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Pink blossoms, Spring fever and creativity overload...

Hello lovely readers! I've got Spring Fever! I'm planning and creating like a mad woman and I don't want to stop. Lol. Even a bad cold isn't stopping me! I have been in bed for three days but I'm sketching away.

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Dreaming of my upcoming retreat to Scotland - (that is Edinburgh Castle). Can't wait and yes...you can see my sweet kitty companion, Leo has been keeping me company while I rest.

And one more - a moody gal inspired by some vintage fashion photography.

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Lucky for me, I have a pretty great view from my cozy bed - the pink blooms of a cherry tree are just starting to pop! One of my favorite things about Spring. They inspired a bit of a Pin-fest and this board emerged...

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Oh and speaking of PINK and gorgeous images, my dear friend Georgianna Lane just published her stunning book! You must get it. If you love Paris and flowers then you will adore this...

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To go along with all this flurry of Spring energy, I'm having a BIG SALE on our online classes too! Why not!? It's the perfect time to encourage growth and creativity, right? I would love to have you in class.

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Hope you enjoying the first signs of Spring where you are!

Much love and gratitude,

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Now Open - Register for The Art of Sisterhood

Hello there creatives,

I hope your week has been beautiful and productive so far.

I'm thrilled to announce that registration for The Art of Sisterhood is now OPEN with a special early bird price too! This is a brand new course that focuses on celebrating women and celebrating art. I'm so honored to be one of the guest teachers.

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The goal of this course is really to emphasize the value of women to each other, the value of love and support, and the value of sisterhood.

TAOS is for anyone that is looking to unite with other women, feel more connected, and dig deeper into the creative journey. TAOS will be a safe place for you to share your own personal stories as they relate to those that are shared with you.  TAOS is a place where we hold space for each other, as it is needed, and when it is needed.  TAOS is for YOU!

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I'll look forward to seeing you in class!

xo,

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Paint & Pixels ART to Adore

Good Morning! I hope your week is off to a fabulous start! I’m here to share with you about how delighted and proud Robin and I are of our past Paint & Pixels Students! In fact, we made a little Art Show video to showcase the amazing talent pouring out of the online classroom and FB group! Take a peek and get your dose of gorgeous art for the day!

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Pretty awesome right?! Yes...these were all created on the iPad! Such a powerful creative tool!

We are also so thrilled to announce that due to demand, we have  re- opened up the doors to the Paint & Pixels classroom.

So if you missed it, you now have your chance to take this innovative class as a self-paced online study - at a very affordable price too!

paint & pixels self study buttonYou can read more and register below.

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Have a beautiful week!

xo,

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Online Mixed Media Workshop - Shades of White

Hello there! I hope your Monday morning is going well! I was up with the birds and on my second cup of coffee already! Yes, I’m a little excited because today I’m launching my very last class for 2015!

Shades of White ButtonLet me fill you in...

Come join me for this one week Online Mixed Media workshop where we explore the beauty and subtlety of white and neutrals! When we strip away color - texture, contrast and ultimately design and composition come to the forefront. We will focus on these artistic aesthetics as we complete three beautifully unique projects:

  • A “Zen Abstract” Encaustic Wax Collage using vintage and handmade papers with a focus on balance, simplicity, unity and tranquility.
  • A beautiful “Woman in White” Portrait, inspired by Whistler’s painting “Symphony of White I” using acrylic paint and soft chalk pastels while exploring a multitude of milky hues and lessons on drawing the face and figure.
  • A “White Horses on the Horizon” landscape painting incorporating, pattern, texture and finally cold wax to create a dreamy finish.

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I’m beyond thrilled to share these projects with you! Plus, these creations would make amazing gifts for your loved ones! Just in time for the holidays!

Read more about the class* and register here! Classroom opens Dec 1**.

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*As with my last class, there will a limited number of seats and registration will close once it fills to maximum occupancy.

**You will have lifetime access to the classroom so if you are too busy this December then tuck this one away to do after the holidays. A perfect way to decompress!

Have a beautiful, creative week!

With much love and gratitude,

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Winner of Let's Face It Workshop Giveaway!

