Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Free Coloring Page for You

Hello Everyone! Today I have to share with you a new coloring page. As promised I will keep making one every week for the end of the year to celebrate my new artistic journey as Crooked Feather Studio. This one may seem a bit unseasonal since we are in the holiday season here, but it was a chilly rainy day when I drew it and I was dreaming of warm weather. So for all of you summer lovers, beach babes and wild air adventurers here is a simple coloring page to enjoy. Thanks for stopping by today happy coloring!

Click here to download.

Don't forget to show off your work!

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Monday, November 28, 2016

In my Sketchbook: Creating with kids

Working in my sketchbook is a love of mine I often struggle to find the time for. As an artist I think of a sketchbook as a necessary tool for my creative process whether I turn what is inside it to a final product or not. It helps my brain to think creatively, helps loosen up my hands to work on larger projects and I believe it helps improve my discipline and skill level. There are a few areas I struggle with such as figure drawing especially with drawing hands so I use my sketchbook to push myself and grow as an artist.

With having three kids and another due this spring, one of my struggles to keeping a sketchbook is time. One way I try to work around this is giving my kids a sketchbook to work in next to me. I think it is just as important for them to draw and create as it is to me so they develop creative thinking skills and use their imagination. Whether they grow up to be an artist or not...it doesn't matter to me... I believe this skill will help them in the future.

This is a sketchbook I made for my 2 year old daughter out of a vintage (I love vintage) Little golden book. You can find more of these still available in my old Etsy shop. All 3 of my kids have them and love them.

This is one of her drawings in it she has been using it for about 6 months and has filled every page. A lot of times we work together in it so although I may not be working in my own book I am still practicing and creating. This is something I try to do daily.

My youngest son has one that he uses to fill with trucks and trailers.

While they work in their books I use mine to draw what is around me and take notes. I like looking back and seeing some of the little things that may be overlooked in the day. I typically draw what is outside the window or what is on the kitchen table and frequently make attempts at drawing the kids.

These are quick drawings of flowers my husband gave me for Valentines day this year.

This is my son's puppy he would never leave home without. I think taking the time to draw it rather than just taking a photo gives me more time to appreciate the moment. I look at his puppy and see the spots that are worn out and loved so much. This is something I may not notice with a photograph.

I always have supplies close at hand in the living room and at the kitchen table so we can all work on projects throughout the day. Most of the them we work together but I often find them drawing, working on lists or designing plans without me. My oldest son isn't much for drawing but he does love to design and think of new ideas. He may not use his sketchbook the same way I do but he is getting good use out of it and I can see it develop his creative process.

Do you have a way you keep creative with kids? If so I would love to hear about it just leave a comment below!

Friday, November 25, 2016

A Free Coloring Page for You!

Hello Everyone! When I first started this blog a few weeks ago I promised to share a free coloring page with you every week for the rest of the year. Today I am sharing a drawing I made of one of my favorite roosters we have here on the homestead. He is our ameraucana, and I am in love with his beautiful deep green feathers. He looks so stunning marching in the pasture. He has been the inspiration for many art projects today let him inspire you, and color your little heart away. Enjoy!

Click here for your download

The man, the myth, the rooster....also the inspiration for your drawing today.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Free coloring page for you!

Hello Everyone! Last week I mentioned that I was going to offer a free coloring page every week for the rest of the year to celebrate my new blog. This week I have a sheet for you inspired by hunting season which is right around the corner. Although I am not a hunter myself my husband is and I appreciate the talent. Enjoy your page thank you for visiting!

You can click here to download.

Friday, November 11, 2016

In the studio: Keeping Inspiration

Currently the location of my studio is in the basement of our home. It works for right now since it is easily accessible and I can work on projects while taking care of the kids, but a basement studio does lack in the inspiration department. One day I plan on having a rustic, brightly lit, cabin style studio where I can create and invite guests in for classes but in the mean time I need to do the most with what I have. So I fill my little underground room with as much inspiration I can fit in. I always like seeing where other artists create so I thought I would share some of the treasures I keep to keep me motivated while I work. Enjoy!

