Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thursday Crafts: Happy Thanksgiving

Autumn - art quilt 8 x 10
The Autumn dust has settled, and the candles begin to glow.
We gather together to give thanks for all we have.
We think of loved ones who have past on.
Friendships are embraced and renewed.
Love warms and heals us.
Hope kindles our creative powers.
Joy feeds our spirit so that,
Peace settles in our heart and soul for the days to come.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday Arts: A week of Haikus

A art haiku a day - that is my goal.  This project started last week in an effort to keep the hand and creative juices flowing instead of solidifying into a rubbery block of jello.  (I thought this analogy was a bit nicer than referring to my creative procrastination as 'sludge'?)  Like a haiku, I am using a small space to capture a quick idea, or thought or feeling.  This particular set was using collage, embossing and rubber stamps.  Fall was certainly in the air and I built on that theme.

I will  regularly post on Tuesdays any of my artistic endeavors.  This will give me a set deadline for keeping up my project as well as provide my readers with regular features they can come expect. My grand plan is that the haikus will eventually work their way into larger projects and tutorials that I can share with you.

Next up is, Thursday Crafts - I plan to post regularly on Thursdays any projects that are focused on my love of crafting.  With the holidays coming up, I get real excited about making things for gifts and decorating.  But, I also love to craft things for the home that are useful and beautiful as well.  So, stay tuned.  FYI - This Thursday is Thanksgiving Day, so my post may not be craft oriented this time around but expect the following Thursdays to be an arts 'n' craft post.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Art Everyday Challenge

Leah Piken Kolidas, of Creative Every Day - a wonderful and inspiring blog, has kicked off her Art Every Day Month challenge for the year.  I have tried to participate with vigorous intent but usually life got in the way and the initial energy to participate would wax and wane, then peter out entirely.  This year I am using it as a vehicle to proceed on my journey of a creative life that is long overdue to flourish.  Last week, I was able to work on something creative everyday and here are two results of my endeavor:
Autumnal Compositae 
I am a trained botanical illustrator.  I got bored with the process and let it go, exploring other forms of expression from collage, to mix media, art quilting and other fiber-textile processes.Yet, because I wanted to get something going - do art for the sake of the process - I reverted to my roots to produce these two portraits (above and below)

White egret
Last weekend, a white egret visited my porch and the neighbor's as well.  It was around all day, squawking and perching and flying off only to return and repeat.  I managed to get a few sketches of it and produced this drawing during the week as well.  I am fascinated by birds and can spend hours watching them, one of my favorites are the egrets and herons.  I think I captured my visitor as if it were a juvenile bird - but he wasn't.  Interestingly, I see it has returned this morning, so I hope to make more sketches so that I can improve on its portrait.  

The process of painting on a black ground is interesting.  I used a bristol or card stock with a tooth to it.  I sketched it in pencils first then laid in a layer of white gouache - watered down a bit.  This is the white to grayish back ground to use the colored pencils.  The bird I just used white prismacolor pencils directly on the paper.  

I forgot how much I can get happily lost in the process of much more calm and intuitive I feel when I am working on a piece.  Living a creative life is my passion and purpose to celebrate my talents and share them with others.

My quote for the weekend:
“When we engage in what we are naturally suited to do, our work takes on the quality of play and it is play that stimulates creativity.” –  Linda Naiman

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Musings - Autumn has arrived

Autumn has arrived with the switch to daylight savings time.  The days are golden and tepid, the nights inky and chilly. In anticipation of the coming holidays I have built up a generous head of steam for all the projects that come with the annual celebrations of autumn and winter.  

It has been a long time since I submerged myself into holiday inspired projects.  In fact, tit has been 10 years or more since I bought a pumpkin and carved it.  Yes, very sad indeed. My little effort was fun even if the result was not particularly the best carving to behold.  I am proud of the fact that I plunged in and did it.  So many childhood memories were flooding the kitchen as cider warmed on the stove, I watched a rerun of a favorite PBS mystery and carved away.  I had fun with it, and I plan to try again in the following year. 

My plan was to carve it so that the semi-transparent skin glowed from within when lighted from the inside.  I was somewhat successful.  The outcome from the experience was I relearned the process.  I know what tools I need to get to a better job next time.  I also figured out that to get more delicate carvings I may have to take away the flesh from in the inside first, then carve the skin.  Because I didn't have the 'pumpkin' carving tools available on the market I used linoleum block cutters.  Thus with the limited blades that I had, the process was labor intensive and not very flexible.  Nonetheless, I had a fabulous time and this process rekindled my enjoyment of preparing for All Hallows Eve.

Recently, I have been watching crows and ravens in all their antics in flight and cawing from various points of view.  I am fascinated by these intelligent birds. They are feathered thrill seekers with an abundance of curiosity and mischief.  I am often sketching them and decided to attempt a pastel drawing with a background of glazing.  Here is the result:

I loosely sketched in the figure with hard pastels, built up the body and texture after spraying with workable fixative.  Then I applied a glazing using Ivory, burnt sienna and mustard yellow around the figure - again, not trying to be perfect.  I think I captured the quick and spirited curiosity that is always in their eyes.  What do you think?

Autumn, after a hot summer, gets me in the mood for cooking more.  Salads are the meal du jour during the summer so I don't have to heat up the house with the oven or the stove top.  During the fall the energy and spark to cook returns.  I recently put together a small dinner for my parents which entailed: Baked grits, lemon lavender chicken and a pear salad.  
Boil grits per instructions on the box.  Mix grits with, salt/pepper to taste and sprinkle in your favorite herbs,  1 egg, milk (enough to make it into thick batter. Grease a ceramic pan, pour in and cook till the point of knife comes up clean and slightly brown on top.  350 degrees F works.

I used a recipe in The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo.  Mainly its marinating your chicken in honey, lavender and lemon.  Yummy!
A simple green salad with sliced pears, gorgonzola cheese, dried cranberries and sliced green onions. I used a balsamic vinegar dressing.

Crafts, art and food are what this season is about for me.  As I develop this blog I hope to feature regular posts on food that is healthy, easy to prepare and also appealing for the season.  Additionally, my plan is to regular post on my different craft projects as well as my journey in art.  Are the two separate?  Art and Crafting?  Yes and no - at least to me they are realms that blend and blur into each other.  However, for the purpose of this blog I will separate them.  Crafts will focus on D.I.Y. projects that are seasonally inspired and also helpful for just creating a useful things.  A journey in Art will be sharing my exploration into artistic techniques for producing works of art that interpret my view of the natural world.

Again, welcome to Serenplicity Studios.  I didn't get this off the ground by October 1st but here it is November and I am launching this special haven of creativity that I hope you will bookmark and return to as often as you can.  Please join me!