Sunday, April 28, 2013

Putzing Around

Happy Sunday! I did a lot of putzing-around today.
 Lots of internet exploring...
 I added some links and other fun stuff to the blog, worked with some new mediums, and tried out a variation on a glue technique I read about on this blog:(    )
It is still drying so I don't have anything to show for it yet!
I pulled out a board book I started a while ago and worked on it a bit.
My creative flow feels a bit blocked today. I take it as a sign that today isn't a day to accomplish things but rather, a day to chill and reflect.

Children's board books make great Altered Books - I pick them up at the thrift inexpensive!
This one was a Clifford book. Board books are great because they are very sturdy and hold up to a lot of layering and different mixed media.

Then I just paint, glue, and collage freely until I'm happy. Shown here: the hearts are part of the glue technique I'm trying out. They are still wet but once they dry, I want to try to paint over them and then close the book to create a mirror image of them on the other side. We'll see what happens.

This is another page in the same book that I stamped and collaged with a catalog cut out and some old sheet music.

As promised, more artsy links!
Please be kind and share!

Friday, April 26, 2013

"Be Still and Know"

When things are going on and going wrong in our lives, why is it that we feel unable to sit still?
It's as if staying in constant motion makes us believe we are
actively working on solutions.
 The compulsion to solve, act, and do is constant and pressing.
 When I finally stop moving, exhausted by the chatter in my mind and physical circling of my world, 
I peer into my hands only to find
they are empty. No answers. No solutions.
Just a lot of energy wasted.
Next time, I will try to sit still
and just listen.

From My Art Journal
"Be still and Know" from my Art Journal

A must have for any artist is a Sakura Koi Watercolor Sketch Box Travel Pan Sets

Derivan Liquid Graphite
I have this tiny set but I'm currently saving for a larger set. These crayons are wonderfully versatile, bright, blendable, and cover larger areas easily. Another favorite supply of mine

More words of wisdom taken from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet

Be Still and Know
Unfinished Journal Page
Michelle O'Connor Weekend Artist

Have Peaceful Weekend

On the Blog Sunday: More art links to share the love!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Learning to Link and Love

I've mentioned it before, I am not a super Tech-Savvy person.  I know just enough to be dangerous and I learn as  I go.
This week, I visited Seth Apter's blog, The Altered Page, (phenomenal artist/author and website - definitely check it out if you haven't already) and found that he has a blog directory full of artist's blogs!(  I started clicking through the list and found so many wonderful artists/writers that I started commenting on their blogs so I could get to know some of these creative people better! He was also nice enough to add my blog to the list!

On many blogs I discovered that people are "linking" and to be honest, I get the concept but I don't know how to do it. I'm ALL about sharing creativity so I want to get involved in this.
Today I am attempting to rise to a challenge I found on Daisy Yellow ( to Share the Link Love.
Maybe it's as simple as mentioning other blogs on my blog? I suspect there's more to it than that.
Anyway, here is my weekly blog plug. I hope it helps!
And PLEASE let me in on the secret to linking if I've got it wrong!
 Thank you for replying to my comment :-)
BEAUTIFUL and MEANINGFUL mixed media artwowrk, check out her blog!

Moments in Time - Impermanent 001
amazING found object sculpture and jewelry by JimMullan

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Studio Synergy

About once a month, I approach my workspace only to find that it has gone completely out of control. In fact, there is little if any work SPACE at all. Today was that day.
It was a particularly grey and dreary week (hello, springtime in Chicago) and my energy has been sapped for days which also sapped my creative energy. Waking up on Sunday morning with the intention of dragging myself to my "studio" to make some art only to find there was no place to make anything challenged my already blue mood.
Sometimes, the creative process involves simply a day getting your shit together.

As I cleaned up and organized supplies, threw away empty paint tubes (why do I keep these? Does anyone else find themselves doing this??), and took many avoidance breaks to look at art online I thought I would share some organization tips for small studio spaces with everyone. My studio is in my bedroom.

