Tag Archives: creative

Cello Dolly

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With my penchant for puns and general silliness, when a broken and abused cello fell into my hands ( … OK, when I charmed a guy to dig it out of a dumpster for me …), I couldn’t resist turning it into an over-sized doll. (I mean, really, what did you expect from me?)

While I conceived this project last May, it has been done in fits and starts because of interference from other projects, vacations, and prepping for school – not to mention pulling together materials (read a frame) large enough to accommodate a cello. So, without further ado, here’s the process of my latest creation.

As you can see, this poor cello was in need of love.

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After several attempts at separating the front from the body, I called on Lochinvar to lend a hand. Once he managed the task, I gave it a quick sanding to remove the shiny finish.

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After a coat of Gesso and a couple of coats of white chalk paint, the front was looking a good deal better.

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Since I was going for a paper doll feel, I decided to create a polka dot “dress” from the cello.

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Meanwhile, the hunt for a large enough frame began. After some focused shopping (read hitting every thrift store in town) I found this pretty icky but sturdy frame on a half-price Saturday at Goodwill. The center of the frame was covered in a suede-like fabric.

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Two coats of Gesso later, I was afraid I was wasting my time trying to revive the frame.

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However, three coats of white chalk paint finally seemed to breathe new life into the structure.

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A couple of coats of black paint in the middle gave just the right touch to coordinate with the polka dots I had put on the cello “dress.”

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The final piece has a scrap wallpaper background with paper doll outlines printed on vintage sheet music and covered with a light coat of gray chalk paint to provide plenty of contrast to the Cello Dolly design. Embellishments include some actual jewelry (the pendant, dog tag, ring, and earring) along with dressmaker fringe, and a purse constructed from a fabric scrap. The face and arms are constructed of card stock and drawn/colored using alcohol markers. This is the largest piece I have completed to date measuring 33 x 50 inches. 

I actually have two more broken cellos and a guitar stacked in the corner of my studio, but I haven’t envisioned anything for them yet. Hmm … I wonder where I’ll find three more giant frames.

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Finding Inspiration

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Sometimes I just need to spend a couple of hours browsing through antiques and artsy fluff to get a project rolling. Recently, Lochinvar and I wanted to create a photo studio space in our basement and a dressing room from a laundry catch-all area. These projects allowed me to contemplate some revamping in other rooms, too – including the guest room and our bedroom. With four spaces and plenty of furniture whirling through my head, I needed some thematic ideas. So, on a whim, I spent a quiet afternoon at Merchant’s Square in Chandler.

This is one of my favorite places to pass a hot summer day because I always leave with decorating ideas and a few chuckles from the quirkier items that abound. For instance, check out the wooden clogs that look like Lego blocks. These puppies would make a great Cosplay costume addition, but not something I’d wear on a daily basis. Can you imagine the noise?

 

0625181227.jpg  Then, there’s the knight-in-shining-armor themed table lamp. I fear my feline friends might try to stage a joust with these accoutrements. Or, worse yet, it might provide weapons for would-be intruders.

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And, as long as we’re talking about about weapons, whose bright idea was it to invent an indoor horseshoe game? Note it says “Rubber shoes reinforced with steel” on the box. I think my Ragamuffin would have destroyed every piece of glass in the house with permission to throw around these things. (And we won’t even discuss the fact that Father looks like he’s about to shout Ole! while young Betty appears to be practicing for the high wire.)

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After a bit of mucking around, the silliness factor gave way to more inspirational items like these romantic doodads. The doll themed coloring book would make wonderful artwork for a girl’s room or an antique style dressing room, as would the lace angel wings. (I have to admit, I looked at those for quite awhile trying to image where they might end up in my house.

 

Of course the porcelain meets paper doll also seemed to fit in with my romantic vision which would perfectly complement many of the whimsical beribboned tags. All of these items were the vision of a single vendor who had lacy French-feeling frippery to spare. I think I could have decked out an entire room in that one shop, and I felt an instant kinship to its anonymous owner.

As I continued to amble down the aisles, my eyes and hands were drawn to many pieces of painted furniture, but I especially fell in love with the old Paris maps on the drawers of this piece. The colors are so beautiful and delicate!

