Entries Tagged as: words

Full Snow Moon

February 9th, 2009, Comments (12)

full snow moon
full snow moon

I have this funny habit of painting the moon right around the time of the full moon (without realizing the timing of it until after the fact.) Something in me seems to be quite tuned in to the moon's cycles.

When I sat down to paint this image late last night, I wasn't intending it to have the moon in it, but it came out anyways. Today, I read that tonight is the Full Snow Moon. Something about the name just tickles me. It sounds soft and romantic and makes me think of rabbits hopping across icy moonlit fields.

What I'd sat down to paint originally was the tree-like formations within the lungs of a woman with a bird nesting in them. I'd had this image come to mind while I was lying in savasana one afternoon last week. I'd like to paint this image in a few different formats.

In another bit of synchronicity, it turns out that today is the Jewish holiday, Tu B'Shvat, also known as the Birthday of the Trees, which falls on the fifteenth full moon of the Jewish month of Shvat. What a cool holiday! I just learned about Tu B'Shvat last year when I was going to a gym that was part of a Jewish recreational center. They had signs up about the holiday, but I also took a Nia class that day and the teacher talked it and had us moving like trees in the wind. I was just thrilled knowing that trees have their own special celebration.

It's interesting what will bubble up from our subconscious mind when we allow it to create. I love that my subconscious brought up the trees and moon images today.

Jamie Ridler hosts a Dreamboard challenge on her blog at every full moon. The dreamboards are a collection of images and words of something you want to manifest in your life. What a lovely practice to have around the full moon and a wonderful way to play with words!

The image above was made with acrylic and ink on a 6"x6" Aquaboard (clayboard with a texture similar to watercolor paper) and I'm calling it "Full Snow Moon."


February 9th, 2009, Comments (8)

word dress

My bestest bud, Judean, sent me a bunch of fun sites that focus on word-play. Goodness gracious, there are so many ways to create with words! On the Wordle website, you can enter your blog address (or any web page) and it will pull words from it to create word art. You can then change the font, the color scheme, and the arrangement style to your liking. In the one above, I thought it looked a bit like a dress if I turned it on its side. Here a few more creations from the site:

wordle 3

Good fun! Judean also sent me links to a Random word generator and an incredibly cool site which helps you create your own fonts. I'm definitely going to try out that font creator.

Art and Word Collaboration

February 6th, 2009, Comments (13)

lighthouse large

I love the many ways there are out there on the internet for collaborating between art and writing! Nancy, of Every Photo Tells a Story, contacted me recently to see if I'd be interested in submitting my art for her site. Another instance of perfect timing, considering the (totally optional) theme of words this month for the Creative Every Day Challenge!

The purpose of Every Photo Tells a Story is to provide photography or artwork as a prompt for writing (or other creative explorations.) You could use it to inspire a bit of fiction, poetry, or even another piece of artwork! The piece on Nancy chose for her site today is "Lighthouse" (one of my favorites), and while the original has sold, there are still prints available here.

book fly

I use a lot of material with words on it in my mixed-media artwork. Sometimes it's my own hand-writing, like I did in parts of Memory Cycles and sometimes printed material. Sometimes it has meaning related to the piece I'm working on and sometimes I'm just using it because I like the texture.

I love the way simple drawings look on an antique book page. Altering an old book is a great way to play with words. You could pick out words from the page that stand out to you, circle them, and paint out the rest. You could make your own pop-up book within the pages, cut windows into one page that leads to the next, cut out individual words from the pages to use in art (like my friend Jes does in some of her jewelry pieces), or paint a thin glaze over the page so that the words show through just slightly. Flea markets are a great place to hunt for old books that are just crying out for new life. Or you could re-purpose something like an old calendar like Rosa did!

p.s. I've been experiencing loads of synchronicity in the last 24 hours. I love it when that happens!

And I've got a link for you! The lovely Jennifer Lee is hosting a giveaway of the book, The Vision Board: The Secret to an Extraordinary Life on her blog! All you have to do is leave a comment sharing "What do you love about you?" It looks like a great book. I know I'll be entering the giveaway!

