Entries from: March 2008

Art, Risk-Taking and Breakthroughs

March 19th, 2008, Comments (19)

So my laptop is back. The trackpad was busted and now it's working, however it's ultra sensitive now, sometimes clicking on things when it shouldn't. Grr. Hopefully it will settle down.

I've had a busy few days. I received an email newsletter about the upcoming full moon which said that this particular full moon was full of signs of transition, big changes, courageous leaps and I kind of feel that. Spring always brings about that feeling for me too, so who knows what it is, but I like the energy.

In the realm of courageous leaps, I've got my first private art lesson this weekend and I'll be instructing a mother and her two kids in an hour of mixed-media fun. I've envisioned teaching as part of my life plan, but I've been afraid to jump into it. So, I'm excited and nervous about this beginning. I've also put in a couple proposals for classes at a local recreation center, so we'll see how that goes too!

Yep, still loving those inkblots. I did about seven ink blots in my little hand book yesterday, so that I'd have a bunch to play with in the future. I decided to take some quick before shots, so you can see the before and after results. There's one above. What do you see in it?

I also finished a piece of artwork that's been taking forever...like over a year to complete, mainly because it was a gift for a special person and I wanted it to be just right. And the idea of "just right" scared me from getting started for a long time and then I ran into some technical difficulties, but finally, I figured it all out and I totally love it. Hopefully she will too!

This gift is for someone who may check in here on occasion, so if a certain best friend is reading this, do not click below or you'll ruin the surprise! :-)


Lovin’ Those Inkblots!

March 17th, 2008, Comments (14)

Here are more inkblots turned into art in my small hand book journal. It was fun to take some already done inkblots in my pocket book sized journal along with a baggie of colored pencils and pens and then when time allowed, I was able to pull the journal out and work on them. And oh boy, I just had so much fun with it!!

This first one became a wild a crazy circus! And the next became two people. I think I'll have to do some more or some variation on this kind of art.

The weekend was fun and very full. Spring's lighter days are already giving me more energy. I'm going to watch the New Earth webcast now. I have to say that I watched Oprah's Big Give and I was so disappointed with the results of the show. I won't watch it again. Ah well, less t.v. is probably better for me. Hope your weekend was a wonderfully creative one!

Creative Every Day: March 17th – March 23th

March 17th, 2008, Comments (15)

CED2008 participants! Feel free to leave a comment here with a link to post(s) about your creative activities during the week of 3/17/08 -3/23/08.

Happy creating!

Intuitive Creating

March 14th, 2008, Comments (27)

Inspire Me Thursday has a super cool challenge this week that involves using inkblots in your art. At first read I wasn't extremely inspired by it, but then I saw where the inspiration came from, the moleskine inkblot pieces you can see here, and I was so wowed that I had to try one straight away. I love the before and after shots and the question, "what do you see?"

I used my moleskine type mini journal (I finished my first moleskine and replaced it with a moleskine look-a-like by hand book which is just as lovely) with some paint squished between the pages, I looked at it to see what the blots suggested to me, and then went into it with pen and colored pencils. In this one I saw mermaids. I didn't do a before shot because my camera isn't communicating with my older computer for some odd reason, but I think you can see where the ink blots are. I'm sure I'll be doing more of these as they're so much fun!

I think I particularly love this idea because it is how I do much of my artwork. I'll often start a collage with no idea where it's going and then I'll step back and see if there's a suggestion of a form in there. Sometimes I see a figure, sometimes a tree, and so on. It's a wonderful and intuitive way to create.

When I was around 10, I took a cartooning class and one of my favorite parts of it was when the teacher would play this scribble game. He would whip out crazy scribble after crazy scribble on sheets of paper and pass them quickly to the students. We'd all look at the scribble we got and make something from it, a scene or a character or whatever. The teacher would judge each round and proclaim a winner and then he'd create a new offering of scribbles for each of us and this would go on for most of the class. I loved it.

All of these techniques are ways of getting you to let the art guide you instead of you guiding the art. When you let go, where does your art take you?

In other news, my friend, Sarah has started a new business, S. Joy Studios. Go Sarah! She offers lots of great services for all you creative types including great web design work. Sarah has also started a new blog to go along with the business and she has started a great series of articles on the "7 deadly sins that creative  professionals make." The first in the series can be found here.

I'll be away this weekend, there's a big birthday party for the hubster's dad's 65th. So, it may take a few days to get back to you if you email. I'll be bringing my sketchbook along for the trip, so I can continue being creative. I hope your weekend is a wonderfully creative one!

