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Image Transfers and cool weather, FINALLY!

The air is finally getting cool. Finally. It’s a welcome reprieve from a lot.of.hot.air swirling around everywhere. Everywhere. Yesterday and today it became overcast and cooler and I absolutely love it. I needed it. We all did. I know this season helps to ground me in a lot of ways. It’s my busy season with school starting but I’m learning to balance that with walks outside and quiet time making stuff. I think that balance is going to work well this year because it leaves space for spontaneous fun stuff!

Saturday morning have turned out being a main time for making time. I’ve managed to hone in on a good set up in my work space that definitely gets me pumped to get to it! So I have a bunch of different projects I’m lining up to work on this season and want to start sharing more and more. Today I tested some image transfers using pages from a magazine and packaging tape. I made a little video of the process for you! I will post what this turns into if anything in the coming days…I’m thinking a journal entry or journal cover…we shall see. All of this is getting me primed for the release of this years 21 Secrets Paper,Glue,Scissors on October 29th! (Click here to pre-order!!!) I’m hopeful to be able to connect with people on the FB page and see what everyone is up to! Until then, enjoy and find your balance this wknd. xo~

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Things are HAPPENING!!!

YES! I can finally share the exciting news I’ve been keeping secret all summer! I am absolutely thrilled to be a guest artist in this years edition of 21 Secrets by Dirty Footprints Studios! This years theme is Paper, Glue, Scissors and I know already that it’s am amazing collection of talented artist sharing their passion and skills with you all to enjoy and learn from.

What is 21 Secrets? It’s an amazing collection of 21 self-guided thematic workshops presented by 21 different artist and teachers! All are collected together under one “Roof” at Dirty Footprints Studio and after purchasing you receive a downloadable e-book of all the instructions and links to all the videos too! While we all are here for the love of Art Journaling and Mixed Media, the diverse collection of artists gives 21 Secrets it’s special sauce! Lots to choose from, and I’m so happy to be a part of it!

In this years program I am teaching how I create my backgrounds or, “Visual Nests” that I use as backgrounds for my collages using paint, pens and other magical materials. I also give a tour of a few of my journals and talk about how the 100 Day Project inspired my lesson and continues to influence my current work.

This years program will go on sale officially on October 29th, BUT…with the link below starting TODAY 9/26/18 to FRIDAY ONLY 9/28/18 you can get the EARLY BIRD rate and save $10 of the full price of $128. Enter code EARLYBIRD at check out! So you could get all 21 lessons for $118 between TODAY and FRIDAY!!! If you would like to learn more please click on the big giant coupon link below for more info about this years 21 Secrets - Paper, Glue, Scissors!

Thank you SO MUCH for your support and interest in my work. This has been a goal of mine over the past few years to find a way to expand my reach as a teaching artist and I’m just so thrilled to finally be sharing it, and on my birthday no less! Best present ever.

Cheers! xo

~Amy

Wait,

...it's August?!?! Yeah, so I was supposed to have that sale a few months ago and TOTALLY CHOKED!!! Omg, you guys...I over shot as the school year started to totally kick my ass and it just never happened. Please forgive me. I am however doing a LOT of cool things this summer including an epic road trip that included NJ>MA>ACK>CT>NY that I want to share pics of with you here! Some of these are in my social media feeds but ALL of them have a purposeful messy watermark to discourage the flimflam who think they can pilfer artwork that is not their own. (Yeah, don't)  I am really excited to share some new things I'm working on soon, as well as dusting off my Etsy store to make purchasing pieces a bit more streamlined. So keep an eye out here for updates..until then, here are some of my favorite shots from what has turned out to be a very cleansing reboot of a summer! xo~ Amy

A little renovation and mail call~

So, the prints arrived yesterday hot off the press from my favorite photo print company, Artifact Uprising. I've done several projects with them and they just have it down. Clean interface, easy uploads, quick delivery and a quality product. I'm really psyched to have these beauties in my hand because frankly, you just never know what's going to happen when you press, "SEND".

Now that the prints have arrived I'll be able to send them just after the holiday. I've also revamped the galleries below into a grid for easier viewing, AND...so that as these are purchased I can mark how many are left! (I know there's a few already down to 1, WOw! :) I love the way these look in a grid and this is also a nice way to see how they would look together.

