What?!? It’s October 3rd???

I know, I know, I have been completely negligent about updating this blog! The summer flew by in a blur,  the way in which summers often do, then we slammed right into a new school year for my daughter. This  happens to be a BIG year for her as we start applying for middle school. In between all the *fun* stuff like school meetings,homework, afterschool, and life in general, I really have been making art! I just don’t have the photos yet.

SOON!! Very soon, I will have some photos of what I have been up to! Promise!

In the meantime, just wanted to say “Hi & I really am back!”

Hope you are all doing well out there too!

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Starburst!

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Tammy, over at Daisy Yellow, always has some exciting projects going on! Last week, she kicked off her {free; I told you she is a generous soul!} Art Journal Tangents & Tactics series with a cool little tutorial on creating a Starburst journaling page.

I had a blast doing this & I can see doing many more variations in the near future. I used watercolors, gouache & my trusty black Gelly roll pen. A fun way to incorporate doodles, patterns & designs all on one page.

Hop on over here to see many more Starbursts! Try one for yourself, they are so fun & relaxing too!

Creatively Speaking…{just show up}

image(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.

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(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.

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(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?

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(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!

 

61 Cards in 61 Days

imageHere they are…all 61 of my Index Cards. Challenge completed! And, though it was my 2nd year participating, I think I have learned even more than I did last year. Part of that learning, though, has come from my commitment to creating art everyday since the last ICAD challenge. A million thanks to Tammy for creating this challenge & graciously hosting it!

This year, I took more risks, didn’t obsess over what to create, tried new things, stayed true to myself & to what I wanted to create, & definitely grew in the process. Aside from this challenge, I have had multiple creative projects going on at the same time & I can honestly feel a shift in my work. I cannot quite articulate it just yet, but it’s a feeling  that I have of  (mentally) seeing & feeling something just within my grasp. At this point though, it’s a bit too early to talk about, as I just cannot quite grasp “the thing” yet. When I do, you will see  it here & hear all about it, I promise!

Until then…more creating!

 

A simple prompt

It all started with today’s prompt for the ICAD challenge which was : Turquoise. You see, ever since I was a kid I have had a major love affair with this stone! So, when I saw this prompt, my mind went reeling with possibilities! Then, I looked down at my right hand & I knew. The ring.

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So, I found a little scrap of an index card lying right next to me & did a quick sketch of my ring. And that’s when it all came flooding through my memory bank.

This ring was given to me by my husband almost 20 years ago. It is hand made by a Native American artisan from New Mexico, set in sterling silver that is engraved with very intricate patterns. The stone is a beautiful shade of turquoise with a small area of mint green & a very light matrix going through it. But that’s not what filled my mind as I sketched it. These thoughts did:

This is my everyday ring, my “go-to” ring. It goes with everything & is so very comfortable on my hand. It’s my travel ring. We travel a lot & I don’t like taking a lot of jewelry with me on vacation. This ring is easy & versatile, can look dressed up or dressed down – perfect for any vacation. It has been  all over the U.S., Central America, Europe, Mexico &… China.

And that’s when my heart beat just a little faster. You see, we adopted our daughter from China when she was just 10 months old & I was wearing this ring on that 3 week stay in China. That ring is on my hand & in every photo that I am holding our daughter. It is the ring that my daughter used to touch & spin on my finger as a baby. Today, she is 9 & this is the ring that starts conversations  that go something like this : “Momma, you wore this ring in China, can you tell me again about the day you & Daddy saw me for the first time?” Incredibly special & bittersweet moments that will be treasured far more than any piece of jewelry. The ring is just the conduit.

So, one art challenge, one prompt, one ring, brings to my mind beautiful, sweet & treasured memories. Art is powerful.  Of course, I had to draw that ring.

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(ICAD #55, prompt: Turquoise; acrylics, micron pen, Neo color II’S )

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I decided that I will mount the little sketch onto the index card & put it in my art journal along with a handwritten copy of this post. As for my ring? It will most definitely be passed down to my daughter.

Summer of Color Week 6

I really enjoyed this year’s Summer of Color Choices this year! Always a little sad to see it come to an end. Just want to give a BIG Shout Out & Thank You to Kristen at Twinkle Twinkle Like a Star for hosting this fun challenge!

Here’s what I did this week:

imageAs I am right, smack in the thick of Daisy Yellow’s Index Card a Day Challenge, I decided to play with the colors on index cards first. Let me just say, I ADORE this color combination & it has made its way into many of my works recently. For some reason, the colors are showing up much lighter than they really are. These were done with acrylics,  gouache , found text & some stamps from cardboard & a taperoll.

imageThis one is also on an index card made with gouache, washi tape, found images & some embroidery thread. I really like how this one turned out. (Shhh…there’s a little bit of blue in there too…don’t tell anyone! 😉 ).

Lots of fun this summer with this challenge…I did miss one (red, royal blue & aqua) as we were on vacation. I was looking for that color combo anywhere so I could take a quick pic, but never came across it. Ah well, I will just have to do it now!

