Tag Archives: Grace & Ivy

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…

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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 creativity, family, garden, nature, photography

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

 

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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

 

11 Comments

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

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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Filed under Art, decorate, Love, Shopping

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

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

9 Comments

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