Wednesday, July 31, 2013

By Lantern Light

I just realized it was Wednesday already and I didn't have a post ready.  No ideas no art to share but then I realized I had this face I drew while I was at my retreat this past week, She is pretty simple with no writing like I usually have. I created this in my tent one night, by lantern light. That is probably why I haven't really liked it. Although I like that tern "By Lantern Light" I may use it again sometime.

I have been spinning yarns most nights while watching TV.  These were all from the same fleece. It was time to wash them all. It looks like quite a bit of yarn photographed this way.

The past few days I have been trying to play catch up. I am always that way after a trip.  It takes me a long time to integrate back into a normal existence. I always seem to find myself really tired for the first few days and this time was no exception.  I am trying to be gentler with myself this time. To have down periods, to take naps when I am so inclined and not to stress about catching up.

Do you have trouble getting back into the swing of things after an absence? What do you do to make the transition smoother?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Spinners Retreat & Dr. Who

I spent the last five days up in Park City Utah at a Spinners Retreat.  This group gets together annually to spend time away from responsibilities.  We spin and knit, and laugh and eat, share our lives and have workshops and prizes and more.  It is really the best of times. I hadn't been to this in a long time.

I was delighted to find out my good friend Adrien would be there.  She is such a beautiful soul, I love spending time with her.

Here I am with Adrien and Esther who I got to know a lot better this time.  She is a riot I just love both of these ladies so much. They are both very talented spinners and make exquisite lace shawls with their yarns.

Here I am with my good friend Cyndi.  She always keeps me laughing and helps me stay motivated with all my knitting projects.

Here I am with a Dalek from Dr. Who.  For those who don't watch a Dalek is an alien villain that the Doctor has to fight over and over again.  This is a shell and the alien being is inside this.

Here I am inside the Dalek, you had to squat down to fit the top on and oh was it hot inside there.

I met another Green Bay Packer Fan.  We were comparing things we had to support the team,  I won the contest when I told her I had a Clay Matthews jersey.  He was her favorite too. Here is the scarf her mom made her during the retreat in those great Packer colors.

My good friends Cyndi and Shirley Marshall, the owners of the Dalek. They found it at a garage sale. We sure have had some fun with it. Rumor has it that it might travel to Idaho Falls someday soon.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Link Love July 26

I am off on an adventure but will offer a few links to keep you entertained.

1. Here is a video on using InkTense pencils on fabric Inktense on Fabric

2. In this tutorial you will learn to make a coptic stitch sketchbook.  This one of the best I have seen for this technique and makes an awesome journal.

3. In this tutorial you can turn a hardcover book into a wallhanging.  tutorial

4. This tutorial will have you making gelli prints with masking stencils  She gets some pretty cool effects with this technique.

5. I posted about my friend Jessie the other day but will include her for link love so that more people get to see her awesome work.  She is a pet portraiture artist and blogs as Stray Dog Arts. Make sure to check out the gallery.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Chakra Journey Continues

I am continuing to work in my chakra journal. Today's page was created with PanPastels.  I used the traditional color of orange for the symbol.  I used a lot of blues and aqua to symbolize water.  Although the crescent symbolizes the moon and water I added a full moon just because I like the full moon. I added wavy lines for water and included many of the word associated with this chakra.  The fish is one of the animals associated with the 2nd charka. I have set a goal to work on one of the chakras every week or at the latest every 2 weeks. That way I will be able to complete this journal in a timely manner.  I am learning a lot of things I did not know, and that has been a fun byproduct of this exercise.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Jackson Hole Art Festival

When I found out that my friend Jessie Marianiello was going to be a vendor at the Jackson  HoleArt festival I had the perfect opportunity to meet her.  Dave was a willing participant so we planned to go to Jackson for the day.  Its only 100 miles away so it was easy to do.  We spent time at the festival and then headed to Grand Teton National Park for some awesome scenery.

Here we are in front of the most gorgeous painting of a horse.  I was mesmerized by its beauty. She told me the it was a wild horse.

Here she is next to her beautiful painting. I think she really captures the horse's essence.

