Art-o-mat Paintings 11-20

Here is the second installment of Art-o-mat paintings, 11-20.

And if you are interested in reading the previous posts:

Art-o-mat Series III

Paintings 1-10

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Art-o-mat Series III
Art-o-mat Series III
Art-o-mat 14
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Art-o-mat Series III
Art-o-mat Series III
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Tiny Sketchbook Project

Tiny Sketchbook Project

In 2009 and 2010 I created year long to-do lists. I loved creating and working towards crossing off things on those lists, but in 2011 when I still had a long list of leftovers (things that I still hadn’t crossed off yet) I decided to halt making new lists until I could catch up. (spoiler alert: I’ve never caught up). One item on my 2009 list (#23) was to send in my Sketchbook Project book. The project was brand new (still under the ArtHouse Co-op) when I purchased the sketchbook to participate. When the book I bought arrived I was SO deflated when I found what I expected to be a “real sketchbook” (ya know, thicker quality paper, possibly even a hard cover) was actually just a literal Moleskine cahier (ya know, super thin, flimsy paper, soft cover). It even had the pressed Moleskine logo in the back. I am not saying that the cahiers are bad, but at the time I was kind of snobbish and narrow minded about sketchbooks and that they were for literally sketching and making artwork in. Now I am more accepting to the idea of “sketchbooks” as being artists books in general. All the same, I spent enough on this moleskine that I felt I really should participate and added it to my to-do list. BUT, I could never make myself actually work in the book. I held on to it for soooo many years before I think I finally just used it for something else. Sadly.

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Fast forward to 2018 and one item on my 2009 list has haunted me… Send in my Sketchbook Project book. Even though that original book didn’t exist anymore, enough time had passed, and I felt like I knew more about what to expect, so I decided to purchase another book. Shortly after buying that, The Sketchbook Project announced a special project… THE TINY SKETCHBOOK PROJECT! To know me, is to know I love everything on a smaller, tiny scale, so I couldn’t sign up for it fast enough.

Both books arrived and they no longer use Moleskine (though they are very similar, they probably just found it more cost effective to manufacture their own version).

To make my tiny book I went with a yellow theme and ended up using Prisma Art Markers, decorating a lot of paper by hand, and then cut and pasted into the tiny journal I was sent. (The top image in the post shows how I worked on my layouts). I had originally planned on doing a lot of the One Staple Collage technique, but it only took a page or two before I realized my book was going to get waaaaay too thick, so I limited the staples and even with just regular collage my book ended up being so thick I was afraid the cover would split when closed, so I had to remove a few spreads in the center.

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I finished and sent my book in by the deadline and so I count that as a HUGE SUCCESS and am crossing off that item on my 2009 list. When I ordered the book, I paid extra for “digitizing” so hopefully they will get it scanned in soon and people can virtually check out my book online, as well checking it out irl at the Brooklyn Art Library and when it travels (by suitcase) to fun destinations.

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Somehow I got the book to fit in the tiny little envelope. I took pictures of each of the spreads, and you can see those and more here in my flickr photo album for the book

While some things change, some things stay the same. 10 years later and I sent in my Tiny Sketchbook Project, but guess what? I stillll have the regular Sketchbook Project book. Fortunately I now know that I can still send it in late, and I’ve made plenty of progress on it. (word to the wise: If I had known that you can send in any old sketchbook project book late, I would never have torn out the label in my first sketchbook project book).

Chalkboard Calendars for Autumn and Winter

I really just post these for myself, and I don’t think anyone that wanders over here really cares to read a looooooong list of the little things I did each season, but it does make me feel good to chronicle it. It’s kind of like journaling, and I don’t ever go back and reread what I wrote years ago. Though, I stopped journaling long ago because I only wrote when I was sad or mad and it was depressing to revisit, and these lists are not good or bad, just facts of things that happen, without any commentary on impressions and opinions. It’s nice when people come over, they seem to enjoy reading down the list. Also, when I can often get down on myself about not being busy or productive enough, it’s nice when I post these and can see visually that it’s just not the case.

