Month: March 2014

Etsy Shop of the Month: Fawn and Rose Necklace Giveaway (closed)

Silver Triangle Necklace Giveaway copy

This month’s Etsy shop review and giveaway hails from across the Atlantic, all the way from Brighton, England. Although in the past I have put my focus on handmade in the USA, I couldn’t help but notice the very modern, clean, and trendy jewelry designs in Jess’ shop, Fawn and Rose.

I discovered her jewelry during one of my endless, black holes of Etsy browsing. I immediately fell in love with the triangle shape, brass, and sea foam green necklace. As is typical of my Etsy loves, I bought it shortly after spotting it, and eagerly awaited it’s arrival.

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An order arriving from another country is a long wait, but it was well worth it. The necklace was exactly as it was pictured, and I loved it even more in person. The clean design makes the necklace incredibly versatile. It can be dressed up or worn with jeans, and the neutral brass against the sea foam green creates a nice neutral palette with a subtle color pop, that goes with everything.

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In addition to her beautiful jewelry, her products are also nicely wrapped. To my surprise, as I opened the package, I discovered an adorable business card, thank you and 10% coupon card, a small jewelry box that contained my necklace, and a tag that all matched. Her logo is clean and memorable, much like her jewelry. she has a keen eye for creating and marketing, I’m not surprised by her current 662 Etsy sale count.

I have already worn my necklace a handful of times since its arrival a week ago, and have already gotten many compliments. This necklace has already made its way into my regular jewelry rotation, it’s guaranteed to get a lot of wear in the coming years.

Jess has been incredibly generous and agreed to giveaway a silver triangle necklace to one of my lucky readers. Like the necklace I just bought, this necklace is very versatile and can be worn with a range of styles. This piece is a classic style with a modern twist.

Triangle Necklace Giveaway

All you have to do to enter is visit Jess’ shop Fawn and Rose here, “like” your favorite item, and share a link to the item in a comment below.

To receive a second entry visit my encaustic shop here or fused glass shop here, “like” your favorite item, and share in a separate comment below.

To receive a third entry share this giveaway on your preferred social networking site and include a link to your share in a separate comment below.

This giveaway will be closed next Thursday 4/3/14 at midnight. Thanks for taking the time check out my blog and enter this months giveaway! The winner will be selected and notified via e-mail next Friday, 4/4/14. If they do not respond in 24 hours a new winner will be selected. Good luck and don’t forget to check back for future giveaways


 

The Sketch Series: Encaustic Mixed Media Art

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I’m really excited to share my newest work of art, and hopefully a new direction for my encaustic work.

Last year I began playing around with encaustic wax as a new material. I love the entire process, melting the wax, smoothing it, layering, and carving back into it. I instantly fell in love, and since then I have been working to refine my technique.

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When I first started I played around with image transfers and began my silhouette series. I have always loved decorating my home with objects, new, old, antique, and unique. Old sewing machines, eclectic furniture, and interesting artwork fill every nook and cranny of my home. With my silhouette series I sought to bring attention to individual items in the hopes that it would spark a memory and create a connection to future owners or viewers.

While I am not abandoning my silhouette art I am moving in a new direction to a place more abstract, larger scale, simple yet complex. I add paper, encaustic wax, and paint to create layer after layer of delicate, somewhat neutral, and textured depth. As you look at the background the layers slowly reveal themselves.

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On top of the layered background I painted naples yellow encaustic wax, then carved a simple line on top. The line outlines the beginnings of a tree, a simple sketch of a recognizable shape. I filled the line with paynes gray oil paint to emphasize it. Around the edge of the painting I repeated lines in a crosshatch pattern using white and naples yellow oil paint. I wanted to reference the straight line, stick like shape of the tree throughout the painting.

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I hope by using a very basic line to form these shapes I am toning down the feel of my artwork and allowing the viewer more space to create the rest of the form. I have always admired abstract art, and I hope I can move in that direction with my own work.

I have already begun my next piece, a boat inspired encaustic painting, and can’t wait to see where this bit of inspiration will take me next. I will continue to share as I continue to create!

