Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Well, I took the plunge and completed my first spread for the Sketchbook Project. It's called
Revolution. My theme for the project is "Past, Present, Future." A favorite song of mine is "Neverfall" by the Lovehammers. And I've had this awesome image in my files for about a year now (came as an advertisement for a graphics firm.) Here's what happened when I put them all together. Background is a series of acrylic washes. The image was a laser transfer because the original image was a glossy colored picture. The song lyrics are written around the edges of the images. Why Revolution? Well, revolutions have always been a part of the past, present and will be a part of the future. As long as man has free will and a thinking brain there will be revolt and push for change. But my interpretation of this page is exploring the inner revolution we all go through, the need for change and being heard, even if we have to scream; the need to stand up and be counted, to move forward in life. We have to listen to the voices in our head and our heart, be strong enough to pursue the life we've dreamed. "Open up your mind and scream, live a life that sets you free". I think that's a message that's pretty timeless, don't you?

Thanks Lovehammers for the energy and inspiration to conduct my own personal revolution! XO Lisa

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Over The Top Blog Award

I have met such beautiful souls recently in various forums and groups, people who encourage me and inspire me to be creative, and who make me feel safe sharing my artwork. I have gotten such wonderful positive feedback I have to pinch myself once in awhile. A very special e-friend, Toni, gave me this award and I'm tickled pink. When I started this blog I figured it would be a thing I did for myself because no one would read it. I didn't figure on such a wonderful community of like-minded artists and friends who are so quick to offer encouragement and positive thoughts. (I didn't have to reject ONE comment yet!) I want to send out a THANK YOU to all of you who have left comments. I relish every one of them. They keep me going.

So this award comes with rules:
I need to pass this award on to five people, post on their blog to let them know I left this award, and then I need to answer a list of questions in ONE word.
So here we go:

1. Where is your cell phone?… Purse
2. Your hair?… Blond
3. Your mother?… Awake
4. Your father?… Sleeping
5. Your favorite food?… Chocolate
6. Your dream last night?… Nice!
7. Your favorite drink?… Water
8. Your dream/goal?… Happy
9. What room are you in?… Studio
10. Your hobby?… Art
11. Your fear?… Loss
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Employed
13. Where were you last night?… Home
14. Something that you aren’t?… Satisfied
15. Muffins?… Blueberry
16. Wish list item?… Camera
17. Where did you grow up?… Illinois
18. Last thing you did?… Watched
19. What are you wearing?… Pajamas
20. Your TV?… Off
21. Your Pets?… Dog
22. Friends?… Few
23. Your life?… Unexpected
24. Your mood?… Contemplative
25. Missing Someone?… Yes
26. Vehicle?… Honda
27. Something you're not wearing?… Necklace
28. Your favorite store?… HobbyLobby
29. Your favorite colour?… Blue
30. When was the last time you laughed?…Today
31. Last time you cried?… Recent
32. Your best friend?… miss
33. One place that I go to over and over?… Arboretum
34. Facebook?… unfortunately
35. Favorite place to eat?… Out

Now I get to pass this on to some other bloggers that inspire me with their words and work and general wonderful-ness! Thank you!

1. Cheryl 2. PAMO 3. Amanda 4. Susan 5. Teri

Friday, November 13, 2009

Multitasking at its best

My name is Lisa and I am a multi-tasker. (Is there a 12 step program for this? Maybe all steps at the same time?) I rarely do one thing at a time. Right now I'm typing and listening to a favorite CD thinking about lyrics I can use for a photo journaling assignment. I can't just cook dinner. I have to have a book to peek in or a pile of mail to go through while the water boils. I don't watch TV, I watch TV and have a magazine or book or computer in my lap. I have to listen to podcasts while I walk the dog. It's a sickness.

This has been a week of multitasking and my art room shows it. It's buried. I can't stand it any longer. (Notice there are no pictures of that!) I'm glad I finished up a few projects because now I can clean up and get ready for the next round. I've been thinking about making a page inspired by the Teesha Moore videos I watched. Of course I had to make and paint 4 art journals first. (Teesha shows us how on one of her videos.) One group talked about lettering and challenged us to a practice. An ATC example is above. A few more groups threw out some journaling prompts that sounded like fun. Well, I want to do it all!

