Saturday, September 8, 2012

Growth of an Artist

A lot has changed since my last post. We have moved to a new city and blessed due to it. Over the last year many things have changed with my art. I cant believe that I have not posted in almost a year. I really need to fix that. I have so much to share and hope to start teaching you how to create you own originals. Also another blessing that God has put into my life is , teaching. I do not have a schedule yet but soon I will be teaching classes for children and young adults at the Longview Museum of Fine Arts. I am very excited about that, I love to see children learn that they have and artist within.

Over the past year my art has grown in photography and web design. But I cant get away from the fine arts. I love working with my hands. Soon I will be bringing you a new blog post called the inspiration of an artist that will take it from start to finish and a teaching blog. My teaching is not conventional , I am about teaching you to think outside the box so that your style is revealed.  

I wanted to share with some of the few things that I have been doing over the past few months. Being new to the Longview & Tyler Texas area I am stating to create my photography style for this area. Here are some of my recent works of photography and graphics. Photography is truly rewarding to me. Being able to offer a moment in time with an artistic flare. Make a statement and a message with photography. You are an original , so I create your photography to be original. I am continually amazed at how God teaches me new things quickly.

These are from a recent Senior Shoot in Longview Texas. I am expanding in the photography field and graphics., Combining the two gives customers photography that is more than average.








Recent graphics that I was asked to design for Coffey Anderson Event. That is a blessing to me to have the opportunity to design for this up and coming music artist. 


These are not the only graphics I have been working on this summer. I really like unique t-shirt graphics as well. When I notice a need for some graphics in an area I start creating my own. One of the things I notice is many youth groups don't have very good graphics so I started creating a unique style. If you are interested in these let me know. I can create custom graphics for your group of any age. Pre-teens, Youth, College and Adult groups. You can find some of my graphics on two sites I sell on. This is a new area for me so I am slowly adding new things to the stores. If you are wanting something special let me know, If you have a large order I can do that as well and create a custom price and order on these sites. Here are some of the recent t-shirt graphics I have been working on this summer. I have also started creating custom sports Tees for the Spring Hill, and Pine Tree Schools doe to the lack of creativity in the Longview Area. If you have a team that you need a design for let me know and I will create it in my store or for you to sell for a fundraiser. 

These can be purchased through my Zazzle store which has a lot of my designs http://www.zazzle.com/leahsparksart

But I also added a new sit that has more T-shirts and is new, so I am building. The prices here are better then Zazzle for T-Shirts.http://www.spreadshirt.com/user/leahsparksarts










There has been many photography projects this summer and I have enjoyed them all. Early this summer a New Dentist office in Emory, Tx had a contemporary design they wanted to implement in the office. This is going to look great.  The office is not finished just yet and I will up date with the final photos when they come. The designer has a great eye for design, She has a amazing gift for design. This office will be featured in an up coming magazine and is almost like an art galley and filled with all of my work. I took photography of the town and did some major editing of the pics , they were ten turned into murals and large canvases. Cant wait to show you it all together. The office should open soon. Possibly be end of September 2012.When I think back just two years ago I was only creating fine art. Over the past two years God has expanded my territory to Photography, Graphics, Web Design and location. I am blessed !! 

 I liked these so well I created these into postcards, stamps and canvases through my Zazzle shop. www.leahsparks.com or http://www.zazzle.com/leahsparksart




  Small Peak of the process.


To all of my fine art fans and friends. I am still creating fine arts and this is changing as well. I had not done this in a while and forgot how much I loved doing this. I learn alot during the creations I make. Here is a few that I created recently. I will creating more as well. The red one will be posted soon on Etsy. I just finished this last week. 






I will be updating more and adding some teaching blogs. Many people think they have no creative ability. But the truth is they have been chained in their creativity. I hope you enjoy some of the new things I have been creating. If you are interested in getting photography, graphics or fine art contact me. If you have any questions about anything or pricing let me know.



Wednesday, November 30, 2011

You the Artist!! Creating a Heart Felt Gift!!

OK, I just looked at the date of my last post, and it has been way to long. I have more free time at the moment and will be posting more often. Blessed to have more time to share with you what inspires me and how an artist is inspired. First off, God is my inspiration and we are created in His image so I believe we all have the gift of art and creativity. But some need a little assistance and guidance. SO, from time to time I will be posting on how to create pieces that inspire others and yourself. This piece I am showing you today is about the Proverbs 31 Woman and part of the Proverbs 31 Series I create. In the future I will show you about children as well.

