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mixed media painting

most of the time i paint over paintings.  layer one: i spew negative feelings or emotions, such as i did in this piece entitled “she never had a chance”.  layer two (or three or five or nine): i paint happier/prettier things over them.  i don’t know if it’s because i’m trying to pretty up the ugly or if i think people would prefer the pretty over the ugly.  today, i’m not going to paint over my “ugly”.  maybe i’ll even start sharing some of the “paintings under my paintings” or perhaps i’ll just, one day, stop painting over them all together.

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i have had such a blast working on little handmade books with some of my favorite arty kids over the past month and a half or so, and finally, they are pretty much done!

during our first book get-together, the kids covered some bookboard with masking tape and then sculpted their covers with paper clay.  i had some photos of this but i seem to have lost them, so you’ll just have to see the final phase photos instead.  during our second get-together, they collaged the inside covers of their books and prepared the pages (this was a sunny day and the kids were distracted by playing so we didn’t get much done on the books, but it was such a fun day none the less!).  finally, this past weekend, we painted our covers and started binding.  here are some fantastic photos of elie, jack and finn working on their creations:

autism spectrum art group
one of our favorite places to meet is the st. john’s mcmenamins.  love the huge table upstairs with all of the natural light AND the fact that they don’t mind us getting messy.  🙂

elie is the master sculptor of the group and made a precious snail, flower and mushroom on her cover:

aspergers art group

jack is more focused than finn.  🙂  notice finn hasn’t even started painting his cover (we’ll be finishing his oringial book this week)…

aspie art group

elie’s gorgeous front cover is now complete!  snail in the snow.  i love it!

art group with kids
here is a picture of the precious little mushroom — i am so in love with the way she painted it:

mushroom detail
and her easy binding was started with some of her favorite fabric and embroidery thread (we’ll probably get to finish this next weekend else she finishes with her mama):

asperger's art group
here is some detail of one of the other books (i probably did more work on this than finn did, at least with the paint, and of course it’s not done, but you can peek at it anyway).  we will be painting some more on it, filling the holes with black and adding some crackle:

art group, kids, aspergers
i think finn’s favorite part was embedding objects into the clay while it was still wet.  not sure what happened or why i didn’t get more photos of the other two books, darn it.  i’m easily distracted sometimes.

of course there was plenty of time to play on the cozy couch once we washed up (here you can see one of the more calm moments — should have gotten some shots of the pig-pile they made on top of each other).

play time at kid's art group

and last but not least, their almost completed books — love them!!

kiddo art group -- completed books
thank you audrey for some of these fantastic photos!!  (she took all of the good ones)

during our next art group, we’re going to be making holiday trees.  the boys are making minecraft inspired trees once we can figure out what to do for the blocks and i don’t think elie has decided what she wants to do yet, but i think mine will be created from fabric-wrapped wire and will be in a wooden base.  then of course we’ll have to make some ornaments to decorate them.  we always have so much fun together!  with our other group of kids that we get together with from our neighborhood, we will probably just make some ornaments for their parents.  last year we did special boxes, some with drawers, with treasures inside like handmade books and ornaments.  whatever we do, we’ll be sure to have heaps of fun.  i’ll share more photos, of course.

recently i was invited to do a solstice ornament swap and it was so much fun to create the piece i made that i’ve started to create some more.  they are tiny little alicia-style assemblages that can be hung on a tree for the holidays or a wall year-round.  i started by making several boxes of varying sizes, collaging and painting them and taking it from there.  so far, i have six in varying degrees of completion from just started to totally complete.  i’ve been working on at least one a day (plus two paintings and some art journalling) for art every day month (#aedm).  loving it all!

i shouldn’t show the whole ornie i did for the swap just in case the unknowing recipient happens to see this, but i’ll cross my fingers, hope no one sees and show a quick peek here anyway:

assemblage, ornament, frozen charlotte

here is another frozen charlotte mini assemblage ornament creation.  the crystal is an antique, or at least i was told so when it was given to me as a gift last solstice (i love that — full circle!).  the photo kind of sucks, but this is nothing new.  out of 60 shots, this is (sadly) the best.  there is a ton more detail in person.

frozen charlotte assemblage ornament

available in my shop >>

while i was creating these and starting a few others, my little bug asked me if i would make him a skull ornament for solstice — he loves skulls.  every year our family swaps hand-made solstice gifts so of course i made him one!  i had a few of these carved bone skull beads that he’d been eying for a long time and thought it would be perfect for his little ornament.  can you tell his favorite colors are red and black?

