This is another project I signed up to do through the Art House Co-op. I signed up a while ago despite the fact that the theme of "self-portrait" sounded difficult to me. The project has been in the back of my mind for a while though. When I was going through my photographs today I came across this one:

Just a photo of my feet in one of my many pairs of Crocs. I have multiple pairs and they really are the only shoes I wear! These are my messy painty purple ones. My dad bought them for me. I was taking photos in Bill Buchman's art class of his painting demo and just for fun, I looked down and also snapped this photo.There were photos in the same folder of art exercises I had done in his class and these things together sparked the idea for my self-portrait. You may recognize the painting I used as the one from my current blog header! Click on any photo for more details and a larger photo.

I was sent a 4x4 wrapped canvas for this project as part of the registration. I used Yes glue to adhere a copy of one of my painting exercises I printed out onto brochure paper (to make it pop) and a cut out version of the photo of my legs and feet. 

I added oil pastels and yellow acrylic ink to cover the plain white wrapped canvas sides and a little bit of the same on top of the original painting.

Especially because this seemed like a difficult task to do in my mind -a self portrait, I am so pleased with how it came out! I really like this self-portrait and was glad that once I started looking for inspiration, it manifested itself. Another lesson re-learned: Just start! 

If you're going through hell, keep going.
  ~ Winston Churchill

(remember these quotes are pulled up randomly!!)

small art from big paintings

For the past three years I have been exchanging art with a group of talented women through a private yahoo group. This year, we've been exchanging 4x4's. Many in the group will take these 4x4's and make a "chunky" book. I'm not sure what I'll do with these wonderful small works of art but for now they are out in my studio in a basket, where I add to them as they come in. I simply enjoy looking through them. Such inspiration! The idea of our exchange is to create on someone's chosen theme and have someone create for you on your theme every month. I needed to make 2 of these small 4x4 inch works, one for March for Heather Robinson and one for April for Karen Owen. I started creating by taking 2 of my painting exercises I did in the abstract art class I'm taking and used my x-acto knife to cut out 2 small 4"x4" sections.

That was actually quite fun to do! To pick and chose a part I liked.

The green one is for Karen who gave us the theme "artist's choice" but let us know she liked birds and nature, among other things! I concentrated on those two.

I must admit, I kept it pretty simple as I liked the background and did not want to cover it up too much. I thought Karen would like a touch of gold so I chose that for the leaves and edged the 4x4 with a metallic marker. I also splatter a few dots of gold and stamped a saying . . .. 

Wander where there is no path

Heather had a theme of Fantasy Garden, doesn't that sound delicious! 
For her, I decided I wanted to do packing tape transfers of flower images. I thought this would keep with her theme but let the painted background show through a bit . . . 

To do packing tape transfers place clear packing tape over the front of your chosen magazine or catalog images (thin paper like that is best). Overlap tape if necessary. Burnish the tape to the paper well and drop into a bowl of warm water for 15 minutes or so. Gently rub the paper off the BACK of your tape/paper sandwich until all the paper has been removed and just the image remains attached to the tape! 

I added watercolor crayons around the edges, then wet to activate.

I finished heather's 4x4 with rubber stamping and an appropriate quote.

This is the end of my commitment to this group and even though I so enjoyed creating for and receiving from them, I will not be continuing with the next session. I feel I need a break from some of my regular scheduled exchanges in order to give myself time to explore some more personal art. I am not sure what direction I am going in yet, but as my husband Steven says, he can tell I am restless . . . searching . . . and I think he is correct. I tend to think perhaps in some way, it has something to do with my father's passing last October. I also think taking classes with Bill Buchman has excited me and open my eyes to other kinds of art I can do. I have a desire to do more painting and collage in perhaps a larger scale than I usually work - I'd like to explore this idea . . . . so, we'll see! 

