“Wild animals can throw very wild parties.”The Narrator, SpongeBob SquarePants
With temperatures hitting over 100 degrees for 4 straight days, YouTube is a good alternative to looking outside for art inspiration. My newest video obsession is “Home is Where the Art Is” – a British reality show that features artists and buyers.
The producers find three artists who specialize in three different mediums, and match them with a buyer in a competition for an art commission. The artists snoop around the buyers’ home, then each has a chance to show a selection of their art and pitch an idea to the buyer. The buyers pick two of the three artists to go on to the next stage. Those two artists then create a unique piece to fit the likes and needs of the buyer.
Watching the artists’ creative process as they work through the commission piece in their medium of choice is very inspiring. In the end, the buyers have 2 unusual and very personal pieces to choose from. The show takes you full circle, from inspiration to idea to completed art.
Everyone is really polite and enthusiastic and it is an uplifting, feel-good show. At the end, you get to see the art in its place in the buyers home, and the host recommends that anyone looking for art look to local artists to create it for them. Check out the 2nd season here.
Things are a little weird out in the world right now. Like a lot of folks during the Covid shutdowns, I have found myself with an abundance of time on my hands. To get my art fix I have turned to online classes and YouTube videos. I’ve been working on a variety of projects, and I have revisited some mediums that I have ignored for quite some time. I thought it was time to share what’s been inspiring my studio time.
My first projects were handmade books. I have been binge watching The Paper Outpost, Johanna Clough, Moonside Parlour and Amity Bloom as well as others. Give them a look see if you have time. Plus if you are having any worries about the future of our world, Nazi at Amity Bloom is pure sweetness and light.
I’ve made recycled paper bag journals, a huge Field Guide with removable watercolor notebooks to record flora and fauna and some altered book junk journals.
I got on the mask bandwagon for a few days too, making sure that my peeps all had the protection they needed. I’m not the best seamstress, but they are cute and they work. It was a good excuse to dust off my sewing machine and sort through my fabric stash. I’ve been meaning to do that for a while.
I’ve also dipped my toe back into the mixed media world with some collage and Gelli plate printing. There are some really fun new techniques out there for your Gelli printing plate, including magazine photo transfers and alcohol ink printing. I especially enjoyed combining all three techniques. There are a ton of videos, so search around. I used the collages and prints to make cards and book covers.
I have taken a few really nice online workshops including Wandering Muse from Jeanne Oliver and Sketchbook Revival from Karen Abend. Wandering Muse had several lessons on drawing faces in different mediums, plus finding your artistic voice, block printing, creating an inspiration board and sculpture…. very cool stuff. She also has many free classes to get you started. Sketchbook Revival was a free course with lots short lessons on working in your sketchbook, taught by teachers from all over the world. Something for everyone!
I’ve also been working on a few new paintings. Its been a few years since I really painted, so I’m a bit rusty, but it feels good to slow down and paint again. Here are three I’ve completed.
And, don’t worry. I have also been spending some time outside when the weather allows. We have been kayaking as often as possible.
Some of my other favorite YouTubers are:
Illustrator James Luke Burke
Illustrator Leigh Ellexson
Resin Artist Artsy Madwoman
Watercolorist Watercolor MIsfit
Journaler Ali Brown
Crazy Creative Struthless
Jack of All Trades and a Voice Like Butta TheCrafsman SteadyCraftin
I hope you enjoy some of these fabulous teachers. Sandy
November marked the beginning of a new era for me at work. After nearly 30 years working in a small satellite office, I was asked to report to the main office 2 days a week. This office lies smack dab in the middle of Norfolk’s NEON Arts District.
While the drive is a serious pain in the ass with its traffic, tunnels and tolls, the rest of the deal is pretty sweet. The building is full of creative folks to play with and its location offers plenty of opportunities for lunchtime art adventures with my art buddy Siobhan.
The surrounding buildings are being adorned with murals of all styles and themes, with more murals popping up all the time. Even the sidewalks are painted!
The building I work in is just a short walk to the Chrysler Museum, and I’ve managed to catch a few awesome shows. My favorite so far is the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit. It is small, but shows examples of her flowers, photos, abstracts and landscapes. The small size of the show allowed for plenty of time to read the accompanying words – my favorite part. She was a real piece of work.
Across the street from the building, we also toured the newly renovated
Glass Wheel Studio.
Inspiration is around every corner in Norfolk’s NEON district!
I’m glad I get to be a part of it.