Love & Hate Learning

I am currently enrolled in Tamara Laporte’s newest class called. “Ever After” The class is geared towards helping you develop and recognize your own style. It’s a brilliant class and I am so thrilled to be a part of it and. Yes it is definitely helping me to begin recognizing my own style.

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You can learn more about this fabulous course here http://bit.ly/EA2016Tam

That said, I also have come to a love hate relationship with parts of the lesson. Lol Learning may be fundamental but it is not always 100% fun! Lol The first lesson was one of Tam’s, since I am familiar with doing her tutorial’s I didn’t struggle as much with this one but still as always had my moments.

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You remember those times when you look at your work and feel your stomach working its way up to your throat as you contemplate your next step. That step that brings fear and causes your heart to do that thumpity thump… Yah so I exaggerate a bit, but you get the idea.

But again I pushed through and tadahhhh a new little mermaid was born, to swim happily through the majical fairyland under the sea!

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The next tutorial was Beauty & the Beast by a wonderful artist, Andrea Gomoll. Now with this one I got to the sketch phase and from there on was in a constant battle between the forces of Love & Hate. Her style is so very different from my own, but I was determined to keep mine as close to what she did as possible, so that I can learn. I was ok with the initial steps of using watercolor as I am familiar with that process, and I wasn’t too concerned at this point. Then the next layer came and although I loved the softness of my girl and beast and I also loved the texturing step, which was totally new technique for me, I hated the darkness my background had taken on and my rose. (ughhh)

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Yet I wasn’t doing this course to love every step, I took the course to learn. So buck it up ranae’ and keep going. The next steps my blood pressure had to of been lifted and my mind was doing the “this is terrible, I can’t so this, I hate mine” mantra. I wanted to give up on this one so many times. But hey we can’t let the hate win, we have to push it back into a place of love, so I moved forward.  Here is my end result.

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This particular style is not me, but I was amazed at how much I learned from pushing through those rough patches. How much I would of missed out on learning had I not completed the lesson. I also learned how much I appreciate Andrea and others who can do this style so easily!!!

The next lesson has me already at Hate stage, and I have done nothing on it but sketched out my girl. Lol But it is a style I have never ever tried any of the steps on. So it will be pretty much completely new to me. I will post about it also when I am completed. Of course as I typed that my mind is saying “IF you complete it” lol, but I will, my hate relationship with learning NEW art techniques will not win!

 

Hugs & Love – Ranae

Works in Progress, or just in Limbo…

I tend to have focus problems at times… ok so I actually have them a LOT of times! Today was one of those days. To explain the trouble with these focus troubles I will share one situation of my day earlier. I went into the kitchen to make a sandwich, took out the last two slices of bread, went to throw away the bread wrapping. My trash can is in the laundry room, so I remembered I needed to get the clothes out of the dryer, started to fold them up and heard this very soft ding… ding… ding… Took me a couple of shirts to realize what that ding was. I had left my refrigerator door wide open, because I had originally planned on getting out my lunch meat next for my sandwich and totally spaced it all out. *Ughhh – blush*

I am no different some days when it comes to my art work. I have books and books of projects I started but never did finish. Not because I didn’t like them, but merely because I wound up getting involved in a completely different project. The picture below is a little Fairy I did over a year ago.
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Now I really like the sketch of this little fairy girl, and my plan was to use copic markers to color her. Unfortunately, she wound up staying in the sketch book and put away with the many other old sketch books I have.

This mermaid below was meant to become a pen and ink sketch. Fear is what stopped from going further with her. You see I really liked the pencil sketch and was too scared I would mess her all up if I transitioned her to inks.
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This next mermaid I had planned on turning into a watercolor painting.

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I wanted her sitting on a treasure chest with all the wonderful sea life around her, complete with a seahorse and some fish. Unfortunately, I became involved in doing a test run of the seahorse which I then turned into a mixed media project, then when finished had forgotten all about the poor mermaid. That sea horse however I did finish!!!

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Do you often find yourself moving too quickly from one project into the next? Are half finished projects stored away in your closet, drawers etc.? If so how often do you actually go back later and actually find yourself finishing them?

Ah the wonderful Limbo moments in art, what fun they are. Lol

Hugs & Love Ranae’

Art Journal Stalemate

Art Journaling has become very trendy over the past few years. I myself have started quite a few, but I always seem to get to a point where I stopped. This bothered me for quite a while as it seems as if I could never get more than just a couple of journal pages before I became bored with it. Until now…

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You probably recognize this lil gal from my post on Emotions & Art

After pondering why, I could never seem to really get enthusiastic about art journaling, I finally realized that it was because I am the type who tends to advance quicker and more fluidly when my process has some type of organized thought process behind it.  So I began my own “Girls” Art Journal.

