Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Paper Doll Swap

I'm in paper doll swap group on "Roses on my Table." I used 140lb water colour paper as the base and painted it with a combinaton of acrylics, water colour, and Derwent Inktense pencils.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Try NOT to Express Yourself

Have you ever tried NOT to express yourself creatively? I can't do this on purpose, but often things roll in like Thanksgiving, or helping a friend, or decluttering the house, and before you know it shoulders are slumped, I feel out of sorts, and when I go to my journal pages to write it comes out that I have not been expressing myself creatively. Uh, oh, spaghettios.

I have to put my creative thoughts on paper through writing, or mixed-media collage , or painting. I have many avenues now for creative expression but I remember years ago when I wasn't creating or writing, and I knew I had to start again, or I'd certainly burst, I went out and bought crayons and a coloring book. The smell of crayons makes me eight years old again. (The eight year old in you will remind you of who you are again.) I simply colored. The motion of putting color on the page was similar to meditation. As I colored creative ideas came. Suddenly I was rushing to the art table to create. As I created ideas for writing came. Each creative project led to the next. Lettters to friends got written. The flowers my dad loved got planted at the edge of the garden. I started to go out every evening to look at the night sky. I felt very free. Changes were happening inside me because I was letting the creative energy out. If you're stuck or you need to start your creative life become eight again. Play with play-doh (remember to smell it), sprinkle some glitter, make turkeys out of pinecone and feathers, make homemade paste. Be free again......


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Snail Mail Art

Snail Mail Art # 10

I'm sending this piece to my daughter Stacy Campbell who will be moving to a new place this weekend. I'm hoping it will be her first piece of mail at this address. She has an apartment that overlooks the square of the historical section of this town. She'll be moved in just in time for the Christmas parade and to put up her little vintage silver tree (that the cats will promptly knock down).

Stacy is a writer (mostly on a typewriter instead of a computer) and has a passion for film. She recently played the lead role in "Wait Until Dark," with a community theater group. She is a vegetarian but can't cook many vegetarian dishes, hates when I cook bacon, (she calls it pig butt), adores chocolate (the really good stuff), and can bring a dying plant back to life. Once I commented about her lovely plant and she reminded me it was one I'd thrown away. Stacy has a sophisticated style, and an aura about her that pulls people in easily. I laugh a lot when I'm with Stacy... cry, too, but then that is how relationships are built...going up and down the hills together. Thanks for walking along side me all these years Stacy. (Well, more like ahead of me. She has long legs and takes long strides. I have to run to keep up with her.)

My love and best to you in your new home,

Monday, November 21, 2011

Snail Mail Art

Snail Mail Art #9

This piece titled "Kiss Cat Lips" will be mailed all the way to New Zealand to Elaine King. I met Elaine through the Strathmore online workshops. Elaine is a writer, poet, and artist. She just returned from a trip to Figi and has another planned for Vietnam. She inspires me with her use of water colours. (I'm still a bit afraid of them.) I love that she has tea at 4:00 pm with her mum and this has reminded me how important it is to stop mid-day and relax or kiss a cat if you wish. Oh, yes, Elaine's birthday is coming up. Happy Birthday Elaine.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Snail Mail Art

Snail Mail Art #8

Well, I made it past the one week mark. Tra, la, la. We're really moving now.

I'm sending art piece #8 to my sister Debra-Rettig Hannah. Debra is an artist in the studio as you might expect, but she also brings art spirit to her yard, the kitchen, the living room, and even the way she dresses. I am living in our childhood home that has a huge stone wrap-around porch and a big yard. When we were children all of the neighborhood kids wanted to go to the "big yard" to play, or if it were raining to the "big porch." Often we made hobby horses, paper dolls, large tissue paper flowers, etc. Debra wore the crown when it came to creating. All of my sisters and brother were creative but Debra had the edge to it. I pleaded with her to make my hobby horse when mine looked like a limp sock hanging off a broom handle. She taught me to knit and crochet and she could make fudge and cook. Me in the kitchen? Nope, you could find me reading a book. (I'd like to report that I make great fudge and can cook now.)

Debra's art is insanely original and her dolls and creatures are made with vintage fabrics and embellishments. I wanted to show a photo of one of her creations but I didn't get her permission before I was ready to post this. (Maybe in the future...) Visiting her house is like going to an artist's retreat. You leave refreshed, peaceful, and full of inspiration.


Today she makes

Friday, November 18, 2011

Snail Mail Art

Snail Mail Art #7

I am mailing #7 to Jenn Mason. She is an artist and the editor of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine. This is an exceptional creative discovery magazine. Collage, mixed media, art assemblage, etc are featured by artists in this magazine. Discover artists like Teesha Moore, Michael DeMeng, Kelly Rae Roberts, and Pam Carriker (just to name a few) on these pages. It is a wonderful magazine and I make certain I have a subscription so I don't miss any. I suggest you sign up for the online newsletter and visit their web, in addition to getting the subscription, of course. Thank you Jenn for the wonderful job you do with this publication.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Snail Mail Art

Snail Mail Art #6

I'm almost a week into the snail mail art project where I've decided to mail a little piece of art to someone everyday. The next one could come to you. While you wait send something in the mail today.

Today I mail art to an artist and photographer Andy Spessard who lives in Columbus, Ohio. Yeah Andy. He graduated from CCAD and has a studio somewhere out there and takes wonderful photos somewhere out there. Take a peek at his web to see his work. I love his photo collages. Very unique. His personality definately shows up in his work. Speaking of personalities Andy is hilarious and fun and if you ever meet him you will smile days after the interaction. He's one of the coolest, zaniest people I've met. I'm grateful he is friends with my daughter otherwise I may have never met him.


