Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Review of Matisse Structured Artists Acrylic Color

The Matisse Structured Artists Acrylic Colors are fun!  Plain and simple, that's the first thing that comes to my mind.  They are a heavy bodied paint formulated to naturally lay down on the canvas with some bulk.  I purposely chose a project that could be enhanced with some texture.  And I really enjoyed watching that texture appear with very little effort using the Matisse Structured Paint.   It felt like the paint was working with me rather than my needing to manipulate it. 

The tubes have wonderful flip tops making it so much easier on my hands to get to the paint.  And I believe those tops will also create a better seal over time, thereby allowing a longer shelf life for my paints.

The colors are vivid and scrumptious.  There is a wide range to choose from - 96 colors in all.  They mix nicely.  And the colors lay down clearly and beautifully on the canvas.  You will be tempted to try all the colors, as I am.

The Matisse Acrylics have a longer open working time than other acrylic paints I've worked with, allowing me to leave more colors out on my palette.  And also giving more freedom to play with my mixed colors as the painting developed.  The Matisse Structured Acrylics would be perfect for mixed media painting and for mixed media collage work.  The heavy body lends itself easily to the various techniques used in these popular art forms. 

These are the supplies I used for this example.  I got all my supplies at Jerry's Artarama:

Matisse Structured Acrylic Colors
          Raw Sienna
          Magenta Light
          Antique White
          Transparent Venetian Red
          Burnt Sienna
          Naples Yellow Light
          Transparent Yellow Oxide
          Unbleached Titanium
          Phthalo Blue
          Burnt Umber
          Titanium White
Colour Shaper Painting Tool
Jewel Bristle Brushes
Ampersand Artist Panel

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Sunday, August 10, 2014

World Lion Day

It is World Lion Day.  And in honor of my most favorite of creatures, I am sharing this beautiful and captivating painting - Una and Lion by Briton Riviére.  The painting is an illustration of the the English epic poem The Faerie Queene.  There are several interpretations to the meaning of this poem.  None of which apply to what I, personally, love in this piece of art.  

If you've read this blog for its duration, you are aware of my love for lions and possibly even of the story of the little lion I cared for whose name was Daniel.  If you are new and unfamiliar with my little Daniel's story, you may read it here.  

Caring for Daniel was extraordinary and life changing for me in many ways.  As I bottle fed him and did his daily therapies, I grew in unexpected ways.  I am currently working on a project to tell Daniel's story more fully.  I am very excited about it.   I'm not sure how long it will take to accomplish.  But I am enjoying the process.   I want to wait for it to be revealed in its completion but I will share some sneak peaks with you along the way.

When Daniel was 13 months old, he passed away due to the injuries he had endured where he had previously lived.  I have always believed that I will see Daniel again one day and we will rejoice and laugh together at how miraculously God used him in my life.   The first time I saw Riviére's painting it took my breath away as the image was nearly exactly what I've always pictured of Daniel and I one day.  The little dancing lamb is the perfect addition to set the mood of joy, peace, and serenity.  
I am very sad to say that lions are in great decline in the wild due to poaching and loss of habit.  Their numbers have declined in the last 50 years to a level that is frighteningly low.  Unless the current trends change, there are predictions that there will be no more lions 10 years from now.  Surely this must not happen.  

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Rain and Life's Rhythms

Its raining today. Everything in me wants to sit with a nice cup of tea and draw while listening to the raindrops tap dancing outside. I am not unique with this thought. I've heard it so many times from others. The rain calls us to be still, to slow down, to be calm.  The birds outside are tucked away somewhere under large tree leaves or the eaves of a house.  Even the dogs and cats inside are more sleepy today.  

Of course slowing down isn't what we do.  We curse the rain or we choose to ignore it as we bustle around trying to get 36 hours squeezed out of 24.  I've been thinking a lot lately about the rhythms of life and how we press so hard against them.  It would seem to me that paying better attention to the patterns set by the Creator might be the wiser route to go.  That isn't an easy task in our culture.  

Our lists for "to do" are longer than our arms, and then just a few moments spent on popular social media is enough to remind you that whatever you might have gotten done today, surely you are behind what everyone else is accomplishing.   

