Monday, April 30, 2012

CHAIRS!!

The artists at Second Saturday Studio were asked if we'd do some 'art chairs' for a local charity and they would even provide the chairs.  Of course, we said yes.  No one even thought to ask what kind of chairs...we just said yes.   About two weeks before the event, the chairs were delivered to us.  Participating were, Cheri, Micah, Kelly, Sandy, Gina and me. 

We thought it would be fun to see what we could come up with and it was fun, but it was also kind of a test.  You see, sometimes we say yes and sometimes we need to THINK before we say yes.  As it turned out, everything worked out well and it really was fun...but we did have a couple of things to work out. For instance....we get enthused and then forget that we get 'busy' and before we know it...we've run out of time and the deadline is looming.  Also, the enthusiasm can turn into a 'what we were thinking' situation, as it's difficult to come up with ideas.  Then, too, mishaps happen and you wonder what to do.

In this particular instance.....we really did have a time with scheduling, etc.  There are jobs to deal with, family to deal with, and all the things that women do these days....but we were creative and managed to get through it.  It wasn't Sandy's fault that she fell and broke her shoulder...who knew that would happen?  Sick kids...things like that...no one has a crystal ball...we DID manage to come up with some chairs though!!  I'm showing you some of the chairs, as I never did get to see Cheri's chair or Gina's chair, but I heard they were just great.

First you will see Micah's Ostrich Chair.  Isn't this the cutest thing?  It is a fairly small chair, just fit for a kid....well, Micah could sit on it...but not the rest of us!  Micah paints such whimsical things...delightful, I should probably say.

Then, there was THAT rocker.  That was Sandy's chair...well, until she fell down those porch steps and broke her shoulder.  We could have just not painted that chair...it would have been fine, but we promised  six chairs...so I took it upon myself to paint her chair.  Poor girl...she never would have done a chair like this...but...there was this TIME factor.  I felt it should be a chair for a nursery, after all it is a rocking chair...but ideas and time were scarce and I was working with those butterfly paper napkins at the time...so it felt natural for me to use them.  The chair needed to be sanded and primed...then painted.  (That's like painting a chair twice, you know!!)  And, the priming took a lot of time...the writing and the paper napkins...hardly anytime at all.  So....it turned out ok, but not all that artistic.  I know Sandy's would have been a GREAT chair.




Next...my 'bird' chair.  When I saw this ladder back chair...I knew it would be mine to paint and also that it would NEED a bird.  Well, I didn't have a bird.  So, I had a little metal bird on a stand that I got from Hobby Lobby and I cut the stand off of it, drilled a hole in the chair and glued the bird onto it.


I ended up painting the nest on the bird because it had one just outlined and I thought it didn't 'pop' enough.  How I would explain I wanted it to 'show' better...I'm not sure, so I will just throw that word out there - POP!  It's actually more colorful in 'real life' than these photos and I used a bunch of different colors on the chair.  I had FUN doing this one.

Then, there is Kelly's Abstract chair.  Really COOL!  She used Chrome Paint on the bottom of the legs and, in person, it really looks like chrome.  As you can see...it's quite colorful and different, just like her abstract paintings!  She used spray paint, stencils, and all kinds of things to get the 'look' she wanted.  Love it!



















I did not attend the charity event myself....but Kelly did.  All our chairs went for over what we thought they might and everyone seemed happy.  I was just glad they all found new homes and raised some money.  We've heard comments and evidently we've made some kind of statement with them.  Maybe we will do it again next year...who knows?  It was an experience.

I'm currently trying to talk the girls into painting shoes.  Well, I've only talked to Kelly about it...but it's on the agenda for next time we are all at the studio.  No telling what we are apt to do to tell the truth!!! Hope you enjoyed these....take care, pat

PS.  Just so you know (and it's GREAT) Sandy had surgery and she is going well.  (Maybe we can talk her into painting shoes sometime in the future!!)


Sunday, April 29, 2012

My New "Vintage" Collage

As promised, here is my new "Vintage' collage.  At the downtown studio yesterday, someone asked me where my ideas come from and I had to say "I just don't know."  They just happen.  Sometimes I might choose a paper napkin to use and that sparks an idea.  Sometimes I might choose a old ledger sheet that might give me an idea....or a color, or a photo, or a flower.  I never know as these things just seem to EVOLVE.

I think I've mentioned before that I am just 'playing' when I'm in the studio.  Unless I'm working on a commission piece, I just go where the mood takes me.  (And, yes, it's true, I'm no longer doing those pieces...at least for a while.)  Anyway, I just gather my little bits of 'this and that' and try to make something out of them.  I've got my personal favorites and this one is my favorite of the three I've shown you lately.

You already know that I use lots of paper napkins in my collages.  What a great idea it was to use those and NO, I didn't come up with the idea.  I saw it a couple of years ago on Sharon Tomlinson's blog and immediately went crazy over the idea.  Visit her HERE.  She is so COOL!  Isn't it amazing what we learn out here in Blogland?

