Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Well Hello There, 2015.


I began 2014 seeking solace.  I needed to regroup, rethink, but most of all, just be.  I took time to evaluate, heal, and reflect, personally and creatively.  2013 was a turbulent year that saw issues appearing in front of us as a family at every turn.  I needed 2014 to be just be, and with the exception of a few blips, it was.  
It's kind of funny, when you want life to just be, it sometimes takes you in a or several slightly different ways.  That was the theme of the first part of the year.  As covered in a previous blog, I finally decided it was time to figure out my unending anxiety and lack of sleep.  That step was pivotal for the rest of the year.  With that under wraps, I set out to find some protocols that would supplement what was being done medically. On that journey I discovered dōTERRA.  I had read a bit about essential oils, but was still skeptical until I felt their effects.  Nine months later, they are intregal to my wellness practice. Not only that, I've been able to help others with pain, sleep loss, and other health-related issues put before friends and colleagues.  I never saw this coming. 

In between teaching trips, teaching here,  and class-taking trips (artistic renewal),  I was able to create two new plates of stamps for my line, a few images that will make their debut somewhere special in 2015, and knocked out a set of stencils for StencilGirl.  I am so pleased with them. I fit in a little painting here and there,

a lot of RubberMoon tutorials,  and sold my first big house painting to a dear friend who spoils me so. I continued to be involved in Collage Club here as well as a smaller art group that meets weekly.  I love to make art and laugh with these gals.  Oh, and let's not forget about lunch.

The rest of my year was filled with almost two weeks in Europe with Jim and Sammi for her 21st birthday and my bucket list,

Princess Cruise dining room
                                                            fun family days here,

more herniated discs (boo), lots of good friends and family who keep me grounded, and .... my wonderful dogs, aka sous artistes!

 Well Hello there, 2015

I am peeking for the new year as it approaches.

You can probably tell what my word is for 2015. Leaps can be planned and unplanned and I already have several aligned for this year.  I'm not sure what the unplanned will be, but I will leap with grace, rather than not take the opportunities.   

What will the year hold for all of us?

 Thanks for following this long retrospective!  Happy New Year.  If you have a word, comment to me.  I love words. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Once in a BLUE Moon

Sometimes art in the studio comes out exactly as you imagined, but often it doesn't.  There can be detours and wrong turns, or "ah ha" moments that change that dull that first image in your head.  I don't mind those times of "flux" at all, but today was not one of those convoluted days for me.  This project came out exactly as I had mentally pictured it.  I will savor the moment and invite you to savor it with me. 

I chose the following stamps to use:

               once in a blue moon
               spiral crescent moon
               catch a falling star

I must mention that these are new stamps as of a week (to me) so I was very excited to see what they would do together. I got out the following supplies:

               Pitch Black Adirondack pad
               acrylic paint:  blue, white, pink
               Gel Extreme gold gel pen
               black Sharpie

I then searched for a piece of background paper from my stash and found one that I thought fit well with the other choices.  The paper below is a waste paper of sorts that I make in droves after I've done one of my resist classes.  In this particular class my students use Ranger Cut n Dry foam with Ranger Adirondack dye inks to add color to glossy paper. I bring the pads home and set them out for about a week to dry out some.  I then spritz them with a mister and press cut glossy paper into them and set aside to dry.  The variegation you get is different with each pressing.  I add more water when necessary and then move on to the same pad when the ink is almost gone.  I then rinse the pads out for the next class.  So two purposes are served:  (1) I use up
the rest of the ink on the pads so there is very little waste.  (2) I get the most gorgeous array of papers ready to be used at a moment's notice.  Try this technique at home and see what you get.  It's a great thing to do when you are in an artistic funk.  The colors jumping out at you seem to jump start my creativity!!!!

The stamping part begins to make the composition come alive.  All three stamps were done in Pitch Black Adirondack Dye Ink (any black in would work well except a pigment.) 

I then began to add acrylic paint to the moon and flowers as a textural accent.  (HINT:  switching media automatically adds a visual texture to a project.  The opacity of the pinks in the flowers changed the look of the stamping on the busy background.  It made them pop.  While the dots of blues to make the moon indeed blue added a tactile texture with the thick application.  Two different ways to add textural interest and indeed make this a mixed media art card. 