Snail Mail Art

Snail Mail Art #5

If you haven't heard yet I am doing a little mail art project where I will make a piece of art and give it to someone I may know or not know. I'll give it through snail mail. I'm not sure how long I'll maintain this project...we'll see. We can send messages, copies of art, photos, and such over the internet. This is quick, fun, and even necessary at times, but I've heard of a few post offices closing and I want to encourage you to send out little surprises in the mail for others to receive, other than Christmas cards. What? You haven't been sending Christmas greetings by mail because the postage is too high and you don't have time inbetween all the other holiday activities? Hmmmmm. Set up a writing table. Choose lovely paper and a pen you only use for correspondence. You may not have an antique writing table but you could fill a decorated box with writing supplies. I have a small desk that is only used for writing letters. It feels lovely and special when I sit down to write a letter to a dear friend, such as the one I am about to mail snail mail art, too.

Her name is Jen Curran. We met years ago at a job we were both passionate about...homebased Head Start. The stories of our lives together took off from there. (Smile here) Jen and her husband own 7 Wendy restaurants which keeps them rather busy. Jen is a gorgeous lady and often gives too much of herself, but that is what happens when you care and love your family and friends like she does. Honestly, I could call her at 3:00am and ask her to put on purple polka dotted pj's and come over to give me a hug because I'm scared about the dream I just had and she'd be there. First, she'd have to go buy those pj's because who has purple polka dotted ones? She is extremely talented and sometimes I don't think she knows her own possibilities.....hint, hint, this is why I'm usually trying to push her back into creating her art. I made this piece of a lovely-fantastical world for her. Would love to have the magic power in me to give her this world. Hugs to you Jen, now go make some art.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Snail Mail Art

Snail Mail Art # 4.

I am mailing this little piece of artwork to Jo Robinson who I bumped into (not literally-we're talking cyberspace here) at "Roses on my Table." Visit this site to meet wonderful, caring artists. The art groups are inspiring of which Jo leads the paperdoll group. She can go on forever with ideas and personal encouragement , plus the artists who participate chat, and laugh, and have loads of fun. You can also find art workshops on this site. Cyberspace hugs to you Jo.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Snail Mail Art

Day 3 of my Snail Mail Art Project. This art will be mailed to Jackie Paninski Neal in New York. I met Jackie through the Strathmore online workshops and we immediately became friends. She is a talented mixed-media artist, makes me laugh at the silliest things, gets me back in the studio when I didn't realize three months had passed without creating a thing, and often rings when I need conversation most. This piece is titled, "Hello NY Friend"

Friday, November 11, 2011

Snail Mail Art Project

Day two for my Snail Mail Art Project.

I am sending a piece of art out by snail mail everyday. How long will I do this? Oh, I don't know. We'll see, but at least long enough to get your attention and perhaps a little piece of original art in your mailbox.

Today I mail art to Dave Hunter in Illinois. I met Dave through Michael DeMeng's online Artlab workshop and I am ever grateful for his friendship. He is an art assemblage artist (just one of many talents) and makes these cool eyeballs to use in art. Michael Demeng traded one of his art pieces for Dave's eyeballs. (Not his real ones) Dave is currently repairing a ceiling in his old house. You know how those old houses have character and nothing is standard or square? The contractor wants to rebuild the beam structure so he can have a square ceiling to work on.....hence the art that asks, "But can you live with a square ceiling?" Well, if you don't get it Dave will know exactly what I mean.


Darlene (or Dar to Dave)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Vote for "Goodreads" best Humor Book/Wade Rouse

Wade Rouse has been nominated for best humor book with "Goodreads." He is so funny I usually can't read his books in public because I make a silly fool of myself laughing. And several pages later he has me almost in tears. Lovely and funny. Anyway please take a couple of seconds to vote for him: (and don't forgewt to tell your friends about him)


Click on the "Humor" category. Click on the photo of Book cover for "All's Relative."
Then support your local small bookstore and buy his book(s).


Snail Mail Art

Remember penpals and glittery Christmas cards coming in the mail? Or the birthday card with money enclosed? In the fifth grade, to help us learn about other states, we got to send for geographical information. I knew I was in love with paper when the glossy tri-fold brochures arrived and sometimes a map of the state was included. Around the seventh grade I swooned over film catalogues and comic books. I collected stamps in the sixth grade. And who didn't like the smell of ink printed on school tests just fresh from the mimeograph machine? I was a true paper-aholic and if it came free to me in the mail it was super terrific.

My parents taught us to write thank you notes and to write letters often to our relatives who lived several hours away. I know how excited I was to use stationary with a border of splashy flowers or peace signs around the edges instead of notebook paper. Postage is more expensive now and the computer and cell phones have made communicating fast and easy, but I still find myself writing a letter, or sending a special package to someone. Which brings me to the subject of Snail Mail Art. I'm going to dedicate every day to sending a piece of art through the mail. I will send them to people I know and people I don't know at all, or people I admire and know only through their creative work.

I remember reading in Carolyn See's book, "Making a Literary Life" to send out charming notes to people whose work or reputation you admire. She says to do this five days a week for the rest of your life. (Whew!) It is important just to write and say thank you to someone. It is important to send art out into the world the snail mail way.

My first art mail will go to Wade Rouse. He is a humor essay writer who lives in Michigan. I hope to go to his writing retreat next year. I send this piece titled, "I voted for Wade...All's Relative." He has been nominated for best humor writer (right up there with Tina Fey) for his book, "All's Relative. Google his name and find out how you can vote. I told him I'd help spread the word and you can tell your friends. It just takes seconds to vote.

Have fun and maybe you'll be seeing a Snail Mail piece from me soon. Follow me here to watch where I send them. Oh, and if you send something to me I'll post it here.

Tra, la, la,