Thanks for checking out my new artwork and my blog. Help me spread the word by subscribing, sharing on your preferred social networking sites, and sharing with friends, I couldn’t do it without you. Check back this week for my upcoming Etsy giveaway with Jess, shopowner of Fawn and Rose. While you are at it check out my encaustic here, and my newest ceramic and glass shop here.


 

Visual Journal Page 62: A Harvest Moon

Visual-Journal-Page-62-A-Harvest-MoonThis visual journal page is probably my favorite page I have made so far. I am very pleased with how it turned out visually, and although it doesn’t represent the most meaningful moment in my life, it still represents an important memory, a feeling I had and can relive when I look at it.

This page represents a road trip to Kiawah Island with my Nick, a long six hour drive, and a sudden harvest moon surprise.

We were on our way to a much needed vacation. We were meeting a handful of our friends at one of their parent’s beach house, we were looking forward to the relatively low cost beach vacation and a weekend away from home. After work we ran home, threw our bags in the car, and headed on our way.

Friday after work is already a challenging time. I start crashing as soon as I get home from another long week, around 9:00 I’m ready for bed and lam already thinking about sleeping in the next morning. But here we were, ready to hit the 5:00 rush hour traffic, prepping for a 6 hour drive, willing to stick it out for an extra day of vacation.

Sometime after the sun went down, a few hours into the drive, the sleep began to hit me. My eyelids felt heavy, my attempts to be a good, entertaining passenger began to dwindle as we feel into sleepy silence.

Driving down the windy, two lane country roads there was little civilization, and little light. It was a dark night as we wove through the woods towards the coast. Just as I began nodding off we made our way around a curve, and a massive orange, harvest moon greeted us on the other side.

It was a moment that took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting this beautiful sight, I couldn’t believe how huge the moon looked, and I almost missed it as sleep tugged at my body. We sat in silence admiring the view until another curve took as away and the moon settled behind trees. As we continued our journey the moon continued to follow use, peaking through the forest, from behind buildings, and every now and then showing itself in open spaces.

Although the moment came and went, and may seem insignificant, it made an impression on me. It woke me up for the remainder of the drive, and kept me watching the scenery as we continued on. As much fun as we had that weekend the moon is what I most remember. I love that I still have moments of awe, amazement at how beautiful this place is that we live.

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • India ink
  • Book pages
  • Gesso
  • Watercolor
  • Paintbrush
  • Xacto Knife

HOW TO

Before I even began making this visual journal page, I already had a plan for it. I knew I wanted a completely black and white page, with only the massive moon in color. I knew I wanted to recreate the scene, the winding road, forest lining on either side, and the moon at the center. I opted to use India ink to create the black foreground and background, since it has such a rich, dark color. India ink is such a liquidy, wet material, it absorbs through everything. Because of this I decided to layer extra book pages together outside of my journal, paint the pages, then glue it into my journal.

After I layered the base pages I painted a solid layer of ink for the sky. Although India ink is very dark, it can also be very streaky. As I laid down the ink with my paint brush I made sure I evenly space the lines, and kept it as consistent as possible. After the background dried I took gesso and splattered it over the background to create stars.

After the sky was complete I began painting the trees on a different set of book pages, followed by the road. Once they were dry I cut out the trees, glued them down onto the left and right sides of the page, with the cut out road in the middle. I knew I wanted the moon positioned at the end of the road, so I left areas where the trees and road would overlap the moon unglued.

I wanted to make sure this moon had almost as much impact as the actual moon I saw. I decided to cut out a circle and layer gesso on top to create a three dimensional look. After a day or two of drying the gessoed moon was finally read to be painted. I began with a light layer of gray watercolor, which settled into the groves and low areas of the gesso. I then layered orange on top. After just two coats of paint, I took a step back and to my surprise I realized the moon was complete. I carefully glued the moon to the background, and glued the remaining edges of the trees and road. My beautiful moon inspired visual journal page was complete.

CHALLENGE

Use thick layers of gesso to create a more three dimensional look on your next page!

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and harvest moon post! Help me spread the word by sharing with others, I couldn’t do it without you!