When dry, I mounted it on a snippet of black glossy followed by a pale pink textured scrap of cardstock.  I have to admit, I am pleased as punch with it!  It's fun working with RubberMoon stamps because they allow you to really get creative in mixing your point of view with their whimsical nature.  It's a perfect fit for me when I want to get back to my roots.  You can find more RubberMoon stamps to add to your collection here and more of my work on my Nancy Curry Art page on facebook or my main website

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Every Good Boy Does Fine ( #musiclingo)

"Soul's Voice"
solvent ink, dye ink, alcohol ink in YUPO journal

Musicians should remember the mnemonic phrase in the blog title.  The rest of you are probably confused. I used it and others to read music when first learning the piano, the first of my three instruments (clarinet and trumpet followed shortly after.) Growing up there were weekly lessons in the home of Mrs. Ricketson, nightly practice, lessons in school for the other instruments, more practice on them,  the start of writing some music (one song only that I now have to play by pure memory because I can't find it), and finally the introduction to listening to music. Once I went down that rabbit hole I never came out.  Music is a mainstay in my household so it should not be a surprise that my drawings for stencils went in that direction.  I was mentored to find something that was very meaningful to me and go for it.  So go for it I did.  I can now announce that I have become a StencilGirl artist and that my four clef designs in two different sizes (4" x 4" and 6" x 6") are now live on their site.  You can see them all on one page or view them individually with the samples below.   All are based on my inspiration sketch, which became a rubber stamp this spring:

Some of these samples appear with the stencils on the StencilGirl site, but a few are new this week and will only appear here.  Rather than have one tutorial,  I included all of them with materials used.  If you have more "how" questions, just send me a message. 

Clarity stamp available on Etsy
acrylic, specialty paper

                                                                  6" x 6"  B Flat Clef
acrylic, Pitt Pen on paper

"Clefs on Parade" 
dye ink, solvent ink on canvas

solvent ink on paper

CitraSolv Ink Manipulation mounted on cardstock

dye ink, solvent ink on canvas

"Pitch Perfect"
CitraSolv Ink Manipulation mounted on canvas

                                                                   "Leather and Lace"
glossy substrate, spray inks

handmade paper, acrylic, fiber wall hanging

Citra Solv Ink Manipulation on cardstock

                                                                      "Be Amazed"
dye inks, solvent inks, acrylic

Thanks for sharing in my launch of these samples.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.  Check back here or on my site or my Facebook page, Nancy Curry Art,  for future blog entries with new samples.  This is just the tip of the iceberg. 

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

A Curry Summer

Well, I find myself back in St. Louis after traversing the globe on a family trip that included time in Venice, Montenegro, Rome, Florence, Aix-En-Provence,  and Barcelona.  What a trip it was!  To be surrounded by the beauty each city brought for two weeks was amazing.  Each place had its own flavor, but there were commonalities that attracted me......the achitecture and the flora/fauna. 

This trip provided more than enough inspiration for the Flower Power online class I am taking from longtime friend, Kristen Powers, or as the world knows her now, Kae Pea. I don't take many online classes, but this one is a must.  I've had so much fun trying out her water media techniques and then adding the tips and ideas to mine. Add to that the wonderful camaraderie from the online class community and you definitely have something that helps you beat the summer doldrums that can hit in a very manageable way.  I am woefully behind, but have been reminded that you are never behind since new people are joining all the time.  My finished piece (6" x 6" )from ten days ago is in a holder in my kitchen.  I can't wait to frame it when I get the time. 

Today's piece was even more of a challenge.  I worked on three separate 1" pieces.  I know, I am insane, but I love working small and really love the detail I was able to get on these miniatures.  With many layers, these quick sketches became the piece at the top.

Of course, I had to add my stamps to finish them off.  Find them on Etsy

I'll be enjoying the foliage here in balmy St. Louis, getting ready for a special launch soon (tease), and prepping for a private event and then Stampaway.  I have two classes on Thursday and Friday that I'd love to see you in!  As always, the preview party will be divine.  Life will sure be busy this month and next.  You'll see me soon with some more RubberMoon adventures as well.  Stay cool if you can.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Night Magic

I have been dying to use this stamp, breathless magic,  since I bought it last year, but it needed that certain touch that would make it quite special.  While putting supplies away from a recent class, I started to look through my Citra Solv paper stash and lo and behold I saw some papers that had the potential to work well with the composition of the stamp.  Below are the two I auditioned for the part.  For those of you new to Citra Solv manupulation, you can visit the Citra Solv site or look at my past tutorial here to see how these pages were done.  


