Saturday, July 30, 2011

Inspiration Picnic: Together

You were born together, and together you shall be for evermore....
but let there be spaces in your togetherness.
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
~ Kahlil Gibran

This week's inspiration is taken from real life!  Today is the wedding day of my brother-in-law and new sister-in-law, Ken and Whit.  I painted this piece for them based on the color of the day, purple!  Many blessings on your new life together and looking forward to a wonderful day with both of you!
A few more creative inspirations I've found over the last weeks...

Since I'm eating wedding cake today, you may want to try out these colorful cake batter pancakes!  Mmmm... doesn't sprinkles take away all the calories?

I found this color scheme designer to help you pick out intersting colors for your work.  Can't wait to try this out!

And how cool is this?

When I was a preschool teacher we would let kiddos drive plastic cars through paint and drive them across paper.  The people who did this must have tried it!

What has inspired you this week?  Add a link to a something inspirational you found on the web or a post about how your own inspired work.!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Free Art Friday: The Pursuit

Happiness is a butterfly, which, when pursued,
 is always just beyond your grasp,
but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne\

This week I'm giving away this little wooden handpainted candle plate.  It can also be used as a money or trinket dish.  Hope you like it!  Enter the drawing by leaving a comment doing the following:

Describe a time when happiness came to you when least expected it.


Now for this week's drawing for a  this floral keychain:

The winner is....

Valerie, from Craft Attack!  She said her favorite flower was a rose!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday Tutorial: Textured Gesso

Indifference is isolation.  In difference is texture and wonder.
~ Edwin Schlossberg

Ever so often it's good for us to go back to basic elements of design.  As artist's our work tends to start to rely heavily on one particular principle or another and we can begin to miss opportunities to experiment with techniques that can give our work, as well as our self-discovery process more depth.  For example, my work relies heavily on color.  So I make it part of my weekly routine to do exercises like sketching, zentangle, and others to "practice my scales."

This simple technique is so easy and a fun way to get messy!  It can be done on heavy watercolor paper or regular canvas.

First, lather a good heap of gesso on your surface.

Really, get a good heaping amount on there!  Keep in mind as it dries, it will shrink up just a little...

Use a spoon or palette knife to spread it out over your paper.  Then go back over it with your fingers to start smoothing it out (unless of course you want these deep ruts.  That's fine too!  I find it easiest to go over it horizontally, then vertically, and then horizotally again.  As it starts to dry, you'll lose the ability to smooth it out.

Use the tip of a thin paint brush to start carving into the gesso while it is still wet.  Keep a paper towel handy to wipe off the excess.  You can also use a plastic fork, palette knife, pottery carving tools, old screwdriver, or toothpicks.

The amount of detail you will want to begin painting will determine how much carving you do.  If you are going to use a lot of color, writing on top, etc, then a lot of carving may be lost and you might be better off doing less.  But,  you can see how cool it looks just in a single color, and may want to get very detailed at this step.  Either way,  texture is similar to darkness and light.  You don't see one without the other.  If you want textured areas to stand out, make sure that you have some areas that have none.  Let dry thoroughly.

Now to add some color...

This is a sample using acrylic, gesso, and a transparent watercolor.  Whatever you choose to use, you'll want to make sure your paint is fairly liquidy.  You'll paint it on in broad brushstrokes and then have a  paper towel handy to dab off a little of the paint, taking care to leave as much paint in the crevices as possible.


For me, the acrylic was easiest to use, but it is the medium i work the most with.  It did take me a few times of applying it and wiping off excess to achieve the effect I wanted.

My gesso went on pretty thck as I didnt water it down on the palette, just squeezed some directly from tube to paper.  The effect is more rustic, and the streaks from the brush are apparent.

Watercolor was probably the easiest to apply and left the greatest contrast between the crevices and the rest of the paper.

At this point, you decide what you want to do next.. pen and ink, more painting with a fine brush, leaving it as is.  I'm going to use some chalk pastels...

Little moments can have a feeling
and a texture that is very real.
~ Ralph Fiennes


Monday, July 25, 2011

Being a Leader or Being a Star

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more,
you are a leader.
~ John Quincy Adams

The challenge this week at Summer of Color is purple, which I've seem to be playing with a lot this summer to begin with.  When I first started painting, I mainly painted monochromatically, being very interested in using value to bring depth.  As my artistic eyes have taken twists and turns, I find I am much more interested now in how colors play off of each other.  As I began working on this piece, I realized that as I have worked on the Summer of Color pieces, I have used the designated color to really bring out the intensity of other colors, rather than having that color be the focal element.

Great leadership, authentic leadership, in my mind is similar.  Rather focusing on self and how I look in the light, it is focusing on you.   Rather than doing grand things that will look good on my  personal resume, it is encouraging the growth and achievement of others.  Through nurturing, supporting, questioning, scaffolding, a leader walks in the room oblivious to themselves, seeks out the creative spark in others, and lights the match.

This piece is 10" x 20" acryclic on cotton duck canvas.  It is available for purchase for $75.  Please email your interest to

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Sketch: The Perfection of a Popsicle

Saving for a later day
Will only let this joy melt away...

