Sunday, October 25, 2009

MMM: Moustaches

"Something About Him"
9 1/2 x 14 Wood Serving Plate
I was really challenged with the Mixed Media Monday prompt, Moustaches this week. I considered doing a piece on Santa Clause, the Wild West and even my 4-year-old (I have a great picture of her in a fake "stache") when I stumbled upon a wonderful website (Abigail Mooney's which offers free images to use. This Dapper Man with his fab moustache really spoke to me, and I decided to do one more piece in honor of Halloween.
The "canvas" is a 9 1/2 x 14 wood serving plate (.50 at a local thrift store) and the interior (or groove of the plate) was primed with gesso before adding several pieces of this and that (including vintage ledgers and music scraps one of which says, "Vienna Blood Waltzes") in addition to acrylic, charcoal pencil, Luster rubons and Sepia Accents. I added more paint to the rim of the plate before adding the vintage screw, candle wax and dripping "blood".
I so appreciate you looking, to see more pieces on Moustaches, please check out Oh! And Happy Halloween . . .

Sunday, October 18, 2009

MMM: Mothers & Daughters

MMM: "Mothers and Daughter"
16 X 20 Oval Canvas

This week's Mixed Media Monday's prompt, Mothers & Daughters, was a real challenge for me. You see, I have this beautiful baby (okay, she's 4) who (as you probably know by now) was adopted. Now, I have no shortage of wonderful pictures that I could draw inspiration from for the theme, but the only one I kept seeing over and over in my head was this picture of Kendra's Birth Mom and me just before she was born. But I did not want to go there. Although we have been more than forthcoming with information about Kendra's birth and the whole adoption process, we have always taken it one step at a time; heeding the advice of professionals who have said to answer questions as they are asked. Sooo, I wasn't sure what I was going to do when mid-week Peggy Gatto kindly sent me the following poem about adoption. I sobbed all afternoon (that was your warning), but when I dried my eyes, my answer was clear. . .
Once there were two women who never knew each other
One you do not remember, the other you call Mother
Two different lives to make you one
One became your guiding star; the other became your sun
The first one gave you life and the second one taught you to live it
The first one gave you a need for love, the second was there to give it
One gave you a nationality; the other gave you a name
One gave you talent; the other gave you aim
One gave you emotions; the other calmed your fears
One saw your first sweet smile; the other dried your tears
One sought for you a home that she could not provide
The other prayed for a child and her hope was not denied
And now you ask me thorough your tears
The age-old question unanswered through the years:
Heredity or environment, which are you a product of
Neither my darling, Neither
Just two different kinds of Love
-- Anonymous

The piece was done on a 16 X 20 oval canvas which was first primed with several layers of acrylic. I used a mask by Tim Holtz around the edges and again layered on more paint for an interesting backdrop (which was pretty much covered up, of course). I then projected the image onto the canvas with a Prismacolor pencil and charcoal. I decided upon wax crayons (Manley) to add color, and blended my little fingers to the bone as I added layer upon layer. The poem was written in pencil and I added some pieces of her nursery fabric for interest. It was finished with a splattering of white and tan paint to age it and a sprinkling of mica on the edges for sparkle. I added Swarovski crystals on the ring to represent my husband. Thank you to Peggy Gatto for sending along this poem. It will be so cherished by us all. To check out more pieces on Mothers & Daughters, please check out

Sunday, October 11, 2009

MMM: Pink

"Rebel Ballerina"
12 X 16 Canvas Panel
Like most Moms with their first little girl, I could not wait to get baby Kendra into ballet class. I even found an instructor that accepted 2-year-olds (the norm is 3 or 4) to get a jump start on her Prima Ballerina education. Well, although she did look adorable, that was about it. She was not a fan of the class, the shoes, or the forced attention to detail. Even at that age, she must have known that this prissy stuff was not for her. As you can imagine, we did not last long in the class (and she has indicated no desire to return in the two years since), but what we were left with was that wonderful tutu. That tutu has been worn with tap shoes and a bathing suit to the grocery store (why not?), with P.J.'s to bed, with last Halloween's monkey costume (don't ask!) and - in this picture taken a year ago - with a tool belt and nothing else. What can I say? No matter how girlie I am, she has a mind of her own . . . thank goodness!
"Rebel Ballerina" was done thanks to the latest Mixed Media Monday prompt to create something using the color Pink. It was done on a 12 X 16 canvas panel using Gesso and Fiber Paste with ink to create the candy-like background and then layered with the photo printed on watercolor paper before being painted on. Also incorporated within the piece are acrylic paint, vintage wallpaper, music sheets, ledgers and sewing patten paper, colored pencil, melted crayon, mica, glitter, rub-ons, Swarovski crystals (at ponytail), satin ribbon and some pink trim. The nursery rhyme is vintage Mother Goose. To check out more pieces on Pink, check out

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Still With It . . .

"Oh, My Baby"
Art Journal Page
Still with it: this is the second art journal page that I've done since reading the newest Art Journaling by Somerset Studio. I love the idea of using leftover paint from other projects to use in the journal. I challenged myself to create something out of the bright red, orange and blue paints that Kendra was using before cleaning out her palette (er, paper plate) . These are not normally colors that I am drawn to, but since the journal is about experimenting, I thought I would give it a try. The vintage image is by Clearly Vintage Blog, a site I stumbled upon that offers free images to use in your artwork.
BTW, if anyone has any great ideas about what type of pens to use in an art journal, I'm all ears: I really struggled with this Sharpie as I had so much texture on the page. Any suggestions?

MMM: Maps

5 X 7 Canvas Panel

This week's challenge on Mixed Media Monday was to do a piece of art that in some way incorporated maps. I usually spend the week dreaming of / mulling over / planning on what I will do for each prompt, but this week it was not happening: I don't know, for some reason my creative block was in full swing and I could not get past it. And then this morning I went to a local craft store where I found this pretty little trim on sale. I bought it in green and pink and came home with the seed of an idea: if I could in some way create a map piece that was colorful enough to support this bright trim, I may have something . . .

Isn't it magical? Not the art, but the idea that we can create something out of nothing, if not an idea? That we can take bits and pieces and come up with a cohesive narrative? And in this case, all from a fabulous prompt and a piece of acid green trim. . .

"Somewhere" represents the hope that another baby is out there waiting for us. It was created using Gesso, fiber paste, acrylic, a transparency by Karen Russell (Narratives), fabric, ink, vintage children's illustration, a vintage spoon, a (tiny little pretend) compass, candle wax dripped onto the edges, a single Swarovski stone and of course, that green trim.
For more work with Maps, please check out