Skin Tones for Journaling

I am SO glad I took up art journaling! It gives me an excuse to PLAY, really play! New materials, wonky ideas, practice techniques and methods. Even got out my first love, watercolor, last week. 

Had a request from a google+ community member for a video explaining how I achieve my skin tones. The pieces in question were more illustrative than painting, so I pulled out my most familiar color techniques.

All Tied Up

As part of this new adventure, I am participating in some great online workshops. This was for one of the weekly suggestions from LifeBook 2015. I highly recommend this year long resource! I've found that all my study and tutoring in fine art meshes beautifully with mixed media.

In these videos, please keep in mind that I was merely showing a few techniques to achieve skin tones, not to paint the perfect face. Had I been doing a 'real' painting, it would have taken much longer than an hour or so.

Enjoy! Subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay on top of what Wicki is doing.



Georgia Mountain Arts Interview Snippet

Peggy is a real teaser...I've not listened to the podcast yet. You know how hard it is to listen to yourself! CLICK HERE to read her post about the podcast.

I've made such good friends through Google+! The groups are so focused and fun. There will be much more coming including a guest blog post mid-March that happened because of those groups. 

Now who's teasing :) OH, by the way, after months of trial and error on my part, and going in absolute circles, MailChimp support spent 2 hours with me on chat until we figured out the broken link problems. Cross fingers that they are all fixed. (thanks Marsha Savage)



Georgia Mountain Arts

Thanks to Google+ group Kraafter Kommunity and member Peggy Gabrielson of Georgia Mountain Arts for the wonderful article she wrote about me. Color Wicki blushing! Can't wait to see how she can turn my Ozark linguistics into a listenable podcast! TBA

Click Here for the article!

xxoo and big hugs for Peggy! Please comment on her post and let her know you read it...


End of an Era

The Rice Paper Screen. Just WOW.

The Rice Paper Screen. Just WOW.

I've not been able to play with my colors in a week or so. Ran-DEE's dad moved to an assisted living facility, and he had to clean out their apartment. Whew.

That took him over a week, even after his sister cleared what she wanted, and our auctioneer moved the big stuff. Left Randy with all the toilet paper, laundry soap, magazines, etc., over 20 picture albums from 1940's to present, his dad's tour of duty in Korea (many pics of barracks...2x3" b/w faded images). Over 100 small framed family pics that had not been unpacked since they moved from their house in Little Rock five years or so ago.

We are both guilty of hoarding to a certain degree, so our place can't hold their hoarding too. However, it was a pleasure going through most of it since they lived in Japan when Ran-DEE was 7-10...and Teiko still had family there. The Japanese cards and papers! Even the envelopes were saved (stamps already cut out). A huge box of odds and ends from her sewing room in Little Rock. I've got enough elastic to last a lifetime. Teiko worked at Hancock Fabrics several years and must have bought ends and pieces of stock. I'll be looking for an innovative way to use those, for sure.

Big sacks of embroidery thread and spools of sewing thread. Postcards, 1920's b/w images from Japanese descendants, tchotzkes, genealogy files, medical files from 2000 detailing every letter, empty envelope, surgery and doctor visit Wesley had. THOSE were easy to recycle!

Anyway, I got some treasures! Have removed every picture from every little frame, all ready for donation to our Helping Hands. 

The answer to GUESS? Waterproof pads. They measure 24" x 24" -ish, and are GREAT for studio work. The bookcase was made by Wesley, and will give us some much needed vertical storage for books we have, as well as all those scrapbooks of Teiko's. Insluded in those was a book of pictures of our house that isn't with us anymore...and some pictures of Sarah we didn't have. 

That was the toughest part of the going through, for me anyway. I'll share more of the Japan ephemera later...great fodder for art. I will digitize the images and use those, passing on the originals to Betsy Ross Noble.

I'm ready for color and my studio! Bring it!



Digital Downloads for Collage/Assemblage/Journals

BRAND-NEW! Digital downloads for Collage/Assemblage/Journals. Use in mixed media projects from collage on canvas to image transfers in encaustic, Journal Jumpp starts, whatever your art is, these will be a great compliment to your artistic vision.

Each of the 100+ pages contains original painting elements and/or photography from Vicki Ross and are for your personal use ONLY. No sharing allowed, or the Wicki Muse will haunt your art forever. Capisce? (got it?)Not gonna list do's and don'ts because I expect everyone to treat these with the same respect you'd expect if they were your creations.

I am looking for a few partners who are willing to use their favorites in their art, and share with this my readers. Then, you will share on your blogs, social media, etc. 

Easy-Peasy! We all share together. 

Let me know...which pages you want to start, and when you will get your project and instructions to me. I'll prepare a schedule and see where this goes!

Wonky Flowers

Welcome to Axully!

An early attempt at a selfie in graphite!  "AirHead", 16" x 12" graphite, © V.N.Ross

An early attempt at a selfie in graphite!

"AirHead", 16" x 12" graphite, © V.N.Ross

I read a quote from someone, somewhere about perfection leads to proscrastination resulting in paralyzation (sic. correct word paralysis. I like mine better with all 'tions' :)

Axully is new iteration of my dream company, MyArtTutor, and has been simmering on a back burner for months now. Brought about by a difference of core values with a hired CEO, I hibernated for a long time. And, yes, my art saved me again. Axully is Wicki-speak for Actually...a common word in my colorful vocabulary...spelled exactly like I say it.

