Monthly Archives: February 2012

Its all about learning….


I can’t get enough of learning about painting….mixed media….the art business…..did I mention painting?  One of the best things I am learning in the Flora Bowley e-course Bloom True is to just paint with wild abandon.  It really doesn’t matter what the layers look like, it just matters that you are layering.  Eventually it will matter what they morph into, but for now its just a free flow of color from my heart right onto the canvas.  Here are my first 4 layers….I can’t wait to learn what the next 4 will look like!!!!

Boldly Face Your Future…


I thought it would be a good idea to practice faces.  I am not really good yet at the noses….or lips….or eyes….lol I am pretty sure that covers most of the face!  I don’t want all of the people I paint to be faceless.  So I turned to my art journal and started doodling.  Some features up close.  Some in a small face.  Some in a larger face.  I have found it is pretty hard to capture any type of real expression in a small face.  I think that means I need to practice more!!

As I was doodling I was thinking about faces, about facing things, and it morphed into facing your future.  Everyone has things in their future – things looming ahead – that bring them angst and anxiety.  Sometimes it is about a change that is coming.  Sometimes it is because we long for change.  But whatever looms ahead I have learned is best handled by walking straight into it – boldly facing what is coming your way.  We can get through anything – the hardest part is really just taking the steps to get started.  So go – go boldly face your own future.  You can do it!!

For The Love Of Art…


Art.  I love it.  I love making it.  Love looking at it.  Love reading art books.  Love reading art blogs.  Love trying new techniques and finding new supplies that delight me.

I love creating in my studio….such a place of peace and therapy for me.  When the world starts to feel like it’s closing in I can escape to my little art studio and paint out all of my frustrations, angers and overwhelm.  When I have something to celebrate it’s a place of private haven where I can relax, bask in my joy and paint brightly colored pieces expressing my love and radiant life.

The funny thing about my love of art is that it is all about exploring.  I can explore with a new medium.  A new class.  A new photoshop trick.  A new color.  A new friend.  A new style.  I can constantly invent and reinvent.  If I don’t like it I can paint over it.  I can shade it.  I can chuck it and start something new.  Then come back to it later and breathe new life into it.

And I love, love, love the art supplies.  I’m like a kid in the candy store when I walk into a Hobby Lobby or a Michaels.  I want to have one of everything….and two of the things that sparkle!!

Right now, apparently I am obsessed with learning everything I can about not just making art, but the business of art.  I am taking three e-classes – Hello Business Hello Soul, The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design, and Bloom True by Flora Bowley.  I am finding my way as I learn new things about WHY art is speaking to me – heck its not just speaking to me – it is shouting at me to pay attention!!!  And I am loving it!  Loving it all!!!

Mixed Media Pattern Design – Just Mary Style!


Oooh I am having fun with this!!!  I have been working on a class called the Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design put on by the very lovely Rachel Taylor and Beth Nichols.  I was really struggling with the class – most of the designs are done or heavily manipulated on the computer.  I am simply NOT a digital designer.  My heart sings when my hands get messy.  I am called to play with paint and canvas, not a mousepad or illustrator wand.  BUT, the content and the way pattern is used really does speak to me.

So I looked for an out of the box way to marry traditional surface pattern design with my mixed media love affair.  And I think I found it!  When I do a painting, I always start with a background.  The finished work will normally have some type of central image or theme to it.  But the background is pure texture and pattern.  So why not carve a “Surface Pattern” out of my “Mixed Media” background?

With this in mind I pulled out sections from some of my finished work, and from some backgrounds that don’t have completed central images yet.  In the class we have been taught how to make pattern boards.  So here are my out of the box Pattern Boards – Just Mary style!!

Who Are You?


Who are you?  Jackie by day, Marilyn by night?  I think as women all of us struggle at times to define not only our own personal style, but fundamentally who we actually are.  We are taught as little girls to be cute, and good, and quiet.  We are told as women to be bold and to own our power.  Somewhere in between is probably who we really are!

Jackie by Day – that means to me being classy and elegant.  Polished and professional.  Handling life with grace and calm.  Being responsible.  Getting things done.  Feeling satisfied with a hard days work.  Smart and subtle clothing.  Matching shoes and purses.

Marilyn by Night – that means to me being bold and daring.  Living it up.  Wild fun.  Chasing boys.  Sparkly clothes.  Plunging necklines.  Short skirts.  A little naughty and a lotta sassy.

I am very sure that the soul of Mary Sterk lands somewhere right in between – a mix that is unique to me.  Just Mary.  Who are you?