Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

In my garden, new snow formed a mantle on the angel statue.
The Shepherds and the Angels

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And an angel of the Lord  appeared to them, and  the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.  And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all  the people.  For unto you is born this day in  the city of David  a Savior, who is  Christ  the Lord.  And  this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
                                                        Luke 2: 8-20 English Standard Version

God has sent angels to make announcements to men and women over the ages.  How glorious this appearance must have been to those lowly shepherds out guarding their sheep by night...
The message is the same today.  It is for all of us.  Those who are placed low and high amongst men and women.
Jesus came to be our Saviour. 
Will you see this thing that has happened? 
Will you acknowledge Jesus is Lord and Saviour?
Will you return glorifying and praising God?

May you know the Peace & Joy that only Jesus gives.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Octagon's 43rd Annual National Exhibit

Oh, The Wonderful Cross I
This past week I received the happy news that the above painting has been juried into an upcoming national art exhibit at the Octagon Center for the Arts in Ames.  I've been submitting entries the past few years, and this is my first acceptance.  Care to join me in doing the happy dance?

Oh, The Wonderful Cross II

To the left is another painting I submitted that won't be in the exhibit.
Both acrylic paintings have a lot of texture.  They started with layers of heavy gel medium that I incised to create texture. I mixed the paint into heavy gloss gel and applied it to the canvas with palette knifes.  I enjoyed the process very much.

The title of the paintings comes from a beautiful worship song that I sing with my church's praise band.
These words are from the chorus:

Oh the wonderful Cross, oh the wonderful Cross
Bids me come and die and find that I may truly live
Oh the wonderful Cross, oh the wonderful Cross
All who gather here by grace, draw near and bless Your name
The 43rd National Clay, Fiber, Paper, Glass, Metal, Wood Exhibition will be on display January 28 – April 10, 2011.  The opening reception will be held on Friday, January 28, 2011 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

GPP Street Team Crusade No. 46: What's Your Hang-Up?

Previous GPP Crusade art framed and hung with related art.
 The final challenge presented by Michelle Ward for 2010 is to frame and hang some of our own art.  I have framed many of my art pieces, but many are not hanging on my own walls.  Thankfully, some are at the I Scallon Gallery in Ackley, Iowa and waiting for new homes.

Earlier this year, I created a page for this challenge.  I had originally intended to add the page to a journal I will bind with the year's challenges, but liked it so much that I put it under glass on black matting in a frameless frame.  Then I set it aside not creating a place to hang it.  I came across the art again shortly before Michelle put out this Crusade challenge.  I was already thinking of putting a narrow black frame around it and followed through with the thought.  I liked that better.  Now I just had to figure out where to hang it.

I decided to move a calendar and remove a wall quilt that had been hanging beside our lower staircase for several years.  It's an awkward space that gets a lot of traffic.  But I forged ahead...

A grouping of related colors and inspirations made sense to me.  As I wrote in the earlier post, I had been influence by Matisse to use black with the vivid colors I had laid down on my paper.  A framed postcard of his art is in the grouping.  Cezanne had influenced Matisse.  A postcard of that art is also in the group.  A print by Kandinsky that complements my color scheme and art sensibilities was added.
The silhouette painting on the far right is a watercolor that I painted several years ago and it had been in a solo position on a small wall.  It added balance to my grouping and helped to fill the space.

This was a good challenge for me.  It was good to put inspiration and results together.  I ended up calling my painting "XO Matisse."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

GPP Crusade No. 45 - Back to Back

 This month Michelle Ward has challenged us to make copies of a previously prepared journal page and alter it some way.  This is what I chose.

 Watercolor paper was washed with the dregs of paint left on my brush and lots of water.  Plastic wrap was laid over the wet paint and left to dry.  The wrinkles in the plastic leave voids on the paper that look like...

On a black and white copy of the page, I saw a portion of a face looking out from scattered leaves.  I used Prismacolor pencils to bring out the shapes.  Later I added text from Psalm 139 in the white areas with a Sharpie Pen.

This is a collage I developed from more black and white copies of the same journal page.  I saw a heart in a tree.  I used Derwent Graphitint Pencils to define the heart and branches.  A damp paint brush intensified the color. Then I cut out the design.  On another page, I randomly stencilled flowers with Distress Ink. Then I cut the page into strips. On a third copy, I added blue distress ink and used this page as my base.  The other prepared papers were adhered to the base as well as a strip of music. More Graphitint Pencil was added to accent the edges.

This collage was a big departure for me.  What I like is that by using the same original paper, there is unity.  By altering each sheet differently, I created variety.  Putting them together was more interesting than each one on its own.

Added later... I forgot to mention that I was inspired by Diane to create this layout.  Go check out her blog post here.

I may add journal to this or play with adding digital text layers.  But I'm running out of month and it's time to get this challenge posted.  Check in at the GPP Street Team page here.