Thanks very much for stopping by! lenna 

4x4 inch collages for an exchange

On the Oh My Gothic yahoo group we are exchanging 4x4 inch collages. Most of the participants are making them into a little book . . . but you could just enjoy them . . . or make into a larger collage. Hmmm, I am not sure what I will do with the ones I have received yet, but I have made two more and sent them off today. My dear friend Frieda in Scotland requested a theme of flowers, yummy! I am sure this will brighten up her cold days when she receives it.

The words are from ARTchix Studio. The flowers I got from Collage Stuff, by Prima. 
This 4x4 is made of paper and fabric.

The 4x4 watercolor card I bought already cut to size from ARTchix Studio -then I painted it. 
Later, I took a piece of sheer fabric (a scarf) and sewed it directly onto the watercolor card. It started like this below . . . .

Then I fooled around with which flowers might work and where the words should go. 
I ended up spray painting the plain white Prima flowers with Perfect Pearls Mists. I also added some glitter glue in the center of each flower because Frieda loves shiny, Magpie things.

I glued the flowers down with Tacky glue and was happy with the arrangement. 
 I hope you like it, Frieda . . . it is on it's way!

I also made a 4x4 for Debby on the theme of vintage children : ^)

I chose many more images than I would need, just to see what might inspire me. 
These are all pretty much from ARTchix Studio!

I also had a number of already painted 4x4 watercolor squares to choose from. 
After preparing for my collage class I had leftover paint. Instead of throwing it out 
I brushed it onto the watercolor squares. 

I chose a square and started playing with the composition. 
I ended up cutting the background away from the 3 girls. 

I added a layer of handmade lace paper for texture. It mostly disappears when added to the watercolor paper with gel medium, but I thought the extra wisps of paper fiber would be good.

A part of a pen shell adorns her hair and silver star tinsel that my friend and Nia teacher Kathy Oravec gave me, because she thought I could use it! She was right :  ^ ) I also added glitter and silver metallic marker splashes.

the back was finished very simply . . . That was fun! 
Now this is on it's way to Debby : )

I must say I have noticed, and maybe so have you, that I have not been doing as much mixed media artwork since my dad passed away, October 1. My creativity has continued to surface - taking photographs almost daily and also through lots of movement and dance: Nia classes, Conscious Movement and Dancing gratitude that I have found here in Florida. I am still doing a few things with mixed media and so I do not worry about the smaller output, just notice it. I imagine something will happen to fire me up and push me into more creativity when the time is right! I hope all is well with you. I am truly fine, except for a hole in my life. I miss my dad. 

4x4 (inch!) collage for Connie

As part of a year long exchange I'm in, I created a 4x4 collage for Connie Senyitko. We do these on a monthly basis and work on the theme chosen by who we are creating for. Connie requested soft shades of white or neutral with a spot of color. She likes: vintage children images, clocks, birds, nests, eggs, french, vintage, laces, numbers, vintage ladies hats or crowns and flowers, fabrics, stitching, vintage sheet music paper, poetry, and black & white vintage images. Well! It was great to have so many 'likes' to choose from and in that small space I managed quite a few....

For the front I used fabric - an old cloth napkin of my Nonie's stitched all around. I added a fabric stamped image of a Robin that my friend Sharon Borsavage made and gave to me - perfect! Next I layered a vintage text page on top of a 4x4 watercolor card before gluing the fabric down. I also added a bit of vintage music paper, some pretty ribbon, a small bit of a map, a small velvet leaf and gold micro beads. click for detail.

For the back of the card I wanted to include Connie's love of poetry. I had recently picked up a small book of poems by Oscar Wilde and chose this one at random, ripping the edges to fit the card. Then I added a tag to identify the piece and I was done! I believe I have only 4 more 4x4's to create -wow! To see more, go to the flickr photo set I created just for these collages. 

I hope you are doing well and not to crazy with the holiday season. My sister and her family are coming to visit for a whole week, but other than that we are not really doing much . . . not even exchanging presents! Sounds Grinch-like, but it really is what works for us this year. Stay well and happy, I will be here adding things as I can! 

butterfly garden

A scan of a 4" x 4" collage, made as part of an exchange I am in.

