Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Twas The Night Before Christmas

Greetings Artsy friends. I'm so happy you've come. I hope you can stay a while, join me for a cup of tea/coffee and maybe an artsy chat. Lets get to know each other this year.
You can also connect with me on:
Facebook - Danine Mroz
Instagram - Northern Gypsy @bees_knees_studio
Twitter - Sky @PrairieMroz
Pinterest - Danine Mroz

December is upon us and there is still so much to do. I don't know about you, but personally I love December. Even though I need a nap come January, I adore the hustle and bustle. It really is a special time! From the baking to making the house as festive as can be... I love it all.

So where to begin? Grab a cup of Coco and I'll tell you my December tale thus far.

"Santa Clause Is Coming to Town" 
It started, not with my tree as one might imaging, but with my chalkboard and decorating the front entrance with a gaggle of Santa's. To create my chalkboard art I always begin with a web search of the most interesting and\or appropriate quote, which is usually via Pinterest. I adapted this fun quote to suite the occasion quite nicely. I have to say, adding a chalkboard to our home has been a fun and easy way to change up the seasonal décor, keep track of appointments, or make announcements. For those of you thinking of adding a chalkboard to your home there are wonderful tutorials on line to get you started. And if you don't think you're crafty or artsy enough you can always order printables for a very low price off the net. It really is a fun way to add a splash of personality to your home. I simply LOVE my chalkboard!

My next project was my massive fire place mantel... it's wide and deep. 
As this is our first Christmas in our new home, 
I wasn't quite sure what to do with all that space. 
So, once again I took a gander at some very talented peeps posts 
on Pinterest and dove into my stash of 
Christmas goodies to see what I already had. 
"When, what should my Wandering Eyes Should appear? 
But,,," Tiny Trees, some reindeer, and oodles of candles... 
and my "Reindeer Forest" was born. 
I of course added a few new things to my already fun 
and quirky collection of critters,,, 
as I do every year, and Voilà!

What do you collect? Do you have a certain style? Colour theme? Do you have traditions? Do you bake? Travel? Volunteer? Tell me about your December... Or share your blog.
I'd love to hear all about it.

Here we go, "Walking in A Winter Wonderland"
Outdoor décor and crafting came next of course. Being the new kid on the block I didn't want to offend any of our new neighbours by copying their porch décor. So, what to do? I hatched a plan...  Thus, I began by collecting a large container, some florists blocks, wire, pruning sheers and then started gathering branches and greenery from my own back yard. I stuffed and fluffed some spruce, then wiggled and jiggled the branches, finally tied a big bow and plunked down some rather large Christmas decorations to complete my porchy décor. I'm quite proud of how it turned out, though I'm no Cynthia from next door (she's an Interior Decorator :D ).

 "Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree"
My second home made project was inspired by my daughter, who thought she didn't have enough room in her wee bedroom to have a small tree this year.
  As she has always had the largest bedroom in the house with
ample room for a full size tree. I felt rather badly that there was
something was missing from her room this year. It dawned on me that she DID have room,,, on her walls. I remembered something
that I had seen, on Pinterest of course, and I got busy.
I found some old necklaces, lace, ribbon, ornaments, scissors
and a large pin cushion frame. Working together with
my daughter we created a lovely tree to hang on the wall...
She loves it!

"It's Beginning to Look A lot Like Christmas"!!
        Carols play and continue playing throughout the house throughout the month which continues to inspire me onward. I move onto decorating the 
tree and then help the kiddies (18 and 15) decorate their bedrooms. On top of that we make a 
batch of cookies and some fudge. YUM! 

"Rocking Around the Christmas Tree"
And here we are, there's not much left to do. Perhaps drink a little eggnog and attend a few parties, sign some cards and mail them away. I may even have time to do a bit of art,,, though I usually take a break from it to make time for the extra crafting and other seasonal activities. (Hopefully you'll come back in January when I get back to my canvas and art journals.)  Of course I'll finish up my Christmas shopping and finally wrap all those goodies for under the tree.
And that's a WRAP. hehe

"We Wish You a Merry Christmas,
We Wish You a Merry Christmas,
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
 and a Happy New Year"
See you in 2016

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Exploding Doodles

Greetings Artsy friends. I'm so happy you've come. I hope you can stay a while, join me for a cup of tea/coffee and maybe an artsy chat. Lets get to know each other this year.
You can also connect with me on:
Facebook - Danine Mroz
Instagram - Northern Gypsy @bees_knees_studio
Twitter - Sky @PrairieMroz
Pinterest - Danine Mroz

Holy Exploding Doodles Batman!!

