Artistic Inspiration

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Looking for a diy craft project or maybe an instructional art lesson to liven up your free time? Here are a few of my favorite art instructional blog posts to inspire you!
What are some of your favorite art projects?

Before there was soap. Handmade cards and other paper crafts.

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Around the time I started selling soap on etsy during beta in 2005 I was also selling handmade note cards. They were my first big “sell” before I finally switched over to selling only bath and body products. At that time I had a huge paper fetish and was always on the look out for interesting scrapbooking papers. It was also around the time I first discovered ACEO’s. So my first note cards were of designs I created from collages using various papers. My owls series was my favorite.
Everyday Birds Note Cards
These are my Everyday Bird Note Cards. I sold these in packs of four with one of each design. These actually came after my Seasonal Bird Note Card Set which you can still see on etsy from a sold transaction in 2008. The owl with the blue snowflake and mittens was always my favorite.
Valentine Note Card Set
My final collection in the owl series note cards was for Valentine’s Day and featured two different cards of owls in love. One card featured an owl delivering a love letter while the other was of two owls kissing in front of a giant heart on a branch. All of my card sets came in sets of four with envelopes and sold for $6 each. I also sold a Siberian Husky note card set in the same style.
Tree Art Collage Print
In addition to note cards I also created and sold art prints. My most popular was the one featured above titled “Tree Art Collage.” I also sold another similar art work called “Autumn Dreams.”
The closet I ever got back around to making prints after the collages was with a few ACEO’s in 2008 that I made from marker but never sold.
Husband ACEO
This ACEO was a portrait of my now ex-husband. I actually described this one as “An original art card created from pencil and ink. Check out the husband in his happy blue eyeglasses. Everyone hates him because he has curls to die for.” And then I also drew one I called “Shiny Red Boots.”
My favorite love however is photography. Unfortunately, because I loathe product photography so much – mostly because I suck at it – my photo skills have fallen by the way side and I’ve lost interest in artistically photographing interesting subject matter. My favorite photograph in recent years, though, has to be the following.
Orchid
I took this photograph of an orchid one afternoon downtown on my local farmer’s market – the Roanoke City Market – on an unusually warm day in February. The soft sky background which is almost turquoise in color is actually the backdrop of the awnings we had to protect ourselves from the sun and weather while selling. I love how the orchid looks so strong and yet so delicate at the same time. This shot was taken with a Digital Canon Rebel XT and was not altered in any way.
Recently I purchased some chalk pastels and did a few sketches with those, but other than that I haven’t done anything artistic lately other than to play with soap and spend time writing for my blog. You can see my pastel chalk drawings of a hamster and Cockatiel here and drawings of the now defunct Roanoke band Earndheart, a fox, and a barn owl here.  I’m really hoping to have the chance to play around with my new watercolors before the year is out.
What about you? Do you have any artistic endeavors? And if so, what’s your favorite medium?

It’s all about the love.

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New drawings from my sketch book. All artwork is 5″x7″ and drawn using Prismacolor NUPASTELS hard chalk pastels.
The band, Earnhardt, plays Blues BBQ where it’s all about the love. Left to right: Jeremiah Rhodes (drums), Jesse Ray Carter (guitar), and Shaun Dickerson (bass.)
Fox in the woods.
Barn owl.

New scenes from the sketchbook.

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Today I dragged out my old box of chalk pastels. There were a lot of tiny nubs to contend with and it was messy as can be, but I had simply forgotten how much I LOVE drawing with these things. My favorites are PrismaColor NUPASTEL. They are just amazing. The effect is very much like a painting but without the drying time. I threw together two sketches this evening before I went out spent my last couple of bucks on a new box of pastels and some workable fixatif. I was using hairspray – which is way cheaper and probably just as effective – but I’m not thinking my mom would be happy if I used up all of her hairspray on drawings.
First up I drew this awesome little hamster. My brother had hamsters as a kid. I had gerbils. At one point my gerbils had so many babies I was selling them as snake food. My brother on the other hand had to experience the tragedy of  one of his hamsters eating his hamster roomie’s head off. This is that fearful hamster before the attack… Okay. Maybe not. But I will never forget that crazy, evil hamster that scared me off those things for good.
Next up I drew this baby Cockatiel. I had one of these for many years and raised it from a baby. It was so young in the beginning I had to hand feed it.
So anyway, now that I have new chalk I imagine I’ll be wasting a lot of time drawing tonight. I really should be making more lotions, but… Sometimes you just have to play!

Excercising my pencil.

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I’ve been in the need of a little creativity lately to keep me occupied. So when I found the book Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun (Lab Series) by Carla Sonheim, it was like fate. It has a year’s worth of awesome, mostly non-traditional drawing exercises to inspire creativity and make drawing fun. Here are a few of the exercises I’ve done so far.

  Draw 30 cats. Take it further and paint your favorite. Media: Watercolor pencils.

Sad kitty. Media: Watercolor pencils.

Alley cat. Media: Watercolor pencils.

(Left) Blind contour giraffe. Draw a giraffe without looking at the page you are drawing it on. Media: Marker, Watercolor pencils. (Right) Imaginary creature. Turn paint splotches into an animal shape. Media: Watercolor pencils.

Draw with India Ink straight from the dropper. Blot then color. Media: India Ink, Marker.

Draw a dog. Media: Watercolor pencils.