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I also love the wrapping paper lining on the drawers of this chest. Just opening up an empty drawer feels like an adventure among the flowers.

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In addition to the lovely romantic furniture and decor items, several vendors offered beautiful pieces of wearable art. Here, a plain linen shirt became a jacket bedecked in crocheted doilies, embroidered table toppers, and an assortment of vintage lace odds and ends. The maker had an entire rack of shirts, jackets, and dresses that I would love to wear about town.

Finally, I fell for this vintage purse with an adorable under-the-sea theme. This is the perfect piece for those always-be-a-mermaid days. (Sigh)

As I browsed, my brain considered that I could create the new dressing area as a homage to vintage frilliness and keep it for myself, but (alas) Lochinvar had design plans of his own (dark wood, leather, and a blue Oriental rug). So, I settled for cleaning out and rearranging the guest room with its antique bed, painted desk, and handmade yo-yo bedspread and pillow shams (Thanks, Mom!)

0626181056a0626181056bIn the end, Lochinvar also suggested that I could work some fru-fru magic on our bedroom. (Of course, he didn’t have to say that twice!) So, that project is currently underway. I have already added curtain panels from Goodwill (a bit of sheer lace over a print at the window and some dotted swiss in the archway), reupholstered the seat over the tub, hung some peacock art, and added a comfy chair to the space. Meanwhile, those map covered drawers continue to dance through my head as I survey two night stands, a headboard, and a foot board. I think they’re calling my name!

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Easy DIY Art with Colarting Kits

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When summer temps hit the valley of the sun there are only a few acceptable activities. One, of course, is hanging out in the pool; another is anything that can be done inside with air conditioning and a cold drink in hand. (The latter situation is also familiar to my northern friends who hunker down to escape the blustery cold of winter.)

As a teacher, I spend a good deal of my time in the summer thinking about and planning for school (which gears up at the beginning of August), but since I don’t have to do those activities on a bell schedule, I also get to spend a good deal of time in my studio. On 115 degree afternoons, the coolness of the basement beckons me to color, cut, and paste.

Thus, our Colarting (where coloring meets art) kits provide a means to escape the heat and create something to hang in my room, office, or home. Let me show you how it works with the Dreamy Kitty design.

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Each kit comes with three or four layers (depending on the picture) to create a 3-D design along with a package of standard embellishments and the foam tape used to give the art dimension. Full instructions are also included, along with a bonus coloring page.

 

 

 

In step one, each of the layers is colored in preparation for cutting and stacking. While a person could leave the larger shapes blank (white), I suggest filling them in to provide a background when looking at the pieces at an angle. This helps the piece look more professional when its complete.

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The middle layer has a gray space around the pieces to indicate what will be cut away. Because I know I’m going to cut these out, I don’t worry about staying inside the edges. As a matter of fact, I intentionally go over the line to make sure I fill in all of the white space. In addition, when I’m using several shades of the same color (like two shades of green on the squirrel shape), I color the entire shape in the lighter color using a chisel tip marker, and then go back with the darker color and fill in the details using a fine tip marker. This makes it much easier to color small, detailed areas.

As you can see, I have written the color numbers I used across the top (which will get cut off). Since I don’t always have time to color all of the pieces at once, this helps me remember which markers I used so I can carry the color theme over to other pieces.

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The top layer consists of cut outs that will rest on top of the middle layer pieces. I used the same basic colors to complete these pieces, too.

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If you plan to use a photo mat (which I highly recommend since it adds a professional finish to your artwork), put the background in the mat before you begin adding the layers. This allows the layers to stick out over the edge of the mat and adds to the 3-D effect.

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Now you’re ready to cut out the middle and top layer pieces.

Once everything is cut out, open up the embellishment packet and locate the foam tape squares. These will be applied to the back of the cut out pieces in order to create a 3-dimensional effect on your artwork.

It’s always a good idea to space out the foam tape squares around the edges of larger pieces (like the kitty). The smaller pieces may only need one or two squares to support them. Remember to plan the number of squares per piece to make sure you have enough.

Once the tape is stuck to the back of the layers, peel off the wax paper backing and apply the middle layer to the background.