After visiting with Jessie for awhile we headed out to see the rest of the show.  I was surprised to run into another friend.  Judy Colvin sold me my first sheep Emily.  She now does nuno felting and became a milliner. She makes felted and straw hats and is a regular at the show.  I love wonderful surprises like that.

Here is what I came home with; a raven for my garden which is mostly weeds this year.  I think he looks quite at home.

You know meeting people on the internet and following their lives for years is quite its own reward but then meeting them in person is like icing on the cake. What a delight it was to meet Jessie.  Her paintings were even more beautiful in person. She is such an amazing talent. You can see her work on her website Stray Dog Arts.  Do yourself a favor and go look in her gallery she paints the most amazing dogs, cats and now horses too.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Sketches

For Sunday sketches I decided to paint the cover of my Chakra journal.  I thought a meditating woman would be appropriate although I can not get my body in that position any more.

Don't forget to check out the other sketchers over at Blue Chair Diary.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Exploring the Chakras

Back in this post I shared Julie Gibbons link about her exploration of the Chakras.  I was enthralled with the idea and now I am finally getting to the start.  I made s small journal to hold the journal aka Teesha Moore"s amazing 16 page journal. I really like the idea of using that journal for small focused projects.

I am starting with the first chakra of course. My page was created with Neocolor II watercolor crayons and a pitt artist pen. The name of the chakra is Maladhara. Also known as the root chakra. I focused my image first with the elephant for its strength and then added parts of the traditional image of this chakra.  The four petals represent the four directions, the yellow the earth. The earth is also represented in the drawing.   I drew the roots to be very extensive and then wrote down meaning and connections.  The first chakra covers your roots, grounding, ancestors and beliefs so I added words to represent my ancestors and so forth.  This really was fun. In exploring this I found I understood the chakra and myself better.

Don't forget to check out all the other artists posting for Paint Party Friday 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Art Journaling Calendar Challenge

I was on twitter the other day and followed one of their recommendations and found Kate Crane.  She is over in the UK and has a wonderful blog.  She runs this calendar challenge that I thought was such fun.  So I dove in and made the pages in my new journal. Did I tell you that I love this journal?  Well I do, the paper is fabulous.

First I painted the pages in acrylic, then added spray inks and stencils. then I used a 2" punch to make all the squares. I think I would like a bigger punch but I may do that next month. These small squares do not leave much room to write.

Here is the second half of the calendar. With such small squares most of my number stamps were too big. I remembered I have this magnetic set that is pretty small. I used them to put the numbers on the days.  I will now go back and add some details on the days that have passed.  I think this is a great way to highlight your month.

If you want to join in you can see a tutorial here.  There is a flickr  group and a Facebook group that you can check out to see all the different calendar's that people are making.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Playing Along WIth Lynn and Google Maps

My friend Lynn started this new blog so I wanted to play along. I didn't really read the directions and just picked to of the images to do. The idea is to sketch an area using google maps. I really want to do more watercolor so I decided to just play a little.

The first location is this pic at 1 Litchdon St Barnstable England UK

I am using a very small journal so I captured just part of the house.

This is the second image I did, its at 128 Boutport St Barnstable, England.  I loved the red on this picture.

This was fun.  Then I realized what you are supposed to do is not paint what others posted but to use google maps for the location and then you pick your own location to paint.  It sure helps if you read the directions.

I really don't know how to navigate Google Maps, I was stuck in this one corner and couldn't  look elsewhere.  I thought this building looked fun with all its color.

Once again the small journal made it hard but its just a play exercise so I think I am ok. I have a lot to learn about watercolor but it will be fun learning.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Sketches July 14

Here is my sketch for Sunday sketches, rendered with a 2B pencil.

This is from a photo I took of Flynn, he was watching the sheep.  Check out more sketchers over at Sophia's blog.  She has done a really cute sketch of a beaver today.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Three Guardians - A Painting Journey

I decided to take a break from Link Love this week.  So today I am participating in Paint Party Friday. Check out all the artists who are participating here.

Many months ago I took a Canvas Create class with Donna Downey. The painting was of a lotus and in the style of Flora Bowley. I didn't try to paint what Donna did but followed my own path.

This was my first layer using cool colors.  It is just paint and was painted with my fingers.

