My Green Velvet Life

Where everything sticks.



Part 2: Creativity Favors the Clueless

I’m sorry to leave you hanging for so long on Part 1 of our last art adventure. A few weeks ago I got completely obsessed with Twitter (see sidebar on right).  It feels like a toy made just for me!  Twitter posts must be 140 characters or less which I find highly fun and challenging.  Reading on Twitter is a fantastic experience with quick and easy access to unlimited info/news via links attached to the tweets.  But, Twitter or not, I have been a terrible blogger.  I am sorry.

Now back to our art adventure . . . You probably figured out my little stunt. The photos from Part 1 are simply weird-angle-close-ups of my very clueless paintings.  I had started with simple acrylic paints and yummy textured paper.

At the hands of someone skilled and talented, this would have made a lovely painting.  I am neither.  But I am resourceful and I love a challenge.  So next step: Colored pencils.

These are watercolor pencils–so much fun!  After drawing, take a wet paint brush over your lines and watch the magic as they turn into gorgeous strokes of smeary color.  First I used a white pencil, then some dark pencils with just a slight wet brush smudging:

The colored pencils gave it a nice depth but still needed something . . . Hmmm.  Time to break out the glitter glue and dimensional paints.  You can’t go wrong with this stuff.  The messier the better.

How’s that for a bit of primitive shabby glam?

I am leaving you with a close-up shot of this painting in its very first stage.  Don’t you love how a magnified perspective turns a yawny visual into something quite fresh and interesting?

If only this approach worked with my face . . .

Did Monet Have This Many Clues?

I’m going to do this post in 2 (maybe more) parts.  Thought I’d start by inspiring you with some shots of a couple of small projects I did the other day.  Can I paint?  I really don’t have a clue how to paint anything.  But wait.  Yes I can!  Why let a few clues stop me?

Please stop in again soon for more about my clueless art.  If you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, I am in good company.  Let’s have a little fun muddling through.

So-Cool-It-Squeaks Art

Art doesn’t transform.  It just plain forms.  — Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997), American pop artist

In a small fit of creativity, I challenged myself to pick up three pieces of litter from the parking lot and use them for a little art project.  It took me about 30 seconds to discover my items: a piece of worn wood, a red plastic chip from somebody’s car light and a round plastic piece.

And here is my masterpiece!  I simply glued the pieces onto a painted piece of recycled cardboard.  For embellishment, I used recycled foil candy wrappers and two non-recycled items:  blue glitter and an orange plastic jewel.

This would be an awesome and ultra cheap party project.  Of course, you’d need to designate a safe place to scavenge for garbage items.  For kids, you’d also need to be watchful to ensure nobody scores something disgusting such as a dirty hamburger wrapper.  But don’t let that scare you.  This is squeaky clean fun!

Journey Signs: My First One Stop Poetry Picture Prompt Challenge

Hello Friends!  I had fun playing with poetry this afternoon.  Below is my very first Picture Prompt Challenge at   This cool picture is courtesy of iPhone artist Iquanyin Moon.  You can read her interesting story at One Stop Poetry. 

Okay, I did it.  Now you can too.  Find your poet within, that is.  Go for it!

 "Footprints" courtesy of Iquanyin Moon
Journey Signs
Each childish line a fractal.
Each awkward step a blistered portal.
Each golden shadow a shady meadow.
All the distress of life a medium of perfection.
What is this olden mystery?
Of feet and life and sand?
Maybe all God knows
is that we leave a beautiful patina.

Busy Peeps!

I made a few friends last night.  Pretty crazy but I think I like them:

I hope to keep in better touch with you this coming week. In the meantime, here are few pictures from our Green Velvet Studio.

I made Christmas ornaments out of recycled cards and painted cardboard for my Sunday School kids. This is one of my favorites:

My daughter Tara made some fun crosses:

And more in progress. (I hope one of them is for me!):

I planted a little garden of jewel flower magnets:

And while cleaning up I found some beautiful art in one of my favorite places–underneath everybody’s projects. (Will do a post on Leftover Art one of these days.) This one is from my granddaughter Beans. Quite impressive, don’t you think?

Oh we made cookies too, but that will be another post. Stay tuned. They are easy and delicious . . .

What’s in Your Art Gallery?

There is no abstract art.  You must always start with something.  Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.  — Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Spanish artist

All of us have an artist wondering around in our souls.  So many of us just don’t pay attention, whether we’re busy, tired or simply unsure of ourselves.  And so we think we’re not artistic.  I said exactly that about myself a few posts ago.  Hmmm . . . did you notice my first sentence?  Did I really mean wondering not wandering?  Like there’s a little guy hanging out in there, finger painting on your rib cage, wondering why in the heck you don’t let him out to play once in a while?

I like Picasso’s quote because it reminds me that we don’t have to conjure up anything out of thin air to be artistic.  We just need to relax and notice.  Notice the used coffee filter, the dog’s hair flying across the room, the quick kisses before seeing the kids off to school.  It’s all beautiful material meant just for you (just what you’re thinking when you are vacuuming!).  You certainly don’t need to make one single piece of art out of any of it.  Just living is the best art of all.  And thanks to our amazing gift of memory, we each have our very own art gallery full of everything we love.  Does your art gallery have any finger paintings?

If you look closely at my flower fridge magnets, you’ll see some familiar things: orange juice lids, shiny coffee can liners and bits of yarn.  Here are instructions, along with pictures of one I made tonight (the others I made last Christmas).

If you’re not familiar with some of the items you can get them in any craft or scrapbooking store.  You can make as fancy or glittery as you like.  It’s your garden!

You will need:
metal orange juice lids
foil coffee can liners
paper (anything you like–I used an old greeting card for these instructions
glitter (optional)–if using glitter you’ll also need regular white school glue to coat your flower
very large glue dots (much easier and safer than a glue gun)
bits of fuzzy yarn
paper brads (fasteners)
large round and flower paper punches (optional)  You can also simply cut with scissors.  Most craft stores put their punches on sale every so often.  They make great gifts for anyone who likes to be creative with paper, etc.  Warning: They are very dangerous for children and should never be used without adult help.
Punch or cut a circle out of the coffee can liner.  If punching, you’ll notice it is a little tricky getting the liner into position because it is thick and stiff and wrinkly.  I have pretty good luck if I first press out the liner with something heavy.
Using a glue dot, attach the punched circle to OJ lid.
Punch or cut a flower out the paper.
Push a brad through the center of the flower and then push open the tips of the brad so it is fastened.
Attach paper flower and yarn to coffee liner/OJ lid:  Put one large glue dot in middle of liner and take another glue dot and pull apart to make  a few small ones–put them around the circle, then twirl your yarn around and press into glue dots.  Press the paper flower with brad into the large glue dot in the center.
Press a large glue dot onto magnet, then press onto back of lid.
Take a picture of your work!  It will serve as a good reminder for days when you’re not feeling very talented.

Last Christmas, I found an aluminum pan to use for my little photo session.  This would make a very fun arrangement for give-aways at showers, birthday parties, Mother’s Day brunches, visits to elderly care homes, etc.   The little round aluminum pans would be an adorable way to show off individual magnets for a teacher or co-worker gift.  

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