Tag Archives: e-course

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

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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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

Have a fantastic Friday.

xo,

Ivy

{all Matisse images via here}

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

Up for the challenge…

Hi everyone. Happy Friday. I come to you today excited about possibility, learning and expanding! Even though I am exhausted from a night up with my poor teething, Claire – I am thrilled at some of the new things I’ve been trying lately!

First of all, I am super excited to let you know that I just signed up for Blog Boss – a new e-course with Holly Becker from decor8! I took her first course – Blogging your way – a couple of years ago and it taught me so much! This next one looks to be amazing and I can’t wait for class to begin. There is still time to enroll – check it out here.

8488219001_66bd99db2d_oLately, I am trying to expand my photography knowledge so I’ve been dabbling in portrait photography. I know you have all seen my attempts with my children but recently I’ve been taking pics for friends and it has been quite the learning experience. I have such respect for those professional photographers out there that do portrait work. It is a true art! My latest subject was my neighbor, Taryn Emerson. She is such a fantastic friend and an incredible interior designer too! She asked me to take her portrait for her website (in production) and online social profiles. I agreed. So, last Sunday, I handed over Clarie to my hubby and off I went down the street with my trusty camera, in the hopes of capturing my friend and doing her beauty justice! The overcast sky provided the perfect, softly filtered light. We jumped around from her place to mine, outside, inside, front yard, back yard…but ended up with this as our winning shot!

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Some of our other attempts…

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Taryn was a great sport and put up with all my amateur-ish mistakes. In between giggles, she was poised and patient.

It is so wonderful to have another creative buddy right in the neighborhood and she is always encouraging. She likes to challenge me too…which is a rare gift in a friend. Since I have been avidly taking pictures, she suggested I shoot her gorgeous designer kitchen for her portfolio too. I balked at the request, insisting I knew nothing about interior photography and how we would probably have to rent lights and wide angle lens. She rolled her eyes and said, “Oh come on, let’s just try it!” So over a bottle of wine that night, we styled the entire kitchen and shot it the next morning…

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It was so much fun dusting off my interior design skills to style this lovely space and collaborating with another designer is something I have missed! When we started the shoot it was dark and gray outside and I was doubtful that the light was sufficient but like a sweet gift, the sunshine broke through the clouds, spilling light into the room. We scrambled to move Taryn’s heavy kitchen table so we could let the shadow of the window unfurl onto the warm wood floor.

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All in all, we were both pretty pleased with ourselves and I learned a lot! There is nothing better than the feeling of meeting a challenge, especially a creative one. So don’t limit yourself, expand your creative gifts – sure it can be a little scary and you might even mess up but one thing is for sure – you will learn and you will grow – and that is worth it every time!

Have a wonderful weekend!

xo,

***Check out more of Taryn’s beautiful interior design projects here and like her new Facebook page here.***

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Filed under decorate, Home, interior design, News, photography, Stories, Styling

A Vintage portrait with Grace

Hi everyone! Hope you had a lovely weekend. Grace and I got to work on one of the art projects for my online art class this weekend and it was so much fun.  The assignment was to create a vintage inspired portrait on a small piece of canvas.

Grace was anxious to start and dived right in! I love that about creating with kids this young – they have no fear! While I sat there, carefully selecting each scrap of vintage paper, she got straight to work, with no hesitation.

She, of course, finished before me.  Her little fingers were covered in glue but she was just giddy – as was I!

Soon we both had our canvas’ prepared…covered in a patchwork of vintage papers and doilies.

I showed Grace examples of Jeanne’s original work so she could envision the outcome of the project.  See Jeanne’s beautiful piece below…

image via jeanneoliverdesigns

We will be attaching these canvas’ to vintage door plates or escutcheons, just as seen above. I have two coming from Etsy! I love how this makes a stand for these tiny artworks!

Here is Grace’s finished portrait…

When I asked her to tell me the story behind this portrait she said, ” She is a princess, waiting in the garden outside her castle for her prince to come.” I melted. My little romantic.

Here are the first steps of my process…sketching in my girl…

I painted out some of the background papers to create a light area.

Using a Stabilo Marks all pencil, charcoal, white gel pen and acrylic paints I filled in the details. I couldn’t resist adding some tiny pearls to her headband. I thought I was finished but something was missing…

The flock of birds and flower in her hair completed the piece for me.

This was a wonderful little project and I can’t wait to do another one! I bought these little canvas’ in bulk from Michaels and Grace has already started her second one!

Hope you all have a beautiful day!

xo,

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Filed under Art, Crafting, photography, Stories, vintage

Creatively Made : Second Journal Project

Hi everyone! Well, I’ve been busy creating and loving every minute of it! Our second project in the Creatively Made course was to make an altered journal. That is, buy a store-bought sketchbook and create a mixed media piece for the cover. Jeanne showed us so many wonderful techniques and I’m pretty happy with how mine came out…here are the pics…

Prepped the cover with a collage patchwork of vintage papers…

Did an image transfer using a ink-jet color copy of a magazine page. This left a ghost of an image so I could go in and draw in the details and create the hair. I had to re-create most of the face but the transfer left decent enough forms to follow.

Continued to add details, including a “dress” for my girl from some pretty wedding invitation paper. Used colored pencils and washes of acrylic paint to add color and detail.

Here’s a little tip that works great for me – pick a color palette before you begin your piece. It helps me stay focused and reassures me that my color selection is harmonious. I love using Design Seeds color books. You can get them here.  I used her “Figs” palette…

The metal key and corners can be found at Michaels in the scrapbook section (buyer beware – you may end up walking out with a whole lot of lovely bits and pieces – I do, everytime!), as can the die cut butterfly and pearls. I love adding these pretty 3D elements.

Now I just have to fill it up with more art!

Hope you are all having a beautiful week!

xo,

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Filed under Art, Crafting

Inspired by the Creatively Made E-Course

Hello!!! I know it’s been forever and I’m sorry but I’m back and I’m just full of inspiration – thanks to the fabulous E-course I’m taking by Jeanne Oliver.  My first trimester was trying at times, tired, nauseous, weepy but now that I’m well into my second trimester I’m feeling like myself again. While my cravings for chocolate have yet to subside, a forceful urge to create art has emerged, so when I found this course via the Dreamy Whites blog I signed up immediately! Jeanne has always inspired me with her whimsical creations and beautiful art, so what better teacher to help me break out of my creative rut?!

Our first project was to assemble a vintage art journal. A place where we can sketch, doodle, paint and dream. I couldn’t wait to begin. Here is the final result…

Cutting up a vintage book felt so naughty but I knew I wasn’t destroying it, just up-cycling it!

Embellishing the cover with vintage costume jewelry and an old crystal drawer pull was so much fun! I actually raided my husbands tool box and used pliers and screwdrivers! (I’m not what you would call handy…)

The antique illustration was taken from an old Shakespeare book…who can resist Romeo and Juliet? Not this Romantic…

Inside the front cover I added a little brown paper pouch to keep little pretties and the word “faithful” to remind myself to stay true to my creative spirit. The pages are compiled of vintage papers, scrapbook pages, watercolor and sketch paper. Lots of different textures to provide a wonderful backdrop to my creations.

I bound the book using this very handy hole-punch and some organic hemp twine.

Finally I found a use for all the shiny, sparkly baubles I’ve been collecting. It was so delightful to play with them.

I’m really happy with my little journal. Making it brought me such satisfaction and re-ignited that drive to create. I better do it now before I’m buried in diapers! Right?

Hope you are all enjoying the New Year! Let me know what creative goals you have on the horizon…

xo,

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Filed under Art, Books, Crafting, News, photography, Thoughts, vintage