Thursday, January 29, 2015

The one where I start a daily challenge and share the beginnings of my DLP 2015 (Documented Life Project).

I have been on skillshare for half a year, and really have done nothing with it. Well, I decided that was going to change! I took the first leap by taking the class Drawing Daily Monsters with Stefan G. Bucher. If you do not know his work, you really should go to his website and take a look- AMAZING.  In the class he shows you the intricacies of creating a blob using sumi ink and compressed air. Then you must examine your blob and find the hidden monster on the page. He also urges artists to create a challenge to do something everyday-- like make art everyday. Some have taken up the challenge as a 100 day challenge. I know myself and my absolute inability to stick to one thing for that long. SO I have created a 30 day challenge for myself. At the end of the 30 days, I will challenge myself to something else.  I want to use these challenges as a way to sharpen my skills at one particular aspect of art. This challenge of using only black, white, and grey tones is out of my comfort zone. I can see that it will increase my knowledge with shadowing and highlights. I am also using it to stretch my imagination away from the ordinary "girl art" I tend to create. Here are a few blobs before the creatures have appeared.

 I am currently on day 6. These are three of my favorites so far.  Two of them do not have eyes as I have been doing them in bed every night to wind down and I keep forgetting to grab my white pens from the studio.
I get frustrated when something doesn't immediately come out and introduce itself to ome. But I love where it is taking my mind, away from the same old same old. My three boys definitely find these cooler than the girls and mermaids I usually paint.

On the same idea of challenging myself, I have begun two art journals-- YES...Two.  One I have already introduced here on the blog. It is for Inspiration Wednesdays (IW15). It is only a twice a month thing, and is more abstract in thought and design. The second is the Documented Life Project by Art 5. LOVE that IT IS FREE! Every month there is a Theme. Every week there is an Art Challenge and a Prompt. Here are my first 2 entries for the January theme of "The Blank Page and how to Face it."

January 1
Art Challenge: Book Paper
Journal Prompt: Be Your Own Goal Keeper
For this one I tore up all kinds of paper and collaged them down.  I then stamped, gessoed and gel mediumed all over them.  I took some distress inks and sprayed and dripped them and created a really lively colorful background. I liked the prompt-- meaning I should be the one setting my GOALS and then I should be the one to finish them. I black gessoed two area and wrote a quote about that in each space. I then took my black ink pen and decoratively wrote a bunch of my goals all over the page. I like that the background is so busy you have to hunt for them-- it kind of keeps them secretively mine. Making me the KEEPER of my GOALS.

January 10
Art Challenge:  Gesso
Journal Prompt:  “The beginning is always today.” -Mary Shelley
I started out by laying down a printed napkin and covering it in clear gesso. I knew I wanted a quote on the page so I made a really smooth surface with black gesso (loving this stuff). I ran some washi tape between the two- and yes, it is a little crooked.  I decided to break out my Shiva oil sticks and create a bride and groom using them since they don't see a lot of action. I liked the Mary Shelly quote-- but it did not ring home for me. SO I found this one by Fawn Weaver:
"The difference between an ordinary marriage and an extraordinary marriage is in giving just a little 'extra' as often as possible, for as long as we both shall live."
I feel like it coincided with the Mary Shelly quote, because any day is a good day to start thinking that way about your marriage.

So I decided to not get stressed about staying up to task every single week on this journal-- nothing needs to add to my stress. And since I really like working on multiple pages at a time, I created these little white tags. They have the theme, challenge, and prompt written on them.  I keep them wrapped around the envelope in the front of the cover of the journal. When I am ready to work on the next spread the info will be right there waiting. I will also be able to quickly see what "I was going for" when I come back to these pages in the future. 

The one with the girl in the brooch.

 The MATS (Make Art That Sells) assignment for January was all about Edwardian brooches. I was so intimidated by the intricacies of the metal work details and was really struggling with how I was going to show the facets in gemstone. I sketched out a few images, and waited for the information on what the final product needed to be.

