Mixed Media Art. Photography. Inspiration.

Monday, January 31, 2011

One World One Heart 2011. It's Here!

Hi there!  The One World One Heart event is here!  Grab a nice cup of coffee and let me officially introduce myself.  I'm Esther Orloff, the "E" behind E Makes Art.  I am a mixed media artist, photographer, and occasional jewelry maker from So. California.  For 15 years I worked as a decorative artist and muralist, and I am now a stay at home mom who sneaks into her studio whenever she can...or else nobody's  happy!

Some Of My Favorite Things
  • learning new techniques
  • travel (esp. to Europe...sigh...)
  • rusty bits 
  • copper
  • peacock blue
  • tons of texture and personality
  • beautiful light and shadows
  • THAT moment......you know....that excitement you feel when you've perfectly captured "it"....in whatever medium you are using at the time.

What It's About
My blog is a place where I share what I've created with a bit of my process and details/materials, etc, in part  to document it for myself and in part to hopefully inspire and help others.  My photography is also a huge part of my blog.  I LOVE taking photos and carry my camera with me most of the time. There were MANY times in the past when I missed the perfect photo and still kick myself for not having my camera with me...such as the time I saw that fantastic dog sitting on his owner's lap in the front seat of the car, hanging out the window, with I swear the biggest smile I've ever seen, and more importantly...wearing red goggles!!  So now my camera is pretty much attached to me permanently...it's become part of my personality.

One of you will win this!  Ooh La La!!

One World One Heart
Find inspiring blogs from around the world and have a chance to win fantastic goodies at every stop!  To participate and/or see the lists of blogs participating click on the picture at the TOP of this post.  I will announce the winner of my giveaway on Feb. 17th by posting the name on my blog and contacting by email.  For a chance to win my giveaway you must...
  • leave a comment on THIS post
  • leave your blog link/email 
  • Again...PLEASE make sure I have a way to contact you if you win, or I will have to pick someone else!!

What Can You Win?
My giveaway is the mixed media Eiffel Tower piece up above.  It's an 8"x10" canvas board with my photograph taken in beautiful Paris.  I embellished it with lots of texture from gel medium that was troweled through a stencil,  painted it with fluid acrylics, then drew over areas with a pen.  Here are some detail shots...

I figure since this is an international event (and I love Paris)...why not celebrate that with an international art piece!  Good luck everyone!!

If you don't want to win my giveaway, but at least want to say hi and/or have me come visit your blog that's fine too!  Just tell me to not include you in the drawing in your comment.

Comments for the drawing are now closed.  Thanks everyone!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday : Initials

Here's my shadow shot for this week.

I had a little fun this week creating a little still life with a self portrait which you can see in my side bar.  I took photos of the whole still life, then zoomed in on these small wood letters of my initials because I loved the shadows they were creating.

To join in visit Hey Harriet for Shadow Shot Sunday.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lovely Jewelry!!

I've been wanting to share some jewelry that I made a few years ago, so I finally had a fun little photo shoot with a few of my favorites.  Turns out I not only like making jewelry, but I also love photographing it!

I did not make the beads, but I did do all the wire work.  I love working with wire.  For the chain mail one above I made and cut all the jump rings from sterling silver wire, then linked them all together...very meditative.  hmm...need to make another one of these soon...

I made this one above with sterling silver wire also.  Sigh...so pretty.  And I love that red bead.  Just don't wear it with an open weave sweater...one guess as to how I know this...

These first three pieces were from classes taken at Brea Bead Works.  This bracelet I made below was taught by Sharilyn Miller.  She is brilliant!!  Check out her website...she has amazing DVD tutorials and books on jewelry making if you can't take a class from her in person.  

Fun rings made with sterling or copper wire and natural stones.

This great pendant I bought has the sun on one side and the moon on the other.  I designed a pretty scalloped beaded chain for it.

This last one is very simple and hung on a leather cord.  I think the heart was by Thomas Mann, but I'm not sure because I don't see it on his site with the rest of his hearts.  I wrapped it with copper wire and hung a little Swarovski  crystal on it.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my jewelry.  I haven't even shown you my very favorite pieces yet.  You'll just have to wait.  This makes me want to make more, but there's lots of painting to be done first...  