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Repeat the application process with the smallest top-layer pieces. Here, the angled photo gives a better look at the shaded in bottom layers. (Take a look in the lower left corner under the lizard.)

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Once all the layers of the picture are attached, it’s time to have some fun with the embellishments. The packet contains basic embellishments in clear and silver to match any color scheme. Of course, you can always add extras from your own stash. (Consider buttons, beads, jewels, trims, pieces of broken jewelry, or even origami.)

If you don’t have a stash, we offer additional embellishment kits in multiple colors. (All of our kitty-themed demos on the website feature standard embellishments. The other themes sport a variety of items from my studio.)

Arrange the embellishments wherever you like. (I suggest placing all of them on the piece before gluing, just to make sure you like the layout.) Regular white glue or craft glue will work to attach the embellishments, or if you’re impatient (like I am), use a hot glue gun for immediate gratification.

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Finally, don’t forget to sign your work before putting it into a frame. Our kits create an 8 x 10 picture which fits into an 11 x 14 mat and frame. (I suggest you get a shadow box frame so your work will be protected behind glass.) If you use a non-shadow box, simply remove the glass to allow space for your 3-D design to pop out of the frame.

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The final product is a one-of-a-kind piece of art ready to adorn your office or home. Our whimsical designs are perfect for kids rooms, dorm rooms, hallways, and cubicles. They make great gifts as a project to be completed or as a finished product to make someone smile.

Check out the nearly 30 designs available at thecockeyedcolorist.com. Happy colarting!

 

Charmed, I’m Sure

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Like most people these days, I frequently find myself pressed for time when it comes to things I want to do (like creating art) versus things I have to do (like working). More and more, though, I find that if I put a project on my brain’s back burner and let it simmer awhile, the actual time it takes to create the piece is drastically reduced.

Case in point: Today I created a piece from start to finish (except for framing) in about six hours including breaks for food, pets, and drying time. This is highly unusual for me, but I’ve been thinking about the work since I popped awake at 3 a.m. about 10 days ago and made a quick sketch just to get the idea down so I could sleep. So, even though I had organizational chores that took up my time for awhile, by brain just kept plugging away at what I was going to do. Then, when I stepped into the studio this morning ready to begin, I also finished. Perhaps the organizational tasks helped, too, since I re-sorted all of my backgrounds, pictures, and embellishments in the process of refining a system I implemented a year-and-a-half ago. As I sorted, I thought, “Oh, I should use that!” when I came across a piece of lace or some beads I had forgotten about.

Here’s today’s work: “She’s a Charmer.”

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I started by spray mounting heavyweight pink construction paper to a 30″ by 20″ foam core board to create a solid colored base layer.

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Next, I swirled glue on top of the construction paper and added a layer of dress maker patterned tissue. The swirls of glue (which show since the tissue is so thin), provide added interest.

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Next, Stanzilicious PouffyPants helped me choose some flowers to cut out of printed and sequined felt. These felt pieces are remnants of calendars that my mother-in-law makes for me every year. When the year is up, I cut away the calendar portion and keep the decorated motifs for other uses.

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Once cut, I glued on the sequined felt pieces and added some paper rickrack to finish the border.

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I tend to use whatever I have handy to weight items down while the glue dries. Here I used a couple of heavy books and a pair of pliers. The items added to the piece include a plastic recorder that I painted to look like brass along with half a thrift store hat and a glove with some wire and batting. I sketched my lady’s face, scanned it in, and printed it on manila paper. Her lipstick, eyebrows, and hair are alcohol marker, while her eye shadow and blush are oil pastel. A green zipper “snake” is responding to the lady’s tune.

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Poor Licorice needed a little help to join me on the studio table today. He had surgery last Tuesday and tore out his stitches last night, so the boy has to wear an inflatable collar and a bandage until we can take him back to the vet. This, however, did not stop him from wanting to take Stanzi’s spot this afternoon. It also garnered him quite a bit of extra attention and treats.

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Next, I added a little more jewelry to my lovely lady. I had already placed an old (broken) ring on her gloved had before gluing down the fingers, so I an amber colored earring and a charm bracelet I picked up a couple of months ago at a swap meet seemed appropos. I also added some jewels to the zipper “snake” for some extra shine.

