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Showing posts from 2015

Mix & Match

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Greetings from the studio!

Between baking batches of Christmas cookies and vacuuming up copious amounts of pine needles from our tree (uuugh), I've been working on lots of new *experiments*....my new favorite is something I like to call "the Mix & Match" :)  After dabbling with some different techniques, I am loving the look of these two styles together.  It's almost like abstract floral meets rock and roll/funk pop.  Does that make sense?  I love the look of watercolor care-free florals, but I needed something more.  Something edgy.  I think the strong stripes pair nicely with the delicate flowers.  What do you think?

Stay tuned :)  More to come.

I think the paintings go great with the new COLORFUL album by Grimes, "Art Angel"... [which I'm seriously loving] <3

Art Angel (full album) by Grimes via YouTube
Cheers! OJ

DIY: Colorful Stamp Pad!

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Happy December, everyone!

Today I want to share a festive alternative to the basic ink pad that is sooo easy to make.  If you're a fan of stamps (like me!), you've likely felt a bit limited by the stamp pad options out there.  Not only that, but the colorful ones can be quite pricey, and are not always the exact colors or sizes you're looking for.  I am here to show you that you can easily create your own!  Any colors, any size -- the options are limitless!  All you need is some acrylic paint, a sponge, and water.  Yep, it's that simple.  Let's get started :)

Step 1:  Buy a sponge that is a bit larger than your stamp -- that way you don't have to reposition your stamp every time.  The stamp I used was MASSIVE, so I bought a large sponge.  Soak your sponge in water, and then ring out all the extra water so it's no longer dripping. Set on a surface that you don't mind getting a little messy ;)  I used a plastic plate lined with paper towel.




Step 2: Get color…

The Art of Fleur de sel

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Happy Tuesday!

When I think of fleur de sel ("flower of salt" en français, or French sea salt), Ithink of it as a vital food ingredient.  I add a sprinkle or two to almost everything I cook, be it roasted vegetables, soups, or chilled dishes like salads and the bodacious burrata plate in the photo below!  Without fleur de sel, I must confess...my cooking would be a lot less tasty.  Fact.

At an art critique several months ago at The Dahl Arts Center, I learned about the use of "resists" in watercolor painting --- certain things that you can add to your piece (before/during) that literally "resist" the watercolor itself to create a unique texture or appearance.  Some examples includeglue, wax, oil pastels, rubber cement, tape, and salt.  As I strive to keep experimenting with my art, I decided it was time to expand my resist repertoire, so I used something I had on hand in the kitchen: Trader Joe's fleur de sel :)  



After letting the salty paintings dry, t…

The Art of the Home Studio

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Hi there!  Happy Monday.  Today, let's explore the art of creating the home studio...or truly any artsy space in your home that is not dedicated to sleeping, cooking, lounging, or doing laundry.  Need a space to sew, scrapbook, bead, blog, or collage?  I encourage you to make a home (in your home!) for that space today.  

When I learned we were moving back to Minneapolis, I was thrilled, but I wondered how I would continue painting creatively without a studio outside of the home.  I had grown pretty accustomed to my weekly painting routine of working in my charming historic studio in downtown Rapid City.  I wasworried I wouldn't be able to stay as focused or creative in a home studio, and I wondered how I could find enough space for all my supplies.

I'm pleased to announce that the whole home studio thing is going great.  I tried to set up the new space as closely as I could to my old space in an effort to get the same vibe.  It also helps that the new space is all white, li…

How to Spot an Art Scammer

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Welp, it happened.I was officially the target of an art scammer. I went from feeling flattered to being completely disgusted in a matter of moments; not a fun way to start the day.  But, I'm over it (!!!) and now I want to walk you through how I discovered it in the first place (it wasn't the obvious Nigerian prince scam with a fake online bank account) and how you can protect yourself and your art.

Step 1:

If you receive a message that looks like the one below...go to Step 2...

Hi,
Hope this message finds you well. I saw these creative works on your
website and I will like you to get back with more details if they are
still available for purchase.

"Cayman Brac, I"  , "Golden Pines, IV"  and   "Freedom"

I will appreciate an urgent reply.

Best Regards,
Stephanie Bawcom.

