Commissioned Photo/Digital Art

I’ve enjoyed having a reason to get creative with some photos during the last week! These images are two possibilities I have presented to a client who commissioned me to create a piece of art commemorating his retirement. We met at the end of January at the Sugar Creek Art Center to discuss what it was he had in mind for this project.  The most important thing was the inclusion of the quote “The Best Part of Life is When Your Family Becomes Your Friends and Your Friends Become Your Family”. Beyond that requirement we brainstormed a bit as we walked around the center looking at colors, styles and subject matter of different art pieces that were on display.  I came away with a list of several things that were important symbols and memories from his life. Although I knew I couldn’t include all of them on a single piece of art it gave me ideas to work with as I began creating.  I gathered up around 20 different images related to what we had discussed and put them in a folder to draw from when I began combining images.  The first image ended up very muted and calm. I added a layer from a printmaking project to give it some extra texture and interest. Although one of his requests was for a stand of trees to be included I still feel like the emphasis of this piece is water…both flowing & still.

version #1 of “The Best Part” photo/digital art (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

I like the way the waterfall flows into the image!

The second piece is a bit bolder and has a definite “ocean” feel to it. The ocean & sea oats were other items mentioned in our talk but I wanted to make sure to include trees and rocks too, as he mentioned those several times. The colors were actually brighter than this to begin with and had lots of bright pinks and peach colors which I toned down or changed before finalizing the piece.  Bright pastel colors weren’t in our discussion!

version #2 of “The Best Part” photo/digital art (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

I really like the silhouette of the tree(s) in this image!

I’ve e-mailed copies of each of these images to my client and will wait to see what the feedback is. Which one he likes, if he wants any changes to the image, if neither suit him and I start from scratch…all those thoughts whirl through my head. Which would you choose?

Waiting patiently,


Seeing Red

The month of February is bringing special events to the Sugar Creek Art Center in Thorntown, Indiana.  Everyone is invited to join them for their 1st Annual Winter Art & Acoustic Music Festival, February 12th & 13th, 2010.  The theme for the February art exhibit will be “Seeing Red” and will feature works by SCAC artists and local guest artists (like me!).  The celebrations kick off on Friday evening at 6 p.m. with the month “Culture at the Creek” event.  This month for “America’s Local Date Night” it includes (in addition to the wonderful works of art) a dessert bar as well as roses and sweet treats for your sweetheart available for purchase in the Gift Shop.  Saturday’s events include an Art Market, live Bluegrass Music and a Chili Dinner!  The Chili Dinner is available from 4 to 8 p.m. for only $5 with music being provided by the Thorntown Bluegrass Jammers.

I selected my recent acrylic works to hang in the show, including this new piece.

“opposing forces” #3 acrylic on canvas (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

It will be fun to see what other “red” works of art with be featured! Mark your calendar so you don’t miss out on this exciting weekend!



October Art Displays

I had one of the “lightning bolt” type realizations last week as I was hanging up art at a local library.  Even just five years ago having a solo display of my work at the library would have been the highlight of my month!  To be honest I hadn’t even remembered that I was showing my art at that location until they sent me a reminder.  I am afraid I am becoming unappreciative of these opportunities, and that makes me more than a little disappointed in myself. I have been blessed with so many chances to share my work with the public that I’m afraid I’ve come to regard it as routine instead of the special occasion that it is.  It took hard work, determination and a lot of my time to get this far and I should celebrate each and every time I am putting my art “out there”!  With that in mind I wanted to create a monthly post that announces where my art is currently on display. Although some of these events have their own post (or have already happened!) I wanted to put them here as a one-stop reference point:

October 1st through November 23nd, “Nature Awakens Creativity”
 part of the Spirit and Place Festival
at the Indianapolis Art Center, Indianapolis, IN

October 1st through 31st, “Debra Wagner Memorial Exhibit”
 (reception October 9th 6-9 pm)
at the Sugar Creek Art Center, Thorntown, IN

October 2nd – 31st, Solo Show, Danville Public Library, Danville, IN

Saturday, October 10th, Zionsville Autumn Artscape, Art Fair from 10 am to 6 pm, Zionsville, IN

Continuing this month, artwork on display at:

Artistic Designs Gallery, Brownsburg, IN

Healing Arts Indy, Indianapolis, IN

Hoosier Salon Gallery, Broad Ripple, IN

Sugar Creek Art Center, Thorntown, IN

I will try to be more timely when I post the November events! Of course you are always welcome to come to my studio to visit and view my artwork.  Just drop me an email to set up a time – I bet I could even round up a cup of coffee or glass of wine for us to enjoy!

