Thursday, August 12, 2010

Focus, Journaling. Positive Thinking = Success

Creating a daily journal is a great way to get ourselves 'focused' as artists, writers or musicians. It can create a positive starting point. Many of us, as creative thinkers, have so many pieces of pertinent information, new ideas, titles, poetic themes, creative lines, or perhaps, aggravations, depressions, to high anxiety. And although we believe we can 'get' focused, there are always thirty things grinding on our minds or floating through them. We must quell those 'grinders' some way. We must catch those 'floaters', or another artist will, when it floats to one open to catch it.

One way to calm the thought storms or just start the process is much like meditation; taking 15 to 20 minutes just to sit quietly and write something, anything. It's a free write in all senses of the word, free. Your thoughts are free, it costs you nothing but gives back so much the day you start and in the months to come. If you stick with it and make it a habit, it will become a sacred time, and you'll look forward to it. Psychologists use this method often to have patients put their innermost thoughts, usually what's bothering them, onto paper. It gets it off their chests and onto an inanimate object- the paper. They can see the problem now. They can read it back to themselves and see what they can change and what they can't; how they can better cope with life and the people around them, their guilt and sadness. They can cry on it, they can crumple it, or they can tear it to shreds, but it's off their chests and starts a healing. It's a freeing experience for what has ailed them.

When the artist takes pen to paper, the same kinds of things can happen. Small thumbnail sketches may appear with notes or how we feel about a direction we are striving to accomplish or one we just can't seem to get a grip on. Maybe we decide in our writing new choices of materials or mediums we could use. A line, a quote of our own, or written thoughts may appear from "out there" which an entire poem or song can be achieved. An unfocused mind may find a clarity in realizing the need to complete one project at a time instead of six that are half finished, setting weekly goals for that project, getting organized, while also jotting down ideas for other projects to get to in the weeks or months to come.

In writing, we can organize our priorities, question ourselves and answer our deepest questions if we take the time and effort to sit quietly and do it with no interruptions. It is a meditation for our own survival especially in times of stress or sadness, fear of failure or ambivalence or in our great successes. I believe in Positive Thinking and Positive Imaging. If you believe, you will achieve. If you see it in your mind's eye, and believe it's your destiny, then anything is possible to a willing heart and mind. "You CAN do anything you really want to do, if you want to do it." You can create your world. Please watch this video and be inspired. I was. Artist- Dennis Francesconi from his website.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Upcycling and Recycling Art Tips

We all want to get on the "Green" bandwagon if not in a big way, surely in a small way. Today on the Care2 Healthy and Green Living web blog, there was a wonderful video for upcycling your wine corks. I've been saving mine to use as tools in my artwork for years from stamping, textures to blending inks.

With stamping, you can carefully engrave on them with an Exacto knife or burn into them with an electric burning tool. For blending inks on glossy paper, just glue a piece of felt on the end of the cork and it's ready to go. If you only have a few corks, you can drink more vino or you can glue a piece of textured Velcro to the cork end, and then place your small piece of felt. That way you can change them for different colors! Want texture in your polymer clay? Glue small textured materials to the stub or the sides. Cheap and easy, and they are your own, not store-bought!

This video from Youtube, also gives a great idea for Upcyling those after party corks, and you'll be able to use it in your art room for posting messages, or great textures as a huge stamp! Hmm... I'm always thinking! Have a great rest of the day!

Friday, July 9, 2010

"Use It Up!..."

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico makes me angrier by day after long day. It amazes me that our country, so technologically savy, educated, so caring in so many ways, cannot understand the negative impact we do to our earth daily. I have always been an environmentalist, 'Earth Bird', 'Tree Hugger'... Call me whatever... I am proud of it. I realized long ago, that our own day to day living as part of a much larger wasteful society, causes the diverse, interdependent, fragile natural habitats, our own health, the health of our rivers and air to become ill. I knew we each must do our part, so I create art from recycled materials. This was my emphasis in the beginning, and still is a great part of my art- to make something beautiful from wasted materials. I remember my late Mother always using this anonymous quote with us: "Use it Up! Wear it out! Make it Do! Or do Without!" Yes, she was from the Great Depression era, but they were not wasters.