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The final touches include beaded fringe for hair plus one more flower for good measure. I used a drawing of an angel wing that I had previously completed for her collar and outlined it in gold glitter. (After all, a girl can never have too much sparkle!)

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Finally, I added the lettering that ties together all of the imagery. The word “charm” can be used in multiple ways: as a reference to beauty and grace (my lovely lady), as a means to mesmerize (a snake charmer), as a piece of jewelry (a charm bracelet), and as a means of good luck and protection (under an angel’s wing).

After spending so many days contemplating this piece, I am happy to see it finished, and I’m excited about the next idea rolling around in my brain. (No spoilers, but I will say that it involves a recently acquired broken cello.) I’ hoping to capitalize on some think time for a few days.

 

 

 

 

Trash 2 Treasure

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The expression “Time flies when you’re having fun,” used to feel right. These days, however, the time seems to slip through my fingers no matter what I’m doing. I blink and a week is gone. I yawn and it’s a month. I sleep a little and discover it’s been five months since I wrote here last. (Sheesh!)

Much has happened at the Cockeyed Colorist in recent months. Lochinvar and I have taken our kits and original art to the Fountain Festival, the Mesa Arts Festival, the Great Fair, and the Tempe Festival of the Arts. In addition, I currently have three pieces in the spring show at The Grotto Gallery while Lochinvar has reinvented our festival set up to emphasize our new branding efforts which are leading to a new website (coming soon). Whew! As part of our brand building, I have decided to focus my work on upcycling items, so I have new piece that I’m excited to share with you.

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I picked up this child-size violin at a local flea market.

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As you can see, I had to remove a good deal of industrial glue with bits of synthetic wreath buried in it.

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After a plenty of scraping and sanding, most of the goo came off.

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Some of it was pretty stubborn, though, and refused to be separated from the violin.

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A couple coats of Gesso and some chalk paint covered most of the flaws.

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The fun part starts here. I used a gold paint pen to add some highlights around the holes in the body and at the top of the neck.

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Next, I dipped some old silk flowers in plaster of Paris to give them the look of porcelain.

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While the flowers dried, I painted some wooden keys and put them through the peg holes to hold the “strings.”

 

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Pearl trim serves as strings with an old button cover holding them together on the body.

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Next, I added the flowers which covered up the imperfections that were still visible through the paint.

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Of course, the flowers needed some jewelry, too, so I added some pearl beads to finish them off.

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For the background, I scanned old photos and drawings of women from a variety of eras into my computer and printed them in sepia. After layering them on a backer board, I used permanent markers and oil pastels to add “make up,” creating some painted ladies. I also gave some of them necklaces and glittery buttons using pieces of old jewelry.

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Next, I dropped the background into a frame that we found on a “junking” trip to Tucson. (Of course, I HAD to add a little pearly silver highlight to the frame before adding my dressed up girls!) Then, Lochinvar attached the violin to the backer board with careful measurements and small screws.

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In the final step, I added more embellishments in the form of flowers under the violin’s neck, a couple of small frames for my lovely ladies, and extra pieces of jewelry to add just a little more sparkle. (After all, a girl needs her jewelry!)

After spending several weeks working on this piece a little at a time, I’m happy to see it finished and excited to find more items like this violin that need a new lease on life. This piece is a stylistic change for me, but the idea of turning someone else’s trash into a treasure is what I really love about art and a thread that runs throughout my work.

 

On Your Mark, Get Set …

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Lochinvar and I are gearing up for the Fountain Festival next weekend (yikes!), so we’ve been in sprint mode since Monday. I have finished up the last of the pieces for the show and Lochinvar photographed them and listed them on the website. Today I am writing artist statements, printing price tags, hemming tablecloths, and gathering paperwork while Lochinvar assembles the booth in the garage for a trial run. (Occasionally, of course, I have to go out and kibitz about where to hang specific pieces and give my creations a critical once over in the bright light of day.)

