My Blog Posts

SPIRIT…. My most recent piece

This piece I just recently finished is titled “Spirit”.  I have a dear friend who is in her final days of stage 4 breast cancer.  My mind has constantly been on Kristi for days, weeks, and months thinking about her and her two sons she will be leaving behind.  Thinking and praying about her.  I wanted to paint a tribute to her spirit.  And this is what came to mind.  She is a beautiful, hilariously funny, witty, poetic, good Christian woman with a fire in her eyes and a devilish grin perpetually on her face.  She is a friend to many people, so many I could probably not even begin to count.  She always lights up a room when she walks in.  Quick witted and very smart, she is always surrounded by people she admires and loves.  She has a wonderful sense of humor and she also has a quiet sensitive side as well.  I often read her posts on Facebook as she might be sitting outside having a glass of wine and pondering life and love and all there is in between.  She has a beautiful way with words.  She would just share her thoughts as if it were a page out of her journal.  And Kristi loves the moon.  I gave her a painting this past year of a moon with one of her favorite quotes on it.  I was devastated when I heard she had cancer.  I have lost many friends and a husband to cancer.  I do not live in the city she lives in and so I have been thinking of her so often, from a distance.  She has been surrounded in prayer and love by her family and friends since she found out that she had cancer.  

In this piece titled Spirit, when I think of Kristi, I think of joy and happiness.  That is truly who she was.  She had tough times and phases of her life where things were not always easy for her; but no matter what, her beautiful, loving and colorful spirit always has shown through.  Even in her fierce battle with cancer, her spirit could not be broken.  As an acrylic artist, I am drawn to color.  Color to me signifies life, joy, happiness, spirit, playfulness, and healing.  My heart speaks to healing art. That is what I wanted to portray in this piece.  All of that adds up to what I see …..  a rainbow of colors, a picture of beauty, shining brightly.  My heart is hurting for her family.  But my spirit rejoices with hers!  I know that when she transitions to life hereafter, Kristi’s bright smile and beautiful blue eyes will just light Heaven up!  I will miss her here but I know that she will be in a more beautiful, eternal place where she can shine brightly.  And when the moon comes out at night, I will look up and say “hello my friend”…. her spirit will never leave us!

How Does Art Affect Us?

Pathway to Peace

This question has been asked for many generations. That question is …. How does ART affect you? We are all  somehow intrigued by it. We all think that if we cannot be a pro at it, then we cannot be an artist. The famous quote being “you are either born with it or not” is not necessarily true.   Others feel that if they cannot be the best at something, why try it at all? But did you know that there is a bit of artist in every one of us? Studies have shown that doing art is physically good for our brains, bodies, and well-being?

The trend of adult coloring books we see today is actually a form of art therapy that improves stress levels and other benefits. Art also causes your brain to do problem solving and creates new growth of neurons. Creating art produces dopamine in the brain…. well-known “feel good” molecules to give your body that added boost. Art comes in many forms: painting. crafting, scrap-booking, photography, sculpting, jewelry, basket weaving, quilting, gardening and so many more. And as some of you have tried, just relaxing with friends at a Wine and Paint class for an hour or two can be quite fun and relaxing; and give you that feeling that you have accomplished something special.

There are many other added benefits from making art such as:  lifts depression, strengthens  your brain skills, elevates self esteem, improves your attitude, makes you a better student, improves attention span, increases feelings such as empathy, is therapeutic, is extremely helpful with dementia and provides relief with chronic health issues.  Art is healing.  Click on this link that is really interesting about the advantages of incorporating ART into your life: https://bebrainfit.com/the-health-benefits-of-art-are-for-everyone/   Sign up for a class, try a class online, go enjoy an evening with friends …. painting and laughing!  Enjoy!

Sandra Lett,  Acrylic Artist

 

Painting a Family Tree on Your Wall

This project is fairly simple to do, and looks great with pictures to be a family tree.  It is easy to do on a regular wall.  In the photos, as you can see, I chose a foyer painting up a staircase.  This requires an extra step of precaution.  Good, sturdy ladders and most likely, a helping hand might be needed for an inexperienced, DIY.  My husband actually built a small platform that laid over two steps to make it easier to reach higher when I was on a step stool.  The tallest part from the floor level was done on an 8′ A-Frame ladder.  I do not recommend using an extension ladder.  #1:  Find a design or image possibly from Google that you are interested in trying to copy.  You can keep the design fairly simple or make it more intricate if you like.  I actually found several pictures I liked, and then freestyled this design as I went.  Purchase the small 2 oz. craft paints at Walmart, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, or even some dollar stores sell them.  I chose a dark chocolate brown, a cream color and a bronze metallic color. Also I used a piece of white chalk to draw at the tree on the wall.  You will need a good quality 1″ flat brush (Royal Crafters Choice or Royal & Langnickel) or a comparable brand. I usually keep a cup of water to rinse my brushes in and a damp paper towel for errors.  I freehanded leaves, but if you are not confident enough with painting them, look for a stamp that has 1 to 2 inch leaves in size that you can brush the paint on and stamp randomly after painting the tree shape.  #2:  With the piece of chalk, draw out the tree starting at the base near the floor.  You may want to put a piece of tape across the floor molding to keep the brown off of your trim.  Draw out the basic tree shape and branches.  I chose in my design to do a less traditional and more curly freestyle branch for my tree….  I drew out the base and branches and then just painted my tree in by filling in the lines like a coloring book with the chocolate brown like a silhouette.  #3:  Paint or stamp on the leaves…. step back every so often to see if you have gaps that you need a branch or leaf to fill in.  #4:  Take some cream and mix a hint of brown in to where you have a fairly lighter shade and paint a highlight on the left side of the base of tree and a swish here and there on the left side or top of some branches.  I then added another line of bronze and highlighted along some branches and leaves to give it a little shimmer here and there.  This is all done in a very random way.  Once it is “completely” dry, you may take a slightly damp paper towel and wipe off any chalk that may still be on the wall or shows on edges.  Then you can randomly hang your framed pictures here, there and everywhere all over the tree design.  The pictures do not have to be laying exactly on a branch.  Just have fun with it!Family Tree

