Whats in your toolbox – part two

by Sarah



This week in what’s in your toolbox, we will be spending some time talking about some different tools I use for painting.

From the beginning of my creative education I was always taught, as I think I have mentioned before, to purchase the best possible supplies that you can afford. For my painting supplies, I have already introduced you to the paints, so now we will spend a little time on mediums to work on, paint brushes and camera products I use to gather inspiration.

  • Mediums: use whatever you have available. There are many, many products out there so experiment. Sometimes I use watercolor paper for my acrylic work and marker work. I buy them in pads that are referred to blocks. They are expensive, so I always watch for sales and then buy in bulk to last me for awhile. I learned about this paper when I took a watercolor class many years ago. I also use Ampersand Gessoboard for my mixed media work. I like that it is primed and ready to go and that makes it all the more easy to sit down and begin. As far as size, traditionally I like to work small, so that I can feel a sense of accomplishment with my work. I have a tendency to not finish larger pieces, so this is a great way to begin. In addition to the Ampersand board, my friend Marisa introduced me to Art Boards. She does most of her illustration and mixed media work on these and chooses to create on the really small ones. I am beginning to use them in my work as well, so once I have a completed project, I will definitely share it with you.
  • Paint Brushes: again, I buy the best that I can afford and watch for sales. After having completed a class with Flora Bowley last spring, I now also add inexpensive foam brushes from Home Depot and inexpensive brushes from Ikea to the mix.
  • Cameras: I could spend a whole post discussing cameras and probably will as we move forward but for this purpose, I use a Canon Rebel T2i for all my digital camera work. I love this camera. It is an entry level professional camera that you can buy in a kit with a basic lens if you check around. I personally like to go to my local camera store as everyone is very knowledgeable and helpful. I am a touch and feel person and have a hard time buying directly online for some items. I have two basic lenses with the camera an EFS 18-135mm and a macro lens. In addition to my DSLR camera, I am an avid user of instagram and my iphone 5. If you follow my blog, then you know I am in the midst of a year and half long project, 100 Wednesdays,  where I am selecting my 3 favorite instagram photos each week and sharing them on my site. Whenever I travel, I have my phone at the ready to capture inspiration as it strikes. Sometimes it is difficult and cumbersome to carry my big camera around so the iphone is a great quick substitute.

With all the items we have discussed, you are now armed and ready to begin creating. Next time, I will give you some great courses and retreats (including my own Create Explore Discover Art Retreat) to help you grow your skills in any area of interest for you. I will also share some things I have been working on to help you along the way.

Whats In Your Toolbox – Part One

by Sarah

When you begin a creative practice or a creative business there are some tools that can be indispensable for making your life easier. Today I am going share a few tools to have on hand to get you started, no matter what direction your creativity takes.

  • A place to work: your creative space does not need to be large initially (although I am finding that I am outgrowing my own space and need to rethink how I work) just a space that you can make your own that you enjoy coming to and is filled with inspiring pieces of your life.
  • A sketchbook or notebook: whether you are writing, sketching, photographing or coming up with creative ideas you need somewhere to write down your thoughts and findings. I use primarily Moleskine notebooks but use what you have or find something that can become your sacred space to dream and ponder your creative life ahead.
  • Pens and Pencils: This is a big category for me as I have many different types of products I use for different purposes. For general writing, sketching and drawing I use Sharpie Pens and Faber Castell Pitt Pens. For sketching and drawing in pencil and writing I use Pentel Mechanical Pencils. For colored pencils, I began using Prismacolor Colored Pencils in college and have been using them ever since. They have a wonderful color range and blend really well to create additional colors. You can also by the pencils individually so if a favorite color runs low you do not have to replace a whole set.
  • Markers: I have used a good quality set of markers since I was in college. It seems there are a few investments that you will make that will stay with you throughout time. Prismacolor Markers are my marker of choice as they work really well with the Prismacolor pencils and the blending capabilities of both are excellent. As with the pencils, you can add individual colors without having to buy a set but if you can afford it, I would recommend a basic set of 72 which will have greys, some metallics and a complete line of basic colors. Watch for sales around the start of school in the fall as you can generally get a set for 50% off if you know when to look.
  • Paints: In the past few years, I have been experimenting with acrylic painting and have found that Golden Brand and Liquitex Brand are my favorite brands. With both paints you have the option for soft body, fluid body and heavy body. I primarily use heavy body and fluid body acrylics in my own work and love the fluid acrylics that Golden makes. Paints are expensive so I have built my collection slowly over time.

Next time, we will be talking about types of mediums to paint on, paintbrushes and cameras. What’s in your toolbox?



Liberate your art post card swap

by Sarah

Last month, I joined a group of 193 artists in a post card swap coordinated by Kat Sloma of Kat Eye Studio. Kat did the swap out of the goodness of her heart and asked that you send 5 postcards of your artwork that she would then organize and mail to other participating artists. All you had to do was provide the postcard, postage and your mailing address. I love projects like these and I love the people that coordinate them as I feel this is such a part of giving back that is so important to me.

I received postcards from all around the world and loved going to the mailbox each week to see what Kat had mailed. The photo above shows the special artwork that came my way.

