More Colorful Art Bookmarks and Inspiring Things

I did a blog post about my colorful, whimsical art bookmarks back in November but I’ve made a few more so I thought I would share them with you.

My bookmarks are printed by me on a heavy fine art paper card stock and coated with 2 coats of satin acrylic varnish which protects it, brings out the vivid color and gives it a smooth finish! You can buy them at the Tumalo Art Co. in Bend, Oregon and at my Etsy Shop online.

A new one is my raven bookmark. I wanted to make one that was more masculine compared to my others. These images were taken from 3 of my raven paintings. The top image is titled “Basking in Moonlight”, middle one is titled “Two Ravens Protecting the Moon” and the bottom image is taken from my painting titled “Two Ravens Sit and Reflect III”.

Raven Bookmarks
Raven Bookmarks

Then I made a bookmark with my whimsical birds. I used three of my favorites. Top image is titled “One Lived in an Enchanted Garden”, middle is “Singing a Fiesta Song” and the bottom image is “Shimmer and Shine”. It is more pastel in color and feels lighter visually than the others.

Whimsical Bird Bookmark
Whimsical Bird Bookmark

Then I have another “Dream Garden” bookmark and I think it is my favorite of all.

Dream Garden Bookmark
Dream Garden Bookmark

On this one I’ve used images titled “Flying Toward a Slice of THe Night”, middle image is “Meditation Garden” and the bottom one comes from my painting titled “Namaste”. All three images are calming to me and just make me feel happy when I look at them.

L. Gruger Bookmarks
L. Gruger Bookmarks

I really love my bookmarks. I might have already done a blog post about this but I just wanted to share some more photos of them.

Bookmarks on my fridge
Bookmarks on my fridge

I’ve always been one to have inspiring things surrounding me. I think it started when my folks put up a huge cork board in my bedroom on one wall when I was a kid so I could tack up my drawings and things that I found that I liked to look at. I just like to have inspiring things around me. It sparks something inside…it taps into creativity that is waiting to soar!

My art studio is surrounded with things that I like and I have my bookmarks hanging about, taped here and there. I like things that dangle and make tinkly music or reflect light or if they do both, that’s even better!

bookmarkwindow

I have fun things on my window sill, like my Gnome “Oleg”.

The Knome "Oleg"
The Gnome "Oleg"

And the magnetic words that I can play with inspire me.

Magnetic words in my art studio.
Magnetic words in my art studio.

What 3 things do you have sitting about that inspire you?

Part 3: One Artist’s Journey – 20-30 yrs old

This continues my 5 part series about my path as an artist. Part 3 is between the years 1979-1989.

In 1981, I graduated from college with a Bachelors in Fine Art from Washington State University. There was a professor in college who sat me down and made me decide if I wanted to take the academic Fine Art route or go the way of Commercial Art.

Me at 21.
Me at 21.

Thinking I needed a way to make a living, I chose the Graphic Design curriculum. So I had a lot of different basic art classes in college such as drawing, painting, printmaking, art history, photography and I had an emphasis in graphic design, so I mainly studied design and layout and advertising. I decided I could do my Fine Art on the side.

My 20’s were about moving out on my own, starting my career in the graphic arts and having fun. I was a bit of a hippie child, we called it being a granola head. I liked earthy stuff…art, music, being outdoors, hiking, camping, road tripping.

I was doing more graphics work in my personal time then fine art projects. I designed my dad’s wine label for his wine making and did the graphics for my mom’s political campaigns. I was working as a graphic production artist to support myself. My first full-time job out of college was as a paste-up artist (production artist) for a weekly newspaper in Seattle. After a couple of years doing that, I freelanced on my own and then wanting to build up my portfolio, I got a job for McCann-Erickson advertising agency as a production artist and soon after moved into the position of Production Art Manager. All along the way, I was doing my fine art and making paintings!

I enjoyed being a production artist because I got to use my hands to make stuff. Cutting and pasting and using an exacto blade to paste up ads, brochures, posters, mock-up packaging, you name it! I learned typesetting and the printing industry. I liked that I could leave my job at the office and spend my free time making art if I wanted to.

I experimented with different mediums. In 1987-88, I was experimenting with pastels. I remember doing some colorful interior scenes with furniture, sofas and chairs. But I didn’t like them much.

interior

My journal says, “I didn’t like them at all… I cut them up in strips. I wove them. I made patterns from them. It was all experimental for me…as most of my art is…one idea feeding off another…then I dabbled in art furniture.”

pastel1pastel2

My art furniture was painted with acrylic and I collaged pieces of paper with oil pastel colored on it. Then I would coat the entire piece with a varnish which would protect and seal it.

funiturestoolI liked the furniture and sold a number of pieces. I made multiple stools and I have one today in my art studio. I painted lots of different items, from mirrors, coat racks, chairs, lamps, to rocking horses but then I was onto something else.

It was during this time that I had a fondness for anything with a Southwest flavor. I started painting big acrylic cactus paintings which I did till about 1991.

I’ll show you the cactus paintings and my acrylic “What’s it all about” collage painting series in Part 4 of the One Artist’s Journey posts next Thursday.

If you’re interested in functional art furniture, I found a few links of some artists doing exactly that.

Hand painted furniture and other artistic creations by Reincarnations>

LaLoba Designs has some decorative handpainted furniture with a rustic southwest look>

Suzanne Fitch makes beautiful hand painted furniture>

Here’s some fun, funky art furniture I found>

An Etsy artist, Artwork by Jo has some unique things>

The Funky Art Guy has an Etsy Shop that has really fun colorful, whimsical pieces of art furniture>

Or this blog on two partners taking furniture and making it into functional pieces of art >

Enjoy!

Save

Art Fabric and more on making stuff!

Here’s some more info on making stuff. I discovered this Web site on making art fabric on-demand. http://www.spoonflower.com/welcome Wouldn’t this be fun to design your own fabric for curtains or pillows! If you have a design and use their service, I’d love to hear about it! Here’s a company that has used them http://www.ninetomatoes.com/ and here’s another fun Web site on making stuff. http://www.craftstylish.com/