Tuesday, March 12, 2013

i love making mistakes...

well, not really but sort of ...is that an elusive enough comment or what?!

let me clarify, mistakes are awesome in art.  this is what i try to teach my own children and especially my art students.

why are mistakes so important?  well, seeing as I'm no guru and as you probably have already surmised, mistakes lead to learning and figuring out.  also, to becoming a better artist.
a first print with many editing notes
so often, people are intimidated by art and expect it to be perfect at the first go.  but what viewers see in a final piece of art is just that, a final piece of art.  the viewer does not see the eraser marks, the cursing, the crumpled papers, the 100 questions the artist has asked themselves, the 200 questions they've asked other people, and the edits upon edits upon edits.  And not only do they not see all the frustration and work behind that one specific piece, the viewer does not see all of the sketches that went into the work nor the 100s of artworks that are not shown.
the drawing before it is transferred to the linoleum block.  i changed it again after i took this picture too!
This photo shows the first print and all of my notes on how i felt it needed to be edited.
art takes practice, art requires learning and art is frustrating.  and because of all of these things, art is extremely rewarding and in the end, really fun.  BUT it does take work...and i tell you all of this from my own experiences.
as you can see, i totally messed up the words on the bottom portion of the circle...oops!  frustrating and annoying yes, but i had to figure something out..... 
I really wanted to quote so i decided to create a second block that would have the quote.  This would then allow me to use just the one block without the quote or use both blocks and have two colors.
and this is what i came up with...i love the two colors and i think i like it even more because of the challenge.
i try to pass on these experiences and this understanding to my students.  for instance, they often get frustrated drawing animals and i understand....drawing is difficult.  but, as i tell them, once you know what's not right, you know what needs to be fixed.
here is an example of a typical conversation that may take place in my class:

student:  "Mrs. May, this elephant looks stupid!  it looks like an alien!"
me:  "well, maybe not an alien, perhaps a jelly fish.  just teasing!"
(both of us giggle.)
student:  "can i just start over?!"
me: "yes you can if you want but first let's figure out what's not correct.  what specifically don't you like about your elephant?"
student: "the body looks dumb"
me: "how so?"
student: "it's just not right...it's, like, too small."
me: "i agree.  so that's one thing you could fix.  perhaps too you could make it more round"
student: "and look at it's ears!"
me: "yes, i think those should be bigger."

so, that's the start of "fixing" art...figuring out what is wrong. if you know what's wrong, you know what needs to be corrected.  i had a professor one time tell me that if you use words to describe out loud what you need to fix, it is a bit easier.  it's true, i do it all the time.

people often believe they just aren't good at art... more so, they may have just not have given it the time to be good at it.  allowing yourself to make mistakes and investigating them, will guide you to making things right.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

snail mail....

i love writing letters, good ol' fashioned letters.  i love a good pen, pretty and cute stationary and especially the envelope!  to decorate the envelope is like sending a hug!  thinking about the person opening their mail box to an envelope covered in stickers and doodles is just so fun!  and then to receive one, oh my!  it's an instant smile!

even with email and facebook and all of today's easy-to-communicate-quickly devices, a few of my college roommates and i still write letters, albeit less frequently, with lots of doodles and stickers and love!

well, if you are a letter writer and art lover, i have the blog, shop and site for you! snail mail magazine is all about the art and love of writing letters!  I found Anke van der Meer on instagram (go figure, i know!) and i think her stuff is just adorable!
though i cannot read her blog due to it being in Dutch, i love the photos!  i follow  snail mail magazine on instagram daily and also found snail mail on facebook but more so, check out her etsy shop!  oh my cuteness!!  snail mail etsy shop  my favorite item, if i have to choose just one, is this snail mail magazine:
Anke describes the magazine in her etsy shop:
"A magazine filled with fun facts about snailmail, freebies (writing paper, fake-stamps, address labels, etc.) you can use for your own mail and lots of inspiration for the goodies you add in your package! 30 pages with various fun, but also useful tips, websites and frequently asked questions (answered). And as an added bonus, if you buy the magazine, you get the printable for free! » https://www.etsy.com/listing/123406669

The magazine is for anyone who wants to start with snailmail, but wonders how everything works and where to start. But it's also fun for people who have been snailmailing for a while!"

so go check out all of Anke's cool sites!!!  send someone a note, a letter, a poem, a haiku...whatever you feel!
hope you enjoyed this instagram and etsy find!
:) Sarah

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

And the winners are.....

