ICAD Round-up!

imageWell, here we are on day 60 of 61 in Tammy Garcia’s brilliant Index-Card-A-Day Challenge. I had such awesome intentions of posting my cards weekly, but this summer has been a freight train! So much going on trying to keep my 10 1/2 year old occupied during these dog days.

Anyway, better late than never, right? So, above are 9 cards from the early weeks of the challenge. The lighting was not too good in my apartment this morning, but if I wait for the sun to come out, who knows when I will be able to publish this post!

Takeaway #1:  Take Risks!  In the last 2 years of the challenge I played it relatively safe, this year I tried some new things & vowed to post them anyway, even if they didn’t work. A good example is the purplish card on the lower left (stamped with the end of a celery stalk that was on its way out, with acrylics). I made a promise to myself that I would work on 1 card each day & stick with it, no matter what. Gotta tell ya, 60 cards in & I’m pretty pleased!

Thanks, Tammy, for all of the hard work that goes into this challenge! It’s been such a blast! More photos to come this week with my “Takeaways”.

 

 

ICAD Roundup Week 1

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Yes, it’s that time of year again when Tammy Garcia of Daisy Yellow hosts her annual Index-Card-A-Day challenge which runs from June 1 through July 31. We’ve just wrapped up week 1 already & above are my first 7 cards.

This is my 3rd year participating in the challenge & each year I wonder if I will be able to come up with new ideas, & I always surprise myself!  Whether I follow Tammy’s prompts or not, I find myself inspired by something, be it color, shapes, a word, whatever! That’s what makes this challenge so much fun…you just never know where inspiration & intuition will take you!

 

 

 

Springing into a new plan

Not sure if it’s really a “new” plan, but it’s been on my mind for quite some time & with the start of a new season, a season of light & hope, I thought it was time to start putting my plan into action.

So, “What’s the plan?”you ask? Pretty simple: just paint…same time, everyday. That’s it! Just me, the paints, my brushes, some water soluble pastels here & there…that.is.it! The key? The same time, everyday. Sort of like the visual version of  the morning pages (a la Julia Cameron of “The Artist’s Way”).

And so, I gave myself a challenge to do 1 intuitive painting a day (preferably in the morning as that is when I am “in the zone”) for an entire month. I want to see if there are themes, patterns…or not. I just want to see what happens.

So far, I am on Day 13 & it has been so freeing! No plan, just pure process! Sometimes I do get inspired/influenced by my surroundings. For example, I found a very cool little you tube video, filmed in Hawaii, speaking about the vernal Equinox, the super moon & the eclipse , & while I watched & painted, this happened:

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But I find more often than not, it’s about getting out those feelings that seem to bog me down:

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And sometimes, I just play & experiment:

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Whatever the outcome, as always, it’s the process that is most important. And my head is always clearer as a result.

On Creative Planning

I continue to experiment with {slightly} different formats in my creative planner/journal. I began March in the usual  layout & was quite pleased with the results. I have also decided to go back to creating weekly cards which incorporate a word of the week (this one from Teresa’s Right Brain Planning pages). These cards are like touchstones for me & help me to set my intentions & the tone for the upcoming  week.  They also contain colors & scraps from art that I have created during that week as well as any images & words I find that “speak to me” in some way. You can see the card taped on the top of the page.

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This week’s format, below, is slightly different. Rather than having the days listed vertically on the side, I was inspired by something  I saw on Teresa’s pages. Since I am in the middle of participating in a Mandala workshop, I am very drawn to circles, so I decided to use the circle as my focal point that includes my days for this week. This page started with a gelli print as well & as the week goes on I will be adding more journaling,  ephemera, doodles & images. I ‘m thinking the entire spread is a bit dark in color, but oh well, we’ll see how it all works out by week’ s end.

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Here’s a close-up of the cards (created on old playing cards):

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Next week, I’m thinking of changing up the look of my planning pages altogether (I get bored fast! lol!), we’ll see…stay tuned.

How do you plan? What methods & materials do you use? I would love to know!