This is a thrift store box filled with pretty note cards.

My collection of vintage children's books.

A turquoise glass jar filled with scrabble tiles.

When I lived in the city I would collect little bits of junk I found while out and about and stored them in glass jars. I don't know what the plans are for this but I like having it around, It creates quite the eclectic collection. Old thread spools come in handy for storing sharp things like Exacto knives. 

Vintage glitter (I have a love for vintage) and wood blocks I use for upcycling projects.

Sea shells and an old Americana cookie tin I found on the side of the road...score! I love Americana. Sitting on top of it is a fishbowl filled with odds and ends and little scraps from old projects. 

Who doesn't need a vase full of vintage marbles? I also keep a lot of natural elements around.

My odds and ends.

Keeping little things like this helps remind me of who I am as an artist and it helps keep me on my toes in my studio. It may look like random junk...and really it is... but I am a junker at heart so it works for me. If you have a collection you that motivates you please share I would love to see it! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

DIY Burlap Autumn Wreath

When it comes to creating art and crafting I am always in favor of doing the most with what you have before going out to buy supplies. As much as I love to buy something new at the art store I find that often times I come up with a more exciting and creative piece when I try to scavenge my studio or the back yard for supplies. I am a Junker by nature, always searching for something discarded to turn into something new so this philosophy fits me perfect.

I wanted to create an autumn piece for our front door so I went searching for materials outside before I began. In my opinion autumn is the perfect time to explore our property. I found some turkey feathers and pinecones before I headed back in the studio to find a way to put it together. Wanting to keep my look natural I uses some scrap burlap from a previous project and a few autumn inspired odds and ends to include in my piece and decided to make a wreath.

One of the easiest way I have found to make a wreath is to use an old wire coat hanger as my starting point it is easy to manipulate and the hook can be used for hanging purposes...which I did not do at this time but have done in the past.

After bending my hanger I cut my burlap into strips approximately 3x15 inches, give or take, cutting about 40 of them. To add them to my hanger I folded each piece accordion style and pierced the burlap with my wire. This is fairly easy to do and my biggest suggestion is to add as many strips as possible to create a sturdier wreath. After it is hung gravity will weigh down the wreath causing it to look uneven if kept too loose. To keep the wreath together I simply taped the ends shut.

Once the wreath was complete I arranged my found odds and ends around the piece and secured them with some wreath wire. Making sure not to have any of the wire exposed.


I hung the piece using some lace ribbon I found in my scrap ribbon box. So with no money I was able to find a super simple way to create a natural rustic decoration for Autumn.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Welcome to my Blog!

Hi there! Welcome to my brand new blog! Allow me to introduce myself... My name is Anna Murfield I am an artist living on a homestead with my husband and 3 (soon to be 4) children in rural Wisconsin. Aside from my family and home, art has been the center of my life for as long as I can remember. I have been creating my entire life and was lucky enough to follow my passion through college where I received an Associates in Art and Science along with a Bachelor's of Fine Art, and a minor in Art History. Since graduating college I have spent my career working as a free lance artist in some way or another for years. I have worked on commissions, painted murals, participated in showing my work in art galleries,  illustrated children's books, sold my work worldwide online and have set up shop at local fairs and markets.

With all of the experience I have gained I continue to grow as an artist and work towards my main goal of owning my own studio space called Crooked Feather Studio where I can make art and offer classes to people of all ages. In the mean time I decided to share my ideas and work on this blog. This allows me to work from home where I can keep an eye on my kids, and work around our family's homesteading schedule. We raise sheep, chickens and a duck as well as grow vegetables for local farmer's markets so I need to keep my schedule flexible. You can read more about Crooked Coop Farm here on our website.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by my blog. As a way to celebrate a new chapter in my art career I am offering free coloring page downloads every week for the rest of the year. These feathers were ones I found on our homestead over the years, and the ones that inspired my blogs name Crooked Feather Studio.

Don't forget to display your art!