Friday, January 23, 2009

January Art Journalers - Jan. 21, 22, 23

affirmations journals - 'doorways'

Okay so I finally got at that page from the other day in my previous post. I've been snapping photos of unique doors for quite awhile. When I travel, I always end up finding at least one or two that just fascinate me - weathered & distressed, peeling paint, rusty, vintage hardware are just a few things that I love. Doors like that are very mysterious to me and make me wonder who has walked through them........and what lies beyond. Think of doors for a moment - are you opening any in your life right now? Closing any? What meaning do doors have for you?

This entry is combining 3 prompts from this week's January Art Journalers group with Misty Mawn as I decided to play catch up:

Wed. 21 -altered photo
Thu. 22 - crayons (i used watercolor crayons)
Fri. 23 - a favorite* artist....guess who? *wink*
*I hope I did justice emulating some elements of her style

Here's the poem in this entry as you may not be able to see it clearly. I've known of Rumi's works for awhile but not this particular poem, the words really resonate with me:

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house,
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame,
the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

I'm going to try to get more journaling in this weekend, I am SO loving this month of art journaling with everyone and want to keep the momentum going.......many thanks Misty!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

January Art Journalers - Altered Photo

affirmations journal - title to be determined when journaled :>

The prompt today for Misty's Jan. Art Journalers is 'altered photo'. I was organizing my studio today and came across one of my fave magazines Cloth, Paper, Scissors and remembered that there was an article in there about altering photos digitally. Do you have the Jan./ Feb. issue? Well....let me tell you about this feature article in the Workshop section by my friend, Chrysti Hydeck (whom I had the pleasure of meeting in person at the inaugural ZNE art retreat in Cali last year, her work is stunning). This article ROCKS! If you haven't done much in the way of digital art, you must give her step-by-steps a try.

This photo is from my private collection and was taken in Michigan about 2 years ago. The aged/spotted portion of it is a manipulated photo of an old cookie sheet that I was ready to toss, no kidding! Anyhow, Chrysti's instructions were super easy to follow with lots of variations to help you personalize your own work.

Okay, I'm off to do a print of this and work it into a journal page......

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Week of Color, Day 7: 'Blue'

affirmations journal - 'breathe'

Breathing is second nature to us.....deep breathing and being conscious of every breath we take however is something that you learn to be aware of. Yoga or meditation are 2 great ways to practice good, efficient breathing - not that shallow stuff that most of us do, I'm talking deep-from-the-belly kind of breathing that raises your chest and expands your lungs. It takes some practice at first but it's worth.....every breath.

Thanks to everyone who followed along on my Week of COLOR Journaling with Misty Mawn. I hope I've inspired you to get out your journal or go get a new one if yours are all filled (good for you if they are!) and explore your beautiful, creative self.....and oh yes, don't forget to BREATHE :>

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Week of Color, Day 6: 'Yellow'

affirmations journal - 'create and grow'

"Find the seed at the bottom of your heart and bring forth a flower.”
-- Shigenori Kameoka

closeup to show detail and textures

Okay, here's my journal entry for Yellow, what a happy color to work with. Weekends are slower paced around here so I was able to slip into my studio and just create away at my own pace. I've learned to savor those moments and trying to work out a schedule so that can happen a lot more for me this year :>

The January Art Journalers are now down to our last day of 7 days of COLOR, no kidding - I can't believe how fast this week flew by!!!!! I'll be working on my blue page today instead of the prompt pink as I did a switcheroo at the beginning. Hopefully my resistance has left the building by now, seriously, I had quite a few of those moments this past week when nothing was happening and I felt like I was wasting my time. I am very product/results driven and always reminding myself to enjoy the process more and have less expectations.

Again, thank you my dear Misty for hosting this wonderul adventure in art journaling, what a ride!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Week of Color, Day 5: 'Red'

affirmations journal - 'heart'

"Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart." - Confucious

Just a sketch but I did get a journal entry in today - yay! Anyhow the color RED, oh yes I do love it and hearts too, I even sign my name with a heart on all of my work. The heart symbol has always been very special to me, I think it's because I put so much heart into everything I do.....truly :>

I may use this as a reference for a larger piece on a wood panel, I think she would be lovely with the right background, don't you? No matter, I was definitely in the mood for something simple today. Tomorrow, well....that's another day my friends and the color challenge for us January Art Journalers is YELLOW.