Now, back to this new vintage piece.  Well, I call it a vintage piece because of two things.  #1, I chose to use one of the vintage ledger sheets from the very old ledgers I received from my son-in-law.  The date is Monday, May 15, 1916.  That sounded like a good place to start to me...so I tried to find a picture of a woman from 'around' that time...nothing has to be exact...isn't that a great thing?  So, I found this lady in a copyright free Dover book and promptly cut her out to add to my selection.  Always wanting to add birds, I found this little bird and the bird cage, in some scrapbooking papers I had.  See how this is going?






 There's that little tree also.  It's an odd little tree, but I really enjoyed drawing it and painting the leaves.  I WANTED a tree on this piece, although I've no idea why...except that I love trees.  Once again....it doesn't have to look like a real tree.  You KNOW it's a tree...no matter how it is drawn.  And, do you remember what I always say about trees?  I feel they are Nature's version of Lace.  Have I told you that I never knew what a tree really looked like til I was nine years old and got my first glasses.  I needed them from the beginning, but no one noticed til I was nine.  My teacher, Mrs. Ledbetter, kept putting me closer and closer to the blackboard until my desk was touching the blackboard and I still couldn't read it.
So, she took me home that day and I was taken to Waco where a nice lady eye doctor found out I couldn't see too much and gave me glasses.  We lived about twenty miles from Waco and all the way home I was amazed by what I saw...including trees.  Up until then, I thought trees were one big roundish thing...never knowing there were individual leaves.  I've loved them ever since that day!  Have you ever been driving at dusk and seen the trees against the sky....so 'lacy.'  That is how I decided they were Nature's version of lace.  I love that!







In this piece, I also wanted to use the rose napkin, as I have so often done.  (I need to quit using this particular napkin.  I do love it so, but all my pieces are beginning to look alike!!)  And, I also found a paper napkin with pretty pink and yellow butterflies.  My plan  (really - a 'plan'?) was coming together.  I painted the canvas and began laying out the piece....usually,  my collages have no message whatsoever...they just turn out the way they want to turn out.  After gathering together all these 'bits' it occurred to me that this woman was on the verge of getting to VOTE!  WONDERFUL!!  And, that's a message for sure!  Here she is...in 1916...and in just a very few years...she would get to vote...so the little bird is telling her to 'Spread Your Wings and Fly' and I expect it was (in 1920) like letting a bird out of a cage!  What do you think?  Well, that might be reaching, but I really like the concept as I think we should all be out there voting each and every time there is an election.  Especially women....so many have done so much so WE could vote.  So, there's my one attempt to be profound.  I like it.


I'm also showing you a black napkin with butterflies on it.  That is the one I left out of my last post if you'd like to go back and see these butterflies with the red tulips.  I did add a touch of oil pastels to them for a speck more brightness.  Also, I need to tell you that I did shine up the pink and yellow butterflies in this piece with a bit of clear embossing powder and my heat gun...I don't think it shows up in the photos, but they do have a nice clear shine on them that is raised from the surface a bit. 

So, there you are.  Hope you've enjoyed these last three canvases.  Yes, you will be getting a break from them, as I've no more to show at this time....so expect something completely different in my next post.  It could be flowers,  it could be chairs....maybe bread...who knows?  So, have a great 'rest of your weekend' and take care out there.  pat

PS.  I've noticed that I'm not the only person trying to get used to the new Blogger.  Forgive me if this post looks kind of awkward.  I figure it's better to get it posted than it is to post it perfectly.  Or, something like that!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Red Tulips

In my last post, I said I'd show you RED TULIPS in a couple of days...so here they are!  Another of my downtown studio collages.  I'm also showing you the paper napkin I used to make this collage.  Red Tulips, of course.

 I also used another paper napkin for the butterflies.  OK, I did forget to take a photo of the paper napkin the butterflies were cut from, so let me describe it....black, with a few sprigs of flowers and these multi-colored butterflies in different sizes.    Maybe this Friday, while at the studio, I can take a photo of it..then add it to this post.   I'm sure the photo would make more sense to you than my description of it.









After painting the canvas and adding the butterflies and tulips, I drew in some little flowers and painted them.  I just thought it needed 'something.'  And, as before, I used oil pastels to add more color to the butterflies and tulips.

Also...as is my current habit....words cut from books.  Anyone can do this...you just choose some words you like and glue them on!!  And, this sounded good to me:

"Spring, so glorious
Red flowers grow
butterflies fly
the sun shines." 

Enough said!  Hope you like it.....and next time...my 'new vintage' collage.  Take care, pat

PS.  So now Blogger has changed....oh my!  Just when I think I know something...turns out I don't...it's so hard for an old dog to learn new tricks...but, I'll try!

Monday, April 23, 2012

"New Beginning" Bird Collage







It's Monday morning.....at this moment....10:24 a.m. Usually, I am at the downtown studio at this time, but I've had a revelation....and it is this - I need to be home on Mondays! Nothing much happens down there on Mondays and I am having a terrible time getting anything done at home, so staying home seems a really good idea. I'll still be downtown on Wednesdays, Fridays and the Second Saturday of the month..plus 'special' times, like May 5th, when we are participating in the Downtown Sidewalk Sale.

