[ Weekend ] Plein Air Festival

Monday, July 25, 2011

Yesterday, we went to a Plein Air Festival in Easton, MD and I competed in a "quick draw" competition for artists under 25 years old.  it was so much fun, and combined both my love for painting and competition :)

Mark and I got to Easton at 8:30 am, scouted out a location to paint, and checked in.  at 10:00 am the painting frenzy began, and for 4 hours i painted my heart out.  at 2:00 we had to move our easel and paintings to line a block for potential buyers and the judges to take a look at our work...

and my painting sold within the first 10 minutes of the sale!! i was so relieved!  i unfortunately didn't win any of the prizes, and i'm not gonna lie,  i was super disappointed.  i was so pleased with my painting, especially for it being my first competition, and reallyyy thought i had a chance.

but at the end of the day, and even after not winning, it was still a great day!  Mark even had a blast too, just watching me paint, and getting to explore the town of Easton.  he sees me paint all the time, but rarely from start to finish.  we promised each other we will go to every event like this we can.  and even with time, gas, and materials considered, i still made a little profit from the sale of my painting :)

 for those of you who aren't painters, i think its still a great experience to see how artists work, be surrounded by beautiful work in the cutest little town, and the opportunity to collect work from "up and coming artists" :)

me, my painting, and my red SOLD ticket :)

i hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!  did you have any exciting adventures? :)

[ On My Heart ] Gratitude

Friday, July 22, 2011

for this week's on my heart, i just wanted to express the utmost gratitude for helping me reach 50 followers this week.  i know its only a baby step, but its the first benchmark i've reached, and i am absolutely over the moon.  this blog has really become like my own little baby, watching it grow and develop.  i can't wait to see what will come next.

i'm still learning a lot about this whole blog thing, but i have fallen in love, head over heels, with this community.  ya'll are so kind and supportive, and brighten my day with every single new follower and comment.  thank you!

i would love for any suggestions or comments... what are you're favorite posts? what would you like to see more/less of?  

a few have asked about my shop... it's not yet officially opened (i just feel like i don't have a large enough collection paintings finished to put online yet) but i am accepting custom orders if you have something in mind (even if its just a single color to work from.) i'm sure together we can create something beautiful for your home.  i also do portraits if you are looking for paintings of your children or family.  (e-mail me for more samples of my portrait work)

have a great weekend!  and from the bottom of my heart, thank you again!

[ Inspiration Workshop ] Inspiration Meets Canvas

Thursday, July 21, 2011

the past few weeks i have been absolutely in awe of clouds.  it may be because we live near the water, but the clouds down here have been just out of this world.  i've written this before but i often feel most in touch with god, and amazed by his hand as the ultimate artist when i look up to the sky.

for this week's Inspiration Workshop with Gussy Sews i have a few photos i've taken recently for inspiration, followed by a series of cloud paintings i'm currently working on.

(the bottom right image is unrelated, just sharing my latest commissioned piece :)

this weekend i am competing in a "Quick Draw" competition for artists under the age of 25 at a Plein Air festival.  i'm so excited, and equally nervous.  both competing and plein-air is relatively brand new for me.  i will have 30 minutes to find a location within the city limits to set up my easel, and then 4 hours to paint my heart out.  once i'm finished,  the other artists and myself will set up our paintings for sale.  so i potentially have the opportunity to win a cash award, and sell my work. i really have no idea what to expect, but im hoping for a great experience, and the chance to meet some really talented maryland artists. please pray for me!

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

[ Crafternoon (#1) ] : DIY Wrap Bracelet

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

i forgot to mention that this weekend, on top of all the fun and relaxation i was already having, i also shared in a beautiful crafternoon creating with two friends from work.  i've never been a big "crafter" but i think that will be changing very soon :)  i set out to make my very own wrap bracelet.  my mom had gotten me one for graduation, and i absolutely love it.  it's so me... simple, organic, versatile.  they are suddenly all the rage, and i didn't even realize it.

here's the one i made:

i had originally intended for it to wrap around three times, but cut my thread to short and had to settle for only two.  but i still LOVE it!

materials needed:
- approx. 6 mm beads (you can choose different sizes but smaller ones will take longer since you have to use more for the same length bracelet, and larger beads start to get heavy)
- leather cord (measure your wrist, and multiply that length by however many times you want it to wrap around [i.e. 7 in wrist x 3 = 21 in] and then add a few extra inches so you can knot it at the end)
- thread (about 5 yds long)
- needle
- a button, charm, or washer to use for the clasp
- scissors
- something to anchor the bracelet on while you're working on it (i.e. clipboard, tape to a table, etc.)

