Friday, December 30, 2011

Hodge Podge

Did you read the post over at the "Sketchbook Challenge" blog about the scrap bag that I made from Mulit-Purpose Cloth?
It's a great way to use those teeny tiny scraps that you save (and you know that you do) and then wonder what the heck you're going to do with them! And it's easy-peasy too!

I am really loving the MPC from Roc-Ion

It's so easy to stitch on, you can draw or paint on it just like paper and/or canvas and there are NO raveling edges! None!

I'm already working on a book cover using it so watch for a tutorial on that soon.

Right now I'm putting the finishing touches on another book for the "Art Camp For Women" retreat this June in Colorado.
I'm using my own rusted fabric/fibers on this one and adding a really cool embellishment on the cover.
I've also been introduced to a new type of paper to use in bookmaking (thanks Denise!).
I'm not going to stop using my fav (Wausau Exact Vellum Bristol) but this new stuff is SO easy to put into a book.
I'll let you know more about it as I do a little more experimenting, okay?

I'm hoping that all of you are having a peaceful holiday season.
We have a new year coming up, it would be a good time to reevaluate your goals and dreams.

I plan on thinking about those things too. 
I'm also thinking about where I want to go in the coming year - not in a physical sense but "where is my life going" sense.
I'm feeling a little unsettled - like I'm missing something or not doing something that I'm supposed to be doing.

Do any of you ever feel that way?

It seems that things were so much more simple when my son was young.
My focus was so clear then. But it was also on him. 
Now it's time to think about what I want...really focus on where I want to go/what I want to do with the time that I have left on this earth.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

I'm going to be off line for a few days but wanted to take the time to wish everyone a happy holiday season.
Remember those less fortunate than you, those that feel additional pressure this time of year and your elderly neighbors that may not have family or friends close.

I will have a project post on the Sketchbook Challenge blog the 26th. Be sure to check it out.

Thank all of you that read my blog.
Your comments and emails really make my day. I'd love to hear more from you in the coming year.
I'm thinking of changing up the blog a little after I add an honest-to-goodness web site in the new year.

Any ideas, suggestions or requests?
Drop me an email or leave a comment!

Here is a peek at what I've been working on for the Art Camp For Women project...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gallery Representation

I am so excited to share some really great news!

My work has been picked up by one of the local art galleries!
(insert cheering crowd)

Christopher Park Gallery is THE most funky, eclectic and fun gallery in Greenville SC.
Every corner is filled with interesting works of art, handmade bags, jewelry, gift items, life size art, Outsider Art, pottery and much more.

Now you can see my work there too!
I have wall art, handmade journals/books and prints/cards available right now.

Check out this link for an online shop or drive down to the Historic West End in Greenville SC at
608A South Main Street.

Here is their Facebook page. Go and "Like" them, tell them that Carol Sloan sent you.

Betty Bercowski, the owner, also runs the coffee/sandwich shop next door (Rainer's). The drinks are awesome and the food is yummy.

This is a fantastic place to shop for original artwork that doesn't require a bank loan to purchase. Betty does a great job representing local artists as well as a few out of towners.
And the gallery is chock full of truly interesting items!

Here's a peek at one of the pieces that now hangs at Christopher Park Gallery.
It's a stretched canvas with layers and layers of collage and paint.
Purchase it here.

Happy First Day of Winter to all of you!
Happy Holidays too!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

KC Takes A Bath

I usually don't post personal stuff on my blog but this is just too darn cute to keep to myself!

Remember KC the kitty cat from this post? Well, he's still here (imagine that?!) and fitting right in with the neighborhood.
He has become a bit of a "Six Dinner Sid" - you know, going from house to house pretending that he hasn't been petting...just a poor, neglected kitty.

Well, he can't say that anymore!
He was acquiring a bit of a, umm, personal perfume - not to mention those dirty ears and feet.

My gracious (and brave) step daughter offered to bathe him.
She has a Himalayan at home that she  regularly bathes so this task was nothing to her.

I'm going to post a series of photos that need to be looked at in the order they are in for the maximum belly laugh.

Here is KC, getting his first sink bath...

I can see a little trepidation in his eyes..."Hey, I thought that Emmy was just going to carry me around the house like you guys do."

