Monday, November 30, 2009

jaeartworks holiday happenings

tis the season to be jolly! if you're anything like me, it sounds more like "tis the season to be stressed", right?? sometimes coming up with gift ideas can suck the merry right out of christmas. well, i think i've got some gift ideas that can help you out.

as i wrote last month, i've been working with ceramics for the first time. and i have really been happy with the results. i did this decorative plate for thanksgiving that i just love. it is the same hand print turkey we've all seen for years, but now it's a fantastic keepsake that can be displayed year after year.i like to display mine on a metal easel on the counter in my kitchen. then i can just change the piece to fit each season. gobble, gobble!

here is my newest plate for christmas. the hand print christmas tree is my favorite design of all! i could also just as easily do a footprint angel or a hand print reindeer. so many possibilities!

these plates are decorative only because the paint is on the surface of the plate where the food would touch.i f you would like something that can be used for serving as well, then we can do a piece where the paint goes on the outside. i made these thumbprint coffee mugs for my in laws for christmas. so delicious!

and of course, i still do my classic canvas pieces, which also look great on display easels. i pull mine out every year for christmas and display them on my piano. i think the canvas elevates the simple print into a work of art.
there is something else new at jaeartworks as well- my new bag tags. i started making these for my own boys to go on their bags for school and church. i can make any theme and any name and can put whatever information you need on the back. so cute and so handy! and a great stocking stuffer for only $6. To see more bagtags go here!
merry christmas!

Monday, September 28, 2009

september happenings

the month of september is almost a blur, what with school starting (for both boys this time), zane starting t-ball, and grandparents day, just to name a few. oh yes, and i mustn't leave out the early arrival (and panic) of cold and flu season!

jaeartworks always has at least one new project for grandparents day. this year, my favorite is this great canvas tote bag, where i used the little girl's hand print as the "o" in "love." it's just fantastic, and i just know her grandmother will love carrying her stuff around in it!
i also did some experimenting with painting on ceramics.t his can be very tricky if you are not a professional ceramicist with a kiln. but, i finally found a paint i liked that was able to produce the quality i demand. and, the end result is this fabulous painted porcelain plate. what a great gift idea!

in the meantime, zane started his first year of t-ball with his good buddy, nolan. we went to the first practice with a little bit of hesitation, remembering our soccer experience the year before. we still laugh because omar got more exercise those first few practices for soccer than zane did. and then, when zane did go out on the field without omar, many times he was picking grass or off on the wrong side of the field by himself. so, you can imagine our joy when zane ran out onto the t-ball practice field and never looked back. he did everything the coach said, and more importantly, had a great time.

little zac had a great time playing in the dirt as well.

we can't wait to see how the season plays out. go thunder!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

by all means, paint!

today's confession: i have always wanted to be a painter. there, i said it- i feel free. the reason that i am not a painter, and probably other things as well, is that i am a super control freak who loves neatness and order. strange qualities for an artist, i know. there is a control that i have over the drawing mediums that i cherish and crave. i know that when i pick up that pencil that whatever i am about to attempt will come out with exactness and precision. it is safe. but, what about that desire for painting...hmmmm.

so a couple of months ago i was presented with a challenge by the missions pastor of my church. there was a series of sermons going on called "vintage Jesus." i was challenged to do my own portrait of Jesus Christ, something that showed Jesus in a modern way but also showed him through my eyes. i knew immediately that a photo realistic pencil portrait was out of the question, if nothing but for the simple fact that I had no picture of Jesus himself to work from. even if i found some picture of him somewhere to work from, it would still not be him- it would be an actor or some other artist's representation of what he looked like. for this same reason, i also knew that i would not show the entire face, but just a portion. i knew that it would be black and white so the viewer could "read" what ever color that he or she wanted to. i also knew that i did not want to use drawing medium for the picture. the lack of permanence of that type of medium was unappealing to me for the proposed project. so, long story short, i decided that i would finally become a painter and (no pressure, right!?) paint a portrait of the King of Kings.

now, i wanted to wait to write about this in the blog until i was able to take a better picture of the painting i'm talking about. sometimes even we professional artists make rookie mistakes, and i confess to you all that i made one- gasp- i took the picture of the painting using the flash. well, i have not had a chance to take another picture yet because the painting is no longer in my possession. so, please excuse the extra white area in the bottom middle of the painting.
"King" 20" x 10"
acrylic on canvas 2009

even with the (insert eye roll here) flash, you can see that the painting was a success. being my first full-fledged painting where I didn't fall back on mixed media or drawing media to complete it, of course I must say that there are some things that I know could be better. there are also certain steps that i would do differently if i did another one. but that is all part of the learning process. so, i will say i feel good about this painting, and that i look forward to painting some more in a looser style, because let's face it, this is every bit as tight and controlled as my portrait work. as van gogh once said, "if you hear a voice within you say, 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." oh yes, and peace to you all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. amen.

