Was January just the longest month ever? At my age, the months usually pass so quickly, I can’t believe it. But January 2020 seemed to be 75 days long at least. Maybe it was the endless string of dark, dreary days filled with rain and a bit of snow, but no real winter weather. Sure, it was cold but not wintry cold with pretty snowfalls, but rather grey skies and puddles of rain and slush. Yuck! Today, the sun shone brightly and the stupid groundhog saw his shadow…six more weeks of winter? Well in Ohio, that’s a given regardless of groundhog shadows. But it was nice to see the sun, plus it was almost 50 degrees. Unheard of for an Ohio day in February. But it gave me a boost to actually get some things done, like a blog post.
January was full of art projects for me. My YouTube channel has grown significantly and my subscribers seem to really enjoy my videos. I’ve done mixed media, as usual, but also offered up some other fun art projects to try, like this huge piece of collage paper.
I have quite a few creators who are participating in my altered, playing card challenge, too. Want to see them? Just search #ytcardchallenge on You Tube or Instagram. It’s so interesting to see how each person creates cards entirely differently than the next.
Speaking of creating, it’s time for me to get in the studio and do some of that myself. So, until next time, go make some art!
Earlier this year, I threw out a challenge to my YouTube subscribers and Instagram followers for an altered playing card challenge. No hard and fast rules…just play and sharing. It’s a personal challenge to see how many you can make before you get tired and bored. To my surprise, those who have accepted the challenge have become addicted to the process. Most of them have already far exceeded what I have done!
It has been so much fun to see their posts and watch their progress. I don’t think anyone is stopping anytime soon. I decided to use a deck of Old Maid cards that belonged to my kids in the 80s. Each time I pull some out to work on, I am reminded of how fast our kids grow up! I remember playing Old Maid for hours with them, and how mad my son would get if he ended the game as the old maid. They just make me smile.
Now they will be hanging in my studio as small works of art and I will have the memories of transforming them from an old, cast off deck of kids cards to something I love to look at, and which gave me joy to create.
This is a video of the last three I created. I hope you enjoy watching and maybe you’ll join us and make some for yourself. It’s a quick, easy project that anyone can do. And it’s a great way to use up all those scraps you’ve been hoarding “in case you need it someday!” And if you care to share, use the hashtag #ytcardchallenge on any social media where you share your little masterpieces.
Did this year go by fast, or what? Maybe it’s my age, but time flies by and I am so grateful to have my art to keep me busy and productive. Every day, you will find me in the studio doing something or other. This past year, I have really done a lot more mixed media and art journaling. It’s my new favorite! However, I am starting to miss painting and I plan to do more acrylic painting next year.
I also began cold wax and oils this year and while I enjoy it a lot, I get a little tired of abstracts all the time. So, plans for 2020 also include more cold wax painting in a less abstract genre. It seems like it will be difficult, so we will see how that goes.
I completed work in my large Dylusions journal the other day. It was hugely satisfying to finish it up. I won’t miss working in it though because my sweet daughter bought me a spanking new one for Christmas! So a new one waits for me when I am ready. One of the most exciting things about that is planning a new cover design! Yes, you heard right…I am actually planning something. If you follow me, you know I work intuitively and rarely plan anything! It’s just how I like to work. If you would like to see the last few pages being done, those videos are here:
My next big venture is to start live streaming some art sessions on YouTube. I have no idea how I will do it but I am going to get set up and try. I recently hit the 1k subscriber milestone on my channel, and now I will work on watch time so that I can monetize my channel. That will take a while, but it will help me replenish art supplies. In the meantime, I do have a PayPal.me tip jar and I just started a Patreon account. No patrons yet, but I am hopeful! My Patreon page
So to those of you who follow, thank you so much for doing so! I hope your holidays are the best ever, and that 2020 brings all you hope it will!
I just realized that I have not posted since August! I promised myself that I would be a better blogger – I failed! Between creating videos for YouTube and life in general, I guess blogging has fallen through the proverbial cracks! So if I make any resolutions for 2020, I guess ‘better blogging’ should head the list!
So let’s see, what’s new? Well I reached a milestone on YouTube: one thousand+ subscribers. That was a thrill because I have worked very hard to build my channel following there. YouTube is the place where I connect the most with the folks who enjoy watching me create my art, and I am very appreciative of all the support I have gotten from my subscribers. If you haven’t visited my channel, you can jump over there from HERE, or click on my Videos page here at the blog to preview some of my videos.
I started a YouTube challenge of altering a deck of playing cards. I have a bunch of great YouTube creators who have joined in that, and its been a blast to see what they are doing with their altered cards. The hashtag we are using is #ytcardchallenge
Some are posting videos to YouTube and others are posting on Instagram. Here is my latest video for the challenge . . .
I recently opened a Patreon account. I am working with a retiree’s income and replenishing art supplies can be difficult. Patreon will allow me to exchange art work, exclusive videos, and more with my patrons while their pledges will help me replenish my supplies and continue to make YouTube videos for my subscribers as well as exclusive content just for my patrons. I have established three very affordable levels of support, so if you are so inclined, I would appreciate it if you took a look to see if that is something of interest to you. PATREON
Okay, I think I’ve caught you up on the major things that have happened. I will try so hard to be better at bringing you the week-to-week stuff going on and some thoughts about life in the studio and other tidbits of interest. If you are an artist and you would like to be featured here on my blog, please get in touch so we can plan something big together!
PS – If you have a YouTube channel and would like to collaborate, I am always looking for new chances to team up with fellow artists and create some fun projects to share on YouTube!
