Illustration Friday - Lonely

charcoal on paper
“Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better.” ― Henry Rollins

This weeks IF prompt is Lonely. Feeling inspired? Post your visual version online, visit http://illustrationfriday.com/ and submit your illustration. All sorts of styles & materials are welcome.

Or if you want to simply have a peek at a variety of interpretations, click the link above & poke around.  (While not highlighted the links are working - blogger is just messing with me on color today). 

Isn't it interesting how lonely means different things to different people?  There are a lot of strong (& well phrased) opinions on the topic. Looking around for a quotation today I came across famous folks who love it or hate it, some feel it in a crowd and some only when by themselves. It seems to be a dreaded emotion by many... but then others find it gives them the edge they need to be creative. 

What does "Lonely" mean to you?


We Have Winners


Hooweee - it has been a loooong day. What a fun way to end it, though - music on, cocktail in hand.... and I get to give away free stuff to three (yes, three) lucky winners! So, with help from Random.org - here we go....

CrazyLady from the blog ALMI ART

Chrisy from the blog ArtDecadence aka SophismPress

will each take home 1 fun hand-painted-glow-in-the-dark keychain! Congrats, Ladies!

keychains from SpinYourWorld

And the winner of this vibrant hand-dyed drawstring backpack is.....

Congratulations, Raylee! I know you'll enjoy this super-cute colorful bag!

To the winners: Thanks for entering. I will contact you with instructions for claiming your prizes.

To today's sponsors (yes, three is more than one - see below for details*): Many thanks for sharing such    colorful creations!

To everyone who comment in the last few weeks & entered this great giveaway: Big thank yous & virtual chocolate chip cookies all around! Be sure to pop back next week for a new prize announcement.

                                         *So, how do we have 2 co-sponsors today?*

Last April Scott Stanley's Kickstarter project was featured here. Scott creates & had dyes silk flags, bags, hats and other fabric items. (You can find some of these in his Etsy shop, Spin Your World. & more at the shop's facebook page Included in the April blog post was a random drawing for one of his hand dyed drawstring backpacks.

Mixed media artist, Pat May (find her on Etsy at Whyte & on her blog The Whyte Paper)  won that giveaway! This generous lady not only made a donation to Scott's kickstarter campaign, she also decided to share her colorful prize with a new lucky winner,  making her  the co-sponsor for the random drawing today.

Art Should.....

(Also, I'm running a bit behind - will post the winners of SpinYourWorld's random drawing tonight)


DIY kids - stamped spoon plant markers

This spring several stamped-spoon tutorials were making the Pinterest rounds. I saved this one  for making silver spoon plant markers (from Christina at intimate weddings.com). It seemed like a good project for The Dude  - he does love banging on things. His Dad & Grampa both have green thumbs so plant markers seemed like a good Fathers Day project.

If you want to see this project "done right" click the link to Christina's tutorial in the last paragraph. We tend to wing it, so ours is the quick & dirty version.

First I picked up a couple of dozen stainless steel spoons from the thrift store. (Not as pretty as silver but much more affordable.)  We learned a couple of things - (1) the bigger spoons were easiest to flatten & (2)  spoons marked Oneida were the hardest to work with.

In her tutorial Christina pounded her silverware between boards for a flat even surface. Thor (I mean, The Dude) was having none of that. He wanted the noise! And of course he had to use the biggest hammer.

I'm assisting the master craftsman

For the text, use a letter punch. I think ours came from Harbor Freight. I originally bought it for stamping into leather. By the way, don't use a brass mallet if you do not want it getting dinged up. Fortunately, mine is a cheap-o one.

While not as pretty as the picture perfect pieces we've seen online, these definitely have character!

Next, color over the lettering with permanent marker. We only had a laundry pen, but it did the job and is waterproof.

Then wipe off. Again, we used what was on hand - in this case clorox wipes. 

The ink will stay in the grooves. At this point, I suppose you could treat with spray lacquer but we left them as is.

The kid had fun making these and they were well received by the dads (& our neighbor for her birthday). It is an easy project that I definitely recommend.

If you are looking for something new to try, I have many tutorials pinned on my boards. Find them at http://pinterest.com/artsnark/

And if you haven't entered the latest giveaway, leave a comment on my blog before 7/26 to get your name in the hat. 3 random winners will receive either a hand dyed drawstring backpack or a painted glow-in-the-dark key chain from Spin Your World on Etsy. Click Here for details & to see prizes


Happy Birthday, Gustav Klimt!

