Saturday, March 26, 2011

Handmade Journal

I've been involved in the Strathmore Online Artist Workshops which are fabulous for learning techniques at your own pace, for interacting with other artists, and for receiving positive feedback about your work. (You know how a community scope is vital to artists who spend long hours alone creating.) I've been using the wonderful Strathmore Visual part of them is they lay flat and they hold collage layers and wet work well. In the middle of it all I started a handmade journal..such fun...not so much fun that it doesn't lay flat to work in. Maybe I put in too many pages?

Handmade Journal

Handmade Journal

Handmade Journal

If you haven't purchased Pam Carriker's new book, "Art at the Speed of Life" buy it today. I'm working on hte handmade journal from a large piece of watercolor paper. I eneded up with more pages than she had defined in the instructions, but, hey I like it.

Handmade Journal

Sunday, March 20, 2011

You Are the Force of Peace

As I walked home from work tonight it is dark ,as always, because I leave work at 10:00 pm. I walk under the huge pine tree at the bottom of my yard that has been there for over one hundred years. I played under this tree as a child, I played with my daughters under this tree, and now I play under the same tree with my dear friend's two sons (who we consider to be our grandchildren.) I live in the house I grew up in. It is a large stone house with a grand wrap around porch. The house is over one hundred years old. It has great character and probably a history that would spook us if we knew the truth. But, back to walking home and approaching the grand pine tree. I put my hand on the tree and closed my eyes. This gesture takes me away from the details of daily living and into the presence of nature. I ask for the people in the world to be the force of peace, to be calm beings, to be grateful for nature, to be kind and helpful, and to look beyond themselves and things. Every evening before bed I go outside to look at the night sky. I marvel at the stars and the moon, and I say hello to my ancestors. I also pray to them. There is power in prayer to your ancestors. The sun, moon , and stars can be a magnificent focus for meditation.

I remember when I was young my mother would have us kneel beside our bed and say our prayers before bedtime. My ritual at the tree and night sky is very much like saying bedtime prayers as a child. The next time you walk outside, slow your pace, walk very slowly, and feel the power of the earth below your feet. (Bare feet is even better.) Oh, yes, and find a tree to hug and talk to. Namaste

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Mixed-Media Art

These are some mixed-media pieces I created. I use acrylic, india ink, paper ephemera usually on watercolor paper. The Kiss Cat Lips pieces are on pine board. Have you ever painted on wood? Fun experience.
Kingly King is a picture story with illustrations I am currently working on. He waves his magic wand at breakfast to wave the oatmeal away. "Purple pancakes appear to his surprise." I'm off to the day job and to have purple pancakes with Kingly King. Chat with you later. Darlene
P.S. It's a blue sky day.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Here I Am (Sort Of...)


Have you used these notebooks? Great artists and thinkers, such as Van Gogh and Picasso used these. They lay flat and have a hidden pocket in the back to store secret snips of paper, or photos, etc. I used to use a composition notebook because they were small and square, would fit in a canvas bag, and didn't cost much. Finally I treated myself to the luxury of Moleskins and a whole new world of expression opened up to me. I usually print a copy of one of my paintings and tape this onto the cover. Having my Moleskin lay on the counter by the cash register reminds me who I am beyond this day job. Here is a page I doodled on recently inbetween customers at the conveinence store.
Get a Moleskin and have fun. They sell ared one. Saw this at Blicks Art MAterials.....Darlene

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hello Out There and Tra, La, La

I live near a lovely college town (Kenyon College) which I escape to as often as I can. It has everything I need, such as, stage plays (let me remind you Paul Newman graduated from Kenyon), author and poet readings (such as Margaret Atwood and William S. Merwin), cafes with organic foods, castle-like architecture, a fabulous bookstore, and people who don't chew snuff, drink beers, or hunt deers. (Yes, folks here add an "s" to deer.)

So, in and out of the day job I go, something like Little Red Riding Hood walking along the wooded path not knowing she could meet up with the big bad wolf. My big bad wolf is the convenience store world. I politely quit a perfectly normal job for this insane one because my friend who owns the store asked me to. (I'm a people pleaser.) I've been there ten years. The store has three doors and I can't find my way out.

I carry a book and journal with me everywhere. Even to my gynecologist visit. What else can you do while you wait naked under that little paper sheet? Although I have thought of taking my water color spritzer bottles and putting some color on the sheet. Would I call that performance art once the doctor came in and I put my feet in the stirrups? Now I'm off the subject of introducing myself...
Beyond the day job I write and create art. I work in mixed-media collage, oil and acrylic, colored pencils, etc. I write and illustrate children's picture books (not yet published), humor memoir, and fiction- both adult and young adult. Plus I write poetry. Today I'd like to include a poem titled, "ESTELLE" and a photo of the painting and mixed-media collage inspired by this poem.


And if I could slip out

the bedroom window,

into the pine trees just beyond,

And slip into the branches to

lay within their power,

I'd think I was safe

out beyond,

above it all.

I'd talk to the squirrels and

lay monthly eggs.