My February

This year I am participating in the Documented Life Project (DLP) & have decided to combine my Right Brain Planner (RBP) with my DLP journal. I tried participating in the DLP last year, but didn’t quite work it out & dropped it somewhere in March (oh the guilt I had in letting go of an already started project! Lol!). This year…things are working well! I am using Ranger Dylusions Journal (11.375 x 8.25) by Diane Reaveley & I love the “luxurious” size – gives me lots of room to play.

Here, I share my February with you.

I start the month off with my calendar from my subscription to Teresa Robinson’s Right Brain Planner  & then create my weekly spreads throughout the month. I create the spread for the week right after the  DLP challenges are released (every Saturday), then throughout the week I journal as I go. I paint, draw, add elements from my RBP pages & various epherma.

Week 1: DLP theme Under Paper

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Right side planner page is done in acrylics & hand painted papers & gelli prints; left side Neo Color IIs

Week 2: DLP theme Layers

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Lots of acrylic layers, washi tape, stamps, & photo from the book: “Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher” by Timothy Egan.

Week 3: DLP Theme Covering up Your work (yikes, was this hard!)

I made a stencliled background & then a gelli print on top of it & then…gulp…

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…covered it up with this: (& I like it!)

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Week 4: DLP theme Repeating Elements

image I chose to do a few repeating elements here with stencils (chevrons & numbers) as well as the red “bricks”. I tried to stretch myself a bit in using colors I don’t use as often, but I found myself still sneaking in a little magenta! This one is a work in progress as it’s for this current week.

So, how have you been filling your art journal these weeks?

I am Guest Posting at Daisy Yellow’s Prompt60

I am thrilled to be Guest Posting for the Prompt60 Challenge that Tammy Garcia of Daisy Yellow has going on right now. The concept is simple:  Tammy  shares a unique idea/prompt to get those creative juices flowing & she’s going for 60 unique art journal prompts by the end of March! So head on over to Daisy Yellow & check it out!Tammy has a magical way of inspiring everyone who visits her site!

Please join me for all the details on my guest prompt, number 32 at Daisy Yellow! Try it & let me know how it goes!

Here’s a little sneak peek:

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And please stay tuned here at MagentaMatters as I will be updating much more frequently!

 

The Power of Art

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My friend Anna asked me to share a personal story about art journaling & what it means to me.  I thought to myself, well, this will be easy! And it was! In fact,  I had a full blog post  written about all that art journaling has done for me: how it got me through some low points, how I’ve learned to express feelings that are difficult to articulate in words, how it soothes my soul & keeps me centered…self-care at its very best.  But as I read what I wrote, I realized that I neglected to share a very meaningful story.

It was teaching inner city, at-risk middle school students where I witnessed the magical power of art.  I will never forget my very first day of teaching…as I welcomed the students into my classroom & they barely looked at me, hidden faces under oversized hoodies, barely grunting “Good Morning”. Most of these kids had no interest in school, let alone art.  I knew I had a gigantic task ahead of me. I tried every trick I knew to get them interested, even just a tiny bit. Most of them kept telling me that “art is for rich people” & ” I can’t draw so don’t make me”.

I persevered  everyday & one day early on in the school year, I told them to take out their journals (I required them to keep a journal for writing assignments, but they rarely wrote in them), think about how they were feeling that day, choose a colored crayon or marker that matched their mood & just scribble. Well, I never thought they would have become so “worried” about messing up their writing journals, but they did! Then something happened & they started to laugh & really got into it. It was as if the act of scribbling in their “good” journal was breaking a rule & they loved that! That’s the crack that let in the light. From there, they began to trust me & they started participating in the projects.

I cannot even begin to describe how incredible their transformation was through their art. They began to have confidence, take pride in their work & actually enjoy themselves through the process. I began to learn so much from my students & I finally started to see their true, wonderful personalities! By the end of my first year, they were excited to come to class & couldn’t wait to find out what we would be creating each day. It was an incredible gift to be able to watch these kids, over the course of a school year, open up through their artwork. Many even kept sketchbooks over the summer & came back in September all excited to show me what they drew over summer break.