Gustav Klimt in Blue Smock by Egon Schiele (private collection)

Have you ever walked into an art exhibition and everything just falls into place? Your world shifts, your jaw drops and time really does stand still, if just for a moment .. and there just aren't enough cliche's to cover it..

Judith by Gustav Klimt

This happened to me years ago in Rome - we were driving around late, taking funky night photos and stumbled upon a show of the collected works Gustav Klimt. And, well, my brains just fell out.

Avenue of Schloss Kamer Park by Gustav Klimt

I didn't "discover" this artist's work until later in life.  In my teens I was put off by the ubiquitous  poster of "The Kiss" in every 3rd (lovesick) girl's dorm room. To be fair this was during my Tom Savini / Jackson Pollock phase.

Adele Bloch-Bauer by Gustav Klimt 

At the time of the Italy trip I was working in antiques restoration and had been learning about the  furniture & decorative pieces of Josef Hoffmann. I'd come across some prints of Klimt's paintings while reading about the Vienna Secession (the " golden age" of arts & crafts in Vienna from 1895 - 1920). While I admired their decorative quality and noted how well the frames complimented the works (they were often designed by Gustav & made by his brother Georg), I was unprepared for the impression original paintings would have on me. (Do you find that certain artist's works are remarkably different, more powerful "live"? The energy just doesn't quite come through in even well reproduce prints? Klimt is definitely in this category)

passport of Gustav Klimt from Klimt.com

Now I am a big-ole Klimt fangirl! Over the years, I have had the good fortune to stumble upon  several Klimt shows. One of these days I will get to Vienna.

If you are looking for some glamour and awe you can find this artist's work in museums around the globe. One of my favorite spaces is the the wonder-filled Neue Gallerie in NYC, which houses the glowing Portrait of Adele Block Bauer among others.

If you are in Vienna this is a great resource  for finding his pieces.

Fish Blood by Gustav Klimt

Right now The Getty in L.A. is featuring a number of his drawings.
Artcyclopedia has a pretty good list of where to visit Klimpt paintings worldwide.

Some fun online sources include:

http://www.abcgallery.com/K/klimt/klimt.html - this one has a list of paintings & where to find them.
Also, click on any photo captions in this post that are highlighted & they will take you to the museum that houses them.

The Bride (unfinished) by Gustav Klimt (private collection)
Oh, I really could go on and on .... about Klimt's love for women (he drew many of them naked before painting their clothes).

Goldfish (to my critics) by Gustav Klimt

... about his irritation with the old-school and the famous "kiss my ass" Goldfish painting

Portrait of Emilie Flöge by Gustav Klimt

... or his life-long relationship with Emilie Floge and the silly "did they or didn't they..." discussions

Malcesine on Lake Garda by Gustav Klimt (destroyed or lost 1945)
... or wonder aloud will any more of "the lost paintings" ever be found....

... and the list goes on... so I'm just going to wave goodnight to anyone still listening and raise a glass to this brilliant creative artist in honor of his birth 150 years ago today.

Gustav Klimt by Madam d'Ora 
Happy Birthday, Mr. Klimt!

(July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918)

Whoever wants to know something about me - as an artist which alone is significant - they should look attentively at my pictures and there seek to recognise what I am and what I want. - Gustav Klimt


Buried Treasure! Do The Work, Stay Out Of The Results

Buried Treasure Collaboration

Artist Seth Apter is again hosting the entertaining Buried Treasure Collaboration. Each year, participants repost a favorite blast-from-the-past write up and then share their links on Seth's blog, The Altered Page.  Click here to check out the list, a fun-tastic variety of interesting reads. 

I don't know about you, but I have a constant struggle with time management. Balancing work, family, domestic duties, etc often leaves little breathing room for creative time. When a few minutes (or hours) are found, it can be too easy to spend it online "social marketing". Suddenly the day (okay, week) is over, the studio is still empty .... and then it is  time to tackle the next round of obligations.