One of the items I am writing today is a process page that shows how pieces are created. I think people often don’t consider all the small steps necessary to create a piece of art. They say, “Oh, it’s a decorated bottle,” as if someone waved her hands, did a dance, and magically transformed a dusty dumpster dive piece of trash into an artful treasure by sheer will power.  People don’t seem to realize that bottle took elbow grease, inspiration, a myriad of materials, a good deal of time, and a host of steps to make. Other artists that I have seen at shows combat this mentality with an explanation of their process and materials, so I thought I would give it a shot, too. Here goes:

Hi, I’m Jenny and I rescue things: discarded bottles, old candy boxes, beat up toys, hand-me-down trays … all of these items (and many more) live in my studio stash waiting to be reimagined into something new. (To be honest, my work space sometimes looks like the Island of Misfit Toys with odd pieces of stuff scattered about in various states of becoming.)

While some of my art is completed on conventional mediums like canvas and card stock, I’m much more interested in the trash-to-treasure process, so here’s what it looks like for something as simple as a discarded bottle.

 

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Most of my bottles come from the trash, though sometimes people give them to me. Other items come from yard sales and thrift stores. (Half price day at Goodwill is always a treat!) “Junking” for hidden treasure is one of my favorite pastimes.

Of course the first step for any item is a thorough cleaning. Labels are removed and grime is scrubbed off.

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Next, everything gets two coats of gesso to create a paintable surface and block any colors or blemishes that did not come off with cleaning.

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The bottles (or boxes or toys, etc.) get two to three coats of paint. I am partial to indoor acrylic paint (the kind that goes on walls) for this step because it is durable and sample sizes come in lots of cool colors. I also use plaster of Paris to create my own chalk paint for this step.

Some items get acrylic craft paint, which usually requires extra coats. The type of paint is dictated by the material it is going on.

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After the base coats are dry, every motif that’s going on the item has to be created on paper, card stock, wallpaper, sheet music, book pages, etc. using a variety of inks, paint, pencils, and pastels.

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Once the elements are done, they get a coat of fixative  to seal the work and add a subtle sheen.

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Next, the elements are applied to the item with a variety of adhesives (depending on the materials) and craft or fabric paint and glitter are added to the edges.

23316727_1500196130016923_7630399991227667318_nThe final step is attaching embellishments like beads, rhinestones, and costume jewelry. It can be tricky to get the embellishments to stay put while the glue dries.

 Once everything is glued in place, the final product is ready to be signed and photographed for the website.

 

 

Processing

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I tell myself every year that I’m not going to do school work during the summer, but I always end up taking classes, attending week-long planning sessions, putting together presentations, writing quizzes, scouring the internet for cool lesson ideas, and reading articles in preparation for the next school session. This year has been no different.

As I feel the summer drawing to a close (I’m signed up to conduct freshman boot camp in a week and a half.), I realize there are several things that I wanted to accomplish that haven’t gotten done. Some of them are deep cleaning house chores, but several of them deal with creating myself as an artist. So, I decided to ignore the chores and work on the art. That means I’ve spent some frustrating hours rebuilding my new website. (Yes, this is the third time. Cross your fingers; it’s almost done!) It also means sending applications to be juried into a couple of local artists’ groups. Yesterday, one of the applications asked me to describe my “process.”

This set me back for a few minutes while I contemplated how I go about creating anything. The creative process is different for each of us, and I’ve never really thought about what mine looks like from an outsider’s point of view. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s pretty silly and somewhat invisible.

First, I turn on my tunes. I have a 262-song playlist on my computer that I use specifically for creating. It includes the likes of Billy Joel, Garth Brooks, Bob Seger, The Eagles, Neil Diamond, Ray Charles, Bread, Jim Croce, The Fifth Dimension, Rod Stewart, Van Morrison, .38 Special, Simon and Garfunkel, Elton John, Charlie Daniels, Molly Hatchet, CCR, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Journey, and many, many more musicians. The cranked up music usually leads to me singing along (loudly) and dancing around my work room. (Yup! This is the silly part, but it feels good!)

