Entries from: June 2008

Creative Every Day: June 30th – July 6th, 2008

June 30th, 2008, Comments (12)

CED2008 participants! Feel free to leave a comment here with a link to post(s) about your creative activities during the week of 6/30/08 -7/6/08.

Happy creating!

Penelope’s Web

June 26th, 2008, Comments (12)

This is where I'm at with "Penelope's Web", a mixed media piece on 20"x20" canvas that I've been working on for a bit. I had it sitting for awhile and then tried to finish it up today. I think it's done. But I'll let it be for awhile longer and hopefully I'll know for sure soon. The piece was started intuitively and eventually led to this image of Penelope from The Odyssey. I was thinking about how Penelope tricks the harassing suitors by saying she'll marry one of them after she finishes making her funeral robe, which she works on all day and every night she unravels it. Beyond the story, the image has to do with a woman's strength and following one's gut and intuition against outside pressures. The colors remind me of summer nights in Greece which is where the hubster's dad grew up.

This weekend we're heading to NY to visit with the hubster's family (it's his mom's birthday) and to visit with a friend who just had a baby. I'm looking forward to getting out of town for a couple days. 

Art continues to flow. I'm working on a commission and next week I'll be dropping off all the "Subway Stories" pieces I have at Oak so that a potential buyer can pick out a grouping of them. I love the idea of them hanging as a group! The regular influx of no and yes tells me that I'm being active and that feels good. I'm learning to see rejections as both a sign that I'm trying and that it's just not a great fit at the moment instead of taking it so personally. Writing the posts on re-thinking rejection and success certainly helped and the shift has been really helpful. It's funny how adjusting our thought patterns can make such a significant impact on how we feel from day to day.

Elena has an interesting post about conflicts that come up when your business is a creative one. I've definitely thought about this struggle between feeling free to create whatever your heart desires, creating what you think will sell, and not stifling yourself by creating more of what has sold in the past. After creating a whole bunch of "Subway Stories" pieces for a show a couple years ago, I had no interest in creating more. I needed and took a break from them. Those pieces sold and I figured I'd make more eventually. Then I made ten more for a second show this year and afterwards took a break from them again. It's been awhile now and after riding the subway on Tuesday evening, I got some more inspiration, and I'm ready to delve back into the subject for a commissioned piece.

That's one example of how I've handled it I suppose. I try and find a balance between creating what is asked for and what I'm feeling. Thing is, most of the time, it's the stuff I create from my heart, not knowing whether it will sell or not, that sells the quickest. So, while it's important to listen to your customers, it's even more important to do as Penelope did and follow your gut. Plus, I never really know what's going to sell. Trying to guess at it is not my forte either. I just keep creating, because that's what I've got to do. When your finances depend on your creating, it may be more difficult to find that balance, but even if you spend most of your time creating for sales, I think it's extremely important to carve out time to create for yourself, even if it's just in your art journal. Creating without the intention of showing any one, with permission to toss it, is important in order to keep growing. Play and experimentation in art are essential. You never want to to take the fun out of it. That's my take on it anyways, at the moment.

I'm off to sing in the shower. Similar to singing in the rain, but much warmer. Happy creating!


June 25th, 2008, Comments (9)

Last night, my sister took me to a Red Sox game. It was so stormy all afternoon and there was lightning shooting across the sky on my way into Boston. But after a slight delay to clean up the field, the game went on and it turned out to be a beautiful night. The game went amazingly quick and the end was particularly exciting with a great turnout (Sox won 5-4). I especially enjoyed the crowd's energy and singing along with the Fenway favorites such as "Sweet Caroline." They stopped playing the song part way through because the game was starting up again, but the crowd kept singing the song. Fenway has such a great atmosphere. And check out the gorgeous sunset we got too! I'm a bit zonked today from all the jumping around in the stands, but I'm glad that it's not storming again. I love a good thunderstorm, but I prefer the sunshine during the day. I love summer.

I'm feeling so full of summer-joy and gratitude today. Besides the fabulous Sox game last night, some things that are making me happy:

Picture Pages

June 23rd, 2008, Comments (13)

I did these drawings over the weekend. I used pages from a journal I picked up flea-marketing with some pals in Maine a couple weekends ago. The gentleman who sold it to me told me it once belonged to a man who came here from Poland. Many of the passages are from the 1890's. It's written entirely in German, so I'm not sure exactly what it says, but it seems to be a book full of copied quotes and poems. I just love the look of the script and drawing over these handwritten poems. I used ink and markers to decorate these pages and I just started drawing on them with no plan in mind. I liked the little houses that appeared in the skirt of the woman below.

It was super stormy today. Several thunderstorms rolled through in the morning and afternoon. It made me feel all cozy and happy to be at home.

Welcome to the newest participants of the CED challange! Here's some of what Creative Every Day 2008 participants have been up to:

Creative Every Day: June 23rd – June 29th, 2008

June 23rd, 2008, Comments (13)

CED2008 participants! Feel free to leave a comment here with a link to post(s) about your creative activities during the week of 6/23/08 -6/29/08.

Happy creating!

End of the Weekend Links

June 22nd, 2008, Comments (5)

I hope you've all had a lovely weekend! It's been a relaxing one for me. I've got some good lovely linkage to share. Ready?