I propose that we proclaim a respite from those dreaded lists and try, at least a little bit, to listen more to the rhythms of nature.  I propose at least one hour of each day be set aside to live life rather than run the list.  I imagine this will be life altering and life giving.  I'm going to try it.  I dare you to join me.

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Review of the Sanford Tuff Stuff Stick Eraser

It might seem odd to be so excited about an eraser.  But as a pencil artist committed to a particular level of precision in my art, I can't get along without my Tuff Stuff Stick Eraser Stick by Sanford Paper Mate.   The Tuff Stuff Eraser is a quality white plastic eraser.

The eraser stick in the Tuff Stuff is only 3.8 mm wide.  This is narrow enough to be able to erase in the tiniest of spots.  And yet wide enough to not compromise on the ability of the eraser to accomplish its task.

The fact that you can return the eraser stick back into the plastic barrel makes it easy to keep the eraser clean.  You can purchase refills for your Tuff Stuff Eraser making it ecologically friendly.  I use mine all the time but have never actually had to use my refills yet. 

http://windandhoneycreations.comI often use my Tuff Stuff Stick Eraser as a white pencil on my graphite drawings.  And I always encourage my students to own at least one.  They are always as excited about their Tuff Stuff Erasers as I am.  Their comment when first using it is usually, "Wow!"  We just can't get along without it.  I own several, keeping one in every pencil pack and drawing station I have.

 I always keep a small journal and a tiny drawing kit with me wherever I go.  My Tuff Stuff Eraser is an essential part of that drawing kit.  I love my Tuff Stuff Eraser!

Below is a video demonstration I did for Jerry's Artarama using the Tuff Stuff Eraser.

Supplies used in the video:

Conte' Crayons
Derwent Tinted Charcoal
Soho Urban Artist Colored Pencils
Derwent Graphic Pencil
Creative Mark Blending Stump
Tuff Stuff Eraser Stick
Big Triple Sharpener
Reflexions Pocket Journal
Artist Survival Book
Strathmore Bristol Board

I purchase all of my artist's pencils from Jerry's Artarama.  And I'm not telling you that because they asked me to do this review.  It is the truth.  They package those delicate pencils like they are shipping to the moon.  I've not found this to be true of all online art supply companies.   I grew weary of getting packages of broken pencil leads and that is when I discovered Jerry's.

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Monday, July 7, 2014

Ketchup Day!
When I was teaching local children's classes, we would occasionally get behind and would have several unfinished projects stacked up.  When that happened we would have a Catch Up class day.  The cute thing was that the kids always thought I was saying Ketchup Day and they thought that was the funniest thing they'd ever heard.  I have been absent for many weeks from this blog and am behind on several posts. And for that, I apologize.  I guess that makes this a Ketchup Day!

 My weeks have been full, my moments have been full, my 'to do' list has been full, my desk has been full. But in the midst of all this fullness, I have been without many words for sharing. Do you find that sometimes when life is just full all around you, that you become quiet in self defense of it all?
I do.
But I am back today with a renewed resolve to be faithful here as blogging is much more fun and a much more positive experience than other social media, in my humble opinion.
Blogging feels more like having someone to tea and then visiting their house to do the same. Much more pleasant than everyone chattering at once.
In spite of my quietness, I have been busy. I've been working on promoting the workshops for The Graceful Artist. I've started a big project of my own art blended with art journaling. I've recorded some new workshops. I am thinking of creating a new Wind and Honey website as the original is designed in iweb. Apple no longer offers this software. When this computer dies I will no longer be able to edit my current website. And my computer is getting pretty old.

I've been doing some review work for Jerry's Artarama. I'll be sharing those with you. I do receive the products I review from Jerry's. But, as I am a terribly honest person, I only tell the truth in my reviews. So, perhaps they will help you with some new products. 
And on top of it all, I am helping my daughter Kate plan her Fall wedding. 

The orange door
Poet has been off work for a week and we chose to stay home this year.  We are working on some projects that we want done but never seem to have time for.  When we moved into this house a year ago, the shutters were orange.   Now, my fellow OSU Cowboy fans, please don't send me letters on this.  But, as much as I love our beloved Cowboys, I really am not fond of orange.  So, finally we've painted those shutters and I imagine the neighbors are breathing a sigh of relief. 

