I am very excited about life these days! A new puppy, a friend's upcoming wedding, multiple friends' babies on the way, and my brother finishing up his doctorate degree are just some of the amazing things happening in my life right now.
The year ahead for me is going to bring many changes, much learning, and incredible opportunities. I have been granted a leave from teaching for the 2016-17 school year, and I am becoming an entrepreneur! Beginning this July I will be running an art studio of my very own called The Painted Squirrel in downtown Terrace. It has been a dream of mine for a long time to open a studio in my community, and something has lit a fire inside me to do it NOW! I can't say how excited I am to begin this journey into the world of entrepreneurship while following my passion to share in the joy of art with kids and adults of all ages.
In addition, I am thrilled to be sharing the space with my talented friend Melia Olson who will be teaching her Tiny Tones Music Together classes out of the studio starting in July. Check out her website for information about her popular programs.
Keeping it short and sweet for now, thanks to everyone who has supported me and encouraged me in this new venture. I could not have the courage to begin such a life change without your confidence and enthusiasm (friends, family, colleagues -- you know who you are!!)
Stay tuned for more information about summer art programs beginning in July!
Mother's Day Feather Painting
It feels like I haven't made art in SO long! Last time I posted here was in September. There must be something that takes up all my time starting in that month. Hmmmm. Glad to be back at it though, even if its prepping for class art projects. Nothing makes me happier!
Painting on uncommon surfaces has always been a fun challenge for me, so when I saw painted feathers on Pinterest and stumbled upon some imitation eagle feathers at Creative Zone I thought it was a sign from the art gods who haven't spoken to me much lately.
With four colours of craft paint, some hemp cord and matching pony beads, I made a northern lights scene on this black tipped feather. I figured the techniques used were simple enough that my grade sixes could handle it and they are now in the middle of creating feathers for Mother's Day gifts. We'll make cards to go with it that say a related quote such as "I love you to the moon and back!"
Pictured above are all the main supplies used in this craft. Additionally you will need a small flat or angled paint brush, a round paint brush, white glue, and scissors.
Step Six: After all the paint is dry, apply a thin layer of white glue to the quill (or "calamus" as I learned from a google search) and make a nice tight coil wrap with hemp. I wrapped the hemp around the cut end so it stayed in place without having to tie it on.
Step Seven: At the end of the quill, tie a few knots in the hemp cord, add some beads, and tie it off again. Keep the hemp cord as long as you like if you want to hang it up in a window or as part of a mobile. I think this part would look better with a braided hemp, but I didn't get that far today.
Thanks for reading, and happy crafting!
Little Mountain Moonrises
This lil guy is the last of my series of four 6 x 6 paintings that are for sale for $45. I always find it interesting to see which ones are people's favourites, as this was one of my personal favourites, but the last one to go! I think it's mostly the sweet peas part that I like, because they always reming me of my mom, and recently I found out that they were my Nana's favourite flower! How cool is that! Anyway if you're interested, it will be residing at my house for now. The best thing about these guys is that you can just sit them on a shelf rather than hang them if you haven't decided where to put them yet. Apparently more 6 x 6 wood canvases will be coming in this week to our local craft store Creative Zone so I can go pick up a few more to do. My next flower is going to be the Nightshade. I am very excited about this:)
I loved painting on these 6 x 6 wooden 'canvases'. Something about painting on wood is a more enjoyable tactile experience for me than on textured canvas. The four paintings will be for sale seperately, however two of them may be spoken for already. I hope to get them up on the Shop page soon, but for now, if you are interested, I am selling them for $45 each, and will be making some prints. I am not sure how the prints will turn out with the wood background, but we'll hope for the best and I will post photos when I have them. (Side note -- I did not mean to use so much alliteration in naming the pieces. I'm not sure if its the teacher in me or just how it worked out this time!)
Instagram's My Jam
I love Instagram. It's a place where you can get creative with cell phone photos, share with your friends, get feedback from strangers around the world, and be supported in a larger artistic community. I have an Instagram account specifically just for my art and creative ventures which you can check out here. I started that account originally so that I didn't fill my regular account with only artwork all the time and also so that it could be a public account (I mean, I don't want just ANYONE to be able to see what I ate for breakfast yesterday, right??) So, I am posting about Instagram because I actually update that more frequently than my website because it's so easy and fast to do so on Instagram. I also post a lot of in progress works (or WIPS -- works in progress) and sometimes ask for suggestions and feedback, which I love to get. So please stop by and follow me if you have an account!
