Monday, March 28, 2011

Acrylic paper mache tile - Focus 52


This is a 6 1/2 X 5 1/2 paper mache tile that I made from acrylic paints piece I created a few weeks back. I have yet to add the varnish as I've learned it causes photographs to be too glossy. This is for sale on my Etsy site for $14.50 (plus shipping).
Materials used:
painting: acrylic paint, newsprint
paper mache tile: newspaper, hot water, glue
mod podge was used to adhere painting to tile

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Barking Pig - Focus52

I did have an art project made for this week, but Jim wasn't able to put the brackets in it, so it remains undone. Being that it's Sunday evening (Monday morning, really) and I was without anything, I had to innovate & do something I've extremely uncomfortable doing ~ take a picture for the sake of taking a pigture! There are few things that can get me out of my own skin when I'm feeling uncomfortable and they are things I love so dearly that the love overcomes the sense of vulnerability I feel.

One of those sources is my pig, Trixi. Trixi is the namesake of my blog, The Barking Pig, because when she runs, she really does bark! Anyways, here she is doing what she does best - sleep. Like me, she's a power-sleeper. She sleeps in our bedroom since we moved from out 650 sq. ft. condo to our 2050 sq. ft. house. We thought she'd sleep in the living room like she used to, she didn't like that idea & as you can imagine, she can be rather pig-headed when she wants to be.

She sleeps with 3 blankets and 3 pillows. I wanted to get as close as I could & still show the blanket because the blanket has GREEN in it, so it fits in with this week's theme for Focus52. Can you see the hair on her nose? Are you able to see how crooked her teeth are? If she were a human, she'd cost a fortune in orthodontist bills! She's actually growing her 3rd set of bottom teeth. Why? I have no idea, I just hope they're straighter. I'm surprised she didn't wake up while I was snapping pigtures, she just laid there like a good sport.

The theme for our Focus52 group this week was "green", so here is my piggy under her plaid green blanket, undoubtedly dreaming of some sort of food. And "green" also fits because I'm so green at taking photos. Can't lose when I take a pigture of my barking pig though.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Another one that was so much fun to make! These are really great to make when you feel like being artsy, but don't have the patience for any details. I made this on a paper that they wrap glasses in at the store (I bought something breakable at World Market). You know, that really cheap paper? I just poured (more like squirted) pretty colors of acrylic paints all over the paper, using white as the last color I added. Then, I folded the paper over so all the colors are kinda smushed.
It kind of gives you the feeling of fingerpainting - you know how there's no "wrong" way to finger paint? It just is exactly the way it's supposed to be. Even though this only takes about 5 mins., the process of pouring paint all over, then folding the paper together - leaves me with a great feeling afterward!
In the previous picture (below) I added Mod Podge, and that protects the paint, but it also makes for bad pictures because of the shiny-flashy factor. So, no Mod Podge here. 
Anyways, I'm planning on using this paper for my 1st paper mache project - when that will be done, I don't know. It has just finished drying & now I've got to begin the sanding process. Wish me luck!

Ingredients: cheap paper, acrylic paints

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Had a BLAST creating this! It’s nothing but acrylics on a sheet of paper  with Mod Podge over it. Easiest one I’ve done yet. As with others, I’m  gonna have to take better pictures of this because the flash/glare  doesn’t actually show it in it’s best light. This piece is for sale for $12.95 (plus shipping) on my Etsy site.
Original Date: 2/28/2011

Lover lips

Finally! I feel like I've got my groove back.  This is on a 9x12 canvas, kinda-mixed media (?) for week 6 of Focus52 project. The background is acrylics in blues & purples. My girl is mostly acrylics, with the exception of her face & neck- which are oils (every time I use oils for the face I regret it - it's SO unforgiving! 1 mistake & you have to re-do it & let it dry again for 24 hours...enough w/the whining) I used pencil on the arms, hair, and around her neck & face. For her hat I used light modeling paste, which I mixed w/black acrylic paint & once it dried, covered it w/mod podge to make it shiny. Facial features are all acrylics, felt pen & white gel pen. What makes her fun is all that's going on above her head... perhaps w/o her even knowing it.  ;) I used a metal wire, flower made out of something-or-other & a lil bluebird I bought at a thrift store. To finish her off she's got some faux gems on her blouse, oh and gold paisley stamping on it, too!

With the exception of her eyes, this was lots of fun! The eyes stressed me out so much that after attempting the eyes on Thursday, getting 1 right & 1 wrong - then having to re-do the eye area & let it dry, I stayed away from this until tonight (well, Saturday night). But then, I conquered this bad baby! The upper right is dark because the canvas isn't totally in the frame, as I wrote in the title, she's still drying & I didn't want to tempt fate. When I put her up for sale, I'll have to take proper pics of this chick - oh and by the way, I'm using my new Nikon Coolpix L22 & LOVE it! (thanks, Tug, for recommending it) I haven't named this one yet & hope I haven't made this sound like a bitchfest. I really, really do like how this one came out. Think I may take a break from "faces" for awhile though, on the other hand, it's challenging. Time will tell.

This week's prompt was "love, baby!" and that's unintentionally in her heart-shaped lips.
Original date: 2/13/2011

Freedom will not come easy

This was supposed to be a very nice ("nice" as in classy) project, but it didn't turn out that way. First of all, I did NOT take the picture in the frame. I merely went thru tons of pictures of the Revolution in Egypt & found an article & another quote (the one at the bottom) I feel expresses the heart of this movement. Although this isn't an elegant, artsy craftsy, or even very creative piece, it's one that speaks to me. We, in most parts of the world, take freedom for granted. Sure, we can claim to be oppressed, we don't like something about where we live, blah, blah, blah. But the bottom line is, we DO have freedom.

While tuition in Egypt is only about $60-$70 a year, the unemployment rate for those between 18-29 years old is 90%. Millions of Egyptians are literally risking their lives against a regime that wants only to stifle them, if not permanently silence them, ie: kill them.  In America we have the right to protest, the right of freedom of speech, and the right to bear arms - what is happening in Egypt, would not, and could not, happen in the USA. They only have State-sponsored TV which is telling them the protesters are getting paid by foreign journalists to protest - that is their ONLY means of information, other than word of mouth.

Imagine living in the conditions they are, without the rights we take for granted, yet risking your life - knowing very well it may end your life - but doing it anyways because it will lead to a better future for yourself, and those that come after you. What COURAGE and DETERMINATION that must take. I have so much admiration for the Egyptian people; this is their Revolution, not ours. But we can support them in spirit & with our voice. To that end, this small piece of art is my voice telling them "I support your effort for democracy, equality and peace."

About the art: This photograph was taken by Kahlil Hamra of the AP on 1/30/2011; I printed a 4x6 copy of it. I decorated a wooden frame with red, white and black tissue paper & gel medium. Using gel medium, I added the headline along w/the article about women participating in this movement. I also included a quote from the newspaper that says, "I don't care...Freedom will not come easy."  While I never use the suggested word for the Focus52 group, oddly enough, the word this week was "framed" and for the first time, I did, indeed, use the word prompt.

Original date: 2/7/2011

Lil black bird

A whimsical mixed media piece on an 8x10 gessoed art board. I started by painting the background an aqua color, then added various cardstock. As with most of my art, I used copies from my Grandmother's collection: 2 pieces from plays/musicals she was in, and 1 piece from a song sheet. I also have part of an old postcard in the background. I added faux feathers and puffy paint. Then, I covered it with tissue paper, and tore strips out, especially where the feathers were. Lastly, I made this adorable black bird with a few feathers on his head - he's got SO much personality, I am very pleased with how he came out. Above him I used tissue paper with premade clouds in it, this may be left blank, or you can use it as a thought bubble & have me add whatever phrase you'd like in there.

This item is for sale without the frame. I've displayed 2 frames so you can get an idea of what it would look like framed. It does not have any sort of hanging device on the back.

This piece isn't as shiny as it appears in photograph. It looks shinier due to the mod podge & flash camera.

** This piece is now for sale on my Etsy site for $9.50 (plus shipping). 
Original date: 1/31/2011


Week 3 of Focus 52. This was the most enjoyable project yet - I'm sensing a pattern here, they're becoming more & more enjoyable for me to do. Why? No pressure. :)

This is on an 8 x 10 background. Painted w/blue denim acrylics, then I added various types of material for the background. The newspaper article that says "Gay Festival" is from 1951 (if you look closely, you may be able to see the date) and it was for something that my Grandmother was participating in. Although she was from Mexico, she was VERY involved in the community of Los Angeles & had a beautiful voice; she died before I was born, but using pieces of things that were part of her life, helps me feel a connection to her.  I used paint over the card stock & other paper backgrounds, then I overlayed all that with white tissue paper. After the tissue paper dried, I tore thru parts of it so the background was visible. Then I simply made a vase with flowers - all of tissue paper, and added some colorful paper at the bottom, darkened it a bit & done! Like I said, this was a lot of fun & relaxing.

