Abandon Ship… I Mean Art!

The big gallery night was yesterday… had a small turnout, but that’s okay because it gave me a chance to talk with some of the other artists and get to know the owner of the gallery a little better. Everyone was great and I got lots of helpful feedback about my work. I had been considering trying to make prints of some of my original paintings to sell at a lower cost, but Daniel (the gallery owner) talked me out of it. He suggested that I would do better selling originals at a reasonable price, because all the 3D and tactile elements I include in my paintings would be lost in translation in a print. I agree and he knows what he’s doing so I will totally trust him on this one. I also got the name of another gallery in the Short North that accepts new artist work as well and would probably get a lot of traffic on gallery hop nights. I am going to look into showing some of my work there in addition to CSG. This fall I may also take the opportunity to learn how to make paper and bind books as CS Gallery has a paper workshop and book bindery in the back which is pretty cool. As if that wasn’t enough, I was invited to join the Etsy Team Columbus, which is sort of like an artist collective here in the city. It’s hard to imagine all of this has happened in less then a couple of weeks!

Meanwhile, I have been keeping very busy and preparing for the next show. I started another small project that is really fun and I am very excited about. It’s called Abandoned Art. I think I stumbled across this in a magazine, but basically it’s a movement started by various artists across the country and in other parts of the world as almost a service project. The idea is to make small pieces of art and then “abandon” them somewhere for someone else to find with a note explaining that they are receiving a gift. It’s not meant to be PR for a specific person it’s meant to raise awareness about the importance of art even during tough economic times by making it affordable (it’s free!) as well as simply brighten someone’s day with an unexpected gift. It sounded so amazingly awesome I decided to hop on the bandwagon. I need to print off some notes to attach to them, but otherwise I have a few ready to go…
Here is the whole collection all together…

The glare makes it a little hard to read, but it says “Spread your wings and FLY!”

This is my favorite one.

Be Joyful

This one just makes me laugh, I love Finding Nemo!
I wanted my Abandoned Art pieces to be inspirational so it would hopefully cheer and encourage the recipient. All the pieces are made on old playing cards so they are the perfect size to tuck away in unexpected places. Once I have the notes printed up and start leaving them in places around town I will take photos of where they get left and post them here. Look out Columbus, here comes Abandoned Art! 
If you want more information about the movement you can check out the official Facebook page- Abandoned Art FaceBook or at Michael DeMeng’s Blog (the creator of Abandoned Art) at Michael DeMeng.
On top of this I finished up two more pieces in my Tarot Card series that I plan on entering in next month’s open gallery…

The Hermit

Detail of the apple.

The lantern.
I feel this piece needs a little explaining. There were conflicting interpretations on this particular card so I went with what resonated the most with me. In my interpretation, the man (who happens to be my Grandpa E, and is one of my favorite photos of him) is not isolated or lonely, but is choosing solitary time to meditate and gain insight. The lantern and apple symbolize illumination and wisdom. I especially like how the lantern turned out, it was this funky pendant I found in the Jo Ann’s clearance bin and when I bought it I had no idea what I was going to use it for, but with the help of some gold paint it found it’s home in this painting.
The last piece is my version of the Fool card and I thought maybe you would like to see how a work progresses from start to finish…

The pieces…
First I start a piece by finding elements that I will use to make the collage. I usually have an idea for a layout, but not necessarily colors. I go through my paper stash and do-dads until I find things that “pop out” at me and I think will work together. This is usually a very intuitive and organic process.

Background
Then I add texture and interest to the background paper. For this I used a piece of a map that I crumpled and aged with Ranger Distress Ink.

Hand stitching
From there I start adding details. For this piece, and in recent pieces I have been adding stitching to the paper. I hand stitched the old Girl Scout patch on and then added some decorative machine stitching to the green paper to highlight the silhouette created from decorative scissors.

Everything is glued down and ink is added to the edges and flower stems drawn.
Final piece

To finish it off I added the buttons as flowers, the title plate and the card number. I added a little charcoal around the edge of the photograph and I outlined the decorative edge on the green paper with a pen. All totaled the whole thing probably took me about 3 hours.

Close up of the badge

Close up of the button flowers.

The Fool isn’t stupid, this card represents innocence and new beginnings. I wanted to invoke the feeling of a journey and the rising sun with the map and paper/girl scout badge background. The adorable little boy is my Uncle Bill when he was a wee lad!

Hope you enjoyed and don’t forget to subscribe so you can stay updated on new posts!

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Tarot Card Paintings and Shopping Local

Wow! So many things I want to talk about I am going to have to take notes and save them for future posts or else this entry is going to be super long. Before I jump full on into my artistic endeavors (of which there have been quite a few of lately) I want to share the little adventure I went on today…
My last appointment of the day left me in downtown historical Grove City, which is actually a really neat area. I am not often down that way when I get off work so I haven’t had much of a chance to explore yet. I kept seeing this cute little store called “Red Letter Journals” which advertises scrap-booking supplies and I have always wanted to stop in. So today I did and I have to stay it was really awesome. They had all sorts of supplies not just for scrap-bookers, but for mixed media artists as well. They had a large selection of specialty papers and all sorts of fun knick-knacks to add to your pages (or canvases as in my case). I could have probably spent a lot of money in there, good thing I left my wallet in the car! 
What made it even better though was an organic food market in the same building called “Leafy Greens”. While a small store, it had a nice selection of organic and gluten free items. I got a chance to talk to the owner Chris Carney and she was really nice and very helpful. Next time I have my wallet I will definitely stop by and pick up some of their organic meat.
Here are links to both stores…
Now as far as what I have been up to art wise, it has been a very busy week! I am gearing up for the gallery opening this Saturday, which, for anyone interested, is at CS Galleries at 66 Parsons Ave in Olde Towne East Columbus from 8 to 11 PM. I am very excited to have 5 of my pieces in the show and up for sale. If I could sell any of them I think I will die and go to heaven a happy girl!
Meanwhile, they are going to be doing another open gallery next month so I wanted to have some stuff ready for that. Thus the Tarot series was born. While many artists have done it before me, it’s a new concept personally and I decided to recreate my own interpretations of various Tarot cards. I have always thought the cards were mysterious and beautiful and naturally a good choice for a series of small works. Here is what I have so far…

The Emperor- Who is a wise and cautious leader. The scholarly picture seemed appropriate here.

Close up of his “BLING” ha ha.
Details of the stitching… I had fun with the settings on my sewing machine 🙂
Next we have the lovers, this is probably my favorite in the series so far…

Close up of the heart. It actually pops off the canvas for a 3D effect.

Last we have Temperance, which in the Tarot, refers to peace and balance, not necessarily abstinence from alcohol.

I came back to this one this morning because I didn’t like how the halo turned out (she is supposed to be an Angel). So with a little revision I ended up with this which I like much better.
I really like how the details worked out. I embroidered the blue stitching in a running stitch. I found out sewing photos by hand really sucks because it’s hard to get the needle through without stabbing yourself. Also the shiny things are shell fragments from the beach last week… lesson learned- shells HATE glue guns, hence I had to sew them on.

I also have 2-3 other new projects working right now, but this is getting long enough I will save those for another post. I will give you a hint though- one project involves luggage!
I try to post once if not twice a week so make sure to stop back frequently for new arty goodness 🙂

Vacation All I Ever Wanted!

Just got back yesterday from our 6 day extravaganza in Siesta Key Florida. We must have had some seriously luck because we timed it perfectly. Before we left Ohio we were afraid that we weren’t going to be able to get into Tampa because tropical storm Debbie was raging down off the coast. Family who were already down in Florida when the storm hit were texting us about how they were trapped in their hotel for 3 days till it passed miraculously the night before we flew down. When we got to Tampa we couldn’t even tell there had been a storm they had cleaned up so well and it was bright and sunny outside.

Then we got news on Friday night that a massive “super derecho” storm hit Ohio with 80 mph winds and millions of people lost power across the Midwest. We were really lucky that our house never lost power, but my in-laws lost power for about 2 days and my poor mother up in Northwest Ohio is on day 4 of no electricity or air conditioning on 90+ degree days. It was nerve wracking being half way across the country and not able to get a hold of loved ones to make sure they were okay. 

Meanwhile, it was 85 and breezy off the coast and we had a great vacation. I did get sunburned and chewed up by mosquitoes, but that’s besides the point. I wasn’t able to work on any artwork while I was in Florida, but I did receive many gifts from the sea that I fully intend to use in future canvases. I also got to visit the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. It was pretty awesome because on the same grounds as the art museum they had the circus museum and learning center as Sarasota is the winter home of the Ringling Bros. Circus.

I also took lots of photos, which I ended up having to take on my phone because our regular camera kicked the bucket on Day 2 for some reason. It worked out okay because for a lot of the photos I used this awesome smart phone app called “Instagram”. Basically you take pictures with your phone camera and then upload them to the program where you can then apply different digital filters to achieve various effects. Very cool, I highly recommend it. You can then share photos online with your Instagram account, or in my case email them to yourself and save the pictures onto your computer where you can print them out later. 

Anyway as the circus folk say- “On with the show!” My vacation in pictures (Note, some are a little blurry because they didn’t like being blown up)…

Outside my window on the flight to Tampa. I think Matt got sick of hearing- “I really hope we fly through the clouds!!”

The next morning I went for a walk along the beach and these beautiful Hibiscus flowers were growing next to our condo.
When Matt and I were looking for shells later than night we forgot to check for passengers. This little guy was hiding in a shell and was nice enough to crawl out on Matt’s arm. We dubbed him the “Squidapuss” because we weren’t entirely sure what he was!
We also saw a beautiful Snowy Egret on that walk and I named him Fred. (I like naming things) The others we saw later were Wilma, Betty, Barney and BamBam ha ha.
Day 3 on the way to the art museum we saw this awesome Lobster-mobile. You can’t read it very well but the bumper sticker says “Honk if you love art!”
This was my favorite piece at the museum that I saw. I love the colors! I found out later we missed the building that held the modern art, which was what I really wanted to see in the first place.
Clowning around at the Ringling history museum, sometimes I feel like I have to be the Ringmaster at our house!
On day 4 we were at the Botanical Garden for our cousin’s wedding. Everywhere there were these awesome tropical trees. I really liked the Banyan trees and this one, which is a Bay Fig tree. I want to figure out how to use them in artwork.
Another beautiful tree in the Botanical Garden at sunset. I love the Spanish Moss hanging from the branches. It’s way better than the Kudzu that covers everything in Georgia and northern Florida.
Me in my wedding finest 🙂
Finally this was the gorgeous sunset off the beach on our last day. It was sad coming home to stinky hot weather when we had been spoiled with a nice ocean breeze all week, but I am glad to be home with the doggies!