Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Doodle Delight!



I had a piece of brown paper left over after wrapping up a box of items to send to my daughter in Montréal a few weeks ago.  I plopped it on my art table.  Over time, whenever I had a few minutes, I doodled, then colored it in with sharpies.  Turned out to be a great way to do a wee bit of art everyday admist the hustle and bustle of preparing for the Christmas season.  I finished it on Christmas morning while all the family was still asleep.  It's hanging off my bulletin board now.  Not sure what I'll do with it (measures about 18" x 22") but it does a good job making me smile!

Have a happy day.

--Leah

 

Saturday, 22 December 2012

A Change in Tradition and A Merry Christmas Wish


Christmas is almost here.  Hooray! I'm almost ready.  Hooray!  The house is decorated and the presents are wrapped.   I've one more choir practice today then it is what it is at church on Christmas eve.  Tonight my family will be decorating our Christmas tree.  

This is the first year the four of us have not gone to get the Christmas tree together since forever.  No matter what was happening, even if we only had a 45 minute window on December 23rd, we went and found our tree as a family.  This year we had to let that tradition go.  We couldn't swing it.  My daughter has been away for school.  She arrived home from Montrèal yesterday, on Dec 21st (happy mom sitting here).  My husband has to work the 21st through to the 24th.  We knew there'd be no time for us to go out tree hunting all together.  

So last week my guys went out and found a beautiful tree for us.  It became a special father - son time, made all the more special because our youngest will be leaving home next fall.  Who knows if he'll be around at Christmas next year to go get the tree? 

I love having a real Christmas tree in the house.  It smells so wonderful.  It's worth the hassle of watering it and cleaning up all those dropped needles.  But even though we've had the tree for several days, and it could have been set up and twinkling and sparkling all week, we decided to wait until we were all together again to decorate.  Tonight's the night!  

Our tradition has changed.  It doesn't really matter to me quite as much as I though it would.  It turns out it's not the tradition so much as the being together and sharing in the joy of the season.  We're making a new tradition, at least for this year.  Next year?  I guess we'll have to wait and see what comes.  In the meantime, I'm happy my family is home and we have another Christmas together.

I'd like to wish you all a very merry Christmas, from my family to yours, and may you have joy, peace, and prosperity in the new year.



 
 
 
 
♥ Leah
 
 


Monday, 17 December 2012

Family - It is the Heart!

Here is an Artist Trading Card I made for an ATC group I recently joined. We will be exchanging cards once a month. The theme this time is "family".   When I thought about what family meant to me and how I was going to depict my ideas, I was immediately flooded with words. So I ran with it.  (I can be wordy at times! LOL).  I love putting words with images.  

Family - It is the Heart!

Family is wonderful, but there are times when it is not so easy. I chose to put all the words that came to me - the happy ones and the hard ones.  Family is not a "Norman Rockwell" painting, but it is the heart and soul of who we are.  (By the way as I understand it, Norman Rockwell was not trying to depict the perfect life - he was trying to uplift people and give them hope.  I listened to a radio interview about him and it opened my eyes up to the meaning behind his paintings. It gave me a new perspective on his work.  Totally interesting...)

Two languages are used in my family.  My husband and two children are bilingual.  I'm english with a bit of french under my belt.  We live in a small french-canadian village which is slowly becoming less french, so there is a lot of effort to preserve the language and the traditions.  It's a culture I love, and also part of my heritage as my paternal grandparents were bilingual, so I'm behind them 100%.  The french words are a representation of this and how it is such a part of my family.  I chose to make my list of words in english because it is a lot easier to do five words in french than look up all those other words in the french-english dictionary!!!    

The background is pen and watercolor.  It is overlaid with tissue applied with a matte gel.  I love how the watercolor heart creates a stained glass effect, letting us see the words behind it.  The edges are rubbed with a chinese white pastel pencil.

It is going to a wonderful artist and woman in Georgia named Vickie Martin.  Her work is fabulous.  It's worth checking her out at http://vickiemartin.net/.

Hugs to your family ♥
 
--Leah

Christmas Angels ATCs

Last June Julie and I went to art camp just outside the beautiful Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba.   Five whole days of art, art, art -- no cleaning, no cooking, no responsibilites except to create.  It was fun, inspiring, terrifying. We met some terrific people, including the wonderful women in our watercolor class.

