Got back from a trip last night and I can't find my regular camera anywhere. So, it's the iPhone. Lots of glare, sorry about that, I'll take another photo later.
Portrait painting 15 of 50, sent in by my sister, Sara. This is of our parents. And today is my mom's birthday so I thought it was really fitting to do. I haven't done one of my mom and dad. My dad's been gone for several years now but this is a photo of them on one of their trips.
Sometimes you just make a big deal of things mentally and never get to them. This 50th birthday celebration has made me just get over it and do them. No time to fuss. Just paint.
Happy Birthday Mom.
Started late again with the portrait today. But it's done, minus Trudy. Sorry Trudy, I really wanted to do a male face since I haven't done any, that's why he won out. Trudy posted her photo on my Shannon Christensen Fine Art Facebook page if you want to see it.
Some of you are being a bit shy about uploading an image on Shannon's Studio FB page. Don't be. The worse thing to happen is that I don't get to it. That's it. So, read this post about how-to.
Here's the 13th of 50 portraits. Alisha sent in this photo of her being cross-eyed. I just had to try it. And butterflies have a long history with her, but that's another story.
Very tired tonight but I did finally start, and finish, 12 of 50 in our portrait a day 50th birthday celebration. Yeah.
Today's 50th Birthday Celebration portrait is a bit of an experiment. And I tried it with someone's photo that I knew would appreciate the effort even if it didn't turn out. Julie is just that way, where she would be happy I tried something different. I'm glad I did. It's very different than oils and it's a medium that I can do quickly using color. Oils aren't that way, at least not for me, yet. Plus, this puts off a lot of unrestrained energy, which Julie has. Hope it comes across well.
Here's a DIY project - personalized plastic notebooks and folders. It's quick and easy with all kinds of possibilities. It's also pretty easy for kids to do. I'm going to be doing a few more for school coming up. Here's how.
I got my mini notebook from Office Depot but you can get them at any number of places. The same thing with the plastic folders. Just make sure your covers are clear enough to see through. Here's the folder.
I've included a download of the alphabet that I used as well as full words if you work with Young Women. You can move the alphabet printout under the cover to spell out the words that you want. Hope this is a fun addition to your DIY projects.
On the road most of the day today. Makes it hard to make art. That's when pencil saves the day. This week might see a lot of the basics of pencil drawing. And babies are always an easy draw for me so work especially well on days like. Here's today's 50th Birthday Celebration portrait - 10 of 50.
Gone all day long to youth conference. But, still made an attempt at the 50th Birthday Celebrate. Until I was falling a sleep. Seriously, pencil in hand. This drawing could be better. It could be worse. But it's up regardless.
My Sam sent this in. My portrait 8 of 50. The 50th birthday celebration goes on. Upload an image on Shannon's Studio FB page and read this post to be considered.
Design happens all the time around here. It's always something. Here's a sneak peak at the t-shirts I designed for youth conference. The kids get them tomorrow. Arise was our theme so I turned the word on its side to give it that feeling of moving upward, arising. I also designed the temple after the new Kansas City Temple and used negative space for it.
Two different design colors. Light blue for the majority of youth and royal blue for the youth who are on the planning committee. "Youth Committee" on the sleeve for a little distinction.
Here's today's 50th Birthday Celebration. It's another couple. When doing two people it takes a little longer but I'm okay with that. We've gone through the first week (yah for us!) and I've done 7 paintings, with 11 faces, I think. So, technically, I'm above the 'quota' for a portrait a day because I am so going to count each face even it is in the same painting.
Here's yesterday's portrait a day 50th birthday celebration painting, posted this morning. You don't even want to know the kinds of hours I keep. A day means nothing to me. But, I try. I'll have to take another photo later, until then this one will have to suffice.
I did warn you that my days go long, right? Especially if I start a painting at 11:00 pm. This took me 2 1/2 hours. I can only do a monochromatic in that amount of time with little effort. If I use color it's not as quick for me. Here's number 5 of 50.
I just wanted to squeeze her cute, little sleeping face. Smiles in her sleep.
I've never done oil paints on watercolor paper. New thing for me.
Here's today's painting, 3 of 50. Love this moment.
Also including a photo by photo of the paintings progress just for fun.Upload an image on Shannon's Studio FB page and read this post to be considered.
Didn't think I should pull an all-nighter again so I started early. Though the night is still young so I reserve the right to change my mind. Here is today's portrait. Number 2 of 50. Does this count for 2 portraits?
