Art Elements July Flowers Theme Reveal Blog Hop

Welcome to the July Theme: Flowers Reveal Blog hop. It was my turn to pick the challenge for the month, and I was curious to see what kind of flowers were in bloom now in various places in the world and how artists would find inspirations from them or from flowers in general.

My inspiration with flowers is planting flowers that are easy to take care of, mostly native plants, that help support our local ecosystems. Then comes the colors and textures of plants. I just love it.

Coneflowers (bloom July & August, and seeds provide food in winter).
Insects are plentiful in my gardens.
Mostly native plants in my garden with a few ornamental shrubs.
Inspirations, Water Color Paints and a full day of creativity just to experiment.
Enjoying just playing with paints. Donut (my cat) was curious for a short while of what I was up to.

I worked on a total of 3 watercolor pages because I realized that I had to not muddy the colors by working wet on wet. So by keeping occupied with layering on three pages, I got to figure things out. It was a blissful day of just playing and seeing what happened.

Page 1 started with just the centers and the pink.
Page 2 started by painting green on the background then the flowers. Realizing the petals were dark I spent some time layering water and white colors and dabbing off excess.
Page 3 was my attempt to look at an actual photo and try to follow the visual lines. I really did not want to stress over things and completely just went with it. I had fun, but man could I use some foundation classes on what I am actually doing. Either that or just practice a bit more and pay attention to details.
Here is page 3 overall. I added some more flowers and petals just to fill the page a bit more.

I had thoughts of also making a needle felted coneflower and just laughed at the results. I stopped at the cones because the idea I had really wasn’t working out. Here are some pics to explain my thoughts and I hope to figure things out a bit better soon.

A reverse needle pulls the wool from the inside to the exterior of the piece to increase the fuzz.
I felted the under layers on my second attempt a lot more, this made the pulling with the reverse needle more succssful.
For my third and fourth attempt, I used a Romney blend fiber (a bit longer than 1 & 2 above). Really, these are not what I had in mind, and I trimmed up the excess hairs, kept giggling that they reminded me of fuzzy bits instead of cones of the cone flowers (cone flowers get very pointy as they age). Maybe if I had to make a bunch of pussywillows this would be a great technique.

Thanks for taking time to cruise through this post. I really had fun just experimenting this time around.

Please take some time and look at the wonderful things people are creating and contributing to this theme by visiting these artists blogs (if you are having issues leaving comments, please try using google chrome as your browser).

You can also see and participate yourself via social media by using the hashtags: #AEThemeChallenge and #AEFlowers

Here is a list of our Visiting Artists:
Alysen
Cat
Divya
Evie and Beth
Jill
Hope
Kathy
Linda
Louise
Martha
Melissa
Michelle
Rozantia
Sarah
Sarajo
Tammy

And our Art Elements Blog Contributors:
Caroline
Cathy
Claire
Jenny
Laney
Lesley
Marsha
(you are here)
Susan

Art Elements Monthly Theme: Luna Moth

Thanks to Jen Cameron for picking out this month’s Art Elements Blog Hop Theme: Luna Moth.

With an Entomology background I am fascinated by the scientific approach, but can get way too involved in the details. So this month I thought that I would just go along with what attracts me to these lovely creatures: The color and that long wing that looks like tail feathers…

First I began to make the wire form with pipe cleaners.
I wrapped Sarafina Off White Chunky Core Roving around the wire and stabbed it a bit to get it to hold. I used Gold core wool to wrap the antennae and left the pipe cleaner legs alone.
To get the right shade of green, I mixed gold and green, a bit of blue and a lot of sage green.
I felted the wings onto the wool wrapped wing wires and added some extra brown wool along the top of the wings and yellow wool on the top of the thorax (wings and legs attach to the thorax).
I tried to remember to get photos, but once you start going with needle felting, it’s hard to stop all that bit of stabbing and the instant gratification.
I added a little wing detail and would have worked a bit more on the long extension of the hind wing, but though this would do for a first try.
I love seeing photos of moths resting on human hands. There is something about how tender they are and often how large and fragile that gives a sense of awe.
Getting back to the scientific side of things – it is SO important to make sure to get the next generation involved with nature. And to provide habitat for these critters.
This is a Spicebush Swallowtail (left), an actual Spicebush plant (center), and the wee little Spicebush Caterpillar rolled up in a spicebush leaf that it had been munching on earlier in the day.

Luna moths and many other winged insects overwinter in the leaf litter in wooded areas. Please keep this in mind for your “clean-up” and maybe consider how your keeping things tidy may actually be doing harm to our natural populations.

Thank you for stopping by! Make sure to take the time to see what everyone else has created this month:
Guests:
Tammy
Beth and Evie
Rain
Alysen
Rozantia
Sarajo
Karin
Sarah
Divya
Colette
Art Elements Team:
Niky
Caroline
Cathy
Jenny
Lesley
Marsha (you are here)
Lindsay
Claire
Jen

If you want to learn more about needle felting, check out the shop where I work part time: SarafinaFiberArt.com

Art Elements Blog Monthly Theme: Birds of Prey

Welcome to this months Art Elements Blog hop: Birds of Prey theme picked by Cathy. As a child I loved watching birds. In college I took a few Avian Biology classes that established a firm base knowledge and appreciation of many kinds of birds. My passion has kept my field guide and binoculars at the ready.

