Friday, April 30, 2010

At the HeART of Friendship

When I sat down to journal this morning, and play around with my Caran d'Ache crayons, I wasn't exactly sure what direction my pages would take me. As I worked on the background, moving around the color with my water-reservoir brush and letting it drip and pool, my mind began to wander. I thought of the many friends I have made in the online art world and the impact they have had on my strides as an artist. I am perpetually encouraged, by the most talented artists, to try more, stretch farther, grow and learn.

The journal page above was created with a particular person in mind. My very dear friend Pam Carriker is one of the most talented and hardest working artists I know. Pam is a prime example of someone who set her sights on a dream and never looked back. Any setbacks that Pam had along her artistic journey, merely fueled the fire within her to keep on striving toward her dream. And now that Pam is an accomplished instructor and has been published multiple times in magazines, she continues to look ahead at opportunities to share her love of art. She will be teaching a workshop in Paris this winter, and at about that time will see her first book, Art at the Speed of Life, hit the bookstands.

So, Pam, this page is for you and comes with thanks for inspiring me to dream big and have a brave heart.

© Nancy Lefko

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Journal Fun

Very often I will begin to journal and the page will be finished, more or less, in one sitting.

And then there are times, like this week, when a journal spread has layer after layer after layer and takes almost an entire week to complete.

That was the scenario with this journal spread, as I experimented with different layers and textures and designs; thinking that one day I will re-create something similar on a canvas. Therein lies the beauty of an art journal; it's a playground of ideas.

© Nancy Lefko

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Talent of Marsha Jorgensen

This magnificent world of blogs enables us to connect with people we would otherwise never meet. I am thankful every day for the many friendships I have made simply by chatting via blogs or forums.

One such friend I have had the good pleasure to "meet" is the amazingly talented Marsha Jorgensen of Tumble Fish Studio. Marsha has an extraordinary eye for color, composition and design and marries that with a terrific sense of humor. The result is some of the very best in collage art.

A while back I was the lucky recipient of two prints from Marsha's shop. They are the most fun and are a joy to see every day. Thank you, Marsha.

I encourage you to visit Marsha's shop and her blog. She is always up to something new and just a delight to visit.

Images © Marsha Jorgensen

Monday, April 26, 2010

Thank You, Crescendoh

Featured on

Crescendoh, the inspirational website created by Jenny Doh, has graciously published my story of how art came back into my life after a long absence.

Crescendoh highlights artists and their "ART SAVES" stories and so much more. It is a place to learn from, and be inspired by, wonderful artists. I feel honored to share web space with some of the best.

I encourage you to visit Crescendoh. You'll be glad that you did.

Thank you, Crescendoh.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

"Mix It Up with Melange" Challenge ~ CHIT-CHAT

This week's challenge over at the Melange Team Blog is CHIT-CHAT. The text on this collage reads, "happy chit-chat between you and me." Chit-chat...what a great phrase. It's merely the beginning of a great girl gab.

Come on over and join in on the fun of the Melange challenges. They are posted at the blog every other Wednesday and are open to everyone. Hope to see you there!

Collage available in my Etsy shop.

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, April 23, 2010

Illustration Friday ~ AHEAD

If you 'believe in love,' you're already AHEAD of the game.

I encourage you to visit the Illustration Friday website, follow the links and find all of the wonderful artwork and blogs.

Collage available in my Etsy shop.

© Nancy Lefko

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lisa Bebi's Studio Fodder Challenge

What enormous fun! The very talented Lisa Bebi put forth a challenge to create using the fodder from her studio. When I read about the challenge on Facebook, I threw my hat in the ring.

The weekend I received the "fodder" was cold and dreary and the moment I opened the envelope everything was brighter. (Actually, BEFORE I even opened the envelope, which was beautifully decorated.) Fabulous bits and pieces full of texture and design spilled onto my art desk. I could hardly wait to dig in and get started.

These three ACEO's are the result of an afternoon filled with joyful playtime with Lisa's studio fodder.

Pretty great way to recycle, wouldn't you say?

Thanks so much, Lisa.

© Nancy Lefko

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Evolution of a Journal Spread

What do you do when the rainy, cold weather completely changes the plans you've made for the weekend? Head to your art studio, of course.

In my case, I was more in the mood for some art journaling than creating a new canvas or collage.

The journal pages begin with acrylic paint and glazing medium blended with a baby wipe to make a nice soft background. Add a few colors and some gesso, too, and a spritz of water and maybe a dab or two with a paper towel and I'm off and running.

Next add some rubber stamped images to create a bit of background interest.

I love to add prints made with acrylic paint and bubble wrap, so here goes. Now it looks like the background is ready.

