Thursday, October 31, 2013

Collage Journal Pages and a Flip Video

I have been trying to finish this journal.  Its getting close only a few more pages to go. I cut these out of old mail art envelope and decided that I could put them over this highly textured page that I posted earlier. I love reusing old mail art.

This page was made with collaged scraps in the background, wc crayons and more scraps as the focal point.

I recently got myself a set of these metallic Panpastels, the colors are amazing.

This was my first attempt at using them.  I can see that I am going to need a lot practice but this was a good start.  I love the colors.  The background is a wash of NeoColor II water color crayons.

This started out with dark pink paper and then some gelli printed deli paper and then lots of scraps.


I tried drawing a face over this multicolored print but it wouldn't take the charcoal consistently so I changed to Stablio pencil. I love how the design in the background made her dress.

The Girl and the Bear, I cut up some old calendars for this piece.  I like to think of the Bear as her protector. The background has paint scraps, collage and then spray ink.

I added a figure onto this collage I showed on Wednesday, she seemed to have the same quality that the background does.

This was a gelli print on cardstock before I added some more calendar collage.

This was the same multicolored background as the woman with her eyes closed.  You should recognize the same colors.   I had this scrap from a calendar and thought Arwen looked nice here. I may add more at a later date.

I decided to do a video of the whole journal.

Check out the other folks at Paint Party Friday.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

November Is Almost Here

This November, I'm writing a novel. An entire novel, started from scratch, and completed in just one month, as part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  And you thought nothing interesting ever happened in November.
This will be my 8th time participating in this fun, wacky, crazy event and I hope you'll step up and offer some support.
NaNoWriMo is free. I'm raising money to help the nonprofit that runs it build communities in classrooms, coffee shops, libraries, and living rooms all over the world and help the inspiration flow for me and thousands of my fellow novelists. Last year, they helped more than 450,000 people on six continents tell their stories, the way that I'm now telling mine. Through their Young Writers Program, they provided free curriculum, workbooks, and virtual classroom tools to 80,000 students and educators.
Every dollar I raise will keep my spirits high as I write my way towards the realization of my creative goals. More importantly, your contribution will help The Office of Letters and Light build a more engaged and inspiring world.
Thank you so much for your support of my writing! I'll be posting updates on my novel and fundraising on my sponsorship page throughout the month.

Go Here To Donate.

This years novel is going to answer the question What if you bought and old house and then started having visions of the past.  Our heroine Emma Cooper, recently widowed and facing financial ruin inherits an old house with a mysterious loom. Soon she starts having visions of the past.  Will her sanity go next?  Or perhaps the handsome stranger next door will help her solve the mystery.  Only time will tell.

I'll be posting my running word count in my sidebar so you can follow my progress.  This also means I will be blogging less.  I am going to try and post once a week.

Monday, October 28, 2013

What a Weekend

I just spent the last 3 days in an intensive writing workshop called "Bestseller in a Weekend" put on by Beth Barany and Alicia Dunams. I think my brain is a little bit fried, so much information in so little time.  I learned so many things about writing and publishing.  I have a whole new posse of peeps to help me on my own writing journey.  It was fabulous, worth every penny.  Now I have the rest of the week to work on characters and outline so I will be ready to go on November 1st.  Nanowrimo here I come.

In between all that I have been doing more work in the collage journal.  These two ladies came out of the background. That blob of blue on the left was just there and I kept it since I thought it made a great hat or fascinator.

I took the paper doll I made a little while ago and glued her down. I think she accomodates this background really well.

I had this face from a collage sheet from Zorana. It was muted and not distinct at all, so I got out my charcoal pencil and changed her features. It was fun changing her a bit, now she seems more mine.

There are a lot of blue green and gold in this collage.  It needs something on top of it, but I decided to show it anyways.

This was made with a color wheel stencil. I kept some colors in the background and used markers to fill in some of the squares. I am not sure if I will do anything else with it.  I kind a like it just as it is.

This was a page with leftover paint scraps from when I was in Sedona last year.  I added tape and other marks with gelatos.  I think it looks great just as it is. I love the bright yellow in contrast to the purple.

I took some scrapbook paper and sanded it down. I thought I'd add PanPastel to the top layer and so it did not work the way I planned. So then I added more vibrant pinks and purple to the background. I like how it changed the paper.

