Sunday, January 29, 2012

Daily Roles

wife, mother, friend, traveler, sub contractor, maintenance manager, bookeeper, family caregiver, memory keeper, meal planner, chef, poet, hearth keeper, tax prepareer, painter, journaler, wanderer, photographer, nurse, blogger, gardener

Our many roles add to the richness of who we are in this world.  
As the list became longer and longer, I began to appreciate the multidimensional 
aspects of myself and others.  
We humans are amazing, aren't we

We are fortunate at the wealth of online art offerings out there to stretch our knowledge.
I already mentioned Kelly Kilmer's Revel in the Moment collage and journal workshop and 
Misty Mawn's mixed media Open Studio.  
In March Judy Wise is offering a mixed media workshop.  If you have not taken a workshop from this generous instructor, you might want to do give yourself a spring gift.   
Currently Strathmore is offering a free online workshop series.  
Traci Bautista, the January guest instructor is teaching Doodles Unleashed.  

You might ask why take so many workshops?  Don't they all go over pretty much the 
same information?  Can't you create on your own?  Won't you find yourself adapting to the instructor's style and not to your own unique style.  Good questions.  I ask myself the same things and will be addressing my answers in future posts.

Do We Really See Ourselves?

I started a quick self portrait from memory with markers.
You would think that the few minutes each day spent in front of the mirror
applying make up would give me a working knowledge of my own face.
I mean, we're talking about years.

But this drawing could be anyone.  

One of the participants in Misty's online workshop
said she layered her piece until she loved it.  I love this statement 
and have adopted it as my mantra. 

I layered and layered with markers, Caran d'arch crayons, pencil, acrylic.
Was ready to toss in the bucket several times but reminded myself 
to layer until. . . 

I love it.  

But to answer the question do we really see ourselves?  
I think we all do but at different times through different 'lenses.'  
To be honest, sometimes I see myself and only see imperfections, my short comings 
come through in front of everything else.  At other times I am more neutral and on rare occasions I see the me I'd like to believe I am, the person with a kind, soft heart blessed 
with a vital energy, curiosity and creativity, a seeker and searcher 
who loves deeply and loves to connect with others.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Year of Journals

Just out of curiosity I pulled out journals from last year

and surprised myself at the volume.  These pages represent 
my life for the year, what I did, where I went,
who I saw,  how I felt.  I write in my journal 
daily because. . .  well, because I need to.  
It is a part of me like brushing my
teeth when I wake up. It makes 
me happy and I feel whole.
Often I  discover what I think 
and what is  important to me.

What motivates you journal?

Maybe I should add journaling to this page.

Walking down the street and inspiration hanging from a tree found me.

Have a creative weekend,


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Practice, practice, practice

Faces are endlessly fascinating to me.  Each unique whether from
a photo, a drawing, a sketch.

The slightest detail gives them personality.

Practice, practice, practice is my new mantra.  I drew her from a magazine photo.
She looks nothing like the model but turned out to be 
another person completely.  
I like that.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I Am Here Finding A Rhythm

After a necessary detour, slowly, slowly 
I am getting back to my art.  Finding my rhythm.  
I have joined Kelly Kilmer in 
Revel in the Moment collage workshop.

 and Misty Mawn's Open Studio.  
This is my first sketch.

I Am Here
I am here, a late comer to the 
ether of the art world when fully inhaled.
I am here, up at the crack of dawn 
flapping my wings, waving to all of you 
like-minded souls from my perch here
on the California coast.
I am here, in my silent corner, pen in hand
dodging the inner critic who so readily and
willingly can usurp my excitement.  
I am here longing to exercise my art muscles, 
rusty after a long period of time between rounds of
caregiving for family members.  Here with full knowledge
that there is only one moment and each moment is precious.
I am here, I carry with me in a pocket, so to be 
easily fingered, that which inspires and fortifies me~
my Japanese ancestors~ a samurai warrior, a painter,
a photographer, community organizers.  I feel
their strength encourage me when I falter.
I am here, an inner quiver, a rumble threatens to 
overtake me, to hijack my soul and deliver me to
the blissful land where creativity reigns.
I am here a willing hostage armed with pencils, 
pads, paints, brushes.  The door open, the path 
revealed.  A community awaits.  
I am here balancing that which life presents.
I am here right now in this moment.
I am here longing for that which feeds me 
I am here.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Boxing up 2011

No matter how hard I try not to have a new year resolution,
 January is a month of reflection, evaluation,
and new goal setting.  Tomorrow I will
be presenting a project to my 
experimental art group
that will reflect 
new beginnings.
It is this 
Exploding Box
of 2011.

We will be using our 2011 calendar as a springboard.  All of us touch 
our calendars daily.  It is a part of our daily ritual. On it is recorded the events 
of our lives, births, deaths, appointments, lunches, dinners, 
entertainment,  all that we do on a daily basis.  Instead of 
tossing the calendar or putting it in a box and never 
looking at it, we will look at what we did, where
we went, who we saw. 

When the lid is taken off, 
three graduated sized
panels spring open.

This is how the panels look before they are glued together in the center.
I placed post-its on each panel for the 12 months.

The supplies for this box are:  scissors, pencil, pen, glue stick,
photos, 4 sheets of 12" x 12" scrapbook paper, though any 
heavy paper will work, and decorative tape.

For this sample box I decided not to do a year in retrospect.  Instead I used photos I took of 
a collage my son made on poster board when he was in elementary school.   
The collage told the story of  his life, his passions, interests, fears, goals at a 
young age but is was collecting dust and we did not have a good place for it.  
This little box was the  perfect solution to preserve his memories.

For the actual project tomorrow we will be using  2011 photos, words
 and memorabilia to tell the story of our year.  
I think it will be fun.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


This past month has required me to spend most of my
time helping my husband recover from surgery
(he is doing extremely well).  I am finding a balance~~
doing a little collage, dabbling in paint 
and even making a fun project that 
I will show you soon.

Wondering if there are any new Quirky Girls.
Has anyone seen them?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

On 2011

At the End of the Year
The particular mind of the ocean
Filling the coastline's longing
With such brief harvest
Of elegant, vanishing waves
Is like the mind of time
Opening us shapes of days.

As this year draws to its end,
We give thanks for the gifts it brought
And how they became inlaid within
Where neither time nor tide can touch them.

The days when the veil lifted
And the soul could see delight;
When a quiver caressed the heart
In the sheer exuberance of being here.

Surprises that came awake
In forgotten corners of old fields
Where expectation seemed to have quenched.

The slow, brooding times
When all was awkward
And the wave in the mind
Pierced every sore with salt.

The darkened days that stopped
The confidence of the dawn.

Days when beloved faces shone brighter
With light from beyond themselves;
And from the granite of some secret sorrow
A stream of buried tears loosened.

We bless this year for all we learned,
For all we loved and lost
And for the quiet way it brought us
Nearer to our invisible destination.
~ John O'Donohue ~
(To Bless the Space Between Us)