The orange shutters

The new shutters

The new blue door!!

Another project Poet is working on is the antique ice box given to me by his father, my father-in-law.  It was promised about 20 years ago but only received recently.  It has sat in a workshop for a long time waiting for its place of honor in my breakfast room.  I should have taken before photos but I forgot.  It had a lot of missing paint and what paint it had was chipped and rusty.  I promise to post photos when its finished.  You will love it.

And so, for now, I am just popping in to say hello again and to let you know I will be more faithful to join you here.  A review for an art supply will be coming soon.

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Friday, March 28, 2014

Attention Artistic Oklahoma Parents & Grandparents

When the sun shines long and hot over July days in Oklahoma, it will spotlight an amazing creative arts opportunity for 7th and 8th grade students at the SummerArts Academy in Tulsa, Oklahoma.   

The line up of instructors beams with talent, experience, and accomplishments.  You can read about the instructors on the website. 

Scholarships are available for the one-week sessions in which students can begin to shine in one or more of the sessions including: drawing, sculpture, photography, film, and printmaking.   

The cost for each session is $250.  There will be 4 individual weeks of instruction.   Learn more about this bright, excellent, endeavor and the scholarships that are available here.
Classes will be held at the Hardesty Arts Center in the middle of downtown Tulsa’s Brady Arts District.

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Monday, March 24, 2014

Review of My New Kitty Fountain

Cats are finicky.  That is a well known fact.  And they can be a little quirky sometimes too.  My two are no different.  Water seems to be the place where finicky and quirky meet with my whiskered "kids".  Rose decided she didn't like water a few years ago and no tricky maneuvers on my part with her water bowl would dissuade her.  Finally, to her dismay, I had to start watering down her food to get enough fluids down her.

Kenya, on the other hand, has a bit of an obsession with water.   If Kenya does not have access to water for over an hour he begins to panic.  Before we adopted him from the Tulsa Humane Society, Kenya was living in a large discount store parking lot.  This was during a time when our state was experiencing a drought.  It is our assumption the scarcity of water during that time and at that location is the source of his emotional issues about water.  Also in recent years. he has developed some health issues related to his time on the streets that necessitate drinking lots of water.

It is Kenya's choice to share water with the dogs in the kitchen.   But he really feels the need to have a source of water in the bathroom too.  He expressed this need by chronically licking soapy drops of water off the shower floor.  It is this need that prompted me to look into a new cat fountain.   As I searched, I was delighted to find Thirsty Cat Fountains on EtsyThirsty Cat Fountains are designed and created with the artistic hands of Keith Davitt and Jackie McKannay.   Theses ceramic fountains are truly pieces of art for your home.  The fact that the cats can drink out of them is a bonus.  Each fountain is handcrafted and each one is unique.  They have a variety of colors and even several designs for the copper spouts. 

My fountain is this beautiful cobalt blue.  I was a little concerned about ordering something so fragile to be shipped from half way across the country.  But the fountain arrived quickly and in perfect condition as it had been packed quite thoroughly in an ocean of biodegradable packing materials.

I appreciate how much thought has gone into these fountains.  They are beautifully created with a nice smooth surface.  Even the bottom of the bowl is lovely.  Everywhere you look, from the placement of the cord, to the way the spout connects to the pump, there is proof of excellence and attention to detail.  And the pump is adjustable so you can create a vigorous flow or a smooth gentle stream.

The Thirsty Cat Fountains were the only fountains I found that claim absolutely zero lead in the glaze.  And the copper is the same type of copper used in the pipes of our homes.  Like I said, attention to every detail.

It was no surprise when Kenya fell in love with this gentle flow of water that matches his blue eyes.  But the wonderful delight is that even Rose thinks this fountain worthy to dip in her tiny pink tongue.   She is once again drinking plenty of water thanks our new Thirsty Cat Fountain.  Thank you Keith and Jackie for designing these beautiful fountains.

So Kenya is happy with his artistic bathroom water source and Rose is drinking again.  My only real problem now is that I keep finding more beautiful fountain colors and designs on the website.  I've started wondering if I need one in the living room too!

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons
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