Exploring: The Idea Store

Earlier this month I took a trip over to Champaign, Illinois to visit “The Idea Store” and attend a workshop.

web, idea store3

Oh. My. Goodness. It was a repurposing/upcycling/treasure paradise! I’m already plotting on another trip to forage for goodies. Rows and rows full of tubs, barrels, baskets and shelves holding an array of goodies the likes of which I’ve never seen. I’m sure I stood there with my mouth gapping open!

Items were priced either by the piece or by the pound, depending on what they were.  I really couldn’t gauge how it all would work out but I ended up spending a lot less than I anticipated. That’s always a nice surprise! After almost three hours of foraging I left with two bags full of fun stuff.

bags full o' goodies
bags full o’ goodies

I’m saving images of my treasures for the next post. I’ll also share a post soon of the fun upcycled project that we worked on at the workshop!

Stay tuned,

Lynne

Layers & Lattes, February 2013 Edition

It’s been a while since the last Layers & Lattes workshop! Those of you that have attended one of these sessions know what a great time they are. A group of creative people with an art project and their own barrista for the evening? How great is that?! This workshop will be held on Friday, February 22nd at Artistic Designs Gallery in Brownsburg, Indiana as part of the “Fourth Friday” series of events.

(c) lynne medsker
mixed media on wood panel (c) lynne medsker

We will be creating mixed media art on wood panels from 6:30 to 9:30 that evening. The cost of the workshop is $30 per person and includes all supplies & your coffee. If  you have any items you’d like to include in your art please feel free to bring them with you! Here are some images of student work (in progress) from previous classes:

layers & lattes
student work, Layers & Lattes at Artistic Designs Gallery
student work, Layers & Lattes at Artistic Designs Gallery
student work, Layers & Lattes at Artistic Designs Gallery
student work, Layers & Lattes at Artistic Designs Gallery
student work, Layers & Lattes at Artistic Designs Gallery
student work, Layers & Lattes at Artistic Designs Gallery

As you can see each creation is unique! Come let your muse out to play and see what happens…you know you want to! To register for this evening of fun contact Artistic Designs Gallery via email (Contact@ArtisticDesignsGallery.net) or phone (317-852-0252).

Upcycled/Recycled

Not long ago I blogged about trying to help the “green” effort with materials in my studio and hinted that I’d been getting creative with some of those materials. Today I’m going to show you some of the items I’ve created and what they are made of!

aluminum covered shipping envelope material with copper nuggets attached, $15 © Lynne Medsker
aluminum covered shipping envelope material with copper nuggets attached, $15 © Lynne Medsker
web, upcycle  8
finished pieces, ready to assemble

I love to explore something new and this idea had been bouncing around in my head a while until I couldn’t contain it any more.

Earrings created from plastic drink bottle, old necklace parts and red stones, $15 pair © Lynne Medsker
Earrings created from plastic drink bottle, old necklace parts and red stones, $15 pair © Lynne Medsker

Earrings from recycled/upcycled materials? Oh, yeah. I made a few pair from plastic drinking bottles to see if it would work (and it did!) and the rest of this initial group were made by covering old packaging/shipping envelops with aluminum.

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shapes cut from packing envelope, ready to be covered with aluminum and colored
Earrings from packaging envelopes and old book pages, SOLD © Lynne Medsker
Earrings from packaging envelopes and old book pages, SOLD © Lynne Medsker

Since that time I am looking at every container that comes through the house as potential supplies. 🙂

materials waiting to be transformed
materials waiting to be transformed

I’ve got a nice pile of “almost ready” pieces for the next batch of earrings, including these painted book pages that are sandwiched between pieces of packaging plastic.

I’ve been wearing one pair and they are fabulously lightweight, which I love! And the compliments aren’t bad either. I’m thinking this may be a potential new class for me to teach, anyone interested?

Lynne

Aqueous

This project has been underway since warm weather (some of the layers were applied outside on a warm, sunny day) but got it’s finish during a chilly winter day. I flip back and forth thinking it feels like a clear blue sky on a sunny day or an icy blue, cold day.

"Aqueous" acrylic on textured canvas, 48 x 36", $995 © Lynne Medsker
“Aqueous” acrylic on textured canvas, 48 x 36″, $995 © Lynne Medsker

It was one of the large canvases that I had textures and painted white last fall, waiting for inspiration to take over.