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For me, personally, art journaling keeps me centered. It’s just me, my sketchbook & my paints. It’s a conversation I have with the painting…it pulls me, directs me,  nudges me to think about what’s deep in my heart, what’s bothering me. It really has nothing to do with the outcome…it is the PROCESS that matters. It’s where I can get out my feelings, whether they are angry, moody, confused, happy or joyful…it’s where I process “the stuff” during the process of creating. And I can honestly say that after every journaling session, I feel so much better!

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Somedays I paint, other days I make collages from found images & words & paste them into my planner,  other days I write on a page that I previously painted:

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However I journal doesn’t matter…what matters is that I am journaling. For me, art journaling takes me back to my core, my center, it’s just good for my soul. I am more grateful, more intentional, more joyful…who doesn’t want more of that in their life, right?

Art Journaling has been a gift to me, both personally & in witnessing it’s effects on my students. My friend Anna invited me to share my story of art journaling in the hope to create awareness of just how powerful this process can be. Anna has started a wonderful project called Healing He{art}s, which will supply women who are struggling, with starter art journaling kits. The goal is to assemble & distribute 144 art journal kits during this Holiday Season. The cost of each kit is $25 & contains everything a beginner art journaler will need (paints, pens, paper, brushes & a journal).

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If you would like to help this effort, please click here to go directly to the Healing He{art}s site & learn more about ways in which to give to this wonderful cause. Also, keep up to date with the progress of the kits & the organizations that will receive them, here!

And…if you aren’t already art journaling yourself, why not give it a try?

 

My 1st Giveaway!

I am so thrilled to be a guest contributor in Tammy Garcia’s latest Daisy Yellow eZine No. 12. And to  celebrate I am so happy to announce my very first -ever Giveaway!!

The first 2 beauties who leave comments on this post will win a free copy of this very e-Zine, donated so generously by Tammy of Daisy Yellow!

Can’t get any easier, right?  I am keeping it very simple because right now, it’s all kinds of complicated here in NYC.  And anything that’s inspirational should be easy & Tammy’s Zines are always inspirational.  This one is no exception…it’s chock full of beautiful artwork by Tammy & wonderful inspiring ideas for your art journals.

So…what are you waiting for? Hurry!! Go leave a comment! Winners announced Thursday, November 6th!

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Catching up before it’s November!

There is so much going on in my little corner of NYC that it is hard to keep my head above water these days! However, I continue to manage to create some kind of art each day. I admit, it has not been anything big right now, but even just 10 minutes a day has a way of soothing my soul, calming my nerves & centering me right back to where I should be!

I started October off with participating inthe INKTOBER challenge. A very simple challenge: one ink drawing a day for 31 days, that’s it! I personally challenged myself to brush up on my observational drawing skills. Here are a few of what I have done in my mini Moleskine (3.5″ x5″)

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 My daughter challenged me to draw the view from her room in less than 10 minutes! (she’s tough!!)

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Just a small sampling of what I have been up to lately!

Please keep posted as I will have an exciting little announcement later in the week!

Mandala Love: Daisy Yellow’s AJT&T No. 9

imageLast  week I treated myself to a quick trip to the art store & bought myself  a bottle of Dr. Ph Martin’s Bombay India Ink in Turquoise (among other things, ha). I had no immediate plan to use it, but when I saw Tammy Garcia’s latest  Art Journal Tangents & Tactics video (no. 9 in the series), I knew I had to give it a try!

I drew a quick, sketchy, flower-y mandala using my Stabilo water soluble pencil.  I added 2 drops of the ink (oh my goodness, that color is even more delicious & rich in person!) which is super saturated. I spritzed the mandala with water, let the ink “burst” onto the page, grabbed my paintbrush &  let it dance over the page.

I love the way the ink & pencil combined into different shades & the way in which the gradations of color appears like clouds. I cannot wait to play more using this technique as I think the possibilities could be endless! Think I ‘ll be on my way back to the art store soon to pick up a few more colors of that luscious ink!

If you haven’t done so already, go here & give it a try!