Sunday, April 29, 2012

Portraits 123 Giveaway!

Rhomany is giving away a spot in her new set of portraits classes!
Check out her post HERE to find out more about it!

29 Faces

I am joining the 29 Faces in May challenge!
I'll have 31 days to make 29 faces!
I can't wait!

I am hoping it will help me to improve my drawing skills and quality of work and maybe even form a couple new habits for daily arting and blogging.

You can find out more about the challenge here.

Oh! And you can also help Ayala Art celebrate!!
"Almost 500" blog giveaway!
Win this handsome guy here!

See you again on May 1st!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Gratitude in the Kitchen Studio

I haven't been as active in my art as I have promised myself, as I always plan to be and because of this my art supplies have migrated yet again in search of the perfect place for me to "art". This time, it's the kitchen! Yesterday I posted to my sisters in the Book of Days facebook group that I was having problems finding time with chores and my little ones around to get projects underway, completed, and even just holding onto good ideas for my art! Well they inspired me with their advice, ideas, and input on how they do things to move into the room I spend most of my time in! Thank you ladies, you have done my heart good!

Even though the dining room is only a room away from the kitchen, in fact, it's practically the SAME room, I can't seem to get in there and BE creative. I guess, maybe, I don't like the room. I don't like it's set up, or perhaps its lighting options. The over head light gets so hot when it is turned on and up, and with summer right around the corner I know that this is going to cause trouble. The overhead light also provides light with just a hint of an orange tint, only slightly annoying and off-putting, especially since the room is usually so dark that you need the light even in the daytime!

But in the kitchen, there is a big window that catches morning light so wonderfully (in fact, that's going on my gratitude list today, that window in the morning), it doesn't have the most spectacular view, the backyard and our dog that desperately needs to be groomed, our neighbors house, some power lines, and the tops of the trees at the park, but it is such a wonderful window to open up in the morning, and morning is usually when I feel the best so I HAVE to enjoy it!

I didn't move everything. I figured most things could stay in their storage places in the dining room, I use our hutch for art supply storage. I just moved in the things that I love to play with the most, things that inspire me when I have them near at hand. My gesso and paints in a plastic tote, watercolor crayons, pens and markers, brushes, and a trash bowl. Simple!

 My new workspace!

So, I went straight to play after moving my things around and a few more things joined me in the kitchen, a tub of scrap paper and ephemera and a stack of magazines I have had sitting around for a couple months now. First I started cutting apart one of the magazines and while I was doing that I realized that I hated the first spread in my Gratitude Journal, so I decided to change it! I don't think I still have a photo of what it was before, but below is what I did with it.

 I collaged some colorful scrapbook paper I had laying around.

 Covered it with some gesso, stamping, and paint.

Cut the lettering and heart from a magazine, and added some other touches to the background including the circles of purple paint with the cap to my empty water bottle!

And the end result...

Yeah, I am pretty happy with it. In all honestly I do feel like it needs something more, but I also feel like I will know it when I see it! Maybe when I am cutting pictures and words from magazines, or maybe next time I go to the store.

My Gratitude Journal is a small moleskine knock off with lines. I have taken two pages at a time and glued them together to make them sturdy enough to withstand some art, and so far, it's working pretty well, at least it didn't disintegrate like the larger one that I had and glued 4-5 pages together at a time (too much stress on the binding, I learned). 

So, that's my gratitude in the kitchen studio thus far today. I am happy and arty. And, every time I go into the kitchen for something I splash some paint on something or glue something down, I have pages going in both my Gratitude Journal and my Book of Days at the moment.

I think I will make much progress in this room because it is where I spend most of my time cooking and washing dishes (the perpetual and hated chore), this will also probably help me keep the kitchen substantially cleaner as I wash dishes and do other chores while waiting for paint, glue and gesso to dry. The only downfall of this room so far, no seat! I can see now that I am going to have to invest in a stool and fast!!

 My baby girl sat in her highchair while I got my art on!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lifebook Lesson 14 - Honoring your (my) Past

This is our week 14 lesson in Lifebook.
I have been an unruly student and have jumped around a bunch in the Lifebook course so you will often see the weeks out of order. Here I just picked the most recent lesson that Tam had posted and ran with it!

