Welcome to my blog!My name is Melody M. Nuñez, and I’m an artist and a writer. Please look around my website and make yourself at home. I post new blog entries weekly, and hope you’ll subscribe to my blog and come back often! To learn more about me, please view the “About” page…
Category Archives: art
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: drawing is not my strong suit. I’m decent when I practice regularly (which, prior to this, was only for a few quarters in college), but I’m not a natural. I’m not a whiz. And I’m definitely not a prodigy. But I am an eternal student. I want to continue to learn, grow, and progress until I draw my last breath, so I recently enrolled in an online class focused on sketching.
Please don’t laugh, but this is my first online class. I thought taking the class might help keep me focused on the positive and help keep me occupied after the surgery on my left hand since my right hand was pretty functional by then, and I’m glad I signed up. The combination of video instruction, photos, and text works very well for me, and I’ll definitely sign up for more online classes in the future.
Alisa Burke’s Sketchbook Delight workshop really has been a delight, and has inspired me to take time to look, play, and practice. And while I may never be amazingly fantastic when it comes to drawing and sketching, I will be better. I’ll likely be able to do enough to satisfy me artistically, and to expand my creative output and options. And that’s enough. It’s worth the time spent and the uncertainty that comes along with embarking on an adventure in sketching.
Here are four of my sketch pages from the last month, in chronological order…
I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into my sketchbook/art journal. Have you taken any online classes that you’d recommend? Please share…
I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be able to teach art journaling to three classrooms of 4th grade children this year. Woo hoo! Over 20 people donated art supplies, gift cards and checks during last month’s drive, and I’m so thankful for their kindness, generosity of spirit, and follow through. These donations, combined with those received earlier this year, will provide instruction and supplies to over 120 at-risk children this school year. I’m so happy and excited!
If you happen to be one of the people who wanted to donate but didn’t quite get around to it – don’t despair, and please don’t give up. I accept donations year-round, whether it’s October, February, or April! It’s never too late. :] The kids benefit so much from the program and everything gets put to great use, so please consider giving the gift of art.
Speaking of art, I’ll be posting some of my own art on Thursday. My left hand is still pretty gimped up, but I’ve managed to do a bit of work in my art journal with my right hand. I’ll share some of what I’ve been creating with you, so please stay tuned.
I hope you’re all having a wonderful autumn thus far, dear readers. Happy Tuesday!
Art Journaling Program: Name & Website Reveal!
I’m happy to formally announce the name of my art journaling program for at-risk children: Bits & Pieces Art Program! I selected the name partly because I encourage the children to use “bits and pieces of things” (like papers, ribbon, aluminum foil, etc.) in their art journals. I also chose Bits & Pieces because we reveal bits and pieces of ourselves when we write, collage, draw and otherwise create.
Bits & Pieces Art Program now has its own website: www.bitsandpiecesart.org
Huge thanks to my husband, José, who did an awesome job building the site. I hope you’ll all check it out!
Art Supply Drive Reminder
There’s still time to donate art supplies, gift cards or funds to support my at-risk art journaling students. I really appreciate those of you who have reached out to give, and urge those of you who would like to donate to do so today. I have enough donations for one class thus far, but would love to teach two or three classrooms full of students this year and hope more donations will come rolling in soon. :]
TWO EASY WAYS TO DONATE ONLINE:
Michaels will send GIFT CARDS directly to your recipient! (In this case, that would be me.) If you’d like to order a gift card, please email me through the contact form, and I’ll happily provide my mailing address.
Donate through www.skybluepink.com! Christina, the wonderful proprietress at SkyBluePink has a special page set up so folks can donate to my program! You can donate in increments of $5, and can help provide blank journals, scissors, ink pads or Loteria/Mexican Bingo sets. SkyBluePink then sends me supplies – purchased and provided at cost. Big thanks to Christina for this helpful option!
Art Journaling Program – NEW VIDEO!
Hubby created a new video for my Bits & Pieces Art Program back in June, and I think he did a terrific job. Have you seen it yet? If not, please take a peek! Just three minutes long, you’ll see footage from one of the 2012 art journaling shows, will see student artwork, and will hear feedback from teachers and one of the school principals. This program IS making a difference! :]
Please let me know if you have any questions regarding donations, and please feel free to offer feedback on the program video and website. I appreciate all those who have donated and/or otherwise supported my efforts in the classroom – you’re helping me make a difference in the lives of many!
With warm regards and thanks,
Merit badges popped into my head recently. I know – random. It’s especially random because I wasn’t ever a Brownie or a Girl Scout. I did go to Girl Scout camp, and my Aunt Bobby – who was like a second mom to me – was a devoted Girl Scout, but I never earned a single merit badge as a child or teen.
