Friday, December 20, 2013

5 pages of LOVE

I had the wonderful opportunity to display some of my artwork at Cedar Roe Library in Roeland Park, Kansas during the months of October and November. I tell you what, people were so thoughtful for leaving comments and other feedback on my art exhibit!! I was beyond ecstatic when I got to read what visitors wrote.

WOW! 5 pages of compliments!

Here are a few comments:

"Beautiful work, vibrant color. Love the urban feel and the illustration."

"I Love it! So street looking. I would love to see this on big buildings!!!

"What a gift! Beautiful fluid lines! My fave is the peacock- keep producing, keep showing!"

"Really like the flow of your pieces!"

"Very heartful and dazzling. Thoughtful and powerful!!!!"

"¡Me gusto la exhibicion! El artista es muy talentoso!" (Translated:: "I like the exhibition! The artist is very talented!")

"Very beautiful! I wish I could afford to buy the whole collection! (Or even one)" :)

"These are so great- We love 'Masquerade' and 'Lyrical Dawn'"

Here's what my display looked like: 

 I'm deeply humbled at the public's response to my artwork. This feeling never gets old- every one of my art exhibit experiences has a profound impact on me and the way I present my work for the public. I want to THANK every single person who stopped to view and leave comments for me! I will cherish your words forever ;)

After reading these comments, I felt a message dwelling inside that, I believe, is worth speaking about. Please take a few minutes of your time to leave a positive message for someone. You never know what they may be going through. Most importantly, YOU may be the one person they've come across who shows true compassion and / or generosity, that day. Your words can and will make a positive impact on someone's life. Don't just think about it- DO IT!

Enjoy the holiday and keep letting that light of yours shine, my friend!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Nelson Mandela :: A Life of Inspiration: Chains cast

Nelson Mandela :: A Life of Inspiration day 2
Nelson Mandela Monument Artist Marco Cianfanell; photo credit: Johnathan Burton
 "To be free 
is not merely to 
cast off one's chains 
but to enhance 
the freedom of others." 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Nelson Mandela :: A Life of Inspiration: Success

Nelson Mandela :: A Life of Inspiration day 1
Photograph credit: Festival Karsh Ottawa

"Everyone can rise above 
their circumstances and 
achieve success
 if they are dedicated to 
and passionate about what they do."

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Day 30/30 + Giveaway winner announced!

30 Illustrations in 30 Days challenge is OVER!

 Can you believe it?!! We've come this far by faith... ;)

THANK YOU to all NEW subscribers and to the participants who entered my second giveaway!
During WEEK 4, days 24-30 were COMBINED INTO ONE PROJECT!
Take a look at the creation and grab some freebies, too! (Look for link to download your freebies at the end of this post.)

Last time you heard from me, I told you that you'd see me create illustrations that would be embedded in my writings- most likely in the form of doodling. Well, I've kept my word! Here's a special message just for you:

Martice Smith II completes 30 day art challenge
Day 30/30....eeekkk! Oh my goodness, can it be the **LAST DAY** already?! Yep, you sho' right ;)

To make this unique project, I doodled in my sketchbook for 3 days until I created the perfect set of collage sheets to use as backgrounds.

day 30/30 collage sheets
Here are a few close-ups of the collage sheets. I just love deckled edges. It gives a nice, organic feel to the page.  

day 30/30 collage sheets detail
Look at all that writing! I wrote inspirational lyrics, phrases, scriptures and bits of love for you on these collage sheets.
day 30/30 banner detail
The pics above show me using a tool called an 'awl'. It's traditionally used for bookmaking. I pierced small holes for the eyelets to fit in. Of course I had to add a little bit of bling bling, too! Tiny rhinestones did the trick. 

Finally, the finished banner in all its glory:
day 30/30 banner



congrats, Rich S! You are the winner

You've won a complimentary artwork from Martice Smith II - Illustration!
Please email me your shipping info as soon as you can, to claim your prize.

Martice Smith II completes her 30 day art challenge!