I started this page last week, and as you can see below, she went through many processes.

This is how she started out, I was most proud of this drawing because I didn't have to refer to my drawing notebook to be able to complete the face.
Not once did I refer to my learning materials! I am getting it!

Then I watercolored her face and worked on some shading. Shading is always difficult for me but, practice makes perfect right?!? Have to keep after it.
I got her roughly where I wanted her without too much fuss but then she sat for several days, I had lost interest and I didn't know where I was going with her.
Last night I sat down and re-watched Tam's videos and worked along with her and this is where it took me...

It was around here that her hair had changed. I had lost the outline of the short "do" that I had penciled in but it didn't seem to fit anymore. I don't know why she turned out this way but I was lead to it and it feels right.

Well, it is missing a fold out piece but I have yet to come up with something creative to do that will not cover my picture.

I am really enjoying the Lifebook course, many of the lessons are really fun and interesting!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Last Week's BOD Spread

For the first time in over a month I finished a Book of Days spread and it felt soooo good!
It FEELS good to get back to art. I have been arting a lot in the past week. About half way through the week I was starting to get discouraged, specifically in my Lifebook page. I had hoped to sit down and art it out! One day, done! Alas, that's not my life, there are little interruptions, BIG interruptions, bad days, busy-ness, and plain old laziness. But, I belong to a group on Facebook for the Book of Days and it has evolved into the most wonderful of support systems! When I am feeling down it's what I surf around on for a while and I always come away with a smile for I have found art posted by my sisters to inspire me or I have witnessed someone post with honesty about how they may need positive energy/prayers sent their way and I have seen a group of women swoop in to the rescue to offer prayers, love, support, and kind words. It leaves one with the most wonderful feeling that there are indeed still wonderful people in this world and this is just a sampling of such good hearts.
Effy Wild's blog post really says it all. <3

And so, onto the art...

I have been loosely following along with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's 30 Days in your Art Journal.
Well, I bought and paid for the class and finished week one with no problems in March.
But then, in week two she does this awesome spread where she uses tags to journal on and I kept putting it off, meaning to buy the tags but never getting around to it. Weeks slipped on by and I started looking around my house for things to use instead, don't get me wrong, Julie offered up several awesome substitutions but I REALLY just wanted tags.
Finally the 1st of April rolled around and I knew I had been art-less for too long.

This is the background as it sat for over a month, untouched.

Painted with wet craft acrylics, I did the base in apple green over a non-gessoed page, then smeared a corner with another craft acrylic in a shimmery red which just turned out to be pink.
Stamped the circles with a toilet tissue roll and black acrylic paint.
Then I took my most favorite shimmery purple craft acrylic and colored some circles in and then painted some clear glitter acrylic paint over them because there just wasn't enough sparkle.
Yum, loving glitter.

Gratuitous glitter close-ups!

So after a month of ignoring my BOD I decided it was time to move forward and put this pretty background to use! I had considered using those subscribe postcards that fall out of magazines
(I started collecting them from all over), but they were a little too busy for my liking,
I considered card stock cut in the shape of tags or just in funky shapes but it seemed to plain.
And one day I was cleaning and re-organizing all my supplies and I found a stack of
multi-colored post its and that was IT!
They were bright and colorful but still a little plain for my liking, so I took a total of 12 of them and painted them all different with my watercolor crayons and then sprayed them with a spray I made from my shimmery red acrylic paint and water
(Again, it turned out pink, not red! Oh well!)


Stacked in sets of 2 for journaling in a possible layout plan.

So, then the work started! This was one of the easiest journal layouts to keep up with!
I just tucked the sets of 2 glued together post its in my book and everyday I would pull a set out and journal on it and glue it down!
The layout was pretty much complete, I just had to journal!

Half finished!

