Thursday, April 24, 2014

It's Spring! Mixed Media Assemblage Hastypearl

It's Spring!

 Mixed Media Assemblage


Spring is certainly in the air, in South Central Texas.
We say that we have a few days of Spring, Fall and Winter...and the rest, is Summer!

I recently came across and purchased Two Neat Things, and when combined, 
they express the feeling of Spring, for me.

The first is a book, co-written by artists Chris Cozen and Julie Prichard, titled, 

Acrylic Solutions
Exploring Mixed Media Layer by Layer.

I've never met either Chris or Julie, but I feel like I know them, from following them on the different social medias.

I know that for me, acrylics, were my first art medium.
I've used them for everything, including faux painting entire restaurant interiors!
I don't recommend doing that :)

New products have continued to come out, that when mixed with acrylics, can create amazing effects.

I was very excited to devour this book!
The devouring comes easy....
the Retaining and Implementing, can Happily take a Lifetime. 
I really appreciate that these ladies went step by step, to show how they have achieved their special pieces.

 I bought the book through Amazon.
Every page has different ideas for using acrylics.
I want to try them ALL :)

So, if you know me at all, you know that I love to engineer, build and assemble.

I started this piece, with a nice vintage found box. I love its brass hinges and corners.
I took it apart and only used one half for this project.
It was lined with a great mid century wall paper, but I removed it.
That worked to my advantage, because it left behind, a rough surface, that when painted over, 
made for a terrific textured base, to build my background on!
Yes, that was cheating, Chris and Julie, but hey, you have to go with it when it is given to you :) 

So, I always dig out every supply and found object that I love, even though, 
I know that I am only filling a very small space.
That way, I can think through the basics of my layout.

Keeping some of the techniques from the book in mind, I painted out my background with my acrylics.

I LOVE how the raised portions caught my paint, as I drug a plastic knife with paint on it, 
over the underside of the box lid.
I added red and blue and orange over my white background.
I hope that you can see that some of it even crackled over what I think was probably old glue, 
from under the wallpaper.  

I ran horizontal rows of wood appliques and game pieces, on the top and bottom.
The appliques came from ElizabethRosenArt.
I cut out flowers and birds and butterflies from Carrie Avery's, Paper Wings Productions, clip art collection.

And the Main reason for the Spring theme...was this Beautiful Girl, below.
I've had her for a while now, just waiting to see where she could be best used.

She is Occupied Japan, and I love her.
Shes holding a bouquet of Spring flowers!

Perfect :)

I could tell that there needed to be some interior structure, so I used some painted balsa wood strips, 
that I keep on hand.
You can buy lots of shapes and sizes in the model building section, in craft stores.

I felt like it needed a little shine, so I added some gold leaf on the background, 
and gold thread along the blue strips.

For the final layer, I dipped some red Christmas cactus florets in bees wax, 
and placed them in the garden at the girls feet.  

I really love how it all turned out and it was lots of fun to create!

My appetite is whet by this book, and I am certain to do some more Exploring.
I saw lots of things that I want to incorporate into my future projects!

Maybe you will, too!

I'll be sure to show you what I come up with...Next!

I'll eventually list this piece on my hastypearl Etsy shop.
I hope you will stop in to see what New things have been added!

I hope that you are Enjoying these Beautiful Days of Spring...
wherever You are... 
and Thanks as always, for stopping by to read this blog!

xoxo Laura

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

American Quarter Horse Eye Candy! Hastypearl

American Quarter Horse Eye Candy!


Today's posting, is a topic that I haven't shared with you dear readers, yet.

I love horses.
Always have.
Always will. 

No one else in my family had the" bug", so I guess I am a bit of an anomaly.
I talked my parents into letting me have a horse as a child.
They were pretty brave, now that I think of it, to take it all on.
I loved my mare, and filly and rode in crazy places, that no one would dare let a child go today.
Somehow, we were always safe.

High School came along and we sold the horses to the people who owned the land that we kept them on.
 It wasn't until my now 30 year old boys, were probably 6 and 8, that I found a way, to start it over again,
 and I've had a horse, ever since!

My interest in Showing Western Pleasure, in the American Quarter Horse Association, soon followed.
After those childhood horses, I have had 7 different prospects, over the years.
With each horse, came different talents and dispositions.
I can say, that with each change of horse, it has been harder and harder to separate.