The second layer had some stamping and spray inks. Images started to appear to me so I pulled them out of the background. I saw the one figure on the left so I started with her and added the others in.

I added warm colors in the background and worked on three figures. I wanted them to be faceless. They slowly began to take shape.

They could be sisters but I started calling them the guardians. It wasn't till I started painting the details like the tree that I began to use a brush.  Painting with your fingers can really be liberating.

I continued to add things to their clothing. My beloved raven had to show up. I kept thinking that the painting seemed to lack something. I asked a few people and got many ideas.  I thought there was a tree on the left side. So I decided to bring that out.

Here is the final version. I put them in a night time forest.  I think each of them has special gifts to offer the world.  I hope you enjoyed seeing how this painting evolved.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Repurposing Old Art

I decided to remove the google friend icons from my sidebar since it is going away sometime this month.  I can't remember the actual date.  You can follow me on Bloglovin if you choose to by going here. I also have a link in the sidebar.

Repurposing Art

I love it when I find new ways to use art supplies or to be able to alter something I made previously. This happened by accident the other day.

A few years ago I made a series of artist trading cards(ATC's) out of a cereal box. I used a couple of them but I really didn't like the color they were.  The shade of green is really odd.  I found this one when I was cleaning up my collage drawers.  I was going to toss it when I got an idea.  I pulled out my gelatos and added some color to the background.

Just a little bit of blue and yellow on top and now the color sings. This was so simple I was amazed.  Now this one is a different card because I hadn't stopped to take a before picture.

I then threw this collage element on top and I have the start of a wonderful ATC.  Now I want to find what I did with the other cards. They must be stuck somewhere in my studio.  I think it would be fun to add  different colors to the same background and see what you get.  So far I only found  one card but they are here somewhere.  I'll do another post on this when I find them.

Do you find ways to repurpose your art or your supplies?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Making A New Journal

Its been several years since I made my own journal.  Having been frustrated using Canson's Mixed Media journals with wet media I decided it was time for more control. I had ordered some Fabriano hot press watercolor paper last fall. So it took awhile before I used it.  I made the journal with canvas boards as covers.  The front is covered with painted paper using my favorite colors of blue, turquoise and purple. This paper was made on a gelli plate.

For the back I used embossed wallpaper.  I painted it first and then picked up some leftover paint on the gelli plate to add additional color.  

The spine is a piece of canvas I painted to be darker than the rest.  I used Golden fluid acrylics for all the painting.  I added cat beads to decorate the spine. What a challenge and pleasure it was to make this.  I kept making silly mistakes.   Its going to be great to work in. The instructions to make this journal are from Teesha Moore, it used to be on her website but I couldn't find it there, luckily a friend had a copy.  I also am really loving the Japanese Screw Punch I got for a gift back in December.  They are really pricey but if you are going to do any book making so worth it. Punching the holes is so easy.

Do you have any summer reads that you have been lost in. I am loving the world I have fallen into with Neil Gaiman's new book. Tell me in the comments what you've been reading.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Link Love - July 5

Here are today's links.

 * Guada hosts a Totem Animal Mandala challenge on Ning that is a lot of fun. Her blog is    Guada's Art and Mandalas She is from Argentina and makes beautiful art.
* The difference between hot press and cold press watercolor paper.

* Feeling adventurous, here's how to make your own watercolor paint

* You can download this free ebook called Be Inspired. Its pretty cool.  They are themes and art and questions to ponder.

* My friend Lynn started this new blog with her friend Anne.  Somewhere to Sketch They post pics via google maps and then paint them.  You can join in too, it sounds like lots of fun.

Make sure to go to to see what others are linking.

Now for some random things.

Here is a project I just put on my loom, I am using my own handspun cotton mixed in with a little bit of commercial yarn.  These will be dishtowels. The colors are naturally colored cotton except for the blue which is made from recycled blues jeans and white cotton blended together. There are various shades of brown and green cotton and some blends.

We have a Swainsons hawk nesting in one of our trees.  There are two babies in the nest. You can see both of them in this picture

In this one the little critter is looking right at us. They are in a very tall tree.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I Have Too Many Ideas, How Do I Choose One

This is the third in a series of articles on Creativity, To see the previous ones go here.

