Posts Tagged ‘art’

This week’s featured seller on the Etsy Chat Team blog happens to be one of my favorite twitterers to follow: MissMooseDesign.  She’s sweet, down to earth, and has a lovely Etsy shop that she keeps stocked out of her love for crafting and rescuing vintage items.  I particularly like this line from her description on the blog:

“If I had to iron my clothes everyday I would probably run out into traffic. I would say that I am definitely blessed beyond belief.”

Market Bag by MissMooseDesigns

Market Bag by MissMooseDesign

Ok, now I mentioned winning, didn’t I?  Well, at the end of next week, one lucky (!) person will win both a handmade market bag and matching coffee cup sleeve from the shop of MissMooseDesign.  Believe me, you want these items, unless, of course, you never drink hot beverages or go shopping and neither have any friends that enjoy such pursuits.

There are a variety of ways to enter this contest, so, get going!  (Or not, that will give me a better chacne to win) Best of luck!



Read Full Post »

I’m not sure how any other Etsians feel, but for me, photographing my artwork is like a second go-around at the creative process.  And, sometimes I find it frustrating.  GreenTeaPot

Photographing the 3D pieces can be like a photo shoot.  I’ve got a curvaceous model just waiting for me to capture the most attractive angle.  I can be creative and emphasize my favorite features.  It’s almost like I’m getting a second chance to create art from a similar yet separate idea.  That, I can handle…it’s even fun most of the time.

Still Life Rocks and WoodI haven’t found the 2D art to be as cooperative.  After all, I created it to be exactly what it is, and it is more about content and emotion than form and function (that isn’t to say that emotion is not present in my ceramics).  For shots of 2D work to look “right,” I have to get the shots straight – there is one correct angle.  I have to get the lighting fust right – to bring out the color and texture.  There is very little play in this realm, and I find it constraining.  It feels much more difficult to draw the character from a painting (or drawing or etching) into a photo.  It seems almost unfair to ask those works to prove themselves in front of the lens.

So, what is there to do about this?  In short, I don’t know.  Spending more time with my camera and with my art might do it.  Taking some time with my thoughts might also help me to write descriptions that convey the intent and character of the pieces.  Perhaps it takes trust as well: on my part to remember that I am my own worst critic, and on the part of viewers that what they see – as nice as it might be – is far more in person.

Read Full Post »

So, I recently moved into my very own apartment for the first time. I adopted many things from my parents home, two of which were a pair of dining chairs that has previously belonged to my grandmother. Now, as much as I loved her, floral needlepoint is not my style. Neither is sitting on a rock hard surface whilst dining. So, here follows the story of my dining chair recovering process.

My before:


Seat before

These were long-used pieces, with quite a bit of wear and scratches. I started with scratch over and paste wax – with several days in between. That got the wood looking smooth and shiny. After allowing the Paste Wax fumes to dissipate, I began the next step: recover the seat.

Removing the old cover was a piece of cake, and I found that my “before” was actually someone else’s “after.”
before my before

After reflecting on the wonderful things about hand-me-downs and family pieces, I cut quilt batting (3 layers) to fit the seat.  I cut my new fabric to fit the seat, and began what turned out to be long process of getting the fabric lined up properly and tucking and folding the perfect corners.  This involved some trial and error, and some thankfulness that one rarely sees the underneath of the chair.  I also got ot do a lot of hammering, which always makes me feel self-sufficient.  There was some more trial and error involved in screwing the seat bottom back onto the chair frame – my first attempt yielded a somewhat crooked product.  After all of this, I now have the loveliest dining chairs (that I’ve ever had, at least).


I’m not sure that the photo really does justice to the improved cushioning of the seat and look of the wood.  You’ll just have to trust me on that.  Overall, I am so happy with this project: not only that I did it (all by myself), but that I have chairs that more accurately fit my style and remind me that I am, in fact, a grown-up in this “real” world.

Read Full Post »

Today, I sold my first item on Etsy.com. I am so excited about this. I can’t wait for someone else to own one of my pieces…I’ll have to wait, though, she lives in Australia.

No rest, of course, I’m back to posting more items. Today is this lovely oil painting, one of my first.

Forest Floor, Morning Mist by Rebecca Penny

Forest Floor, Morning Mist by Rebecca Penny

What I love about this painting is the depth of the forest. The ground pushes back and finally into the mist of the furthest background. It depicts one of the aspects I most love about the forest and nature on the whole: the unending mystery. You could walk for miles and see something new with each step. At the same time, walk enough, and the forest becomes like a best friend – present and dependable. It’s always there and always with something to give; we only have to step inside and be open to discover.

Read Full Post »

On portraits

I’ve been doing art for a long time.  That is, relative to the span of my life.  Portraits and figure drawings were always my fear, my stumbling block.  I was bad that them, and I don’t like to be bad at anything.

I couldn’t begin to number the self-portraits and similar drawings and paintings that I have done over the years.  Early on, it was the proportions that I couldn’t get right.  I learned those, and it was then the blending of colors that my brain wouldn’t seem to comprehend.  I would scrutinize my face in the mirror, figure out the size and shape of the lines, shadows, and features and paint them as I saw them: as segregated areas of color.  This never seemed to work out, and I ended up with countless blocky, inhuman portraits and considerable frustration.  It wasn’t as if I wasn’t trying; I was focused and diligent.  That was possibly the problem.  I could sketch a figure or interpret lights and shadows.  I could get the “bones” in place, but I was getting buried and distracted by the details and overlooking how they mesh into a whole.

I struggled.  For years I felt defeated, as though I was a less-worthy artist because I couldn’t master this seemingly fundamental subject.

In retrospect, I can see how my approach to art (and most anything) is reflected in my approach to portraits: I took the fundamentals of what the subject was, broke them down into segregate parts, and then reassembled.  If it had been a forest floor, it might have been thought insightful, but, because I was painting the human form – for which we all have a bias of perfection – it was unnatural.  I can also see why I am a scientist by trade.  That is essentially my job description.  What is happening (big picture)?  What is causing that to happen (small picture)?  What does that mean (bigger picture)?  With my portraits I wasn’t getting back out to the bigger picture from the small ones.

The story does have a happy ending, though.  Switching back from paintbrushes to drawing implements, I made peace with the human face under the gentle guidance of a wonderful college art professor.  I found Charcoal drawing especially forgiving and cathartic in this journey.  I learned to appraoch the figure with peace rather than apprehension and to relax and just draw what was there without disassembling each individual part.  Evidence is a piece I’ve titled “Figure Study #137.”  The number is made up, but a fair estimate, I think.  It’s a charcoal drawing of a fantastic model we had in class one day.  She was so comfortable in herself and willing to assume a wide variety of poses for us to consider.  I also loved drawing her because he shape was so genuine and soft.  Here, she’s not angry – only focused as far as I could tell.

Read Full Post »

My first item

I’m in the process now of listing my first item on etsy.com, and I am so excited.  On one hand, I can’t believe that I’m doing this, on the other, I can’t believe that it took me so long.

I think it will be a sad day when I have to pack up a piece and send it off.  Especially one I love as much as this one:

Green Coil Bowl

Green Coil Bowl

However, I know that when (hopefully) I get to send it to someone else, it will continue to be appreciated.  Sigh.

Well, I just clicked ‘finish.’  It’s officially listed – go check it out!

Read Full Post »