Photo Friday

The original photo:

And a closer view:


MamaCita Sunday Salon Series & artist of the month

From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, visionary women met to discuss art and literature, listen to topical lectures and learn the latest artistic techniques. In this spirit, we are pleased to announce a series of workshops led by the progressive female artists of MamaCita.

The first of our Salons will be conducted by MamaCita resident tech guru, Karen Hunter-McLaughlin entitled Digital Image Preparation for Artists on Sunday, January 30, 2011, from 11:00am - 3:00pm.

This workshop is designed for the artist who wishes to learn how to visually promote themselves using digital techniques. All are welcome.

Topics include:
• Best art photography practices
• Image sizes for print vs. digital mediums
• Basic color correction
• Color theory basics- additive vs. subtractive color
• Color modes and color spaces

Class size is limited to 10
Workshop Fee is $45.00 per person and includes lunch

Workshop to be held at:
Andrew J Gress Graphic Arts School-
1310 E Sedgley Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19134
Secure onsite parking lot is available
To register contact Karen- kamcl@kmdigitaldesign.com

{"Milky Way When We Were Young" by Karen, from the (W)holon show
currently on view at the Abington Art Center through Jan. 30th, 2011}

Karen Hunter-McLaughlin has been a MamaCita member since 2007. Karen wears many hats! She is a mother of two children ages 14 and 19 and has been known to point out that although her children are older, they don't need her less, they just need her differently. While juggling the skills needed to parent her older kids with finding time to dedicate to her art, she also holds a long time position as a pre-press specialist at a commercial printing company, Independence Press. An admitted computer geek, Karen also has a digital design business, teaches classes in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign and is currently writing a color curriculum for the Philadelphia School System. Although she has dabbled in digital art as a medium, Karen mostly works in oil and acrylic paint, colored pencil and also has a fondness for 3-D wire sculptural work.

Join Karen and MamaCita at the Fairmount Park Landscape exhibition (details on the sidebar to the right) which she was instrumental in organizing. Visit Karen's website.


Photo Friday and a little inspiration

Here's the inspiration (a photo and a thought about the photo) for a new personal piece I'm working on. It's taking a little while to get out of my head and onto the paper, but I'm hoping that posting about it and putting it out in the public will get me moving! I'm not quite sure what exactly I'm going to do with these two things. But what I do know is that I have to use them and they'll probably be used with some of my illustrations and maybe some paint. I'll post when I finish!

"This is the same look that you will give me when you are thirteen. I hope that I think back to this day and remember your sweet little six-year-old face."


DIY tissue box cover & dress up storage center

I'm very aware of how things look in my house (like whether or not they're aesthetically pleasing) and a little thing like an ugly tissue box sitting on a table bothers me. (I know I'm not the only one. Right?!) Last week I bought an ugly tissue box cover from the thrift shop for $1. I intended to cover it and make it pretty. Here's the before:

I decided to use my own papers to cover this. I started by measuring the tissue box: each panel is 5" wide by 5 3/4" high. Since there are four panels, the total measurement is 20 x 5 3/4. Then I created a Photoshop file that measured 21"x 6" (left room for margins and error) and filled it with my patterns. I couldn't choose just one, so I did a sort of collaged or quilted effect. Here's what my Photoshop file looks like:

The next step was to print the file on two sheets of paper (one 11x17 piece was not big enough since the finished size was 20x 5 3/4).Then I got out the Modge Podge, sandpaper and x-acto knife. I cut the pages down to size and sanded the tissue box since it was shiny and I was concerned that the paper wouldn't adhere to it. Then I brushed the Modge Podge onto the box. Here's an in-progress photo:

After I was finished and it dried I put a coat of the Modge Podge over the paper to create a protective seal. Easy, quick craft! Here's the finished product:


The other DIY project that I and my dad completed this weekend was a dress-up storage center for Malayna. Okay, so all I actually did was paint it - my dad did the rest! I found the plans for it on Ana White's website, which has given me so many more ideas.

We had been keeping her dress-up clothes in a big basket, but the stuff on the bottom never got played with. This is a great solution.

Here's what Malayna did with the storage center most of the weekend:

She liked sitting in it and pretending it was a little car. (I added wheels to the bottom to make it easier to move around.) Here it is with her dress-up clothes in it:

I'm going to add some hooks to the side so she can hang necklaces, ties, hats, etc. Thanks Dad! Keep your tools ready for the next project.


Over-the-break artwork

Happy new year! How were your holidays? Ours were busy and fun. Lots of time was spent together, which is why I was so surprised that I managed to create a new piece of art. Usually I cannot work when I'm not alone. Not sure why that is… Maybe it's because I get distracted by someone else being around? Or I'm feeling insecure when I'm making something new? Who knows.

The quote I used for the piece is from the song "The One Who Knows" by Dar Williams. We played this song at Malayna's blessing when she was a baby. It had just about everyone in the place in tears. I've written about it before - in fact, when I searched the blog for "blessing" it looks like I wrote about this song at least three times! Have I mentioned how much I love it?! It was about time I used those words in my art. 

The feet in this are Malayna's feet from when she was about five. She had these great, glittery blue shoes and cute multi-colored polka dot socks. She loved those shoes! The background was created with pages from a parenting book. This one was "My Baby My Child," which was a baby shower gift from my high school BFF. It was sitting around (not being used, of course) and I couldn't bring myself to throw it away. This was the perfect solution!

Is there a song that gets you every time you hear it? Is it the words to the song or is it because it makes you think of a certain time in your life? It's both for me with this song.