Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Beginning the Journey

A Lenten art journal reflection for February 25 - based on a devotional from Journey to the Cross. Today's devotional read...

Ashes: what the fire leaves behind.
Dust: what wind, rain and decomposition leave behind.
What can you leave behind on this Journey to the Cross?

Facing Your Fears - Polymer Clay Project

I'm now reading Chapter Two of Taking Flight which is titled Facing Your Fears. The creative project from this chapter involves polymer clay, paints, texturing and embellishments. The goal for completion is March 9th! At the end of this post, I'll add my first photo from this project!

In addition to the cool projects and techniques that I'm learning from this book, I love all of the quotes! Here are three of my favorites from this chapter...

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?" Actually, who are you not to be?...And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
Marianne Williamson

When you follow your bliss...doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors, and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else.
Joseph Campbell

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do.
Mark Twain

This chapter focuses on our creative fears - identifying them, and hopefully, learning to release them. Kelly Rae Roberts lists these as some of her creative fears...(I can definitely relate to them!)

Who do I think I am?
What if my work isn't good enough?
What if I'm not talented enough?
What if I can't make a living doing something I love?

The timing is perfect for this chapter. I teach during the school year, and my paychecks stop at the end of May. I will definitely need some type of summer income this year. Right now, I'm trying to decide if I should be looking for a summer job or if I should be putting my energy into my art (which I hope will eventually generate some income). My fearful side says, "You better find a real could never earn enough from your art." But my hopeful side feels differently and knows that more than anything, I love to create things. The hopeful me knows that it makes perfect sense to create art and earn money from doing what I love. With this being the first day of Lent, I think I'll dedicate this time to focus on the hope aspect of my creative dreams. Sounds like a plan...focus on the hope!

So here's the beginning of another canvas...who knows what it may lead to.....

Until next time....

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Watch Me Fly!

Mission accomplished! Yesterday, I put the final touches on my Whispers Art Journal. I bought some gold chain, red and orange beads, and some gold letter beads to spell out "Watch Me Fly" - it seems like an appropriate title for my first Taking Flight project.

Last night Nikki and I got together for our Monday Night Art Night and had a show and tell with our first completed project! We're both very happy with the way our journals turned out, and even better...we were both happy with the process! Both of us veered a bit from the original instructions of Kelly Rae's book, but we know that part of the point was to make these "our own."

Instead of ribbon and fabric letters, I went with the chain and beads to hold my book together (I realized that ribbons just aren't my thing, and I wanted to include beads somewhere!). And on the inside, I put several recycled map envelopes which will, over time, hold some "treasures" from this part of my creative journey. I also used acrylic paints for the cover portrait instead of the Shiva Oil Paint Sticks which the author suggested using (I didn't have the paint sticks yet, and didn't feel like waiting for them! But I have them now, so stay tuned!). I noticed that the acrylic paints made the portrait "stand out" more than the muted oil paint portrait example in the book. This seemed very appropriate, because this part of my creative journey is all about me "getting out there" instead of hiding my gifts and talents.

Nikki's journal had her own unique twists on it as well. Instead of a human face on the cover, she drew a clock face (clever, clever!). And she decided to leave out the inside pages completely, which makes the journal look more like a piece of art to display. We are both so proud of ourselves for completing the first project! Maybe you heard us celebrating and yelling, "Yea! Us!!"

PS...(Check out Nikki's final project on her blog - One Faithful Step)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Whispers Cover...Again

After many, many, many, many changes, I have finally finished the inside front cover of the Whispers Art Journal...

I spent way too much time working on this today because I made so many changes. I won't say it was wasted time, because I learned a lot of things that I'll be able to apply to future projects.

Well, it is now late in the evening, and I've had enough creating for the day! May your creating bring you satisfaction, too (and hopefully, quicker that mine did)!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

More Whispers Journal

I knew that I would be doing more to this porject...
and I don't think I'm done yet!

There are some parts I like about the page
-the look of the "stepping stones" that go around the page
-the parts of a Rumi poem that I wrote in the center
(excerpts from "How Long Will You Hide")
-the lines that surround each "stone"
-the words that I wrote along the edges
(inspiration, energy, time, space, support, encouragement, focus, trust,
open mind and last but not are already an artist)
-the words written in the "stones" at the top and bottom of the page
(ha ha ha! written in stone!)

And there are some parts I'm not too thrilled about
(which may "magically" disappear in a future posting of this project!)

-the "zebra stripes" in the bottom right had corner
-the dashed lines along the two edges
-the placement of the words that are written along the edges
(I think they'll be ending up somewhere else on the page)
-the pen color that I chose for the Rumi poetry excerpts

It helps to get those thoughts out of my head and on to the paper (so to speak). At first I thought about making some changes and then posting the photo. But I really like documenting the process of this project. It will be fun to look back at the evolution of this project once it's completely finished!

