seems like my investments are more stabile than those of Lehman Brothers. EEk !

My dear Husband invested in pounds of seafood and roasts on Friday so we have been nibbling home cooked chicken wings, lime marinaded turkey roast and a huge home made batch of gravlax......which is a marinated salmon that comes out very much like lox, but can be made in your refridgerator. I traded a professional chef painting lessons for cooking lessons and this is one of my treasures. Dh loves it and it is actually very easy to make and serve. All I have to do this evening is slice it up and serve with bagels and cream cheese. OK, mine will be with a 100 calorie english muffin and low fat laughing cow cheese.

Sunday was dedicated to finishing an art project for a friend. I made a handcarved rubber stamp and she wanted it used on these wonderful heart shaped door hangers I make. with all the carving and designing out of the way, they went together pretty darn fast, so I may be doing some seasonal designs..Halloween is already on the drawing ttable.

My art classes begin this week and I am hoping to post some photos from the class !!!!

Happy painting !!!
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Coming in for a landing

OK, I am, more or less, back in the land of the living. The past month was a rough one and I feel like I am coming out of a very dark tunnel. ARGH!!!!

This piece is for my nephew's wedding. He and his so sweet fiance asked for a painting. I had painted on animal bones I found in the desert at one time and given one to my darling nephew when he was a child. He carried it around for years as he bounced from home to home and finally lost it. Now that he is a grown up, engaged New Jersey Police Officer, he figures he can chance another piece of Auntie Diva's artwork. What I enjoyed about this one was the revelation that my new Midwestern River city home is so perfect for wet in wet techniques. I am loving it! I went to college in another River City not too far from here and fell hopelessly in love with watercolor. I not only took my regular art degree classes at that time, I signed up for extra classes at the local city art center ! Talk about gluttony ! I loved it so much and still do. It is magical the way color flow and mix on the paper. You only think you are in control. Most of the time I feel like there is some deeper creature within that is really directing the paint and running the show. Sometimes I sincerely believe it is an angel on my shoulder.

Well, there has been an angel smiling on me the past few days. My spirit seems to be coming back to the fore and wants to play. It was so gloriously beautiful out this afternoon. I made a lunch hour run to Michael's for some acrylics for my stencilling adventure..I am stenciling a very baroque seashell and vine design on my bathroom walls, almost near the ceiling. I will have to photo my bathroom. It is a little over the top. Maybe a spa ay be a more correct term. I had a wonderful slipper chair I inherited from my MIL reupholstered in a blue and cream damask. There are paintings on the walls, wonderful brass fixtures. I can actually hide in there for hours at a time. I even have a portable DVD player that I can set up so I have something to divert my attention while my pedicure dries.

Well, I am a Diva..and work darn hard at it !

So when I went to visit my family in NJ, I stayed with my brother who had just moved into a new home. Divorce. Ouch. I was so afraid he had moved into a bleak empty apartment with blank walls and no furniture. Not so. He has a wonderful casita. The woman who rented it to him is an Interior Designer. She and her mother had lived there until Mom passed away and she got married. Moving into her husband's home left the darling bungalow open. She put it up for rent and my brother hooked it. Everything is gorgeously decorated. You can tell there was a shoestring budget, but a very creative mind. She invested in a few cute stencils and went wild. Very shabby chic, but the colors are soft blues and greens with lots of white so my bro didn't pass out with sugar overload. He did take the blue toile seatcovers with the large blue ribbon bows off of the dining room chairs. Everyone has their limits.

so I was enchanted by the concept of all these wonderful flourishes and florals. OK, so this is the Diva speaking. I started looking at stencils and all I found were grapes and bows. Save me. So I hit the internet and found this killer resource for stencils and wound up spending $100 just on stencils. OK, so I got the shells and garland; a set of poppy designs and a full color catalog and stencil guide..which they charged $15 for, but was so worth it. That's how I wound up at Michael's buying paint. I can't wait to get going on this. If my husband were not home, I would have gone straight home and started painting !!! Duty is a b****. I sit in my office typing away, wishing I was out wandering.

It's good to be back.
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