Saturday, October 27, 2018

Getting Back Into the Groove

It feels strange...the feel of the keys under my fingers typing this out. I'm out of practice and I feel rusty. It has been about 9 months since I have typed an update on my blog and I guess it is true what they say, especially of languages...if you don't use it you'll lose it. I didn't really abandon my blog on purpose. The flame of writing and posting just slowly dwindled into some hot coals that were barely visible anymore. I was burned out. I didn't feel like I had much to say anymore. It was time to take a self imposed hiatus from my blog.

That doesn't mean that I've been idle, though. To the contrary, these past nine months have been filled with finishing my Project 365, applying and preparing for a new job, starting that job, traveling, parenting, and monitoring my health. Recently, since the completion of my project, I have been rather quiet online altogether, including my Facebook Page. I am finding that I am throwing myself into my teaching position 100% which doesn't leave me much time, if any at all, for in the studio. At first I didn't miss it that much because of the excitement of teaching at Harford Community College, but now I am starting to feel the flames lick the inside of my ribs again, fueling a desire to create and get back into the studio. I have a few more weeks left to teach and then I have a six week or so break for the winter holidays. I look forward to spending a lot of that time busy in my studio.

For now, I still may not have a lot to say, but it does feel good to exercise my writing muscles again. Hopefully things will quiet down, fall into a more predictable schedule, and I can get back into writing and creating on a more steady basis.

Have a wonderful day, y'all. I've missed you.


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Introduction to Mobile Artistry Workshop

Introduction to Mobile Artistry Workshop with instructor Tracey Grumbach, artist.
I am so happy to announce that registration for my newest class, Introduction to Mobile Artistry, is now open! The class will be held on Saturday, January 27, 2018 from 9AM-12:00PM at Arts By the Bay Gallery in beautiful Havre de Grace, MD. In this class I will be teaching how to use apps on your iOS device (iPhone or iPad ONLY) to create the three pieces above. I will provide the files and step-by-step instruction while giving you some insight into my artistic process, thought, and tricks. After completing this one day workshop, participants in Introduction to Mobile Artistry will be able to apply the knowledge learned to their own mobile photography to create art.

Introduction to Mobile Artistry requires participants to have an iOS device and the list of required apps loaded onto their device prior to class. Cost of apps is NOT included in the registration fee and is the responsibility of the participant. A list of apps needed for Introduction to Mobile Artistry is listed on the registration page.

The Introduction to Mobile Artistry class size is limited to 15 so please register early! Seats are filling up quickly! I am looking forward to meeting everyone and having a wonderful time creating art. 

For more information and registration for Introduction to Mobile Artistry, please visit my Nine Acres Designs, LLC website Workshop page.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Using Vintage Photography in Mobile Art

I have an obsession with looking through old mug shots. It's weird, I know, but over at Flickr Commons you can browse through vintage mug shots that were taken over in Europe and I have wasted plenty of time doing just that. Many of the mug shots come along with the story behind the person's arrest. I love reading the circumstances behind these mugshots. I noticed that many of the crimes had to do with larceny, theft of personal property. Many of the stories indicated that the perpetrator was either trying to steal to feed their family or themselves. I found myself feeling sorry for them. Many were orphans with no source of income. They just ran the streets and tried to get food when they could. So tragic and sad.

Anyway, I was inspired to create this digital collage art piece after browsing those images. I took 4 mugshots of 4 boys who were accused of larceny (thus, the title of this piece) and used various parts of the 4 faces to create a collaged face of a young man in Photoshop CC. 

Then, I imported the above image into my iPhone 6S Plus and used 4 different apps including Snapseed, Distressed FX, Trigraphy, and Fragment to create the vision I had in my head for this piece. I ended up with the piece below.

I still wanted to add some moths to the background and add a triangle connecting the eyes and while I could have done this on my phone, I chose to import it back onto my computer and use Photoshop CC to do this. I added the vintage moth texture and then drew in the triangle, finishing the piece.

I hope you liked this glimpse into artistic process! Have a wonderful day.


Friday, January 12, 2018

New Show Opening At Arts By the Bay Gallery on February 2!

I am pleased to announce that I will have five never-before-seen-in-print pieces matted, framed, and available for purchase at the new art show opening on Friday, February 2, 2018 at Arts By the Bay Gallery in Havre de Grace. The opening reception is that night from 7PM-9PM. Come on out and meet the artists of the gallery and be among the first to see the new art!