Before we left on the final day, our group decided we would exchange handmade Christmas cards.   Of course, I got the class all twisted up when I wanted to know exactly what type of card.  A real card? An Artist Trading Card?  Half of an Artist Trading Card? (Madamoiselle Perfectionism poking her nose in my business again!)  After all the discussion and debate and explanation and confusion, I think we decided on a certain format but it has completely gone from my brain.  I figured I'd make Artist Trading Cards for everyone. 

One of my art goals this year is to complete any project I start AND to do any project to which I've committed.  It may take me a long time, but I will get it done!  It was fun to do my very first ATCs.  I sent them off last week with lots of love.

For those of you who are not familiary with the term, an Artist Trading Card a.k.a ATC is a 2.5 by 3.5 card which is created into a tiny piece of art out of any type of medium - penicl, paint, collage, fabric, etc.  The card can be watercolor paper, bristol board, cardboard, etc. The sky is the limit.  It just has to be the correct size and have information about the card and the artist on the back. They can be as elaborate or simple as the artist desires. Most of the time the cards are traded; sometimes they are sold.  At camp we made two half size ATCs and received two in return.

I guess you would call this a series as I made eleven cards all featuring a Christmas angel of sorts.  Most are collage with watercolor/acrylic/tissue/pen/torn paper.  A couple are done with pencil.  I had fun with a tissue technique I saw by Jane LaFazio Janeville on her blog.  Here are pictures of some of the ATCs I sent out.  I know I scanned them all, but I've lost the other five images somewhere in my computer.  I'll post them if I come across them.  So strange....

 
 



Sunday, 16 December 2012

Six Words I Liked Today

"Waiting for the rain to stop."

My sister said this quote in our conversation today - something from the I-ching.  When I heard it, I had that little thrill you get when what you hear sounds absolutely perfect at that very moment.  We didn't get into too much discussion about its meaning, but the words rolled into me and made me think of hope.  No matter what happens in your life, the rain will stop.

Love it.

--Leah




Saturday, 15 December 2012

Art with Julie

I am so lucky to have a great friend in Julie.  She and I started getting together every other Thursday night last winter.  Sometimes we miss a month or two, but we always come back to it.  We talk art, writing, the creative process, soul and spirituality.  We share our work, creative books we love, problems and laughter.  The one thing we don't do is actually create when we are together.  So one week when she was over I suggested I pull out my paints and a couple of canvases and we just have fun.

I had watched a video at Community Thrive which was my inspiration to create my painting.  There were some moments when I wasn't happy with it, but I kept pushing and I'm really pleased with the way she turned out.


              

  Julie's painting reminds me of street graffetti. I love its raw energy and freedom.




I was amazed by the way Julie stepped outside her box with her painting.  I handed her a 9 x 10 canvas, some acrylic paints and a credit card and said, "Here.  Make something."  She's never painted in this style at all yet before I could say, "Whad'are ya doing?" she had blobs of paint, bits cut from magazines, and spray paint flying.  She didn't let that inner voice stop her.  Then we ran out of time.

Rather than pack everything away, I left my makeshift art studio set up on the kitchen table for four days.  My husband, bless his heart, didn't say a word.


Fortunately, Julie was able to come back and finish the piece on the last day.  We enjoyed our creative time together so much that I think we will be doing it again. 

Enjoy your day!

--Leah













Friday, 14 December 2012

Hello, Hello!

Hello, hello!

Yup I'm still here. 

I've been decidely absent from my blog over the last couple of months.  Partly by choice and partly by necessity.  The necessity part is a result of colds, commitments, and daily living.  The choice part comes from the fact that I'm a bit lost in my direction over the blog. 

When I started, I was taking an e-course with Kelly Rae Roberts - a course to help us get started in setting up an online creative business.  It was a fabulous course and I've met and been inspired by so many creative women.    I loved the energy, the enthusiasm and the connectedness with an online community passionate about the same things I am--all things art!   I had been toying with the idea of starting a blog for quite awhile.  The course was just the push I needed to jump in. 

I had all sorts of ideas and plans and areas I wanted to explore.  Then that 'ol gal started to show up-- Mademoiselle Perfectionism.  I kept trying to get it "right" and that took a lot of time which was a  bit annoying because that's not where I wanted to spend my time.  And I still hadn't figured out my direction. What was my art about?  What was my style?  Why exactly was I blogging? I never even wrote the "About Me" section because I didn't know what it should say.  Again, I think I was worried about it being "right". 