Is having a studio filled with hundreds of art supplies a good or bad thing? I sometimes look around my art space and think I will never use all this stuff in my lifetime. Other times I think I am fortunate to have been working in the arts for the better part of four decades because I have pretty much everything I could ever need right here. It’s a dilemma. And, it doesn’t stop me from buying more new supplies either.
I began my art journey as an acrylic painter. I loved learning and I jumped in with all I had, buying paint like it was going out of style. I added mediums and substrates and painted for hours at a time. After a few years, I opened a teaching studio stocked with brushes, paints, stencils, mediums, and everything a painter would want to create with acrylics. I taught classes for several years, and when I closed the shop after my son came along, I brought all the left over stock home with me. That was in 1987, and I still have some of those paints in my studio. It’s a pleasant reminder of my beginnings when I pull one of those bottles of paint off the shelf. Sometimes it’s usable, and sometimes it’s dried up and goes in the trash. I’ve switched to other brands and types of acrylics since then…tubes, and Arteza heavy body pouches, fluid acrylics, and some Distress paints. So my shelves are full of acrylics, yet I still buy more!
I designed fiber art for traditional rug hookers for about 20 years, and my painting kind of took a back seat to that for a while. My business was called Folk’n’Fiber, and you’ll find me listed with several publishers and magazines. I did quite well with it, but as with all good things, it came to an end.
Now, I am back in the art studio with renewed fervor, creating mixed media art, cold wax oil paintings, collage and assembly work. I love it all, but boy have my supplies expanded through all of these art niches. I can barely turn around in there these days. Most days, I work in my art journals (I have several going at one time) but usually about once a week, I work on something else that calls to me. Lately, watercolors have taken a front seat and I am practicing a lot. I love my Daniel Smith and 31 Purple Fish paints on cold press paper and also in my watercolor journals. So my shelves and cupboards have quite a stock of watercolor supplies. I had to buy more brushes, of course.
Now, one of my latest obsessions in the studio is working in cold wax and oil paint. Yes, more art supplies! Bowl scrapers, and art boards, and Oiler boilers, and Gamsol, and oil paint of course. But, oh what fun! So freeing and abstract and intuitive, all of which I love!!
So, I ask you…how much is too much? I also added supplies for collage and assemblage work. My studio is full, my heart is happy, so I guess it’s not too much…maybe. It makes if difficult at times to choose which way to go, but having options is a good thing, too. Right? That’s what I tell myself anyway. It makes my YouTube channel interesting, I think. Always something new and fresh to watch.
Is your studio or art space filled to the rafters like mine? Is it a good thing for you? Tell me!
Links are affiliate Amazon links. I do receive a small compensation if you order using those, but it costs nothing additional for you. So if you use them, I thank you! It will help, in a small way, for me to replenish my art supplies!
I don’t plan anything – almost nothing. I have had this Day Runner planner sitting around for about 10 years. I used it very little – I never remembered to write in it, and when I did write in it, I forgot to look at it. Yeah, like I said, not a planner. I very seldom ever plan my art either. I work very intuitively almost all of the time. So, it just made sense to me to upcycle this old planner into an art journal!
I made it up as I went along (no plan.) I just did what came to me as I approached each step. I think it turned out great, and now instead of planning, I can just pull this little journal out of my bag while I am on the go or waiting around for something or someone and journal away.
Here is the YouTube video of the upcycling process. I hope enjoy watching.
So there ya go – if you aren’t a planner either, but you tried and have an old planner laying around, make a journal! I am going to get a heck of a lot more use out of this now! Upcycling makes so much sense to me!
Leave me a comment and tell me what you’ve upcycling lately.
So yesterday, I woke up at 5 am. Tossed and turned but couldn’t fall back asleep. I lay there wondering if I should really get up at 5 am?? Nothing else to do – I could NOT sleep. So I got up, made my coffee and headed down to the studio. I looked around and decided to create a small abstract in a handmade journal. I figured I may as well turn on the camera and film as I went — then I would have a video for my YouTube channel. It was just a little piece to get me warmed up. I loved the way it turned out! Here’s that one – but there is more! It’s only 5am after all – lots of day left to play in the studio!
That felt good! So I decided to create a new cold wax oil painting. My last ones (a series of 4) are still waiting for additional layers, but I wanted something new. I grabbed a piece of Arches oil paper and mixed up a limited palette of orange, Prussian blue, green gold and some white. I love the cold wax process! I just work intuitively, knowing it will become an abstract, so I am not looking for any reality whatsoever. Just playing with color and texture. This one took a little over an hour, and I am keeping it just the way it is. I seldom like a cold wax painting in one session, but this one just spoke to me and said, “I’m done!” And so it is. I also filmed during this creating time, so here is the new cold wax painting video.
Since I was filming, I decided to get ahead on my Fast, Fun Friday videos and I filmed next week’s episode of that, as well. Here’s a sneak peek:
So it was a super productive morning – I got all this done by noon! So what did I do then? I played some more! I am taking a great, online class with Renee Mueller called Les Femmes. It’s available over at jeanneoliver.com. I have really been enjoying this class, working with charcoals and pastels, which are fairly new in my arsenal of art supplies. I decided to challenge myself and create a portrait on black card stock paper. I haven’t worked on black before, so I thought it would be fun to apply Renee’s techniques with it. Yes, another video — why not? I love to share my processes (and sometimes failures) with all of you! So here she is in all her majesty – not! It’s not terrible – I had issues along the way, but I learned a lot about working on black!
So, my arting for the day was done at that point. I had a blast in the studio, jumping from one medium to another. I don’t want to wake up at 5 am every day, but once in a while is okay with me. More hours to make art!
What would you do if you woke up at 5 am? Tell me!