one woman's view into a world of creativity

Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Welding Sparks

I noticed a lot of people have been discovering my blog through search engine results for “welding,” or “welding sparks.”  Not wanting to disappoint you with my Welder post, I decided to oblige with some of the photos I took for reference when painting that commission.  I hope this helps you, mysterious Google searchers.

A big thank you goes to 4th Street Fabrication for making these photos possible.

P.S.  Don’t worry about that “never look directly at the arc while welding” thing.  I was wearing a welding helmet when I took these pictures, so my eyes were protected.  The screen on my digital camera was bright enough for me to see through the darkened lens, and thus I was able to see what I was taking pictures of.  My eyes were protected and perfectly safe.


The Beauty of a Second


Children’s Art in Realism

A friend directed me to The Monster Engine, by illustrator Dave DeVries.  He envisioned transforming children’s simple sketches into fully realized images full of color, texture, and depth:

 The process is simple. I project a child’s drawing with an opaque projector, faithfully tracing each line. Applying a combination of logic and instinct, I then paint the image as realistically as I can. My medium is mixed—primarily acrylic, airbrush, and colored pencil.

He did an entire series this way, interpreting children’s art into finished products.  You can see them here.
By Alyson DeVries, Age 3

Phantom Silk

Tonight I went to an event called Winter Charity Ball.  It’s put on by Delta Tau Delta for the campus community.  To get in, you bring an unwrapped toy or a minimum $5 donation, which go to support needy children through Toys for Tots and The Salvation Army.  It helps provide children with gifts during the holiday season.

The event is super classy, with formal attire.  There’s a live band, swing dancing, refreshments, and general socializing with great ambiance.  I went in a silk gown that ripples beautifully in the light.  Afterwards, as I walked back to my room in the dark, the lamps lighting the sidewalk cast a beautiful glow on the moving silk.  The bottom edge of the gown rolled in waves with each step, and I couldn’t help but admire its beauty.  I thought it was very inspiring, so I pulled out my camera, turned off the flash, switched it to multi-capture mode, and started snapping pictures as I walked.

With the poor, night lighting, and the constant movement of my steps, the pictures produced phantom waves of the rippling silk.  The images are very abstract and gorgeous, so I wanted to share.  This sort of random inspiration is the reason I decided to start this blog and share the everyday beauty from my point of view.  I’ve created a slideshow of the best shots from my walk back.  I think they are best appreciated out of context, when you don’t look at them for a physical subject matter, but instead appreciate the abstract gradiants and the veins of light. Enjoy. 🙂

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Wedding Spheres

One of the reasons I created pitifully few blog posts this summer was because of my preoccupation with a certain wedding decoration.  I discovered this do-it-yourself project (thank you Stumbleupon) just in time to suggest it to my cousin, who was to be married on 9-10-11.  She instantly loved it, so my mom and I took it upon ourselves to contribute a bazillion of these things for her wedding.  We followed the very basic instructions, which turned out to be not as easy as they sound:


1.  Inflate the balloon to a medium size so the shape is a little rounder.
2. If you’re looking to make a lampshade out of the string chandelier, use a sharpie to mark around the knot on the balloon.
3. Before you start working, we recommend using a tarp.  Mix corn starch, glue and warm water together until it has a smooth texture.
5. Smear the vaseline all over your balloon until it is completely coated so th twine wet with glue won’t stick on the balloon after dry.
6. You can start a little assembly line with friends by one of you feeding the yarn through the glue mix and giving to another person to wrap it around the balloon.
7. Start wrapping the balloon vertically, slowly changing to wrapping. For a seamless look, tuck the ends of the twine under one of the wrapped strings.
8. Wait 24 hours until the balloon has completely dried before popping the balloon.
9. Spray the string chandeliers with clear fast drying spray paint et voila!

#6 turned out to be one of the most important steps.  My cousin and I realized it was much easier to make these spheres with the help of a buddy.  We also tried skipping the vaseline, but decided in the end it’s very important to use the nasty stuff.  We used a mixture of yarn and embroidery thread, which gave us a variety of thread weights in our selected colors (green, purple, and white).

We also decided to take the spheres a step further in two crucial ways:

#1  We glittered the spheres after they were dry with coordinating colors of glitter, adhering the lovely sparkles with heavy coats of clear lacquer.  The glitter really added beauty when the spheres caught the light of the setting sun or the glow of the twinkle lights after dark.

#2  We had the bride order little battery lights, the waterproof kind you see in floral arrangements.  These we turned on (with a simple twist) and popped between the threads the day of the wedding, illuminating them from within.  It was really magical when dozens of spheres glowed in the air after dark.

As implied on our source blog, we hung the spheres in the air with fishing line, so as to create the illusion of them floating. The day of the wedding we hung the orbs from the branches above the dancefloor. The finished product was truly fantastic, as if from a fairytale.

This project was really fun to do (albeit a little tedious), and I think all our hard work paid off for that extra magical touch the orbs added to a truly beautiful wedding.  I’ll conclude with a picture of the bride and groom’s first dance beneath the softly glowing spheres, and then a slideshow of what can only be conveyed with pictures.

First Dance

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The Palette As Art

Painter’s palettes are typically viewed as just tools used to create a painting.  But what if we turn around and look at the palette itself as a piece of art?  Think of it as a canvas in a different form.  Does it not transform with the application of paint, developing under the artist’s hand, just as a painting does?

I particularly am fascinated by this state of transformation because I leave the paint on my palette to dry, instead of washing it off.  I find it more convenient to peel it off once sufficiently thick layers have accumulated.  So my palettes can go for a long period of time, transforming in colors and layers to reflect whatever I’m working on.  These mountains of dried paint can create some really beautiful abstract images.

When I finally do decide to peel off the paint, the results can be surprising.  Sometimes the unseen underside of the paint layers is just as intriguing as the outer, visible layer.  The waves of color underneath reveal the progression of my paintings, going back in time to show the very first layers I put down.

Because I view my palettes as stand alone art I have hung them on my dorm room wall.  This is a functional way of storing them within easy reach while also displaying them as decorations with a personal touch.

Marbeling Potential

In the process of my jewelry-making adventures I happened upon inspiration with great potential.  I tried a nail polish marbling technique upon some clay tablet beads I’d made, but because I wanted to experiment first I tested upon a plastic bottle cap from some orange juice.  The nail polish seemed to grip and coat pretty well, aside from some lingering water bubbles in the paint.  I think using a nail polish or spray paint marbling technique on plastic bottle caps could produce some interesting jewelry.  I’m not sure if the final product is passable for classy, everyday jewelry, but it would make some bright, fun costume jewelry for children.  Just marble the caps and pierce them with a hot poker to string them together.

Nail polish marbling applied to plastic bottle caps, before and after.

In case you were wondering about the marbling technique I’m describing, a good tutorial (applied to nails) can be found here:

The Youtube user luxuriousnails has a plethora of similar videos you can watch to get the hang of it.

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