20+ canvases/wood panels, textured, painted white and waiting...
20+ canvases/wood panels, textured, painted white and waiting…

I will say that originally stash of canvases is dwindling, which makes me happy! I knew that I wanted this piece to be shades of blue, specifically to hang in my living room. I hang my art in the living room, along with the pieces I’ve been able to acquire from other artists, but I’ve never really created a piece just for my own home. It really hadn’t occurred to me! So I decided I’d “commission” myself to make a large piece using certain shades of blues. What fun! I started with a layer of blue and went from there:

Work in progress, Aqueous, acrylic on textured canvas © Lynne Medsker
Work in progress, Aqueous, acrylic on textured canvas © Lynne Medsker
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Work in progress, Aqueous, acrylic on textured canvas © Lynne Medsker

Well, THAT wasn’t what I was after! More blue to the rescue! I think it was along in this stage that I moved outdoors and things really began to happen.

Work in progress, Aqueous, acrylic on textured canvas © Lynne Medsker
Work in progress, Aqueous, acrylic on textured canvas © Lynne Medsker
Work in progress, Aqueous, acrylic on textured canvas © Lynne Medsker
Work in progress, Aqueous, acrylic on textured canvas © Lynne Medsker

I gave up brushes and went straight to using my (glove covered) fingers and hands, swirling the paints and acrylic inks around, blending the colors and literally “going with the flow” of the paint. Aaaah, yes!!web, wip 5

Here’s where that days work finished.

I loved the circular forms and way the colors transitioned from light to dark but felt like it still needed a bit more contrast. So I turned to some splashes of white.web, wip 6

Ack! Too much, too much! Back to the blues, more swirls, more colors flowing and I finally got the darks and lights that I wanted. This is a close-up from part of the finished canvas:

web, wip, finished detail

This really shows the texture that lays under all the color, it’s such a tactile piece you can’t help but run your hands over it!

Awakening and friends…

I’m still adding to my collection of digital art, having a blog that is set up to show a new images each day keeps me motivated! One thing I decided I would do differently starting in 2013 is to name all my digital images vs. a haphazard numbering/naming combination system. So today I am going to introduce you to “Awakening”, “Affinity”, “Align”  and “Adlib” :

I’ve also been exploring with some drawing programs on my tablet, once I feel a little more comfortable with those skills I’ll share a few digital images created that way.

Lynne

Weapons of Hair Destruction?

If you’ll recall my word for this year is “EXPLORE“! I feel like so far I’m doing more planning to explore than actually exploring, but I suppose it takes both!

Although it wasn’t intended as one of my explorations, a recent even with my hair ended up being just that. I’m a short hair gal, have been for many years, after going from past-the-waist length tresses to cropped I’ve not looked back. The drawback for me having short hair is that it grows. FAST. Like, having it cut every three weeks fast. Sometimes the timing of having it cut vs. travel, special events and schedule doesn’t work out well at all. Cut it too early and it’s unruly when I need it to look great. Wait too long and the next cut comes at a time that doesn’t work in my plans. There are much worse problems in life but this is just the background to my adventure. It had gotten to the unruly stage but also would end up being unruly again at a time I needed it to look nice. What’s a gal to do? I’m too cheap to get it cut twice in two weeks. Since, on occasion, I had trimmed a bit off the edges and I routinely cut my husband & grandson’s hair (although that’s primarily with a “buzzer”) I got the inspiration that I could just do a little bit of trimming myself and then go in a week or so and let them sort out the mess, if I were to make one. (I bet I just made hair stylists everywhere cringe, didn’t I?) Out came the scissors, comb, trimmer and my “how bad could it possible end up” attitude.

hair cutting in process...
hair cutting in process…

I trimmed the edges with a fair amount of success. (Although doing so “blind” in the back was a bit of a challenge, but I don’t see that part of my head anyway, right?) Well that brought up my confidence level a bit more so I thought I’d just snip around on the top & sides as well. So I snipped this direction and that, trying my best to imitate the stylists moves. Then I snipped a bit more here & there. Then I cleaned up a mount of hair that was forming on the sink, floor and all over my body (those capes are a great invention, aren’t they?). Enough. Well, maybe a bit more here & there. And, really, if I’ve gone this far I should probably trim up the top part of the back of my head. Blindly. Snip, snip, snip.  More clean up. Hmmmm. Not quite even. Snip, snip, snip. Enough! No really STOP. So I finally did, cleaning up for the third time in the process.

I bet your are expecting to hear how terrible it looked but, miraculously, it looks pretty dang good! Well, I can’t vouch for the back of my head but the rest I’m satisfied with and it will get me through for another week or so. Of course wearing a “messy” hairdo probably helped a lot!

home made hair cut
home made hair cut

Will I do it again? HECK NO! That was a messy, stressful, time consuming event I don’t care to repeat. But I’m glad I gave it a whirl, even if it was just to show myself a) that I could do it, b) I don’t want to do it again and, lastly, c) why the whole scissors/hair/kindergardener events happen. 🙂

Now the next hurdle is getting it cut “proper” – I can only guess what my stylist will say but I’m thinking it’ll be something like “what happened to your hair?!?” Shhhhh….don’t tell!

