New Digs, New Projects

This year was about packing and moving to a new home. We moved in May and I am just now beginning to get back into my creative world. Mostly with home projects and photography.

I have begun exploring chalky furniture paint, lime wash, and wax. A new experience and I am liking it, although I am tentative with “distressing” the pieces. It is so hard, once I paint something, to then turn around and destroy it!

One large unfinished dresser was my first experiment, sporting a  pale seaside teal theme.

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And this weekend it was an old china cabinet in grey chalky paint / lime wash and given a bubble glass treatment. One more small china cabinet to go, and then back to children’s furniture. My theme song is “lots to do, lots to do!”

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Cloth Patterns

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I have always been fascinated by patterns in cloth. They have to be “just so”, but when they are, I fall in love. No, I can’t explain what “just so” is, but I found it in a purse this week and bought it.
Lesson: If you can find that special ingredient, people will willingly part with their hard earned money just to own it.

Sketchbook Studies – The EYE is Key

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For $100 you can spend 10 Monday evenings with 2 well known Indiana artists, John Reynolds and Bruce Neckar, either learning to draw or honing your skills. They give you supplies, generously provided by Prizm Art Supply in Indy (a favorite art store of mine, so I am happy to give them a plug!) The classes are hosted by Nickel Plate Arts in Noblesville, IN, where John and Bruce have their studio.

If you want to see what a working artist’s studio looks like, you should check it out sometime!

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These classes (or workshops) are conducted in a laid back fashion and you get out of it what you want to put into it. The guys are very happy to coach and answer questions or help you get unstuck, if you ask.

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For 2 of the 10 weeks the guys brought in stuffed specimens to give us an as-close-to-a-real-thing in drawing wild birds as an artist can get. That was a highlight for me.

I love birds and have been painting raptors for over 30 years, so it was fantastic to get this close and to be able to study them. I spent the time doing quick sketches to “feel” the birds, as opposed to trying to do a finished piece.

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Touring the Mormon Temple in Indiana

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Carmel, Indiana is home to the newest Mormon Temple (#148). Many artisans were involved in all aspects of the creation and design of this sacred building, but the one I was most interested in was Jacob Dobson. Jacob hosted us on a tour of the temple this morning. What a pleasure and an honor!

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Some of my long time readers will remember Jacob as the inspirational art teacher from my days at AI. He was my teacher in Life Drawing, Art History, and 2 Illustration courses (class 1 and class 2), which created a turning point in my art and my life. He holds a very special place in my heart because of that.

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Jacob created the high relief panel above the baptistery depicting the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist; however, no photography is permitted inside the building, so we have no photos of that beautiful piece (except the one I snagged from the online virtual tour and one process photo on Jacob’s website.)

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The beautiful stained glass was created by a company in Kokomo Indiana. A theme throughout depicted the flower of the state tree – the tulip poplar.

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This is what an artist lives for, to do something that is personally meaningful and will be a blessing to others. I am simply thrilled for Jacob!

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If you get a chance to tour before August 8, you will not want to miss it. (There is also an online virtual tour.)