Another thing that is coming is the eye of an artist.It really amazes me how God inspires things with in me out of the smallest thing. I will be showing the process of this. Out of the corner of my eye I will see something and it will take shape. This is the process that I will be sharing, how one small thing takes shape into another. This is cool how a physical object can teach a spiritual truth. For an artist this is a learning process (Or it is for this artist).  The complexity of God amazes me, He shows me things through the art and the world and transforms things within me. Hope this will inspire or plant seed with in you.

Today ,I want to share with you how to create and original piece of art that speaks. I love art that speaks and has a message. Many in this season want to give something special, and many this season already have anything you can buy. You can use the special things of the past to create a spoken piece of art. You are creative so stop saying your not. You can go beyond the bounds of what I will teach you here and create your own message in the art. After all you are created in the image of God , so you have the ability to create.There is no coloring in the lines when you are creating and everything can be fixed. If you ever get in a bind and need some help, just message me and we will figure it out. 
And remember if you mess up , it will look better the 2nd time anyway, you can never really mess-up. It is always fixable. But if you are worried about messing up, use copies of the originals and as you grow in this you can use the originals.

The piece today is based off of the Proverbs 31 Series that I create. There are special people that God has placed in your life that have great meaning and have been amazing mentors.  So show them how specail they are in your eyes and the eyes of God. Creating a piece like this could inspire your mother, grandmother, sister, friend or a mentor in your life. You do not have to use things that are from that persons past but can also create a story for that person.

This is great in small forms also and can be used on desk top easels. I create these also custom if you are not interested in creating one yourself. Digital Forms are also available.

www.leahsparks.com 

http://www.etsy.com/shop/sparkledart?ref=pr_shop_more

For Proverbs 31 Series in Gifts,Necklaces and T-Shirts click Below.
 This is my Salty Tees Shop on Zazzle.
 
http://www.zazzle.com/leahsparksart


Here is what you Need:
(Also Print Special Verses or Memos & Place them with in the Piece for Special Messages to the Person)

*Canvas (any Size)
*Modge Podge (Matte Finish)
*Paint Brush (Cheap l inch foam brush)
*Black Paint ( Matte)
*Matte Finish Protective Spray (UV SPRAY FOR THOSE USING ORIGINALS)
*Fine Sand Paper

*Photo Stain (colored ink pads will work)

*Old Bible(Goodwill has these) - Don't get all religious on me for using these in my work,the word of God does not return void, so putting this in these piece could impact a day in someones life. If you feel conviction about using it, just don't. 

*Old photos from the Past ( you can scan these if you do not want to use the originals)

*Old Documents ( Wedding Certificates, Letters, Music, Book Pages, Art anything that is just laying on the old boxes and not being used - that kind of stuff)

Here is what You are Creating


BIG CANVAS


SMALL CANVASES

I really enjoy working with old things and bringing them back to life so use the old stuff that is old and dusty in the box and there is no fear here. We were not given the spirit of fear, but give Love , Power and and Sound Mind. So lets go create!

1. Start by painting all of the sides with black paint. (YOU CAN ALSO JUST WRAP THE PAPER AROUND THE EDGES ,INSTEAD OF PAINTING,SKIP TO #2 ) Just the sides no need to paint the entire canvas unless you will be leaving spots that will show through and do not will the entire canvas.
Let completely dry before starting to work with photos or paper.


2. Collect all of the photos and documents you want to use. This is were I use the ink on the edges of the photos and paper. This gives it an aged look if you are not using originals. You can add the colored inks if you will be adding color to the piece. Just remember balance of the assemblage. Balance in art is when the eye sees the piece as a whole and your eye will follow the piece through the entirety and not just look at one spot. If you are using the originals you may not need to add ink to the edges. Some of the pieces in this canvas are very old and are aged already. I like it a little bolder so I really aged the copied photos.




3. Arrange them on the canvas to see what is pleasing to the eye.You can layer until you get the layout you are looking for and are pleased with. When putting these on the canvas be sure to have balance. You want you eye to be attracted to the canvas as a whole and not just one side or the middle.


4. After the pieces are arranged. Time to use your Modge Podge. I usually start at the bottom right corner and work my way out and up for gluing. Line your paper up with the edges so there is less work at the end. I try to not let big pieces hang off the edges. (YOU MAY ALSO WRAP THE SIDES WITH THE PAPER AND FOLD ONTO THE BACK OF THE CANVAS INSTEAD OF HAVING PAINTED SIDES.)
Take each piece off at a time and slather the back of the paper with glue and place the paper back on the canvas. BE careful when using old paper, it is delicate. Start at one end of the paper and smooth it out to the other end gently to remove the air bubbles. You can wipe off any extra glue with a damp paper towel. Then redue this step over and over until the canvas is completly glued.