You know, as much as I've had ups & downs with this challenge, I have to say that I have flexed my artistic muscles quite a bit - more than I would normally - thank you for that Misty!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Day 4: 'White' and Illustration Friday - 'Pale'

affirmations journal - 'learn'

"Most of the time life whispers only soft clues, gently suggesting the path to follow. Heed the whispers. LEARN the language. When you comprehend their meaning, dreams can be attained and hopes fulfilled." --anon

The affirmation word for this entry couldn't have been more aptly titled, I am learning so much through this January Art Journalers challenge. Through myself and many creative, sharing souls...I feel like I'm part of a much bigger picture and that at least for now, I am not alone on this wonderful journey...

I left the area around the arch until the end and then I was too tired/done with this to finish it. However, I did love working with this pale, serene, almost meditative color palette, I can see why Misty loves it so much. It was really hard to capture a good scan or photo of it though. Which brings up a good question because I normally don't work in such a light color palette - how do you photograph light-colored pieces for reproducing?

Oh yes, I have the winner of my recent giveaway - it is Becky of Sweet Cottage Dreams, congratulations! My daughter helped and pulled a name the old-fashioned way, out of a [cowboy] hat, this is Texas after all *smile*.

Thank you again to all who entered, you are each truly inspiring and lovely - I wish I could send something to everyone.....I've decided to do monthly GIVEAWAYS because I loved this one so much, look for a reminder in February!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Week of Color, Day 3: 'Green'

affirmations journal - 'listen'

“Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.”
-- Mary Anne Radmacher

Well, here's my GREEN entry for the weeklong COLOR prompt by Misty Mawn for her January Art Journalers Group. I really thought I was going absolutely nowhere with this page. I was even as far as resigning myself to putting my supplies away, but instead I went for my power walk. As I walked, taking deep breaths in and clearing my mind, I thought of how much my birthday month, May, makes me think of the color green - it's Spring, everything's in bloom, the air is fresh & heady with new growth, and my birthstone is the emerald.

When I returned, I spritzed some 'tranquil mint' (I love it - peppermint to refresh & and rosemary for focus) and it all came together....It is so reassuring to know that if we LISTEN, nature can help us find what we're looking for - whether it's calm, uncluttered thoughts or clarity to create. I need to keep up my efforts to get those walks in!!

By the way, my GIVEAWAY is now officially over. I will be drawing a name and posting it tomorrow (Thursday) sometime during the day, most likely in the evening. THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to enter and leave their most inspiring and insightful affirmations for all of us. I thoroughly enjoyed reading each one of them, you are all AMAZING :>

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Week of Color, Day 2: 'Orange'

affirmations journal - 'open'

I'm just under the wire with this entry for the color ORANGE (and I think I'm really ready for some yoga myself right now, lol ) I struggled with this entry for some reason - I can't really put my finger on it except to say that I felt distracted a bit and the background wasn't coming together no matter which way I approached it. How do you handle inner distraction - do you find it easier to just give in to it, or plod on and hope it resolves itself? What is your process regarding bkgds - do you get most of it done, then do your main subject? Maybe you work each a little at a time until it's complete? I'd love to hear how you approach that!

We are now finished with Day 2 of the weeklong COLOR prompt by Misty Mawn for her January Art Journalers Group. Another great challenge Misty - thanks! I'm looking forward to the next color tomorrow which I believe is GREEN.

By the way, my GIVEAWAY of a fine art print ends tomorrow. Simply share your affirmation/s for 2009 to enter, the link is HERE. Good Luck!

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Week of Color, Day 1: 'Pink'

affirmations journal - 'become'

closeup to show layers & textures

I decided to try the one week of COLORS prompt by Misty Mawn for her January Art Journalers Group. I thought I'd be in a 'blue' mood today, but turns out I was 'in the pink' (okay couldn't resist that one). wasn't as easy as I thought it would be to limit my palette to a monochromatic color scheme. However, it was easy to be inspired by what the color pink brings to my mind: ballerinas in pink tutus, hearts, flushed cheeks, and hopes for a rosy future.

Great challenge Misty and I'm looking forward to the next color, we'll see what tomorrow brings!

By the way, just 2 days left to enter my GIVEAWAY of a fine art print. Simply share your affirmation/s for 2009 to enter, the link is HERE. Good Luck!

