It's alter time again!!
This month's full moon is known as the seed moon or pink moon. For some reason, I've been struck by the glory of a moon dressed all in pink. See it gets the name pink from the ground phlox that blooms this time of year. And this is one of my absolute favorite times of year to photograph. I love gardens in spring. I grew up playing among the azaleas, Andromeda, bluebells and daffodils.
Sweet Ruthie by Gwen Gyldenege
Clematis by Gwen Gyldenege
Coral Azalea by Gwen Gyldenege
I love the way the earth smells when she's laughing in flowers. Persephone does leave a glorious and fragrant wake as she returns from Hades. There is nothing like the delicious smell of blooming azaleas, Andromeda and clematis all mingling with rhododendron an the warmth of a sunny spring day or lingering upon every dew drop following a gentle spring rain.
The images you see before you are a several photographs I took in one of my favorite gardens. If you play in the garden, you'll find magic & faeries among the bright blossoms & rich evergreens or deep underneath the cascading blossoms of the Andromeda bush.
Purple Azalea by Gwen Gyldenege
What I find fascinating is how different the scents are from each of these flowers. The clematis really smell like chocolate. The andromeda like a heavy, syrupy honey, and the azaleas are sweet and bright, like a sibling to the summer trumpet vine or the springtime honeysuckle found enveloping every early spring night in Kansas City, Missouri as the days heat wanes and the earth sleeps. I would love to travel the world as spring comes alive in every place just to experience the scents. What would it be like to be right smack in the desert when all those cactai burst open? Or how about standing in a Moroccan garden among the roses? Or sipping your morning espresso beneath an arbor crafted of gardenia? It'd be quite a glorious hedge. What other amazing scents could you discover? If only to bottle these and wear them. I would definitely wear scents of Azalea, Andromeda, or Honeysuckle.
Andromeda by Gwen Gyldenege.
Tulip tree by Gwen Gyldenege
Andromeda by Gwen Gyldenege
Tulip Tree, Evergreens and Spring Sun by Gwen Gyldenege
Wow, glancing over this post, I love how colorful it is. And, I realized how truely me it is! I love it! Color is a wonderful thing. I lived in a land of grey once and now choose to live in technicolor how ever I possibly can.
Back to the moon. When I began sculpting, I didn't intend her for the Alter project. After last month, I decided I'd just play a little and if it worked out, great. If not, then I'd have a fun art piece and I would have taught myself to sculpt a face in paper clay. I've done quite a bit of sculpting with pottery clay, sculpey and fimo, but paper clay seemed too soft. With inspiration and courage found from classes with Michael DeMeng
, Clarissa Callisen
, Patricia Hedegaard
and the Halloween book by Mr. Glitterville
, I embarked upon the journey.
Well, it was a bit soft. But, I just kept playing and out came this magical moon face. Then, instead of keeping her just a full moon, I decided that I wanted her to represent both the full and the crescent moon. She could be waxing or waning, depending on which side you observe her. I gave her a long pointy nose and a very pointy up-tipped chin. I tried the pressed in eyes like shown in Glitterville, except with mine, I added them with flattened circles of of clay and created eye sockets, just in case I wanted to add a glass eye.
Then, after bone dry, I began painting. Thank God I'd been through Michael DeMeng's classes where I learned his layering techniques to achieve the most amazing painted surfaces. It was not easy to grasp how many layers go into a surface to achieve depth. And, might I add the patience one really needs to have. I do like the look, but often avoid it because I run out of patience. Well, fortunately, I happened to find an extra dosage bottle of art patience in my medicine cabinet. For this moon alone, I believe there are ~ 7 layers just for the main color. Then, there are many more layers in the eyes, lips, etc. The nice part about layers is if you don't like the look, paint over and start again. There are actually green, blue, purple, pink, and many other colors in there. The more I painted her, the more she felt like an Italian clown, part of the Pagliacci
or even a marionette. I think my style is beginning to emerge. How lovely!
I couldn't let the moon go up without a rich and colorful night sky behind her. While resting from a minor injury, I picked up my colored pencils. Had such great fun with them on the shrinky-dinks, but haven't found the look I want on paper. I really like a layered, depth, but didn't know how to create it. So, off I went in search of tutorials from the great world of bloggers. Not many, but I found one that showed putting red behind blue and blue behind red. Huh. It looked weird on it's own, but I figured it would be interesting to try in my favorite colors - pink and aqua.
I started playing with the colors at hand. I was tickled to see the rich sky colors I could create. Just like so many nights I've tried to photograph, but my camera just won't pick-up. Oh glory me, this is really exciting. Now, I have a way to create night skies. I've been dreaming of this. And, all because I sculpted this moon, and just played really, do I know a new way to make a magical scene. LUCKY ME!
by Gwen Gyldenege
Have you ever known the joy of a flower in your lapel?
A blossom in your button hole?
A daisy, not so racy. It maybe spicy very nice see?