5. Adding the photos. Once you have completed your collage of the documents you can add your photos on top unless you choose to add these with in the collage and overlay pieces on some of them. You may have to hold the older photos for a minute to get then to adhere to the canvas. They are stiff and it may take a minute for the edges to lay flat. Don't worry about getting Modge Podge on the Photos, we will put a small layer over the top at the end to give it a smooth finish.

6. Let dry for about 24 hours. Place a small layer of Modge Podge over the surface of the entire piece. Go in several directions with the brush using a crossing pattern. Let dry completely.

7. Edges - if your edges are not smooth take the sand paper and file the paper off a the edges of the  canvas. Dust it off. 

8. You have three choices for the edging. You can touch up the black so that it neat or you can use your ink to add depth to the edges and make to the piece look uniform. And also for those who chose to wrap the pieces completely around the edges you can just leave it alone.

9. Let dry Completely. Spray with Matte Protective Finish (OUTSIDE). If you are using the originals make sure you spray with a UV protector spray so that the Photos and Documents have protection. A thin layer or two will do. Make sure you keep the spray can moving , you would hate to get drips on all you hard work. Let each layer dry between coats.

YOU ARE DONE!!! Step back and take a look at what you created. The best part is seeing the face of the person you created this for. I also like to print little verses or messages and put them into the piece. That way are they look at it they have a personalized message from me or a verse that is special. This is a gift that is better than anything you could ever buy!!

Cant wait to see your creations and here your stories!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

New Things Coming!!!

 Wanted to share some of the recent photography shots I have done and share a few new things with you. Recently I was asked by my mother in law to illustrate a book for her. I agreed and will be sending off the illustrations this week. The book is a small little children's book but the work of illustrating inspired something with in. I have been praying for a while now about what God shared with me , just to make sure I am on the right path. 

The seed that was planted in my heart through the illustrating process was to write a book or a series of books. I thought really God, me? I am really overwhelmed with joy about this journey. Also really excited about the little lives it could speak into and getting to create the artwork for the book as well. The art work will be collage work and have spiritual meaning in it. The book that was laid on my heart could plant amazing little seeds in lives and bless many. So I am starting on this journey and allowing God to lead and open doors for things to happen. I want the Lord to completely speak through me and inspire me so that the words spoke in these books will be rooted into hearts, minds and eyes. Not going to share just yet what this series is about and the title is still not ready but excited that God has chosen me for this.  God has already lined some things up before the process has even started and very blessed for His provision. Cant wait to show you the story and the art and pray that it blesses the hearts and minds of all the little girls and mothers who read the series. 


Other than that I have been working on some photography, web design, Proverbs 31series and t-shirts too. Just wanted to show some of my recent photography, to you. I will be keeping you posted on new things to come and all the blessings God has.

If you are interested in Photography let me know of visit my web page for pricing.www.leahsparks.com

I will travel to the North and East Texas areas for Photo-shoots.





 

 All photo shoots come with original session unedited photos and edited photos of your choice from the session. The smallest package will come with 8 edits of your choice from the shoot. Editing takes anywhere from 2-3 weeks one the photos are chosen to be edited.  You will have a copyright release signed and you print your own photos. I provide you with a CD full of your edits so you can print as often as you want or any size you want.





Monday, September 26, 2011

New Things Inspired

God has lead me into and trained me to create web design. I really , really enjoy this and thankful for this gift. We are a visual world and there is so much we can communicate through visuals. I started working with web design about 2 years ago and dabbled here and there with it. But over the years people keep suggesting it to me. SO, I have just learned a little more over the years, no school all taught by God.

So about 4 months ago some really rough times hit for our family, leading me to stretch a little to bring in more for our family. Again through this time, a friend suggested to me why not web design. I thought about it and prayed about it. The next thing that happened was getting all my informational material together and going and speaking to others about creating a page for their company. God is amazing and blessed me with my first full paying customer. I have created one page before, but it was for friends so I really don't consider it to be my first. God is faithful!!! On of the customers I spoke with decided they wanted to create a page for their business. I wanted to show you some of the web sites I have designed and all taught by God. He amazes me with the knowledge and wisdom He gives his people. So much has changed since the first time God shared with me the path He created for me. The great thing is it  is still growing and transforming. I am in the process of illustrating my first children's book and writing and illustrating a children's book of my own. Just wanted to share the new web pages I have created with you, all inspired by God. Will keep you posted with all the new things God gives me and inspires me to create. Thanks for all your encouragement and support.










