Grace & Ivy

Art to Adore

Happy Friday my readers! Hope you have some lovely plans for the weekend! I'm actually going to go see Madonna!! Eeek! Kinda a childhood dream so I'm a little giddy! Anyway, before I break out in my Vogue dance...I wanted to share some more gorgeous bird themed artworks! I've been working non stop on my Flight & Feather  online workshop so yes, I have birds on the brain....big time!

Enjoy these beautiful and inspiring creations....and go visit these artists' galleries of work.

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Evening by Jeanie Tomanek

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Introspection by Alexandra Douglass

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Paperbirds by Steven Kenny

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Danielle O'Brien

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Lynn Watt

6a1a31ac35f62206b8d3fe2006820744Fly me to Paris by Christian Schloe

Have a beautiful weekend!

xo,

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FREE Mixed Media Art Journaling Video

Hello my creative friends! How's the week treating you so far? I meant to get this to you yesterday but I'm afraid I got a little tied up wrapping the videos for the Paint & Pixels Online Workshop! I'm SO excited for class to begin! Not too much longer now...Sept 14th! If you haven't checked out the info on this Mixed Media & iPad Art class yet...go here for more info.

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So anyways...today is my birthday and in the theme of celebration, I wanted to give you a special treat! I've made a lovely FREE  Mixed Media Art Journaling Video for you - documenting my creation of the spread below. It's full of teaching and tips to get you creating in your art journal too! Plus, my little studio kitten, Leo makes an appearance. He is quite the art admirer. ;)

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I've been exploring Art journaling recently and it's been so enjoyable. What a wonderful way to explore, experiment and play all within my beautiful vintage ledger.

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To go watch to the video go here.

Please do share your creations too! I would love to see what you guys make! Feel free to join my student group on Facebook and start connecting with other creative souls!

Hope you enjoy the video!

xo,

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A mini Mixed Media Project!

Hello my creative friends! How's life been treating you? We have been having crazy hot weather for Portland so I'm living in long flowy summer dresses and sipping lots of iced coffee! I hope your summer or winter (depending on your corner of the world) is going well!

So some of you may have seen my "teaser" image that I shared a little while ago on Instagram...well I'm finally ready to let the cat out of the bag. ;)

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I'm excited to announce a new Mini Mixed Media Project class that I just opened up! It's called the "Wing It" project! This will be the first in a series of projects that will be set at a very affordable price and geared towards those who may not want to commit to a full class but are yearning for a fun, approachable, creative project to do in a day!

Why don't I just let you watch this quick video to learn more... [vimeo 132249410 w=500 h=281]

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register-button-blue For a while now, I’ve been a little bit in love with wings! Okay, A LOT in love! Since taking a beautiful class by Danielle Donaldson where she did a wing-themed lesson, I can’t stop obsessing over the magical shape of a bird's wing. Such a beautiful balance of exquisite engineering and graceful beauty!

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I’ve done several paintings of wings, both small and large and I’ve finally figured out an easy, step by step way for ANYONE to create a wing painting!

So if you love wings as much as I do...come on over to my site to learn more, register and join me in the classroom!

xo,

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Art Supply Giveaway Winner!

Good morning friends! I'm excited to announce that our winner for the Whimsical Portraits & Dreamy Landscapes Art Supply Giveaway is:

Stephanie Cogburn Cotter!

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Congrats Stephanie! I will be sending out your prize this week! Hope you enjoy using all your new Art goodies in this exciting online Mixed Media workshop!

Haven't signed up yet? Come on over and join us! Our ONLINE Classroom opens on June 23rd! This workshop is completely self-paced and you have lifetime access!

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Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Much love,

Ivy

The Living Studio with Robin Laws

Hi there! Happy Friday! Many of you know Jeanne Oliver for her abundant talent and her amazing online community for creatives but have you seen her latest Living Studio series! Such a fantastic addition to her site and a wonderful resource to other artists! The Living Studio free video series shares how other artists expand their creative practice outside of their studios and into their everyday experience!

Today my dear friend, Robin Laws is featured and you must go check it out!

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She shares all about how she uses the iPad to not only create gorgeous digital art but how she incorporates it into here artistic practice as a learning and exploratory tool.

Her teaching video shows you how she takes a sketch from her easel, into her iPad to make corrections and changes and then how she applies that new knowledge back to the original sketch! Very cool!! Go take a peek!

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Also, if you want to learn more about Robin and see more of her beautiful artwork visit her lovely website here.

Enjoy your weekend!

xo,

Ivy

 

 

 

 

 

An Art Supply Giveaway!