A rose is true as gold. Sweet reminders of ye of olde.
Bachelor Button is truly somethin'.
Dandelion, please no cryin'.
Buttercup so nice and yellow, please can I kiss that fellow?
Hello bluebell, oh yes, please do tell.
Tinsey Tansy love me a pansy.
Hippy hoppy lots of poppies.
Leave your rage and get some russian sage.
But do unfold, it's spicy told, the marigold so brave and bold.
The Marigold, photo by Gwen Gyldenege
What can you do with dingleballs?!?!
Well, I'm cultivating a Pinterest board
just for you. It has a few great ideas for knitting & sewing patterns along with some crafty things like flowers and garland. Pop on over and check it out!
Once you've used your kit, just about all of the yarns I sell will be perfect for making dingleballs. I'm spinning up some new colors for an update later this month to inspire your muse. :)
I fussed & fussed over this paper. Beth started it with a "Beach" theme. But that's not what it's becoming. And given the mountains (which I love) and the flowers (which I also love), it was not feeling very beach like. I couldn't come up with a thing all month & then some. I kept hearing, "The Atchison, Topeka, & The Santa Fe
" a train song, but in Harry Connick, Jr's
version on the album 25
. I cut trains out to collage onto the paper, I tried to place a train track, but no. They didn't feel right. So I sat in front of it with colored pencils and markers. What to do? What. To. DO?!
Colored Pencils. My medium.
Markers. Got em out. Didn't touch em.
Then I recalled many an inspired day watching Commander Mark
Remember him? Fun! Enthusiastic! Encouraging. Aliens, planets, secret hide-a-ways.
So I grabbed my pencil & swooped & looped like Commander Mark would do. I didn't think. Just let the pencil lead me. I always used to think he knew what he would draw before he did it. But now, I wonder if he didn't just trust his marker & let the marker take him where it wanted to go on the drawing. My swooping resulted in a river that wandered into a waterfall. Wow, I found a way to connect the mountains to the flowers!
Starting a river. There were mountains, flowers and a moon. The river had yet to run through it.
Adding base color
Giving the water movement.
Adding white, the faster flowing water. Starting the waterfall feel at the bottom front of the page.
Layers of blue hues & black/graphite to enhance corners & the swerving feel of a winding river.
The final effect. River to waterfall. Waterfall over Hawaiian flowers. Enhanced Moon.
I'm really happy with the results. I couldn't have planned this. I'm really glad I just let my pencils go to work. I feel like I achieved a good sense of 3-d with just a flat piece of paper. That in and of itself is an accomplishment in my book. Yay me! (remember to congratulate yourself after a job well done. You'll then encourage yourself to improve!)
This year, I returned to sculpting in polymer clay. As a kid, I spent many, many hours sculpting. Then, about 6 years ago I picked up some clay to make some fairies for one box in "The Take-Out Box Project", an art challenge I was part of with 16 other artists, and haven't played with it again until this year.
In my elementary years I created a lot of art. Sculpting was just one of the many mediums I was blessed to play in (thank's mom
!). I made wee figurines and stuff for my dolls and toys. I loved dolls. But, I think I loved making things for them more. I used to make vingnettes all over the house (and get yelled at to clean them up - sorry Mom
, creative muse and all!). I collected blocks, dolls, and then I figured out how to make doll furniture out of paper with origami techniques. A doll or faerie home always seemed better when made in a fresh corner. Still makes me giggle. I made food, plates, and cups. I sculpted heads. It was great fun, then I didn't know where else to go with it.
Dragon sculpted by Gwen Gyldenege. Norman says, "Hi! My name is Norman Rockswell. Wanna play 'melt the glass ball'? Cause I just figured out I can burp fire when I drink sparkling mountain lake water."
Fast forward to 2012. I had the great fortune to take classes from Patricia Hedegaard
. She taught us how to make goblins and dragons. The flood gates just opened up and sculpting what ever I wanted became so much easier. I learned about fingers, toes, bodies, horns, and more. Above is a picture of my little dragon. Isn't he cute-a-full!?
Now when I pick up the clay, I just allowed myself to play. I find my greatest success comes when I don't try to create a vision or think long and hard on what I want the clay to become. Rather, I pick up the clay and start with a shape and let the clay tell me what it wants to be. I just fall in to my creative trance state (natural people, natural) and allow my hands to work. Think of it like walking meditation.
That's how Bald Mermaid was born. I started with a head and no eyes. Then, I decided to make a torso. The hands - oh gosh, they ended up being as big as her hips. Guess we all need to be a little handy. Lastly, I just created a simple tale. I decided that clamshells would be funny for a "bra". And who had the best cartooned clamshells that are easy to sculpt? The Flinstones
. They're not an exact of clam bucks, but they're my idea of funny clam shells.
