Life Book 2014

With the new year, I picked up three new art classes.  One for Christmas, one for my birthday, and one for Valentine’s :).   The one I got for my birthday (which will soon be here!) was Life Book 2014.  Every week there is something new and it’s so freeing and fun and fantastic!

Every other week is a mixed media project and the artists vary so you are exposed to so many new insights and ideas.  The weeks in between will have challenges, interviews or quick little projects.  I’m throughly enjoying myself!

The first week we made a page that showed our word of the year and our inner Artist Guardian.  She is supposed to represent the part of us that will protect our heads and hearts when we feel we aren’t good enough at art.  Ever feel that way?  Me? All. The. Time.  I’ll kinda like what I do and then if I start comparing to others whose talent is amazing, I start doubting myself.  It’s one of the things I’ve been trying to improve about myself… to embrace MY art, my style, and to stop comparing it to someone else’s.  I use water colors, white gesso, acrylic paints on this page.

Artist Guardian

My word for the year is Change.  So many reasons to choose that word for the year.  I want to change my perception of how I feel about my art.  I want to change my body image by continuing to get healthy.  I want to survive the change of having my oldest graduate high school this year and move off to college.  I want to survive the change of my youngest (who is turning into my best friend) driving on her own and not being around as much as she is now.  I changed jobs in December, so that plays in it as well.  Change.  It’s a good thing.  It’s a scary thing.  And I just need to hold on to the mantra that “everything will be alright”.

Another week we did a quick little project of what we want more of… I chose Love.  Isn’t Love just a wonderful word!  Love for my friends, for strangers, for my family.  To practice sharing love helps one to be more positive, kind, caring.  Love.  “And the greatest of these is Love.” “All you need is Love”. The Bible + The Beetles.. They knew what they were talking about!  Just acrylics on this page!

Love 2014

And this was the last project I just finished today.  It was titled Sugar, Sugar, but I just couldn’t bring myself to put down all the sweets.  Seriously – I’m diabetic and need to STOP with the sweets (says the gal that just finished baking a cake!) :)  After I drew my girl with her cute beehive/bubblegum hair, she started developing into a music loving, toe tapping, color loving kinda gal.  Hmmm sounds a bit like me! So she’s fabulous!  This page was made with acrylic paint, gel medium, clear gesso, ink sprays, stamp, washi tape, micron pen, copic markers, and black gesso  on watercolor 140Lb cold press paper.

Fabulous Girl

Can’t wait to see what else awaits me in the next couple of lessons!

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Illuminated Promise

Last October, I received an invitation to join a group of artists that worship God through their art.  The group is called Spectra and its hosted by Fellowship Bible Church, but the artists come from different churches around the area.   I was thrilled to be invited and pretty intimidated.  Remember, I didn’t think I was really truly an artist!  They were just starting Phase One of the 66 Book Project.  This project is centered around each artist drawing a bible book and creating a piece of art that can be hung up at the church.  Phase One included books from Genesis to Esther.  My Book…. 2 Kings.

When I first got the book, I was so excited!  And then… I began reading.  I got discouraged.  I didn’t want to paint fire from heaven or about 2 bears mauling 42 kids.  I certainly didn’t want to paint Elijah and the chariot of fire – I was sure if I did, it’d just look like I was painting horse on fire and scare kids that might see the painting!    Seriously.  It would not have been pretty…. then I thought… Whew! at least I’m not stuck with Leviticus!

We had 3 months to complete the artwork, from picking the book in October to sharing our artwork with others in the beginning of January.  I didn’t start painting until the weekend before Christmas.  Yup.  I put it off for as long as possible.  I don’t call it procrastination… I was letting my thoughts marinate until inspiration hit… yeah… that’s what I was doing!

While talking to my son about the book, he started looking up bible verses and one stuck out.

 2 Kings 8:19 ““But the LORD did not want to destroy Judah, for he had made a covenant with David and promised that his descendants would continue to rule, shining like a lamp forever.”

I remember being in the truck, talking to him and the inspiration just hitting… hard!  I started imagining what the painting would look like with a purple sky and an old oil lamp and a cross on the hill, just illuminated enough to see the cross…  I could notwait to get started!  This is the final project:

It is 16 x 20 and painted in acrylic.  We were asked to give a presentation and write a few sentences about what the painting meant to us and how we interpreted the bible book we chose.  This was what I wrote:

The purple in the background represents all of the kings during that time (royalty). The good kings are represented by the lighter purple, as light is reflected.  Sadly, there is a larger presence of the darker purple/black since there were many kings that were did not honor God.  However, even in the days when the evil King Jehoram reigned, God showed mercy, choosing to honor his promise to David.  Ultimately this promise led to the one true Light – Jesus.

I wish you could have been there last Thursday to see the end result.  The talent in that group is amazing and it felt so good to be around others that not only loved God but loved art!  It was inspirational seeing how others interpreted their books.  How they used different mediums to express what they read or got out of studying their book.  I was really moved!  And so… I picked another book for Phase Two.  I picked Daniel (and my daughter chose Obediah – I can’t wait to see what she creates!).  I’m so very excited to be a part of this group and look forward to continuing to worship God through art!

