Saturday, May 31, 2014

He Lights My Path

light to my path with varnish

For my Sunday Mornings online class, this was one of the Scripture passages that was used for inspiration. This is the image that came to my mind as I thought about that familiar passage.

light my path flat side view

This piece, created on a 6x6 birch panel, actually started like this:

michelle sylvia project background

That was the background I created before I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the verse. I used several stencils, spray paint, tube paint, tissue paper, etc. Then, I just started painting over the background, and in the end, almost none of it is visible through the painting. But, that’s okay. That’s mixed media—lots of layers, most of them covered up in the final piece!

I am so thankful that God’s Word serves as my guide through life. It truly is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Patriotic Whimsical Art

memorial day bird w border

One of my artist friends provided the inspiration for this little fun piece, just something to remind me of the importance of days like Memorial Day as we think about the history of our country and those who have given their lives in its service. My husband, my father, and my father-in-law all served in our military, but thankfully, I do not have a close family member who actually made the ultimate sacrifice.

God bless America!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Art Journal Praise {Filled With Your Glory”}

the whole earth w border

My mixed media class, Sunday Mornings, with Mindy Lacefield, is very inspiring. This week’s theme is “In His Hands,” and the picture of the whole earth came to my mind, quickly followed by the lyrics to another of my favorite praise songs, this one by Starfield, “Filled With Your Glory.”

I’m still not so good at taking what is in my head and putting it in my sketchbook, but I’m working on it!

More words from the awesome song:

May You be honored and glorified

Exalted and lifted high…

So let the universe proclaim

Your great power and Your great name.

Linking to Art Journal Every Day, Creative Every Day, Artist’s Play Room #107.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Birds of the Air {Art Journal}

bird from R phone w border

Matthew 6:26--I’ve always loved this verse, as it is a good one for self-confessed worriers like myself! I sketched this based on inspiration from an artist friend, in my Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook. I used Gelatos (as watercolor,  for the background) and Silks Acrylics Paints and ink.

While it is not meant to be a realistic interpretation, it is a suggestion of the Missouri state bird!

I am linking to Art Journal Every Day, Creative Every Day, Artist’s Playroom, Dion Dior Friday Sketches, and Paint Party Friday.

Friday, May 23, 2014

My Birthday Prayer {Art Journal Portrait}

birthday prayer 2 w border

(click on image to enlarge)

Continuing with the lessons in Mindy Lacefield’s Sunday Mornings class, I made a second prayer portrait. This one was done today, and as it happens to be my birthday, I wrote/painted what is on my heart today.

When I was talking with my husband this morning about the passing of time, I said, “In a way it seems like yesterday when we were married.” He agreed. Then I said, “In another way, it seems like a lifetime ago.” He answered, “It was.”


Still, I don’t feel like I always thought I would feel like at 67. I don’t know what made me think I could possibly predict what it would feel like to be 67, but I just thought it would feel, well, “old.” But, it doesn’t. It feels like I am older, wiser, more experienced in life; if the only way to arrive here is to “get older,” then, so be it.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Happy Engagement Anniversary

collage or R and B sr pics

Forty-nine years ago today, Russell Ford came to the door to pick me up for our Saturday evening date. When I greeted him, he said, “I love you,” and handed me a box. I was shocked to find a diamond engagement ring inside. I was the happiest woman in the world, and that was the happiest day of my life to that point. He is still the most wonderful man in the world, and I love him more each day.

We were children. Really. Or at least I was. I’m quite sure I must have been just a baby. I was just graduating from high school (the next day), and he had finished his sophomore year in college.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sunday Mornings Class: Week One-Praying Girl

prayer portrait c

(click image to enlarge)

Although I was familiar with the work of Mindy Lacefield (one of her special styles is “primitive girls” as in the style of this one I just completed), I had never taken one of her classes or attempted to emulate her style of art. She has just started a free class that she felt called to offer, and it has already been such a personal blessing. Amazingly, over 600 have signed up to take the class! It is unapologetically a Christian art class, and it is awesome. It is not too late to sign up for the class, and the lessons are available for a year:

Sunday Mornings class by Mindy Lacefield

The first lesson included not only a tutorial on making the praying girl, but also some “calls to worship,” inspiring videos, and a writing prompt. Some years ago I began occasionally writing out my prayers, so I was already comfortable with this “stream of consciousness” type of writing. I wrote out two pages in my written journal and then brought in some of those thoughts to the left side of this art journal spread. While the thoughts are private, it occurred to me that in sharing both of these pages here, someone might be blessed by reading my prayer, so here it is, heart on my sleeve.