(and speaking of "finished"....I was planning to finish this whole thing by Monday night! Yikes!! It's already Friday night! I'm so glad it's the weekend!)

To end this post, I'll copy the entire Rumi poem for you here...
Enjoy it!

How Long Will You Hide
by Rumi

How long will you hide
your beautiful
festive smile

teach your laughter
to a flower
manifest an eternity

why do you think
the door to the sky
is closed on your face

it allures and invites
your magical touch
to open and arrive

an entire caravan
is waiting in ecstasy
for your coming and leading

come on my friend
use your talisman and
harness all their souls

today is the day to unite
with your longing beloved
wait no more
for an unknown tomorrow

a tambourine is in a corner
begging your playing hands
a flute is sitting dormant
begging your happy lips

Till next time...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Whispers Art Journal...Almost Done!

Lots of growing and learning going on here lately! I'm making steady progress on my Taking Flight project, and I've learned how to crop the images that I've scanned so I can post the pictures here!

My friend Nikki and I have decided that we'll finish our Whispers Art Journals by next Monday, and then we can start on the next project from Taking Flight. Chapter 2 is titled "Facing Your Fears," and the project involves working with polymer clay and adding texture with household items....sounds like fun!!

Well, You've already seen the front cover of my first Taking Flight project. It's from Chapter 1...Unearthing Buried Dreams! (but now the cover is in the new "scanner" version. Much easier than taking a photo!)

Here's the inside of the front cover that I worked on Sunday...

Last night I worked on the inside back cover...
(It was Monday Art Night at Nikki's!)

And here's the back cover of my Whispers Art Journal...

I don't think I'm completely finished with these covers yet...I'll keep you up to date with my progress. Till then....

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What Do YOU Love?

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!

I wasn't in much of a romantic mood today, so I decided to focus on what brings me joy in life...what do I love? I started a list of my favorite things, and it turned in to this art journal spread.

(The cute little fellow with the smile is my imitation of a character from The Snowy Day written by Anna Milbourne and illustrated by Elena Temporin. Elena is one of my favorite illustrators, and I decided to practice by drawing skills by drawing one of her adorable peopl. She has a beautiful clean style that I really enjoy!)

Anyway...I hope all of you found some joy today - either with someone special in your life, or on your own. And if today ended up being not quite what you were hoping for, you can always turn things around tomorrow. Look for the things that bring you joy, and do something that makes you smile. Don't wait for someone else to make you happy when it's in your own hands. Relationships with others can come and go...but you'll be with yourself every day for the rest of your life. So go and create a life of joy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Taking Flight...Continued

Well, well, well! I am pleasantly surprised at the finished product! I'll share the photos with you for now, but I'll have to come back tomorrow to tell you about the process. I got myself in such a "creative groove" tonight, that it is now way past my bedtime, and I do have a day job that I must be at in the morning (cheerful and awake would be a plus, too!)

So, enjoy the photos for now. Thank you to my friend who encouraged me to do this project!! Can't wait to see yours!! :)

Now I want to get my hair cut!!

Good Night!
See you soon!

Taking Flight...In Process

Just a few photos of the cover so far....

With a brayer, I added Pyrrole Red, Hansa Yellow Medium, Titanium White, and a wee bit of Burnt Sienna (while I kept the face covered).

(I painted the face with an acrylic mixture of White, Yellow, Red, and Cerulean Blue Chromium - all in Golden Fluid Acrylics)

Thank you to Milliande's Art Journal January for showing me a very easy way to make flesh color paint!

I painted the shirt with a combination of the red, yellow and white. While I don't usually "pick" orange, I do like the look of it on this cover!

At this point, I'm glad that I took pictures of the cover before I painted it. I'm not too pleased with the complete look of this cover so far...but it is still in process, so I'll be patient. (Sounds a bit like life in general, eh?)

See you real soon!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Taking Flight!

Hello Creative Friends!

Last October, my friend Nikki gave me the book Taking Flight by Kelly Rae Roberts. She also bought a copy for herself, and we decided to do the projects in the book together (that way we could encourage and motivate each other as we go through the book!). Since it's now February, we decided that it would be a good time to get started (better late than never!!).

So last night, Nikki and I got together to start working on the first project, a "Whispers Art Journal". It involves a bit of painting on fabric, some collage on old book covers, with some painting and drawing. Between the two of us, we have all of the supplies we need to finish this first project!! We're off to a good start!

Both of us were happy with the collage on our book covers...but there's still painting and drawing to do. I'll be taking photos of my project along the way to document the process (and, as I told Nikki, in case I liked the cover better before I add the paint to it!). So here's where my Whispers Art Journal is right now...

Obviously, I'm in some sort of "word phase" of my creative life right now - I wonder what that will be leading me to! Nikki and I are planning to get together on Monday nights to work on these, so I'll keep you up to date on our progress! Let me know if you've completed any of the projects from Taking Flight. I'd love to see your finished pieces!!

Happy Creating! See you next time!