Happy Birthday Kansas!

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“Bison of the Plains”  11 x 14

Today commemorates the date that my home state Kansas joined the United States.  Kansas is often underappreciated, so I am making an exception to my usual schedule to give a nod of gratitude to the place I live.

The best thing of course is the people.  For the most part they are kind and friendly and I feel blessed to rub shoulders with them.  I also feel blessed that there is space between people when I so choose!  I live near a small town with little traffic and no lines at the store, or bank…. where of course everyone knows your name.

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My second favorite thing about Kansas is the sky.  It is huge!  The sunrises and sunsets are beautiful, and the stars are bright and numerous.  We have majestic displays of all kinds of cloud formations.  Below, the trees and grasslands hold their own number of treasures, with a multitude of wildlife of every kind making an occasional appearance.

To help us celebrate, I have created a coloring page… free to download, print, and use!

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Have a blessed day, full of gratitude for wherever you live!

“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess. 5:8

Rhino at the Mudhole

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After doing a couple of elephant pieces with the crackle medium by Golden, I decided it was high time for a rhinoceros to join the party!  The crackle effect and color of paint create the look of dried mud, but is much more durable.  This muddy fellow is on an 11 x 14 stretched canvas with deep 1 1/2 inch sides.

“Rhino at the Mudhole” is currently hanging at Bluebird Books in Hutchinson, Kansas for the month of December.

 

Faces

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Practice, practice, practice!  I call the face above “satisfaction” because she has a bit of a smug look.  I am getting closer to the loose look I am after… but not there yet!  It is not really realism I am after, I just want interesting looking faces that express that intangible and unfortunately illusive something that draws us to them. These are painted with bits and pieces of paper showing through, and a touch of Ranger’s Distress crackle in the background.

The next piece is “White Bird Flying” because of the words on the book page peeking through at the top.  Both of these are on 5 x 7 wood panels.

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And finally, I will share my Frankenstein sketch from my first gathering with the Wichita Sketch Club, which I enjoyed very much!  I already learned some helpful tips that will hopefully that will help with my faces!  This guy is done with a soft Stabilo pencil on mixed media paper.

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Circus Blocks

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Every since doing a circus themed button design for my hometown’s 2013 Fall Festival, I have been thinking circus.  So when Somerset Studio issued a circus challenge, I jumped at the opportunity to create some more circus art.  These circus blocks are included in the Summer 2014 Somerset Studio Gallery magazine where I give a short description of how they were made.

 

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I though you might like to see some of my in progress pictures as well, so here they are!

I ordered 2″ wooden blocks from Georges General Store on Etsy.  They came quickly and were very nice quality…already smooth and ready to use as wished.

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The first thing I did was sketch out some circus style letters on each block so that the six blocks would spell CIRCUS.  Then I used a wood burner to trace the letters and give them a carved look similar to the wooden letter blocks of my childhood.

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I used red and yellow acrylic paints to give them a cheery look.

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On the other sides I used some vintage children’s playing cards, book pages, and face cards from a vintage deck, as well as digital circus images purchased from yet another etsy shop; Gallery Cat.

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On some of the surfaces I created a crackled paint effect.  I also “aged” the blocks by brushing a black stamp pad across all the corners.

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I added some stamped words and other details….and called them done!

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When was the last time you went to the circus?

If you are interested in purchasing these blocks, they will be available in my Etsy shop soon!

To see the circus necklace that I also created, and was published in the Mar/April 2014 edition of Somerset Studio, visit my Etsy shop.