Tag Archives: creativity

A Magical Garden

Hi friends! How’s life? I hope all is well. We are preparing for our trip to Disneyland to celebrate Grace’s 8th Birthday! She is beyond excited! Claire on the other hand, has decided that sleep is rather over rated and has nightly parties in her crib – laughing, talking and calling out to me. I’m exhausted, to say the least! I’ll be glad when this little night owl phase passes.

Anyway…A couple of weeks back we visited a magical place right here in Lake Oswego – The Elk Rock Gardens. It was a gorgeous Spring morning, so Grace and I headed over there to stroll the many paths that crisscross this enchanting place. I, of course, took a plethora of pictures, so I thought I would finally share them with you…

into the gardens

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yellow blooms

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What an amazing morning we had exploring this wonderful place! As Spring comes into full bloom, I encourage you to check out local gardens in your area! It’s so easy to forget about these precious places and just get caught up in our day to day tasks. So much inspiration can be found in nature!

Have a beautiful rest of the week!

xo,

Ivy

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Filed under garden, photography, family, creativity, nature

Experimenting with Encaustic Art

Hi there! How are you? We have been pretty good over here. Enjoying the beautiful Spring blossoms everywhere and the more frequent sun breaks too!

Maybe it’s the Spring energy or the fact that I’ve started the second part to the Brené Brown online class but I’m feeling inspired! I have been wanting to try encaustic art forever but I’ve always been a bit intimidated by all that comes with it.

Well…this week I finally dove right in! I ordered my encaustic medium, a heated palette (mini griddle), hake brushes, encaustic boards and a heat gun. While waiting for it all, I devoured this book and watched every youtube video on encaustic that I could find.  Yesterday, it all arrived on my doorstep and I was like a kid at Christmas! All smiles, clapping my hands and doing a little jig. I was that excited. Dorky but true. My mind was a flurry with all the dreamy creations I was going to make using this magical medium!

That evening, after the girls were down and the kitchen looked decent, I set up my encaustic paint “studio” (in my dining room). I opened windows, plugged in the griddle, melted the wax, warmed the brushes and the board and proceeded to lay down my first coat of wax. This is kinda how it went—->

Eeek! It’s all uneven.

The brush must be too cool.

Wait or is it the board?

Did I get the right brushes?

<insert swear word here>

Okay calm down.

Try another coat. Don’t forget to fuse first!

How long do I fuse for again? <swear word>

Second coat went down. Sigh…more unevenness…brush strokes, pitting.

<more swearing>

Okay, so maybe this isn’t as easy as it looks!

I stopped and took a minute to reassess. What am I doing wrong?

Then it dawned on me…how ridiculous to think that I would get it right on the first go! I told myself to relax and just play. I would learn by my mistakes and I had to trust that with practice, I would figure it out.

With that attitude adjustment, the rest of the evening was a blast! Here is my first attempt.

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The tree was stamped onto the board with acrylic paint. After that was dry, I put my first layer of wax down. The color was added by way of PanPastels and Gelatos that I smeared together into the wax. The pieces of antique paper were simply collaged onto the piece and coated in wax. Lastly, I added the jewels and painted some details with white acrylic. Here are some close ups of the textures created by the layers of encaustic. IMG_8989

You can see in this one where I used a stylus tool to actually carved the wax to bring out the details in the tree.

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It was late so I headed to bed…

Today, I couldn’t wait to get back to it, so as soon as Claire was down for nap I got creating! Here is my second go at it. I kept the color palette and composition similar so I could focus on technique. The process got a tad easier and I got a little braver.  On this piece, I used a stencil to create a raised wax pattern. I also moved my “studio” into the kitchen and worked right on top of our glass cooktop and countertops. Put wax paper down first! They are not kidding about those fumes from the wax, so I put my little griddle right next to the exhaust downdraft fan on my stove and it sucked all the icky fumes right down! I also opened up the kitchen window very wide. Last night, I learned the hard way and went to bed with a headache. So today I wasn’t going to risk breathing that stuff in.

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I also learned that if you add PanPastel, oil pastel or Gelatos to your wax layer and you don’t like them – Yikes! – you can clean it all off using Linseed Oil and a paper towel! Yah!!

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I absolutely love working this way and I’m looking forward to experimenting more with encaustics. I think I’ll do something more abstract next time? Hmmm…

Anyway, let me know if you have any questions. I’m FAR from an expert, obviously, but I’m here to help if I can! :)

Have a beautiful weekend and go try something new!

Much love,

Ivy

 

47 Comments

Filed under Art, collage, creativity, encaustic, Learning, painting

Art Love : Françoise de Felice

Hello friends,

How are you? Spring is blooming all around us here in Oregon and it is truly so beautiful! My kiddos are finally all healthy (knock on wood) and we are looking forward to a trip to Disneyland for Grace’s 8th birthday in April! The Claire Bear will stay behind this time with her grandparents, so the trip should be a tad more relaxing.

So, I’m still working through my Jeanne Oliver online art course where we focus on one master artist each week. It’s been a very inspiring process! One week, our teacher was Kate Thompson and she introduced the artist, Françoise de Felice to us. Oh my! I’m in love. (Thank you Kate!) Her dreamy work is amazing…see for yourself…

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Stunning right? I adore the haunting, layered mystery of her work. I could stare at each piece for hours, visually deciphering the meaning behind the expressions and gestures of her subjects. Piecing together the story and admiring the interwoven patterns and textures, the subtly of color…sigh. I told you I was in love. Totally enamored.

What do you think of her work? If you LOVE it…I dedicated an entire Pinterest board to her. Check it out here to see more of her magical creations.

Hope you having a wonderful week.

xo,

Ivy

 

10 Comments

Filed under Art, creativity, Learning, Love, mixed media, painting

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

15 Comments

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

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

14 Comments

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