In the Garden and some Love and Light

March 12th, 2008, Comments (16)

I was thinking about Illustration Friday's theme of "Garden" when I sketched out the idea for this piece, "In the Garden", which is 8"x10" with rice paper, acrylic, and colored pencil on panel. I used damp rice paper that I had wrinkled up into a ball, then unfolded and glued to the panel to make interesting texture. I let that dry overnight and then started into it with layers of paint and colored pencil. I think I was also influenced by Eckhart Tolle's book "A New Earth" (see my sidebar for a link) which is helping me reconnect with my body and everyday moments. I've listened to the first two webcasts on the book and I'm enjoying the dialog. The discussion makes the information sink in a bit more and clarifies a lot of the muddy areas.

My poor laptop is in the computer hospital and hopefully it will return soon. In the meantime, I'm using my old iMac which is really slow and I'm unable to upload the pictures from my camera for some odd reason, but thankfully, it works, so I can still check my email even though I'm not on the computer quite as much without the laptop (which maybe is a good thing!)

I do have a minor build-up of linkage to share!!

- Design*Sponge held a DIY contest and the 20 finalists are now on display. There are some super cool projects to see! I think my favorite is the tree mural with the painting of the owl with glow-in-the-dark eyes. But I have a thing for trees and owls, so there you go.

- The hubster sent me the link to this story today about a super cool dolphin that saved 2 whales who were stranded on a beach in New Zealand. It's nice to read some good news type stories isn't it?

- Speaking of good news types of stories, if you haven't heard of hopeREVO yet, definitely check it out. The idea, started by Krystyn Heide, is to leave messages of hope in public places. Love that. There's a flickr group for this movement here. The idea reminds me a bit of the guerilla art of Keri Smith and the found art project (Found Art Tuesday) that Rosa Murillo runs.

- Lia of Art Junk Girl recorded her first live blog radio show today, all about art journaling. I didn't hear about it in time to listen live, but you can listen to it anytime here. I think Lia plans to make this a regular thing. Way to go, Lia. I really enjoyed your first show!

I feel spring in the air (and in my step.) How bout you?

A Quick Share

March 10th, 2008, Comments (8)

I got home last night from working at my old job for the week and I was treated to the *best* welcome home ever! I came in carrying heavy bags, dropped them at the door where I was met by fuzzy kitties and then looked up to see the hubster smiling and carrying a plate of fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookies. I mean, can you beat that? :-)

We shared a lovely night of snuggling, chatting and watching a movie and then went to bed. I stayed in bed a little later this morning to snuggle with the fuzzy kitties who were being exceptionally adorable.


I wanted to share a couple things with you before I get back to work. One, is that the sweet and talented Carla of Anonyrrie has started a blog about her coaching practice called Wings 4 You Coaching. As part of this new blog she is issuing a weekly challenge, Weekly Wings. The current challenge has to do with poetry. Go check it out! Speaking of poetry, my friend Betsy sent a link to this poem which I thought was wonderful. And speaking of words, today I'm loving the word, "exquisite." The word itself is exquisite.

Andrea of A Cat of Impossible Color (love the blog name by the way, Andrea!) asked if novel writing counts as part of the Creative Every Day 2008 Challenge. And the answer is, hell yeah! Anything creative counts, from gardening, to poem writing, to doodling, to cooking, to knitting, to re-arranging your bookshelf, and so on... Be creative in the ways in which you can be creative!

And I'm off...happy creating!

Creative Every Day: March 10th – March 16th

March 10th, 2008, Comments (19)

CED2008 participants! Feel free to leave a comment here with a link to post(s) about your creative activities during the week of 3/10/08 -3/16/08.

Happy creating!

March Showers, Bring Me Flowers?

March 8th, 2008, Comments (11)

Oh, that's not how it goes. Is it March mud, bring me crud? No?

It's a typical March weekend in New England. Rather gray and gloomy. A good day to be cozied up indoors with hot chocolate and taxes... Heh. O.k., no day is great for working on taxes, but the gloom outside makes me feel like it's a day to be inside anyways.