Hello my friends! Oh my goodness! I got a little caught up in filming classes and neglected to announce the winner of the fabulous Let's Face It online workshop giveaway! Registration opens TOMORROW! Don't miss it!

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So...with out further ado the winner is Suzy Norris! Congrats Suzy!

Thank you all who entered, left sweet comments and shared the news of the class online!

I'll be bringing you some gorgeous artwork this week plus some of my favorite art books too! So keep an eye out in your inbox.

Okay back to work! I'm knee deep in Art History study!

xo,

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Mixed Media Workshop - Success!

Hello friends! I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the holiday season! I gotta tell you my heart has been bursting with joy since teaching my Mixed Media Workshop this past weekend!

Oh. My. Goodness! I couldn't even have wished for a better outcome! All my nerves quickly melted away as I met each beautiful student - 7 shining, bright, amazing women! What a group! Plus, my co-hostess, Katie was SO awesome! She handled all the food, drink and goodies so I could focus on teaching Art! Total bliss!

Instead of rambling on and on, I'll just share some of the photos...

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I wanted to make sure every detail was thought of! It was a labor of LOVE and worth every second.

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My living room was gutted and turned into a festive classroom! What a truly rewarding experience to get the opportunity to teach what I am so passionate about. We used collage, encaustics, acrylic paint, pastels, ink, oil pastels and more! It was a serious Mixed Media Party!!

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The work that came out of these extraordinary women was mind blowing and so gorgeous! We worked on a smaller piece that was more focused on landscapes and then finished the day with a portrait project.

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That night we went out to dinner and continued the bonding. Artist, Jenny Wentworth came into town to join us too! What fun! I was beaming with joy and couldn't stop smiling!

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The weekend ended with an Open Studio session on Sunday morning back at my place.

Oh and this sweet video brought me to tears of joy. Thanks guys!

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This experience has deeply changed me. I challenged myself to do something that terrified me and conquered it! Woo! What a fabulous feeling! On top of that, I made authentic, magical connections to new artistic friends. Plus, I think I have finally found my calling. Teaching felt exhilarating, inspiring and just so darn right! I am so incredibly grateful. Thank you to all who participated! I can't wait till the next one!

xo,

Ivy

 

Teaching Video is Live!

Hello friends! How are you? I've been busy, busy working on this video and as promised it is now available to you! Yah! I had a blast sharing some of my techniques, tips and knowledge with you.

This is only the beginning! My goal is to keep creating lessons and eventually do some in-depth classes with you all! This is something I have dreamed about for years so I'm thrilled to actually be doing it! I do need some help from you guys though...my head is swimming with ideas and I have notebooks overflowing with concepts but I want to hear from YOU! What kind of classes would you like me to teach?

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Thank you to those of you who took the time to take this little poll! I truly appreciate it and look forward to hearing what YOU want.

Without further ado...enjoy the video and please don't hesitate to contact me with questions. Please see supply list for this project below.

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Intuitive Painting Lesson from Ivette Newport on Vimeo.

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Thank you all for your ongoing support and encouragement! Can't say that enough! Love you guys!

xo,

Ivy

I made a little movie for you...

Hello dear readers! How's life? Summer is zipping by and the chaos is evident all over the house...from the torn up closets, dripping bathing suits, half unpacked suitcases and the mounds of laundry I can't keep up with but you know what? I'm over it. Life is crazy so why fight it? I'm trying to do the best I can and just stay sane!

Speaking of chaos - check out what I've done to my dining room! ha! Yup...Mama needed more ART SPACE! ;) You might be noticing the odd contraption I have set up here....well....

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here's the news - I've finally decided (gotten brave enough) to start filming my creative process so I can begin to offer online classes and tutorials. Sharing my passion and love for Art through teaching seems like the natural next step to take. A little fact you may not know about me - I was an Art teacher at a Montessori school in Texas, in fact I created the Art Program there since they didn't have one! It was amazing teaching the children and since we are all a bit like kids around paint, I figure I should transition to teaching adults okay right? ;)

Anyway, here is a sneak peek at the first video...the full length, teaching video is still in post production but should be ready soon! The full video will show my creative process as I work through an Intuitive Painting. You will get to watch as I create a piece from start to finish. I have no plan when I sit down to paint (that's where the intuition bit comes in) - just a palette of 5 or 6 colors to start with and a blank canvas! I will show you many techniques and tips as I journey through the work with you. I'm SO excited and scared but I hope you will enjoy this first little snippet. I've never done editing or filming before so I've got a ways to go! Enjoy!