This is how the paper looks now, I love how it really made the colors more vibrant. Its always fun to look for new ways to use your supplies.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Calendars and Making Marks

This my November Calendar, I know its only October but I needed to finish it early. November is the time I write a novel so there will not be much time to do much else. The days are books, the background was a fearless painting that I cut up.  I used a silver pitt pen for all the lettering.

In my class with Pauline we are concentrating on mark making this week. First the charcoal and now in paint.  I love how this one turned out. All the while I was making it I kept thinking that I was doing it wrong but I told that inner voice to keep quiet.  Eventually I got to a place where I loved it! It really looks different if you turn it around.

I think everyone of these versions looks pretty cool. This was the orientation of the paper as I painted it.

Its like the marks take on a different shape.

Which one do you like best?

I am linking with Paint Party Friday today, so check out others here

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Playing with Charcoal

Here is my first exploration in my new class.  Its playing with compressed charcoal and it was really a lot of fun. I so love what you can do with this medium. I love how you can create depth so easily. The shapes that came out of this piece of play are fun.  What do you see in this piece?  Can you see the body?

Now some more pages in the journal I talked about in the last post.

Lots of random things are on this page. Washi tape, and ATC, spray inks, japanese paper and some journaling,

This page began with acrylic, ink and water.  Lots of fun lovely blobs, so I outlined them all. There appeared to be a tribal looking fellow on the right. Not sure what he is up to.

And lastly the page on the right has Neocolor II watercolor crayons with Pitt pen flowers added by using a stencil.  I love the image of the yellow raincoat.  I had a slicker back in the day in this same color.  When Sarah was little she had a cute little yellow raincoat and hat.  She looked so cute in it. This page really brought back those memories.

Monday, October 21, 2013

My Explorations In A Collage Journal

I have been working on and off in a journal that I received as a gift when I went to Sedona last year. The journal is simple, just scrapbook type papers and bound with a ribbon. Its frustrating because the paper keeps moving around. Since this was a gift from a new friend I want to keep it and fill it up. I want it to be full of great art to remind me of the giver. So I decided it might be best used for collage. Papers layered will make it a little bit stronger. Following are some of the pages I have done.

I liked the way this image looked on a black gessoed page.  Sometimes I find it hard to use images that are not in color. I added tape to make some borders around it.

This page was just random scraps of pink papers.  I cut the silhouette out of scrapbook paper, using a magazine image as my model.  I used a sharpie poster paint marker for the writing. She was fun to do.

The Quote is "We are the night ocean filled with glints of light" Rumi.  I love this quote. This was from a greeting card that I dismantled. I had collaged all the purple papers at a different time.

In this one I had the stencil sprayed on but didn't like the background. I painted it with black gesso and added torn strips of paper from a calendar. I left some black visible so that I could add some journaling.  I like how it turned out.

I used strips of  sprayed ink pages, some washi tape for the background.  I painted over the pink page with white so I could journal over it. I used some of the same scraps from the first page to make it more unified.

New Things This Week

I am starting two new courses this week that I am excited about.  Connie Hozvicka is teaching a class called Workshops, creative Circles and Retreats.  It all about learning to run your own events. It has some great guest speakers and is bound to be full of great ideas.

The other class I am taking is called Drawing and Painting What You Love with Irish Painter Pauline Agnew. I have seen some of the work coming out of this class and was truly amazed, More importantly after watching her video's it seems like Pauline is a fabulous teacher.  I really think that I am going to grow as an artist with this class.

Do you take classes that will get you out of your comfort zone?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Quoth the Raven....Nevermore

I am a big fan of pinterest. I have lots of boards and some include the things I want to make someday.  I decided to head out and make this one right away.  Its called the Nevermore wreath in homage to Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven."  Its very easy to make.  You can find instructions at katydid and kid

This is a 3 page spread that I've been working on, I usually don't do continuing pages like this but is seemed appropriate for this journal. I started the face last week and added worked on it and then trees on the right and then a little journaling.