I couldn't let this particular Monday morning pass without posting. I always feel like I'm behind in posting...so I'm showing you my latest bird collage. It will be followed this week by two other collages...neither with a bird motif. Imagine that.

As you can see in the second photo...this collage began life with a painted canvas and paper napkins. I wish I had left the napkin on the right out of this photo, as I decided not to use it, then forgot to take another photo with it removed from sight. I did decide to use the white napkins with birds on it...just so sweet. Notice the canvas is not in my usual color scheme. Here's the story on that - I had some yellows, reds, oranges and one of my favorites, called "Apricot".....they were left over from something else I was doing and since I hate wasting paint, when I finished the other project, I just painted this canvas with the leftover paint. Not knowing what I was going to do with it...I saved it for 'another day' and that day was the one I decided to use this paper napkin with it's cute bird's nest. Other colors were added and here we are...the basis for this collage. I also used one of those vintage ledger sheets I have and, as always, WORDS.

Using these paper napkins is so much fun. You can use bits and pieces of the napkin, or the whole thing if you want to. (Remember to use only the top layer of the napkin, removing the back two, or you'll make a mess as the printed layer won't stick!)

Last Fall, I found the leaves I've used on this collage blowing down the sidewalk in front of the studio and I've saved them 'til later.' And, later is now....in Springtime! I've chosen to paint over them using oil pastels. I've also used the oil pastels to add some color to the birds and the nest. Again, I've drawn, then painted a vine. I've no idea why I like adding these to my collages other than I draw these kinds of vines on embroidery all the time and I guess I'm just so crazy about doing it, I also feel the need to include them in my collages. Who knows?

I always paint the sides of my collages....add my name and the year. Sometimes I had little bits of print or decorative paper too...then paint over them. Making these collages are so much fun. As you know, I'm not really an artist...but I like to pretend I'm one!

In my next post, I'll show you my other two new collages. One is red tulips, the other will be another of my 'new vintage' ones. I'm going to do my best to show you those two THIS WEEK....meantime, I hope you have a great week and thank you so much for visiting me!
take care, pat

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New Shoes and Bluebonnets







You know I've told you that you can never be too sure what I will show you on this blog. Never thought I'd resort to talking about shoes. So, here's the story:

One of my quilting friends, Jan, who lives a few blocks from me, called one day to invite me to start walking with her each Tuesday and Thursday from now through the month of May. This is some kind of Women's Walking and/or Running 'class' and we are allowed to use the track at Harding University. Immediately, I suggested that I was not a candidate for RUNNING, but I would love to WALK. Jan agreed and off we went. Well, the first day was exhilarating....but my feet hurt. So, I decided I needed new shoes for this venture. (Of course, the ones I had were TEN years old!! So, of course, I needed new shoes!! Have I told you that I will wear something until it falls apart? I'm just strange that way.) Anyway, I was talking to my son about the experience and he said I should use some of my 'frivolous money' and buy some new shoes. OK...'frivolous money' - that's money Scott gave me to use to entertain myself. He sometimes does that over my objections. He also knows that my version of 'frivolous' is not the same as his. His actually means 'frivolous' and my version means 'what do I need?" Anyway, I decided to break my own rule and follow his advice, so daughter, Kelly, took me out in search of the proper shoe. (I hate shopping for clothing and shoes and such!) And, we ended up purchasing the shoes you see here. BRIGHT pinkish/orange neon shoes! Nike Free, they say. Comfortable.

So, when I picked up Jan the next evening...the first thing she noticed was the shoes. She laughed. The 'instructor' noticed them too....saying that they certainly wouldn't lose me...then said they'd have to stand me on my head though, because I'm so short.)

I had taken these photos of the shoes that day, and later that night, I was telling my favorite son all about them. So, grandson,Ty, got his iPhone out and we had a little video thing going, showing the shoes off. Now, here's the funny part - Scott asked if we wanted to see HIS new shoes...and, of course, we said yes. There was a pause, then he holds up his shoes.....they are JUST LIKE MINE...only lime green neon!!! Who knew? Well, it was a funny little experience and we had a good laugh.

When I took Jan home....I happened to notice some blue flowers growing in her front yard flower beds. (Remember, I am terribly myopic, so often don't see what is right in front of me!) "Jan," I said, "Are those blue flowers by any chance BLUEBONNETS?" "Yes," she said. Her husband, Tom, is a Master Gardener and was determined to have some Bluebonnets and I was surprised because I thought they wouldn't grow here. (Remember, I grew up in Texas and remember seeing acres of wild Bluebonnets in the Spring!!) Once again, who knew? So, yesterday evening when I went to pick her up I took my camera and after we returned from our walk....I took these photos. Aren't they gorgeous? (And, can you imagine seeing acre after acre of these along the highways? I always loved that.)

So...a little story about nothing, really, but I thought I'd share it with you. Like I said, you just never know what I might show you!!! Hope all is well your way...pat

The Bird Nest on the Ground Studio

The Bird Nest on the Ground Studio
Right in My Backyard

A Bit of Heaven

A Bit of Heaven
An original designed wall quilt with my vision of heaven on earth.