Tag: local art

Joining the Art and Craft Fair Circuit

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After a two years of collecting parts I finally have my outdoor booth set up ready to go. It’s officially June, and I have two outdoor fests under my belt with one more before the month closes out.

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Atlanta is not shy when it comes to hosting festivals, the latest addition is the Mac n’ Cheese fest, often with multiple festivals per weekend come spring and fall. This makes weekend planning difficult, but it allows me to have a variety of options when choosing which festivals to apply to and participate in.

Chastain Park Arts Festival was my introduction into the outdoor festival circuit. The weekend couldn’t have brought more perfect weather. It was low eighties, a light breeze, and a good continuous crowd. I was pleased with my profit earnings and the connections I made in the Atlanta art community.

Joining the festival circuit doesn’t just mean I have another venue to sell my art. It also means I get plugged into the art community. I have a much greater opportunity to meet likeminded and goal oriented people. I have the chance to build relationships, learn more about my craft, and be inspired by others. I love feeling like I am finally part of the community I have observed from the outside in for so many years.

Virginia Highlands Summerfest came next with an even better weekend, better foot traffic, much hotter days and a lesson in rain. I learned to place my oil paintings at the front of my booth, to save my encaustics from the direct sunlight (and potential melting) that inevitably pours in. I learned that if there is a chance of rain everything that sits on the ground should be placed on a raised surface. The later was a difficult lesson to learn when I opened my tent the next morning to deep puddles and a bag of ruined mats and prints.

Next up is Old Fourth Ward Park Arts Festival in just a week and a half. In between spending time with my family on Hilton Head Island, I am ordering new mats and prints, gluing paper to panels, and painting a new batch of fruit and veggies. I can’t wait to see what comes from this next festival and the break afterwards until my schedule fills up for the fall. Check out more about my new oil paintings below!

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When I first set up my booth to take pictures I realized my encaustics could melt if it was warm enough outside and they were in direct sunlight. I began to panic. After all I had just invested a lot of money for my set up. What would I do if I couldn’t display my product outside?

Version 2While teaching an idea hit me. My students had just started oil paint studies of food. I was itching to paint with oils on canvas again and started my own so I could work along with my kids. I loved getting back to the basics of just paint and I was pleased with the way my bell pepper and pomegranate turned out. I wanted to do more.

After thinking about it I decided these would be the perfect solution to my encaustic melting problem. If I moved around my artwork based on where the sun was hitting I could keep my encaustic out of the sun by displaying my oils in the sun.

Since my bell pepper and pomegranate studies I have completed blueberries, eggs, a cabbage, orange, cauliflower, garlic, mussel, oyster, and I am finishing up a kiwi, tomato, onion, and papaya. Each of these food studies are 6″x6.” I start with an underpainting, typically choosing the complementary color of the food I am painting for the background.

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After allowing the underpainting to dry I mark out the shape of the food and add some detail before applying my first layer of white to the background.

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I like to leave hints of the underpainting peeking through. Whether it’s along the edge of a bowl or in between eggs, I think it adds another interesting detail to the piece.

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I also pushed myself to loosen up my painting style by trying out palette knife painting. I started with portraits of my chickens Rachel, Thackary Binx, Sir Sylvia, and Linda. I loved the texture and the sense of movement the palette knife marks made.

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I decided to go even bigger than the 12×12 chicken portraits and I completed a 32″x32″ positive/negative space painting of the Crescent City Connection bridge in New Orleans.

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I will post additional information about my upcoming festival, Old Fourth Ward Park Arts Festival, next week.

With sweet Cooper, my 13 new chicks, finishing up teaching for the year, and prepping for four festivals, I have had little time to update my blog. I hope to get back to posting weekly this summer. I look forward to keeping in touch. Thanks for stopping by![subscribe2]

 

Visual Journal Page 10: My Hands

Visual Journal Page 10-My Hands

It was a normal afternoon. I was in my car, on my daily commute home, half listening to NPR, half day dreaming, trying to keep my mind off of the building traffic.

Suddenly, something caught my attention on the radio. A story was being covered about an artist who was punished for drawing a political cartoon. His punishment was beyond my comprehension. They cut off his hands.

A simple drawing, a few lines of text, being bold enough to express your opinion, and losing your livelihood as a result. Stories like this make me appreciate the country I live in. While we have our own political issues, and while the constant rantings of those with views opposed to my own wear me down, it is their right to express their thoughts and opinions. Instead of listening to their right to speak, I will exercise my right to not listen, change the channel, mute the sound, or walk away. He expressed his basic human right to share his thoughts and opinions, yet he was punished.

He lost his hands.

As an artist it is difficult for me to comprehend the position this person was forced into. I can imagine his moment of inspiration and the risk taking I admire so much in others. I bet he felt motivated to try and create change in an environment that desperately needs it. Instead, he became a passing tale, one of thousands, in one ear out the other, a continuation of a horrific true story.