And yet, there I was – inspired to create my own “merit badges” on a page in my art journal. It was really an exercise in self-assessment, a chance to take stock. What things do I devote time to? What are some of my best qualities? What do I have a particular affinity for? This was my self-designated criteria as I determined what I’d theoretically earned merit badges in. Here’s what I ended up with, and they were drawn in random order:
1. Nature Lover
3. Travel Bug (as in, I’ve been bitten by the Travel Bug)
4. Generous with Smiles
5. Helping Others
7. Friend-Auntie-Family Member
9. Significant Other/Wife. Hubby and I have been a couple for over 16 years and are approaching our 14th wedding anniversary. :]
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: drawing is not my strong suit, so my illustrations are pretty simple and crude. I had fun though, and it was a good exercise to help rebuild the dexterity in my right hand post-surgery.
The black pen I used on the page is one of my favorites for making art and for general writing: the Uniball Vision Elite. The color was added primarily by coloring with watercolor pencils and then blending the color with a wet paintbrush, though I did use some Caran d’Ache water-soluble crayons as well.
Oh, and lest you think I’m all about self-congratulations, the page opposite from the merit badges includes a list of eight things I will work on improving about myself – and that’s by no means a complete list! That list includes getting more consistent exercise, eating more fruits and veggies, and not getting wrapped up in fear and worry when it’s not going to help anything anyway. I try to balance being proud of who I am with being humble, and always strive to keep an eye on ways to improve and grow. The things I listed on the two pages (both “good” and “bad”) are not a complete catalog – just a few examples on one particular day…
If you were to wear a sash, a vest, or shirt with merit badges on them – or have a Merit Badge Collecting app on your smart phone (ha!), what would your Grown Up Merit Badges be? Gardening? Literacy Program Volunteer? Wine Lover? Please comment and share, dear readers…
I recently transformed some clearance cosmetic bags I found at Michaels into customized pen and pencil cases, and thought I’d share them with you. The bags, a steal at 50 cents each, were pretty enough as is – but I wanted to make them at bit more artsy and more durable. I was inspired to use them to hold pens, pencils, and other art supplies, and just knew I’d come up with some fun looks. They’re easy to make, and can be customized a million different ways!
The cosmetic bags – BEFORE..
My customized Pen & Pencil Cases – AFTER!
The first step on each bag was to tape along the two sides (where the bag was stitched) and the bottom. This laid a base for my other tape, and adds extra strength. Next, I taped along the top edge, by the zipper, and worked my way down. In most cases I worked horizontally, but you can tape vertically (up and down) as well like I did on the Washi Tape Case. This project is very loose and flexible, so just play and find what works for you.
Washi Tape Case
I made this case by using three different patterns of washi tape and clear packing tape. I used the packing tape as a base layer on the whole bag, applied the washi tape in a repeating vertical pattern, and then “sealed” the case with another layer of clear packing tape. I’ve put colored pens inside this case.
Silver & Black Duct Tape Cases
I made these cases by taping along the sides and bottom, and then taping along the top and down the bag. The black pen case also has another layer of tape along each of the sides, to cover some of the edges of the tape strips I applied horizontally. The silver case holds my Caran d’Ache water-soluble crayons, and the black case holds my black pens.
Vintage Ledger Paper & Masking Tape Case
I made this case by attaching pieces of vintage ledger paper to both sides of the case using a very strong double stick tape. I covered the entire case with clear packing tape, and then accented the sides and bottom edge of the case with pieces of masking tape cut to assorted sizes. This case holds assorted art tools like small tapes, my XActo knife, pencils, and an eraser.
Now, rather than having bunches of things loose in my “art supplies on the go” case, I’ve got these fun, sturdy, and budget-friendly cases keeping things tidier and more organzied. Woo hoo! Oh, and if you missed my post on how to repurpose a vintage train case into a travel case for your art supplies, please click here. I love the way the case turned out, and it’s really handy – whether I’m just creating here at home or am out and about.
WANT TO MAKE A PEN OR PENCIL CASE OF YOUR OWN?
I picked up some extra cosmetic bags, in case some of you would like to customize a bag for yourself or someone you know. If you’d like me to mail you one of the unaltered cosmetic bags, please leave a comment indicating as much – and use the CONTACT feature to email me your mailing address. The first FIVE people to comment and email me their addresses will get one of the bags.
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments, dear readers. And Happy Fall!
School is back in session and I’m hosting my annual ART SUPPLY DRIVE! I’ll be volunteer-teaching art journaling to at-risk public school students soon, and though I donate my time and some supplies, I can’t afford to provide all they need on my own. Won’t you please lend a hand? Whether you choose to donate supplies, gift cards, or funds, you’ll be making a big difference in the lives of many.