 

Growth Chart

growth chart

Ever want to keep your child’s height measurements on a growth chart?  You can do it on your wall or by simply doing it on a board.    If you decide to do  the board… you can cut your own piece or go to the local hardware store or places like Lowes and Home Depot.  Choose a board that is at least 6 feet tall.  I would suggest at least 6 inches or wider and it can be thin.  It could be a 1/2″ thick piece of MDF or Birch is a great lightweight type of wood.  You could stain it (not the MDF), but I would highly recommend you paint it.  Choose a contrasting color to your walls or if you have a colored wall choose white.  

I have chosen in my example below to paint straight on the wall.  And of course this would require some artistic skill.  Or hire someone to do it.  It can be any theme you would like.  I chose a version of a sunflower… it could be a beanstalk, a ladder, a lighthouse, a tree, or a freestyle design or pattern.  The sky is the limit with possibilities.  Just make sure to create some form of a center point that will go up your wall vertically.  Measure up from the floor and mark with something permanent or with paint every 12 inches representing a foot.  Determine when you measure your child to mark that area with a line and date it and their name if there is more than one child being measured.  It is a treasured memory.  This is why I also suggest putting this on a board and mounting it to your wall, because if you would move at a later date, you can remove it and take it with you.  Therefore, taking your memories with you!

 

 

 

Freestyle Theme-Based Art on Walls

This is for a very creative Do-It-Yourself-er!  LOL!  A wonderful way to bring in some artwork to a bedroom or possibly a living room or spare room is to take something design wise from your fabric or something very similar that you may find by Googling images on your computer in the graphic category.  In the first picture, I found some unique graphic style art and painted it in the very dark purple color from the fabric.  I free-handed it, but you can always play it safe and sketch out your design with chalk.  Sometimes pencil will work, but you have to be careful with color choices, because you can see pencil through most colors unless they are very dark.  You can also photograph your art on your fabric, blow it up to a larger scale size such as an 8×10 and have a transparency made at somewhere like Office Depot and project the art onto the wall.  In the other example, I free-handed the artwork from the actual bedding and just duplicated the shapes and colors to create my own piece of artwork over the headboard.  This may take some time and a little artistic skill but it makes a much larger statement sometimes to have something uniquely your own instead of store bought artwork.

 

 

Mercedes Homes 10-28-2011 005 freestyle Do-It-Yourselfmercedes funky room freestyle Do-It-Yourself

Frame out or color block in areas on you wall

This is a fabulous way to really bring attention to a wall.  Sometimes you need to just bring some personality to a room … and you may have artwork or sconces to hang inside it or you may not have anything at that moment.  You can also do like I did in this home where you paint a little something special that ties in to existing bedding or other items in your room that may be upholstered with a certain theme.  You can also hang a piece of art or a series of art or framed photos inside the squares as well.  In this particular example we chose a contrasting color to the wall color and just evenly measured out three distinct squares (you can choose the size you need) and taped them off … make sure to rub your finger along the edges of the tape to insure that no paint will leak through underneath.  The best tape to use is the blue painters tape that can be on your wall for 3-7 days and can be found at Walmart, Target or any local hardware store. Masking tape is a no-no!  Then you roll in your contrasting paint color and remove the tape as soon as you are sure that it is thoroughly covered.  It may take 2 coats for some colors depending on the depth of the color.  Remove the blue painters tape very carefully.  Now we took it to the next level and added flat boards (could also be a more elaborate decorative molding) and painted that in a third color.  It is as simple as mitering the corners and all that takes it a miter box if you are handy or a quick helping hand from a carpenter!  Then you leave it as a color blocked area… or you may choose to hang artwork, photos, sconces, mirrors, or possibly paint something decorative to go inside.  It turns out gorgeous!color block walls

Monogram on Walls

Today I chose to talk about using your monogram as the focal point of your wall.  First of all you will need to decide which exact initials you will be using for the monogram, and typically the last name initial goes in the center and is a little larger than the first and middle name initials on the left and right hand side.  If you choose to do them all the same size, then you would put the initials in the logical order they would go.  You can trace on your wall the initials, project them or even go to an online store such as Wall Words or many other places and order decals.  Of course, you can always hire an artist to paint them for you as well.  

The two examples I have today are one over a crib which could later transition into a bed or other piece of furniture such as a dresser underneath it.  I also chose to stripe the walls in this room.   The other, I was more creative on and painted a dark chocolate banister type shape that appears to be hanging and has ball fringe on the bottom (once again hanging over a crib which can later be another bed or piece of furniture).  I also painted dark chocolate trees in the corners of the room on either end.  These can easily be chalked in and literally filled in with paint.  Fairly simple to do or hire your local artist.  Monograms are a very popular way of personalizing a bedroom to give it an extraordinary touch.

 

 

Monogram Stripe Monogram Trees

 

Headboard Art

285011_2280118679330_464572_nUse framed prints to fill up blank space on the wall behind a bed, an arrangement that doubles as a headboard. To create this grid like look, use square black frames and hang them close together, leaving about 2-3 inches between the frame edges.  Or go with a single image that has 3 or 4 distinct patterns.  Work within your color theme of your room.