I've had some comments about my choice of grey tones instead of the original color.  That was not my original intent.  I was having technical difficulties with my scanner/copier.  I decided to make lemonade out of my lemons...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Faith Hope Love Sunflower Trio

The three paintings shown side by side.
 This is a mixed media set I created on 6x6 gallery wrapped canvases.  After preparing the canvas with sections of sheet music, I painted the sunflowers and backgrounds with acrylic paint.
Text was stamped on paper and adhered to canvas with soft gel.  Additional details were added with water soluble brown pencil that was blended and sealed with matte medium.

The paintings are for sale as a set. Cost is $90 + shipping (and sales tax to Iowa residents).

Friday, October 22, 2010

Art & Jewelry at I Scallon Gallery

Linda Scallon, owner of I Scallon Gallery with one of the famous Ackley dummies.
If you are driving across Iowa on Highway 20, you will see signs that advertise Ackley.  It's just minutes north of the highway.  Ackley made the national news when CBS did a story on the dummies that are found seated on benches up and down Main Street.

Main Street Ackley has plenty of charm.
Be sure to stop in at I Scallon Gallery and  Art Studio.  A variety of artists are represented and I am pleased to say that I am one of them.  I met Linda Scallon, the owner, while exhibiting at the Linn Creek Art Fest this past summer.  She invited me to bring my art and jewelry to her gallery.
Scene from my booth at Linn Creek Art Fest where I met Linda Scallon.
Linda runs a working studio in half of the building where she teaches and creates her own art.  She has a very fun water color technique that involves painting with evergreen branches.  Stop in sometime to meet Linda and see all the art.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award

Sara from Fifth Child Studio recently honored me with this award. Check out her blog if you haven't been there before. It's lots of fun!

To accept this award I have to:

* reveal 7 truths about myself

* select 7 blogs that I would like to share the award with

  1. I do not like tomatoes. I wish I did. They look so lovely and yummy, especially cherry tomatoes which I dislike the most!  But I do like tomato juice & tomato soup - so it's just the raw ones that offend me.
  2. I eat breakfast. Yogurt with granola or oatmeal with yogurt or peanut butter on toast are my typical choices. My beverage is a glass of juice - cranberry/grape juice mixed 50/50 with club soda.
  3. I go to a pool three times/week for aquatic exercise.
  4. Happily married over 29 years!
  5. My first car was a 1969 Ford Custom 500, a large, roomy, gas-guzzling sedan.
  6. I had a custom sewing business and once designed a tuxedo for a 3 year old.
  7. I believe everyone is creative because we were all designed in the image of our Creator who is creative. Creativity is expressed in so many ways. It's not just about art, music. etc.
(There were a lot of great blogs to choose from.)
  1. Painted Heart Studio - Jane Royal
  2. Rooks Paper Scissors - Andrea Rooks
  3. Natural Dye Journal - Kimberly Baxter Packwood
  4. A Tailored Line - Laura Taylor Mark
  5. Fannie Narte - Fannie Narte
  6. Happy Shack - Kelly Warren
  7. My Art Journal - Diane
Thanks again to Sara for singling me out.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

End of September Pot Luck including GPP Crusade No. 44

You might think I'm just scraping by....
In a sense, I have been.  The September Green Pepper Press Crusade challenged us to prepare a journal page by scraping on paint.   I often use a palette knife, but an old credit card makes a wonderful tool. 

This time I also used some unused plastic dividers from a storage tray... you know, the kind found in the fishing tackle section of the big box store.  I buy them to store beads.

I really didn't have a lot of time to spend on this crusade.  Good thing it was simple.  I started with paint colors I was considering for some "serious" art.  That decision served me well.  I was hoping to replicate a color mixture that I had used previously.  The teal color wasn't turning out as I expected.
After scraping around on my journal page, I remembered that I had forgotten to mix a bit of red with my blue & gold.  Yes, I have this written down in another journal, but I thought I had it memorized better.

I've only shown my "official" crusade page, but I scraped paint more simply in another journal to use up the paint.

The lighting was less than optimal for this flat on shot, but you can see the variety of marks that I could make with my little scrapers.  I wonder what Michelle Ward will challenge us to do next?

This is a little mixed media piece in progress.  It's part of a trio that I painted for this upcoming event:

I'm looking forward to hanging out with fellow artists at Snus Hill Winery in Central Iowa.  Since we will be indoors, it will be a great day to shop for art and taste some wine.

More ATCs for this event (which will make them ACEOs).  Names.  I will be following up soon with replies from my previous post. 
And just in case that wasn't enough, I've been in rehearsals with our church choir.   We will be part of a mass choir (nearly 200 singers!) singing with Simon Estes on Sunday, October 10th at 3:00 at Cornerstone Church in Ames, Iowa.
The proceeds of the concert will benefit Habitat of Humanity in Story County.  Our choir is joining the high school choirs from across the county to perform beautiful music.  Mr. Estes is a world renown bass/baritone.  If you are in the area, this will be a treat for your ears.
Well, I better get back to preparing for this coming Sunday!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Celebrating RGR Designs Blog Post No. 250

August 30, 2007 was the birthday of this blog.  At the time, I had considered creating a blog to help promote my jewelry creations in my Esty store, but I was intimidated by the process of setting one up.  Hubby and I had attended local art festival that summer with the intent of researching ways I could display my work at my first outdoor festival.

