Saturday, June 30, 2012

My Urban Art+ Studio Mini Garden

Even though we have the best apartment in Laramie, I would argue that there are some pitfalls to every great thing.  One of ours is that we have little to no natural lighting, forcing my husband and I to plant our urban garden in my art studio.  (My studio space is actually in our apartment building on the same floor and everything, so its not a big deal at all.)

I purchased some starter plants from a local greenhouse.  An older lady starts all of her plants in her garden at home and sells them.  This was great to know because it means they all grow well in Laramie.  Each small planter was $1.  8 plants for $8, not bad.

For the planters I used some plastic containers the lady at the green house gave me.  I will be taking the leftovers back. 

I also had some wood drawers that were from an old paint desk, from the old Fine Arts building.  Another student had used these drawers for an art project which I later found next to a dumpster.  Upcylcing and urban gardening in one shot!


Here you can see our plants from above.  In the back there are three pepper plants, two Cute Stuff and 1 Hottie.  In the front we have the spices, parsley, dill, mint, chocolate mint, and one more that I just forgot.
 
Do you have an urban garden you would like to share? Any tips? What plants do you grow? Feel free to share in the comments below.



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Books 4 Haiti

If you would like to help me make it back to Haiti there are several ways you can help. One of those ways is to purchase a upcycled, repurposed, and/or hand-sewn book (or another product) from my ETSY shop. All of the items in the Art+ Charity section will send at least half of the proceeds directly to the community I will be returning to.

At least 10% (most products are currently at 30%) of all art sales will go to a good cause (for now it is Haiti, but I will be creating a system based on the product topic).

If you would like to team up, financially, with me for my next trip back to Haiti please check out my GoFundMe page.  On my last trip I taught children how to make paper beads as well as friendship bracelets in-between helping to build a chicken coupe.  This trip we will be building a roof on the church and community center and I would love to help teach the kids and the ladies more projects.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Zombies Eatin' Faces


"They eatin’ faces the zombies eatin’ faces".

I was recently approached by a fellow social activist and hip hop artist, Molina Speaks.  He was working on a track in response to the incident regarding a man eating another man's face and some of the new drugs out there on the market.  We talked about possible imagery and the darkness in the song and I went to work. 

This image, for me, was a response to researching some of these drugs.  Crock, which eats your flesh, and Bath Salts, which play a role in people eating other people's flesh are two examples.  Both of these drugs made me think of imagery surrounding zombies and the living undead.

Drugs can control your mind, body, and spirit (look at the lyrics).  In response to the being controlled, I included some circuitry like cyborg-ish objects in the background along with the hypnotizing background.

Download "Just Tryin' to Eat" here.  This page also has the song lyrics.  You can find out more on Molina Speak's Facebook Page.  You can see more of my art on my Facebook page.

Friday, June 15, 2012

14 Healthy Snacks for the Working Artist

Plenty of artists have painted fruits and vegetables, but do we get enough to eat?  Americans tend to have unhealthy diets, so I thought I would promote some health tips for both the artist and average American.  Here are some tips to help the busy working artist get enough fruits and veggies.

14 Great Snacks for The Healthy Artist on the Go

1. Peppers – peppers (mini sweet peppers are my husband’s favorite) can be cut into bite sized pieces and placed in individual serving size containers. If you like you can add you favorite salad dressing to dip them in. If you can find a pepper that you like without the dressing you will certainly save calories and fat. I like to stuff peppers with beans and corn.

my healthy fruit cake for my graduation
2. Homemade Trail Mix - Take your favorite dried fruits, add peanuts (and other nuts), pretzels and M&Ms or any other mini treat you desire.  Don't forget that even though peanuts have a lot of nutritional value they are high in fat. 

TIP: When you have a snack that you tend to eat too much of or that you know is high in calories or fat, create individual containers or baggies.  I do this with fig newtons and reuse the bags.  I know exactly how much I can have for 100 calories.  I also know that if I took an entire pack, I would eat them all.

3. Fruit - I love how grapefruit, Avocado and Kiwi come in their own serving bowl.  Just cut in half and spoon the yumminess out.  Avocado is also high in fat, so don't over do it. Any fruit will do.

4. Veggies - Pre-cut carrots, radishes, peppers, broccoli, and any other vegetable work well.  Snap peas are quite filling, delicious and only 35 calories for a serving.  I have even done this with jalapenos (though I am not sure about their nutritional value).  I learned to be more careful cleaning them out than I am when I use them for cooking. Zucchini and cucumber are great with hummus. Veggies can be added to many meals such as eggs, pasta, breads, or turned into patties.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Outdoor Inspiration

I absolutely love summers.  I have had another great weekend in the outdoors.  Hot weather and the outdoors are wonderful.  Weather backpacking, campin, hiking, snowboarding, or just sitting and drawing, I will never get sick of being outside in the sun.  Although most of my artwork does not revolve around landscapes and nature, it is difficult to not be inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds us in Midwest.  I have always used being in the outdoors as a reflection and art time (read more about how the outdoors has played a role in my spiritual life on my religion blog

I found this quote and decided to use it for my own handbill/meme because it describes me perfectly...

"I just need some time in a beautiful place to clear my head"

so true...

The Snowy Mountains, Wyoming.
You can see some of my outdoor photos (which may turn into artwork) on my photo blog.
Be sure to follow my blog for paintings and drawings inspired by my summer outdoor adventures.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Backpacking Artwork

My travel watercolor kit
I love love love water media.  I have been using ink for some time now, just recently took a watercolor class, and have fallen in love with both.  This past weekend I had to opportunity to go backpacking and painted some quick studies (two watercolor paintings and one ink drawing).  Which is your favorite.

Click here to see more watercolor photos.

You can read more about my backpacking and camping watercolor kit here


Staring out of our tent

The fire pit in the afternoon

A friend sitting by the fire pit
  

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ink Lounge Screen Print Workshop

This workshop was a wonderful opportunity to learn some fairly simple DIY printing processes.

All you need is a screen, photo emulsion, wax paper, a squeegee and ink.

First you choose your bottom color and cut that shape out of wax paper. The paper will stick to the screen because of the ink.

More photos and my final print below.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Backpacking Art Kit



I am currently packing up for a backpacking trip. It has been too long, almost 3 years since my last trip, and the last couple weeks, arguably months, have been way too busy, stressful, and painful for my own good.

I photographed some of my supplies figured I would share my traveling art supplies that I will be taking on this trip. I took a similar set to Haiti with me.

Keep reading to see what is inside this little guy...