As far as the art technique, this was my first effort at this style. I love that it uses acrylic paints (becoming my favorite medium) and will allow me to incorporate many of the mixed media techniques I already love to use (in what I call my “crazy, messy” mixed media projects). So, future pages with the sweet little girls will have more of a mixed media background. This one needed to reflect my heart from the writing prompt, the shadows and the beam of light, etc.

But, clearly, I have a lot to learn about this new technique—and that can only come from practice. I do like it that this style of “portrait” does not require a realistic rendering of facial features, which I cannot seem to do, though I have tried. When I was working on this page, it felt like I could concentrate more on what was in my heart than on “getting it just right” on the subject.

Most of my “art” includes spiritual overtones and undertones, usually blatant Scripture references or song lyrics. That’s me, and I make no apology. That’s what I’m about. But, this class seems to have taken me to another level, that of almost a “private revival” that I am experiencing along with learning new art techniques. What a blessing! I’m glad Mindy followed God’s leading to offer this class!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

From My Studio: A Plethera of Finished Projects

I am somewhat behind with posting my little projects, and though no one really cares except me, I do like the process of posting, because I enjoy “finishing,” and I’ve always loved the feeling of “accomplishment,” even when the finished product may not be outstanding—for me, there has always been value in “having done all.” I’m weird like that.

It also occurred to me that in the posting of a few pictures I have of projects recently finished, there is a glimpse into the various types of “work” I am doing right now, mostly based on techniques learned in online classes.

“She is trying to find her own style…”…Ya think? Not there yet, so for now, I just keep doing what appeals to me at the moment. Some of these types of art I probably will not continue to pursue, so that’s a sort of “narrowing down,” right?

This post does not include Smash journal pages (I have four of those journals in process right now) nor does this particular one happen to include any acrylic painting, and I am in the middle of that type of work as well (and, in fact, may be realizing that I love acrylic the most?)… Otherwise, this is a good sampling of what I’ve been doing the last few days. All of the art pieces involve sketching first and then painting.

“Creative girls” (techniques learned from Danielle Donaldson’s watercolor class):

princess creative girl w cornered border

bright girl w pint border

Sweet and whimsical watercolor pieces inspired by an artist friend:

Pink Petunia w cornered border the usualNaptime Nellie Teddy Bear Watercolor w pint borderpolka dot girl w hassel border

little hummingbird w cornered and grunge

Scrapbook layout using pictures my daughter posted on Google Plus (Note: I always have scrapbook pages in process at all times but rarely post pictures of them.)

Two-page LO of Dawson sports

So, there you have it. I have just today begun a wonderful class called “Sunday Mornings,” a faith-based art class that I am loving. Will blog about that soon.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

“Friend me,” “Like me,” “Follow me,” “Circle me”

friendship quilt w wm

As I was passing through one of my guest bedrooms this morning, this quilt caught my eye. Quilters, or even people in my age group who are not quilters, will recognize this as a “Friendship Quilt.” My mother gave it to me several years ago, along with a note she had written about the quilt.

Mother's writing about friendship quilt

It is one of my prized possessions, handmade by my maternal grandmother. I well remember seeing my Mamo Eubanks working on quilts (as well as crocheting and knitting), and I even remember knowing some of the people whose names are on the quilt (from my very young childhood). I recall that Mamo was a part of a group of ladies, called a “circle,” in her little town of Blue Eye, MO/AR (on the state line). They would often sell their wares at an event called a “bazaar,” a fund-raising event for the church or community, I believe.

I have thought that maybe someday (when I’m older—LOL) I might learn to quilt, but it would need to be hand-sewn quilts, not machine-made.

As I left the bedroom this morning, I was overwhelmed by thoughts about friendship. Real friendship. I was thinking of the kind of friendship where you truly had a “circle” of real friends, friends who would sit together for an afternoon and “craft” together, if you will. Real friends who would each embroider a “block” that would be a forever-part of your quilt. It’s an amazing thought, and it makes me sad.

