Monday, March 31, 2014

A Study of Snow!

"God thunders wondrously with His voice; He does great things that we cannot comprehend. For to the snow He says, 'Fall on the earth,' likewise to the downpour, His mighty downpour."
Job 37:5-6

This year, with all the beautiful snow, gives a great opportunity to "study" it. To look closely at it for colors, shapes, shadows, light. I have never actually painted a snow scene and I know that I would have painted it wrong.

So lets look at some of these pictures! This first picture I took was to see how footprints looked in the snow. All of the little depressions, the light, the shadow...and what colors do you see?
I see blue, white, grey and some purple...and different shades of each of those colors as well.

Where we live, there are many very large boulders. They are wonderful for climbing on and give some interest to the landscape. As you can see they are interspersed throughout the woods. So how do we distinguish between the rocks and the snow covering them as opposed to the snow around them? I think some of it will be done through shadow and light. The rock in the foreground has the potential for getting lost with the snow behind it, but the snow on top of it seems to have kept the shape of the rock pretty well and having the tree just behind it, serves to make a very nice break behind it. It has the potential for bringing more depth into the picture.

If you have seen my pictures on Etsy, I think you know that I really enjoy the base of the tree. :) So I have to include one in the snow! It is interesting how there seems to be a "well" around the base. I'm not sure why that is. If you know, I'd love to hear about it! So this picture allows for the smoothness of the snow, the bending of the shadows and light and the various colors that seem to pop out...some nice contrast as well as some nice blending.

I love all the shadows across the snow! I think the hard part will be to make those stones "come alive". There will have to be depth so they don't look "flat".

This picture is a little more interesting in that you have the trees at different distances. We still see those same stones on the left but because of the trees, I think it may be easier to convey. What do you think?

A lovely landscape! There is also some good depth and I like the little twigs that are poking out. They contrast with the trees.

Another lovely landscape, but this time we have the added challenge of the foot prints. I think that would be a little more difficult to capture.

My final picture, a sort of "overview" of what we have looked at in more detail. Have you ever painted a snow scene? Do you have some suggestions or comments for me? I'd love to get some feedback!


Life sure gets busy...

It has been a little while since I've written here. Life can certainly become busy, don't you think? I have been working at "catching up" from last year. Unfortunately, my elderly parents had a very stressful year with their health and my sister and I needed to drop a few things to make sure that they were cared for.
We are in a better place now! They are able to live at home and they have a few wonderful women coming in on a daily basis to take care of their basic needs and transport them to appointments. This is a great blessing!

So, with that said, I'm sure you wonder if I had time to work on any new designs. A little sketch here or there was done....Oh, and toward the end of the year, my daughter got married! You know what goes into all of that!!!

Okay, I will post a few of the things I managed to squeeze in here and there! :)

This is a multimedia piece combining chalk, color pencil, ink and pressed leaves. These leaves came from a wild rose vine that I found in our yard. There are so many different types of leaves that can be used to add dimension to a piece.

At the bottom of the same multimedia piece I attached some smaller pressed flowers and leaves.  Made them a little more like a taller stand of flowers.

This design was a commissioned piece for another Etsy shop. It was a fun diversion from all that was happening with my parents, to come up with a design.
I started by combing Google for images of top hats and images for gloves that could be combined into a picture like you see. There were plenty of hats, but most of the pictures of gloves showed them side by side.

I wish I had more to share here but this is it for now.  If you have a topic that you would like to see here, or you have questions, leave me a comment! I'm looking forward to hearing from you!


Monday, January 27, 2014

How Much Time Do We Really Have?

"Soft Tree" color pencil, graphic pen and blending chalk

How Much Time Do We Really Have?

We have 16 hours a day to accomplish all that we need to and still get 8 hours of sleep. Sixteen hours, times 6 days in a week, equals...96 hours a week! Notice that I have only included 6 days. We should have one day a week for recharging. So how will we use all those hours? What will be your priorities?

One thing that I have found is that taking one hour a week for planning makes a big difference in how much I can accomplish.  Making 2 with my larger tasks and another with smaller, bite-sized tasks that can be done between 5 and 30 minutes.

I believe that it is all those, 5 to 30 minute tasks that can really push those big tasks over the finish line. Each of these smaller tasks either contribute to the large project or task at hand, or the finishing of them lightens the mental load that keeps us from really focusing on that bigger project.  Either way, defining them is important for blazing forward.

How do you see this helping you to accomplish more?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Is it really July already?!

Hello! Remember me? I'm the woman who is supposed to be writing something here a little more often...
Have you tried the Graphix Shrink Film yet? It is fun and easy to do!

Through the end of May and into June, I did some custom cards. Here are some pictures!

I had some fun working with a nice bronze acrylic paint on this Birthday card. 
The recipient loves Palm trees 

This came out very pretty I think. 
I used a nice blue floral pattern paper that always looks great with white.
I also punched the border, embossed the patterns, cut out parts of the wings
and added little dots of gold paint and a little white bow!

This card was a fun design for a baby boy shower.

See the little green shoe that matches the paper? 
I used the Graphix Shrink Film to make it!
The only green marker that I had that would work on the shrink film
were my colored Sharpies.

This design was punched and embossed. 
Looking at it here, it may not look like much but in person
it was quite pretty!

So, I have been working on a few things. I also filled a couple of orders in the shop, including this design:

I have also been a little bit busy with a few other things. We finished homeschool the week before last and then I had to get all of my quarterly reports and end of the year paperwork done last week. I have yet to make my new school plans for this coming year, but that will be soon!

This week, I was going to start cleaning and organizing my basement so we can "flow" better in the house. Unfortunately, my Mom had to be admitted to the hospital and so we have had my Dad living here for a few days.

It's tough to get old...but we have really enjoyed being with my Dad and loving on him. I'm so very thankful that I still have my parents around to visit and share things with.

So that is all I have for you right now. I have been playing with other designs but I haven't really been happy with any of them.

Feel free to share what projects you may be working on, in the comments! I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Graphix Shrink Film

Geranium Writing Paper 
and an experiment with  Graphix shrink film!

It may seem like I've disappeared but I have been busily working on all sorts of projects and experimenting with different materials and tools.  I think that there is always benefit to pulling back to look again at what you have done and to fine tune your thoughts and direction.

So you will see that I have been sorting through my own personal collection of metal stencils and listing some of them in my shop. I love stencils, they are so versatile and can give a piece of art work just the touch it needs.

If you have been looking at things in the shop, you have probably seen my Geranium Writing Paper.  I hand color each piece with Prismacolor Color Pencils. A very simple and fun gardening design...
I took that design and drew it onto some Graphix shrink film with my set of Sharpie permanent markers. You can see how it turned out in the picture. The Graphix film is fun to work with but I'm still not sure if it will be something I pursue whole-heartedly. It is not as consistent as I would like. The film itself comes in white, matte, clear and black. The piece in the picture was done on matte. 

These pieces were done on a clear film. You can see how the top one curled in quite a bit. You have to place a weight of some sort on top of the parchment paper that it is sandwiched between to keep it from curling and yet still "bake". The smaller one in the middle, distorted and I'm not 100% sure how to prevent this from happening, except through more experimenting.

I actually like this one the best. It is the very first one that I did and it didn't seem to have the distorting happening that the other pieces did. This design is on a matte piece. Also, I punched off two of the corners for more interest.

Here is another piece only on white. You can see how this one also curled, but the color was quite nice and it gave it a glossy appearance.  So this is one of the projects that I have been working on. I hope to show you some of the others as I go along.

Thanks for stopping by!
Karen :)