Mixed Media Artist

Welcome to my blog. I hope that in the months to come you will come and visit and check out what I've been working on! Let me know what you think!
Visit my website at: http://www.lenall.com/

Thursday, November 25, 2010

New Danglies!

     I started these danglies at our Menucha weekend.  I actually did them in 3 sittings.  One to cover them with handmade decorative papers, one to bead the spool, and one to finish them off with a hanger and bottom embellishment.  I think I have somewhere in the low 20's finished.  I will be charging $6.00 for them. I spent way more time than I should have on them for $6.00 but that's not what it's all about.  It more about creating something unique and beautiful out of things I already had.  I must admit I did buy a few different things of colored and silver and gold wire.  I didn't have to but I wanted to have plenty of red and green  and I was out of gold and silver.

I made these last year and decided to do them again.  I think they make a nice hostess gift or small gift for a friend.  I also like how they look on Christmas trees but they look just as nice hanging anywhere.  I always pick out a few to keep for myself and they find themselves hanging wherever so I can enjoy them year round.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I feel like I've been creating in a Vacuum--only the opposite!

I've been literally spewing out art lately!

I took Jesse Reno's class in Oct at Art & Soul.  He begins pieces very similarly to how I have been starting for about 4-6 years.  I sort of got a kick start back in this direction on that day.  I had fogotten how much fun it is to start from chaos and try to make heads or tails of it by drawing and coloring out the negative space.  My pieces are not like his, they are more like others I have done with a new twist.  I have been having so much fun with this technique.  I hope you like them too. If nothing else they are making great cards.

I just picked up 632 cards from my new printer, Paper Jam Press on Fremont and around 49th.  Up to now, I had been adding a few new cards a year.  This past week, I added 24 new images to my card line.  I reprinted a few of my best sellers also.  I also took 15 pieces into be framed. I am getting very excited about our Open Doors Show.  

What do you think?  If they are priced right will they sell?   

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Professional Photography really makes a difference!

I firmly believe that having my art shot professionally makes a difference.  Ever since I started entering juried shows via .jpegs, I have had many of my better pieces shot by Dale Leix, owner of Today's Photo, in Lake Grove, OR  503-636-8967.  I have also had him set up these pieces for cards. 

When times get tough and money is tight many artists start shooting their own art and then are disappointed when they don't get into shows. On the other hand, many of my friends are excellent photographers and their shots are beautiful.  I have not gone this route because I don't want to spend my time doing it.  I'd rather create and leave it to a professional.  I have found I am entering less shows instead.

For quite sometime, I have been scanning smaller pieces intended for history, but I have also been using the scans on my blog and sometimes for cards.  I thought it might be interesting to you to see the difference a professional photographer makes on 4 of the pieces I did during October.  If you look back at my October photos you will see the earlier scans.  I do need to point out that the scans show less of the pieces as my scan bed is smaller than the original pieces. 

So what do you think?  Is there a big difference?

BTW, just as many artists share my opinion as those who don't.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

October: An Artful Month

The past couple years, October has become my most busy creative month.  I have just returned from a weekend with my art group, The Portland Art Collective.  We go to Menucha 2x a year for a weekend filled with Friends, Art and Food.  This weekend was no different from others in the past.  It was a lovely time!  As usual, I got a lot done and overpacked.  You never know what you'll need!  Considering that I left packing till Thursday night after 7:30, I didn't do too badly!  I left a whole project in my car and got to everything else I brought. I actually did two things I did not plan.  One was painting Citra Sol on National Geographic pages and then letting them sit closed for a half hour.  I actually did a few monoprints from these and then added a bit of paint.  The Heron and flower pieces below represent this process.  Then you pull the two sheets apart and come up with a very interesting blur of color.  Thank you for your generosity, Suzie!  I also learned about Cold Laminate Collage from Sue.  The other was using the colorful crepe paper scraps from a Mexican Flower project being done by Robin and making abstracts by wetting "found" pieces and letting them bleed onto paper as they start to dry.  Thanks Robin!  You can see what I mean below.  I also started 3 different danglie projects that I will be finishing in the next 2 weeks in front of the TV.  I just covered the wooden threadspools and corks using handmade papers and put 2 holes in little metal snowmen.