If you have any interest in purchasing any of the five pieces shown here, please contact me ASAP using the "Email Me" section of the side bar. Now is the time to speak up if you want the opportunity to purchase these Limited Edition (ONLY 1 of EACH WILL EVER BE PRINTED) art pieces prior to framing. Please use the name of the piece in your correspondence so I can give you accurate details on size and price.

Love is So Short-Forgetting Is So Long

True Harvest of My Daily Life


Time's Relentless Melt

The Herd

Hope to see you Friday, February 2, 2018 from 7PM-9PM!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Hello, New Year 2018

As 2017 passes into 2018, it is a time to reflect and a time to set goals. It has been a wonderful year in so many ways but also a difficult year.  There has been a lot of changes, a lot of "new normals" for all of us, but one thing that hasn't changed is the incredible amount of love of family and friends.

Mill in Darlington


In August, Brenna, our oldest daughter, moved out into her own apartment (with a roommate) in Florida and began her studies at Full Sail University. She is in an accelerated program and will graduate in 20 months with a Bachelor of Science in Film. So far she has completed 24 credits already and is carrying a 4.0 GPA. She has adjusted to “adulting” quite well and we are very proud of her. It took me weeks and weeks to adjust to the sadness I felt when she left, but through it all I knew my pride in her would eventually overshadow the weight of her leaving. She has made it through her first hurricane, adjusted to living on her own, and is rocking her academic studies.

Just as I was adjusting to Brenna moving out, our oldest son, Tyler, moved out in October. He moved to Exton, Pennsylvania where he is living in his own apartment (with two roommates) and is attending Universal Technical Institute to become an auto mechanic. He will graduate in about 2 years as well and will have 10 certifications under his belt upon completion. He is in his third rotation of classes and is maintaining high scores. He is working at a nearby auto shop and is learning the trade not only in school, but also while earning money. He and his girlfriend, Leah, have been dating almost two years. We are so happy that he has found a career he is excited about and that he is happily settled into his routine.  We could not be more proud of him! I felt another wave of sadness and emptiness when he moved out but as expected, we all adjusted to the new normal of a half empty nest.

Our twins are growing up! They recently turned 10 and are in 4th grade. They returned to public school this year after homeschooling for two years and both are both doing very well with the transition. Zachary is into sports and played his favorite, baseball, this spring. Then, he played rugby for the first time this summer. He had tons of fun and we enjoyed watching him. He is currently in rec basketball and loves that as well. Natalie found her love this year…singing. She joined Deer Creek Youth Choir back in January and has been active in the program since. She has sung in front of hundreds of people at colleges and churches around the state. Both twins were baptized this year and we couldn’t be prouder. They are amazing kids with unique personalities. It is fun to watch them grow into the young people they are meant to be.

During all of these changes with our children, my husband was doing some transitioning of his own at work. His company went completely independent this summer and continues to grow my leaps and bounds. The growing pains this time around weren't nearly as stressful as in past years and I am thankful for his dedication and hard work every day to support us.

Y'all pretty much know how I've been through the year, but to summarize, I am still in treatment for Chronic Lyme Disease and co-infections although I just received the amazing news I will begin weaning off antibiotics in a few months. This past year I struggled with a jaw infection which I had surgery for and now I discovered I have the same infection on the other side of my jaw which will require surgery again in a few weeks.  I continue to pursue art and was the Featured Artist at Arts By the Bay Gallery in May where I showed approximately 40 pieces of art.  My art was published in two publications this year, one an international art magazine, Somerset Digital Studio, and the other a local magazine, Harford’s Heart. My work was also displayed digitally at the Ruderman Inclusion Summit in Boston, Massachusetts in November. In addition, I have been writing articles about living with Lyme Disease for The Mighty, an online magazine, and have had 4 articles published. In the coming year I look forward to teaching digital art classes! Praise be to God for all the wonderful blessings in my life. I am so thankful to Him for each and every thing.

Top 9 images from my Instagram account from 2017


If you know me then you know I don't set resolutions per se, but I do choose a word to stand for the theme for the upcoming year. This year I am choosing the word "EXPLORE" for my theme. Some goals I want to set in relation to this theme is to explore more places (go places I have
n't been before), explore new ideas (take classes and read books to expand my knowledge in various areas including art) and explore more opportunities (look for new places to be published, new places to show my art, and new outlets to teach classes.). EXPLORE...I am so excited to make a large banner with this word and post it in my studio to remind me throughout the year to step out of my box, get out of my comfort zone, live life more.

Here's to a wonderful 2018!