#PaintForPeace

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I don't think we need to talk about the mess that is the world right now... So I won't. We all see it. We already know. Instead, I will focus on the good. On art. On people. Which is exactly what was done Friday, August 18th, 2017.

 

On that night, I participated in "Paint For Peace" a "pro love mural jam" hosted by All City Murals in the infamous Krog Street Tunnel in Atlanta. It's infamous since you can "tag" legally there. TONS of people of all ages came out (see how I said people and not just artist?) to paint hopeful and encouraging messages to promote peace in our country. It wasn't inspirational just because of the words or images but for the sheer fact that so many strangers united for the same cause.

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Make things like this famous instead of the ugly, ya'll.

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Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics. - Victor Pinchuk
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Above: My contribution to the tunnel. (Sorry for the crummy photo quality) It's the only picture I took. It's supposed to be blind lady justice showing love is equal. I am aware that she's supposed to be holding the scales in the other hand... I fact checked AFTER finishing - whoops. My memory is going in my old age, clearly.

Let me know if you see her in the tunnel!

NOLA & Fine Point Black Ink Pens

There's a ton of art on the walls in my home; some gifted to me from friends or students in past classes, others I purchased at art shows or supporting artist friends and even some Free Art Friday pieces. There are a select few of my own works hanging on my wall. All of which have some kind of specific memory.

One piece of mine in particular, I made depicting a woman I met in New Orleans years ago. I was on a college age mission trip and I met her under a bridge, she was dancing in the rain. Others around me found it strange and even disturbing that she was dancing alone. I thought: that doesn't seem too weird to me... It was only when I got closer to her did I see what everyone else meant. She wasn't dancing because she was joyous... or at least not from any kind of internal joy but rather a man made joy that left puncture marks on her arm. When I tried to ask her name, she hid her face with her hands and started speaking in something besides English. I didn't think anything of it, we were in New Orleans, I had heard four different languages just at Wal-Mart. I even tried to use this as another way to try to talk with her: "Is that French?" I asked. She stuck her tongue out at us but not in a childish way but rather like a snake. It kind of rattled me. But the encounter was an experience, so, I had to paint it. The girl in the yellow dress, I met one rainy day in New Orleans, while she danced in the rain with her demons.

....And who may or may not have cast a spell on me......

I painted the above after coming home from my trip. This last month I have been staring at it and loathing it. And then I thought of Mr. Hill.

Mr. Hill was my elementary school art teacher who after EVERY project had us outline our work in a fine point black ink pen. My brother and I joke about it still to this day: "It's not done yet, where's a black pen!?"

But you know what, staring at this painting the last month, it needed a fine point black pen outline. And why not? The new style I have found IS black ink pen. Why wouldn't I take such a signifigant piece to me and re-vamp it in a newly found style that is equally as important to me?

So that's what I did.

I hope "The Lady in the Yellow Dress" conquered her demons in an epic dance that ended with her happy and healthy.

I hope Mr. Hill never stopped telling kids to outline their work in fine point black ink pen.

Thank you to you both.

en plein air: the act of painting outdoors.

I participated in "paint out week" at ZooAtlanta this week, err, weekend. The zoo was kind enough to let me paint on the weekend as not to mess with my office job schedule. What a lovely experience!

Day #1: Naked Mole Rat

"Who you calling ugly?!" I wanted to select animals that people do not typically think of for this project. (But, who could forget mole rats from KIm Possible?!) so for the first day I set up shop with these little fellas. 

Day #2: Turtles

I prepped the canvas a few days prior with Pebeo mixed media paint for a hint of whimsy and to emphasize water. This day was especially wonderful as my family came out to watch me paint. I also had a station set up for kiddos to paint with tempera paints (below). Good stuff.

Day #3: Vulture

My goal in this project was to show beauty in animals that may not otherwise be seen as beautiful, like hairless rats, but truthfully I really like vultures. They are interesting birds. 

Art Sale | June 17 – 18, 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.


Action Resource Center (ARC)
Visiting the Zoo? While you’re here, you should definitely make the Art Gone Wild sale a must-see stop! Head to the ARC and check out the amazing work created. More details here

Art Gone Wild 2017 at Zoo Atlanta

I was accepted to be an artist at Zoo Atlanta's Art gone Wild event this year! Woooo.

