Thursday, November 15, 2018

“Start Your Art”... and a give-away!

My friend Lyric Kinard has a new product out called Start Your Art: 48 Warm Up Exercises to Jumpstart Your Art. It’s a beautiful pack of cards with fun exercises designed to get your creativity revved up. You can choose a card and do the exercise yourself, or you can do it with a friend, or a big group. 

Lyric encourages us to “make bad art” (by that, she means art thrown together quickly, without the pressure of perfection, that is about “exploring, playing and learning.” ) The directions include suggestions on playing with a group, and on your own. 

I chose this card, “Click and Cut” because I love to take photos, and I love texture and pattern. But I really don’t love black and white, and I don’t love collage. (I’m more about bright, saturated color, precision and things that are tedious and take a very long time to do.) So I figured this would take me out of my comfort zone. 

I started by taking digital photos (on my iPhone) of things around my house that had a lot of texture or pattern. It was raining, so I didn't go outside, except for the cabbage/kale photo. Here are just a few of them:

Basket made from electrical wire from South Africa
Birch bark trash basket
Decorative cabbage/kale 
Plastic lobster
Decorative balls made from paper
Sea urchin

I pulled them all into my computer, then into Photoshop, and converted them to black and white, and changed the brightness and contrast to make them more interesting. In some cases, I zoomed in on parts of the photos to change the scale. Then I printed them out and started cutting. My idea was to make a piece with a beetle theme. 

I forced myself to cut pieces freehand, with out a pattern, and to work quickly. 

I mixed up some Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue with a bit of water, and brushed the pieces down onto white paper with this glue mixture. 

Here’s my final composition. I was surprised that it came out as well as it did! 

Here’s what I learned:

1. It’s fun, and healthy, to try something new.
2. Stepping out of your comfort zone doesn't have to be painful. 
3. Using a different technique can inform your primary technique, helping you to think about things in a slightly different way. 
4. I still love color. I’m going to try adding color on top, either with transparent water color, or with tissue paper, or colored pencils. 
5. I still love my primary medium (fabric). The whole time I was doing this, I kept thinking, “Oh, I wish these pieces were fabric!” It would be fun to take this to the next level, and do it in fabric while attempting to replicate the look of this collaged piece. 

You can get your own pack of Start Your Art cards here: 

Why not give this Start Your Art exercise a try? If you do, please share your results on this Facebook page:

Here’s a chance to win Start Your Art for yourself and for an art teacher! Lyric is donating a digital deck to the winner, and physical pack of cards to the art teacher of your choice. How cool is that? Leave a comment on this post and tell me why you’d like to win. Please note that all comments are moderated to filter out spam and links to porn and other unpleasantness, so they won’t show up right away. I'll pull one name at random on Nov. 22 (after I finish baking my pies for Thanksgiving). Make sure you include a way to get in touch, or that you check back on Nov. 23 to see if you’ve won! 

UPDATE: We have a winner! Ma Rhoby has won a pack of cards and a pack for the art teacher of her choice. 


  1. It's a long winter and with "Start Your Art" cards just maybe I can avoid my mid winter doldrums. Thanks for the chance to win.

  2. I am trying to pickup the pieces of my life and start over. My longarm is in storage but not forgotten. I could use some inspiration so I can create like mad when I get studio space agai. I do volunteer for the local elementary school art teacher. She would love to have new project ideas. Thanks for considering us.

    1. You won the cards, ma rhoby! Please e-mail me at susan@bluemoonriver and give me your e-mail and street address. I'll pass it on to Lyric, and she'll send you the cards.

  3. I'd love to win this to use with my art quilters bee! I just ordered a deck as a Christmas gift for one of our granddaughters. If I win a deck as well, it will go to the art teacher at another granddaughter's elementary school (that granddaughter wants to be an artist, too).

  4. Thanks for the great giveaway. This would be wonderful to get me out of my creative rut! Happy Thanksgiving

  5. I've always thought of gathering some art folk in my small, isolated community for support and encouragement. This would be a wonderful tool to kick start that plan!

  6. No formal art classes, life long learner, I could use some new prompts! Thanks

  7. They would be a great idea for my art group to step outside comfort zones and have some different creative fun.

  8. I love what you did with the exercise. That in itself was inspiring! Congratulations to Lyric on putting together a great idea! The first thing I thought of was our information art quilting group "NGG" (no good girls or non-group group). We love to get together and spend the day playing. These cards would be great for that!

  9. Forgot to leave contact info:!

  10. Two friends and I began a tiny little art quilt group of 3. We began using Deborah Borchert's book on design and we've just about finished up with our 8 design projects. I would love to have the cards to keep us going and give us more design ideas.

  11. Start Your Art prompts would be fun to incorporate into a guild challenge!

  12. I would love the cards to push me outside of my box!!

  13. These cards would be great to use when you just don't know what to do next or need a palate cleanser between projects for a fast finish. The art teacher of my choice would be our guild library so the members can benefit by its use.

  14. My favorite ... art teacher was my mom... into everything and did it all well. Me not so much, but I try!!!


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