So I ground to a complete halt.

I've missed it. 

I love making conversation about art and creativity and little things that happen in my life that might make others smile.  I love the connections blogging creates. I love sharing something I've made.  I hope it will make someone smile. Or think. Or both!

So I've made the decision to keep blogging.  It will NOT be perfect.  It will be a WORK IN PROGRESS (the capital letters are for my benefit - I need to get that through my head). 

I can't promise you any kind of regular postings.  Sometimes I'll post only writing.  Other times I'll post a picture or a piece of my work.  I may put up a flurry of posts then be absent for a while.   But I promise I'll keep at it- keep sharing, keep connecting.  In the meantime, I'm telling Mademoiselle Perfectionism to take a hike and inviting my "inner hero" to come visit way more often.  (Check out Quinn McDonald at QuinnCreative; she iss writing a whole book about the inner hero.  Can't wait!)

I hope you'll drop in and visit once in a while.  I'd love to see you.

Smiles!

Leah

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Making Time for Creativity

I've been down with a flu bug for the last few days.  I guess my body was tired and said, "That's enough. You need to rest girl!"  So it was lots of hot tea, cozied under a warm blanket on the couch, tv remote in hand.  The old brain didn't want to do any thinking whatsoever during this time.  Now I'm back with something to share.

The other day I was visiting my mother-in-law (I so lucked out in the mother-in-law department; she's an angel) and we got to talking about doing art.  I suggested that to be an artist one has to be a bit on the selfish in order to get the time to create.  It's hard to fit it in with all the other duties, interests, and fun stuff we deal with on a daily basis.  It's hard to say "no" to things, especially if it is important to the family or to the community.  She said she understood, then told me I had to realize that "the housework can wait; it will always be there tomorrow."  Isn't that sweet?

One way I found to help fit art into my life is to have several different projects on the go at the same time.  That normally would make me pull my hair out because I'd want to work on them all, but in this case, each project is vastly different and requires different set up and time requirements.   Example--this past week I have worked on my crazy quilt, a multi-media painting, and a collage project.  Here are my works-in-progress....

The crazy quilt is real basic, no thinking, pull out when I have a few minutes or want to veg out in front of the tv.  It requires virtually no setup (unless I need to cut more blocks), just a needle, thread, pins, thimble, and scissors, and is easy to put aside.

 

 The collage project I do in small chunks of time-sorting out papers, cutting or tearing them up, glueing them down.   All I need is a couple of tools and maybe a half hour to make some progress. 


For painting I need more time so I save it for those evenings my husband is working nights and my son is out at work or with friends.  The house is mine.  I can drag out all sorts of tools, spread them out over the kitchen table, and spend several hours in creative heaven. 

 
 
I'd like to have art in my life on a daily basis, but right now that's not possible.  With methods like these, I get it in my life way more often.  I keep reminding myself not to wait for that magical "perfect" time when everything falls into place and I have unlimited time.  That will never happen 'cause life is just not like that.  So we adapt, flex, make it work for the moment, and go on.  Baby steps in creating -- they add up and eventually, we look back and say "Wow!  I did all that!".   And it feels good.

Stay true.

-- Leah

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Busy Week

It's been a busy week here.  My cousin Carol was visiting my dad for a few days so I was able to spend a couple of evenings with her.  It was wonderful seeing her again, and even more wonderful eating her freshly baked homemade bread (along with the supper she cooked us)! Thank you Carol.  I've also been trying to catch up on the bookwork/housework now that my e-course with Kelly Rae Roberts is finished.  What a wonderful experience. I learned so much about the creative on-line biz, and learned even more about the power of community.  We have a facebook group going, and I think it will live long and prosper.  I love being part of the "Flying" group.  This was the first e-course I've ever taken and now I'm trying to decide if I should take another - I've been looking into multi-media, drawing, art-journalling or photography.  Heck!  I might try them all.  I'm also really looking forward to checking in on all the blogs of my new on-line friends.  It's a whole new world to explore out there.  I can't wait to dive in.  Have a great weekend.

-- Leah

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Just Breathe

Some days I have to tell myself to do this.
 
 

                                            
Today is one of those days. 
 
 
Sometimes I have a zillion things to do and think about and remember.
My mind gets tied up in knots trying to keep it all straight. 
 
