Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Elizabeth Cooper

Hello Beautifuls, I hope everyone is wonderfully well and happy =) it is time for our weekly peek and poke (peek at the art work, poke into the life) of an artist over here, so sit put your feet up and let's all banish those critics, that this time belong outside ourselves, together :)

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
I’m a 33 year-old former communications manager who now makes her living writing romance novels full time. It’s not as glamorous as it sounds, I assure you! Writing used to be my hobby and my escape from a dreadful day job. When writing novels turned into my day job, I learned very quickly that I needed a new creative outlet that didn’t feel like work. I found it when my sister-in-law took me to a card-making class. I got instantly hooked on crafting, and graduated from card-making to scrapbooking very quickly. It didn’t take long until I discovered the beautiful mixed media pieces being created with scrapbooking supplies. I immediately felt like I’d come home… like I’d found the little piece of me that had been missing all this time. After I began dabbling in mixed media art, I tried my hand at art journaling, drawing, painting… all the things I’d been told as a child that I never had a talent for. So what kind of artist am I? An eclectic one. I draw, paint, water-colour, art journal, create mixed media canvases and home decor pieces, and I scrapbook and make cards as well. For me, all those things are interchangeable. They’re all art, and reaching for one set of materials over another just depends on how I feel on any particular day.

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
Criticism. As a published author, you’d think I’d have learned how to cope with criticism years ago, but unfortunately it’s not a skill I’ve ever developed. Even mild, well intentioned criticism stings so badly I just want to burrow under covers and never touch a pen or a paintbrush again. My husband has an art degree, and doesn’t get the whole mixed media movement. So when I show him one of my new pieces and he stares at it with a blank look on his face (or worse, says something like… “You know what would make this better?” or “Did you mean to put that colour there? It throws off the rest of the composition.”) I feel like ditching my entire art supply stash out the window. Over the years, I’ve learned to explicitly state what kind of comments I’m looking for when I show someone my work. I tell them I’m not looking for criticism or feedback, and that I simply want to share what I’ve been doing. As for the unsolicited criticism that seems to find all of us regardless… I tell myself that every piece of art is viewed through someone’s unique lens. Each viewer sees things in a piece that say more about the person viewing the work than the artist herself. I have to frequently remind myself that I can’t control how someone sees my work, or how they feel about it.

I’ve taken a quote from Wayne Dyer and turned it into my mantra: “What other people think of me [and my work] is none of my business.”

Have you ever found anything that originally daunted you as an artist that you can now overcame easily?
Drawing faces. I’ve always wanted to be able to draw portraits — not realistic ones, but pretty, whimsical, girly faces. I never thought I’d be able to do it. And then, on a whim, I signed up for an online course that was all about drawing whimsical portraits and I surprised myself by being able to follow along and create something I never thought I could. From that moment on, I was hooked! I’m a bit of an online workshop addict now, but I definitely focus on those that teach me how improve my portrait and female form drawing skills.

What advice would you offer to any perspective new artist?
Be gentle with yourself. If I can offer another quote… “Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” (I think this one’s by Jon Acuff.) It’s so true, though. In today’s fast-moving, internet-centric world, we’re bombarded with images of other artists' work. Whether it’s on Facebook or Pinterest, on blogs or in magazines, we see all these beautiful works of art that seem effortless to make. But the truth is, they’re not effortless. What you don’t see is the years of practice that went into creating that one piece. As a society, we’ve come to a point where we expect to be great at something the first time we try it. (I’m so very guilty of this!) If the chocolate soufflĂ© we try to bake doesn’t turn out right the first time we make it, we think we’re not meant to be bakers. If the blanket we’re knitting for the first time is lopsided, we toss away our knitting needles for good. And if the first time we try to draw a face the eyes are different sizes, or looking in different directions, we so often give up and tell ourselves we’re no good at faces. But the truth is, every time you sit down to create something — anything — you walk away a better artist than you were when you first approached your desk. And if you do that day in and day out for the sheer joy of it, you’ll amaze yourself with what you can accomplish over time.

