Friday, September 30, 2011

Word Paths • I Love...

Everyone has a word path. One word leads to another.

My Friday feature, Word Paths is in it's second week and I just love this idea. 
So many artistic possibilities in written words, creative process and artistic pieces.
The plan is to present three to five words or three to five lines. 
I may go to seven words or seven lines but probably not often only if needed. 
My goal is to keep things in an odd numbered format. 
I plan to work them out artistically and process them to share with you here. 

 Pillow with sewn ribbon used for inpsiration  Velásquez©2011

Inspired by the sewn ribbon design on this 
pillow, I started to play with tape as a medium. 
I love how this inspiration lead to the realization of an idea.

Processing the idea on with tape on butcher paper.

 I wrote the words in marker then painted with strips of tape over them. 
I worked freehand as well but there was better control with a written guide. 
I played with the idea on butcher paper until I found my groove.


 Here is my word path for today

I Love You Out loud and in Black and White                            by Deborah Velásquez©2011

Happy Weekend • Be Passionate and Loud • Enjoy the Language of Words

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Inspiration-A Visual Collection

Here is a Visual Collection of Inspiration from my trip to Anthropologie. I needed to get out of the forest.

An owl greeted me the door.

I was at home feeling antsy, I needed to get out and find some inspiration and change my visuals. 
Anthropologie is always a good source of inspiration for me because they do such a great job of putting creative visuals throughout the store. 
They all tie back to artist all over the world. 
Be it through the books, clothes, house and home, cards or stationery it never fails me.
When you step back and look at the store as a whole it looks like one huge painting.

Painted and stamped cardboard bound journal.

Good design inspires me so, I love that state of excitement. As an artist you see color combinations, craftsmanship, textures, design, displays, vignettes and or products that light you. There is a spark that runs through your creative soul and pushes you to make art. Your art becomes an expansion of those ideas that you brushed up against.

Powers of observation within the artist are pretty keen I find. We see things others do not. This power of observation is found in comedians as well. Ummmm. There is a saying I have never really liked ... "can't see the forest for the trees". I understand what it means but I always think to myself...  I see both! 
I process it differently.

Dyed fabric strips as wall display.
Texture • Texture • Texture

Crocheted birdhouse.
Textured pillow.
Burlap pillow for display only.

Sewn paper.
I have spent a lot  money on things that inspire me, the colored bowls, tea towels, floral brooches, a bit of kitsch from the flea, textiles, stationery, cards, books etc... you know what I mean. I realized two things. The first is that when all these things sit in my studio amongst my work and it all seems to go together. I believe that in the inspiration we surround ourselves with, has the same sensibilities and style as our work. 
I tend gravitate to the same things, in regards to color especially.
The second realization is that I am usually satisfied with a photo of the thing, the object. I can own it but in a visual way. 
This does save me a bit of money.
 I still buy the books though, I can never give up the books.

Wall display made of hangers.

Colored pencils.

New mag and new book. Letters from the flea market. Leaf from nature.

While there I picked Anthology Magazine. Love this substance and style mag started by blogger Anh-Minh Le. I also found this wonderful book called The Native Trees of Canada by Leanne Shapton that I just had to have. Her work and style makes you want to break out the paints. So beautiful and rich in color.

Color • Color • Color

Chartreuse color stories in jewelry and calendars

Appliqué lampshade
Painterly floral fabric
Graphic floral dress
Flowers for your year
Embroidered tea towel.

Painted canvas covered journal.


The end of the day filled full with with browsing, photographing and devouring inspiration, brought an even better surprise. 
My husband bought me a great gift, Sibella Court's, The Stylist's Guide to NYC. I love her work. She is a props/interior stylist from Australia. She collects, creates and writes. She also owns a store in Sydney called The Society Inc. 
I hope to get there someday. 
I first heard of her when she was featured on Man Shops Globe on the Sundance Channel. The show follows Kieth Johnson, buyer-at-large for Anthropologieas he travels around the world searching for furniture, textiles and decorative pieces. 
He also finds artist and crafts people who may find their work featured in the store.

The sepia tone photography invites you to walk through the pages.

Hope you were inspired as I was. 
Create • Imagine • Dream 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

IF: Ferocious

For Illustration Friday • Ferocious

He was the ferocious type.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lessons Learned in Art School

Inspiration I keep on top of my flat file in the studio.
In Friday's post I mentioned art school and I started to think about all the information you get with your lessons, your projects, your critiques and from your teachers. It is stored somewhere. It happens whether you go to art school, take lessons, take workshops or are self taught. We learn tricks, get advice, gain wisdom and learn by doing. It is all passed on to your artistic self.  
They are there consciously and subconsciously. 

Some of my art supplies.
I want to share with you some lessons I learned in art school. 
I learned about:

I do consider it oxygen at times but I use it to give my paper an antique off white look. I do not ordinarily like to paint on pure bright white anything. It smells nice too.

Expensive supplies do not necessarily make better art.

If you come across trash on the side of the road give it a second look because someones trash maybe your art supplies. 
From a close friend, artist and mentor, while walking on the streets of New York. 
Sadly he is longer around and I miss him terribly to this day.

If the design does not work in black and white, color will not fix it or make it better. 
From my one of my design teachers.

