Finally! I know, I know it - you guys are saying 'what the heck took this girl so long with the Oil Pastel Tiplets?'. Well, here they are. Before reading further - it's important to say three little words to yourself. This. Is. Fun. Just in case you thought you were in college or being graded or tested or interviewed for that spot next to PICASSO - YOU ARE NOT. This is strictly for fun and for stretching your mind and remembering what it's like to have fun with colour.
My goal here: to get you to create something with your own fingers, perhaps in a medium you are unfamiliar with - TO REMIND YOU THAT THERE IS AN ARTIST IN US ALL. Let's go wake her up.
Okay. Quick introduction to Oil Pastels... They are vibrant, passionate suckers that are really kinda fun once you get over the fact that you're GONNA GET MESSY. No joke - it takes me a good 10 minutes of playing with these guys before I can relax into it and remember how much I like it. You're going to get oil pastels under your fingernails. You're going to get in on your table and perhaps on the floor (and if that floor is white carpet, you're screwed - sorry). You're gonna be frustrated for a while - because they don't always DO WHAT YOU WANT... don't fight it - go with it. NOTE: Finishing an oil pastel piece can be done in a few different ways... you can go to the art store and get a shellac type product to harden and preserve your work OR you can TAKE IT TO A PROFESSIONAL to have it taken care of and framed. I'm not too fussy about preserving my art... for me - art is a moment and moments last forever in my heart - not my hands. BUT. Another great way to cost&time-effectively preserve these buggers is to secure a piece of clear acetate over the creation with cool brads, tape, staples, ribbons, threads - whatever is your stick-together of choice. Be creative. As long as the oil pastel is under something protective - it's pretty safe. Be forewarned that unprotected (preserved) the oil pastels will rub off or onto whatever they are next to including photos, other artwork, clothing, pets, walls and other things you might not like to have messed up. You have been warned.
Alright - let's get to know oil pastels. This is just to get you started. Remember, I'm the Goodwill Ambassador of Pencil Crayons, Watercolour pencils, and NOW OIL PASTELS! I'm not an expert or a teacher or even a little bit worried doing anything by the books. I'm sure you have a set of these badboys somewhere in your craft room and now it's time to get friendly with what you might have been afraid of before.
Step 1: Get the goods. Go find your oil pastels - you probably already have some. It doesn't really matter what kind you have. I have about 7 different brands and as you can see - one of these boxes cost me a whopping $1.50 (CANADIAN!!). Go on - do it right now. *This is the first art medium I remember being given by my mom. She had a box that she didn't use - and I HAVE THE SAME SET today.
Step 2: It's all good - and what I mean by that is IT REALLY IS. If you're getting ready to CREATE SOMETHING then you're 60% there already. I couldn't find a pencil so I grabbed a ball point pen. Look how technical I am!! I had chip board within reach instead of canvas or scrapbook paper - so I'm using that. GRAB something.
Step 3: Draw anything. For this - keep it simple. Oil pastels are harder to do fine work (at this stage anyways) so just keep it simple and forgiving and open. Don't start with the Eiffel Tower. Don't set yourself up to get frustrated. I'm going to working on two pieces in this Tiplet. A lemon. And SURPRISE, SURPRISE - a pear! Try it.
Step 4: Lighten up, Larry. Seriously. This is where everybody freaks out. Don't freak. Don't say OR EVEN THINK - I can't do this. Because if you think that - YOU'RE RIGHT. Because I'm using chip board and it's a darker colour - I'm going to laydown some white because that will make my colours stand out and pop a little. Be loose.
Step 5: Block in colours. After I get the white where I want it - I throw down some base colours in the backgrounds. I like messy - SO I AM MESSY. You can be whatever you like. You can call me Miss Messy and I will still like you.
Step 6: Keep going. Yup. Dont' give up yet. Just keep adding and moving the colours. You will find that the oil pastels might bond together once it gets too thick for the tooth of the paper - and it might LIFT or SLIDE off. Bummer. It will leave a bit of a space in your colour. This happens. No worries. The greater the tooth in the paper (ie watercolour paper or canvas) the less this will happen. PLAY with it. It's not the end of the world OR the end of the drawing.
Step 7: MORE! This is where I start to add the accent colours... like a wee bit of black. I like to add contrasting colours as accents. NOTE: at this time - if you are using less compatible colours together (ie purple and orange or red and green for example) they might be mixing up to create an ass-like hue. Just keep an eye on what you're mixing... and stick to the colours that make lovely-to-you combinations.