Hello there! So I gotta say...I had never really done giveaways on the blog before the one we just did for the Paint & Pixels Workshop...and well...they are SUPER fun! You can expect more of these from me in the future! I love the excitement of putting together a fun package and seeing who wins! :) Good times.

SOOO....I've decided to do one to celebrate my upcoming online Mixed Media & Encaustic workshop - Whimsical Portraits & Dreamy Landscapes!

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Check it out! I've gathered up lots of goodies to give away! What a great start to the class and we all LOVE new supplies right? :)

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All of these items are on the supply list! Yah! Included in this package will be --- A Ranger Heat-It craft dryer, a bottle of linseed oil, two Faber Castell Gelatoes (white & black), a set of Reeves water mixable oils (love these), a gorgeous set of Japanese Hake Brushes (used for encaustic wax) and a 1 lb. bag of encaustic medium by R & F!! Woo!

There are ONLY TWO DAYS left for the early bird pricing of only $52.00 and I need your help to spread the word!

To enter to win this lovely bundle of art goodies you simply have leave a comment about what your all time favorite art medium is PLUS share about the workshop on one (or more) of your social channels....i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram etc. Let me know how and where you shared and each time you do, I will enter you name again into the drawing! Pretty easy right!?

I will be drawing the winner on Saturday June 13th! So stay tuned to see if you won!! Can't wait to wrap up this box and ship it out to a lucky creative friend!

Thank you all for helping me share this event! You guys rock!

xo,

Ivy

 

Studying Under the Masters

Hello friends! I've got some VERY exciting news to share with you!!!

I've been asked by Jeanne Oliver to be a teacher for the next Studying Under the Masters online course! I have taken both previous sessions of this amazing class and have grown so much as an artist by doing so! As you can imagine, I am beyond excited!! I get one, whole, fantastic week to share my love of art with you and teach what I have learned from an in-depth, personal study of a past Master - French painter & illustrator - Marie Laurencin.

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Click here to register.

Five super talented artists have been selected, studying under the master of their choice - thus becoming the "apprentice". This kind of master -apprentice learning is centuries old and is core to the practiced skills of all the Masters.

Check out the line-up of amazing teachers!! Wow...can you say honored!? Read on for all the details....

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My fellow artists/instructors include Alisa Burke, Kelly Berkey, Jenny Doh, Melody Ross and of course Jeanne Oliver! Each of them have selected Master Artists that inspire them!

The master Artists we will be studying under are : John Singer Sargent, Gustav Klimt, Joan Miró, Marie Laurencin, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Horrace Pippin.

This 6 week course begins May 5, 2015 with lifetime access - yes - as in forever! Early registration price is $49.99 and the price will go to $82 on April 6th.

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Here is a glimpse of what you can expect each week: *A brief history of the chosen Master. *Start to finish video of the artist practicing a painting of the chosen master *Videos sharing what they learned through practicing the techniques and style of another artist *A start to finish video of the artist creating their own art using techniques they have learned but creating in their own style *Each week will end with the artist sharing the artists that have encouraged and inspired them over the years. *Each week will have book and video references *Weekly live online “chats” with the artist *All content has lifetime access *All videos are pre-recorded so you can watch at your convenience

Click here to register.

{After you have paid from the above link please go to jeanneoliver.ning.com and register on the site where the course is held.  Once you have registered and your account is approved you will be added to the course before the class begins on May 5, 2015. Thank you.}

The Artist I have chosen is Marie Laurecin.

She is a fascinating and rather overlooked Master who hung with a pretty fab Artsy crowd...ya know...like...Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, Henri Rousseau and French poet and "father of surrealism" Guillaume Apollinaire.  Her work speaks to a deliberate and beautiful contrast to the cubist movement that her friends were so inspired by. Although often referred to as a rare female cubist, her work quickly derailed from this and evolved into a rather primitive, elegant and feminine style - where line and form blur, languid female forms and doe eyed faces tell little of emotion but rather evoke a state of ambivalence and mystery.

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During my week of study with you, we will explore not only Marie's personal history but her varied use of mediums, techniques and artistic methods. She mastered watercolors, inks, pencil studies as well as oils! Her works move from being cubist inspired to a place infused with inspiration from the Rococo period, Persian art, fashion and ballet. She was an illustrator, painter, portrait artist, set & costumer designer and muse to one of Paris' most influential poets! A truly talented and powerful woman who I know you will love to study! I have planned for a super-inspired week chock full of learning, exploring and most importantly stretching beyond our artistic comfort zones! :) Get ready to truly feel what it is like to be an apprentice to a world renown artist right from the lovely comfort of your own home! Pretty sweet right?