We recycle as much as we can in our home and in the studios trying to make, at least, a bit of a dent where so many do little but expect the earth to churn out the natural resources forever. Meanwhile, most gets dumped in landfills here, in poorer countries or our oceans. We have a composter for all the plant and vegetable clippings. It creates wonderful topsoil for my plants and herbs. We fold all cardboards from cereal, cracker boxes, junk mail and and heavier papers, and along with any metals or glass, deliver them to the recycle box or the recycling place in town. We drive little and conserve gas. With our list we make one trip to town instead of three or four. I enjoy going to second hand thrift stores looking for objects for my art and many other things to re-appropriate into new items. We try to buy things with less packaging, and bring our own handmade bags to the grocery stores made from the Jeans I found at the thrift stores.
Some will say I'm crazy, and I've been told this on many occasions over the years. It's said with such distaste and disdain too. But my answer to them is a simple refrain, 'Where is your personal responsibility to your own well-being, that of your children's, or to the Earth? Who does it start with, someone else? Why not you? When do we stop taking from the Earth and give something back?' We all can do a little something- "Count your pennies and the dollars add up" is a good old quote, and we can easily think of ourselves as the Pennies on the Earth that will add up to a cleaner, healthier Dollar planet if we choose to do our part.

What are some ideas you may have for re-purposing art materials or ridding your workspace of some of the toxins you may use? Let's share ideas in the name of Mother Earth today, - Everyday is Earth Day, or it should be!
Check this video out...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

So You Want to Sell at Art Festivals

Picture with permission of Mary Arango

Have you ever wanted to sell your art at an art festival, but fear of the unknown stopped you dead in your tracks, while the desire for the gypsy lifestyle was still in your soul? Have you visited festivals to see the array of art from the high priced unique to the flea market bargains? Does asking other artists to share their secrets get you no where? You want to sell your artwork, you know that people would enjoy seeing it, and perhaps, buy it, but you don't know where to start. If you give it a go, will it be fun, profitable, energizing or a nightmare?

Well, have I found most of the answers in a new book by a working artist, printmaker, from Las Vegas, Nevada. I emailed her several years back, as I don't live far from Vegas. She has been doing art festivals for many years. Maria Arango of 1000 Woodcuts has published the most wonderful book with just about everything one might want to know. It is insightful as well as humorous. Maria tells it like it is from her own experiences. She unveils those tidbits that we would love to ask the working artists at art festivals, but were either afraid to ask, or simply this: They are there in the business of selling their art at a festival, and they don't want to lose a sale because they are joining other "could be's" in lengthy conversations about the how to's of business.I can see their point, and we cannot expect this of them. Maria remembers the questions, though, and decided to write this book to answer them for "would be's", "could be's" and "maybe's".

Maria Arango's book is called Art Festivals - The Artist's Guide to Selling at Art Festivals. Through her lighthearted humor, and downright honesty, she gives you the in's and outs of all sides of the business: The Do's and the Don't's, from start to end, preparation to finding the right shows for your work, setting up, marketing, your attitude, what one needs and doesn't, business tips to taxes. It is so informative that anyone even considering trying their hand at the art festivals should really read it and ponder. It will save you time, grief, and one excruciating backache...maybe... The book also has a wonderful bibliography at the end to help you find answers to your specific questions. There is a glossary to define things for you and resource websites to visit for products too. It has a wealth of information for those who want to embark on this journey that will save you time, expense and research work. It will also make you ask yourself the big questions: Are Art Festivals for me? Do I have what it takes in health, stamina and energy?

I encourage anyone thinking about selling artwork whether it be at festivals or small shows, to read the last chapter on business, taxes and other things. The entire book was a quick read and one of those that you can refer back to often.