Usually, the theme has been rolling around in my brain for a few days. (This is the invisible part.) I lie awake in the silence of the wee hours of the morning envisioning topics like angels, sweet felines, the ocean, flowers, or butterflies – all among my favorites. In my head, I see beautiful watery colors that swirl and roll together like storm clouds. Thus, by the time I get to my studio space, I have an idea that’s been bubbling up for a day or two, so I start pulling materials while I’m dancing about.

Last January I reorganized my creative space by sorting all of my materials by color. (Previously, they had been sorted by type or theme. For example, all the ribbons were in one box, and all the paper flowers in another.) Now, pulling out a basket of color is a great deal of fun. I empty the basket on to my work table and start sorting through the items to get some inspiration for dressing up my theme.

Next, I leave the mess on my table and head to my drawing space to create the big ideas that I’m going to paint, color, and embellish. While I’m usually a very organized and tidy person, the chaos of the dumped basket with a pile of drawing pens and music playing creates a free and fun atmosphere that lightens my soul. Which, of course, is the point of the whole exercise.

After I have completed the drawing, I take it back to the table and transfer it to whatever background I’ll be using like card stock, a canvas, an old tray, a cigar box, etc. (Recently, I picked up a small curio cabinet with three little shelves which has been calling my name.) Once the main ideas are on the background, the fun really begins. I break out the paint or alcohol markers and sift through embellishments.

At this point, I usually decide I need a couple of other colors or at least some metallic touches to spice up the piece. So, I “have” to break out another basket of stuff to play with. Of course, after a couple of baskets are dumped, the chaos can become overwhelming, and I need to walk away for awhile. (Here, my feline friends hope that I’ll forget to close the door to my work room so they can knock everything off the table and play with it.) It’s usually a day or two before I get back to finish my project, and by that time my brain has sorted out the details of its own accord. So when I open the door, I’m confronted with a “mess” to clean up, leaving out only what I’ve thought about for the last 24-48 hours. I crank up the music, put stuff back into baskets, and move along with my piece.

Allowing my brain time to process something on the back burner, making a mess, and then figuring out how to clean it up and finish what I started seems to be my way of dealing with just about any project I’m working on from planning a dinner party to creating a research unit for my English classes, or constructing a piece of art. I know that it’s really the down time that gets the job done. So, when I feel I have the most work to accomplish, I often have to remind myself to do something else, that walking away for a short time will provide the answers I need.

 

 

The Crooked Path

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It’s time for a revelation. Are you ready? Starting a business while holding down a full time job is stressful. (Who would have thought it, right?) Some days – like today – I just feel stuck. So, this blog entry is my attempt to push through it.

My personal Catch-22 goes like this: I’m tired and stressed from work, so I want to play a stupid video game and sit in front of the idiot box instead of building the website, researching marketing information, or creating a product line. However, if I don’t spend time building the website, researching marketing information, or creating a product line, I’m further behind than I was before, and I feel like a waste of space at the end of the evening. Can anyone else relate?

I knew that committing to making the business work would mean long days, and it’s not really the hours that trouble me. It’s more about the “business” part of the business. When people think about selling their beautiful artwork and creations as a business, we envision ourselves spending our precious coins of time immersed in color and pattern and paint and ribbon and glitter and a thousand other bits and pieces of decorative minutia.

Unfortunately, the reality is that my hours have been spent in front of a screen trying to figure out where a computer engineer put the tools I need to resize a particular picture and link it to a successive page of the website. Since I’m not really the engineer type, this is often a bigger struggle than it might seem.

In addition, life seems to just get in the way. Have a 30-minute stress-relieving bike ride penciled in this afternoon? Guess again – a student who has been absent for a week needs to stay late and catch up.

Think you’ll be able to knock that blog entry out during lunch today? Wrong – you have to spend the time comforting a colleague who is having a tough day and just wants to quit.

Think you have a solid two-hour block of time to figure out the difference between copyright and trademark AND how to apply for either and/or both? Nope – a family member needs some love and support instead.

Now, please don’t get me wrong. I will choose helping another human being – loved one, friend, student, etc. – over working on the computer every time. I don’t begrudge anyone I care about the time I give them. Still, prioritizing people sometimes comes at the expense of what I think I should be doing. I have extremely high expectations of myself and my ability to “do it all.”

