(ed: pardon the repost if this one comes up twice in your blog reader, I tried to get the photos full size the second time- still getting the hang of phone blogging!)
A little something bright and happy in the works.
Always have something in the works.
I guess that's who I am.
I think most of us are like that- having creative pursuits in the works. Well, most that would likely read this blog, I assume.
I love my creativity, and try to nurture it everyday, but I do realize that that often adds chaos to my living. It's a choice I make regularly, but it's not without consequences, both good and bad. Like all our choices, right? Blabbering about what, Pam? I really don't know, lol. ( I have always disliked lol and never used it- until suddenly- now it's on repeat- who am I?)
My pal Amy and I traded some art for art- had to have this pretty piece. You can find your own in her etsy, amyhanna.etsy.com (ed: fixed!at baseball so I'm blogging from phone again, can't make hyperlink). Something exciting happened for Amy recently, Sibella Court (do you know her work? she's quite a creative genius- here's one of her books, and another, and another still- I'm telling you, she's a big deal!), saw our friend Molly Meng, wearing one of Amy's pieces and was smitten, and inquired about some for herself, as well as possibly carrying some of Amy's pieces in her Sidney, Australia shop. It's a big deal, but what was most exciting to me was to watch how fun it was for Amy to be inspired creatively by the collaboration. Amy and Sibella seem very like minded: loving creativity, the hunt and feeling like pirates. Very fun to see her ideas grow due to the joint creative influence.
I've been thinking a lot about collaborations lately, how when done best, they elevate each individual participant to a greater whole. I love that.
It's probably because I'm involved in a lot of them right now; a class at creativebug, and an e-course creation with Mary Ann, both mentioned before, and a joint original artwork project with Courtney Cerruti, among others. Look at the pretty parcel from Courtney that just arrived for me to work on:
Yum! These are backgrounds she made using techniques from her new book, Playing With Surface Design. More on that later, we are going to do a giveaway of her book and some of our original art together. I'll post it here then.
Another pretty package that arrived was this:
I bought one of Ali Nelson's snail mail subscriptions for myself. That glassine envelope she addressed so beautifully, talk about happy mail... You can find out more about it on her website, www.alimakesthings.com if you want your own pretty package.
Talk about collaboration! The sunset, the palm trees...Last week, we were leaving (baseball, again.) and I made my son give me his phone so I could take pics since mine is always on the dreaded "storage full". I even got out of the car in an attempt to capture the magic.
Hope you're noticing some magic, or better yet, making your own! Maybe even by collaborating. ;) Happy happy Saturday to you! Xo
I'm back from teaching art journaling at Donna Downey Studios. What a great studio, and yet another great group of creatives along for the three days of fun. Always appreciate being welcomed with open arms and a roomful of people with a passion for making.
North Carolina is on the other side of the country for me, and with all the weird weather that's been going on, I didn't want to risk missing a connection somewhere, so flew out of LAX vs. Santa Ana (which is so much closer to home and so much nicer. man, LAX is a hot mess right now with all the construction going on!) I do love that sign above though...and also the sight of this iconic LAX building that I've been seeing on trips to the airport since childhood:
I snapped this photo with my phone when I hopped out of the car- look how empty it looks- just a little red light timing luck with the traffic, it was actually as busy as usual last Thursday.
The first view of the studio from the outside...how fun is this? :
It's just as pretty from the inside:
Seeing the brushes above and the Pantone bathroom (below) instantly got this color junkie's juices flowing!
So so good. AmIright?!? Oh yes!
Donna, being an artist herself, has the very best supplies and lots of them that we all used all weekend. Very fun as a student and as a teacher to have so many delicious goods at our fingertips with no restrictions!
The studio also has a shop on one side. So, so tempting. I was pretty good...I only spent $100. at the end of the day...and with the free shipping they offer, it seemed crazy to resist some things ;)
Not sure why I didn't restock some of my Neo Color II crayons...this is just one third of their stock.
Most of the three days looked like this. There's Jennifer, who came along and TA'd for us. It was a fun surprise for those that are familiar with her artwork. Uppercase magazine also generously provided an issue for each student (love that magazine) and because I mentioned JM was TAing when I asked for sponsorship, they sent issue 22, which has a feature on Jennifer and her paintings. Love it when a plan comes together like that ;).
One of Jennifer's pages in progress...she loves color the way I do.
Some of my demo pages in progress.
