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 MontrĂ©al 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