I plan to keep taking orders until I'm wiped out well beyond the end of this week so don't hesitate to contact me if you're interested! NOTE: If you feel more comfortable e-mailing me directly that is wonderful!!! I'm at obscuragirl@gmail.com. Hit me up ANYTIME!!!

I'm going to meet with old friends tonight to celebrate a 50th birthday. Time is precious, folks...take time out to take the deep breathes, hug your loved ones, and dream a little. (Or a lot!) Happy Friday~

xo, Amy

Almost there!!!

Here are the remaining 50 days~! 

So excited to share these with everyone and so appreciate all of your support and interest in this body of work. It's been a very healing undertaking over a very intense year. I think these were a way for me to refocus so much built up stuff into something positive. And it worked. My focus has shifted and my ideas about my work have also expanded in a positive way that isn't overwhelming....and that feels good!

So tomorrow, at 11am I will start to take pre-orders. The prints will be 5"x5" on quality card stock and will be $10 each with a discount if you buy 3 or more. 

Thanks everyone!~ See you tomorrow!!! xo~

It's October already?

I've been saying this for 23 days.... :) But I love this month for so many reasons including the energy I get from the change in the air, it's invigorating to me. Now that the school year has started and I've got my sea legs back I can get back to this project and make some reproductions to share with everyone and research locations for an exhibition.  I know I went radio silent for a while after I finished, but the timing was serendipitous. (Prepare for personal overshare!)  I finished this project on April 11, 2017 which was also the same day I was undergoing a hysterectomy. It was the best decision ever as I feel fantastic now a little over 3 months post-op and am gaining more and more energy everyday. I am forever thankful for the support I received & it was perfect timing having the summer to recover. The timing of this project ending on the day of surgery was the Universe's way to say to me, "Amy, ya done good! Now it's time to take a break, rest your body and soul and heal. Which is exactly what I did this summer. It was hectic at times but the overall goal of recovering was accomplished, and then some. I am so thankful I had the time and the support to really and truly take care of myself, a fact I do not take for granted. (Family and friends, you know who you are! <3) That's why revisiting these 100 pieces now as the year is coming to a close seems like the right decision.

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Over the next few weeks I'm going to repost all 100 images in groups on my Facebook and Instagram feeds. I look forward to rereading the quotes and seeing how they feel at this time in the year. You're comments are welcome and so appreciated! I felt like this body of work really connected with people and I'm so thankful for all the support I got while doing it. 

So......because you guys are amazing I'm getting thing lined up to have reproductions available for purchase as well as polishing up my Etsy Shop. Very exciting!

 

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I am also shopping around for the means to reproduce all 100 images into a small book that would also be available to order. I'll be posting mostly on my social media and saving this space for content and videos of my process that are brewing. Stay tuned and thanks for being here! 

Starman

When I found out David Bowie had died I was devastated. Probably more than the average person or fan. I was very saddened by not only the loss of this amazing & talented human being, but reminded in a millisecond of my own grief I was still reeling from after losing my mother to Cancer not 4 months prior. This was what defined my life last year and I was just barely coming out of the fog I was in. My only respite was to dive into a piece that would channel the sadness into something positive. I decided to create an image transfer from a photograph that would capture both his class and timelessness. I've named it "Starman" and it's soon to be framed and will hang in my apt. proudly as a testament to both his memory and power of creativity, but to how love never really dies.

 First I found a suitable image on-line, opened it in Photoshop and converted it to high-contrast black and white using the Threshold tool. Because I was creating an image transfer, I also needed to flip the image horizontally so that while it prints backwards, the final image will be correct.

First I found a suitable image on-line, opened it in Photoshop and converted it to high-contrast black and white using the Threshold tool. Because I was creating an image transfer, I also needed to flip the image horizontally so that while it prints backwards, the final image will be correct.

 The next step was to create the image transfer. I applied packaging tape to the image overlapping as I went to create a tight seal. Then carefully dampened the exposed paper remaining on the back with water and began the gently removal process.&nbsp;

The next step was to create the image transfer. I applied packaging tape to the image overlapping as I went to create a tight seal. Then carefully dampened the exposed paper remaining on the back with water and began the gently removal process. 

