Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Day 12 of 21 Creative Excercise Challenge

I have been bad, really bad. I have not posted in a few days. For "Inspire Me Thursday" I cheated and posted a crayon drawing from when I was a kid!

The past few days I have been busy with my new job, and bringing work home. My good friend Charlie, who got me started on art blogging, got me a job working with him at CBS radio as a web designer. I have been mostly a print designer/Illustrator during my 10 year career, and I'm finally moving on to web. So I've been busy practicing and reading books and being extra slow with page building! For my 15 minutes today this is what I did creative. . .

Learned how to make an "Aqua Icon"
This is just something I did on my own. I discovered a tutorial for creating cool aqua icons seen on Macintosh interfaces that I absolutely love. I tried to incorporate this into a banner I'm working on, however, it just didn't work with the design. I'm going to use this for something!!!

I hope my 21 day creative exercise buddies are doing better than I am right now, and I can't wait to visit your pages to see what you have been up to!

Photo Friday: Fire

I couldn't decide which photo to upload for this prompt, so I chose two. And I think they need to co-exist together. I took these photos on the same night two summers ago at my Mom's beach house. We love to have bonfires, and relax outside at the end of the night.

When I look back at the photo I took of a close up of the bonfire, I see a phoenix bursting into flames. The photo on the right is my face illuminated by the fire. Looking back, I have been through so much pain and sadness in such a short time since then, with the loss of my Father and my Mother being very sick struggling with cancer. Both suffered from/with lung cancer. I don't blog about it often or talk about it, but I have been really thinking about it lately and how it has changed me. My outlook on life, and how it is so precious and short. How life as we know it is so impermanent. About existence after death. I neglected to do much art before I started this blog in January, and since then it has certainly made me feel alive again. . . stirring something in my soul. Through this journey of being strong for my Mother and through my sadness I feel that I am preparing myself to be ready to rise from the ashes a renewed person with a true sense of purpose and duty. I feel a magnificent painting in the works!

Inspire me Thursday: Crayon Art

"This week’s creative challenge is Crayon Art. Whether you opt for the common child’s wax crayon or some sort of upgraded version, what clever and creative uses do you have for crayons?"

So what do you think?
Yes, this post was drawn by yours truly in the first grade, and I remember it very clearly. Our prompt was to draw "Something I Like very Much". I stared out the window into the garden at the Catholic School I attended and pictured unicorns roaming about, LOL! I would have loved to break out some crayons and try something new. . . it's been so long. . . but I've been so busy lately. So, I thought it would be fun to share some of my very early work and the subject matter I chose!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Day 11 of 21 Creative Excercise Challenge

What a beautiful day today! After work, I decided to be a tourist in my own town in downtown Baltimore, and do some sketching. I was meeting with a client at 7 nearby so I had some time to kill.

At first I did this quick sketch of the pride of Baltimore, with an ink pen and a scrap of paper:
She was so far in the distance, I couldn't make out what was going on with the details. I think I'll attempt this one again closer up.

After that, I decided to walk over to Barnes and Noble to get myself a latte and a brand new sketchbook and pencil.

Along the way, I remembered how I wanted to go to the Baltimore Aquarium for one very special reason. Years ago, my Father had worked on new construction of the dolphin wing of the aquarium. He was so proud of the work he did. When I was a small child, he took me to the site, pointed at the portholes in the design of the building and said, "Look Cindy, I cut those portholes out!" I know that was his pride and joy of his beautiful craftsmanship, and it was a very special memory for me. Last April, my dear Dad passed away suddenly from lung cancer. It was devastating. He was only 58. I miss him so much.

Dad's Portholes
I found myself a cozy bench and planted myself in it. Hard Rock Cafe was just next door, and they were cranking some tunes as I sketched in my new sketchbook. They played the Beatles, which always stops me dead in my tracks and makes me think of my Dad. I can hear him singing the song to me, as he always did. I started to well up with tears! But it was happy tears, of good memories. God I miss him so much.