At work I've being doing brain gymnastics, but I'm getting a lot done!
At home I have three separate to-do lists, and I've been ticking those items off!
 
Done, check, done, check, done, and check.
Jumping from one thing to another, flying on adrenaline.
Wondering why I do this to myself, excited to see progress.
 
You know, today has been a good day.   Tomorrow may not be.  It doesn't matter.
 
All I have to do is
                                 remember
                                                        to
                                                                  breathe!

-- Leah
 
 
 
 

Sunday, 14 October 2012

New Painting

 
 
 


Here's a newly completed piece.  This is what I want to do - grow from my heart.  To be authentic and honest and the best human being I can be.  To share from my soul in hopes that it might help brighten this world a little bit. 

--Leah

Friday, 12 October 2012

Bear Lessons

In my backyard
For the last couple of weeks we have been visited by bears in our backyard and sometimes in the front yard.  Only one at a time, fortunately, and not everyday.  They are slurping up the acorns that come from a bunch of oak trees on our property.  At first I found this exciting.  Bears! In my yard! I've heard stories in the past about the bears in town, but in the 17 years I've lived here, I've had one bear cub in my tree and heard of a few in other yards.  So when a bear showed up in my yard, I was out there taking pictures, telling everyone about it, watching from the window until it was too dark to see the black fur in the black shadows.  But after a while, I realized that this bear thing is kind of an inconvenience. 

First of all, a bear will sometimes leave a "gift" behind.  Thank you to my loving husband who is willing to go and scoop up these rather large presents.   Then, I learned some bears don't take kindly to being watched closely and photographed.  I was up on the deck, and old grumpy decided to "harrumph" and charge at me.  I slammed up against the wall, camera still clicking (those photos are no good), and prayed the bear wouldn't climb up the deck and eat me!  Well he didn't.  I stopped breathing for about forever, didn't move a muscle, and he went back to his snacking after an angry glare or two.  After my heart slowed down and I took a few more pictures (call me crazy) I was exhilirated with the whole experience. 

It was what I found out from other people about bears -- they are unpredictable; they walk silently so you can't hear them come up to you; they don't like being disturbed--that I started getting scared.  So now I won't go out the back door past 7:30 at night.  I use our unused front door to come and go.  I won't walk anywhere in the dark, and I won't let Maxie, my dog, out by herself in the dark either.  Now I leash her up and walk to a wide open, well-lit area a couple of times in the evening and a couple of times in the morning, usually somewhere between 5 and 6 am.  She's tiny, white, and fluffy.  A friend said a bear would love to snap her up like a marshmallow!  Really, I don't know if a bear would eat her, but he might get mad at her and swat her down like a housefly.

It occurred to me yesterday morning as I was walking the dog in the biting, cold wind for the second time before 6 am, that these bears are a good metaphor for the obstacles that life throws at us.  They drop into our lives unexpectedly, exhilarting us, scaring us, inconveniencing us, making us adjust to them and even mabye leaving a few messes for us to clean up.  For the next few weeks it is something I have to deal with, whether I like it or not.  I can either moan and complain about this obstacle, resisting and making myself angry.  Or I can embrace the moment, accept it, and learn something from it.
Sketch I made a few years ago from a photo
So I chose to view these bears as an opportunity to practice courage.  I am learning that I can consistently step out of my comfort zone when faced with the unknown for something I care about, just as when I face my fear each time I step out the door in the dark for my dog, not knowing if a bear is out there. 

I guess it's all in how you look at it. 

Have a bear-y great day.

-- Leah



Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Ilustration Challenge Picture

"I See You"




I created this piece for the Illustration Friday challenge.  It's my first time ever trying a challenge, and my first time trying a person in a collage like this. 

The prompt for this week is "mirror".  After I got past the mirror, mirror on the wall line which immediately jumped into my head, I suddenly thought about the mirror on one of my favorite programs when I was a little girl -  Romper Room. 

At the end of each program, the hostess held up a magic mirror which she would look into and recite this poem, "Romper, bomper, stomper boo. Tell me, tell me, tell me, do. Magic Mirror, tell me today, have all my friends had fun at play?"  Then she looked "through" the mirror (a hoop with a handle on it) at all the children in television land and say the names of the children she "saw".  I wanted her to say my name so badly.   But it never happened (I didn't know I had to write in to get my name mentioned).

In this picture, I have finally been "seen" through the mirror and the little girl in me is happy!

