Life lately…

Hello there! Oh my goodness, it’s been a tough couple of weeks! My little Claire bear is just now getting over pneumonia. Poor baby…and well…poor Mama. We were both sick of being cooped up so it was fantastic to take her to daycare yesterday and see how happy she was to run into the classroom and play with her wee friends.

I started the day (childfree) with a trip to the nail salon for a quick, Spring manicure! My hands were trashed from constantly washing them! It’s amazing what a coat of pretty nail polish can do to lift your spirit! ;)

Anyway, as you can imagine, I haven’t had much time to paint or do anything really BUT thank goodness for my iPad because it’s so easy to reach for it and create something minus the setup/cleanup. Here are a couple of digital collages I made this past week…

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Absolutely love creating on the app – Procreate! Such fun! Oh, and I just splurged on a new pressure sensitive stylus. I highly recommend it!

A couple of other things to share with you…I just received the most gorgeous necklace from my jewelry designer friend.

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It’s a beautiful piece of lapis lazuli and it resembles a dreamy piece of the starlit sky! I adore it! Thank you Amy!

I also finally got a bracelet from Becky at Farm Girl Paints on Etsy! It reminds me to keep my head up and live courageously – not easy for this girl – who tends to back away from scary or intimidating situations…

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Oh and I did a little Spring cleaning in my studio! I’m hoping to start creating more frequently now that both kids are healthy!

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And….lastly…a little glimpse of Spring blossoms popping in my neighborhood. Such a beautiful time of year!

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I hope you are all healthy and happy! Enjoy your weekend!

Much love,

Ivy

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Filed under Art, creativity, Digital Art, Etsy, favorite things, flowers, Home, Shopping

Little time, lots of inspiration.

Hello friends,

I know I promised to share more art so here are some pics of what I’ve been creating lately. I’m on week 6 of my Jeanne Oliver online art course. Its been an incredible ride! So much to learn, so much to create and SO little time! I’m trying to be patient with life and accept that I can’t paint all day while managing a household, two little kids and a very busy husband. Patience is not one my strengths.

I also have to really watch myself. You see, I get a little competitive. My fellow students are constantly posting all the beautiful art they are creating and I want to KEEP up…but alas, I simply cannot.  Luckily, we have access to the class for two years!

Here is a little Cézanne watercolor/charcoal study…this was a fun and relatively quick exercise. He was a genius at layering color with watercolors! Something, I’ve yet to master.

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Next, I attempted to paint one of Cézanne’s favorite landscapes…Mont Sainte-Victoire. He painted this scene over 60 times! This was a tricky one. SO many colors but I really enjoyed the challenge.

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Here’s a close up of my version.

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Painting Cézanne landscapes, inspired me to try one myself. Although, I’m not in love with this piece it was good for me to do something outside my comfort zone. This is an Irish landscape, depicting O’Brien’s tower.

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Then we went on to study Botticelli. I have not done my painting yet but I loved sketching from his work. His faces are brilliant and so beautiful.

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Okay, and lastly, I wanted to recommend this book to all those creative Mama’s out there! I kinda horde art books but this one is my favorites right now. It gives me hope that if I plan a little better, I can find more time for my art and not neglect my kids!

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Alright…well I best be going. I hear little Claire bear waking from her nap. Back on the job! ;)

Hope all is well in your world. Try and take time for yourself to create, read, cook or whatever makes you happy – you won’t regret you did! Also, I would love to know any tips on carving out this time – since I’m kinda struggling! Let me know what works for you!

Much love,

Ivy

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

Love for Minted.

Hi lovelies!

I don’t often post on the weekend but this couldn’t wait! I just discovered a treasure of a site full of beautiful artwork, stationary, journals and other paper pretties. I’m in heaven!

These days, curating is a serious business on the internet, with a plethora of endless choices it’s so refreshing to see the cream of the crop all in one place isn’t it? Well, that’s what I love about Minted. They support creatives all over the world by selecting gorgeous designs and artwork and then make it easy for us to get our paws on all the goods! Love that. Sure they do custom photo cards and all that but what I really adore about this company is the stunning collection of artwork and stationary that is available! I literally spent a good chunk of my morning perusing all the paper goodness – my favorites list is rather long…

So, here are just a few of the things I had to heart!