  • This is a little last minute, but if you post a comment before Monday morning (9 a.m.) at Sparkletopia here, you can win a beautiful print from Christine!
  • This week Inspire Me Thursday was inspired by Wonderland, a fantastic project by artist Yeondoo Jung who has brought children's artwork to life. I love the idea and the execution. So cool!!
  • Creative Every Day 2008 participant Cory has posted a great series of tutorials at her blog Create with Moxie. She did the same kind of rubbings (frottage) that were featured in the GPP Street Challenge, but using encaustic wax instead of crayons. Cool! I'm going to have to give that a try! The tutorials start here.
  • The hubster pointed out the website Gizoogle this weekend. You can put in any website and have it translated into Snoop-Dog style speech. It's over the top and ridiculous, but pretty funny. Here's what my blog becomes. The posts are pretty funny, but I thought the changes to the CED blogs in the sidebar (on the right) were hilarious. be crafty be happy becomes be crafty be stoked, diving for pearls becomes perpetratin' for pearls.

Tonight, I'm planning to kick back and watch Design Star. Fun!

Art as Stress Relief

June 19th, 2008, Comments (12)

While watching playoff games, I used art as stress relief. I kept pens, markers, and colored pencils nearby. And one evening I pulled a whole bunch of old book pages and some other scrap paper to draw on. So much fun!! And having my hands busy kept me calmer than I might have been otherwise. Plus, I made all these fun drawings. Perhaps future collage material?

Busy day. Sent out two packages of art. I love sending art out into the world! Whole lot of errands took up the afternoon and I am totally zonkered tonight. Time to relax. Mmmmm.

Playing with Paper

June 17th, 2008, Comments (4)

I'd been wanting to try rubbings with the stamp I made at Artfest this year and the inspiration to give it a go came from seeing the GPP Street challenge and Hanna's response to it. Here are two of the rubbings I did initally:

I used some wax caran d'ache crayons that I had, but unfortunately they were water soluble, so they couldn't do much in the way of resisting wax as in the GPP Street Challenge. So, after playing with that a while. I made some rubbings with colored pencil and tried one with just gel medium to see what would happen. All of these will make great paper for collaging and it was a lot of fun to just play with no end result in mind.

I wanted to keep playing and playing, but I needed to stop to eat and the Celtics are coming on shortly. Go Celtics! So, that'll be it for today.

Creativity as a Cure for the Blahs

June 16th, 2008, Comments (14)

Last week, I was feeling a bit of the blahs and after wallowing in it for a bit, I was determined to move through it. Creativity to the rescue! Reading some inspirational words, playing, having some good laughs, and making art helped me to break free of the blahs and into something more colorful and light. Over the weekend I was working on a couple pieces that I finished up today. "Carried Away" (above) was born from an idea that came from playing in my sketchbook (sketches in this post.) It is about 6.5" x 10" and was created with acrylic, ink, and colored pencil on thick printmaking paper. I also worked on another idea that came to me on a long drive. I made a quick note as I drove, so that I wouldn't forget it (nearly illegible since I wasn't looking at the paper as I wrote on the back of a receipt on top of my steering wheel.) Later I transferred the idea into my sketchbook, played with it some more and eventually it became "Storyteller" below.

"Storyteller" was created with collaged papers (mostly maps and pages from old books), acrylic paint and ink. It's about 9.5" x 9" on thick printmaking paper. As I was imagining it in the car, I had an image of words flowing out of a woman's hands because I love the idea of art that tells a story. I think other images may come out of this idea, but this one is finished. Below is a detail of the whale, which I particularly like because of the way a piece of a map is its eye.

I've got some links to share that hopefully will bring you some inspiration, whether or not you're feeling like you've got a case of the blahs.

  • Just spotted the blog Three Beautiful Things (via a small stone.) Love the simple and totally beautiful things the author has noticed  there. This one made me smile: I hear music from Oli's yard. He is sitting in the half-shade with a jug of juice and his guitar.
  • I so loved this post by Patti Digh. Oh so touching and inspiring.
  • In the comments of my post and art about Alzheimer's, Carla from Anonyrrie mentioned the song "Silent House" by the Dixie Chicks. I looked it up and thought it was heartfelt and lovely. You can listen to it here.
  • Jim is planning a very cool sketchbook swap on his blog. I'm planning to play along!
  • Big thank you to Julia for featuring my etsy art shop in her Friday favorites! Julia has a blog filled to the brim with inspiration.
  • A sure-fire way to beat the blahs is to head out for a nature walk. I love the look of this collection of pine cones from the blog, unruly things.
  • I love this innovative way of hanging art using pants hangers (seen at poppytalk, originally in O at Home magazine.) I think it would be a great way to display prints that you don't have a frame for or works on paper.
  • I was so entertained by this interview of Melanie Ford Wilson by Danny Gregory in one of his Illustrated Life podcasts. I listened to it while I painted and enjoyed it thoroughly. The podcast talked a lot about sketchbooks which was great fun to think about and listen to someone else's approach.
  • Shortly after listening, I saw a picture of a bear online and really wanted to draw it. I grabbed the nearest pen and scrap paper and scribbled this guy out (below.) Bears are terribly cute aren't they? I mean, I wouldn't want to mess with one, but if the bear weren't opposed to it, I'd totally give it a hug.
  • I mention the bear drawing because I think doodling and drawing whatever your heart desires is a wonderful way to beat the blahs.

How do you use your creativity to scare away the blahs?

Creative Every Day: June 16th – June 22nd, 2008

June 16th, 2008, Comments (13)

CED2008 participants! Feel free to leave a comment here with a link to post(s) about your creative activities during the week of 6/16/08 -6/22/08.

Happy creating!