More Fun with Words

February 5th, 2009, Comments (5)

Caroline from Caro's Lines posted a link to this neat site where you can spell words with flickr photos. How fun! I used it to spell out my word for 2009:

letter L E30 A p-sf2

Caroline also linked to a great challenge for all you shutterbugs out there. I think it's also another fun way to play with words and creativity! The One Word Project is being put on by the Shutter Sisters blog. Once a month, participants will be given one word to use as the inspiration for a photograph (which you can then post to the group on flickr.) For February, participants are invited to choose their own word. Very cool, eh?

L11 A25 Mobile 013109 085 G9 h-ca2

And now for something completely different...Another way to have good creative fun with words is certainly in a good joke. And I love to laugh. Despite my short stature (I'm 5 feet and a half inch), my laugh is outrageously loud. :-)

Today, a link from A Cup of Jo brought me to this ridiculously funny site, Old Jews Telling Jokes, which I noticed was designed by fellow Creative Every Day Challenge participant, Leah from LeahCreates.com! The Old Jews Telling Jokes site is hilarious (warning, the jokes are all dirty!) perhaps because it reminds me of my joke-loving dad (who is just old enough to qualify for an "old" Jew according to this site...I don't think he'd appreciate that) my dad's brother, and a little bit of the hubster's grandmother (the hubster and I both have one Jewish parent.) I particularly like the joke from the website owner's mom.

Letting Your Art Speak

February 4th, 2009, Comments (15)

rosa murillo ilse
Rosa Murillo's Ilse

Recently, artist and blogger, Rosa Murillo, posted this image on her blog and wrote,

I have this old pocket calendar from 2008 that I decided to use as sketch paper, and this face showed up yesterday. Her expression makes me uneasy. Like she wants to say something, but somehow doesn't. I read somewhere that when you draw you are actually letting your subconscious speak. So what I am trying to say?

I left a comment suggesting that Rosa try putting a speech bubble on the adjacent page to let the woman speak. And I'm so glad she did because look what this wise voice (Rosa named her Ilse) had to say!

rosa murillo ilse speaks
Rosa Murillo's Ilse speaks

I think our art often has messages in it for us. Sometimes these messages come from somewhere deep in our subconscious, sometimes they are bursting to get out. Giving them a voice in our artwork can be a lovely, gentle way to receive them. It might not always be a face, but since we can be playful in art, you could make any symbol speak if you wanted to.

For example, if birds are showing up a lot in your artwork, you could try drawing a bird in your sketchbook and then draw a speech bubble next to it. Give yourself permission to write whatever comes to mind, no matter how silly, weird, or outrageous it may seem.

You could ask your symbol:

  • What do you represent?
  • What message do you have for me?
  • What is it that you are trying to teach me?
  • How would you like to be expressed?

Then allow yourself to write in a stream of consciousness style. Your symbol may have just one word to share or a whole page. And if nothing comes, that's o.k. too! Just giving your artistic symbols room to speak to you, may open something up internally.

Sometimes I'm just not clear on what a symbol means to me until it's been around for a long time. Sometimes someone else will see the symbol in my art and say something that triggers the answer for me. It's fun to explore the imagery regardless of whether or not an answer comes. There's lots of juicy stuff to explore on this topic, but for now, I'll let you stir with this other way of playing with words and art if you feel called to do so.

Other ways to have fun with words:

  • Dawn Doran of the Knitting Gnome Blog has shared another challenge that fits well with the words theme this month. This time it's an ATC (artist trading card) challenge for kids! Check out all the details here.
  •  Rowena of Warrior Girl shared a link to a group writing project at Burning Lines where the participants contribute to the writing parts of a story. Cool eh? If you're interested in participating, contact Rowena at rowena dot murillo at gmail dot com.
  • I love the TED videos (if you've never seen one of them, you're in for a treat!) This one is of Jonathan Harris, an artist and computer scientist, who does things with art and words that just blows my mind!! Be sure to check out the very cool We Feel Fine project that Jonathan created.

Pictures, Poetry, and Prose

February 2nd, 2009, Comments (8)

Write and you are a writer. - Laura Jayne

I came upon a fabulous site last month and immediately wrote to the blog owner, Laura Jayne, to tell her I'd love to feature her inspirational blog in February, when the Creative Every Day Challenge's (totally optional) theme is words. What a perfect fit!

Pictures, Poetry, and Prose is a blog that features a daily photo or piece of artwork as a writing prompt. Laura encourages leaving your written response to the artwork in the comments section. After a week, she selects one of the writing samples to feature beneath the artwork.