 Once the image transfer was done of his face, I put that aside and got to the task of creating the background for the image. I usually work in black and white so I started with high graphite pencil that dissolves nicely in water to create the blending I wanted. I then played with white gesso over painting, and scratching into and wiping away to create the translucency I wanted. When David had just the right amount of subtle stars showing through I knew I was done.

Once the image transfer was done of his face, I put that aside and got to the task of creating the background for the image. I usually work in black and white so I started with high graphite pencil that dissolves nicely in water to create the blending I wanted. I then played with white gesso over painting, and scratching into and wiping away to create the translucency I wanted. When David had just the right amount of subtle stars showing through I knew I was done.

 Starman

Starman

 

Are we addicted to ideas?

By your 10th year teaching you start to feel like a Pavlovian dog, jumping when you hear a bell ring, fighting not to tell the total stranger to, "Take that hat off!" or eating your meals in record speed so you can run to the bathroom. It's habits like these that I'd imagine with any job are ingrained habits you find hard to dodge in normal life. But one thing that has ramped up for me lately is not so much the habits that come with the day to day, but the management of all the information coming at us at an epic pace. Now in year 23 of this career, it's not the same as it was when I started. Not that I'm expecting it to be, mind you, but the integration of technology into our daily lives as both a teacher and as an artist has fueled a few more bad habits than I care to have. More information isn't necessarily better.

As a visually driven person, Pinterest for example, is akin to crack. Seriously, even the terminology used around it , like, "Oh, I think I need a Pinterest hit!' alludes to it being a literal addiction! (You know you've all thought it at least once!) And to add insult to injury, there's a Pinterest App so we can be ANYWHERE and still be scrolling through the battery of images it houses. I don't mean to harsh just on Pinterest, but it is representative of the bad habits I am referring to. It is a means to collect ideas...ideas that we get all excited about because we see a beautiful picture that we are SURE we can recreate just as well, yet when push comes to shove we either bomb the project, or more likely, we never make time to execute it. I am convinced that we have all become expert idea collectors. We find something that satisfies that "Hit" buy gorging on, for example, all the drawing lesson ideas we can find, make a "Board" about it, blogging about it (read:self-mocking :) and then before you know it, we are collecting more information about drawing in different mediums, on different surfaces, etc., before...we have implemented any of the information we first collected. And then we feel bad about it! We never have a chance to integrate and without integration of an idea, all it does is float on the surface instead of soaking in.  I vote for less collecting, and more space to integrate...it's hard to do because the bad habit of collecting masquerades as being purposeful & productive. But I'm pulling back a bit...I'm not pinning as much until I use what I have, kind of like the way you're supposed to reduce clutter, can't buy something new unless something goes! What do you guys think? Am I onto something here, or do I need to join PinterestAnonymous....or rather start it! :) 


Fear in bad sunglasses

This week I finally bit the bullet and put up some new work for sale. I had been floating this idea around for a while but wanted a new way of reproducing my work that didn't involve me doing the printing. Frankly, the less time I spent on the computer stuck in post-production hell the better off the world was! I was not a nice person after being stuck in a chair for hours at a time, I mean really, who is?! Plus the fact that I was less than disciplined I would linger on non-work related sites instead of focusing on the work I really wanted to do. Then the work woudn't get done and I would have to be sitting there LONGER!!!  It was bad. But not uncommon especially for us creative types. I am a procrastination expert and will justify anything.  I'm finding the habits that block my ability to do real work include television (yes, I know!) my cellphone (again, I know!) and the inadvertant habit I've adopted post-burn out phase of numbing myself to things that feel overwhelming. It's not a unique tactic but admission is the first step to recovery, right?  The reality is my procrastination is really my fear in disguise...and I'm talking trench coat, bad hat and goofy sunglasses-disguised fear! In other words, it's obvious.