I'm hoping to open an online shop in the next several months, and although I want to concentrate on my artwork and prints of my photos, I also want to sell a bit of jewelry too.  I have many beautiful beads that need to see the light of day.  Sigh...not enough hours in the day...

Also, don't forget about the gigantic blog hop I talked about in the last post.  I heard last year had around 1000 people!!  If you want tons of people to be able to find your blog, and visa versa, join us.  Click on the link above or in the sidebar to find out how.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Giant Blog Hop Coming Up!!

Hi there!  Just a quick lil' post to let you know what's coming up.  If you are a blogger and want to find other bloggers to inspire you, help people find you, and have a chance to win great giveaways...then this is for you!  It's one big giant blog hop!  Click on the photo above to go see what it's about and read all the rules.

 Everyone who participates has to do a giveaway/door prize, so that's what I'm working on right now...my 1st giveaway!  I can't show you what it is yet because the fun doesn't start until Jan 30th and it runs until Feb 17th. If you want to join the hop you have plenty of time, it's going to be fun!!  Again, just click on the photo for all the info!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Crumbled Rusty Garden Wall Painting

Here's another finished mixed media painting that I made as homework for the online Texture Town class.   Remember I mentioned the art vortex and getting paintings done in the last post?  This is another one that I worked on that day.  It is supposed to be a soft pretty crumbly wall, but I had to kick it up a notch with some rusty bits and faux rust paint so it felt more "me". 

I've been collecting rusty bits for years (sounds dirty, LOL!) and didn't know what exactly I was going to do with them....until now!!  I knew they would be worked into my art, but I hadn't really used them yet.

I'm so excited and I LOVE the way it turned out!  I told my husband that this painting has been in me for quite a while now, I guess I just needed this class and these techniques to bring it out!  Everything in it's own time, right?

This shot above shows my favorite part of the painting...it really does look old and decayed.

This is done on a 12x12 canvas with layers of Heavy Gel Medium, stencils, Golden's fluid acrylics, and of course... found rusty bits.

I hope you all are constantly learning more, and taking what you are learning and making it more "you"....you have to...no one else will!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Art Vortex and Shadow Shot Sunday

Thursday was the best day ever!  I got sucked into an art vortex and painted for hours, only stopping when necessary.  I was in that amazing place where time, hunger, and pain do not exist (though they certainly exist now).  I was in "the zone" that we artists strive for.  The one we create rituals to try be able to tap into it when we want, but so many times it eludes us, but not me...not Thursday.  Everything just flowed so wonderfully!  I was floating...and still am!

 I finished this painting, almost finished a second one and even worked on a small third one all that day.

 This is from Lesson 8 : 2D texture for my Texture Town class.  This class really is the best!  I can't believe how much I'm getting out of it!  I love it!! I know I keep saying it, but it's true!  If anyone is considering it, I highly recommend it!

 This was painted on a 12x12 canvas.  I glued down paper, fabric, netting, mesh, and ribbons with gel medium.  I then used the gel medium to create texture and stamped into it (in the center red square) and used stencils to add the raised dots.

I painted this to hang in the direction that is shown, but once it was done, I turned it clockwise one turn and liked it that way too.  So I posted both in the class forum to see what they thought and one of the teachers, Julie Prichard, suggested  turning it once more.  So I ended up posting it all four ways and asking the other students to vote.  Everyone liked it a different way!  I think it's a wonderful "problem" to have.  I've never experienced this before.  So I decided just to go with how I originally planned it, and whoever ends up buying it down the road can hang it however they want!

And here's my photo for Shadow Shot Sunday.  I thought this went well with the painting above with a bit of similar colors and pattern.  To join in the fun and see more shadows, pop on over to visit  Hey Harriet.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday : Brushed With Light

 I keep this cool urn with my main brushes on my work table, and have been wanting to get a photo of them.  When I saw this great shadow coming across the floor from the window in my studio, I wanted to see what I could do with it...so...

here are my shadow shots for this week.

