Thursday, December 29, 2011

Date with My Journals

This holiday week has really given me the excuse to slow down and spend some time with my art journals. I've been feeling the bliss of having all three sons under the same roof, and hubby home from work for this vacation week, and that feeling of contentment comes through onto my journal pages.

I'm also looking ahead to all that 2012 will hold and I see wonderful artful experiences on the horizon. I'm feeling very blessed...I hope you are as well.

© Nancy Lefko

New for 2012

With a multitude of art journals/sketchbooks going at once, I've decided that joining in on the Sketchbook Challenge for 2012 would be a great idea. I have so enjoyed taking some time during this holiday week to work in my art journals and to play with the variety of media at my fingertips. The only ingredient I'd been missing was TIME, and I've discovered that sometimes I just need to grab it....because I deserve it.

If you feel the same way, then maybe joining in the Sketchbook Challenge would be the motivation you need to grab that time with both hands.

Here's to a new year with new possibilities, new challenges and lots of artful fun!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sketch & Watercolor

Taking a bit of a departure from my usual art journaling "method of operation," I've been sketching and playing around with my new watercolor set. One of my Christmas gifts from hubby is the Sakura Koi Watercolor Sketch Box; a great little travel set, and makes for good fireside fun also.

Along with markers, watercolor pencils, Peerless watercolors, charcoal pencil and blending stump, I've been a happy camper these past few days. It really is nice to relax with a sketchbook or art journal, whatever you may call yours, and give yourself the time to peacefully create.

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Journaling

Christmas vacation has official begun. I've been inspired by fellow artists to take a few moments out of a very hectic time of year, to sit for awhile with my journal and sketch. Add in some Peerless watercolors and I'm indeed content by the fire.

Thanks to Jodi Ohl and Alisa Burke for their sketchbook inspiration and also to the incomparable Joanne Sharpe for introducing me to the magic of Peerless watercolors and for the inspiration her beautiful work always provides.

These are the first two pages completed in my new Mixed Media Art Journal by Strathmore. I love the smooth, albeit sturdy pages. Great for sketching, without the texture of watercolor paper, and yet strong enough to hold up to wet media. Yes, I'm a happy journaler.

And did I's VACATION!

© Nancy Lefko

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sweet Inspiration

What's your inspiration? Mine, very often, is my three wonderful sons.

© Nancy Lefko

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

...And More Samples...

Grabbing a few moments between gift wrapping to finish up two samples that I'd started a while ago. Always a good feeling to finish a project...or two.

© Nancy Lefko

Monday, December 19, 2011

Workshop Sample

Although it will be months before the workshop, it never hurts to get those samples created when the mood strikes!

© Nancy Lefko

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Major Etsy Shop Update!

A big update in my Etsy shop today...this new canvas created on 8" x 8" deep profile gallery wrapped canvas and many, many art prints.

More originals to come later this weekend. (For now I need to give my "mousing arm" a rest :)

© Nancy Lefko

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Comes Early!

Yes indeed, Santa arrived today in the form of a UPS driver with a big box from Faber-Castell. HUGE thanks to Christa for supplying Mixed Media Samplers for my art journaling students.

I tried the products recently and was really excited about the combination of media in a single color family. They're a great art journaling supply, especially when you're traveling. Toss them into a tote bag with your journal and you're all set.

If you haven't sent your list to Santa yet, you may want to add this product. You'll be so happy that you did!

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Gift to Me!

This arrived in the mail today....this sweet little bag hinted of something glorious inside. And glorious she is!

I know that this is the time of year to be shopping for others, but really, I just could not resist. I saw this amazing assemblage necklace in Kecia Deveney's Etsy shop and I was smitten...big time. I visited her every day and tried to think logically...."It's Christmas...the season of can't be shopping for yourself!"

And as I stopped by the shop every day to see if she was still there, a payment to my Paypal account for the exact amount (more or less) arrived and I knew it was a sign. I didn't let too much time pass before I scurried over to Kecia's shop and clicked on my mouse. Funny though, I still felt just a smidgen of guilt. Kecia's words took those feelings and set them aside.

"Do not feel guilty. We as mothers, wives and instructors are in a constant "give" mode. Sometimes we have to give to ourselves to make the circle complete. You've been good to yourself today and that's just fine!"

Thanks Kecia, I needed to hear that.

Run, do not walk, to Kecia's shop. She is an amazing talent and a wonderful soul. The card attached to the necklace says, "MADE WITH LOVE." I know that is true!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Somerset Studio GALLERY Winter 2012

The Winter 2012 issue of Somerset Studio Gallery has hit the newsstands. I am pleased to have two of my mixed media collages featured in this issue.

I encourage you to pick up a copy of this extraordinary magazine. It is chock full of beautiful artwork that is sure to please and inspire!

© Nancy Lefko

Thursday, December 1, 2011

And...It's Done!

My final sample for Saturday's workshop at the Sharon Arts School of Art & Craft is complete! Now I have quite a few samples to share, and after I pack supplies tomorrow, I am all set. Whew. Time to breathe...sort of.