1.  fold the leather cord in half, and tie loop in the middle. (make sure there are equal lengths of cord on boths sides) make sure your loop is large enough to fit your button or charm through it snugly.
2.  thread the needle with the thread, once the thread is through, tie the ends of the threads together, and move the needle to the middle of the thread, so that there are equal lengths on each side)
3. tie the knotted end of the thread to the knotted loop of the leather cord.
4. attach the loop to a secure location (clipboard, taped to table, etc)
5. with a figure-8 pattern, wrap (tightly) the thread over and under the two pieces of leather cord beneath the knotted loop 3 or 4 times, to secure the cord and begin with a solid foundation.
6. Now you are ready to start adding beads. After your thread has passed UNDER the left leather, add a bead. Hold the bead between the two strands of leather, and stitch the thread OVER the right, back UNDER the right,  THROUGH the bead hole again and OVER the left.  Bring the thread UNDER the left and add another bead in the middle. Repeat many many times! Keep the beads pulled in snugly against the leather. Pay attention so that your stitches all face the same way. If your thread seems to snag a lot, use a bit of thread conditioner or beeswax on it. ( from Rings & Things blog )
7.  When you are finished and have achieved your desired length, repeat step 5.  and then knot the the thread and leather cord.
8. attach your charm or button by knotting the leather cord around/through it.
9.  and TA-DAH! you are now the proud owner of a beautiful wrap bracelet!

it's really simple to do... not so simple to explain :) i followed the directions and pictures from ( from Rings & Things blog) they have step-by-step instructions which helped a lot.  (i got too busy chit-chatting with my girlfriends to take pictures at each step)

i want to do more DIY posts, and am learning each attempt to take more pictures and how to explain things the simplest, so thanks for hanging in there with me!

do you have any DIY requests?  i love any good excuse to have a crafternoon with friends :)

happy tuesday!

[ Weekend ] Snapshots

Monday, July 18, 2011

 we stayed home this weekend (thankfully) and spent the days recharging, harry potter-ing, yard sale-ing, and shootin' some things... more on that later :)

it seems like every weekend lately we have been driving to our hometown (nearly 3 hours away) for one thing or another, so it was really refreshing to be able to sleep in, and not spend the day traveling in my car (that has no a/c).  even though we love being able to spend time with our families, so much traveling and activity doesn't always feel exactly like the break we have been looking forward to all work week.

this weekend...

i got my haircut FINALLY on friday!  i was afraid my hair was bordering on the grossly-long stage, so it was in desperate need of a shape-up.  and its still ridiculously long.  i'm thinking about waiting another month or two, and then giving a big heev-ho for Locks of Love. EEK!

we also went and saw Harry Potter 7.2! i won't spoil it for anyone and give away any details, but in my eyes, it was absolute perfection :)

our neighbor, capturing Mark in the zone, ready to take out some milk jugs :)

and now to explain the last few pics in this series...

it really wouldn't be Southern MD if some .22's weren't involved ;)
to release some stress from the work week, our neighbors like to set up targets from the back porch of the main house, and go to town.  i've never witnessed this weekly phenomenon until now, but i've gotta say, i totally understand.  there's just something about blowing stuff up (well not really, since a .22 is a pretty small rifle) that really does allow you to get your frustration out.

SAFETY FIRST, ALWAYS, and no animals (or humans) were harmed in the process :)

next weekend we will probably on the go again (i think we are planning on going to Easton, MD for the Plein-Air Festival, which i am SUPER excited about! can't wait to post pics!) so i really cherished staying put all weekend.  hope everyone had a great weekend, too, and are ready to face this week head on! i'm not quite sure if i am, but i'm hanging in there :)

Hidden [ Thrifted ] Gems

Sunday, July 17, 2011

i've decided to start a new weekly blog post: hidden gems, from my thrifting and yard sale adventures.  i LOVE to yard sale and thrift, and am now even more excited because i will have an excuse to give my bf as to why we just have to go every weekend.

this weekend was EPIC.  i stumbled upon a vintage suitcase at our a thrift store in town, or so i thought... it turned out to be a 1956ish Singer sewing machine, complete with every extra and attachment possible.  i got it for $10... found a really similar item on ebay, BIN price for $475!! who knows if i will really be able to sell it for that much, but either way, i am now the proud owner of an awesome WORKING sewing machine :)

i also found a  fellow former art student having a yard sale, and got some pretty cool art history books, and a tripod for FREE. not quite as exciting as the sewing machine though.

hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! i'm not sure if i'm quite ready for it to be monday yet :)

p.s. i'm not completely satisfied with the title, "Hidden Gems," maybe a little too cliche... anyone have any more clever ideas?