I hope that this brightens your day!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sketchbook page

Here's a scan of one of the sketches that I drew in my handmade sketchbook this week.
Too bad I lost interest in it before I finished it...

Friday, December 2, 2011

New Work and Old Homes

I've been in the studio this week, painting away the day.
And I am paying for it too!
I have my large work table on risers because I like to stand while I work.
After two days of painting (for at least 10 hours a day), my legs and back have had enough. Even if I wanted to paint more, I just can't.

So I'm turning my attention to paperwork.

Here's a peek at one new piece.
And yes, it's that cute kitty cat again!

And I have to get back to this also.
I have the sample book pages completed but I am having to go back and re-figure my cover idea.
It was one of those "Hey, this would look good!" ideas that I failed to fully think (or work) through.
Needless to say, it didn't.
Work out, that is.

If things go as they usually do, the next idea will be even better!
Most of my (really good) work happens that way - I screw one thing up and while I am trying to figure out a different way, I hit on a really cool idea...
And that is the truth of the matter.
That is why you should keep on going with an idea or a project when you hit a roadblock (or screw it up). If you do, you will eventually work things out or come up with an even better idea!
(I would put my hands in the air and say "ta da!" here but you can do what you want to)

Now - on to other things...
This evening I'll be joining a few other local artists at the beautiful Greenville Women's Club in Greenville SC.
We're having a holiday art fair and show from 6:00-9:00pm.
I think that they will be serving wine, finger foods and providing music.
The house is just breath taking and especially so with the addition of the Christmas decorations.

Here's a peek of the home that is now the Women's Club.

This is the historic Beattie House.

Join me and other local artists tonight for an art filled evening!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thank You!

I participated in an art fair on Saturday at "Spill The Beans" in Greenville SC.
There were about 18 (or so) local artists there also, showing everything from sculpture, paintings, fiber art, jewelry to Starbucks gift card lamp shades (which were so cool!).
We had a great crowd there...and it was right there inside the coffee/ice cream/frozen yogurt shop!!

Did you know that you can order a freshly baked waffle cone dipped in (dark) chocolate without the ice cream?

I didn't (until Saturday) but it's a great answer to the "I really, really want one of those cones with chocolate but the ice cream is too much of a mess while I am selling my artwork" dilemma...
A yummy answer in fact.

I was so excited to sell a few things, including one of my new Little Books (thank you Denise!).
I am always so thrilled when collectors love my artwork as much as I do.

I create work from my heart ( & my head) based on things that inspire me.
There are some days that everything inspires me...
some days, nothing does.
But most of the time I have a ton of ideas - some good, some not so good.

Today I will complete up one painting that is on my table (a dog), put the finishing touches on five paintings that I did earlier in the week and think about fleshing out the two canvases that I started yesterday.

I really, really have to update my resume (that means write one), take a look at my artist statement (it needs changing for a different venue) and decide if I want to use my same ole bio...

The grunt work, that is.

The stuff I run from.

Maybe I'll clean out the fridge instead...

Friday, November 25, 2011


I thought that I'd show you the last (or latest) imaginary animal that came out of my sketchbook.
This is a "Giraffasaurus" - a friendly and curious vegetarian.

He is also part of the paperback book line that will be shown to the public this holiday season at "Spill The Beans" in Greenville SC on November 26.
Come by and meet me and many other artists that will be showing (and selling) their wares.
I've got a few other curious animals waiting anxiously for a new home...

Monday, November 21, 2011


From the moment that my pen touched the paper for this month's theme,
I have been so inspired to keep drawing!

I've done six drawings and made (so far) four books using these drawings.

Here is the latest -
called a "Catasaurus"

I've made a small paperback book using this watercolor painting.
I am participating in an artists holiday fair (type thing) in Greenville SC on Nov. 26 at "Spill The Beans" where I will be selling (and showing) these cute books and many other handmade items.
If you're in the area, come by and see me!

Friday, November 18, 2011

KC the kitty cat

We have a new visitor at the Sloan house.
A little kitty cat (hence the KC) that is slowly stealing our hearts...

They can do that, can't they?

Here he is sitting on top of a stump that was a part of the Bradford Pear tree in our yard.
He was busy grooming himself when I took a series of photos of him.