The final product needed to be a journal/diary cover still using the idea of the brooches. I sat and stared at my sketches.  I drooled at all the other people submissions to the classroom in Facebook. I kept coming back to this brooch and seeing it like a girl, wearing a fancy headdress. 
So I sketched it out and painted it with my watercolors. I loved it, but I was baffled with how I was going to make a background that complemented the colors and style of the piece, and  was still interesting enough to be a journal cover.
I have a very large abstract painting hanging in my studio that I have been tinkering with for months. I took a few snapshots of various pieces of the painting and decided to try and incorporate it into the background digitally.

  I brought the brooch girl in Photoshop and removed the paper from her background. I brought in the painting, made some adjustments in lightroom and cropped it to be the adequate size for a journal. I then merged the two layers, added a text and binding, and I was done.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The one about Inspiration Wednesday, 1/7/15

I finally was able to create the Inspiration Journal for Donna Downey's class that just started this week. I created it using  some multimedia paper for the main pages, and then used various materials laying around the house to create the "flaps" that are in between all the pages (transparency film, envelopes, thank you cards, tags, and handmade paper). I then Sewed together some scrap fabric and made the cover. 

The first video came out the last Wednesday (while I was at home recovering from a stomach bug) and I was anxious to get started. I run up to the studio and started gathering supplies. Would you believe I do not have ANY letter stencils? I have letter stamps and punches, but no stencils. I was also very concerned because my first" flap" was transparency, which would not do well with any kind of gel medium. When I think of transparency I think of water. So I obviously decided to do something with a mermaid. I decided to use alcohol ink to create a watery texture on the transparency. Donna was mainly showing use of three dimensional texture and glazing technique. I thought this would work well to create a wave like surround for my mermaid logo. I used a sand grit texture for the background and then the heavy gel and my bubble stencil to add some water bubbles around the logo.

I used a teal glaze, then a dark blue glaze, a lime distress stain, and some gold/green gilding paste to bring out the texture of the page.
I have  had all of these mediums for almost two years no and have rarely picked them up. This inspiration Wednesday was just what I needed to pick them up and give them a little play time.

Friday, January 2, 2015

The One with All the Classes

I may be a slight online art class junkie. Here are some of the ones I have taken in the past. The ones with an (*) I am still technically working on or are enrolled in.
*MATS Bootcamp
*Studying Under the Masters
*Studying Under the Masters: Portraits Creative Girl: The Land of Light and Shadows (with Danielle Donaldson)
*Plaster and Wax 101
*Woodland Girls
*Storybooks and Studious Girls (with Danielle Donaldson) 
Draw Happy
Supplies Me
Express Yourself
 *Life Book 2014
 Rainbow Mermaid
 Quirky Birds
 Book Worm Girl
Whimsy Mermaids
Whimsy Fairies
Day of the Dead Workshop

The One Where I Introduce Myself and My Space

My name is Kimberly McKinstry. I am a crafter and artist, foodie, decorator, wife and mom of 3 boys.  On this blog I hope to be able to share my many adventures with you and offer some advice for your endeavors.
I recently built a studio area in my house so that the crafting  supplies were no longer a permanent fixture on the dinner table. The room I took over was a bonus room above our garage. My father, who is so crafty with building things, really helped me put this space together. He built all the cabinets and shelving in this room. I have an area dedicated to jewelry, sewing, relaxing, and painting.  It's a little slice of heaven.

This is my sewing area.
My dad built these very shallow bookshelves to hold some of my paints and mediums that I want quick access to. 

Here is a view of my painting area. You can see my adjustable wall easel that my Dad built, as well as my drawing table with camera mounted on ceiling.  
A closer look at my table.
It is still a work in progress and will change as my needs change. I recently added a cute Ikea rolling cart and a bookshelf to hold all my inspiration books and magazines.