Celebrating each success,


More work-in-progress

Each month I spend a day as a “volunteer” at the Sugar Creek Art Center in Thorntown.  This is where I have a small studio space and also show my work throughout the building.  Part of being a resident artist is taking your turn volunteering.  I always enjoy being able to go the center and spend time on art but it is hard to fit it into the schedule as often as I would like.  So at least when it’s my turn to volunteer it prompts me to go there.  As I am tending the gift shop and greeting the visitors there is still ample time to work on small art projects as well. (Especially since I volunteer during daytime hours on a Thursday…not a high traffic time of the week by any means.)  During my last visit I started on this little (4″x4″ each) five page “book”.  

board book side one (in progress) (c) Lynne Medsker 2009
board "book" side one (in progress) (c) Lynne Medsker 2009
board book side two (in progress) (c) Lynne Medsker 2009
board "book" side two (in progress) (c) Lynne Medsker 2009

I got both sides of the piece covered with paper, etc. and almost have side “one” complete.  Side two will be the project for my next visit.  It was my first time creating something like this and I had fun playing with the smaller format pages and  putting it together.  

I won’t be going back to the center until I return from Colorado (I’m scheduled to volunteer again on April 30th), I will post updated images after that!


Retro Friday, revisited

Ebony Branches in Blue hand colored photograph   (c) Lynne Medsker
“Ebony Branches in Blue” hand colored photograph (c) Lynne Medsker

A few weeks ago I posted some older art images and declared it “Retro Friday”.  Here we are again with a perfectly good Friday to show off some old stuff.  (This is what happens when I spend too much time working on marketing, communications and promotion…no new images to show you!)  WAY back when (okay, maybe not that long ago) when I was beginning to pursue art again as an adult my first steps started with my camera.  It didn’t take terribly long to expand on that topic and add in some alternate processes and films, Polaroid transfers (hmmm, something for another retro-Friday?) and hand-coloring black & white photos.

Hand colored photo of leaves  (c) Lynne Medsker


Hand color photo of an old Dodge (c) Lynne Medsker
Hand color photo of an old Dodge (c) Lynne Medsker


Hand color photo of a window/flower box   (c) Lynne Medsker
Hand color photo of a window/flower box (c) Lynne Medsker


Hand colored photo of a tree   (c) Lynne Medsker
Hand colored photo of a tree (c) Lynne Medsker

It’s a bit of a lost art now that it can be done more quickly &  precisely (with a lot less mess & fumes) and then be printed at any size, in any quanitity you’d like by digital means.  Although I’ve embraced the technology there is some undefined quality to the actual hand-painted photos that is just more appealing to the senses, at least for me.  Maybe it just invokes some hidden memories, hard to say.

Along with using the photo oils, pencils and other techniques (did you know you can stain photos with tea, coffee or even kool-aid? That’s where the blue background on the first image came from!) I also scanned some black & white images, adjusted the opacity and contrast, then printed them onto watercolor paper and painted them with watercolors.

No Trespassing watercolored barn photo   (c) Lynne Medsker
“No Trespassing” watercolored barn photo (c) Lynne Medsker


Stormy Day watercolored photo   (c) Lynne Medsker
“Stormy Day” watercolored photo (c) Lynne Medsker


Bottles watercolored photo     (c) Lynne Medsker
“Bottles” watercolored photo (c) Lynne Medsker

Totally different look & feel than the ones that were painted directly on the photos!

Until next time…



Today was set aside to prepare for the upcoming art show at the Eiteljorg Museum on Saturday.  I always forget how much work & details there are to take care of prior to a show.  And this one is easier than many, it’s indoors and they take care of all the payments and money handling.  But even without packing up the outdoor tent and accessories, digging out the manual credit card machine or making a run to the bank for change there is still plenty to do.  Choosing which artwork to bring (I was juried into two different media so I have a wider selection to choose from), printing labels and filling them out, making sure I have an ample supply of business cards, postcards and promotional materials and, of course, finishing up last minute creations all filled up the day.  Tomorrow they are having early set up in the afternoon so I can pack everything in the morning and (with the help of my wonderful “volunteer” & son, Josh) get my space set up in the afternoon.  It means an extra trip but it is so much easier on my achy body to do it in two different days instead of packing, setting up, being on my feet all day, tearing down, repacking and bringing everything home to unpack and put away, all in one day.  Makes me tired just writing about it!  Which I guess is one reason I have drastically reduced the number of art shows that I participate in.  As a matter of fact this is my first of the year, with only a few weeks left before a new year begins!  I finished the other “mini” art pieces that were underway in my last blog.  Here are a few samples:

mini art, 5x7 mixed media
“mini” art, 5×7 mixed media

ATC Workshop recap!