I’m sad that we have, to some extent, lost the meaning (or maybe lost the understanding of the significance) of that kind of friendship. Maybe it’s not lost, but it has certainly been “overtaken” by more “modern” connotations. We want people to “friend” us and “like” us, and “follow” us, and even “circle” us, and it doesn’t even seem to matter if those people are “real-life” friends or not—let’s just count the number—how many “friends,” how many “likes,” how many “followers,” how many in my “circle.”

Similarly to most everyone else, I’m on all those social media sites. My total philosophy about the dangers of social media has been and will be outlined in other blog posts. That “soapbox” is not my purpose here.

I just wanted to take a moment and revel in some of the wonderfulness about “the old timey-times.” And I wanted to say that I’m glad my grandmother’s Friendship Quilt served to remind me this morning about the value of true and real friendship—the kind where you can have true and real “facetime.” I hope we will remind our children and grandchildren about how it used to be….not that I would want to go back, because those times certainly had their disadvantages. But maybe we should remember the good things of “how it used to be.”

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Teddy Bear Watercolor

teddy bear girl

At the risk of making this sound like one of those “I walked to school with the snow up to my chest” stories, let me just say that I really never had many stuffed animals when I was a small child. (I do remember having a stuffed elephant, “Reddy Gray,” when I was about 3.) So, once I could actually own a teddy bear (never mind that it was after I had teenagers myself), I went a little crazy.

teddy bears

So, inspired by an online friend who enjoys sketching and painting teddy bears, I am having some fun with it in my sketch book.

Linking to Creative Every Day, Artist’s Play Room, and Paint Party Friday.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Little Creative Girls

first little creative girl

This was my first little sweet girl.


peaceful girl

Peaceful Girl

Thinking of a special young lady when I created this one..


Miss Prim

Miss Prim Ballerina Girl

Inspired by a watercolor class taught by Danielle Donaldson (and by several of the students in the class), I like to draw these little creative girls. It’s easy and fun to sketch and then watercolor, and it feels a little bit like coloring in a color book, my favorite pastime as a little girl.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Vintage Photo Block Project

Using 2x4 wood blocks, cut to match the size of the photographs, I made a couple of memory blocks. The first one is a studio picture made when I was three.

Block with Barbara Kay age 3 w border wm

Block Side View BK Age 3 w border wm

The second block is a double-sided “then and now” block., with “the story” journaled on the bottom of the block.

Block with Barbara Kay and Janene at piano 1950 w border wm

I’m on the left, and my sister Janene (15 months younger) is on the right. This was taken at my grandmother’s house in 1950. My Aunt Lucy was quite a pianist, and these two pieces of sheet music from this picture came to me recently.

Block with Barbara at piano 2014 w border wm

At my baby grand piano, April 2014, with Aunt Lucy’s now vintage sheet music.

I took a picture with a bit of a side view, of each block, because otherwise it’s hard to tell it is three-dimensional.

Block Side View BK at piano 2014 w border wmBottom of Vintage Piano Block w border wm

Each block was sanded, painted with multiple layers of paint, the photo adhered with glue stick, then several layers of Brush On Lacquer, with much drying time between each layer.

This project was more involved than I anticipated, but I’m always happy to have a memory preserved!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Little Birdies Waiting

birds waiting

For a project in Junelle Jacobsen’s Saturday Mornings class, I sketched an painted (acrylic) these little birdies, in my altered book. They each have such an expectant expression, it reminded me of waiting for God’s direction.

Linking to Creative Every Day, Art Journal Every Day, Artist’s Play Room, Friday Sketches, and Paint Party Friday.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Sparkly Tulip {and a Life Lesson?}

Black Tulip

Recently my son sent some beautiful pictures, taken at a tulip farm near Woodland, Washington. The ones that especially caught my eye were those that looked almost black, reminding me of some unusual (for Missouri) tulips that my daughter is growing. The colors of those tulips inspired this painting.

Tulips just about have to be my favorite spring bloom. However, their “downside,” at least here in Missouri, is that their blooms have such a short duration. If you throw in a windy day, their “glory days” are even fewer. Who knows, maybe part of their beauty lies in the realization that they should be fully enjoyed “now,” as tomorrow they may not be there. Perhaps a life lesson?

So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12 (NKJV)

(Linking to Artist’s Play Room, Creative Every Day, Art Journal Every Day, Paint Party Friday and Dion Dior Friday Sketches.)