Wednesday, November 11, 2015

An Arty Collaboration . . .

An Arty Collaboration
2 x 4 Gallery wrapped canvas

"Unity is strength . . . when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved."
- Mattie Stepanek

One of the things I most look forward to every year is a trip I take with my friend Daniele Shannon. We actually met here - online through our blogs - several years ago and decided to meet in person at an art retreat in Portland. Long story short, we had such a good time that we've made it a tradition, and have been meeting every October since. We don't actually go to a formal retreat anymore, but rather make our own adventure by picking a place somewhere cool and lugging our stash to make art. 

For our most recent trip - to the wineries in Temecula, CA - we decided to do something different and brought a huge (I mean, huge) canvas to the party. The intention was to create a collaborative piece that Daniele would then take back to her new home in Colorado. Wanna see what we did with 3 days, the 2 of us and a lotta wine? Okay then, here we go . . . .

(The canvas in it's entirety)

(The sides)

And there you have it: An Arty Collaboration! And although I highly doubted our ability to finish both that huge canvas and all the wine bottles we had, I'm happy to report that we we successful at finishing both. . . .

Until we meet again,
Kristin xo

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Deli Paper Mail Art!

Deli Paper Mail Art

" I love the rebelliousness of snail mail, and I love anything that can arrive with a postage stamp. There's something about that person's breath and hands on the letter."
- Diane Lane

I love deli paper. There's something so magical about drawing something on a translucent surface which can later be altered by adding it to something busy, colorful - and in my case lately - incredibly bright. My friend and fellow lover of the stuff recently (well okay, like a year ago) sent me a huge stash from her own collection so that I could play, play, play. Thank you Linda for sharing it with me, I've been having fun with it ever since! 

As a matter of fact, I've recently decided to create a series of mail art using deli paper as the base. Wanna see what I came up with?? Okay then, here we go. . . .

Deli paper sketch with pencil, Micron black & Sakura white pens

As she appears on top of her altered Priority Mail envelope

(Alpha stickers played a part here)

Little Blue Girl on a small Priority Mail Box

(Back view) 

And in case you wanna how I did it, here's the exact, technical-ish process:

I first collected several US Priority Mail boxes and envelopes in various sizes. Once I decided which combination of materials I wanted to work with, I began by painting both the front and back of each substrate with gesso. Once dry, I began playing with a variety of supplies and mark making materials including spray inks, homemade stencils, oil pastels, charcoal and pencil. 

In order to bring something different to the now colorful backgrounds, I decided to draw several quick sketches on translucent Deil paper to place on top. The sketches were first created in pencil and then brought to life with black ink and pops of white for definition. Once complete, I then tore around the images and glued them on to each box or envelope. 

Further details were then added with bits of collage including bubble gum wrappers, pieces of decorative napkins and other bits of dried paint on deli paper from a past project in which I used deli paper as my palette. Lastly, I added white paint over stickers that were removed once dry to create the “Somerset” and Zip on the pink envelope (so okay, for those of you paying real close attention, you now know where they're headed ;) and added stamped lines on the fronts of each piece to represent the addresses. 

Oh yeah, I also did a simple black and white pen & ink drawing on a large Priority Mail box to send the whole lot off. 

And there you have it: Deli Paper Mail Art!

Until we meet again, I wish you creative days & colorful kisses!

Kristin xo

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Glimpse to Melt the Heart . . .

"A Glimpse to Melt the Heart" 30 x 36

"The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery."
- Francis Bacon

I hope this finds you happy, well and in the throws of creation! I for one have been on an abstract roll as I try to finish projects around the house that require a bit of art here and there. As I said in last week's post, adding my own art to my home is new for me, but I must admit, I kinda like seeing some of my favorite bits and pieces of collage or vintage materials just hanging around. Feels like they too have found a "home." Anywho, here's some details of what went down in this latest abstract:

(30 x 36) 

And here she is as a whole . . .

Thanks for taking a peek! I look forward to seeing what roll you're on this week as well . . . .

Until next time,
Colorful Kisses,
Kristin xo

Sunday, October 4, 2015

"She Sings," Life Book & Other Such Adventures . . .

"She Sings" 30 x 40

"My imagination can picture no fairer happiness than to continue living for art." 
- Clara Schumannf

I'm covered in paint. Neons mainly, but charcoal, grey and a lotta white have made their way up my arms (feet and an unfortunate spill on what will now be another "painting skirt") as well, making me feel rather proud that I've finally taken the time to slap some paint around again. But I ramble. . . .

