Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Artistic Christmas Gift

Title: Natural Friendship

Date: December 2008

Materials: Acrylic Paint, Wooden Tray,
Scrapbook Paper, Mog Pog Glossy Gel Medium,
Black Ball Point Pen

Note: This is a Christmas Gift for a friend.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!
I have many photos and some art to share. I have been busy wrapping gifts, cooking, visiting friends and relatives, and otherwise celebrating Christmas. Stay tuned for more posts to come soon.

Introducing: Trips & Treks

This new blog will be dedicated more solely to my travels and adventures, mostly with my husband, but sometimes with friends and relatives.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Picture Tags

I was tagged by Annabeth at Life from the Toaster.
The rules are: Go to your Picture file, go to the 5th folder, open up the 5th picture, post it, and then tag 5 people.

Horizontally, this is the photograph that satisfies the tag rules.

Here we are at the National Tree in Washington, DC in December of 2007.

Vertically, this is the photograph that satisfies the tag rules.

This is Mabry Mill in Virginia.

I tag Melissa and Beth.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Piedmont Craftsmen's Fair

Sites from the Fair at the Benton Convention Center...

We attended the fair with some friends from church.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I am Thankful for...

-my Home
-my Church
-my Job
Happy Thanksgiving! May this be a time of rejoicing!

Monday, November 24, 2008

My Favorite Art Processes

1. Drawing

2. Weaving

3. Photography

4. Ceramics

5. Painting

6. Graphic Design

7. Mixed Media

8. Collage

Monday, November 17, 2008

Birthday Gift

I made this plaque for a friend for her birthday. It references techniques I learned about mixed media collage in my latest art teacher workshop. Photos and info about these techniques can be found on my mixed media collage blog entry.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Blog Tag aka Things Art Teachers Do For Fun!

Rebecca tagged me... (I was surprised.)

The rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write Six Random Things about yourself.
4. Tag a few other people at the bottom of the post.
5. Leave comments on their blogs, letting them know they've been tagged!
6. Let the person who tagged you know when you've written the post.

6 Random Things about Me

1. I have lived in NC my entire life. I lived in one town growing up, one town for college, and one town now that I am married. All of these towns are within 30 minutes to an hour of each other.

2. I play mandolin, guitar, (electric and acoustic,) lap dulcimer, violin, and harmonica. The mandolin was my first instrument, and I started playing when I was 15 years old.

3. My favorite television show, (now off the air,) is The Waltons. I have 7 seasons on DVD. (I think it may have actually gone off the air around the time I was born.)

4. I enjoy writing. I have written several poems and short stories, including a sequel to "To Kill a Mockingbird." I wrote most of the stories when I was in school with my classmates as the characters. I had a couple poems published in anthology books. Several of my childhood friends became my pen pals. Once, I also wrote a letter to the editor of our local newspaper arguing for some organizations, such as the local arts council, during budget cuts.

5. I had very long hair growing up. At one point, my hair touched my waist.

6. I graduated as valedictorian of my high school senior class. I graduated magna cum laude from my college class.

I tag Aaron & Lauren, Melissa, Jennifer, and Kristin. (Some of these blogs are for specific subjects, but we will see if anyone answers... Most of you taggers have already tagged each other!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mixed Media Collage

On November 4, art teachers all over the county attended a hands-on art workshop. My instructor, who is also the visual arts lead teacher, taught a workshop on mixed media collage techniques. She said she was inspired by the work of Teesha Moore. Check out her website here and her blog here.

I am in one of the art rooms at East Forsyth Middle School.
For more info on EFMS, check out their website here.

We were free to explore our own ideas and techniques with the materials and media: scrapbook paper, gel medium, acrylic paint, pens, markers, textured objects for printing, and beeswax as a finishing layer.
(This is after lunch! Notice my Taco Bell cup, containing my favorite: Baja Blast Mountain Dew.)

Check out the works-in-progress...

and then the ...