I do not care what your 'life issue' is, we all have a story (Robin Roberts). If you can find something to distract your mind from its spiral into a black hole for even five minutes, you will come back feeling refreshed. Five minutes here, 30 minutes up to a few hours...and you will come back with some calmness and a smile.

Does the break into the zen zone make the bad stuff go away? Nope, sorry. But the value of a break while doing something creative will build until the bad stuff loses its intense grip on you. At some point, the bad stuff seems to retreat for longer and longer periods of time. For me, my bad is now woven into me like the thread of a cocoon...and now feels like my good. It is honored for creating the person I am today. I quite like Wicki, by the way.

In short, my original desire and purpose is still intact...I want to share the healing aspect of learning about art and creative activities and how they can impact a life in positive ways. While operating as MyArtTutor, we took a path that was more focused than I originally intended...strictly learning how to paint fine art. These original classes/workshops are still some of the best in the quality of the tutor and the design of the information delivery.

I can safely claim to be one of the first alternative methods of delivering art instruction through the internet. The MyArtTutor classes are still unique, as they use a protocol where breaks are designed at good stopping places with assignments added to enhance the learning experience. We don't just have you hit play like a DVD. Axully will distribute these classes...they are timeless.

Since a major part of my own journey and past career includes many creative outlets: Music, sewing, homemaking crafts, cooking, decorating, needlework, knitting, crochet, graphic design, art direction, advertising/marketing, web design...whew, I'm sure I've forgotten some. OH, software expert on Macintosh...I still love and use that every day!

So, I hope you continue this journey with me as we showcase good quality instruction in many different disciplines of art. Just yesterday, I started a dedicated blog about my 100 Reflection with Variations series.

I don't know yet where we're going, but we'll have fun along the way...



Firmatasis, the First Word in the Vetruvius Triad


Axully, this venture started with the word actually, spelled phonetically in Wicki. Then the vetruvian/dragonfly logo, then the research that would help me tie everything together. Idea first, then development and research. Sometimes all at once. So in the Wickiworld it all spins and spits out results as ideas materialize.

Painted early in my art career, before I had knowledge of anatomy, color temperature, foreshortening, etc. At that time, the biggest hurdle was floating with the camera to catch the dragonfly!

Painted early in my art career, before I had knowledge of anatomy, color temperature, foreshortening, etc. At that time, the biggest hurdle was floating with the camera to catch the dragonfly!

Why did I associate architecture and art in the first place? Several reasons, really, not the least of which is the study of the Golden Mean as it relates to composition, which I studied before I learned which end of a paintbrush to use. The Vitruvian Man is very publicized, and I also liked the similarity (with just a bit of creative license) to dragonflies (a dragonfly has the ability to reflect and refract light and colors and is often associated with magic and mysticism. (ref. Vickie McNeely-Lesperance)

Reading about Leonardo da Vinci's Vetruvian Man led me to Vetruvius (author of De Architectura, around 15 BC.) This series of 10 books was said to have influenced the Greeks who then invented the architectural orders of Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. 

This, in turn, gave them a sense of proportion, culminating in the study of the human body. Vitruvius defined his Vitruvian Man in writing, which Leonardo da Vinci later interpreted and drew. The human male in a circle and square...fundamental geometric architectural patterns.  

Vitruvius encouraged architects to familiarize themselves with pre-Socratic theories of matter so as to understand how their materials will behave. So do artists. Carpenters. Chefs. Bricklayers. It is said that Leonardo struggled six years over the painting of The Last Supper, treating it to an experimental medium which caused it to quickly disintegrate. Creatives, beware—experimenting with ingredients with no chemical knowledge can lead to disastrous results.

What if you confused salt and baking powder when cooking? Repainted the walls in your vintage home with latex over oil? Painting with acrylic pigments over oils in your art? Doing graphic design with no knowledge of fundamental 'rules'? Solid! Know the rules before you can break them. 

The Sistine Chapel immediately came to mind as a visual of SOLID. I had just completed a series of paintings using components of art owned by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Part of the research for that project led to my awareness that Rockwell's Rosie the Riveter was posed as an homage to Michelangelo's frescoed depiction of the prophet Isaiah from the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

Sistine Chapel

Sistine Chapel

The Vetruvian Triad is also called the Vetruvian Virtues. My information was collected from internet research and run through the WickiFilter (thanks, Wikipedia and 100swallows).  Firmitasis (Latin for Solid) sounds like a medical condition...halitosis, bronchiectasis, tuberculosis, asbestosis...a condition of firm? Welcome to my brain :)

After reading about the conflicts between Leonardo and Michelango (I didn't even know they were somewhat contemporaries), I doubted my thought process. Leonardo was labelled a dreamer in his time, most of his sketches were not publicized during his lifetime, and he completed few paintings and sculptures. Not many of his dreams were actualized, while Michelangelo practiced the doing of the arts through his designs and problem-solving solutions to their completion. I decided to leave it alone and give credit to my Muse for the combination.

A reader/dreamer 'epiphany catalyst' and a 'conceptual actualizer' who created finished products. A fitting combination.