Thursday, June 27, 2013

One Man's JUNK is This Girl's ART. . .

That's right! It seems these days I am always searching for junk to make art out of. This week the junk came to me! Monday morning, bright and early I got a call from my bug man (I love this guy!) telling me to meet him at the door in 5 minutes (it was not our scheduled day). When he arrived he handed me two bags of really COOL JUNK (pictured below)! He really likes the last couple of pieces I have done and said he would start a "Marta Bag" in his house to collect some random stuff for me.

Then on Tuesday I had another "playdate" with Deborah and we played with some more JUNK, some that I had brought with me and some that she had collected. I brought this motherboard with me from my deceased PC and we took a shot at dismantling it. WE didn't get everything off but we did manage to get the fan, the processor and one of the heat thingies off (Richard told me what it was called last night but I forget now). The heat thingy was so cool looking and I told Deborah that it looked like flames - next thing I know she has her jewelers saw out and is slicing it into pieces for me. As she handed me the pieces I started lining them up and then added some wine corks to the "display" and asked her "what do you think this is?". She wasn't sure and that was when I told her it was my mixed media version of the Bible story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abendego - do you remember those guys? They got thrown into the fiery furnace and didn't get burned. As you will see later on that started a whole 'nother set of nonsense.
Next on our JUNK adventure was dismantling a blender that Deborah rescued from her son's trash while she helped him pack last week. I never knew there was such fun stuff inside of a blender! Be watching for some of these parts to show up in some art pieces soon. Some of that pretty red wire might be showing up in some of Deborah's jewelery too! We had to take a hammer to the body at one point to free some of that lovely JUNK - I am sure her neighbors loved us out there bashing the heck out of it with a hammer at 11:30 at night!

Just to let you know it was after 1:30am when all of this stuff happened - we were getting a little "too happy". We were just looking at some of the treasured JUNK we had freed that night, when something happened and we ended up making this little "Man". First he just had arms and legs and was standing by the "fire". Then he got some "guns" and a heart (he was a cowboy, that's why he got the guns). Next came some cool "glasses" (he was a vision impaired cowboy). Then he lost his heart and got a "rope" made from guitar strings. I don't think I have ever seen Deborah laugh so hard - our little guy made his way to social media that night when Deborah posted him on Facebook! Our little guy even got 6 "likes and a couple of comments! 

Well I didn't leave there until 3:00am and it is about an hours drive home. But somehow I had the creative juices still flowing I guess and I got my sample made for my July Mixed Media Fridays w/ Marta done yesterday (okay it was actually around 3:00am this morning!). The sample will be in the store on Saturday if you want to take a closer look.
I hope you will join us  - we are going to be learning a little bit about color blending and texture in this class. And you will go home with this super cool 4"x12" canvas to hang on your own Art studio/space wall.
The class will be on Friday, July 19th from Noon - 3:00pm. You can check out the classes tab for all of the details.
Well, with all of my "JUNK" play and painting this week my house is a wreck! I should probably get off the computer and go clean - YUCK!
I hope you all are having a fantastic week!
till we meet again. . .

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Playing with Copper

This weekend I did a little bit of experimenting. When I made the piece below I used part of an old copper plant stake that I had in my garden at my old house. It had a beautiful patina on it and I just loved the texture.

Well that was the only one I had, but then I got to thinking. . .
I have a bunch of new ones that have never been used in my gardening box! I figured maybe, just maybe I could "quickly" duplicate that beautiful patina?  

 These are the plant stakes I started off with - you can get them in the $1 bin at Target every spring or Home Depot whenever. They come with 6 in the pack
 Next step was my "beautiful" aging station on my patio, complete with Vinegar & sea salt. I prefer cidar vinegar but I was out and had to use plain ol' white vinegar. I soaked the stakes in the vinegar/salt solution (2 parts Vinegar to 1 Part salt) all day.
 Then that evening I placed the stakes in the lawn so that they touched the grass (thankfully the lawn needed mowing) and waited for the sprinklers to come on that night. By noon the next day this is what they looked like!
 I plucked them out of the ground and then pulled the copper plates off of the stakes                      (they just slide off)
 Aren't they pretty? They aren't quite as "blue" as the 10 year old stake, but I am sure if I wasn't so impatient, and left them out a few more days they would have gotten there.
I can't wait to use these little beauties now! Who knows, maybe they will show up in a class soon???
I hope you are all having a great weekend and doing something FUN and CREATIVE!!!
till we meet again. . .

