Thursday, April 30, 2009

Getting to it...



I am enjoying this sunshine we are having here today. I know it hasn't been that long since we've had it, but it feels like it. I am looking forward to more sunshine tomorrow too.

I have been busy posting my stuff on Etsy. It's fun, but a little nerve racking. I just don't know what proper prices are. A friend just told me my prices were too low and so did Josh. I decided to raise them a little bit. It's scary because I can't stop thinking that nobody will like them. I am happy that one person "hearts" my shop. The best part is I don't even know who they are! If anyone has some input on prices I would love to hear it. Thank you Jessica for yours.

I have been posting things that I have done and unfortunately I haven't been working on more new stuff. That will change today I hope. It is so lovely outside that there really is no reason not to work in my studio. I am thinking I will work more with the wax and see where that takes me. It takes a while to melt so I better start now!

Monday, April 27, 2009

More encaustic goodness....



I am still having a lot of fun with encaustic. There is so many interesting outcomes that can result when you are mixing up warm wax with paper and other materials. One thing that has been fun is mixing the wax with paper and then using silver leafing. The piece titled San Francisco I used an old map of San Francisco on a primed board. Then after putting the map down and wax over it I used some different things in my studio to add texture. After that was all set the way I like it, with the right amount of wax etc.. I used silver leaf to highlight the different textures. It was a lot of fun to do.

For the piece "Im the one" I used a board primed and then silver leafed. I like the way the silver leaf turns out with the wax over it. I used some other elements I found in my studio, a cookie cutter for some design and some oil paint. This was another piece that was great to experiment on. I am finding I like the flat boards best. Aesthetically they just appeal to me more. These pieces are available in my Etsy shop along with another piece.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I did it!



I made my first listings on Etsy (not the above two). There are only two of them so far. I used whatever tags seemed appropriate. I still have not read nearly enough about selling on Etsy to feel like I know exactly what I am doing, but I did start.

Here are two more encaustic pieces I made yesterday. I think this is just what I needed to get my creative brain working again. It feels good to come up with some new ideas and different ways of creating. And it's a lot of fun.

By the way, here is a link to my Etsy store (so cool!): http://www.etsy.com/search_results_seller.php?search_type=seller_usernames&search_query=KellyAkinArt

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My experiment


"Helpless"- 2009 Kelly Akin
Well, I couldn't way to try out some new stuff from that book I bought yesterday. I am working on two and finished one. The one above. I like it. It's my first "real" attempt at encaustic. I actually followed directions for priming the board and how to use the medium wax. I am using Wagner Encaustics which is made here in Portland. They come in these nice metal tubs and heat up really well. I have the bug to go buy more, but they are a little spendy so I think I have to wait a bit.

The process was really simple. I started heating the medium wax on a candle warmer. That takes a long time, but that is what I have to use right now. The book suggested using an electric griddle which I will be keeping my eye out for at the thrift stores. Once the wax is heated you use it to prime your board. I did that, then used oil pastels, oil paints, some metal stamping letters and a rub-on. It was quick and really fun. I highly recommend it.

The title of the piece is from a Rolling Stones song that I was listening to Patti Smith sing while I was painting.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Something new...


I bought a new book today. I usually get my art books from the library, but I have been eyeing this one for a bit and knew that I would use it a lot. It is full of amazing things that you can do with wax. I have played around with bees wax before and I have some encaustic wax as well. I have always been a little intimidated by the whole process. I really thought you had to have a lot of expensive supplies etc.. But after reading this book I realize there is so much you can do with wax! I read thru the whole thing and now I plan on using it to play around a bit. I will come back with some posts on what I have made.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

TMI


I think I have a Too Much Information problem.

Lots of books about how to be an artist out in the world sit here at my feet. I have read some of them, but never all the way thru. It might be helpful if I actually did.