*note: I found it especially creepy that the scammer specified my three paintings by name and wanted an "urgent" reply.You'd think if they urgently wanted the artwork, the…

Meet the Abstract Giraffes

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Hello!  Happy Thursday to you :)

Every now and then, I discover a new painting style or design that I become OBSESSED with, and I find that I simply must keep painting variations of it over and over again because I love it so much and want to perfect it.  I feel slightly possessed during the process, but also very focused and creative.  It's kind of beautiful, and when it happens, I just go with the flow and enjoy the unique freedom of my art.  

So, with that said....let me introduce to you my newest creation:  ABSTRACT GIRAFFES.  They are a fun fusion of asymmetrical shapes, my signature OJD drips, and a flair of giraffes.  Are the giraffes riding on escalators?  Are they standing staggered at a rock concert?  Are they watching a football game?  A hidden layer of abstractness, I suppose.  I like that they look like they're on the move :)

>>Coming SOON to the shop at www.olivia-j-designs.com<<



I was unable to find a giraffe song (I looked, believe me...most were kids s…

Winners of the #skyscapesturgis Contest!

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Hi, hi!

Thought I'd give a little update on the results of the #skyscapesturgis contest that I had going during my month as Artist of the Month at The Sturgis Center for the Arts...because my 3 winners requested some super cool custom painting ideas!

 Check 'em out!



Congrats to the winners!  In the spirit of winning....let's rock out to some Mr. Mayfield :)

"We're a Winner" by Curtis Mayfield via YouTube

Cheers!
OJ

For the Love of BØRNS

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Hello!

A few weeks ago I was contacted regarding a cool new contest through Talenthouseto create artwork for the band BØRNS.  In celebration of the band's October 16th release of the new record Dopamine, the group is looking for artwork inspired by the band, song titles, vibe, etc.  Fun, right?!  Plus, I've been in love with the song "10,000 Emerald Pools" since it hit my ears months ago.  Not to mention "Electric Love" was the song of my Summer.  This band is the perfect combination of gorgeous grooves, eclectic visual lyricism, and poignantly emotional rock-romance.  Does that make sense?  This band gets me swooning with obscure adjectives, but I can't help it.  Most of my favorite bands are hard to describe in simple terms because their music is just too brilliant for words.  Beyond the music, I officially became a *super fan* after I listened to Garrett Borns' interview with 89.3 The Current's host Mary Lucia in March.  Check out the intervie…

A New Space!

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Hi there!  Whoa.  What a month!  As you may have noticed, I have not blogged since early October...welp, I've been a bit busy relocating back to the Twin Cities!  

Besides the obligatory packing (ugghh), I would have to say that the toughest part about leaving Rapid City was clearing out of my downtown Rapid City art studio.  I made so many great memories and paintings in that tiny space, and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to spend that time (albeit short!) in a cozy corner of a unique little city.  Not to mention my studio was right next to Tally's, a greasy spoon-type restaurant that has the best breakfast special on the planet.  And strong coffee.  Two essentials. 

I will miss The Black Hills for a multitude of reasons.  The gorgeous sunsets and the stunning vistas were all integral parts of the inspiration behind a lot of my paintings over the past few months.  Plus, the local arts community in both Rapid City and Sturgis were just amazing to work with for f…

In the Studio: A NEW 24x48 Commission

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Hello there!  I'm excited to share my newest commission piece: "Rise & Shine".  This 24x48 work was created for a client in Minneapolis who was looking for a large piece of art for their family room.

To get a good feel for what a new client is envisioning, I start by showing them a gallery of my paintings so they can select their favorite style...controlled drips, flowers, trees, hills, flowy nebula/glob things....all of the above?!  

My client wanted a large piece in the style of my classic drip/colorful skyscapes with the nature element (trees/flowers).  Next step: colors!  She informed me that the room for the piece has grey walls with a few pops of yellow/blue accent decor, but mostly plain.  Her requested colors for the piece were bright green, bright pink, and greys/blues/yellows.  ....time to create!



As with most paintings, this painting went through several revisions before I decided it was completed.  For one, this was my largest flower field that I've ev…

Patience

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Hello!  I haven't created a painted mantra in awhile, so I thought it was time to make one :)  

Patience is defined as...
the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset*


A go-to album that I've found for relaxing and cultivating patience is the Odesza 'Summer's Gone' album....harmonic beats with a zen twist.  Enjoy:




Cheers!
OJ