Now, even though I like realistic drawn cats, I'm not to fond of actually drawing them myself.
So I decided to take Carla's theme and draw what my imagination sees of this handsome kitty.

Here's what I came up with.

 I drew this one in a split second on a scrap of watercolor paper. I really liked the goofy look on his face so I had to draw another one on a larger piece of paper.
And add a little sky behind him.
I'm thinking that these would make the cutest cards and book covers, eh?

He doesn't really wear pink claw polish, I just wanted to add that...
His butt really is that little though...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Door Knockers

On a recent trip to Charleston, I spent some time looking around at the beautiful and ornate door knockers.
I'm always amazed at the decorative touches that people put on their homes in the city.
You will find rich and tasteful (as well as gaudy and flashy) ornamentation in the smallest of places here.

I took the time to sketch out a door knocker at 1 Legare Street.
I used a photograph for reference later as I added a little bit of watercolor to the sketch.

Have you stretched your creative muscles today?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Art Camp For Women

Boy, do I have some great news!

I am so excited to announce that I will be teaching a bookmaking workshop at "Art Camp For Women" next year!

"Art Camp For Women" is in their sixth season at Snow Mountain Ranch near beautiful Winter Park Colorado. Click on the link to go to their website and check out the different options that are available to you there.

I was going to say "The best thing about this retreat is..." but I realized that there are several "best things about this retreat". I'll just say that one of the things that I LOVE about this retreat is that all the art supplies are provided for you!

Yes. You heard it right ladies.

When you go to ACFW, you don't have to pack ANY art supplies!

Now, just think about that...the last retreat that I went to, I had two cases FULL of art supplies and a carry on for clothes. Then I only used a small portion of what I carried (which is very frustrating) (and confusing in class).

For ACFW, I am designing a completely different (and new) book.
It's all handmade, no sewing machine required.
I've been communicating with Keith Smith (who has written several books on book binding) on appropriate binding stitches for books that will lie completely flat, are beautifully decorative and great for beginners as well as advanced book makers. He has been so helpful to me in this research.

And while I am using a more traditional approach to binding, the cover is another story!
I love to create one of a kind covers for my books. Our completed book will definitely be a one of a kind with some really cool mixed media concoctions thrown in.

I'm still making the class book, but the ACFW web site has a couple of photos up of some sample books that I made showing different binding stitches .

I'll be posting more info as time goes on but right now check out the "Art Camp For Women" web site for the June 4-11, 2012 session.

As I said before, they have a couple of different options for the June session including "The Works" which I found to be the most interesting...

We stay at a vacation home, have chef prepared meals, daily Happy Hour (woo hoo!) and all your art supplies are provided!

I hope that you will consider making your 2012 retreat class with me at Snow Mountain Ranch near Winter Park Colorado.

(the following photos are samples for different binding stitches that I am trying out - not actual retreat projects)

above is a sample of a cover technique that I am working on

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Another Robot

I've painted another Guardian.

I was working in my large Moleskine. The paper is not as heavy as I am used to working on...I must admit that I love the journal size but not the paper (weight). I will have to be more careful when using wet media in it as I scrubbed a small spot to the side of my drawing.

I have two more Guardians drawn but not painted as yet.
I have a car trip coming up so maybe I can work on that and the Sketchbook Challenge November theme.

I hope that everyone is feeling well and enjoying each and every day.
Remember to exercise your creative muscles - that's the only way that they will continue to grow!

Don't forget to set your clocks back an hour!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Background Painting for Book Pages

I'm working on a new project, a book, that needs some snazzy pages.
So - I pulled out a pile of paper, a few bottles of paint, couple of acrylic inks, Distress Ink Pads, stencils, masks and a sponge or two (and later on - paste for paste paper).
My studio table was a horrid mess...

Oh wait...that was actually before I began the papers (I think)...I titled this photo "Dirty Secret" since my table is dirty...but now it is no longer a secret.

This next shot was after I had already layered a couple of stamps and masks on the pages.
I always work on as many pages as I can fit in my work-space. It saves time this way and I can work from one end of the table to the other end. By the time that I finish at one end, the other end is dry and ready for the next layer.
I love painting paper this way - it is so easy to get into the "zone" and work in an intuitive manner. Before you know it, you've got 10 or 15 coordinating pages all ready for your project.
This is one of my most popular classes actually - everyone can do it and there are no mistakes!