Friday, January 9, 2009

January Art Journalers - Jan. 8th

1. sketch only - I was going to just leave it at this but paint was calling out to me :>

2. in full - scanning didn't capture the sketch well, so I snapped a shot of it...

3. closeup - texture & depth (love that blue painters tape!)

I have to say overall this was a difficult challenge Misty! (but I want to thank you for that - yours was just the push I needed to try this) I've been sketching from my imagination so to capture realilty, (mine no less) was a real breakthrough, I need to get back to doing life sketches. The resistance I went through for this one was unbelievable, I don't think I;ve looked at my own face that close in a long time. As well, it was very hard to be objective, I kept scrutinizing lines & wrinkles, imperfections - bleck!! lol Once I started looking at myself as a portrait 'subject', I was a bit gentler and started seeing some features that I actually liked :>

Thanks again Misty, I can't wait for your next challenge! To see more January Art Journalers, go here.

By the way, I have a GIVEAWAY going on right now, it ends next Wed. Jan. 14th. You can read some wonderfully positive & inspiring affirmations, then leave a comment & add yours to the list to enter HERE. Good Luck!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

January Art Journalers - Jan. 5th

from my affirmations journal - jan. 5th 'connect'

A little late posting my journaling for Misty Mawn's January Art Journalers Group. It seems like everytime I want to commit to something like this, my attempts are thwarted in some way - unexpected commissions, everyday life, blah, blah, etc....No excuse but certainly a reason :>

I hope YOU are finding time to journal everyday, or every second day or once a week or a couple of times a get the picture. Journal whenever & wherever you can -- embrace & nurture your creative time, no matter how much of it you have and what you end up creating!

By the way, don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY! All entries must be in by January 14, 2009 to be eligible. Read all the wonderful & inspiring AFFIRMATIONS everyone is embracing for this brand new year. You can enter at the January 1, 2009 post below - good luck!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008 Review, Affirmations and a GIVEAWAY

Happy 2009! I don't know about you but a brand new year always makes me feel slightly giddy and most definitely hopeful. We rang in the new year quietly here which suits me just fine. There's a certain pleasure celebrating in a quiet & reflective way, at least for me. I'm not one for resolutions either, I like to list affirmations or mantra words instead - I find them easier to embrace and put to work.

The year 2008 was a hard one for me. There were many good changes personally and professionally, but it also brought a life-changing decision and upheaval when we moved our family cross-country to the Southwest. Like anything new & unfamiliar it involved some uncomfortable feelings and emotions. And much like grief, I found that if I could just let myself feel it, I would accept it and move on. I still struggle with it some days...

**click to enlarge**

I took a look through all of my journals and around the studio at my creations for 2008 and made the mosaic above. It features some of my favorites (and apparently yours too from the feedback here & Flickr faves). As I added each one to the grid, I could see a pattern emerge -I need to do more of these! Certain things kept popping up: faces, hearts, legs & shoes, the color red, shades of blue & green, nature, birds, trees - very interesting... Most pieces & sketches make me smile while others have me asking myself "what was I thinking?" lol. In order to review and critique it properly, I decided to ask myself a few questions. I hope these questions will help you too if you're trying to evaluate your work:

What were my influences, ie. what was holding my attention at that time?

What made my pencils & brushes 'sing'?

Which pieces nurtured & replenished my soul?

Do I feel accomplished & proud of any in particular?

Is there a media that isn't working for me? Rather, where are my strengths?

What am I wasting my time on trying to master?
I was gentle with myself on this one as ANYTIME you are creating ANYTHING it isn't a waste of time, however I tend to be stubborn and keep at something even when I'm not enjoying the process of it any longer :>


One last thing, I am now officially announcing my GIVEAWAY starting today. All comments must be in by January 14th to be eligible. The GIVEAWAY will be the winner's choice of a fine art print (I'll have a few to choose from) and of course I'll tuck a few other goodies in. To enter, leave a comment and share an AFFIRMATION that's worked for you, or maybe one you're ready to embrace for 2009 (special note: please be sure to include a way for me to get in touch with you, otherwise I'll have to give it to someone else!) I'll also be posting this on Flickr for all my fine FLICKR friends there.

My wish for everyone in 2009 is that it brings YOU everything your heart desires...and more :>