In July, we met Brandie Butcher Isely of Little Pieces of Art at the Marshalltown Art Fest.  She is a wonderfully sweet artist who encouraged me, and she gave me concrete advise for setting up my own blog.  I started following Brandie's blog and those of some she had highlighted on her blog.  I was astounded by the generousity and depth of sharing of the artists I discovered in Blogland.  So I launched my own blog.

Now it is three years later and I am writing my 250th post! That is an average of about 1.6 posts per week.  Whew!  I've kept to a goal of posting at least once per week.  Well.  Sort of.  There have been times when I participated with a blogger challenge of posting each day and followed through pretty well.  Then there were the times when energy is low and life is busy and no blogging. We all go through that. 

Experimentation has been a driving force for my art, but being part of the art blog community has pushed me to extend my boundaries by trying even more techniques than I would have come up on my own.  I also have a frugal streak.  These traits can cause inner conflict, but there is a way to reconcile them. 

While working on my "serious" (HA!) art, there is alway extra paint left on the brush, palette, or tool.  One way to use it up is by applying the paint to a sheet of art paper.  I recently created the "master" sheet pictured below.
Once the page was mostly covered with paint, I added layers of stenciling and monoprinting to add texture to the page.  Next I cut the paper to the standard ATC size (2.5 x 3.5 inches).  Then I looked at each card as a separate art piece and embellished it.

Sampling of ATCs
Stamps, stencils, ephemera, gesso, pens, ink and paint were used to embellish the cards.

To celebrate my 250th post, I will be giving away some of my ATCs.  Please comment by 9/23/10 to be put in a drawing for the give away.  Be sure your comment has a way for me to contact you if you are a winner!

Being a blogger has been a journey that has helped me grow as an artist. Communicating with other artists across the globe has been a thrill.  I am SO GRATEFUL for all the encouragement that comes from your comments. Thank you!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

GPP Crusade No. 43: Text Messaging

The latest challenge by Michelle Ward for the GPP Crusade gave me the opportunity to use ephemera I saved from the office.
As in the last crusade, I started with a page previously monoprinted from an earlier crusade. I softened the color with a wash of gesso. I tore strips from security envelopes that had been washed with acrylic ink.

When I decided some stenciled lettering would be nice, the stencil I grabbed had bumps on the back. It was designed for tracing. So I just flipped it and stenciled with a dry brush as usual. This reversed the letters, but I was just going for the color and pattern. I think having the letters reversed worked to adantage in this case.

We get a regular stream of URGENT NOTICE junk mail at the office.
This page gave me an opportunity to vent a bit with my journaling. People are very brazen with this phrase to use scare tactics to urge you to buy goods and services you don't need.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

GPP Crusade No. 42: Strip Ease

Visit the official crusade blog for Michelle Ward's instructions for this month's challenge. I decided to use some left-overs to create my journal page.

It was fun adding layers to the already painted page. It didn't take long to complete.
While writing on the page with a Sakura Souffle Pen, I enjoyed the contrast of white against the saturated colors on the page.
The tissue paper strips aren't obvious as strips, but they added a lot to this page. When I added the bits of orange monoprints, I started to see the hint of flowers. So I took a small paint brush and added the outlines with Liquitex Acrylic Ink.

This page encouraged me to add layers to more of my painted pages.

Friday, July 23, 2010

It was a hot & breezy day...

I had booth #51 at this year's Linn Creek Art Fest.

With much help from Hubby, Sis & Niece - we set up a display of art & jewelry.

The front table featured small paintings and ACEO cards.

My sister & niece did a great job displaying my jewelry.

The earring rack makes a great display, but we rescued earrings several times when a strong breeze carried a card to the ground.

Drapery hooks held my paintings on our home made display wall.

I sewed new black table covers which premiered at this event.

Hand painted totes and hand bags were hung on chains at two corners of the tent. Hubby made sure the tent was stable by attaching the weights on the corners. There is one partially hidden by the bags.

Once again, World Port was playing during the event. Their music is very enjoyable, yet it does not seem intrusive. That's important when you are listening to the same group all day!

I met some very nice people and will share more in a future post.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

ACEOs for Linn Creek Art Fest

This is one of a series of ACEOs that I recently created. They have been mounted to blank greeting cards using temporary adhesive disks.
I hope to see you at the Linn Creek Art Fest in Marshalltown on July 18, 2010!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

GPP Crusade No. 41 - More Grid Work

I had extra room in my journal after mounting previously posted grids. I decided to make a grid directly on the painted page of my journal. First I divided the page using Michelle Ward's excellent instructions found on the GPP Crusade post. I painted over the lines with acrylic ink.
This time I grabbed a map from my ephemera stash and punched circles featuring places in Iowa that are significant to me (where I was born, lived, schooled, art shows). After adhering the circles to the grid, I added a bit of journaling.

This was created on cardstock and I used squares left over from my first grid project. I decided to keep the grid minimal and set it up as an abstract art piece. Then I mounted the artwork in my journal.
Making grids could become addictive!