"Watch art come to life around the Zoo! Artists will create their art en plein air using the exotic and inspiring animals and botanicals of the Zoo as their muses. Each day during the week, Zoo Atlanta guests will have the opportunity to watch as the artists take their canvases from blank to beautiful."

"Paint Out Week" (the live painting) is June 5th - 9th. Art created during Paint-Out Week will be available for sale June 17 – 18, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Incunabula

April 2017 was a big month for me! Personally: made some new friends, took a big risk that paid off and Snapchat had a sloth filter - that was a good day. Professionally: sold some art in an art show, did chalk art at a community event, started at a new law firm, was accepted into the Art Gone Wild event at Zoo Atlanta and quite a few private parties.

Apparently, I also became a dinosaur.

#LivingTheDream

Monster Mash

 

 

It's funny how things happen in threes. Gosh, that sounds scary! Usually when I hear that it's associated with something not good, like, an accident or a death. But I assure you, this "threes" is a super neat thing that I just had to share. 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Commission Request: Monsters

A writer I know reached out to me and requested I help them in illustrating a super cute children's story about monsters. Sound strange? Ha. These are good monsters, er, well they aren't scary - necessarily. The story has a great lesson too. I so hope I can work out a good design for them and see where this venture takes us! I don't want to say much more for fear I'll jinx myself. Just please send prayers and/or good vibes my way on this project. 

2. Facebook Ad (Or was it a story?) 

Shortly after, I mean SHORTLY, maybe a day or two after the commission request came to me I saw in my personal Facebook feed a link to Monster Crayons. I am not sure if it's the government tracking my emails (mostly a joke - although I did watch Snowden recently, so...) or simply the fact that an artist or artist site I follow happened to post about these crayons. But I thought it a fun coincidence. Check them out. It's a wonderful endeavor. I am trying to figure up a class in which I can incorporate these crayons now. 

3. The Almost: Monster

Back in my SUPER angsty days (yes, believe it or not I was at one point WORSE than I am now) a friend let me borrow their CD of the band "The Almost" and I recently listened to it again for the first time in years. So, borrow became have, clearly. As I cringed through the album and thanked goodness my musical taste improved I came to the last song on the album: "Monster." Then... boom! I was like "this is why I liked them!"  I think I actually just liked that one song. At any rate, it was shortly after the commission request too. 

If I were a monster, 
Would you wince
When you looked at me?
If I were a freak, would you stare?
If I were a leper, 
Would you say unclean?
If I was lost.
Would you help me get free?

4.  Monster Project

OK, so math isn't my strong suit and I thought it was three things but turns out it was four. Also, I could edit the beginning to make this make more sense and still reflect only three things but that would be inaccurate to the events that occurred. So, #4, I stumbled upon while looking up references for these monsters I was supposed to be sketching for this book commission project. Any monster draft I had done ended up looking too much like Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc. Naturally, I then turned to Google. I didn't want to copy just get a fresh perspective or at least see what I couldn't use. I then came across Monster Project. I have since applied to be an artist with them. Who knows if I'll hear back. I hope I do. But what they are doing makes my heart so incredibly happy. Check them out. But in short, here's what they do:

"Kids draw monsters, then artists from all over the world recreate them in their own styles! We hope to help children recognize the power of their own imaginations and to encourage them to pursue their creative potential. "

kid's art

kid's art

artist's recreation

artist's recreation

5. Favorite Art You've Ever Made

I really miscounted. But, while applying to Monster Project, I submitted a piece that I did at the end of last year. A piece that when asked recently, "what's your favorite art that you've made?" immediately came to mind. More coincidences? I submitted a photo of my Perfect Sonnet piece, but a photo before the words were added. Because the same person I told and showed this to said: "that's so depressing." I am sorry I depress you...

Please check out these organizations: Act for Kids with their Monster Crayons and Monster Project - both are using art to help and encourage children. I just can't tell you how important and amazing I think that is. 

Feel free to send good juju my way for this monster commission too. I hope I can do the writer proud. Time will tell. 

I don't recommend hearing the band The Almost though. Sorry guys. 

/rant

Carried Away in Creation

 

I saw this quote on Instagram recently and felt like it summed everything up well.

