(Acrylics on mixed media paper, 18×24″; 3 exercises from BIG)
I made a commitment to myself last summer to be sure to create something everyday & for the most part, I have stuck to it! Yes, I am sure I missed a day here & there, but they have been few & far between. You see, even if I have a ridiculously crazy, busy day, I will make sure I take 10 or 15 minutes to do something: a quick sketch, adding paint or designs to my planner…something! Art has become a regular habit for me now, a creative ritual, part of my lifestyle, part of who I am. It centers & grounds me.
(Excerpt from my “30 Day Journal”; Neo colors, gouache & Gelly roll pen)
I held myself even more accountable at the beginning of this year when I participated in Lisa Sonora Beam’s 30 day journaling project (which is on going again for the month of August). It was during the month of January, just by writing in conjunction with visually journaling my plans, thoughts & actions, I found myself setting realistic goals which helped me to stick with my creative commitment.
One of my major goals for this year has been to take my once-in-awhile attitude towards making art to making it a daily, creative habit. I took a leap of faith, as I didn’t know if I was ready for something like this, & signed up for Connnie Hozvicka’s Painting the Feminine workshop, where for the entire month of January I painted in response to a daily theme every single day. Bliss! I loved that workshop so much I took it again this past May & got even MORE out of it! Just as that ended, Tammy Garcia’s Daisy Yellow ICAD project began, for the next 61 days, which I just love! And it’s a fabulous way to add art to your daily life.
(Acrylics on a 3×5 index card, deconstructed & reconstructed)
And now, coming off of ICAD, I am in the middle of Connie Hozvicka’s Self -guided BIG workshop. Let me tell you, she doesn’t call it BIG for nothing! This class is proving to be monumental for me, personally. On top of all of that, I continue to journal/process my daily life using Teresa Robinson’s method of Right Brain Planning.
When I started this art journaling adventure a year & a half ago, my interest was in finding my own voice in my work. I spent so much time in the classroom teaching my students how to make art, that I kind of lost myself. Sure, I could copy the masters, draw from observation, but it bored me & I never felt that I was expressing myself. It felt like “copying”… Ugh. I have had years of formal training, at prestigious art schools yet no one ever explained/taught how to find one’s artistic voice. I was lost & pretty much gave up on my own work. Does that even exist? A course on finding your own voice?
(Acrylics on 18×24″ mixed media paper)
All that changed when I discovered art journaling. Little by little, brushstroke by brushstroke, I started to find my way again…ever so slowly! And I mean slowly…but that’s OK! It has been frustrating at times, feeling stuck in the same place, with no creative breakthrough, but I keep at it & commit myself to it daily, even when I don’t feel like it. Thanks to wonderful, creative, generous souls like Tammy Garcia of Daisy Yellow, Teresa Robinson, Lisa Sonora Beam & Connie Hozvicka, I jump at the chance to participate in the many creative projects they have to offer.
I show up…daily.
And lately? Oh my goodness, while immersing myself in BIG, I am starting to feel a shift in myself & in my work. It’s not a gigantic shift, it’s subtle, but definitely palpable . I have been feeling hints of it for awhile but now, I feel like “something” is just within reach, but just as I put out my hand to grab it, it flutters away. But I know, as long as I keep at it daily, I just know I will be grasping it very soon.. And let me tell you, that feels pretty darn awesome!