I took an online mixed media class with Sherri Welser (Vintage Beach and Victorian Houses) and I have been creating little houses in mixed media all week long. I can’t stop. It’s a new addiction.
There is something kind of soothing about cutting, gluing, and doodling. I don’t have all of the fancy objects that Sherri Welser has, but I am holding my own on layering the ephemera with gorgeous papers and paint. At least I think am. Actually, I don’t care. It’s making me happy because this kind of work is super relaxing! Whether I am awesome at it or not doesn’t even matter.
I feel like a kid again. Remember drawing houses and flowers when you were a kid? It’s just like that for me right now. I sometimes do it while I am watching TV. I sit on the couch with my lap desk and a big basket filled with markers and pencils and rub-ons and just get to work. I don’t have to think too much about what I plan to do next. It’s more of a go-with-the-flow kind of art process.
I am really enjoying the illustrative quality too. I am getting into the story-telling aspect of creating little houses in mixed media. I wonder, who would live in this house? On this street? What season is it? Is it a warm or cold day? I feel like I am people watching while creating these little spaces.
I’ve been kind of stressed out lately. We’ve just had a lot going on. We’ve been busier than usual and I have been juggling more balls in the air than I am really capable of juggling. This creative outlet of just “doing” without trying to be perfect or even having an outcome in mind has been just what I needed to shut off the worry machine in my brain.
The little houses make me sigh with relief.
Plus, I am getting ready to undertake a big project with lots of fussy details and serious drawing. I am excited to get started, but I think these free-for-all little houses are kind of loosening me up for the work ahead. I am clearing my mind in preparation for the artistic challenge I am about to embark upon.
If you are interested in taking an online class with Sherri Welser you can find her courses in her Indigo Earth Shop. Her course prices range between $25-$35. The courses are especially helpful for beginners because she covers materials extensively and demonstrates how to use them on her videos. More advanced mixed media artists might find the classes a little slow, but from my experience you always learn something new from any class you take. She also offers Facebook groups you can join so you can mingle with other people in the group and see what they have been working on. That is always a fun experience!
Last year I planted a bunch of sunflowers and only one came up and grew into an actual sunflower. The rest either never sprouted or were eaten immediately after they did. Birds love sunflower seeds and sunflower shoots, obviously! I was pretty disappointed in my green thumb. Or lack of a green thumb. I mean, I couldn’t even grow something that grows on the side of the road like a wildflower. That’s saying something, right? The only way I could grow these flowers would to try with all my heart not to let them grow.
I try to grow things I might want to paint later. So I can photograph them and have a nice collection of reference photos for my stash. So far, my collection consists primarily of seeds and photos of scrub brush masquerading as trees.
Anyway, instead of growing sunflowers this year, I’ve decided to just stick to painting them. It takes less water and they never die. I can’t imagine a better compromise! Thank goodness there are people willing to let me use their reference photos. I call these people my “Art Angels.”
I really like how these came out. They seem to glow and have an energy about them. I like the life in them. For a while I have been trying to move away from the batik look. I experimented with blending, but I’m never as satisfied with those blended paintings as I am with the batik-like paintings. I miss the contrast those white spaces offer. I really like the batik look. It feels more vibrant to me. I think I am just going to embrace it. I’ve finally found my alcohol ink painting style. Well, maybe I’ve just finally accepted it!
We’re right in the middle of gardening season over here. Between the bunny that keeps sneaking into the garden to eat up the squash plants and the pepper plant that refuses to grow I am not sure we will have a big crop this year. It seems like we start out with the best intentions and over time our devotion begins to dwindle.
I may need to start painting tomatoes and cucumbers too in the near future. Maybe I can trade my art for fresh produce, right? I mean, we can’t be good at everything. Sometimes you just have to accept your strengths and weaknesses and find a way around them. This brings new meaning to the term “starving artist.”
Are you gardening this year? Having any luck or pest problems? I’d like to hear about them.
Caturday is an Internet tradition that I have been determined to become a part of for months. I know, months isn’t exactly impressive, but I just discovered Caturday also known as #Caturday and since cats and Saturdays are two of my favorite things it all makes total sense.
This is a beautiful cat that I have named “Blue-Eyed Beauty” and the really cool thing is I have never seen this cat in person. What?! How?! Wait, you might not be impressed that I used a photograph, but I am because this photograph is special. This photograph comes from a wonderful website called Paint My Photo that I recently joined. It’s the coolest website ever! It’s this place where photographers and painters (or people who work in any medium) get to mingle. The best part is the photographers donate their photos as reference photos for artists to use.
No fees. No nonsense. No copyright problems.
Just people being nice.
It’s truly lovely. It’s also fun. I get the sense there is a thriving community there too. I am looking forward to getting more involved in it.
I’m also looking forward to painting things I’d never be able to take my own reference photos of. People from all over the world are contributing. The sky is the limit!
“Blue-Eyed Beauty” is based on a photograph taken by Elize Bezuidehout.
I took a close up of the cat’s face because I like those blue eyes.
I took this photo in brighter light. Isn’t the alcohol ink lovely when it glows? It’s one of my favorite things about working in this medium.
It felt really good to get back into the studio again. Especially since I get to contribute to Caturday. The best day of the week, obviously.
P.S. I’m pretty sure I confessed to liking dogs a little more than cats at some point during the writing of this blog. Don’t tell my cat. He’s extremely jealous. He’s also a known biter.
Happy Caturday! Go snuggle up some fur babies like the cat lovers you are.