Tag: artist

Visual Journal Page 40: A Part of Me

A visual journal page about using a hot glue gun so much it became an extension of myself.

While in college I began creating large scale paintings of women in fancy dresses. I would paint the figures and background in oil paint, then construct intricate dresses out of fabric. I would often take these very high class, traditional looking ladies and place them into an unpredictable scene. A glass might be smashed, someone may have fallen down the stairs, chaos was ensuing. Not a typical scene for a lady.

While on this “clash of two worlds” journey I was struck with inspiration to create a dress completely out of beer bottle caps. Something about the juxtaposition of a traditional woman in a dress made entirely out of beer caps, not very lady like, was very appealing to me. I enlisted help from friends, family, and friend who worked at a bar to start collecting bottle caps and the project was underway.

It tok a few years of planning here and there before I finally took the plunge to put it all together. I had recently reached out to a local restaurant, Carroll Street Cafe, to inquire about displaying my work at their establishment. When I was added to their monthly rotation this became my motivation to finish the monstrous work of art.

It felt like every hour I wasn’t at work I was at home hot gluing bottle caps to fabric. My hands started to ache and clench after bending and cutting cap after cap after cap. My glue gun in one hand, pliers in the other, I felt like a machine. For a time it felt like the glue gun became an extension of myself.

A mixed media work of art constructed from oil paint, encaustic, fabric, mat board, and beer bottle caps.

I was very happy with the end result and the piece was well received at my mini art opening. It felt good to take on such a large project and see it through to the end. For years she lived in our back bedroom, stored away until I could find her forever home. When push came to shove, with Cooper on the way and a need to clear out the room, I practically gave her away to a couple who lived in my area.

Although I hated to see her go, and not earn the amount of time I put into back, I am glad she is on display, not stuck in a back room.

You can read about this piece in a post I wrote shortly after making it here. You can also check out more from my ladies in dresses series here. Although I have moved on from this focus, I still incorporate so much collage, layering, and mixed media in my artwork. My focus is now on encaustic, I have plans to post about my massive encaustic carving undertaking in the near future.

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement, Elmer’s glue, or similar
  • White paper
  • Watercolor
  • Sharpie
  • Pastels
  • Charcoal
  • Spray fixative

HOW TO

When planning this visual journal page I wanted to emphasize the repetition and the overwhelming feeling I had somewhere in the middle of this big undertaking. I decided to create abstract looking bottle cap shapes to layer in the background. I started by painting loose color circles in the main colors I used in the dress: blue, green, black, and yellow. Once they dried I outlined them in sharpie and added a wiggly line around the outer edge to reference the look of a bottle cap.

After the bottle caps were complete, I cut them out and glued them down using rubber cement. Next, I started on the hot glue gun hand. I had a rough image in my head of how I wanted this to look. I sketched out an arm and hand, then started working the glue gun shape into the fingers. I used pastel to fill the color of the arm and the hot glue gun, then blended them together. Once this was cut out I glued it on top of the background.

After layering all my pieces together I decided the overall image was just too bright and colorful. It looked silly, as opposed to exhausted, overwhelmed, and in joint pain. I decided to darken the entire image by coloring over the background with charcoal, then smearing it, thinning it out in areas, and rubbing it over the hot glue gun hand. I added charcoal details back into the hot glue gun to sharpen it back up after smearing it.

Once I was satisfied with the overall feel of the page I began planning out the placement of the text. I ended up erasing a line out of the charcoal to create a spot where text would show up. I then added the text with sharpie. The final step was spraying the page with fixative to prevent it from smearing.

CHALLENGE

Create a visual journal page about a challenging time in your life. Incorporate charcoal somewhere in the image.

Interested in more visual journal stories, tips, and how tos? Check out my visual journal blog page here and my visual journal bundle on TPT here. Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help spread the word and get involved with visual journaling by following, sharing, and commenting!

My first girl in dress painting, the dress looks a bit like a mattress. Made in 2007.

My first girl in dress painting, the dress looks a bit like a mattress. Made in 2007.

Mixed media painting created in 2008.

Created in 2008.

Created in 2010. This was the start of my transition into encaustic. The birch trees were layered with encaustic, carved, dripped, and painting into. 

Created in 2010. This was the start of my transition into encaustic. The birch trees were layered with encaustic, carved, dripped, and painting into.

Teachers Pay Teachers: Yearlong Art Class Curriculum (plus giveaway)

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I have participated on the Teachers Pay Teachers website since 2013. It has allowed me to share the many products I have made for my classes, connect with other teachers, and help supplement my paychecks.

I love the idea behind teachers paying teachers for their hard work. We can help make each other’s lives easier while also supporting someone else (who we know also doesn’t make a lot of money). Teaching certainly is a labor of love. And I am so glad to have a way to make some extra money off of doing the thing I love.

