a new beginning

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.

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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!

 

 

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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.

Georgia O’Keeffe: A Place of Her Own

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Saints and Dragons: Icons from Byzantium to Russiabyz1
Tseng Kwong Chi – Performing for the Camera

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Across the street from the building, we also toured the newly renovated
Glass Wheel Studio.

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Inspiration is around every corner in Norfolk’s NEON district!
I’m glad I get to be a part of it.

 

 

the art of video games

The Art of Video Games
Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia

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 The Chrysler presents an exhibition that does more than trace 40 years of creative artistry and technological advances in digital entertainment. It poses the question of whether video games deserve to be considered art.”

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My Daddy was so excited in the late 70s when he brought home PONG- the very first video game I had ever seen. We all sat around the TV and played for hours. I remember playing Pac Man and Space Invaders at the Pavilion in Myrtle Beach in the early 80s. I have fond memories of Frogger, Asteriods, the Atari system and Mario. When my baby was growing up in the 90s there was Pokémon and Donkey Kong. My most recent video game purchase was a Wii system and Wii Fit, Wii Dance Party and Wii Bowling. Its crazy how much video games have changed in a relatively short amount of time.

This exhibit at the Chrysler Museum of Art shows video games from the beginning of time (or so it seems) —  to the present. It was interesting to see how much the graphics have advanced over the years. I enjoyed playing the vintage arcade games, but my favorite part was the art that the visitors made depicting their favorite video game characters.

The exhibit ends this Sunday. Check it out if you can- it was a hoot!

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no excuses art journaling

BOOK REVIEW: ‘NO EXCUSES ART JOURNALING – making time for creativity’
BY GINA rossi ARMFIELD

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If you have ever started an art journal (or any kind of journal for that matter), you know it takes commitment!  Every time I pick up a beautiful new journal full of empty white pages I just know that THIS TIME I am going to stick with it. After all, the book is so beautiful and I have so much to say…

After a few days or weeks of diligently working in it – pouring my heart and soul into it, covering pages with gorgeous colors and textures, and making art JUST FOR ME, I get excited about another project and leave my book behind. I don’t mean to abandon it…. it just happens.

This time has been different! With Gina Rossi Armfield’s No Excuses Art Journaling – Making Time for Creativity I have been working in my new journal EVERY DAY since October 1st. I look forward to getting home from work and playing in it for a few minutes each evening! On the weekends I watercolor the pages and work on the weekly and monthly prompts. It doesn’t take long, and it is truly a labor of love. It has been such as rewarding experience, and I love to look back on my brightly colored pages and see what I have accomplished.

The NO EXCUSES website describes the process like this: Using a day planner as your art journal, you’ll find daily, weekly and monthly prompts that you can adapt to fit your real-life, busy schedule. Along the way, you’ll learn fun and convenient techniques to add sketching, watercolor painting, collage and more into your journal, all while setting goals, creating art and chronicling your unique life.

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Of course, there are lots of ways to make the journal unique to you! I started out in a small watercolor journal just to see if I would keep up with it. I really loved the paper in it, so for my 2015 journal I chose a larger watercolor journal instead of a planner and I draw the boxes and dates in each week. This gives me the freedom to spread glorious watercolor all over each page!

If you have ever been interested in starting an art journal I would highly recommend this book and Gina’s process. From getting your book ready for use to inspiration each month, she really does take away the “I don’t have time”  and the “I don’t know what to write” excuses! Gina’s website also has a gallery of artist’s pages for you to find even more inspiration!

ps…. this process offers lots of practice drawing, writing and painting, and it’s a great project to use your rubber stamps and stickers again!

 

weaving 101

Weaving on the Copper Loom
with Kat Allison
Newport News, Virginia

Terri, Julie and I headed up to Newport News in the rain for a new adventure. Kat Allison, fiber artist, educator and adjective lover,  invited us up (or did we invite ourselves??) for a fabulous day of weaving on the copper loom.

The day started with show-and-tell of Kat’s lovely studio and artwork. Then we jumped in and started warping our looms. When Kat asked us what size loom we wanted, we all said BIG ONES so that’s what we got! Terri and I got scarf-sized looms and Julie wanted one the size of a small rug. Each was lovingly made of shiny copper by Kat herself. Her looms are special– when you take off the weaving, the warp threads magically disappear, making your piece almost finished as soon as you remove it from your loom. Experts say it can’t be done, but it works, and it is fabulous.

Of course, weaving is not for folks craving immediate satisfaction. You have to put in the time, but it is worth it. On one of Kat’s looms, you can mix in fibers, beads, strips of hand dyed fabrics, paper, clay, wire and more– truly a mixed media adventure. I am starting with making a scarf of fibers, beads and fabric strips. It looks awesome so far, and feels yummy. I can’t wait to wear the finished product. When we get past the holidays it is the first project I will finish!

I hope the New Year finds you happy and healthy. I also hope you will find new artistic adventures in 2015!

 

 

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Whiskey the studio dog

What I loved: Playing with Kat is always an artful adventure!

What I learned: Weaving takes time and patience, but the results are gorgeous! When weaving a scarf, I found it works better to warp the loom over every other peg. Also, the finished product is much softer and more scarf-like if you use yarns instead of fabrics.

TAP dancing!

CREATIVE IMAGE TRANSFER– Any Artist, Any Style, Any Surface
by Lesley Riley

 

Creative Image Transfer is finally available and I am so excited to be a part of it! The book includes 16 new mixed-media projects using TAP Transfer Artist Paper. My project uses TAP on  Faux Bone – a non-toxic, flat PVC plastic that can be cut and carved into any shape for beautiful, lightweight jewelry components. The book showcases 5 of my Faux Bone necklaces, each with a TAP transfer of my artwork.

To celebrate the event, Lesley is having a Creative Image Transfer book and TAP Give-away! Just head over to her blog anytime from Aug. 6-10, 2014 and enter to win!

Creative Image Transfer