 

 

The Power of an Index Card

Tammy’s Index-Card-A-Day Challenge 2014 is in full swing this summer! And I am having a blast creating a 3×5 Index card each day. I even brought a stack of them & my markers while we were away on vacation last week. I journal on the back of each card & it’s a wonderful way to document our vacation as well as every day! It’s fun to look back on the summer & have a written as well as visual account of my days. FUN!!!!

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#37 Zig Writer on bluff index card divider – while on vacation

I did this challenge for the first time last year & loved it. This year, I am loving it even more and I have learned a lot about myself & my own personal creative process. I also noticed that my cards are soooo different this year than last! At first I thought I might “repeat” a design or get stuck in a rut where I copy  something that I did last year, but they are so very different!

It’s funny, working a simple, inexpensive card has taught me to break through the feelings of:

“I don’t wanna ruin this!!!”  “What if I mess this up?” “What am I going to do on this blank card?”

Seriously, I take out a card, take out some materials & just PLAY!! Usually, I just go with the journey of the materials, & they take me places I wouldn’t even explore in my regular journals. Which makes me realize that I still do harbor that “fear of a blank journal page” feeling…I thought I was past that.  Working on an index card has made me more brave when it comes to exploring & taking chances. That is something I promise to carry over into my larger journals when this challenge ends. I mean really…what IS there to be hesitant about?!?

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#36 Sharpies & white gelly roll pen – at the airport waiting to board the plane

Sometimes, (& this is a BIGGIE!), I have a plan in mind…but guess what?! Those plans usually never work out! Those are the cards that I don’t like so much & I usually rework them.

Speaking of reworking, that is something I have been doing a lot of lately & more often than not, I am always pleased after reworking something. Here is one example:

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#43 Mixed Media – reworked

This one started with a pattern using an orange Slicci pen. It looked so dull & boring, so I took out my gesso, covered it up, added some paint & oil pastels & just kept working it which was the most fun part! Seeing where the materials take me – that’s the jam!

So, yes, Tammy, ICAD has indeed rocked my creative world! Thank you for sharing so generously with us & helping us to light our creative sparks!!

 

Summer of Color4 Week 4

imageOh boy…things became so ridiculously BUSY!! Pair that with getting ready for an upcoming vacation AND a sick child & BAM…no time!!

Anyway…I chose to use this week’s color scheme {pink, apple green & a bit of dark green} on an index card & kill 2 birds with one stone since my time was extremely limited this week.  I really liked working with these colors as they (to me) scream (in a good way) SUMMER!! And we are in the THICK of it here in NYC!

Hopefully, will get to update this blog once more before we leave!

In the meantime, please check out Kristen’s site, Twinkle Twinkle Like a Star, for all the juicy details on her annual colorful challenge!

AND…if you are not already in on this brilliant challenge, please check out Tammy’s Index Card a Day Challenge here!

Have a beautiful, colorful week, everyone!

 

Summer of Color4 – Week 3

Here are my creations for Week  3 of Summer of Color. This week’s palette was lavender, gray & a splash/pop of plum. I learned something about myself this week. I really like to just play with the colors before I go on to my final piece. This way, I can get a good feeling of the colors, how they play off of each other & what they remind me of.

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In this first piece in my art journal, I simply started laying down the colors…no plan in mind whatsoever.  I found myself making circles. Then I pulled out one of my stencils & stenciled over some of the circles. It started to remind me of an aerial view of pomegranates on plates. I added some washi tape for the fun of it & that reminded me of a tablecloth. So now, when I look at this, I think “Pomegranate Pic Nic”.

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In the second piece above, I decided to make a simple landscape, wondering what kind of mood it would evoke since it’s mostly in the purple-ish tones. When I look at it, I get the feeling of a summer evening. That got me thinking about how fast the summer goes (even though it just started here!), which led me to the found text, “Life is About Moments”. Absolutely, so let’s enjoy every one of them!

I had lots of fun with this color palette & may continue to explore it during the week. If I do, I will certainly update here!

Happy Summer of Color, everyone! To get the colorful details on this fun, summer challenge, go to Kristen’s site, right here!

ICAD -Guest Post

image I am honored to be one of Tammy’s Guest Artists for her brilliant Index-Card-A-Day2014 challenge! This is my second year participating in the challenge & I love it even more this year! I am finding even more freedom with simply playing with a small, “un”-precious, unassuming little ol’ index card!

My card for today (#23) above, is something I tried a little bit last year, but am exploring even further this year: monochromatic collages. I love trying to find various shapes, textures & ranges of colors, whether they are from magazines or my own painted papers & arranging them in a way that is visually interesting. It’s fun to try to create some depth to them as well. This card is made up of found images & text as well as some paper I previously sprayed with Dylusions inks.

This  year, I have decided to do one of these collages for every color in the rainbow…so far I have done blue, red & green. Be on the lookout for the remaining 4 plus a bonus one (or two)! They are so much fun to create! Thanks for stopping by & thank you, Tammy, for inviting me to guest post! For all the juicy details on Tammy’s (Daisy Yellow) challenge, go here!