Sunday, November 21, 2010

Calling All Jane Austen Fans...

Hello friends,

I have been busy getting ready for the holidays by creating some new sets of holiday cards and holiday ornaments for my Etsy Shop.

My Pride & Prejudice Christmas Card Set

My "Romantic Couple of Literature" Holiday Ornament Set
Miss Eyre & Mr. Rochester
Mr. Darcy & Miss Bennet


I love romantic literature. I have been re-reading many of my favorite classic authors, hence the above inspiration> I can nevre get enough of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte and her sister, Emily Bronte.

I will continue to add my own watercolor interpretations of my favorite characters. My next portraits will be from Persuasion and Wuthering Heights!

Smiles,
Diane

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I Finally Joined Facebook Today!

I fought it for months, but I finally bit the bullet and created a Facebook account.

Stop by and say hello!

My Facebook Fan Page 

Diane

Monday, September 6, 2010

More Colorful Pencil Creations!

I have been on a drawing binge, playing with my colored pencils all weekend!
this time I tried to use more subtle tones and colors...


And here is a shout-out to all my new friends at The Hive!


Smiles,
Diane

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Playing with color!

I have been experimenting with colored pencil these past few weeks. I have never taken it serious as a viable art medium before, but I have recently come across some fabulous color pencil artists creating art to take the breath away, so I thought I would give it a go.



I found myself sketching some fun, girly, character portraits and just went with it. Sometimes simple lines are what your muse wants to play with, so why fight it? It was like coloring with crayons. Fun!

Smiles,
Diane

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

OwlChild's Passion

One of the most rewarding parts about having my Etsy Vintage Shop is that many of my customers take what they have purchased from me and create something wonderfully artistic out of it.

One such creative talent is Kimberly at OwlChild’s Passion who creates such uniquely, original jewelry designs for her Etsy shop.

Three of the beautiful pieces in her shop she created using the cabachons and stones from my own Etsy vintage supply shop. It makes me so happy to see what I put in my shop used to create something so beautiful.

Kimberly’s passion is certainly evident in the art she creates:





Stop by her her Etsy shop and see more of her beautiful handmade jewelry.

'til next time,
Diane

Monday, August 2, 2010

Faded Denim...

Here is another spread from one of my art journals...
Click on image for a full size view!

"Comfortable, faded jeans that fit like a second skin, like home. You wear these to lie about on a Saturday afternoon or to run out on a quick errand. When you don't care about dressing to impress but just want to be who you really are deep inside."

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My earrings are being given away at Fairy Filigree!

I wanted everyone to know that a pair of my vintage hand painted art nouveau earrings are part of a fun give away by my friend, Marika at her blog, Fairy Filigree! Stop over and enter for a chance to win!

Fairy Filigree's blog


Happy blogging!
Diane

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Art Journaling Reflections

I love to journal. I keep several art journals to sketch, paint or doodle in at one time. Each book has a different feel to it and I reach for a particular book as my mood changes.

I thought I would share with you a few pages of each.

They say that an art journal can tell alot about a person. I'm not sure what mine say exactly, but they are a true refection of where I was at any given time, I suppose.

What do you think this says about me?

click on the image to open a larger view


I would love to hear your thoughts,
Diane

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I have been featured on the blog Fairy Filigree!


I have been featured on the blog Fairy Filigree! This lovely blogger is a patron of the arts and is kind enough to feature different artists on her blog.

Please stop over at Fairy Filgree's blog and read her interview with me and learn more about my art background and the artwork I create, particularly my painted handbags.

There may even be a bit of a surprise coming up soon at the Fairy Filigree, so you won't want to miss checing out this wonderful blog!

'til we meet again,
Diane

How Green is Your Studio?

I have to admit, our family doesn’t live as green as we could. It is difficult to break our long-time, wasteful habits first developed when we set up house in 1990.

I am painfully aware that we should to be more conscientious about separating out our garbage for recycling. I know there is much more we can do to decrease our effect on the natural world.

As a homeowner, not to mention as just a human being sharing this earth, it is our responsibility to take those additional steps to keep this planet running at its best.

So this got me thinking…

Even though I create most of my artwork with recycled, gently used and/or vintage materials found on my various thrifting and online adventures, am I as an artist, doing what I can to reduce my own personal carbon foortbrint?

I decided to do a bit of online research on the topic and this is what I found:

I found an article in Artists's Magazine that gave some simple tips to create a more eco-friendly studio:

~ use eco-friendly fluorescent lights capable of recreating daylight conditions.
~ paint your walls with a high-gloss white that will reflect both natural and artificial light, decreasing the need for additional spotlighting, thereby reducing additional energy costs.
There are many art supply manufacturers that now offer alternative, eco-friendly art supplies in place of the traditional materials we have been using for years:

Strathmore has introduced a new line of artist recycled papers. The company’s newest paper, designed for use with charcoal, contains tree-friendly fibers, cotton and hemp.