Make sure to check out the other folks at Paint Party Friday

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What Is This Coaching Thing All About

What Is This Coaching Thing All About

I wrote a post about this two years ago.  It was before I had taken my own coaches training so I decided to revisit the subject because I now have an additional perspective. Now that I have coached others along with having been coached by several different people I have an expanded view on the subject.                                                                                     
You may have heard about personal or creativity coaching but you really don't know what it all about. Or perhaps you have toyed with the idea of hiring a coach but you are a little afraid to take that first step. Let me demystify the subject and tell you all about my experience.  There are many artists out there who hire personal or creativity coaches. You may have heard them talking about their coach and how they were helped. You may wonder what does a coach do for you?  Or perhaps think to yourself, would hiring a coach help you in your life or with your creativity? What if you can't afford one?  What else can you do to get help? I'll be answering some of these questions and more.

What does a coach do for you?

Simply put a coach is like having your very own cheer leader.  They are someone who is in your corner and has no agenda other than helping you succeed. We all have creative dreams and we all can get stuck along the way to making them reality.  In some cases it might be fear holding you back, or it might be procrastination or perfectionism, or even overwhelm when you realize all there is to do.  A coach helps you discover just what it is that is holding you back.  They offer steps, guidance and techniques to get you moving in a forward direction. Coaches also make you accountable and support you in a number of other ways.

What does coaching look like? 

In a coaching session with me I start with an in-depth questionnaire.  This helps me discover where some of your blocks may be.  Then we schedule a phone call.  I will asks a series of questions about your creative dream, what you want to accomplish in the world.  Through this question and answer dialogue we discover what is holding you back and offer ideas on getting you moving forward. I use a series of tools and activities to help you see what you need to work on.

How do you choose a coach?

Choosing a coach is a personal decision. In my own case I followed the person for awhile.  I subscribe to their newsletters, read their blog, participate in some of their offerings.  I got to  know the person a little more and felt comfortable with them.  I knew we would be a good match. Do you need to do all that?  No, if after looking at a persons site and feeling that you resonate with them is enough.  Most coaches offer a free 30 minute session so you can try it out before committing. 

What if you can't afford a coach what else can you do? 

Well for one thing you can hang out on their blog or website.  All coaches give free advice, sometimes there are tele-seminars or book groups or other small events that you can take advantage of. Sign up for their newsletters, they are a wealth of information. You'll get to know them and one day you may find yourself able to hire one.  

As a person who coaches others and has her own coach I am a little biased.  I know how wonderful and empowering the experience can be. I know that I will never be without a coach. Why you might ask, shouldn’t you know all the steps by now.  Well you would be right, I do know all the steps an techniques. Often we get in our own way, its like you can’t see the forest for the trees. Having a coach helps me see what I can’t see myself.  It also saves a lot of time. Instead of spending time wondering what to do next, my coach helps me see the bigger picture, keeps me moving in the right direction.

Try a free session

If coaching seems right for you or you'd like to try it out to find out more, why not sign up for a free 30 minute session. Leave a comment or send me an email to set it up.

Monday, October 14, 2013

October Calendar

Here is my October Calendar. I used some sheets of stationery that were not as big as my journal so I added collaged papers to fill in the empty spots.  I used a leaf stamp in five different colors for the days of the week. A simple but fun design.

I am in a swap for a Day of the Dead art card.  I decided to make a decorate skull. I used fluorescent paints and markers on watercolor paper.  This was so much fun to make.  I started with the outline of the skull and just starting adding patterns. So much fun to make.

My Weekend

My friends Cyndi and Shirley came for the weekend. I have this sweater that I have not been working on for very much.  It is an extremely complex patterning.  There are traveling stitches, complex cables and moss stitch. One of the cables way back at the beginning was twisted incorrectly and I figured that it was too late to fix.  The fact that the cable is made with twisted stitches kept me from even trying to fix this. Cyndi offered to drop down the entire section and fix the cable and then re-knit all the remaining ones.

This is what it looked like on her lap. Seeing all that loose yarn is really pretty scary. They wouldn't let me look. I had complete trust in Cyndi so I was ok.

Here is the sweater all fixed. Now I can start working on it on it and not feel bad looking at the mistake. Thanks so much Cyndi.

So how was your weekend?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Dick Blick is Nirvana

I just got back from my trip to Portland so there is not much to share for this Paint Party Friday. I do have new paints though, and I am having a blast with them.