I hope his action and the reaction will not be in vain. Years after the “event” it still seems as though change will never come to certain areas. However, it may take a thousand more stories like his to force equality, freedom of expression, and a new power. His story may not have directly impacted his government at this point, but it directly impacted me. It will continue to impact my world view and appreciation of my gift of art and ability to use my hands.

Perhaps I will never have the courage he had. I don’t know if I could risk my passion for the possibility of change. All I know for sure is without my hands I would be lost.

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Sharpie (multiple colors)
  • Pencil
  • Book pages

HOW TO

While planning out this visual journal page, I first decided I wanted it to look like I was bleeding art and I wanted a stark contrast between my hands and the “blood.” I decided the best way to create that contrast was to use a combination of pencil and sharpie, realism and a pop art feel.

I began the visual journal page by sketching out my hands. Once I felt good about the outline, I began shading them in. I used a standard pencil, and a blending stump to create a smooth blended texture. As I blended the pencil lead into the highlights, I continued to go back and punch up the shadows, to prevent the hands from looking like a single shade of gray. Looking back, I could push the highlights and shadows more. If you include pencil drawings, prevent smearing by spraying the page with fixative once you are finished.

Once the hands were complete, I added the sharpie. I started at the wrists, making it look like they were splitting apart, separating my hands from my arms. I bleed the sharpie into the background using exaggerated drop designs and swirls, and filling them in with color. I went straight into the background with the sharpie with a loose plan. I wanted it to look more spontaneous than planned out.

To finish the page I wrote the words on a separate, torn out book page. I cut the words out, and placed one per finger on the page. Interested in teaching visual journals to your students? Check out my visual journal lesson plan here and bundle pack here.

CHALLENGE

Create a visual journal page using a combination of pencil and sharpie to create contrast. Try to find a balance between the two materials, you don’t want the sharpie to overpower the pencil.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word by sharing with others. I couldn’t do it without you! Thanks for stopping by!

Visual Journal Page 67: Find Humor in Art

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As I have expressed in past posts, I love street art.

Not too long ago I had the opportunity to interview a well known, and very talented street artist, Chor Boogie. I loved the way his artwork makes walls come alive, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to learn more about his creations (read the post here).

This visual journal page pre-dates the interview with Boogie. My love for street art had already begun to stir around the time I moved to Atlanta.

While in college I spent some time studying the street art genre, focusing on the more well known artists such as Keith Haring, Banksy, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. I loved the images that flashed up on the screen in the large art history auditorium. The artwork found a way to present important messages in a fun, vibrant, and inviting way.

Although I did enjoy my time studying these graffiti artists, the artwork didn’t resonate with me the way other genres did. It wasn’t until my move to the “big city” of Atlanta, that street art began to take hold.

Growing up in the suburbs of Roswell, GA, you aren’t exposed to much street art, except the occasional suburban gang tag. When I made the move to Atlanta, the gang tags did grace many buildings, bridges, and walls; however, interspersed with these negative scribbles were beautiful, planned, and well executed works of art.

Not too long ago Atlanta began hosting a Living Walls Conference, which promoted street art through murals. Suddenly amazing, vibrant murals were finding their way to every street tunnel, and concrete, roadside wall. As I made my drives from here to there, I was continuously distracted by the beautiful shapes, colors, and messages.

The words “never give up” greet me on my way from East Lake to Decatur, Edgewood, Candler Park, and Downtown. Friendly bubbles and bulbous shapes make me smile as I had to Edgewood shopping center. A long mural depicting local flora, fauna, and waterways educates me as I go about my day.

However, as much as I love my neighborhood murals, my favorite examples of street art are the more illegal works, which appear over night.

Something about the ridiculous images that find their ways on the walls, the hurried feel to them, and the conversations that emerge peak my curiosity. I especially love witnessing the conversations between works of art. “Don’t stop art” is added to a stop sign, a few days later a “b” is added in front of “art”, spelling out “Don’t stop bart”, with a picture of Bart Simpson skateboarding accompanying it. Another nearby stop sign became littered with phrases such as “stop eating meat” to “stop eating “plants”, to “stop, it’s hammer time”. I looked forward to driving past one wall where a stenciled bunny rabbit was added, who was suddenly being chased by a pack of foxes, and later had carrots flying around.

One day, while making my way to my local Target, I discovered one of my all time favorite works of art. It immediately made me laugh out loud as I turned the corner, and suddenly discovered two Tom Sellecks staring back at me.

Two splashes of yellow were quickly added to a bridge before a two black Tom Selleck stencils were added on top. I loved the crisp stencil over the dripping yellow spray paint. It was beautiful, funny, and added a moment of happiness to a bleak overpass.

It reminded me that not all art has to be serious. It is just as important to have light hearted moments. Artwork is about pulling a feeling out of the viewer, and I felt a lot as I passed by the spray painted Tom Selleck. I felt my smile spread across my face, and the laughter move from my belly to my lips. I felt my day get just a little bit better as Tom’s mustache smile and dark eyes watched me head on my way.

