Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Creative Soul Day #14-22


Good evening!  Sorry it's been so long between posts, but I have been working on some things that I want to share.  I have some items that were inspired by recent events, some inspired by submission guidelines, and one inspired by my daughter's artistic freedom.  It has been an amazing week and a half!  First, I'd like to share with you the importance of friendship.  This past weekend I spent a ladies night in Chicago with my two best friends.  They rock!  There is nothing that compares to having two friends that know you almost better than you know yourself.  They are two fabulous women who help me de-stress whenever I need it.  Even though our adult lives have become hectic, and we live in three different parts of the state, we have been friends since middle school (and Betsy and Jen have been since elementary school!).  These two ladies are such an inspiration to me in how they live their lives.  I talk to no one, and laugh with no one like I do with them.  Check out a couple of pictures from our fun night!



The following piece was inspired by the events of that weekend.  I started it on the train on the way to the city.  Traveling by myself for part of the time allowed me to journal about our friendship and the night to come.  Having a city backdrop for the background seemed fitting.  The rough pen sketch just makes me thing of the edge of a city.  The picture in the middle was from our hotel.  A patron at the pub offered to take it for us.  How nice!  The Christmas lights around us are not only for the season, but for our sparkly personalities as well!  The words at the bottom commemorate the city and year.  We have gotten together three times this year, and our goal is to get together once each season next year.  My life would be awful without them!  Thanks ladies, for always being there to talk about anything and everything!
This next picture was inspired by my daughter.  We were out to breakfast when she gave me the assignment to just draw something while she did the same.  Unfortunately I did not keep hers to post with mine.  I will do that next time.  But I love drawing with her.  Her uninhibited drawing is so freeing to me.  We just play with no worries of critics or anything. We draw for one another, and for ourselves, and then we share with each other.  I will include hers the next time we do this.

Oh, and I almost forgot!  I finished my fearless picture as well.  Let me know what you think.  I am not quite sure it's finished.  i think it still needs something.  Any suggestions?

Stay tuned!  My next entry will be a page inspired by one of my favorite books!  I'm also going to be playing with some new media.  There will be some tutorials on how to make felt flower barretts as well as fabric flower brooches.  So much happening!  Don't miss out!  Plus, there will be a givieaway with the next post, be the first to check it out!  Peace to all!  ~S~

Friday, November 26, 2010

Creative Soul Day #13

Look!  Two days in a row!  What a fabulous day as well.  My friend Laura came over this morning and we talked artist and soul speak for a few hours while we created.  She worked on a watercolor of a butterfly wing on special paper that she created.  It was coming along beautifully.  I can't wait to see it when it is finished.  We also came up with some creative projects to do with our Monday night crazies group.  :)  Hopefully everyone else likes the ideas as well.  Our Monday night groups are amazing.  We are all women who share food, creativity, and a zest for life.  They are a beautiful group.  Anyway, it has been a brilliant day from then on.

So I have started a new piece of art for a submission to one of the Sommerset Magazines.  I may need to do a series of works before I turn it in, but it is due in just a couple of weeks, so I am not sure how many pieces I will be able to come up with.  The one above is just the beginning of a piece that I am working on.  I have some other pieces to it, but they have not been adhered, and I do not want to spoil the surprise of a finished piece.  So you will have to wait until tomorrow to see more of what will be included in this "Fearless" piece.  That seems to be my theme in the past couple of journal pages that I have completed.  I think that I am calling for myself to be more fearless in all aspects of my life.  My fearlessness began in college when I decided that I needed to speak more in classes if I was going to become a teacher.  That worked for me.  Then it surfaced again two years ago when I began this creative journey that just keeps getting better every day.  I wonder what my fearless nature is calling me to add to its repertoire.  It will reveal itself to me, as God wills it to be.  As soon as I know, you all will know as well.

Good night everyone!  Sleep well, and have imaginative dreams.  ~Peace~ S.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Creative Soul Day #9, 10, 11, & 12

Okay, so I totally stink at posting every day.  I have been trying, but obviously not diligently enough.  So I will work on that.  I have, however, been working on art every day.  Today all I did was mat the picture I am about  to show you, but I am going to do some art journaling after I get finished here.  I just wanted to make sure that I got my post out today.  So I will continue to do art every day, but I'm not sure it will get posted every day, although I will do my best.  One thing that I have noticed though, is that I am a slow artist.  I am just a slow person overall.  I have been ever since I was little.  And for those of you reading, I don't mean I'm slow in the head (although some would argue otherwise).  I'm a slow walker, a slow cleaner, a slow eater, and a slow artist.  It drives my husband crazy sometimes!  My daughter also inherited that trait from me.  You would think that since I am the same way, I should be patient when Ava is that way.  I try, believe me I do, but I now understand my husband's frustration when you are trying to get somewhere by a certain time, and someone doesn't have any sense of urgency.  It can be infuriating.  But I try to be patient with her.  Anyway, back to me being a slow artist.  What takes my friends an hour to do, can take me two or three.  Plus, I don't usually have two or three hours to do art all in one chunk.  So the painting I am about to show you took me quite some time to finish.  Keep in mind that I have not worked with watercolors for long, nor have I worked with painting portraits for very long.  The piece I am about to show you was given as a gift to my brother-in-law.  He's a big hunter, and he is really tough to buy for.  So I thought this would make a nice gift for him.  He doesn't have any paintings of himself as a hunter.  So this is what I have been finishing up for the last few days - working a little bit here and there.  I'm happy to say he seemed to genuinely like it.

I'm also very excited about tomorrow morning because my friend Laura is coming over to do art for a couple of hours.  Whenever she comes, I do get to sit for a couple of hours and work on art.  So tomorrow night I should have more to show you.  It's also my older sister's birthday - Happy Birthday Michele!  I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving, and are thankful for many things.  I know that I am very thankful for my family, as well as for my friends - new and old.  Life is good, even when it's tough.  See you all tomorrow!  Have a magnificant day, and treat one another well.  ~Peace~ S.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Creative Soul Day #8

I did it!  I finished my journal page!  And you thought I wouldn't get it done (or maybe that was me).  Anyway, it's finished.  Check it out below and let me know what you think.  Facing my fears is a big thing for me, and has been since I was at IUSB.  Personal challenges have helped me accomplish goals that I never really thought I could come close to accomplishing before.  Since then, I have become a teacher, a mother, and have embraced my Soul as the creative being it is!  Life is grand.  But I'm not sure that I would be in this place if I hadn't faced my fears.  I no longer try to be who everyone else wants me to be.  I am me; and yes, I still get self-conscious from time to time - worrying what others think of me - but I have not let that run my life anymore.  I am who I am, and I am proud of and embrace that person.  Life would not have been so good if I hadn't.  When you focus your energy on letting your fears take over, you never get where you are supposed to be.  Don't worry about what others think.  Enjoy who you are; who you were made to be.  This page is to remind us of all of that.  So if you  want to order a print of this just so you can look at it daily to reach your goal, please let me know!  Just remember that when you go to bed tonight, it won't be everyone else who has to think about how you lived your day - it will be you.  Live it to the fullest, and enjoy it by letting you be you!