Horse people all agree, that we have a "Certain Sickness"!
It's Incurable...but there ARE salves for it :)

Some find that the salve comes from touching the soft part just above the equine nostril.
Recalling your first ride on your two year old in training, will do it.   
Or feeling soft breath on your cheek or a tug on your ponytail.
A nibble when you're holding your hand flat is nice.
My favorite, was making a specific clicking noise, when I came in the barn.
All of the other horses, just kept doing what they were doing...but my horses knew to look for me!
But maybe the best times will come, when you arrive at the barn, and your horse is laying on the ground in their stall.
Getting down on the ground and have them sleep with their head in your lap, is their very special gift to you.
What kind of 1100 lb. animal, will trust you to do that?  

I have known for a while, that for physical reasons, I'm not going to be able to continue Showing.
After you have experienced Showing, its just not the same...just to ride.
When you have a talented horse, its a waste, to keep them out of the show pen, so we are looking for his next forever home.

These pictures are of my horse.
 My trainer changed barns, so I went to see him last week, in his new barn.
He hadn't been in a place, since he was a colt, where he could run, so we turned him out to see what he would do. 
He went to see his buddies in the paddock next door, and then he ran and played.
It must have felt great!

As it was getting to be time for me to leave, I thought...wouldn't it be great if he ran towards me and I was able to snap some pictures.
I called him, and as if he had read my mind...and yes, he probably did ;) he ran straight for me for these pictures!

There is no way to prepare for how it will feel to no longer be a horse owner.
Yes, I can find some rides, but it wont be the same.

I've tried in my life perspectives, to practice seeing things for their positives and not their negatives.

Yes, I had horses, when others couldn't.
Yes, it has been Amazing.
Yes, it has been one of the Greatest Joys of my life. 

So, asking all of the "Why's" not always that productive.

I can no longer  Show a horse...but I have had the Honor, of Sharing my Secrets with them.

This geldings name is Zips Red Cora Vette.
Out of Dont Skip Zip, he has a great nature and a future in the Trail.
The right Someone, will take him, and I know he will be Successful.

I really had a terrible time, letting my last equine girl, Brilla, go.
About the same time, we lost our dear Border Collie, Ceilie.

When we found this guy, I named him, Jace.
Jace, is a Greek name and it means....Healer.

He has been that for me.
They ALL, have been that for me.

He helped me though a tough time and even though he will be my last horse...
I'll never forget him.

So, the Good News is...
I'm already seeing things happen in my life, that I couldn't have Ever Imagined!

They wont REPLACE the horse...they will just be a different path to go down.

I don't think that we were ever meant to just experience ONE thing.
There are So Many things to learn!

I know that you have had a similar experience in your life...
I'm glad that I got to share mine with you...

xoxo Laura 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Art Framing...The Big Reveal! Hastypearl

Art Framing....The Big Reveal

Those of you that follow my blog, will remember in recent postings, that I had mentioned two pieces of art.

One was a gift, from Marilyn Stephens...a beautiful eco-dyed and stitched fiber piece, 
and the other one was an oil called, "Eight", that I bought from artist, Lisa Graham

Well, it took me a while to get them done, but they are now Beautifully Framed, 
and back home where they belong.

I hope that you have an Art framer that you trust and use for your pieces.
I know that I do! Her name is Patsy Wright, and her San Antonio business is called, Frame It Wright.
Every time that I have had her frame something for us, has been enjoyable.
Your framer should make you feel as comfortable, as Patsy does me.
When I head a direction that needs some steering back on the path, she does that, 
but she ALSO, lets me have a voice, and encourages me to express myself with the framing.

So, Finally...Here is the Big Reveal of Both pieces of Framed Art.

Ill do it striptease style, where I just reveal a little bit at a time;)
That will be to tease Marilyn and Lisa a bit...:)

You'll eventually see both finished pieces...They Look Amazing!!!!

Look how delicate this frame is.
Its perfect for the light...weightless, Fiber Art piece, that Marilyn created.

Here's the top half.

The bottom half.
It may be too hard to see, but I had Patsy elevate the piece, so that it would cast a shadow...
and add some more depth.
She didn't have to, but she hand tacked it behind, so it wouldn't damage the work.
Now, it is protected and will last many, many years.

