Monday, September 27, 2010

The garden

I have decided I want to do a watercolor journal of my garden.
It is one of my favorite places to spend time. I have been taking
a lot of photos but want to also express the "feel" of it through
water color.
This is one of the last of the Morning Glory blooms for this season.
For some reason I have not had the best of luck with getting them to
grow in the last few years. Perhaps it is the location.
Hope you enjoy this little flower as much as I had doing it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Class 5 painting

I had a lot of fun with this piece. My little tiger cat, Myne, loves cantaloupe and makes a little pig out of herself whenever I serve it. I had some difficulty with the shading of the cantaloupe, although it does look better than the scan portrays it. Myne's name frames the edges to make up the border and I attempted to make the cloth behind the plate look like it had cat claws. Just a fun piece which will always remind me of my funny little cat that loves fruit.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

AJF class #4

This little cookie was a real challenge for me. I am not sure I accomplished what I set out to do but at least it resembles a cookie. I think one of the good things about taking a class is that you don't always get to do just those things that interest you. And in doing them, there are lessons that move you out of your comfort zone and help you learn things you wouldn't learn otherwise.
I am ready to leave this little cookie and hopefully take new knowledge with me to the next assignment.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Nature's Sunshine

This is my work from Lesson 3 of the Artful Journaling Foundations class I am taking.
I learned a lot in this session and as is common with me what I learned from was my mistakes.
But as a whole I am not totally unhappy. The best part of alll this is that I am giving myself time to do art and it is spreading over into other areas of my creativity. I am even back to making a few greeting cards which has given me so much pleasure over the years.
I am on to lesson 4 later today. Stop back for another peek soon.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

my inner critic

Both in the journaling class I am taking and on Every Day Matters website there has been discussions about our inner critic and how they hamper our artistic ventures. Sarah of
shared her views on working with her inner critic in a positive way.
I was inspired to try what she suggested and think this is a viable and inspiring concept.
I shared my thoughts and experience with Sarah and thought it might be of interest to others.

Thank you so much for your two blog entries on our inner critic.

I have had difficulty with my inner critic for years to the point that I have abandoned my attempts at drawing and painting many, many times. I have heard all the negative remarks from “her” that so many others have mentioned.

I recently signed up for an art journaling class that was highly recommended by others. By the second class this instructor noticed and addressed the problem we were all having with our inner critics. She suggested that we give our inner critic a face and write down some of the things our critic tells us. And then what we wanted to say to her. I was really surprised that my inner critic revealed herself as a little girl. We were encouraged to silence our inner critic by putting tape over her mouth and telling her to be still. I did that but, I just didn’t feel right doing that to my critic, who I named: Miss Ul Neverdowell. She reminded me of a child that strikes out because no one will listen to her. I found myself feeling sorry for her.

But that is as far as it went. Then I picked up on your message. It really spoke to my heart. I did use active imagination with her. She too told me she only wanted to protect me. She reminded me of the rejection I felt when I drew a picture for my Father and he said a picture was not something of value. She reminded me how my mother told me I needed to spend my time on something that would give me a career that would support me. She reminded me of the art teacher in Jr. High that told me I was taking up space that could be used by someone with real talent. She reminded me how dumb I felt, how hurt I was.

She and I had a short chat about how I really do want to learn how to draw and paint well enough to make some pretty “books” for my own pleasure. I explained to her that I need time to practice and play and learn in my own time and way. She reminded me I am an old woman and it is too late for me. I told her I think being “old” is even better because now I don’t have to submit my work for grading, I don’t have to have anyone approve it for it to be acceptable. I explained to her that my parents were not intentionally hurting me, that in fact they didn’t know how important it was to me. That they had their own issues with self esteem and wanted to protect me .

I realized how afraid she is. She is part of me. So there is no reason to silence her. She needs love and time to heal.

I told her that like George Bernard Shaw once said: “Mistakes are the portals of discovery”. That learning to draw and paint can be like reading a wonderful story, page by page discovering the characters and falling in love with them. Learning to draw and paint is part of my “story”. It is learning who I am besides a wife, a mother, a daughter. It is finding myself amid all the information I have been given by people who have only seen a small part of me and deciding that was my “whole”.