Seasonal chalkboards

Seasonal chalkboards

This fall and winter were quite an adventure, where Matt quit his job at NIU after working there for about a decade, and decided to start working in trucking again… Car Hauling to be specific. It’s an exciting time and we are both very happy.

Previous Chalkboard Calendar posts right here!

Art-o-mat Series III, paintings 1-10

#100dayprojectthe#100dayproject

I’m participating in the 100 Day Project again this year, after sitting out last year. I’m doing a similar theme asto what I did 3 years ago, and trying to finish up a lot of big projects that I’ve had in progress for a long time. It’s been about 20 days and I’m still feeling very excited and energized. The first major thing checked off my list was wrapping up Pattern January, which I let drag out for almost 4 months. I also finally ordered fabric samples from Spoonflower with my original designs, which was a BIG part of the 100 Day Project for me 2 years ago, but that I never actually finished. I also want to post more to my blog, AND give it a facelift, but more on those things soon.

In the meantime, I need to catch up on sharing my current Art-o-mat series, as promised a few posts back. Here are the first 10 of 50 acrylic paintings, made on handbuilt and stretched tiny canvases. When I started this (my third Art-o-mat series) I really wanted to go super fast and explore all sorts of things and try different ideas to hopefully develop as an artist. In the end I went through a handful of purely experimental pieces, but with 3 solid mini series/styles (grass quote paintings, blades of grass, and paintings of collages made from my own designed and decorated papers (gelatin prints made from handcut paper stencils).

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Art-o-mat Series III
Art-o-mat Series III
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And after I finished all my paintings I had the idea of taking a picture of each piece with a different and unique background.
Artomat series III painting number 1
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Artomat series III
Artomat series III
Artomat series III
Artomat series III
Artomat series III
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Art-o-mat series III
Art-o-mat Series III

Thank you for reading! Here is the introduction post for this series.

If you are interested in seeing the paintings from my previous 2 Art-o-mat series, you can click through the Flickr collection and albums here

 

Barn Quilt and House Updates

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Over the weekend Matt was itching to hang up my barn quilt. We had taken down our Christmas decorations on the outside of the house, as he was just about to leave for a work trip, and our house looked naked.

My mom, sister and I took a Barn Quilt workshop today. The class and a talk last night were presented by #barn quilt author #SuziParronSmith. I chose the #starflower quilt pattern. Now, to decide where to hang it. I don't think I'm done, and want to makeBarn quilt house staining
My barn quilt in 2016, and 2019, with color updates
A little back story, as it looks like I never shared it originally here (only on instagram). In the summer of 2016 my mom, sister and I were fortunate enough to attend a lecture and workshop by author of Barn Quilts, Suzi Parron. We each made our own small barn quilt. When I got home I wanted to adjust some of the colors on the barn quilt, and our house had been in desperate need of a re-stain (we have cedar siding) so I delayed on having it hung.

Barn Quilt pattern on bag from Society6

Here is the barn quilt that my mom made, along with the tote bag she ordered from Society6 using the Barn Quilt pattern I made. The pattern reproduced very well and I want one for myself :)

Side note: for the record, the barn quilts were simply 2’x2′ preprimed quarter inch plywood. And the paint was simply house paint. You can buy a few small sample cans for cheap, and they will go a long way, mixing to get other colors inbetween. I honestly can’t remember if we used painter’s tape, but if you do, make sure the layers underneath are dry and I highly recommend this brand, as the bleeding underneath is minimal, compared to other brands. That tip actually came from another artist, Cassie Edwards, after I voiced frustration from leaks with other brands on canvas paintings. At the workshop I asked and Suzi said there was no need for additional protective coating. You can do it, but it’s just house paint on wood, and how many people use a protective coating over house paint?

Barn quilt house staining

Fast forward 2 years, Matt decides to leave his job at the university and has enough vacation and sick time to take off quite a bit of time in between work. We FINALLY take action on the house. Matt’s parents, who also have cedar siding and are very experienced in staining, pretty much directed the show, and taught Matt so much. I was still working during the day, but I did a tiny bit of helping here and there where I could.

