Tag Archives: handmade

Painted hands, happy heart.

Hi lovely people,

The last week of summer is upon us and the Newport household is ramping up for school. I’m ready. Grace is ready. It’s time.

Back to routines, early nights and homework but the calming rhythm of each day helps me be more productive and less scattered. I’m looking forward to that!

I will be launching a new website, complete with those photo lessons that I mentioned in the last post plus much, much more! I’ve truly committed to making Art the focus of my career and it feels really good!

On those rare, beautiful days this summer when I was able to get my hands dirty and create – those were my happiest days! Sharing that with the girls has been so special too.

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When Mommy is happy, everyone is happy right? Even though at times I had to push aside the laundry or let those dishes sit in the sink a while longer, I found that when I made Art, it made me feel alive! It gave me energy and a giddiness that was contagious with my family.

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My most recent work, began with a flurry of paint, collaged paper and stencils. I have really enjoyed developing these layered backgrounds to begin the piece. I’m also kinda loving the larger canvas! This one is 24″ x 30″. Big for me, as many of you know!Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 2.05.15 PM

Here are some close ups of the canvas…Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 2.05.25 PM

Then came the girls. Three sisters was my first idea. Not that I have sisters but I love the concept of the three Graces so that’s where I started from…Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 2.05.35 PM

As I worked on it one afternoon, Grace strolled in and said, “Oh Mommy! I love it! It’s us!”

I turned, about to correct her when I looked at it again.

As if to explain herself she pointed to each girl. “This is you, at the top because you are the Mommy and you are protecting us. That’s why your eyes are open. The next girl is me because I am the older sister and I have brown hair and the littlest girl is Claire because she has blond hair and she is the youngest.”

I stood back, amazed at her perception and how I had completely missed it!!

She went on to say, “And the flowers that come up from the bottom are about us growing up into women.”

I was completely blown away. My 8 year old little art critic had just analyzed my piece before I had even the inkling of its meaning.

I smiled at her and said, “I think you are absolutely right!”

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So the three Graces became me and my girls and I’m perfectly happy with that!  It now hangs in my studio, right next to my desk and serves as a wonderful reminder of my connection to my sweet daughters and how very important my job is as their mother and protector.

So what have you been up to creatively this summer? I would love to hear!

xo,

Ivy

 

 

11 Comments

Filed under Art, creativity, intuitive painting, mixed media, painting

Etsy Love: RiverLuna

Hello! It’s been a while since I’ve brought you some gorgeous, art inspiration so here’s a healthy dose of beauty from the amazing Etsy shop: RiverLuna. Artist, Marisa Redondo creates these magical, nature inspired illustrations, full of intricate pattern and rich hues. I’m a huge fan! Now to decide which one to order…hmm.

Here are some of my favorites…

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il_fullxfull.586949764_66ly   etsy * blog * twitter * facebook

After much debate, I just couldn’t resist these sweet owls for my Gracie. Can’t wait to hang it up in her room!

Go explore her wonderful collection of work – her blog is a delight too! Such talent!

xo,

Ivy

 

 

8 Comments

Filed under Art, creativity, Etsy, favorite things, nature, painting

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

 

63 Comments

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

3 Comments

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

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

15 Comments

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

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.

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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.

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

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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“.

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

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

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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