Click here to register.

{After you have paid from the above link please go to jeanneoliver.ning.com and register on the site where the course is held.  Once you have registered and your account is approved you will be added to the course before the class begins on May 5, 2015. Thank you.}

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So you might be curious...what are others saying about the Studying Under the Masters Course? Read on my friends...

Praise for the Masters series…

“In all my years as an artist, I have never had a course that stretched and grew me so much. Not only has my art taken off in so many exciting ways, but I was blessed with friendship and support I never expected. Thanks for all that you do. I am so looking forward to part two!” -Renee

“The Studying the Masters class inspired me to look deeper into my own art process. The format where I was able to find out more about the artist’s process and their techniques captured my attention. The presenting artists were quality women whose own art process gave me confidence to keep going. I look forward to the next class.” -Linda

“This course is one of the best I have taken in that it introduced me to several different modern day artists. In watching how they studied under some masters, I became a student of, not one, but TWO artists each week, some of whom I feel a real resonance with!! I feel as though I am finding more of my artistic voice as a result of this class, and that is pretty exciting!! Thanks so much Jeanne for helping me take another step closer to my dream! ” -Silvia

“The best class ever no matter your talent level…seeing the instructors paint right along in  “their” style of painting trying to get close to what a Master created was so enlightening since each had awesome talent but different ways to get the final results that they wanted! We were in their studio with there favorite supplies, magic!” -Tari

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Please let me know if you have more questions about this fantastic course. It is truly an opportunity to spread your wings as an artist and learn from a selection of the greatest Masters in history!

Click here to register.

Can't wait to see you in class!

xo,

Ivy

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

 

An Angel's Wing

Hello there! What have you been up to? Art seems to be pouring out of me and I can't stop it! Nor do I want to! Working on the 100 faces project has really been very inspiring and I'm learning SO much!

I do love creating faces but it was nice this week to take a break from eyes, noses and mouths and work on a different piece for a dear friend...

Remember this one?

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Well...it got a little makeover...

My friend had me add an Angel's wing to it...a brilliant idea!

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Then we had to have a little fun...Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 7.08.25 PM

I was stunned to find that the wing fit her perfectly. So sweet!

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And then she took it home and put it right back up over the mantel. :)

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She loves it so much more now and I do too! I'm thinking I might have to do "Wing" series of works.

What have you been working on lately?

xo,

Ivy

100 Faces

Hello there lovelies! How are you? Well...I gotta tell you...I'm absolutely loving Fall. I think it might be my favorite season. I've been cozying up in my home and creating A LOT of Art! I recently met a wonderful local artist via Instagram. We met for coffee at my favorite French cafe and we hit it off immediately. She's a total hoot and we got to geek out on all things Art. I even got to create together in her studio yesterday! Total bliss!

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She got me inspired to join a little Art movement called 100 Faces. Many artists have done this but the group I follow was started by Sharon Tomlinson. It's not really all that formal...just a general challenge to create 100 portraits- one a day. It seemed daunting but I decided I was up for it and started 10 days ago. Can I just tell you how amazing it has been?!

Finding time to truly practice Art is rather difficult for me with two little ones, a household to run and a hubby to keep happy but this wonderful commitment has already worked wonders for me. Will I actually get to 100? Who knows but I'm loving it right now so we'll just have to see.

There is a loving, vibrant and supportive community for this challenge online too - full of talented artists pushing themselves and inspiring us all. You can find this group via Facebook and Instagram (#onehundredfaces #onehundredfacestribe or #100faces). Looking back at my first ten - do I love them all? Nope. But - I can see my growth. I'm painting in water mixable oils and loving them. I am starting to see forms in faces that I had not noticed before and being able to translate those forms into dabs of paint in various values is a priceless skill.  One I hope to master some day. For now...I'll just take it a day at time.

Here are some of my favorites so far...

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Had to do a Frida she is my #9. I'm studying her in Jeanne Oliver's Studying under the Masters online class! Loving it!

Oh and this Nature nymph was created for Jeanne's other online class - Woodland girls. She was actually painted on a wood slice that I picked up at Michaels. Loved doing this one!

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If you are looking to improve your faces and enjoy a lively, helpful and inspiring online group of artists! I highly recommend taking up the challenge! It's free and it's fun! Let me know if you decide to start! I would love to follow your progress.