 

Since beginning this journal on the 10th of June, it seems ideas for new pages are coming to me consistently and I am having such a great time filling my pages.

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This is also a wonderful place for me to test out new color schemes, new products, new theme ideas etc… For example, with the Fall Girl above I wanted to try out a darker skin tone than I typically use. By testing it in my journal, it took the pressure off and allowed me just to be free to experiment.

My next page spread I wanted to see how I would like using colored pencil for part and then watercolor paints for other parts. Just me testing a different way to come up with skin tone and textures, so my Mermaid Girl was created.

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My latest girl, the Naturalist Girl, was a mixture of watercolor crayons, paints, acrylic marker pens and colored pencils. My focus on her was to make her more whimsical.

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Now that I finally figured out why the journals were so hard for me to stick with my mind is jumping ahead to other theme type journals I could do. It feels so nice when you finally figure out what it was that had you at a standstill.

 

How about you? How do you motivate yourself to work in your art journal(s)? Do you use prompts? Do you do theme’s? Maybe you prefer having one journal for everything? What motivates you to keep filling up your pages? I would love to hear from you.

 

Hugs & Love – Ranae’

Techniques’: When is it your own?

I have my own style in many things but lately with my girls I have taken to following Tamara Laporte’s wondrous tutorials. I always try to make some part of each tutorial unique in some way. Yet I find myself leery of saying it is 100% my own yet.

For example, I recently completed one of Tam’s tutorial called the “Merry Muse” The photo below is Tamara’s work.

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(Click Here for more info on this tutorial)

To make it more my own I used a different color palette and I changed the items in her hands from a Celtic Harp to Moon and then made my dove different with no crown. See my take on this tutorial below.

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So yes it looks different than Tam’s yet similar still because the techniques used are pretty close to the same.

My next project I decided to still use the techniques I have learned from Tam but I didn’t follow her tutorials directly and even drew my very own girl without any visual aids from anyone else’s works. In other words, the girl is totally my creation.

However, once I completed her, in my mind she is still not really mine. She is not from any tutorial, she is not a copy, and yet she still doesn’t feel like all mine. Simply because the techniques I used were all learned from Tam.

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I would be very interested in what others may think. If you are learning techniques from other artist’s when does what you are working on become your own work? Does every technique used needs to be 100% your own idea? Does it become your own if you mix one learned artist’s technique with another’s? How do you get to that point where you feel your creations are all yours?

I personally have no answer, I am still on the journey to developing my own personal style, technique and cohesive works. However, I know one thing…

Learning various techniques from various artist’s is definitely a great way to keep me moving forward in this journey. So to all those wonderful artists’ that share their own techniques, trials and tricks with us I thank you with all my heart! Thank to each of you, I am confident that one day I will be able to do the same and will have my “own” unique style and techniques.

Hugs & Love from – Ranae’

Emotions and Art

It’s still funny to me how often emotions change the way an art piece will look. For example, I decided I wanted to start a new art journal and fill it will girls. So on May 30th I opened up my brand new Strathmore Soft Cover journal book and began to sketch.

My sketch quickly showed all the emotions I was feeling on that day. You see it was my middle daughter’s birthday and sad to say that she and I are not in contact with each other, it was also the day my Oldest daughter contacted me with some hardships she is going through, which only intensified my sadness. It was an emotional time and yes I cried as I sketched. My girls eye’s seemed to carry every emotion I felt, and I now wish I had scanned her when she was just a sketch so I could show you just how much she changed.

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I just finished her today and was sharing her with a friend of mine when I realized she no longer looked deeply sad but more wistful instead. I am thankful for that and quite pleased with the end results. As I pondered this I noted that it was actually only a couple of very slight changes that made her lose some of that sad look. The corners of her mouth were evened out and no longer curved down and the slant of her eyes opened up a bit.

As I thought of this I realized how our emotions often can change in somewhat the same manner. A slight change here or there can also change how we are feeling. A change of scenery can often bring us from feeling dreary to feeling hope. A relaxing bath can help take some of the stress of our day away. A kind word from a stranger may make us forget the heaviness we were feeling only moments ago. It’s really quite amazing when you think about it, how often we literally decide (without realizing it) to stay in our down frames of mind, when all we really need to do is make one tiny change, then another tiny change, here and there until once again we are at least feeling wistful instead of sad and then from wistful to happy again.

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So next time you’re feeling low try to remember that often the slightest change is the first step to feeling better quicker. Just like our Art our emotions can be changed if we just try a little something else.

Hugs & Love – Ranae’

 

 

 

 

Those Wonderful Mishaps

While I was working on Tamara‘s Winter Soul Flakes girl I had used the golden brand gel medium to glue the paper pieces to my background. So when I went to use the neo color crayons over top as she did, mine just does NOT want to keep the color, it was acting like a relief instead and was ickkk. lol

Soooo, I tried to put gesso over those bits and wound up with a very muddy background. Which I was not really happy with.

