Sunday, September 29, 2013

Exploring Portfolio Possibilities & Photo Prompts

During my mini retreat, I discovered a new treasure trove that seemed to come along at just the right time, the inspiring website of UK artist Milliande Demetriou. I've felt a bit stuck lately as I try to put together a more cohesive portfolio. So I stumbled across Milliande's site while looking up information about portfolio creation. Back in January, she started an informal class called CAPI, which stands for Creating Art Portfolio Ideas. 

It's designed to jump in where you are, and to work at your own pace. That sounded perfect, since I didn't discover it until mid-September! The first step is creating SIX...yes six, different portfolios. These are used for a variety of purposes: Gathering ideas and Inspiration, Observational Studies and Experiments, Pondering Ideas, etc. She explains this here and on her Youtube video here

I will admit I'm still trying to get all of these put together, as I'm in the process of moving. But I've already completed some pondering exercises. I look forward to incorporating her lessons to add a bit of fun and a little structure to my day. This is ironic, since Milliande says this in her introduction (which makes me smile):
"TO CLARIFY ::: for those people who know me, I do not WORK in a structured manner ...I do not plan ahead either..."

I joined the CAPI group on Facebook, and she invited me to join her Photography group as well. I'm enjoying the photo prompts particularly. Here are a couple prompts from September:

"Bugs in My Backyard"
photograph critters encountered in your garden/backyard or house 

"Childlike Joy "
take some snapshots of joyful activities that remind you of your childhood

Something about Milliande's spirit is contagious, as well as the lovely people on the groups. The prompts are simple, and yet they are the perfect invitations to help me to be free and live in the moment. The stress of trying to put together a "perfect portfolio" is melting away and the prompts are helping me to loosen up. There are many things converging right now, at just the right time, to propel me into a more satisfying life as an artist and earning a living at doing what I love.  I believe Milliande's world is part of that converging of influences and I'm grateful for her generosity. 

Inspired by the Backyard Bug photo prompt, I snapped some shots over the course of a few days, and added them to my new Behance portfolio. You can view the project here

My grasshopper picture, inspired by Milliande's prompt, is currently for sale on Fine Arts America. Find out more by clicking the picture below or following this link

Grasshopper on Dahlia #1, available at Fine Art America
I encourage you to check out her site. (Please note, the CAPI class is no longer active on Ning, but you can still connect with the links I've mentioned in the entry above.)

Artfully yours, 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My First Mail Art Swap via Creative Dream

Hello again! 

Over the years, I've enjoyed participating in several swaps, including paper art and ATC's. But I've never had a chance to create a piece of mail art like some of the yummy ones I've seen on Pinterest and around the Web. 

I stumbled upon the beautiful art blog of the talented June Crawford (don't you just *love* that name?) called A Creative Dream. I saw her badge for a Mail Art call, and I immediately signed up! 

I've been in a creative funk for quite a few months. I'm currently re-taking a class called Unlocking the Heart of the Artist which has helped me flow again. And I've been taking steps to make art a priority instead of allowing all the other distractions in my life. One thing that has helped was starting small. I wasn't going to freak out and try to fill a large canvas when I haven't been in practice. But I wanted the satisfaction of working on smaller projects that could be finished in a few hours. Mail art seemed like the perfect choice to get those creative juices flowing! 

My time came two weeks ago when I was did a bit of housesitting for my brother-in-law and take care of his urban chickens. The ladies in the henhouse weren't much of a hassle, and so I had a delicious amount of quiet time and a cool, inviting house all to myself. 

Cluck! Cluck!

I knew I wanted to use a quote, so I chose this favorite by Shakespeare. I used a heavy gel to build up the textures on the postcard and add some depth. The butterflies have a 3-D effect. I spent hours adding layers of paint, and enjoyed using pearlizing medium to give it a sheen. I wanted it to look shiny like it had freshly rained and the clouds were parting. I also used Sharpie markers on top of some areas of paint, and enjoyed how they appeared metallic when used over metallic acrylic paint. The sunshine had a jewel effect that I'd love to recreate on a larger canvas. Here is the finished result:

"Love Comforteth Like Sunshine After the Rain" ~ Shakespeare
I always notice additional surprises in my work after they are finished that were totally unintentional. In the postcard above, you see the sun shining brightly at the top left. But if you turn the card upside down, it looks like purple thunderclouds raining down! There also appear to be stars shining in the sky, a bit of a contrast between the day and night happening. The blue raindrop above the word rain is actually a paper butterfly wing. I continued painting layers on in until it ended up turning into a raindrop. I kind of think of it as a large teardrop as well. The Victorian lady looking in the mirror came from some gift wrap I had. She feeling the sun shining down on her lovingly. I like to think that she went through some darkness and depression, but now she's finding hope and love....the cloud is lifting! This is how I felt when I painted this piece. I felt the depression lift and I had courage to work on more pieces of art during my restful retreat. 

I will share updates soon.

Artfully yours,


Hello Creative Lovelies~

Thank you for stopping by my new blog. I'm a mixed media artist from Indianapolis, IN with a passion to ignite the spark of creativity in others. I encourage artists and share about topics of art and faith on my website and Facebook group, Creative Currents. 

Why another blog?

I wanted a different format for sharing my mixed media art and digital photo creations. I also want to link with other fab websites in blogland and participate in swaps, art challenges (daily/monthly/yearly), and other fun stuff. While my other blog sometimes gets a bit deep and serious with musings on art and faith or my poetry, I wanted a place to share with a lighthearted, happy atmosphere where I can chat away about all the "beautiful messes" I'm creating and experimenting with in my studio. 

Stay tuned for more!

Artfully yours,