Dinner with my client was amazing! He took me to this French creole' restaurant called Louisiana nearby in Fells Point. The food and atmosphere were absolutely perfect. I must go back!!! Upon returning home, my Hubby knows I head straight to my studio and hop on my computer. He picked me one of the first blooms on my rosebush out back, and put it in this lovely shot glass on my desk. How sweet!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Day 10 of 21 Creative Excercise Challenge

I'm trying my best to stay creative everyday! This is definitely a quick sketch that I did tonight that needs some color. I drew this in my sketchbook with a pen. I'm going to play with color tomorrow.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Day 9 of 21 Creative Excercise Challenge

Here is another study I did in exploratory sketching. I experimented with that a while back in my Sketchbook Saturday posts. I flipped through the dictionary and found the word elixir and thought of a fancy old fashioned perfume bottle. I might try some more exploratory sketches for future creative challenge posts!

Day 8 of 21 Creative Excercise Challenge

Yesterday I bought this brown shirt with blue and green leaves. I really like this color scheme, so I decided to make a necklace to go with it! The above shown necklace is made of semi-precious stones, aquamarine and peridot with some brown metal beads and seed beads. I need to get back to sketching, and lay off the crafty projects since this has been all I've been doing the past couple of days!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Day 7 of 21 Creative Excercise Challenge

As if I didn't do enough sewing yesterday, I decided to do another squishie. This one I made for my Mom, since Mother's day is coming up. She loves embellished little things and all things that sparkle and shine. And the beach, she absolutely loves the beach.
She has a cute little summer place in Bethany Beach that just opened up for the season, and being closed up during the winter, and as much as she hates it, she has to leave moth balls around to keep spiders and mice out. This squishie is filled with lavender and smells amazing! Perfect as a little drawer sachet.

I also made her a trio of stretchie bracelets. Mostly cultured freshwater pearls, and some of the beads used embellishing her starfish squishie. There is also rock quartz and fluorite. I love mixed multiple strand necklaces and bracelets, and I hope she will like this too!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Day 6 of 21 continued

I hate to leave things sitting around unfinished. . . because I know myself. I'll get into something else and forget about what I was working on. I had to finish my squishie tonight, before I went to bed, and I'm glad I did because it looks so much better in the pot. And that was a real challenge, I had to improvise a bit. Inside the felt pot I sewed is a plastic cup filled with glass pebbles to give the flower weight and stability. And it just so happened to fit magically. . . I love it when that happens! So all of that stuff is hidden, and it looks completely felt. That was a fun change!

Day 6 of 21 Creative Excercise Challenge

I wanted to take a break today from drawing and get my hands into something I haven't tried. Plushies seem to be all the rage now, and last year I taught my 16 year old cousin how to make them but never made my own. She calls them "squishie monsters" or just squishies and churns them out like there's no tomorrow! Above is my EMO looking Plushie Posie with teeth. He's not finished yet, as I need to add leaves and root him in a squishie pot. But that's enough sewing for today! I'll post another picutre when I finish him.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mad Hatter Cakes!

I wanted to post some Mad Hatter cakes I did a while ago for my blogger friend Diana to enjoy. Above is my first attempt using fondant and doing a tiered cake. I didn't experiment with mixing colors at this point, but I did discover luster dust and glazed the pearls with it around the cake. This particular cake was inspired by a cake seen in a bakery window shop in my local town in Ellicott City called "Fishers Bakery". My best friend and I must have walked past it a hundred times on our way to our favorite coffee shop and it would always stop her in her tracks. Because of the beautiful cakes in the window, I bought my wedding cake there a few years later. Commenting on the cake, Mrs. Fisher told me that they do not make those cakes, they are just too difficult. (I thought to myself: Ummm, so what's with the cake display in the window lady???) Fast forward a few more years, the owners had changed and the cake disappeared out of the window. My friend was saddened by this. So. . . what was I to do? Make one for her of course! I found various instructions on the internet, rolled up my sleeves and with my other crafty friend Dawn, we figured it out together. Above is her very merry un-birthday cake, and now we have started the un-birthday birthday tradition complete with the Alice in Wonderland song.