[ On My Heart ]

Friday, July 15, 2011

i am exhausted. i do not know why.  i am usually so excited for the weekend on fridays, that i can at least temporarily fight off any tiredness. but today for some reason my mind is a pile of mush and i know that if i shut my eyes this instant i could easily doze off for an hour or two.  moms and teachers... you guys are my heros.  these kids have worn me out.

i've started to write this post about 5 times... each time hitting a wall, unsure of what i want to say.  so instead, i have just given up on the words, and have decided to share just a few snapshots of my week...

i've been obsessed with the sky lately... its where i am most in awe and feel so in touch with God's work.  so much so, that i'm currently working on a series of plein-air inspired "atmosphere" paintings. i have made sure to keep my camera near by... which means many sudden stops along the side of the road :)

maybe/hopefully tomorrow i will have something much more enlightening and brilliant to say :)

any secrets for staying motivated/energetic?? i'm all ears.  
 (i'm chugging a coffee as i type this... my 3rd one today)

happy friday!

[ Inspiration Workshop ] Sunshine

Thursday, July 14, 2011

sometimes my tasks as an intern are not always the most glamorous... today I was asked to fill a trash bag full of Gumballs (from Sweet Gum trees) for an art project.  while, it wasn't the most exciting day ever, i continued to try to find the beauty in being outside. and after a week of heat advisories in the mid-90's, today's breeze, low humidity, and high of 85 was amazing.

i am so thankful for today's weather and the beauty i am surrounded by everyday.  it helps to bring my camera along for the ride, and encourages me to never let the serenity and the sunshine be overlooked.

keep finding the beauty in the little things, in the sunshine...

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

[ What I Wore ] to Art Camp

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It's been tough trying to find a sensible outfit to wear to work... we are asked to "dress for mess", but lately I've been getting a little tired of just t-shirt and jeans, so decided to mix it up a bit.  i LOVE blazers, and feel instantly more put together when i wear one.  only downfall is that its about 95 degrees outside today :)

today, this is what i picked:

What I Wore:
Blazer: American Eagle
Shirt: Madewell
Shorts: Madewell
Shoes: Marshalls 
( for 8 bucks!! PERFECT  "dress for mess" shoes for camp!)

Plein-Air [ Painting ]

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

{so i apologize, i have been REALLY slacking with blog posts... i wrote this last friday for my blog, and Casey Wiegand's A Little Artsy blog, and thought I posted it here , but apparently i hadn't... so here it is :) }

last night i set out on my very first, real, plein-air experience.  i feel ashamed to admit it, but even in art school for landscape projects, i would cheat (just a little) and paint from photographs in the comforts of my nice temperature controlled dorm room.  this time i was determined to do it right.

my bf and i packed up our truck with the essentials (picnic basket filled with brushes, (oil) paint, palette, palette knife, and a rag & my easel) and drove the 1/2 mile (yes, we are lazy) down to the river.

My Palette ( i just use an upside down glass cutting board): no black, and a whole lotta white. I'm a big fan of whites and grays, and mixing my own black if i ever need it. i think store bought black is way too artificial and overpowering in most of my work.
with my portrait work i love working in thin, delicate glazes, but for this night i went sans any paint thinner, or linseed oil, and instead just brought a ton of brushes so i could just use a different one for each color family and not have to clean them.

things i learned about painting outdoors (in no particular order):

1.  don't paint at dusk, just after it has rained (killer bugs)...

2. ... but if you do, DON'T run out of bug spray....

3. ... but if you do, a wet canvas catches gnats and mosquitoes remarkably well ( you can probably see a few stuck in the pic above). if bugs do get stuck on your paint, don't bother trying to remove them while the paint is still wet. it's much easier to just brush/sand them off once the paint has hardened.

4. i found it really hard to paint looking directly at the sun (it hurts my eyes, and since i was painting at sunset, the sun moved too quickly for me to capture it exactly the way wanted too) so midway through i decided to focus just on the sky, and eliminate the sun in my image altogether.