Thank you so much to all who entered the jar of art giveaway!!!!!  It was super fun to run and I'm excited to send out all the goodies!  Without any further ado, the winners picked by random.org are:

1. Becky K. Who won a print of a jar of her choice!!!!!
2.  Kathy M.  Who won a dish towel with jar prin of her choice.
3.  Jessica J.  Who won a pack of jar cards.

Congrats to the winners and be sure to check your email for more details!

Stayed tuned for future giveaways!
:-) Sarah

Sunday, February 24, 2013

How to Personalize a Sketchbook

I LOVE my sketchbook...seriously, I do.  I may have a problem I love it so much.  I want you to love your sketchbook too....don't be afraid of it!  It's yours, it is the link to your creativity and your artistic growth.  It should be fun, not stressful like I used to think it was.

True story, I used to sweat and panic every time a professor would say that we would get graded on our sketchbook.  I had an image in my mind that it had to look like Picasso's or worse, like the guy sitting next to me who could sneeze a better sketchbook than I could draw.  BUT, as time and sketchbooks went on, I've come to love my sketchbook and am quite proud of them.

One thing you need to realize is, there are no rules, it's yours!  Put in it what you want!  and no one has to see it if you don't want them to!

The first step to loving it is making the cover fun and what you will want to look at and come back to.  So, i've put together a little tutorial on how to cover your sketchbook...hope you like it and hope it helps!

I had fun making this tutorial for you on picmonkey !  let me know how your sketchbook comes out!

happy art-ing!
:-) Sarah

Friday, February 22, 2013

Red Stamp....My new favorite app!

My new favorite app is Red stamp  ! If you know me, you know I LOVE instagram and taking photos. Also if you know me you know i love collage and artsy fartsy things... Well, red stamp was made for me! You can collage your photos with the cutest and not-too-cutesy layouts! I've been using it along with Label box  a virtual use of washi tape on your photos!
Here's a sample of what I've made for an upcoming post on "how to get your art on":
The coolest thing too is that you can send an actual postcard!!!  You can send it via email or snail mail!  I sent this one to my mom via email:

and heres one i made just for fun:


I can't wait to order some actual postcards!  hope you have fun with these apps too!

 Both apps are availale in the app store, the versions I have are free but you can purchase packages to go along with it.
 Here are the links:
Red stamp app                    Label box

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Jar of.....giveaway???

My latest art obsession has been with jars.....here's the story:

The first time I heard the song Jar of hearts by Christina Perri I loved it, not just because it was a beautiful musically, but because of the idea of putting something in a jar that was abstract.  I just kept thinking about the things that  I would want to put in a jar to keep...my first print for this was quite basic, I'd want to keep the love of making art.  Kind of odd to some, but it is something I don't want to let go of and something I want to pass on to others.
As I continued to think about the concept of jarring non-material concepts, the ideas and wishes were abundant:  laughter, innocence, home, memories, summer, wonder, creativity, small moments.....

(I made this also an assignment for my 7th graders and the ideas they came up with were wonderful: one student did "hopes", another did "family" while yet others did "dreams" and one loved the idea of bottling up the "forest."  It was really cool getting to know my students through this assignment.)

Very often with ideas that I am working on for art, I create a bunch and then move on to the next idea.  But this one I've been sticking with and it is evolving.  I decided to create scenes with jars included within the image.  Here is one I created and then used tissue paper to add color:

so, I'm so super excited about these jars and prints that....I'm doing a giveaway!!!  I'm giving away one single jar print (winner may choose the jar), one set of jar note cards and one tea towel printed with the jar of your choice!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for reading and stayed tuned for more images of jars.
Good Luck with the giveaway!  (maybe LUCK should be my next jar?!)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Blogging, Momming, Arting and Working.......I need a clone

So, it's been a LLOOONNNG time since I've added anything to this blog...I definitely need a clone but I'm pretty sure I've already mentioned that on an earlier post.

Between working, being a Mom, making art and well, living, I seem to put the blog on the very very back burner.   Not good if I want to reach people and share my artsy-fartsy-ness...which i do.

Here's my attempt to start blogging again.  I want to share what I've been doing lately with my art and am thinking that soon, quite soon, I will be doing a giveaway for a free print of one of my mason jar prints!

But more about that later....

I am attempting to blog once a week and plan to highlight my journey with jars as my first "blog back"....

so stay tuned....please?