Step 8: Use colours to blend. When the piece is getting more saturated - I start to use the pastels to blend the colours and create some nice textures. I LOVE the thick bits and the shavings. I think that's really sweet. You might not - go with what feels GOOD. Don't be afraid to put it on THICK. Experiment. You can blend it with your fingers. You can blend it with a tissue (clean-blenders!). You can blend it with whatever you've got hand... remember - NO RULES. Just do.
Step 9: grab a pencil! I love this part. I used an H lead pencil for this step (because it was handy). I drew my borders and lines that I wanted... I added a bit of a pattern. I also added some details and of course - some words to remind me of my thoughts during this exercise. Not too sure why I used these words - but, that's what came out - so that's what it is.
Basic, but still beautiful. I love these colours and I really like that AGAIN - the outcome is a little unpredictable... you've gotta loosen up and just let the oils do the magic that they do.
Good luck with that!
This is Debbie the polar bear. She's the oldest living polar bear in captivity. She's 38 and she's my favourite resident of the zoo... I love polar bears and I can identify with her in some ways. There's a solitary feeling to painting - solitary and still peaceful. That's what I think of when I see Debbie. Love this colour palette, too. SO inspiring.
It's Wednesday and it's STILL RAINING! Gadzooks. This will be a short post because I have a long list of things to do (including finishing up the Oil Pastel TIplets!). Bonnie and I walked our 5 miles this morning. I just had three bowls of Captain Crunch and I'm off for a HOT SHOWER, a hot cup of coffee, and I'm off to the races. Go!
GO AWAY RAIN. Come again another day.
These are pictures of life these days under a very heavy cloud of rain. Rain, rain, rain. To tell you the truth, I was feeling pretty bummed about the whole soggy mess until a painting of some very cool yellow rubber boots popped into my mind this morning. That just might be where I'm headed this afternoon. I love the colours in the deck behind these cool adirondaks.
The pics from today's post are all shot with my point & shoot Olympus 720. It's a very small, very powerful little 7MP pocket camera that is waterproof and shockproof. It's also unpredictable and unreliable... It's only saving grace is being able to throw it off a cliff or into a kayak or to the bottom of a pool (all of which we have done) - and still get a shot. I say a shot - but, I can't guarantee it will be good. This is my action-jackson camera that I thought would replace my Canon Elph... Besides being TOUGHER than the Elph - it costs MORE and doesn't even compare.
Yesterday's pictures were shot with my Canon Rebel XTi using the 50mm fixed 1.8 aperture lens. This lens is very fast and very fun... hardly a bad shot with this little $100 investment. Best value.
I love Canon cameras. I've never had a bad one. Give me my Canon, my Jeep, my Keens, my Silver jeans, my Prismacolors, my North Face vest... and you've got me pretty summed up - brandwise. Hey - on a day like today - throw in a Chai Latte from Starbucks and I'm set for life.
Today: I have another meeting with the Movement Centre. I
love need to volunteer. I like to give back. I feel like I can help these guys with some marketing materials and time and - I'm just a whole lot happier if I can be contributing to something good and I think the Movement Centre is a really, really good place. I'm having lunch with Tammy. I'm heading to Tiber River in the afternoon with Bonnie (if they can fit us in... please Michelle!!).
I'm going to start it all off with a hot shower to lose this chill and off I go. Lots to do today and lots of good reasons to be doing it.
You, too.... Let's GO!
The weekend was excellent. We headed to the Lake of the Woods on Friday night and although it was much, much too cold and rainy for me to fish on Saturday - Dan got out on the lake with his friend Mike Puchniak. Snow, rain and fishing don't mix for me - and I was happy to be sitting by a warm fire relaxing. Thanks for the beautiful time!
We made it back yesterday to put out time-together in high gear. We relaxed and ran errands and did grocery shopping and napped in the sun on the deck together. Perfect Sunday. We decided to change it up and make some fancy food for dinner and we decided on Rachael Ray Chicken Burger with fennel, regiano cheeses, rosemary, and orange peel. Man. It was good. Made the day - JUST PERFECT.
We live in the nicest neighborhood in Winnipeg for walking. Wolseley. So - we've been making a walk part of our evening routine and I finally remembered my camera to catch a few pics of some of my favourite blossoms.
