Get Unstuck!

Hi friends! Given the fact that we are on the internet right now there is a good chance we are procrastinating. I totally get putting off an unpleasant task but what about when we put off something that we love to do, like creating? Today we are going to talk about creative block, perfectionism, getting stuck and getting started so hopefully by the end of the video you will be ready to jump into your next creative project!

Did any of those points resonate with you? Let me know in the comments below and if you want to hear what John Cleese has to say about creativity you can watch his talk here. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Advertisements

Top 5 Reasons to do a Preliminary Sketch

Hi friends! I have been thinking a lot about creativity, artist block, perfectionism, procrastination and time management lately and I have a little trick that can overcome a lot of those stumbling blocks we face. It’s simply doing a quick practise sketch.

26233636_10210882647207635_4692069455618997473_o

I did this 10 minute color study before Fridays live show to make sure my colors were going to work for the mixes I wanted and also to make sure the paper I was using was OK. I was using some Winsor & Newton Artists Watercolor paper that is nearly 20 years old and it was just fine. This sketch allowed me to quickly get down some colors so that I would be prepared for the main painting.

Top 5 Reasons YOU Should do a Preliminary Sketch Too!

  1. You can test out your colors and materials to make sure they are in good working order and work well together.
  2. You can try out a composition (how your objects in the painting are arranged.)
  3. It allows you to paint quickly and freely without worrying about messing up the “good” project. It’s a great “warm up” to a day of painting!
  4. You can test out techniques you are unfamiliar with before attempting it on your final painting.
  5. If you are contemplating adding mixed media to your final painting you have a practise piece to try it on first.

IMG_20180113_131637

The odd thing is that I usually like the practice sketch better than the final painting and I think it is because of the free feeling I had when creating it. Knowing you are only going to spend 10 or 15 minutes on something let’s you create with abandon! I hope you give it a try and til next time happy crafting!

Flowers, Tea and a Good Book:)

Howdy friends! First let me apologise that I didn’t get the blog post up before the live stream today. I just ran out of time and I am sorry. You can always check my YouTube channel on friday morning to find the scheduled video link if I pull these shenanigans again:) We still managed to have a great turnout and this is what we painted:

Picture 145

 

You can watch the replay in the player below and if you have any questions you can leave a comment here or on YouTube and I will answer it:)

Supplies:

I decided to add some details with Prismacolor colored pencils at the end. I think it is wise to let your painting sit a bit before deciding it’s done. Sometime you will be disgusted with a painting, go to bed and the next morning it looks great. Maybe there is a painting fairy that stops by and fixes out work in our sleep, but a more likely reason is that we are our own worse critics and after a time working on something we can’t judge it objectively.  I hope you enjoy this tutorial and til next time happy crafting!

Fun ideas with Sequins!

Hi friends! Today I have a couple of card and bookmark ideas for you:

IMG_20180109_154308

Watch the video to see the tutorial!

This tutorial is sponsored by Top Flight Stamps! SAVE 10% off your next order with coupon code: thefrugalcrafter10 *USA orders of $50+ ship free!

Supplies:

*Note: To make the sealed pockets I am using a wood burning tool from Walnut Hollow called a Creative Hot Marks. If you have the Fuse tool it will work even better. If you don’t have any hot tools like that you can cut the page protectors (or clear plastic bags) with scissors and seal them with tape and it will be just as cute!

I hope you enjoyed this fun idea and til next time happy crafting!

Beginner Oil Painting: Peonies

Hi friends! Today I have a fun and relaxing oil painting tutorial that would be a good project for someone who would like to try out oil painting for the first time.

26232584_10210830624267094_7166455303810060705_o.jpg

I am using water mixable oils which behave exactly like traditional oils (slow drying, rich color, buttery consistency) without the need of stinky solvents. You can simply use water to rinse your brushes and thin your paint. The misconception is that oil paints are stinky and fumey but that’s not quite true, it is the solvents that can be stinky and harmful. As with any paint though you should respect it and work with it as it is intended in a safe manner. I’ll share safety tips at the end of the post 🙂

This tutorial is sponsored by Jerry’s Artarama! Use coupon code: frugal20FS49 for 20% off $49 + Free Shipping (Excludes: Sale, Super Sale, Egift Cards, Buy It Try It’s and Vendor restricted items. Look for the green coupon eligible icon on the product listing.

