Saturday, October 24, 2009

GPP Street Team Crusade # 34 - Come Over To The Dark Side

So I haven't participated in the GPP Street Team Crusades for a while. I don't have any particular reason except that the months seem to have flown by since the last time I participated. I looked back and found that the last monthly challenge put out there by the wonderful and talented Michelle Ward that I participate in was in May - GPP Street Team Crusade #31 - Make it Your Own. I have to say I really missed it. It has been one of the things in the Blogland community that has connected me to so many wonderful people !

Well now Michelle and all the other Crusader are up to # 34 - "Come Over To The Dark Side" , and I am happy to rejoin all the fun, the camaraderie and the great chance to play all inspired and revved up by Michelle's wonderful prompts !

Now I am no stranger to black. Not only is a big bulk of my wardrobe black, but most every piece of my art work these days have some element of black in it - be it the rich black lines that come from my dip pen and my India Ink or the yummy black gesso that I have found from Golden that often makes an appearance. I love how black makes all the bright colors I love to use pop right off the page.

Well, Michelle's challenge for us this month was to start a piece in our journals from a black background and run with it. Here's how my adventure unfolded this morning :

Here's my black gessoed page. I did that a while back. I love prepping pages in my journal ahead of time with paint splashed backgrounds or with this yummy black gesso.

I was feeling a little wonky this morning. You know, crooked ? I know we all get like that sometimes. I am still learning that I don't have to stay like that all day even when I wake up like that. This morning, I decided to turn to a new and wonderful tool in my arsenal of "getting over the blahs" tricks.

I went to meditate.

While I was sitting and breathing, a mantra popped into my head. Something to hold on to, to breath with and to help me shake the crappies at least for a while.

The mantra was " In this moment, it is all okay."

Along with the mantra came an image. I knew I wanted to do a piece for the crusade this morning, and as I was repeating my mantra in my head, I saw what I wanted to do on my black background. The image of the lotus flowers came to me. I have never really used them in my art work before but their story blows me away. They grow in mud, you see. Icky, stinky mud. And from that mud, this vibrant, powerful, and beautiful flower emerges.

Hey, if the lotus can do that coming out of the mud, I should be able to get rid of those crappies and find a way to bloom today, right ?

So here is the page developing. It is a dark and rainy day here in NH, so I had to use my flash for the photos, so please excuse the strange color shifts and exposures in my shots.

I added some gold watered down Lumiere Metallic paints around the petals.

I added some black line work with my dip pen, some writing ("In this moment it is all okay." over and over) and some detail in gold gel pen and the word "mantra" with a stencil and a sponge in white paint.

So are the crappies all gone ? Not completely but that is okay. Everyone is entitled to a crappy day now and then, right ? I definitely enjoyed the moments when I was playing and focused on creating my vision from my head on the journal page. It didn't look exactly like it did in my imagination but I am happy with how it turned out. And I do love the black - it reminds me of what I see behind my eyelids as I breathe in and breathe out during meditation. And I do love how the colors pop off of it.

Here is another recent piece that fulfills this month's "Dark Side" challenge but rather than begin with a black background, I painted black gesso over a bright page that I had used blues and oranges on with hand carved stamps. Then the lettering is added with a stencil and white paint on top.

I love how my hands glow on this one and that is achieved because of that "darkness".

So I am off to visit the Crusaders now and cheer them on for their undoubtedly great work in taking up the "Dark Side" challenge. You should go and check them out too. Ain't nothing wrong with visiting the Dark Side once in a while! ;)

Happy Weekend, beautiful Ones !


Anonymous said...

Beautiful. I have also been feeling a wee bit of the crappies. I think it's okay...just part of the cycles.

Sherry said...

I love your mantra and that you meditated when you woke up are truly spirited!!

I love your "dark side" paintings..the lotus (loti?!?!) are beautiful...and the image of something beautiful coming out of the mud is such a beautiful analogy for coming out of the depths of the dark. I also love the hands...both pieces are extraordinary!!

Happy weekend beautiful!

Snap said...

I love both pages and your mantra and the use of one of my favorite flowers -- the wonderful, inspiring, beautiful lotus. Wonderful, Rock Fairy Queen! I bow before your spirt.

Commuter's Journal said...

Kim, both of these pages are so rich and beautiful with such a masterful use of negative space. Despite your mood, the resulting piece of art is uplifting.

And thanks for the reminder to pop over to GPP Street Team. I've also been remiss as life has grown busy. It's time to reconnect with friends!

michelle ward said...

Yay Kim is back! So happy to see you stepping back into our playground. Love your pages....and that the only *dark* thing about them is the black color, cuz the rest of it is so vibrant and uplifting, message and motif. Fab! xo

beth said...

black clothing and I get along fabulously well....paint, not so much....BUT YOU and black paint are like old long time friends....your pages are GREAT !!

okay fine....I did have a black painted dining room in our house in st. louis and it was totally cool...but black paint on paper or canvas....that's another story :)

Harnett-Hargrove said...

You have a wonderful pay of color in your work! -Jayne

reagan said...

Fab,fab,fabulous job!!! Awesome black pages:-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing both your process and your thoughts. It is all ok, and you are ok too :-) Glad you found the time to join in, we all need our art time huh?

DMG said...

For some reason I keep replaying your comment from this morning in my head. I have to admit that I wasn't feeling very shiny or happy until you made me smile. And your new pages... well, it's just incredible how often we meet on that other plane. Now, I think I'll go off to visit the dark side over at GPP. Thanks for brightening MY wonky days, Kim.


Jill from N.H. said...

Kim these look amazing!!! i hope your well!
hugs and Smiles~ Jill

Dawn said...

Wow! Those are awesome..I love the lotus story. I never knew :)

Jacky said...

Thanks for sharing the Lotus flower story...I never knew that. Fantastic that something of such beauty grows out of the icky mud...Loving the black gesso, it does make the colours pop.

Jacky xox

Leslie said...

Wonderful Kim! Makes me want to start a just black journal! said...

wow, what a transformation! thanks for showing as it progressed. so very strikingly beau ti ful!! wanda

Kate Robertson said...


Oh the lotus page is incredible. I love it. The hand page is fantastic too! i love black gesso.

I was going to do this months challenge so I had better get to it. In fact I think I have one page that will qualify. I will do another though. I think I have till the 31st.

Thanks for being inspiring as always.


A Miraculous Meliss said...

Woman, you have a true talent for art that is un-deny-able!


jgr said...

How gorgeous! The lotus and mantra are amazing! I love the second one too. I love what you wrote-I love it all! So glad you're back.

Jennifer said...

Your page is beautiful! I am also quite familiar with that mantra...I say it when my worries get too heavy. I learned it from my mother and it's life saving I think! I love what you make and I love reading your updates. I have been fighting a terrible funk for's been's not a down funk necessarily, but a soul trying to communicate a little something funk. I have to remember though that right now, everything is ok (and quiet because I can't talk!)

couragetocreatewriteandlove said...

i love how you take us into your process, it is really a gift what you do, i mean, you do have patience, great amiga!

p.s. you met Patti, i love her, too! lucky you!

Susan Sager Brown said...

Beautiful pages, Kim. Really rich with color and love your handcarved stamps. I did not know about the lotus emerging from the mud.....what wonderful inspiration. xoSusan

forcryeye said...

Wow! Chased my blues away!!! love the rich color, the beautiful writing...the mantra!