Ta Dah!!! Isnt it beautiful ?

Of course, I had to photograph from an angle, because of the glare from the glass.
I originally, wanted to float the piece between glass, but Patsy reminded me, that my buttery wall color (which isn't photographing true here, at all), would show through the glass and might not be a great compliment, so we went with a beautiful taupe mat. 

It's Beautiful Marilyn!
Thank you again, for your generosity.
I'm so happy you are my new friend. :)


Now, on to Lisa Grahams piece!

Again, I originally thought that I would do something different than I did, 
but I'm so glad that I changed my mind.
What I decided to do was...

Go Crazy Big with the framing!

I wanted to simulate something that you would see on a Great Work of Art at an important museum...
so, I asked for a black liner, AND added a smaller crisscrossed frame, inside of the larger MAIN frame.
That is the beauty of a great custom Framer. Patsy said...we can do that!

Look at all of the Texture there is going on!!!
Not to worry...
the "Eight" ladies featured in Lisa's piece, can Definitely stand up to this much Pattern!

Here's a peek....
Aren't they already adorable!
Wait until you see the Whole Thing!
(p.s. Lisa...Patsy said as she was framing, that she kept looking at the ladies faces and she said she thought...
this girl is Really good! 
She sees a lot of that's pretty special :)

Here they are with just the black liner and small frame ...
drum rolls please!!!!!

Another... Ta Dah!!!!!
Mona Lisa....step aside!!

I think they look amazing in this big fancy frame :)

And thank you too, Lisa, for painting this great work.
I know that you were very proud of it and now I am proud to Own it.
I will take care of it for you...I promise!

It still not in its final place, but its holding up pretty great in superior company...that being Cathy Cullis' piece underneath called, May Queen, and a signed piece, by Graciela Rodo Boulanger, that Ive had since 1974!
Its turning into my, "Girl Wall"! 

So, there!

Yes, that was a little theatrical drawn out, but I wanted the artist...creators...friends, to get some special attention for their Beautiful Creations.

I hope that you enjoyed it, and maybe it will spur you on, to go get those things framed that you've been meaning to...

And from me to you dear reader, as always, thanks for joining me here.
I love that you do...

If you would like sign up to receive an email, letting you know when I have posted, I would love for you to.
There is a space above, on the right side column called, Follow by Email!

xoxo to all...Laura   

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Interview With Artist Jennifer Davis Hastypearl

Interview With Artist Jennifer Davis

I'm pretty sure, that I first encountered Jennifer Davis through her Etsy shop
Jennifer Davis Paintings & Collages, and from there, her blog Jennifer Davis Art.

I was thinking about Jennifer one morning recently, and I had this funny thought...analogy...

Jennifer Davis's Art to your Eyes, is like Pop Rocks to your Mouth!
Do they even still Make Pop Rocks? 
I don't know...but it was a candy that I ate in my youth!

There are NO other Jennifer's!
If the world could LIVE in her mind, I'm pretty sure that all of our problems would be solved!
Do some house cleaning, Jennifer, because we are all "Moving In"! ;)

I first presented to Jennifer, the idea of an interview with a specific question in mind, and in the end we went another direction, so we go, sit back and enjoy !
I think you will be surprised by some of her answers :)


Laura: At what age, did you recognize that you had an ability to express yourself and what medium was it?

Jennifer: I guess I have always known that, because I was always encouraged to draw, "color", etc.
It was not until my FOURTH year of college, when I took an art class on a whim, that I realized my real passion for expressing myself in that way. From then on, I knew it would be a huge part of my life.

L: Were you encouraged?

J: Yes! I guess I answered that above!

L: What/Who inspires you?

J: A lot of people ask me about this. I had a pretty canned answer about animals, people, vintage magazines, vintage toys, found photos, etc. 
I have come to realize that inspiration is a huge mystery to me. 
Even if you took away all of the things that I think inspire my work, I'd still feel compelled to make art. 
I think it is something inside which I do not understand. 
I think it has more to do with the feelings I have while making art, than any external thing. 
It makes me happy!

L:What percent of the time do you like your finished product?