At one point I ran outside to capture all the fun going on from a different angle. Pretty sure every inch of every table was put to good use.
Can you feel the enthusiasm?
On the last day, we went out front to take a group photo. I snapped the classroom when we were all out:
Doesn't that look like the happiest, most colorfully fun art space?
Photos of the group gathering above and below.
Such a great group. Truly. I wasn't smart enough to have my phone used, so I don't have the actual group photo (yet).
More from my table ...and Donna made the most delicious rum drink - the color of the drink, with the color of the straw amongst all my colors= happy making for sure!
Photos at the end of class. ;)
Perfectly sums it all up I think.
And just like that, three long days of making were gone in a flash and I was back on a plane...
I am always exhausted after traveling, and teaching too. Yesterday, my first day home was spent mostly on the couch. I did get out some of the papers from class (made during Gelli plate demos) and a favorite pen and doodled...that was pretty much it:
But today, I'm coming around again...
I'm about to hit publish on a blog post...so I did something today ;).
What?!?! An art journaling post? Just when I'd been talking all quilts, all the time.....
If you follow me on instagram, you know I still have quilts in progress to share...and I will! But today, as I continue to prep for my trip to Donna Downey's art studio to teach art journaling, I realized it's been way too long since I've shared some pages in progress. So here are some recent bits of art:
It's Friday! Ahhhh....
I hope you've got some nice plans ahead of you for the weekend. I'm going to continue class prep, finish sewing the binding on a quilt, patch some holes in my jeans...you know, the usual creative pursuits tucked in among the other parts of life...
Have a good one!!! xo
Hey there! How goes it out there? I wish I had some good excuse for being away from the blog for so long, but the truth is, the speed with which time passes is befuddling me. It's crazy!
After seeing Maggie's posts about nursery decor plans for her baby to be, and being on a quilting binge, I couldn't resist a little patchwork quilt. I went to JoAnn's fabrics one night and bought a bunch of fabrics, then raided my own stash once home to come up with a selection of various prints and solids. The mix and the match, the choosing combinations, it's so much fun for me. A big reason I've always been drawn to fabric and occasionally go on purchasing binges with no specific project in mind. It's also likely why I haven't used solids alone in the past, missing an opportunity to play with design and color specifically. Just more fun things I'm noticing along the way as I continue to explore and learn about quilting.
I improved a little bit with matching my corner points, but there are still many many non matching points:
I'm totally fine with that because it's handmade with so much love. I never even used to look at things like that when looking at quilts, but the more quilting books I look at, and linking around I do, I really respect the quilting artists out there and their mad skillz, and that aspect of the art form. I am not one to pursue perfection in my creating, but I do want to pursue precision when that is something that I believe adds to the creation. And some quilt designs would definitely qualify for that category.
Luckily, this patchwork baby gift doesn't qualify for that. I don't think the journey of learning (thus the imperfect quilting) is anything to be secret about so that's why I'm sharing them up close. Not because I'm proud of them, but because it's a totally welcome part of any creative journey to me. I embrace the participation in something creative so much more than any result.
I made the binding trim out of one of the fabrics.
I did everything on the sewing machine, except sewing the binding to the back, that I did by hand.
I quilted it by sewing machine, sewing first in the ditch, and adding one, two, sometimes three more stitches to the inside of each square. Making things up along the way vs. following any pattern or rule.
Just enough to give it that puckering after washing. I love the way the back looks because of it, those big puffy squares:
I can't remember what size the finished quilt ended up to be. I think it was around 38x58". A baby quilt or lap quilt makes an excellent size if you're not a quilter yet but want to start exploring with it. It's not too big to easily fit under a home sewing machine. And overall it can be done pretty quickly, decreasing the chances of getting intimidated and overwhelmed, (or even bored).
Baby and Mama should receive it today ;).
A little bit of California warmth sent to the other coast this crazy winter season.
Welcome to the world baby Vincent!!!! xo
I mentioned before that I took very limited art supplies to our little Art Retreat #3 in Palm Springs. Just some art journals and sketchbooks. It felt good to limit my supplies and spend less time sorting through them to find want I wanted, and less time going from one idea to the other vs. just relaxing and really enjoying one. Okay, I consider art journaling and sketching to be different, so make that two.
After we were finished driving around taking pictures like these:
Thanks Carol for this photo of me behind the Palm Springs sign. When I was a little girl I loved Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem that starts, "There was a little girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead." Not so much the little, but the poem springs to mind when I see this. ;)
We headed back to the house for fun, and making art was the main priority. All day long outside and all night inside.