Sleep well everyone!  Stay tuned for more tomorrow.  What will I come up with?  We shall see!  Until then, good night! ~Peace~ S.

Creative Soul Day #7

Okay, I skipped Friday,  I know!  But I have a really cute excuse!  It is small and furry, and completely cuddly!  She is the newest member of our family, and her name is Lola.  She is a seven week old Shih-tzu and Australian Shepard mix.  I brought her home on Friday night, and haven't done much art since then.  But I have done a little.


Check out my artistic journal page.  I have made a little progress.  I also tried to post this all last night, but it wouldn't work for some reason, so this is for day seven, but I will still post day 8 today as well.  I pledge that I will be finished with my journal page today, plus start my two paintings from my earlier sketches.  I am also going to meet some women who are associated with the National Women's Caucus for Art.  I am thinking of joining and enjoying being associated with a group of women artists.  Plus they have opportunities for getting your art into exhibits.  Today we are meeting at a museum to talk about surface tensions.  It should be pretty interesting.  I'll tell you all about it in my later post. 



Have a great day everyone!  ~Peace~ S.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Creative Soul Day #5

Good evening everyone!  It's been a nice day, followed by a very busy evening.  I've been puppy shopping.  My daughter and I went to pick up a collar, leash, bowls, and toys for our new puppy, Lola.  We will be picking her up tomorrow.  So we did not get home until late.  But we are very excited to be adding to our family (although my husband is not so much).

I did have time to start an artistic journal page today.  Mind you, it is only started.  But I have much more to write.  Lately I have let myself become intimidated by people and circumstances that I thought were beyond my control.  But really, what I need to do is stand up and face my fears.  I have a fear of confrontation, as well as a fear that I am not as "worthy" as I know I am.  My fears are mainly irrational, and as an artist there is always the fear of not being good enough.  I am usually comfortable with myself, but I have low points where I let  my fears get the best of me.  Usually I just write about it to work things out in my head.  But this time I am artistically dealing with it.  Let me know what you think of the piece!

Good night everyone!  May you find happiness in just being.  ~Peace~ S.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Creative Soul Day #4

Okay, I completely finished my piece that I had slowly been working on.  I'm happy with it, and I think that I will make it into a mixed-media painting.   I'm actually excited to get started!  Just recently I found out that a friend of mine is sick, and I'm not talking flu.  She is such a strong lady, and I was thinking of her when I made this drawing.  I may even do the paintings and give them to her as a gift.  Hopefully it will bring her peace and positivity.  She is going to need it.  If you pray, please say a prayer for her and her family.  Thank you.

Okay.  Now I am posting the pictures and going to see my husband.  He has been sick, and I fell asleep so early last night, that I feel I haven't really seen him for days!  Good night to you all!  As always, let me know what you think!  Hope to hear from you soon!  ~Peace~ S.

Creative Soul Day #3

Sorry I missed last night's post guys!  But I have a good excuse.  I fell asleep with my daughter as she was not feeling well last night.  So I am posting this morning to show you all that I did not forget about you, and that I did do a little work on my piece yesterday.  Check it out and let me know what you think.

Also, as I am home with an ill child today, I should be able to get some more work finished to show you all tonight.  I'll see you then!  ~Peace~ S.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Creative Soul Day #2

Hello everyone!  It's been a great day, and I have gotten a lot of things accomplished that I needed to.  The day is winding down, and I wanted to make sure that I gave you guys an update before I went to bed.  I got a sketch going tonight, but it's not finished.  I plan on working a little bit before going to bed, but I had to get on here first.  This is a sketch for my sketchbook that I am submitting to the Sketchbook Project.  I have a lot more to do to it, and I may end up turning it into an actual painting.  We'll see.

Okay, well I'm  going to get back to work, and watch Rules of Engagement.  Stay tuned to see more of the sketch tomorrow.  Log on and tell me what you think so far.  Look forward to hearing from you! ~Peace~S.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Creative Soul Day #1

Yay!  Day number one, and I accomplished my task.   A friend of mine taught me how to make these.  She taught me using wool sweaters.  I enjoy the wool sweater ones.  They have a fullness about them that the ones I made do not.  However, the ones I made have clean lines.  For some reason, a lot of my artwork has clean lines.  I think that is part of the style that I have honed in the past two years.  Each has something good to say.  I'll have to see how these look in my hair.  I definitely think that they look adorable in Ava's.  I'll have to make some and add embellishments to the petals - like ribbon or beads.  Leave a comment and let me know what you think. 



I'm not sure what project I will have for you all tomorrow, but I'm pretty sure it will be fun.  Now I'm off to watch Parenthood, and maybe even sketch!  Have a peaceful night everyone! ~Peace~ S.

365 Days with My Creative Soul

Okay ladies and gentlemen!  I'm really doing this.  Every day.  Each day I am going to give my creative soul it's wings.  No matter how large or how small, it will get to fly each day.  I am challenging myself to do art every single day.  This means, that I will be posting every single day - even if it's a small post with a picture and a small explanation of my creative journey that day.  Here's where I need your help - anyone who is reading.  If I miss even one single day (except around Christmas time when I am on vacation), you need to call me on it.  Send me messages - angry messages - hold me accountable!  I am going to hold myself accountable, but it's easier for me to stick to something if I know that someone else is invested.  So please, send me those messages! 

Today is day one of my 365 Days with My Creative Soul.  It's only seven in the morning, so I do not have any art for you as of yet, but I will post later today with something for you.  I'm not sure what yet.  I am also going to use this blog to finish my tree lady.  She is a painting that I have started, but I am intimidated by.  I'm always afraid that I am going to mess her up.  So I will also post pictures of her as I work on her.  By the end of the year, she will be finished (hopefully sooner than that).  So stay tuned to see pictures, and engage in conversations about the creativity found in life, and how we can get it to seep into our everyday, and let the creative soul shine constantly!  Talk to you later today!  ~Peace~


P.S. Check out this amazing artist over at Bijou's Whimsy. http://bijouswhimsy.blogspot.com/  She is amazing!

Monday, October 18, 2010

What My Life Is

I have a very BLESSED and JOYFUL life.  I have an amazing family, a comfortably loved home, good friends, a job I love, beauty to look at, food on our table, kindness, and compassion in my heart, and a curiosity about life to always keep me going.

I was blessed with two kind and loving PARENTS who raised me well.  Growing up I didn't always think that.  I fought them tooth and nail all the way.  Rarely did I take their advice.  I always did things my way - which usually ended up being the HARD way.  Luckily for me, I had been brought up right, and usually came right back to what they had taught me.  Yes, my parents were right.  But don't tell them that I said that!

I also grew up in a place and time that was peaceful and fun.  We (meaning my sisters and I) lived in a neighborhood that was full  of kids and imagination.  We played outside, explored NATURE and enjoyed life.  We were spies, being chased by spies, looked for ghosts in the graveyard, met our prince charmings a thousand times, put on endless dance shows, planned our dream weddings, and fought to be king of the mountain.

Our LIVES were opened to the kingdom of possibilities.  I think that is why my life is so rich today.  I am open to the great possibilities life has to offer.  That, my dear friends (or whoever shall be made better by listening to the stirring in their heart) is why I thrive and hold dear all of the

CREATIVITY

life has to offer...here is a painting inspired by life.


