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Monnie Bean's story

Eleven years ago I wanted to try to sell my stuff online, so I started a blog called "Sparrowgrass" to teach myself how to use the computer. I had lots of help from my son, and from fellow bloggers, who soon became like family. When I got enough confidence to blog, I started looking for places to sell what I was making at the time, and I brain-stormed for a business name. Monnie Bean is my great-grandmother's name. Really, her last name was spelled Bien, which means 'well' in French, and can also be used in Spanish (good) . But everyone pronounced it 'bean.' And her real first name was Cora. But no one still living knows why her nick-name was Monnie. The name Monnie bean Folk art eventually came to my head, and I officially registered the name in my county and started to sell on Etsy, and a few other online craft sites.
I changed the name of this blog a year ago to 'I Paint,' instead of Monnie bean Folk art, thinking that I should concentrate on …
Recent posts

Paper articulated critters

Articulated critters are fun to make. 
You need: paper suitable for the paint you want to use pencil, art supplies (paint) X-Acto knife or scissors tiny brads available at Michael's or Hobby Lobby tool to make holes in the paper string to hang Your imagination...  I cut off his nose (below) in the scan. These are pretty large. I have ideas for lots of other things to make...

Happy making!

Paper cutting-the first time

I have always liked simple black and white design, so I thought I'd try paper cutting to help me with design ideas, and just to satisfy my curiosity about doing it. I borrowed a good book from the library and watched a few YouTube videos. The top one was cut after folding, and I drew the design on the fold and cut with an Exacto knife.  I cut it on a self-healing mat of course. It is very easy to break the tip of the knife, so make sure you have plenty of blades to complete your cutting. This is a fold as well, but I used scissors to cut my design. I also embellished the owls with gel pen and pencil. I glued baby owls in the tree hole and used pencil to draw the features.
Applications: I can see this technique would be lots of fun to make stencils from, or use under a screen to make silk screen prints. It would be interesting to use watercolor paper in a non-fold cut out, then to color the finished piece. Gluing to a paper backing isn't as hard as I thought it would be. I us…

Making paperclay doll heads

Since I have given myself permission to just make the stuff I have always loved to make (but I still paint and draw!), I've been working on making dolls-which I dearly love to do. A lot of the draw in it for me is making the clothing-that goes back to my first lessons in sewing-from my grandmother. I learned to sew making doll clothes for my Barbies.
My process for making heads for my dolls is a many stepped process. In this case, I had leftover eyes that I had made out of paperclay, which I let dry, and then I painted the irises and pupils. I just made round balls and did not attach them to a rod. Today I set the eyeballs onto a basic head form I had made.  Above shows the doll eyes I made. Also two tools I have found to be useful in sculpting. One is an Exacto knife for scraping away excess clay and for rough shaping. The other is a dedicated paint brush with nylon bristles. I say dedicated because you don't want to use it for anything else except your paperclay work. Wet …

It should be called: "I Paint and do a bunch of other stuff"

....so I think I will officially change my blog name to that. (this post's title) I think I'm out of my high hat. Except I'm shamelessly showing off more older work of mine here again....:)
Yes-I can allow myself to paint and sew and sculpt and write stories and cut paper and hoard old fabric. I'm miserable just trying to be A Painter. I'm just gonna be old Me. That's all.  Oh how I miss making birds......  and horses and dogs.  and dolls.  I plan to show my work in progress here. Thank you for stopping by.

He is born

Let the stable still astonish: Straw-dirt floor, dull eyes, Dusty flanks of donkeys, oxen; Crumbling, crooked walls; No bed to carry that pain, And then, the child, Rag-wrapped, laid to cry  In a trough. Who would have chosen this? Who would have said: "Yes, Let the God of all the heavens and earth Be born here, in this place"? Who but the same God Who stands in the darker, fouler rooms of our hearts And says, "Yes, let the God of Heaven and Earth be born here- in this place."
~Leslie Leyland Fields

Don't give up as an artist.

I started looking on the photo storage I have for this blog, and came across all the old stuff I have made. Painted, stitched, sculpted.  So much of it is gone-some sold, some I actually threw away, thinking it was not good enough.
 So when did I start to think like that? Why? I think because I compared my stuff with the other things I was seeing on the Internet. And now I find myself doing the same thing with the artwork I'm making-painting & drawing.
 I'm putting this stuff here-Not to show off, but for a big wake up call to myself. I had FUN making this stuff, and painting in a nutty way.
It was ME.  And I actually feel tears welling up to think I have forgotten who I am, as far as being an artist goes.  I even played with making wooden faces. They sold.  Had lots of fun making bags, and got a lot of them published...



 Before I left Etsy, a prestigious folk art dealer wanted me to sign a contract to make more dolls. I didn't do it.