My friend Keely wrote this amazing post about trusting the path that you are on. I am feeling a little distrustful about where I am. There is a lot that I want, but I am not sure that I am following the correct path. I see things as how I want them to be and I can say for sure that they look NOTHING like how things look now. Can you accidentally waver from the right path? That is my fear that maybe there was some kind of curve I was supposed to take and instead I went straight.

As someone who loves art in every way I feel like it should be clear. I love art, I love to make art, and so it goes. It seems like it should all be very easy. Since it's not it makes me wonder if I am making the right choice for myself. Should it be easier? Or does all the struggling mean that I am actually doing what I am supposed to do. That I am learning and that makes for some serious growing pains? Or, the scariest thought of all, is there something that I am completely missing? IS there something out there that I don't realize yet?

I have no idea how this will all play out. Maybe by putting putting it here I will be able to look back sometime in the future and think "see you were just waiting for this to happen."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Moderation/Motivation....


Things are a little slow around here. I was really doing well when the weather cooperated. Then the rain came and it got a little chilly. I haven't been doing all that I want. I am motivated, just not enough to kick myself in the pants and get to work. I have a house full of things. Things that are not needed or wanted anymore. I am trying to motivate myself to get it all out of here, but not go so crazy that I get rid of more than I am supposed to. Motivation vs Moderation. I think I might have moderated myself to stop mode.

How do you get yourself up and running?

Monday, April 6, 2009

inspired....


I went with my friend Alea yesterday to see Handmade Nation at the Museum of Contemporary Craft. It was so inspiring! I was so excited to see all the different crafts and designs. It was so cool and I hope it comes out on DVD so I can watch it again. I feel like I probably missed some of what was said since I was looking at what they were showing and not always listening. I came home and immediately set to work.

I have been LOVING this beautiful weather we are having here. It makes it so nice to go to the studio. The kids have been outside and I have been working in the studio with the doors wide open. This is why I love my studio. I sometimes forget in the winter, but now I remember. Spring thru Fall I can work with the doors open and all the natural light coming in. Even when it rains I usually can have the doors open.

My last post was about Etsy. I had some really nice encouragement from Keely and Tara. Tara also had some great info for me. I just have to sit down and read on the Etsy site all of the information that is out there, free! I have to admit, this weather has been so nice I wish I had a laptop to sit outside to do it all. I barely made myself come in to write this. The weather is unfortunately supposed to turn later this week and that is when I will actually sit down and read.
I have to say I wish it was summer now. I love having all this sunshine. Maybe I can convince Josh that I really just need a laptop to work on Etsy. I don't think he would go for it.

I made the piece above over the last two days (sorry for the poor photo). I had a lot of fun doing it. The colors really inspire me right now. This is actual size. I bought a large for me canvas the other day that I am thinking about working on. I usually work pretty small, but I thought I would try it. If it turns into anything I will post it here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Work!


I have been given some very good advice today. I have heard it before but think it is worth repeating. Treat my time in the studio as my "work". If I left my house to go to a job I would go every day and I would get there on time (I hate being late). So, I should treat my studio time as a job and not be late. Go everyday etc... If I was going to "work" I would not worry that the laundry wasn't done, the dishes were not done or any other random thing that I can distract myself with. At least not as I was supposed to be going to my "Job". I would probably get up earlier and do some house work or be just do a better job of managing my time. I know I would do this. The big trick is to allow myself to treat what I do as a "job". Of course, it is my best, most amazing job ever. I guess that's why it makes it so hard for me to think of it as work. Which brings me to my next adventure....

Etsy! I have an account which I had put two paintings on a very long time ago. I never did anything to actively pursue selling. I am not actually sure how you can go about selling on Etsy. I mean, I know the basic set it up etc.. but I don't have any idea how you get people to pay attention to what your selling. Also, I don't know the first thing about making prints or if I should just sell originals (which is my preference). I have a big learning curve, but I am really excited about it. And now that I wrote it here on my blog, it is out there in the Universe. Which means I better follow thru!