Bald Mermaid by Gwen Gyldenege
I didn't add any hair. In fact, it took me a while to settle on eyes. She's still a work in progress, but I'm not sure I'll add hair. There are many women who don't have hair by choice and not. Why not support a unique standard of beauty. For, how many bald mermaids really exist? At least 1 in my wonderland! Ya like her?
Pass the Paper 2012. First Swap is Round 2. Gwen's additions to Peg's paper include Oil Pastels and Brush Markers. NW Creative Spirits Guild.
In January after I posted about my paper, I got another artist's paper in return to "art up". This one is my mom's
. She used watercolor pencils to create a neat missoni zig-zag style
effect. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was an oak leaf.
I don't have any formal training on how to use oil pastels or how to give something depth. So, I just played with blues like I've seen other artists do. When I thought it was too bright, I softened it with grey, black, white or a olive green. I used bright kelly green and lime green and white to create accents of light. Then, I added the words that kept running through my head and made up a poem about oak leaves and thought of how the strength of the oak can help my mom continue her success as an artist.
I'm very pleased with the results. I like the look of oil pastels over watercolor pencils. I'm enjoying this challenge. It's inspiring me to break my own "can't" rules and just dig in and try regardless of whether the outcome will be good or even successful. Quite freeing. 'Bout time I relaxed and let myself create.
On February 2nd, through the joys of a friend of a friend's post on facebook I saw Teesha Moore's post
about this February Photo A Day challenge hosted by @Fatmumslim
, an Australian blogger who takes the most interesting photos. I was intrigued and decided to play. I needed a bit of a challenge to inspire my "quick and dirty" photography skills as I prepare for teaching my Quick & Dirty Photography workshop.
For the FEBphotoaday challenge, 1,314 people signed up. That's right, one blogger has inspired almost 1500 people to take one picture a day. How amazing is that?! And I'm half way round and right side up ;) the world from her.
Little did I know that this challenge would teach me how to turn the mundane into the artistic, the ordinary into extraordinary. Also, prefer to show off tidbits that come across artistic than to show you a full image of my front door. For example, for 2-9, the theme was, "Front Door". Instead of showing off my front door, I chose to show you the front door of a really neat salvage store in Portland, OR called The Rebuilding Center
Normally, I wouldn't have thought folks would find interest in it, but if you enjoy Grimm (episode: Of Mouse and Man
) and you've actually scoured the corners of this store like I have, you'd like knowing that the entrance to the place is way artistic and an example of using salvaged materials to create art.
Below is my collection of photos for February's challenge. As I went through each day of the month of February, I pinned them to my FebPhotoADay2012 Pinterest board
and on the :: Calm Under Tension :: Facebook
page. I have played with Typo-Insta before, but this really got me working through the app. I learned lots of ways that I do and don't like pictures edited. I love having text on a photo, and I found that I can capture and create art on the fly with ease! I've enjoyed the challenge and playing with Typo-Insta on my phone so much that I'll play again in March
. Won't you join me and expand your skills?
I imagined that there is some Tony Dinozzo
character mocking my chameleon calling him McGecko
I finished him
on February 12th, he's made from a small amount of leftover handspun. The fiber is BFL (Blue Faced Leicester)
. The pattern
was created by Brigitte Reid. Isn't he just the cutest?
I’ve been so inspired by Gnomio and Juliet
that I went and scoured Etsy
for the best of the best creations of Gnomes
. Boy did I have fun! There are so many artists that I never would have known about had it not been for my gnomie inspiration. Wow! Figurines, pissed off garden art, mobiles, sketches, doors, wee little homes, hats and so much more. If you are so inclined, please pop over to the Treasury spot on Etsy
and view or comment on it. I’d love to get enough interest to have these fantastic artists featured on Etsy’s
front page!!! Also, if you like what you see, take a moment to look at the seller’s shops. I discovered so many more lovely items that I found it hard to drag myself away to create the treasury. It’s a good thing Etsy
doesn’t have a low quantity limit on how many favorites you can have!
This morning I woke to the most wonderful news! One skein of my handspun yarn
had been featured in an Etsy Treasury by ChirpandBloom
. For those of you who run your own small businesses, give this a think from the Marketing and PR perspective.
Etsy Treasury: May the Road Rise to Meet You
First of all, what a fantastic way for the treasury creator to invoke that feeling of community than to engage and show off the wonderful things that others are creating. Secondly, an excellent opportunity to make new connections that might bring new business to your store. See, ChirpandBloom
has her own store which has adorable items for children and adults who “don’t want to grow up.” By connecting with me, she might also end up connecting with a mama who knits, but doesn’t sew and wants cute things for her daughter. Think of this action of creating a treasury as you would leaving a comment on someone’s blog, except it’s a deeper way of connecting. The neat part about what she did is that it inspired me to a) tell all my friends, b) post it on my blog (and write about her without her prompting!) c) post it on my facebook page. Goodness perpetuates goodness. Why not go bring more into the world yourself?