Much love to you all,

Ivy

P.S. Quick reminder that my Mixed Media Workshop on December 6 is filling up! If you want to reserve your seat go here to register! It's gonna be a fun filled weekend! I'm opening up my home on Sunday morning too for an Open Studio session! Can't wait to create with some amazing souls!

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Hi lovely people, The last week of summer is upon us and the Newport household is ramping up for school. I'm ready. Grace is ready. It's time.

Back to routines, early nights and homework but the calming rhythm of each day helps me be more productive and less scattered. I'm looking forward to that!

I will be launching a new website, complete with those photo lessons that I mentioned in the last post plus much, much more! I've truly committed to making Art the focus of my career and it feels really good!

On those rare, beautiful days this summer when I was able to get my hands dirty and create - those were my happiest days! Sharing that with the girls has been so special too.

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When Mommy is happy, everyone is happy right? Even though at times I had to push aside the laundry or let those dishes sit in the sink a while longer, I found that when I made Art, it made me feel alive! It gave me energy and a giddiness that was contagious with my family.

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My most recent work, began with a flurry of paint, collaged paper and stencils. I have really enjoyed developing these layered backgrounds to begin the piece. I'm also kinda loving the larger canvas! This one is 24" x 30". Big for me, as many of you know!Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 2.05.15 PM

Here are some close ups of the canvas...Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 2.05.25 PM

Then came the girls. Three sisters was my first idea. Not that I have sisters but I love the concept of the three Graces so that's where I started from...Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 2.05.35 PM

As I worked on it one afternoon, Grace strolled in and said, "Oh Mommy! I love it! It's us!"

I turned, about to correct her when I looked at it again.

As if to explain herself she pointed to each girl. "This is you, at the top because you are the Mommy and you are protecting us. That's why your eyes are open. The next girl is me because I am the older sister and I have brown hair and the littlest girl is Claire because she has blond hair and she is the youngest."

I stood back, amazed at her perception and how I had completely missed it!!

She went on to say, "And the flowers that come up from the bottom are about us growing up into women."

I was completely blown away. My 8 year old little art critic had just analyzed my piece before I had even the inkling of its meaning.

I smiled at her and said, "I think you are absolutely right!"

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So the three Graces became me and my girls and I'm perfectly happy with that!  It now hangs in my studio, right next to my desk and serves as a wonderful reminder of my connection to my sweet daughters and how very important my job is as their mother and protector.

So what have you been up to creatively this summer? I would love to hear!

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.

SUPPLY LIST

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]

 

 

 

Hawaii

Hi my friends! Oh my goodness, I have been neglecting my blog but for good reason...Summer has begun and we've been busy with a new schedule and some travel too! Let's catch up a bit... In early June, we had the amazing opportunity to travel to Hawaii and stay at the Four Seasons in Kona. I had to pinch myself!

the gorgeous view from our room!

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It was through Chris' work and while he was busy in meetings, I got to play around the pool and beach with the other wives. Let's just say Mai-tai's at the swim up bar before lunch became a daily ritual! I know that is a tad early...but really they are mostly juice...and rum. Ah. Forget it. Anyways...

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Oh, did I mention that we left the kiddos at home with my parents? Yeah. It was kinda awesome. I missed the girls, of course but to have time away at such a dreamy place was sublime.

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I have to share this little adventure with you -

We had the first couple of days to ourselves so Chris thought it would be fun to rent a canoe and paddle around the ocean. I agreed - imagining myself reclined and sunning while he did the rowing! :) Well...let me tell you...I was in for a surprise!

We unknowingly rented a Hawaiian racing canoe! Think super long, skinny boat with two tiny seats, and outrigger on one side. Looks like it will tip over and dump you into the ocean if you look at it the wrong way. We must have looked confused because a burly Hawaiian guy approached us and inquired about our reservation. We gave him our last name. He nods, introduces himself and then proceeds to explain the training he is going to put us through before we can take the canoe out alone.

Training?! What the ----?? Ok. Let's do this - I told myself, trying to muster up my courage. It was when, in his long speech about operating the canoe, that he said "simulate a flip" that my heart start to beat.

"Wait...simulate a flip?" I asked, trying not to sound terrified.

"Yeah...it's no biggie. We will get you out to about 150 ft. depth and then we will lean to one side and flip the canoe over." He shrugged.

I stared at him. No biggie? I hadn't even planned on getting wet during this "relaxing" canoe trip. Plus, I couldn't even remember the last time I actually swam. Wading into the shallow end during a kid pool party probably doesn't count.

"Yeah...he continued, and then I'm gonna have you pull yourself up on the capsized canoe and pull it over so it's right side up again. It's easy!" says the guy who is all muscle, complete with a sinuous dragon tattoo meandering the slopes of his bulging arms.

