Hannah Overman Koch

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Card Swap

My friend Jill over at Recycled Daze asked me if I was interested in doing a Christmas card swap this year.  I happily said yes and was excited to begin this new artistic task!  I received Jill's card the other day and it is gorgeous!  Check it out -

Her and her girls made a woodcut of the bird and branch!

Adding the snowflakes, glitter, snow on the branches and very nice stitching along the edge.

Read more about Jill's card here...

What was I going to create???
 I knew I wanted to add stitching to my card as well.  And I knew I wanted it to be silly!  So, here is what I came up with...

Tangled in Christmas lights!

The child-like image is something I started drawing a few years ago, taking inspiration from my children's drawings.

I always enjoy drawing/painting lights! 

Materials used:  60 lb paper, acrylic paint, watercolor paint, colored pencils, netting, fine black pen, and thread

I enjoyed taking a break from my recent activities (that I will soon share) and spending time on a swap!  Thanks Jill for asking me!!!

enjoying the creative spirit during this artist holiday-

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hanging Memories

A favorite past time of mine is making Christmas ornaments.  You may have guessed that by now, seeing other posts of mine, like here and here! Well, I decided it is time to share these unique ornaments I made mostly in 2006.  First though, I had to put my hands on them.  (I have moved quite a few times since then!)  I was literally digging around my studio for the box of ornaments and surprisingly, I knew right where they were!  Some are simple and just for fun.  Others are putting my experimental materials to good use.  See what you think...

The home ornament I started last year and finished off this year.  Materials used were; small pieces of wood, acrylic paint, wire, bead and a rusty piece of tin for the roof.  

The rusty tin was from my grandfather's old chicken house.  I love re-purposing materials that previous generations used and ties to my childhood memories!

Instead of creating typical green and red trees, I decided to focus on texture and pattern.  I enjoy the button detail.  Materials used were; acrylic paint, buttons, cotton thread, waxed linen, steel jump rings and ribbon.  I made these in 2006.

Using sandpaper to give any surface depth will always create unique results and eye-catching surfaces.  Simply paint a surface like wood or canvas with 2 or more layers of various paint colors.    Next, using light sandpaper, gently mar the surface until your desired results are achieved.  Repeat as desired.  This is a really good technique to keep in your arsenal of skills.

Spools that I painted, sanded and then drilled holes through the sides of each one.  I used steel wire to "thread" them together and added a small glass bead on top.

My textured spool ornament

My unique spin on lights and a Christmas tree ornament!

Materials used were; square dowel rods, small wood pieces, tack nails, acrylic paint, steel wire and a thin black pen for adding details.

I consider these my sculptural ornaments!  I remembering thinking how I wanted them to be simplistic and vertical on the square dowel rods.  Pre-drilling was necessary with the painted, thin wood pieces.  An extra step that produced a nice finish.  I just love how the nails are used for attachment purposes, as well as adding sparkling details to the colored circles.

Painting lights like this became quite addictive that year!

These particular ornaments I made last year.  I had dyed some fabric as well as used silk screen paint, my friend Linda gave me to experiment with!  Next thing I know I had excess cloth I wasn't quite sure what to do with.  It's very easy to get caught up in painting lots and lots of fabric!!!  Hence, the hot pink and lime green stocking was born! 

Ripping fabric was beginning to be another favorite activity for me, last year.  The raw edges and the uniform look around the steel wire skeleton, I created, is very aesthetically pleasing to me!  I went on to make brooches with a similar look.

I have always loved a wreathe!

Santa can't fill this one, I sewed the top closed.  I need to make another....

I believe a handmade ornament hung every year reminds the artist of techniques learned along with our favorite materials from that particular time in our life.  I also find myself reflective on my personal life, where I lived and how old my children were at the time.  Good memories to cherish because as we all know...time does indeed fly.

most reflective on this artist holiday-

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Baby Jesus Ornament Tutorial

     Recently, I was trying to come up with a nice Christmas ornament to make with the 2nd graders I work with on Wednesday's nights at our church. I just wanted to do a baby Jesus ornament, that much I knew.   I did some research and could not get satisfied on anything.  Nothing was hitting me at all.  I discussed this with our children's minister and she was telling about this beautiful baby Jesus ornament she had made years before.  I loved the idea, but I didn't have several of the items she used.  So, finally I decided to try to make this adorable ornament with what I had on hand!  With thinking outside the box a little, I figured it out.  Below is my version of a...

Baby Jesus Ornament

The following instructions are to make a very special handmade ornament with your family, a children's group or for your very own tree!  Hope you find it as adorable as I do!

Materials list:  
3/4 inch wood disc for face
3 inch square batting
fabric scrap approx. 1 inch in width and at least 10 inches in length, with ripped edges
 ripped sandpaper,100 grit shown here
ribbon for hanging approx. 7 inches 
Brass wire for halo (optional)
colored pencils 
white glue
hot glue gun, glue sticks (please follow safety instructions)

Take your wooden disc and lightly shade whatever background color you choose and simply draw 3 curved lines.  Two for the eyes, delicately closed of course, and one for the mouth, with a slight smile. 

I used light skin tones for the background and dark brown for the eyes and mouth.  Or simply leave the wood natural.  Once this step is complete, set the wooden face disc aside.

Batting Folds

Your wooden disc face will be inserted on top of the bottom point (after folded), with the back point exposed behind it.  However, I do not permanently insert the face until the end.  But use the face as a reference on your folding in the next 3 steps.