My first project was inspired by the prompt "Up up and away!" and involves a hot air balloon. I collaborated with my 8 y.o. daughter. She needed something to work on so I gave her the task of making the balloon out of watercolor paper and paint. She added her family to the basket, including the dog. I did the background and details and the lettering. Let me tell you, my heart was pounding right before I put the first mark down! That's the thing about journaling... I'm so nervous to write stuff down because I'm afraid I'm going to ruin the picture. I'm over it. I did it. I made the first mark. And now you can't stop me. The whole page is above, here's a detail of the basket:

I think it came out nicely. I love working on art with my daughter. She's so free and uninhibited.

My sketchbook project group was posting some pages they did a'la Teesha Moore style. It looks so fun. I love her style, the colors, the funky faces and her lettering. So I whipped up a page. If it doesn't make sense, it's OK. It makes sense to me... and that's all that matters, right? (But it would be nice if ONE person found some humor in it!) Here she is... this is Irma.

I saw the cupcake picture with the word "Friday" on it and it all fell together. As for the lettering...I just did it. I wasn't even nervous. I
was anal enough to lay out a piece of tracing paper to space the words, but that's about it. I think it turned out quite nicely.

Next up... my sketchbook should arrive soon and I can start working on my pages. I completed one whole spread that I will tip-in, and started a few more pages to add to the book. I will post that soon. I am taking an online photo journaling class with L.K. Ludwig. It's starting slowly but I really need to put some pages together. I'll keep you updated on that too. I've got a lot of work ahead of me... it's a good thing I can do five things at once, eh?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Madonnari chalk drawing festival

Oh where to start... Madonnari is an Italian Street Painting Festival dating back to the 16th century where painters transform village street squares into colorful temporary galleries. Well, my little town decided to host it's own "Madonnari Off Main" in downtown Glen Ellyn. This is the second annual, last year we had a little 2' x 2' square my daughter designed and colored. But this year... my favoritist rock band in the world was sponsoring a fan contest, how could I NOT participate? I bought a square for $25, ALL proceeds going to Ronald McDonald House. It was simple, draw a picture that had something to do with the Lovehammers music... the winner gets to have DINNER with the band!! What are the chances... ?

By the way, I wouldn't even have attempted it without my art partner and 8 year old daughter! Our canvas was a 5' x 5' square of asphalt. That's right. Parking lot material. I had drawn out my design on a 9" x 12" paper the day before and gridded it so I wouldn't be flying completely by the seat of my pants. Dick Blick supplied gobs and gobs of chalk and little brushes and we were on our knees by 10:00 a.m. Here is about 30 minutes into it:

Luckily it was a beautiful warm sunny day, We got some great compliments by passers-by. One lady's observations on my drawing just floored me. She noticed the symbolism and really "got it". Another guy looks and asks "Does that mean what I think it means?" and after a second, I burst out laughing and told him no. He said he had three daughters and just thought that... well, it was a good message anyway. About 2.5 hours into it, the picture looked like this:

It took another hour and a half to put down all the blue and add shading and details to the lettering. I think we used about 10 sticks of blue chalk. And if you dab the chalk with a paintbrush while laying it down, it goes deep into the cracks of the asphalt and really makes the color pop brightly. We were done by 2:00. It took 8 hours between the two of us! And my little partner plugged along the entire time, not complaining about sore knees, loving every minute of it. Here are some details of the picture:

So we checked in with the contest people and got some lunch, and wandered around for a few hours. Here's a weird part (cue Twilight Zone music) We walked by our drawing once and found a bright yellow piece of paper just sitting on the drawing. It was a menu from a restaurant called Bistro Monet. I picked it up and perused it and laughed at the fancy descriptions of the food. We walked around some more. By the time we got back we were informed... we would be having DINNER WITH THE BAND!!! That night! Like, in an hour! Ack. I didn't have time to be nervous. I called my husband and casually mentioned that we would be dining with the Lovehammers, don't expect us home for awhile (there was a free concert afterward too!) Well, I was in athletic capris, really dirty shoes, all my makeup had been sweated off and my hair had a really bad case of hat-head. And I had chalk under my nails. Where was dinner? A REALLY fancy french restuarant in downtown Glen Ellyn, Bistro Monet. (Twilight Zone music again!)