I plucked ripe lemons from the tree and tried to paint/sketch them in a manner more similar to what I learned in the oil painting class by Leslie Duke I attended. I love to explore different methods.
Carol bought this sweet teacup and saucer at the antique store we popped into. You can see it in use at her home here. It was too beautiful to resist sketching.
Carol was also the inspiration for this sketching of a chair that was at the house, as she was the first to sketch it. All three of us had a go at it. Not only is it fun to sketch the same subject yourself a few times, it's even more fun to have three different people sketch the same thing and enjoy the results of how unique each one is, how different the styles are. (The Moss sisters have their renditions on their blogs too.)
Yep, still birds.
And then I some art journaling (the difference for me being:not based on looking at anything for inspiration, just imagination):
How gorgeous is this new Antietam ink I bought? Dipped my brush right in it to paint with it, even though I bought it for my fountain pen.
A little doodly drawing using this Pilot Parallel pen and then watercoloring fill in.
These two. Excellent Art Retreat cohorts. Even cuter sisters.
It was a good trip, I highly recommend grabbing a small group and making time to create, I'm never sorry when I do!
And with that, my Palm Springs Art Retreat #3 recap concludes.
Well, one more:
There was a wait to be seated at breakfast since it was Modernism Week out in Palm Springs last weekend. No problemo...have wait, will sketch. We were on an Art Retreat after all.
Waiting for the meal once seated is a good time to sketch too. Our waitress saw what we were up to and was kind enough to give us a warning before our food came out.
Carol and Mary Ann shared their sketches from breakfast on their blogs too.
I don't know why I felt the need to label the blind contours above, it's so obvious who they are, bahahaha.
Speaking of labeling, it may or may not be a good idea to hand your sketchbook over to Mary Ann so she can add captions like she did above and on an older page in my sketchbook here:
It is however, a good idea to copy her good ideas for sketching fodder. Carol and I saw her oh-so-good sketch of the Tabasco sauce bottle and had to follow suit in our books. I was not pleased with my rendering done while at the restaurant (seen above alongside more blind contours), so I tried it again when back home.
meh. Although I still didn't capture the personality and charm of the bottle, I did discover that I think it's a good idea to repeat sketch subjects. Sketching is so fun, so much to discover, constantly.
I also like to doodle when I've got some wait time on my hands. I like this as it is, but it will also be fun to color it in, be it pencils, markers, paint or a combination of all.
I did a few more quick sketches over the weekend:
Of course there was slow sketching done as well, I'll share photos of that next post...
It's Friday! Hoo-ray!
Might keep the sketching going this weekend here...we'll see how much I can squeeze in. Hope you have some free time this weekend to follow the creative muse of your choice. (Is sleep a creative pursuit? That's what I'm looking forward to most I think. Art retreats are awesome for lots of things...sleep isn't one of them.)
While in Palm Springs, we popped into the Moorten Botanical Garden, a privately owned arboretum on the Moortens' residence estate. It's also called Desertland; a living museum of desert plants and crystals, rocks and fossils, established in 1938. The Moorten's promise you'll see rare plants not commonly seen elsewhere; "Over 3,000 plant varieties!" It did not disappoint.
I was instantly taken with the obvious decades upon decades of growth on these slow growing plants. To walk along the paths, it is clear that you are enjoying more than one person's life passion. It's humble, authentic, informative and spectacular all at the same time.
I've never seen such intricate design, such desert plant beauty all in one place before. I was especially taken with the colors (what else is new with me, right?) and (you guessed it I'm sure) the color combinations. I was stimulated by the soft, dulcet hues of the softest blues, greys and greens, especially when combined with soft pinks, peaches, faded orange....and some strong shots of those colors too on occasion:
The plants and pots in the "cactarium"...I want to paint with just these colors, I can feel how soothing it would be just imagining it.
All that color and shape and gardening inspiration for a $4.00 entry fee...I'll definitely be going back again in the future. I can't believe I've never been before! Have you? It felt like stumbling upon a secret Palm Springs gem, but since it's been there since 1938, it can't be that big of a secret. Mary Ann has some beautiful photos taken during our visit there on this post here...it's fun to see what caught her eye too!
Every time I go to Palm Springs, I appreciate it more, and I love to try to capture new photos of things making me happy while there.
