Friday, November 8, 2013

Illustration Friday ~ SECRET

Uh SECRET is safe when these two get together!

To see the myriad of takes on this prompt, hop on over to Illustration Friday and check out all of the marvelous artwork there is to see.

This framed original mixed media collage is available in my Etsy shop.

© Nancy Lefko

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Mixed Media Artist by Seth Apter

When my dear friend, the uber-talented artist Seth Apter, asked me to contribute to his second book, I was over-the-moon thrilled! Seth's first book, "The Pulse of Mixed Media: Secrets and Passions of 100 Artists Revealed," was a tremendous success and I knew that his second book would be equally grand.

Seth's newly released book, "The Mixed Media Artist: Art Tips, Tricks, Secrets and Dreams From Over 40 Amazing Artists," is sure to please! Today, on his blog, Seth is highlighting the 14 Gallery Artists featured in the book. I am so very pleased to be among them.

The prompt for my artwork was "Out of the Blue," and my finished piece represents how the swift passage of time hits us like a "bolt out of the blue," especially in regard to how quickly our children grow. The piece was created on gallery wrapped canvas and was covered with dressmaker's tissue and an acrylic wash.

My original intent was to preserve the numerals 1 and 2 from the tissue, but ultimately that plan changed.

Additional color was added to create a timeworn patina, similar to the verdigris of weathered copper. A numeral three was added with modeling paste to represent my three boys.

It seemed only fitting that clocks and wings represent the swift passage of time. A distressed watch face was used as well as a watchmaker's vial that I'd been saving for a special piece of art; "time in a bottle," as they say.

It was indeed an honor to be included in Seth's wonderful new book! Certainly you'll want to include this new release on your list of "must-have" books!

© Nancy Lefko, Seth Apter and F&W Publishing

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Sketchbook Challenge ~ MOON & STARS

The Sketchbook Challenge theme for November is MOON & STARS.

I grabbed a little bit of time to work in my sweet little art journal created by the uber-talented Elizabeth Duke and gifted to me at the Art Is...You Art Retreat.

I've really been enjoying the no-stress, no- mess activity of simple journaling with an extra-fine point black Sharpie and my travel watercolor set.

If you need a little push to get yourself creating...then the Sketchbook Challenge is just for you!

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, October 18, 2013

Illustration Friday ~ ENTANGLED

Watch don't want to become ENTANGLED in her web.

To see the myriad of takes on this prompt, hop on over to Illustration Friday and check out all of the marvelous artwork there is to see.

This original mixed media collage is available in my Etsy shop.

© Nancy Lefko

Thursday, October 17, 2013


I am blessed to live in a truly beautiful place. Peterborough is a lovely small town nestled in the mountains of southwestern New Hampshire. Like many people, I have become so used to the beauty around me that I've come to take it for granted.

Driving home this morning after dropping my youngest son at school, I traversed the canopied streets back home realizing that in perhaps a matter of days, the beautiful fall foliage would all come down. When we get to this time of year it only takes one strong rainstorm to bring the remaining leaves down.

I decided I would be sure to make time for a walk through our beautiful neighborhood, camera in hand, and record nature's fall splendor.

I am so very thankful to be living in such a wonderful place. We came to New Hampshire in 1990 and I'm always grateful that our life journey brought us here. (Well, maybe not so grateful in the dead of winter.)

Today's walk was just what I needed. Complete solitude. Not one single car on the road. Silence interrupted only by the wind through the leaves, the chirping of crickets and occasional birdsong. My "photo assignment" kept my mind focused on my surroundings and offered a much needed respite from too many troubling thoughts.

Each step along my way brought another glorious vista or interesting object nestled in nature.

Although I saw no one else along my hike, I did catch the eye of a rather curious cow.

The larger than life landscape before me was dazzling, but the small and unassuming natural elements were equally as grand.

All along the way there was beauty, both natural and man-made.

I walked as far as I could on our dead end street then turned around and enjoyed all the beauty on my way back home.

As I walked up the hill towards home, I was feeling thankful for my spot in this beautiful town. More thankful than I have in awhile...because I took the time to notice.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"Get Thee to an Art Retreat"

Wiser words were never spoken. Although the Art Is...You Art Retreats abound with art and creativity, there is so much more you receive from the experience. Camaraderie, generosity, friendship, laughter, inspiration, support and love are around every corner. Event organizers, Sallianne McClelland & Ellen Legare, work tirelessly year-round to ensure that the events are all you'd ever want & MORE!

This year I taught "Little Book of Secrets," a class where we created small journals using mixed media techniques and filled them with art journaling. I strive each year to make the student kits not only complete, but attractive, fun and filled with special goodies.

As in past years, I was blessed with a lovely group of students who took to the techniques like fish to water and in no time were creating gorgeous journals!

Each student created two beautiful little journal books...each very unique with the artist's personal touch.

Art Is...You brings joy not only to attendees and faculty, but stretches far and wide to bring joy to others. This year's "Living in Generosity" event provided art journals & kits to needy women and children as well as dresses & dolls for young girls in need.

After a day filled to the brim with creativity, there is always time to relax and laugh with friends whom we seldom see...time to catch up over drinks and a nice meal.