1. Lee Flint “Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous” – Bill Moyers

2. Nini “there is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.” Siddhartha Gautama

3. Kristen

4. Carolyn Jane

5. Kat Sloma

Watch for next year’s swap and join in the fun. Thanks Kat for bringing snail mail full of great art to my mail box this summer. In the meantime enjoy this video that Kat created with pieces from the swap. If you can find my art in the video (its near the middle-hint hint) I will send you a package of postcards for you to mail to your family and friends! Just leave your guess in the comments and I will pick a winner.

Thanks so much Kat, the video made me cry at the beauty that was sent your way!



Happy Tuesday

by Sarah

Happy Tuesday everyone….the last month I have been very busy creating….As you know, redlinedesign® has launched a new site: createexplorediscover.com…if you have not checked it out yet, I encourage you to do so. We have some fabulous activities coming up with our inaugural retreat to be held on October 6-9, 2011 and I don’t want you to miss a thing….

Also, I have been working with Jo Klima of The Darling Tree to create some blog buttons for you to add to your own sites. Jo has created some wonderful websites and logos including: susannah conway and going home to roost. I feel really blessed to work with Jo as she is a fellow Aussie and my link back to Australia has been forged yet again. With the buttons, she designed each piece with my favorite photograph of the year in the background. Also included is my original logo that was created by Calder Chism. There are four sizes to choose from and are available to download directly from the blog. At the moment you can use the following to link back:


and if you know anyone that can help me with coding, please let me know as I would love to provide them to you with code so that all you have to do is copy and paste. Angie…if you are out there….please help me……I am not good at such techie things….

so here are the beautiful buttons that were created for me:





If you have been over to our shop recently you will also find that we have added the new feel to the site as well. Please let me know what you think….the website will be next and we will be adding new front pages, an online shop and course signups directly to red-line-design.com so that everything can be easily accessed in one place.

In addition to all the graphics being created I am busy getting ready for my booth at the 5th Annual Lavender Ridge Purple Summer Festival being held in conjunction with Artown. As we move forward with this week, I will be giving a sneak peek at the work I will have available at the festival.

Have a great Tuesday everyone…..

the stylists guide to nyc

by Sarah

Last month I received a newsletter from The Society, Inc. in Paddington, Sydney. Sibella Court, stylist and owner was releasing her second book in Australia and I of course had to pre-order a copy for myself. The book is titled: “the stylist’s guide to NYC” and can be found on her website. It is a nice compact travel and design inspired collection of her favorite places for interiors, flowers, curiosities and many more design oriented tidbits in New York City. Sibella lived there for about 10 years and has taken all her own list of goodies and added them to this incredible resource.

The book is divided into 9 sections including the one above and also has an index and special listing of favorites haunts. For anyone who has not traveled to NYC before or anyone that has and wants a few helpful reminders there is a small travel section at the front called NYC Tips. One of my favorite tips was about the lack of bathrooms and making sure you know how and when to find them. Something all good shoppers and explorers of urban locales need to know…. In addition to the sections and tips there is also a zip code guide to the city and to the locations you are trying to locate. Fabulous idea for a city with at least 23 zip codes just in Manhattan.

Within each section are glorious photographs and descriptions of the places to visit. the descriptions include address, phone number, website etc. to help you locate what you are looking for. There is even a little section at the back dedicated to Brooklyn and Queens. Places I would not have known to visit unless guided like this…

In the front and back cover of the book there are places to keep notes and there is a wonderful pull-out map with everything marked so you know where you are going and can lose the tourist look instantly. If you order this book during the month of May, Sibella will sign it for you as is the case with my copy. I loved receiving a package from Australia as it is my home, and loved it even more when I got to explore the pages of this guide. A total thumbs up from me and I am so ready to explore NYC with this book in tow. Anyone want to join me?

Have a great Thursday everyone….

daily photos: 62-69

by Sarah

62: me sideways; 63: the pool; 64: research for painting; 65: the end of the road; 66: orange and red; 67: roses and valentines day; 68: here we go (painting by Marisa of Creative Thursday); and 69: week 2 get your paint on….

daily photo is a project I started on December 1st, 2010 and am continuing through December 30, 2011 (365 days of the world around me from my view and through my camera and instagram photos on my phone)

Busy Creating

by Sarah

Sorry for the little break from blogging the last few days. I have been away for the holiday and since coming home busily creating for this weekends Handmade Holiday Shop. Taking a que from my friend Deb, I have created some ornaments and a wreath that highlight a photo from my trip to Squaw earlier this fall. Today I give you a little glimpse at the creating and encourage you to give your creativity a try this holiday season.

Left over Starbucks coffee cups make great paint containers and beautiful yarn purchased through Jimmy Beans Wool helped me to create the wreath in the upper left corner. The upper right corner shows a peek of my creations.

As I promised last week here is a glimpse of the ornaments made for Enchanted Makeovers and Stephey Baker. If you would like to read more about Deb please check out an earlier Tea Time Thursday where she is highlighted. These ornaments will be for sale this weekend as a donation to Enchanted Makeovers and we will have a few extra available for your own holiday giving or for yourself of course….