2015 Art Update!
My last blog entry was posted an embarrassingly long time ago, so I had better get caught up! Last year was crazy busy with teaching a grade 5/6 split class for the first time, and I am now gearing up to teach a straight grade 6 class. I figure I should update my website now before school starts!
Recently I decided to make some "quick" art to spruce up the walls in our new place. I took a gamble and spent about $100 at the dollar store and got three large canvases to play with, knowing full well that they may warp or have strange gesso on them. (Safest bet is to go to your local craft store such as our amazing Creative Zone, which I usually do!!) Turns out the canvases haven't warped after being saturated with water and paint, and I kind of like the gesso! I have had pre-primed canvases before that have almost a waxy finish so you REALLY have to apply the paint on thick in order for it to stay, but this gesso had a tendency to absorb water a little bit so it felt more like I was painting on watercolour paper. I had lots of fun with this. Here are small sections of two in progress works:
The one on the left is a sort of abstract landscape, and the one on the right is a sky full of flower-topped clouds. Still working on choosing the background colour with this one and adding detail to the flowers and clouds.
For my cousin's daughter's first birthday (is that a first cousin once removed??) I painted a small burlap canvas with an owl and added an ornate frame to it. I believe I picked up the supplies at Michaels in Victoria. Here is cutie Clara with her gift and a bunch of furry friends!
Through working at schools in the district I have had the opportunity to help out with various school musical productions. I know the immensity of time and effort that go into these productions so it feels good to be able to help out where I can. In the past I have designed, helped to build (my dad and my boyfriend did that part), and painted set pieces for a few high school musicals such as Beauty and the Beast, Grease, and Carousel put on by the highly talented Robin MacLeod and Geoff Parr.
Another dedicated and passionate teacher, Robin Hollett put on the show Oliver with her students at our elementary school this year. With her guidance I designed a backdrop and organized volunteer parents and staff to paint the biggest canvas I have ever seen. I may have almost fainted when I saw it laid out for the first time, but really, it could have eaten all of us whole if it wanted to. At 36 feet wide and 16 feet tall it was the most immense blank sheet of whiteness I had ever tackled. Thankfully I didn't have to do it alone!
My sister came to visit so, naturally, she got put to work! Here she is working on the clouds in the school gym.
And here it is hanging at the REM Lee Theatre all ready to go!
Speaking of Robin Hollett, she and her wonderful family saved Werner, Mary and me from a record breaking snowpocalypse weekend of epic proportions in February when we were staying out at the cabin. So, (MONTHS LATER) I made her a little thank you painting inspired by the lake and its glassy reflections, along with this wintery card that sums up how Werner and I felt after three days of digging ourselves out of a kilometer long road in the woods with no power. (Big eyes emoji.)
Well, I still have more to catch up on so I will be working on another post right away. I am doing lots of art right now since the countdown to the school year starting is not very long! I post works in progress and art related things on my instagram account as well, if you are interested in following that. My username is amywarnerart. Thank you for reading, and HAPPY FRIDAY!
A Cabin For Ants!
Recently my childhood family cabin was sold and I had to say goodbye to my favourite place on earth! I am forever thankful that my parents spent their extra money on developing our beautiful property on Lakelse Lake instead of spending it on home renos or trips to tropical all inclusives. (Not that I would say no if they asked me to go now...hint hint)
So, for Father's Day this year I made a mini model of our cabin so he could keep the memory of it, the place he helped build from the trees we cut down on the property, forever.
I am really happy with how it turned out, even though it isn't perfect! The materials I used were balsa wood, wood glue, a block of a 2x4 (there's a story behind that, too) and acrylic paint.
Is it Christmas Yet?
Here's a repost of my favourite Christmas craft I made in 2012. I recycled some old Christmas sweaters and turned them into different (somewhat oddly) shaped stockings. Hope to do this again some day!
The original post can be found here.
The Winged Way -- adopted!
This gal left Xander's Coffee in new hands recently. Hope she's found a good home! (Does anyone else talk about their art like this?!)
Passionate for creating, I record my artistic projects and ideas for the joy of sharing with you and challenging myself to continually grow as an artist.