Just driving around provides plenty of photo opportunities.
Of course, walking around does too.
The colors and color combinations, the unusual sights...
And then there's the reason we're there; hanging out and making art at the top of the list.
We've rented a new house each time, and this is the slice of heaven Carol found for us this year. Horrible, right?
This is what it felt like being there, like floating in air:
Art journaling and sketchbookery madness were pretty much the main creative activities.
Besides quilts and quilting books (so I could put on a mini quilt show), I only brought one basket of art supplies.
Of course, we shared supplies and gifted each other presents too.
There is always a show and tell of current or recent journals.
I've got more to show and tell... part 2 next post!
First of all, thank you!!!! Thank you for all the quilt love on the last post. I love that I can count on readers to understand where I'm coming from on whatever creative journey I embark on. I so appreciate that. We all just want to be understood, right? If you even knew how few people in my real (physical vs. cyber) life could care about my current obsessions or explorations, you'd know I meant it! ;) So thank you, to all that took a minute to comment here or on my IG or Facebook or wherever, and to those that didn't have a minute, but cheer on creativity regardless, you too; I've been there many a time...whether I leave a comment, or even if I miss what you're up to, I'm definitely cheering on your creative pursuits! Always.
Shortly after finishing the triangle quilt, I stumbled upon this quilter, via this book (which I totally recommend). I was completely inspired by both the book and the artist for sure. These quilting scraps left over from the triangle quilt were begging me to come and put them to use. Who am I to argue?
Clearly, I have been taken over with inspiration.
The shapes. The colors. The combinations. The interactions.
Ideas beget more ideas.
I can't wait to think about making a quilt out of some of them.
But that's going to have to wait a bit...because last night I had to stop at JoAnn's after dropping the boy at baseball, and the fabrics started calling to me again...colors I didn't have already...new ideas to try...did you know you can buy as little as 1/8 yard increments? ;)
And so it goes....
Hello! How are you? Wow, I've not reported in here for so long, having fallen head first down a great big quilting rabbit hole tunnel. I say tunnel because, true to my usual, I couldn't just work on ONE, that would be too sensible limiting. Really, working on two or more of a project (be it paintings, pages, quilts etc.) makes me feel like I have options, freedom to try different ideas out. Usually when I am creating, the ideas flow like wildfire and I want to try this, and that, and this...so working on two of something usually helps with that. Anyway, meet quilt one! This was my first ever triangle quilt attempt and of course, without researching (even google searches) I bought a template and cut isosceles triangle pieces vs. equilateral, which would have been much easier first go at triangles. But since I'm not a perfectionist, I didn't research first, just started full steam ahead and as usual, it works out well enough to please my non perfectionistic standards.
And I have a pretty new quilt for my family! Creative fun and function, what could be better? Well, ok, forget that question ;).
I cut out the triangles one by one (not an efficient way to do it) using this template and this rotary cutter on my favorite self healing mat. I learned too late to get a new blade, but next time, I'm good to go. This is what I did, I just cut a few of the fabrics I had and then placed them out to arrange and see where I was at. I had all this fabric already, having been thinking about this quilt for over a year, never finding the time. Unlike "real" quilters, I forged ahead with some fabrics pre-washed, some not, and even some cotton, some not. Oh, such a rule breaker. I figure sometimes it's better to be a novice. Caution to the wind and all that.
I sewed some rows together, and then those rows to each other. Some points lined up so perfectly, others, not so much. This is where the first time triangle quilt and dabbler vs. "quilter" comes in very handy. Who cares?!? Not my family, that's for sure!
Nicely lined up and points not even close seen above.
That's a little better! Of course, one improves as one goes along...usually...although sometimes this didn't hold true for me.
I couldn't decide how big to make it, so I grabbed a Kantha blanket we have and used it underneath as a gauge for size. Back to cutting more triangles...
Eventually, all the triangles and rows were sewn together. hooray! I decided to add a border of fabric scraps left from the triangle cutting:
It seemed the perfect amount of unmeasured make do, with all those same sized triangles.
Of course, I added one of my labels bought here. ;)
I tried pinning on a bit of fabric I was considering using for the binding. I did eventually use this one, and cut strips of 2" widths, but I do wish I would have done 2 1/2 or 3"...would have made it easier. I machine stitched on the front and then hand stitched the binding on the back.
As you can see, I went with white for the back. The stitching makes it plain but nice all the same.
