Yoga Prayer Progression

Lexisworks_YogaPrayer7This piece began as far back as winter, and looks nothing like it’s original form. It started when I was inspired by the graphics of the 2014 Winter Olympics. I began cutting patterned paper in geometric shapes and arranging them.

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I really loved the diamond shapes and the pink and purple color palette. It was a fun departure from the blues and greens that I had been using. In addition to the diamonds, I glued on some vintage embroidery transfers and a doily. And then I started painting and using my bubble wrap stamping.

I liked where it was at, but I didn’t know where it was going so it sat for awhile. As usual. So I made a bold move, and painted over just about everything. And I HATED it.Lexisworks_YogaPrayer2 I had lost everything that I loved about the previous layer. The only thing left that I liked was the texture of the doily. So I continued painting. Now the diamonds had completely lost their existing pattern, but at least the paper itself was creating texture. I drew my flower vine that has been appearing on other work just for something familiar.Lexisworks_YogaPrayer3

 

I thought maybe collage was the answer, so I glued a vintage envelope from a hotel in Paris. This was some time in May. It sat for a long time again because now I had put this nice vintage element on top and I didn’t want to “ruin” it the way I had everything underneath.Lexisworks_YogaPrayer4 Finally the day came for me to make a move again. I covered a lot of the painting with paint again, but this time not as densely. It unified the entire piece, but still allowed the previous layers and texture to show through.

I keep a list of quotes on my phone. Things I may use in my art one day. Recently, my phone lost this list of quotes. I was laying in bed one morning and I remembered that I had had a prayer from my yoga class stored on this list. A quote I knew was prefect for this piece of art. So I laid in bed one Sunday morning, ignoring Bear’s request for me to get up for breakfast, searching for this quote:

May the long time sun
Shine upon you,
All love surround you,
And the pure light within you
Guide your way on.

Next, I brought my computer down to my studio and typed out the quote and started playing around with the layout and size of the text. Once I had it right, I printed it out and used tracing paper to copy the words onto my board.Lexisworks_YogaPrayer8I used colored pencils to color in the letters. Then added some extra detail to the mountains with some geometric lines. To ground the piece, I finished it up with my usual bar of patterned paper and fabric with a strip of rick rack over the top. Lexisworks_YogaPrayer5 Lexisworks_YogaPrayer6And now I LOVE it.

Camper Inspiration

 

Come Away with Me

Come Away with Me, $140, original on 14x11x1 on wood panel

Since we purchased our truck camper this last spring, I knew it was in inevitable that this new theme would creep into my art. IMG_3334But I didn’t set out to create this camper piece, as I rarely do. In fact, I started this piece after I returned from the Grand Canyon, inspired by the pictograms I saw in the Desert View Watch Tower.

IMG_3120I wanted to work with a different color palate than I’d be using (as much as I love the lime and teal, I needed something new.) I admit, I didn’t venture far away but it was enough of a departure from what I had been working with.Camper

I enjoyed carving into the wet paint, revealing the layers beneath, and creating subtle texture. I also revived my brayer and loved this new way of applying paint. I quite enjoyed where my painting was in this “move” stage, but I knew it wasn’t done so I kept moving forward. Looking back at the stages of my paintings, I sometimes miss these raw moments. I know it is apart of the final paining, but in my attempt to finish a painting, I feel too much of this gets lost.

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This is right around the time my painting sat for a very long time. I knew it was not done. I’d lost the energy from the previous layer and now everything looked to nice and the same. But there were parts I really liked, like all that texture and was fearful of doing something to ruin my own painting. I should know better by now, but this fear is always there.

So I made a bold move, got out my favorite cardboard piece and pushed paint over almost the entire painting. It felt so good! And now I had a something to work with. This was when the vision of the camper came to me. This nice green setting with the mountains rising above. Fitting, since we had just returned from the Grand Tetons.

Camper3I had also realized that I was missing collage. I’ve been doing more painting lately, which I really enjoy, even though it is more of a struggle for me-that idea of creating something from nothing. So after the camper was painted in, I pulled out my fabric, paper and rick rack and got to work decorating. (Something I have been banned from doing in our own camper.)Camper4

 

I knew I wanted to add a string of text but I just wasn’t sure what that was. It was a friend from Instagram who suggested the Norah Jones song “Come Away with Me” and I thought, that is perfect!

Camper5I really love when it all comes together like that. It only took about 2 months to finish the piece, but sometimes they just have to sit until inspiration strikes. And I have quite a few sitting and waiting….

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The Journey of the Red Fox

ForestFox_2014.wThis painting took a journey. I sat with it for a very long time in each of it’s phases. It was hard for me to let go of where it was in the beginning, even though I knew it wasn’t done. This is something I often struggle with in my paintings. But I’m slowly getting better. If I don’t love it, then continue painting and paint RIGHT OVER IT.

ForestFox_progressMost of the time I have made the intention to add an illustration, but for this painting, I could sort of “see” the fox in the painting. So I drew and painted him in and let that image become my focal point.

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I do love how it finished, but I just wish I could work each painting 12 different ways! There were parts of the original that I really loved, like the small and large gold bubble wrap stamping that I did early on. But these areas became under layers to the final painting, as they aren’t very prominent in the final piece.

