Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Art Journal Inspiration

I've been literally in a painting frenzy these past two days.  It's almost like I don't know what's gotten into me.  I can't get enough of my art journal and I'm painting very freely in it and not thinking whatsoever about the marks I'm making or the colors I'm using.  It's so freeing.  Using my fingers too has been a big part of it...just getting messy and really putting all of myself into it.  

Here are a few pages I want to share that I created during this recent frenzy.  I hope you take a little inspiration from them!  

Do you ever paint in an art journal?  If so is it to practice your skills, just for fun or does it go even deeper than that?  Do you feel it helps you in some way?  I truly believe it helps me in so many ways.

Friday, September 19, 2014

My REAL Studio Table

Seth Apter of The Altered Page wants artists to share their our REAL work spaces, our studio table. Not ones that are professionally decorated to appear in issues of published magazines, but the messy, cluttered, so-many-different-projects-going-on studios.

During the warm weather months typically May through September I luckily paint in my sunroom.  It has tons of windows and the birds are singing and flying right outside.  I love it.  Since we had a quick drop in temperature here in Wisconsin, I moved back into our office earlier than normal. Here's my studio/home office where I create.

Working in a small art journal big canvases going on right now.

It's not a big space because the other half of the room has a huge IKEA desk with my scanner, printer and the area where we pay bills, etc.  But I am lucky that I have this amount of space and I sit right in front of the window.  I'll be honest it doesn't get much light which I really need, but at least it does have a window, right?  Thanks for visiting and taking a peek into my studio!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

My Tribe, My Cre8ive Klatch

I first met these girls a few years ago when we got to work together on Flying Lessons, a creative business course sponsored by artist Kelly Rae Roberts.  We called each other "flyers" and now we are part of a "klatch." Never did I expect to call them my friends. Now that's what they've become to me.  Not only do we bounce art biz ideas off of each other but we celebrate and share the good and bad times of our personal lives as well.  I know that at just about anytime I can pop over to our Facebook group and find one of these supportive friends there to talk, listen or laugh with.  I can count on them. We've been through births, deaths, surgeries, new pets, moves across country and much more.  

Cre8ive Klatch
Being part of this creative group has enriched my life personally and creatively. We are now venturing on a new journey called the Cre8ive Klatch and it's pretty exciting. Stop over at our group blog to meet the creative members. Today is my day to be introduced there so I'd love it if you'd stop over there and get to know me a little better. Come and see the great things we have in store for you, including quick projects you can do to stretch your creative muscles, EVEN if you think you don't have any.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Strength - Art Journal Inspiration

Some of you who know me are aware that I have lupus and have been living with this illness for 13 years.  I've been through chemotherapy to help kidney disease which is now in remission (yay!).  Early menopause from the chemo unfortunately took away my chance of having a second child a few years ago.  I've had to quit my full-time teaching job as well, something I worked really hard on in college and in my graduate program.  Often I'm in lots of pain and moving my hands, neck, feet, legs, etc. can be really really hard some days.  I cannot handle being in the sun or heat.  Let's just say, my life has changed drastically.  Sometimes I give into a personal pity-party - it's hard not to some days. But through all this I am learning that I am a strong person. And, yes, I occasionally have to remind myself of that in my art journal.  An affirmation, a reminder that I can handle this.  I'm surviving everyday, sometimes even thriving I guess. Though I wish I were cured, I still do feel so much joy about life and the gifts I have been given.  This is the only way for me to deal with struggles daily.

I'm hoping that even though you too may  have some major or even minor obstacles or stressors, that you know you really are strong and can handle them.  Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe, maybe walk away, even whisper gently to myself "it's okay" and these things help put me back in a strong, capable and hopefully calm frame of mind.

When you are struggling and think you just can't handle one more thing, what do you do to help yourself?  Are you good at reminding yourself how strong you are?  Think of all the challenges you have faced in your life - you are strong.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Art Journal Inspiration

A few years ago when I started painting on a regular basis and following art blogs, I saw many artists creating in art journals.  I just couldn't do it at first.  I felt like I was wasting paper and paint and time. Then I took an online class with Mindy Lacefield called True Free Spirit and she suggested we paint many of our lessons in a journal. Since then, I've been hooked.  I truly feel like "playing" with colors and shapes and creating things I never did before (like painting girls) has opened me up to new things as well as painting more freely.  It helped me focus on being right there in the moment instead of thinking about other things or wondering if this painting was "good enough."  It is like having a little therapist right there with me, one who doesn't respond but kind of pushes me to find the answers myself by just exploring with my words or paints and trusting that I can handle things or they will eventually work the way they are supposed to.

I now love painting and writing in my art journal. It takes me to a calmer place.  Sometimes I share it with others on-line and even make prints out of my creations, and other times, it's just for me to try new art techniques or to work through things I'm worried about.  
I own the book Art Saves by Jenny Doh and I've come to believe that little phrase.  No, my lupus is not healed in the sense that I'm physically healthy like I dream of being, but I truly feel that creating art whether for myself or customers has saved me in so many ways.
I'd like to start sharing some of these pages here weekly in the hopes that maybe you can take some encouragement and inspiration from them too!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Trying Something New - Carving my own Stamps

I'm not the most handy with sharp things like knives and mandolin slicers. However the recent urge to make my own stamps bypassed my fear of sharp objects. The first stamp I carved I used an exacto knife and  my daughter's pink school eraser.  It's by no means neat OR professional looking - I'm not the neatest person when I do anything really--cooking, eating, painting, etc.  BUT I was so thrilled that I did it! I was hooked right away and took the plunge and purchased a linoleum cutter from Dick Blick and carved a few more.
I started with vines and leaves because those tend to appear in my paintings often.  Then I took a stab at a star and a diamond (pretty obsessed with diamonds as well - not the expensive shiny kind but diamond patterns). 

I can't explain it but when I'm sitting there carving them I truly focus and feel so in-the-moment, something I really struggle with A LOT lately.  I guess when you're handling a sharp tool, you have to focus.  Doing this just lets the world fall away for a few moments while I'm designing and carving.  What a great feeling.  All I know is this is really a little bit of meditative therapy to me.  I can't wait to buy some more carving blocks and see what I can create.  
This is something I never thought I'd try...what about you?  Do you have anything you've finally tried that you were scared to do?  Is there STILL something that you want to do but just can't take the plunge yet?

If you want to see more creative ideas, stop over by the Cre8ive Klatch group where we are sharing our ideas and projects.

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