 

Visual Journal Page 61: Walking Down this Path

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Hilton Head Island is my second home. When I think back to my childhood many of my memories stem from this small island off the coast of South Carolina. Learning to ride a bike, collecting sea shells, playing games, and as a teenager trekking down to the Marriott to meet boys.

Since I can remember my parents have had our house off of Hickory Lane. It was purchased when I was barely walking, and we still own it today. Even though the house is split between good friends and extended family, the 6 weeks we have every year makes it feel like our house.

It feels like our home making the 4 1/2 hour drive down familiar interstates and roads, pulling into the driveway, seeing the screened in porch, the gray/blue color of the house. Every moment is nostalgic, with glimpses of past years. What really completes this sentimental feeling is the first walk to the beach. After quickly unloading the car as a family we walk to the beach. Down our street, across Pope Avenue, and finally down the path.

Hilton Head is a very bike friendly place. Bike paths parallel streets, wind through trees, and take you anywhere you want to go on the island. The beach consists of compacted sand, unlike the white loose sand of many coasts. The compact sand allows bike trips up and down the shoreline. Because so many beach goers are also beach bike goers the beach paths have to accommodate the bikers; and the houses along our beach path decided strips of discarded carpet was the way to go.

Layers upon layers of carpet has been laid on this path for years. Slowly the carpet began creeping from the entrance to the beach all the way to the intersection of Pope Avenue. Covering tree roots, and loose sand blown back from the beach, the carpet does wonders for a bicyclist trying to reach the beach.

On our first night I always take a minute as we hit the path and consider how strange it is to have a carpet trail leading us to the beach. The moment we hit the end of the carpet, the beginning of the sand, and crest the final slope allowing us a glimpse of the ocean, I truly feel like I am home. I have come from home number one in the city to home two on the beach. Even though walking down that carpeted path to the beach is leading me away from my house it some how feels like I’m going home.

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement or mod podge
  • Old book pages
  • Water color
  • Paint brush
  • Water
  • India ink
  • Colored pencil

HOW TO

To create this visual journal page I started with a base of layered book pages put together outside of my visual journal. Since I knew I wanted to use watercolor I decided it would be best to paint it on separate paper, then glue it into my journal. By doing this I avoid wrinkly pages and the color accidentally seeping through this journal page and staining others.

I used rubber cement to glue the pages together to create a base. I then got out my watercolors and got to work. I wanted to keep it loose, so rather than sketch everything out first, I went for it. I started with the sky and layered blue watercolor. Every now and then I took a paper towel and dabbed area of the sky, pulling the blue paint back up. This is a good technique to create clouds. Next I painted in a slightly darker blue for the ocean, followed by green lines for the tall grass. I decided to leave the path unpainted, letting the color of the pages in the background define it.

After I had my base painting down I went back in with gray to create shadows in the grass, and yellow to create the tops of the sea oats. I then used India ink to better define areas. I painted a loose line between the ocean and the sky, and used short, wiggly lines to bring out the shoreline and waves. I randomly scattered black lines in the grass and outlined the tops of the sea oats to create shadows.

After the background was complete it was time to add the words. I wrote them out with pencil first, then outlined them with a black colored pencil. They looked a little too plain, so I outlined them with a yellow colored pencil that matched the yellow in the sea oats.

CHALLENGE

Create a visual journal page about your nostalgic childhood vacation spot or home.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and read today’s post! Help me spread the word about my blog by sharing with others. Thanks for stopping by!


 

Spray Paint Murals: Chor Boogie

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I have always had an interest in street art. I love the vibrant colors, range of subject matter, and sense of freedom spray painted images have. As a child the special trips into the city of Atlanta brought awe at the height of buildings and a bit of shock to see words and images plastered on the sides of walls.

As an adult now living in the city I love seeing the living walls. Real art is created here. Conversations between artists happen as a stenciled bunny rabbit is suddenly surrounded by spray painted carrots, then a fox chasing from behind. One day I drive down the street and discover a mural being created, the next day I find Tom Selleck’s silhouette appeared on a bridge overnight. There is constant change, expression, and artistic freedom on these walls. You see mistakes, growth, and change in the layers of paint.

