Monday, August 31, 2009

Don't Panic!

A preview of a new WoolyGeek, an homage to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Not sure what to do with the base yet, perhaps I will paint it black with stars?

And now, a cat plays with mushrooms...

Monday Inspiration – Collected Tidbits

A Quote:
"I do dream about art, and images come to me in dreams. I am definitely hoping to be in touch with my subconscious. I expect a call any minute."
– Julian Schnabel

A Painting:
Jean-Michel Basquiat

In Italian, 1983. Acrylic, oil paintstick, and marker on canvas mounted on wood supports, two panels. The Stephanie and Peter Brant Foundation, Greenwich, Connecticut (via Brooklyn Museum)

A Book:

Weetzie Bat, one of my favorite young adult novels ever. Well, pretty much anything by Francesca Lia Block is beautiful, magical and inspiring!

A Song: The Legendary Pink Dots...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Felted Friday – How to Get Started

I thought I would focus today's Felted Friday on some resources for folks who might be interested in trying their hand at needle felting.

First, here are a couple of youtube video tutorials that I watched when I first said to myself "How do you DO that?!"

by Ricë , an all around creative powerhouse.

by Kay Petal of FeltAlive

There are also many fantastic web sites with tutorials, books, resources and more. Here are just a few:
Living Felt Felting Supplies
Black Sheep Designs: Needle felt a doll tutorial tons of resources!

And, here is a great resource for farms that raise happy sheep and provide cruelty-free wool:
Dancing Leaf Farm
Homestead Wool and Gift Farm

The best is to get your wool from a local, trusted source. Thankfully I live in rural Ohio and have access to wool from sheep who are loved and taken care of!

Happy Felting!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

More Felted Geekery

Yet another arcade game that I was never very good at was Pac-Man. But, again, I find myself remembering the little ghosties quite fondly. I've made a new set available in my geekery shop:

Remember Chubby Bunny? You'll never believe what happened... she sprouted wings! Check it out!

She must have been a Woolykin all along...

And for a bit of random Thursday fun, enjoy a little Black Adder II geekiness.

Creative Exercise – Pet Names

This week's Creative Exercise from Caffeine for the Creative Mind, by Stefan Muma and Wendy Lee Oldfield, is short and super duper sweet.

The challenge: Hi, I'm Fido
We all have pet names for our pets... but what would they call us? Here are my dudes and what they refer to me as.

From Max (the white one):
1. The Lap
2. Forever Mom
3. Treat Bringer
4. Cuddles
5. Laaaaaaadyyyyyyyyy!!

From Linus:
1. Not-Dad
2. She Who Brings Turkey and Popcorn
3. My Servent
4. Toe Toy
5. The Lap

What was learned: I guess I learned that I am indeed, one of those crazy cat ladies. But in all seriousness, I think this is another perception lesson. Seeing from another viewpoint. In this case, cats.

Try it and share it! Just for fun, and because I want to hear about your crazy pets!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fave Etsy Finds – Luxury Marley

I love love love the work of French Artist Luxury Marley on Etsy. Her thoughtful and delicate paintings are rich with detail and mysticism. Although mostly ink and watercolor, she also uses pinprick to give some of her pieces added dimension and a lace-like quality.

From her profile:
"I am a collector of small rare miracles. I like the old books and their flavor especially the books of graphics and the books of Japanese and Russian artist which are for me of the sources of inspiration!"

I acquired these three pieces this summer and I couldn't be happier with their quality and uniqueness. I hope to mat and frame them as a group and hang them somewhere their detail can be fully appreciated.

Très Jolie!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Inspiration – Soutine's Twisted Towns

This spring while in France I was introduced to the work of Chaim Soutine, a Jewish expressionist painter, friend of Modigliani. He lived a troubled, poverty-stricken life, but always held true to his unique artistic vision. While all of his work was quite moving, I was particularly taken by his "townscapes," which feature a curious skewed perspective and luscious brush strokes.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sketchbook Saturday... on Sunday!

I'm combining the sketchbook and new work features here on my blog because the weekends tend to get away from me...

So without further ado, I bring you Q*bert! I was just bloody awful at that game, but I still love the little dude. What is he, anyway? Whatever he is, you can check him out here...

Coming soon, Woolykins, Jabba and more geeky fun!

Speaking of Woolykins, here are the sketches of Sherman and Eustace that inspired the dolls:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Felted Friday = New Woolykins!

Okay, so Felted Friday is a little self-indulgent this week, but I just have to share! I'm so excited about discovering these new Woolykin beasties! You met Eustace a little while back, but did you know where I found him?

And now, I would also like to introduce you to Sherman, the Bun Giraffe! He is quite the little hunter in my herb garden...

A special thanks to
Maria-Thérèse over at Afiori for the inspiration to photograph these critters in their natural environments!

Speaking of Afiori, I just received my brand new journal from her shop today! Isn't it lovely? And look at that packaging, what a treat! It's like a party in the mail! I've got my pastels and neon watercolors all ready to prep the pages for some writing. I can't wait to fill it so I can get another!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Shops and New Vision

Hello My Friends!

Well, I went off track of the blog schedule a bit, but for a good reason. I've been jamming here in the studio refining, revamping and setting up a new shop!

First off, I really want to focus my artistic output a bit more, so from now on, the JenniferHayesArt shop on Etsy will be the site of my new mixed media work! Check out the new look and new pieces.

