A Collaborative Children’s Book

Front Cover

Something I’ve long wanted to do, this year brought a fun project to fruition! I’ve always admired the illustrations in children’s books and thought it would be so much fun to create one but, as I’ve always got more ideas than time, I had never attempted it. Until a visit with my granddaughter, who lives four hours away. She is one of the most amazing little ladies that I know and has a passion for drawing and painting. She paints almost daily as the piles of creations make evident. As I was flipping through the pages of colorful creations it finally came to me that she & I could make a fun collage book using her artwork. Being on the autism spectrum, and non-verbal at 4 years old, she continues to improve her communication skills with the help of her parents, therapists, family & friends. It’s so amazing to watch her progress in communication, along with seeing what things interest her the most. So this book was custom made, just for her!

I purchased a blank 8.5 x 11″ white board book, brought dozens of her paintings home and then…nothing. Fear of failure can certainly stop creativity in it’s track and I was hesitant to begin. I ended up bringing all the supplies with me when I took a short vacation. As the days passed and I relaxed and enjoyed a break from the routine, the creativity burst forth. I’d made a list of notes, things she was interested in, things she did, how she acted, what she loved and what we loved about her. I had to narrow it down to fit on the available pages. In hind site I would have, perhaps, ordered them differently but honestly I just started the cutting and pasting process randomly so things landed where they landed. And that’s okay! By the time I returned home I had all the collage elements finished. Then on to the next hurdle…lettering.

Although I’ve practiced lettering I’m just not always pleased with my own. I decided to take the route of using stickers, which I wasn’t 100% sure of but felt like I’d like it better than my own handwriting. Plus stickers could be removed…lettering, not so much! Is it all as neat and well spaced as I’d have liked? Perhaps not. But the imperfection brings some personality to the pages, and that I like! Here are the pages as they read in the book:

Back Cover

This was a fun, love-filled project! I have a few more blank books! Perhaps there will be sequels, or stories from my other grands. Who knows where it will lead!

Your randomly creative friend,


Wall sculpture #34

“wall sculpture #34” mixed media, © medsker metal art

Recently Mark & I created several new pieces of collaborative art. It’s taking me a while to get new things online lately but I can at least get this one posted for you! I even have some progress images. The very beginning was to design & weld the metal that the rest of the wall sculpture is attached to. Once that was done I cut the wood pieces, sanded them and began with the painting process with black paint on both sides of each piece.

work in progress, image 1

After that it was time to get creative! Laying the pieces out in their approximate positions I began to add red, gold, grey & white paint in random patterns across the pieces.

work in progress, image 2

work in progress, image 3

The pieces that look like cardboard are actually shapes cut from acrylic plexiglass that I stained a deep red color and then sealed. Once the paint had dried it was time to assemble the pieces using screws, wood glue and other adhesives (depending on the piece) until it was complete, adjusting the design along the way until I was pleased with it.

This piece is currently hanging in my studio, why don’t you schedule a time to come and see it in person?


Outside the Cigar Box!

I’ve spent a few Wednesday afternoons during March & April with the wonderful folks at “Outside the Box” in Broad Ripple. We’ve created some boxes for their special project “Outside the Cigar Box” as well as played with some other art techniques. As part of the cigar box project they had empty boxed available for people to create and collaborate on for an upcoming art show. What fun! I brought home a few boxes – one I started & sent back for them to complete, one they started and I added to it and the last one I did start to finish. I failed to get a photo of the middle one but I do have images of the other two…or at least my part of the process. I thought today would be a great day to share those with you! This is the box that I started: 

The box was already black so it didn’t take much additional paint to cover up the labels and then I was ready to begin. I wanted something to literally be coming “outside the cigar box” so I drilled holes in the top of the piece and added the dowel rods, which I also painted black. Next I put a layer of aluminum around the bottom and colored it with inks, followed by wrapping a brightly colored wire around the top of the aluminum. I can’t wait to see what they’ll do next with this…I’ve seen some pretty awesome flowers they’ve made recently, perhaps those will blossom on the top of the dowel rods! If I get a chance I will take a photo of the finished project.

I also wanted to include things coming out of the box on the last piece, this time I chose some thick wire that I bent & curled before inserting into the box. The rest of the decorating just flowed from that starting point!

assembly of box design © lynne medsker

front view of box hanging © lynne medsker

side view of box hanging © lynne medsker

I left the wires free enough they can be turned & twisted around and people can change it to suit themselves. It will be great fun to create with the the OTB gang again soon…who knows what we might end up doing! I hope your first week of May is exceptional!



Best Buddies, The Art of Friendship, 2010

"figurative masquerade" mixed media, collaborative artwork (c) 2010

Last night I participated in the 5th annual “Art of Friendship” to benefit the Best Buddies Indiana organization. I have participated each year in this program and it is always one of the highlights of my year! Artists are paired up with Buddies and create collaborative works of art that are auctioned off at this event to raise money for Best Buddies. My buddies this year were Ben & Kristi, who both live in my community and participate in the Best Buddy program at the local high school. They were a fun, energetic pair and we had a great evening!  This year’s art project was a mixed media wall sculpture. I gave them a selection of objects & shapes to choose from (in a variety of materials) and they spent quite a while arranging the pieces and deciding the texture, color and finish of each one. Once the piece was tentatively composed they got to work sanding wooden pieces, applying sand & aluminum for texture and adding paint and ink for color. They were wonderful collaborators with lots of interesting ideas!
The pieces were all left to dry and later I finished the edges, did a little touch up and then did the final assembly of the piece. They titled it “Figurative Masquerade” and I love the way that it turned out! I attached multiple hangers on the piece so it could be hung in several different directions, depending on the purchasers preference. It was sold for $250 at a live auction during the event, which was held at the Mansion at Oak Hill in Carmel, Indiana. It’s awesome to help out such a great organization and I had a fabulous time working with Ben & Kristi this year!

ben & kristi before the auction