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
The best place to learn more about me and my art is on my blog:

Thank you so much for sharing Elizabeth, here is another quote that's always stuck in my head:

'Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.'
Andy Warhol

I think as artists we are all get hurt by even well-meaning criticism sometimes - probably because our art is not detached from us, we often make it with our hearts. But just because one person may have one thing bad to say about one piece of art please NEVER think that that then means that piece is not good enough or even rubbish. When I first started posting things online I couldn't understand why I could get such spiteful, nasty or hurtful comments (especially on youtube, which I think is the trolls main hang-out cave) when ALL I was doing was just posting art. But while I was contemplating who I could possibly be offending by doing something so harmless, life, as it usually does was just giving me an opportunity to get a thicker skin and teach me that people project what is within themselves, and therefore sometimes it has nothing to do with you or your art. AND even if it does you cannot never, ever, ever please 100% of the people 100% of the time - even Mother Teresa has her critics - it is unfortunately within human nature to criticize another, no matter what good or bad they are doing in the world, so why even bother with it? For me now it is water off of a ducks back. Making someone else happy is not what your art is about, it is about nothing but developing and making yourself happy, please everyone remember this next time you get that stinky or even well-meaning stingy comment ;)

You answer to nobody but yourself, and nor does your art, so keep on doing what you're doing, you're too fabulous not to ;)

Do you want to be featured in an interview here?
Email me or click the link to find all the details here =)

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Posi-pebbles Tutorial

Hi guys I had a little extra clay from a recent project (which you will see v.soon) and given that I was using it for the other project & it was air dry clay it was becoming a little dry, so I decided to make this pretty instant project that is perfect for using the scraps of your clay - whether it be air dry clay, paperclay or polymer clay etc.

So firstly split up your clay into the size you want your posi-pebbles to be, or do as I did and just divide the clay you have equally between the number of finished pebbles you want.

If you want to have them matching perfectly you can weight them, cut them accurately, use a mold etc. I prefer the rustic look, like actual pebbles & stones, so I just guesstimated and formed them with my fingers.

Next you want to add the 'posi' to your 'pebbles' so choose the words you would like to incorporate into your stones. You can write your words with a cocktail stick or tool of you want to include your own handwriting, I however went for some alpha stamps.

I love these mini stamps sets, over here in the UK loads of companies now make these and they are very inexpensive - as you can see I'm a little bit mad for these.

Next wait for your posi-pebbles to dry thoroughly (I left mine for 2 days) then paint them whatever colours you wish with acrylic paints. I choose colours that make me happy, and even colours that I somehow associate with that particular posi-pebbles word.

Once that layer has dried I them dabbed a stone colour (beigey taupe) onto my pebbles with a sponge, then also added some white highlights with my finger tips to make them each unique with markings like real stones and voila!

Gorgeous Posi-pebbles yay!

Mine are going to go in a very special place which you will see in an upcoming tutorial (if you watch the vlog that will accompany that tutorial anyhow - yes you have TWO videos coming, you lucky devils...if I can get on with them and stop making other stuff that is ;) lol)

Till next time
Much love

Friday, 24 January 2014

Conflicted Daisies - Art Journal Page Process Video

Hey y'all, I have a weekend treat for you. I've been busy with all my creative projects and am turning them into videos for you, the first of which is ready yay =)

It's a page process, feels like it's been ages since I just played with an art journal page and created it from the start to the finish. So much fun =D

Enjoy the video & have a Happy Weekend

much love

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Lisa Fabiano

Hi guys, it's TAW!!! Lol sorry to have to do Tell All Tuesday on Wednesday, it doesn't happen often (only once I believe, as I wrote it at midnight) but that doesn't make the interview any less interesting or inspiring. Today is a lovely abstract artist by the name of Lisa Fabiano, enjoy =)