Song Bird

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I love it when I get emails like this:
Hi-
I bought a darling piece of art by you in downtown Breckenridge. It has three little birds and the flags behind it say “take flight.” I LOVE it! It’s for my daughter’s room. Her nickname is birdy so I loved the little birds in the artwork. I wanted to buy another piece to pair with it but didn’t see another piece that worked. I would like to inquire about your availability, interest, and pricing in creating a piece for her that has a similar color scheme to the take flight piece. She’s 12 and loves to sing. I would love to incorporate something about singing.

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Internally, (and maybe physically, too!) I jump with excitement about these opportunities! I am always available and interested in creating custom art. There is something about making art specifically for someone that focuses my attention like no other art making does.

bird

bird drawings

When I create for the sake of creating, I have too many choices. But when I work on a custom piece, I can narrow in on what needs to be done next and these pieces come effortlessly. I can feel so much struggle with other pieces, but custom pieces are a joy for me to create. And clearly that joy shines through.

songI started out by doing some drawings of song birds. I drew and re-drew until it was just right. Next, I gathered the scraps that I would need to make the collage. Because I save EVERYTHING, I still had a few fabric scraps left over from the “Take Flight” piece referenced in the email.

scraps

When I create custom pieces, I try to make them as special and personal as possible. I picked out maps of Kansas, since that was where the family was from. And I also looked at the text on the musical note pages to find words that about singing. I even found the girl’s name in the dictionary to include in the collage. I included a few more accent bits and laid everything out. I typed the text out on my vintage typewriter and decided where I wanted it to go.

Finally, all that was left was to glue everything into place.song bird in progress

 

Illustration for Hire

Participating in craft fairs has given me the opportunity to meet so many people. I just never know when a connection I’ve made is going to turn into something more. Recently, I have been working with Heather, the sewer behind Elevated Scraps. I just love that she is as excited about my art as I am. Heather has come to me with 2 illustration projects, excited to use AND promote my illustration.

Last Fall, she asked me to design a product postcard for her hanging art kit. She had fallen in love with the illustrations I was doing for windows and thought they would be the perfect addition to her product.

Hanging kit

When Heather’s husband opened his brewery, Low Down Brewery this year, she was eager to promote a local artist and asked me to illustrate the children’s menu.

Low Down kids menuLow Down kids menu

One of my favorite things about my evolution as an artist, is when people come to me with projects that I couldn’t have imagined myself. These opportunities allow me to grow, stretch and challenge my abilities. I can’t wait for the next challenge!

Morning Studio Habit Revisited

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I had been real good for several weeks about starting my day in my studio. Up early, breakfast and coffee and straight downstairs.

But then other things became more important. Or my schedule for the day didn’t pan out quite right. And then 2 weeks went by and I wasn’t starting my day in the studio.

I saw the rewards of being in my studio. And I clearly saw the results of not being in my studio. All week I have felt creatively constipated. Not only had I NOT felt like creating anything with my hands, but my desire and ability to design significantly declined.

It was a rough week. I had no idea how to spend my time if I was feeling unable to design or create. I felt that my well was empty and I had no clue how to fill it back up.20140321-081118.jpgYesterday, a friend emailed to say I had inspired her to commit to her own studio. My own awesome commitment and her own jealousy and desire had led her to spend an hour daily in her studio. I suddenly felt that I had been letting myself down by not being in my studio daily.

I needed to pick up with my habit. So this morning, I got up and then went down to my studio.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do. So I picked out a large 24×30 canvas and put some paint down. And just kept going. No plan. No real faith in what I was doing really. I just tried to make different textured marks.20140321-081146.jpg

 

20140321-081210.jpgI took a break for breakfast and coffee and when I returned, I saw shapes that needed to be brought to life.

IMG_3011I don’t know what’s going to happen from here, but I felt so good creating something. When those creative blocks hit, it can feel terrifying that it’s never going to return. This was only a small block, but the fear was never the less present.
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Following My Energy

I’ve been creating more, recently. Part of an almost daily practice of starting my day in my studio. I’m good about getting everything else done, but trying to get in my studio later in the day is hard work.

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I’ve also begun a large project which is stretching my comfort zone. I’m working BIG. 30×30 inches.

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I’m learning I’ve preferred to work small because I get a bit impatient when I create. I get bored with an area and want to move on, even though I haven’t finished my intention for the space.

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These large pieces are forcing me to work through the uncomfortable. And I have discovered my new favorite painting tool.

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I know, not very technical. Just a 3.5×2 piece of chip board. But I LOVE the way it moves paint across large areas.

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Today I leaned into this large space I was creating in. I used my scrapper and got my hands dirty, mostly forgoing paint brushes. I turned the music up loud (today it was Cat Power). I remembered my teachings from Flora Bowely and let my body guide me.

20140302-120222.jpgThis meant taking a break to have a dance party for myself, dancing like nobody was watching. Because no one was, except the dog.

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I let this energy carry me on to some other in progress paintings. I often get to a point with my paintings where I have to stop because I’m afraid of ruining them. I like where they are at but I don’t love them. For real, sometimes I feel I won’t ever figure out how to finish. So I let it sit.

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With my creative energy flowing, I knew it was time to make some changes to this piece. Using my new friend Mr. Scraper, I pulled neon pink and white across the canvas. And added some bubble wrap stamping. It will probably sit again until I feel the next phase.

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