I continued to stare. I'm pretty sure my mouth was open.

Chris laughed a little and squeezed my hand.

I chose to watch from the safety of the beach as the trainer and Chris went out first. They made it look easy...of course. The canoe sliced through the water as they timed their rowing.

As they hauled the canoe back to the beach, I could feel myself mentally sliding backward. I didn't HAVE to do this. I could say no but then somehow, I managed to push past my fear and cheerfully grabbed an oar. I was gonna do this!

I gotta admit, once on the canoe, and adjusting to the rowing, I found myself enjoying it! The water was beautiful. Infinite shades of sapphire, turquoise and teal. One or two sea turtles swam just beneath the surface, their sweet faces popping up out of the water as we glided by. As the ocean got darker and darker, I could feel my hands start to shake. I knew we were closer to the dreaded "flip"!

Finally, our kind instructor announced, "Okay, Ivette time to flip this thing over!"

My body tensed up as I gazed into the seemingly endless blue depths. I decided this was not a good time to ask about sharks...

"Just lean to opposite side of the outrigger and we will flip over. Then swim back up to the boat, pull your upper body on the canoe and reach with your hand to pull it over. You can do it!"

"Okay...."

Boom. Within a millisecond of leaning we were in the drink. I came up, sea water up my nose. Mascara running down my face. I must have been a sight. Somehow, my brain told my legs to kick and my swimming skills returned. Not sure if I was terrified or super annoyed, I swam back to that damn canoe, hauled myself up on it and flipped it right over! Yeah! It felt good!

Now, I just had to get back on the stupid thing. Kicking like a maniac (I probably looked like a dying sea mammal - basically a shark magnet) I finally pulled my lanky self back into the seat. The trainer glanced back at me to get a read on my mental state. I managed a smile and we headed back.

Chris and I took the canoe out together and enjoyed a "paddle". We did quite well, till I turned back to him and asked "Hey do I still have mascara all over my...."

I had turned around the WRONG way and dumped us both in the sea. Damn it!

At the end of our little adventure, I was proud of conquering my fear and trying something VERY outside my comfort zone. Would I do it again? Probably wouldn't be on my top 10 but I'm glad we did it. I found I was stronger, braver and more determined that I thought I was. Discovering that made it all worth it.

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Have you ever done something out of your comfort zone only to discover something about yourself? Would love to hear about it!

xo,

Ivy

P.S. I have also been working on some new art pieces...more on that later this week. :)

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

 

 

 

A Magical Garden

Hi friends! How's life? I hope all is well. We are preparing for our trip to Disneyland to celebrate Grace's 8th Birthday! She is beyond excited! Claire on the other hand, has decided that sleep is rather over rated and has nightly parties in her crib - laughing, talking and calling out to me. I'm exhausted, to say the least! I'll be glad when this little night owl phase passes. Anyway...A couple of weeks back we visited a magical place right here in Lake Oswego - The Elk Rock Gardens. It was a gorgeous Spring morning, so Grace and I headed over there to stroll the many paths that crisscross this enchanting place. I, of course, took a plethora of pictures, so I thought I would finally share them with you...

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What an amazing morning we had exploring this wonderful place! As Spring comes into full bloom, I encourage you to check out local gardens in your area! It's so easy to forget about these precious places and just get caught up in our day to day tasks. So much inspiration can be found in nature!

Have a beautiful rest of the week!

xo,

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

 

Art Love : Françoise de Felice

Hello friends, How are you? Spring is blooming all around us here in Oregon and it is truly so beautiful! My kiddos are finally all healthy (knock on wood) and we are looking forward to a trip to Disneyland for Grace's 8th birthday in April! The Claire Bear will stay behind this time with her grandparents, so the trip should be a tad more relaxing.

So, I'm still working through my Jeanne Oliver online art course where we focus on one master artist each week. It's been a very inspiring process! One week, our teacher was Kate Thompson and she introduced the artist, Françoise de Felice to us. Oh my! I'm in love. (Thank you Kate!) Her dreamy work is amazing...see for yourself...

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Stunning right? I adore the haunting, layered mystery of her work. I could stare at each piece for hours, visually deciphering the meaning behind the expressions and gestures of her subjects. Piecing together the story and admiring the interwoven patterns and textures, the subtly of color...sigh. I told you I was in love. Totally enamored.

What do you think of her work? If you LOVE it...I dedicated an entire Pinterest board to her. Check it out here to see more of her magical creations.

Hope you having a wonderful week.

xo,

Ivy