Please watch this brief video to learn a bit more about my program. It includes photos, video footage from an art journal show in Santa Ana, and testimonials from teachers and school staff – proof that art journaling is a wonderful addition to the curriculum…
Why I Do This…
My mission is to provide as many children as I can with art journaling instruction and supplies. Not only does this program nurture their creativity and provide art instruction that would otherwise be missing because of curriculum and budget constraints, art journaling also helps get the children excited about their overall educational experience.
And, perhaps most importantly, art journaling gives the children a constructive way to express themselves and process the world around them. This is particularly important for these at-risk students, who are often facing the effects of poverty, abuse, neglect, exposure to gangs and drugs, and absent parents.
I, too, faced many challenges when I was a child, including abuse and poverty, and know from experience that creative self-expression can be a lifesaver. I know that a trustworthy adult taking a special interest in you can make a big impression, and that a proverbial pat on the back can really boost one’s self-esteem. I also know that art and writing have the power to strengthen, nourish, and heal, and hope to plant a love for art journaling and creative self-expression in the lives of as many children as I can.
My goal is to teach three classrooms full of students this year – two in Santa Ana and one in Ontario. I hope to receive enough donations to create 135 art journaling kits for the kids (45 kits for each class). Though donations aren’t yet tax-deductible, I hope you’ll help provide art journaling supplies for the children. Please consider donating in one of the following ways – I’ve starred the items I need the most:
**MONETARY DONATIONS in any amount. I use the “cash” to buy the blank art journals, which are the foundation of the supply kits.
**GIFT CARDS for **Michaels, Target, or Office Max in any amount – even “remaining amounts”, like $4.73!
SUPPLIES - I’d love to receive the following in quantities of 45, 90, or 135, but will happily accept whatever you’d like to send.
*Crayons – Crayola packs of 8
*Mini ink pads – assorted colors
Loteria packs (Mexican Bingo)
Pencils – unsharpened
Ribbon – at least ½” wide, please
Die cut shapes
Cancelled postage stamps
Fabric – fat quarters or other smaller pieces, please. Pre-cut 5″ squares would be fantastic!
Cardstock – any color assortments welcome (12″ x 12″ or smaller)
Patterned paper – any assortments welcome (12″ x 12″ or smaller)
You may also send assorted arts and craft supplies, which will be put into a “mush pot” for the classroom teachers and children to pull from during the year…
Though I accept donations year-round, I’d like to receive donations for this year’s classes by November 6, 2012. This will allow me enough time to shop for the remaining items I need and assemble the art journaling kits for the students before heading into the classrooms.
Please email me through this site’s contact page if you would like to donate, and I’ll provide my mailing address. Oh, and please share this post with other kind and generous people you think might like to donate. I’d love this to go viral, so please spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, to online groups, and via email. :] Thanks so much!
Hi there – Happy Tuesday!
As you’ve likely gathered by now, teaching art to at-risk children is something I’m passionate about. I think art and positive forms of self-expression are essential for children – especially those facing serious life challenges. And though full-time work takes up much of my time (not to mention creating and blogging!), I make time to gather supply donations and teach because it’s so important to me to share this wonderful medium – art journaling – with children in need. I’ve slowly grown my program from teaching one classroom of students per year to teaching three this school year, and I’d love to have the opportunity to provide art supplies and instruction to even more public school children.
The Next Step
Yep, I’m chomping at the bit to grow my program, the Bits & Pieces Art Program, to serve more students. And though I’m not quite ready to establish a non-profit, which would greatly expand my fundraising capabilities because of tax-deductible benefits, I’m totally ready to move on to an intermediate step: signing on with a Fiscal Sponsor. A Fiscal Sponsor is an established non-profit that accepts donations on a program’s behalf, which results in the very important tax write-off for donors. They also take care of much of the administrative work, which would allow me to focus on teaching and fundraising. In exchange, the fiscal sponsor collects a small fee.
Good News and Other News…
I’ve found a local Fiscal Sponsor that would like to work with me. Woo hoo! The challenge is that they require an initial deposit or pledge of $10,000 before they’ll sign me on and set me up. DRAT. At this moment it’s a Catch 22 kinda thing. I may not get a $10,000 donation without a Fiscal Sponsor and their write-off benefits, but I can’t get a Fiscal Sponsor without having a big chunk of change – or a pledge for one.
Can You Lend a Helping Hand?
So, I’m sending this message out into the blogosphere and the universe. If you, or anyone/any company/any foundation you know, would like to help get my Bits & Pieces Art Program up and running with a Fiscal Sponsor, please let me know. I would be SO appreciative, and I know the children would be too! Maybe your business has done very well this year and has yet to donate enough to take full advantage of a tax write off. The Bits & Pieces Art Program would be thrilled to receive a pledge/donation to help take this important step forward.