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Intuitive Painting from Ivette Newport on Vimeo.

Let me know your thoughts and I look forward to presenting you with the full video very soon!

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Thank you all for your encouragement and support. I couldn't have started on this path without you guys!

Sending you lots of love,

Ivy

 

 

Intuitive Painting

Hi everyone. Hope you are all doing really well! Okay...so, show of hands...who was looking forward to summer so badly? Couldn't wait for the kids to be out of school...have things slow down a bit...enjoy the lack of rushed mornings and packed lunches. Sound familiar? Yeah...I was there too and now I'm kinda feeling overwhelmed/annoyed juggling a smattering of camps, all in different locations, a bored kid (when camp is over), running around like a taxi and basically having a complete lack of a schedule. Makes me a little on edge - especially when all I want to do is paint!

Now, don't get me wrong. We've had a great summer so far. Got to take a few trips and make some memories with the kids but I guess I'm just a creature who likes rhythm. A consistency to each day that I can count on.

So...to soothe my nerves I've been spending a lot of time (when I can slip away) with my art books and journal. I've been incredibly inspried by Tracy Verdugo's new book - "Paint Mojo". Her work really speaks to me and feels so authentic and organic. You must check it out. She creates most of her work by way of Intuitive Painting, also called Expressive Painting, Soul Painting or Source Painting. Wondering what that is exactly? Well... I found this wonderful definition via here.

The medium of expressive painting exercises your creativity without concern for the results, develops greater trust in your intuition, expands your sense of freedom and possibility, and gives you a way to fearlessly explore unknown aspects of yourself.

I know it sounds a little woo woo...but I'm okay with that and let me tell you - it's pure magic! Scary? Hell yeah. Exciting? Definitely. It is most of all - surprising! Surprising to see what unfolds in your Art, what forms arise and symbols come up.

This isn't communing with any kind of spirit or anything like that. It's just getting in touch with your inner self and removing the Ego, the BS, you know - all the junk that gets in the way - and letting all the beauty of your soul pour out onto your canvas. And sometimes that beauty can be kinda ugly at first and that's ok. As you move through the work, it transforms. Remember, this kind of Art is not about the end product but rather the simple act of creating. I've done two works so far using this technique and they are really so different than anything I've ever made.

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This first attempt at making a background was tons of fun! Lots of scraping, stenciling, splattering and other fun paint verbs...

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Lots of layers, symbols and imagery came as I worked on this piece. I would often walk away when my mind would pause and then I would wander back as more images flooded in.

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This was my second Intuitve Painting back ground. Added some scraps of vintage paper to this one.

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These images came thru stronger, resulting in a more striking composition. I was braver with this one and I think you can see and feel that. Loved working in such vibrant colors even though it isn't my typical palette. Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 3.35.17 PM

I can't wait to do more!!

Anyway, if you are in a creativity rut I highly recommend Tracy's book or just pull out the Art books you already own and visit with them.

When you are ready...grab a canvas, leave your logical mind behind and let the paint flow! Be brave, trust your hand, your eyes and most importantly your heart!

Let me know if anyone gives it a go! I would love to see what you come up with! Feel free to shoot me an email with your images. It would be fun to feature some of your Intuitive Art on the blog!

Sending you all lots of love.

xo,

Ivy

P.S. Okay just found this amazing video from the amazing Intuitive artist - Flora Bowley...check it out. So beautiful! [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcQsI_ZvX74]

 

 

 

Etsy Love: RiverLuna

Hello! It's been a while since I've brought you some gorgeous, art inspiration so here's a healthy dose of beauty from the amazing Etsy shop: RiverLuna. Artist, Marisa Redondo creates these magical, nature inspired illustrations, full of intricate pattern and rich hues. I'm a huge fan! Now to decide which one to order...hmm. Here are some of my favorites...

