Saturday, August 1, 2015

Bears -- Oh My!

This past weekend Hubs and I drove up to Asheville, NC to spend the weekend with our dear friend Gail. Gail lives on a mountain, surrounded by dense forest, with only a few neighbors within shouting distance. It's a gorgeous setting, wonderfully remote but with all the attractions of Asheville just a few minutes away. Because it's wilderness, Gail's place is frequently visited by bears, who enjoy lolling about under her crabapple trees and treating themselves to water from the little pond and waterfall just off her patio.

I have always loved bears, but have never been lucky enough to see one in the wild. So I was hoping I'd get a chance to spot one while we were there.

Friday came and went. No bears. Ditto for Saturday. But on Sunday morning, just as we were preparing to sit down to a lovely brunch, Gail's dog, who had been looking out her French doors, suddenly went crazy barking. Sure enough, ambling along the edge of Gail's flower garden was a magnificent black bear! I raced to the window just in time to catch a glimpse of the sun shining on his lustrous dark coat as he headed for the crabapple tree a few feet beyond the pond. There he proceeded to snack on apples, then laid down in the shade to take a nap, totally uninterested in anything but being indolent.

What a thrill for me! He was a beautiful creature, easily 200 pounds. Gail said he visits on a regular basis and has been doing so since he was a cub. Her only complaint was that she once found him sitting in the pond like a big hairy Buddha, which of course displaced a good bit of the water in it. So my instructions were to poke my head outside and blow as hard as I could on a whistle she keeps by the back door if it looked like he was going to wade into the pond again. Secretly I was hoping he would, just so I could get a better look at him.

But this time he wasn't so inclined. He stayed put in the shade until he heard Gail's daughter's car coming up the driveway. His big head turned in the direction of the noise, then he slowly got up and in just seconds he disappeared into the woods.

Those few minutes of observing a wild bear up close and personal were quite an experience for me. It was something I will never forget. How anyone could shoot or harm such a beautiful animal is totally beyond me. The heartbreaking case of Cecil the lion just brings home the urgent need to protect the amazing animals we share this planet with. If we don't, someday they will all be gone. And a vital part of our humanity will have gone with them. That's not a world I want to live in. Do you??

©2015 Lynn Edwards 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Thought for Sunday, July 26, 2015

"We will often find compensation if we think more of what life has given us and less about what life has taken away." -- William Barclay

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Having Fun with Fun Foam Stamps

The other day I was poking around in my paper stash and noticed a paper I had created several months ago using one of my own stamp designs. There was a stack of ACEO-sized watercolor papers on my work table...hmmmm....inspiration struck. I used an ACEO-sized viewfinder (a piece of scrap matboard with an opening 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches cut into the center) to select a couple of sections that would make good designs for ACEOs. (An ACEO being the sellable version of an Artist Trading Card.)

Then I cut out those sections, trimmed them to the size of the cards, and glued them down with acrylic matte medium. Here's one example:

©2015 Lynn Edwards

You may be wondering how I managed to get a two-color design using just one stamp, which was nothing more than fun foam cut into shapes and glued to scrap matboard. The secret technique? I just painted in the negative spaces. On the ACEO above, the dark blue part was the stamp, and the orange areas I hand painted using a small round brush.

If you haven't tried making your own stamps with fun foam, you're missing out. Sheets of the adhesive backed type, which is what I use, are less than a dollar each at arts and crafts stores. One sheet makes a lot of stamps! For the bases, you can use scraps of matboard, heavy cardboard, or foam board. (For longevity, seal these on all sides, including edges, with acrylic gloss medium or soft gel.)

I've got a few dozen fun foam stamps I've been using for years and they're still going strong. Literally costing just pennies apiece, my stamps are studio tools I just can't live without. Whoever named fun foam really hit the nail on the head. Making your own stamps with it is just as much fun as making art!

Text and image ©2015 Lynn Edwards

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Rest of the Photos

Hooray! Finally... below are the photos showing more views of "Journeys," the very first piece in my new Chunkies series. There are others in various stages of completion in my studio and I'll be sharing pics of those with you soon.

This is a collage comprised of  36 one-inch squares, all hand painted by me, on bright white gloss paper stock that has been flush mounted on a 6x6x2 inch cradled wood panel. The glossy surface lets its vibrant colors really shine!  Better yet, you don't need any hanging hardware or an easel to display it. Just place it on a shelf or table top and it will brighten your day every time you look at it!
"Journeys" will be available for purchase through my Etsy store on Wednesday. It's a great chance to acquire original art at a very reasonable price -- $79 -- and that includes shipping!

Text and images ©2015 Lynn Edwards

Monday, July 20, 2015

Bear With Me...

On Saturday I said I'd take some additional photos of number one in the Chunkies series to post here on the blog. Well, life got in the way: intense storms, unexpected but delightful overnight company, and a doctors appointment that took much, much longer than anticipated. So bear with me, please......the photos WILL be posted either tonight or tomorrow. Scout's honor!

©2015 Lynn Edwards

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Thought for Sunday, July 19, 2015

"All animals except man know the the principal business of life is to enjoy it." -- Samuel Butler

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Introducing "Chunkies," 6x6 Art with Attitude!

This week I've been busy working on a series of pieces I've dubbed my "Chunkies" collection. They're so named because each collage or painting has been created on heavy watercolor paper and then mounted onto an extra deep 6x6x2 inch cradled wood panel. Here's Chunkie #1, which I finished just yesterday:

"Journeys," the first in a series of 6x6 "Chunkies." ©2015 Lynn Edwards

These little gems are perfect for displaying on a table top, shelf or desk. The sturdy cradled wood panels with their extra deep sides means Chunkies can stand on their own -- no easels, frames or hardware needed.

In keeping with this little guy's happy colors I've painted the edges the same red as a color in the art. (Would have included a side view but it was starting to rain so I could only get one photo. Will get another pic or two as soon as I can, and will post them here on the blog.)

Affordable, original, one of a kind art -- just $79, and that includes shipping! Be the first to claim this Chunkie when it makes its debut this Wednesday in my Etsy shop,!

Text and image ©2015 Lynn Edwards