Barn quilt house staining

We originally thought it would be a week or two project, but Matt and his folks worked, weather permitting, for a month or so. There was so much more that went into it than we originally thought; power washing and sanding old flaking stain, pulling out old caulk, putting in new caulk, replacing A LOT of old bad boards, and then giving the whole house a fresh new stain. Months later and we are still so pleased at what a difference it made, it feels like a new house!

The things I looked forward to most after the house was stained was that we could put up new lights and street numbers on our house and do final finishing touches.

Barn quilt house stainingBarn quilt house staining
Lights before and after, left looks really bad, but it was after it was pressure washed and sanded AND we ended up replacing all of those boards anyway.

The previous lights always shorted out and frankly were there since the house was built in the 80s. When we started shopping we found that those same lights were still available and only cost $15. I was willing to pay a lot more for something that felt more us, AND fit with the home. We went to countless stores and could never agree on anything. Who decided that lights for the front of the house should be styled inspired by old timey lanterns? I wanted something different, but also, our house is not big or fancy, so I wanted something very simple, but simple usually equated to tacky and low quality. I can’t tell you how many trips to how many stores we went to, even shopping online, before we found what appeared to be probably a super low end light, BUT, the ugly stock glass dome it came with can be removed and replaced with a huge variety of domes in plenty of styles. Yahtzee! I even bought some clear glass domes to try and replicate a mercury glass look.

Barn quilt house staining

Not our address, obviously, but more in line with the style that is there now. Also, this picture was taken last fall, hence the pumpkin. 

The house numbers were an easy fix. I searched online for something more custom, but when it came down to it, I just ended up buying a more modern and popular style which could be found at any local hardware store. They didn’t cost much and when we get tired of them or see something that is more fitting to our own specific tastes, it won’t be a great loss.

I’m grateful to Matt’s parents for helping us and teaching Matt so much. The experience gave him the confidence to tackle other home projects and so now the inside of our house has been getting updates bit by bit as well.

Why yes, we have a barn quilt on our garage, and a rainbow wooden floor mat, festive garlands blowing in the wind, magnetic poetry on our front door, and mirrored garlands that give our front lawn a disco effect. As we finished hanging the barn quilt and we took a step back to look at it I told Matt our house has definitely moved into the whimsical af category. He shrugged and said he liked it. I do to!

 

Series III Art-o-mat is FINALLY out!

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I’ve been in a funk for the last couple days, and the fog has lifted! I’m adding things to my t0-do lists and feeling pulled in so many directions. When updating my list I accidentally crossed off that I had already posted about sending out my third Art-o-mat series, so here I am making it right.

Third Art-o-mat series video

When I started my third series I fully intended for it to be a very fast series. My first series was mostly paintings based on images that caught my eye, the second series was paintings based on collages I made. The third series started at the beginning of a new year and I decided that I was just going to explore and paint random things that came to me at the time, and hopefully it would help me grow as an artist quickly. I even aimed to send out multiple series in one year! Years and years later I finally wrapped up 50 paintings with a few smaller series included (grass quote paintings, grass profile paintings, and paintings based on collages from my gelatin printing).

I finally finished designing (and then printing, cutting and folding) my insert for my Art-o-mat series. Now all I need to do is pack them all up and send them off. #robayreartomat

If it hadn’t taken long enough to build each mini canvas, and then paint each piece, once I was done then I started out on a whole new set of obstacles including photographing each piece with a unique background. For almost a year I carried a bag of a few paintings around with me  everywhere I went, looking for the best opportunity to chronicle each piece. THEN, once that was done I photographed each piece again, and the collection and mini collections and then needed to design the packaging and insert for the series. Then package it all up, and make sure they fit the requirements. To say I dragged the whole process out is an understatement.

Art-o-mat Series III

Each series needs to be at least 50 pieces, and Art-0-mat may send 5-10 pieces to different machines and they can sell rather fast. I won’t know where my artwork sold until I get my coveted little green card. Machine owners can request artists and Art-o-mat will try and fulfill those requests as they can. I’m soooo looking forward to seeing where my pieces sold. I also have a new series that I want to work on already.