I know this is asking a lot, but I have to at least put it out there and let you know where I am on this journey. Sometimes crazy miracles happen in life, and maybe something will fall into place so I can get a Fiscal Sponsorship sooner than later. I can’t bang on many doors right now since my hands are still hurting and healing, but maybe things will go my way if I just put it out there and ask very nicely. I guess we’ll see… :]
I hope you’re all well and happy, and hope you’re having a great week!
Welcome to a new installment of Another Look! This post is designed to share a handful of goodies from my archive while I’m recovering from my surgeries. I hope you enjoy these links, whether you’re seeing them for the first time or have seen them once before. Today’s category is Art! Just click on the name of the post to link over…
From collage and photography to art journals, my work includes a variety of media and materials. Which artistic mediums and materials (including those not shared on my blog) are your favorite?
Greetings! I hope you’re all enjoying the summer. Just thought I’d pop in with a quick hello and update. My first surgery was a month ago, and it’s been a challenge to take it easy. How does a gal who’s used to doing so much with her hands spend her time when she can’t use them? Here’s some of what I’ve been up to…
Reading: I’ve read several novels, including the wonderfully imaginative book The Night Circus.
Movies: I’ve watched several movies on DVD and some in the theater. The movie Robot and Frank (which we saw in the theater) was particularly enjoyable!
TV: We no longer have cable, but have watched the 2nd and 3rd seasons of the United States of Tara on Netflix streaming. We’re also a few seasons into How I Met Your Mother. Oh, and I’m looking forward to the new season of Survivor, which starts on September 19th!
Documentaries: I’ve watched video biographies on Frida Kahlo, Monet, Seurat, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Van Gogh. I also watched a documentary on Yellow Fever, of all things.
Making left-handed art while my right hand mends: Here are a few iPhone photos of the somewhat messy, smooshy pages I created with my non-dominant hand (including the collage image up top).
I’ve also spent some time basking in the ridiculously abundant cuteness of my rabbits. Aren’t they adorable?
Cypress – AKA Plumpie – stretches out…
Pinto was ready for his closeup!
The next surgery, on my left hand, will be mid-month. (At least this time I know what to expect!) I can’t wait to get back to work and to life in general. I’ve got art to create, things to bake, photos to take, and public school children to teach art to! :] In the meantime please feel free to comment if you’d like to suggest a book or movie – I’d be glad to hear from you.
p.s Please keep my at-risk public school students in mind if you’re out shopping for school supplies or other goodies. I’ll be hosting another Art Supply Drive in October, and would love to receive your donations of glue sticks (we need LOTS of these), Crayola crayon 8-packs, etc. If you’re interested, you can see a wish list at the bottom of this page. Thanks so much!Tweet
Greetings, dear readers! I’m pleased to share a guest post with you today. And who might this guest blogger be, you ask? My wonderfully talented husband, José B. Nuñez! Jose has been an artist since he was a young boy. He excelled in art in high school, graduated from UCSB with a degree in art, and is the Creative Director at Bad Bunny Studios. He’s my in-house tech guru, and shot, edited, and produced my art program’s video.
José is sooooo much more tech savvy than I am, so it seems fitting that his guest post’s topic is digital art. I hope you enjoy his post and art as much as I have! Take it away, José…
I have always enjoyed making art. I’ve worked in many different mediums: oils, acrylics, clay, pastels, charcoal, watercolors, stone and wood – you name it. I like everything about working in each one of these mediums, the texture, the smell, the viscosity; these are all tangible and real.
That said, I must admit that I’ve recently taken a liking to making art on my iPAD – specifically “digital painting”. I first tried it several years back and was not a fan of it. I didn’t think the software came anywhere close to simulating working in any traditional medium at all.
So when I purchased my iPAD to use for photography and video (something I’ll cover in another post) I thought I would try some of the Art Apps. There are many, many drawing and painting apps but after some initial research I decided to go with Procreate and Inspire Pro. They both do a great job of simulating working with real paint – in fact after 10 minutes of working I always seem to stop and look for paint on my hands. Scary!
ProCreate allows you to work with layers – very similar to Photoshop, including changing the blending modes to each layer. Inspire Pro has no layers, but simulates working with a dry or wet brush very well. They both do a great job of blending colors onto the digital canvas. And if you make a mistake, you have several “undos” to correct your last changes. Another plus? You don’t have to wait for the paint to dry!
Inspire Pro, Adonit Pro Stylus
Inspire Pro, Adonit Pro Stylus
Procreate, Adonit Pro Stylus
Inspire Pro, Adonit Pro Stylus
Though digital art apps have come a long way, for me there’s nothing like the smell of oil paints, turpentine and linseed oil while painting. However, if for whatever reason you find yourself unable to work in traditional media or would like to venture into the digital world, I highly recommend an iPAD loaded with these two apps!
Please let me know if you have any questions about the images or apps…
*Sunflower image at top: Procreate, Adonit Pro StylusTweet