Tag Archives: Landscape

Weekly Art Challenge: TRANSFORMATION

Hey Folks!!

This week our theme is: TRANSFORMATION!

And a short note, we have started an new blog site specifically for the art challenge at https://theartchallengeblog.wordpress.com. Challenges will be posted starting the first week of January. Currently the new site is in progress, but if you are a fan of our Art Challenge please stop by the new blog and follow us there!

 

RJ – Cocoon, pencil on paper.

I love Rj’s pencil drawings. His eye for textural detail and ability to depict delicate moments always bring a smile to my face. The butterfly is in the process of emerging, its wings not yet ready to spread out and be fully reveled. The nibbled leaves behind the butterfly reminds the viewer of the caterpillar this new butterfly once was.

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Karri – Phoenix, watercolor on paper

“I will rise, out of these ashes, rise”. This weeks theme made me think about all the transformation we all make throughout life. Overcoming struggles. Changing our situation or habits. This brought to mind the image of a phoenix, rising from the ashes of an old life.

WOW, you can really feel the heat from the Karri’s Phoenix flames! The intensity of the oranges and reds is brilliant against the blue background and definitely reminds a viewer to push forward. I love this positive message to overcome and keep overcoming struggles.

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Bethany –  The DoodlePen and color pencil on paper.

“I started a doodle and it made a transformation into a whimsical peaceful place.”

I am loving Bethany’s creative process and how a simple little doodle transforms into a beautiful landscape. Her pieces depicts how an artist’s mind works and the choices we make along the way. The touch of color added in the end really makes the image glow. Beautiful!

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InaButterfly, Pencil and watercolor on paper.

 “My piece for TRANSFORMATION is a butterfly just coming out of it’s cocoon. As a new creature, it does not realize yet how it has morphed into something new and what beautiful new wings it has. The nature spots and colors are amazing once you start analyzing how they make a pattern up so close. “

The colors of this freshly emerging butterfly are gorgeous! Ina’s Butterfly is eager to spread her wings and as a viewer I am eager to see her fly! I love the details of the wings and the light washes of blue in the background juxtapose with the bolder application of color of the butterfly. Beautiful piece!!

 

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Emily

“The transformation of everything turning Christmas-y”

First we see the calm and clean left side of a residential street and then I find myself falling forward into the black christmas-y side of this piece, like alice in the rabbit hole. The holiday season does have this wonderland whirlwind intoxication feel about them. Emily accurately depict the sudden arrival of the festive decorations and lights.

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AmberCharge! – (incomplete) pen and ink on paper

My incomplete piece was inspired by the greek myth of Persephone  I wanted to illustrate the transformation of a space or environment when my nieces enter.

My twin nieces are depicted as the youthful force of spring, charging into a snowy landscape to liven up the dreary greys of winter. They are fearless, jovial and loving girls.
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Next theme: BLUE

 

 


Weekly Art Challenge: SPACE

Hey Folks!

This week our theme is: SPACE!

RJ –  Untitled,  graphite on paper

RJ was inspired to create a companion piece to mine (last piece, below) and I am so thrilled with it! There a ‘Alice and the rabbit hole’ charm about it, and I’m a little bit envious of the figure and what he is seeing beyond the space we the viewers stand.
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Dylan – Untitled, graphite on paper.

 “This is an experiment in playing with foreground, middleground, and background. Details get hazier and edges get softer as objects recede into space.”

What a Beautiful experiment! I am completely enthralled by the expression of this beautiful and noble creature, she looks so proud and confident as she gazes outward toward the viewer. Dylan’s line work perfectly captures the strength and elegance of her subjects.

 

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KarriSpace,

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

 “This has been going through my head all week as I pondered what to do for this weeks challenge. While pondering this weeks theme I thought a lot about how small we are in this universe. How unfortunate it is that we are tied down by gravity and can not go and explore the stars.”

Karri’s dreamy representation of space is the kind of image that would inspire anyone with a youthful heart to wish they were an astronaut! Karri has such a beautiful relationship with color, her layering of bold and subtle colors is suggestive of the magnitude of our galaxy and reminds me how complex and spectacular the universe is.