I said I'd post a portrait everyday, except Sunday. Okay, I have to clarify something. What does a day mean? This is tricky. There's the calendar date that changes every midnight. But, for most of us the day starts when we get up and ends when we go to bed. And most people do that around a general time in the morning and at night. Except crazy artists. Well, at least this artist.
I too judge my day by the time I get up until I go to bed. I just don't go to bed at the normally accepted time. So, while you are thinking that this is Friday since you're waking up, I'm still on Thursday because I haven't gone to bed yet. Technically in my mind I am posting the painting on Thursday. Make sense?
I had appointments and meetings yesterday that took me away from home most of the day. Then I didn't actually get home until 10 and didn't start painting until midnight. I finished the first portrait at around 3. I'm thinking you shouldn't wait up to see the painting because some days will be like this for me. Well, quite a few days actually. I finally quit when I started to fall asleep with my paint brush in hand.
Honestly, there were 3 adorable photos that I wanted to paint. (I got a couple of emails that the blog or FB didn't see.) I don't know how I'm going to deal with wanting to paint so many. Anyway, here's the portrait I started with. It's terrible lighting and not straight so I'll put up another one when I can take a daylight photo. I'm going to end my Thursday and go to sleep now for a few hours. Hope you enjoy the painting.
7/13/12 Update: Painting in the morning and after a couple of paint touch ups
Independence day has been filled with parades for a very long time for me. The marching bands are what the Boyfriend likes best but my favs are the floats. I'm delighted and it's almost like being a kid again.
I had another chance to do a parade float this year. Part of me really enjoys it and another part doesn't. It's a great creative DIY outlet that's a lot of fun but the uncertainty of how to do it and if it will turn out is a challenge. Some people think it will come together automatically because you're a creative and that it's no big deal, whlie others think it isn't going to work out at all. In the process, you'll swing back and forth like a pendulum.
There's a lot of people web searching this time of year for DIY float building info. Last year's 5 Parade Float Quick Tips (found here) has been viewed and reused. So, I thought I'd share 7 ideas about parade float designing.
Parade Float Designing • 7 Quick Tips
Since the float this year had a fish theme I thought I'd play that up with the tips.
#1 Fish for the Big Picture
You're likely doing this for an organization of some type. Think of their purposes for wanting the float. What do they hope for an outcome? Are they interested in the process and having a lot of people involved? Or is it an outreach in the community? Or is it a tradition of fun? Or is it to show a strong brand? Whatever the reason, you should understand it. This float was about involving people in the process, name recognition in the community, and a Christian message.
People: We had about 40 people work on the float
Recognition: Passing out info cards & candy during the parade
Message: Free to be Fishers of Men - Bible verse used as the message
#2 Fish for an Original Idea
It all comes down to having an idea. Sometimes that can be hard to do. One tip is to look for inspiration to borrow and then make it your own. Here are 2 inspiration images that I found.
I liked the idea of dots and stripes. I thought that would be easy for our group of varying ages to do. I also borrowed the color scheme of the group of Nassos' fish. Here's how our fish turned out. We made them out of paper plates, poster board, & paper mache.
Another idea I borrowed was from Helen Friel's paper work of an underwater scene that displays jewelry. I took her small version and went up in scale by a lot.
You can see that ours doesn't look like Helens but that you can see the similarity of the borrow. I used foam core (instead of plywood) so that we could have many young people involved in the cutting and painting.
#3 Fish for the Love
You're going to be with this idea awhile. Make sure you love it so that you can hang in there with it. Nothing says failure like hating an idea.
#4 Fish for Solutions
Things just aren't going to go 100% your way. Have that in your head at the start so when it comes up you already knew it would. Listen to others ideas during the process.
#5 Fish till the End
Don't give up. Sometimes things don't look like they're going to work out, only to be proved wrong. Stick with it. Creativity is often messy in the middle.
#6 Fish for Harmony
With a big group, you're likely to have a wide range of interest and skill levels. To make it look good and like everyone worked together keep a 1) limited color palette, 2) repetitive shapes, and 3) easy to accomplish tasks.
#7 Fish for the Wow!
Wow them in some way. Surprise them with something a little different. Make it stand out - in a good way. For this float I had the whale shoot water out of its spout. The crowd loved it especially since it was hot. I left an opening in the top of the whale and had one of my kids sit inside with buckets of water and a pool water shooter. You can see him trying it out on a passing friend. During the parade he was hidden from view. The water shot up about 15 feet in the air. It worked perfectly.
Hope these tips help you in your parade float madness. I don't know if I'll be asked to do a float next year but if I do I'll read through my own notes as a reminder but until then we'll say good-bye to float building.