-- Leah






Sunday, 7 October 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Today I am thankful for...

- my beautiful children, my wonderful husband, my family and friends, our home, work, my sweet dog Maxie, the great community we live in; I am so lucky to be surrounded by love

-  sunshine on the hardwood floors in late afternoon,  my cozy plaid housecoat,  a printer that works, a magnet that says "believe in possibility", date cake with slivered almonds on top,

-  my art corner filled with pens, papers, paints, stamps, art books...and the opportunity to create

-  and I am even thankful for the not-so-good things in my life too; they have helped me to learn and to grow, and make the good things in my life all that much sweeter

We had a great day visiting with family and ate way too much.  Grandmère always makes an amazing spread.  I'm sorry I didn't take a picture for you to see.  She is a super example of creativity in the kitchen.  My stomach is very, very thankful for her. 

Wishing you buckets of good things to be thankful for in the year to come....

-- Leah

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Inspiration Experiment

I've been thinking more about inspiration.  If I give it a quick thought I can list of couple of things that inspire me, maybe even four or five.  Are there more?  Do they change over time?  Do they actually show up in my artwork or are they something that capture's my interest for a few moments then disappear into the netherworld of my brain, never to be thought of again.  Is my work affected or my goals and work habits or both?

So, no pre-thinking.  Here's a list of things that inspire me right now just as they pop into my head:

- the artwork hanging on the walls or in photo layouts of home decorating magazines

- children's art work - it is so spontaneous and free

- autumn with sharp blue skies, golden yellow and crunchy brown leaves against the deep evergreens, crisp cool air, the steel grey of the river

- a really, really good, hot steaming cup of apple cinnamon tea

- my daughter

- music not for the masses; not that there is anything wrong with those big, huge superstar singers - what tugs at me are the musicians who write their own songs, deep from their soul, then put themselves up on stage in front of five, ten, twenty or fifty people, and sing their heart for all to read

- words - from my e-course classmates, from my favorite blogs, from my friends

- taking a whole pile of photos and finding one in the bunch that I fall in love with

- bright paint colors

- walking into an art supply store (my childhood candy store equivalent)

- walking into a book store (my other childhood candy store equivalent)

I'm going to watch and be aware and see how inspiration affects me. It will be my own little inspiration experiment.  Feel free to join me.  I'd love to know what inspires you and how your inspiration shows up in your life.

--  Leah

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

It's Never Too Late

I'm inspired today.  Why?  Because today I started editing my dad's book number three. 

Dad has always been a creative type.  And he has never let his age stop him from trying something.  At age 35 he picked up the guitar to seriously learn it.  He still plays daily and his latest gig was last night.  In his 40s he decided to take up photography.  Not long ago he was riding his bike around town taking pictures. 

He's a house painter, carpenter, electrician, landscape architect, and a heck of a good cook (he never follows recipes) and more.

And what did he do when he turned 70 years old?  He bought a computer of course, learned how to use it and started writing because he decided to write down some of the history of his family for a reunion back in 1999.     

How's that's for a great example of "it's never too late"?

I expect my editing work today will be a lot less demanding as his writing has grown and improved over the last 13 years.  He's progressed from an 80-page section in a genealogy book with family history and stories written by others, through a 380 page limited edition self-published not-for-sale book with more family history, more stories written by others, biographies, eulogies of those close to him, anecdotes, things that make him smile and more, to a smaller family military book and another in a collection of stories of local men and women who served in WW1, WW2 and more recent conflicts.  The latter is the first he sold, at cost, so others could have these memories as well.

For the last year he has been submitting re-worked and new personal essays to the local newspaper, and now he is near completion on his third work, a memoir of the town where he has lived and worked for about 65 years.  This is the first time he has done practically all his own writing, incorporating comments he took from interviews he made with friends on a mp3 digital recorder (which he learned how to use last year by the way) rather than ask others to submit their writing to be included alongside his own.

So, as I started in on the editing this morning, I couldn't help but think about all my dad has done, and what a great example he is of "it's never too late".  And I thought I'd like to share this thought with you.

By the way, he'll be 85 years old this year.

--Leah





  

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Six Words and an Eggshell

 

Have you ever seen those six-word challenges? The ones where you are challenged to write your life story in six words?  They are amazing.  Six words strung together and voila!  A picture of a life. 
Incredible creativity -- the parring of words to the bare bone resulting in an image strong and resonant.

