Friday, December 27, 2013

Winter Window paintings 2013

Inner Beauty Hair Salon by Gnl- Bristol, PA

Druid's Keep bar, Northern Liberties, Philly- Brown St and Hancock St 
(Will Paint For Beer) 

Liberties Parcel- Northern Liberties, 2nd and Brown
Last but not least, my gingerbread house :-)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Recent work

I was getting an art show submission together and I realized that in 2012/2013, I had been so busy planning my wedding that I haven't put up any photos of my new work. Not only that, but I hadn't documented them, either. Whoops!

The show I am submitting to will take place on 1/20/2014 in Dublin, Ireland and is curated by my friend and longtime collaborator (co-conspirator) EL Putnam. Hopefully I will be attending the show as well. The theme is happiness, against the backdrop of one of the coldest months and the ever-demanding and cynical art world. Here is my submission, followed by some works I haven't posted a clear shot of.
Part of the artist’s burden is feeling as though we must be always working towards a grand masterpiece. There is a certain loneliness that can take over in the days and hours spent concentrating on and toiling over perfecting a piece of art. The contemporary artist is constantly wondering if his or her art is conceptually sound enough to be accepted by his or her peers, as well as accepted by society. This piece was self-expression at its purest; it was created without prior planning, sketching, thought or worry. Everything seemed to fall into place on this particular wood panel; there was no mistake that needed to be fixed or covered up and the paint dried as it should. Especially in the midst of other failed art experiments, this happy accident was a much-needed breath of fresh air. It reminds me that magic can still happen with my paintbrush (and palette knife). The painting is inspired by is a friend of mine who has an explosively colorful personality; his favorite colour is baby blue.
 Homo Explosion, Acrylic and glitter on wood panel
Peacock Feathers on brick texture (chalk pastel)
Feathers on brick background

Cracked brick study

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How To: Jackolantern Night Light: A Halloween Lantern Craft Project!

Halloween is approaching and even though its still eighty degrees out, people are pumpkin crazy already! Pumpkin beer, pumpkin lattes- how about those pumpkin shaped apple cider sippers from Millburn Orchards?

Those little guys are just begging to be reused after you empty them of their delicious nectar. Here is how to make them into adorable little lanterns.


-pumpkin shaped sipper bottle  (from your local orchard, possibly the dollar store or the seasonal aisle), 

-plug in night light or battery operated tea light candle (make sure the night light is the low wattage kind- do not use a scentsy/scented wax warming night light, because they get hot)

-black acrylic paint or a fine tipped sharpie/oil paint marker 

-xacto blade

Cut a hole in the bottom of the pumpkin. If you're doing the standalone night light for the battery candle, you can trace the candle to get the right shape. Paint in the face on the pumpkin sipper. Turn off the lights and turn on your candle or night light. Voila! There's your five minute fall craft project!

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You can also use one in your jackolantern carving! 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

How To: Hops and Barley centerpiece with Votive Candle

How to make a hops and barley centerpiece with a votive candle:
First, where to find your materials:
Glass Vases:
You can find glass vases at AC Moore or Michael's for a dollar or two a piece, at the thrift shop, the dollar store, or ask your Mom/Aunts/Newlywedded friends if they have any to get rid of. Seriously! Glass vases tend to accumulate like dust, and if your family is anything like mine, they have some they will want to pawn off on a broke bride like myself (and possibly yourself). 
Votive Candles:
Interwebs, craft store, Craigslist, or a former Bride willing to unload her half used stash. I got mine from my sister, who had half burned candles leftover from her wedding just taking up space in her apartment (or maybe our Mother's basement?) 
Bottlecaps, Hops and Barley:
We got ours from the Brewery at which we had the wedding, Yards. Thanks, Yards Brewery!!! You can also order online or pick up in a local home brew shop. They come in a variety of colors and textures, which is great for layering!! Remember, it never hurts to ask. 

Putting it all together:
1.) Fill the bottom 1/5 with sand or rocks to weight the vase and take up space. This should be enough so that the next level will be just below the center of the vase.
2.) Line the perimeter of the vase with bottle caps, pressed firmly into the sand and leaning against the inside of the vase.
3.) Layer on the barley (the grain)
4.) Layer in the hops (the green leafy stuff)
5.) Barley again, perhaps a different color grain
6.) Press and wiggle the candle into the barley. Don't sink it in too deep, as the votive can get hot and crack if it is nestled too far into the barley.

And there you have it, folks! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How to: From trashed art to Wedding Welcome Sign

Sad but true, one of my favorite nights in Philly is Trash Night. Especially in a neighborhood of creative folk like Northern Liberties, there's a good chance you could find an abandoned piece of art or a hip but unwanted frame- or both. 

The first thing you want to do is check the quality of your found item to make sure it's worth keeping. Lay it flat and make sure it's not warped. Check the canvas- is it cracked or moldy? Not stretched properly? You can easily remove it from the frame by pulling out the staples and re-stretch a new piece of canvas if the frame is in good condition. If the whole item is in good condition, you can usually whitewash over it and start a new painting. Sometimes you will find that the artwork is on cardboard or canvas board, which is excellent for this project.

Canvas or board with a frame that fits 
A few yards of tulle (in this example, it is sparkle tulle)
Sponge (for texture)
Water jug (to rinse your brushes) 
Acrylic paints 
White chalk
Palette or something to mix paint on
Rag (to wipe your brushes on)
Staple gun
Hot glue gun 

First, you will want to whitewash over the original canvas or board. Usually two layers does the trick. Let dry. 
Take your brushes and paint the board with the acrylic paints. Dab it with a sponge to give it a textured look. Make sure you rinse your brush between colors unless you are looking to blend them. Let dry.

You might notice that the colors are very bright; this is normal, and will be subdued once you layer the tulle.

Layer the tulle over 2 or 3 times depending on how subdued you want the color to be and make sure there is a few inches extra around the border so you can tack it down on the back.
Taking your staple gun or hot glue gun, tack the tulle down in the back, making sure the fabric is taut with no wrinkles. 
Remember it's the back and it doesn't have to look pretty :-)

Take your piece of chalk and carefully write your message on the board. If you mess up, you can pat it off gently if its a light color. You may want to use a measuring stick and practice a few times on scrap paper to make sure you get it just right.
Next, take your paint and go over the chalk outline. You will need to do this slowly and carefully to avoid paint blobs. The thicker your brush and paint, the thicker the letters will be. 

Let this dry for a few hours or overnight.

Getting the board or canvas back in the frame:

Hot glue, staple or tape the back of the board onto the frame. 

Turn it around and you have yourself a beautiful painting for next to nothing! I displayed mine on an easel outside at the garden ceremony, and now it is hanging above my dining room table. 

Good luck and post a comment if you have any questions!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Post Nuptial Post

Hello art and goodbye blogging hiatus, I'm finally hitched and getting back to business. First, some pictures of the crafts I made for the wedding, and I will also be adding a tutorial to show ya how its done!
Guest book made with burlap, lace ribbon, and gold leaf on poster board letters 

My backdrop made of fabric

Directional signs made with fabric and fabric paint on cardboard 

90 foot burlap and lace ribbon-lined aisle runner

Welcome sign 
Candle Centerpieces using hops, barley, beer bottle caps, and votive candles inside of a vase

My wonderful sister who did so much graphic design and printing for us, and worked with my original paintings to create a beautiful invitation:

Please check out my amazing photographer, Kate's Lens:

My new post nuptial art goals are to get an etsy store up and running, and having my art available for purchase as prints on canvas and matted paper. And more art shows, of course :-)