And now that it's had it's first wash and dry, the imperfections are hidden and the character has come out. Because I hadn't prewashed all the fabric, I was concerned about colors running, especially onto the white back. I used this color catcher for the first time ever and it worked great! All the fabric is the same color it was, and the color grabber came out deep pink/brown.
It's 6' x 4' 5" when all is said and done...and I love it!!! My son even used it last night on the couch- the best part!
More recent quilting coming...one isn't finished yet, because I'm hand quilting it and it's much larger. But there's plenty to share about it, and other recent sewing tangents...
It's Friday afternoon here...two thumbs up for the weekend!
I met friends Amy and Jenny for dinner and a movie last week for a belated celebration of my late December birthday. We've done it for a few years now, and always have fun eating, catching up, and seeing whatever movie might be out at the time. This year we saw the movie Big Eyes (the link takes you to a video of director Tim Burton and stars Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz discussing making the movie). We all gave it a thumbs up. My very favorite part was after the movie was over, there is a photo of the real Margaret Keane, well into her 80's, with the actress portraying her, Amy Adams, (the third photo here) and she looks so very delighted and it says she still paints every day. That photo with those words made me tear up. Go Margaret!
Pardon the blurry phone photos, but I just had to share these two and their shenanigans. They thought they were soooo funny, arranging to have the dreaded birthday song sung post dinner. It took me by such surprise, I literally jumped. But not to worry, Jenny has a birthday soon...I'm thinking a singing telegram or something equally as obnoxious. ;)
Pretty girls up to no good!
They spoiled me with gifts and I truly love them all. Jenny gave me a necklace and her self published book (available on Amazon and her etsy) which is so sweet and good, and also wrapped beautifully- I love thoughtful packaging.
That above is where the AND charm fits in...
And Amy spoiled us both with Valentine presents:
I adore this necklace and keep trying to get her to make some of her one of a kind charms for sale. She's teaching these charms, chain links, connections (like how the arrow is attached above etc.) at Studio Crescendoh soon. I'm going to be there creating away. Seeing hers gives me endless ideas. Last time we had a play date, she was preparing for another upcoming class, and I got to make all sorts of fun charms and my own jump rings:
This time in class I plan to focus on making my own links and chains. But the list of my plan-to-make is ever growing...;) And I've seen some of the behind the scenes things she's been creating and kitting, and as always, she's planning to spoil the students...if you've ever taken one of her classes, you know what I mean. Fun, fun.
One of my birthday gifts from her was this Lemon Head man necklace. I love every bit of it, from the ring chain she made, the little inspire charm, the beautiful ruby and the Lemon Head man with the xo that she somehow placed on his chest!!! The Lemon Head charm has special meaning; once, when we were in France together she found one and I loved it so and even looked for one when in Paris over this past Christmas with no luck...so for her to have found one and made a necklace really surprised me and touched me both.
It was such a nice night and a good reminder that I need to remember to say yes on occasion when my natural tendancy is to want to say no and stay home. To participate, be it a night out with friends, a class, jumping in the photobooth, or trying a new creative venture...one can end up feeling both inspired and spoiled, happily.
Heather gifted me with some of her home made vanilla and oranges from her trees, and they were both so pretty and happy making this morning I couldn't resist snapping some pics. I felt a new appreciation for digital photography, the permission slip that goes along with it to take pictures of anything that strikes your fancy, nothing wasted (like money) if it doesn't turn out. I like taking photos of everyday ordinary things in my life and love having this space here on the blog to post them. (And as always, appreciate your stopping by so I have someone to share with!)
The boys went to baseball early this morning, so I got to putter around in silence, doing dishes, laundry, picking up and vacuuming. A nice re-grouping for the start of the weekend. I'm going to try to paint the oranges above in oil paints this week. Something similar to the radishes I painted while learning in class with Leslie Duke:
The key word is try. I learned only too well this past week how rusty one can get if they don't practice an art regularly. I mentioned last post I had some time to paint on the previously started abstract acrylics...oh boy....let's just say, it was a rocky readjustment.
Yikes! I was frustrated because I had let so much time slip by and felt awkward and uncomfortable doing what came so naturally just a few months ago. It's all part of the process and the wonderful thing about painting is there is always the ability to improve with the next layer, but exploring when out of shape is not as fun as when tuned up of course.
None the less, even when practicing an instrument that's out of tune, discoveries can be made, some pleasing notes produced, and good lessons learned.
