Saturday, May 30, 2009

How Far Have You Come ?

Yesterday, someone who has known me for about 6 years or so,

someone who I consider a bit of an authority figure,

who has seen me pretty close to my worst,

asked me :

"Do your realize how far you've come ?"

(art journal page - may 30, 2009)

My reply ?

A pause, a bit of a sad smile and


How is it that someone outside me sees it,

but I don't ?

Still, the universe brought those words to me

through her, yesterday,

and for today,

I will realize

how far

I've come,

and smile.

Happy Saturday, beautiful Travellers !

How Far We have Come , Matchbox Twenty - Music Video @ Yahoo! Video

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lost in Rainy Day Red Dreams

e.b. said to gather up red on this rainy day

so we did

"like birdsong inside the egg" - Rumi inspired art journal page

Played with contrast and saturation a little to gather the red a little more ...

the red doors open to the words from the Rumi poem

You know what goes perfectly with red and rain ?

A little Neil...

"if you follow every dream,

you might



You can listen to some Neil here.

Gather some red and some dreams today...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

SP Wednesday - In Angels We Trust

Self-Portrait Wednesday

"Trust the Angels - they have been around the block a few times."

(art journal page - December '08)

"Trusting Angel" - self-portrait, May 27, 2009

Happy SP Wednesday !

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Queen's Style - Making it My Own

(A second post for the GPP Street Team Crusade # 31 - Make It YOur Own. Check out all the great stuff going on here !)

I spent some fun time in the studio this weekend. I have be so loving the art journaling process these days. Since I have started meditating regularly, I have come to see that art journaling is a very similar process to meditation for me. It is all about being in the moment, being present and spending time, good quality time with your self, your soul and your inner artist. I am loving going with that arty flow...
I am hooked on the color orange right now and it is appearing a lot in my pages. As I mentioned before, I am loving the fountain pen and the dark black indian ink - it is my current tool of choice for mark making, along by the white Elmers Painter marker.
I decided it was time to make some more tools of my own and got out the bits of rubber and my carving tools as well. I looked to my recent pieces for inspiration as well as to some of my favorite stamp carver artists (seen Ro Bruhn's stuff ? Her painted papers are so awesome and colorfully rich !). I carved a couple of stamps using patterns that keep coming up in my doodles on my pages and the "pod" shape was inspired by Ro's own carved stamps.

As I was carving, I tried out each of the stamps on a blank journal page in orange acrylic paint applied with a make up sponge. Here is the page that came out of that experimenting once I added some other paint, and of course, some fountain pen work ! :

"Go Wandering " - Art Journal Page, May 24, 2009

I added a quote from Rumi too - his poetry is another tool I am really into right now !

The walking girl was a photocopy of a girl I drew for one of my earlier pieces in this journal, one that also had a Rumi quote.

I feel like I am on to something right now in my art - on to finding a style that is all my own. I am influenced by other artists I admire along the way, but these recent pieces kind of have more of my own signature on them. That is a real accomplishment for me as an artist, because I have been flitting from one thing to another for a long time. I am making art for me, not for anyone else. Not to sell, not to get recognition (though the recognition from my blog pals is so very appreciated !!!) but just for the joy of creating. And that is starting to show in what comes out of me too. So very, very, cool !

Here's another page done just this morning. I used my new tools again and another Rumi quote. It kind of sums up how I am feeling today pretty well. My words are in white, and the universe's words are in black.

"Enormous Things" - Art Journal Page, May 26, 2009

(click to enlarge if you need to)

Hope you feel the Great Love inside of you today ! Happy Tuesday !

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Monday

FOR TODAY (Monday, May 25, 2009 - Memorial Day)...

Outside my is a beautiful, sunny spring day ! I can see the happy petunias in the clay pot I planted them in on my back deck.

I am thinking...about family and friends, and how much I love them.

I am thankful for...everything I have and everything I am in this moment. In this moment, it is all okay and all good.

From the kitchen...a bowl of Cheerios and one percent milk - do you know it can help you lower your cholesterol in just 6 weeks ?

I am red nightgown, my green El Naturalista clogs and my glasses. That's the exact same thing I was wear last Monday morning when I was doing my post ! I have worn many other things in between, though - I promise ! ;)

I am creating... pages in my art journal that make me feel like a "real" artist.

I am a nearby lake with David and the Chica Dog for some doggy swimming fun. Too cold for us, but perfect for a tennis ball crazy Yellow Lab !

I am reading... Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman still... just not into reading right now, but I do miss it. Maybe we can spend some of our Memorial Day Monday reading out on the back deck...

I am hoping...that the test results for someone I love turn out to be okay.

I am hearing...the dryer spin - the sweet hubby started the laundry early today.

Around the house...the dust bunnies have moved on - we sent them to the dust bunny farm where they can roll around free...really, we did. ;)

One of my favorite things...the Tzatziki (Greek cucumber/yogurt dip) that I found at the local farmer's market - yummy on everything, fresh and cheap ! Okay, on everything meat, veg or pita bread everything.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Lunch on the back deck with my friend Lois later this week - I love spring time !!!!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

(photo from Flickr - Rahool5)

Happy Memorial Day ! And a huge thank you to all

the men and women who give up so much to keep us safe.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Being where you are is easy...

when you are here...