My layout ran from Wednesday, April 11th to Monday, the 16th.
Somewhere in there I had decided that I needed something more and I cut some post its into three equal pieces and watercolored them and glued them in thinking I would write important words or something on them or something that would pertain to each day but I was undecided so they stayed blank for a day or two.
On Sunday, I realized that I should just incorporate my daily prayer journal into my BOD because I have been a bad panda and haven't been keeping up with it at all!
I belong to a 30 Day Prayer Journal group on Motley Soul, and Mika is usually so good about posting a scripture daily and thus far I glued and clipped all the ones from March into a composition notebook, but I hadn't done anything in April.
So, why not put those in my BOD!?!
I mean, I joined the group wanting to make scripture and prayer a bigger part of my life!
Well that's what I did!

The finished page!

On Monday I got Happy Mail from on of my BOD Sisters and in the envelope was my very first row house, some awesome napkins and papers, paper doilies and PUNCHINELLA!
I have been wanting some but found none in my small, small town, and I never get to go to the city anymore, so I was SO thankful that my sister H. Crump sent some to me!
To commemorate my first bit of punchinella, I used it!
As a stencil first with orange paint and I also cut off a small bit and glued it onto the corner!

Had to take a picture with the light hitting the shimmer paint.

And finally, showing most of the glued in scriptures!

And that's it for Tuesday's blog!
I finished two other projects yesterday/last night as well but I am going to blog about them one at a time and will schedule them to post the next two days so check back I am trying to make blogging a more regular thing!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Book of Days

This is the last page that I completed in my Book of Days for the week of March 3rd!
I am such a bad bad girl!

And again, instead of trying to make up a month and make myself totally miserable (though I do have the daily journaling done in my day planner), I am just gonna let it go and start anew right now! No sense dwelling in the past and being hard on myself for procrastinating, it will only feed procrastination, laziness, and depression.

You might sort of recognize the layout, it's my interpretation of a lesson in a class I had started.
I had started Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's 30 Days in your Art Journal and I had completed the first spread and totally was loving on the class when life took a bit of a detour and my Book of Days was interrupted, again!
But now, I am really going to make an honest attempt at forming a daily arting/journaling habit.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My mind and its magnificent walls

I have been around but I haven't been very active with art of any kind and it makes me a sad person, I think, to not work on art.

Though, I discovered just how clever my mind has been lately at keeping me from starting/completing projects or working in my journal. My craft area has been a wreck for over a month now and I usually just look at the mess and sigh, perhaps I wish I had a maid or could blink and make everything clean again, at the very least I just wish for the energy to get something done. I haven't had a lot of energy lately. But on Monday I woke up with an immense amount of drive to get some things done around the house and that helped, A LOT! I got the kitchen clean with the exception of the pantry and fridge. I also got the dining room sorted out and my craft supplies re-organized in there! Now I have a place to art and can find my things when I need to!

So after all that was done, I was wiped out! So I took my sketch book to bed with me and I intended to play with drawing eyes. Lesson 2 of my Face to Face class, yes, I am still only on lesson 2! But my sketch book sat there for the entirety of the night, every time I saw it my mind came up with SOMETHING new.
These are thoughts that have occupied my brain when thinking about working on eyes...
-You've worked too hard today and you're shaky, why don't you give it a day or two?
-You're OK at eyes, you know how to draw the basics, what do you need to finish that lesson for?
-Eyes are NO FUN to draw, plus you aren't any good at them, just move on. (Notice the conflicting thoughts there?)
-You should print out the pictures of faces but you're almost out of ink, oh well, guess we'll do it another day.

So, somewhere along the way I decided to bite the bullet and work on some eyes. I snapped some pictures with my phone camera of the faces (eyes) I had looked up on the computer so that I could draw while Anthony played his game and off to drawing I went.

First was a worksheet on which I was supposed to draw three sets of eyes in boxes, I started on the first set reluctantly but by the time I finished them I was having fun! Imagine that, FUN! I easily finished the last two sets and I realized they weren't perfect, far from, but I was OK with that, I just wanted to draw more eyes!

Here's my worksheet.

So, then, I got out my phone and worked on drawing a pretty set of Asian eyes. Unfortunately this was the only set I finished before bed, but I was looking forward to drawing more, and I did, I finished off the exercise yesterday and am looking forward to moving into Lesson 3!

Working on getting comfortable drawing from pictures.

Sans eyelashes, eyebrows and most shading,
just trying to get to where I shut my mind down and draw what I see.