It was a great weekend. Happy Birthday to Bonnie (it was yesterday!). I thought it was this Thursday - oooops!
Today: I have 3 major projects to complete this week. I have painting on deck. I have an Oil Pastel Tiplet that I'm going to post at some point this week
and I'm going to make this a productive and positive ending to the month of May.
I feel ready to rock.
There are thunderstorms on the way... so let's GO!
Lo and behold - this morning on my walk with Bonnie (thank you Bonnie, I needed that especially today!) a few light and fluffy flakes of snow made an appearance. Wow! It's amazing how quickly I forgot about snow. It's turned to rain by now - but, it was a bit of a 'hey, don't forget about the bigger picture' wakeup call. Seems like I forget a little bit about the weather and its power when it's not dictating my every move. My apologies!
Thank you, snow (and now you may please go away until October or November).
I didn't make any headway with the dudes at Prismacolor yesterday, but TODAY IS A NEW DAY. I have hatched a new strategy and off I go with that. Wish me luck!
Today: I have a magazine to get to the printers this morning. There are some packaging adjustments to the Lucky Dog Biscuits boxes as well as some stuff for Tiber River Naturals. I'm going to tackle all that - try to get to an oil pastel piece in the afternoon, go to a meeting with Michelle & Adriana of Tiber River around 2pm and then Dan and I are taking off to the lake for the weekend with some friends. Crash, too. To go fishing. Oh my.
Man, THIS was a fast week!
Morning. I don't drink a lot of coffee. In fact, I didn't start drinking it at all until I was 24. But, today is one of those days I need a kick. Tim Horton's is a Canadian standard. Without opening too much of a debate - I bought my Tim's this morning after I dropped off Rocket the Red Doberman at her house and I had a moment of CANADIAN PRIDE (and a sip of good old-fashioned coffee. Three cheers for Tim's.)
I like Canada. I love being Canadian. Three Cheers for Canada.
These flowers are so beautiful. My sweet husband bought these for me last night at a fundraiser dinner we were lucky enough to attend. (Thank you, Dan.) It's been a bit gloomy here over the past few days - rain - so any chance to spruce the place up is FINE BY ME. I love fresh flowers. Oh my goodness, who doesn't?
I was particularly fond of the flowers this morning because it seems like over the past few days - a couple of ideas have really blossomed. BLOOMED. I love that - when you have a thought that mulls for a bit and then VOILA - it figures itself out. Three cheers for that, too.
Both images here use Donna Downey's new script font. Find them here - and buy them. Come on - they are $2. That's cheaper than CHEAP (Donna, you GOTTA raise your prices).You'll find use for them - they're fun. I am a font critic if ever there was one - and I just might start posting font reviews, but - when I make a little more time! Three cheers for Donna.
Three cheers for Crash the best dog in the world. He had semi-emergency surgery yesterday to remove a cancerous lump on his leg. He's all frankenstein stitched and drugged today... but, hopefully they got it all and my little-best-friend will be okay.
Today: Bonnie and I already walked a brisk 5 miler. Nice! Now, I am chugalugging my coffee and then buckling down to GET WORK DONE. I have found myself with MORE WORK than life this week - which what I avoid most of the time... seriously. Yes, I do. Life is WAY more important than work. But, if I stop yakking and get on it - this will soon be the smoother sailings I'm used to. PRISMACOLOR is on the top of my list of challenges today - I want to talk to the BOSS there. I have an idea. I'm going to watch the rain for a bit. I'm making another batch of homemade DOG FOOD from the recipes posted on the LuckyDogBIscuits Blog. Three frickin's cheers here, too!
I am going to TACKLE today (with the help of this yummy coffee) right in the face and GO. You GO, too.
PS. Three cheers for YOU if you're reading this. Oil Pastel Tiplets are up next and I'm going MAKE this a wonderful day. Word. Word to the wonderful day.
Look. This past weekend (including Monday) was a long weekend in Canada. The May Long Weekend. Dan and I adventured up to Victoria Beach for a little R&R and time with Jacquie & Eric. It was awesome. It was a little rainy. It was just what we needed. Thanks guys. Look.
I am so pumped about the number of people up for the 1+1+1 challenge. It's gonna change your life. It's good and I'm not challenging you TO MAKE MYSELF FEEL GOOD. I'm challenging you because I believe it will make a difference in your life.