Monday, September 27, 2010

New Work

Hello everyone!  For those of you who have been following along, if you haven't noticed, I'm not great about posting blogs when I say I am going to.  For that I apologize.  I'm working on that.  It has been a difficult transition since school has begun.  But I will get the hang of it!  Stay tuned to find out!

But back to the important issues at hand.  I have recently (within a couple of months) entered the Sketchbook Project, as well as started my own artistic journal.  Below are examples from both.  First, the sketchbook project.  My entries are all having to do with the theme "In Flight."







Now for the the backgrounds that I have made for my artistic journal.




Please feel free to drop by and let me know what you all think!  Have a great night, and thanks for letting me share with you!  Peace to you all!

~S~

Monday, September 6, 2010

Natural Blessings

School is underway and I am getting in my groove.  Time to add in business with business!  I have worked out my schedule to get both of my fields of vision working at the same time, and perhaps together!  But that's a blog for another day.  Today I want to share my blessings of nature with you as well as some new work that I am doing.  This is the first time I have used a partial piece of work in my blog, but I definitely want to share the journey - the process.  So...good morning!  Let's get started.

I am finally getting some new things made for my etsy shop.  They are not completed, but I am working on them and hope to have them finished in the near future.  Last night I taught my new friend Cat how to make some earrings.  In the process, I also made a couple of pairs for my shop.  I do not have pictures of them to share right now, but stay tuned.  I'll let you know when they are posted on my shop.  However, at the same time, I have begun to paint my passport purses.  This is something that I started doing last year, and people seem to like them.  I love doing them because it's so relaxing.  Plus I absoultely love the idea of art you can wear.  In the future I would like to have just more than the bags.  I'd like to do shirts and jeans and all kinds of things.  Anyway, the purse I am about to show you is an imagined flower, and the top will say "Be unique", or something like that.  If you wish to drop some comments about what you think, please do.  Constructive criticism is always welcome, as is praise.  I will also show you a picture of the finished product when i get there.  These are definitely fun to do because I make up my own designs, but infuse them with positive and optimistic thoughts.


Now onto the natural part.  Last month was my birthday.  I was pretty bummed that we had not been camping all summer when we usually go often.  It's been a crazy summer.  So instead of giving me a material gift, my husband and my daughter took me to one of my favorite places on earth - Turkey Run State park!  I was so stoked to go, and even though we didn't camp (got a hotel room as a fun alternative for Ava to experience), it was such a fabulous and creatively inspiring experience.  I watched my husband and daughter as we played together, drinking in their smiles and laughter, creating a portrait in my head.  On top of that, as we hiked, canoed, played miniature golf, or went go-carting, I paid attention to my surroundings and the beauty that is nature.  This is what I use as inspiration for my art, and for my life.  Nature is a truly motivational and inspiring tool.  This is a trip that will live in my memory forever.  Check out the pictures below, and enjoy the fun!
Ava has taken to rowing, so I can sit back and enjoy the natrual beauty of my family, as well as of my surroundings.  She was so stoked to be doing the work!


Trying to go off the beaten path!  Didn't make it far, but she will!


The freedom of youth!  I pray she keeps this freedom as she grows!


My two mustached maniacs, who are always accomplices in the zany moments of life!  No one I would rather share it with!

Thanks for tuning in today guys!  Stay tuned!  There will be another blog post at the end of the week.  Happy Labor day!  ~Peace~





Friday, August 6, 2010

Celebration!

Hey everyone!  Sorry it's been so long between posts.  I've been wicked busy with my inspiration!  Plus I've been getting ready for school to start again.  I can't believe I go back on Wednesday and the students come back on Friday.  Summer went way too fast, but I am excited to see what this new school year brings.  I'm also psyched to meet my new students.  I wonder what they will be like.  It'
s going to be a good year. 

My shop has been open officially for one week.  I am very happy about that.  I have yet to sell anything, but I am confident that I will.  Patience and perserverance are what it takes.  Plus a little positivity goes a long way!  I urge you all to check it out if you haven't, and maybe tell some of your friends about it.  That would be great!  I've added some new items, and I have more in the works - although those will have to wait until after I get my project finished for the five pillars of positive behavior at our school.  But my creativity is much more active than it used to be, and I am much happier.  Speaking of which, this entry is to celebrate myself.  I wrote a journal entry last night that I would like to share with you all, because I feel it's important to remember this about ourselves sometimes.

Evening Pages 8/5/2010

It's georgeous out here tonight (sitting outside of my art cottage)!  I love my chick lady that I have created.  She's beautiful!  She is me!  I am cute on the outside and absolutely stunning on the inside.  I love myself!  Yes, there are times that I am rough on myself and lose confidence, but those are fewer and far between.  They are not nearly as frequent as they used to be.  But hey, I am human afterall.

I love me though.  I'm kind.  I have morals and beliefs, and I stick to them. I'm funny.  I'm a good conversationalist.  I'm brave and smart.  I'm a good listener.  I stick up for the things that I believe in.  I love openly and honestly.  I am creative and artistic.  And, for the most part, I am free!  I have unlocked the negativity that hides inside me sometimes, and have kicked it out!  I'm positive and optimistic like my would-be mentor (though she doesn't know she is) Kelly Rae, who believes that people can be possibilitarians (she knows, because she is one!)!  Many of my new friends on Flying Lessons are, as are my new friends at home (Rachel, Ann, Amy, Jan, Laura, and Jordan . . .among others).

Remember to celebrate you!  Look not only at what you have accomplished, but at who you are as your self -not necessarily as who you are, or what you are, but as how you are!  I challenge each and every one of you to celebrate how you are today!  Make a physical list and keep it somewhere you can see it on a day to day basis.  Smile at it, and embrace it. . . embrace you!  Then fly!

There you have it!  And, just to give you some more inspiration and a little smile to your day, check out the video I am including below.  It's my sweet little love, who makes me smile and laugh daily, singing to the world!  :)  Enjoy!  P.s.  she only knows the one line, but it's the best line of the song!


Have a great day everyone!  I think it's a good day to celebrate you!  Let me know how you've done that in the comments!  I'd love to hear from you!  Be blessed and well.  Peace to you!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Getting Set...

I finished almost two paintings for sale today.  That's a record for me!  This whole goal setting strategy really worked for me this week.  I got everything finished, and my Etsy shop (www.etsy.com/shop/stephaniescreative) opens tomorrow morning when I post my very first item.  I'm so incredibly excited!  Yes, I had a lot to get done this week in order to make tomorrow happen.  But I stayed organized, and it all came together.  My heart is flying along with the rest of me tonight as I get ready, exhausted, to go to bed.  This is my dream.  It's going to be a wild ride, because life is a journey and it is supposed to be!  For all of you out there reading, the first five people to respond will get 10% off of any item during tomorrow's grand opening!  I will post pictures in the morning!  See you all then!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Getting Ready...