Saturday, July 16, 2011

How Things Have Changed

WOW! I did not even realize it had been so long since I have blogged. I have so much to show and tell you. Over the past year God has taught me a lot of new things an stretched my thinking to. When God started to inspire me to create like never before everything was so small as far as my thinking. I pretty much put boundaries on God and how the work He created through me was to be formed and used. I have realized that this 6 year journey has been to get me to this point. Over the past 9 months my art has expanded into graphics and web design. I use to think that I would create a piece and it could speak to someones heart just by hanging in a home. But God is far bigger than that. One is great to God, so don't get me wrong but 100 million is a drop in the bucket with God and His heart desires to save the world. So how could my art that He inspires through me reach more? The web!

In the past 9 months the things I have learned are from God,
No training, no school just supernaturally taught. I am still earning not to put God in a box. What I mean by that is there are not bounds and God wants and desires to speak to a walks of life. So some may look at some of my work and say that's not Christian and that's OK, that piece was not created for that person it will speak to someone else that it was meant for.

Over the past 9 months I have started working with Photoshop and also learning how to design web pages. I stated my own store on line though a print company and selling my digital art in Tees and gifts. I called my store Spark Art - Salty Tees. 




Salty Tees is more than just graphic design it has my original art turned into gifts. I also create custom graphics by request through Zazzle and soon will be creating School themed graphics as well.

As for web design , I never realized I would enjoy this so much. This gives me so much creativity and possibility's. I am just starting and will be adding more customers as I complete the work. Here is some examples of my recent work. The bottom line is God is the source of my knowledge, creativity and wisdom. Here are some examples of my recent web sites.


As I started to play with Photoshop I discovered another thing to be creative. Photography was an old friend that I had forgotten and found again.  Forgot how fun it was. Here are a few of the pieces that I created with my photography.




As for original works, a new series has been in the works. I have been inspired to create the Proverbs 31 Series. This is a verse that speaks to all woman, she is a mother, wife, friend , sister, neighbor and mentor. She is White, Black, Indian, Asian and crosses all borders. This series is created with vintage photos and ephemera . I also customize this series using old documents and photos of family members that are the Proverbs 31 Woman in our lives. Here are a few examples.


      This one is created for the Proverbs 31 Teachers in our lives. All of these are hand made original     works of art.


Just wanted to share. More to come. New ideas and inspirations.



 




Wednesday, February 10, 2010

White Stone Exhibition

So Thankful!!!!!! God blessed me with my first professional Exhibition. Found out my work was accepted Feb. 5th 2010. When I checked their web page for my name and saw it, I was so excited. Just like I won the biggest prized ever. I have been praying and working for this for 4 years now.God is so Good, perfect timing. I was so excited I could not cry but so grateful within, overwhelmed. I submitted 3 pieces and they chose the BOLDEST one. Praise God. This just gives me conformation on what God has spoke to my heart. I submitted to White Stone Gallery in Philly. They have some really amazing work. The winner (ME, I am claiming it) will recieve a one year contract , featured on thier web page and feature in a magazine they put out. The show starts March 5th and goes throught the 15th. Be sure and check it out. They will be posting all the work on-line.


http://www.whitestone.com/

Here are the three pieces that I submitted. The smallest but boldest was accepted. When I recieved the email on the acceptance , she said we will sure ruffle some feathers with this one. That is for sure, one of the sumissions creates pieces that are Catholic. Thing is that people have to understand is, I am a Christian who is an artist not an artist who is Christian. I have a message to share not a pretty picture. God created me to speak truth, reveal lies and speak to the blind. I speak through art and voice.



Strongholds Revealed
Mixed Media Collage on Canvas






Religious Church
Mixed Media Collage on Canvas





Harvest
Mixed Media Collage on Canvas

I have another submission this month as well that I will be accepted to (claiming that one too.) This one is bigger and winners work will tour the country for 3 years. That will be amazing. I chose to enter work based on the parables. Can't wait to show you these. God gave me some really great visions to submit.


I also have been working on a new series called finding rest. I have shown them before but not on my blog. I will try to get these up soon. They are all based on how God compares us to birds. I use the birds in severel different places , resting on different items and holding differnt things. There is alot of biblical symbolism in these pieces which has been really neat to create. I also have paintined the bird differently than they are at times due to personalaities of people. Here are a few but will get the rest up soon.



Freedom
Mixed Media on Wood


God's Timing
Mixed Media on Wood