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So after asking advice from some of Tam’s other fans and still not being sure what to do, I did a test with 3 different adhesives. Decoupage Matte – Golden Matte Medium – Liquitex Matte Gel. As you can see in the attached photo, they first two still show the glue line when the watercolor crayon is used. However, the Liquitex Does not, it also holds the color better.

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Now this in itself did NOT solve my entire dilemma lol Why? Because I already adhered my pieces and my background is NOT what I want. lol Sooooo  I decided to go ahead and gesso over the background.

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This however in itself would not be enough because it will put me right back at having a surface that is not going to absorb enough to use the water based crayons I wish to use. Soooooooooooo ( lol ) After having covered the back with the gesso, I have also added 3 thin coats of Golden’s Absorbent Grounds.

Once this one completed I again added NEW scraps of paper using the “Liquitex Matter Gel” this time. From there I continued on and was able to finally finish my girl and am quite pleased with the results. Especially having been thinking I was about to ruin her completely.

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So thanks to a wonderful mishap, I learned a few tricks and valuable lessons! It’s ok to be frustrated when the mishaps happen but don’t give up! This is further proof that everything can be fixed, sometimes we just need some trials and error’s.

Hugs & Love – Ranae’

 

Perfection is the enemy…

I have the most wonderful & inspiring boyfriend ever. Very shortly after we met he gave me a phrase that has helped me over and over again. It is a phrase that I have shared with many others also.

You see I have for so many years struggled with not feeling good enough. It could be the simplest of mishaps and my reaction would be one of extreme failure. My world would threaten to tumble down on me over something as simple as having forgotten to buy milk. Ok so I may be dramatizing a little bit, but not by much. The point is though that I often went to him feeling as if I had failed in some monumental way, when to him it was nothing more than a tiny bump in the road.

He sat me down and talked at length with me about this and then gave me this wonderful phrase.

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“Perfection is the enemy of the good.”

 

What this means is simple, if we are striving for perfection constantly, we tend to get so wrapped up in being perfect that we miss the thousands of things we did good. So by pushing for perfection, and then beating ourselves up when we cannot obtain it, we have missed out on seeing and embracing all the other things we did well. We become imbalanced in our perceptions as well as making ourselves feel like failures when in fact we are really good at so many things

I find this to be true in my art as well. When he and I first met I had just begun my journey back into the art world. Yet I was scared to try a lot of various techniques because I felt that the art I was already doing wasn’t perfect. I became a dabbler at my art and yes I enjoyed a lot of it but I was always just shy of actually embracing it, and I very rarely could say I liked a finished piece. There was always something I did wrong, or I was good enough at, or everyone else did so much better than I did.

I had even found myself doing very little of my own artwork and instead was doing mostly coloring work for other people. I loved doing it, since I am a huge lover of color and blending, but it never truly felt like mine because the original image wasn’t my own work.

So as I tell you how much my boyfriend’s continual support, encouragement and belief in me has impacted me as an artist let me show you some of my art from when I met him vs. my artwork now…

Here are a couple done shortly before we met…

I am not saying they are horrible, but I was too scared to try my hand at anything more detailed than those type of projects.

Here are a couple of works I just recently finished…

I am so much happier in myself and in my art since I am “finally” understanding the most beautiful gift I have ever received. The gift of his phrase, “Perfection is the enemy of the good.” A gift that continues to give to me over and over again in my life. I still struggle to remember this at times, but when I do remember it always gives me the boost I need to smile and remember all those many good things I do so well.

I hope my readers will embrace the phrase and take it to heart so that they may grow and start their well deserved journeys into the world of accepting all the “Good”!

Hugs & Love – Ranae’

Details Schmetails

I love making my art, I love putting time into those special details on a piece and becoming immersed in it. Total focus and heart, making sure the colors are complimentary and the lines clean and crisp, the highlights complimentary and the…

Then there are days when I just need to say…

Details Schmetails !!!

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These are the days when all the rules are gone and I just completely let go and play. I am not creating to build my business; I am not creating for any specific reason at all. I am just full out playing!

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Granted I may be making it for a friend or loved one, but I am not all caught up in the perfect colors, staying in the lines, tiny details and the likes. I am just letting go and grabbing some type of medium and letting loose.

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My mind will pick some random topic and the flow will start. It may end up looking like a fully thought out idea when I am finished but the truth is, it was no more than Ranae’ freeing herself and letting her Little Girl come out and fly, and there are many different ways to let yourself fly freely.

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Many times it is in this free mode where I discover a new technique. Play around with some new medium types and have those, “Wow, I never knew I could do that!” moments.