Wyland Ecological Art Studio, courtesy of Martin/F. Weber, now offers a line of ecological acrylic paints, brushes, painting kits, brush cleaner and DVDs by the host of the TV series Wyland’s Art Studio. Wyland is a known conservation artist, famous for his murals of whales and dolphins. Wyland himself has hand-selected these 14 solvents-free acrylic colors to use in his own paintings, which educate us on the plight of the sea creatures in our polluted waters.

But as an artists, it is sometimes difficult to limit ourselves to using only eco-friendly products. An artists needs to create what he/she must at any given moment with the supplies on hand, so where does that leave us? Do we stoip creating as we have always done, with mindless abandon with potentially harmful products?

No, we learn to use what we have always used, but with a new-found knowledge of their potential hazards and use and dispose of them properly.

This article A Look at Toxicity in Visual Arts Materials ©Greg Patch  helps to shed some light on the hazards of art supplies, particularly with the chemicals that go into making paint mediums. But there is some good news. Not ALL paints are not as toxic as others. There is also the alternative of making your own paint pigments from nature. A daunting task, to be sure, but if it is bothering you that you are exposing yourself and others to a potential hazard everytime you open a paint tube, this may be you answer.

As an artist, it may be worth your while to take the time to research what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint within your own creative studio.



'til next time,
Diane

Monday, July 12, 2010

tHE pLATFORM sHOE pROJECT

Check these babies out!


I picked them up for a song at the Goodwill. I doubt they have ever been worn more than one or two times.

They are my size, a 10, but I won't be wearing them myself. They are my newest wearable art project. I will be seling them in my Etsy shop once they are complete. They will still be wearable, yet they definitley won't be for the faint of heart, LOL!


Don't they just cry out "Paint me! Embellish me! Turn me into a work of art!"?

'til next time,
Diane

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Finally, a handbag of my own!

I think the reason I fell hard for the Boho style is that it embraces the freedom to be an individual, to fearlessly step out into the world being and looking exactly how you feel inside without the need for explanations.

It is bold. It embraces mixing red and purple, stripes with polka dots, and pairing vintage and trendy. No rules and no doubts.

That love is what drove me to hand paint clothes jewelry and handbags. Nothing says, “this is me and what I am all about” than a one-of-a-kind accessory to spice up your already unique fashion sense. I paint what comes naturally to me on any particular day. I just wing it and hope it works out!
I just painted a handbag just for myself  for the first time!  Even my mom carries one of my hand painted handbags and has one of my brooches, but I have never worn or carried my own work. So very un-bohemian of me, dontcha think?
 
I have always been rather shy about my creative side and have a hard time tooting my own horn. I’ll go out wearing anyone else’s fabulous and unique creation, but never my own…until now.
In the spirit of the bohemians, I now have a bag of my own and I am going to wear it proudly and answer the question “Where did you get that bag?” with a confident, smiling “I painted it myself.”

‘til next time,
Diane

Saturday, July 10, 2010

It's Christmas Over at ETSY!

Yes, you heard correctly. Right now Etsy.com is having their annual Christmas In July Sale!!

I am a member of The Vintage Market Team on Etsy and we are participating with our own keep cool in the heat Christmas In July Sale that begins today, July 10th and runs through July 17th.

The VMTeam have hundreds of Christmas related items on sale at great prices, as well as other items, such as clothes, jewelry and decor that just have that cool holiday spirit!

Stop over and see if you can grab yourself a fantastic bargain while the sale lasts!

Here are some of the great things you'll find:

 




 




Happy Vintage Shopping!
Diane

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Check out my new blog header. I created this as a first step toward branding my artwork.

I think it reflects where I want to take my work rather well: bold, colorful, fearless, unique and strong.

More to come on this subject of branding in future posts.
'til next time,
Diane

Monday, July 5, 2010

Look What I Made!

Just some wearable art brooches to add some fun to your wardrobe!



I painted these little pin-up portraits on wood disks mounted them on scraps of tooled, red leather and then embellished them with fabric selvage, which I just love! Sometimes I love the scraps from fabric more than the fabric itself!

Have a beautiful week!
Diane

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Look Back at the Fae of My Past


As I continue to work through my growth as an artist through the years, I have been looking through some old sketchbooks and watercolor pads and have come across several paintings and illustrations from my "Mystical Fae Phase".
I have to chuckle at how amatuerish they appear to me now, after the last few years of intense study of the human figure. But they ARE mystical folk afterall, and who is to say whether their depictions are correct or not?

So I am sharing them with you, these simple renderings from my past, as just another step toward my artistic journey, revealing everything whether good or bad, holding nothing back.
I think I will drop them into my Etsy Shop. Hey, you never know who might prefer them over my newer "more sophisticated" work, LOL!

 Thanks for visiting!





'til next time,
Diane

a great mag or book and a cuppa coffee

My favorite thing to do on a lazy morning (such as today) is to sit in my big
comfy chair with a sweet cup of freshly brewed coffee and leaf through one
of my favorite magazines or art books.