To grab your freebies, please click here (It will download as a PDF. Please remember to credit me, the artist, when using them for personal use. Enjoy ;)

These freebies won't last for will expire in 30 days so you better get them while you still can!

Love to all my new friends and fans,

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Day 24/30 {WEEK 4/THEME: Gratitude}

Days 24 through 30: WEEK 4 FINALE of my 30 day art challenge. Yesss! :)

I, absolutely, enjoy the pleasure of writing in my art journal! It's liberating to unwind and write with no inhibitions. It's expressing my true, raw emotions and I believe doing this helps keep my artwork authentic, resonating with sound affirmation. 

During WEEK 4, I'll be doing more writing in my journal BUT with a little twist, of course, just to keep things fresh!

You will still get to see me create illustrations but they will be embedded in my writings- most likely in the form of doodling! 

Week 4 will be a project that won't end until Saturday, November 30th, so please come back so that you can see the final result. DAYS 24 through 30 WILL BE COMBINED INTO ONE PROJECT!

{Hint: this project includes my love of creating hand-written letters + textured backgrounds + sewing.}

So, for the time being, feast yo eyes on these SNEAKY PEEKS

Well, that's all I can show you for now, dear friends! I wish that all my U.S. friends have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday (in a few days) and to those of you elsewhere, the same thing: a day full of thanks for all that's good in your life.

Creatively yours,
P.S. There's still time to enter the giveaway to win an artwork from me! Snag your entries via the contest form, below. Keep those fingers crossed ;-)  GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED!  ~updated 11.27.13

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Day 23/30

Day 23/30

 Hello! I hope that you've been chasing down those dreams of yours and prospering from your creativity, this week!

This week, we've been going on several mini-excursions (via the internet). These excursions have been all about traveling and exploring new land and letting go of any negativity within ourselves.
To summarize the concept of this week, I created a small 'destination booklet' that signified my own, personal travel goals. Inside, there will be empty pages where I can journal about this challenge, decorate and use as a small scrapbook for my mini-excursion memories.

DAY 23/30 book of destinations
Cover of booklet
Title: "Book of Destinations"
Media: graphite, pen, white gel pen, watercolors, print out of map, pattern tissue paper on Rives BFK paper
Size: 14 1/2 inches by 7 1/4 inches
© 2013 by Martice Smith II.

DAY 23/30 detail
booklet detail of faux stamp

DAY 23/30 detail
Booklet detail; check out that texture!
Well, that's the END OF WEEK 3!!!! Eeekkk! Just one more week to go ;-)

Creatively yours,

Oh, if you haven't done so already, ENTER MY GIVEAWAY for a complimentary artwork from ME!

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Day 22/30: Oklahoma

Day 22/30

"There is vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost." ~Martha Graham

Title: "Let us go back..."
Media: graphite, oil pastels, organza fabric, mini safety pin, red and black ink, photocopy of vintage photo, image transfer and embroidery floss on watercolor paper
Size: 14 inches by 7 inches
© 2013 by Martice Smith II.
*my maternal grandmother is the one on the far right. Circa 1960, New Year's. Couldn't get her to drink any booze! My mother told me grandma was, most likely, drinking tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. Yum!

 These are a few of the details: embroidery floss, a safety pin attached to a swatch of organza fabric.

Grandma Vivian ALWAYS kept a safety pin on her! This is one of them she used to pin the hem of my dress.

I often think about how life probably was for my Grandma while she was just a child, living on the Indian reservation in Oklahoma. Being as private as she was, she hardly ever spoke about what her life was like there. So, today's mini-excursion will be in Oklahoma; where it all began.

Many times, I'd ask her to tell me a story from her childhood. Her countenance would immediately change- eyes open up, reflecting shimmers of light, those high cheekbones round out and flush with a slight pink color, and her feet starts tapping like she's about to re-enact the entire episode of her memory. She had a voice that would stop you in your tracks, just to listen to her! During the story, grandma would bellow out into unstoppable fits of laughter, talking to me as if I was actually there, witnessing every bit of detail with her. Oh how I wish I could've asked her the questions I have now!