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il_fullxfull.618238931_5p2z il_fullxfull.586949764_66ly   etsy * blog * twitter * facebook

After much debate, I just couldn't resist these sweet owls for my Gracie. Can't wait to hang it up in her room!

Go explore her wonderful collection of work - her blog is a delight too! Such talent!

xo,

Ivy

 

 

Life after the Art Retreat

Hi lovely people. How's life treating you? With lots of love, I hope. I've been playing catch up since I got back from my wonderful Art Retreat. It was a pretty rough re-entry into reality after four days of blissful art-making, learning, laughing and connecting with beautiful, inspiring artists! I arrived home to a sick Claire bear and a rather exhausted hubby. Poor Chris!

Claire had conjunctivitis in both eyes and a nasty head cold. I scooped her up in my arms and went straight into mommy/nurse mode. Thinking that she would recover quickly was a big mistake. Her eyes cleared in a few days but the cold turned into viral infection with fever for 5 days and then ear infections! Sigh. BIG UNHAPPY FACE. My typical schedule went right in the trash and all that anticipation to keep creating art came to a screeching halt. It was a tough week...and then I got sick too...ugh!

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I'm happy to report that she is all better now! Smiling and laughing (and having melt downs) like her usual self. I am still on the mend but excited to get creating again. I even started a new e-course, that I am loving!

So...I know... you are wondering...how was the Retreat?

One word - Divine.

Katie and I left on Thursday morning to drive up to Bainbridge Island, WA. The weather was a perfect 75 and sunny. Couldn't ask for a better day for a road trip. With my car loaded up with art supplies, we made the 3 1/2 hour journey with Starbucks stops and a lovely lunch in Olympia sprinkled in.

We arrived at our rental condo for the weekend. The actual retreat was at the Wacky Nut Farm but since we were the only locals attending, we snapped up this place which is just five minutes down the road. Totally gorgeous and highly recommended! This was our view...

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That night shot was fun to capture! I set my camera up on the ledge of the balcony and did a long exposure! Very cool to experiment with...you must give it a try!

Anyway, once we got settled in we went over to the farm to meet up with the ladies. I was so nervous and excited to actually meet Jeanne and Stephanie in person! We were greeted by our ever gracious and lovely host, Serena and as we met the other women and the teachers I felt my shoulders drop and my butterflies disappear.  The retreat unfolded beautifully. The women were warm and open. The teachers were inspiring and genuine. And the art making was truly blissful. I'll stop ranting and let the images tell the story...

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So happy to have had this experience with Katie!

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Our morning view! Not too shabby!

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The gorgeous Wacky Nut Farm.

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Nature walk with the girls.

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Bainbridge Island is gorgeous!

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Beautiful creations by my classmates.

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This was a collaborative piece! It was a true exercise in trust that Stephanie walked us through. Giving up control of your art and having faith that each student would add beauty to it was challenging but it was a seriously moving and emotional creative experience! It was amazing to have each woman make their mark on this piece. I love that it has been touched by them all.

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The wonderful Jeanne Oliver teaching our class.

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A mixed media piece I created on wood panel with collage, acrylic paint and wax.

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This little piece was a plastered piece of wood which I then collaged, painted and coated in wax.

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Another piece I created in Jeanne's class. A mixed media piece on wood with collage, acrylic paint and wax.

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The whole gang gathered for a Mexican fiesta at Serena's beautiful home for our last night together!

I will never forget these amazing women and I hope to see them in the future. Truly beautiful souls!

This retreat truly affected me and will be a powerful memory always. I hope to go on more art adventures in the future!

Thank you to all the ladies for being so kind, genuine and inspiring. Thank you to our fantastic teachers for pushing us, lifting our spirits and feeding the flame of our creativity and a BIG thank you to our host, Serena for being so incredibly warm, putting us all at ease and taking such good care of us. Your hard work, love and connection to us all was deeply felt and appreciated.

Okay sorry for the looooong post...but that was a lot to catch you up on.

xo,

Ivy

 

 

Life lately...