 

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Emily – Untitled, drawings on paper

“I was in Amsterdam this week and then in London for the weekend! For me the theme space was about how I usually draw the things in the space around me to practice my drawings, so i’ve attached some quick drawings from my personal sketchbook that are from spaces I was in in Amsterdam” 

Emily’s statement reminds me a lot of a Buddhist teaching about being present in the moment. I see that with her images, the awareness of the moment and the details of the space that she is occupying. I am loving the red ink drawing below. Its a simple ink drawing of a window and lanterns and I find it comforting. I find myself waiting for a friendly face to look out the window and notice me.

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Val Moonlight – photograph

“I took this in our sideyard and I thought the moon was pretty”

Val was inspired by the moon seen from our backyard and the space between it and herself. Her photo suggests a longing to connect with the moon, a longing that reaches back generations. Taking the photo in a familiar space invokes the emotional attachment we have with the moon.

 

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Amber – Stretching the Void, pen and ink on paper.

This piece went through a lot of transformation between the various thumbnail sketches and mental pictures to the final image. I started with an idea that I would fill a page with odd shaped bubbles, each containing a person struggling to stretch the bubble out. Then the image was a single odd shaped bubble with a single person and this bubble was submerged in rubble full of modern distractions and materialism. Eventually, while sketching the final piece, I realized that the image needed to be only this one person struggling to maintain her small space within a void.

It felt emotionally accurate to see this sole person fighting for space within space. The nothingness around her is both open and claustrophobic.

 

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Next week’s theme: GRATITUDE

To our readers and followers, We hope that everyone has a joyful, safe and abundantly happy Thanksgiving with family, friends and the folks that love you the most. Even if you are not in the States celebrating this holiday, we still wish you a wonderful and thoughtful day.

Peace,

The Art Challenge crew.


Weekly Art Challenge: DETERMINATION

Hey Folks!!

This week’s theme is DETERMINATION and it appears that we all were feeling determined to complete something of importance.

RJ – CowAcrylic on Canvas

RJ is determined to create a large-scale acrylic painting of this sweet jovial cow! He is in the beginning stages and doesn’t want to rush the process – slow painting is part of the goal – but will keep us informed as he goes! and THAT FACE! Who doesn’t want to be nuzzled by such a face? The bold choice of colors compliment the cheerful persona of this cow and the perspective creates an intimate connection between the viewer and subject. Can’t wait to see it finished!

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Karri – Prayer

“I posted this sculpture in a previous post when it was in its beginning stages. It has taken months to get to this point and is still not complete. There have been days when I look at it and think, “it’s made of paper, and I could just set it on fire!” Lol. Having said that I am determined to make it work.”

Wow, this piece has come along since the first time we saw it! She still so intense and focused internally, that I almost want to tip toe around her so as not to disturb her. I imagine that the intensity and focus felt by myself and other viewers is a reflection of the determination Karri is feeling while creating her. Don’t burn her, Karri! She is just as determined as you! Another piece that I can’t wait to see finished! 🙂

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Bethany – Determination – Pencil on Paper

“There are many things I’m determined to have, to complete or keep up in my life. Things like getting the dishes done, keeping the toilets clean, homeschooling my son and being a wife. But there is one thing WE have been determined to have….another baby. So this is my baby in the womb, holding my heart cause it’s my greatest determination.” 
There is a lot of love and longing in Bethany’s piece and statement. I like how her determination for her family to grow is expressed with a clear drawing of the child holding a meticulously shaded whole heart and surrounded by undetermined scribbled lines. The scribbled lines representing in once sense the womb and internal spark of her desire and determination, but in another sense the scribbled lines also express that little else is as important to her than both present and future members of her family. Lots of luck with your determination! Any child born into a creative loving family is a lucky soul! 🙂

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EmilyMan, Acrylic on Canvas Board

“A while back I started a painting to practice painting skin because I was awful at it, today and thanks to this challenge, I FINALLY finished it like I had wanted to. This challenge was me being determined, and thank you whoever chose this theme because I really don’t think I wouldn’t have finished it without feeling determined to do so for this challenge! aha”

Painting skin can be one of the most stressful accomplishments for an artist! Emily’s work since joining our group has continually and happily surprised me.  Just when I think I have a grasp on her evolving style she presents us with a piece that exhibits her growing talent in a different direction. I love the man’s facial expression. You see an elderly man with wrinkles, thinned hair and aging spots; but his eyes and countenance express an observant and youthful mind. Great Job!