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I've Been at it Again!

That's right, I have been busy in my studio again the past few days.
So here is my latest creation
"The Way"

Do you remember a few days back I showed you this picture of the overpass at the 101 & Shea Blvd? I told you I always get stopped at this light on my way to my friend's house.
Remember I told you that it always inspires me and that eventually I would make some art of it?
Well, I did it!

I like to name my art and I like to build in as much symbolism as I possibly can. I also like to use my time in my studio as a time to pray and listen to God.
This one is called "The Way" for the obvious reason but as I worked on this piece and I was praying about it God brought to mind the scripture John 14:6
"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life"
As I pondered this verse and worked on it some more, it became obvious to me that this was the purpose and meaning of this piece. After all what better friend is there than Jesus!
"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends"
John 15:14

So you will see there is compass, a cross and a big gear, all of them painted black and red at some area. This symbolizes the darkness our lives are without Him and His blood that changes all of that!
There are a ton of arrows on this piece as well as a reminder of the "way"

The large nuts on this piece are even covered with the above scriptures and others
I knew this was going to be a heavy piece, structurally, so it is not on a canvas. It is actually on a pine "canvas" that I built. Well, I didn't build it all by myself. . . I got frustrated when my cordless drill ran out o juice and I couldn't get the spent battery out to put a new one in it. This made me drive to my friend Rooster's house, where her dear hubby John helped me out - Thanks John - you are my hero!
So this is what I have been up to - tomorrow I am actually heading back over to my friend Deborah's house and I will probably get stopped at this light again!
Enjoy the rest of your week
till we meet again. . .

Friday, June 14, 2013

No Sense Crying Over Spilt Butter and Pepsi!

Okay, so these are NOT the typical pictures I share with you on my blog but. . .
I just had to share with you what I woke up to this morning.
 Typically in this spot is a relatively clean concrete garage floor and a refrigerator that holds all of the cold drinks and back-up items. But this morning I woke up to my Mother telling me that the garage fridge had been left open all night! I wasn't too worried since like I said - it mostly just holds drinks. So I go out to check on things and I see all of this "liquid" on the ground around the fridge and figured it was just water. I grabbed some towels and went back out to clean up the mess and found that the "liquid" was actually melted butter!!!!! FIVE POUNDS of melted butter!!!!! That's right 5lbs! My Mother had done a bit of Costco shopping and stocked up. So it had melted over night and ran all over the inside and out the open door onto the concrete floor. GROSS!
So now I have to move the fridge and all of the shelving around the fridge so I can clean up all of the butter that ran under the refrigerator. Mom had also purchased canned soda when it was on sale and had stacked it next to the fridge, as I went to move one of the 12packs it decided to explode inside the box and run all over the garage floor and me! Mind you it is now about 11:30 (I didn't start right away because I thought it was just water) and about 105 degrees outside and hotter than that in the garage.
I had no idea how to clean up this mess so I found this little 1" scouring brush and some baking soda and went to town. Nope that didn't work so I tried bleach - nope that is not the solution either. Finally after a couple of hours I just mopped it up and called it good. Sadly after all of that work the concrete is completely stained, the fridge is not cooling anymore and I think I lost about 5lbs from sweating!But on the up side, my garage is cleaner than it was when I woke up and I got a couple of hours to just listen to my music and got to say hi to my neighbors as they passed by. Gary stopped by to pick up his golf clubs and when he saw the mess he expected me to be cranky (I hate messes and dirty stuff) but he was pleasantly surprised that I was not. I just kept thinking of these two Bible verses as I cleaned up this mess. I even quoted them to him -
Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice! Philippians 4:4
Whatever you are doing, work at it with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not for people.
Colossians 3:23
He just laughed and said "whatever gets you through this Babe". It is amazing to me how you can CHOOSE to have joy even while doing something you don't enjoy doing. Not too long ago this would have ruined the rest of my day. But today it was just something that happened and needed to be taken care of. So today I share with you my spilt butter and spilt Pepsi and my choice to find joy in the middle of the mess.
I hope your day was full of JOY but without the mess!
till we meet again. . .

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My Time is Finished. . .