Hello lovely people! How are you? Things are going very well in the Newport home. We just got back from celebrating Grace's 8th birthday in Disneyland! The Claire Bear stayed home with the grandparents, so it was really special (and a hell of a lot easier) to just be able to spend time with Grace. Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 1.31.39 PM

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She loved Disney...of course. Her favorite ride - Space Mountain! Below is the very embarrassing but hilarious shot that is taken while on board this insane roller coaster. Although, I look like I am about to be killed, I am actually having fun...sort of. Grace on the other hand, looks just thrilled and a lot less terrified! We laughed about this one for days...

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On the Art front, I finally completed my most recent abstract commission. It sat like this for a LONG time...

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Then one day, I just couldn't fight it anymore...so I tackled the underpainting.

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And then finished it within a couple of days. My client loves it! Thank God! I'm so honored that it will be hanging in her front living room above the mantel. Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 1.39.14 PM

I did the underpainting in acrylic and then went over the entire thing with these water-mixable oils that I am totally in love with! I was originally trained in oils and I've missed them ever since art school but once acrylics became so popular I just migrated over to them. Less toxicity and easy clean up but I've always missed the buttery richness and blend-able quality of oil paint. Discovering these has been exciting and I want to continue exploring them.

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So...the BIG news is that I leave for my very first Art Retreat on Thursday morning with my friend Katie! I can hardly wait! It is the Nuture Your Creative Seed Retreat hosted by the lovely, Serena Berry on the enchanting Bainbridge Island, WA.

The teachers will be Jeanne Oliver and Stephanie Lee!! SO EXCITED! Jeanne has been an inspiration to me for years and was truly the one that led me back to art, so it will be such an honor to meet her and learn from her in person. I adore Stephanie's book and her whole thought process behind her creations, not to mention all the inventive techniques she has to share, so I know she will be an amazing mentor too! I feel so grateful to be able to experience this! Like deep in my bones grateful. 4 days of art, connection, creativity and even a dash of yoga. I couldn't ask for more! Thank you, Katie for being brave enough to join me on this adventure!

I look forward to sharing my creations and experiences with you when I return!

Have a fabulous rest of the week!

Much love,

Ivy

 

 

 

Experimenting with Encaustic Art

Hi there! How are you? We have been pretty good over here. Enjoying the beautiful Spring blossoms everywhere and the more frequent sun breaks too! Maybe it's the Spring energy or the fact that I've started the second part to the Brené Brown online class but I'm feeling inspired! I have been wanting to try encaustic art forever but I've always been a bit intimidated by all that comes with it.

Well...this week I finally dove right in! I ordered my encaustic medium, a heated palette (mini griddle), hake brushes, encaustic boards and a heat gun. While waiting for it all, I devoured this book and watched every youtube video on encaustic that I could find.  Yesterday, it all arrived on my doorstep and I was like a kid at Christmas! All smiles, clapping my hands and doing a little jig. I was that excited. Dorky but true. My mind was a flurry with all the dreamy creations I was going to make using this magical medium!

That evening, after the girls were down and the kitchen looked decent, I set up my encaustic paint "studio" (in my dining room). I opened windows, plugged in the griddle, melted the wax, warmed the brushes and the board and proceeded to lay down my first coat of wax. This is kinda how it went---->

Eeek! It's all uneven.

The brush must be too cool.

Wait or is it the board?

Did I get the right brushes?

<insert swear word here>

Okay calm down.

Try another coat. Don't forget to fuse first!

How long do I fuse for again? <swear word>

Second coat went down. Sigh...more unevenness...brush strokes, pitting.

<more swearing>

Okay, so maybe this isn't as easy as it looks!

I stopped and took a minute to reassess. What am I doing wrong?

Then it dawned on me...how ridiculous to think that I would get it right on the first go! I told myself to relax and just play. I would learn by my mistakes and I had to trust that with practice, I would figure it out.

With that attitude adjustment, the rest of the evening was a blast! Here is my first attempt.

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The tree was stamped onto the board with acrylic paint. After that was dry, I put my first layer of wax down. The color was added by way of PanPastels and Gelatos that I smeared together into the wax. The pieces of antique paper were simply collaged onto the piece and coated in wax. Lastly, I added the jewels and painted some details with white acrylic. Here are some close ups of the textures created by the layers of encaustic. IMG_8989

You can see in this one where I used a stylus tool to actually carved the wax to bring out the details in the tree.

