Monthly Archives: April 2014

Part 2: 7 Day Creativity Challenge

As promised, Part 2 of the 7 Day Creativity Challenge…

Day 5: Share the process:

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(A glimpse of my 10 finished cards. You may recognize the first one from the header on my blog)

I have been furiously working to complete my 10 postcards for iHanna’s DIY postcard swap. I really enjoy working on these as I never know what direction they will take me.  Sometimes I have an idea in my head, but once the paint goes down on paper…poof! The original idea is gone & the paint on the page leads me down a brand new path.

That’s what happened with these cards pictured above. Once I got going, the materials spoke to me & I listened. There are 3 different styles of cards…each have their own personality, but each holds a positive message…that is something I always include on my cards, regardless of where the visual aspect of the materials take me. The thought of brightening up someone’s day with a postive post card, well, that brightens my day!

Day 6:  Creative Adventure

Last week, my daughter was still on Easter/Passover break, so we decided to take a quick trip (how lucky we are that it is literally a 15 minute subway ride away!) to see the Faberge Egg-xhibit at Rockefeller Center…(ok, so she had an ulterior motive to also visit the Americ*n Girl Store on 5th Ave. just across the street).

The eggs were fabulous!! All 250-something eggs were displayed in & around the Plaza. It was so hard to choose a favorite as they were all so creative & inspiring!

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 imageI call this one, the “art journaling” egg…love all that text on the bottom!

imageOne of my favorites as the colors were simply outstanding!

image I think this one was my all time favorite: an egg made out of various, authentic street signs of NYC. LOVE this one!!

We had a great day & seeing all of the artwork on these eggs inspired both me & my daughter to hurry back home & make some art together!

Day 7:  Express the Love

Day 7’s challenge was to express the love for why we do what we do…& I have to say, I absolutely LOVE creating/art making…why? It lets me be me…it allows me to express my feelings, my likes & loves in ways that I may not always have words.  I love noticing things around me, small things, little things that may create a spark & give life to an idea that I can express via art. It helps me to be in the moment & enjoy & appreciate the beauty in all things big & small.

This was a great challenge & I am so glad I found it! Big thanks to Forthecreators.com for hosting it!

 

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ICAD 2014 – it’s almost time!

  ICAD 31 cards in 31 days

(31 Index cards – halfway through the challenge last year)

Last year I participated in Daisy Yellow’s Index Card a Day challenge for the first time & it was a BLAST!  A small & inexpensive format, I had nothing to fear! No big, blank page staring back at me, expecting so much…nope, just a 3×5 index card,whispering, “Come play with me”. And play I did!  From painting, collage, craypas, Gelly rolls & Sharpies, I documented 61 days of my summer. In essence, those cards became my Summer 2013 diary.

I even brought my cards & markers with me on vacation. Those cards that I did on vacation turned out to be my very favorites as they now serve as great memories to those days. A long car ride to the Grand Canyon is documented by the different types of trees we saw along the way…not in a photo, but in a sketch on an index card… & I remember every moment, like  the songs my daughter & I sang in the car along the way (“Mirror” by Justin Timberlake, “Safe & Sound” by Capital Cities, to name just a couple!)…art has the power to do that – evoke memories & feelings.

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(Index card, black tempera paint, gelly roll pens)

So, if you haven’t already done so, go to the Daisy Yellow site to find out all the details, then join the Daisy Yellow Facebook group &the Daisy Yellow Index Card a Day 2014 Facebook group, hosted by the ever talented, generous art soul, Tammy Garcia. You will be so glad you did! And here’s the thing…it’s free! No registration or anything, just join the Facebook groups! The ICAD party starts June 1st! Hope to see you there!

7 Day Creativity Challenge – Part 1

As I mentioned in this post, I found the 7 Day Creativity Challenge & jumped right in.  I like these little challenges as they help me to keep myself on the art track. I have a lot of bigger projects on my list, but there are some days when one quick little challenge is all I need for the day (especially when time is of the essence, as it has been a bit crazy here the last 2 weeks or so).

Here are my first 4 days of the challenge:

Day 1:  Visually document your word

(you can read more about this particular journal spread here)

Altered book, acrylics, oil pastel

 Day 2: Creative Dream List

I know this will evolve as time goes on, but so far, these are the creative projects/thoughts on my “Creative Dream List”. I have completed some of them already, many will be continuous works in progress. It is definitely enough to keep me busy, but I still manage to get distracted by all kinds of new ideas! Not such a bad thing to get distracted by though, right?

Dream list

Day 3:  Recharge My Creative Space

I live in an apartment in the heart of Manhattan, space is tight! While it is a very nice size for our family, there really is no room for studio type space. My work space is my dining room table & more often than not things spill over (literally!) to the floor, the surrounding chairs, the window sill. I tend to save every interesting “scrap” which makes for too much “spilling over”. So, this was a welcomed challenge. On the left is the “before”,  my covered table…on the right, my “after”, a neatened up stacked pile. I got rid of MANY of those interesting scraps! 🙂 I did have a more drastic “before” pic, but accidentally deleted it from my phone. Tust me, I still have a way to go!!

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 Day 4: Beginnings

Here are the beginnings of my post cards for iHanna’s DIY postcard swap.  This is my 2nd time participating in the swap & like the first time, I have no plan re: my cards. I never know where they will end up & that is what I adore about this process. As you can see from these 2 photos, I clearly have 2 disctinct groups of cards in their beginning stages. We’ll see how they turn out!