I take all that inspiration, allowing it to fire up my creative muse.

Today my inspiration comes from all of you as I browse blogland.
That reminds me, I need to refill my coffee cup...

There are a few special books that get me revved up every time.

One would be Robin at Magnolia Pearl's book:

Talk about eye candy for the lover of color and texture...Yum!
If you haven't checked it out yet, I highly recommend it.


I often peruse the pages of Flights of Fancy Boutique's fabulous handbag how-to:



Add to that list, Romantic Country Magazine and Romantic Homes, Boho Magazine

 




There is nothing like great design to get you inspired!
I think I'll go paint now...

'til next time,
Diane

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Are you a Boho Girl?



I just read this poem on the BOHO Magazine website. and wanted to share it with you.
 I think all women have a just a little boho in her!


'til next time,
Diane

Going green with Mixed Media


Bleeding Heart

Mixed Media is one of the greenest of art forms being practiced today. I was clueless about it until just a few years ago when trolling Ebay and coming across the whole assemblage category. I was instantly affected by the endless possibilities it allowed. I jumped right in with both feet and it has inspired me to create some of my more unique work.

Whenever I feel the need to just “do” art, without premeditation or direction, I pull out a mess of random items and supplies and just play. Mixed media has a playfulness to it that other mediums do not have and I love the randomness of it and the adventure on the journey to a finished piece.

Truth be told, with my home decorating projects and keeping my Etsy shops going, I have not had a lot of time to “play” in the mixed media pool.

Do I Look Fat in This?
 But every now and then, an idea comes to mind that I just can't shake off until it is made tangible.
       
‘til next time,
Diane

Friday, June 25, 2010

Re-purposing the old and unwanted.


In the current economic climate, most of us are looking to save a dime here and there and fortunately for the entire planet, it has fueled the “green” revolution and encouraged us to think outside the box and reuse, repurpose and recycle.

What better way to reduce your “carbon footprint” than to purpose used or vintage items, as they were originally meant to be used or to recycle them for a completely new purpose.

reuse • repurpose • recycle

Of course, “going green” is not a new idea to any of us, but as these terms are being bandied about, I wondered what their actual definitions were and how they varied, if at all.

Yes, here I am again, trying to “define” something else. What can I say, I like organization. It is the graphic artist in me.

According to Wikipedia, that constant online source that everyone says is not reliable:

to repurpose
1.     To reuse for a different purpose, on a long-term basis, without alteration.
2.     To alter to make more suited for a different purpose.

to recycle
1. To break down and reuse component materials.
2.  To reuse as a whole.
3.  To collect or place in a bin for recycling.

to upcycle
            1. to convert waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.

to reuse
1. The act of salvaging or in some manner returning a discarded item into something usable.

So, the jist of it is, they all pretty much can and are used interchangeably.

If you would like to delve more into the whole green movement, check out this link on going green:


I apply the repurpose theory to my home decorating as well as to my art. Thrift store treasures find a new life in my home after a coat of paint and a dash of embellishment. For some examples of my thrifty home décor projects, visit my other blog: www.ignaziosmom.blogspot.com

As to my current artisan projects, I have been recycling vintage handbags by embellishing them with my own hand painted artwork and will shortly be adding shoes and jeans to my product list.
I enjoy creating designs that have a retro feel. That might incorporate the design elements of a particular era, such as the 1930’s or as recent as the 60’s.  My designs are often a blending of eras with an Old World, Boho Chic, eclectic feel to them, but always with a repurposed sensibility.
‘til next time,
Diane

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Boho what??

OK, so I have rambled on in my previous post about defining my creative style, one that will bring me artistic fulfillment and yet still allow me to make a living.

I realized I had to take a few steps back, explore my previous creative life and the years leading up to where I am now. What has influenced me and drove me artistically over the years? What do these influences have in common?

Recently, my better half, Andrew, and I have been working on finishing up some latent decorating projects around the house. These projects have forced me to make key design decisions that would be a part of our lives for many years to come.

After a near melt-down in Home Depot over too many possible kitchen cabinet finishes, I realized that my décor style and my product style are one and the same. Duh…

Old World, Boho Chic, Retro Vintage Eclecticism. Wow!

My mind raced back to my formative years as a teenager when I was naturally drawn to gauzy, Indian print maxi dresses, feathered earrings, big tapestry hobo handbags and silver jewelry. I even had a wild, 70’s curly-perm mane of hair.

Boho Chic, although that is not what we would have called it back then. I was just being “me”.
How the heck did I lose that sense of style I had loved so much, and that had come so naturally to me back then?
Somewhere in the preppy world of college, I allowed myself to be led in a design direction that was not my own… for shame!

With this revelation, I have since reversed that misfortune and have taken steps to re-develop my love of pattern, rich color and texture.

I fervently haunt thrift shops and yard sales to find the things that bring me inspiration. It is like I have stepped out of a bad dream and back into the world I was meant to live in.

Hey, I gotta be me.

‘til next time,
Diane
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