I have been creating a lot lately. I just thought I'd share. A few of these are over a couple weeks, most are within two days. It's amazing what you can do when you are inspired and have time to create. 

Commission of a sail fish for an old friend. Mixed media paint on the fin for some flair. Not sure I am crazy about the eye yet...

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Wild & Free Mixed Media Wall Art. I bought these skulls a few months back and was using up more mixed media supplies and created this! Originally it was just one (left in the picture of the two) but it was such a hit on social media that I made another. I may even be making more. What?! Within 20 mins of being up on my Facebook someone wanted it and then another person wanted another made.. So, that's cool. 

Free Art Friday pieces.

I kind of went all out for Free Art this month. 

I have wanted to do this one for a while. H.K. got me to thinking about it. I forget exactly how. Mixed media piece with broken picture frame glass, acrylic paint and stamps.  

quote from Ernest Hemingway

Dog portrait commission(s).

still working on this one. not 100% happy with it yet.

still working on this one. not 100% happy with it yet.

This one had been on my floor for months as just an acrylic painting. It was too boring. I made it a mixed media. I like it much more now! 

Gift for a friend who loves coffee as much as me. Pink Elephant! 

These and more at my Etsy . 

What is art?

I posted on my Facebook page this status: "Art is so important, ya'll" - accompanied by an article (here) about the importance of art as a form of therapy. I have referenced that on here before, but it was almost presented in jest. I wanted to be clear just HOW true I believe that to be. 

The above article itself was written by a young artist, on Mental Health Awareness Day, about the importance of art in her venture for a healthy mind and life. In short, she suffered from depression and panic attacks and art was her outlet. 

I do not think it's a coincidence that my two passions in life are art and how can I phrase the other? Pursuit of mental health. (Note my vocal-ness on social media about mental health and my affiliation - even prior event with, To Write Love on Her Arms ). Because I don't know about you, but I have yet to meet a person who hasn't had some struggles. Life is hard! We need to be intentional in pursuing a healthy life: physically and mentally. Sometimes that means help. To me, it most definitely means art. 

I have been diving into my OWN art pieces lately. Which instructing art and trying to work a full time office job is actually pretty difficult. I find that in creating pieces for classes can sometimes be draining. After all, you are creating essentially for other people. Trying to get them involved in a class. Which is vital! Not only for my second job (obviously) but also to do what I truly love in this field which is EXPOSE people to the joy of creating. Because we all have the power to do that. In a crazy world where we have little control over anything, we have control over that. It is the best feeling I know. 

However, I had been so bogged down with trying to get people into class and making pretty home decor paintings... I was not feeling inspired. Until this month. Maybe it's Fall. Maybe it's the crazy of the election. Maybe it's my imagination trying to break free. Maybe it's all three. But being that I have been so creative lately, I started to ask myself: "What is art?" 

To me, art is freedom. From my racing thoughts, my worldly troubles (bills) and expectations (relationships). Art is how I talk when I can't. Art is how I relate to people. Art is so, so, incredibly important. 

Here are a few of those personal pieces I was talking about. 

East of Eden piece; mid process

East of Eden piece; mid process

I do not know if you follow any of my social medias or know me personally, but if so you have probably noticed how much of an impact John Steinbeck's novel East of Eden has recently made on me. One evening recently, I was feeling just the opposite of perfect; I decided instead of letting these feelings take hold of me I would silence them with this mixed media piece. A girl looking at what should be her reflection in a mirror and instead seeing the quote: "Now that you don't have to be perfect you can be good." Amen.

Art journaling

Art journaling

When my head was exploding with thoughts, I decided to get them out on paper. It helped. 

Free Art Friday: Kindness Rocks - because we all need to be kind 

Free Art Friday: Kindness Rocks - because we all need to be kind 

OK, so this was for a magazine - it still felt personal! with the theme: "Dark Waters"

OK, so this was for a magazine - it still felt personal! with the theme: "Dark Waters"

playing with glass paint

playing with glass paint

Check out more of the crazy, wonderful, goodness that was Free Art Friday: Kindness Rocks here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1783935835194943/1796905203898006/?notif_t=like&notif_id=1477350090168946

keep the faith <3

keep the faith <3

Remember that loon, H.k., I collabed with recently from Indy Riot Studios in Thomaston, Georgia? Those boys posed that same question and even wanted to do a documentary on the concept. Check out more in the video below. 