I love the way Laura encourages people to use the prompts in any way that is meaningful to them. She even has a neat little timer on the side of the blog which you can use to time your written response to just 5 minutes (only if you want to!) I like the idea of the timer because it limits the amount of time you spend on it and also breaks it down into a doable chunk of writing time. I've used time limits for writing exercises before and somehow it was helpful knowing there was an end and beginning to the free-form writing.

Today, Laura is featuring one of my pieces (thank you, Laura!) and I'd love to see what kind of written response it inspires in you!

Images are a great jumping off point for creative writing. Try the Pictures, Poetry and Prose challenge or if you'd rather do something more private, paste a picture into your journal and use it as a prompt for a bit of poetry, fictional, or autobiographical prose.

Happy February!

February 1st, 2009, Comments (17)

I can hardly believe it's February already! So, we've moved into a new month and the totally optional theme for the Creative Every Day Challenge in February is Words! You can learn more about the theme here. There are so many ways to play with this theme and I hope you'll have fun playing with the possibilities. Personally, I think play can be a continued theme for each month as I want to encourage playfulness in everything we do!

sketchbook snuggle cats

One of the ways I use words in my art is in my sketchbook. On the page above, I was taking notes and doodling while listening to a podcast.

I've always been a doodler, I can't help myself. When I was in school, all of my notebooks would be covered in doodles and drawings in the margins. A few years ago, I learned that this doodling I was doing was actually helping me to pay attention! It turns out that for folks who aren't audio learners, doing something with your hands often helps you to soak in the information you're listening to. I had no idea! It made me feel much better about my constant doodling when I was attending a lecture, sitting in a class, or listening to a podcast. And it's so true for me! I noticed that when I'm able to doodle or write down what I'm hearing, I take in the information so much better than if I were just listening. Is this true for you?

While I'm not taking any lecture-type classes at the moment, I do enjoy listening to radio shows and podcasts and sometimes I like to take notes about what I'm listening to. I keep a sketchbook nearby for that purpose and the notes usually become a combination of doodles, drawings and words. If you're feeling nervous about putting words in your art, this may be a great place to start! Just play in your sketchbook and see if the words you write lead to images or if the images you draw lead to the written word. No one needs to see it. Just have fun with it!

If you're looking for something fun to listen to, check out the Craft Sanity podcast with Project Runway Contestant, Daniel Vosovic. I listened to it while painting last night and really enjoyed what he had to say.

Or you could check out my chat with Connie, of Dirty Footprints Studio, on her blogtalk radio program! I loved talking with Connie (she's such a sweetheart!) about everything from symbols in artwork, creating from your heart, and silly socks! Thank you for inviting me to talk on your radio show, Connie! You are a natural radio host! And I got such a kick out of the call from Karen!! Thanks for calling in, Karen!

I spent some time yesterday working on the "Listening" painting. I'm liking it more and more now, but it's not quite done yet.

wip listening 3

Hopefully I'll have a little more time to work on it today before I sit down to watch the Superbowl with the hubster, who is cooking up quite a feast for the two of us.

CED February Theme: Words!

January 21st, 2009, Comments (33)


January isn't over yet, but I want to give you a little something to get excited about, the theme for Creative Every Day Challenge in February!

The *totally optional* February theme will be Words. There are SO many ways to approach this theme. You could:

  • Play with writing (fiction, non-fiction, poetry.)
  • Use words in your artwork.
  • Combine writing and art in an art journal.
  • Alter a book.
  • Learn the definitions of words and see what it inspires.
  • Pay attention to the words you use.
  • Practice saying mantras.
  • Write and send letters or postcards (to friends or yourself!)
  • Bake letter shaped cookies.

How to use the themes:

  • If you're feeling creatively stuck or blocked at any point during the month, use the theme as a source of inspiration to get you moving.
  • In the case of words, explore how you can use words in your work, journal about what words means to you, or use one of the examples above!
  • Using the theme is entirely optional for CED participants. Use it if it inspires you, ignore it if it doesn't.
  •  I'll be sharing posts throughout the month around the theme (among other things) to get you thinking about how to incorporate that particular theme into your life. Feel free to make suggestions or share how you use that theme in your creative worlds throughout the month.
  • Feel free to focus on the theme in your creative activities for the entire month or as much as you'd like.
  • Have fun with it!

Words are alive; cut them and they bleed. --Ralph Waldo Emerson