Back Then, 8" x 8", mixed media

Bunnies Pop, 8" x 8", mixed media

In other news, I've moved all my sweet geeky needle felted figures to a new shop... WoolyGeeks! I've got a lot of ideas I'd like to share with all my fellow geeks. You'll see that the shop has sections for movies, tv, videogames and more. Have any suggestions? I'd love to hear them! May be redoing the shop banner as I'm not 100% in love with it yet.

Here's a new set of Super Mario Mushrooms to whet your appetite for the geekery:

So stop in and say hi to all the new fun!

p.s. Woolykins will be back very soon....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fave Etsy Finds – Jadefrolics

I just love sharing all the fun and fabulous work I find on Etsy! This week, I would like you to meet jadefrolics! Jade Nellans is an illustrator with an eye for color and an imagination full of humor and twistedness. Seriously, I just adore the slightly twisted air her pieces have. For example, check out this ACEO original available in her Etsy shop:

She also does plush dolls...

Bookmarks and magnets, pendants and more!

I am the proud owner of this original ACEO from her alphabet series:

Isn't she wild??

You can also read more about Jade and her work on her blog, where she has links for all sorts of social networking fun. Enjoy!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Inspiration – Hi-Fructose Magazine

I recently discovered Hi-Fructose magazine while perusing the racks at Borders and was taken by it's colorful content and great layout. I love love love art and design rags, and find them a great resource when my creativity needs a little kick.

Here's what Hi-Fructose is all about (from their about page):
"Hi-Fructose "Under the Counter Culture" quarterly magazine was founded by artists, Attaboy and Annie Owens in 2005 and is published by Ouchfactory Yumclub Publishing. Hi-Fructose transcends genre and trend, assuring our readers thorough coverage and content that is relevant, informative and original. We showcase a mix of underground artists, emerging and rediscovered counter cultures and awe inspiring spectacles from around the world."

Their blog is a fantastic source for even more "emerging artists'" work:

"Royal Egg Watcher", Camilla d'Errico

"The Zero Sum Game", Seonna Hong

Drinking in all that fresh, contemporary work is definitely inspiring me today! In fact, I think there may be a big artistic overhaul in my near future...

What art and design mags do you favor?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

New Work

Unfortunately I don't have a lot of new work to share today, as it's been a bit of a rough week for my family.

I did manage to work up a few cute new ACEOs which I'm experimenting with listing for auction on Ebay. I've been having fun playing with some whimsical cute illustrations. I hope to start on some fantasy type ACEOs this coming week

I'm also playing around with Auctiva to make the listings prettier and easier. Not so impressed yet. Anyone have suggestions for creating more appealing ebay listings?

Sketchbook Saturday

Something colorful...

Something in pencil...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Felt Friday – A New Woolykin!

I've been toying with new ways to handle working with my needle felting projects and have done some reassessing of the whole Woolykins idea. I like having felted fellows in my regular Jennifer Hayes Art shop, but they are of the colorful, cute and geeky sort. I have a vision for Woolykins that is more artistic and unique. Here is a taste of what is to come... introducing my first CatBird Woolykin – Eustace.

Eustace was created a bit differently and comes with his very own stand. He is supported by wire legs standing in on a mossy ground. I'm still going to provide packaging "crates" and dossiers for each Woolykin, so stayed tuned for a grand shop reopening soon!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Warm Fuzzies

Not every day can be oh-so-peachy keen in our lives, so I thought I would dedicate today to sharing some happy, warm, fuzzy art from the archives to offset the blues that can crop up when least expected. With any luck it might bring a smile or two!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Creative Exercise – 25 Adjectives

This week's Creative Exercise was again inspired by Caffeine for the Creative Mind, by Stefan Muma and Wendy Lee Oldfield. That book is RICH with fun ways to stretch your creative muscles!

The challenge: Very Green
The idea here is to take a photograph you find interesting and come up with a list of 25 adjectives to describe the photo (which can mean the content of the image or the photo itself). I selected this image:

My adjectives:
1. mysterious
2. floating
3. vibrant
4. dynamic
5. contrasting
6. well-composed
7. abstract
8. non-traditional
9. feminine
10. masculine
11. balanced
12. colorful
13. strong
14. fluid
15. dramatic
16. Mediterranean
17. traditional
18. misunderstood
19. divergent
20. lush
21. anticipatory
22. tense
23. strong
24. celebratory
25. dangerous

What was learned: I found this to be another exercise in perception. The adjectives I selected run the gamut from describing the image's formal qualities to the content. Looking back at my list, I feel like I've composed a mini-critique of the image! What a good way to get my brain re-adjusted to thinking formally about images.

Try it and share it! There are so many intriguing images that come across our plates every day, some voluntary, some forced at us through advertising. It's interesting to look at these images from a critical viewpoint. As you read your favorite magazine, or drive down the highway, instead of viewing the bevy of ads as visual garbage, try looking at them with a critical eye. You might be surprised at what you find!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fave Etsy Finds – Federikas Vintage Filigree

I've been a fan of the amazing pieces created by Federikas Vintage Filigree since my early days of trolling Etsy for art and hand-crafted goodness. The antique, authentic style of the artists' pieces appeal heavily to the romantic, neo-Victorian goth in me (and the closet Steampunk!).

From the artist's profile:
"All of OUR jewelry designs are made with a touch mystique and romance, plus the combination of brilliant colors, dreams, and imagination. Each piece is delicately created one at a time, by hand and lavishly adorned."

And just look at this color!

These pieces just feel Magical! You can find even more beautiful jewelry in her daughter's shop, OldWorldRomance. Happy shopping!