Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Marketplace 120: Marietta's Hidden Treasure

How would you like to do all your holiday shopping in a delightful store that's the polar opposite of a crowded, noisy, traffic choked mall? A shopping destination with plenty of free parking and easy access to the interstate? And, even better, one that's chock full of one of a kind handcrafted gifts, wearable art and fine art?

The automotive and aviation paintings, left, would make great gifts for guys. Just beyond them are amazing "paintings" made entirely from beads. At right is a selection of abstract mixed media pieces by Kathy Woodworth.
 Marketplace 120 fronts Marietta's South Loop, one block west of Interstate 75, but it's easy to miss. This unassuming building at the intersection of the South Loop and Wylie Road contains all manner of unique, colorful items made by local artisans that you won't find in any mall. For example, brightly painted handmade purses, hand thrown pottery, and hand made jewelry to name just a few. (Don't miss the stunning 14K gold and silver creations by Brenda Smith, whose designs are sought after and worn by Hollywood celebs!)

On a recent visit to Marketplace 120, I saw a wide range of original paintings ranging in size from tiny to tremendous, at every price point. From small pieces perfect for tabletop display (and ideal stocking stuffers) to big, bold pieces sized to dominate a room. Choose from abstracts (check out Kathy Woodworth's lively mixed media and acrylic paintings if you want to add some zing to your decor!) or select realism, photorealism, semi-abstract or folk art. Can't decide? Many of the artists offer inexpensive prints and giclees as well.

An impressive collection of African art is featured in this room.

In the area of the store called the OTP Gallery, I found this display of beautifully crafted pottery made by Kennesaw State University students.

In addition to artisan goods, Marketplace 120 also carries a very nice selection of antiques and home decor items. (Curiously, the sign on the exterior merely says "Antiques" but there's so much more than antiques here.)

As a community service, Marketplace 120 also offers meeting rooms available at no charge, so if your book club or quilters group is looking for a nice place to convene, contact the store for more information and to check availability. This store really IS Marietta's "hidden treasure." It's definitely worth seeking out for the array of unusual gifts it offers in a pleasant, laid back atmosphere.
Marketplace 120 is located at 562 Wylie Rd., Suite 24, Marietta, GA 30067. The phone number is 678-540-7511.

Please note: I have no affiliation with Marketplace 120, other than friendships with several artists whose work is displayed there. So fear not, dear reader. The opinions I've expressed here about Marketplace 120 are totally unbiased, nor have I received any incentives to offer a positive review. My only aim is to acquaint you with fun, interesting places to shop, find excellent locally made handcrafted goods and -- hopefully-- help fellow artists continue to thrive doing what they love most!

Text and images ©2015 Lynn Edwards

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Thought for Sunday, September 27, 2015

"A work of art consists of two elements, the inner and the outer. The inner is the emotion in the soul of the artist; this emotion has the capacity to evoke a similar emotion in the observer....The inner element, i.e. the emotion, must exist; otherwise the work of art is a sham. The inner element determines the form of the work of art." -- Wassily Kandinsky

Monday, September 21, 2015

Pull Out That Plastic!

No, I'm not talking about your credit cards! I'm talking about the perfectly clear, medium weight plastic that's sold by the yard at fabric stores.

Here's one use for it that takes the guesswork out of glazing a canvas with acrylics:

Create a small, sample batch of glaze, then brush the mixture onto a small piece of the plastic. Lay the plastic over the area on your canvas that you plan to glaze. You'll be able to see right away what effects the mixture will have on underlying colors. Making small samples lets you test a variety of color combos and adjust them using only tiny amounts of paint and glazing liquid.

When the plastic gets filled up with samples, squirt it with rubbing alcohol and wipe it clean with a soft cloth or paper towel. This allows you to use the plastic again and again.

You can apply a coat of Golden's GAC100 to the plastic first to improve adhesion of the glaze, if desired. If you do, let the GAC100 dry before applying the glaze over it.
The clarity of this type of plastic is what makes it so useful. It's as clear as glass. It's inexpensive, too. I found it in my local fabric store for less than $4 per yard. (I used a coupon that brought the price down to $3.) Look for it in the same area as the upholstery and decorator fabrics.

©2015 Lynn Edwards

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Thought for Sunday, September 20, 2015

"Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people." -- Horace E. De Lisser

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Let's Welcome Fall, Y'all!