"Our goal is to travel to troubled sectors of different cities across America to find the hidden talents, talk with the people in the art community, provide tools to grow the arts in the community, and collaborate on projects. We want to keep this tour as low budget as possible, but nevertheless, we will have to raise money. We are still in the works about how this money will best be raised." 

So, what is art to you

And if you're feeling really brave, please consider sending your response to Indy Riot for their documentary.

"Submitted clips will be used in the "Art is Love Tour" promotional video. Follow us on Facebook.com/indyriot for more information. Email clips to indyriot@gmail.com or just post the video on our Facebook or message us with a link to the video."

Or maybe, it can be as simple as putting it on paper. In words or pictures. Either way. Think about it. Embrace the creative. 

"I Was Once A Tree" : A Collab Weekend

There was a call for local artist in Thomaston, GA, to create for the show theme: "I Was Once A Tree." Being the huge nature lover that I am, I HAD to participate. Seeing as the show was in Thomaston, I reached out to a friend to help create this mixed media piece: H.K. of Indy Riot Studios. You remember those fellas, right?

Here are some picture of the process. Or should I say, the WEEKEND. H.K and I put in over 20+ hours at the studio working on this and on about 2 hours of sleep. I think it goes without saying, the deadline for the show was Sunday. Ha. We live an hour and a half apart, give up a break! :P 

the start of something: four shadow boxes - one for each season

the start of something: four shadow boxes - one for each season

we painted SO MANY leaves

we painted SO MANY leaves

our tree starting to emerge! 

our tree starting to emerge! 

progression - paper mâché for the lower boxes

progression - paper mâché for the lower boxes

adding stain to the boxes and the branches from the yard, put together with tape and coated with modeling paste for bark texture, added for our center tree

adding stain to the boxes and the branches from the yard, put together with tape and coated with modeling paste for bark texture, added for our center tree

so close

so close

Finished!! :D

Finished!! :D

No nature piece is complete without a Walden quote: “Things do not change; we change.” Seemed so appropriate with the seasons. And maybe some of my own trials lately. Funny how that always makes it's way into your work, huh? But mainly because: WALDEN.

close up of the seasons - made in a collage app so sorry, the tree is distorted

close up of the seasons - made in a collage app so sorry, the tree is distorted

Close up of each season (picture above) and re-cap on the elements and work involved (summary below):

Lower left: winter - with paper mâché snow and clay snowman; upper left: spring - with faux leaves, bird and nest with real tree branches.

Upper right: summer - faux leaves, painted branches, card stock/wire/yarn/string kite (who didn't get a kite caught in a tree during the summer?)

Lower right: fall - faux leaves, paper mâché, pumpkin and clear string attached to leaves for "falling" effect.

Look close at trunk! We created it using real branches from trees, tied them together with tape, covered the tape with modeling paste and acrylic paint and painted all the limbs to mimic the trunk.

no, i cannot take a normal picture! i didn't have make up on and was so tired X-P

It was nuts being back at Indy Riot and I am so proud to see how much they have grown! 

By the end of this, H.K. and I treated this beaut as our baby. We are beyond proud of it. We can only hope people who come to the show love it as much as we do. :))

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He irony is, H.K. and I were like: "We don't have to stain the tops of the boxes because they won't hang the piece, so they'll never know." Dang it! 

Pretty neat having our piece in a show though. It's for sale too. *wink wink* 

 

SIDE NOTE:

For more BEAUTIFUL natural and/or tree themed art, check this out artist Debra Bernier, an example of her work is below and here is her etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ShapingSpirit?source=aw&awc=6220_1475714004_f90cf159ff60c4396095ae66b51b617c&utm_source=affiliate_window&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=us_location_buyer&utm_content=259915

Bright Eyes: "A Perfect Sonnet"

The last two months of my life have been crazy. Most who know me would say: "is that out of the ordinary?"

Touche.

I feel like I always do things the hardest way possible. But this last few months have kind of rocked my world with my career, love life and where to live all pretty much being up in the air. My little heart and head cannot deal. So, I made some art to try to help my heart and head. 