Back deck photos, May 2009

orange crates with zinnia, mandevilla, geraniums, etc
oh, and Lovely Chica Dog !

I started adding some rocks and little things to fill in the crates...

Here's the view from one direction while sitting at my little cafe table...

and here's my glass door out on to the deck from my studio - you can see my white chair through the window - that's where my computer is...

And this is the view from the other direction, looking at my privacy curtains blocking the view from my less desirable neighbour's yard.

Here are a couple of sweet spot shots :

African daisies in my favorite glazed clay pot

little pots with some splashes of my favorite colors...

herbs - yum, yum !

Newly planted annuals for instant gratification

Container gardening is my type of gardening - NO WEEDS ! The deck is shaded early in the day and gets afternoon sun. The end of the deck where the table is gets the shade back right around 6:00 pm now with is great for dinners outside.

I am so happy that the season of outdoor living is upon us here in New England. It is short but sweet ! And with the way I hate winter, I plan on taking full advantage of it ! You can image me there, watching the squirrels use the Maple Tree highway along with Chica, puttering with my flowers as they grow or just sitting at my table, enjoying the warmth with a glass of bubbly water or lemonade, just being where I am...

Life is good. Happy Sunday wherever you are...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Woods Would be a Very Silent Place

Art Journal Collage Page - May 21st, 2009

(click any of the images to enlarge)

I did this page really quickly this morning - in about an hour or so. Interesting when things just come together in a flow, no struggle, no doubt.

I grabbed a bunch of scraps from my pile of painted papers in turquoise and orange. I glued them down on the page with Golden Matte Gel Medium. I filled in the blank spaces with acrylic paints in gold (Lumiere), bronze Lumiere), Azul blue and Laguna Blue (Craft store stuff), watered down, dry brushed, brushed through sequin waste, wiped with paper towel, etc... I added the bird with a stencil and orange craft store paint on a make-up sponge mixed with the Lumiere bronze. The details and the quote were added last with a ultra-fine tipped white Elmer's Painters marker and black Indian Ink and a fountain pen.

I have been really fearless when it comes to playing in my art journal these days. I have pretty much left that pesky inner critic out of it completely somehow. It is pretty cool what comes out of me when I don't worry at all about the end results.

Now if only I could apply this to the rest of my life !!!! ;)

Happy Thursday ! Go be fearless !

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

SP Wednesday - Ugly Beautiful

It is easy to love butterflies. It is easy to love babies. It is easy to love flowers, and puppies, and birdies, and pretty things...

(Sing like no one is listening - 2001)

It is so easy in fact that most people do love those things. A lot even.

But what about the less lovable things in life.

What about the warty, scary, scarred, ugly parts of life ?

Of people who we know ?

Of ourselves ?

Do those parts need less love ?

I think not ! I think that they in fact need more love

than the pretty, shiny, sweet parts.

Without love, those parts get uglier,

wart-ier, more scarred and scary.

But then, how do you really learn to love the UNLovable ?

(art journal page "Unlovable" - May 19, 2009)

I think you need to go slow.

Maybe you need to love one icky wart or deep, painful scar at a time...

After all, that ugliness, those scars, those warts, didn't appear all in one day.

And maybe, just maybe,

with a little more love and a little more time,

those scars, those warts, those scary, scared parts of life,

of people we know,

of ourselves,

can become ugly beautiful instead.

Kiss a warty toad part of yourself today ! Happy SP Wednesday, my Ugly Beauties !

This post was partly inspired by Life is a Verb by Patti Digh, p.134, "Love Unlovable People". Patti is coming to Deerfield, NH on June 2nd to read from her amazing, inspiring, lovely book and I will be there with bells on !

It is also inspired by Sheri Gaynor's Creative Awakenings, p.114 - The Toad Committee. Sheri encourages us to listen carefully to what the venomous toad parts of ourselves are yelling at us - their message may just be something we need to hear !)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

When you don't know where to go, just BE where you are.

"Framed" - The gorgeous start of an art journal page.(click to enlarge)

Space framed off with masking tape on blank white page of my journal. Outside edges, orange, red and yellow Golden Fluid Acrylics applied with a make-up sponge. Then I played with a huge variety of stencils and masks from my stash. Touches of Azul Blue craft paint on top applied with bubble wrap, and a "stamp" stencil in the corners. Center rectangle dry rubbed with blue on sponge. Removed masking tape and had fun doing Funky Doodles with India Ink and a fountain pen(my new favorite tool!).

So last night, I sat down in front of this gorgeous beginnings of a really awesome journal page that I had created yesterday afternoon and began to ponder where I wanted to go with it. I played with images from my piles, looked through magazines, took out a sketch book and drew a few things that might work - a woman, a creature, a bird head child, etc...

I just couldn't decide where to go.