I should start here: you may recall this post in which I shared the beginnings of what I was calling the  biggest "palette cleaner" ever. In a nutshell, one day many many moons ago (well okay, February) I decided to throw a large (30 x 40) canvas on the floor of my studio and just leave it there while I went about creating my little heart out. Instead of cleaning my brushes and palette knifes on a piece of paper or an art journal like I normally would, I decided to try my hand at a big ole abstract, and use the large canvas as my catchall instead. What resulted was many, many (I did say many, yeah?) layers of collage and color that was added over the course of several months. 

A house renovation (still in process, but almost complete) & a birthday party for a little girl I know who's now somehow a decade old (ugh, it's all going so fast!) was the impetus for my getting my act tougher and finally finishing it. Although I've never actually put a piece of my own art in my home, this one made the cut, and is now proudly displayed - neons and all - on my dining room wall. Wanna see the details? Yes? Okay, here we go:

(30 x 40 So yeah, really big)

And here's the final result . . . .

Oh! And in other incredibly exciting news, my main Life Book lesson goes up this week! 


If you're taking it, I do hope you'll enjoy yourself and I can't wait to see what you do! 

Until next time.
Colorful Kisses, 
Kristin xo

Monday, August 31, 2015

Life Is A Great Big Canvas. . . .

"Life is a great big canvas; throw all the paint you can at it."
- Danny Kaye

Hellllllooooooooo! (I'm still here). 

Busily waiting until I can get back to arting & such. The last weeks have been filled with Lifebook filming, house painting (and the decorating that follows - why does everything else in the house look so bad after a fresh coat of paint?!) and getting ready for the little one's last year of elementary. 

It's a busy time - but I do see a light at the end of the tunnel - and gratefully, it includes more room for throwing paint. In the meantime, here's the littlest peak at something colorful. I hope it finds you happy, well and in the throws of creating your own Great Big Canvas . . . .

With Love & Colorful Kisses,
Kristin xo

Monday, July 20, 2015

A Fond Farewell . . .

"You are the rainbow to my cloud."
- Anon

Each year as The Summer of Color ends, a tiny piece of my heart goes with it. I put so much love and care into The SOC, and am continually humbled by your enthusiastic responses to whatever I throw your way. I feel like I've found a family in you, and as the years pass, I'm struck by just how lucky I am to host such a kind, supportive and talented group of artists. I know I've said it before, but honestly, you really do make a Mama proud! 

The Idea 
To create an event based upon limited color palettes was one that came to me about six years ago after having read the book True Colors by Somerset Studio. At the time I was participating in a blog challenge that had about 25 weekly participants. It occurred to me that if I could just get that many people to join my event, we could really have something special. I never imagined that we would have nearly 100 participants in the first week of the first year alone. And since then, we've continued to grow by leaps and bounds. Over the last five years, we've amassed over 1,100 photos in our flickr pool and have played with, learned from and made friends with literally hundreds of artists along the way. YOU have made The Summer of Color the success that is and for that, I will be eternally grateful.

So, if it Seems By Now 
That I'm ending our Summer adventure after five incredible years together, unfortunately, you're right. I know that there will never be an easy time to end it - and honestly my biggest fear is in disappointing you - but I've decided to dedicate the rest of my Summers to spending time with our daughter, who was 4 when I began The SOC and (I can hardly believe it!) will be 10 in a of couple months. I know that I only have a few years left while she still likes me more than her friends, and I want to take advantage of every little minute I can with her. I do hope you understand.

To Thank You:
I want to give you something special to remember our time together. I created this with you in mind, so I thought it only fair that you should have it! Please accept this piece from me with love:

"You are the rainbow to my cloud" 
9 x 12 Mixed Media

(Download and print your FREE copy Here)

And of course, your 2015 participatory Artist's Badge is here for you as well!

As for Me: 
I will continue to post my art & art process here on this blog, on my Facebook Art Page and on YouTube. This Summer introduced me to the world of YouTube and I must say that I love it. With that in mind, new videos will be on the menu from now on. Additionally, I have something else up my sleeve. . . .  

A Newsletter!
I'm happy to report that I've just set up an account that will allow me to share my little corner of the Mixed Media world with you via email. There I will offer art prompts, art challenges now & again and - this is the exciting bit - FREE downloadable items from my personal collection of vintage papers, photos, artwork and / or other ephemera that will be exclusive to my newsletter subscribers. I also plan to continue teaching in person and look forward to sharing where I can be found as the time comes. 

