Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Liebster Award

(Meghan at Make Something Daily gets credit for making this fantastic animated award image).

Last week, Sharon at Desert Willow Lanegave me a Liebster Award! Julia from  It's Always Reutten explains that "The Liebster Award is given from one up-and-coming blogger to other up-and-coming bloggers in an effort to support and recognize bloggers with less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German term of endearment; so we are expressing our support for one another through this award." So here we go!

The Rules:
Each blogger needs to:
1. Post 11 random facts about themselves;
2. Answer the 11 questions set out by the person who gave you the award;
3. Choose 11 new bloggers to give the award to and link to them in your post;
4. Create 11 new questions for the newly awarded bloggers to answer;
5. Comment on each newly awarded bloggers blog to let them know about the award; and
6. You cannot tag back the person who awarded you the Liebster Award!

11 Random Facts About Me!

1. I love raw oysters. 
2. I work the night shift as a registered nurse.
3. My cat and dog are like my babies.
4. I speak Spanish and I am learning Swedish.
5. I have an unhealthy obsession with black olives...they are like Pringles...once I start I can't stop.
6. I met my husband in art history class in college. 
7. I have dozens of unfinished paintings. I am notorious for not finishing art projects.
8. I have tendency to be indecisive, as demonstrated by my two, unrelated, bachelors degrees (one in Psychology and one in Nursing).
9. I really, really like airports. 
10. I refuse to spend more than $20 on a pair of shoes.

My Answers to Sharon's Questions:

1. What were your top three favorite cartoons when you were little, and do you still watch any of them? 
   1) Classic Disney cartoons (Mickey, Chip & Dale, etc.  2) Tom & Jerry 3) Daria
2. What's your favorite type of food? (Mexican, Italian, Chinese?)
     Mexican/Central American. Not the imitation stuff. The real, Pico de gallo smothered, black bean, and corn tortilla stuff.
3. Cake or raised donuts?
4. What inspired you to start your blog?
     I have always loved making art. I would have people ask me about my style and process of painting. Initially, I thought the blog would only be for painting tutorials.  I quickly realized that I make all kinds of art and crafts and that my paintings often take a long time to complete.
5. What do you love most about blogging?
   I love reliving the creative process when I write about making art. By going through the tutorial process, I often find ways that I could improve the process and relive the things that worked!
6. What do you love least about blogging?
   Sometimes my art is very impulsive and I work so quickly that photographing the process is counterproductive. Then when I finish I think "this would have been perfect to blog about!"
7. What's your idea of the perfect day?
    Enjoying a hot cup of black coffee out on my deck. Spending a relaxing day with my husband and taking our dog for a hike in the woods. Coming home and slapping some paint on a canvas. Having a home-cooked meal and a glass of wine. 
8. If you could change just one thing about yourself what would it be?
  I am a "visual person". I struggle to comprehend new ideas/suggestions unless I can see them in front of me. Needless to say I do a lot of sketching and I am constantly asking my designer husband to "photoshop" something so I can see it.
9. What's your best attribute?
   I am compassionate in nature. I love being a nurse because I truly love helping people in the healing process.
10. Which blogger inspires you most, and why?
   I am drawn to bloggers that are raw, honest, and creative. One of my favorite bloggers is Jen from iHeart Organizing. Jen has amazing organizational tips, projects, and printables. I love that Jen is not afraid to admit that she is not an expert in all that she blogs about. Her honesty about her trials and errors help her readers say "hey! I can totally do this!"
11. If you won the lottery what's the first thing you would do and would you keep blogging?
  After paying off some bills and paying down the mortgage, I would immediately book a world-wide trip. 

Drum roll please!
The Liebster Goes to...

Megann from Megann's Kitchen
Megan from Lydia's Corner
Laurence from Storage/Glee
Candice & Vanessa from When Decades Collide
Jen from Cameron & Co.
Cathlin from A First Grade Journey
Julie from Where We Are
Anglea from Diary of a Chair

My Questions for the Winners!

1. What is the one food item you could never live without?
2. If you were given a shopping cart to fill for free at your local Arts & Crafts store what items would you grab first?
3. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
4. Dogs or cats?
5. What is your dream vacation spot?
6. What skill do you have that you are most proud of? 
7. If given $1000 to be used towards your blog, how would you spend it?
8. If you could be any Disney character, who would you be?
9. What color do you use most in your home?
10. When buying furniture, do you prefer New, Vintage, or a mix?
11. Pepsi or Coke?

I really hope you check out the Liebster Award Winners and show your support!


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Marion Rose Inspired Buffalo Painting

When my husband said he wanted a painting of a buffalo to put over our fireplace, I couldn't wait to get my brushes out and start painting!

We LOVE the "Bison Head Color Study III" painting by Marion Rose, so I decided I would try to replicate it.  If you are not already familiar with Marion Rose's art, please explore her site and let yourself get swept away in the amazing colors.  She was a master of bold, bright, and colorful pieces of American art.  Unfortunately, Marion Rose died in 2011.  Her art is a constant inspiration for me, so replicating one of her pieces was very special.

First grab some bright Acrylic paints and some large brushes.  I actually used a stain brush from Home Depot and found that I was able to create the best texture with this large type of brush.  I did use smaller brushes for the eye, horn, and some other highlight areas.  I wanted this painting to be massive, so I waited until I had a 40% off coupon at Michaels and bought a 36"x48" wrapped gallery canvas.

 Once I had a sketch down, I started with the background. Start by slapping, yes literally slap, the paint onto the canvas. Then alternate your brush strokes to create a textured/chunky appearance.

Now for the fun part! Building the Buffalo head took a lot of layers to create the depth, shadows, and contours.  Make sure to stop and wash your brushes every so often so your paints don't get muddy.

Don't be afraid to use black paint to really create your shadowed areas. You will be amazed how the layers will "pop" when the bright colors are bordered by darks.

I have always found eyes to be incredibly stressful.  They really help to bring emotion to your piece, so take your time! By adding a simple white highlight, you can create shape and realism to your eye.

 Before I put the brushes down, I went back with some bright colors to add last minute highlights.

This little Buffalo has a new home in our living room! I just love him, although next time I'll go bigger!


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