I love how the frame turned out ! I so love the depth of the black doodles - that India ink is amazing for that. I love the color scheme too. But what to add to the middle, to finish it...

I just couldn't decide where to go.

Then this morning, I came to the page again. I was thinking about how I would like to finish it and show off the beautiful piece on my blog for my friends to see. Again though, nothing came to me for what to put on it to finish it.

Then the FLASH ! Now is not the time to know ! Now is the time to let the piece BE.

My muse, the universe, my inner artist was giving me a message big time through this process and I finally got it !

When you don't know where to go, just BE where you are .

(Even typing it here makes me sigh with release !)

So I decided to listen to the message. The piece and me, we are gonna just BE.

It's a beautiful day for it ! Happy Tuesday !

Monday, May 18, 2009

Simple Grey & Blue Monday

FOR TODAY (Monday, May 18th, 2009)...

Outside my is kind of greyish, white-ish and definitely too cold for May 18th at 43 degrees ! Those maples leaves and the green are something though !

I am thinking...that I am missing friends and family and even David who only left for work an hour ago. I often get this way after a trip back home. It is kind of lonely here sometimes...

I am thankful for...the phone and my unlimited long distance plan ! It is Victoria Day in Canada and everyone will be off and home on a Monday morning to chat !

From the kitchen...radishes ! I guess they are in season somewhere nearby because they have arrived in the grocery store in all of their glorious red ! Love them with just a little sea salt - like red and white crunchy candies !

I am red nightgown, my green El Naturalista clogs and my glasses. Sexy, huh ?

I am creating... space for new experiences to come into my life.

I am get my 6 month supply of new contact lenses and I think the craft store next door just may be calling my name...can you say "retail therapy" ?

I am reading... Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman for the ump-teenth time. I saw the movie on tv again recently and the book re-surfaced soon after to dive into again.

I am hoping...for sun and warmth to make my flowers grow and my heart feel better.

I am hearing...a large crow cawing in the treetops nearby. What's the message, Mr. Crow ?

Around the house...there are dust bunnies I have named Dusty, Sneezy and Grey.

One of my favorite white Elmer's Painters opaque paint marker with the Ultra Fine Tip - a joy to journal with !

A few plans for the rest of the week: meditation tonight, and tomorrow, a meeting at Barnes and Noble with a new lady who responded to the ad my friend Lois and I placed on Craig's List for arty women available during the day to hang out and do arty stuff. I need a local community of artists that I can play with and see face to face !!!!! Desperate times call for desperate measures...

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

This is Singer, our 20 year old cat, curled into a nest

on the daybed in David's office to keep her old bones warm,

but to be close by the human she loves best. What more could you want

in your old age ?

Grace in small things... Happy Monday - don't mind the mess !

Sunday, May 17, 2009

GPP Street Team Crusade # 31 -Make it Your Own

How do I make it my own ? How do I use tools and pieces I have created on my own, tools I have bought, images created by other artists and mix them all together with bits of my imagination and creativity to create a piece that is all mine ?

That is the joy of art journal pages for me. No real rules. Just play and see what happens.
So here is how the process played out this morning. Take out the paint and play !

Make a background using some glued down pieces of scrap. Add an image of a fish eye that doesn't work after the paint is applied and scrap it off. Add more paint - ooh, that looks like a little map in the upper left hand corner...

Rip off the orange electric tape when the effect isn't quite what I want. Hmm, that white line may be a good place for journaling or a title of some sort.

Go through a file folder of images that I have collected along the way from magazines, old books, etc... See what jumps out at you, what seems to go with the ideas emerging from the background. In this case, this image from Oprah magazine appealed :

The words read "seek seek the source of the roaring the great replenishing, cleansing, life-giving river"., indeed !

I then looked through the drawers of rubber stamps, hand-made by me and store bought. Find this "seeker-girl" stamp from Magenta Stamps that was a gift from a friend at Christmas and has remained un-used so far.

Pick up the swallow stamp purchased from the $1.00 bin at Michaels. Flying seekers they shall be.

Play some more ! Compose your page - what fits where ? Create a map with a fine tipped black pen on that blob in the corner. Stamp the "seeker-girl" - argh, it kind of smeared. I am stamp challenged most of the time with those fine detailed stamps ! Oh well...
Add details with a ultra-fine tipped Elmers Painters pen. Now she looks a little less perfect - road weary maybe ? A little more mine, anyway ! ;)

More play...I keep going until it feels done somehow. Add phrase "Always a seeker be." in India ink with an old fashion fountain pen from my dad. I love the permanent black it leaves on the page, in spite of the permanent black it leaves on my fingers too. Add a little hard-to-read journaling with some gel pens. Throw in a spiral or two with that great white Elmer's pen. They always appear somehow, those whoopsy-do's of mine !

And there you have it - my very own art journal page !

I took the pieces...

and made it my own !

Join in the GPP Street Team fun - Number 31 and going strong ! It is a great place to be share bits of yourself, make your mark and cheer on the rest of the gang as they do the same !

Onward, Crusaders !