Sign Up Here:  

You can sign up directly through our Facebook Group Here (The link is found at the top of our SOC Facebook page). . . .

Now, Who Won The Last Giveaway of The SOC?
I've got our winner right here! A big congratulations to . . . 

(please note: all winners will be selected at random via a Random Number Generator. 
The photos / proof of each week's winners will be on file and happily sent to anyone who would like to see them.)

Way to go Sue! Please email your address to and I'll mail your Oranges n' Blue winnings right off.

Let's Keep In Touch!
Our Facebook group will remain open until the end of the month so that we can share our Facebook pages, blog or websites with each other and remain in contact. After all, some of us have been on this journey together for years, and I don't want you to loose the chance to connect. I will close the Facebook page on August first. 

I want to reiterate how important you are to me. You've made the last five years incredibly special and I want to thank you once again for sharing your art and heart with us all. You will be forever in my thoughts because of it. 

With Love & Colorful Kisses,
Kristin xo

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Summer of Color 5: Week Six . . .

"Orange is the happiest color."
- Frank Sinatra 

I Can Hardly Believe It!
But somehow (where has the time gone?!) we've already reached our last week of The Summer of Color. And I must say - like so many of you have already - this year's installment has been one for the books! I love seeing which hues you choose each week, love seeing all the gorgeous, drool-worthy work you've created and, on a personal note, have loved playing right along with you this year. Thank you once again for sharing your time and talents with us all! 

Although It's Our Last Week:
I hope you'll still consider joining us if you haven't done so already. You can read all about the event here, join our Facebook group for more SOC fun and check out our Flickr pool to see all five years of color palettes in one place. As for the rest of social media, you can find us everywhere else using the hashtag #TheSummerofColor5.  

This Week:
We'll be working on our sixth - of six - weekly color palettes. It's bright, bold and possibly the palette that best represents the colors of Summer. Again, we're double dipping here, so if you're up for the challenge, I encourage you to choose different hues for this palette than you may have used in weeks past. So, are you ready for it? Okay then, here goes! Our last palette for SOC 5 is:

1 Orange + 1 Orange + 1 Blue

And remember, what you do with the prompt is all up to you! The only stipulation being that you work with the colors provided above and here below:

How Did I Use Oranges n' Blue?
Well, I um, created a boat of sorts. It's a little different but hey, that's part of the fun, right? So, without further adieu, here's my latest YouTube video on the subject:

What About Our Last Giveaway?
Oh, it's a good one! There's a lot of my favorites in there, including a couple of the Montana paint pens (that blue is a new color in the line!) that you've seen me play with throughout the Summer.

{Two Dylusions Ink Sprays in London Blue and Pure Sunshine, three rolls of adorable washi tape in oranges and blue, two blue floral embellishments, two large Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pens in Phthalo Blue and Orange Glaze, two Montana Acrylic Paint pens in neon orange and light blue, one Poppin leather-bound notebook in a gorgeous teal, two bottles of Liquid Pearls in Pumpkin and Royal Blue, one Dr. Ph. Martin's bottle of Bombay India Ink in Orange, one (it's my last ;) decorative napkin for collage and, last but not least, several iridescent confetti stars}

And Last Week's Winner?
I've got it right here! Last week's giveaway was randomly chosen to go live with . . . .

Linda Gibbons of Just Another Volunteer!

(please note: all winners will be selected at random via a Random Number Generator. 
The photos / proof of each week's winners will be on file and happily sent to anyone who would like to see them.) 

Congratulations Linda! Please email your address to and I'll send your pretty, pretty things right off.

Ready To Play?
Please link your Week Six pieces to the widget below. To qualify for the oranges n' blue giveaway, simply copy and paste the direct link (from your blog, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram - or any other feed that can be linked here) to the widget below. You have until this Sunday (10:00 am, Pacific Daylight Time) to do so. Only one link per person, please.

Have Fun!!
Enjoy your last week and we'll see you back here next Monday, July 20th for our Closing Week as we reveal:

* The winner of our oranges n' blue giveaway
* Your 2015 participatory Artist Badge and. . . 
* More information about the SOC. 
* Oh, and to finish our Anniversary Year in style, this time, I have a little something extra for you as well. 

See You Then!
With Love and Respect,
Kristin xo