J: Almost 100% of the time only because I wouldn't consider it finished if I didn't like it. 
If something isn't working, I set it aside and maybe give it another go later. 
I try not to be too precious about any certain idea so that if it really isn't working, I can just paint over it.

L: Do you start and finish a piece, or do you work on multiple pieces at a time?

J: For the most part, one at a time. 
Lately, I have been working on a big series of large paintings, so I have been going back and forth a bit more as I am learning, but for the most part, I stick to one at a time with smaller paintings. 
The mood is fleeting, so it is hard for me to pick it back up later. 

L: What gives you the most satisfaction in your work? 
i.e. The idea? The process? The materials?
 Or none of these?

J: The process of doing-playing with color and composition, and the rush of satisfaction when something feels finished and really resonates. 
It is a very fleeting feeling, so I am always chasing it for more.

L: I hear people talk about running out of ideas? Does that ever concern you?

J: No. Ideas are a bottomless well. 
I think, I hope. (Knock on wood!) 
If I get stuck, I take a break or try something new- new colors, new materials. Vacation time. 
I don't panic or get down about a little "creative block", as I know inspiration will return. 
It always does!

L: How do you deal with challenges/obstacles, in your work?

J:Tantrums, crying. =0)
I'm only slightly kidding, but I try not to take myself too seriously. 
It is just painting and it isn't really work.   
If it is making me miserable, I know I need to move on to something different or take a break.

L: As a Jennifer Davis devotee, I first approached you about discussing in your blog, how you went about/found your way through the maze of retail, online sales, galleries, etc. 
I love sharing with my readers, that you were a bit shy/humbled about doing that, but in your generosity, you were very interested in"Giving Back". 
I know that people will be attracted to you for those qualities!

So, maybe it will be more comfortable in This setting, where I ask you to do a bit of "mentoring", to those of us who may be just starting down the road, that you have been on now for some years. 
What has your experience been like? 
Here is your chance to briefly, "Write the Handbook" :)

J: That is a big question. I have been working on all of that stuff everyday for 10 plus years and I am still clawing my way along. 
My biggest advice would be to make a lot of art (or whatever it is that you do) and to avoid waiting around for things to happen to/for you. 
I think it is important to put myself out there and always be seeking new opportunities that interest me. 
I am always working on something, never sitting around waiting and wishing. 

L: Since opening your JenniferDavis Etsy shop in 2006, your offerings have included, collage, illustrations and original paintings. 
What is next, for Jennifer Davis?

J: I have just completed a two year long grant road trip/travel/research project
I received "funding to research, create, and document a body of large-scale paintings based on vintage carousel animals and traditional carousel vignette paintings",
via Metropolitan Region Arts Council/McKnight Foundation "Next Step" grant. 
I made a blog to document my travels.

J: I also have a solo exhibition to display the fruits of my project, which opened March 22, 2014, 
at Public Functionary in Minneapolis, MN. 
I'm showing ten of my largest paintings to date (4 'x 4') based on vintage carousel animals and eight smaller carousel vignette paintings. 
Some other surprises, too.

After that...I have no idea! 
I am in the itty bitty baby-steps beginning process, of starting a new collaboration with Minneapolis  choreographer Chris Schlichting. 
Who knows where that will lead?!  

Wow! There is a lot to learn from that interview!

I appreciate her candid openness. I think, sometimes we can forget that Talented Artists, are real, breathing, and just as vulnerable as we are, and that Few wake up Celebrated by the world, 
but rather...WORKWORKWORK!

Please read the above mentioned link to Public Functionary, to see all of Jennifer's bio and if you are in the Minneapolis area....RUN to see her amazing exhibition! 
Also, her blog posting on the opening, looked like it was an absolute PARTY! 
I cant EVEN imagine what it must have been like! 

Jennifer, I wonder if your feet have touched back down to Earth, yet!
If making Art "makes you happy", please know that Viewing your Art makes us Very Happy!
And, thank you soooo much for doing this interview and sharing your images with us! xo

Well, Readers, I promised you that I had a neat surprise coming up...and I was RIGHT, wasn't I? :)
I hope that you enjoyed this visit with another Amazing Artist...

And, you  have to KNOW, that I have Other Wonderful Interview Surprises up my sleeve, so please keep checking back into my blog!

xoxo Laura