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Amber –  Nadia (Mix media on paper) and National Parks (Photographs)

This week was particularly hectic for me. I was making my final work-trip to Southern Utah and I was working nonstop on the final piece (Nadia) for a portfolio I needed for a residency application. My determination to complete the piece in time for the deadline was a success by three days! Yay me!!

Nearby our job-site are a few national parks and I was determined to see as much as I could before work took me away from this magnificent landscape – its not often that I am in this area of the country. I didn’t get to go on the long day hikes as I hoped, but I did succeed in seeing a clear view of the La Sal Mountains from where I stood at Balancing Rock – the first time I was there the mountains were hidden by clouds. I also drove through the CanyonLands and got a small taste of the adventures that I could have, since I am determined to visit again. AND I finally saw Newspaper Rock. I have seen photos of it for years, and saw the sign every time I passed the entrance to Canyonlands. I am fascinated by petroglyphs and the nameless artists who created them thousands of years ago.

 

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Nadia

 

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La Sal Mountains from Balancing Rock in Arches.

 

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Driving into Canyonlands

 

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Newspaper Rock

 

Next theme: VAN GOGH!!


Weekly Art Challenge: DISTANCE

Hey Folks!!

This week our theme is: DISTANCE

RJ – Three Bridges, Photograph

RJ’s photograph reminds me that distance is quiet and sometimes peaceful, like a day in the park; and gives us the space needed to see the full picture. The three bridges along the canal are spaced apart and each with their own story, yet they are connected by the flowing water of the canal and together they form the fuller picture seen from a distance.

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Karri – Heart, Collage on Paper

“This week I used pieces of torn maps of all the places my loved ones are, spanning 4 states. Though it might seem like a great distance, they all seem to fit nicely on this piece of paper.”

I love the puzzle aspect of the torn map pieces “fitting nicely” together, despite the distance between the people represented by each piece. The people that love you will always love you no matter where you are on the map.

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Emily – Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder, mix media

“Heres my entry for this week. My partner recently left for university, so yeah that’s what this is about “
Emily’s piece reflects the distance of the heart and it pulls the viewer into feeling that distance with her. I like the transparency of the faces over the map. Seeing the lines and shapes beneath facial expressions further suggests that distance is more than space between two points, but also an emotion.
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Amber – Wanderlust, instagram photograph

This was a somewhat difficult challenge for me. I had too many ideas shifting around inside my head. The concept of distance is both spatial and emotional for me, and the two are tightly connected in various ways.

When I was seven my mother allowed a rainbow “priest” named Blue to bless me. His blessing (or prediction, depending on how you look at it) was that I would forever wander, that I would find plenty and nothing at all – or something along those lines. He also gave me a piece of glass made from lightening striking the ground and told me I would eventually lose it, I did.

I travel a lot, both for work and for pleasure. The happiest years of my life are those with distance covered, the most depressing years are those that were stagnant. The people I love the most in the world are scattered all over it, I am never near enough of them. But, I can’t stop moving about because that is when I will feel the distance from everyone and emotionally shut down.

This is a theme that I plan to return to and fully explore in the future, but for now I present a photograph of an antique toy car, an old map of Denver, postcard of Wyoming and a tiny teacup – representing me – to represent the time, emotion and spatial aspects of distance in a way that is connected to me.

 

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Next challenge is a two week challenge and the theme is: OCEAN!

Thanks for stopping by!


Weekly Art Challenge: DEGAS

Hey folks!!

Welcome Back! This week’s theme is Degas.

 

RJ – Digital Painting.

“I just wanted it to feel light”

I love the light and airy feeling of RJ’s piece. His colors palette reminds me of the blush tones the skin achieves when the body is active and further suggests movement and athletic nature behind a form of art that most – those with little idea of how much work and effort is applied by the artist – view as delicate.

 

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Karri – Pastel on paper.