I have a large master bedroom so I was able to make a corner of it into my creative zone. In my last home, I had a studio space set up in the basement and  I found that it was never somewhere I wanted to go. Having my space in the bedroom keeps me connected to creativity as all of my stuff is right in front of my face at all times. It's more readily available when inspiration hits. It works for me. Choose what works for you and what makes sense in your home. Your creative space should be your sacred space and have synergy with the flow of your lifestyle.

Other simple things that are must-haves for your creative space are:

1. Storage

I have some built in shelving in the MBR that is seperate from my closet (so it's extra storage and I don't have to compromise closet space) I steal some of this space for supplies I don't use all of the time like stamps, tape, beads, ephemera, canvas, paper, etc.

2. Shelving and Storage Containers

This simple stainless steel shelving unit sits next to my drawing table and holds supplies I use often like my paintbrushes, colored pencils, paints, pastels, glue, etc. This is an inexpensive shelving system that takes up very little space and can be purchased at Target, Walmart, or any type of discount store like this. Easy to assemble, too. I use cheap plastic shoeboxes to keep my supplies organized so I can find what I need when I need it and I label them with post-it lables.

 3. RePurposed containers

Also useful are shower caddies that can be found from $1.00 to $5.00 either in the dollar store or larger discount stores.

I put my colored pencils in solo cups organized by color and put the solo cups in a caddy which keeps things organized but also portable.

Re-use those plastic food containers that have see-through lids! They make awesome art supply storage, are stackable, and also are portable if you ever feel like being creative somewhere outside of your studio!
I use jars from Spaghetti Sauce for my water basin when I am painting. You can get creative and decorate the jars if you want to!

4. Lighting

Nothing is better that natural light but that's not always available so I use a clip on lamp for my easel and an OTT Light on my table.

 If you've ever tried to mix paint in bad light, you know it's a disaster. Invest in good lighting for your studio space. It makes all the difference!

5. Large, Flat Work Surface

I still use my drawing table from when I was in High School. But 2 filing cabinets with a top across works great too:


Certain items stay on my worktable such as water jars, acrylic paints, watercolors, mediums, paint brushes, pen and ink, drawing pencils, pastels, and a sketchbook. All great for quick inspiration.

Inspiration can be fleeting so you must be ready to record your ideas quickly! A well set up workspace that has synergy with your environment and lifestyle will make it easier for you to capture the creative vibe & create quickly and more often!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sketchy Life

The older I get the more learn that almost nothing is black and white, defined with clear lines and boundaries.
I approach life first as an observer, watching the game played by other people. Those people know the rules. I still don't fully understand the game yet. I wait and watch, hoping the lines will be defined, waiting for my time to jump in.
I look to my surroundings for answers, for hard lines seperating right from wrong, appropriate from inappropriate, the right time from the wrong time.
The right, kind and gentle words from words that will bruise and scar.
What I find is that there are no strong, clear lines.
There is no seperation, really.
Only things juxtaposed against each other in tension and balance, one thing creating the other.
Trees against sky
Sea against horizon
Husbands and wives
Parents and children
All existing in delicate balance with lines undefined

There is freedom and empowerment in life experience, a gift of wisdom that makes searching for perfect lines and moments a less important piece of the puzzle

Sketchy, blurred lines make up the content of our lives.
Who we are on the inside isn't always who we reveal ourselves to be on the outside
What we do to make a living and earn money to take care of ourselves and our families
doesn't always refect our passions.
Sketchy lines
Where our inner world meets our outer world
Where our understanding of each other conceals and reveals itself within the blurred and sketchy lines that live between frustration and compassion

Life is sketchy.
But there is revelation in the infinite space of that blurred edge that gives way to so much beauty.
Where relationships between forms
and between people
take shape and make sense.

Sketchy Vessel
16 x 20 Acrylic and Graphite