a skull ornament for my son

i hope he likes it, but i do suspect he will.  all the little silver (and black) metal bits in these ornaments are vintage and antique nails.  fun, fun!  and this is actually square — i’m a crap photographer as most of you already know.

to deviate a bit (but not really)… the other day we received a heifer international catalog.  pretty much every year we buy something in the names of some of our family members during the holidays — those people who have everything and appreciate the gesture of giving to others less fortunate.  we’ve purchased a goat in the past and a few flocks of chicks.  this year has been sooooo very difficult for us financially and it broke my heart to realize that we couldn’t even afford a $20 flock of birds for a family worse off than us.  it’s extremely  embarrassing to admit, really, but sometimes it only takes one or two “little” things for a family to go from comfortable to hungry (in our case, work injuries and illness/hospitalization).  that is us this year during certain parts of the month, though i’m honestly not complaining.  my point is that imagining a family going through this every day just breaks my heart — hunger is evil and unnecessary in a world with such abundance.  our misfortune will be short-lived, i’m sure of it.  theirs?  who knows.  but a nice flock of 10-50 chicks could certainly help to get some protein-filled eggs into some kiddo’s bellies, and generate some income for the family through the sale of eggs and offspring.  every little bit helps.   soooo, i created this belly dancer ornament with more of the chain, coins and sari silk i’ve been using a lot of lately.  i am listing it in my shop for $20 and that $20 (minus the part paypal will keep but i’ll cover that) is going to purchase a flock of chicks for a family less fortunate than mine.  i may not have the money to buy the flock right this second, but i have the ability to make something to sell to get the money to buy the flock.  i will put this gift in the names of both myself and the buyer.  you can read more about this here.

mixed media, ornament, belly dancer, assemblage

available in my shop >>

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aedm-logo

november is art every day month.  you can read about this here and see all of the participants here.  please sign up if you feel you would like to — it’s such a great idea and i’m thankful to have heard about it before too much of the month got away from me.

i will be creating every single day of the month and will try to post at least every other day.  this of course doesn’t mean i’ll have a new project completed every day, but i will be getting lots of things created.

right now i’m working on a series of ghost pieces… or haunted pieces.  the first one i’ve completed is of a belly dancer (i’ve layered several vellum copies of her on top of one another, some wrinkled on purpose to give a more eerie appearance).

ghost-bellydancer

as you can see, i’m still quite obsessed with using these super cool old coin charms and tribal chain pieces.  love them and for this piece, they felt quite befitting.

bellydancer, ghost, assemblage, mixed media art
my second piece is in tribute to adella lineberry, 1885-1902, who died by getting trapped under ice while traveling with her husband and two small children.  of course i made up this story, but i’m sure things like this have happened a zillion times in the past.  i’ve always had a passion for memorial art, fact or fictitious (and i’ve done several custom pieces for people who have lost loved ones, which is some of my all-time favorite art — even though i don’t share it due to the sensitivity of it all).  adella is not quite done, but here is a peek:

memorial art, ghost, mixed media

i’m kind of digging how the crystals look like ice (and yes, i’ve used that tribal chain again!).  i’ll post more photos once it’s complete so you can see the silvery icy-looking cracks in the wooden substrate.  today i have to write her obituary which will be included in the piece and then it’s almost done.

i have several images ready to go for this series and i’ll share two (these are more “haunting” than “ghost-like”).  both of these images were taken on my new free phone’s camera and the camera sucks arse but it kind of adds to the effect, maybe.  you can click to enlarge if you’d like.

ghost picture, haunting, mixed media art

and next, two sets of twins, or at least two sets of sisters.  can you see the younger girls within the photo?  i am thinking that this piece may have to light up from behind because it gives a hugely different effect depending upon the light you’re viewing the image in.

ghost picture, haunting, mixed media art

anyway, you get the gist.  i will be posting each of these assemblages as i complete them, along with some of the other things i’m working on right now (the tallest handmade book in the world, some mini assemblage ornaments, and some new paintings).  i’m taking this “art every day of the month” thing seriously (not that i often go a day without creating, but sometimes i get in too big of a funk to do much at all).  i will not let my potential funks slow me down this time and with any luck this will give me more impetus to blog more often, too.

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