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Fall Break

During the weekend of October 31-November 2, my husband and I explored Floyd,VA. Since it is nestled in the Blueridge Mountains, I expected a very 'traditional, down-home' place with homecooking restaurants, bluegrass music, and original buildings on Main Street. FLOYD HAS IT! Floyd, VA also has contemporary art galleries, organic food, and a 'green' village for lodging and shopping, constructed with natural or environmentally friendly materials. The weekend was a fun and relaxing mix of 2 cultures as modern art meets traditional living...

For more information, check out:

Buffalo Mountain

The entrance is a few miles outside of town. You drive about half way up the mountain, on a dirt road, into the woods. Then, you hike to the summit. We hiked up it in less than 30 minutes. I was a little shocked to see a marked rattle snack crossing on our hike!

Jacksonville Center for the Arts

The Art Center is an old dairy barn, but the architecture inside is modern and contemporary. The building is divided into a hand full of galleries, and the rest of the space is divided into individual studies for artists to come and work.

(Floyd was originally named Jacksonville; the name was changed to match the county name.)

Hotel Floyd

The cemetery behind the hotel, which is between the hotel and Main Street, dates back to 1830 and contains the unmarked grave of Nathaniel Henry, son of Patrick Henry.

Here is the land between the hotel and office that will be home to 17 more rooms for Hotel Floyd. Each room has a different theme...

We stayed in the Crooked Road Room, based on the crooked road of the heritage music trail.

Scenes of Main Street

The Floyd Country Store
Home of the Friday Night Jamboree

Courthouse near Main Street, 4-way, Intersection
(Photo courtesy of

A Potter's Studio in the Winter Sun Building

The View: To & From
Along the Way on NC-8 & VA-8

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Look Inside an Artist's Sketchbook

My high school art teacher, Rick Flanery, (see his school website here,) was one of the first people who encouraged me to keep a sketchbook. Not only is it a place to record images, sketches, and visual representations, but an artist's sketchbook becomes a place for her to record history, thoughts, discoveries and inspirations.

First of all, you see pencil drawings that were completed shortly after my high school years in Mr. Flanery's art classes and during my first year of college.

Next, you have a sneak peak into the beginnings of my current pen and ink drawing styles.

Finally, take a look at one of my first 'formal,' (although a sketchbook is usually informal,) attempts at adding color to my pen and ink designs.

As I mentioned, a sketchbook can be like a journal as the artist records history through visual representations. Not all these drawings are dated, but I remember basically and sometimes specifically where I was and what I was doing when I drew the sketches... such as relaxing at home on a weekend or summer break from college, visiting relatives for holidays, sitting with my great aunt during a chemotherapy treatment, or sitting around at the pool with friends...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Walking Art

So, what does an artist and art teacher dress up as for Fall Festival?

Walking Art.....

Here you see me dressed as Renoir's painting, "Le Moulin de la Galette,"
during my fall festival role as a face painter.

(My portrait was courtesy of a fellow facepainter, pictured below.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Stokes County Fair

This past September, I entered some art, crafts, and cookies in the Stokes County Fair. This fair is very traditional and somewhat small. It has unique categories, and I was curious to see which other professional artists would enter work in the fair and what kind of work they would enter. (I was also inspired by my pastor's wife and children who always enter the Stokes County Fair.)

I was excited to be named Best of Show in the Fine Arts Department for my pen and ink drawing.

(Photo courtesy of my husband)

I also ventured into the crafts and cooking category.
I won 9 ribbons out of 11 entries.

Friday, October 17, 2008

My Favorite Art Media

1. Pen & Ink

2. Clay

3. Acrylic Paint

4. Pencil/Graphite

5. Watercolor Paint

6. Paper

7. Yarn

8. Fabric

9. Charcoal

10. Ink

11. Colored Pencil

12. Pastel

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Close Up

Contemplations of a Photographer


Using your surroundings...

Colors of Nature

This weekend, we visited Western North Carolina to visit some friends. We drove near Grandfather Mountain and detoured slightly onto the Blueridge Parkway. The fall trees and colors were painted their annual reds, oranges, and yellows, but the weather was unusually warm, which made traveling and photography very comfortable and enjoyable.

Some of our Friends, and Fellow Photographers

Experiments with
Light, Shadow & Reflections

Framing the Fall Colors