In textile painting it is best to tone down bright whites with a "frass" amount of black. 
You and I might call it a smidgen, a dot, but one of my painting teachers called it 
a frass amount which translates to the amount of fly poop, yes frass means fly poop.

God is in the details. Some people say good is in the details. Also from one of my textile painting teachers.

Draw or sketch everyday it can be just a scribble or a doodle in your sketchbook, but make it a point to draw everyday. 
If you can make art everyday all the better.

Before jumping into a piece of work warm up with some gesture drawings, loops or circles to loosen up.

Good layout and design is more pleasing to the eye when elements of that composition 
are represented in odd numbers such as the number three. 
It gives the eye a place to rest and or stop.

At the end of the day the letters after your name do not matter. 
It is what is in your portfolio or body of work. 

Literally and figuratively. I think everyone should learn perspective.

Mies Van Der Rohe said less is more. When you are creating a piece of work and feel like you are done, stop. Walk away. 
Listen to your gut because if you keep fiddling with it you will end up disappointed with an overworked piece. 

Step back away from your piece and have a look. Look at it from different angle. Turn it upside down. You will see more this way. From a fine art painting professor.

If you are stuck use your less dominant hand to draw or paint. I happen to be right handed, I may have been forced by the nuns on this one. I say that because I have used this technique many times and I feel so comfortable drawing and sketching with my left. 
I think I was suppose to be a lefty. From one of my life drawing teachers.

 Never use more than three typeface styles on a given page. It creates font clutter. 
From a former boss.

You can create anywhere be it at the kitchen table, in a corner in the living room, or in the basement. Just create.  

From Colorado, to New York, to Massachusetts, to Connecticut,
I want to give a a million thanks to all the professors, teachers, instructors, 
mentors and former bosses, who took the time to pass on on their wisdom, 
take me under their wing, and share 
all things art and design.
 I know I carry a little piece of all of them in my artist self.

I just love being an artist!
Cover of Sketchbook sent out for Sketchbook Project 2011

I need to include my mom here with  because the best thing she ever said to me was to live life without regret and do everything! 
She bought me my first Vogue mag and a poetry book called Favorite Poems to Read Aloud. 
I carried  it everywhere I went as a child.
They were more of an influence than I ever realized. 

Tile I picked up in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico from
The Poet's Passage owned by Lady Lee Andrews
Would love to hear some of your learning experiences,
 lessons or tips you care to share.
Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Word Paths • My Always....

 Busy in the studio creating some word art and exploring word paths. 
Loving my acrylic ink, oil sticks, and pencil. I use these a lot in my work. 
If I work on a canvas instead of paper in making word art I replace the acrylic ink with acrylic paint.

All work by Deborah Velásquez
My Always Friend ©2011, Black Belt Pillow Fighter ©2011, Black Belt Pillow Fighter tee ©2009
Word paths for me are like a line of movement. One word leads another, linked by thought first then by pen and paint in my case. Everyone has a word path, we all take different paths with our word expression in emphasis, pause, cadence even language. 
It may also depend on who is on the receiving end be it your husband, wife, child, mother, father , sister, brother or your friend. 
I want to make my word paths a Friday feature. 
 I plan to work them out artistically and process them to share with you here. It will make a nice bridge to Monday. The plan is to present three to five words or three to five lines. I may go to seven words or seven lines but probably not often only if needed. 
You know how artists are! 
I want  keep things in an odd number format. I like odd numbers. Sounds like something I remember from art school. 
Remember, as I have said before say them out loud. 

Here is my word path for today.

My Always Friend                                                                        Deborah Velásquez ©2011

We move along
                                                                                            our paths
                                                                                                our route
                                                                                                     the road
                                                                                                          a lane
                                                                                                            a track
                                                                                                        a byway
                                                                                                the footpath
                                                                                               a crosscut
                                                                                             a course
                                                                                         a purpose
                                                                                    a way of life
                                                                                  el paseo
                                                                                 an avenue
                                                                                   a trail
                                                                                      the fairway 
                                                                                       a circuit
                                                                                         the way
                                                                                            el camino

either deliberately running, or hesitating with each small step we take. 
Like the first time you told someone you loved them. 
Even the way we string our curse words together sound like poetry. 
I admit I do like to curse sometimes. 
I usually do it in Spanish these days.....and then you hear "MOM! I know I don’t know what your saying and no one else knows what you are saying but I know you are cursing". 
I just laugh. 
He sees me as a real person, faults and all. 
I love that. 
I am usually cursing at things not people. For example, like chairs that get in my way, steps that move and make me trip. 
The other day I got into a fight with my paint and it ended up all over my white shirt and the floor. 
Boy did the room fill with Spanish poetry and song! 

Here is a little history
My word paths began when I designed my wedding invitation which contained the words Courage, Love and Laughter silk screened onto vinyl cards that I made into a mobile and sent to our guest. The reverse side had the same words but in Spanish. 
Valor, Amor y Risa. It continues to this day with my magnets. I think in Spanish sometimes not just curse! I always run my word paths in my head in Spanish, I find the language to be beautiful, musical and fiery. 
So when you stop by again my word paths may be bilingual
Wedding Mobile Word Art©1999 by Velásquez

Happy Weekend • Make Art • Enjoy the Language of Words
There is only silence without words.

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