Thank you, Maria! You can see Maria Arango's beautiful woodblock prints and learn more about her at her website:
Her Blog:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On the Video Self- Portrait, Creating a "You" Portrait

This video below on creating a self-portrait was inspiring in that I thought it might be fun for us to create our own in any medium or style. I would then post them here for us to see. Do they have to be as realistic as the in the video? NO. Create a self-portrait in any way, shape or form...pencil, pastel, paint, tiles, sculpy, watercolor, abstract, stick people, collage, whatever rocks your boat, etc. Just express the inner you in a simple way or any way. No rules, just fun.
Using a quick sketch of myself, I created a stencil of the face because I wanted to learn how to make stencils in Photoshop with my own artwork. I increased the size of my stencil to as large as I could print (17 x 11 inches), then cut it in half in Photoshop and enlarged both sides again and printed. I dragged out a larger canvas and painted it with black gesso. Painted with acrylic, metalic pens, adding a bit of red ribbon, 'Ode to Woodstock' for the 40 year anniversary was born, and it was just for fun and practice at trying something new, learning a technique.

It's difficult to see the circular writing on each edge, so I'll try and blow them up here. It's not too great, but I think you get the gist of it. Be creative and send a JPG. I'll post them on a separate page as they come in. It's a great way to get to know each other, a great way to use a different technique, and a great play experience. Your self-portrait doesn't have to be a masterpiece - mine surely is not!
Please watch the video below.

A Self-Portrait Video and Idea for Us

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Another Peek at History ~ Susan Valadon

Well, spending a week with my new book on the life of Suzanne Valadon, it has been the most wonderful, historical and enlightening time that I've spent in a while. So sorry I haven't posted, but I can't tell you how the late 1800's, turn of the century and WWI came alive through this writer, who really researched this first Bohemian woman artist. I had scanned two books on the artist, deciding which to purchase. One seemed too romanticized and novel-ish and I wanted a more factual researched based piece. Well, I was not disappointed with June Ross, "The Mistress of Montmarte". I was taken away with it to a time and place when the Impressionists, the Fauves, and Modernists made the scene in France. This was a woman with no fear, no self-consciousness about her modeling, her body, her art, or the way she chose to live her life; much of her life being a struggle with a problem son, an aging mother, illness, two marriages, exhibiting and selling, WWI, but you never get a hint that she was unhappy. She lived her life the way she chose to. She had "moxie". Although not the "mothering" type, nor the stay at home wife, the child was left in the care of the grandmother, but Suzanne was the sole support of the little troupe before her first marriage and after it hit bottom. She longed to be free. She was the model for many works we take for granted by Degas ad Lautrec and others.
If you enjoy history from that era, it gives a wonderful account of some of the great artists we read so much about, yet their struggles are no different than artists today. The book has many of her drawings and paintings. The village of Montmarte, France comes alive, and it made me think back to the '60's in the East Village of NYC where I had lived- beatnicks, bohemians, hippies, artists, poets, writers, musicians, and realized how these artist communities or "pockets" pop up, thrive and evolve. But I also saw that Valadon created her own style with no formal training, and I feel she heralded in the Fauve's technique in her drawing and painting styles, more so than the Impressionists and others she befriended. The Fauve movement, my favorite, for color and outline came alive for me, (and although many feel Van Gogh an Impressionist, he is hardly mentionable in this book. I always considered him to be more a "Fauve" than an Impressionist.)
With the reading, one is opened to the history, the styles and techniques of the time period, and the development of Modern Expressionism and Futurism at the turn of the century in a no nonsense manner. I highly recommend the book!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Bit of History

Today, I thought I'd write about a woman artist that, perhaps, many have heard little about. As it was in history, a woman's life revolved around the hearth, the family, extended family, and life as an artist was frowned upon unless it had to do with the duties of home-life. Women could take up the paintbrush and easel as a pastime skill, but for the most part, they were not taken as seriously as men artists and poets of the day.