A couple of questions came up from the challenge:
1. Do I have to create a journal? NO. No, you do not. The idea is to create SOMETHING in hopes of adding to the intention's creation. Maybe a single page. Maybe a shoebox. Maybe a decorated envelope. Maybe a piece of scrap paper. Anything. Paint your shoes. Paint a picture. Bake a cake. CREATE anything. If you don't know where to start - start with a piece of paper and go from there.
2. Why do I have to create something? Why can't I just write a letter? You can do anything you want. I thought it would be cool to create with words (your letter) and create with images (less tangible thoughts). BUT, YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU WANT - it's your future. Make your own rules.
3. Do I have to share it on my blog or with others? Heavens no. Share - or do not share - as you wish. This really, really is something that you do for YOURSELF. This is FOR YOU. Put your heart on the line - write like you are already living your dreams. Be brave.
4. How come I feel scared by this challenge? Being scared by this is normal - totally normal. I found it a little scary because instead of just plodding along taking what I get - this challenge is ASKING ME WHAT I WANT. It's ASKING ME TO OWN THOSE THOUGHTS. Yeah - that's frickin' SUPER SCARY. That's why it's such a good excerise. It's okay to be scared - it gives you an opportunity to be BRAVE.
Big shout out to Donna & Bill Downey for getting at the challenge right away. It's BEAUTIFUL. I love. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that you did it together. That's totally awesome. Triple Arm Pump to the two of you. AND eventhough I don't know what it is - I'm rooting for everything you wrote about. I'm rooting for EVERYTHING you all write about.
If you're still on the fence about giving this a try - the challenge is posted below - and it will make a difference in your life. I THROW DOWN THE GAUNTLET AND challenge you. Go.
Today: Tidying up. Laundry. Crash has to go to the vet. Rocket the Red Doberman is here for the day. It's raining. I have 6 new summertime books. I have 3 paintings on the go. I have WORK to do, too.
Alright - let's GO.
Long post - get coffee.
A few weeks ago I was invited to join a scrapbookers Circle Journal (Yes, Chrissy - that was you). Basically, a bunch of artists create their own scrapbooks with many empty pages and them mail them to the next person on the list - who then completes the next page in the book. Then they mail it to the next person... and so on.
Since I'm a self-proclaimed non-scrapbooker I figured if I was going to do this - I better do a good job. I better BRING IT HARD like a renegade non-scrapbooker should. But, nothing came to me.
And then it did. I read a good book called the Art of Possibility (Zander & Zander) and I learned about a similar idea that worked for symphony students. The more I thought about the process - the more it captured me. THIS IS FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT... but it worked ON ALL LEVELS. The more I figured a way for it to work for the Circle Journal - the harder it GRABBED my attention. When the thoughts and lines began to gel - I got REALLY JAZZED about this - I change it a bit - and morphed it into something THAT it turns out I never knew I would be SO PASSIONATE about.
I CHALLENGE YOU TO DO THIS.
And if I may be so bold - in the spirit of writing a better future for this world, for ourselves, and for our futures...
I challenge Ali Edwards.
I challenge Donna Downey.
I challenge Claudine Hellmuth.
I challenge Martha Stewart.
I challenge Elsie Flannigan.
I challenge Stacy Julian.
I challenge Oprah.
I challenge our leaders.
I challenge the dudes in suits.
I challenge all STAY AT HOME PARENTS.
I challenge Dan Kostenchuk.
I challenge the little girls at the end of my street.
I challenge everyone AND ANYONE who reads this blog... YOU - the accountants, and lawyers and mothers and cousins and friends and FATHERS.
You don't need to be an artist or a writer. If you've got a future in mind - if you've got HOPE - why not open the channel of possibility to make it what you dream of.
Here are some pics of my circle journal... (Kim it will land in your hands on Tuesday and it is up to you to write your future).
So that's it. NOTHING FANCY. (It's got the chipboard stuck-on-painted-over letters that Ali taught me about in Vancouver.) You don't have to make a book. You don't have to do anything really, but PLEASE think about who you will be in one year and one month and one day from now. How will you and your life change in 396 days?
Today is May 18, 2007. My letter is dated June 19, 2008. Oh, how my life will be different. My image is a cucumber - because I see myself on that date - being calm and cool and taking it all in and loving my life. I put some serious details and wishes in my letter. I was bold and believing. I put it all out there.
You can do this, too. Tell 3 people to tell 3 people...
and let's GO.