This is the band. On the left is Dino Kourelis. I am second from left, my daughter next to me. Then there's a fan, Marty Casey, and another fan. On the right side is Bobby Kourelis and Billy Sawilchik. Let me tell you... I've met "Rock Stars" before... and these guys were the nicest, most down to earth people ever. It was so easy to talk to them and ask questions. I thought at first that I would be really nervous and not say a word, but it was the opposite, my mouth probably ran too much. They were very gracious with my daughter and included her in the conversations. Several members have kids of their own and they didn't swear once! We were there for about an hour and a half and the time flew by! The other girls in the back flocking Marty Casey were the other winners. I'll be completely honest here... there were only two participants so the band decided to invite us all! (Although I like my picture better, hehe.) I was walking on clouds the entire weekend... because really, what are the chances of ME dining with my favorite band?

About the Lovehammers: Singer Marty Casey was on the reality show RockStar INXS where he came in second (thank goodness... he's too good for INXS!) He toured with L.A. Guns a few summers ago and now he's focused on his longtime band Lovehammers. The band members are all from the Chicago area so they have a nice following here. They do ALOT of concerts for charity and fundraising events, bless their souls. They have raised money for animal shelters, Ronald McDonald House, pediatric cancer research, and various other local charities. Marty Casey's Silver Elements Collection donates money to American Forests “Global Releaf” Ecosystem Restoration Projects.

The picture we drew was imagined from the song "Honest I'll Wait" from the Lovehammers newest CD "Heavy Crown".

Honest I'll Wait
Whatever gets you high will never get you through your worries
Affection that you feel, the pain inside your skin can't bury
If this road that you take is three times luckier
The earth is gonna shake and the restless souls will come for you.
Honest I'll wait, till the wave crashes over me
In wide open space, your sound fills the rest of me
No matter how I try, I can't escape this way I'm feeling
No longer run and hide, I turn and face the wave that heals me
If this road that you take is three times luckier
The earth is gonna shake and the restless souls will come for you.
Honest I'll wait; honest I'll wait
Till the sun refuse to shine, honest I will wait.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I won! (and other stuff I'm workin' on)

I am SO excited... I found out Sunday that I won the Twinchie Lottery over at TheLatestTrendsinMixedMediaArts yahoo group! The Twinchies I made for the lottery were posted here a few weeks ago. I've never made a Twinchie before and of course had to try one. I had no intention of winning cause I've never won anything before. Well, that's not true... I won an "Air America" tank top in a "Why I Love Mel Gibson" contest about 15 years ago! Don't laugh... it was before he went crazy and immoral. OK, I guess I also won dinner with my favorite Rock Star dudes for making a pretty chalk drawing in the street. Actually, I think I'll write about that next time... But I digress. I am really excited because over the next few weeks I will be getting 31 Halloween twinchies in the mail from various awesome artists in the group. Seriously, how cool is that? I need to come up with a project or some way to display them all. Maybe an advent-type calendar for the month of October? Every day a door opens to a new little picture? Hmm.

In other news... I've loaded my plate with committment for the next few months. I signed up for a sketchbook project with ArthouseCoop . People from all over the world participate. They send us a 5" x 8" Moleskine sketchbook (80 pages! gulp!) and we fill it up with sketches, drawings, collages, etc. of a particular theme given to us. Mine is "Past, Present, and Future". The due date is early January and I haven't gotten my book yet. I've decided to make a few pages that will later will be "tipped in" the sketchbook when I get it. Once they get the book back, it goes traveling all over the country to different art galleries. People will be able to look at it, touch it, flip through it. After the national tour it will be part of a permanent sketchbook library, where people can go and check out the books like a regular library. The downside is that I won't get to keep my sketchbook, but the upside is that I will be sharing a part of myself with the world. Another upside is all the wonderful and talented artists I'm meeting through this project. I am going to try and post my progress, if I make any, LOL.

I am also very excited to be taking a "Point and Shoot Journaling" class with L.K. Ludwig, who is the author of some very cool books on Journaling, including True Vision, Collaborative Art Journals, and Mixed Media Nature Journals. These are all really good books and she's a wonderful artist. I've been looking for a class to take... and I LOVE taking photos and this just clicked. I'll try to post my progress here too.

I really want to work on posting more often, but I don't always have something new to post. So I guess I'll go into my artbox archives and pull something up. Today's image is an ATC I made for a Misty Mawn type ATC swap. And I'll post soon about my summer adventure involving lots of chalk, a parking lot and a fancy french dinner with my favorite rock band.