One of my favorite painters is Suzanne Valadon (1867-1938). This portrait (above) was painted by Renoir of the model/artist in 1885. Here he created a soft beauty of the woman with the faraway eyes that seem to be peering through whatever she is looking
upon. He portrays her in almost an ethereal state. It's a far cry from the way she viewed herself (right) in her own self-portrait, or how her son, artist Maurice Utrillo, whom she taught to paint, created her (left).

Both depict a more subtly hardened appearance; a deeply complex and darker personality.

Valadon was never formally trained. Her work developed independently during the Post impressionism period. As other artists of the day saw her potential as just a model, Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec saw her as one of them when they viewed her work. She was a rebel in her day, an exquisite rebel who wanted to imitate the life of the famed Medieval rascal poet, Francios Villon (1431). (Villon became a student of arts in Paris. Although a brilliant youngster, it is written that Villon preferred to lead a loose life, and that he continued to live this way - a reckless way of living common among the wilder youth of the University of Paris.) Suzanne Valadron imagined him to be her hero/father figure and even called herself "Mademoiselle Villon!" She saw herself as a rouguish, saucy gal who roamed the streets. She procured her first job in a circus as a flying trapeze artist, until she fell. Then she began to model at artists' studios. She knew immediately it was to be her vocation. She wrote:
"I remember the first sitting I did. I remember saying to myself over and over again, 'This is it! This is it!' Over and over. I said it all day. I did not know why. But I knew that I was somewhere at last that I should never leave."

She was able to achieve an affluent lifestyle being 'kept' by a a wealthy banker. She would feed her cats caviar on Fridays, and ride through Butte in her light carriage drawn by a mule. Her mule was trimmed in little brass bells and silk ribbons, mane and tail. Beside her a caged parrot sat, as well as two wolfhounds at her feet.

As she carried on another affair with a composer, the banker moved her to the suburbs, but Suzanne could not be 'kept'. She moved back to the Butte studio with her son and his friend, painter Andre Utter, who became her lover in 1909. Twenty years younger than she, they married in 1914, and he managed their painting careers and brought in a good living. Valadon was known for her portraits, but then turned to landscapes, still lifes, and nudes. The female nudes shocked at the time, because they were painted in an unashamed way. The joy and sensuality came through her paintings at this time painting her new husband in many. Her still lifes, strongly outlined, depict her joy, energy, and love of life.

After her marriage to Utter, she was able to gain recognition as a serious artist before and after the war, with her obvious talent, flamboyancy and such neighbors as, Georges Braque, Gino Severini, Raoul Duly and best friend Amedo Modigliani. It is written that Suzanne Valadron kept a goat in her studio in Butte to "eat up her bad drawings". It has been written people were stopped in their tracks, one evening, as Suzanne, wearing a corsage of fresh carrots, sat in front of Chez Ma Cousine milking a mare into a wine glass and then heartily drinking it down!

The marriage to Utter did not last, and she lived her last years cared for by a young man named Gazi. In 1894, she was the first woman to be admitted to the SociÈtÈ Nationale des Beaux-Arts. In 1937 at an exhibition of European Women Painters, she told a friend after looking closely at all the art, " I think maybe God has made me France's greatest woman painter. "
When Suzanne Valadron died, Braque, Derain and Picasso, attended her funeral at the CimetiËre parisien, St.-Ouen in Paris.

John Storm, The Valadon Drama
Karen Peterson & J.J Wilson, Women Artists, 1978
There are books on Suzanne Valadon you might enjoy at Amazon. Here are some pics I have found of Suzanne Valadron, her work, and that of others she modeled for.