I'm thrilled that so many people have joined the "Doodle" movement. Everywhere I look now I see Adult colouring books... Drug Stores, Book Stores, Craft Stores, Department Stores and Art Supply Stores are all carrying a large variety of doodle books. One of my favourite doodle artist has a few colouring books out. He goes by the name "Squidoodle" his work is that stunning... he can also be found on Instagram and Facebook under that name. Hint, Hint... they make great gifts and stocking stuffers. 

So, while colouring is a great way to de-stress and is a ton of fun, I would highly encourage you to give doodling a try for yourself. It's easy, relaxing, and very rewarding. Honest!  Remember the kid in school... the one who doodled all over every page and cover of their notebooks? You can be that kid. That kid didn't fret if their work was particularly good.  They were just passing time, making marks, zoning out, relaxing and having fun. And guess what? Research now shows that when a person doodles while listening to a presentation/lecture the information is retained at a higher level...
Tangles: Wist (left) C-Yeah (right)
Imagine that!  In fact some schools are now encouraging kids with ADHD to doodle. As an artist that thrills me. The other amazing side affect of doodling is increased hand-eye co-ordination and spacial awareness. Therefore all other work becomes better as well. Hip-Hip-Hooray!! 

You may be wondering where to begin... Well, wherever you are is always a good place. There are a ton of different types of doodles, from simple geometric patterns to large intricate designs. Of course we start at the artistic level that we currently are at. I have found Pinterest is one of the best places for step-by-step instructions on various doodle patterns. In fact, I have quite the collection of 'Zendoodle How To's' on my Pinterest site PrairieMroz. Simply choose 3 or more patterns, practice them and then create a "thread". From there you fill  in between the lines and your patterns comes together.

Another method that I have found is #1 - Draw a simple object using an "Elegant Writer" calligraphy
pen.  Give it it's basic characteristics and then draw lines within. #2 - Add water with a medium water colour paint brush and watch the magic happen. I love how the pens colours flow and bleed... let it move about the page. (Allow to dry). #3 - Colour with some watercolour crayons, such as "NeoColour", add water. (Dry) #4 - From there fill those spaces with your doodle patterns.
Some other objects you could draw to get you started; Owl, Bird, Cup, Cat, Dog, Star, House, Angel,,, anything that you can already draw basically. If you're stuck trace your hand. Most of all,,, remember to have fun.

I hope these quick tutorials help you along the way to a doodle/art practice.  At the very least, I encourage you to go grab a colouring book, some pencil crayons and a cup of  coffee then get busy making some art.
Thanks again for joining me.
You're beuatiful!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Horton Hears This Who

Hello friends, I'm so happy that you're here. I'm so blessed to have you in my life.
You can also connect with me on:
Facebook - Danine Mroz
Instagram - Northern Gypsy @bees_knees_studio
Twitter - Sky @PrairieMroz
Pinterest - Danine Mroz

Hello Universe "I'm here, I'm here, I'm here"!
There was a time when I felt an awful lot like that little Who. Small and all alone, invisible to the world. But, one day something changed within me and I was finally able to find my Horton and I'll never feel small again.

So, What changed? Well,,, I did. I started to become self aware.
I made the conscience decision to "Let Go".  I let go of all the doubt, the negativity and all that was holding me back from achieving my dreams. This didn't happen over night and, in fact I'm still letting go of things to this day. The other big change was being "Grateful" for all things big and small.
I began to understand that by doing these two things "Letting Go" + "Gratitude" the Universe would recognize me.  With new found empty space, that was once clogged up by negative matter, the Universe could now fill it with shiny new things and I began to bloom.
A concept introduced to me in reading "The Secret".

When I made these changes I was finally able to find my Horton.  He came via the way of mixed media art, art journals and tangle art.  Thanks to the technical advances I have been able to use the tools at my fingertips to learn and grow. I've also been able to connect with people... Other "Whovians" if you will... and the Universe opened up to me.

