Art by Dee Thomas from Textile Artist site
Do you sometimes find it difficult to begin a new project? Then check out this article from Textile Artist for some quick inspiration: How to Get Started on a New Piece of Artwork. Here's what some of the textile artists said:
Take time to read the complete article for more ideas on jumpstarting a new art project.
Mural in Norfolk, Virginia
The subjects of imagination, creativity and innovation continually intrigue me. That's why I was interested in this thoughtful post from Tanner Christensen, founder of Creative Something: The Differences Between Imagination, Creativity and Innovation. Here are just a couple of his points:
"Imagination is about seeing the impossible, or unreal. Creativity is using imagination to unleash the potential of existing ideas in order to create new and valuable ones. Innovation is taking existing, reliable systems and ideas and improving them."
Creativity Plaque - Darlene Koppel
"With imagination, our focus can be on things that are impossible. Creativity requires our focus to be on things that might be possible, but we can’t be sure until we explore them further. While innovation entails being focused on what is right in front of us, something that can be measurably improved in the here and now."
Take a few minutes to read the complete article for more ideas. Then begin focusing on how you use your imagination, creativity and innovation to enhance your art.
A few years ago, I began this mixed media art painting. I didn't like the look of the girl's face and hair so I put the canvas aside. I almost threw it out. (You can see the Before picture below).
Yesterday, I papered over the face and then added butterfly images. I redrew her face and hair. I plan to add more details to the latter. And also tone down the background.
This exercise showed me that you can always rescue a failed painting. I can't believe that I'm showing you the Before painting. I really don't care for it.
"Learn the Storytelling Basics. Start by catching the reader’s attention with a strong hook – a few lines that focus on what is the most unique thing about you and your artistic evolution....Maybe you have lived all over the world and the different cultures have greatly impacted your design style."
"Share Your Creative Routine. Do you always find that people are asking you if you have any creative rituals? Rituals are fascinating because they’re not limited to specific fields or artistic disciplines, so people are inspired to apply what works for artists to their own work."
I especially like Lara's quote, "People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
Take a few minutes to read the complete post for more inspiration.
I was working on new jewelry pieces and didn't have the proper size jump rings in stock. I didn't want to take a trip to Hobby Lobby just to purchase jump rings.
So I took silver plated wire that I had on hand, my tools and watched some You Tube videos. Success - I created the jump rings that I needed. I still need to work on my jump ring skills. However making the jump rings wasn't as difficult as I anticipated.
If you're new to creating jump rings, I suggest watching a couple of short videos on how to make jump rings. I noticed some 30-minute videos that were too complex. If the surface edges of your jump rings are not flat, after you make your cuts, trim the edges to achieve a better connection.
"Take a look at what you have made so far. Find the best piece in your collection, and follow that style by changing proportions and colors. Every product line begins with one or two great ideas and grows into a group of complementary pieces."
"With every item or idea, include features that require hand fabrication—things that can’t be stamped out, quickly molded, or printed to achieve the same look or effect. If your work requires hobby level skills like assembly, arrangement or another skill that can be learned quickly by a hobbyist, you’ll have trouble selling it at a high enough value."
Check out the complete post for more ideas.
You have between October 31 and November 13, 2016 to upload a photo of your piece, and complete the submission form. Limit one entry per artist.
Get out your art supplies or camera and begin creating.
Here's what they say about doodles: "Certain types of doodles are in higher demand than others, like map icons, hipster coffee-ware, and hand-drawn fonts. Think about what you could create and sell on your own, just by taking your everyday doodles one step further. You don’t have to go after every single corner of the market, but chances are there’s someone who needs illustrations of something you really love to draw."
Check out the complete post for more inspiration and start putting those doodles to work. And don't forget to explore the other interesting articles on their blog.
"Be Original. Originality often goes far on the internet! People love being wowed, and seeing and sharing things which are different. I recommend finding at least one thing which distinguishes you from other artists – and promoting that aspect of your art like crazy."
"Have a Recognizable Style. All the great artists had their own styles – Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, Rembrandt, etc. Try to develop an original style of your own. With time, when people see new works of yours, they will hopefully instantly make the connection with your name."
Why not begin to work on one of these two ideas when making art today? And read the complete post for more inspiration.
I finally purchased one of those Pom-Pom Makers (in a large size). Previously I made pom-poms with a strip of cardboard or a fork.
As other bloggers have said before me, the written directions, for the maker, are not user-friendly. I went on You Tube and found an easy tutorial.