With this challenge in mind, I am sharing the 1st segment of my three part interview with artist & etsy seller Meredith Dada, which originally appeared here March 2010:  

Do The Work, Stay Out Of The Results:
Creating, Identity & The Social Marketing Circle

A couple of weeks ago I was wandering around in the Etsy Forums when the command "Do The Work ....Stay out of the results" made me stop.  This eye-catching post from Etsy seller Meredith Dada is mainly her conversation with another artist about creating, identity & social marketing. It really clicked with some questions I've been mulling over about what it means to be an artist. It seems to have struck a lot of nerves; there are 37 pages of comments.

Meredith is a mixed media artist and self proclaimed "bead-a-holic." She comes from a family of crafters and artists. Always creative, she inherited her grandmother's bead collection years ago and then...  "Everything fell into place for me. I finally feel that I have combined  all of my favorite forms of artistic media into one process... My work has a meditative quality, since each bead is glued into place  one at a time. This process is my time to relax, and recharge"

Meredith will be popping by for visit in the next week or so. Please join us for a chat. We'll be talking about art and creativity, while enjoying photos of her colorful  pieces.  But for now here is her thought provoking forum post:

Do The Work ....Stay out of the results

Sales....Circles...Network....Tweet....Renew...Oh My!I am still  fairly new to this whole world of creating and selling said creations.  Don't get me wrong.I am having a great time learning how to run my  little shop, take photos, network, show in galleries, etc. I did feel a  bit overwhelmed yesterday, so I went to visit an artist friend of mine.  The business side of this process has really been a downer and I needed  David to cheer me up. He is a very successful ceramic artist, but kind  of  a hermit. I arrived at his home studio where he was already sipping  sangria at 10am and glazing a stunning sculpture piece. He is a shy man,  who works in his studio, gardens, goes for hikes, and has a very small  circle of friends. No website, no Twitter, no Facebook, no cell phone! I  pointed these facts out to him and asked him how he promotes himself  without these things, yet still has top galleries showing his work,  collectors, television features, and consistent sales. He pointed out to  me that he also has, a modest house, a used car, and a simple life.

David: "If I wanted to be rich, I made a poor career choice. I do my work, put it in a few places and let it be. It takes time."

Me:  "What if you don't want to be rich, but you want to be able to live and  do what you love, but there is so much competition out there. I feel  like such a small fish in this huge pond. I'm afraid I will never be  seen. I haven't even sold anything yet during this Christmas rush. I've  hardly sold anything period!"

David: "Do the work, stay out of the results"

Me: "What the heck does that mean?"

David:"  You are a small fish, deal with it. Just do your work, do it well and  with integrity. Do the work to please yourself and maybe the rest will  come, maybe not. Maybe you always drive a used car. Maybe you don't sell  and have to work two jobs, so what! You work just to sell...you kill  the spirit!"

Me: "But if I don't sell my work, I don't feel like I can call myself an artist."

David: "What would you say if I told you, You are not a woman?"

Me: "I would beg to differ."

David: " What would you say if I told you, You are not an artist?"

Me: "I would probably be hurt."

David:  "There is your problem! Fact...you are a woman, yes? To say different  would be laughable. You would laugh at my stupidity to say otherwise!  Yet I say you are not an artist and it hurts you because you don't  believe it is fact! If you don't believe how will anyone else believe?  You are too worried about results! Do the work little fish."

I poured myself a large glass of sangria. 

To see the original thread with oodles of comments, click here.   

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you make it back here next week for Meredith's visitIn the mean time check out her
blog meredithdada.blogspot.com 
twitter http://twitter.com/meredithdada
online shop www.meredithdada.etsy.com

For Part 2 of my interview with Meredith Dada CLICK HERE

For Part 3 which includes a tour of her art studio CLICK HERE


Back In 2012 - If you haven't yet entered the 7/26/12 random drawing that I am hosting for SpinYourWorld on Etsy, just leave a comment on my blog before then & your name goes into the hat. 3 winners will be selected to receive either a hand dyed drawstring backpack or handpainted glow in the dark keychain. Click here for photos of prizes


Illustration Friday - Suspend

suspend - colored pencil

IllustrationFriday.com is looking good! Have you visited the updated site yet? If not, trot on over & check out the various interpretations of their new prompt, Suspend.  

Feeling inspired? If so, be sure to share your own piece.


By the way, there is still time to enter the 7/26 random drawing sponsored by Etsy shops Spin Your World and Whyte. There will be 3 winners - prizes include a hand dyed drawstring backpack and glow-in-the-dark painted keychains. Any comment left on my blog before 1 am (EST) on July 26 gets your name in the hat. For details & pics of prizes click here.