“Degas was born in Paris. He spent a lot of his time studying and copying paintings in the Louvre. So it is fitting to depict a copy of one of his drawings. He likes to focus his work on real life instead of mythology or history that’s why he became known for his paintings of ballet dancers in their studios practicing. When I studied painting in Memphis there was a Degas in the permanent collection at the Dixon gallery. It was amazing to witness the delicate lines and the soft pastels.”

As always, Karri’s use of color is rich and dreamy. I feel like I am in a darken theatre looking at a stage and watching a blur of movement, color and light. She definitely channeled her inner Degas through pastels and keen observation skills!

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Emily – Pencil on Paper

“I’m currently keeping a little journal of observational drawings to try and improve my skills. This was an Edgar Degas Ballerina painting, Dancer Tilting, that I tried to draw from for about 5-10 minutes. A lot of things are off with it, but i’m kinda proud, any tips would be appreciated!”

From a short observational sketch, I can feel the dancer’s body stretch and see from the dancer’s expression that she is fully in the moment. Degas would applaud Emily’s journal of observational drawings. He believed strongly that observational skills were what separate great artists from lesser artists. His “tip” to you would be what his idol/mentor, Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres, told him once “Draw lines, young man, and still more lines, both from life and from memory, and you will become a good artist.”. Keep drawing those lines, Emily!! 🙂

 

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Amber – Pencil on Paper

I did some research on Degas for this week’s challenge and the details that stood out the most were his distaste for the En Plein Air methods of his contemporaries and his insistence that great art is the result of keen observation.

For this week’s pieces I decided to create two sketches ( plus one sketchbook doodle). The first is of my niece, who’s natural stance has always been similar to a dancer, was drawn from a photograph. Many of Degas’s paintings had the feeling of a being a “snapshot”, presenting his subjects in their natural state instead of being posed and allegorical.  The second and third pieces are landscape sketches created onsite in Southern Utah and drawn in 20 minutes (the sketchbook image was in less than 5).

I find it a bit ironic that Degas would mock En Plein Air since it requires the observation skills that he so greatly admired in the classical artists before him. I can’t help but wonder about his relationship to nature and how it affected his distaste for painting outdoors.

 

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Thanks for checking out our artwork!

Next week’s theme: DISTANCE


Weekly Art Challenge: REFLECTION

Hey Folks,

This week the challenge theme is Reflection and everyone took this theme into different directions!

 

RJ:  Statue, photoI asked RJ about why he was drawn to photographing this particular statue in London – located in front of Buckingham Palace – and he replied “It was shiny”. HAHAHA yes it is! Its a lovely statue and from my memory of visiting London ten years ago, the city is filled with lovely shiny statues. Good find! 🙂

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Tony – Reflection, pencil on paper Tony’s piece is a young fashionable young woman checking out her reflection. I imagine that she is off to some romantic date or maybe she is a performer about to hit the stage. She reminds me a bit of my teenage nieces. I have caught them a few times admiring their reflection, especially when they are trying out a new hairstyle or outfit. I think they would be envious of this young woman’s style!

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Dylan: Wolf, Charcoal on paper – Dylan’s piece was more of a self reflection through exploring an early dream memory and how it relates to who she is today. Its an interesting concept to think about. Do our dreams have an impact on our identities or do the reflect what is already there, but has not yet surfaced?

“Often I wonder what has shaped my identity most. Some things are obvious while others are more subtle. This incident is just strange and I can not stop thinking about it. The parallels with this reoccurring, stable world and my ever changing real world are eerie.

Before I even started kindergarten, I had my earliest memorable dream. Growing up on an old tobacco farm in Kentucky with no neighbors, no car, no phone, and no distractions, I would dream of this yellow and pink roller coaster stopping only at my front porch in the moonlight. Inside the first cart would be a friendly werewolf, allowing me to crawl in. We would ride through the tobacco and lightning bug landscape marveling at all the wonders of the country life’s nocturnal world. The wolf would silently let me off at my door. This dream only lasted for a few years.

I wonder if was a latent social warning, (that I could only have fun when no one was around), a sexual hint, (I am attracted to hairy and aggressive people) or even an environmental admiration. It still reflect on how it fascinates and haunts me whatever it meant.”