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And there is part 1 of this very fun, very do-able creative challenge! Will post part 2 shortly!

Now…back to those post cards!

what art journaling has taught me…so far

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(acrylics, found images, watercolor, marker)

 In all the years that I have been involved in making art & my extensive training as an art teacher, I never heard of art journaling until about a year ago! I have been art journaling for just a little bit over a year now  & I have learned  a lot:  about the process, about myself, about my creative practice.  Lots of thoughts have been swirling around in my brain lately, thinking about my greatest takeaways from the practice of art journaling, so far.

The Blank Page: Is no big deal.  I used to stare at it, scared to “ruin” a perfectly good page. Then I would plan & think & kick around ideas in my head & guess what? I did NOTHING on that page. Now? Oh my gosh, I relish the thought of a new page that I can slap some paint down or use some stamps or stencils or markers or whatever is on hand.  This also goes for pretty blank journals – I had so many that were untouched & pristine, again, I didn’t want to ruin them. No longer – I feel that whatever I create in them only makes them “mine”.

image  (16 minute sketch; watercolor wash background; pencil; notice the adjacent page smudged onto the scissors…& it doesn’t matter! [Daisy Yellow prompt] )

Mistakes: as in errant drips, drops, splotches, used to make me so upset, thinking I “ruined” the work. No longer…they are what they are & it just.doesn’t.matter. As far as the work on a page, I NEVER view anything as a “mistake” as it really is all part of my learning process & creative process. I may not “like” something, but I no longer cover it up…it is what it is. In the very first photo above, when I was working on that particular page, I felt that nothing was turning out the way I envisioned it (that was my first mistake: having an expectation).  I worked that page over & over, pulled off already glued down bits, scrubbed it with a baby wipe (awesome art tool!), painted, repainted until I felt it expressed what I was feeling. Had I just trashed that page, I would have lost the feeling, the message, all of it. Part of my expression was working the page…the PROCESS, yes, that’s what matters!

Journals: At first I started working chronologically, so careful to go from one page to the next filling up one journal before starting a new one. Now I am currently working in at least 4 bound journals & I have some loose pages that I  will eventually  bind in some way. Speaking of journals, I started out with a hard bound journal (Stilman & Birn Beta series – LOVE for mixed media) & could never find another one so I settled for a spiral bound one & really didn’t like the way the spirals “interrupted” the flow of a 2 page spread. Since then, I found another hard bound one again & realized now how much easier it is to work in the spiral one! Ah well, live & learn!

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(pen & Neo Color II’s; done in a 3.5 x 5″ Moleskine journal that I take everywhere I go; this was done on vacation a few months ago)

Art on the Go: I never leave home without a few gelly roll pens, my mini moleskine sketch  book & some index cards. There is always an opportunity to draw something, somewhere…at the playground, waiting in a dr.’s office, on the subway or bus, waiting for anything! I can always make up a pattern, design, draw from observation or even make a list of books I want to read & decorate the list. I learned so much on this subject from Tammy Garcia of Daisy Yellow.

image  (acrylics, oil pastel, found images from magazines; this one I left out on my table & worked on it here & there).

Creative Process: There is nothing I love more than to leave an unfinished page on my table & then add a few things here & there while I walk past it. Sometimes my best ideas come to me when I am not 100% focused on the page.  There is so much more to say about creative process that it deserves its own dedicated post, so I will leave it until the next time.

And last but not least in any way:  The more you do, the better you get, the more ideas you have, the more you want to try new things, which leads to your own unique style. It’s the process of creating that opens me up & leads my mind on all different paths.

In the past I have spent so much time on teaching art,  that I totally neglected my own work.  Now? I cannot go one day without drawing, painting, cutting, pasting, creating SOMETHING ! It is essential to my emotional well being! Art is my happy place.

What is your biggest takeaway from art journaling?

 

 

Magenta Matters Makeover

Altered book, acrylics, gouache & washi tape
Altered book, acrylics, gouache & washi tape

Re-do, makeover, fresh start…whatever you want to call it, it’s a new day for Magenta Matters! I switched platforms (from bl0gger to WordPress) as I could no longer upload photos using the old platform.  And with a blog that relies heavily on photos, I just couldn’t continue on Bl0gger. So, here we are! I am excited to get into a more regular schedule of posting here as well.  I have various art journals going at once now, with different purposes for each & am looking forward to sharing some of those.Altered book, acrylics, oil pastelThis post is just a little hint of what’s been happening at my art table.  The first photo is of a journal page in my altered book that I am using to experiment with different materials & techniques. The colors here are not quite true to the actual page – much more vivid & orange in person. I was working completely intuitively on this one (something I want to do more of) & just let the materials lead me. I was very pleased on how it turned out.

The blue page illustrates my word for this year, Intentional.   Although I selected this word at the end of last year, I recently found the 7 Day Creative Challenge while rooting around the art journaling world & decided to do it (if a challenge involves art, I am so there!). This was the first challenge – to document your word in some way.  I made a promise to myself at the beginning of the year to be more intentional/purposeful in all that I say & do. So far, it’s been working out well, still have to be very conscious about it in some areas though…trying to make it a habit…easier said than done! This page was done in my altered book with acrylics, oil pastel &  my all time favorite white pen (Signo Uni-ball; must buy in bulk!!)

I know I have lots to catch up on here, but for the first post on this new platform I wanted to be a bit brief & just get this out there already!

Please use the “follow” button so that you can follow me (again)…I really appreciate your reading & commenting! Thanks for switching with me!