The progress on the painted tote excited me the most...I plan to sell a small series of these painted totes in the future, but if you want to paint your own, I bought the craft paper totes at Aaron Bros for $29.99 each...don't know if they carry them anymore or not.
Thanks to the Santa Ana winds blowing here, it's a lovely, sunny day, which is perfect light for mixing up some paint colors and getting back to practice!
Hope you have a great weekend whatever you find yourself up to!
It was a lovely long weekend here, which meant that my daughter was able to come home for a visit (hooray!). She brought a great gift with her...a puzzle from Liberty Puzzles! She and I are puzzle lovers, and these puzzles are awesome! Look at all the whimsy pieces...so so fun.
It's a high quality wooden puzzle with charm for days. We are totally hooked and already looking through their website looking for a special puzzle for next Christmas. Being obsessive puzzlers that we are, we made short work of it:
Our friend introduced us to a puzzler rule: very few and very quick looks at the box cover to make it more challenging. That helped to make it last longer.
We've already put it away, but we'll do it again in a few months I'm sure.
Baseball spectating was another family activity this weekend. Teams are getting warmed up for the high school season to start officially.
When home, the kids decided we should have a family game tournament, different games for one big winner at the finish. We played Yatzi, Rummikub, Balderdash, and Wii golf, but never ended up tallying the big winner. To be continued I suppose.
I started cutting quilt pieces somewhere in the midst of games and turn waiting and direction reading. I've never done a quilt from solid fabrics, and had gathered a bunch of fabric quarters a year or so ago to make one. Trying to use up what I have!
I did sneak in some time to keep up with the daily creative projects. (I love it when the brush cleaning water is pretty.) Thank you for all the excitement and sharing on the last post about this project. I'm excited so many are doing their own versions of a similar creative commitment this year! We can do it!!!
Yesterday my husband had to work, and daughter had to drive back to school, so it was all day baseball spectating for me. I sat where I could see him easily and got out a little sketchbook to try to sketch some of the parents around me. I felt uncomfortable, it was too hard to look at people and sketch without it being obvious, so instead I pulled up a blog post of Mary Ann's on my phone and sketched a couple photos. People are not my forte, but doing it was no less fun for it.
And today, everyone here is back to work and school, and plans I had were rescheduled, which means an unexpected chunk of time opened up....exciting! Of course there are a thousand things to do, but I'm going to spend some time on the paintings started long ago that I've not gotten back to. I want to finish them, surely they should be on that to do list too! Hope you find some unexpected time in your day to do something fun.
Off to get messy!!! xo
Hello! Well, I've been trying to write this post in progress for days. Now that I sit down to finish it, I understand why it's taking so long; it's wordy with lots of thoughts and links and photos too. Here goes!
Shortly after the new year, I shared on Instagram that I'm doing a year long daily creative project this year. Well, actally, 2: a page a day in one book and a pattern a day in another. I loved watching Jennifer Orkin Lewis do her year long daily creative last year which she shared every day on her IG. She's started a new project this year, and writes about both in length on her blog post here. So good. So inspiring. So, last October I started my planning for my own version of this concept. I bought four of these journals with plans to do the same, a page a day. I chose the Drawing book because it had a soft cover and heavy enough paper for me. I intentionally wanted books that weren't special, or expensive, or handmade. I wanted this project to be all about the participation, not the result. Well, the result of the sum of all the pages, yes, but not about any individual page.
The plan for this set of books is similar to Jennifer's last year. A page a day done in 30 minutes or less. For me, I'm adding the challenge of trying to use mainly gouache, a paint I'm not super familiar or comfortable with, and am excited to learn more about. My general plan is to loosley paint something I see, or something sort of realistic from my imagination- to try different things, to stretch, (like more people and less birds).
I bought Elise's goal tracker and printed two out at 75% so that they would fit inside my books. I paperclipped them in, so that as I move on to the other books for the year, I'll bring it along.
As I was settling in to begin this project, I realized I had two other sketchbooks that would work for a daily creative project, and decided to add a second daily creative commitment- one pattern a day painted (? I'm not sure I'm commited to gouache or paint even being a must- maybe pencils, pens etc. will be used in this book, time will tell.) Again, to be done in 30 minutes or less. Ideally, I plan to do these pages at the same time as the other series.
Why 2? Because I think that 2 totally different books with different pages will help to keep the focus on the participation and not any page or result. To keep it moving, as they say.