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

So pretty right? If you are a sucker for lovely paper products and unique artwork like me – go check them out. I’m off to go order some custom journals! :)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! It’s a rainy one here!

xo,

Ivy

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Hello friends! Happy Friday and Happy Valentines’s to you. I hope you are surrounded by the people you love. Hubby and I are going out for a much needed date night. Can’t wait to get all prettied up and sip a fancy cocktail.

I did splurge yesterday on a little gift to myself – this book – and I’m so pleased I did. I’ve already devoured half of it and I’m loving every page. If you were a fan of Eat, Pray, Love then you will LOVE Paris Letters by Janice Macleod. I’m so tickled with the book that I just subscribed to receive one of her magical, illustrated letters from Paris via her Etsy shop. Anyways…had to share this with you!

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Okay I’m off to get ready for my date….it takes a while these days! ;)

Much love to you all,

Ivy

P.S. I’ve been doing a ton of art so I promise to share more of it next week! More vintage treasures to show you too!

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Filed under Books, favorite things, Love, News, Paris, photography, Still life

Friday Art

Hi. It’s Friday so that’s great. I’m sick again with a cold – so that’s not so great. I hope you are weathering through this season of illness better than me. It seems that little Miss Claire, who attends day care a few times a week to play with her  toddler buddies, also loves to bring home germs. My immune system is being put through the wringer! Oh well…

Anyway, I really don’t have much energy today so I’ll spare you any lack luster writing and just share the little painting I did the other day. We are now studying Cézanne in my e-course and his landscapes are so beautiful. I had to try one myself, of course I couldn’t resist adding the girl in there too.

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It was fun doing a landscape, which is rather out of my comfort zone. Several times I almost stopped and threw down my brush, in frustration….but with some patience and lots of layers of paint it finally came together.

This piece was done in acrylics but I really experimented with different mediums to create a more oil paint like consistency. In fact, I tried using KY Jelly with my paint. Sounds silly but it works! It seemed to increase the viscosity and made the paint dry a little slower thus blending beautifully! This world famous art forger used KY Jelly with his acrylic paints when replicating famous works! He ended up in jail…but at least he shared this tid bit with us! ;)

Have a wonderful weekend and stay healthy!

xo,

Ivy

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

More Matisse love.

Hi all! Happy Friday.

This week has been rough! I got sick, then Grace got sick…now Chris is sick. Ugh! It’s such a domino effect! My throat is still killing me but I made myself paint yesterday. I couldn’t stand it! Once I got Grace all cozy in her bed with toast and O.J., I armed myself with a strong cup of tea and got to work…

As many of you know I am taking Jeanne Oliver’s course, Studying Under the Masters and one of our assignments was to study one of Matisse’s works. I chose this piece, entitled – “The Idol” 1906.

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The intense colors, patterns and contrast attracted me to this piece, mostly because they are completely out of my comfort zone. I really wanted to push myself. The painterly brush strokes and somewhat unfinished elements to this work also made me nervous BUT I went for it anyway. I had started this work several days ago and was itching to finish it!

Here are some shots of my progress. (I had to keep reminding myself that the goal here was to learn from his techniques and NOT create a perfect replica. I’m not an art forger, after all! lol.)

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Just like Matisse, I executed my first sketch using charcoal and then did an under painting using Raw Umber.  My chosen substrate is a Blick Birch Panel.

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I blocked in the colors and tried not to think too much. Thinking while painting is over rated, in my opinion, too many icky, critical thoughts come up and inhibit the process. Trust me, I had many moments when I almost gave up! image copy 4

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As you can see, my scale was a bit off. So I decided to use a little artistic license, and add a bouquet of flowers in her hands. I’m sure Matisse wouldn’t mind. ;)

This was such a wonderful experience. It really got me using bold colors and much looser brush strokes. I found the freedom of not making everything so refined very inspiring. I felt like I was painting with emotion and not logic.

Doing this piece inspired me to create my own little Matisse portrait. I was able to complete this in one sitting…which is SO not like me. I could go back and add more detail but I’m not sure I will. Leaving it a bit raw and primitive feels good.

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So far this e-course has blown my mind! It’s always a good sign that my creativity is flowing when I start actually composing paintings in my head…(like all the time). It’s a little distracting but it fills my heart with such joy.

They say life begins on the edge of your comfort zone and so far…I think that might completely true.

Have a beautiful weekend. Stay healthy!

xo,

Ivy

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