Monday, January 30, 2012

Script Liner Joy

While taking the Strathmore Traci Bautista workshop I discovered the joy of using the script liner brush.  There is something so therapeutic about doodling with india ink and that long, skinny brush.  After I painted around on what started out as a crazy, doodle-y, palette cleaning page.  I used the india ink to just doodle with some of the designs that I keep in my little notebook in my purse.  Whenever I am sitting near someone with an interesting pattern on their dress or see something that might translate into a good doodle later, I draw it in my little notebook for later...nothing fancy...just a little spiral bound, lined notebook and a ball point pen.  If you pay attention, there is great inspiration all around you.
Later, my daughter and I packed up our journals and headed to the local bookstore for some of their killer Mayan hot chocolate and some journal time.  It's one of our favorite things to do.  I brought along my Neocolor II's and some pens to finish it up.  I even let my daughter play with my treasured Neocolor II's.  I must really love that girl!  Only now she is as smitten with my crayons as I am and thinks that she needs her own set.  I'm raising a smart girl, I tell you!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I Caved

My husband and my son have been hounding (no pun intended) me for a dog forever, but I have not been easily convinced.  It's not like I don't like dogs.  In fact, I really like dogs.  Good dogs.  Dogs who don't jump up or growl or just be plain obnoxious.  Dogs need to be trained and I was afraid that I would be THE ONE.  You know, THE ONE who doesn't know how to handle their dog and he would be the obnoxious dog and it would be all my fault.  I also wasn't keen on following an animal around my house with a bottle of carpet cleaner 24/7.  My family tried to sell me on the whole "we'll take care of it, we promise" thing but I wasn't born yesterday.  I know who will be taking care of the dog and frankly, there are days when the fibromyalgia acts up and I'm not sure I can take care of myself and my kids.  Why would I want to throw a dog into that mix? 
I rolled my eyes when many Saturdays my husband and son could be found checking over the cages at the local Petco when the Humane Society would bring their adoptable animals.  They could look at dogs all they wanted, but I was NOT interested.  Sometimes my daughter and I would even tag along.  Just window shopping and then we met Dee.  Dee is the best home finder at the Humane Society I swear.  I'm pretty sure she was a successful used car salesman in a previous life.  She had us walking all kinds of dogs for weeks.  Once again, I thought "go ahead, walk all the dogs, but we are not taking one home."  I was resolute!  I could not be moved!  I meant it!
With that said, I would like to introduce you to Mick....
He's our new dog.  Dee rescued him and was fostering him but she didn't want to just let anybody adopt him, so she had been hanging onto him until she found just the right family.  We traded information and even though this might sound funny, I knew he was our dog even before I met him.  So today, we adopted Mick, which is short for MacGreggor (said in your best Scottish brogue).  He really is a good boy and even though he hasn't even been around 12 hours yet, I kinda really love him.  He's already not the obnoxious dog.  And I haven't even had to use the carpet cleaner yet!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bird and My Word

It all started with a late night test of my new Tulip fabric spray paints.  I bought the party pack and I just wanted to see what all of the colors looked like.  Let me just say, all together, they definitely looked like a party.  The next day when my kids and I were examining my experiment, we saw kind of a creepy face and a bird hiding in the background.  I opted for the bird and painted it in with some gesso.  Then for a reason that I cannot explain, I painted leaf shapes in red, pink, orange, purple, blue, and green.  I don't know why, just did.  I started adding layers of paint and Sharpie paint pens but I still wasn't happy with the background, so I decided to experiment with my brand new, super, amazing, Caran D'Ache Neocolor II's.  Have I mentioned that I LOVE those things?  I may have mentioned it every single day to any member of my family that is pretending to listen to me.  I also may have GENTLY hugged the tin a time or two.  I still can't believe that I have waited this long to buy some.  They are definitely an example of the joy GOOD art supplies can bring to your life.  I was so frustrated with the other water soluble crayons I had tried that I couldn't imagine why I would want a crazy expensive box of them.  Now I know.
I also included my word on my little bird's wing.  I had this great idea to write it somewhere, on some layer of all my pages this year.  Then I'll remember it.  I probably won't be able to see it when I'm done, but it will be there somewhere.  My little secret.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

We Have A Word

I have been racking my brain lately, trying to come up with my word for 2012.  There are just some really great words.  Narrowing my list down to one word was a challenge.  So, as I doodled for THIS class, I pondered what I wanted my year to look like.  As I neared the end of creating the absolute riot of color I ended up with, I still wasn't sure.  The word "persist" kept coming up so I pulled out one of my old dictionaries and fortunately for me, I hadn't already torn out the "persist" page and glued it to something.  When I read the definition for "persist", it felt close, but not quite right.  Then as I glanced up the page, I happened upon "perseverance" and fell in love with definition #2.  "2.  Theol.  Continuance in a state of grace until it is succeeded by a state of glory."  Perfect!

And just like that I have a word.  PERSEVERANCE.  I cut it out and glued it to my riot of color right away.  By the way, this was fun to do.  I'm pretty excited to get my hands on Traci's new book, but it's still not out yet so I'll have to be patient.  I had to force myself to use the oil pastels in this class, because normally, I hate those things, but I persevered (see, my word's working already) and I also learned that I love a script liner brush and some India ink.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hello 2012

After I said goodbye to 2011, I needed to say hello to 2012, but after my resolution revelation, I decided that I wasn't going to do resolutions this year.  Many of my artist friends choose a word to focus on during the year, so I decided I needed a word.  The trick is coming up with the right word.  I know that we are already 9 days into the new year and I should have my word already, but I haven't decided on the right one.  There are lots of great words!  I've narrowed it down but I'm not sure just yet.  I've been working on Strathmore's Online workshop with Traci Bautista, so as I doodle away on my journal page, I'm pondering on just the right word.  Oh, and if you haven't been following along with Strathmore's workshop, I suggest you look into it.  It is FREE.  (Free is the only word I can scream without having to put a quarter in the swear jar!)  It is Traci Bautista and it is awesome.  Hopefully by the end of my doodle, I will have a word of the year.
By the way, the flowers on this journal page started out as a napkin that my friend Kate gave to me in a GIANT box of paper happiness.  After I separated all the layers of the napkin and collaged the flowers on, I started adding paint and pens and it now no longer looks anything like the original, but I still like it.  After I got it all finished I found a fortune that was hanging around on my desk, so I had to stick that on there too.
And now, I must go.  Fibro is kicking my butt today.  All this typing has set me up for a nap.  How sad is that?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Got Gum?

It all started when I couldn't find my favorite gum anymore.  I had to try something new.  So, I bought a package of Sweet Mint Orbit gum and when I unwrapped it, I noticed that it had some great graphics on the box.  Graphics that could inspire a doodle.  So when the box was empty, I thought I would hang on to it.  When I bought a new package, it had a different graphic, so I had to save that one too.  I started thinking of a gazillion little ideas for using those boxes, so I saved the next one too.  After a while, I had a ridiculous number of Orbit boxes that needed to be used up, so I just started cutting and gluing onto a background I had started.
The rest of the page is assorted, goofy randomness.  After I finished with the gum boxes, the friendship bracelet that my daughter made for me finally fell off after wearing it for months.  It was the same colors at the gum boxes, so I formed it into a heart and stuck in on there.  I also did a few doodles that were inspired by the boxes, and found the words "plumb bob" in the background.  I just happen to like saying "plumb bob"'s just fun to say!  Try it!
And that's my very random gum box page.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Goodbye Twenty Eleven

I was looking back at my journal page with my resolutions for 2011 and this is the exact thought that went through my head, "if I didn't like this journal page so much I would run it through the shredder RIGHT NOW!"  There were only 4 things written on my list of "to-do's" for the year and, at first glance, I didn't accomplish A SINGLE ONE OF THEM. 
As I was just starting to silently berate myself for my apparent failures and waste of an entire year, I began thinking back...I really liked 2011.  How could such a good year been a "failure"?  I had so many opportunities and adventures and good things happen in the past year.  Things that I could have never envisioned for myself when I wrote those 4 "failures" at the beginning of the year.  For instance, my first resolution was to "get control of my health" and while I certainly don't feel "in control", I ended up weighing less than when the year started and I have made great progress in small steps.
My #2 resolution was "get a passport".  When I wrote that I really didn't have anywhere to go but I figured that if I had a passport, the travel would follow.  Plus, having a passport is just plain cool.  Well, no, I still don't have a passport but I did do more traveling this year than I have in a long time.  My family and I went on a vacation to the Oregon Coast and I went with my parents, kids, and nephews to California to be a part of a once in a lifetime opportunity to see my brother's U-2 solo.  I wouldn't trade either of those experiences for a passport.
#3 was to run a successful Etsy store.  Well, I don't have a successful Etsy store, in fact, I don't have anything in my Etsy store right now but I have been able to get a better feel for Etsy this year and what I want to do with my art.  I have also been able to identify better what I do not want.  It has been a year that has helped me grow and move more towards the true me.  Which means my resolution has turned out to not really be a big priority right now.
Resolution #4 was "art everyday (Sketchbook Challenge and get published)".  I know for sure that I didn't do art everyday and seemed to gravitate away from the Sketchbook Challenge.  Not only that but I didn't even send in a single piece of art to be published so unless editors are also gifted in the art of osmosis (which would sure make my life easier, by the way), I don't expect to be published in the next few months.  I have, however, done quite a bit of art this year and I am proud of the growth I have experienced.  I also did something else that I have never done before, I took an online class.  Not only that but I took three!  I took Mary Ann Moss' Remains of the Day (and I just signed up for Full Tilt Boogie, both of these AWESOME classes are ON SALE right now and worth every penny), Christy Tomlinson's She Had Three Hearts, and my daughter and I are working on Brave Girls Club's Brave Mothers and Daughters.  I am also teaching a high school age art journaling class this coming semester which is definitely "putting myself out there".
So, despite, my initial failure response to my 2011 resolutions, I have had a good year.  I've had the usual ups and downs but all in all, 2011 was good to me.  I've seen much growth and realize that much of what I thought I wanted in the beginning was just the tip of the iceberg.  The actual path that I was supposed to take was better than I could have imagined and all along I was (as the sign above my desk reminds me) "right where I should be".