“Queen of the Sea”–Polymer Clay, Acrylic Paint, and Swarovski Crystals
Fall is right around the corner and students all over the country are returning to school. Taking a class or two each year not only fulfills my Florida Teaching Certificate requirements, it also motivates me. Being in a studio setting with other artists inspires me to create. Since I won’t be taking a class this fall, I will have to rely on gallery visits, long walks with Mother Nature, and my own imagination for the inspiration I crave.
“Coming Together”–Watercolor, Ink Pen, and Swarovski Crystals
“Nature’s Finest”–Watercolor, Ink Pen, and Swarovski Crystals
“Playing Dress Up”–Watercolor, Ink Pen, and Swarovski Crystals
“Circles”–Watercolor, Ink Pen, and Swarovski Crystals
Lately, I can’t seem to contain the colors and patterns that are floating around in my head. What to do? Put them on paper, of course, adding yet another hurdle in the quest to define my artistic style. Some days my art leans toward realism, other days I’m in a fantasy mood, but today, I was simply feeling groovy.
“Groovy”–Watercolor, Ink Pen, and Swarovski Crystals
I am in love with color. Whether I find it in nature, in fashion, or on the tip of my paint brush, color can incite a rush of emotions. From the deepest indigo to the palest pink, the color choices I make in my art are very deliberate. The colors I chose for ‘Joy’ came straight from the rainbow. I hope Mother Nature won’t mind that I took inspiration from her amazing color palette.
“Joy”–Watercolor, Ink Pen, and Swarovski Crystals on Arches Aquarelle
While I have journeyed outside the United States on multiple occasions, my passport remains unstamped. Its blank pages reflect a total lack of travel. When I leave the United States, it’s always by cruise ship. I’ve sailed throughout the Eastern and Western Caribbean, through the Mexican Riviera, and up into Canada. In 2008, when the cruise industry was planning to require passports for travel, I rushed out to apply for mine. That change never took place, and while I do travel with my passport for identification, it doesn’t have a single stamp. There are no official records of my destinations, but I do have the memories, the stories, and volumes of photographs. The sea turtles can surely relate, as their journeys are undocumented, too. Though they travel thousands of miles in a lifetime, there are no proud stamps to boast of their destinations. While it would be nice to have a colorful passport, it’s really all about the journey, and not a little stamp.
“World Traveler”–Watercolor on Board with Swarovski crystals–Who needs a colorful passport when you’ve got a little bling?
I’ve always been a big fan of sparkle and shine. I have fond, vivid memories of gazing deep into the endless stair steps of my grandmother’s enormous emerald cut diamond ring. As a child, I logged countless hours trying on pieces from my mother’s crystal-encrusted costume jewelry collection. I spent my teenage years in the 1970’s draped in shiny, satiny polyester. The eighties brought shimmer to my face courtesy of the flashy Ultima ll cosmetics line. Even in the muted decade that followed, I still found ways to sparkle. I felt it was time for a more mature shine, so gold, platinum, and gemstones provided my twinkle in the 90’s. That being said, no one cheered louder than I when fashion’s sequins and glitter helped ring in the new century. In my objective opinion, everything should sparkle.
Even on my Artist’s Journey, I try to sneak in a little sparkle and shine. I have metallic paints that I often brush on my canvas ever so lightly to create a subtle glimmer. But this week, I grew bold. While digging through a craft bin in my studio, I came across some leftover Swarovski crystals just begging to be used. Valencia College officially labels my Independent Study as “Mixed Media Exploration,”–which basically means ‘anything goes’– so I got out my tweezers and glue, and affixed the crystals to a previously painted piece. The results were definitely not traditional. They may have been a little gaudy or garish by painterly standards, but I didn’t care. For a few short hours, I was a young girl again, happily digging through my mother’s jewelry box.
“Something Fishy” (the ‘sparkle and shine’ edition) Acrylic and Swarovski crystals on canvas