I may be away from my computer for the next few weeks, so I more than likely won't be participating in week 4 & 5 of Focus 52, but I will catch up when I return!  So, if you leave a comment & it doesn't post, it's not because I don't want it there, it's because I'm away & all comments need to be approved (thanks to spammers).
Original date: 1/22/2011

**This piece is now for sale on my Etsy site for $13.50 (plus shipping). 


Week 2 of Focus 52 group. This is kind of "throw everything at the wall & see what sticks" collage. It's on a 9 x 12 hard canvas. I used cardstock, acrylic paints, matte gel, puffy paints, beads, buttons, and various other lil goodies.

I'm really enjoying doing this project because I don't feel any pressure. Usually when I make something, it has to be "perfect," although nothing ever is. But when I'm making these pieces, I'm not worried so much about the detailed outcome, because I only have a week and it's actually taking down some of my guard & self-criticism. It's FUN! (wish I could say that about taking photos of it, but not so much. LOL)
Original date: 1/15/2011

Just Bee You

I'm participating in a fun project that my friend, Janice at came up with - it's called Focus 52.  Anyone can participate & most that are, are doing 1 photograph a week; it's not too late if you want to join!  Thank you Janice for thinking of asking me to join this group, hope I can keep up! While there really aren't any "rules" per-say, this week's word was: begin. I've got to admit, I didn't pay attention to that, cuz had I, my brain would've farted & I'd have had nothing. In hindsight, however, I can say, this is my "BEEginning" hehehe.

So, I can't believe I completed this in 1 week - actually, it was more like 4 days. But here she is "Just Bee You." Her body is a beehive, and hopefully you can tell, she's a bee! LOL  I used acrylic paints, black marker, stamps, white & black dot stickers for the eyes, plastic bubble wrap, and some weird mesh-like cloth (I don't know what it's called). I used 2 items from my Grandma's collection: a song (in the beehive) and a rent/utilities receipt (on the blue floral paper, in the top right corner) - I copied the images onto cardstock. I also cutout cardstock flowers and used a printing of wheels. I added a stick-on bee, stick on flowers, some dried flowers, a sticker flower & a 3-D daisy.

Many of the ideas here I got from Kelly Rae Robert's book Taking Flight. If you're interested in getting crafty, I highly recommend this book to bring out your inner-artist.

Original date: 1/8/2011

Out of nowhere



It's kinda hard to explain the story behind this one, but I started doing it one morning when I woke up depressed. Almost the entire picture was black/dark gray/gray and a little blue at the top - that represented hope. I didn't do anything with it for a few weeks & little by little I added things to it. Those things in the air are birds, just in case there's any confusion about them. No angel wings in this one, no faces; it's very different than anything I've done so far. woohoo! Anyways, I'll be trying to sell this one on Etsy pretty soon.
Original date: 5/27/2010

For Tug


This one was especially for Tug. The little girl in the picture is actually her & I fell in love with that pic the 1st time I saw it. I love the sunglasses on her! For months I was trying to think of how I could integrate it. I think it worked out well with this piece. If you know Tug, you know she likes the beach; she's also extremely orderly (her house is meticulous), so I included things I know she likes, but no clutter. The saying on the left says: Always be true to your little you.
Original date: 5/27/2010

For Donna


I made this one especially for Donna. It has everything that's near & dear to her heart: her husband & all 6 of her cats. Somehow I found a green mixer that resembles her new Kitchen Aid mixer, along with all sorts of baking things. On the bottom left, it says: As unpretentious as the Wild Rose. I like that for her.  :)
Original date: 5/27/2010

For my mother in law


I made this for my mother in law's 86th birthday. She loved it!

I included her favorite hobbies: reading, golfing, bridge

Original date: 2/16/2010

my newest project


Original date: 1/30/2010



Original date: 1/6/2010

Cute Inspirational Boxes



Original date: 1/5/2010

Love reigns


I'm gonna take a leap of faith & open an Etsy shop. The url is

I hope I'm not being too ballsy or pretentious. Won't know until I try.

(nothing is there yet)

Original date: 12/21/2009



no name yet ;)

Original date: 12/21/2009



1st time working with oils - it was so much fun learning a new technique!

Original date: 12/12/2009