Why do a daily creative for a year project at all? Here's why I am:
I don't have any problem wanting to create every single day. And I usually make time to do something creative. I would choose creating over eating or sleeping or excercising (duh) or housework (double duh) most every day. So, I think fitting it in won't be a problem. Especially because I find it easy to separate out projects where I care about the result vs. creative exploration, and creative exploration is usually a process where things flow for me, so I probably won't use 60 minutes to do these both a day. (So far, I think I'm spending about 30 minutes total.) But, what I'm not good at is structure in my life, and creating habits, and commitment to finishing big projects. I think that using creativity to learn to embrace structure, committment, habit development and finishing vs. something like excercise might be a good way to make real progress on these things. A more gentle method of behavior modification. ;) Will it work? Who knows. I'm thinking it will, and no matter what happens with my personal behavior modification experiment, nothing but good can come of it. I'll certainly love some pages along the way, I know I'll love the sum of all the pages, I assume I'll learn a lot about materials and my skills will improve. So, why not?!?
I love a project that isn't "precious", ya know? Feel like doodling? Go ahead...
I'm not planning on instagramming every page...but I do plan on sharing them here...at least the painted page book, maybe not the patterns. I'll probably do a big post monthly of all the pages or maybe mid month updates too. Here are some when I started this post way back when:
When this man showed up out of nowhere (I began thinking I'd paint a girl), I got very excited. Not because he's anything special...because he's very atypical for me. A man painted in gouache, that never would have happened on this day if I were just playing in my regular art journal. I love to try and stretch creatively. I love to discover something different in my creating.
How's it going so far? Pretty good I think. Here are my thoughts so far:
- I like it, and still believe I'm going to love the sum of a year's worth of both.
- If asked, I don't love any of the pages yet. I don't mind a bit, it really isn't about that. And I know that repeating a process 365 times will surely bring some I love as well as some I hate and everything in between if I were to step back and evaluate them objectively.
- I'm finding it more difficult to think of things to paint in my sort of realistic page book. It's much easier to draw from something else, like a page of a bird book. I'm not easily inspired to draw what I see around me, and find drawing things from my imagination challenging (which is all good!). I just think I haven't fallen into a groove, and that I will eventually.
-It's hard to create complicated repeat patterns on the fly, in paint.
- I'm still not playing nicely with gouache. Much to learn. Much more comfortable when I use watercolors.
-I'm not using a pencil to draw first, I want to develop my ability for looser, free flowing drawings.
-I don't think it's helping at all with my embracing structure, as I haven't set a time that I do it every day. I want to do it first thing in the morning, so far, that hasn't been happening.
- I'm not thrilling at checking off (painting in the dots) on the tracker sheet. Sometimes I forget to do it for days. I don't know if that means anything or not, I just thought it'd be something I looked forward to each time.
- I'm still totally committed to it.
So, how about you?
Are you still with me? I told you it was a long, linked filled, wordy one.
Are you doing any daily creative project this year?
I know the concept is not a new one. I've seen so many inspiring artists do these in the past. Like Lisa Congdon's 365 Days of Hand Lettering, or Lisa Solomon's A Domestic Life Project. And I learned about Cristal Moody's #yearofcreativehabits after it was over, but she's started a new one this year, an oil painting a day if you want to follow along. I loved the link she shared with the Jerry Seinfeld's productivity secret. Of course, your daily habit length of time doesn't have to be 365 days, it could be 30 or 7, or whatever you want...
...so, do you have one to share? Inquiring minds want to know, and follow along, and cheer you on...so leave a link in the comments if you do!
I love the start of a project, I'm hoping I learn to love finishing as well. I totally think it's possible to learn to see sticking it out differently...finger's crossed! xo
On Thursday I made a little treck up to Mary Ann's neck of the woods to celebrate her birthday. I forgot how nice it is to celebrate someone's birthday on the actual day, it so rarely happens much of the time. (that's her darling car sketch above)
I'm very glad she liked her presents. We share a love of Nathalie Lete's art in all forms. Here it is on a children's watercolor paint set.
As always, we started with a garden tour.
Then next, a house tour of changes and new things since my last visit. Love this sweet toaster cover Mary Ann made from fabric gift she received.
We always settle for a show and tell of recent work in our journals and sketchbooks. Man, so so much inspiration, she's been a sketching machine!