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It was late so I headed to bed...

Today, I couldn't wait to get back to it, so as soon as Claire was down for nap I got creating! Here is my second go at it. I kept the color palette and composition similar so I could focus on technique. The process got a tad easier and I got a little braver.  On this piece, I used a stencil to create a raised wax pattern. I also moved my "studio" into the kitchen and worked right on top of our glass cooktop and countertops. Put wax paper down first! They are not kidding about those fumes from the wax, so I put my little griddle right next to the exhaust downdraft fan on my stove and it sucked all the icky fumes right down! I also opened up the kitchen window very wide. Last night, I learned the hard way and went to bed with a headache. So today I wasn't going to risk breathing that stuff in.

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I also learned that if you add PanPastel, oil pastel or Gelatos to your wax layer and you don't like them - Yikes! - you can clean it all off using Linseed Oil and a paper towel! Yah!!

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I absolutely love working this way and I'm looking forward to experimenting more with encaustics. I think I'll do something more abstract next time? Hmmm...

Anyway, let me know if you have any questions. I'm FAR from an expert, obviously, but I'm here to help if I can! :)

Have a beautiful weekend and go try something new!

Much love,

Ivy

 

Little time, lots of inspiration.

Hello friends, I know I promised to share more art so here are some pics of what I've been creating lately. I'm on week 6 of my Jeanne Oliver online art course. Its been an incredible ride! So much to learn, so much to create and SO little time! I'm trying to be patient with life and accept that I can't paint all day while managing a household, two little kids and a very busy husband. Patience is not one my strengths.

I also have to really watch myself. You see, I get a little competitive. My fellow students are constantly posting all the beautiful art they are creating and I want to KEEP up...but alas, I simply cannot.  Luckily, we have access to the class for two years!

Here is a little Cézanne watercolor/charcoal study...this was a fun and relatively quick exercise. He was a genius at layering color with watercolors! Something, I've yet to master.

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Next, I attempted to paint one of Cézanne's favorite landscapes...Mont Sainte-Victoire. He painted this scene over 60 times! This was a tricky one. SO many colors but I really enjoyed the challenge.

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Here's a close up of my version.

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Painting Cézanne landscapes, inspired me to try one myself. Although, I'm not in love with this piece it was good for me to do something outside my comfort zone. This is an Irish landscape, depicting O'Brien's tower.

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Then we went on to study Botticelli. I have not done my painting yet but I loved sketching from his work. His faces are brilliant and so beautiful.

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Okay, and lastly, I wanted to recommend this book to all those creative Mama's out there! I kinda horde art books but this one is my favorites right now. It gives me hope that if I plan a little better, I can find more time for my art and not neglect my kids!

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Alright...well I best be going. I hear little Claire bear waking from her nap. Back on the job! ;)

Hope all is well in your world. Try and take time for yourself to create, read, cook or whatever makes you happy - you won't regret you did! Also, I would love to know any tips on carving out this time - since I'm kinda struggling! Let me know what works for you!

Much love,

Ivy

Inspired by Matisse

Hi there! How are you? Hope your week is treating you well. As for me, well, I'm a little overwhelmed with creative energy. You see, I just started this amazing online course with Jeanne Oliver called "Studying under the Masters". It's a nine week course with nine different teachers. Each week, we get a new teacher and a new Master to learn from.

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This first week has been with Jeanne teaching us about Henri Matisse. It has been an absolute delight!

Back in Art School, we covered Matisse and hundreds of other artists but was I really paying attention? Well... not so much. With so many lectures, dead lines, assignments, critiques and social events (keg parties)... let's just say I didn't absorb as much as I should have. Often, I took being a student for granted.

Now, learning has become precious to me. It wakes me up and makes me feel alive, connected and passionate. That's why I'm hooked on Jeanne's courses.

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Oh Matisse, you wonderful man! I didn't know I was so fond of your work till now! He was a master of color, pattern and portraits! I love how he captures a scene, flattens it and layers it with brilliant hues and complex patterns! His faces, sometimes refined and others primitive and simplified. However, his intensity is consistent. His pieces almost vibrate with energy and mood. Truly inspiring!