All over the news, the Heat Advisory continues here in Dallas. The streak of 100 degree weather continues. "The numbers are now 22, 29, 5, 19… As in 22nd day in a row, 29th time this year, 5th on list of record consecutive days, 19th on the list of number of 100 days in a year." (CBS DFW)  If the predicted forecast for the next 7 days holds, we’ll end up 2nd on the all-time list of consecutive days of 100 plus weather.  Enough is enough, .. this girl is ready for winter.

So the best I can do is think about popsicles, the sweet delight from childhood, the sensible splurge for a modest family income.   Best eaten outside where the drips wouldn't stain the carpeting, these little bundles of goodness are the epitome of summer.  Cherry became my favorite because I could rub it over my lips and look lke I had the lucious Wonder Woman lips of Linda Carter.  Trying to eat the last bits of a melting popsicle with one piece dropping off was like climbing Mount Everest.  So gratifying!  During those few minutes of frozen pleasure, the heat outside was forgotton, all thoughts focused on such fake fruity sweetness.  And of course, we'd hoard our washed off sticks to build fanciful pencil cup later.

But perhaps the best thing about popsicle is that they are a reminder that all good things are meant to be split in half and shared...

Today I wave "howdy y'all" to my friends from Sunday Sketches and Mr. Toast's Creative Tuesdays.  Hope everyone is finding something fun to keep cool!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Inspiration Picnic: Doors to Learning

Education is the key to unlocking the golden doors of freedom.

~ George Washington Carver

Here's my inspiration story for the week...

You know how much I love doors? Look at this immense door I found at a church we went to last weekend for an improv show of all things...

This door was huge. I mean really really huge! It looked probably 20 ft tall, but it was in hung from the ceiling of a huge atrium in one of Dallas's megachurches, Bent Tree.. You know Texas loves things big.

Then I ran across this postwith pics from Timbuktu found on a quirky, loveable blog, What Possessed Me. (Persephone is one of the wittiest blog writers I've come across and I enjoy her writing so much I'm reading it from when she first started a number of years ago.) Specifically, I was drawn to the lovely metal work found on doors in this picture:

Timbuktu is a town in the West African nation of Mali probably best known for the phrase "road to Timbuktu." It has a rich history of scholarship, being a world center for Islamic learning from the 13th to the 17th centuries.

Now let's open another door found over at artist Carol Carter's blog.

This is a picture she took while viewing the Art in the Streets exhibit at Geffen Contemporary at the MOCA in Los Angeles. (I've hunted desperately for the artist's name for this piece. If anyone by chance knows, please help me give due credit.)

Putting these photos together and playing around with their elements, thinking about doors and education, I was given pause to think about the biases we have towards learning and it's sources. For some, it's not real learning unless it's formal, found in books and universities, lectures, and papers. For others, true learning is "from the streets," through lived experience. I'm probably not alone having had some times when my academic learning and other times when my experiential learning has been scoffed. Irritating! I've worked hard for both! (I later resolved to understand that when people scoff it comes from their own need to be validated in their source of knowledge.)

So the piece I created is a blend of both worlds, inside the scholarly houses of learning and outside. Both are rich sources for ideas. Both can be sources for ties that bind, or freedom.

What is inspiring you this week? Now's your chance to link up an inspiration story from your website, or even something inspiring that you've found out there on the web...


Today's piece is acrylic painted on flocked fabric on a 7.5" square masonite frame. The attached butterfly is acrylic painted on heavy watercolor paper and the entire piece has been sprayed with an acrylic coating. It is available for purchase for $30. Please email your interest to

Free Art Friday: Soul Blooms

Each flower is a soul, blossoming out to nature.
~ Gerad de Neval

Each Friday I give away a small piece of art.  It's my little way of sending a little joy out into the world.  This week it's this key chain, with two original mini paintings enclosed in an acrylic frame.  It measures 2" in diameter and is valued at $8.  To enter the drawing, please leave a comment answering the following question:

What's your favorite flower?

And if you have a reason why that flower is your favorite, please share it!  Reading the answers is the little gift back to me.  I love nurturing a deeper connection with my readers!  Please respond by 8 am CST Friday, July 29.  Check back next week to see if you've won! 

Now for this week's drawing...

This week a little magnetic pocket of sunshine will be sent away, ,


How neat!  (I started to write "cool" but that's not right when talking about suns.)  Diana is a wonderful illustrator and has a beautiful sun in the header of her website.  Take a moment to go visit!

Can't forget to say hi today to my Paint Party Friday buds!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Project Hope: A is for Aware

be aware
look high and low
for instances of the universe aligning in your favor
let not one opportunity for hope pass you by
celebrate the ordinary
live under the assumption that you are
and taken care of
be aware

I've been seeing other artist's participate in different alphabet challenges but the timing was never right to join in.  I was excited yesterday to find one starting yesterday at ABC Wednesday  One thing that excites me about this blog linkup is that the participants aren't necessarily artists.  Although I adore artists, sometimes it's nice to meet other types of folks to!   So I decided the them for my alphabet will be Hope, and the attributes one can cultivate to live a hopeful life.