Random Tuesday Thoughts - Prophets, Party Games & Peter Parker

After a long a$$ day the anarchy of an RTT kinda hits the spot.

ramona falls - prophet

If you have been around here awhile, you know I was geeking-out all spring waiting for this album. Life has been so crazy that I only just got to enjoy it today.  I have to agree with the talking heads who say that the last Ramona Falls release, Meletric, was much better. But (unlike many of them) I still like Prophet.

On that note.... I have been having troubles with my (dying) computer & i-tunes is acting up again. Adding to that tonight's day-job stuff is taking over my chill/art time so I needed a music mainline to get the graphic design groove on. Decided to listen Prophet on my (yet unused) Amazon Cloud. Here it gets weird: "The cloud" intermingled Nirvana, Goyte & this album - and I'll be damned but it really works! Here is a sample:

What am I messing with tonight? 1st I'm trying to get the word out that a few cases of our new (fall release) party games arrived today. I don't often talk about the day job here, but I am very excited about this new batch of family-style games. The official premiere is in the near future - however we will be sampling them tomorrow at a friend's Independence Day Bash and this weekend DH will be teaching them at the Dice Tower Convention in Orlando.

Keeping with the random - what is up with the new Spider Man movie? I kept seeing previews & wondered WTF?? Seems a bit early for retro, yeah? Before too many Spidey fans get all riled up, I was kinda digging the new Peter Parker in the previews. I'm actually an Andrew Garfield fan & think he has the potential to go to some dark places that Tobey McGuire couldn't pull off.

Web of stories sent me a fun piece of potential churnalism on Stan Lee and Peter Parker the other day. Not really my thing (I am a Dark Night gal, myself),  but here is a link to a captivating interview with the man himself. If you are a fan it is a must-watch for some background on P.P.'s quirks & how nouveau they were at the time.  (problems with the link - I've contacted WOS & hope it gets fixed soon)

Ooh - I have so much more to share but losing my steam (& the kidlet keeps getting out of bed) so I'll call it a night. Time to put the Mom hat on & then get back to work. Best wishes for a wonderful week  ahead & hope all who celebrate the 4th enjoy their Independence Day!


New Art Supplies Store Needs Your Help


Do you make stuff? Are in the Tampa Area?

Do you ever wish your local art store carried the items that you like to use? Or wish you had a closer place to buy creative supplies? Take the Figure 8 Art Supplies Survey now and add your 2-cents before this new shop opens.

From their website:

How Often Do You Shop For Supplies?
Do You Prefer A Specific Brand?
What Location Is Accessible To You?

By completing our online survey, you will have the opportunity to tell us a little bit about yourself and what you look for in an art store.  Your participation will help us decide the inventory of Figure 8 Art Supplies, select the best location, and define our role within Tampa's art community. 

I had the pleasure of meeting the owner, Julie Dilbert, at Jackson's Art on The Water event a couple of months ago (& again at the recent Tampa Bay Etsy Crew planning party at Tampa Upcycle). She is super nice, has some great ideas plus quality suppliers lined up. 

I've  filled out the survey (& am crossing fingers and toes for my neighborhood).  If you want any input on this exciting new venture, pop over to this link and add your suggestions.


On the  aside, if you sell on Etsy and are in the Tampa Bay area feel free to join us at the next meeting at Tampa Upcycle (located inside The Roosevelt 2.0 in Ybor City) on July 25th at 7pm. We will be working on the plans for the August Etsy Party, a vendor and demo event that will be open to the public. If you are on facebook you can RSVP and get directions here.  If not, no worries - just drop me a line and I will get you any info you need.


The Busy Trap

Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done..." - from The Busy Trap by Tim Kreider , NY Times

Enjoyed a "nothing" Sunday (weeding, lots of cooking, walking, playing board games, reading). I've been waffling between feeling guilty & reveling in this day of simply being. Hopefully the batteries have recharged for the week ahead! 

What have you been up to lately? 

By the way, IllustrationFriday's new art challenge is "refresh" - it goes with their new look. Check out the new IF website & see how others interpret this prompt by clicking here. Or, even better, post your own inspired illo & share it on their site!

A final note, if you haven't entered my latest random drawing yet, click here for info. There will be 3 winners this time!