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
My name is Lisa Fabiano and I am 54+ years old. Although I work full-time as a paralegal during the week (I work for a divorce attorney- very stressful), I either paint, think about art, read about art, write about art, or study art online - every single day/evening. Prior to my current desk job, I was a chef in a local restaurant for about 6 years. Like many women and girls on this planet, I dealt with physical and emotional abuse growing up, and, after therapy and other healing methods, I have found great joy in expressing myself through art. I started oil painting about 17 years ago, with formal lessons through the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. At first I studied traditional realistic ways of painting and drawing, but after several years turned my attention and focus to abstract work because it suits my nature much much better (although I still really enjoy figure drawing).

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
My biggest challenge is painting even when I am tired and/or stressed from my day job, and to hold on to the belief that, as time goes by, I will be able to spend more time on art and less and less time at a stressful job. HOWEVER, there are two GREAT blessings that come from my having a secure "day job". First, for the past 2 1/2 years I have been able to afford a small studio outside of my home, so I have more space for more and larger paintings. Second, I remain free to paint whatever pleases me, rather than painting things to generate art sales for income to pay my living expenses/bills. I must remind myself daily, on the bus ride to work, how my day job supports my artistic life and this also helps me get through the workday. 

What other issues do you overcome to accomplish your art?
Another big challenge is overcoming the fear that I will never have enough time use all of my ideas and have enough time to make all of the artwork I envision, due to my age and the necessity of working a day job. But, I realize I must use the time I have available as best I can, because that is my responsibility and I cannot control the passing of time. Also, I do not drive at all and the public transportation in our small city is pathetic. Travelling around slows down my life and uses much precious time, when I could be painting. So, I must constantly remind myself that I am helping the environment by not driving, improving my health by walking or riding my bike, and doing my part to avoid supporting the oil wars in the middle east. And, my slower pace of life, even if it is outside the mainstream, is conducive to a greater awareness and slower tempo for painting. These are all real challenges for me personally, but I do understand I could be much worse off and I do not take my life's freedoms for granted. In the big picture, I am very blessed and must not waste time fretting over situations I cannot control or change. A little saying I recently came across that helps me (because I am a worrier by nature) is: "Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere.". 

What is your heart’s greatest desire for your life as an artist?
To be able to devote most of my working life to painting and creating artwork. Also, that my paintings will be seen and appreciated by many people and that any paintings I have sold or may sell will be well cared for and good company to their owners. That may sound selfish, but my paintings are part of my soul and are like my children.

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
Some of my recent work can be seen here and here. I do not have the time yet to maintain my own website, facebook, or blog. Painting and daily life fill all of my time. 

Thank you so much for sharing Lisa, I love the quote 'Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere' & will definitely be nicking that lol I am a natural worrier too, but am learning to not give that much power, so this quote is a perfect reminder when in need. It also reminds me of the quote about forgiveness - that holding onto grudges is like stabbing yourself and expecting the other person to bleed. Your quote and that one has somehow merged in my head to reiterate to me how much we really do too often focus on the wrong things, rather than those that will best serve us and enrich our lives. Thank you for the interview Lisa, I really appreciate hearing your story and you sharing your life with us.

Do you want to be featured in an interview here?
Email me or click the link to find all the details here =)

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Back in the Rhythm

So the past few days I have not been able to keep my hands clean...like, seriously!

I have been starting at least one new projects every day (...yes, without finishing the old ones lol). In short my creativity has been ON IT!! 

After my last proper vlog, where I basically said I was taking a break from art, that little niggling feeling that comes up when mojo leaves for a while began to creep in. That feeling that you are just too creatively tired & then the worry when you cannot see a foreseeable future when you will have the energy again. Of course I did have it again, and it has come back with avengeance.