Monday, May 4, 2009

mother's day project

i tell you the truth- these things ALWAYS go better in my head than in reality. i realize i am posting these gift ideas now with mother's day only a week away. i really am trying to get my act together and have a sneaking suspicion that my "getting it together" will grow in direct proportion to the advancement of zachary's age. anyways, i digress...

the truth is, although i designed these with mother's day in mind, these bags are great gift ideas for girls of all ages any time of the year. green bags are not only fashionable now, they really are useful for both the user and the planet. i know that over here, i can never have enough bags to carry lots of stuff around. i'm already using mine as a library bag and will probably make a couple more.

here are a couple of other designs i drew up. let me know if you are interested. any of these designs can be modified for any given project!

Monday, April 27, 2009

easter '09 recap and projects

rain, rain, go away... what else to do but update the blog, right!? this post is going to be a combo of family pics and easter art projects. easter was super fun this year as it was the first year that zachary was able to participate in the activities. it was also the first year that zane really understood what was going on. zane was so excited for the easter bunny to come. as soon as he heard me set foot out of my room easter morning, he came flying out of his. i have to wonder if he had been just waiting in the dark behind his door listening. so cute!

after opening easter baskets in the morning, we went to church. i have to include a picture of my boys because they all looked so handsome. as usual, zachary was uncooperative in taking the picture. thankfully, when your 1 1/2 you tend to look cute anyways.

the easter egg hunt came later that afternoon. the really fun part was that my husband insisted that it be outside even though it was chilly and had been raining all night (insert eye roll here.) but, i must admit that he was right, because the boys had a lot of fun. zachary was at a disadvantage though, as he didn't know what to do. zane has a full basket of eggs before he had even one!

zachary found one with Elmo on it, and spent 5 minutes studying it and chanting, "elmo!"

the boys also spent the weeks before easter using their thumbprints to make gifts for family members. here are some of the projects we did through jaeartworks... need a personalized gift for someone? let me know! the possibilities are endless!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

uppercase living

i don't know if you've heard about uppercase living yet, but i love this stuff! they are a company that sells stickers that can be used in endless decorating projects. and before you roll your eyes at me, listen. these things are cool. they stick flawlessly to walls, wood, canvas- you name it. check out some of the things i've created with the stickers from this company.
this one is my favorite. zac's footprint on a painted 8 x 10 canvas. the uppercase living sticker, "zachary isaak," is on top. so cute! interested? let me know. i'll hook you up with the uppercase living consultant. don't want to make the canvas yourself? let me know. i can do this for you.

this next one is also on canvas. it's a mixed media piece using a plaster technique i picked up from an artist friend who teaches at texas tech. the sticker is the "create."

this next one is pretty cool too. take one old piano and add one uppercase living "H," and presto, you've got a customized piece of furniture!

this last one has been on this blog before, but i'll show it again because it's great. this is a 16 x 16 painted canvas (the red is painted too.) the sticker is the baseball player on top. talk about a homerun!

Monday, April 13, 2009

zac's recent work

since i'm always talking about zane's art, i thought i would take a minute to show some of zac's talent. he too is really into crayons and coloring now. unfortunately for us, he feels too confined by paper and canvas. for a while now, he has been in what i would call his graffiti artist period. the first picture is of the front of my refrigerator.

nice, right?! i know, it looks like a heart. yes, he's very talented for 17 months. this next piece was an easter present for us and is on the window ledge of the big window in my living room.

fantastic. nice use of color and gesture and it looks like a rainbow (insert eye roll here.) some of his earlier works, on my leather couch, the front door and the wall of the studio were not photographed.

that face pretty much says it all, doesn't it!

fauvist zane

I thought I would share with everyone the interesting turn Zane has taken in his coloring. He has now entered in what I like to call his Fauvist period. In art history, the Fauvists were a group of (largely French) painters working at the beginning of the 20th century. Their work was characterized by the use of bold, vivid colors and simplified forms. The following two pictures are examples from the two most famous of the Fauvists- Henri Matisse and Andre Derain:

Now take a look at exhibits 1, 2 and 3 done recently by Zane, completely on his own. Wow! I can't believe he's only 3 1/2!

