Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dawn's Journal Journey "Friendship"

This is a page devoted to friendship which was the September theme for Dawn's Journal Journey challenge. If you do art journal work, or would like to start visit her Blog to have a go at the monthly themes. (See the left sidebar for her badge to go there...) I think you'll be inspired by her Blog and the other artists whom participate.

Hope to see you there in cyberspace friendship,

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Using Poetry in a Painting

"And if I could slip out the bedroom window,
onto the roof,
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."

By now you know I like to use text in my paintings. I also like to use poetry I've written in paintings. Sometimes I pull out a phrase. Sometimes, as above, I use the entire poem. I could take this single poem and find many ways I could incorporate it into my art. I write every day in a Moleskine journal basically as free writing to release emotions, solve problems, work out ideas, or doodle. I go back and look through my older journals to find little treasures I can pull out and use in my paintings, or sentances or paragraphs that prompt a story. As I read I may imagine a character formulating in my mind and run to the sketchbook to draw her. Her "story" may have come from my journal pages. Or I may come across a doodle that I build on for a painting. It is not unusual for me to find a poem I'd forgotten I'd written that will fit perfectly in the mixed-media piece I created last Tuesday. I will never give up the practice of daily writing and sketching. Both activities fuel my art and writing in surprising ways.

Where do you find your inspiration?


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Balancing the Day Job and All That

Text Reads: "I'll cancel your neuter appointment if you lick the dishes clean!"

Balancing the day job and domestic chores can sometimes move into the bargaining stage. (Hey, I say use whatever it takes to get to the writing or art table.) I have a maltese named Poe living with me and he is not neutered because he licks the dishes clean for me on my days off so I can focus on art and writing.

Joking aside, I do have to be aware of how I spend my time, otherwise I'd move in and out of my days simply cleaning, running errands, and going to the day job. I used to do all these things (nearly perfectly) with the idea that I'd write or paint AFTER. We've all heard other artists with the same stories. Flip it all around.....go to the writing desk or art table first, then go fold the laundry. (or not) And don't be shy about asking someone else in the house for help.

The other way I balance is to always carry some part of writing or art project with me. For example, at the day job I may be able to proof read a manuscript, or I may be able to do a very rough dummy sketch for a picture story. I always carry a little 4x6 sketchbook to record ideas, or to capture the idea of a sketch on paper. Sometimes doodling keeps me in the artistic spirit of things until I get home. And I never leave the house with out a book to read. 

Carrying artistic supplies with me reminds me of who I am beyond my art studio when I am bogged down with the demanding tasks and interactions of the day job. It keeps me smiling inside and doesn't allow this other part of the world I participate in to sneak in and take over. (because it will if you don't watch out for it...)

Before you start any housechore, etc. stand still, reflect, and ask yourself, "What is my intention?" This brings your attention up front. It helps identify what is and isn't truly important in the present moment before you proceed.

Let me know how you stay focused and balanced to keep the art and writing at the top of your agenda.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Moleskine Watercolor Journal

 Text Reads: "What!? You try out mattresses and sofas before you buy them don't you?"

Text Reads: "Okay, so who ate the bookmark again? I'm not cleaning up diarrhea in the morning just so you know!"

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mimic the Monkeys


Vintage Watercolor Paint Boxes

Anything vintage and I'm pulled in. The large tin is by "Page Landon" in England and the little one was also made in England. I used to use these as a child. Not these particular boxes but tin sets similar. As a child I wasn't "afraid" of using watercolors. Not sure why, or what, or whom the influence might have been for me to stop painting with watercolors and suddenly think I couldn't. I suppose we walk through the wrong door one day and simply "forget" to explore with these colors like a child. I recently went out the back door (when no one was looking) and started painting with watercolors. A new childlike joy and freedom celebrated. Does anyone know when the tins changed to plastic? Prang, etc. Anyone else have vintage watercolor boxes?

Check out the Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, Spring 2006, Issue 6. The cover shows how artist Kristen Steiner created her "Thirty-Two Artful Playthings" paint box assemblage, for the "vintage textile flea market challenge." I love her tin and I look at this issue over and over. This magazine poses a new challenge with every magazine publication.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Moleskine Watercolor Journal

The Moon

Text Reads: "Every evening I go outside to stand under the night sky. The influence of the moon visits me in my dreams. I hope the power of the sky and everything beyond touches my soul and at least humbles me a bit so I don't get in my I don't hurt anyone thinking I'm bigger or grander than they are. It is a constant practice to let go of that "ME" image.

The moon has always influenced me...creatively and emotionally. It may have started when I saw illustrations of a moon with a face in a children's book combined with the idea of "the man in the moon." As a young child I played outdoors with my siblings at dark. The moon shone on us as we ran with sparklers or caught lightening bugs (fireflies). My parents sat nearby on the porch steps, or in the swing. We would all sleep better having captured a bit of the nighttime world to color our dreams.

 It fascinates me just by the simple fact that it shows up night after night. I'm not a child anymore and it still fascinates me. Infact, today, as an adult, I think I am in more awe of it's pure and simple beauty. It is quite refreshing and a bit humbling to walk outside, look up at the night sky, and see the moon. Suddenly my shoulders relax and my monkey mind stops, and I feel the prescence of my ancestors again. They say hello and how are you?


Monday, September 3, 2012

And If I'd Known...

Text Reads: "And if I'd known, or been shown, in a reasonable sort of way, or no way reasonable at all, I may have called it all off."

Cloth Paper Scissors Reader Challenge

Cloth Paper Scissors Reader Challenge for September was "Sweet Silhouette." The challenge was to create an original mixed-media silhouette-inspired artwork. Any materials could be used as long as the piece of art included a silhouette. I entered this. Watercolor, acrylic, and india ink on 140lb watercolor paper.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Moleskine Watercolor Journal

Text Reads: "There never was three little bears, or porridge needing cooling, or a chair just right. And don't get me started on why that Goldilocks chick showed up uninvited and without gifts. I'm just saying..."

Watercolor Journal

I almost have the Moleskine watercolor journal completed. I have been able to paint one to two sketches a day. You'd think I'd run out of ideas working every day, but what has happened is that more ideas come because I am working everyday. Today I didn't get to paint and I felt heavy and slumpy like I was trudging through the day with thirty pound work boots on. Okay, it wasn't that bad but I did miss creating before I went to the day job. Thought I might be able to sneak in a quick sketch there but that didn't happen either. So I'll give it a go before bed.