Thursday, July 13

Process Video: Watercolor Cooper

Here's my very first attempt at a realistic (non cartoon-y) watercolor!  I've always loved custom pet portraits, but never thought I'd be able to create one myself.  I'm not sure if it's the #100dayproject keeping my limber and giving me courage, but last weekend I thought I'd give it a try.  

This sweet dog Cooper belonged to one of my dear friends, and his unexpected passing broke all of our hearts.  I wanted to do something to remind her that he was special and will be missed by all. 

I will probably attempt a few more portraits before gifting her with the final piece, but I wanted to share my process to encourage others to try new things.  

Practice makes progress.

Wednesday, July 12

Process Video - Abstract Cat with Acrylic paint

After a year-long hiatus, I finally set up my studio lights and recorded one of my art journaling sessions last weekend!  I'm not sure why I've been reluctant to record my process lately, but now that shaken the cobwebs and relearned my editing process, I'm hoping to do this more often :)

Here is one of my projects from the #100DayProject I've been participating in on Instagram.  The art journal I'm using is the large Dylusions journal (my fav!) with a coating of gesso applied/dried beforehand.  The paints used are mostly Golden Acrylics (fluid and heavy body).

Thanks for watching! Cheers, Steph

Tuesday, June 6

100 Days Project: 1-50

A couple of months ago I decided to take on an Instagram challenge that I had spied on a few artist profiles: #100DayChallenge.  There are many different variations of this challenge, as it can be tailored to accommodate any activity to complete for 100 consecutive days.

I decided upon completing an art journal entry every day, as it was always something I struggled with doing consistently.  Over the years, I'd pick one up, dabble for a couple of days and lose interest shortly thereafter.  No matter how much I loved the idea of art journaling, I just couldn't seem to be able to commit to it.

I'll be honest.  When I began this challenge, I didn't think I'd last a single 7 day stretch.  However, I couple of days into it I decided that I wanted to set myself up for success, and so I included a total of 3 art journals into my rotation: a Large Dylusions journal, a small Dylusions journal, and a sketchbook.

You see, I know myself.  I needed to have some flexibility, especially on days when I wouldn't always have the time, or even feel like pulling my supplies to create.  This way, I could sketch something quickly with my Stabilo pencil and still feel like I accomplished the daily task.

As I type this, I'm on day 63 of the challenge and I haven't missed a day yet.  I feel like I've grown so much, in such a short period of time.  I've never created this consistently before, so I notice the change in my creative practice: I'm using my supplies, finishing up those online classes, and practicing using ideas and techniques I've learned from those classes!  Finally!

I'm loving the daily practice, and how it's given me confidence to try new things in my art journey.  I have a feeling once I've completed the 100 days... I may start another challenge to keep my momentum going.

Please visit my instagram account for all of daily posting!

Monday, May 8

Today I'm up on the Scrapbook & Cards Today Blog with this layout of our Summer Girl!  I was asked to highlight a tip and/or technique, and since I'm a fairly simple scrapbooker I decided to write about the journaling stamping I do on almost all of my layouts!

Come on over and check it out!

Thursday, February 16

Funky Bird! Art class with Jodi Ohl

Ahhhh yes, the funkier the better!  I've always loved whimsical, quirky and colorful animals.... the further away from realism the better!  Animals that are created from my imagination are what I enjoy painting, so this "Dirty Flirty Birds" mixed media class by Jodi Ohl is right up my alley!

I love her style and her process, so this is one of a few of her art classes that I've taken over the last couple of years.

This piece is a 6x12, created using acrylics, bleeding art tissue paper, Faber Castell Pitt Pen and of course my trusty Fineliner filled with black fluid acrylic paint.

I've just purchased another of Jodi's DVD downloads calls "Zen Painting", so I can't wait to dive into practice this weekend!  Abstracts are so much more difficult than you think they are to create, so I'm really looking forward to watching Jodi's process.

When I take art classes such as these, I don't mind painting following the artist's style to the letter with my beginning practice.  Over time, I begin to develop my own style and although you can see the class influences, they become more of an original piece.  (already, after only a couple of paintings, I've incorporated my preferred googly, lidded eye)

As long as I give credit to the artist with whom I've taken inspiration from, and not profit from the pieces that I've created while trying to find my style within their teachings.... I see no issue with copying their work as I develop and learn.

Just my 2 cents :-)


ps  I'm not affiliated with Jodi, I just love her work and her classes!

Thursday, January 19

Winston: I like what I like...

It doesn't matter what kind of media I keep trying.... my love for all things watercolor always wins. I dabbled into oil painting this week, and although I LOVE the texture, I'm still not convinced it's something I want to continue with going forward.  (I'll have photos up on the blog in a couple of months once the paintings I created dry... hello impasto addict! LOL)

Watercolor is just so immediate.  I also love how unpredictable it can be when you paint like I do: messy.  It's just my thing... and one of these days I may stop trying to find the next new media for me and just accept that I "like what I like" and there isn't anything wrong with that ;-)

Meet Winston... all black and white tuxedo kitties I paint are named Winston.  Named after a friends kitty, who was the most lovable, butt slap lovin' fella.  He is missed.