Now, don't you just want to paint something?!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

the birth of jaeartworks

jaeartworks came about sort of by accident. after graduating with my art degree in 1997, i spent a fun-filled year managing a retail video store in florida. it only took one year of that to realize that i needed to do something else. so i went back to college and got a post-bac. degree in education. i spent the next several years teaching 4th and 5th grade, first in san antonio and then in fort worth. i was teaching in the later when my fellow teacher and friend got engaged. i decided to do a portrait for her as a gift for her shower. i really didn't think much of it, just wanted to do something different than the typical potholder collection or target gift card, you know. well, other people saw the portrait, of course, and some said they wanted to buy one...bada bing, bada boom- the beginning of a portrait business. now, like i said, i was still teaching at the time, so it really wasn't technically a business because I had no time to look into that. but, after my first son was born and i decided to stay home with him, i quickly realized that i needed to go ahead and turn it into a legitimate business (you know- business cards, website, license, and all that.) so, jaeartworks was born in 2006, mainly as a portrait business. you can see more of my portraits on my website, but here are a few.

"joaquin" 16" x 16"
graphite on paper

"nolan" 18" x 24"
graphite on paper

once our sons were old enough to hold a brush, gosh, as early as 5 months, omar and i both had them making art. trying to keep things fresh and always needing gifts and milestone markers, i began coming up with more and more art projects for my own kids. that led me to start thinking about expanding out to doing art for kids. i have done all kinds of art with kids of all ages and needs, from oilstick paintings in the style of Vassily Kandinsky with 4th graders to gesture painting with babies. i even headed up a collage for ed cody elementary school in san antonio in conjunction with an art grant from the city of san antonio. want your child to take art lessons? no problem. i've got everything here already. you can see more about art lessons here.

Zane, 3, and Hannah, 7, working in the studio

acrylic, marker and crayon on paper
zane 20 months

some of the most popular kids projects i do are using handprints and footprints on canvas. i've done them for all different occasions, and have even created custom ones for people. for more examples, go here!

if you have an idea of something you want, but aren't really sure about how to do it, let me know. i'll come up with something. this piece was done for a little boy who loves baseball.

"swing away"

uppercase living sticker on acrylic underpainting on canvas

peace, love and art!


Thursday, March 19, 2009

in the beginning...

the year was 1997, and i was getting ready to graduate from the university of texas at san antonio with a degree in painting and drawing. understood was the fact that i was going to go out and take the world by storm (insert laugh here.)

anyways, i thought it would be interesting to show some of my earlier work from art school, stepping stones on the pathway to jaeartworks studio...

"if there ever was a time" 1996

34" x 48"

oil, acrylic and mixed media on canvas

"once upon a ...(nevermind)" 1997

36" x 57"

oil, pastel and mixed media on fabric

"portrait of a fairytale" 1997

48" x 72"

oil, charcoal and mixed media on canvas



framed cross stitch

the dynamic duo

the boys are doing fantastic. zane is 3 1/2 now. he is fascinated by plants and dirt and "dirty bugs." he can dig in the dirt for hours and never get tired. he often says he is digging for dinosaur bones. he loves to read books and give "lectures," such as how the flowers grow and why the sun is in the sky. he is also quite the accomplished painter. he has been painting since 10 months, and is truly an example of how you're never too young to start.

zachary is almost 1 1/2 now. he is a never-ending ball of energy. if he is not sleeping or eating (and by this I mean physically strapped into his high chair) then he is running, climbing, and/or jumping off of something. he loves to play with cars and trucks, and he constantly follows his dad and me around trying to "help" us do everything from fixing things to loading the dryer. he also is an avid music lover. he loves to play on the piano and the harmonica. and at least once a day, he demands to listen to his music on my mp3 player.

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