Hey everyone!  Man, although there is not a lot to setting up your Etsy shop, at the same time there is!  There are so many decisions to be made.  I am trying to be smart and careful when it comes to my policies,  because I have never done this before.  I want to be fair to both my consumer and myself.  There are so many decisions to be made.  I am almost finished though.  The only things that I have left to do are to finish a couple of paintings and list my first item!  I am so excited!

But I am learning so much during this process.  Last night and today I have accomplished some huge steps when it comes to technology.  You see, I'm not much of a technological person.  My little sister usually helps me out when things get a little tough.  I don't usually try and find the answer, I just call up Amy (thanks Amy!).  However, I have done all of this almost entirely by myself.  Last night I figured out (all on my own) how to change the pixellations of a picture on my computer.  I had to do this in order to get my logo on my Etsy shop.  At first I was freaking out that the piece I had made to represent my logo would not work because the pixels were too big.  I was determined though.  Google became my best friend, and she and I together figured it out.  Yes, it took quite a while, but we did it!  Then today I printed my business cards.  My little sister did help me create them last night.  I knew what I wanted, but I couldn't figure out the templates.  She helped me with that.  But when I got home and tried to print them, it wouldn't work right.  The information would not work on the cards I had.  I called Amy, and she told me to look at the template number on the carton, and find that number within Microsoft.  So I tried.  But it wasn't there.  At this point I felt like the universe was against me and that my shop would not be able to open on time.  Then I noticed on the carton there was a website for free template downloads.  Got it!  But I still couldn't get them quite right.  After playing with it for a little while (not near as long as the pixels) I finally printed out my first good batch of cards!  Hooray!  I am overcoming my technical difficulties and growing in so many ways!

I told you all I would keep you updated on how well this was going.  So far, so good.  I haven't broken down, and I have learned so much!  I know that I am truly ready for this step.  The steps I am taking just seem natural.  Even when there is a snag, I still flow through it.  When have you experienced this type of natural flow with a project?  I'd love to hear!  Leave a comment and let me know!  Good day!

Take care!  I'll be back soon!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Music and News (Not music news)

Music



Well, there has been quite a bit going on around here…we’ve been painting my sister’s new house so that she can move in, and I took my daughter to her first concert…that’s my excuse for not blogging lately. I need to be better at keeping up with that. Sometimes life just does get in the way. But it’s our life, so we determine how often it gets carried away with itself.  Anyway, this blog is an important one to me. Music during “working” (playing) time is a very crucial part of my process. It can affect how well I work, my process, or even the outcome of a piece. Being moved by all forms of creativity is important, but art, music, and writing are the components of my artistic being (we’ll get to the writing part in a later post).


Let me start by sharing an event with you. It was probably one of my favorite nights in my life thus far because I got to share something that I love with my daughter…music. On Friday night I took my daughter Ava, six, to her first concert. Now some parents may choose to take their children to a Disney, teeny-bopper concert for their first experience. However, I wanted Ava to be somewhere that was positive, and did not entice my child to wear risqué clothing and rebel against their parents. (By the way, if you are a fan of the programming or recording artists at Disney, please do not take offense. This is only my opinion, and I do not judge.) So the first concert she attended was Jack Johnson. His music is mellow and a great example of self-expression, and his values about the earth and his mission to preserve it are found everywhere at each venue. He provides material about water conservation, recycling, and taking care of our earth; water stations where you can fill up any ecologically sound water bottle that you bring in from home, and his concert memorabilia are made from organic materials. The proceeds from the merchandise and concert go to a charity. I don’t know many artists who are this devoted to a cause. So taking Ava to this concert was a no-brainer. My sisters joined us as well. Ava loved the concert! She said that she loved it so much more than she thought she would, and she would definitely like to see him again. That made me so excited!


Jack Johnson

Ava dancing at the Jack Johnson Concert - she is totally into it!



 After sharing this moving experience with Ava, and having danced along with her to several songs, I am more of a believer that music enhances all of my memories, and completely inspires me. Whenever I am out in my art cottage working (pictures of my art cottage can be found to the right, included in the slide show), there is usually music playing. I’ve noticed that some music can inspire projects, some affect the methods or materials used in a project, and some can totally distract the original outcome of a piece. It is so essential to make sure that the music I am listening to fits the mood I am in, or need to be in. Music moves my hands as I work. The tempo and tone of the music determines what speed and what force I work at. I never thought about how much it affects me until I decided to study myself while I worked. When I played music that matched my mood, my paintings turned out nicer, and came from my hands much more easily than when I played music that did not match. Fast yet light music made my hands work quickly with light strokes. Fast music that was harder had the opposite effect. I am most comfortable and relaxed working with mellow music, fast or slow, playing. (This does not always work though if it does not match my mood.)






Music has always been important to me, and different songs trigger different moments in my life. I have nostalgic songs from my childhood (Blonde, Michael Jackson – sans nose job, Duran Duran, The Cars, etc.), adolescence (Billy Joel, Roxette, New Kids on the Block – never liked them, but my sister’s did, Meatloaf, etc.), my teenage years (The Fresh Prince – a.k.a. Will Smith, Shakespeare’s Sister, Martika, Heavy D., etc.), my college years (Phish, Dave Matthews Band, Alanis Morrisette, Milla Jojovich, etc.) to my adult years (Jack Johnson, Donovan Frankenreiter, Norah Jones, Linkin Park, etc.). Music has been there every step of my life. I can hear Blonde, which reminds me of a terry-cloth jumper I had when I was little, and warm summer days. If I am playing during this song, my project will tend to have more childlike qualities. When I hear Phish, I am reminded of some of the toughest moments in my life and my inner struggles. If I were to create during this type of music, the product would be more dark and serious. It’s all very complicated actually.






Almost every time I am in my art cottage, there is music playing. In my car, there is always music, and while I am cooking there is always music. Occasionally I need the music of nature. It’s there, but many people don’t take the time to listen to it. The music of nature heals me and helps unclog any creative blocks that have arisen. No matter what type of music, it’s always here in my life, and in my creativity, and it always will be. Check out the list to the side that shows some of the music I enjoy listening to.






News


Okay everyone! Since I have become motivated, I have decided to try goal setting more in depth. I made a plan for this week. The goal is to open my Etsy shop on Friday. I made my “To Do” list, and allotted each day its list of things to do. Blogging is part of this list. I would like to document my process in getting through the set up. First, I have begun the process of setting up shop. I have made my logo (pictured below), and need to install it. At the moment I am researching shop policies and trying to decide what my policies will be. At the same time, I am working on three projects that I have already begun in the hopes of having them ready for the shop opening on Friday. I am already confused by Paypal, but think I have it figured out. I think that I just list an item as I post it on Etsy. I just cannot figure out what my number is that I put into my Etsy account. That is on my agenda for figuring out on Wednesday. Any tips you all have for my grand opening would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! I will try to keep you all informed each day this week as I continue on my journey. Feel free to chime in with advice, thoughts, tips, or just a general hello. As always, may you have a magnificent day!