Below are some examples of what I worked on.  The First three are Jesse Reno inspired animals.  Saturday morning, a deer was sitting on the grass outside the huge picture windows.  We all thought it was a baby.  Later we decided that it must have been a young doe as a 2 point buck came out and started kissing her.  A while later they disappeared together into the bushes.  I drew a quick sketch of the doe as we were watching her.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Art & Soul 2010

Jesse Reno Class

Jesse Reno Class
Jesse Reno Class

Jesse Reno Class

Jesse Reno Class

Stephanie Lee Class
Stephanie Lee Class

Stephanie Lee Class

Stephanie Lee Class

Stephanie Lee Class

Stephanie Lee Class
Art & Soul had a different overall feeling for me this year.  It seemed that there were far, far less people and that a lot of the people (and I mean a big percentage) were new to the adventure.  I have nothing against new people but it was kind of an interesting observance.  My thought was that a lot of old people are going to venues closer to home and a lot of those may be experiencing, "Do I really need to do this?"  I have felt this way the past 3 years but I continue to go and totally enjoy myself.  My one comment would be, "I wish that instructors could offer more to the more experienced artists than a demo or two and a great kick start."  It has often appeared to me that newbies ask for attention and get it.  My problem might be that I hit the ground running and don't look back...

What did I take?
Class:  Painting Mindscapes with Stephanie Lee.
What enticed me to take the class?  I liked the class samples and it was an abstract painting class.  The description noted that we would be working with a palette knife and heavy bodied acrylics.  I had not used these before and wanted to learn.  The night portion of the class was a demo of how to apply the drywall compound to different substrates.  I applied and textured maybe 9 different things.  I was done by 8:15.  I wish that she would have had a demo for the painting part so we could have hit the ground running the next day.  I ended up working on about 6-7 different pieces and almost finished 3 good ones.  I was pleased.   Two of the top 4 photos are scanned excerpts taken from larger pieces I did in the class. 
Lori Scott Class

Lori Scott Class

Class:  Shibori Dying Ribbons  with Lori Scott
Why?  I had an ulterior motive in taking this class.  I had purchased about 30 silk scarves at an Estate Sale 3 years ago and wanted to do something with them for our show.  I tried painting with inks 2 years ago and embroidering and beading and appliqueing earlier this summer.  They hadn't even been taken out of the packages.  So I got permission from Lori ahead of time and she told me that she would be dumping all the left over dye so that it would not be a problem as long as we did not run out.
OH, my GOD!  I dyed my ribbons and then had over 1/2 the class yet to devote to the scarves.  It was mass production at it's finest!   I felt like a creative well-oiled machine.  On top of that, I was thrilled with the results.  I had been wanting to do some dying for 21/2 years.  I even have procion dyes that I got at the same sale.  The class was over officially at 9:30 and I was there while she cleaned up until 10:15.  What was I doing?  Ironing to heat set the dyes!  Then once I got home, I continued ironing and admiring my scarves till 12:15.  I felt very proud of how they turned out and glad to finally finish that project.

Jane Wynn Class

Jane Wynn Class

Jane Wynn Class

Class:  Sculpting the Sketch with Jane Wynn
I felt I needed to have a refresher in drawing and thought this might be a good kick start.  What I found as soon as it started was that I should not have taken it.  I know that I like to go fast and decided that I do like to draw, but not with pencils. I'd rather do it using pen and ink.  The pencils were too messy.  It was just a bad match of personality to a nice class!  Jane was a doll and very talented!

Class: Freedom to Create  with Jesse Reno
This was my favorite class.  I took the class because I saw in his style something I could incorporate, change and make my own.  Jesse demoed as he called out "prompts."  What he was actually doing was looking at his painting and verbalizing what he thought he should do with it next.  Everyone followed suit.  Of course, no two looked alike and all turned out great!  His style is much "scarier" than what I want to create, but I love his ceative process and thought processes.  The pieces I worked on in this class were all large format.  The bird was done on a piece I cropped from the Cat with the Bird on his head.   The scan of that piece is a very small part of the overall piece.

I spent all of Saturday 10/16 finishing and framing a few of the above pieces.  Life is good!