Works by Suzanne Valadon

Suzanne Valadon by Renoir

Suzanne Valadon by
Toulouse-Lautrec Valadon by Steinien

Photograph of the artist Suzanne Valadon

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Playing With Small Pieces

Working on smaller pieces just to play with the boxes of stashed materials accumulating in my studio, is one way of clearing the brain for bigger and better things to come. Putting to use paints not used for awhile, saved textured items, old pieces of mat board and an old, used canvas, I create my own play date with myself. It's freeing to know that it matters not what we create. It doesn't have to be a masterpiece... Just play!
We tend to forget what we have as artists, until we go pokin' around... especially a collage artist. We tend to save everything like pack rats. Then we think... Hmmm... A little of this, a little bit of that... This will work here... Ew! This color... nope, that will never do... Let's see, this will be good for that other piece I was thinking about doing... etc. The mind continues to roll, relax and wander at play.
When an artist is "into" one style, or must create in a certain genre because one is known for that style, it is a must to get away from it for a while and play. It keeps one fresh. Many times I will just spend the day drawing, writing, making earrings, creating smaller 'quick sell' mixed media pieces or boxes. Pretty much anything with paper and anything else laying around. The important thing is to keep doing. This piece is 8 x 10 mixed media and attached to an older previously used canvas.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Here is a video from Vimeo that was so much fun to view! Very creative! Can you name the master artists or their works that this group creates?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Trying My Hand

Well, today I thought I'd try my hand at posting a slide show from Don't know whether I'm happy with it or not, but I have been making these Collector Boxes for a couple of years now and thought I'd show some here. I had many more, but most sold quickly at a street fair last year. I've put the boxes on hold for a bit while I've worked on paper collage earrings. In this economy, I think it's important to have many smaller items to sell to get one through when larger pieces with larger prices aren't selling. Enjoy.

ACEO Collector Boxes

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Kayaking for Inspiration

It was about 75 here in the desert this week, so a few of us, all artists, decided to go for an adventure down the Colorado River a couple of miles south of here. The water was like glass and we did 10 miles. It was the first time out for me in a year. Needless to say, I was hurtin' the next day, but energized! It's so quiet out there with no cars, no phones, no noise except the pairs of mallard ducks who quack by looking for some grub. We did see a beautiful Gray Heron that flew over and a very large hawk. It was nice to get out and into the natural and check out the rocks, shadows, and the sprigs of green now coming up. Guess Spring's here! That's the only way we can tell in the desert! Happy Trails to you!

"Art is contemplation. It is the pleasure of the mind which searches into nature and there defines the spirit of which Nature herself is animated."
Auguste Rodin

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nobody's Perfect...

“They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they'd make up their minds.” (Winston Churchill)

s I watch the Olympics, my heart plummets when a skater, skier or snowboarder falls or fails at their attempts after a lifetime of diligent practice and study. All are in search of the 'perfect' time, balance, or trick. Many of us as artists search for the 'perfect' as well in each piece we create.
In reading the many art books, magazines, blogs and art sites, I find many who feel that skills in drawing correctly and precisely are the basis for great art, while others will prefer a quick sketch or no sketch at all. Some will say drawing skills are an unnecessary burden, while others, painstakingly, try to recreate with photographic accuracy. It made me think about my own philosophy and teaching art to others.

Whatever moves you to create a piece is the important thing, so go for it, but many who are new to drawing will sometimes try to copy exactly from a photograph or magazine pic for their drawings. They try their best to capture every detail with pencils and erasers in hand. This can be a good thing... to a point. For copying enjoyable things teaches us to really look at the elements of perspective, light and dark values, balance, and the design as a whole. It is a learning process in gaining skills to move forward. But some artists become dejected when their drawing falls short of their sense of perfection, or never stop copying. There are others feel who find drawing the shapes of objects more to their liking, and still others, who quick sketch just to get an idea or hint of what they have in mind in their sketchbook. Some are not concerned with any of it and just start from doodles to create a pleasing, overall design.

My feeling is that in order to draw, we must become Observers and Analyze what is around us daily. We rush through our days with little contemplation of the unique little things that surround us. If we'd just slow down and set aside an hour to observe and contemplate carefully, we can learn to set images in our "Mind's Eye" or to paper as a resource. If we Practice by drawing what we see, we can’t help but improve our skills and also veer off into new unexplored areas and really make our art our own.

