Future Tenant Art Space with Streetheart in Pittsburgh

photo credit Katie Maillis
At the end of November, a handful of my mixed media paintings were shipped to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to be part of a week-long pop up shop at the Future Tenant.  My friend from high school, Katie Maillis of Streetheart, was featured along with other local designers at this awesome venue for creative ventures in the city.  Along with her friend Jessica, they've created a clothing line that blurs the boundaries between street and high fashion.  I answered her call for artists to be included in the shop with their designs over the Thanksgiving holiday.  When I was in high school, I used to dream of living as an artist in Pittsburgh, walking to the Andy Warhol museum and sipping coffee at the Beehive...   


Art in Boxes, New York Exhibition

A handful of my collages are included in the 'Art in Boxes' show at the AG Gallery in Brooklyn, NY.  It is the 3rd annual holiday exhibit, showcasing over thirty emerging artists form the US & abroad.  
   My friend Rikkianne shared this opportunity with me & we both had our work accepted.   A real life Etsy shop! 


why hello there

    Wednesday came around quick this week, and the afternoon here in San Antonio is overcast with a chill in the air.  Perfect studio weather!  I do hope it heats back up just a bit for this Saturday's craft & art show at the Community UCC.  I have an outdoor spot this weekend to display my artwork & painted necklaces along with a handful of sewn & stamped greeting cards.  Everybody loves a sweet note in the mail!  If you're in the city, come out to support local art and craft!

   Loose Tooth Studio has been fortunate to be involved in local art events every Saturday this month & it's been keeping me inspired during the week!   Bob Ross said every day is a good day when you're painting and I completely agree!  I'll be updating my Etsy shop and website at the beginning of December, so keep coming back for holiday gift ideas and new creative ventures!


Braundera YMCA Craft Fair

A new batch of paintings and collage, all ready for the craft fair tomorrow at the Braundera YMCA.
  San Antonio, come out and see me in O.P. Schnabel Park from 8-4 Saturday!


Paintings in Progress on Election Day

This afternoon the light was so wonderful in the living room that I moved my studio projects out to the kitchen table.  There are a handful of wooden cradleboards in the works right now...they are so fun to paint!  The bold patterns remind me of sweaters I wore in the early 90s.  I took a break to scour the bookshelves at the local thrift & returned home with E. H. Gombrich's Story of Art & a book on small parrots called Budgerigars.  It's no secret that I love the saturated colors in old bird & aquatic animal books.  They make great visual resources.

It is election day, and I voted early here in Texas. Someone (obviously not a printmaker) approved the batch of stickers available at my polling location that simply read 'I oted.'  There is a big blank spot down the middle.  Do you think it will be a collector's item?


Zion Lutheran Arts and Crafts Fair

  My table at the Zion Lutheran Arts & Crafts fair on November 3.  The morning started out overcast and looking like rain, but by afternoon the sun had come out and I got sunburned!   I was one of only three fine artists at this venue.   There is one more show at the end of this month, I'll be preparing some handmade greeting cards to accompany my artwork and necklaces.  It's finally time to break out the letterpress!

So Glad You're Here

Since I began my new job as a painting instructor at a local art studio in San Antonio, I've been using acrylics a lot more in my own artwork.  I love how a painting can continually change with a layer of color; the mixed media work on the left (5" x 7" x 1 1/2" canvas) was originally a robin's egg blue.  I painted and repainted, covered up a lovebird painting with a burst of colorful balloons and finally ended here, with a turquoise background, typed banner & collage elements from a vintage book on bird-keeping.  The paintings are much more free than my drawings, which can be fun but also frustrating when I can't figure out how to complete it.

'We Are'  acrylic, glitter, type, paper & thread on canvas


Ladies First Holiday Arts & Crafts Show

    This past Saturday, I was a vendor in the Ladies First Holiday Art & Craft Show in San Antonio, my first art event as a Texas resident!  The previous fairs I participated in had significantly smaller tables, so it was nice to spread out and style it.  This was the first showing of my new painting series and bauble necklaces.



Preparing for the Ladies First Art Show


Hello there!  It is an overcast Tuesday afternoon here in San Antonio.  
My studio looks like a tornado struck, supplies scattered across the table as I switch between painting and necklace making in preparation for this weekend's event.  The Ladies First Holiday Arts & Crafts Show is Saturday at the First Assembly of God Church here in Texas, and it will be my first art event in the city.  I'm looking forward to meeting other artists and am excited to be a vendor in the show!  My booth will have plenty of wearable art along with original collages, drawings, prints & paintings.  



A few images of the painted wood necklaces I'm making.  My afternoon was spent stringing the beads and fancying them up!  These will make their debut at my art & craft fairs next month. They are big and chunky, but light to wear!  Each one hangs down about 13 inches for the longest strand, with the short strand measuring around 10 or 11 inches depending on the necklace.


