The CREATIVE side of YOU!

Artsy Journeys is the ultimate Art Adventure! There are no rules, no judgments, no special applications and no previous experiences necessary to create amazingly beautiful art drawn from your experiences and imagination.

Become one with your thoughts, ideas, dreams, memories and your goals through random applications of color, embellishments and how you happen to feel that day!

Join me and together we will explore and embrace that Art Adventure and walk that path of beauty.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Eco printing on silk

Eco printing, alpacas and time travel

What? It's December? When did that happen? :-)
I have run through 2 months of combining silk work and portraits and December simply brings a bit of panic into it!

I dug into the eco printing and have had some gorgeous results!
Various kinds of eucalyptus

It takes practice but in the end...the thrill (yes it is) is in not knowing what you'll create!

But knowing that I'm printing Nature's colors exclusively is another appeal to this art form.

I spent 10 days in October at the NC State Fair as the silk artist in the Village of Yesteryear
rose leaves from Seven Sisters

Heirloom roses and pineapple sage
and although it was tiring with daily 12 hour days, I met SO many people who were happy to add a scarf to their handmade collections!
November seems to have dissipated and I don't know where it went to. I do know that I am on a borrowed computer as mine bit the dust (although Best Buy is determined to make it work since it is under warranty) and I had no idea how many of my photos were on the other computer. Luckily I have Carbonite backup but having to make temporary folders to store work is time consuming.

I'll pop some portraits up in my next post...seems odd to mix them with the silk. :-)

Oh and I must add one more image....Bella! The newest member and a future supplier of fiber for adding some roving into some of my silk!

Meet Bella!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

DIY hanging rack from a baby crib!

Taking off the pegged top piece on rail
As professional artists, we have 2 art studios on our property. The larger one is big, beautiful and built from a torn down 1910 house!
Our smaller one is my "cabin in the woods" and was a tired 10 x 20 storage building that we renovated for additional room in our ever expanding art business!

 So in my small Art studio that I use for my silk making, I needed a place to hang my scarves while I worked on them. I use an outside clothesline which is perfect for drying. But in between some stages of my techniques, I needed a place to gently hang silk without folding it or dropping it on the floor :-)
Crib rail hinged to wood attached to wall.
 The solution came in the form of parts of a free baby crib! Used cribs can be found at yard sales for next to nothing and the sides can be used for any number of creative projects!

My idea was to attach hinges to the bottom , attach it to the wall of my small studio and have it fold down from the top.  When in use, the lightweight chains would let me lower it to pretty much any height I wanted. I did not want it level, just out a foot or so from the top of the wall. When not in use, it folds back up to the wall and hooks with regular latch hooks :-)

Small chain, latches and hinges are easily found in any hardware store!

A little paint on the wood the piece is hinged to will make it look finished :-)

As you can see, the lightweight silk dangles easily from the rack away from the wall. It could be closed as well if I choose.
A perfect solution for everything from fabric to paper to your laundry room.

Raise the chains higher if heavier items will be hung. The ceiling is barn style so hanging this from the ceiling where the lights are was not an option-too high and the lights were in the way so this "Murphy style" rack was the perfect solution!

An easy DIY project accomplished is an hour or less.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Kids Learning to Play like Kids!

Taken from my MTheresaBrown blog!

Kids Learning to Play like Kids!

I take my childhood for granted. But now I know that I, and my peers, were oh so fortunate to have grown up in the years that we did! These were the years where kids played outside all day, came home when all the neighborhood moms stood on the porches and stoops and called us in.....where we climbed trees, ran for the sheer joy of it, picked berries, built forts and our water parks were wading pools and water hoses!

I re-create part of that in my art summer camps. And the kids have a ball! It is different because the kids work with art, outdoor play and critical thinking skills....and through it all I expect the grouped ages of 7-17 to work, play and create together. And they do!

Coming to our 2 art studios out in the country-both are our professional ones- in itself is an adventure. Being free to run at will outdoors down the secret paths of the maze, climb the maple and pecan trees, and in general, be kids, is actually a new experience for many of the students.  But by day 2, they are enjoying the freedom of outside activities and that pumps up their creative processes!

Collage 1

Enjoying the ponies

The lunch tree

Without a doubt the favorite tree!

  I hope to add more camps next summer-it's definitely something I have to bring in extra help as the camps can have up to 14 participants. Many are repeaters. Many are so improved by the 3rd day of camp-both artistically and physically! (who knew climbing trees was so hard?) 
So add to that mix-getting wet, dirty, loved by dogs, ignored by chickens (but collecting the eggs is fun!) running the secret trails....and you have the incredible experience that I so took for granted as a kid...(thanks Mom and Dad for letting me be a free range kid and artist!)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

DIY studio renovation!