My 20 year old, well loved Avian Field Guide.

These days I keep an eye on the nesting pair of Red Tailed Hawks in our back wooded area and the competition with the Great Horned Owl that showed up a few winters ago.

I have been working on getting better with my 3D needle felting skills over the last month. Working part time at Sarafina Fiber Art allows me direct access to Sara (the artist behind the business) and she is helping me along so I can teach some beginning classes in the Sarafina Art House so she can focus more on the advanced classes. So this Birds of Prey theme was the perfect way for me to practice some Owls.

Here starts my journey…

The first thing I do when I am about to launch into some creative time is find some inspiration: Pinterest is a great visual place to go. Knowing I wanted to brush up on my Sarafina Needle Felting Techniques, I headed to watch some Sarafina Videos: Sarafina Mini Tutorial: Owl and Sarafina Baby Owl Tutorial.

I picked up some scraps of Sarafina’s Merino Prefelt: Flat Matt at work and cut it in small bits that I pulled into some owl head shapes. I was just adding layers of top coat roving and fooling around with wool sculpted shapes loosely based on the Sarafina Owl Mini Tutorial. I ended up with two flat ornament size Great Horned Owl (inspired) heads.

Moving on from the flat 2D owl head I thought that I should try to make it in 3D. I was a bit freaked out as it looked like a decapitated owl head – not really what I was thinking… However it did spark an idea! I love Jim Henson’s Labyrinth especially the Fireys. “Hey Lady! That’s My Head!” Yes – I had to attempt a Fireys head! I plan on making that one better again when I’m not so tired from felting everything else that day.

I ended up making this Mini Owl (minus the sheep curls/locks from the tutorial). I like making a few of the same kind of pieces and tweeking them as I figure out things. The last image with the small green owls are made in a similar way to the larger owl – but at 1/3 scale and with lots of colored locks.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post and for checking out the other artists participating this month:

Guests:

Tammy

Beth

Cat

Anita

Kathy

Alysen

Linda

Rozantia

Jennifer

Hope

Sarajo

Melissa

Sarah

Team Members: 

Caroline 

Cathy 

Claire

Jen

Jenny

Karen 

Laney

Lesley

Lindsay

Marsha (you are here)

Niky

Sue

Handmade Component Bazaar Jan. 3 Destash Sale

Handmade Component Bazaar Facebook Group
Marsha Neal Studio Handmade Ceramic Beads
Marsha Neal Studio Medium Sized Textured Disc Beads
Marsha Neal Studio Ceramic Pendants (Necklace Focals)
Earring Sized Pairs and Disc Beads ready for de-stash.

I am ready for the new year to begin and to start a new body of work. This one day show in Handmade Component Bazaar Facebook Group will be your chance to pick up a bunch of my pieces at discounted pricing. I will have things marked down into the range from 20% to 70% off retail pricing.

I will also be marking down ready to ship ceramic items in my Marsha Neal Studio Etsy Shop as well – and will create a special SALE Category for those items.

The Handmade Component Bazaar Group show will start around 10am on 1/3/19 and listings will be removed beginning 1/4/19 around 7am, with the wall being cleared by 10am to be ready for the next artist show.

My Etsy Shop sale will run through the weekend, and I may end up adding some items there as well. Please let me know if you plan to shop both so I can ship your items together.

Happy New Year!

Art Elements Monthly Theme: White

This months Art Elements Theme is based upon using white in your work. When I think of white, it tends to be in a base color sort of path. It is something to give definition, light, a brightness behind the color.


Peyote Fan Earrings in Clear, Silver Lined, and AB finished with white fireline and sterling silver findings.
I love any bead with the AB finish that reflects a bit of color.

Earlier this month when I was making the blog post for the Linda Genaw’s Peyote Fan Earrings over on Art Elements Blog, I made sure to make up a pair that would fit into our white theme. Here are some other items from around my studio (holidays and both of my kids birthdays are in December, so my time got away from me).

Marsha Neal Studio White Crescent Pendant with simple chain necklace.
Silver and White are so elegant together.
Marsha Neal Studio Small Ceramic Seed Pod Collector in White Glaze (over white clay body).
White glaze can pop or make the items it is next to pop.
Marsha Neal Studio Chocolate Stoneware Clay with Rustic White glaze.
White can show off the details.
Capturing some early morning frost.
White reminds me of cold and winter.

I hope you have fun hopping around to see what these other wonderful artists came up with for this months theme! And please stop by the Art Elements Blog for details on our next theme.

Guest Artists

Alysen

Anita

Beth

Cat 

Divya

Elaine

Hope

Jill

Karin

Kathy

Lucy

Rozantia 

Sarajo

Susan

Tammy 

Art Elements Team

Caroline

Cathy

Claire

Laney

Lesley

Marsha 

Susan

marshanealstudio

marshanealstudio

Ceramic Artist. Garden and Nature Enthusiast.

View Full Profile →