So if you have not given yourself time to get away from all the stress of Detail Schmetails lately, be sure you do soon. Be free and play like you were 5 yrs old again. Get a bit messy, break the rules, scribble and have some well-deserved free flying play time!

Do you have some type medium around that you haven’t played with lately? Maybe an older style of art you enjoyed at one time but haven’t done for a while? I would love to hear about your own play time. What do you personally do when you just want to let go and play?

Hugs & Love – Ranae’

Mad Hatter Day

Does your art sometimes turn into a series without you meaning for it to?  Do themes just happen or are you one who plans them out?

I started out working on a new project that revolves around Alice in Wonderland. Unfortunately, I am unable to proceed further than my preliminary sketch due to having to work out some kinks with the background material I want for her. So in the mean time I began to look for something else to do.

I don’t usually have a list of what I want to do next and in this case my mind was blank. I only knew I wanted to paint.

I have a great friend, Savannah, who has her grandma’s tea recipe tacked up on my fridge and as I went to get something to drink I looked at it and there began my inspiration. She loves tea so I decided to paint her a whimsical teapot. It was a lot of fun to paint and I definitely want to do more of these.

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When I was finished with it, once again I turned to my friends. While chatting with them I just asked them to name me a few of their favorite things. One of my friends, Nicole, said bunnies. And so this lil bunny was born. She was an ornery bunny and as usual I almost gave up on her as she went through her ugly stage, but I pressed through and I rather like her now. Not too bad for my first ever acrylic animal.

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Still running into trouble with my background and having to wait now for delivery of the material I designed, I once again was looking for something to paint.

My friend Michelle and I have been talking about holding some of our own paint classes at some point and were chatting about what things we could paint in those classes. Being a lover of hat’s I told her I wanted to try a whimsical top hat.  And so this hat was created.

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Now look back at the various items I wound up painting over the past couple of weeks… do you see the theme?

It was completely unintentional but I wound up painting items that can be found relating to the one thing I “truly” wanted to be working on, which was my Alice in Wonderland!

Funny how things interweave isn’t it? “Curiouser and Curiouser!”

How about you? Do you find yourself working in themes without intent to do so? Perhaps it’s just a certain color palette you keep using unintentionally. It may even be thicker than normal line strokes or an embellishment you suddenly realize you put into many of your art works.

I would very much love to hear from each of you regarding your experience with such.

Hugs & Love Ranae’

Artist Spotlight – Tamara Laporte

We all have various Artist’s we follow and learn from. Today I decided I am going to dedicate time on my own blog to highlight some of those who have greatly inspired me as well as taught me some wonderful lessons.

Today I am highlighting one of those artist’s I very much respect and admire Tamara Laporte. These Pencil Sketches I did are a result of Tam’s course “Radiant Faces” Which is only one of the many wonderful courses she offers.

When I first ventured back into working on, what I love to create the most, my girls I discovered Tamara Laporte. Her whimsical girls really touched me and I wanted to learn how she does the magic she does.

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At the time she was advertising for Life Book 2014, so of course I purchased the class. Life being what it was I had to put my art on the back burner and wasn’t able to return to her courses until 2015. Once I did though I was hooked.

This is an art piece I did guided by Tam’s Radiant Faces Course also, and is one that I receive the most compliments on.

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She still has her personal courses from the previous year’s Lifebook’s available and the full Lifebook 2016. Fantastic course to challenge and help you develop from some super talented artist’s.

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It is amazing to me how quickly my own artistic style has evolved since I first began taking her course. Tam is not only a great teacher of her art style but she also cares very deeply about people. She incorporates life lessons into her classes as well as guiding us through the art processes.  Her view of the world and people is truly inspiring and her calm demeanor about all things makes learning from her such a truly wonderful journey in so many different ways.

Another thing that inspires and fills me joy while I learn from her is that she is one of those wonderful people that understands how important it is to care for self. Not just in health ways but in matters of her own day to day life, her passions, her spiritual side and emotional sides. Being an introspective person myself I take great comfort in listening to Tam and knowing there are other who realize the importance of looking deeper into your own self.

She is constantly running special deals on her classes and they are offered in a wide range of prices, so if you’re not ready for one of her larger packages you can choose one of her Self Study Mini Classes. They are all Fantastic courses and I personally have taken over 10 of them. I myself am very excited for her newest course to start up. It’s called “Ever After” and is about fairy-tales and how to develop your own style.

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For her special deals check out her etsy shop.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/willowing?section_id=8069840

To enjoy reading and learning more about Tam check out her website.

http://www.willowing.org/

Let her know Ranae’ sent you. *giggles*

Hugs & Love – Ranae’

This entry was approved by Tamara herself and her photo’s were used with Tamara’s express permission and only for the purpose of this particular write up. They are subject to copyright laws and protected by law.