My New Logo - Please comment and let me know your opinion of it.  Thanks!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Journaling

Why is it that we forget the good things that we did as a kid that helped us to cope with the tough things in life? As a kid I used to draw and write. I would do both for hours. My mother never understood my ability to sit so long to do these things because I could never really sit still that long for anything else (except reading). But as I grew up, and once I got out of college, I just dropped the habit of journaling. I used to get all of my frustrations and feelings out on a page, or two, or three...well, sometimes many more than that. The point is that once I dropped that therapeutic habit, where did all of those feelings go? There was no place to get them out. Eventually they just began spinning in my head, a rotating mantra of negative energy that pretty soon paralyzed my creative flow. It's very important that people, artist-types especially, find an outlet for the negative energy that comes there way. Yes, practicing and creating art definitely helps to purge these hindrances, but it does not completely eliminate them. Neither does journaling. However, the act of practicing both gets the rollercoaster out of your head and makes way for the creative flow to come straight out. When there is a maze of negativity clogging your mind, you need that pen to find the way.




When practicing the rituals of Walking in this World, morning pages are put into place specifically for opening the flow of creativity. As a practitioner, I have found these pages to do wonders! By getting things off of my chest first thing in the morning, I have found that my brain is completely open for the many ideas that are hiding up there. Plus, my day begins in a much less stressful way. I have taken the hamster out of its wheel, and my brain is not droning away on topics. It's completely pleasant. However, by the end of the day I have also found that the hamster has usually jumped back on its exercise wheel and is driving me completely nuts! Sometimes it even keeps me awake at night. So, in addition to my morning pages, I have recently also begun writing evening pages. At night, after I have put Ava to bed, I go somewhere quiet. Lately that quiet place has been on my front steps or on a bench in my backyard. Either way, I take my journal and completely work out things that I didn't even know were up there. One night I thought about how I neglect my husband's hobby (hunting) because I don't agree with the killing of animals. Yet, I still expected him to respect, and even listen to me go on and on about my projects. I even ended up giving this entry to him. It has helped me to be a better friend to my husband. I do listen to his hunting stories now. I may not enjoy the gruesome parts, but he needs to share that with his best friend (Me!). I have also journaled about my lack of motivation lately and have discovered that I need to get myself a routine and a schedule. Lists have begun to be my best friend (except when I don't follow them - then they are my worst enemy!). When you journal at both times of the day, you definitely get to know yourself - especially the parts that you don't normally acknowledge.



Journaling is an amazing creative tool. I have also gotten the itch to make some creative journals. I have included sketches and doodles in my morning/evening pages journal, but I would like to do more. So why haven't I you may ask? Well, that's where that fear thing comes into play that I talked about last time. Fear is such a horrible feeling, but once you learn how to work with it, you can do anything. I just haven't quite learned that completely yet. I know I can do these things, it's just that sometimes I freak myself out and let my head get the better of me. Jumping in with both feet would be the best thing for me to do. I have definitely been stalling for the past couple of weeks. Bad! Bad! Bad! I have let fear grab hold and take me for a ride. It's time for this wild bronco to start kicking until I throw it off! Do you guys have any ideas on how to get that fear monster to shut up and stay quiet? If you do, please respond in the comments. I would love to hear your ideas and maybe try some of them out.



As always, thanks for listening - or reading. It's always a pleasure. Have a beautifully blessed day! I got my creativity - now go out and get yours!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Watercolors! I did it!

I've always been afraid of watercolors.  I know, it's an irrational fear.  I mean, even when we are very young, the very first encounters that many kids have with paint are with watercolors.  We get paint books that already have the paint on the page; we just need to add the water.  Finger paints, and paints that you are given as gifts are usually watercolors.  It's like the first basic art supply (paint wise) that there is.  I grew up with these forays into juvenile art.  For many years I am sure I dabbled in this frightening media - without knowing its dangers.  What are those dangers you may ask?  No clue.  I have absolutely no clue.  I have been afraid of this media since I can remember.  Crazy, right?  I bought myself a set of watercolors years ago.  I even got them out a couple of times and dabbled - but did not really paint with them - only to quickly put them away.  I could not figure out how to work them, mold them to my visions.  I could not tame these paints.  That is, until...

My friend Laura - beautiful soul - is a watercolorist.  She is an all around artist, but most of the art that I have seen of hers are these absolutely fabulous and breath-taking watercolor portraits.  She was over at my house last night, along with Jan (we missed you Jordan!) for our Monday night ladies meeting (or fun fest).  Laura actually came over earlier so that we could work on art together.  We have discovered that it is nice to be sitting with someone while we create.  She was making a gift of a portrait for someone she knows.  While watching her, I decided that I would like to try it as well.  So I asked my dear friend if she would be willing to teach me how to paint portraits.  I watched as she explained each step of what she was doing.  Then I got out one of my favorite pictures of Ava.  Sketching it was tough as it has been so long since I have drawn a face.  By the time I finished drawing, there was not really time to actually lay the painting.  So I was supposed to go to Laura's house tonight to learn how to do that.

Well, after overheating while mowing the lawn, I post poned our art time.  I was completely exhausted.  Man, who knew water could help you not get quite so knocked out by heat.  I'll have to try that next time it's ninety degrees while I am mowing.  :)  Anyway.  After taking a nap I finally decided that I would not work on the sketch I began last night, but sketch another picture and try painting that.  Now folks, why do you think I chose to do a different picture?  Well, when trying something new I am not always the confident glowing woman you see before you now.  I know, I hate to shatter anyone's perception of me :).  So I tried a different picture.  Let me just say that I think Laura is a darn good teacher!  Now, I'm not saying that my portrait is perfect, but I think it is pretty good for a first painting with watercolors (at least since I was, like, 5).  But don't take my word for it.  Please, by all means give me feedback!  What do you think?  Tips?  Pointers?  I am actually thinking that I am going to do a study of watercolor portraits now.  Hooray!  I know, one more thing to add to my list of things I want to do!

What is something that you, dear reader, have tried after many years of being afraid of it?  Please do share!  I'd love to know.  Stories are the sustenance of life!  Share!

Also, stay tuned for progress on my Etsy shop.  Hopefully it will be opening within the next week!  Just a sneak tip - those who leave comments may be in for a discount!  :)

See you all in a few days!  May your life be as happy as is humanly possible!  Love!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Storms




Oh my word!  We have had some pretty bad storms within a week of each other, and it has been crazy!  During the first storm, Ava (my daughter) and I were sitting in our truck in the Meijer parking lot waiting for my husband to get a fishing license.  It was pretty wicked.  We watched the dark clouds roll in from the west.  The sky kept getting darker and darker.  I texted Scott (my husband) and told him to speed it up!  But when you are waiting for someone else to serve you, sometimes it takes a while.  Ava was unbuckled and up front with me as we watched the storm coming.  Then the rain came.  It poured buckets, and the wind picked up, so it looked like the rain was going sideways.  We even saw a grocery cart go roll by and run into the side of a Jeep.  I don't think it did much damage, but I didn't get out to check.  I'm a good samaritin, but in the middle of a storm, that goes out the window!  At times the wind was strong enough to rock the truck a little.  Ava was nervous.  She asked if we could call Nora and check on her.  Now, Nora is our dog.  I reminded Ava that Nora would not be able to answer the phone.  But she said she would feel better if she could call and leave a message for Nora.  I conceeded.  If it was going to make Ava feel less nervous, that was fine with me. 