Whenever things get nuts, I always think of Bright Eyes: A Perfect Sonnet song, specifically these lyrics: "I've killed myself with changes trying to make it better but still ended up becoming something other than what I had planned to be." This pretty much sums up what I have come to realize about life: You have a plan that will likely not happen, but that's ok because it will turn out fine; there are a million different ways to get to where you want to go - you just have to look at it at another angle. 

The little monster is me, as of late. I never intended to become a small, dazed, monster! :P 

Uganda Creates

Thanks to a friend, this week I was able to hang out with a visiting children's choir from Uganda and create art! We had the kids paint and apply 3D elements to their canvas that was all about them. They used words, pictures and stickers to express who "I Am".

This was inspiring for the children, as well as myself. I was informed that these children do not have art in school back home. In fact, they are not exposed to creative outlets. So not only was the whimsy of child innocence's shown in these pieces of art, but an exploration of their own creative side. It was amazing to see where that exploration took them! I think you'll agree, based on these pictures. :)

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I suggested to my friend that they have the kids you natural out door items to create so they could start to see art is in everything! They did this before I arrived. AWESOME.

I suggested to my friend that they have the kids you natural out door items to create so they could start to see art is in everything! They did this before I arrived. AWESOME.

Art Journaling

Columbus, Georgia, I am bringing art journaling classes to you!

Starting in June every other Tuesday. The location will vary (being that I am a mobile studio) from the local library and Iron Bank Coffee. Be on the look out for more specific details on the "Calendar" page. 

What IS art journaling? In essence, art journaling is: a visual journal.

You can base it on words, song lyrics, daily happenings... whatever you want. The good thing about them is when you cannot put something into words, you don't have to; you simply get whatever it is out onto the paper, whether it be words, images or just colors. 

I began looking for specific prompts for class purposes and came across this idea/option: 

And then I thought, what ARE ten things about ME? I couldn't think of anything at first - which made me feel terribly silly. What would your list consist of? Mine:

1) I enjoy traveling  

2) I am learning to throw knives

3) I have a twin brother

4) Dinosaurs and sloths are my favorite creatures

5) I have a cross eyed cat named Igby - he's pretty adorable

6) My dream is to own a bakery / art studio 

7)  I drink a lot of coffee

8) I recently found out I love painting with water colors

9) My wrist tattoo is from To Kill a Mockingbird; which is one of my favorite books

10) I love finding Orion in the night sky 

 

For those of you who say: "I want to art journal, but I am not creative."

FALSE.

It can be as simple as making a list or as complex as a full canvas. It is whatever YOU want. Much like creating in general. Just get what is in your head out on paper (or canvas, wood, etc.).

LET YOUR CREATIVITY THRIVE! 

Famous Artist Lesson at Truth Spring: Jackson Pollock

Playing catch up on my blog post (clearly).

A piece done by Jackson Pollock 

A piece done by Jackson Pollock 

Teaching the kids at the school about art and famous artist. After a mild set back with my squirt gun art project - I turned the lesson plan into a class on "action art" and splatter paint. Which was all Jackson Pollock.  

The kids faces were PRICELESS when I first showed them some of Pollock's work! "That's a big mess!" one said. (I bet that's not the first time someone had said that about Pollock's art either). But applying his techniques to their own canvases, I think they started to like it more and more!

the face of determination 

the face of determination 

Even Ms. Owens joined in ;D

Even Ms. Owens joined in ;D

All the kids work - not too shabby 

All the kids work - not too shabby 

April FAF & L's 26th

So yesterday was my birthday! BUT last week, my co-workers threw me an art party at the office and we did pieces for Free Art Friday. This picture (where as the quality is TERRIBLE due to my crap phone) makes my heart smile. 

Yet again, Free Art Friday was a HIT! Check out this month's hidings and findings:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1317975118217772/

And be certain to like L's Art on Facebook for updated monthly themes for Free Art Friday. Join in on the fun! 

Shapes with Kinders

Because I am fearful of having time for myself, I added another job to my list of employments. This time at a Christian school in Bibb County called Truth Spring Academy.

This week we learned about shapes! (Hence the vocabulary word of the month in my newsletter - if you'd like to get one monthly send me your email!)

 

I wasn't able to get pictures of the kids work - but it was something like this --->