Thankfully, the biggest discovery I've made these 25 days has been the beautiful freedom I'm starting to feel in place of that fear. Because this creative practice contains the disclaimer that there are not rules, only that the time is dedicated daily and that I document it, I've discovered what works for me based on my needs for that day. Do I want to do some drawing today? Done. Do I have some new images to upload and edit? Bam! Is today about reading more of that inspiring book that gave me that idea that may lead to a series? Go for it. It's really all up to me which in the past I didn't realize. I was dressed in the fear that external pressure sells. "Brand Expectation" and it wasn't a good fit. That said, gettting on the computer during this daily time has been done with more focus and purpose than I've ever had before. Basically, because of that no rules rule....it's amazing what not giving a shit does for your psyche! I've managed to get my fear in check, or at least in a better outfit! The goal now is to keep this up and figure out a schedule that works to address the various needs of my practice, the creating part, the editing part, the inspiration collection and integration part. They all add up when combined correctly....and the TV isn't on! :)

 

17 days in

The purpose of this challenge has been to reacquaint myself not just with the act of creating, but the organization of my time around creating.  It's been a rebuilding of sorts with the aforementioned burn out in my last post. To be at this point now, where I'm not only keeping up with this challenge, but sitting here writing about it is leaps and bounds from where I was but 3 months ago, so this is proof that habits can be formed when you set your intentions and make a conscious effort to shift your perspective!

My initial desire was not to create finished pieces...that's just too much pressure & I was still recovering from THAT habit so, no...not the goal! What I realized I needed to do rather was to commit to creating a new habit. By deciding that from this time to this time every day was going to be for, "This" for example, was the key to creating the space in which to develop this creative practice. Being conscious about how I spend my time has become very important to me as I get older, and the impulsive fast pace I used to keep just wouldn't cut it anymore. This also felt pretty easy and right so that alone was my indicator that it was time.

How do you create a habit? Most say it takes 2 weeks which in this case I have found to be true. My commitment to this challenge by posting daily has been just enough push to get me to stay with this for the prescribed 2 weeks. After that, it is said it becomes habit...and I now understand that. Just the act of moving into that "Space" be it physically to the worktable, mentally by looking at inspiring images or words, or reading, writing or just sitting with an idea that needs to integrate is an act of making that decision, that choice every day to use that specific time for this specific act. Once it turns into an act you do every day without having to DECIDE you’re going to do it, but you instead just glide into doing it, that's when you know it's a habit. The removal of expectation is also vital within a creative practice. I now see this time as a gift, a respite or sanctuary where no one can touch me or tell me what to do...protected and safe and all mine. That has been my discovery in just 17 days and I can't wait to see what happens next. I'd love to hear from people about how they have created a creative practice or new habit. What has worked for you? Please share and let us know what you’re doing out there!

Cheers~

Amy

30-Day Art Every Day Challenge, and why I suck at blogging.

It's been quite a few months since I've posted here as usual. I've been attempting to blog for years now, when it first came into popularity it seemed pretty daunting as I'm not a writer, (other than tons of angsty journal entries!) nor did I always feel confident enough to share any artwork I was doing, if any. But as this medium has morphed and changed I've come to realize that as a part-timer, a dabbler....the on-line community isn't as concerned as of late as to how you share your stuff, per say...as it is that you do the sharing.

I've been under a microscope for so long at my job (that's another post I'll save for later~) that I felt like if what I was, "Putting out there" wasn't perfect it wouldn't matter, or it would immediately get criticized because let's face it, that's the society we live in. After acknowledging some severe burnout this past year I knew I had to re-evaluate what I was doing and sought out support from other creative & sensitive souls both locally and on-line. Thankfully, since I've been slowly dipping a toe into this pool and that,  with the support an amazing group of artists and friends I have learned that being vulnerable and revealing failures is not only a part of healing your fried soul, but it's what makes you interesting. It's not about perfection, or being infallible....it's about being real and authentic and letting people see this...then they know perhaps they are not alone and then connections are made. This is what I've learned, and what has helped me to revisit my identity as an artist and literally re-learning how to build a creative practice that honors my needs instead of what I thinks I "Should" be doing or creating.

In order to do this, to build this practice that is more about internal motivations than external pressures, I've given myself a creative challenge with the turn of the year. It's a 30-Day Art Every Day Challenge and I'm basically giving myself carte blanche to rediscover what it is that moves me, inspires me and brings me complete joy as a creator, maker and artist. By utilizing social media I'm keeping myself accountable and have had amazing support and feedback from friends near and far. It's not about creating final pieces, or anything to sell....it's about finding my mojo again and letting it take me where I need to go.  Please keep checking my Facebook page (links to the right!) for the daily posts and here for my reflections and poorly written observations as I venture through this process!  In the interim...here are some results of my 1st week~

Happy New Year! 

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