Category Archives: Crafts

Ornament Paintings

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Our main Christmas tree (we have five!) is very tall and very skinny. Each year, we take down the art work that usually hangs on the wall behind where the tree is now situated. Every year, the wall looks empty except for the little area taken up by our thin tree. Art to the rescue!

I bought two 16”x20” canvases, and began with a layer of blue base paint. I varied the color a little and used some bubble wrap to add some texture to the blue (see close-up photo below).

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Masked Gnomes

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Last September, I saw these cute gnomes for a good price on Amazon (https://amzn.to/39JhSLb), and I knew I could make a quick addition to each one to customize these ornaments for 2020.

I got some T-shirt yarn from my knitting stash (excuse Dan the Man’s feet in the pic!), and cut out pieces about an inch and a half each.

I used white thread to gather the ends, and then I tacked a “mask” to the face of each gnome.

I was asked if I was going to write “2020” somewhere on the ornament, but I don’t think any recipient will misunderstand the mask reference or forget about the COVID-19 pandemic. So, here’s to friends and family! (You know what you’re getting for Christmas!)

Stamped Holiday Cards

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About a year ago, I bought a Speedball linoleum cutter and accessories, and I finally started playing with it as I’m prepping cards for Christmas sales. I decided to start easy since I am a newbie, and this straight-lined Christmas tree seemed to be a good pattern to try. Read the rest of this entry

Pop Art App

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I played around with an app I purchased called PopArt. The photo below is one of my sweet granddaughters after eating something berry-flavored at Dairy Queen. Cute, huh?

I sent the photo to PopArt and converted it into this image within the app.

I saved the pop photo, sized it, and sent it to my printer. I then used a printed copy and a light box to trace the photo onto mixed media paper. Painting the picture was a pain, but here are two versions.

The colors of the bottom photo match her bedroom. The picture is now framed and ready for Christmas!

Slat Frame

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BFF and I have been doing studio art that is appealing to both of us. A few pieces are worthy of hanging in our homes, but framing is just so darn expensive! After reading somewhere about slat framing, we decided to give it a go. Each frame, at most, cost $12, though it did require a little crapsmanship to make it happen. Read the rest of this entry

Art Lessons

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BFF and I have decided to work through a book of art lessons when we meet in the studio. The photo above shows our reference book — The Complete Painting Course, edited by Ian Simpson. So far, we’ve only managed to do the first lesson. The task was to set up a still life and use a limited palette to paint it. We set up the scene in the middle of our work table, BFF on one side and me on the other. BFF is a much more accurate draw-er than I am, but I still gave it a go. I won’t tell you whose is whose, but which one appeals to you?

Canvas Revisit

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Last week, I shared my progress in understanding artistic principles as I worked on an abstract canvas piece. (If you missed it, see https://crapsmanship.com/2020/08/09/progress/.) I worked more on the canvas today, covering up a few parts I wasn’t happy with and adding some texture using a piece of screen material and some gold paste. I haven’t decided if I’m finished with it yet, but I’m liking the improvement. Now to decide which way I want to hang it. What do you think?

Horizontal?

Or vertical?


I used an app called “ArtRooms” to “hang” the picture in a home setting. I used the free version of the app, but you can get rid of the watermark with a paid subscription. I like them both of the imaginary settings for my art. I just wish my house looked that good!

 

Progress!

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BFF and I recently bought two big canvases (70% off at Michael’s!) for the studio, and I’ve been experimenting with an abstract piece. I used to say that abstract art was easy — just slop some paint on a canvas. But it’s surprisingly hard. My photos today will show you my progress on the big canvas, which was also my first time painting on an easel. I am now much better at:

  • mixing colors,
  • avoiding making all the colors look like mud,
  • being willing to paint over a section I’m not happy with,
  • knowing I need to find balance,
  • varying the sizes of my marks, and
  • understanding that the piece needs to look good from afar and look interesting up close.

I still very much struggle with the ending — knowing when the piece is finished.

Here are several photos of the piece I’m working on right now. It starts with an attempt, then a total paint-over, and finally a direction to go, even though I’m not finished. 

Tweaking the circles:

Eliminating the circles:Starting over:

Trying it in a vertical position:

Better, but not yet finished:

Close-ups:

I’m also learning that art isn’t about the finished product, but rather the process and progress. Good learning!