5. if you're painting at sunset or sunrise (or being attacked by bugs), be prepared to work very quickly, and stay flexible with your desired goal.

6. i was taught this is school, but always forget... to add white last... white and i have a love/hate relationship. mostly love. but i did get frustrated when my colors got just a little too muted and muddied by white.  and find that i am most satisfied and end up with the purest and radiant color when i lay down transparent hues first, and then opaques (white)

7.  work smaller... i used an 11 x 14 canvas and think for about an hour's work, it was the perfect size.  i felt a little rushed, but it was do-able.  i think any larger, working so quickly, could have been a frantic disaster.

if i was to become a serious plein-air painter, i think i would probably invest in heavy duty citronella tiki torches, and a nice umbrella or tent to shield the sun.  i would love to spend an entire day at the beach, doing a one painting an hour.  hmm... ideas, ideas.

does anyone else have experience painting plein-air, any tips to make the transition from studio to outdoors any easier?  

its been a REALLY long time since i've tried painting landscapes... especially in just an hour. but for my first one in a few years i'm pretty pleased, and it was suprisingly refreshing to mix up my typical studio practice. try it soon!

i'm planning on doing a series of clouds.atmosphere.skyscapes. focusing on color (or lack there of, and whites), stay tuned!

Photo Shoot [ Fun ]

Thursday, July 7, 2011

my amazing.beautfiul.freespirited.talented. friend, kathleen, and i had been talking for months about her photographing me, and in exchange, me painting a portrait of her.  it more recently occurred to me that those images could potentially be my new branding for Amaryllis Truth... and thats when my ideas ran wild.

last night as i was returning from painting down at the water, i got a call from this beautiful spirit, kathleen, frantic.  "allie, can you be dressed and ready to go in 10 minutes?! i'm on the way, we can't miss this light!!" so, off i went in a whirlwind to find my favorite dress, and find the most perfect place at the farm we live on to shoot.  fortunately, you can't tell in the photos that i'm covered in paint, with not a stitch of make-up on, nor a piece of hair curled.

but nevertheless, the images are AMAZING.  and are exactly what i have always wanted for Amaryllis Truth.  i'm only posting a little sneak peak and a few bloopers.  she's going to edit our favorites before i use them for my official banner and buttons.

let me know what you think!

isn't kathleen incredible! she's working on her website, so in the meantime if you would like to contact her for any work you can e-mail me for her info.  she is based in the annapolis, md area.

i love evenings that you think will be a boring movie and leftover pizza nights, that turn into such magical experiences.  hope everyone's week flew by as fast as mine did!

going home this weekend for a crab feast. YUM!

About [ Amaryllis Truth ]

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

over the year, this blog has most certainly evolved, taking many different shapes. 

today, it's come full circle as I use it for a place to share my work, inspiration, and deepest passion.

The name, Amaryllis Truth, for my studio and blog, was inspired by two very special people in my life:

Amaryllis Truth

Mary, my dear mom, who has alway been so incredibly supportive and encouraging, even after I told her I wanted to major in Art :) And a beautiful little girl named Ruth.  I met Ruth and her little brother, Bless, in Ghana during the summer of 2010, when my best friend and I spent a month volunteering in an orphanage.  She stole my heart like I never expected, and while I may never get the chance to see her again, this blog is my little tribute to her.

&& i appreciate every single follower and comment, so if you are new to AT feel free to leave a little piece of you behind :)

meet allie

i'm the person behind the blog, and a recent graduate from St. Mary's College of MD, with a degree in Art and Art History. I've spent this past year doing a whole 'lotta soul-searching and growing enough courage and clarity to find and follow my passion.  I'm an oil painter.

after graduation, i moved in with my boyfriend into an adorable little loft apartment in a converted sheep barn on the river.  we've been together for 5 years, and have known each other since second grade. our life these past few months has been pretty stinking adorable, i have to admit... living the romantic dream of being a starving artist and aspiring organic farmer, on an amazing piece of land with our child puppy, Lena.

i LOVE living in a place that amazes me and inspires me every single day.


Amaryllis Truth Studio will be my full-time career one day, i am just sure of it.  in the meantime i am continuing to learn so much about myself as an artist and person, and slowly (but, surely) create my dream job.

Thank you all so much for coming along for the ride!

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