Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Eyes Have It

As I have mentioned in previous posts, a friend of mine is the art teacher at the junior high in my school district.  Her students recently completed a project that focused on eyes.  It was a drawing exercise with colored pencils.  

The best pieces were shown at the district's administration office.  Here are the results.

This one is my second favorite.

This one is my favorite.
I love the shiny reflection.

- christina

Saturday, November 21, 2015


The SOFA Show (Sculpture Objects and Functional Art) recently came to Chicago.  I was so excited to go, but it wasn’t as wonderful as I had imagined.  In my opinion, the American Craft Council Show I attended in St. Paul was better. 

Many artists don’t like people taking photos of their work, so I wasn’t sure how I would document my SOFA visit.  It turned out most of the attendees were using their phones to take pictures of everything.  Perhaps the artists just gave up trying to stop the photography.  So I joined in and took the following photos of items that intrigued me.
Threads wrapped around a cylinder.
Simple, yet striking.
This necklace was so beautiful.
The picture doesn't do it justice.
These necklaces were made from the tips of colored pencils.
What a great idea!
These were made of glass.

Acrylic painted squares. Totally my thing!

Giant tubes of paint.

This collection of folded paper was called Red Green.
From one side it looked red and from the other side it looked green.

Turned wood
(This is for my brother-in-law)
These outfits were about 10" tall
and made from paper.
They made me smile.

More paper art.
I love the color and the simplicity.

 This was made of glass.

 Giant beaded praying mantis.

I love faces.

6" x 6" ceramic boxes
I'm dying to make these!
Ceramic jacks. Way cool!
I'm not sure why I liked the American Craft Council Show better.  The pieces displayed there seemed more practical (probably not the exact word I am looking for).  The bottom line is that I had more "oohs" and "aahs" in St. Paul than I did in Chicago.  However, the goal was to be inspired and these photos definitely inspire me.  I hope you feel inspired by other people's art as well.

- christina

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


I was a substitute teacher in the art room last week for a whole hour!  I was pretty excited for the opportunity to hang out in art class with the 5th graders.  Afterwards I realized an important fact - I don't really like teaching art to children.  I'm going to stick to teaching art to adults.

The students were drawing and coloring
these cool "tunnels"

The art teacher drew this self-portrait while
demonstrating contour drawing.
It looks just like her!

Art lessons

Never enough art supplies

- christina

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Georgia O'Keeffe

Ever since I was young, I have been attracted to the colorful paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe. I remember visiting the Dallas Museum of Art when I was in my 20s and being amazed to see her beautiful flower paintings and desert landscapes in person.
Music Pink and Blue No. 2
Georgia O'Keeffe, 1918
Recently I attended an exhibit at the Chicago Art Institute and saw photographs of Georgia O’Keeffe that were taken in 1918 by Alfred Stieglitz.  The photos really moved me.  After further research I learned that Stieglitz and O’Keeffe were married, which explains the intimate nature of the photographs.
Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe
Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Stieglitz and O’Keeffe were married in 1924.  He was 23 years older than she.  He photographed her extensively in the early part of their relationship when she was in her 30’s.  The series of photos that feature her hands are the ones I find particularly interesting.

Apparently, the older O’Keeffe felt emotionally distant from the younger Georgia who was the focus of these photographs.  Personally, I enjoy looking at photographs of my younger self, although I often cringe at the many hairstyles I have worn.  Sure, I would prefer to have photos that were taken by a world-renown photographer, but luckily I have some photos that I honestly think make me look good.  

I am not sure that I have a photograph that captures what I believe to be the real me.  What would that photo look like?  Would I be smiling or would I look serious? What would I wear? I often don't know how I should pose when a photo is being taken.  Maybe that is why Georgia is never smiling in the pictures that Alfred took of her.  Maybe she was trying to show the real her.  Or maybe she was just tired of him taking so many damn pictures.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Great Outdoors

I haven’t been making art lately.  Complications in my personal life have left me feeling stressed and overwhelmed.  Spending time in nature is one of the best ways to relieve stress, and orienteering is a fun way to spend time in the great outdoors. 
Linne Woods and the DuPage River
Do you know what orienteering is?  Here’s a definition from

Orienteering is a competitive sport, originating in Sweden, that tests the skills of map reading and cross-country running, in which competitors race through an unknown area to find various checkpoints by using only a compass and topographical map, the winner being the finisher with the lowest elapsed time.

My friend, Linda, introduced me to orienteering last year and I really enjoy it.  You’ll notice that the definition above describes it as a “race.”  That’s not how Linda and I approach it.  We walk briskly through the wilderness (aka, the forest preserve) and solve life’s problems as we look for the checkpoints (called controls).  The only racing occurs when I run to the last checkpoint in order to shave 10 seconds off our total time.  Running also creates a good impression on the people hanging around the finish.
An electronic control.
Each participant uses an electronic punch
to record that he found the control.

This is an orienteering map.

Each circle is a control.
Some are easy to see from the trail while
others are deeper in the brush or woods.
Admittedly, I am a fair-weather orienteerer.   I don’t participate if it’s too cold or raining.  I don’t like going into the deep woods, either, because the burrs might rip my clothing.  I definitely don’t like getting my shoes all muddy.  Linda understands that, which makes her a good orienteering partner.

Hopefully there are still lots of sunny days left before the grey winter sets in and I can continue to enjoy the great outdoors.

- christina

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Dream Come True for my Friend

My friend just opened a studio called HeARTfelt Create.  Her goal is to encourage people to be more creative.  Her studio is open 2 evenings a week and on Sunday to allow people to join together in making art.  Customers can either pick from projects she has available or they can work on their own projects.  She also has a gallery of artists’ work on display as inspiration. Check out her website here.

I am so proud of my friend for following her dream of opening a studio.  I hope that HeARTfelt Create will be a great success.

- christina

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Surprise for Me!

My BFF is the best!  When I visited her in August, she surprised me with a trip to a scrapbooking store where we were enrolled in a half-day art class.  She didn’t tell me anything about the class in advance. I just walked into the store to discover …
… the class was being taught by Dina Wakley!  I love Dina Wakley!  She is a mixed-media artist whom I have followed online for a few years.  The class was focused on using animals in your art journaling, which is not really my thing, but I was happy just to be working with Dina. 
Don't you love Dina?!?
Dina grabbed my phone and took a ton of selflies
with me and my BFF.
Here is a sample project from the class.  We took a photo of an animal, painted over it, and then embellished the piece with crayons and a Stabilo pencil.
In the beginning, there was a fox.
In the end, he was painted and embellished.
Now he looks cool.
My BFF chose a pig instead of a fox.
When I got home, I invited 2 friends over and showed them another technique that Dina taught.  We started by gluing parts of book pages on a sheet, then followed up with stencils and stamps.  Finally we decided on the shape for the focal point and painted out the rest of the page.

I loved sharing art with my friends and look forward to doing it again soon.

- christina