I’ve been sharing each painting down one column of my instagram feed, and I’m crossing my finger that maybe a buyer or two will spy the artwork they purchased and leave a comment. I think I’ll share a post for each 10 paintings. Meanwhile, feel free to check it out on instagram and follow me over there.

Also, feel free to click over to Flickr to look through all three of my previous Art-o-mat series.

Summer 2018 Chalkboard

I have so much catching up to do, here on my blog and even on instagram.

Last week my website was getting attacked so it was put down for a few days until we could deal with it, and now that it is back up I was looking and realized I never shared this calendar.

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Whenever people ask “So, what have you been up to lately?” I go completely blank. I’ll say nothing, and then conversation turns awkward. I’d honestly believe nothing happened, if it weren’t for me keeping these boards. I look back and think “Holy cow, I was so busy!” The fall board is already down to the bottom again already.

Previous Chalkboard Calendar posts right here!

Chicago Renegade 2018

renegade craft haul

I decided this year I wasn’t going to post a Renegade haul, and just not worry about it. Some of the vendors didn’t give me bags or business cards and so I was going to skip the whole thing. Then I started feeling kind of bad for breaking the yearly tradition that’s been going on for probably over a decade.

Chicago Renegade 2018

I gathered up the treasures, many that had already been in heavy use, and took this quick overhead shot. My sister’s items aren’t included, and neither is the Justice of the Pies pie we bought (but you can visit the last couple years’ posts to see what it looks like, as we bought the same one).

As I said before, I’m not sure the artists of a couple of the items.

Top left and clockwise, spiraling in: Oatmeal ceramic knot necklace, Letterspace stationery cards, Stay Home Club stickers and iron on patch, Muro Jewelry necklace, leather bracelet from ?, buttons (I think are from the same artist as the..) stickers, card and notebook by The Little Red House, A Mano ceramic speckled cup, spirit stones and rainbow brooch, and a skull button from Migration Goods.

Renegade 2018 Chicago - Muro jewelry booth

Rosa was back again and so of course I caught another video of people shopping in front of her booth.

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And we (L-R, my sister Chris, Rosa and Me) took another picture.

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I wear this necklace allllll the time. I love it so much.

Past Renegade Haul posts


Mini Circle Series Little Art Book

Mini Circle Series Little Art Book

In August I got it in my head to make a little art book filled with Circle Series pieces. I hadn’t done any Circle Series pieces for a while, so I thought I’d do some mini ones to get the ball rolling. When I started making Circle Series pieces over 10 years ago, it was meant to be very loose and free, but as more and more pieces have been made, I started to be more intimidated that they had to be perfect, which was the direct opposite of the original intention. Working in a small size would hopefully be less intimidating and I could combine it with another love, small art books.

I went to my studio and grabbed a piece of watercolor paper, cut it and folded so each page was a square, accordion style. The pages are 4″ and I think I just jumped right in without any expectations and somehow it ended up in a blue theme, which is not a direction I would have purposefully gone in. I’m just not normally drawn to blue. Greens, reds, yellows, yes, but not blue.

Page 1 of the mini Circle Series #littleartbook I made last week. I shared the 5 page book of mini #robayrecircleseries over at @littleartbook and will share more close ups of the individual pages over here this week. The pages are around 4” square and yo

This piece was definitely inspired by my stencil stacks, which have been creeping more and more into my work.

Page two of my mini #robayrecircleseries #littleartbook. This piece is the one that feels most like the original pieces of this series. Visit @littleartbook to see the whole book #mixedmedia #bookart #artistsbook #artistbook #watercolor #artistsoninstagra

This piece was definitely a nod to how my circle series pieces first began.