Now, when you create a cake like the one shown above, everybody wants one! Above is a cake I made for my Mother just a few months after. After I made this cake, and shed many tears of frustration of a whole weekend creating it, I vowed never to do one again! Nope, not so.
This September, my dear best friend is getting married, and I am going to make her a large, gorgeous tiered wedding cake and it will be my very best esthetically pleasing luster dusted creation ever!!! She deserves it. Look out Ace of Cakes!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Day 5 of 21 Creative Excercise Challenge

A few posts back, I did an ink blot for "Inspire Me Thursday" and it reminded me of a lunar moth. I decided to use that idea and re-create another one in Illustrator and Photoshop. So here she is, searching for a light source in the dark.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Day 4 of 21 Creative Excercise Challenge

This is the revamped version of my morning coffee sketch. I started it off in Photoshop airbrushing the background, imported it in Illustrator for the line work and finished the color in Photoshop. I'm happy with the technique I used and will try this again! Although, looking at it finished, it has a Disney princess movie feel, eeeek!

A photo I took today - Macro shot of a ladybug

Photo Friday: My little secret

Shhhhhh!!! My little secret is that once in a while I disregard silly little rules and take pictures in museums that won't allow photography. (Yes Diana, no flash!) Shown above is a sneak shot of ole' Bill Clinton at the Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, MD. I love the quote on the pedestal, and that's what prompted me to take this photo.

Bill Clinton, former president of the USA on his little secret exposed:

"I've learned a lot from the stories of my Uncle, Aunts, and Grandparents told me: that no one is perfect but most people are good; that people can't be judged only by their weakest moments; that harsh judgments can make hypocrites of us all; that a lot of life is just showing up and hanging on; that laughter is often the best, and sometimes the only response to pain."
-President William Jefferson (Bill) Clinton, 2005

I feel bad for ole' Willy and the humiliation he suffered from the media. At the same time, I was disgusted by his actions. Not the type of weak behavior you want to see from the leader of your Country. I have noticed that in our modern times, the old boys club rules no longer apply as they did in the past. In his autobiography "My Life", he tried to justify his actions by comparing himself to Kennedy, an amazing president, who also had affairs. As a reader, I just felt sorry for him. It's a beautiful quote none the less, and I agree with it. We are human, we all make mistakes. After all, our country was in great shape during his term and he should also be remembered for that.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Day 3 of 21 Creative Excercise Challenge

Jeesie Peasie, I have been busy!!! Friday I worked a 12 hour day, and it's been impossible to even take a breather for 15 minutes. I also need to tend to my freelance clients. I'm falling behind! Above is a concept sketch I did while having my morning coffee, and it certainly is not postworthy. However the purpose of this 21 day exercise is to do something creative for at least 15 minutes every day and I am certainly making the effort. I realized also that I need to buy some watercolor paper, as I had stated in my previous post that I wanted to try. Diana the watercolor queen seems to have a good system going that I wanted to also try. When I have time to even go to the store, I will try I promise!
So the image above was inspired by Kwanzan cherry blossom flowers I've seen in bloom, dropping their petals and blowing in the spring breeze. Those particular blooms remind me of my favorite tree I would climb next to my house as a child growing up, and the bird songs in the morning. I want to try to paint this image in Photoshop using my tablet, since I need watercolor supplies!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Day 2 of 21 Creative Excercise Challenge

This is the messy sketch completed on day one, refined in Illustrator. After stepping back and looking at this, I think it looks too tight, and lost a lot of it's original character. So. . . I think I'll see how watercolors works for me the next time! Mmmm, I could go for a nice cup of hot tea.