I could breathe underwater

The third painting in my new 'Dream Sea' series.  2" x 6" x 6" acrylic & graphite.   I chose the title because they feel like daydreams, in both appearance & process--imagined, playful and vivid.  The fish's environment is very surreal, an undulating landscape growing amidst layers of paint & pattern.  First, I sketch the fish and match it to a painted cradleboard.  The image is then transferred from my sketchbook to the painting with tracing and carbon paper.                                                             


The Search I & II

The first two  acrylic paintings in my new series 'Dream Sea.'   The Search I & The Search II...I like the contrast between the geometric background and more organic shapes in the foreground.  I'm excited to have these and other new paintings at my next few art fairs in November!


Studio Happenings

I woke up early, brewed a pot of strawberry shortcake flavored coffee and sat down in my studio to paint with some equally sweet colors. These paintings are on 2" deep,      6" x 6" cradleboard-I began painting the background patterns when I lived in South Carolina, but never knew how to finish them.  Listening to Best Coast this morning, I began to paint a goldfish, swimming in a dream...I have a tiny plastic goldfish that sits in my studio, with an assortment of other inspirational and special things.  I bought it out of a quarter machine about eight years ago in Austintown, Ohio.  I was waiting for an order of fried fish and macaroni at No-Day's Deli to take home to my Grandma...I had two quarters in my pocket and I can't resist a quarter toy machine (or the bubblegum balls filled with nerds, those are great too).  Anyhow, I looked over to my desklamp and saw the little fish sitting there and knew she belonged in the painting.  Mixing a little bit of the past with the present.  The creative process here is so different from my drawings and prints-I'm letting them tell me what they want to do, rather than planning everything out from the beginning.  It's fun to play with the imagery and pops of color (neon glazes & glitter paints are a new studio obsession).  


Pinterest DIY: painted wood necklace, black & silver

  Last friday I was a guest artist at the local elementary school here in San Antonio.  I demonstrated different printmaking lessons & ideas for the classroom to a handful of art teachers in the district. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet other teachers & a great creative boost!
   I've been teaching a lot of painting classes & crafting in my free time.  I made this necklace earlier, based off of my 'Pinterest DIY'.  The first version was aqua & gold, this morning's variation in black & silver.  I'm thinking of making a handful of these for the next art & craft fair...the studio will be busy the next few weeks with new artwork & jewelry creations!


September Sale

   Now through the end of September, I am running a special sale in my Etsy shop!  For the next two weeks at Loose Tooth Studio, buy any two original works of art & receive a third one free.  To take advantage of this promotion, enter the name of your chosen third piece in the 'notes to seller' at checkout.  Price of free artwork must be of equal or lesser value to qualify for the sale.  Contact me with any questions!  This is a great time to do some early holiday shopping & get your pick from the shop before my next art fair.  Thanks for supporting handmade art!


Pinterest DIY: Geometric Pendant Necklace

The official blog of the Indie Craft Parade is full of artist interviews, inspiration & DIY projects from around the web.   Their post on the geometric trend in art and accessories caught my interest, especially the 'Geometric Pendant' from Dismount Creative, which was the basis for my most recent creation.  In the interest of keeping things fancy, I made some alterations to the original DIY: rather than a single pendant, I made a double stranded necklace with clusters of geometric beads & incorporated neon pink into the color scheme.

Supplies:  sculpey clay (I used two packages of silver and 1 neon pink), chain for a necklace, exacto blade, thin knitting needle to poke holes into clay.

Directions:  Following the directions from Dismount Creative,  I conditioned the clay by hand and shaped it into a ball.  I pressed it onto the surface of my table to make the back nice and flat, then the holes were made in the beads using a thin knitting needle.  Next, I sliced the angles with a razor blade and baked the beads  in the oven for 60 minutes at 275 degrees (follow the directions for baking on the clay package).  To create the marbled beads, I kneaded scraps of the silver and pink clay together.  The necklaces I used came in a two-pack from the craft store; I extended the second necklace with jump rings and attached it to the clasps on the longer necklace (see image below).


Pinterest DIY: painted wood necklace

Pinterest DIY is a new series of posts at Loose Tooth Studio!  I'll be following craft projects from around the web, documenting my results & variations here.   My first project was inspired by this wooden bead necklace by Urbane Jane.   Modeled after a Kate Spade original, she painted neon pink on wooden beads and strung them from a gold chain.  For more wearability, I altered the color scheme to robin's egg blue, gold and white.  The glitter paint creates visual unity with the chain & reminds my of the formica countertops in my old apartment: familiar, comforting and slightly outdated.

The project called for: A package of wooden beads, jewelry findings, spacer beads and paint.  Instead of the gold spacer beads pictured to the left, I used clear gold glass beads leftover from my middle school jewelry making days.

A Q-tip was pushed inside each bead to make it easier to handle when painting. First, two coats of white paint followed by one coat of the blue 'ocean breeze' paint.  Make sure to use a soft brush-stiffer bristles will leave lines in your coat of paint.  Next, a thin layer of gold glitter paint over just the blue portion.  Lastly, each wooden bead was coated with a gloss varnish to protect the paint and make it shiny. I made a few small changes from the original:  I painted each bead completely to disguise the wood and made it into a double stranded necklace.  The finished piece measures 28" in length, with 16 beads on the long strand and 8 on the shorter end.  Fancy!