As I created this little piece, I enjoyed playing with transparency. Hope is elusive... it's work. You have to hunt for it. But it is there.

Today, whatever your struggle, whatever your burden, may you discover a hint of what you have been looking for all along...

Today is the last day to enter the Free Art Friday drawing!  Check the link at the right!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Feet, what do I  need you for when I have wings to fly?
~ Frida Kahlo

Inspiration to me is often a sentence, with meandering clauses.  Ideas come and interact with others until a sentiment forms.  This week the theme at Summer of Color is red, a color for passion and blood.   We were also given a challenge to use wings in some way.  I stumbled along this little quote, so moving in its simplicity, which then inspired me to watch the 2002 movie Frida, directed by Julie Taymor.  This is a gorgeous movie, with paintings that come to life!  Here's a trailer.. (It's available to watch instantly on Netflix if you have it.)

I was happy to see, not only that red was symbolic for the passion that comes from pain and suffering, but also that the quote above is highlighted at the end of the movie.  I've never really known a lot about Frida Kahlo but her story resonated with me very deeply.  She spent many, many years suffering from a spinal injury.  I developed a serious case of scoliosis which involved a number of surgeries as a teen and  it continues to affect me.  Although my physical suffering is nowhere near the level that Frida endured, there have been times that my body has felt very broken, and in turn, my spirit.  Art has been my wings, just like Frida.

I've been struggling as an artist to communicate messages of hope authentically.  I'm past the preoccupation with pain and angst of my early artistic journey.  Yet, I am leery of an art that becomes "bubblegum feel good."  Hope is much deeper than slapping on a smiley face attitude. 

Today as I continued to work on this piece, a friend had posted a trailer for the recent PBS POV documentary Biblioburro: The Donkey Library. (The full movie can be watched at the link to the left.)

Luis Sorrano is a Colombian teacher who brings the message of courage, strength, and hope amidst violence each week to children in poor provinces through his traveling library.  In one touching scene, he asks children to draw their stories with crayons and says " Even bad memories have pretty colors."  The color, the vivid passion, is made alive through the context of turmoil .

I am not one to boast that the purpose of suffering is to create beauty.  I do believe, that we have the ability to take our difficult experiences, to shape them in our hearts, and use them to do good.. whether it is creating beautiful art or helping our neighbor.  The "why" behind our suffering is not as important as "what" we do with it.

  This piece is painted flocked fabric on a 7.5" square masonite frame.  It is embellished with three dimensional painted canvas flowers, embroidery, and buttons.  It is available for $45 through Paypal.  Please email your purchase interest to    This item has SOLD.


A special welcome today to those from the Inspiration Workshop at Gussy Sews, Take a Word, and the Summer of Color participants!T

Friday, July 15, 2011

Free Art Friday: Make Some Sun

It's the artist's job to create sunshine when the sun fails.
~Romain Rolland

Well, I believe we are all artists so I guess this means all of us!  

I'll be drawing a name from those who comment below or on the Sacred Arts Studio Facebook page and the winner will receive this magnet!  A nice little reminder to put in your space!  Please answer the following question in your comment...

When it's gloomy, how do you prepare yourself to "make sunshine"?

Remember... you're all artists.. Whether your art is painting, music, cooking, friendship, mothering...
How do you give yourself a boost to outpour sunshine in your work when everything around you seems dim?

I'll announce the winner next week right here so make sure you check back! Now on to this week's winner!
For my little nightingale muse bookmark, I put all your names in my little nest bowl.  I said a little prayer sending you safety and peace while I wrote your name...

And, by process of elimnation, the winner is...


A special welcome today to my friends from Paint Party Friday , as well as Gussy Sews .  And a wave hello to those who found me today through some linkie love on Kind Over Matter (hey I've seen that painting!) and Art Muse Dog ~ Share the Creative Journey.  Thanks Amanda (squared)  and Carol!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Emancipation from the bondage of the soil
is no freedom for the tree.
~Rabindrath Tagore

The knotted sequence of events in one's life is often an interplay of the struggle to find security and freedom.  The challenge is to find those people, tasks, structures, and habits that ground us in such a way that our spirits are able to grow and flower.  For many people, journaling is an activity that assists in this endeavour.  A few minutes of  "dumping one's thoughts" brings clarity to experiences that lie behind and ahead.

This is a 5" x 7" x 3/4" prefabricated journal that I have altered with an original acrylic painting on the outside and inside cover.  The cover is very sturdy! There are 100 recycled brown pages inside.and it is tied together with fabric and organza ribbon.  It is available for purchase for $30 throu Paypal.  Please email your interest to cori-lynn@msn.comThis item has SOLD.

Welcome to my friends from the Summer of Color!  I enjoyed learning about the symbolism of brown -- earthiness, stability, groundedness.  Hope you enjoy my piece!

Today is the last day to enter the drawing for Free Art Friday!  Click the link on the right and leave a comment on the post!  I'll be drawing a winner early in the morning!

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