Supplies:

Studio safety tips!

art-1478831_640.jpg

  1. Don’t eat your paint! I know this sounds silly but it is important to keep food out of your studio and to wash your hands properly before eating and drinking. I have dipped my paintbrush in my coffee before and luckily I noticed it before I took a sip! 🙂 If you do want to have a drink handy use a covered water bottle or travel mug. This will also save you from spilling your drink on your art! Also if you use a cup for paint water or a dish as a palette don’t use them again for food.
  2. Get the gloves! If you are worried about absorbing chemicals into your skin you can wear surgical gloves. I prefer to use a barrier hand cream but I am not too worried about absorption because I don’t get that much paint on me and I don’t often use the toxic stuff. I know the chalky feeling of pastels give some people the “oogies” so gloves would be a great solution to this!
  3. Say it, don’t spray it! Watch how you apply your paint. Many paints (especially expensive quality artist ones) are not meant to be spray applied due to hazardous chemicals in the pigments. Read the labels before you airbrush or spatter your inks and paints and never blow your pastel dust. Instead tap the paper into your trash so the dust falls down and doesn’t get kicked up into the air where you might breathe it in.
  4. You gotta keep it ventilated! Our paints, sealers, fixatives and adhesives can emit fumes. Even the odorless products are not great to breathe so you need to make sure you have air circulating. Cracking a window and using a fan is great or wait til the end of the day to use the worst offenders and then let your studio air out overnight. Listen to your body, if you start to feel light-headed or get stuffed up open a window and take a break. Some people are more sensitive than others so when possible take a whiff of a potential product at the store before buying to make sure you can tolerate the smell.
  5. Protect the pets! Dump out rinse water (or cover it) at the end of the day so curious cats won’t imbibe your delicious paint water. Also store wet paintings up on a high shelf or easel so they are not walked on or rubbed against….don’t ask me how I came up with this tip…
  6. Watch the young’uns! Your art materials are perfectly safe if used as intended. The labels will tell you if there are hazardous materials and often how they should be handled and whether they are safe for children. And “safe for children” also means if used for their intended purposes.  Obviously you don’t let your kids drink glue or eat crayons. Still, the best way to keep your kids safe in the art room is to always supervise them. If you can’t, then, an inexpensive latch on the door too high for them to reach is cheap insurance. If you can’t block the kids away from your supplies as they are in a shared space use containers that the little ones can’t open. This is one reasons I don’t particularly like odor free products like Gamsol. It looks and smells like water even though it is a powerful solvent. It makes me nervous because small children or pets might not know the difference so always I keep it in its original safety capped container. *Gamsol is a great product for dissolving colored pencils and I use it but the fact that is has no odor freaks me out!

I hope these safety tips made you aware of potential dangers without scaring you. There is no need to be afraid, just be aware of what you are using and how it should be used and you will be fine. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

It’s OK to Fail & Grab Bags for Sale!

Grab Bags are Sold Out! Thank you so much for your support:)

Hi friends! Last weekend we emptied out the retail booth I have rented for the last few years. I used this space to sell paintings, cards, jewelry and crafts. As my schedule got more and more full I decided that this was a better way for me to have work for sale then attending craft fairs as my shop was manned by the company I rented from. Every month or sho I dropped off new items (the stuff I made in YouTube tutorials) and freshened things up. It was fine. It gave me a temperature controlled place to store my artwork where customers could come and buy it if they liked. Some months I made a profit, other months I barely made rent.

photo-1473187983305-f615310e7daa

You will try many different things during your journey as an artist, some will pan out and some won’t. Some will succeed at first but then will change. Don’t let the fear of failing keep you from trying. All you need is one great idea once in a while and the more ideas to put out there the greater your chances for success. One of the best things about my YouTube career is that I can keep posting new projects for free. It is often the ones that I think “Will anyone even watch this?” that end up being the project that inspires and resonates with others. Then I get to hear the wonderful comments from happy people who made the project and to think I almost didn’t post it. Sometimes you can’t tell what idea will be a winner and what will flop. You can’t win if you don’t play right?

photo-1505166065723-bae088a12fc4

I always say “You either succeed or you learn.” From my antiques shop experience I learned that only exposing my art to a small local market limited its potential. The shop I rented was in an antiques mall so all of the shoppers were there to buy antiques. Sure, some folks were buying gifts so they would buy a birthday card or they were looking for home decor so they would buy a painting but most were looking for antique treasures for themselves or resale. Art is subjective and it is a niche product so I finally accepted the fact that it was a product better suited to a website. I also realized that the massive amount of paintings and cards I had on display would take an eternity to list online and I want a fresh start so I am selling a limited number of art & card grab bags here on the blog!

Guaranteed in each grab bag:

  • 1 watercolor painting
  • 1 hand painted watercolor greeting card
  • 5-8 handmade cards
  • 1 pair of handmade earrings
  • 1 other handmade goodie

Other goodies include:

  • Beaded wire bubble wands
  • Necklaces
  • Bracelets
  • Felt flower barrettes
  • Fabric shopping bag organizers
  • Handmade hand warmers
  • Knit items
  • Handmade journals
  • Wire rings
  • Pendants, brooches and charms

The grab bags are $50 with USA shipping included. I am planning on using USPS Priority Mail flat envelopes so I can really fill them with goodies without worrying about shipping  weight! The items in the grab bags will be gift quality so you can pass along items that are not your style. Grab bags are a gamble, I get it, so here is a photos of one grab bag’s contents (and I’ll probably tuck in a few extras!)