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Karri: Pow Wow Reflections and Portrait, Watercolor on sketchbook — Karri reflected on family and heritage for her pieces. I love the soft colors and marks in her pieces, they suggest a distant memory that gently tugs at the present.

When we talk about reflections, are we talking about the casting back of light? The reflections of an image in a mirror or glass? Or reflections of our mind. In this case I am forced to consider the reflections of my past. This week my family has been researching our family history. Going through the genealogy trying to find proof that we are indeed Native American. the search has more than paid off. My sister found proof that we are 14 generations removed from Pocahontas’ sister, Princess Cleopatra Sent Flower Powhatan. When I showed my mother her picture she nearly fell on the floor. She resembles my grandmother’s features so closely its scary! So my painting this week is a reflection of the pow wows my mother would take us to as children to make sure we understand our heritage.”

 

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Emily Cactus Friends, watercolor on paper – Emily’s piece has a lovely calming simplicity about it and I love the reflection of the two cacti in the water. Its like they are looking at how adorable they are together! Great job, Emily! Keep experimenting with those watercolors. 🙂

“I don’t use watercolors much, so I thought I’d experiment with them. I thought loads about what to do for reflection; however, I was sitting in my conservatory full of cacti and decided to just do a little fun piece this week of some cactus friends.”

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AmberThe setting sun, Instagram photo – The day I took this photo was a stressful day filled with angry and frustrating emotions. Nothing I had planned for the day was going to happen. I was trying to mellow out; but, each minute of the day that tick by was a minute taken away from my creative time. When my unproductive workday was finally over. I started to drive east toward the main road, That was when I checked my side mirror and saw this, the reflection of the setting sun.

I suddenly had a moment of clarity about letting emotions go once they served their purpose instead of holding onto them. The sun setting signifies the end of a day and with all endings, new beginnings emerge. Letting go of my annoyance and anger during the day, will in theory make room for something new and hopefully better in its place.

 

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Next theme is: UNCONVENTIONAL


Weekly Art Challenge: WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE!

Hey there folks!!

This week the artists and I tackled the theme: WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE! 

 

Tony: Wilderness Woman, Color pencil on paper –

“my drawing is about the wild things hidden in humans. Especially women: There’s a singer I have listened to for many years, every time he sings about women, He describes them as wild, impossible to tame, mysterious, and free. So I wanted to integrate all of the wilderness in a woman’s personality in my drawing. Animals, oceans, the moon (and natural long hair). They all represent the wild in women.”

I love Tony’s imagination and bold colorful style; and, I love how he perfectly captured all the things I (and several girlfriends) love about being a woman!

In Tony’s image the woman sits confidently in the nude, exposed as if to say that there is nothing more to show; but in reality she still has plenty of herself hidden in the layers of hair or her inner thoughts peeking through the smoke as it gravitates toward the moon. Tony’s piece is a reminder that no matter how well you may know a woman, there will always be more to know.

 

Dylan The Ticket Booth – water color sketch on paper.

“The portal to “where the wild things are”, for me, is a ticket booth. The threshold where the viewer is leaving one world and entering another that exists only in the mind of the artist, director, set designer, etc.  The viewer leaves one world behind and crosses into another to experience or perceive events that normally don’t occur in the daily routine; a place where you can experience the fanciful, outrageous, and the”wild things” of the fantasy world.”

I agree with Dylan, that there is a portal to where wild things exist – in her case the creation and mastermind of an artistic director – and we all eagerly buy our ticket to romp and roam with wild things. Like many folks I buy my ticket for a brief escape from reality – whether it be a carnival, concert, museum or plane – and save those tickets so that years later I can look at them and in my mind return to that wild adventure.

What makes Dylan’s piece so interesting to me are the notes for an art recipe above the ticket booth. It makes a viewer that much more eager to buy that ticket and see what is cooking behind the gates!!

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Karri – Queen of all wild things and her domain,  Watercolor on Paper –

“This week I wanted to create an environment where I thought wild things might live. As I look into the oddly colored trees and shrubs I can see wild things running through the woods and slithering out of the water. Our childlike need for exploration enables us to look into this jungle and imagine the unimaginable.

I’ve also added a self-portrait inspired by the book “Where the Wild Things are”.  As the creator of this jungle I am now “Queen of All the Wild Things

First of all, I am in love with Karri’s self portrait as the queen of all wild things! The smirk on her lips and the sassy glint in her eyes is perfectly wild and mischievous. I love it and I’m jealous that I didn’t think of it myself! haha 🙂

Karri did an amazing job creating not one, but two pieces that complete her wild story. Her landscape has a prehistoric element mixed with early 80’s Hanna-Barbera animation and dash of Frida Kahlo’s jungle essence. Its the perfect recipe for landscapes loaded with wild things and of course there must be a queen!

 

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Amber: The Tree House, Pen and Pencil on paper – ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ was one of my favorite childhood books. I still love to look through the beautiful drawings and get lost in Maurice Sendak’s wild imagination! He was a genius!

For this week’s theme I wanted to create an image that signified the strength of an imagination and how it can sometimes cross from nowhere(s) into reality, something that I took from Sendak’s classic story.

The tree house is a place where imaginations run wild. The wild things, or kids, are in their element of their own joyous creation. Everyone has had that one special spot as a kid that was their space free from adult rules on how to act. For a kid, and sometimes adults, these rules can be daunting and a creative drain. A tree house – or, in my case, an old camper or clearing between some bushes – is an escape and a space where nothing exists but what you want to exist.

 

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Next week’s theme: THE FAIR


Weekly Art Challenge: BLUE

Hello Folks!!

This week’s theme for our friendly art challenge is: BLUE! Sorry this post is so late, I had some problems uploading the images.

 

RJ: Untitled, digital media – RJ was inspired by both the markings of a zebra and the Aura Borealis for this weeks piece! His piece reminds me of the feeling of lightness that comes with travel and the creative ways we bring what we learn and experience during our travels together into one cohesive image.

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Amber: Sky, watercolor on paper – I used only shades of blue to create my sky. Currently I am working in the Texan panhandle and the vastness of the sky above me became my inspiration.

 

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Next theme: Pie!


Weekly Art Challenge: HEAVY

Hey Folks!

This week’s theme is Heavy!

 

RJ: UntitledInk on paper – RJ wanted to use a heavy bold black line to create something that was still uplifting. It definitely has a fantasy dream-like quality. He balances his heavy lines with nature inspired patterns and imagery. The piece reminds me a lot of illustrations from old fairytale books I use to read as a kid.

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Amber: Abstractions, water color on paper – I wanted to play with abstraction and spent the afternoon having tons of fun with my watercolor media. My approach to making these small art pieces was to keep them in rotations. while one was drying, work on another and then rotate. I worked without a set plan for the outcome and I trusted my creative intuition.

I had a lot of fun, as art should be!

 

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Weekly Art Challenge: HEALING

Hey Folks!

Last week’s challenge theme is Healing! Sorry for the delay in this post, folks. I have been working on the road and my hours are limited! In fact it was a busy week for many of us so it will be only me posting work. 🙂

 

AmberMy Thoughts Were Too Loud, I Couldn’t Hear My Heart Beat, Acrylic on paper – The inspiration for the theme came from my niece, she wanted to give me a theme that she thought would be too hard! lol, she was shocked when I told her it was the perfect theme and it really was!

The idea behind my image is that there are moments when we are in such emotional pain and turmoil that we fail to notice what is happening around us. We become lost inside our murky thoughts and sometimes become dangerously isolated; but, if we can find the will-power to pull ourselves from our thoughts we will see that healing is possible, that life continues and we can continue with it.

I wanted my piece to represent the struggle and hope that comes with healing. The uncertainty to trust that there is hope, and the struggle to not loose yourself to negative hopeless thinking/feelings. Hope and the process of healing is represented organically via the tall grass, the ever resilient dandelions (notice the the cup and the one puffless aged dandelion?) and the wind turbines are busy bringing in a renewable future.

It was a therapeutic piece for me to create and I hope others are inspired by it to breathe and take care of themselves. 🙂

 

Next week’s theme: Heavy!