I have been doing all kindsa random stuff, completely immersed in glue, paint, plans and joyI'm trying to show images without actually showing images...because obviously you know these projects will end up being shared as videos or tutorials =)

okay, here's one lil thing (but he is part of a much bigger creation so it's ok)

I think it has all happened since I brought the Jade Buddha back into my indoor studio. The past few years (before I even took to posting online) he has lived on my desk, until I put him in my outdoor studio this autumn - about the time my creative energy started ebbing. A strange thought occurred to me...or perhaps it is not that strange, as the creative flow has suddenly become abundant again now he's back!

look how happy he is; he's home, watching over the processes

So that's it, all I can really share without giving away upcoming stuff (you know I like to keep things a surprise!). I just wanted to do a post as a reminder (to myself as much as anybody else) that though it sometimes beats so quietly we worry that it's stopped, our rhythms of creativity are always still beating... And deep down we know it. We know that it just runs like anything else our life, sometimes so loudly it's hard to handle (without paint flying like a shower anyhow!) and other times it beats softly in order to allow for another rhythm to have the focus it requires. 

Hopefully I should have a video ready in a few days =D 
happy creating

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Rebecca Taylor

Hello beautifuls, today's post is the first TAT of 2014! I am so looking forward to picking this up again and meeting some new artists to be featured in this coming year. Do not forget I am looking for new participants and do not be afraid to put yourself forward; even if you are newly setting out on your art journey's path, you and your work still have something to inspire and share. This is why I do and enjoy doing this series after what is now over 18 months (wow!) we all have individual qualities, and can so easily encourage those in others simply through expressing ourselves!! 
Having said so, please grab an art break & enjoy this weeks interview =D

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
I am a two dimensional colorist that resides in the suburbs of Richmond, VA. I am a homeschooling mom, teach part time with the Department of Parks and Recreation, and I teach my own private art classes in my home, other people's homes, and sometimes at a local homeschooling center. 

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
The biggest challenge i face is having time to put towards the creative process. With so many demands on homeschooling and working, family/domestic life it's difficult. Before family life I used to put the coffee pot and the tunes on at 7pm and paint until 4am. Family life nowadays is not conducive to those long, late-night stretches. I find that I have to wait till everyone goes to bed for the night, then I may be lucky to get a couple of hours. Also, my attention span is much smaller these days, so eight broken up hours may be the best I can give to my pieces.

What do you find easiest / hardest in your art?
I find most everything easy about my art because I have learned to let go and have fun. What's difficult, though, is staying in practice when I want to produce something realistically; for example using techniques such as perspective and figure drawing. But recently I have refused a lot of those art techniques. For instance I have been drawing architecture freehand- wiggly lines and all. I love the effect on the buildings because they take on a magical storybook quality.

What advice would you offer to any perspective new artist?
Becoming a good artist is a developmental process. Adults especially need to understand that if they haven't drawn something since seventh grade then they have to go back to that stopping point and pick it back up. People who know how to draw realistically have been trained to do it, usually for years, and practiced, practiced, practiced. 

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
You can see my art on my blog and Pinterest. I also just gave birth to a new Facebook fan page.

Thank you so much for taking some of your hard to come-by time to share with us Rebecca. I was ready to say 'AMEN' when I read you have recently 'refused a lot of those art techniques', of course I do not believe any technique should be tossed out but nor do I see why there is so much emphasis on some techniques being more important in creating 'good' art than others, so I was very glad to see your wiggly freehand lines =) 

If you would like to share your story email me 
or click the link to find all the details here =)

Much love & Happy Arting

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Warm Up Art Journal Flip Through

Happy New Year!!!
Although it is a week into the new year this is my first post of 2014 so apologies for the delayed well wishes =D

As today is tuesday this should be a TAT post, however I do not have many interviewees lined up so thought I would start next week and take this opportunity to call for new recruits! If you want to be featured in my tuesday interview feature you don't have to do much, just email me at jennibellie[at]yahoo[dot]co[dot]uk and I shall send you the details. 

Go on be daring, it's a new year ;)

So what I have instead is a journal flip, of my outdoor warm-up journal, the video will explain the rest, sit back & enjoy:

Much love
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