Summer time means travel time for those of us fortunate enough to have those long weeks of summer to look forward to after a hectic ten month school year! This year, my travels took me through several airports and involved some lengthy wait times between flights. Luckily, two of these airports featured some interesting artwork to keep me from boredom...or too much time wandering Facebook and Instagram.
Stop #1 was a stay at Atlanta's Hartsfield International on my way to Key West, Florida...
After a wonderful five days in lovely Key West, it was time to return home...more inspiring airport art time from stop #2, Key West, in my next post!
During those final, endless weeks of the school year, just when I needed it most, got a subscription email from Bonnie Glendinning of ThrivingArtistAcademy.com inviting me to join a closed Facebook group called The Artists' Mentor and to check out one of the photography courses that was being offered. The course, titled The Present Perfect, was a short seven day exploration of Mindfulness, using photography as a tool.
Even though May is one of the busiest months of my school year, the thought of taking a few minutes a day for seven days to do something for my own artistic soul, was very appealing. So I signed up, followed through, and loved every bit of the experience! Jen Kiaba, professional photographer, educator, and digital marketer, not only presented new ways to explore photography as an expressive art form, she also provided helpful, encouraging comments on every post made by one of her students.
I must say that learning the ins and outs of any new digital device is always an adventure! Not all my apps and links want to play nice yet, and some passwords are refusing to let me make changes, but overall I think I am going to really like creating art on my new iPadPro. Here are a few of my first adventures into digital lettering.
"Brushing up" on my long-neglected calligraphy skills has been great fun since I discovered @randomolive, thanks to a class with April Bowles-Owen on Creative Live last October. Before then, I knew nothing about brush lettering, although I had been doing pen and ink calligraphy off and on since high school art class. The April challenge of 30 baseball related words really caught my interest since my grandson is now playing tee ball!
The countdown to summer has begun in my head, even though there are still five very busy weeks left in the school year for me. I recently acquired a gorgeous selection of stones from Dakota Stones and am spending as much time as possible building my Sand and Surf summer collection for my Etsy shop. Right now, I have listings for stretch stacking bracelets, but I have plans to add earrings and other bracelet styles in the coming weeks. Check back often and follow me on Instagram to get all the latest updates!
February 21...Day #52 of 2016...the year with the #oneword365 goal of SIMPLICITY.
Time for a reality check!
Since my last post, I have taken on no fewer than three, yes THREE, web-based art challenges!
CHALLENGE #1: One Little Tag Craft Challenge
What is it? A Facebook group for people who want a daily dose of creativity on a small scale...specifically a little hang tag, like you might put on a shipping box. You make a tag each day (or week, or month...whatever works!) and post it to the FB page for all to see.
Who is doing this? Hosted by blogger Jenny Barnett Rohrs, mastermind behind Craft Test Dummies, this FB page has over 300 participants, although only a few seem to post regularly. Lots of scrapbooking, stamping, and mixed media fans seems to be on board with this challenge. Every few weeks, Jenny writes a post or shares a video with some new twist to the challenge, just to keep it interesting. After all, this is a full year challenge!
CHALLENGE #2: Brush Letter Practice Challenge
What is it? A really fun way to add to my calligraphy skills! I've been doing traditional pen calligraphy since high school art classes, back in the pre-internet dark ages. Instead of a stiff pen and India ink, you use a soft, flowing brush and watercolors.
Who is doing this? The work of Olivia, who goes by Random Olive, first caught my eye when she was a participant in a Creative Live class I was taking last October. I liked her style, so I checked out her website, Instagram, and YouTube videos to learn more about brush lettering.
How does it work? Each month, Olivia posts a list of words with a theme. December was all about yummy holiday cookies, January was a list of inspirational words, and February is definitely my favorite so far...flowers...hint of spring to come! Olive also offers great practice sheets that you can download each month to help with learning the brush strokes. My skills have improved just enough to give me the confidence to occasionally post a sample on Instagram at #brushletterpracticechallenge, although I have a long way to go!
One plus, though is being able to combine challenges. I've used brush lettering with iPad drawings on some of my tags for the One Little Tag Craft Challenge. A little bit of simplifying!
CHALLENGE #3: #28tomake with Creative Live
When I got the email from Creative Live, offering a free 28-day drawing challenge, I couldn't resist! Each morning brings a new email video with a prompt for the days' creative challenge. These are quick, no more than 20-30 minutes, which is perfect. I've even been able to do a few of them during my lunch break at school, and one of them, the tangram challenge, became a lesson plan for my first grade classes this week! The best part of this challenge is going to Instagram to see all the amazingly creative problem solvers posting their responses.
Will you join me?