Even though she and her sister (the one in the middle) have made their 'transition into that higher place', where we are all trying to get to, I can still feel the strong touch of her hand, hear her contagious laughter, and the hint of perfume still lingers in her favorite scarf that I have. Ahhh, the memories... :-)

Her sisters were her joy; that's one reason why I chose this picture. I only have a handful of photographs of my Grandma and I cherish each one with my whole heart. I'm so thankful that my Mama passed the photos that she had of her, down to me and my brother. I am blessed to know, at least something, of my heritage and history, on my mother's side. I'm so glad to share these moments I shared with my maternal grandma with you. Thank you so much for reading!

Peace and love, my friends,

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Day 21/30: The Orient

Day 21/30

I will be extending WEEK 3 until Saturday, Nov. 23rd. I've been so busy, juggling other business such as getting ready for my art show in Lee's Summit, Missouri, prepping artwork to ship out before the holiday schedule gets too hectic AND taking commissions for new projects! WHEW! Just typing all of that got me a little exhausted..just kidding!

Because I've been getting in my studio later and later in the day, it's prevented me from showing you the illustrations during a timely manner. I've only been able to work on them in short bursts of time (10 minutes, max) before I head off to do another task.

PLEASE, don't panic! I'll be uploading the missing illustrations from DAYS 17, 18, 20 and 22 tomorrow!

Today's illustration was inspired by the beautiful, ornate decorations of the Oriental style. I've always loved this style and many people who have seen my work, often tell me how much of an Asian influence is present. It's not something I set out to do when I'm creating, yet, it somehow, transcends through it! I really don't mind that at all because I believe that it's a spirit of oneness with who I am and one who seeks peace and healing through meditation.

So, I felt the need to create something that evoked that same concept.

Here are a couple of progress pics:

It's barely noticeable from the pic, but the sides were beginning to curl upwards. I had to stop working for a few hours to press it flat, under a stack of art history books! (Those are the heaviest books I own and I often use them for dual purposes: to research AND to use as a press!) 

I often apply the "Wabi-Sabi" philosophy, which loosely interprets as embracing imperfections and celebrating happy accidents.

The photos below are detail shots of the finished card. You can see through the cut-out areas and there are two separate layers that are raised, away from the background.

detail of plant grid, behind bonsai tree

Here's the finished card!

Do you like making handmade gifts for your friends and family? If so, what kind of occasion do you like to celebrate with a unique card?

Peace and love,

**side note**: I will be EXTENDING MY GIVEAWAY until Wednesday, Nov. 27th! Don't wait to get your free entries...get them in now!

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I have decided to have another giveaway during my 30 day art challenge! Woohoo!!! I hope you take the time to enter, if you haven't already done so. Super thank you to those who already took advantage of the early notice via my free, mixed-media newsletter.

Go ahead and snag your entries for a chance to win! If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to ask me.

Day 20/30: London

take a closer look, with these detail shots...

I like to simplify things with a nice, fluid contour line drawing. It really helps train the eye to see the major shapes that make up the overall object. No over-complicating, here! Just go with the flow...and NO erasing!

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Day 19/30: Morocco

Hello friends! 
My muse is back! I'm so happy to be working in the studio like I want and need to. Even though I've had a little dry-spell these past two days, I've used it to my advantage.

Sometimes, it's best to get up and do something totally different than what you're doing in order for the inspiration/motivation to flow again. So that's what I did...

I've always been mesmerized by geometric patterns. The undulating shapes, bold and vibrant colors, rich and ancient history, all packed into the overall designs. What a visual feast! 

The inspiration for today's project is from Moroccan culture.  I decided to create my own wall-art decor from a couple of small canvases and some luscious paint I picked up from my local hardware store. (Acrylic paint would definitely work, as well! Just trying something different, here.)

Day 19/30
Martice Smith II DAY 19/30_Morocco

Martice Smith II DAY 19/30_Morocco

First, I created my own designs, based off Moroccan home, interior decor and architecture. (Simple and large shapes seem to work best for me. No need to over-complicate it!)
Then, I painted the canvases in bright colors, and finally, I transferred each design to my canvases and added more paint. 

