Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

My Fall Owl painting is another random painting I've been working on lately. I did finally try out my new Shiva Paintstiks and LOVE them! They are so creamy and buttery and blend effortlessly. However, because of their large size I feel a bit clumsy with them. I'm not sure how Kelly Rae uses them with such detail and in small areas. I'm learning to step back and look at my work from a distance. From a normal viewing distance, all the little imperfections (areas where I think I colored outside the lines) aren't yelling out at me and actually look okay.

When I started this painting, my intention was to create a calendar with my artwork to give as Christmas presents. It motivated me to get some paintings started, but as I finished a few I realized I was just creating random pieces and I wasn't getting any closer to defining my style. I was also starting to feel a wee bit stressed by the whole thing, considering it takes me forever to finish just one piece. Now that I've decided to to scrap the project I'm much happier and feel that I'm making progress in the right direction.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Isn't Life Sweet?

I found this Hershey's Chocolate Bar partially unwrapped in the cupboard yesterday and set it aside for closer inspection. It looked as though most of the unwrapped portion was salvagable so I told the kids they could eat it. When we turned it over we discovered this tiny heart. Isn't that Oh So Sweet?

Monday, October 25, 2010

My 52 Words Project

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon Leslie Ackman's 52 Words Challenge (see it here) just in time to start from the beginning. She posts an uplifting word each week to think about. I have chosen to create an art journal with one page for each word and just let myself PLAY. I'm using it to explore different art techniques and color combinations to continue my quest for finding my "STYLE." As hard as it is for me, I'm trying to work quickly not giving what I'm doing too much thought. The idea is to try new stuff and not get hung-up on creating a masterpiece. At the end of the 52 weeks, I'll have 52 words and my thoughts about them. Someone reading my art journal will get to know me just a little bit better and in the process I hope to know myself better too!

For Week One the word was GRATITUDE. I know I like blocks of color and muted colors for that matter. See my post on this discovery here. I created this page with uneven blocks, subtle details, a journaling area and hand painted text. It's funny, lately while I'm watching TV, I notice the artwork on the wall in the background. They often have contemporary paintings with blocks of color and simple shapes often with collage elements. I'm very drawn to them for their simplicity and color. That's probably why they use them, so as not to distract the viewer from what's going on in the show. Anyhow, I'm getting distracted!
Week Two word was BLISS. I couldn't really think of anything I consider Blissful, so I depicted just that...Bliss that is out of reach! I started out with watercolors and then moved on to acrylic craft paint...I consider watercolors very challenging and always end up with mud! To save time, cut hands from a magazine. This page was fun to create, however, didn't really try anything new or STYLE enhancing!
The third word was ORDER. I went back to the blocks of color and muted tones. I like this color palette and added a wash over the top to bring them down even more. Didn't add a lot of details here so I could stress the order I like in my frills!

I hope you check out the 52 Words project and if you play along, I'd love to know!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Brighter Days Ahead...Question or Statement?

It's been a full week (last week) of painting, gluing, cutting, sorting, stamping, and all that fun art stuff. Unfortunately and feeling a bit down about it, I have nothing to share. I did finish one piece I was working on. And, upon it's completion, I think I decided I'm not a bright color person. As much as I love paintings others create in vivid, bold colors, I don't think they work for me. Perhaps I should consider my neutral wardrobe and subdued colors in my home as a clue to my preferred color palette. I certainly can't paint what I'm not. When the sun returns I'll snap a photo of the finished pieces (good or bad) and some works in progress. But until then, I'm feeling somewhat like a ping-pong ball. Jumping back and forth, from one technique to another, one theme to another, one idea to another and not feeling very optimistic about any of them. I'm really struggling this week with my style. I'm all over the place and get excited about way too many  techniques I see or read about and then have trouble executing them to my satisfaction. I'm trying to dig deep, evaluate how I view life, figure out what gets my motor running and work from those clues to develop my style. I know I'm rushing the process and focusing on the finished product when it should be about enjoying the journey. Oh I have so much to learn.

So, in the meantime I simply posted a cute little rainy day photo of my son's umbrella fort and I'll patiently wait for brighter days ahead.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happiness is a Choice

"Choose Happy" is a 16x20" mixed media painting I created to remind myself everyday that I need to choose to be happy. The text at the bottom reads "The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart." A verse from The Dhammapada, a Buddhist scripture.

Happiness is a choice. I can choose to be happy or I can choose to be something else (sad, bitter, grouchy, unhappy, or insert your own emotion here). I can dwell on the misfortunes in my life or I can focus on the good in my life. I cannot expect someone else's words or actions to make me happy. I need to be happy on the inside, for myself, because of myself, in spite of myself. I need to purposefully "Choose Happy." We only have this one life to experience, so...Choose Happy!

I've thought a lot about this happy thing...trying to figure out if I was happy. I had forgotten what even made me happy while I was busy living each day as it was dished out to me. Busy doing everything for everyone else. Busy running a household while everyone else did thing they liked to do, knowing all the necessities in life would be taken care of for them. I knew I was the one who let this happen and I was the only one who could change it. So I set out on a journey to find the things that make me happy...a topic for another day.

When I finished this painting, I was looking around my home for a place of prominence to hang it. I wanted to see it on a regular basis as a little mood reminder to myself. I found a location, held it up to the wall and realized it was too small. It needed other stuff around it. That's when the light bulb went on for a Words of Wisdom Wall. I'll create more paintings, in various sizes, highlighting words of wisdom to remind me (and hopefully my family) how important it is to live our lives according to the values we cherish. I can't wait to get started.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What the heart gives away is never gone...
It is kept in the hearts of others
-- Robin St. John

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Blog Mission Statement

This blog WILL be a place to celebrate the joy in my heart and contemplate the heartache as well. A place to share my creative journey, wherever it may lead. A tool to motivate and challenge me, everyday, to make art and be creative. A reminder to see the beauty in everyday and embrace its simplicity and splendor. A tool to learn more about myself and celebrate who I am. A place to affirm dreams, goals, achievements, and even set-backs. A portal to other journey-seekers who posses the same need to create and connect. A place where imperfection is not only acceptable, but encouraged!

This blog WILL NOT be a vehicle to vent my frustrations with the world, my family or even myself. I will always try to see the good in any situation before I share the lessons learned with others. It will not be a source of guilt, pressure or perfection. I will always try to stay true to who I am and post from the heart, not allowing my audience (or lack of one) to influence what I do or say. It will not be a place for negativity or complaining. I will always try to examine less-than-positive thoughts for their underlying meaning. It will not be a place to showoff or boast, but rather a visual timeline of accomplishments, regardless of size. It will not be a place to focus on my shortcomings, but instead a place to embrace my strengths.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
~ Helen Keller

While I'm waiting for the sun to come out in order to photograph a little art piece I made for my next post, I thought I would share this cute photo I took at my daughter's soccer game Saturday. They did not win the game, but their team spirit won my heart.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Week 40 Menu

Pork Piccata
Baked Chicken and Rice
Husband Delight Casserole
Baked Pork Tenderloin
Chicken Parmesan

A picture of this week's menu selections. More tried and true recipes, just fine-tuning or combining like recipes. It turns out that I gravitate toward the same kinds of recipes and then end up with several versions of basically the same thing in my recipe file. Time to combine them into one tasty treat! And as for Husband Delight Casserole...gotta come up with a new name for that one. I'm almost embarrased to even post it here. Happy Dining!