A rare few of us will be "perfect" at something, but with discipline and daily practice, we can always improve on any skill. It's like anything else we've learned in life. Learning to walk, ride a bike, play an instrument, ice skating or snowboarding. None came easily without observation, discipline, drive and practice. Will our artwork be a masterpiece or a Gold Medal winner every time we put forth the the sweat and effort? Unfortunately not. You do it because you love doing it. But it's in the observing and habitual practice that our eyes open to what we've been missing. New creative ideas will come from this quiet contemplation of what surrounds us, and with these, new works.

There is no need to strive for the 'perfect' because each of us are individuals with our own unique sense of 'Seeing' the world. This, in turn, creates our unique style. It's what makes you and your art Individual amidst the many. "Seeing" is the key first step!
"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see." (Edgar Degas)

Quotes to ponder~
"We first make our habits, and then our habits make us." (John Dryden)
"When you work you learn something about what you are doing and you develop habits and procedures out of what you're doing." (Jasper Johns)
What is a 'daily' art habit of yours you can share?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Inaction vs. Getting Busy with Art

Today, I’m probably writing this for you, as well as me, because we all deal with inaction many times in our daily lives. We put things off procrastinating to the end. Hey, some of us really work well under this pressure, but some of us fall into a pattern and continue in a rut. I know I do at times. We’ll think our work as not good enough, not perfect enough, who would want to buy this? We reinforce this belief through our own ‘Self-Talk’ when we know darned well, that what we see as little errors in our work, no one else will ever notice. So either we get going and work through it, or we never get started.

If we work through the negative Self-Talk, everyday, telling our brain Positive things, then positive things will be achieved. The first thing we must do is get started and make it a daily habit. Find our couple of hours a day that is ours and no one else's. No phone calls, no visitors, no interruptions. It’s our time and share it with no one. Then pull your materials out and get going. Habits become part of our routine, so make it your daily routine. As we work, surely, Negative Self-Talk becomes a little demon to artists. It sits there on our shoulder, peering over at what we’re doing saying things like, “Oh, this is terrible; you just can’t do this, It just doesn’t look right; This won’t work, you’ll never be any good.” Now just look at all the negative words we push on ourselves without thinking about our own precious creative psyches... Terrible...Can’t... Doesn’t... Won’t... Never. IF YOU BELIEVE, YOU WILL ACHIEVE! Make this our motto to chase the demon away.

Take a step back and instead say, “ This is different; I CAN work around this and try that; this looks like it could work for that other project, how can I re-work this and create something a bit more out of the ordinary?” It’s all in the Positives and how we perceive our worlds! And Positive Self-Talk can also become a good habit!

Motivation is the push, and Positive Self-Talk is our action. We must Act on our indecisions, procrastination and self-doubts. This moves us through those little dark days. I try to create a new mind-set of asking myself, “Why am I putting this off? Why am I unhappy with this piece I’m working on?” When we can analyze the “Why”, and motivate ourselves to work through it, then talk to ourselves and our work Positively, then Positive things will happen.

So, if the pitfalls of indecision strike you daily, for weeks or months, don’t despair. Get busy by: 1. Setting a goal for the day by writing it down and sticking to it; 2. Make an appointment with yourself and your creative destiny daily; 3. Self-Talk the Positives and replace every word of negativity that the Demons on our shoulders tries to throw at you. We will find enjoyment, new ideas, and especially Courage. We’ll create the Positives during our appointments with our creative selves, and it will soon pass over to other areas in our lives where procrastination and indecision reign. Art and Positive Self-Esteem and Confidence in ourselves is hard work and it must be practiced daily. Believe and Achieve!

What techniques do you use to work through the doubts?

