Sunday, March 29, 2009

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

If there is anything better than creating art, it is having your work recognized by your peers. My fellow artists have honored me by using my Cuttlebug Filigree Medallion tutorial as inspiration for their own work. I honor them in return by showcasing their work here on my blog. Their creativity is inspiring. Click on the names to check out their work. Click on your browser's BACK button to return to this page. I will add to this list as time goes on. Thank you.

Mary Wise

Barbara Beck

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva

Friday, March 27, 2009

Unexpected and Delightful

(Click on any of the pictures to view a larger image.)

Two days ago I made a trip into Manhattan to visit one of my favorite art stores. I had to pick up some supplies but I was much more interested in attending a demonstration by a Prismacolor representative who promised to show tips and techniques for using that line of products. Being an artist, I was familiar with the brand, used many of its products and knew them to be of high quality. It just so happened I was specifically looking to replace a set of Prismacolor fine line markers that I use for adding tiny details to my work.
Diana Garrett, the Prismacolor rep, gave a wonderful presentation which began with a video of the process involved in making their high quality line of colored pencils. Afterwards she demonstrated various techniques for using some of the many products offered by her company including colored pencils, Nupastels and various types of markers. She also discussed the characteristics of various types of art paper, explained the advantages and disadvantages of each and which was preferred for use with her products. She even touched upon the different types of solvents and techniques used for blending colors. This was exactly the kind of information I was hoping to get so I was very pleased with the demonstration.
The best part of her presentation was the reverse Q and A where she asked us questions and we answered them based on the information she had presented and our experience as artists. Those who answered correctly received Prismacolor product as prizes. She also conducted a raffle. I was thrilled to came away with a wonderful set of 24 colored pencils specifically color-coordinated for portraiture, several markers, and a black Verithin pencil. She even replaced my fine line markers when I mentioned that my set seemed to dry out too quickly. All in all, I got much more from Ms. Garrett and her demo than I ever expected. I left the store filled with inspiration and anxious to try my hand at the techniques I had learned using the new goodies I had received.
I sat down at my crafts table, gathered my tools and commenced creating. There were some fairy cards that needed detailing before they were complete so I used my new fine line markers to add details to the hair, face and clothing. I also used the portraiture colored pencils to add shading to the skin tones.

Being the packrat that I am, I throw nothing out, including scraps of paper left from trimming a larger piece down to size. I used Prismacolor metallic pencils to create a simple geometric border pattern on a sliver of dark blue paper that I will use on future cards. On another sliver of dark blue I created a continuous vine of flower buds using both dry watercolor pencils and the "dip and draw" technique demonstrated at the workshop. A third floral border features a little "bling" in the form of tiny rhinestones at the center of each flower.

My trip to Manhattan was a bit of a lark inasmuch as I had only decided to go the evening before but the rewards far exceeded my wildest expectations. I learned everything I sought to learn, was filled with inspiration and won prizes in the bargain! What else could I ask for? You can be sure I'll be looking for more such opportunities to break up my daily routine.

Stamp Credits:
About Art Accents unmounted stamp plate 145, Fairy Girls III.
Pink Card: Butterfly Masked Fairy Girl;
Dark Blue Card: Daffodil Fairy Girl.

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva