Wednesday, March 05, 2014
Monday, February 17, 2014
I went to a funeral today of a marvelous man. He and his wife were very nice and welcoming to me as a member of our church, St. Thomas More Catholic Community. I learned some great lessons as I listened to his son Brother John Eustice deliver the Homily in remembrance of his Dad.
First, Bob (that was his name, Bob Eustice) used a quote that I learned a few years ago and use quite often , "Bloom Where You Are Planted.". These few words say so much about accepting life as it is exactly where you are. I have had to call on this often in the past few years as I have tried to embrace the aging process.
Second, Bob was a treasure hunter, he enjoyed the process and it did not matter if he was successful at finding the treasure, the thing that mattered most was having fun. As I listened to this in church today I thought about my art. I post items on Facebook and in groups hoping that I will get comments or acceptance. Sitting in that pew this morning I learned a great lesson. It does not matter if I get approval, it does not matter if no one leaves a comment. What does matter is this....how do I feel about what I have done? The picture above Brings a smile to my face. In fact I LOVE it. I really do and that is what really matters.
Third and most important, be able to play and get along with everyone. When what you do in life
brings joy to you and to others, when you can all play in the same sandbox and get along....your life has been successful and that is my answer on how I want to spend the rest of my life.
I may not sell one painting, I may not paint or draw as beautifully as many of the paintings that I see, I may not even get it right, but as long as I am having fun, that is all that matters.
So, I thank Bob, for his friendship, the words of wisdom that impressed his son so much that he shared them with us today. I thank God for the privilege of getting to know Natalie and Bob
But most of all I am thankful that my ears were open to hear the words that spoke to my heart today and made it smile.
I think I am going to frame the picture above, it is calling me and I am going to answer.
Until next time.....
Wednesday, February 05, 2014
image, a photo by momoo50 on Flickr.
I am participating in lifebook again this year. This is a painting from week 4. Tried a new technique I learned from Donna Downey. The flowers were originally white. I painted them with gesso, then saffron yellow acrylic paint and covered with Utee embossing powder. I really liked working on this page.
Friday, January 10, 2014
I found so much solace in these creative pursuits and for the life of me I cannot remember when it all changed. I have a feeling it was a gradual progression of inner critic voices telling me that I could not draw, I could not sew, I could not…… I often sit and think about this and try to figure it out, but nothing comes to me as some great incident other than the fact that I was riddled with strong self-doubt. I just never felt good enough which is kind of sad because I know that I missed many opportunities because I did not believe in myself.
I have been working on two projects today (pictures to come later). It took me most of the week to convince myself that I could do them and once I got started, I realized just how much fun I was having and how rewarding it was to at least try.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and is very subjective. Plus, and this is really big dear reader, if I continue to spend my time worrying about what others will think, I will never get anything done. I had to ask myself why I am creating, why I am taking online classes and what do I want to feel at the end of the day. These are very valid questions that have made me dig deep to see just what is it I want to do? I do not have the answers today, they will be part of my journey through change/release for 2014. I hope that I will have some sort of answers as the year progresses.
One of the online projects, Journal52, that I am working on this year had us make a simple journal. On the cover I put the words OPEN UP which is part of my process, open up and let the creative juices really flow. I find that I can be very closed and rigid. Each line has to be just right, no coloring outside the line. Have precise guidelines….I realized where this comes from, I was a trainer, project manager, project analyst for nearly 30 years. My life was project plans, meeting deadlines and keeping everything on track. There was no time to plan, what with job, raising children and attending college. Even when I made greetings cards which I love, I drew a project plan for making cards. So as part of my year of change, I realized I am no longer a project manager. My life does not have to be so rigid and structured, I can plan and have fun. I can mix colors that are not supposed to jell. I can draw a face with wonky eyes and most of all I can just play.
I think I am writing this today to give myself permission…..permission to really enjoy what I do and to open up to new and exciting possibilities. There is no picture with this post today. Do not need one. I just need to listen to my words, embrace them, love them and live them.
So that is it for today dear reader…..I sure to hope that I follow my own advice during 2014. We shall see.
Sunday, January 05, 2014
The photo being posted represents week 1 from Life Book 2014. I am going to try and post weekly this year. I have to be more confident in my work and embrace it as a real part of me.
I have many projects scheduled for 2014 and one of them is to continue to work on my art. My goal is to learn to paint faces with ease. Right now I think about it too much and become tentative. Let's see how it goes by December 31, 2014.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Sunday, October 27, 2013
image, a photo by momoo50 on Flickr.
Today my post is a book review. I pre-ordered a book months ago that was written by Mary Beth Shaw and it arrived last Thursday. I did happy dance knowing that I would be delighted with the contents of my friend's latest endeavor. However, I need to step back a few years to explain how I met Mary Beth.
Late March 2010 I attended ArtFest as a 60th birthday present to myself. I actually turned 60 in November of 2009, and sent in my registration for this wonderful Art Retreat as my present. One of the classes I registered for was taught by LK Ludwig and involved painting backgrounds on paper. I was very interested in the class because I love paper and wanted to find ways to paint paper that I would use for my greeting cards. In the class LK let us use stencils she brought. There was a set of stencils that the entire class literally lost their minds over. I knew I had to have at least two, one that looked like a cluster of pebbles and one that looked like rows of intricate squares. LK told us she was using Stencil Girl Stencils and giving them a test run in her class. We could purchase them at Vendor night. Oh my, I was sooooo geeked. So, on vendor night, money in hand I made a bee-line to the Stencil Girl table (so did about 50 other attendees). The scene was not pretty. I started out at the front of the table and mid-choice I was pushed way to the back and in a blink, all of the stencils were gone. To say I was devastated is putting it mildly (did I mention I absolutely abhor shopping in crowds?). I guess the look on my face must have been pretty pitiful because Mary Beth actually talked to me, asked me which stencils I wanted and let me order them. From that moment on she had an undying fan.
Fast Forward to today. Last Thursday evening I sat down with a cup of hot chocolate and opened my copy of Stencil Girl: Mixed Media Techniques for Making and Using Stencils. My initial goal was to read the book in one setting. I quickly realized that power reading would be an insult to this book. The title says it all Mixed Media Techniques. It is divided into three sections. After the Intro and supply list you will find: Stencil Art, Stencil Décor and Stencil Fun.
"Whether you are a beginning stencil artist or an old pro, this book will offer you some fresh ideas to expand usage of your stencil library. Use this book as a starting point......It is my intent to provide you with inspiration that will spark even more ideas and propel you off into new directions." This quote from Mary Beth is found in the Stencil This article at the front of the book. It perfectly explains her purpose. It is not to dazzle you with pretty pictures, it is to provide you with ideas by generously showing us her process. I am definitely going to try Spray it Again, Sam found on pages 66 and 67.
In addition to Mary Beth's step by step instructions, you will find pictures of stencil projects completed by artists such as Tracie Lyn Huskamp, Jane LaFazio and Joanne Sharpe.
I am not a professional book reviewer. I have written reviews here on by blog of friends who have written books because I firmly believe that as artists (yes I finally called myself an artist), we must support each other anyway that we can.
I am new to the art world and yet I have made so many friends who have encouraged me, taught me and inspired me to at least try.
You can visit Mary Beth's website, www.mbshaw.com, to see more of her marvelous work.
Well that is it for this week dear reader. Have a thoughtful week and thanks for stopping by.