Lynne

Discoveries

One of the rewards of de-cluttering and organization is finding things you haven’t seen in a while! One of the discoveries I was excited about was in with my printmaking supplies. I’ve not made any new prints for quite some time and actually have some new materials to try out so getting the supplies together and ready made me even more anxious to explore the media again. The bonus was that I’d stashed a pile of gelatin prints from previous explorations in with the supplies, it was such fun visiting with them again. 🙂

I am going to go right now and find a spot on my calendar and mark it in bold letters: EXPLORE PRINTMAKING! Look for some newness in the next month.

Lynne

Wall Sculptures!

I spent a fun day with a mother & daughter who took a mixed media wall sculpture class last July. (Yes, I know it’s January…sometimes it takes me a while to get to things!) I thought I’d share the images from the day with you.

I’ve not tried out this “gallery” feature before, you’ll have to tell me if you like it or prefer having each image posted individually. (Hover over the images here to read the captions.)

Seeing these pictures reminds me how much fun it is to assemble wall sculptures. Guess I’ll have to add that to the ever-growing list of things I want to do this year!!

New Fractal Play!

Although I’ve declared 2013 my year of exploration, at this point I’ve not got anything new ready to share with you. So the next few posts will be wrapping up the projects from 2012. Today I’m sharing a few new fractal images that I created in December.

"Fractal #71" 2012 Digital/Fractal Art © Lynne Medsker
“Fractal #71” 2012 Digital/Fractal Art © Lynne Medsker

Of course if you want a larger selection be sure to visit digital+art+daily, my blog dedicated exclusively to digital art, that features a new/different image each day of the year. Amazingly I made it through the first year keeping up with it, let’s see how the second year goes!

"Fractal #78" 2012 Digital/Fractal Art © Lynne Medsker
“Fractal #78” 2012 Digital/Fractal Art © Lynne Medsker

For 2013 I am going to be titling all my digital art and fractals, I’ve begun to confuse myself with the numbers, especially by starting at 1 each year…if I don’t note the year in the title as well – yikes! I spent a few hours the other day starting a list of title names to draw from.

"Fractal #69" 2012 Digital/Fractal Art © Lynne Medsker
“Fractal #69” 2012 Digital/Fractal Art © Lynne Medsker

Sorry, but these images you will have to deal with the last of the numbering system! I had fun playing with these…I’m up to three fractal programs on my computers now, plus I’ve discovered some for my tablet as well. Between all of them and a photo/digital project that I’ve put off for way too long I shouldn’t have any trouble creating a year’s worth of images.

"Fractal #81" 2012 Digital/Fractal Art © Lynne Medsker
“Fractal #81” 2012 Digital/Fractal Art © Lynne Medsker

What projects are you going to tackle this coming year?

Lynne

Jingle Rails!

‘Tis the season for…well, some holiday inspired pics!

"jingle rails" photo, 2012, Lynne Medsker
“jingle rails” photo, 2012, Lynne Medsker

I went with a friend to the Eiteljorg Museum to view a wonderful photo exhibit a few weeks ago. While we were there we also made a stop at their annual “Jingle Rails” exhibit. What fun!!

"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker
“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

The entire (large!) room was full of miniature buildings and different model train set ups.

"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker
“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

Since the museum focusing on the art of the western United States most of the lovely buildings were small replicas of lodges and other gorgeous sites from that region.

"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker
“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker
"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker
“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

I hadn’t anticipated taking any photos on our excursion and was caught at a rare time I didn’t have one of my cameras on hand.

"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker
“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

Thank goodness for cell phones! I especially enjoy taking photos on it using some of the “alternate” cameras you can download so these all have some different effects or sizing to them to make them even more “magical”. 🙂

"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker
“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

Along with the wonderful western scenes they also had a section that represented Indianapolis. One section showed the state fair midway – which you don’t usually get to see in the wintertime!

"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker
“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker
"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker
“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

It was fun to see our town in a small scale! There was a larger section featuring downtown buildings and landmarks.

"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker
“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker
"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker
“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

They even had a small version of Lucas Oil Stadium, home of our Colt’s football team.

"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker
“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

I think my favorite had to be the miniature “Christmas Tree” that is constructed each year by stringing lights on the monument in the circular center of Indy.

"Jingle rails" image, 2012, Lynne Medsker
“Jingle rails” image, 2012, Lynne Medsker

I hope you enjoyed this wintery tour of the exhibit and that you are enjoying the holiday season!

Blessings,

Lynne