I Have Too Many Ideas, How Do I Choose One?

“If you ever want to know what a creative persons mind feels like, imagine a browser with 2,857 tabs open. All the time.” I saw that on Facebook the other day.  It brought a smile to my face as I realized how true that statement is.

As a coach and a student of the creative process I run across all sort of common statements that creative people make.  One of them is “I have too many ideas, I don’t know which one to focus on.  I get frustrated so I end up doing nothing.”

Most creative people have a multitude of creative ideas. In most cases they are not focused on all of them at the same time. If you are a writer you may have a work in progress that takes most of your creative energy. Often in the middle of a novel, you’ll get an idea for another story.  You are really excited about it and just might be tempted to write this new story instead of what you are working on.  Writers call this the Shiny New Idea. It is tempting to chuck the current project but its a road you don’t want to go down.  I recommend creating a file writing down some notes and saving it for later.  Then go back and finish your work in progress,  Your new idea will be waiting for you when you are done.

What if you have ideas for 3 projects or ten, what do you do then.  I often find myself in this position because I do many different kinds of creative things.  I write both fiction and non-fiction, I spin yarn and weave fabric and knit too. I also art journal and paint and craft. As you might imagine I can not work on all these things at the same time.  For me it seems like I do one or more of these more consistently at certain times of the year. Right now I seem to be in weaving mode, so since my focus is more on that, I have less time to do art. But I still want to do the art, so I do get frustrated at not being able to do it all.

I’ve had days where I lament that I haven’t done any art. Then I see my loom and remember a project that I want to be working on. Or its a sweater I want to finish, but I really should work on my novel.  I may choose certain days to work on certain things. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't. The list of creative projects I want to do becomes endless and soon I find my self in overwhelm.  Often I need to just step away from everything.  I need a break and I will just read a book or take a walk, commune with nature a little bit. Then I can come back and work on the one thing that calls me.

My favorite piece of advice for someone who has too many projects and does not know what to do, is to make a list of them. If you are a list maker like I am, you will not have a problem with this. I like lists, I like to make them and cross things off them. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. I will make a list of all my projects and ideas.  Then I read the list with the idea of choosing what I might want to work on. I look for which of the projects that gives me a zing, makes me excited or energized. That's the one I choose.  If I have more than one, I try to think of which one would I be willing to give up everything for. When I choose this one, I know its right by the way it makes me feel. It seems to have more energy about it.

Many of our creative projects take a long time.  We want to be thrilled and excited when we are working on them.  I use what I feel to guide me, I follow the energy. When I get enticed by all the other projects, I find myself saying 'no I am working on this now'. For some reason my psyche seems satisfied with this.  I can focus on the project I have chosen and don't feel as drawn to the others. I know they will have their time too.

The next time you are stuck, or overwhelmed by your projects, try making a list and choose the one with the most energy.  It will help you focus, and accomplish those projects that you want to. You won't feel so scattered anymore and you'll start finishing things.

I have openings for new coaching clients.  Contact me for more information or check out detail on my  website 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Closing The Page On A Journal

I have been working on finishing up pages in a journal. I made this journal out of an old book on Whaling.  I found this page in the middle of the book, it was unfinished for some reason. So I painted her face and added words, in the middle of this my marker fell apart. I really like the Montana markers but have had a hard time with them. I may have to try another brand.

More collage resulted from these silver pages. I used all grey tones and many of the papers are walpaper samples from a retired walpaper book.

I used memorabilia that I saved from the Titanic exhibit that was at our museum a few years ago.

Then some random blue and green pages. This house is an old homestead in Grand Teton National Park.

These green papers are from an old travel book. I've always loved this image of this woman going through a doorway.

I did not realize my page was crooked until it was too late. There are spray painted papers along with regular scraps.

These brown/rust backgrounds really lent themselves to vintage photographs. Lots of walpaper being used here too.

So now its time to set this journal on the shelf and begin a new one.  That is always exciting for me. I am making a new one with Fabriano watercolor paper so I won't be doing much collage in it. Right now I am trying to decide on what to paint on the covers.