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Studying his work has made me feel free again...to just draw and play and not worry about perfection, perspective, technique. Just create and explore! I can't seem to stop drawing! Even the white board on our fridge is covered in doodles. :) Here are a few of my own little works that I did in my sketchbook...all inspired by Matisse!

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More projects to come! So...what artist inspires you?

Have a fantastic Friday.

xo,

Ivy

{all Matisse images via here}

An Art Gift

Hello friends! How was your weekend? We actually had a pretty quiet one, which was a welcome treat. I even got to do some collaging with a friend on Sunday afternoon - so much fun! I've been wanting to share this project with you for some time but I made it for a friend as a gift and I couldn't risk her seeing it on here. :) She received it on Friday so now I can show you!

I love these little 4" x 4" canvases because they are super affordable, easy to hang and you can usually finish up the project in a couple of hours depending on how elaborate you get.

I started by collaging vintage papers - covering all sides of the canvas. Then using chalk pastels and scrapbooking paper I added a second layer of color. Followed by a couple of doilies and some white acrylic paint applied with a brayer.

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To get that yummy encaustic look I love so much, I coated the piece with a layer of heavy gel medium, using wet fingers to smooth it all out.

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It hasn't quite dried yet in this shot...so when it does it will be a little bit more transparent.

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After the gel dried I added these lovely words and a vintage butterfly. My dear friend has been through a lot and has recently found love again (yah!) so I found these words inspiring for her.  They come from a poem by Alfred Tennyson entitled "Summer is Coming".

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I couldn't resist adding some details with my fav white gel pen...

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For more contrast, I added color to the butterflies' wings with acrylic paint.

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It was so wonderful to create something special for a good friend. I think I will be making more art as gifts in the future. As always, please let me know if you have any questions about this process. I am happy to help!

Being inspired to create something for someone you love is great motivation to get your ART on! Try it and surprise someone with a one of a kind treasure. :)

Have a lovely week!

xo,

Ivy

Vintage Silhouette Girl

Hi there! How are you? Well, 2014 is off to a good start here. Both Grace and I are using our studio and have been busy creating. We even ventured out and enjoyed a local art center where we both got to dive into our creations. So much fun!

The piece I'm about to share with you had been lying around forever. It started as one of those super cheesy Hallmark-like plaques from the 1980's that I found at the thrift store for 99 cents. It needed some love, so I gessoed it and proceeded to collage it with vintage papers. I added washes of color with my Gellatos and water. Love these little tubes of color! *tip* use pretty paper that you love to figure out your color palette. ;)

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I then continued to layer paint, doilies, washi tape and scrapbook paper. I also ran my brayer through white paint and rolled it over the piece a couple of times. What is hard to see here is the texture...it actually (accidentally) ended up with a faux encaustic look due to the thick layer of Heavy Gel medium I added thinking it would dry just how I wanted. It didn't. I panicked. I ended up scraping most of it off, cursing and then smoothing the whole layer using wet fingers. I thought I had totally screwed it up. But nope. I ended up loving the effect and discovering a new way to use gel. Yah! I LOVE when a mistake turns into something beautiful. It happens a lot in Art - if you can just push past that immediate panic.

(You can see the texture better in the pictures I took with my Big Girl camera below these iPhone pics.)

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Vintage silhouettes have always appealed to me, so I incorporated one into this piece instead of painting a girl. I found this silhouette here. Considering my art nouveau obsession, I couldn't just leave her be - she needed a lovely headpiece and flowers too!

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Here are some better shots of the finished work with accurate color too. The doodles and hand lettering came as a bit of a surprise to me - being outside my box - but it just felt right and it was fun to experiment with the boldness of the black ink and contrast of the white gel pen.

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I'm excited to try another silhouette piece and you should too! No drawing necessary! ;) Let me know if you have questions.

Thanks for letting me share my work!

