Mini Painting Project

I have recently loved thrifting for already-painted canvases. There┬┤s all kind of potential when you imagine just how you might add your own concoction but let some of the details from the original painting still show through.

Thanks for Sarah Mikan for donating these mini-canvases to my creative stockpile : ).

Also thanks to Irma Duran for humoring my artistic whims and joining me for this painting experiment.


Art + Party = Arty

So here’s the idea:

In order to attract our many artistically-inclined college friends, acquaintances, and contacts to all be together in one place, why not attract them with what we all want most:

  • new ideas
  • the prospect of a new professional connection
  • potentially selling a piece
  • and most of all: catching up with people we haven’t seen in months, maybe years?

So we (my friend Sarah and I) did just that.

We invited anyone artistic (and not : )) that we could think of with the allure of “Bring your own art, whether on a canvas or in a delicious food or with your musical instrument.” It worked! We had about 25 people crammed into Sarah’s living room and kitchen at one point, as well as about 20 pieces of art from all mediums and many different food treats up for indulgence.

(Note: To see an image more closely, click on it.)

Sarah and I are already planning our next art party for August. Any ideas for what else we could do to be even more artistically inviting?

Summertime = Time for Creativity!

I grew to love painting “for fun” instead of “for homework”┬áduring my time in Costa Rica. Unfortunately, all my paintings were too large to bring back on the plane — although I seriously considered the idea (Imagine an already overloaded traveller begging the flight attendant to please let this ginormous framed canvas to be her “carry-on”… yeah, I didn’t think that would go over so well either!). I ended up selling about 8 pieces before moving back.

That was a year ago.

Let’s be honest: The whole process of reverse culture shock (becoming acclimated to one’s native country again) takes a lot longer than anyone wants to admit. I think my process took about 8 months, and in some ways, is still happening even today.

That said, I’m finally beginning to feel like my artistic self again. Here’s several pieces of creative evidence:

I saw this idea online somewhere and knew I had to try it. I bought an already-painted-on canvas at a thrift store and used masking tape to craft letters on top of the painting. I chose my favorite quote from La casa en Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (an amazing Cuban-American author), and fit the whole quote on the canvas. Then I painted over the tape, let it dry, and peeled all the tape off. Wa-laah! I might go back and add more to it, but this is what it looks like for now.

I also saw this idea online somewhere… probably or something. While I’m not Martha Stewart, I was able to figure out this recipe. All I did was mix up a white cake mix, separate it into three mixing bowls, add different color to each bowl, and bake each layer separately. I didn’t have enough circle cake pans, so I turned to pie tins as well. Each layer cooled for about 15 minutes before I iced them all into one cake. Easy peasy.

This is my current work-in-progress. It is acrylic paints and a collage of paper, leaves, bark, film negatives, and beads. It’s not quite finished yet, so stay tuned for a finished version.

 I continued the collage up the side of the canvas. All about the little details.

Here’s a close up of the lower collage:

This tree collage took a lot longer than I thought it would, but little by little, it made its way toward completion. My favorite is the gold paper running through the whole tree — both branches and roots. I was reflecting on a particular verse in Romans┬áthat reminds us that we (the tree) are not all that there is to us — that the roots (Jesus) are what really anchor us throughout life. To me, Jesus is the gold that shines throughout the entire tree, causing the leaves to grow.

I’m definitely enjoying my creative summer… can you tell? : )

Creating Art with God

This might be a far-out-there idea… but I came to this idea several years ago as I was painting while babysitting two baseball-obsessed boys. They were playing 1-on-1 baseball (a bit humorous to watch) while I was situated on the edge of the lawn with my watercolor painting on the ground.

Seemingly without warning, a raincloud blew in and promptly began pouring on us. The boys were unfazed in their heated competition, but I panicked and picked up my painting to run for rain cover — Only for the back of the painting to be smacked with a foul ball, splattering paint all down the front of my favorite shirt.

As I took the painting indoors, I thought for sure it was ruined… I left it to dry, feeling discouraged. A few hours later, I came back to check on it, and I was pleasantly surprised that the raindrops and the huge baseball splatter actually added to what I was trying to accomplish. It was as if God had intervened while I was painting and showed me what He had in mind for that project.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of that painting to show you…

But I do have photos of my latest ”art with God” endeavor = a.k.a. gardening. All I did was dig up perennials from my mom’s garden (with her permission, of course :)) and then arrange the plants in my garden. I think God should get way more credit than I should for a beautiful garden because He’s done the rest!

(Note: To get a closer look at an image, click on it.)

Scratch Art

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As a final math/art project this school year, we made our own scratch art! Inspired by a project I had done in high school, we recycled cereal boxes and painted the brown cardboard side white. Then we added a simple design in Sharpie marker and colored the white spaces with crayons. Next, we painted blank ink over the whole surface, let it dry, and finally we were ready to start scratching the ink off!

Art Teacher’s Note: Buy the ”Black Cat” Ink from a Dick Blick art supply store. It covers the crayon much more thoroughly (and quickly!) than another knock-off brand we tried.