I have worked very hard this summer to get new products up. In the past couple of months I have put up STEAM posters (I will post about these soon), artist inspiration, tempera batik, color matching, color scheme, ceramics, perspective, and grid method projects, a viewfinder handout, and a few freebies (grid worksheets, shading sheets, and upside down drawings). In addition, for the past year, I have been working on compiling all of my Introduction to art lesson plans, PowerPoints, worksheets, and more into a yearlong art curriculum.

What I love most about the product is that it provides a plan for every single day of an entire year of teaching. I was extremely lucky to have a supportive co-art teacher my first year teaching who passed along many of her projects and resources. I hope this product does this for someone else. If your art class only lasts a semester it provides a way to pare that down to the essentials. I also planned the lessons to cover every single proficient level national standard as well as 6 accomplished level and 1 advanced level national standards.

See what is included below:

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-Yearlong timeline
-Semester long timeline
-First day items: syllabus bathroom passes, tell me about you sheet, art survey, letter to parents, artist to know table, and behavior contract
-Art notebook set up: Table of contents and worksheets
-20 lesson plans: includes big idea, essential questions, goals, objectives, supplies, vocabulary, step-by-step instructions, national standards
-17 rubrics
-6 critique worksheets

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-16 PowerPoints

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-42 worksheets: Includes elements of art, principles of design, visual journal, drawing, color theory, perspective, contour line, and many more.

If each item was purchased individually this product would cost $186.00, but I have it listed for just $75.00. In addition Teachers Pay Teachers is hosting a bonus sale today only (8/22/16). I am offering 20% off every item in my store, which brings this product down to $60.00. I have also been selected as 1 of 1,000 sellers to giveaway a $10.00 Teachers Pay Teachers gift card. The first person to e-mail me at [email protected] with the subject line “TPT Gift Card” will win it! Act fast in order to use it during the big sale today!

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and read about my art, job, and life in general. Help me spread the word by sharing with others on your social network site of choice. Subscribe below to get updates straight to your inbox. Thanks for stopping by!

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Spray Paint Murals: Chor Boogie

michael jackson mural copy

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.

chor boogie at work

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.

madonna-jackson_chor_boogie_montana_colos

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..”

chor boogie and michael jackson

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!

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Wesleyan Artist Market

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I am excited to announce that I will be involved in the Wesleyan Artist Market this year! I will be sharing a booth with one of my coworkers, and hopefully selling some artwork. If you live in the area (Norcross, GA) please stop by and support local artists! The market will have over 80 artists selling work, in a range of materials from jewelry to oil paintings. The market will be open to the public Thursday May 2nd (7-9pm), Friday May 3rd (9am-7pm), and Saturday May 4th (10am-4pm).

This is my very first craft fair, if all goes well I may look into joining the Atlanta craft circuit in hopes of selling more of my artwork. At my booth I will have my fused glass pieces and mixed media artwork for sale. I will have a range of sizes, subject matter and prices. My mixed media pieces range from $15-$550.  I hope to see you there!

Pieces for sale:

Fused Glass-Geometric Blue and Green Plate

Fused Glass-Small Square Geometric Bowl

Fused Glass- Geometric Pattern Round Plate

12"x24" encaustic mixed media
12″x24″ encaustic mixed media

W and N Letters

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Mixed Media Art: Encaustic Chair

Chair Painting

I am very excited to share my most recent art series. I began experimenting with encaustic collage with my fork and spoon paintings (click here to see them) and recently tried out patterned paper collages, and fell in love!

I have always enjoyed collaging, which is evident through my enthusiasm for visual journaling, and I am excited I have found a way to merge my two art styles. For a long time I created figurative works of art, and it is time to move away from that and challenge myself to do something new, which is where the objects came from.

For each painting I will focus on one object, it can be anything from a chair to a key to a clock. Through this series I hope to take these mundane, everyday objects and transform them, and  bring attention back to them.

I am also interested in other people’s interpretation of these everyday things, which is where you come in. I would like to know what these objects make you think of. Does a simple picture of a chair bring to mind memories, comforts, or images of your own favorite chair?

These objects that we use on a daily basis inevitably become a part of who we are through repetition, tradition, memories, or even our daily needs. Whether we recognize it or not these things plant themselves into our minds and memories, and may one day come knocking when we see a similar teapot, which could remind you of celebrating your American Doll’s birthdays with annual tea parties, at least that is what it does to me.

A thought that has crossed my mind with this series is to create a response piece to each of the originals, which will incorporate other people’s perspectives on what these objects mean. I hope to collage these written responses into the background of the response piece.

Good, bad, or mundane I want to know! If you would like to participate in my next work of art all you have to do is comment below about what this chair, or chairs in general make you think of. Thanks for your assistance in my creative pursuits! On your way down to the comment area enjoy some detail shots of my recent work of art!

mixed media art-encaustic chair

Chair Painting Detail 3

If you fell in love with this piece and have to have it, you can buy it! It is now listed on my Etsy shop here! As always, thanks for stopping by!

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