When I was in Portland I was fortunate to be able to go to the Blick Art Supplies store.  When I walked into the very large store I could feel heart palpitations, it was like nirvana.  I had to catch my breath. Aisle after aisle of art supplies, it was like walking into a catalog. I didn't know where to look first, so I began with what I remembered I had placed on my wish list.  I order most of my art supplies from Dick Blick so this was just like heaven.  To be able to pick up colors and look at them was such a treat. I usually am relying on color samples and you never know how true they are.  They did not have everything like the catalog does but oh there was plenty to tempt me.  I came home with these new fluorescent paints.  I just love the bold colors.

I played with the colors on this page.  They are very transparent and fun to work with. I used some Daler Rowney acrylic ink for the drips. That is so fun to use.  All you need is a little dropper full and a spray bottle and all sorts of shapes begin to appear.  This page was really all about play and exploration.

This is the cover of one of my 16 page journals.  I covered it with a gelli print.  The raven was drawn on old book page in charcoal and then glued down.  He looked pretty light so I added black gelatos on top and then a wet paintbrush.  I may add more to this cover later.

This is a work in process, in the same journal.  Just leftover paint from my palette made the background.  I have started the first layers of the face. Then I had an appointment so I needed to quit working on it till later. It feels great to be making some art again.

Head on over to Paint Party Friday's blog to see what others have been doing.  Its always a treat.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Blogging Break

I am taking a little blogging break. For about a week.  I am going to see my girl, this is an old pic of her and Kyle. I miss her a lot so I am really looking forward to this.

I will be attending this on Saturday.  There will be a lot of books and a lot of author panels and workshops.  I am taking a workshop that focuses on the opening chapter of a novel.  It should be great. Maggie Stiefvater will be there. She is one of my favorite YA Authors.  It will be great to have her sign one of my books.

I'll spend some time on the beach,  no matter what the weather is, and have lots of adventures. See you on the flip side.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Are You Really Procrastinating?

Its time for my monthly article on creativity. You get these if you subscribe to my newsletter but I like to include them here for any new visitors to my blog. I hope you find some insight in my words.  I also just totally revamped my newsletter, if you are not a subscriber maybe now is the time to do so.  Check out the link in the sidebar.

Are you really Procrastinating?

Procrastination is one of those negative words that so many of us relate to. Just what is procrastination? According to wikipedia "procrastination is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time."

To put it simply I think its that we put off doing things to a later date.  The problem is we can keep doing this and find we never accomplish anything. Is that what is really going on?  In creativity circles many are exploring the idea of 
percolation. Are you familiar with the word? Most of us can only relate it only to coffee. Visualize this, when you are making coffee you have that slow drip of liquid running through the coffee and filter. You can't rush it, it takes time for the liquid to pass through the grounds and your coffee to be made. Often when we think we are in procrastination we really are percolating just like a coffee pot does. We are thinking of our idea and how it might work, what our options are and so forth. This is where daydreaming can come in. Yes, I am giving you permission to daydream. We need that time to nurture ideas, to see what will come next.

Comic from

How is it helpful to know that you are percolating and not procrastinating. I know I tend to feel better about myself when I am percolating and not so much when I am procrastinating. There is no guilt involved with percolating, no beating yourself up about not getting something done. I think a lot of us put off projects till the last minute because we are still percolating all the ideas we need to complete the project. We often see the deadline as the motivating factor and that does have some merit but for me it that I am just not ready yet. When I finally sit down to do something all my ideas are in place and I can just let it all flow and before I know it the task has been easily completed.

I had that experience several times this past month. My first example was the Vision Board class I taught recently. I had been thinking about it for awhile, then all of a sudden it was time for action. I got all the elements in place in a matter of a few hours. The same thing happened when I had some photos taken for my website. I had planned to do this for a long time. I hadn't talked about it much but it was in the back of my mind. It wasn't that I was putting it off like you do with procrastination but I needed to think of all my options. Within a couple days I had found a photographer, had pictures taken and gotten them back. It was very fast.
The next time you think you are procrastinating about something step back a little and pause. Are you really procrastinating or are you in that percolation stage. Give yourself a little time and then move forward. You will really notice a difference and will accomplish more of your tasks in a more relaxed way.