Wednesday, January 18

Studio Calico: Far Far Away Kit Cards

These were two of my favorite stamp sets from Studio Calico, and I'm so happy I finally dug them out and put them to use!  The fruit set was from one of their kits: Far Far Away and the cactus set was from  Life.Love.Paper set that is no longer available (shucks! It's so cute!)

The fruit cards were stamped, colored with Copics, fussy cut and adhered with pop dots for dimension... and the houseplant was stamped directly onto the card using a masking technique.

I'll let you in on something: the little heart on the above pineapple wasn't planned!  It was a coloring error that I had to figure out how to correct!  I love happy accidents!  I may not have thought about adding the heart if it wasn't for that mistake, and I think it really brightens up the card!

Embrace your mistakes, and make the best out of them... they help your creativity grow!

Tuesday, January 17

Midnight Sketchbook Practice

I've been trying to get better with my daily practice, and I've noticed a trend in my behavior: midnight scribbles before bed!  On the days when I haven't had time to sit down and create, I find myself picking up my sketchbook and laying down a few marks before going to sleep.

They are usually quick and messy, and end up being favorites!  Maybe not anything that I would share or hang on the wall, but that's not what they're meant for anyway :-)

Keeping loose with my marks is such an important practice.  One that I never realized was so important until I actually started doing it and noticed improvements and growth with my drawings (I only started doodling/drawing a couple of years ago!).

Give it a try!  You may surprise yourself as I did!

Monday, January 16

It's not ALL about the cats.... Ahem

I know, I know... It may seem like I'm going off-script here with a couple of dogs!  I realize many folks either identify as either a cat lover or a dog lover, however I'm actually a well rounded animal lover! 

I grew up with dogs, and absolutely love them to bits!  Cats are newer to me, adopting my first in my early 20's.  They quickly became an obsession, and the Crazy Cat Lady behavior has been ongoing for 20 years! 

I've been trying to incorporate more dogs into my daily drawing practice... so here are a couple of my recent favs!

Friday, January 13

Messy Calico: Fast, Intuitive Painting

One of the things I love to do is fast, intuitive painting.  These are SUPER QUICK sketches in ink and watercolor.  They only take a few minutes, and often end up being some of my favorite pieces since I didn't over think things.

I love doing them to loosen up in my sketchbook, and warm up with my supplies.  They are also something that I dive into just before I go to bed on days when I didn't have the time to be creative.

Taking 5 min to loosen up helps keep my daily practice fresh and satisfies that urge to make something.  (If I don't, the ideas running around my head can keep me up at night! hehe)

Give it a try, just put pen to paper and see what you create! You may surprise yourself :-)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 12

Watercolor + Fineliner: My New Fav!

One of the latest tools I've been using to outline my paintings is a Fineliner filled with Golden Fluid Acrylics.  It's not quite as messy and unpredictable as using my ink+bamboo pen, so depending on my mood, it's a great alternative!

It can still give me an imperfect look though if I outline quickly (and I prefer this).  I get nervous when I'm about to outline something, mainly because it's the last step in my process, and I can wreck something completely if I'm not paying attention.  There have been a few pieces scrapped after an outline gone awry!

The Fineliner gives me a bit more control, and I really like the look.  Since I'm using acrylic paint, it always has a different (and raised) texture against my watercolor paint, and that can be a nice detail depending on the look you're going for.


Wednesday, January 11

Cards: PaperSmooches Forest Whimsy Gnomes!

Gnomes have always been a favorite whimsical character of mine.  I'm still looking for the perfect ceramic one to put in our garden (much to my husband's dismay ha!)

This stamp set by Papersmooches is adorable and I just loved making these cards.  They are colored with my Copics, fussy cut and then pop-dotted for dimension.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 10

Funky Girls Watercolor Trio

Here are my latest watercolor girls that I framed (4x6) and gave as Christmas gifts this year.  I just love these funky characters and their bright colors!

I swear, I could doodle these all day... I just need to practice a bit to come up with more eyeball variety!  However... the side look does appeal to me, it gives them attitude ;-)

Prints will be listed in my shop later this week for those interested


Monday, January 9

Oh how I love these cute stamps!! -The Alley Way Stamps

One of my dirty little secrets is that I love to collect cardmaking stamps, even though I rarely make cards.  I always *think* I'll make cards, and I usually have some really cool ideas in my head about what cards I'll make and who I will send them to... and nothing.  

They collect dust in their neatly organized bins (Avery Elle pockets, labelled and sorted by manufacturer of course! ha!).

The exception to this cardmaking avoidance is the month of December when I'm making my Mom's Christmas gift.  Every year, she asks for a lot of handmade cards to give away to her friends.

So this year, I decided to finally put those dusty stamps to good use and spent the entire month making a few cards every other day.... here are the cards from The Alley Way Stamps.
(all three cards were colored with my Copic Markers)

**I kept this last one for myself, because I thought the image+sentiment together were HILARIOUS!  HAHA!  This one is being sent to a friend with a good sense of humour ;-)