I started out making stencils of each design but, later on, I decided not to use them. I wanted these paintings to reflect movement and the aesthetic of the handmade to be obvious. I'm OK with imperfections- it's the imperfections that make this project uniquely mine.

See ya later ;)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Day 18/30 Slow progression...

Day 18/30

Hello everyone! I hope you all are having a great Monday. As for me, it's 'just one of dem days'. You know, the time when you see yourself running around and around with that never ending to-do list. Cross one thing off, two more things take its place! Good grief -_- .

I'm writing to you to let you know that this 30 day art challenge has been going great and YES, some days are more difficult for me to get in the studio. Today's a perfect example...
I'm still working on the illustrations for DAY 17 & today (DAY 18). What a slow progression but I think it'll be well worth the time I'm putting into finishing them. Well, I'm gonna take a friend of mines advise and tell myself 'All is well; just keep doing one step at a time and before I know it, I'll be finished!'

Here's a sneak peek of what I have, so far: 3 painted canvases and a few sketches, inspired by geometric shapes and patterns. 

Martice Smith II -Illustration

Keep wishing me well! ;-) Thanks and I'll meet you back here, tomorrow for the reveal!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Day 17/30: Brazil

Day 17/30

Today's mini-excursion will be in BRAZIL!! I'm so excited because I've been studying Brazilian Portuguese for nearly 2 years now and I really wish to practice with a native speaker. I have met another artist who has been helping me along the way. Maybe, just maybe, I'll be taking an actual trip there, in the future!

I've always been in awe of Brazil's eclectic mix of culture and friendly personality.  Oh, I would love to witness the annual, 5 day Rio de Janeiro Carnival ('Carnaval' in Portuguese) that will be held next year on February 28th, watch the 2014 Olympic games, walk the Ipanema beach, visit the 'Christ the Redeemer' statue- which is considered the world's largest Art Deco statue IN THE WORLD, standing at a tremendous height of 130 feet!! The list could, easily, go on and on...

So, let's move on to today's project. Today, I was intuitively working- painting, tearing paper left and right, gluing and stitching images together, when a message started to emerge and manifest its reason for being. I will tell you what it was, but see if you can figure it out first.

Title: "Be alive, prosper!"
Media: decorative scrapbook papers, fabric scraps, colored tissue paper, embroidery floss, thread, stencils, hand-written text, rhinestones, modeling paste, acrylic paints and tracing paper on wood panel. 
Size: 5 inches by 4 1/2 inches
© 2013 by Martice Smith II. 

Ahhhh....paper ephemera heaven...LOVE IT! This is my stash of decorative and scrapbook paper. Gotta find the 'right' papers to express the exuberance of Brazil!  
 New color combinations, patterns, and imagery all mixed up in unexpected ways to create sparks of imagination on my wood panel. I like to be messy at time, like with this project. I believe in following my has never led me wrong!
Instead of trying to fit each inch of paper on the rectangular shape of wooden panel, I just let them spill over freely and carefully ran a sharp craft knife to trim each side edge.

See how nice the edges turned out?! Trimming makes a very neat edge that brings contrast to the free-form collage. This pic shows you a step where I used sandpaper to round off the have more control over the sandpaper, I created my own hand-held sandpaper tool by gluing a piece to a spray can top! Clever, clever, yeah I know!

Here's a close up- there are many layers on this panel. Cut-outs, stencils, hand-torn papers, tissue and acrylic paints.

It wasn't until after I finished this project that a message revealed itself to me. It read 'Be alive, PROSPER'. Wow, such profound words for me, right now!!
It will serve as a reminder to keep looking forward, be totally in the moment of creating and boldly make artwork that's authentic to me.

I hope you enjoyed inspiration from Brazil in all its rich, luscious colors and magical culture!
Até amanhã (ah-TAY a-MUN-yah),
"See you tomorrow",
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