Jazzed by the idea, I figured I'd make mine, easy-peasy.  So I began.  I laced strings of adjectives, nouns, verbs and other grammer-related terms in odd combinations, looking for the six-gem necklace, but all I got was lumpy macramé (which I actually like but it wasn't what I was going for!).  The harder I tried, the more my strings of words twisted and snarled and came out looking like the discarded fishing line snagged at the end of the dock.

Finally, I put the pen away and stopped trying.  I didn't think I had it in me to put my life into a bite size morsel of prose.   I just was not creative enough.  And there is was -- six words that summed up my life.  I- just-was-not-creative-enough. :(

What a minute?  Had these words being rolling around in my head all this time?  Were these words  the ones that were keeping me from moving forward in a creative life? 

I decided then and there that I was not going to live that six-word life anymore.  It would no longer be my creed.  I was going to come out of my shell.  And there it was -- the six words danced their way from my soul onto the page -- I'm coming out of my shell. 

My toes did a little tap dance in their shoes because I knew, I knew, I knew what I had to do.  It was time to step outside my comfort zone and be creative in the best ways I knew how.  And that it would be enough.

To celebrate, I took this picture.....



It's a good reminder to get back out there whenever I get sidetracked by the wrong set of words rolling around in my mind.

Funny how six little words and an eggshell can change a perspective!

 -- Leah

The six-word challenges were started I believe, by Larry Smith of Six-Word Memoirs at SMITH Magazine.

Friday, 28 September 2012

An Awesome Surprise



I am so excited....!!  I just received news that I won a book giveaway today.  Quinn McDonald of www.quinncreative.com had a copy of the new Carla Sonheim book  Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals: A Mixed-Media Workshop for her giveaway and it will be arriving in a week or two.  Carla is a super artist - her pictures are whimsical and fun and creative.  I have her first book Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists and I totally love doing the exercises.  Take a look at a couple I've done ....


Lab 8 Imaginary Creatures


Lab 19 Picasso Dogs
 

I can't wait to dive into Carla's new book.   I'll post some of the exercises when I'm done them.  If you want to check out Carla's work, go here http://www.carlasonheim.com/ .  Its worth a peek. 

And thank you Quinn for the book.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Mapping My Journey

There are so-o-o-o many great art blogs out there.  I've love exploring them.  One of my (many!) favorites is QuinnCreative  www.quinncreative.wordpress.com.  She talks about journalling, art, and everyday observations.  She's an amazing wordsmith who says she "lives her life in metaphors".  Ain't that cool?  Love it!

The other day in her post she suggested making journal pages with tea bags so I tried it out.
I turned mine into a map of my creative journey.  Take a look....



I used black tea and a bluebery one I think, plus some everyday table salt.  You can check out her post here  http://quinncreative.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/tea-dyed-projects-loose-leaf-journal-pages/  . © Quinn McDonald is an author, life- and creativity coach, and workshop leader. She is the author of Raw Art Journaling, published by North Light Books in 2011.

The day after I finished it, I realized that I hadn't named some of the islands.  But then it occurred to me that those might be the places I have yet to discover!  Could turn out to be the Isle of Joy or  Contentment Island or  The Rock of Totally Rockin' Art.   (I sorta hope it's the last one).  

My creative journey is exciting and scarey and amazing all at the same time,  and now I have a map to follow.  I'll keep you posted on my discoveries in this new land!




Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Something I've Learned About Success


I LOVE art.  Actually, I LOVE anything creative.  It give me happy shivers up and down my spine when I witness a creation by someone else.  It doesn't matter if its a painting, a song, a greeting card, a poem, or graffetti on the side of a train. I experience it and I want to do the same thing.  Or something like it. Or something totally different but share in that creative process.  I want to be PART of it. 

The creative world has tugged at me since I was a child.  I loved drawing and glueing and coloring.  Somewhere along the way though, I let it fall to the side.  It became something I did when I had time, which in this day and age, is hard to find.  I put others things first, telling myself that art was not important, just a hobby when I had time.

Every once in a while, the need to make something would pull at me and I'd try something new.  One year it was quilting, another it was sketching.  I've tried writing, piano, scrapbooking, drawing, macramé necklaces, scrimshawing on found deer antlers for earrings, watercolor, acrylic, and the list goes on.  I loved it all but nothing kept me rolling with it.  Nothing told me that it was worth spending my time on.  Other things had to be more important, I told myself.  I thought it was because I hadn't found my passion yet; that one thing that would hold me so close that I couldn't live without doing it- the thing that would make me successful.