**You can use white glue for these steps or hot glue.  
Doing these steps with children, white glue, of course.  It will be reinforced with the fabric in later steps.

Step one:  Turn the 3 inch square batting on point, apply a small dot of glue and fold the bottom point to the top point, leaving some space for the wooden face disc. (pictured above)

Step two:  Apply a small dot of glue to the right corner.  Fold the right corner over to the left.    Remember to leave space for the wooden disc face.  

Step three:  Apply a small dot of glue to the left corner and fold the left corner around to the right, wrapping around to the back to make a swaddled blanket. At this point, you can check how your wooden disc face will sit snugly within the batting pocket you just created.  Adjust accordingly.

Fabric Tying

I used fabric I had on hand that I thought would be most appropriate for the theme of this ornament. I went more for subdued colors and patterns, less bright and contemporary colors.  Use whatever strikes you!

Lay the fabric strip out with the swaddled batting on top and wrap once around the swaddled batting and bring end to meet on top.

Tie a square knot or double knot on top of the swaddled batting with the fabric.  Once tied, trim the fabric ends with a seam ripper.  Adjust swaddled batting to your liking.

Sandpaper Bedding

The sandpaper is to resemble the hay bedding Jesus was laid on in the manger.

Simply rip your sandpaper by hand anywhere from 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 inches in length. Apply small dots on the back centers of two of the strips.  Attach the 3 strips together and fan out so they will cradle the baby. 
**This is another step where you can use white glue with children.

Ribbon application:

Bring your ribbon ends together and hot glue to center of rough side of the sandpaper. Once complete, set aside.

Brass halo instructions

I used 16 gauge brass wire, cut approx. 7 - 8 inches.  Next you will need to wrap something small and circular, like a bottle neck.  (Brass wire can be hard to bend by hand in this thick gauge - bring on the elbow grease!)  Bring the ends of the circle together and bend them down.  I used round nose pliers for this step, but any small pliers will do.  Straighten the ends of the brass wire, trying to keep them as close together as possible and trim if necessary. 

With a hammer and steel block or another hard surface to hammer on, flattened the halo slightly.  This step can be optional as well.

Another alternative for a halo is pipe cleaners!

Final Steps:

**Hot glue needed for next steps**
If you are doing this activity with children, these are the steps adults should complete.

Apply hot glue to ends of brass wire and insert into swaddled batting. 
Apply hot glue to the bottom back of the wooden disc face and insert into swaddled batting pocket.  Adjust halo and face accordingly.

The photo above shows the step before assembling the baby together with the optional halo and swaddled blanket.  Simply insert wooden disc face by instructions above if you chose to leave out the halo.  (Either way it's adorable!)

Turn the baby ornament over and apply a generous amount of hot glue on the fabric portion.  Finally, adhere the baby ornament to the sandpaper and ribbon component, you did a few steps earlier.

And there you have your very own Baby Jesus Ornament!

Other options for this ornament could be;
baby's first Christmas (minus halo and sandpaper)
Symbolize each grandchild for a Grandparent's tree.  Simply individualize each grandchild through the fabric choices.
Angel (replace the sandpaper with wings you created or angelic looking silk leaves!)

handmade ornaments for the young and old on this artist holiday-

Friday, October 21, 2011

She moves on...

While faced with another rejection, I an happy to report that rejection does not bother me like it used too.  I pick my head up and move on to my next artistic adventure.  However, I must share that when I got the rejected painting back home, I promptly painted it hot pink!!!

And she moves on....

..... to drawing.  Yes, the task I seem to put at the bottom of my art-to-do list.  Well it made a jump to the very top and I am so glad it did. It is a quiet activity, that takes time and concentration, something that I do not always give my creativity.  Lesson learned there!  It seems everything lately is rush, rush and I needed an activity to counter-balance all that going.  It worked.  Now, in art school, drawing from photos is not the correct thing to do, much less magazines.  You should draw from models and real life.  Well, not possible for me at this time, I decided to go against the grain on that one and just try to hone in on my skill.  Below are my examples-

Sketches from a magazine..

Materials used: sketch pencils, student quality drawing paper

A bit of a challenging angle.  But I enjoy drawing the side view of her face.

I think she is too shaded, so the next two I tried to shade a little less, but still trying to give the drawing depth.

Tough toes on this one.  Who knew flat shoes and the angle of her foot would be such a challenge!  Something still isn't correct with her waist to me, but I moved on.

I like the back foot better.

I believe I captured her stance in this sketch.

I enjoy it so much when correct angles collide with curvy lines!

Taupe Toes - my favorite so far!

draw, draw, drawing on this artist holiday,

Monday, October 3, 2011


I submitted a painting for the opportunity to get into the White Show at the Visual Art Exchange Gallery in downtown Raleigh!  This is a juried show and results will be posted in a day or two.  The dominant color should be white in all submissions.  Opening reception this Friday night.

I titled my painting.... 


Materials used:  gesso, acrylic paint, mixed media (cheese cloth, soft pastels, charcoal, pencil)

Trying to establish texture, depth and subtle color

It was more of a challenge to keep white the dominant color than I originally thought.  So much depth can be created with color.  Another lesson learned by participating in calls for artists!!

I enjoy the pale blue, magenta and white combination.  The black markings finish it off.

A simple black frame would look fantastic around it.

hok 2011 subtle in the corner, not to distract from the rest of the painting.

still learning lessons and trying to get out there on this artist holiday,