I've had a bite on a large painting at the coffee shop which is cool and also a request for art instruction which is slightly scary, but also interesting. I think I'll go for it. I've been brainstorming ways I can do some teaching, some kind of collage/mixed-media/intuitive creating class. I'd love to lead an in-person "Artist's Way" group too, but I'm unsure of where and I also want to plan it out so that the timing works with scheduled weddings and getaways. I can hardly believe it, but in just a few weeks I'll be flying across the country for Artfest! Ack! I just ordered some cute Moo Cards of my art for trades. I've booked my flight and lodging and rental car and I need to pick up the supplies I'll need.

In another coffee shop all the way in Minneapolis, my dear friend, Jessie is having an opening for her gorgeous dog portraits. I'm so excited for Jessie and the steps she's taken to make her dreams come true. I could use a little of her determination and bravery right about now. A bravery infusion.

Jessie is doing a great promotion through April on her dog portraits, so if you or someone you know would be interested in a dog portrait, do check it out. Her work is awesome!! I'm particularly loving her painting of "Murphy."

Random Assortment

March 5th, 2008, Comments (11)

Just finished watching the Project Runway finale and I won't say who won in case you dvr-ed it, but I loved the runway show! Definitely the best one yet. So fun.

I've been stressing over taxes today and I'm downright exhausted. I took a nice break mid-day to get my body moving. I really need to bring exercise back into my daily life to help keep my mood up on gray days. And I totally strayed off that path. I need to make it enjoyable to get back on track, so today I used the fitness channel's lineup of programming to do a half hour of belly dancing and a half hour of yoga. Olivia has been doing a great series of short videos (vlogs) on depression recovery which you can check out on her blog. Sometimes you need to use creativity to figure out a way to get your body in motion!

Besides exercise, laughter is always important. I included this in my monthly newsletter yesterday, but it's totally good for a laugh, so I'll share it here too. It's a blog of bad MLS photos. It might be funnier to me because we've been casually looking at houses (mainly online) and even though prices have come down, it's still ridiculously expensive in the Northeast. Boo. Makes me want to move somewhere warmer and cheaper. By the way, you can sign up for my newsletter in the lower left corner of my website and be entered into a monthly drawing for a free print!)

Time for bed for me!

Striped Tights and Other Tales

March 4th, 2008, Comments (13)

Doodles, sketches from last night and a work in progress laid out on the bed where I'm working this week. Ah and a bit of my sparkly shoe. :-)

A lot of you seemed to like the stockings that my leaping lady is wearing below. I have some tights with stripes like that, but they're totally worn out. I wore them into oblivion sometime in my mid-twenties, although, I still have them. As I was sketching the idea for that painting I realized I wanted her to be wearing some funky clothes. I had been inspired by Maddie's wardrobe earlier in the day. Every so often she shows bits and pieces of the clothes she wears and I realized the other day that I was longing for some of that creativity expressed in my own clothing.

Back in high school, I had a style that was far from fashion forward. I liked slightly unusual clothing, kind of quirky. I often wore a necklace with beads in different colors that said love in different languages. I wore oddball little baby-doll dresses over leggings and some wild patterns, and a silly hats. I wouldn't even call the clothes attractive necessarily, but they were things I liked and it was a way of expressing myself.  Somewhere along the way, I lost touch with that. 

I think it may have something to do with my occupation and activities more recently. I was a nanny for 6 years and being around kids and two dogs all day had me wearing clothes I wasn't worried about ruining. In the last two years of nannying I was also attending massage therapy school and that called for comfortable clothes that I could move in and wouldn't mind if they got stained with oil. Then there's my dislike of shopping, my hesitation to spend money on myself, the occasional hand-me-downs that keep me going, and the fact that a lot of things I own get wrecked by cats kneading me or paint and glue getting on everything. I look at my clothes and I see a few things with personality and the rest just blah. Sweats and jeans and hoodies, oh my! I have a great collection of fun socks and some lovely handmade jewelry that I've been picking up here and there over the years, but my clothes are no fun at all.

It's not that clothes are that important. I realize that. But there's something to be said for wearing things that make you feel good and alive. It's a self-respect thing. A self-care thing. And especially in the gray days of March, historically not one of my favorite months, we all need some color and quirkiness.

So when I was painting the leaping lady, I ended up putting her in blue shoes, inspired by the blue shoes above and then I was thinking about Maddie and unique and quirky, but beautiful clothes, when I painted her stockings and dress. I wasn't thinking of any outfit in particular, but when I went back to her flickr album I saw this one which is sort of similar! The tights I mentioned are like hers, pink and black. But I'd love some orange ones. :-)   p.s. You can buy Maddie's gorgeous photos on her etsy shop here.