The weather washout left me with LOTS of time at my art desk, so I can't really complain. On my journal pages I reflected on the many people I have met through my art, and the supportive community of artists that support and encourage my artistic endeavors. Most of you I will probably never meet in person; ours will remain a "cyber-friendship," but a wonderful friendship nonetheless. It's a precious gift....thank you.

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, April 16, 2010

Yellow Pear

I finished a new canvas today. This is another 6x6 gallery wrapped the chunky size. And I am really enjoying adding texture with molding paste. So much fun!

The perfect day to be in the studio...gray, rainy and cold. Is it Spring, really? I awoke to snow on the ground this morning. Hope YOUR day was a touch warmer.

Painting available in my Etsy shop.

© Nancy Lefko

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I Love Postcards

I got on a roll when ordering from Overnight Prints. Well, it's hard not to when they have such great deals. Plus, it's fun to get the images ready for upload and also keeps my Photoshop knowledge fresh.

I created this postcard to enclose with Etsy orders.

© Nancy Lefko

Featured in a Stampington Ad

Okay, I'm a little bit excited here.

One of my collages has been featured in an ad from Stampington for the upcoming Somerset Studio Gallery publication. The vintage starlet, bathed in pink, is my mixed media collage entitled, "Star Qualities."

The ad arrived in my email inbox in the "Postscript" newsletter from Stampington. I always enjoy these newsletters and scroll through the art and "teasers" with great interest. Imagine my surprise when I recognized my own artwork staring back at me!

It may not seem like much, but to me this is fun stuff! Thanks to the folks at Stampington for, once again, making my day.

Images © Stampington, Inc.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New Postcards in my Etsy Shop

Thanks to the folks at Overnight Prints I have great new postcard packs in my Etsy shop.

Consider them a "trial balloon"...if these sell, then I will consider adding cards with different images.

It's all a learning experience!

Postcards available in my Etsy shop.

© Nancy Lefko

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mixed Media Monday ~ HELLO DOLLY

This week's challenge offered by Mixed Media Monday is HELLO DOLLY.

Do you have fond memories of pushing your dolly in a carriage? I certainly do. The carriages may have changed through the years, but little girls have always enjoyed taking their dollies for a walk.

I encourage you to visit the Mixed Media Monday blog and view the wonderful creations inspired by this prompt.

Collage available in my Etsy shop.

© Nancy Lefko

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Illustration Friday ~ LINKED

For this week's Illustration Friday prompt, LINKED, I created this page in my journal.

I encourage you to visit the Illustration Friday website, follow the links and find all of the wonderful artwork and blogs.

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, April 9, 2010

3 FOR $1 Completed

A rainy day led to some studio time for me and I was able to finish my latest canvas. As sometimes happens with a piece of artwork, I am not entirely satisfied with the finished product. I intended a bit more negative space around the outer edges of the artichoke, but instead it has a rather baseball-like roundness. So...perhaps I will have another go at this one. But for now, here is "3 FOR $1."

This piece gets its title from a joke my dad liked to tell...the punchline was a newspaper headline..."Artie Chokes Three for a Dollar." When I decided I would paint an artichoke on this canvas, I knew what text I would add. Now, when this is hanging in my kitchen, it will remind me of my wonderful dad and the countless times he made me smile and laugh.

© Nancy Lefko

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Work in Progress

Grabbing a minute here and a moment there, I have progressed just a little on my latest canvas. I plan to create companion pieces for my kitchen; the pear from a previous post, this canvas and a third.

My color choices were influenced by these wonderful garden photos from Better Homes and Gardens magazine. I truly believe that nature has the most remarkable color combinations and I try to pay attention to the amazing palette before my eyes.

Photos © Meredith Corporation

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Website Milestone

My humble little website, My Collage Art, has just surpassed its 5,000th visitor. Wow. It may seem like a baby step, but to me, it feels great. My dear husband, whose own website is approaching its 83,000th visitor, insists it is a great accomplishment. Yeah, I know he's biased, but I am still happy that my little corner of cyberspace has been peeked at over 5,000 times. My sincere thanks to all who have taken the time to visit.

Collage available in my Etsy shop.

© Nancy Lefko

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mixed Media Monday ~ EGGS

This week's challenge offered by Mixed Media Monday is EGGS. I like to use the egg motif in my artwork and, most often, in my journal pages. I suppose it is the mother in me that relates to the nesting, nurturing and sense of home that the egg image evokes.

I encourage you to visit the Mixed Media Monday blog and view the wonderful creations inspired by this prompt.

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, April 2, 2010

For the Dogs (and Cats)

When asked by the lovely Renee Troy if I would participate in a fundraiser, I immediately replied, "Yes." Renee will be creating a handmade book using donated artwork. The book will be auctioned with all proceeds to benefit A Place to Bark, the animal rescue founded by Bernie Berlin.

The above collage is my donation to the book. The text reads, "trusted, dependable, longtime friend."

I will post an update once the book is up for auction.

© Nancy Lefko