I started a new mixed media piece on Sunday after church and I just finished it this afternoon. I am calling it "This is My Time". There is a lot of personal symbolism on this piece for me about where I am at this time in my life and I must say I am very happy with how it turned out.  
Here it is. . .
If you had told me 18 months ago that I would be creating art anything like this I would have told you that you were crazy! Up until now I have never really created anything that I would call "art" I was, as Bryanna says "crafty". I dabbled in any kind of paper art, some sewing, some photography, but lately I feel as though I have found a new part to myself. I just love getting my hands all dirty. I just love watching something come together, with each new step and each addition of product and color. I even love how with each mistake that you make you think to yourself "it's ruined" and then the joy when you realize it isn't. And I love that one moment when you know it is finished, you have given everything you had to give to that one piece. BLISS!
A friend of mine talked to me a week ago about creating some pieces for a gallery in Texas that is interested in seeing some of my work. This is the first of those pieces. Sadly I am not sure I can sell this one - but we will see.
So here is a little bit about what's on this piece in case you are interested. It is a 10x10 stretched canvas mounted on a 12x12 canvas board. There is a ton of fun texture on this baby - modeling paste, computer components, lots of bits and pieces from guitars (thank you Deborah!), some Tim Holtz metals and lots of stuff from the hardware store and several mulberry paper flowers, just to mention some of the many embellishments on this piece. Then of course there is a ton of acrylic paint, inks and sprays.
I love the look of the double canvas construction on this piece - but it does present some hanging issues. I have to add a wire hanger to the back still so I can get it up on my wall, but I could not find my  mounting wire today.
So this is what I have been spending my time on the past few days. It was a great time for me!
What have you been doing that you can say was BLISS? If your answer is "nothing" I challenge you to find your bliss this week!
until we meet again. . .

Monday, June 10, 2013

Having Too Much Fun!!!!!

Came home from church yesterday all fired up and ready to use my gift!
Here is a sneak peak at what is on my work table right now.
While I am waiting for glue to dry I decided to pop on and share .
Hopefully I will have a finished piece to show you in a couple of days!
So what are YOU doing with YOUR GIFT this week???
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord. . .
 Colossians 3:23
until we meet again. . .

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Inspiration, Friends & Snow

Can you believe I have been away for a whole week? It has been busy around here!
Here's a little bit of what I have been up too. . .
I had a play date (that is what Monkey calls it) with my friend Deborah this week. I love hanging out with her! We have way too much fun. Our fun typically involves some crafting of some sort, lots of gabbing, and of course some food.
 Each time I go to her house I get stopped at this light and am forced to stare at this fence that is next to the overpass. I am not sure why, but I love this - it really inspires me to want to work on some art! But by the time I get home I have forgotten about the fence. So this time as I sat at the light I pulled out my camera and took some pictures. So don't be surprised if something similar shows up on a project soon!
 Our crafting projects this day ran the gammet of making springs out of guitar strings, dismantling guitar parts for mixed media projects and jewelry making.
I think she has created a new monster in me! Yesterday I made all of these bracelets! Well, not all of them - the last one on the right was the one I made at her house on Wednesday. Just what I need - another hobby!
I really don't wear jewelry - but I do wear bracelets - but I only have a couple. Now I have several and can really spruce up my new wardrobe! I am not really a "clothes person" either. It is hard to find clothes that fit me and since I quit working (in 1999) I have just given up on buying myself stuff to just stay home crafting and cleaning in. But this spring I just decided I was "worth" shopping for and bought myself a whole new wardrobe. It is so fun to get dressed now - and now I have fun new bracelets to go with my fun new clothes!
 Christmas in July!!!!
Each summer I do a "Christmas in July" class and I just finished my sample for this year's "CIJ" I hope you will like it. It is called "Silent Night" and you can sign up starting this weekend by calling The Occasional Artist.
This was a hard project to photograph but you can see it in person at the store this week. It is a backward canvas full of shimmering papers, glitter, rhinestones and pearls. Even though it is all black, white and silver I think it just screams Christmas!
I love how the light glows from the little windows during this snowy night as Santa and his reindeer fly through the sky.

So this is a little peek at what I have been up to this week. I hope you have been having a great time and have been staying cool - can you believe it was 112 today!!!
Have a great weekend 
till wee meet again. . . .