 Here is my beauty shot of the supplies. 

I spent some time searching for the best part of the paper and saw this area that appeared to me to have a small moon near the top.  I chose black StazOn to stamp the image.  Once stamped, I trimmed the image down.

Once trimmed, I added a small dollop of bronze Golden Fluid Acrylic to my junk palette, and spot added color to the stars in the sky and beneath the sea.

To prepare for mounting, I cut black glossy and teal cardstock slightly larger to create a frame.

 I attached all of the layers with Scor Tape.

 ........ and then added the matted work to a folded sheet of black glossy cardstock.

This is a simple card idea for a special someone.  RubberMoon has many stamps that have artistically presented quotes.  Head on over and find your favorites!   Follow me at my website where you will find links to follow me on facebook.  See you soon.

Friday, May 02, 2014


It would seem that 2014 is a shaping up to be a year with a lot of alternatives.  Apparently I have anxiety and a lot of it.  I never do anything half-measure so why would I think that this would be any different. You would never know looking at me from the outside in and I didn't know (and I was on the inside!)  Of course,  there are the times you aren't ready to know something.  I think I've always had an inkling, but I kept so busy that I really didn't have to look at it fully....just catch a glimpse here and there.  I've only taken a few steps but it's been an interesting journey so far -- from the confrontation and diagnosis to the "dealing with it" process.  It's funny, though, that the anxiety-laden state does help me produce some of my best work, but I am learning to handle timing, relationships, and my own brain that won't shut off so much of the time, better.  I am such a skeptic but in a few short months I've embraced daily meditation, the need for daily preventative, and  essential oils, that have amazing healing capability.  All have played a part in enabling me to sleep and reach states of peace/calm that I hadn't been able to reach in a long time. 

I am spending a lot more time on things that are going to relax me.  Last month I started the #100happydays challenge online and I've had a great time taking time taking time to figure out what really makes me happy.  I've tried to spend times on things that are meaningful to me in a positive way.  The deadlines and promotion time are still always looming, but I'm finding that this calm has brought a sense of purpose so they aren't as daunting.  I am also spending time trying to look past my busyness to some quieter, natural moments.  Last month I took time out to spend the day with a good friend and among our stops was a visit to the butterfly house.  It was so nice to sit there and just "be" for a few minutes, not even talking.  I felt rejuvenated after the day was over.  I have also received much solace from our return to a search for a new church.  That process will be slow, but so far it has felt like the direction we should head.  I am very lucky to have a husband who has sensed I've needed a lot of support in my new directions. 

I am not outdoorsy at all but I do love to look at the new growth in spring so today I visited a walking trail for about an hour and a half and took the time to look at the new growth mixed with the thick layers of years past on the forest floor.  I spent time reflecting on some really hard moments in this forest last fall.  Revisiting those moments was cathartic and scary at the same time, but looking at the newly budding trees and their steadfastness and promise, seemed to ground me as I was lost in thoughts that I had put away during the last six months. 

As with some of the other alternative or holistic modalities I have tried, this was also a great release for me.  I highly advise everyone to try it!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

And At That Moment I Swear We Were Infinite

I painted this piece back in February.  I've dabbled in this design before with some auction donations, but had never done one I was able to keep.  Well, I am not really keeping it, but will be able to visit it.  It's for Sam who turns twenty-one next week.  Some of you new to me don't know of Sam, but many of you I've been friends with since she was a toddler and I was started to take my life into paper arts~rubber stamp art~mixed media~and more painterly pursuits.  It's been a long road and there have been many choices I made along the way that slowed down my journey and that took me out of the mainstream eye.  Regrets have surfaced from time to time but have been short-lived because the road to have Sam was also long yet held a smattering of miracles.

So here we are at the cusp of her adulthood (well, still some college and grad school) looking at a flower in full bloom.  She has so many years, experiences, challenges ahead (represented by the fullness of the flower's petals.)  The seventy or so French knots that make up the center of the flower are the moments I hope we are still able to have with her throughout the years.  The quote I added is one of her favorites that she introduced me to while in high school.  It quickly became one I really love because I can remember the feeling that Stephen Chbosky refers to from long ago.  It's hard to feel infinite in your fifties, but there are times when the three of us are together that I have a fleeting moment where I want it to go on forever.  But time doesn't stand still, so more changes are afoot as she travels on her journey and I meander on mine.