I took a copy of an old french postcard and glued it to a square watercolor card. Then I took a transparency sheet of butterflies I had made, ran them through my xyron adhesive machine and placed them all around the woman in the garden. Something like the time I visited the Butterfly Garden at The Selby Gardens and estate this past June . . . . Ignore the noise of the traffic as I am not that good at editing videos yet, and be amazed at the butterflies! 

I added color with watercolor crayons as well as a silver metallic marker and drips of perfect pearls mist to make it more dreamy. I used a printing kit with rubber stamp alphabet letters to spell out Brenda's theme on the front; a photo of the piece is below.

Happy Saturday to you! 
I am going to meet my Nia teacher at an indie craft fair in downtown Sarasota, florida where I am venturing to by myself more and more these days. It should be fun, one of the women we dance with has a booth there. Then tonight, Steven and I are taking my mom out to dinner for her birthday, Happy Birthday Mom.

4x4 for Trudi

Through the Oh My Gothic yahoo group, I have been creating 4"x4" pieces on a monthly basis. In October it was my turn to make something for Trudi Sissons. Her theme for this exchange is Nature's Garden with Quotes - soft shades, flowers, vines, butterflies. Click for details.

To create this I used a copy of a vintage ad printed onto vellum paper to keep it soft and almost see-through. The John Muir quote was rubber stamped with black StazOn permanent ink. The cloth leaves and paper butterflies were hostess gifts given to me; just the perfect touch I think. Trudi has seen her piece on the yahoo group (a closed group) and told me she loved it. It should reach her in Canada before too long! It was good for me to make this, I enjoyed. 

4x4 for Trinka

As part of an exchange through the Oh My Gothic yahoo group (a closed group), I created this 4" x 4" piece for Trinka Seals on September 29th. Trinka gave us 'Artist Choice' as a theme, and shared that she had a liking for Faces, Numbers, Maps & Textures. This is what I came up with. I have no step-by-steps for this piece; it was created soon before my father passed away.

Sea Oat leaves adorn the bottom left. 
the 2 girls and the dog are a transparency image I printed.

I hope you enjoy -please click any photo for more detail. If you have the chance, and have visited my blog online I would love to hear what you think of the new template I have put into use via Blogger in Draft. I am trying out the new Dynamic views template which is totally different, but I think I like. If you have a minute, please take a look and see what you think. I like it because of the way it condenses the posts and it is so much easier to browse or hop around. Google is working on the ability to have gadgets (like I had in my sidebar) with this -not available yet- and in the meantime I am trying to add info via pages at the top. See what you think and let me know if you can, what you like or don't like. Thank you.

4x4 for Lisa B - recycled garden goodness

I belong to a yahoo group where we are creating 4x4's for each other this year . . . yes, only 4 inches by 4 inches, not very big at all. I've made a couple of already as we started in June and you can see them here (including this post, scroll down). My creative friend Frieda has shared the 4x4's she's made on her blog (we're in the group together) and the most recent one Frieda made was for me. I cherish it. You can view it here, ooh la la!
The 4x4 featured in this post is for Lisa Busch, owner of Collage Stuff. For inspiration, I started with a postcard she made and sent with one of my orders! You can view Lisa's original postcard here.

I used a sheer patterned fabric over her postcard.

* click on any photo for a larger view *

I folded the extra to the back & machine stitched!

I added a piece of Lisa's postcard over the fabric on the front of the 4x4.
Then I got out White Prima 'craftable' flowers out and started playing.

I had gotten these flowers from Lisa not too long ago . . . plus the crinkle wire
I'm wrapping around the flowers and the little gold stars. How much fun! 

I worked on the back, also using Collage Stuff items. 

A scan of the front -click on  it for details.