I hope in time she and I will become friends. I think if we do I will find out her real name, not the one I gave her.

I continue to be amazed at all the wonderful and talented people I meet via the internet. It is like going to college without having to pay. tuition. I have made so many great friends and am learning so much.

I will keep you posted on my ongoing relationship with my inner critic.


Dog Days of Summer

It has truly been "dog days of Summer" here with all the heat and humidity we have had this summer.

This is the second of my assignments with Laure F's Artful Journaling Foundations class. I feel like a fish out of water here and flounder a bit as I work. But don't we all when we are learning something new.

As always, I am finding that finding time to do the work is an issue. I just have to get over the idea that I must have all my work done before I can play. Perhaps the way to do that is to remind myself that this is real "work" right now, that will become play more and more as I learn more.

I am happy with this piece even though I lean toward more realistic looking pieces. At least I can tell it is watermelon.

I am enjoying the class.
Hope you will stop by and take a peek as my work progresses.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

my first class pages

I am so excited to begin this class. Setting aside the time is a huge step for me. The second giant step is calling myself an artist. My inner critic asks me, "Who do you think your kidding?"
I have told her I have been doing one kind of art or another all my life, only I had been calling it, "crafts". But I am all grown up now and I am willing to accept the title "Artist", even if she is not buying it.

These pages feel like humble beginnings but we must all start somewhere. They are playful pages and I must admit I had fun playing.

We will add color to our pages as the class progresses.

I feel like I am flying along with this kite.
More to come in the weeks ahead.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Refreshing my blog and my soul

It has been a long time since I have come to my blog. Like many of you, life has gotten in my way and I let many things go to the back burner of my priority list.
But I feel strongly that it is once again time for me to pull some of these things off the back back burner
One of those things is doing art work. I have decided to do that by taking an online art class called, The Artful Journaling class. The instructor, Laure, is encouraging us to put away perfection and to embrace mistakes as stepping stones to growth.
I think this is a good concept and I am looking forward to taking part. I am going to have fun and embrace the assignments and the time I spend on them.
I plan to post some of my work here. I want to share my "creative me" here.
See you again soon.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Winter muse

In February most people are beginning to think of winter as a drudgery. Cold, and in my case snow, and cold winds often make us long for spring flowers and sunny days. I am no different but it is not a driving force on these winter days for me to long for spring. The fact is I still have a long list of things I want to do before the warmer days of spring arrive.
I find all sorts of ways to meet the needs of the "creative me". Some of them are more traditional than others. One of the ways I have expressed my creativity is with paper embroidery. Pricking small holes in cardstock that form a design and then stitching it with threads. It is a relaxing pastime and makes me think of my mother.
When I was growing up, my mother spent her time of relaxation embroiderying dresser scarves, pillow cases, dishtowels and even tablecloths. She was known for her fine stitches and she had a wonderful sense of color. She did try to teach me but I had little patience for the work as mother told me what the back looked like was as important as the front. Besides I always ended up with my thread knotted. It was a work of frustation.
Over the years, I have created all sorts of things in all kinds of mediums. But embroidery as mother did it never called my name loudly enough for me to pay it any heed. But then a few years ago I received a lovely paper embroideried card from a fellow artist and I noticed that the back of the work was well hidden by another peice of paper. Suddenly I felt a spark of interest.
I have been doing paper embroidery for over 4 years now and finally understand why my mother was drawn to the work. It is like almost any other artistic work. You begin with the raw materials, and turn your creative muse loose and if you are lucky you end up with something that gives you inmeasurable joy. In my case, after completing the work I turn them into greeting cards and send them off, in hopes that they will bring someone joy. Above are two of those pieces. The one on the left was sent to my mother for Valentines Day. She loves cats and children. I hope when she sees the stitched card she will know that all those hours of trying to teach me to embroider were not wasted.
It is good to know, that whatever we learn, even though it does not seem to "stick" at the time, is there for us to draw upon like water in a well.
Hope each of you will be able to dip in to the well of resources you have and find pleasure in the work of it and fuel for your muse.