Inspired by Matisse

Hi there! How are you? Hope your week is treating you well.

As for me, well, I’m a little overwhelmed with creative energy. You see, I just started this amazing online course with Jeanne Oliver called “Studying under the Masters“. It’s a nine week course with nine different teachers. Each week, we get a new teacher and a new Master to learn from.

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 1.18.36 PM

This first week has been with Jeanne teaching us about Henri Matisse. It has been an absolute delight!

Back in Art School, we covered Matisse and hundreds of other artists but was I really paying attention? Well… not so much. With so many lectures, dead lines, assignments, critiques and social events (keg parties)… let’s just say I didn’t absorb as much as I should have. Often, I took being a student for granted.

Now, learning has become precious to me. It wakes me up and makes me feel alive, connected and passionate. That’s why I’m hooked on Jeanne’s courses.

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 1.19.23 PM

Oh Matisse, you wonderful man! I didn’t know I was so fond of your work till now! He was a master of color, pattern and portraits! I love how he captures a scene, flattens it and layers it with brilliant hues and complex patterns! His faces, sometimes refined and others primitive and simplified. However, his intensity is consistent. His pieces almost vibrate with energy and mood. Truly inspiring!

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 1.19.09 PM

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 1.19.40 PM

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 1.18.49 PM

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 1.20.02 PM

Studying his work has made me feel free again…to just draw and play and not worry about perfection, perspective, technique. Just create and explore! I can’t seem to stop drawing! Even the white board on our fridge is covered in doodles. :) Here are a few of my own little works that I did in my sketchbook…all inspired by Matisse!

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 1.11.54 PM

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 1.12.18 PM

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 1.15.52 PM

More projects to come! So…what artist inspires you?

Have a fantastic Friday.

xo,

Ivy

{all Matisse images via here}

8 Comments

Filed under Art, Art lessons, creativity, Learning, painting, Thoughts

An Art Gift

Hello friends! How was your weekend? We actually had a pretty quiet one, which was a welcome treat. I even got to do some collaging with a friend on Sunday afternoon – so much fun!

I’ve been wanting to share this project with you for some time but I made it for a friend as a gift and I couldn’t risk her seeing it on here. :) She received it on Friday so now I can show you!

I love these little 4″ x 4″ canvases because they are super affordable, easy to hang and you can usually finish up the project in a couple of hours depending on how elaborate you get.

I started by collaging vintage papers – covering all sides of the canvas. Then using chalk pastels and scrapbooking paper I added a second layer of color. Followed by a couple of doilies and some white acrylic paint applied with a brayer.

amy art1

To get that yummy encaustic look I love so much, I coated the piece with a layer of heavy gel medium, using wet fingers to smooth it all out.

amy art2

It hasn’t quite dried yet in this shot…so when it does it will be a little bit more transparent.

amy art3

After the gel dried I added these lovely words and a vintage butterfly. My dear friend has been through a lot and has recently found love again (yah!) so I found these words inspiring for her.¬† They come from a poem by Alfred Tennyson entitled “Summer is Coming“.

amy art4

I couldn’t resist adding some details with my fav white gel pen

amyart8

For more contrast, I added color to the butterflies’ wings with acrylic paint.

amyart5

It was so wonderful to create something special for a good friend. I think I will be making more art as gifts in the future. As always, please let me know if you have any questions about this process. I am happy to help!

Being inspired to create something for someone you love is great motivation to get your ART on! Try it and surprise someone with a one of a kind treasure. :)

Have a lovely week!

xo,

Ivy

18 Comments

Filed under Art, Art lessons, collage, Crafting, creativity, mixed media, painting, vintage

Vintage Silhouette Girl

Hi there! How are you?

Well, 2014 is off to a good start here. Both Grace and I are using our studio and have been busy creating. We even ventured out and enjoyed a local art center where we both got to dive into our creations. So much fun!

The piece I’m about to share with you had been lying around forever. It started as one of those super cheesy Hallmark-like plaques from the 1980’s that I found at the thrift store for 99 cents. It needed some love, so I gessoed it and proceeded to collage it with vintage papers. I added washes of color with my Gellatos and water. Love these little tubes of color! *tip* use pretty paper that you love to figure out your color palette. ;)

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 12.55.08 PM

I then continued to layer paint, doilies, washi tape and scrapbook paper. I also ran my brayer through white paint and rolled it over the piece a couple of times. What is hard to see here is the texture…it actually (accidentally) ended up with a faux encaustic look due to the thick layer of Heavy Gel medium I added thinking it would dry just how I wanted. It didn’t. I panicked. I ended up scraping most of it off, cursing and then smoothing the whole layer using wet fingers. I thought I had totally screwed it up. But nope. I ended up loving the effect and discovering a new way to use gel. Yah! I LOVE when a mistake turns into something beautiful. It happens a lot in Art – if you can just push past that immediate panic.