Things are moving along with my "cabin in the woods!"
If you have been following me, you'll know that I have been renovating a 12 x 20 shed and turning it into a second art studio.  It's been taking a few months but bit by bit the big things get done, then the little things :-)

Below are some "in progress" photos of the north end of the building. 

The deck going in.

Here is the plain jane studio in the making.

In the back ground is the large studio-our workhorse location. In this one I have begun to move all the dyes, paints and supplies related to my silk designs

Deck being built.
We  re-purposed a used 6' sliding door for the north end of the studio!
The 6' sliding door going in
 And now, with the deck completed, we can enjoy an beautiful extension of our studio and work on it even as we complete some minor details inside! Hubby has wasted no time...not have our dogs!

Notice the wild roses along our pasture fence add screening and privacy...not that we really need it on our mini-farm but it is perfect for an artist's studio! 
heading out to the office takes on a whole new concept for me when this is one of my offices!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Murals on Kitchen Cabinets

Painting murals is not new to me. From my teens on up, I have painted scenes on walls, doors, commercial window displays and traveling circus trailers. (really!)
Sometime it can go faster than painting the same thing on canvas that same size. Don't ask me why. it just does.
If you have followed my "cabin in the woods" renovation you'll know that my building came with cabinets recycled from a 1950's kitchen. The wood was that hard to find solid "thwunk" type wood found in your grandma's kitchen. And it also meant it came with that dark varnished look so popular once upon a time!
I removed the doors...sanded them, then painted them...more than once, with white primer.
White doors with a mural on panel below it that I painted a few years ago
White walls, white ceilings, white cabinets. Something had to change before I started moving my art supplies into it.

I went to my computer and pulling from my folder of "random traveling photos" that I accumulate for ideas, I thought.....actually I knew what I would do if I went one of two ways-mountains. Or beach. I settled on mountains :-)
Sequence of steps

So I painted in the sky, added the clouds and then started the background. It's a whole lot easier to add the foreground after the background is completed. Otherwise you will try to paint around a tree or around the leaves and it doesn't this point I tossed the pencil and just started winging it. Take a look :-)

Adding Mountains and tree details
You can see where this is headed as I added the mountains.

At this point I had to decide what to do with the section to the far right. These cabinets are a little over 12 feet long and 4 ft high.

My plan is to add a sink under the shorter cabinets when I eventually get the water running to the studio.

You can just see where I added a white path to the far right.

Here's a closer look at the left side below

Bringing in a middle ground and foreground
A friend sent me some stunning photos of texas bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes and I had my plan for the right hand side!

See what's been added!
So there you have it-a soothing mountain view with birds, flowers....forgot the butterflies but hey I can add them later :-) So be brave-paint a door panel, closet doors, kitchen cabinets or anything else that strikes your fancy! And it you want to take it with you at some later date, just paint it on some lightweight plywood (birch is good) and screw it to the surface.
Go paint!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

50 Shades of Green

Gray landscapes...even when the sun comes out the many shades of gray that form my vision of winter, linger.  The first spring flowers and the early blooming Bradford pear trees pop out to brighten the landscape but their background is still gray.  Then, as if overnight, the barren landscape turns into very subtle shades of green. At first it's just a filmy green; Like someone placed a green filter over a black and white landscape.  Then it becomes more and more obvious-almost as if the dark shades are being absorbed into the softer greens. And that is what it is-soft gray greens at first. Fifty shades of green.
Within a week, the maple "helicopters' are dangling from the trees and the honeysuckle leaves are opening.....
and then everything begins to announce that it is April in North Carolina and time to renew that glorious feeling that only comes with Spring!
Crab apple tree

Spring plowing and 50 shades of green

Maple Tree seeds

The wild dogwood under the sycamore

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Wiz kid artist stuns my art class! :-)

Wet into wet painting techniques and the results!

The first class ever using the wet into wet oil painting technique was March 21 at the Vance Granville Community College!   Under the category of Personal Enrichment, 
The 5 intrepid painters created some amazing art.
I brought along my assistant-10 year old Alex who embraced the Bob Ross techniques last year by recording hours of video after his mother took away his Electronic time-what a great move by mom! And then he began to paint!
Alex with a few of his many beautiful paintings!

Children will naturally turn to creativity when the TV, electronic games and cell phones are removed-all to everyone's benefit!

From 12-5, the class stayed in the art zone and we had a great time! We practice wet into wet with acrylics as well but you have to paint faster. It was easy to take a snack break in the middle of the workshop as oil will not dry for days.
I'll let the photos do the talking!
collage of the finished paintings

This class introduced the use of a palette knife, letting wet paint blend into wet to create particular effects...and of course the sky is the limit when it comes to taking what they have learned and use the same techniques on a myriad of subjects!

Next similar class is April 17 from 12-5.

I encourage photographing the steps

Learning to use the palette knife

Laying in the background