Friday, April 22, 2011

Artfest 2011 Part IV ~ Drawing Pretty Girls

Sunny Carvalho is such a delight and sweet as can be. She welcomed me like a sister and even procured me a name badge when one was not included in my welcome packet. This may have been due to the fact that I signed up for the event so late.

smiling Sunny just before class began
 On Friday Sunny taught us how to draw beautiful girl faces. I am impressed that Sunny can draw her faces so accurately without the use of rulers or a grid, something I have taken to an almost painstaking level.

original drawing from Sunny's journal
I think the most helpful technique I learned has to do with how to get that marvelous almond shape to my eyes. The solution was so simple I had to slap my forehead and say "of course, why didn't I think of that."
Sunny demonstrates a painted background technique
Sunny explained two of her approaches to faces. One approach has a more realistic look while still being folk art and the other results in a more whimsical look to the doll. The second approach is one that has eluded me until now.

a very cute student drawing
I'll be applying what I learned in Sunny's classes and move forward with my art in eager anticipation of what I'll create next.

a few more beautiful student drawings
Some of the photos shared in this post are examples of the work created by my fellow classmates. Although we learned from the same instructor, all represent a wonderfully diverse range of styles.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Artfest 2011 Part III ~ Iron Chef Artist Challenge

On Thursday evening something called the Iron Chef Artist Challenge was held.

Clarissa Callesen immersed in the creative process
18 of the Artfest instructors received a kit with various items ranging from a barbie, rubber bugs and pipe cleaners to a small, wooden box, an artist board and plastic balls to name a few.

Melissa Callesen's altered doll
The instructions were that each artist had to use a minimum of 5 items from the kit plus whatever items or supplies of their own that they had on hand.

a lovely collage piece ~ I love this
 The artists had 45 minutes to create their pieces which were auctioned off in a silent auction later on during Artfest.

a shrine goddess, I liked this piece
 Tables were set up around the outer perimeter of the room, one for each artist. This allowed those of us onlookers to more easily work the room and watch the artists' progress.

Jesse Reno dances to the beat of his own drum
 Instructors who participated included Michael DeMengMelissa ManleyClarissa Callesen and Jesse Reno to name a few.

Michael DeMeng busy at work
I made several passes around the room, snapping photos along the way. To be able to create a finished piece in 45 minutes as hundreds of people file past you taking photographs is no small feat in my opinion. 

Michael DeMeng's demented doll
 While I haven't posted every photo I too, I did post the more memorable ones. These do not necessarily represent styles I like but I found them interesting to look at plus these people seemed to have a crowd around their table by the end of the evening so of course I was curious.

Melissa Manley's wired barbie

Monday, April 18, 2011

Artfest 2011 Part II ~ Spirit Dolls

Day 1 of Artfest was spent with Robert Smith learning how to create spirit dolls using wire and hog gut. We were given simple instructions for twisting and bending the wire to making a few simple shapes and off we went.
my spirit doll in progress
This was the first time I had ever worked with wire so my lack of creativity was evident when I set about to straight copy an example that was provided by Robert. The example I copied was actually created by Melissa Manley, his lovely girlfriend and artist with a degree in metal working. No wonder I was compelled to copy. Haha!

the lovely gals of Spirit Dolls class
I was amazed at what the other 12 gals in the class with me were able to dream up and create during the time we had. Some had more experience than others but most were able to produce something rather cool looking by the time class was over.

examples of what can be made with wire and hog gut
The top photo shows and example of a doll Robert created which is the top middle. The two pieces on either side of it were created by students in the class.  They are impressive aren't they? One gal even created a mermaid which turned out really wonderfully.

extra hog gut anyone?
At the end of class, Robert still had some extra intestine which he handed out liberally. He was determined not to fly back home with it. Thanks Robert for your time. I truly enjoyed the experience. Although I love the effect the hog gut creates, the next time I try this I may opt for using tissue paper instead.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Acrylic Painting Tips #1

Now that I've been painting for a couple of months, I am able to begin offering some tips for painting with acrylic paint. One of the biggest reasons for using acrylic is its fast drying time. Unfortunately the fast drying time is also acrylic's greatest pitfall.

 So, how do you keep your paint wet during a painting session? I found an incredible product called Sta-Wet sponges and pallet paper.

I had been using the pallet paper but overlooked the instructions for its proper use until I purchased the sponges and discovered the instructions for the sponges also included instructions for the sta-wet paper and vice versa. Go figure!

After preparing my paper and my sponge I put both products to the test and to my amazement, the paint stayed wet throughout my painting session! I even left the pallet with the paint on my table overnight. The paint remained wet and pliable even after several hours. I'll be using this stuff forever. What a god send!

If you've tried it, let me know what you think, if you haven't tried it and you use acrylic paint for long periods of time, I highly recommend this stuff. You're gonna be hooked! (tee hee :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Artfest 2011 Part I

Artfest 2011 happened the week of April 6 - 10 this year out at Fort Worden in Port Townsend, WA. Imagine an old military base, 500 creative people and nothing but time to play with paint, clay, wood, wire, fibers and just about any other medium you can imagine. Ahhh! This is what I was meant for!

New Beginnings 5x7 Matted Print on Etsy
I spent Friday and Saturday learning to draw and paint pretty girl faces with Sunny Carvalho. If you aren't familiar with her work she does absolutely phenomenal eyes which is what originally drew me to her beautiful paintings.

Kell Belle Studio Original Drawing
I was amazed at how much my drawings could change with only a few minor changes to what I was already doing plus I learned a few other nifty tricks with the facial features that I will continue to incorporate into my work.

Kell Belle Studio Pretty Girl Original Drawing

Who would have thought that whimsical was only a matter of changing a few lines? Haha! I can't help but smile every time I look at this little girl. I want to thank Sunny for her generosity in sharing her knowledge with us at Artfest. She truly made my experience special not to mention fun, and informative.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I am Willing ~ New Folk Art Painting

I am willing to contemplate myself. I am willing to forgive. I am willing to release my fears and doubts. I do not need to know how these things will come about for that is not my job. The universe, God, spirit, that divine source within will take care of the how. All I need to do is is be willing.

I am Willing 5 X 7 Folk Art Painting ~ Print
I am discovering the power of positive affirmations especially when used with imagery that inspires and feeds the soul. Magic happens and I am beginning to believe that all things are possible.