So the call went something like this:  "Nora, it's Ava.  Are you doing ok?  I know the storm is bad, but all you need to do is stay calm.  I'm a little nervous.  Just stay calm.  STAY CALM!  It will be okay.  Oh, and if I die and don't come home, I'm sorry."

I had to giggle at the end.  It was so sweet and sincere!  We kept the message on the answering machine. 
Driving home was awful.  When Scott finally got out to the truck, he was drenched.  It looked like someone had just dumped a bucket of water on him, and we were not parked that far from the entrance.  It was still storming when we set out on our way home, but it let up after a while.  However, the drive was like a maze.  No matter which road we took, we kept having to turn back and take a different one because there were so many trees down across the roads!  I'm not talking twigs either, but full-grown old trees that had just been snapped in half!  I don't think I had experienced this before.  We were like mice looking for the cheese, and it took forever!  A normal twenty minute drive ended up taking about an hour.  We didn't see any damage to homes, but we did see so many trees down.  We were lucky it was not worse.  By the time we had gotten to our home, the storm was over.  There was no damage to our trees or property either.

Five days later (this past Wednesday) we had another storm.  Luckily we were home at the time - sort of.  We don't have a basement, so we ended up going to my parents-in-law's home.  Ava and I were reading stories for bedtime when Scott told us that we should probably go to his parents house.  Ava was a little nervous again.  After loading up the dog, we got there qurickly and safely before it started to get nasty.  Ava went in and played with grandma - one of her favorite things to do.  The dog needed to go out, so I took her.  Scott and his dad were standing in the garage just watching.  We heard the storm coming before it got there.  You could not only hear the thunder and see the lightining, but you could hear the wind before it got there and made the trees move.  When I went back into the house, I coerced Ava  and grandma to go downstairs and play school with the chalkboard.  That was much easier than telling Ava we had to go to the basement for the storm.  This one seemed worse than the previous one.  I think it was because a small tornado supposedly touched our little town. 

Luckily the damage was not widespread.  Many trees were snapped in half again.  One barn lost it's roof, and one industrial building lost part of its second floor (pictures below).  I don't think anyone was injured (thank God!).  Again, our property was untouched, as were all of the ones on our road.  Let me tell you though, I am not a fan of storms.  They freak me out.  Having to pretend to be brave so that my child doesn't freak out is easier than I thought it would be.  I still do not like them though.

Storms are creative in their own way.  They morph the landscape.  It's almost like the wind is painting over a portrait that has already been finished.  Maybe it did not like the way the trees were sitting, or the way a building was built.  In any respect, the wind is an artist.  Not all art is beautiful and pretty.  Some art makes a statement.  Some art shocks.  Some art slaps you in the face until you have to look away from it.  The wind sometimes does this.  Why?  I'm not sure.  Maybe the good Lord just needed a change in the landscape.  Or was He sending us a message?  Life is fragile.  That fact is sometimes captured in art.  We should be thankful for the life we have, while we have it.  We should be thankful for the beautiful landscapes with which we have been blessed.  You never know when either may be repainted.

Be thankful for all you have been given!  What are you most thankful for?  Leave a message in the comments.  You never know, it could inspire a piece of art!  See you all next time!


Oh, and check out the sidebar for pictures from the storm!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Chicago and More!

My parents gave me a false sense of adulthood - or maybe I just wasn't paying close enough attention.  I always thought that when you grew up you got to do whatever you wanted; even if that meant spending all day in front of the television.  Man, was I mislead!  I just worked a thirteen hour day!  Plus, it's a Saturday!  I got all of my papers for class saved, cleaned my house, did all of my laundry and put it away, and weeded part of my garden.  My sweet husband then went and borrowed his parents tiller to weed the garden for me.  It was much faster!  Thank you Scott!  Love you!  Plus I made personal pizzas for Scott, Ava, and I.  It's been a busy day.  But do you know what was on my mind the whole time?  Art.  I kept thinking of what I could be doing out in my art house.  I kept coming up with ideas for new projects - so I wrote those down in short hand.  All I wanted to do was go out into my art house.  That is my plan for tomorrow morning before anyone else wakes up.  I'm going to eat breakfast, make coffee, and take a cup out with me.  That just sounds so nice.  In the afternoon we are hosting Father's Day dinner for my side of the family, and we will be so busy playing games that I won't get a chance otherwise.  :)  It's all fun though.

But, I need to tell you guys all about my trip to Chicago.  It was amazing!  I spend the train rides, there and back, reading and listening to my iPod.  Music is huge to me!  Music is inspiration and life all in one.  But that's a topic for another time.  I got almost a whole week of reading in my Walking in this World book. That in itself would have made an awesome day!  However, there was much more to come.  One of my good friends, Aimee, whom I hadn't seen in about five years, met me at the train in East Chicago, and then we rode the rest of the way in together.  It was so nice to see her and spend time with her.  She knows me so well, and it was just so comfortable to hang together, just like always.  Aimee is doing amazingly, and is so happy!  I am so happy for her.  Spending the day with her was just a gift.  We talked, we walked, we ate, we perused, and she shared some of Chicago with me that I had not seen.  It was just an amazing day, and we both promised that it would not be so long before we got together again.

The very first thing we did once we got off of the train was pee.  But you probably don't care about that part - I sure did though!  Once we were relieved, we found that Utrecht really was just outside of the train station.  Aimee had told me this, and I do not remember ever seeing it there before.  Once we came up the stairs, we turned left, and there it was just staring us in the face!  I couldn't believe I had never seen it before.  The store itself turned out to be so much fun!  It was not as big as I thought it would be, but that may be because I am used to crafting stores.  However, as soon as I walked in, I was in bliss!  Canvases, paints, brushes, inks, etc. Oh, it was beautiful!  We perused each isle and I found the exact things that I was looking for; a travel watercolor set, brushes, travel watercolor paper, and a small container to hold water.  Not only that, but the items were relatively inexpensive.  That made me even happier.  :)  It usually does.

Seeing as that was the only place that I really wanted to go, the rest of the day was left up to whatever we wanted.  Aimee knew where she would like to eat, so we decided since it would be such a trek that we would just start walking and stop wherever we wanted along the way.  But first I needed some coffee.  I had only had one small cup that morning, and was craving more (yes, I am an addict).  So we stopped at The Artists Cafe.  Boy, was that latte strong!  I like coffee, and I can drink fairly strong coffee and espresso.  But this coffee was crazy!  It was Italian, and delicious!  Once we got out coffee, we pleasantly stumbled onto a farmer's market.  Aimee was overjoyed, and I was completely excited!  The produce looked amazing!  Sadly, we did not purchase any because we still had the whole city to wander.

As we went on our way, we stopped at a book shop, a clothing store, and then....a vintage shop!  I had never been in one, and was pretty sure that I would not be able to afford anything (rightly so), but I needed to go in.  Aimee and I both found breath-taking vintage dresses that we would have purchased.  Sadly (or thankfully) we are not Angelina Jolie or Julia Roberts, and our budgets (we actually have them) did not leave space for a $200 dress.  Just visiting the store made me smile though.  I wondered who had worn the dresses, and what the dresses had seen.  Funny thinking a dress can see.  :)  I like that thought.