Watercolour Shell Aug/15
Now a days I'm incredibly grateful when I learn new techniques and can share with all my fellow Whovians.  Recently I began playing with watercolour and at first I was a bit frustrated at it's unpredictability. But, now that is the thing that I enjoy about it the most. :D

I hope you've enjoyed our little chat. Please use the buttons below to share with your social media.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I'm BACK!!

OMG I can't believe it's been two years since my last post. Where does the time go?
I'm so very happy that you've found me. Please add me to your social media family and lets connect.
Instagram - Northern Gypsy @bees_knees_studio
Facebook - Danine Mroz
YouTube - Northern Gypsy

A lot has happened in those two years.  First, we moved half way across the country and relocated the family. I have to say, I feel as if we are all a lot happier. Secondly, I made the decision to make art a priority, and things are going beautifully. Thirdly, I began setting regular, achievable goals... short and long term. Yaa!

The move came due to some major restructuring at my husbands work which meant he would have to commute several provinces over. After a year and a half of commuting we finally made the leap and moved, hubby loves that his commute is now only 1 hours (6x per month) instead of a day. Our son is making great friends and fitting in very well at school. While our daughter made short work of finding work that suites her perfectly while she takes a year off from school. While I've been finding all I could possibly need and/or want right close to home. Happy family!

This year with regards to my art, I began doing some type of creating EVERY day, which I post to Instagram. I've also been trying filming some of my art journal practice for YouTube,,, which isn't as easy as it looks. I'll keep working on it and hopefully I'll  have a great channel before long.  The other major change that I have experienced this year has been making a conscience effort to connect with other artists locally and over the net. Instagram has been a fantastic source for making connections and ongoing inspirations.  I've been to a couple art conventions and taken few classes... and I love making artsy friends. :D While in Winnipeg, MB recently I met the fabulous ladies from "Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine" and learned a ton during the classes offered and through conversation osmosis. They put me in contact with an amazing local mixed media artist whom I already feel a connectedness to. There is so much talent out there and I always feel blessed when I'm included with these amazing people. I hope to  continue to make long lasting friends in the art community. Maybe with you.

Oh My... I almost forgot to mention.
One of the most incredible strokes of luck happened last week. I won an Instagram give away from Flora Bowley for an ongoing membership to her Studio Diaries. I highly suggest if you want to grow as an artist check out her programs and courses. There is a free sample month to the Studio Diaries on her site. Though I'm not here to advertise for her I will be reflecting on some of the themes, questions and exercises that I'm  doing from time to time.

Goals-- Short term; To make art my priority.
             Long term; To be published in an art magazine.

Going forward I want to continue to share my journey and work, inspire you to listen to your own muse, encourage you as an artist and above all else give you permission to play.

Question of the day... What goals are you currently working towards?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Q & A

Good day sunshine, welcome.

I've been blogging for a while now but, I haven't really introduced myself or talked about what makes me tick as an artist. So, I thought I would do a Q & A blog so you could get to know me better.

Q ~ Where are you from?
A ~ I grew up in the country on a little hobby farm just outside of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada. We had, cats, dogs, chickens and every now and again we would rent our back field out to friends or neighbors for their horses. Since growing up and moving out I have lived many different places and traveled North America quite extensively. Though I feel quite worldly there will always be a little bit of that country girl in me.

Q ~ When did you find your artistic talent?
A ~ I began drawing at the age of 17 when I was pregnant with my first child. I was about to become a single parent and I found it to be very soothing and therapeutic. But, it wasn't until much later in life that I began to take it serious and go to the next level.

Q ~ Where do you get your inspiration?
A ~ I find inspiration all around me; nature, past experiences, and from within the painting itself.

Q ~ What is your creative process like?
A ~ Great question. Though it can vary from day to day, most days look something like this...