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • White paper
  • colored pencils
  •  Magazines
  • Yellow watercolor
  • Water
  • Sharpie

HOW TO

To create this visual journal page I used a range of materials to create more of a patchwork feel. I wanted a mix of crisp lines, with sketchy scribbles, and paint drips.

I started the the background first. I ripped up sections of blue, green, and gray to create the sky, trees, asphalt of the road, and grass. Next, I began drawing out the bridge using pencil on a separate sheet of paper. I opted to draw the bridge out, and fill it in with colored pencil, rather than use more magazine pages, to make it pop against the background.

After the bridge was drawn, and filled in with colored pencil, I carefully cut between the bars on top using an Xacto knife. The bridge was glued on top of the background using rubber cement.

To replicate the yellow spray paint splatters I mixed water with watercolor, and placed a blob of the mixture on a separate sheet of paper. I carefully blew the blew of watercolor at an angle, until it splattered. I repeated, let the two splatters dry, then cut them out and glued them on the bridge.

To imitate the stenciled Tom Selleck I found a silhouette image of his face online, printed it out, then traced it onto the yellow splatters. I filled in the tracing with sharpie. Finally, I added the words under the bridge “find humor in art”, because sometimes you need a little comic relief.

I have never been satisfied with the way I wrote the words under the bridge. I wish I had centered it, wrote them bigger, or even tried them smaller, and off to the side. One day I may even choose to simply cover them up. Before you commit to writing in sharpie on your book, sketch it out first!

CHALLENGE

Create a visual journal page that incorporates magazine images, colored pencil, sharpie, and watercolor. Have fun!

Thanks for taking the time to check out this post and read my blog! Help me spread the word about visual journaling by sharing with others. Comment below with your own visual journal tips and stories. Thanks for stopping by!

Adorable Website + Discount Giveaway: Style Outside the Box (closed)

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Recently I was contacted by Marketing Manager, Emily Horn, regarding a new online shop, Style Outside the Box. As an independent blogger, artist, and avid shopper I am always intrigued by up and coming shops, especially those that support local art and crafters like me. As I read through the e-mail one line caught my eye: “We are an exclusive site whom work with and promote independent designers from around the world”, I immediately searched their site to take a look.

Style Outside the Box is exactly what she described, an online shop that offers a variety of products from small start ups and independent designers, like myself. It has a nice, clean design, similar to the popular and growing Etsy and Pinterest tile style layout. As you click a category a full page of products pop up, with easy to browse images, titles, and prices.

Style Outside the Box also offers a wide variety of products. I expected to find a website that focused only on jewlery, handbags, and similar accessories, but I found products for children, men, and the home. Although not every category is as “beefed” up with products as their jewelry and handbag section, I do expect the site will continue to grow and add products.

Fish necklaceWhen I first visited the site I immediatly went to the jewelry section to see if anything caught my eye. They have a range of styles and colors, and I quickly discovered an adorable fish inspired necklace, check it out here as well as other products by Tweak. It is a very unique piece, and is tantalizing enough for me to bookmark for possible future, cute-jewelry-induced spending.

In addition to the adorable necklace I discovered I loved how I could click the “More Tweak Products and Bio” button and find more jewelry by this designer and learn about her.

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After the ever tempting jewelry section I moved to the handbags, the equivalent of crack to a purse enthusiast like myself. I saw cute clutch, after cute handbag, after cute tote, until I stumbled upon my new obsession, the Lavender Hobo Sand Handbag. I love the large size and unique cut out design at the top. If only I had the funds to buy it, if I did it would already be gone… Once again I bookmarked this item for future drooling over until I save up my money! Go here to check out this adorable bag and other products from Vanessa Boulton.

As I continue to explore the website I was very pleased to find a category, Gifts under $30. When buying from independent designers you get more detail, higher quality, and a one-of-a-kind item, but often at a higher price. I am all about supporting local and independent, so I am more than happy to shell out a couple extra bucks for a quality item. However, it is still nice to find items at a reduced price.

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My favorite item from this section was the set of Happy Crab Blue cloth napkins. They are an adorable touch to any table and a great gift, for a friend or even for yourself. Once again I found myself bookmarking another future purchase. Check out this adorable napkin and other products from Wabisabi Green here!

All in all I really enjoyed Style Outside the Box. It has an Etsy feel, with the tiled images and independent designers, but all housed under one company. If you have questions about products you contact employees at Style Outside the Box, who then contact the designers. Although it may seem like a round-a-bout way I think it will take away the unreliability that exists with many Etsy shop owners.

I encourage everyone to visit the website and take a look for yourself! In addition to their great products they are also offering a 10% discount to one of my readers! All you have to do is check out their site here and share your favorite product in a comment below. I will randomly selected a winner in one week (7/4/2013) using the plugin And the Winner Is….

Thanks for checking out my blog and participating in my giveaway! Help my blog grow by sharing with others, tweeting, liking, subscribing, and commenting, I couldn’t do it without you! Thanks for stopping by!

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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

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