Lucky for us, the vintage shop was right next to the restaurant that Aimee wanted to go to - Karyn's Cooked. The restaurant was completely vegetarian.  I had never been to such a restaurant before, but it was mouth-wateringly indescribable!  The brown rice and vegetables in teriyaki sauce was delectable.  Plus, I tried tofu for the first time.  I never thought that I would like tofu.  In fact, I was afraid to try it - thinking it would be disgusting.  But it wasn't at all!  The cook had sliced the tofu thinly, seasoned it, and grilled it.  MMMMMMMMMM....WOW!  Aime loved her food as well.  She is a vegetarian.  We both highly recommend this eatery.  Sorry, there was no website listed that I could find.

We didn't have a whole lot of time left once we had eaten, so we headed towards the train station.  Along the way we did pop into Trader Joe's  I'm really bummed that there are no Joe's close to us, because the food and things offered in this store were mostly organic (I believe), and fairly inexpensive.  Their coffee was not bad either.  :)  When we had finished there, we headed to Millennium Park.  It started raining some, but nothing major.  In fact, I found it comfortable and refreshing to walk in the rain.    The rain did not deter us from visiting our destination.  If you have not been there, I think a trip should be made.  I still have not been through the whole thing due to time constraints.  But the next time we go, that will be the first stop on my list.  The artwork is phenomenal, as are the rest of the grounds.  I loved the flower gardens as well.  Flower gardens make me feel pretty and calm.  Maybe that's why I keep expanding my flower gardens every year.  :)  I can't wait to go again. 

When the day came to an end, I was not ready to leave.  Aimee and the city had refreshed my inspiration ten-fold.  I couldn't wait to get home and begin some projects, but I didn't want to leave either.  Saying goodbye to Aimee was tough.  It had been so long since I had seen her.  I know that we won't wait that long again though.  :)

Before I sign off for today, I wanted to point you to the sidebar.  I am trying to get a slideshow of pictures from my Flickr account to play, but I am having a tough time figuring it out.  If anyone knows how to do it, please enlighten me.  :)  Once I figure it out, I will definitely let you all know.  Also, there is a reference section of the books I have read in the past year.  There are a couple of others, but friends have them right now.  Plus I am in the middle of another, but think it is in my car (I hope!).  Please enjoy, and let me know if you have any questions.  :)  Plus, does anyone know about the Flickr slideshow?  Please do share!  :)  See you all soon!  Now go be creative!

Monday, June 14, 2010

New Ramblings

Good morning everyone!  It's yet another cloudy day here in lovely northern Indiana, but we won't let that get us down!  At the moment I am downloading some pictures to Flickr so that I can create a slideshow of pictures for you all.  These pictures include my art house, my artistic daughter (with her own face painting), my dog, and my favorite flower and tree.  I hope you enjoy them all.  Having such a peaceful place to live, with an amazing place to create is more than anyone could ask for.  I have truly been blessed.

The art house my husband built me is incredible.  Is it huge?  No, but I don't need a lot of space.  We have gotten some creative storage ideas for my supplies, and I have plenty of space within which to work.  The walls are mine to do with as I wish.  In the winter I have a little heater that does extremely well in heating my area.  My husband insulated the little house very well!  With the doors closed, the blinds open, and the music playing, I am in my own little world, doing as I wish.  It's my favorite place to be!  This is my first summer with the building, and it is better than I have ever thought!  I only play music sometimes now, because I prop open the doors and enjoy the sounds of nature.  We have plenty of birds, crickets, and frogs who make music enough to inspire.  Plus, the view of my backyard and the neighboring fields is breathless!  I can see my favorite tree from my art house (I'm a bit of a freak about trees).  I can see my garden (which is in desperate need of weeding!), and I can see Ava's trampoline and swimming pool.  If she and her friends are out there playing, I can keep an eye on them while I work.  It's the perfect place to work.  Now, in the pictures you should know that I am nowhere near finished decorating my little cottage.  It takes time, and I do it little by little.  But I will keep you updated as I add more.

In the evening I love to sit on my little stool right outside of my art cottage to watch the sky and listen to the music of nature all while breathing it in.  There is no better way to end my day - except, of course, being more productive.  Lately I have not been as inspired or productive.  It really stinks!  But I am determined not to let that get me down!  I am taking a special artist's date tomorrow (one of the assignments in Walking in this World).  Plus I work on things a little bit at a time.  That's what's frustrating to me.  I don't want to work on things a little bit at a time.  I want to work for hours - chunks of time that I can get something accomplished.  I have been laxed in meeting my goals.  I am totally frustrated by myself.  So what do I do?  I get my rear in gear!

Tomorrow I am taking a train ride to Chicago to go to Utrecht, and to visit one of my great friends - Aimee - I am so excited!  This trip will be completely on my own - which I have not done much of.  I am looking forward to all that the day brings, and I know that this will help in my inspiration.  A change of scenery usually does.  Plus, I have started to work on my tree lady again.  I started a portrait many months ago, and once I got to a certain point, she just sat there staring and me and taunting me.  But this week I have started to paint more of her leaves.  That is a huge step for me!  I refuse to let her glare at me anymore.  I know that she wants to be worked on, and to evolve into what she is supposed to be.  I'll share her with you when she is finished.  Until then, I will keep working.

Okay, now the positivity has really kicked in (that's the only way to be!).  Just remember that even on your down days, there is always hope.  There is always a spark of something that will begin to lift you up.  God places these here for us because He knows there is always hope.  Even in our darkest days, it's there.  We may not always see it right away, but if we give ourselves time and grace, we will see it.  He provides so much for us, and I know that I am truly blessed.  We all are.  That was my positive message for the day.  I'll leave you with that to ponder and think on.  Hey, who knows, maybe you will even get your journals (art or written) out and do an entry on it.  Heck, I may even do that myself!  Stay tuned - next time I will share my artist's date with you, and let you know if I have truly gotten out of my funk (I hope so!).  Until then, have a great day!  Be inspired by all that is around you!  Love to all!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Kinks in Creating

Hello everyone!  Thanks for joining in!  Let's see, where did I leave off? Oh yes, I had gotten the creative itch, and a desperate need to scratch it.  After finding Violette's book, I found her website online.  Luckily, she was offering an e-course.  I had never taken an e-course, but I wanted to jump in with both feet!  So I enrolled, and had an amazing time playing and trying out new methods of art that I had never tried before.  I am so grateful to that book and that that e-course!

But I wasn't finished there!  This started my sick addiction to art books.  Over the past year I have single-handedly helped Barnes and Noble, as well as Amazon stay afloat in these tough economic times!  But each of these books have added to my inspiration and excitement.  Kelly Rae Roberts' book was the second one I bought.  It was the one that helped me to actually fly!  While Violette's book helped me spread my wings, Kelly's really got me in the air!  I spent the last part of last summer just soaring on my creative high!  Nothing could bring me down!