Get my but out of bed, grab a coffee & some toast, start doodling to get things going.
I usually listen to music while I work. Once I feel ready, in an artistic frame of mind, I move on to a canvas. If I'm starting something new I begin by putting down some color that appeals to me on that given day. This usually has to do with my mood. I dance, sing, and play with the colors and layers until I begin to see things take shape or some type of form and then I begin to work around that. It may be an idea or a concept OR it could actually be a known figure, a person, animal, or other object.
If for some reason I'm having trouble, artist block, I will go for a walk, meditate, exercise or call a friend... then I get back to the painting.
That's it in a nut shell.

Q ~ Why do you paint?
A ~ Because I can't imagine NOT painting.

Q ~ What do you think is your biggest obstacle?
A ~ Myself. I think fear and my own self doubt is the biggest obstacle to overcome. I'm working on it.

So, that's me, the Who, What, When, Where and Why. I hope to get to know many of you. I will be adding a YouTube channel this year to share more of myself and work. So, keep in touch. Share your URL, blog, twitter, and YouTube with me. If you have any other questions feel free to ask.
Add me on Twitter, PrairieMroz

Thursday, June 27, 2013

More Doodle Fun

There's just something about creating something out of nothing. Doodling is a soft form or art. It doesn't have to be particularly good, it's purpose is to pass the time and to help get the creative flow going.
When I'm having trouble getting my artistic muse to show her lovely face I get out a pen or pencil and begin a doodle. Some have Zentangle elements, some are more of a sketched doodle, while others are random patterns... but the most fun are when I put all three together and create a large Uber-doodle using the open scribble as my starting point.

 Starting by holding your pencil loosely, move your hand/arm freely and flowingly around the page to create a large flowy design.
Add words, images, designs ~ repeat your patterns and imagery around the page to create flow and balance.
Remember to use Small, Medium and Large elements to make your doodle more interesting.
 I absolutely love Paisley - Fun factoid, Brad Paisley has Paisley designs on all of his guitars... they're beautiful.
Finding a design for paisley or any other design can be as easy as opening your closet, a magazine or checking out packaging on popular products.
What designs are you attracted to?
Are there recurring patterns in your life? What are they? Doodle them.

Adding color is always a blast... I try to keep it to 5 colors or less. But, I often blend a couple colors together OR do light and dark of the same color giving the image of more colors.

Smile ~ Laugh ~ Create ART!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Liquid Acrylics and India Ink

From Bold and Beautiful, to soft and subtle... using liquid color can give you a very unique element to your Art Journal pages. I personally like the Bold look better... but, play with your options and find what works for you.
To achieve a softer look try:
~ diluting a few drops into some water and apply with a brush or a spray bottle.
~ apply gesso to your page, let dry, then add your liquid color.
~ spray your page with water and apply the color with a dropper or paint brush.
~ apply color to the page and then spray with a water bottle.
Play around and see what effects you can create. You can also stamp, blot and stencil liquid color.

To achieve a dark, bold look:
~ stamp, paint, stencil, blot, drizzle, dab, etc the color directly onto a fresh, untreated page of your art journal.
~ you can also spray with water to give it a more water color effect.

But, above all else, Have FUN!
Here are two pages I did with India Ink.

I created the backgrounds together using the same colors to create unison and flow.
The left side I added Gesso ~ so it's a softer more washed out color. On the right I added it directly to the paper for a bolder look.
I love both looks.

 The softer color palette was perfect for me to embellish with words and art. I wanted to just play with the, "I am..." prompt which I had seen the day before, after all that is one of the main purposes of keeping an Art Journal - Positive Affirmation
~ I added more color to the words and banner at the top
~ Played with a package of ephemera that I had laying around until I achieved the right dynamic.
~ Before gluing them down I edged them with pigment ink stamp pads in bright colors then in black.
~ Lastly I grunged the edges and the whole page.
I actually did quite a bit more to this page after the initial liquid ink application.
~ To start, Black stamping and writing in white gel pens over the bold color added contrast.
~ Washi tape and ribbon help to create motion and lines.
~ Messy circles in pen and marker around my bright, bold dots enhance and emphasize the shapes.
~ Added ephemera creates interest and a three-D element. As with the other side I added color to the edges with pigment ink stamp pads then again in black.
~ Because all my ephemera is game pieces I thought it fitting to  use the phrase, "Life is NOT a GAME" in  my heart.
~ I also finished this page by grunging the edges and the whole page.
Smile ~ Laugh ~ Create Art