All too soon it is time to say goodbye and we look forward to the next time we are reunited.

YES..."get thee to an art retreat"...and if you want to attend the "best-of-the-best" then you need look no further than Art Is...You Art Retreats. In 2014 the AIY family will be traveling to Dixie, Australia, California and back to Connecticut. You owe it to yourself to join in the fun!

© Nancy Lefko

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Illustration Friday ~ UNDERWATER

Summer is over and although it will be some time before I stroll the beach again, I'll spend the meantime dreaming of the ocean and it's UNDERWATER magic.

To see the myriad of takes on this prompt, hop on over to Illustration Friday and check out all of the marvelous artwork there is to see.

This original mixed media collage, on gallery wrapped canvas, is available in my Etsy shop.

© Nancy Lefko

Monday, September 30, 2013

Creative Workshops WINNER!!

Congratulations to "PUPTON" who has won her choice of one of my two classes at Creative Workshops.

Many thanks to all who entered and hopefully we'll see you all around the new CW site!

Monday, September 23, 2013

It's a Blog Party!


Creative Workshops has a brand, spankin' new home and we'd love for you to visit and bookmark the page! We now have our own dedicated website, store and blog.

I am honored to have been one of the very first teachers at CW and have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of such a wonderful and creative site. The classes I offer are MIXED MEDIA/COLLAGE BACKGROUNDS and PAINTED FABRIC COLLAGE...and you have a chance to win your choice of one of my classes during the blog party.



A few highlights about Creative Workshops:

- Available online 24/7 to fit your schedule. You can watch videos as often as you want, when you want. AND iPad access!
- You get instant access with your receipt to any Open class you purchase. No waiting for us to send you an invitation, no more confusing membership to join.
- All video content is available from the first day a class opens so you can work at your own pace. Doesn't matter if you are a turtle or a rabbit!
- Once a class opens there is no take down date to worry about so no pressure to be done by a certain date. If a teacher must retire a class (very few do) we give you 6 months notice.

At the bottom of this post you will find a list of all our party participating teachers, and the links to their blogs. Each teacher is giving away one of their classes for free to a lucky commenter! The idea of the list is that you can follow the party trail from blog to blog, leaving a comment on each blog you visit, therefore increasing your chances of winning a free class from one of the teachers you leave a comment for! Now how cool is that?!Every class giveaway will be different because the teachers are generously each giving away one of their own classes. Gosh, maybe a really lucky commenter could win multiple free classes!! Now THAT would be awesome for the winner wouldn't it! Stranger things have been known to happen.

To win the opportunity for a free class from ME you must leave a comment on this post and only this post. The party runs Sept 23-Sept 29th. I will announce the name Monday Sept 30th. Your comment must include a way for me to contact you.

Once you leave your comment on my post, then from the list below choose the next blog you have not visited and leave a comment on their blog post. Each blog will have this list so you can move through the party leaving your trails of comments everywhere and increasing your chances of winning a FREE CLASS!

Sara Naumann
Cat Kerr
Jodi Ohl
Martha Lever
Cathy Bluteau
Mechelle Harrison
Elizabeth Johnson
Liz Miller
Terri Heinz
Kerr Pelto
Lori Vliegen
Diana Frey
Marilyn Harris-Mills
Nellie Wortman
Gaye Medbury
Dawn Meisch
Ann Butler

Good luck and join in the fun that is CREATIVE WORKSHOPS.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Blog Hop: Mixed-Media with Guest Artist Pam Carriker’s New Stamp Designs

Okay, the secret is out. I LOVE my Pam Carriker rubber stamps. I'll also confess that I've been lucky enough to own them since the days when Pam first created them for her workshops.

Background stamps are among my favorites for art journal pages, and no one makes a good background stamp better than Pam. In the page below I used Pam's "Thoughts of Courage" and "Sketched Background" stamps in addition to "My Heart Lifts" as the focal point of the page.

"My Heart Lifts" is also featured on the following two pages. Yes, it MAY be my favorite 'image' stamp in the collection and I especially love how it works alongside my parents' wedding photo on the 'love & devotion' page.

My other favorite 'image' stamp is the "I Will Soar" wings (okay, I kinda have a 'thing' for hearts and wings on my journal pages) and I love what they add to the following pages. I also used another fabulous background stamp, "Column of Dots," on the 'make time' journal page along with Pam's "Create" stamp.

So, you get it, right? I'm kinda hooked on Pam's stamps and love to use them with Staz-On ink AND also with Pam's signature liquid pencil.

Take a peek at the Somerset Place blog post and the magic Pam works with her stamps and then follow along as a number of fabulous artists share what they create with the stamps.

© Nancy Lefko

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

New Publications

It's always a wonderful honor to have artwork published and especially so in the beautiful Stampington publications.

This month two of my articles have hit the newsstands.

"Mixed-Media Fourth of July" is featured in the annual issue of Somerset Holidays & Celebrations

while "Tea Time" appears in the Autumn issue of Somerset Apprentice.

Many thanks to Jennifer Jackson Taylor and Jana Holstein, editors extraordinaire.

© Nancy Lefko & Stampington Inc.