Then school came.  I am a teacher of English, and I love my job.  The students and staff at my school are completely amazing!  But being a teacher is a tough job that involves many more hours than I spend at work.  During the school year I had a really rough time keeping my creativity up in the air.  Luckily I had some very creative supporters who helped keep me going.  I would bring work to school and show some of my fellow teachers (you know who you are!  Thank you!) what I had created.  I even sold a couple of pieces to a great lady.  Still, it was difficult, and will probably remain difficult.  However, I am not willing to let it break me.  I found that I could still work on my art in the evenings, but again I had  a problem with clean up.  Our dining room table was often littered with art supplies and projects (not only mine, but also my six-year-old-daughter's - she loves to create with me as well!).  My husband was not fond of all of this clutter.  Plus, as I know I am a messy person by nature, it probably did get way out of hand.  But what could I do?  I was not willing to stop creating.

Well, let me start by saying I have an amazing husband!  He and I are complete opposites, but I think that helps us to "get" each other's important things better.  After a couple of months of complaining about the mess (at the end of summer), we decided that I needed my own space.  But how?  Where?  Any art room I had ever had was now taken over by our daughter and her toys (totally worth it by the way).  So my husband built me my own art cottage!  It's not large, but it's beautiful, and my favorite place to be.  In the next few days I will post some pictures of it.  Be aware, it is not complete in its decorative charm.  My husband did a fabulous job of building and converting a small shed into a relaxing oasis of art.  In between art projects I have been working on decorating.  However, it is very slow going.  I don't mind though.  Every good thing takes a while.  I just need to be patient.  So I will add pictures as I add decor.

Once my art cottage was built, I would spend as much time out there as possible.  I live in Indiana, so winter days do leave the need for sunshine.  This cottage was/is my sunshine.  My husband insulated it and bought me a small heater so that I could stay warm and work out there.  He did such a nice job, that even when the heater is off, my paints and supplies do not freeze!  This really helped in my creative quest.  Once the art house was built, I knew I could leave all of my supplies out and not have to worry about someone complaining about it.  My daughter even has her own work table out there!  This made the school year a little bit easier.  Still, it was tough not to shirk my teacher responsibilities for my art habit.  I just wanted to be out in the cottage all of the time.  But it wasn't always possible.

Over the course of the year I read several art books.  I will put a list of them on the sideboard with a link to the artist's website, or where you can buy the book.  Right now I am doing the Walking in this World program.  It is very inspiring, and has helped me to grasp hold of so many realities about the world of creativity.  I highly suggest reading it and participating in the journey.  At the moment I am also taking my second e-course.  This one is on starting a creative business, and it is being given by one of my favorite artists, and overall inspiring women Kelly Rae Roberts.  The course is entitled Flying Lessons, and it offers so much more than just creating your own creative business.  This course has also helped me evolve as an artist - though not without its ups and downs.  We artists are such emotional people (Hallelujah!)!

Well, that's my story so far.  You have been quickly brought up to date on how my creative life has unfolded.  Stay tuned to see what other ramblings come from this wacky mind (because you ain't seen nothin' yet!)...See you soon!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Away We Go!

Hello everyone, or anyone, or whoever!  You're all welcome!


Well, I'm finally getting my first entry down; I can't believe that I'm finally doing this.  I've been waiting for a while to start posting.  I think I was a bit afraid.  Afraid of what you might ask?  Well that's just it.  I don't really know.  But that's okay, because whatever it was, I am standing up to it.  :)


The whole purpose of this blog is to chronicle my artistic adventure over the past year, as well as to chronicle into the future.  This past year has been one of amazing inspiration and creativity.  In this blog I will sometimes name other artists and authors.  If I do this, I will post a link to their blog or website.  For instance, right now I am taking a class by Kelly Rae Roberts.  It's an amazing class that I needed to take because it was the next logical step in my adventure, as is this blog.  Let me give you a little background about myself...


I have always been artistic, ever since I was young.  My earliest memory of being artistic was drawing pictures of people that looked like Cabbage Patch kids.  This was during the first reign of popularity for the dolls. I was in third grade. My neighbor drew a picture in my style and taped it to our door with a note that said it was from my secret admirer.  I just remember how excited I was that there was someone else out there who created in much the same style that I did.  Imagine how disappointed I was when I realized that it was just my neighbor, and she was just imitating my work to let me know that I liked it.  Ever since early time in my life, I was always looking for like-minded people to share artistic endeavors with.


All throughout grade school, middle school, and high school I took art classes and found my niche in graphite drawings - mostly of people.  I became pretty good at drawing people.  But I had a very limited repertoire.  When I got to college (my first time around), I was not sure what I wanted to do or be when I "grew up".  At that time I was more into writing than drawing, but I wanted to do both.  I became an English major with an art minor.  It was during this time that my artistic hopes were completely crushed.  I was taking a multi-media art class and we had the assignment of making an insect out of wire.  This was not an easy task for me, and the insect I made (which I no longer have) was not a pretty sight.  So the professor, instead of helping me figure out how to make my insect better, told me that I had no business being in art classes.  After that class I was crushed.  I thought she was right.  So I gave up my artistic dreams.


That happened many years ago, around 1995.  Since then, I never took my art seriously.  In fact, I pretty much stopped doing art altogether.  I mean, occasionally I would pick up my pencil and draw a picture, but I never held out any aspirations of becoming an artist.  In 1998 I got married to my fabulous husband.  When we got married, I would draw and create every once in a while.  He liked my work, and that made me happy.  But then I decided that I wanted to be an English teacher, so I went back to college and got my degree.  My art practice pretty well went on permanent hiatus, and did so even more after my daughter was born.


That was six years ago.  So how did I get from completely leaving art out of my life to letting it shower me with love and inspiration?  Well, as I began teaching I began to get very depressed.  I was always working, and when I wasn't, I would just watch t.v.  Finally, on a whim, I took a painting class that I fell in love with.  My husband let me turn one of the rooms in our house into an art room (which would later turn into my daughter's toy room).  But my painting practice did not last long.  By the time I got all of my painting materials out after work, there wasn't really enough time to paint and put everything away before it was time for bed.  So eventually I gave that up too.  But I had realized that I needed something creative to help me cope with everyday life. 


Jewelry!  Beading was something that I could do and get put away before bed.  Earrings were quick to make, and I could make at least one necklace in a couple of hours.  For a while I was appeased with jewelry making.  I even sold a few pieces to co-workers.  But eventually I still knew that I wasn't getting to the creative retreat that my brain so needed!


So, at the end of last summer, I became inspired!  My younger sister and I were perusing the shelves at Barnes and Noble (we have a weekly trip) while my older sister entertained my daughter in the children's section.  We often meander around the whole store, picking up and looking at books that may entertain or stimulate our brains.  After making our way to the crafting section, I picked up a book that would launch me into a whole new creative world.  Journal Bliss by Violette completely rocked my world and made me look at art in a completely different way.  That afternoon I sat in my hallway (don't ask me why) for two hours and read through the entire book.  I even marked projects that I wanted to try.  From that moment on, I was completely immersed in the creative world I had so long left behind.  It felt so good to spread my wings after they had been stored for so long.  While they were a bit rusty, I could not give up my creativity again.  Since then I have lived in the creative world...but it hasn't always been easy.


Stay tuned to read my next post "The Kinks in Creating" to find out how I battled my obstacles...


See you soon!