On Pinterest, I've seen images of Pom-Pom Rugs which looked interested, especially in ombre shades.
The Textile Artist blog regularly offers excellent posts. I recently discovered this post on Breaking through Blocks: Ten Ways to Reclaim Your Practice written by Louise Etheridge. Here are just a few of the points that caught my interest:
"Routines Set You Free. Some creative souls shudder at the thought of a routine, but routines are essentially the route to freedom and to an energized mind....Routines help us by creating habits that don’t need a decision.....And routines are not only fruitful when applied to the day-to-day. Creative routines are a sure-fire way to get your artistic juices flowing. Finding a creative routine will help your brain know that it’s time to start creating."
"Get Some Clarity. Perhaps you have too many choices, too many unfinished pieces, too many ideas. Or perhaps no ideas at all...Gain clarity about what you want to do, what you need to do, to show, to make. Gaining clarity will lead you naturally to your first step....One effective method of gaining clarity is to journal."
"Your Most Important Thing (MIT). The latter is the thing that will help you on the way to where you want to be, artistically. Your MIT could be about producing a work, or exploring a new method, or gaining inspiration from other artists."
Check out the other tips for more inspiration.
Via the Empty Easel, I discovered this post on Five Tips to Take Your Mixed Media Painting from Good to Great written by Kellie Day. Here are two of the tips that I will try soon:
Some additions that I like to include in my nearly finished, mixed media paintings are: graphite accents, inked lines using a dip pen and highlights made with a white gel pen. Check out the complete post, on Empty Easel, for more ideas.
I completed this mixed media painting, entitled Abstract Female, in my art journal today.
Originally, her face was too wide and her chin was too long. A few years ago, I would not have gone in and changed the structure of her face thinking that I'd mess things up. Now I'm confident enough to paint over a portion of a painting that is not working and begin anew.
I created her abstract hair with toothpicks and acrylic paint.
If you regularly read my blog, you know that I am fascinated by the topic of creativity.
Today I was looking through my folders when I came across a blog post that I wrote many years ago. I thought that you may be interested in reading it when you are on the hunt for fresh ideas
Filling the Well: Idea Sheet
In her well-known book, The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron tells us that “Filling the Well involves the active pursuit of images to refresh our artistic reservoirs.” Whether we are in a dry spell, wish to jumpstart our creativity, or need a break from making Big Art, stepping back and cultivating some quiet or small art time usually refreshes our spirit. Here are some ideas that I have tried:
Copyright © Darlene Maciuba-Koppel 2016
When it comes to working with pastels, I'm still learning. Therefore, I appreciated the post I discovered via Artists Network on Ten Tips on How to Paint with Pastels written by Austin R. Williams. Here are just a few of the interesting points (from various artists) that he covered:
Check out the complete article for more helpful ideas.
Claude Monet, Haystacks, Late Summer
Hurricane Matthew paid us a visit but we were lucky. We received about ten+ inches of rain over the weekend and only lost power for about fourteen hours.
A day before the storm, we visited the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, VA to see the exhibit, The Agrarian Ideal: Monet, van Gogh, Homer and More.
Winslow Homer, Farmer with a Pitchfork
Adolph Gottlieb, Untitled
I really was taken with this last abstract painting. I like the energy of the art piece.
In my previous posts, I spoke about following fashion, home decor and color trends in relation to creating new mixed media art. Serendipitously, I received an e-mail newsletter from Pattern Observer re: Following Trends the Right Way.
I especially like the tips that Michelle Fifis offers readers to become a trend watcher.
Be sure to read the complete post for more great ideas.
I just received two new catalogs from Restoration Hardware. I enjoy looking at catalogs for many reasons. First, I'm interested in new product offerings. But the biggest benefits of receiving catalogs relates to my practice of mixed media art.
Here's how I use catalogs in my art:
Here's a work-in-progress, mixed media art painting of Flower Girl.
A while back I took a portrait workshop with Misty Mawn at an Art & Soul Retreat. I remember her saying that it's common to not be satisfied with a painting in its beginning stages. I did have a rough time when I first began this painting but then I finally was able to get it back into shape. I do have some finishing details to add.
I worked on this painting in my art journal. I find that it helps to first experiment with portraits in a journal before moving on to a canvas or wood panel. For example, I initially added a flower image, to the painting, taken from a paper napkin. The latter quickly fell apart. So I rubbed it off and replaced it with a paper flower image.
Image from the Pantone site
Do you incorporate trending colors in the art that you create? Then you may be interested in The PANTONE Fashion Color Report for Spring 2017.