Much love to you all.

xo,

Ivy

Art Journals to Adore

Hello there. I'm so excited I can hardly sit still. I just signed up to attend this retreat in May 2014! Eeek! I'm scared and incredibly happy at the same time - which I know is a good sign I'm doing something that I truly want to do. A long weekend, on Bainbridge Island creating art with 10 other women - it's gonna be total bliss! Plus, I'm going to actually meet one of my favorite online art teachers - Jeanne Oliver! Feeling very blessed. Anyways, I've been working more frequently in my art journal. Picking it up casually and sketching or jotting down a thought. It's becoming a little addictive. I was on Pinterest gathering jouranling inspiration and I thought I would show you some of my favorites. Just gorgeous...

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So inspiring right? I just got this book to help me get more creative with hand lettering too. Love it.

I'm off to go work in mine.

Have a beautiful Friday and a lovely weekend.

xo,

Ivy

Art Journaling : Brené Brown Class

Hi there! How's life? Things have been going well here and I've been diligently working on my Brené Brown art journal homework from the Oprah life class. Following along with the book has been truly life changing. The messages within have been resonating deeply with me as I become aware of my own issues with perfection, shame and self-worth - pretty heavy, I know. BUT so inspiring and refreshing at the same time! I've had several "ah-ha" moments that made me smile while other pages brought on the tears. One huge epiphany I experienced, was when I realized the cause of my recent creativity block. It wasn't because my creative juices ran dry or I ran out of inspiration...it was because I was focusing on attaining approval rather than just being authentic. I wasn't creating for me. I was creating for others and seeking praise. All of sudden, the likes on Facebook didn't make me feel good anymore, the hearts on Instagram didn't mean anything. I felt numb. So I stopped making art. Joy was replaced with doubt.  Understanding why this happened has brought me great clarity.

Working in my very first art journal has renewed my creativity and given me the chance to further digest the information in the book. I had promised to share some of the pages with you...so here they are...

I thought that the first assignment was very appropriate. That scary first white page was dedicated to giving yourself permission.

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Next, we had to take pictures of ourselves with our "Pledge" written on our hand - "I'm imperfect and I'm ENOUGH!" Love that.

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The class went on to explore the word - COURAGE and it's original meaning: to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. Then we listed the people in our lives that we trust and share our story with. We placed this list in the center of our heart. I wrote the word "Thank You" on my list to remind myself to be eternally grateful to these special people.

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Then we were assigned to find a photo that captures our "true self" and write about who we see, what makes this person light up and how we need to treat her. Loved how this exercise made me feel.

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This last collage kinda just happened...the inside of the journal cover needed some art! :)

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As I mentioned, I've never art journaled before and I'm really loving it! I'm getting a little braver with my materials and exploring new ways to blend words and images.

Have you ever kept an art journal? If you do, I would love to hear how you like to use it.

Hope your week is full of inspiration.

xo,

Ivy

Into Fairy Land

Hi there! How are you all doing? We are having a slight shift in weather and it seems to be making me feel a bit moody. Ugh. I hate feeling like that. I know I should probably be blogging about Fall Home Decorating or something but I just don't feel like it...so instead I'm sharing another piece of artwork that I finished this weekend.

Art seems to be the only thing that calms my nerves these days and makes me so very happy. I could sit for hours creating if I had the chance to...

Oh, and I must tell you about this book.

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It has really helped me work more effectively and create more often! Love that! Of course I'm not sure how my family feels...I'm kinda taking over the living and dining room!

Okay on to the art...

So this is a mixed media piece using collage, acrylic paint and modeling paste. It had been sitting on my desk for months unfinished. It was supposed to be a self-portrait but I hated it.  So I painted over my face and started over. Sometimes you just have to do that and no, it's not supposed to be me anymore. :) I decided to make the face more primitive than usual for me and just draw from my mind instead of a visual reference.

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Then slowly building color. She's looking a bit pissed off though, isn't she? Not exactly what I was going for...

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So I painted out the eyebrows and lifted them to change her expression and open up the eyes. It's amazing how much power the eyebrows have when depicting an expression! I used modeling paste and a stencil to create the lace-like tendrils that hang down around her. They are nicely raised which adds a little dimension and texture to the piece. I found the words in a vintage book and loved the idea of her entering into a different world - Fairy Land. :) yah!

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Here is my happy mess on the dining room table!

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It felt so good to finally complete this piece. I have three more in the works!

Hope your week is off to a great start!

xo,

Ivy