Hockey Chicken

Hockey Chicken, 12 x 18″, Mixed Media, 2018.

Last summer I spent a fabulous week with other TAB (teaching for artistic behaviors) art teachers in Boston for a week-long grad class.  We shared ideas, listened to guest speakers, and had glorious studio time.

This artwork began with the just the chicken head.  It is a lino cut block print on orange paper, with drawn details.  I started this, because at the time, my then 3-year old son’s favorite insult was, “Chicken head!”  I made a series of just floating chicken head prints on painted scrap papers.  I started to build the background with blue painted watercolor paper and layered and painted newspapers from Boston.

The chicken’s body is made from cut painted papers, construction paper, and construction paper that is draw on.

The flower blooms and stems are cut from painted papers, with drawn details with bamboo pen and ink.

Iowa Skies + Batman Piñata

Iowa Skies

Iowa Skies, watercolor, 9×12″, 2016.  

My most recent finished watercolor, started just before our trip to Alexandria, MN – based on an Instagram photo I took a few years ago of baby blankets drying on the clothesline.

This summer has been flying by – we have all been making time for creating which leaves  me happier than anything else at the end of the day.

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As I write this, my youngest is throwing chalk and making the best 2-year-old smears of color that he can make.

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Last week, Greta had her school friends over for a belated birthday celebration, so we whipped up a quick Batman piñata.  The two kids worked on their own cardboard and tape creations, while adding layers of paste and newspaper when they felt like helping me.

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Batman’s head was formed from a large balloon.  The ears and nose were fashioned from cut up cereal boxes, which were then layered in papier-mâché strips.  My favorite paste for papier-mâché projects is art paste, it comes in a powder and when mixed with water, makes a gel-like paste that isn’t too sticky and lasts well, when covered.

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Batman, dried and waiting to be painted.

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The finished painted Batman.  This was a quick, get it finished paint job, as I was finishing the paint 1 hour before the party.  Nothing like a deadline to get an artist moving!

Valentines 2016

  I still loathe buying greeting cards.  It’s a DIY disease – “I can make that.”

 This year’s Valentines have a bike theme going on.  I made this fun little stamp a couple weekends ago while Greta was working on her bicycle and heart print.  Or was that last weekend?  I don’t know…this time of year just escapes me.

 
 I started off my Valentines with some fun abstract watercolor paintings.  Once dry, I spliced them into sections.

 
 I attached the paintings to card stock with glue and by sewing machine.  Then, added small stamped bicycles to them.  On some of the cards, I stamped the bike directly on the painting.  Those ones turned out fine, but the bicycle ended up being a little hidden.

 
Greta had fun adding embellishments and her signature to her cards.  I love her ideas on what needed to be glued down!

 
 These are my two little Valentines, working hard at the kitchen table the other night.  The oldest was busy signing away – she opted for Ninja Turtle and Little Mermaid cards for her school buddies.  Meanwhile, little brother is sliding and throwing her Valentines on the floor.

 

 This is me this morning at work – I survived yet another year of teaching during the Valentine season – today were the element kids’ Valentine parties.  In the spirit, I decked myself out in my heart sweater (old one from Target!) and my heart earrings that my mom gave me way back in 8th grade.  They were sort of a big deal, because they were dangly and not just studs.  I cannot believe I still have them. My hubby and I are not much into gifts, cards, or any of the likes for Valentine’s Day, but whether you celebrate or not, Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!

 

Ich Liebe Dich

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I will be an aunt again soon – but this time it will be a nephew arriving!  So, of course I started on some more baby room art.  Nothing like a deadline to make me complete artwork – I love being forced to work.  This time around, I took a different approach, and strayed away from the more cutesy colors/motif.  Honestly, I have mixed feelings about the end result.  I am always my own worst critic, especially when I am making artwork for others.  It turned out a little darker on the bottom end than I anticipated, but hopefully once it is in the red frame I found, it isn’t too depressingly black and gray for a baby’s room.

I started with a watercolor background – sticking with grays and reds and some blue.  I used salt on the wet red paint to achieve the frost-like texture at the top of the red section.

Hammock, watercolor on paper, 18 x 24", July 2007.

Hammock, watercolor on paper, 18 x 24″, July 2007.

Liz, you may be getting a round 2  of your ich liebe dich, artwork in the near future.  I did this very same thing with a tropical island painting, see above, that I made for a friend’s wedding.  She asked to see my reject, and then liked it enough that she asked to have it as well.  I was so frustrated with the reject and the ugly shadow below the hammock, that I did not even take a photo.  The only image I have is of beach scene 2.0.

Ich Liebe Dich, watercolor & collage on paper, 8 x 11", July 2015.

Ich Liebe Dich, watercolor & collage on paper, 8 x 11″, July 2015.

After the painting background was dry, I created the words, “Ich liebe dich,” which means I love you in German, from magazine collage.  The finished baby art – primary colors with a hint of minty green.

Hot Pool Watercolor Painting

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Hot Pool, Watercolor on paper, 9×12″, 2015.

I am still doing a fairly decent job on my resolution on setting aside creative time for myself each week (this is getting easier and easier, the more sleep that I get each night).  This resolution is also helping to me to finish projects that were interrupted by big moves and babies.  I started this watercolor painting a while back, but did not manage to get very far on it.  Sometimes I find myself floundering on an artwork, and the only cure for me is to set it aside for an unspecified amount of time.  I pulled it out again this spring, and finally had the energy and vision to see it through.  It is based on a photo I took of a hot pool in an area of extensive burn damage from the 1988 fires in Yellowstone National Park.  It was taken via a cell phone shot, and then an Instagram share, from our trip there in the summer of 2012.  I have had an ongoing idea to use Instagram images for the basis of paintings, and perhaps I can keep this up now, as this is my second endeavor of the likes.

This is a short and sweet post – more to come soon!

Mamarazzi Watercolor Painting

Y’all, I did something that even shocks me!  I finished a painting from so long ago that I am not even sure when I started it.

mamarazzi.painting_edited-1My finished watercolor painting – Mamarazzi.  It took me far longer than 6 weeks to even touch my art table after I had my first child.  I am pretty proud of just making time for something I enjoy doing – just carving out me time is a milestone.

mama.paintingThe painting sat in this state for quite some time.  I was hesitant to finish the reflection in the glasses, not sure how to proceed, it collected dust on my art table for months and months. 

me.and.cameraI do know that I was working on it in February of 2013, which is when this photo was taken to help me with the hand pose.  I can see stacks of boxes in the background, so I know we were preparing for our cross-country move at that time.

book.quoteI have a slew of other projects just waiting to be finished. That is why this quote appealed to me so much – though I would have to add to it, ‘projects I was meaning to finish.’  This is my last week before going back to work and I have much to do – consisting mostly of soaking up time with my little ones.