According to Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute: "Reminiscent of the hues that surround us in nature, our Spring 2017 Fashion Color Report evokes a spectrum of emotion and feeling."
"From the warmth of sunny days with PANTONE 13-0755 Primrose Yellow to the invigorating feeling of breathing fresh mountain air with PANTONE 18-0107 Kale and the desire to escape to pristine waters with PANTONE 14-4620 Island Paradise, designers applied color in playful, yet thoughtful and precise combinations to fully capture the promises, hope and transformation that we yearn for each Spring."
I'm really loving the color Island Paradise.
Painting by Jean Haines
A while back I purchased her book, Atmospheric Watercolours: Painting with Freedom, Expression and Style. Although her style appears effortless, it does take a lot of practice. And I continue to practice.
Here is what Haines says about her daily painting sessions: "I have a wonderful daily routine where I start each painting session with watercolor play. I take three scraps of paper and use different colors, pigments and techniques on each."
"My focus in these watercolor warm-ups is to enjoy painting by experimenting, to remove any negative thoughts from outside daily influences. I enable myself to reach a place in my mind that I call the peaceful zone. It’s at this point, when I have reached a state of calm, that I can paint at my best. This is when I would begin a serious painting."
Take some time to read the complete article for more ideas.
I am absolutely thrilled to announce that my bracelets appear on the cover of the Autumn 2016 issue of Jewelry Affaire magazine. The issue will be available October 1st.
New editor, Kelly Kirchner, has gathered together a treasure trove of lovely jewelry projects to keep you busy in the coming months.
Many of these artful pieces will make beautiful holiday gifts for those special people on your list. Why not make a few gifts for yourself too.
Image from smARTISTcareerblog
Check out the complete article for more inspiration - and then start developing your unique story.
Via the Alvalyn Lundgren blog, I discovered this post on: Eight Tips for Improving Your Drawing Skills.
Although the post is a few years old, the advice is still relevant.
I was the winner of the August Big Kawaii Grab Bag from Kawaii Depot. And, as you can see, the grab bag is filled with adorable Kawaii cuteness - and generous too. Postcards, stickers, unique erasers, notebooks, memo pads and more - Oh My!
Each month Kawaii Depot chooses two winners to receive a grab bag, a $25.00 value. I'm a happy customer of Kawaii Depot because they offer quality products. Check them out!
I like to use charcoal for sketching. Here are some tips on creating with charcoal:
I was lucky to win two copies of the picture book, MONSTERS Go Night-Night written & illustrated by Aaron Zenz. Right from the start, Zenz’s adorable monsters had me smiling and laughing with each turn of the page.
Can monsters look adorable? You bet! Zenz readily demonstrates his skill by employing intense colors and expressive shapes to bring his characters to attention-grabbing life.
Along with enjoying the colorful images, readers will be eager to learn the mysteries of how these fun-loving monsters prepare for bed. And, oh my, these monsters do have some startling bedtime rituals.
Can you imagine taking a bath in yummy chocolate pudding? In the end, the monsters also enjoy normal behaviors that young readers will readily identify with.
Here is a delightful book that will quickly become a bedtime reading habit. After all, readers are guaranteed to later sleep soundly in the company of such high-spirited monsters.
In case you missed this: The FREE Strathmore 2016 Online Workshops are now offering Workshop Three - Colorful Creation with Markers - led by Instructor: Will Terrell.
Although the session began Sept. 5, 2016, the lessons are self-paced so you can still sign up. Read details about how the sessions work here.
Week One is now available. The topic is: Keeping a Sketchbook.
Check it out!
I was sorting through some old magazines and came across a few issues of the Artist's Sketchbook.* I enjoyed reading this publication and was sorry to see that it stopped publishing.
In one of the issues, I discovered an article by artist Nita Leland on art warm-ups to set the mood for inspiration. She suggested doing warm-up exercises before beginning work on your current art project. Here are a few of Nita's ideas in condensed format:
Why not try one of these warm-ups today?
*Note: I just discovered that you can purchase past issues of Artist's Sketchbook magazine from North Light Shop.
Check out BzzAgent for yourself.
Here's an article that I wrote on the topic of Creative Rituals a few years ago that you may find interesting:
On a daily basis, use creative rituals to open the door to artistic inspiration. Before you begin working on your serious art projects, try setting the stage with one of these ideas:
Take a few minutes to read the complete post for more thoughtful ideas.