This piece, I believe, will actually find a place in my home rather than my Etsy shop. My three boys were the inspiration, with my oldest having taken his flight off to college. Seems like this painting should stay right here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Workshop Samples in Progress

Getting ready for a workshop on Saturday at the Sharon Arts School of Art & Craft and busily creating class samples. I already had a few prepared, but wanted to have a couple more to show a few different mixed media techniques. Looking forward to a full day of artful goodness and "Mixed Media Mania!"

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, November 25, 2011

She's Here!

My wonderful "treat to myself" arrived today!

Ever since meeting the lovely and talented Kecia Deveney at the Art Is...You Retreat in October I have wanted to own a piece of her wonderful jewelry. (I have repeatedly kicked myself for leaving vendor night during the retreat without making a purchase!) Since returning home I have checked Kecia's Etsy shop time and time again, but knowing that she was traveling and very busy, I wasn't surprised that her shop hadn't been re-stocked since the vendor night.

When I read on Facebook that Kecia's shop was back in business, I made a bee-line there and saw the sweetest necklace; one I'd had my eye on last October. With a few clicks of my mouse, she was mine!

Happily, she arrived today just in time for me to wear to the art fair where I'll be vending tomorrow. I can't wait to show off this little beauty.

She arrived carefully wrapped in dressmaker's tissue, which immediately went into my stash to use in mixed media collage. (A little bonus!)

Kecia has an amazing talent for jewelry assemblage and her shop is a joy to behold! Thanks, Kecia, for this gem. She is a joy to wear and a reminder of the special person that you are.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Illustration Friday ~ VANITY

"Unfortunately, Marge realized the cellulite hadn't vanished overnight." She merely made an observation...she could never be accused of VANITY!

Be sure to visit Illustration Friday and follow the links to all the great art created for this week's prompt.

© Nancy Lefko

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

*broke: The Affordable Arts Fair

In a very short time I'll be vending at *broke: The Affordable Arts Fair to be held in lovely Peterborough, NH on Saturday November 26th from 10 am-4 pm. This is the only vending I'll do this year outside of my Etsy shop. I hope that if you live in the southern NH, northern MA or western VT area, you'll stop on over to see a great gathering of art and artists!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Illustration Friday ~ STRIPES

In the past month I haven't had time to relax and play in my art journal. I was really itching for some time to do so, and found that time today.

Working the Illustration Friday theme STRIPES into my journal page reminded me of a time when MANY of the ladies in my artwork wore striped stockings. Not so much anymore. But it IS fun to add that element to a collage...or journal page...from time to time.

© Nancy Lefko

On My Desk

Creating a workshop prototype and daydreaming about the wonderful time had with my art peeps in workshops at the Art Is...You Retreat last month.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Royal Pear

And the commissioned piece is DONE!

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Lots to do and so few hours in the day! Funny, it feels that way sometimes, especially when there are so many "irons in the fire" that need tending.

I've been trying to seriously tackle my to-do list...I LOVE to cross things off! Today I have 'nearly' finished a custom piece (just waiting for a reply from my customer), started a workshop sample and have completed and sent this series off to my licensing agent.

Of course, all that 'mom stuff' needed to be done as well, so I juggled laundry and cooking and chauffeuring while going back and forth to the studio and/or computer.


Featured collages soon to be available in my Etsy shop.

© Nancy Lefko

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Illustration Friday ~ SCARY

A perfect prompt for Halloween and for showcasing a vintage photo where the subjects look inherently SCARY.

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

Collage is available in my Etsy shop.

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, October 21, 2011

Illustration Friday ~ FUEL

A no-brainer! As soon as I saw the prompt FUEL the very first thing that popped into my head was my personal Sometimes just the thought of my first cup gets me going in the morning!

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

The framed collage is available in my Etsy shop.

© Nancy Lefko

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

More to See from "Art Is...You"

Our first full day at Art Is...You began with a creativity warm-up session presented by the delightful Loretta Benedetto Marvel. A wonderful artist, storyteller, writer and all around sweet person, she had us laughing and drawing and getting to know each other. A perfect start to what became a perfect day! Thank you, Loretta.

I eased into my first big art retreat by volunteering in Pam Carriker's Color Book Journaling class; I acted as go-fer, photographer, helped with set-up/clean-up and whenever Pam needed an extra pair of hands or a "runner." I spent the day with lovely ladies, Jeannie, Robin and Joanne and had a chance to watch a workshop pro in action.

On Saturday evening while vendors were busily setting up their tables, a few of the contributor's to Pam's book gathered and signed each other's books. Reminiscent of yearbook days! It really was great fun to spend time with Seth and Jodi.

It was also great to finally meet the ultra-talented Lorraine Reynolds whom I'd "met" years ago through an Etsy group. We were having fun, can you tell?

It's great to relive the retreat through photos and remember all the wonderful people I had the chance to meet. We created art, told stories, laughed, hugged and made memories. And so, to quote Seth Apter, "get thee to an art retreat!"