Hi folks! This summer has flown by and now Fall is sneaking in upon us. Have you noticed the light has changed? This is my favorite time of the year, and it's all too fleeting in my opinion. The leaf colors are glorious, the air is (usually) crisp, and even the blue sky seems more vivid.

Even on an overcast day, Nature paints with saturated colors. This is an October view of our pasture, taken in 2011.
 I've been so immersed in the triptych project the past few weeks (more on that soon) I've barely had time to glance at the calendar. But I did manage to do just a wee bit -- 15 minutes worth -- of fall decorating the other day before heading out to the studio. The summer wreath on the front door was swapped out for the autumn version, I put a leaf garland on the decorative metal obelisk just outside the door, and strung another leaf garland across the fireplace mantel. Done! Now, bring on the cool weather. I'm ready for it!

Text and image ©2015 Lynn Edwards

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Thought for Sunday, September 13, 2015

"A thousand years scarce serve to form a state; an hour may lay it in the dust." -- Lord Byron

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Free Paint Palettes!

Freezer paper and heavy plastic sheeting make great palettes for mixing acrylic paints. You can buy these items at the store, but sometimes they're right under our noses and are totally free. Start looking with a different eye at packaging you'd normally toss out. You might be surprised at what you find. Here's an example:

The plastic bag containing these curtain panels yielded four free paint palettes!

Several weeks ago I bought 11 pairs of sheer curtains at Ikea to hang in our three season room. Each pair came packaged in a clear, strong plastic bag that measured roughly 12 x 16 inches. It was the very same weight and type of plastic I use in the studio for mixing my paints on. There were 11 bags, total. Eureka! That's a slew of plastic palettes for free!

Those printed symbols on the empty bag won't harm anything.

To be more specific, that's 44 plastic palettes for free! I'll not only use the two exterior sides on each bag, when they're full of paint I'll cut them apart, turn them over, and use the other two "interior" sides. So, 44 palettes in all. Totally gratis.

These leftover paints will eventually become acrylic paint skins.

But wait! There's more! As a bonus, the leftover paint can become colorful acrylic skins to use in  mixed media pieces. When paint layers build up, they can be peeled off the plastic, cut into shapes, and used in collages.

Spritz the plastic with a bit of rubbing alcohol, wipe with a rag to remove any remaining dried paint bits, and you're good to go with a nice clean palette. Truly, they're the gift that keeps on giving. How cool is that? Thanks, Ikea! At my age, I'll probably never have to buy plastic sheeting again.

Text and images ©2015 Lynn Edwards

Sunday, September 6, 2015

OMG, What an Honor!

This past week held many surprises, but the most notable was receiving an email from Paula Guhin, the author of several excellent books on art techniques, and whose own beautiful work I greatly admire. Paula's books are some of my most favored go-to resources. I keep them in my studio library and refer to them often for inspiration and information. Her blog, http://mixedmediamanic.blogspot.com, offers a wealth of superb art tutorials along with an ever changing roster of hilariously funny jokes. If you haven't visited Paula's blog or read her books, dear reader, you are missing out.

Anyway, getting back to Paula's email, she was inviting me to be a guest on her blog! Needless to say I was flattered beyond belief. In fact, I was speechless! What an honor!!! Of course, I said yes and sent her the images and material she was requesting.

I was away from my computer all day yesterday, and didn't get home until late last night. Imagine my utter surprise when I turned the computer on and saw myself described as a "Super Talent" on Paula's blog, accompanied by glowing accolades for my work.

It's a good thing there's something called gravity, or I'd be floating up into the stratosphere at being named a Super Talent by Paula Guhin, whose own gorgeous art has been featured many times over in well known art publications. I'm so appreciative, not only because appearing on her blog allows so many more people to see my work, but also because what she has said about it is something I can use to remind myself -- on those distressing days when neither inspiration nor paint flows easily -- that I am in the right occupation, after all.

As artists (or writers, or photographers, or musicians), it's so easy to doubt ourselves, particularly when things are not going well, we're at a loss for ideas, and creating feels more like a battle than a blessing. It's times like these when a little reassurance, support or validation can lift us up and restore our confidence. I just wish every artist could enjoy a similar experience as mine. Her words I will always treasure. A thousand thank you's, Paula!

©2015 Lynn Edwards

A Thought for Sunday, September 6, 2015

"Out of clutter, find simplicity." -- Albert Einstein