Lynne Butt – Sketchbooks Image
Joe and Sam Pitcher, founders of Textile Artist, have put together a wonderful, free e-book entitled Sketchbook Stories.
The twenty-two page PDF "explores how nine influential contemporary textile artists use their sketchbooks and why this is a cherished part of their process." The PDF also includes lovely photographs. To learn more, visit their site and sign up for their newsletter.
I continue to experiment with painting in black (gesso) and white (acrylic) paint. I enjoy the stark images that I can produce with these colors. In the painting above, I also introduced a lighter shade of black.
Here are a couple of posts about the benefits of experimenting with B&W:
Why not create a black & white painting this weekend?
Image from LifeHack site
Here are some ideas you can try this weekend from the post: 20 Art Therapy Activities You Can Try At Home To Destress, courtesy of LifeHack. Here are a few highlights from the article:
Check out the complete post for more ideas.
Drawing by Oskar Schlemmer.
Here’s an interesting site to browse this weekend. The Harvard Museum Website has released 32,000+ Bauhaus Art Objects online.
The Bauhaus era is the "20th century’s most influential school of art and design. Active during the years of Germany’s Weimar Republic (1919–33), the Bauhaus aimed to unite artists, architects, and craftsmen in the utopian project of designing a new world."
I was especially taken with this 1926 drawing of Costume Designs for the Triadic Ballet done by Oskar Schlemmer. The medium is: "black ink, gouache, metallic powder, graphite, and typewritten collage elements on cream woven paper, mounted to a cream card." The drawing reminds me of a mixed media art work.
Take some time to view more of Schlemmer's designs and/or other art in this extensive collection. You may just come up with some new mixed media art pieces.
Via the Painting About site, I came upon this updated post on Tips for Keeping a Sketchbook or Visual Journal written by Lisa Marder. She lists the benefits of sketchbooking and also offers tips. Here are a few that caught my interest:
Check out the complete article for more ideas.
"Just as with athletes developing muscle in training, artists develop confidence and ideas through practice in using their sketchbook to test paints, draw ideas, jot down thoughts, stitch random samples… these are all practice to help build artistic muscle or mileage on the pencil!"
Bren goes on to say:
"If you still find sketchbooking a big step, then try to vary its contents:
The article is a great, informative read so check out the complete post for more ideas.
I was sorting through my decorative and scrapbook papers because I needed black & white paper for a collage. I was surprised to find such a large amount and wide variety of paper designs. The photo above only shows a portion of my stash.
The discovery made me realize that I should check my stash more often. I could be missing out on opportunities to further enhance my art projects because I didn't realize what I had in stock.
The next time you need inspiration or are tempted to purchase new art supplies, start checking out the shelves, drawers and bins in your studio. You probably will re-discover supplies that you had forgotten about. I plan to sort through the drawers in my studio next.
When I travel, I always pack a large canvas bag filled with art supplies and my art journals. My bag usually contains Micron pens, mechanical pencils, assorted markers, favorite art stamps, ink pad, watercolor paints, small scissors, glue sticks, collage papers, sketch pad and my current art journal.
Today I came across a related post on Travel Journals and Art Supplies for Your Next Adventure written by Lisa Sonora. She offers some great tips. I like her idea of using cosmetic bags to hold small supplies and tucking in a package of moist hand wipes. Check out her post for more ideas.
Image from the Weigh Anchor blog
Kat uses watercolor paints, Dr PH Martin Concentrated Watercolors and Walnut Ink. She tapes the edges of her paper down before she begins painting.
For the details, check out her blog post. Then why not antique some paper this weekend.
Finally! I have completed my traditional hooked rug. The latter measures 49" x 30 1/2."
The project was indeed a huge undertaking. What kept me going were weekly meetings with my rug hooking group. Hooking the sheep design in circles took longer than working in straight stitches. The important thing to me was creating a checkerboard border. With a little calculation, the checkerboard worked out.
I must admit that I used an iron-on binding for the back of the rug. Traditionally, the binding should be hand-sewn onto the rug back. The only type of sewing that I enjoy is bead embroidery. I knew that I would keep putting off sewing the binding. So iron-on binding came to the rescue.
I love Japanese pens, pencils and stationery. And lately, I've been on a Kawaii kick. I recently discovered Kawaii Depot which offers an abundance of cuteness. I especially love Rilakkuma.
I ordered these adorable stationery items from Kawaii Depot this past Saturday and my packaged arrived today. That is the fastest service that I ever received from a vendor. The company is based in California. Check out their site to bring a smile to your face.