To join in the fun,  pop on over to Hey Harriet's for Shadow Shot Sunday.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Finished Texture Painting : Hidden Depths

 I finished another painting for the online Texture Town class that I'm taking.  Did I mention that I love this class?  And this is my favorite assignment so far, Lesson 7 - Advanced Gel Layering x2.  I am learning so much and loving it!

The color isn't quite as red as it appears in the first shot, more of a deep rust like in these photos here. 

There are actually two paintings for this assignment, and I'm working on the second one now.  Of course I'll share it with you when it's done.  I hope you are all doing well, and haven't given up on your New Year's resolutions already!   

 Enjoy today.  
Enjoy your own company. 
 Enjoy the gifts that you have been given.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday : Simple Beauty

Here's my shadow shot for this week.  
I haven't had time this week to take any new ones, but since I missed the last 2 weeks of Shadow Shot Sunday I didn't want to miss another one.  So I dug this out from the Pasadena church photos, some of which I shared with you here and here.

This photo is so simple, but I really like it and wanted to share it with you.  I love the shadows from the gorgeous rain spouts, along with the wispy shadow from the palm tree.

To join in with your own shadow shots, or to see more, just pop on over to Hey Harriet's blog for Shadow Shot Sunday.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Finding Balance with a Peacock Inspired Painting

I finally have a new art piece to show you, and I'm pretty sure it's now my favorite painting that I've done so far.  Well... besides "Branching Out".  And "Don't Lose Heart".

 I gave you a little teaser photo of this one a while back, and then mentioned in a recent post that I had one ALMOST done, which just needed the final details.

 Well...here it is ...finally complete!  

I'm so sorry that I haven't been posting much art lately.  Actually I just haven't been posting much at all  lately.  I've been obsessed with getting my studio in order.  I couldn't concentrate on anything else.  And no, it's STILL not done, but I realized I started feeling a bit "icky" and empty, and I knew what needed to be done. 

 That's my remedy.  My refuge.
  I tend to go go go on a project (in this case my studio) and burn myself out.  And I don't allow "play time". 

 I felt out of whack. 

 Off balance.

 So back into the studio I went, but not to clean.  I turned on some music, lit a yummy candle and started to play.  
Ahh....much better.

This painting was done on a 9" x 12" x 1.5" canvas.  I started it by slathering on a very thick coat of Golden's   heavy gel (matte) and then drew and dabbed patterns into it while it was still wet.  I let it dry overnight then painted it with Golden's fluid acrylics.  I then mixed those same paints with glaze and started to add layers of glazing to add more depth and bring out the texture more.

I didn't originally plan on adding an embellishment to this when I was working on it.  I figured the wonderful texture, pattern and luscious peacock colors would be enough, but once it was "finished" I knew it needed that little extra touch to make it truly special. The top half seemed a bit boring and "light" compared to the heavier bottom, but I didn't want to overdo it.  I new just what it needed. 

 It needed balance. 

I loved the bead and wire detail that I added to my "Wish" painting, so I  decided to do something like that again.  I wire-wrapped beads with copper wire and then made two long links out of wire to to connect it to the sides with copper tacks.

Ahh.  Balance.

So do you sense a theme here? 

 I noticed that a lot of artist bloggers pick a word to represent the new year for them.  Something they want or need in their life.  Something to strive for and focus on in that year.  I wondered if I were to pick a word, what would it be?  I started to write a list but nothing hit home. 

 So I let it go.  

A few days later this word kept on popping in my head.  Balance.  What did this painting need?  Balance.  More importantly...what do I need?  Balance.  I really do.  I need to find balance in all areas right now.  Art.  Family.  Health.  etc...

So folks, I'm going to give this word of the year thing a shot.  Why not? 
 I feel better already just writing it and putting it out there.
So that's my word for 2011. 


OOPS!!!  I just noticed that it's now 1am!!  Well....not off to the best start with this whole balance thing, but baby steps.  

Baby Steps.