Here’s the first piece I made for the #robayrecircleseries little book. The piece that got the ball rolling. The collage element, features in the process shot a few posts back, was made from vintage men’s magazines from the 70s. If you are interested to s

I had been cutting from a stack of 60s men’s magazines a lot at the time

Page 4 of the #robayrecircleseries #littleartbook. Check out @littleartbook to see the book in whole. One more page to share! #mixedmedia #watercolor #embroidery #circleseries #robayre #bookart #artistbook #makersgonnamake #creativityfound #creativelifeha

and I was working on practicing my embroidery stitches at the time

Aaaaaaand finally, the last mini #robayrecircleseries from my #littleartbook. I can’t remember if I mentioned before but I thought it was so weird that this series had a blue theme when I don’t think of it as a color I am drawn to in my work. You can see

I saved this one for last, as I had a general idea of what I wanted to do

Circle Series Little Art Book

Here’s a little video, to show it in action and give you an idea of size.

Mini Circle Series Little Art Book

Spring 2018 Chalkboard and Fitbit Anniversary

Spring 2018 Chalkboard Calendar

It is not out of the ordinary that I don’t get around to sharing my previous season’s chalkboard until fairly late, BUT usually I have taken the picture and already moved on to the next board by the time I post it. This time around, I still haven’t even erased the spring board, and I feel super guilty about it. I’m gonna have to use my phone (going through pictures I’ve taken) to try and remember all the things that have happened so far this summer.

One thing that I will have to share on the Summer chalkboard is that I just had my 5 year Fitbit Anniversary. On the evening of my anniversary I had 19, 976, 371 steps. That averages to 10,945 steps per day, and almost 4 million steps a year.
Fitbit anniversary

I posted to my blog on previous anniversaries, like here, and I have been averaging almost 4 million steps per year.

I am so glad I found fitbit and I love my One. As I’ve said over and over and over again, I always wanted to be able to track 10K steps per day. Since the late 90s I would get a pedometer here or there, always the old school click, click, click type, and they were bad. I would think they worked, but then I’d get home and realize that I had only walked 2K steps the whole day. I was certain that the 10K steps per day idea was only for people who are runners, not the average person, like it’s aimed at. Then Fitbit comes into my life, and lo and behold it tracks actual steps AND while getting 10K steps a day isn’t always easy, it is totally feasible. I don’t know how or why I’ve been able to stick with it for 5 years, but I am so grateful for this tool.

That being said, I’m about to get negative with Fitbit because they discontinued my device last year without any announcement, and I’m devastated.

Hello, fitbit

I’m not exactly sure why the bracelet type pedometers have really taken off, but they have, and so companies are ready to take in as much money off of the trend as possible. My device, the One, was a clip on, that I wear discretely clipped to the center of my bra. Some people just wear it on a waistband or hold it in their pocket. I just don’t like the idea of having to wear a bracelet all the time and even though reviews show the bracelets to be very accurate against the One. I just don’t understand how my arm movements won’t get tracked as steps. My mom says her steps ARE NOT tracked on a bracelet if she is walking with a shopping cart at the grocery store, so I’m guessing there are plenty of other circumstances that are similar.  The One is rechargeable and holds that charge for about 10 days. It can be used to track sleep, and counts flights of stairs.

Meanwhile, the clip type fitbit that they kept on the market, the Zip, is half the price of the One. Let me just tell you from experience, DO NOT BUY THE Fitbit ZIP! It only takes batteries, so you have to replace them regularly. It doesn’t automatically sync to your devices either. We bought one for our mom and it was the worst. I think it died and had to be replaced 2 or 3 times before we just decided to upgrade her to the Flex. The zip does not count flights of stairs, and neither does the Flex, so the One was really a great product. People have complained many times online about their discontinuing the One, but they just shut down the threads and refuse to respond other than to say that they have made up their mind. That being said, when I looked up the link for the One, it redirected me to the zip automatically, BUT it looks like they are still selling the One in Europe. I wonder if it was more popular there? I keep hoping that maybe if this bracelet fad kinda dies down a bit they will realize they need to have at least one quality clip pedometer to their brand and the Zip is NOT it. Fitbit has SEVEN different bracelet trackers and only the one clip. What a bummer.

Rant over.