I kept layering different colors, stamps and such until I was happy with everything.
Here is a shot of some of the pages that I created that day. I did add some paste to some of the pages. I love the additional texture on the pages! I will continue to play around with making paste paper as I really like the look of it (and it IS a bit addictive, isn't it?)
I think that I may have added another layer of ink before I quit. Then I let them sit for a day or so before I ironed them (between parchment paper).

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Rainbow Row

I've been reading about the history of Charleston SC lately.
I love the book by Diane Hollingworth Gessler called "Very Charleston".

It's a beautifully illustrated book, just full of watercolor paintings by the author.
I couldn't help but paint one of my own based on her interpretation.

It's a quick watercolor with details sketched in with India Ink. My painting is almost identical to the one in the book but it really helped me to do this one before trying another on my was a great way to loosen up and get the perspective right.
I am not (by any means) a watercolor painter so I needed all the help that I could get.
I have a ton of ephemera that I've collected from Charleston and I want to construct my own "Charleston" book so that I can include all my treasures.

Don't forget to check out the new theme on the "Sketchbook Challenge" blog this month!
Carla Sonheim picked this time.
Check it out, play along, win prizes!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Guardian Angels

Everybody needs a guardian angel in their life.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


This cooler weather brings out the adventurer in my husband and me.
We spent a long weekend camping and kayaking down on the Edisto River in lower SC.
I'm guessing that the water was a bit too cold for any alligators (or snakes either ) (thanks goodness)
but we did see lots of shy turtles, slim egrets and a heron or two.

The trees down there are so beautiful...those tall, wide cypress trees.
The base of some of them were wider than our kayak (and we paddle a tandem that is about 18 ft long).
This one was about 10-12 ft wide at the widest area of it. Wide and flat at the base.

I love the way that the reflection of the tree is swirling in the water.
The entire river reflects the shore in some can fool you if you let it.
Look at this shot. I originally took this photo because I was interested in the lower water level.
You can see how low the water level was by the marks on the trees.
After I got home, I noticed that the beautiful reflection.

And the occasional traffic sign.
You know...just in case you didn't know the correct place to stop at...

We couldn't figure out...well, we just couldn't figure it out...

But what we do know is this - that river is beautiful. 
The sounds she makes, the song she sings.
The animals that call her home.
That black water that swirls along her banks.
 Just beautiful.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Paper Crazy (or maybe just Plain Crazy)

Yesterday a good friend and I got together and played with paint, glue, dye and paper.
Sounds fun, right?

It was!

We spent all day mixing, concocting colors, adding mediums, and spreading the final product onto a variety of different papers.

It all began as an experiment into paste papers and kinda evolved into a mix of  that and my typical approach to everything art related.


Thank goodness that Nancy was there to reign me in a little bit.
I love the possibility of what this process could add to the way that I create Artist Papers.
Another approach to layering color and texture.
Embedding your own personal mark making into each piece.

The process is a fantastic way to investigate your personal marks and symbols.
A lot of people don't even realize their mark vocabulary...
by making these types of painted papers, this vocabulary will inevitably make itself known to you.
(actually, that should be the description for the "Painted Backgrounds" class)

So, grab a friend, some art supplies, your best creative spirit and have at it!
Or - take a class.

Be brave!

Here are a few shots of what we did...keep in mind that, for me, this is only the beginnings of the painted papers.
I plan on adding more, more, MORE!

 I was surprised to see tiny bubbles in the paint on this piece of paper where I screened an image with too much paint. I kinda like the look of it though. Try clicking on it to see it close up.
This is the forth layer of dye or paint on this particular paper.
An initial splat or two of dye, paste with paint, more dye added, stamp with the gold acrylic paint and then the Thermofax screen...
Oops, that's five layers, isn't it?

Now some of these aren't true "paste papers" at all...
Some of them have been colored with dyes before (or after) adding varying amounts of the paste paper concoction.
Then there are still others that were stamped with a hand carved poppy stamp after I got home...
oh, then I added a Thermofax screen image to one or two before I collapsed into a heap of tiredbutveryhappy
on my couch...

Oh so tired but thrilled to add yet one more tool to my artist belt.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What's On Your Table?

Nothin' like a fresh new paintbrush and mark making tool!