The ATC workshop/swap last Saturday was a lot of fun!  We had a group of seven that gathered at Sugar Creek Art Center to play & create.  From the enthusiastic response I would say a good time was had by all.  Three of the participants were first time visitors to the center, which was a bonus, they got to wander the building during our lunch break and visit the various studios.  I am working on scheduling a date for a second workshop, most likely sometime in the fall.  Here are some photos from the day:




finished products

finished products

finished products

I’ll post about my road trip soon, it was a wonderful time, with beautiful scenery and time to relax mixed in with the other activities.  I took almost 200 photos – I promise not to post that many though! 🙂  Talk to you soon!



Last minute prep

Fire & Flowers

(Fire & Flowers)

I am busy this evening (and I’m sure tomorrow morning!) getting everything prepared to hang the show at Sugar Creek.  I am getting SO excited, I think it’s going to be an awesome display!  Tonight I’m doing the paperwork type things that go along with a show, label/price tags, inventory lists…the “behind the scenes” stuff that makes a show a show but most people don’t think about.  I am always amazed at how much time artists end up spending doing things other than making art.  Many times because it’s what you have to do to get your art out there, opportunities rarely fall in your lap!  They take application forms, submissions, copies of artist statements & resumes, letters of recommendation and that’s just for the chance to show your work!   Occasionally, it is easier to do all the paper stuff than it is to start or complete a current art project.  I have avoided creating work on many occasions by submersing myself into the “business” of art.  I almost always wish, at the end of the day, that I’d chosen to be creative! 

Right now I am basically in a state of letting out a big exhale – whoosh – and stepping back for a bit.  I have cranked out over 20 pieces of new art in around 2 months.  Like the image above a few of the pieces were digital/photo art, which (other than clicking my mouse a few thousand times!) doesn’t take quite the time & energy, but the majority of them were all “built from scratch” hand assembled mixed media pieces.  Add in teaching some classes, a photo session or two, judging a show and my normal schedule caring for my grandson and the rest of the family and it’s been hectic!  I don’t think I paid much attention to how hard I was pushing to get them done until I was finished.  Now I am tired out and ready for a break!  At the same time I am exhillarated to have so much new work to show.  I guess that makes me satisfyingly worn out. 🙂  I found out earlier this week that the classes I was scheduled to teach at OASIS this month were cancelled due to low enrollment.  I suppose I should be disappointed but the truth is I was kind of relieved.  They would have added to the chaos that will be the month of June so it turned out to be a blessing to be able to take them off the schedule.  Things seem to work out for the best, even though I am often convinced otherwise! 

Later this week I will be picking up my finished ceramic pieces.  I am SO anxious to see how they look all glazed and fired.  They will be a bit of a late addition to the show (it officially opens on Thursday) but I plan to have them hanging before the reception.  Even if I have to hang them in my little studio space and point people in that direction to see them!  I will be sure to take photos and post them once I’ve got them home & finished (most of them are getting some metal and wire added to them before they hang). 

That’s all the news for tonight, just hadn’t checked in this week and thought I would put in a quick update.  Take care!



Online studio tour…

Last week I finally made it back out to my studio in Thorntown and, while I was there, I took some photos of my little space to share on my blog.  I don’t make it there nearly as often as I would like and this trip was more for “work” than for fun.  I needed to do inventory, sort, clean, organize, etc.  But, having that out of the way now means my next visit I can spend playing and creating – woo hoo!  Without further ado, here are the images:

Thru my \

Thru the hallway window looking into my studio space

Looking thru doorway

Thru the doorway, looking at part of the back wall

Back wall, left side

The rest of the back wall, part of the left wall

Left wall

More of the left wall, work table #1

Front wall

The front wall and work table #2 in front of the window (with a view of two of my “neighbor” artists studios)

Right wall

Part of the right side wall, back to where we started!

For those of you not familiar with Sugar Creek Art Center (and, honestly, I wasn’t until I moved out there last year!) it is located in a three-story factory building that has been (and still is being) remodeled into artist studios, a gift shop, gallery space and classrooms.  (I’m adding a link to their website on my “blogroll” in the right column of this page!) There has been a lot of work done lately on the building (thanks to a very generous donation) and adjacent buildings have been purchased and are undergoing remodeling as well.  I’ve even heard rumors of a coffee shop being part of the plans! It’s really exciting to be part of such a growing facility!  This is also the building where my friends Karena, Lisa & I will be having our show next month.  We will be the first artists to get to display art in a newly remodeled studio area, it’s going to look fantastic!  My goal this week is the get the last few pieces of artwork finished and off to the frame shop, the show goes up on Thursday the 5th! Don’t forget about the reception on Friday, June 13th from 6 to 9 p.m.  While you are there you can also tour the other artist’s studio spaces, visit the gift shop, listen to live music, see a puppet show downstairs – there will be lots of activities going on that evening!