Even though Lisa gave us 'artist choice' as her theme, she noted she likes children and gardens and I am sure it's fun to see some of the products she carries being used too! Check out Collage Stuff - great items for collage and mixed media art, I love shopping there! Thanks to Frieda who mentioned Lisa's business in a post ; ^ )

4 x 4 for Linda K ~ expressions of joy

As part of a year long exchange I'm doing, trading with a group of inspiring mixed media artists, I made this 4x4 for Linda Kunsman. 

Linda requested "expressions of joy". She likes nature, birds, quotes . . . and I know she loves the beach! So my idea was to pair a favorite quote that spoke of joy, with one of the photographs I took the other day when visiting Coquina Beach. Click on the scan above for more details. The quote reads, "There can be no happiness equal to the joy of finding a heart that understands."  ~ unknown

I can so relate with that quote! I thought Linda would like it too. There are not any step by step photos for this project, but I started with Irfanview -a photo program I use to re-size my photos & also when I want to add text. Then, I needed to print this out to the proper size! That took a couple tries -it had to fit well and look good in a  4" x 4" size. Once that was done, I used a couple of ColorBox Cat's eye ink pads to add color around the edges. Then shell pieces and sand were added with glue -Tacky glue for the sand, E6000 for the shells. The shells are more of the same deliciously colored pieces I picked up at the beach at DeSoto the other day. They also made their way onto an earlier journal page.

for Linda, with love . .. 

This reddish egret was soooooooo beautiful, fishing for minnows!
I have lots of photos of him here. It was such an enchanting afternoon! enjoy your day and thanks for visiting! : ^ ) lenna

4x4 for Leslie ~ wings

4x4 for Leslie ~ wings by creativelenna
4x4 for Leslie ~ wings, a photo by creativelenna on Flickr.
This is a 4" x 4" square piece of art I made for Leslie Anderson as part of the Oh my Gothic Yahoo Group, a closed yahoo group I belong to (invitation only). Last year we worked on skinny pages, 4" x 8" in size to exchange. Over the next year we will be creating these much smaller 4" x 4" pieces!

We each choose a theme that everyone in the group bases the piece they create (for you) on, and Leslie's theme is Wings. I recently put a small order in at Alpha Stamps as I was tempted by their selection of beautiful papers. Lots of bird things. I started by taking the Reverie Bird paper which is a large scrapbook size and copying it onto sheer ink jet vellum paper because I wanted a soft, sheer look. If it looks familiar, you saw me use a bit of the actual scrapbook paper in my fragile art journal spread a couple of days ago... here it is copied onto the vellum and placed on a 4x4 piece of watercolor paper -
My xyron was used to make a sticker out of a transparency image
I copied the collage sheet onto a clear transparency sheet.
I layered that on top of the vellum birds. . . 
added a rubber stamp from CatsLifePress - fly.
Then, if you look up top at the first photo, you'll see how 
I wrapped gold thread around a feather -I used E-6000 to glue it on. 
A metallic marker was used to rim the edges- see that in the first photo at the top.

The back! 
For Leslie, with love, lenna 

4x4's for my roads+paths swap

I have made another set -this time out of fabric, for my 4x4 mixed media collage swap with a theme of roads+paths. I will tease you with a couple of photos here - but you can see more on my creative swaps blog or view my process in making them via this slide show. I hope you enjoy!
There is plenty of room left and the collages are not due until April 24, if you would like to join us . . .
lenna young andrews - March 17, 2010

roads + paths - 4x4 swap

Over on my creative swaps blog I am hosting a 4x4 mixed media collage swap with a theme of roads + paths. I am the first the submit a set, but let's be fair - there is no mailing time for me and I just announced it! For my first set, I printed images directly onto a watercolor type paper and then used a wet brush to manipulate the printing ink. I think it gives the photo a watercolor-like appearance. Next, I added related rubber stamped words to the front and a bit of journaling to the back of each 4x4. There are 5 more to see (i made extras) on the creative swaps blog along with more info on the swap. Hope you enjoy, and possibly join us. It will be fun!
lenna young andrews - February 27th, 2010