Perhaps what I really need to learn is that I don’t have to do it all now. Maybe my take away is that it’s good to schedule my time, but it’s better to be flexible with it, and best to be kind to myself when things go awry. After all, I am here writing a blog instead of retreating into a game. I am doing my best to stay on track and follow the road wherever it goes – through the twists and turns that create a crooked path to success. I need to remember that the goal hasn’t moved, and I’m still making progress. Baby steps forward are still progress.

 

 

The Color of Spring

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Everyone has a favorite color. Mine is blue. I love all shades from pale, nearly white icy blue to the deepest inky midnight-funk-jazz blue. A couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to visit Glacier Bay in Alaska where the gray, mineral-filled water makes the ice appear a vibrant aquamarine. It was heaven. Of course, if you just slide around the color wheel a step, you’ll hit the greens – which are also near and dear to my heart. So, imagine my excitement when I took a look at the Pantone Color of the Year – “Greenery.” (FYI: According to the website, Pantone’s color of the year is “A symbolic color selection; a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our global culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.”)

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I realize that Pantone released this color choice about a month ago, but (apparently) I’m not on the inside track for these things. Go figure. This color of lemon leaves, early March grass, and Kermit the Frog, represents a pretty big leap from the 2016 colors of the year (Yes, there were two!) which were Rose Quartz and Serenity – think pale pink married to pale blue to create some lovely shades of hazy purple. Excluding those dreamy tones, the colors have been bold and/or vibrant for the last 10 years: Marsala (2015), Radiant Orchid (2014), Emerald (2013), Tangerine Tango (2012), Honeysuckle (2011), Turquoise (2010), Mimosa (2009), Blue Iris (2008) and Chili Pepper (2007). However, in 2006 the color was Sand Dollar.

All day I’ve been contemplating Sand Dollar. Though the color is definitely a neutral beige, the name conjures up the perfume of salty air, the feel of the waves tugging at my toes, and the sun reaching its golden tendrils across a blue expanse as it sinks below the horizon. (Sigh.)

Just naming a hue carries such visceral associations that I can close my eyes and picture the last time I saw it and contemplate what a wonderful, colorful world we live in.

 

A Real Who’s Who

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Well, I have done it. I have taken the plunge and am in the process of building a website. (I just keep remembering the man who ate an elephant – one bite at a time!) It is a little intimidating but interesting. I’m learning about all kinds of tools, and layout, and content needed for thecockeyedcolorist.com . However, as a creative endeavor it is also fun. I enjoy the process, and I’m having a good time writing some of the descriptors. (Although the artist statement still eludes me, and that will be the topic of a future post.) In the meantime, I’d like to give you a sneak peak of one of our pages by including the About Us content describing our staff.

toasting-our-friends-5-2Jenny Medlock (aka The Cockeyed Colorist) is the (not so) evil genius behind a diabolical plot to save the world through crafting by making people smile whether they want to or not.

 

toasting-our-friends-6-2Jeffrey Medlock (aka Lochinvar) is the organization’s Yes Man, as in “Yes, I know you can do it!” and “Yes, I’m here to help!” His jack-of-all-trades role keeps the machinery moving forward.

 

stanzi-1-2Stanzilicious Poufy Pants is the Efficiency Expert. She calls the staff to the basement to work every day and provides periodic petting breaks to her servants – I mean workers.

 

banditBanditulyumptious is the Cat Encouragement Officer (CEO) who brings incentive toys to the workers and makes sure everyone knows when it’s time to quit for dinner.

 

smudge-2Smudgicles (aka Old Blue Eyes) is Chaircat of the Board who oversees the whole production. From her seat of power she supervises the CEO and doles out responsibilities to the minions.

 

licorice-2Licorice is the Chief Fool and Art Critic (CFAC) who sees himself as a feline Jackson Pollock working in cat spit instead of gloss enamel.

 

georgie3Georgie Porgy is the Chief of Annoying Technology (CAT) who is never around when you need her. She specializes in hiding until problems are solved, unless someone shakes the treat jar.

And there you have it – the creative team behind our new website and our new product line (Coming Soon!) We hope your life is as colorful as ours!