And then, a favorite part, we got out our art supplies and got busy making and chatting and sharing supplies and ideas. This was the first page I did in my sketchbook. I had to document some of her supplies that I want to get. I'll have to take some more photos of recent pages of mine, it's been a bit since I've done a journal page post!
The worst part, as always, came the time to wrap it up, time goes so quickly when having fun with friends. Especially a birthday art party!
Hello! How's your New Year going? I've still got a good attitude (so far). I'm still feeling excited and full of fresh inspiration. Oh, to have enough hours for us to get all we want to done, right? The usual. I'm trying to re-evaluate and re-prioritize and have finally, truly, come to terms that it really is not possible for me to do all I want to and I'm going to have to let some things go. Too bad it can't be dishes and laundry and grocery shopping. I do my best to shirk those responsibilities regularly, but somehow, they are always patiently waiting my attention.
Hey, look at that sea glass, eh??? Treasure hunting makes me so happy! It has been our family's New Year's Day tradition to go to the beach together. I'm pretty sure we all look forward to it, I do absolutely. This year, we looked up the tide schedules and timed our visit with low tide in hopes of finding more. It worked. My suggestion for finding sea glass or shards (I wish we had pottery shards wash up somewhere near by us, but I don't know of any places that happens in So Cal) is to first do a google search for it near you. Often times people will share what they've found and there are usually pages of beach suggestions. (Google really does seem to have an answer for everything, doesn't it?) We plop ourselves down near the shore and dig in the wet sand, as well as walk around with our heads down looking around as new waves hit the shore. Oh, and if you are a rule follower like me, you might want to make sure you are allowed to take sea glass. In my limited experience, most beaches allow it becasue it is trash after all, but I have heard of some state beaches not allowing the removal of it. My heart broke a little recently when I learned you are not allowed to take it from here any longer, and I've still yet to visit it. (Although the comment at the bottom of the post seems to indicate maybe people still do!) Either way, I would love to just sit on that beach and run my hands through the jewels! For sure someday.
Our Christmas cards this year.
My Christmas card fail this year. Here they sit STILL, on the back of my space on the couch, almost a week into January. And I picked a card from here that says Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays, which would be a big help at this point. Ack!
So here's the story; I decided that with going to Paris over the holidays and other things going on, that we wouldn't send holiday greetings this year. (And by "we" of course I mean I, right? No one else around here helps with any of that one bit.) And then the cards started coming in, and I really love them. And then I happened to get a card worthy shot with my iphone one day. No convincing the children to have a little "holiday card photo shoot" session with Mom (which may or may not require a second sitting.) And then Minted sent a discount code and bam! I was in. Argh!
I had the best of intentions, really I did. When I didn't get them done before our trip, I thought I'd bring them with me and while we had a long delay for our flight to Paris, address and stamp them and try to find somewhere in the airport to post them from. But then, as with most trips, we were rushing out the door and I was not super organized, and when I mentioned the suggestion, I got a resounding "NO!" back from all three of my traveling companions. Harumph!
I figured I'd do it as soon as we got home, New Year's Eve. And then the exhaustion, and the laundry, the grocery store, New Year's Eve...you know the drill. And here they sit. At this point I'm considering not sending, but I can't get past the money spent. Of course, I could write a note explaining, but really, it's embarassing. Blech!
No action has been taken and the days wiz by.
Have I mentioned that I've finally realized I can't do it all at once? No shortage of examples of that here. I guess I'm one of those people that requires a boulder not a pebble.
Working on it. (Aren't you tired of hearing that from me? I sure am!)
Well, I'm still puttering around, taking photos of faded tulips that were received before leaving that need throwing out.
And the other arrangement from the same funeral service attended just before leaving too.
And the little bit of holiday decor that was out here.
And so it goes....
Enough about me, how's it going for you? I hope you're greeting the year feeling a little more on top of things ;).
I resolve next year to spend the entire holiday seaon at home. No traveling for work or pleasure. (Paris was wonderful, of course...it was worth it...but for us, traveling for the holidays is best done every few years I think!) That's a New Year's Resolution I'm 99.9% sure I can keep (gotta leave a little room for "you never know!" ;)).
Hello and Happy New Year to you!!! I'm super happy to be home and feeling all sorts of excitement and enthusiasm for the new year. This morning I couldn't resist watercoloring a little ode to 2015. The inspiration is flowing and I'm excited to finish up some of last year's projects and move onto ideas that have been brewing for too long. So much possibility with a fresh start! Cheers to you and yours! xo
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