 

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Reading Princess

I absolutely love to curl up with a good book. I read every night, its a habit that allows me to get out of my own head. A good book is a great escape! I always have something I’m reading and while I love the feel of a real book, I must admit to using my IPad more than anything lately. Using the iBooks, Kindle, and Nook apps, I can devour books in one night! Well, sometimes I devour them. Typically it takes a few days to finish a good book, but there are times that I simply can’t seem to put one down and I stay up a little too late… ok a lot late.

Yesterday I was looking through quotes on the internet and stumbled across “Anyone who says they only have one life to live must not know how to read a  book.”, Author Unknown. How true this is! I just had to create something to go with it. I started with the girl reading. I wasn’t sure what she was sitting on at the moment, but she turned into the Princess from the Princess and the Pea. Do you see the itty bitty pea?

Reading Princess

If you click the image above, you can actually download a PDF version if you’d like to print it out or something.

Enjoy!
Kandra

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I am an Artist.

I have never claimed to be an artist. I’ve identified myself as a doodler, a crafter, and even a creative person, but I’ve never said “I am an Artist”. I think part of it stems from not feeling good enough to claim the title. When I look at the definition of artist from Merriam-Webster, it says

art·ist noun \ˈär-tist\
: a person who creates art : a person who is skilled at drawing, painting, etc.
: a skilled performer
: a person who is very good at something

Ahhh there is it is. Skilled.  I don’t get paid to create artwork.  I don’t get paid to doodle.  I can’t draw realistically, it’s just not in me.  My perspective is often askew.  I am by no means a professional… this is just something I do as  a hobby because I enjoy it.  It is a great stress reliever for me.  There are times that I just NEED to create, to make those cute little quotes or doodles, to drag out the supplies and literally put pen to paper.  It is odd, having this driving force – to have this creative piece of you bubbling inside until you just can’t do anything but get it out…   There are times I’ll find myself at work, doodling my notes in a meeting.  I’m still paying attention, but now my notes have squiggles or curly q’s or is in 3D lettering with cool shading.

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There are many artists out there that I enjoy or admire.  They aren’t realistic either, but they do have a style that I love.  Something freeing about the way they draw.  I like the curves and the simpleness of their art.  It’s not complex or overly thought, and I enjoy, truly enjoy, looking at their illustrations.  I love artists like Carla Soheim and  Andrea Zuill.  I also like illustrators like Karen Hallion and Katie,  that can merge geeky and cute together in cartoon form.   And I adore some of the art my friends create like Carol and Susan. Until I started writing down some of my fave artists, I never realized that I don’t absolutely LOVE realistic artists… and that’s ok.  I like the fun and the quirky, the cute and the colorful, whimsical and adorable!  No wonder its how I draw and paint and illustrate!

It is so easy to be critical of one’s talents.  But today as I started to pull out supplies, I stumbled across a collection of my “doodles” from last year.  And in that second, I admired my art.  Not my doodles, not my sketches or my little paintings… but my art.  Pieces that had fed my creative mind as I jotted or doodled or painted or sketched had become art.  The same doodles that I didn’t like or that I had been really critical of “in the moment” of creating, after months of not looking at them, I admired… in that one moment.  And then it snapped.  I need to quit looking at my work from the artists point of view, but from the point of view that admires the artists I enjoy.  I still won’t put myself in the same category as most of them, but today… today I am an Artist.

 

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The Wedding Game

Once upon a time there was a girl with a blog… she stopped updating her blog… but she’s returned for a very good reason!

As of today,  a friend of mine, Amy Matayo, is officially a published author!  (And its her birthday too!)  Her new book, The Wedding Game, is available today and I just ordered my copy.   I enjoy reading her updates on Facebook/Twitter and can’t help but laugh as I read her blog.  She has a way of writing that puts you at ease, makes you feel like her bestie and causes you to snort with laughter – in public… embarrassing!  (She also has amazing taste in music!)

the-wedding-game-book-amy-matayo

Click Here To Get It On Kindle Now

Click Here To Order The Paperback Copy

Cannon James has a plan: Sign on as a contestant for his father’s new reality show, marry a blonde hand-picked by the producers, and walk away two million dollars richer. It’s all been arranged. Easy. Clean. No regrets. Until Ellie McAllister ruins everything by winning the viewer’s vote. Now he has to convince America that he’s head over heels in love with her. Not easy to do since she’s a walking disaster.

Ellie McAllister has her own problems. She needs money, and she needs it now. Despite her parent’s objections and her belief that marriage is sacred, she signs on to The Wedding Game…and wins. Now she’s married to a guy she can’t stand, and if she wants her hands on the money, she has six months to make voters believe she loves him. Not easy to do since he’s the most arrogant man in America.

It doesn’t take long for Ellie and Cannon to realize they’ve made a mess of things…even less time for their feelings for one another to change. But is it too late for them? More importantly, can the worst decision they’ve ever made actually be one of the best?

 

So do yourself (and me!) a favor and go grab a copy today!  I can not wait to curl up with this book!

 

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