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Blog Archve

Sunday
Dec272015

new greeting card formats for 2016

Oh my!

As an artist, I'm always wanting to make new things. For 2016 I revised my sweet Garden Club Volunteers. I've always loved our antique photo albums with delicate edged photographs and faded writing accompanying the photos. And I am a fan of beautiful old garden journls. The new card fomats are inspired by antique photo frames, vintage faded papers and beautiful cursive writing. I've painted my own vintage look papers, and even used old photos from John's family albums to find just the right square frame that fits my garden ladies. I've added a lovely handwritten font and I think I've made some darling cards that will suit the old quotes I'm so fond of. 

Here are two of the new style. Take a look.....

 

                                      I love these new cards. Look for them in my shop soon!
                                                                                                                                     Cheers
                                                                                                                                      Susan 

Saturday
Nov282015

My favorite cookies!

Springerle cookies are my favorite

This moring I got up early so I could have the kitchen to myself and made my first batch of cookies. I always start my baking with Springerle cookies since they need some time to meld all the flavors together.

I sprinkled Anise Seeds on my cookie sheet.


I rolled my cookie dough with my Springerle rolling pin, cut the cookies and put them on the cookie sheets to dry out before I bake them. For the cookie recipe, tips and pictures go here.

Happy baking!

Susan

Saturday
Aug152015

Celebrating Friendship

I was recently asked to paint a commission celebrating more than 30 years of friendship. I'm very selective regarding commissions because I would rather paint what I want to paint. As I age, I am more interested in creating things that interest me rather than others. If someone else likes it- that's icing on my cake. I was slightly hesitant to accept this commission, but what a great story to convince me to make a new painting.

Three women have an amazing friendship that has lasted more than 30 years. At this stage of their lives they have been through all that life can deal us. How remarkable that three women can love and support each other through most of their adult lives. They have always been there for each other offering love and friendship to solve problems and celebrate success. Still I hesitated,  but the woman I spoke to told me they planned to present the painting as a gift to one of this amazing trio to celebrate her birthday. And guess what? She was turning 60 on the same day I was turning 60! Well I felt like I was celebrating my own birthday.

I agreed to make a painting of three women who love and support each other. They stand together at the water's edge as one. I tbelieve the ocean is life affirming. It hits all of our sensory needs when we stand on the shoreline. We can feel the water lapping at our feet, hear the waves steady rythmn that helps to cradle us into slower, relaxed breathing. It smells heavenly and tastes salty. And, the vision of horizon is something I can look at forever. Its a place of healing and calm. Friendship offers the same to our lives. Friends are a safe haven that hold your secrets and they often know you better than sometimes you know yourself. They can restore your spirit in meaningful ways. Friends fill the emptiness we sometimes find in our lives and they definitely require us laugh at ourselves. 

What an awesome way to commemorate sisterhood.

Of course I made their celebration into a friendship greeting card ! I want everyone to celebrate great friendships. you can purchase this card in my shop.

your smile, your laughter, your courage and your heart
 I’m so happy to have your friendship.

 May we always cherish our friends for the amazing richness they bring to our lives. We would be incomplete without them. I salute all of my girlfriends! Thank you for making my life so complete!

Cheers, Susan

Tuesday
Aug112015

Quilted Women Coloring Book

Ta Da..... I'm so happy to introduce my Quilted Women coloring book. 11 illustrations to color and design your own beautiful color stories. 

You can find my coloring books in my shop or in my etsy shop

Remember to select a greeting card you like and send me the stock number in your convo with your order because I return your shipping expenses in same value greeting cards!

Happy coloring,

Susan

 

Saturday
Jul042015

H Squared - Making a print

I have enjoyed  printing multiples so much, I thought I would make an entirely stamped painting. I made a first attempt using my "just go at it" approach and realized it would be hard to make adjustments to the print later. I have discovered when making multiples - if you make a mistake on one (and you know it's a mistake as quickly as you have made it) you have to make the same mistake on all the copies. Then the fix is the same. Since I wanted to make multiples with this project, I made several practice runs to work out the potential errors in advance.

I picked a color story to work with. I love the Color Star. Unfortunately it is out of print, but if you are lucky to have one it is enormously helpful on projects like this. There are many color therory wheels or charts that are helpful with solving color problems in paintings. They are necessary tools to have in your studio. I also made decisions about the pose of my Quilted Woman and the stamp choice. In this project I opted for one square stamp that I carved. It could be turned in any direction to give 4 different looks. And since it was square, it would stack nicely while I built my quilt blocks.

I limited this run to three images. I wanted to follow a cruciform, which I think is fairly uncomplicated. I use it quite a bit in my paintings of Quilted Women. It works well since so many of the QW have arms stretched out. Using the interior, lightest shades on the wheel I built the cruciform composition, gradually building in the darks around warm colors.

Once my blocks were completed, using a timy brush,  I added the brightes hues in the H shapes exposed from stamping. I decide not to fill in the white spaces between some of the blocks. I think it could be done effectively, but because of my natural paper protected around the image, I thought it would be a unifying effect on the print. I liked it once I pulled my tape from around the image.

This is #1 of  my three finished prints. They are all slightly different because each time I placed the stamp I applied a new thin layer of paint to the stamp. I love the exposed paper spaces from the stamping. It shows how each one is different because of color, texture, the way I pressed the stamp and of course the directional turn. I think this project was a lot of fun to make and successful as a finished project. I have to say I slipped in a second stamp at the top. Do you see it?

Things I learned

 

  • Solve the problems before you begin the printing
  • Pick a color story that allows you to tell the best story with your painting
  • Choose an easy composition so that all of the nuance of hand work really shows up
  • One stamp provides many options so don't think you have to have a lot to make beautiful paintings.

 

 What I used

  • Stonehenge printmaking paper
  • Fluid acrylic paint
  • carved rubber stamp
  • removable tape 
  • brayer for paint applcation around the head

 

 

I would love to see what you create so be sure to share with me.
Happy printing!

Cheers, 
Susan