(You can see the texture better in the pictures I took with my Big Girl camera below these iPhone pics.)

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 12.55.20 PM

Vintage silhouettes have always appealed to me, so I incorporated one into this piece instead of painting a girl. I found this silhouette here. Considering my art nouveau obsession, I couldn’t just leave her be – she needed a lovely headpiece and flowers too!

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 12.55.32 PM

Here are some better shots of the finished work with accurate color too. The doodles and hand lettering came as a bit of a surprise to me – being outside my box – but it just felt right and it was fun to experiment with the boldness of the black ink and contrast of the white gel pen.

pic1

pic3

pic2

pic5

I’m excited to try another silhouette piece and you should too! No drawing necessary! ;) Let me know if you have questions.

Thanks for letting me share my work!

Much love to you all.

xo,

Ivy

15 Comments

Filed under Art, Art lessons, collage, Crafting, creativity, mixed media, painting, vintage

Instagram Spotlight : Susan Tuttle

Hello there! Hope your 2014 is off to a good start.

I wanted to share some beautiful Instagram work by Susan Tuttle. This lovely lady is one talented iPhoneographer. Her photos are both enchanting and haunting, emoting a seductive, mysterious quality. So gorgeous.

Enjoy…

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 1.34.05 PM

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 2.05.29 PM

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 1.35.22 PM

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 1.35.57 PM

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 1.36.49 PM{@susantuttle}

Have a happy Friday.

xo,

Ivy

6 Comments

Filed under Art, Instagram Spotlight, photography

Do MORE Art in 2014

Hello everyone! How are you all? I hope you have been enjoying the Holiday season with family and friends. So…are you ready for 2014?

I think I am. I’m excited about the new possibilities and adventures ahead!

Of course, it’s always good to look back over the year and appreciate all the beautiful experiences we’ve had. To ponder all that we have learned and how we have grown. The mistakes, the regrets…it’s all part of our path so don’t focus on those too much. ;) The choices we make now are what truly matters. What will you do with your New Year? What changes will you make? How will you choose to spend your time? These are all things that are on my mind today.

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 12.54.50 PM

One of my “resolutions” is to DO MORE ART! I am now referring to my office as my studio and I re-organized the entire thing to display all my paints, brushes and artsy stuff. Easily accessible and ready for me. I signed up for an art retreat. I hung up images that inspire me. It felt SO good to set this intention! Now, I just have to do the work (not that art ever feels like work to me). Come to think of it…doing the art isn’t the hard part. It’s moving past the fear, the doubt and the all too familiar and un-nerving sensation that once I begin it could end in a complete ugly disaster.

I adore this quote by Elizabeth Gilbert. She totally nails it.

3f6ad01402fc311305bf7a4b797eb94c

{via}

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 12.54.00 PM

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 12.54.19 PM

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 12.54.34 PM

So here’s to a fabulous 2014 full of love, joy and creativity! Sending you all big hugs and best wishes! Thank you for all your wonderful comments and amazing encouragement!

xo,

Ivy

14 Comments

Filed under Art, creativity, holiday, photography, studio visit, Thoughts

Little Red

Hello lovely people and Happy Friday! How are you?

Our house is filled with the smell of our Christmas tree – I just love that about this time of year! Every morning, I go around the house turning on all the twinkle lights and appreciating their beautiful glow. I do love Christmas!

Wanted to share some pictures of little Claire Bear, that I managed to capture the other day. I’m surprised she kept the hood up, since she tends to dislike anything on her head – stubborn little bear…but so stinkin’ cute.

little red 1 edit

Those eyes get me every time…and I think she’s starting to figure that out. ;)

little red 2 edit

little red 4 edit

little red 5 edit

Hope you are all enjoying this special time of year! What’s your favorite thing about the season?

Have a beautiful weekend.

xo,

Ivy

10 Comments

Filed under Baby, photography, RadLab