With spray paint often used as a means of vandalization and gang tagging it has developed a bad name. However, despite it’s many negative connotations I do believe there has been more acceptance of good intentioned (and well done) graffiti art. I am excited to see Atlanta begin to embrace street art rather than fight it. This is evident by the large increase in commissioned public art I have seen in my five years in the city. Amazing images have begun brighting dark corners, alleyways, tunnels, and overpasses. The ability for street artists and government officials to come together and create has brought much more culture and flavor onto the walls of my city. For those who don’t spend their weekends wandering art museums, walking down the street has now become an opportunity for them to be introduced to and experience art.

Chor Boogie is one of the artists working to give spray paint a good name.

MODERN HIEROGLYPHICS

Chor has been creating since the age of five, and spray painting since he was 13. For 23 years he has been working with spray paint, honing his skills, and working towards redefining spray paint as a fine art medium. A completely self taught artist, Chor has worked his way from Oceanside, CA to San Fransisco, and all over the world. His work of art, “The Eyes of the Berlin Wall” sold for $500,000.00, breaking records for the street art genre, and setting a standard for street art as fine art.

Chor is not only breaking down the walls between street art and fine art, he is taking the pieces and transforming them into unbelievable examples of the capabilities of spray paint.

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Chor’s artwork contains the sense of freedom and expression I am immediately attracted to. His work has layer after layer of bright colors, intertwining shapes, and a mix of graphic art and realism, which seamlessly come together to create images with impact. Simply looking at a picture online I feel enveloped in the color, I can only image what it is like to stand in front of one of these massive murals.

All of his work is created with 100% spray paint. His 23 years of experience is evident in the way he handles the material. The crisp lines, carefully faded colors, and overall clean look of his artwork is an unbelievable example of how spray paint rivals what any other fine art material can do.

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I can feel the expression of his artwork dripping down the lines of the spray paint splatters and seeping through his many layers. I feel like I can breath looking at his work, it doesn’t look tight, stuffy, or overworked. I think part of the sense of freedom has to do with his process. He doesn’t spend a lot of time pre planning. His process is very go with the flow, which is evident through his work and in the way he describes it, “I basically scale everything by eye on a natural feel to keep things a little organic along with years of experience, I have a rendering if I’m doing realistic portraits, but I always add my original flavor to it.”

I envy his process. I get too caught up in the pre-planning stages and the little details. I strive to find a way to let loose, be organic, which is why I am so drawn to what he does.

Recently Chor was commissioned to complete a large scale mural on the ground floor of the CUBES, a retail development off West 42nd street in New York City. Chor chose to complete large scale portraits of Michael Jackson and Madonna. The bright patterns pop through the all glass front of the building. The layered spray paint shines through the more monochromatic, and slightly translucent faces of the two celebrities. The layers intrigued me as soon as I saw the images, and when asked the meaning behind them he simply explained, “everyone has flavor to them, some form of abstract within them, and we are all based upon layers shapes and forms.. that create a whole… as one.” Despite our individual level of celebrity, creativity, or exterior differences we are all made up of the same amazing, beautiful shapes.

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Future murals have already been planned for the second and third floors of the building, with super hero and film icons lined up to add a little flavor to the currently blank walls. I asked why he chose these themes for the projects and Chor explained, “I know I’m just like these celebrities and super heroes because I put in just as much work, just a different medium and on a different stage… and if the super hero theme mural happens, its all in relation to super heroes in NYC and the rest of the world..”

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I’m excited to see the level of recognition Chor has received for his work. He is taking steps to change the views of spray paint’s role as a fine art medium. I hope with his continued success he will bring light to the importance of public works of art, and increase the collaboration between cities and their artists. He finished up our interview with a little advice for up and coming artists, “can’t stop won’t stop… never stop believing… make it or not.. never disrespect your talent ..”

A big thanks to Chor Boogie for taking the time to do an interview with me! To read more about his work check out his website here. Thank you for checking out this post and my blog. Help me spread the word about Chor Boogie, street art, and my blog by sharing it with others. I couldn’t do it without you!