IMG_20180107_105229

It was really fun when I went through all of my shop inventory yesterday because I had forgotten so many of the projects I had made over the years. I remembered how I felt as I designed a new items and it instantly took me back to that feeling of creativity. That said I want to start fresh so I can have a blank slate and room for my creativity to grow. I have had so many people ask if I would sell my cards, jewelry and crafts online, well now’s your chance to get them! If you would like to purchase a grab bag please email me at: artstudiosofbangor@yahoo.com and put “Grab bag purchase” in the subject line and I will send you a PayPal invoice. I only have 20 grab bags available and they will be sold on a first come first serve basis. Thank you so much for your support and til next time happy crafting!

PS I also have one Bow Making Jig for sale if anyone is interested email me. $25 shipped within the USA.

 

Live Watercolor Lesson Today & Tips for Setting up a Small Art Space!

Edited to add the finished painting. Have an awesome weekend!

IMG_20180105_135702

Hi friends!  I am so happy I have internet, I was expecting to lose power with the crazy blizzard we had yesterday so I even had a backup video to post if that was the case but that tutorial will wait til Sunday and today we will paint live on YouTube at 12:30pm Eastern Time. During the slow week between Christmas and New Year I set about arranging my winter art space in my office upstairs. Normally I prefer to work and film in my basement but it gets chilly in the winter and loud as you can hear when the furnace kicks on. So in the winter my art area downstairs is more of a storage room and I work in my office. Here is a look at my creative corner.

I thought I’d share this, even though it is not the most beautiful space because it is very functional and a realistic option for many people. Let’s face it, few of us have a spare room we can devote to art. I took over a corner of my unfinished basement 10+ years ago and did the best with what I had. The black fabric hanging from the ceiling is to dampen echo while recording. I am thinking about ordering some acoustic foam panels but as you know I am a resourceful tight-wad LOL:) I found a calendar based on the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and I hung that on my wall. It is one of my favorite productivity books. The small shelf in front of my desk holds my laptop. I try to keep my workspace as clear as possible.  I put my most often used tools on the shelf to my right. If you are a lefty you would probably want the shelf on your left. I took an old spice rack and put in my Prismacolor Pencils and Spectrum Aqua Watercolor pencils as well as a few odd-ball Albright Durer Watercolor pencils and Caran D’ache Supracolor pencils. They all work well together so why not?

Next to that is a bookshelf (BTW all of my studio furniture are cast-offs from other parts of the house emptied during my year-long declutter process) I have my Spectrum Noir alcohol markers and my Studio 71 brush markers and some odds and ends. Alcohol markers play well together too and since I have a lot of them due to reviews over the years I have enough for a full assortment upstairs and downstairs. My kids can help themselves to any of these supplies as well. I have a little bit of everything on this shelf, some watercolor crayons, my Rembrandt watercolor 48 set, a paper trimmer, a tray with mini ink pads and in the tip out bins I have acrylic paint pens, clear stamp blocks, watercolor crayons and a random junk bin. I have my favorite reference books and some art paper pads on the shelf below. Basically I want to have a versatile assortment of supplies to create with on hand so I don’t have to run downstairs all the time to get more supplies. I do keep on shelf empty (under the pencils) for bringing up supplies for particular projects and when I am done it goes back downstairs.

I raised up the height on my drafting table so I can stand or sit to work. I can’t sit too long or my back gets stiff and sore. That is a reminder that I need to move so I will go up and down the cellar stairs a few times to limber up and usually I think of something I need to fetch for a project or I have something to return. Since I work at home I might start a load of laundry, empty the dishwasher or do another chore that is active. I find these small brain breaks help keep me stay fresh and inspired. No two crafters had the same space available but I hope this inspires you to make a spot for art in your home. A card table with a rolling cart under it can house plenty of supplies so see what you can do with what you have. I have a door to my backyard right next to my desk which s great in the spring, summer and fall but this time of year it is drafty so I just sealed it with a weatherstripping kit it and what a difference it made to the warmth of the room. I recommend doing that if you have  a drafty area as it will save you money and will make working more comfy. Here is the view of my backyard. There is also a bird feeder I can watch from my desk:)

I hope you got some ideas there. Now on to today’s tutorial. We will be painting live from this reference photo. I was in the mood for something bright and summery:)

You can watch the live stream or reply in the player below but if you want to chat live be sure to watch on the YouTube watch page. Sarah is not feeling well today but my daughter Maizy will be filing in relaying questions to me.

Supplies (Use any kind you like, I’ll link what I am using below)

I hope you are having a great start to 2018! Good luck digging out if you were hit by the storm. I stepped onto my porch and snapped this pic. I am so glad I kept my porch decorations up, I think I will until the kissing balls start to turn brown, I am so pleased with how well they are lasting and how fresh they still look. See you shortly for the live show! Happy crafting!

 

%d bloggers like this: