Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bottle Bird Feeder Gives Me Bird Fix

We've been enjoying our finch feeder for some time now.  At any given time, there are a few yellow, green or red beauties out there nibbling.  The problem is, the little buggers go through a bag of bird seed every three weeks.  This last time, my husband offered to buy a bag and got wild bird seed which the finches don't seem to like.  Haven't seen a bird in four days.  From 20 an hour to nada.  So today, I scrounged around in my recycling box and got myself a guava juice container to use as a different kind of bird feeder that MAY just attract different birds.  I must admit, I got a lot of satisfaction from carving out the holes on each side with a knife -- must be holding in some stress there...be warned!  Stuck a couple of chopsticks in, and viola!  a make-shift feeder to get rid of this giant bag of seed!  Looking forward to seeing what comes a-feeding.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Poppies Spring Up From an Unexpected Hour

I find this blog is really great for reminding me to nourish myself artistically.  It is so true, as the poet Maya Angelo says, "you can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have."  I find that the more I paint or craft or sew, the better my work tends to get and the better I feel about it.

Yesterday, I brought my car in for an oil change, and had expected to stay at the dealership for the hour it takes and read.  I was surprised when I was told that it would take over two hours, and they offered to drive me home right away and pick me up when it was done.  This meant two hours of unexpected time spent at home, and I had no intention of using it to pay bills or clean!  I took the opportunity to break out my watercolors and paper and try something springy and bright.  I saw something similar to this on a website that inspired me, and I was excited to translate it, using a different medium and a little salt for effect.

Friday, May 13, 2011

So Many Possibilities to Create in a Candle Holder!

I ordered this candleholder from Partylite because it had so many possibilities.  I picked up some pebbles from Ikea for this look, and at Marshall's, found a big back of seaglass for another look.  I can totally see myself changing this with the seasons, the holidays and frankly, anytime I need a little change of surroundings.  

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Something Bold and Blue: A Skateboard Top Inspired By Haring

One of the artists I have long admired is Keith Haring.  Before he died of AIDS in his early 30's, he was known as a street artist, a young man who was energized by the New York street and subway scene.  He painted on street walls with his brush and spray can, and his work was always bold, his characters without much detail.  Haring's work has pop influences, with the bold colors he used and the black outlining he often did to give his work a distinct cartoon-like appearance.  My skateboard painting is a nod to Haring, and I'm really liking the bright colors and movement of my piece -- something a little different for me!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Folk Art Bird

Seems I've got a thing about birds lately.  It seems to be cropping up in a lot of my artwork, and the other day I even bought a finch feeder.  I have always been fascinated by folk art, so it was very natural for me to choose a bird as my subject for this piece.  Folk art has it's roots with the common people.  It's usually decorative, and done with recycled, found materials by locals with no fine art training.  The bird is cut out of cardboard that I pulled out of recycling, and all the pieces are from bits that I found around the house.  I placed an old skewer to hold it up, and stuck it on a block of wood that I found outside.  To give it an older, distressed look, I used white, dry paint with my favorite fan brush, which is usually put aside specially for painting clouds.  When I showed the kids this particular brush, they were so excited -- it looks so different from their usual brushes, and they each wanted a chance to try out the dry brush technique.

Ted Harrison Inspires me with the Sunset

One of my inspirations this week is Canadian artist Ted Harrison.  Harrison is best known for his colorful works that involve curvy lines, white or black lines separating each color, and his depictions of life in the Yukon.  When I was working with my younger students, I challenged them to try a Harrison-inspired work and I was thrilled by where their swirls took them!