In the e-course I've been taking with Kelly Rae Roberts, I get to chat with and read stories from hundreds of other people at all different stages in their creative lives.  I am truly amazed and inspired by what I've learning from them.  What I get from Kelly Rae, and what I get from all these wonderful people is ...

Success is not in the sales, or the recognition, or the fancy awards, or the money or the number of tweets, hits or pageviews. It's not about how great you are.

Success is in the doing whether it be paintbrush to paper, words on the screen or stitches in fabric. It's in the sharing of ideas, hopes, dreams, laughter, problems, and connections with others.  It's in your growth as a human being- by facing fears, taking risks, learning from your mistakes.

Success is letting your soul sing to the world with your creations. It's looking inward to find you, and letting that you shine for all it's worth.

This is a sketch I did of my dog back in 2002.
This is the one that whispered,  "You may have something here.  Keep trying."
 
What I've learned?  It doesn't matter what I do.  All that matters is that I do it - with all my passion, committment and courage (thank you Kelly Rae).  Those last three words are the key for me.  These have been the missing ingrediants from my work.  I'm ready to put them in the mix!

This was not the post I set out to blog about today. You know what?  This not-knowing-how-things-will-turn-out-and-not-being-perfect is part of creativity.  A wonderful artist taught me that one day.  (Okay, I've learned it but I still need lots of practice!!)  Anyway, this is my post for today.  I guess I'll have to talk about the eggshells another time.

Thanks for tuning in.








Sunday, 23 September 2012

Inspired by Art

Hi everybody! 

I've been playing around with the blog designs abit, trying to get used to all this stuff.  I'll probably change it up more than a few times.  Just like I used to rearrange my bedroom on a regular basis when I was younger.  The possibilities are endless...

So this past August my hubby and I were in Montréal visiting our daughter.  What an incredible city!  It was artsy everywhere I looked.  The buildings, the signs, the people.  Even the lamppost was wearing something creative!



One of our stops was at the Museum of Contemporary Art.  It was totally interesting--thought-provoking at times, and downright weird at others.  Sometimes I just didn't get it.  But I did see some pretty rad stuff.  One of the pieces I liked was a large work, about 5 feet by 3 feet and it was covered completely in orange one-inch or so circles.  I loved it.  So I made a card in the same style.



I used magazines to find the orange color, and made the circles with a one-inch circle punch. Glued with good ol' modge podge.

As soon as I started to glue, I wished that I could look at the piece again to see if he placed his circles rhythmically or randomly.  I started out very organized, then decided I liked the random glueing instead. Unfortunately by the time I figured it out, I didn't have much room to be random.  It turned out pretty good I thought. 

I learnt at art camp last summer that even if we use another artist's idea, we need to give credit.  My problem is I don't know the name of the artist who made my inspiration piece, so I hereby formally declare that my card is "after the artist who created the orange circle piece hanging in the Montréal Museum of Contemporary Art during the middle of August 2012".  Thank you for the inspiration.



Thursday, 20 September 2012

Good-Bye Summer

Fall is here.  Much as I hate to say good-bye to the lazy, hot summer days, I do look forward to working at my art table again.  Seems it was always too nice to stay inside, so I didn't get much work done this summer.  A new-to-me kayak, walks with the dog, working in the garden, a bit of fishing -- all called me away after work and on the weekends.  I'm jazzed to get my art corner cleaned up bit (i.e. get rid of all the stuff that is NOT art!) then I'll post a picture of what it looks like.  It's not big, but it works for me.   I love these brown-eyed susy flowers.  Their brightness brought a smile to my face, even on a dull, grey afternoon.

Jumping In

Just like the title says, I'm jumping into the blogging world. I'm going to explore, create, and share.    It's scarey and exhilerating all at the same time.  What got me into this? It's been on my mind for a while, but the final push came from the Flying Lessons e-course by Kelly Rae Roberts that I started last Sunday.  My natural inclination is to wait until my ideas and blog space is perfectly set-up because the inner critic wants the control.  So I am stopping him cold in his tracks by jumping in without a solid plan.  I will learn along the way.  My palms - sweating; my heart - pounding; my soul - soaring. I've done it!