Monday, February 1, 2010

I'll Follow the Sun

The positives in life will always outweigh the negatives in my Mind's Eye. I was born in the Berkshires of Connecticut and lived on a small, but working farm. We had little. No car, no television, no new toys to speak of, my mother made us all our clothes, and my father was an ace carpenter. We did have a large radio though, where we could sit and listen to stories. Kids today might find this a terribly negative life, or think I must be at least 100 years old! It was 1955. But it was the most positive, and I am so thankful for it! Like the morning rays of sun popping over the landscape, every day was a new day, filled with an adventure! You cannot miss what you never had! You learn to create, make your own playthings. You learn to appreciate the beauty in the smallest things. We need nothing but the positives in our minds to create a host of activities. My father taught me to write and draw before I was in Kindergarten. My mother taught me to read. It was a home with little, but a love of learning "by doing" and so much imagining going on, that I can't remember 'not learning' something new every day or creating my own outlets by using a pencil or torn papers to create who knows what.
Dawn coming up over the trees and hills, and Sunsets slipping away behind the mountains have intrigued me since my earliest childhood memories. When my small fingers could pick up my first Crayolas of yellow, red and orange, it was each Dawn, as I went to the barn to help collect eggs from the chickens with my sisters, that set my day! It's pastel pinks, light mauves, blues and creams across the sky always captured the "Seeing" part of my brain. I'd stand there memorizing the colors that I would set mentally to recapture on paper. I'd start meticulously with my father's carpenter pencil trying to create the cloud cover across the sun and sky. I would lightly blend and then vigorously crayon the bright sun, and never in the lines! Sunshine has no limits, and neither did I! The big whitewashed barn was my foreground to the East.
When the day was to come to it's end in summers, and Sunset blossomed in the West, the rest of the family would be busy with daily chores. I'd sit in the cool, green grass amidst the wild buttercups...getting properly comfortable and aligned... with paper on a piece of thin board and crayons. I was four years old, and knew then that I loved art! I'd set my eye to copy what I saw in color, the trees or the hills.
Still, to this day, too many years older, I still create a homage in my own way for the Sun, whether the Dawn or Dusk. It's absence can set our moods, and it's energy gives us life and food. It warms our bodies and our souls, and for some of us, it brings out our artistry. No longer with Crayolas, but with torn papers in my collage works, I try to recapture those childhood, Mind's Eye, memories. I'll always follow the Sun!
What could you use, if suddenly, you had no materials to create with and no stores nearby?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Inspiration vs. Exasperation

We all have 'those' days; those days when focusing is the Impossible Dream. The phone keeps ringing, everyone wants to talk. The grocery store beckons, a doctor's appointment, a friend drops by, the dog must be walked, the kids are coming home, the husband can't find the Scotch tape or glue- (naturally because it wound up in my studio for a collage!).

I had a plan, or so I thought...what happened?... Life happened. If it continues to happen for a week or two, I know, as a creative, I can start getting a bit annoyed; not so much at the people or events, but at myself. Sometimes making the all important time for our work, joy, play and organizing can get placed on the back burner. I start with work because the work is the joy. Sometimes, a few our loving friends or relatives don't take our work as seriously as we do. I tend to think that they feel we are just 'piddling around'. It's not their fault... (That will be another blog in the future)... They may feel, within, that they must separate us from what drives us because, many times, they need a bit of something filling their creative souls. We become 'it'. Maybe they enjoy living vicariously through what we do, because they take pride in us, or that we tend to accomplish something we love doing. They have pride in us.

Human contact is important for growth, but the creative venture is a tough gig! So much thinking, planning, starts and stops going on. Between finding inspiration, the joy of pulling out a fresh, white, new canvas, placing the first paint swatch across it, or gluing down the found paper... why, it's like a love affair...conjuring up the idea of it, massaging it in our mind's eye, touching it to the substrate... and who among us likes being interrupted while infatuation is taking place? Thoughts?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Breakin' Free!

Well! Here I am blogging! Who would have ever thought? I tried desperately to move myself in the direction of my studio day after day these last two weeks, to work on a commission, but the darn computer and a great friend kept hearkening me to get it started. So here it be.

As an artist living in the great rural Southwest with my guitar playing husband, the desert can be as desolate as an island in many respects. But the beauty and solitude can also be the quiet we both need in order to create.
Sometimes, as artists, we'll get side-tracked, unfocused with too many things to want to delve our fingers into, or just plain want to "Break Free" and play! Learning something new, no matter how frustrating at times, is a good thing. It keeps the mind active and supple- unlike my backside at this point!