Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Polymer Play

I took another class at Create art retreat in Costa Mesa recently. It was called Brooch the Subject and was taught by the very talented Laurie Mika. I had never worked with polymer clay before this three hour class. Laurie showed us these two construction ideas for our small pieces. She gave us so many creative techniques to use...rubber stamps for texture, acrylic paints applied with our fingers, attaching various doodads. It was so much fun and Laurie was a great teacher.

I was telling Cody, my creative 15 year old friend, about the class and we decided we would get together for a polymer play date. I made the one on the ball chain and Cody made the cup. Didn't she do a great piece?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Journal Style

This past week, I treated myself to a few art classes at Create, an art retreat in Costa Mesa, California. Saturday's class was Sketching and Watercolor, Journal Style with the fabulous Jane La Fazio . I first found Jane through her blog and fell in love with her art. I was so excited to take a class from her. What a talented artist and totally delightful person! Because of how rarely I draw, I tend to struggle with it and then consequently I don't like doing it. Jane created a relaxing environment which made the experience so enjoyable and stress free. She encouraged us to illustrate the props she brought to class by really carefully looking at them. We first drew in pencil, then outlined our image in waterproof black marker (Pitt pens by Faber Castell). Then, using a water brush by Niji, we filled in our illustrations with watercolor. The water brush is a synthetic brush tip and the hollow plastic handle of the brush contains the water you need to use in your painting. It took me a while to get used to the water brush. Okay, I confess, I cheated and also used my traditional paint brush. I found that easier when I wanted to pick up excess water or color from my painting.

In the second half of the class, we were to draw 3 items that related to our day in class. From the props, I chose a ceramic tile and a bird. Then since I had been vacillating between the tradition brush and the water brush, I chose those for my third image to help define my day. Jane nudged us to pick up our pace, which is part of the key in capturing images while journaling. I found the speed really helped to keep my work fresh. This was a very fun class!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Silver Charm Necklace

On occasion I make necklaces and bracelets to sell. I saw ball chains being used to make jewelry at a craft show and got hooked on that approach. I think they look like silver beads and they're much easier to open and close than a regular clasp. The last time I made jewelry was November of 2010 for a trunk show I put on with a couple of friends. I just completed this one at the request of a customer who has purchased my jewelry before. Each piece I make is unique, which is a fun challenge for me as well as being nice for the customer to know they've got a piece that's one of a kind.