Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cover Girl!!!!!

One of my dreams came true. To my surprise and delight my artwork was chosen to grace the cover of the new Somerset Art Journaling which will be available April 1st. It is truly and honor to have my art on the cover. As always Somerset puts so much heart into each issue. And yes, I have an article within it's pages. My artwork has been featured several times over the last couple of years but I will hold this issue close to my heart for a very long time to come.
I encourage all of you to submit your art work and send it out into the world.  Give yourself a chance. It is an incredible feeling to see your work in print and to know that others are being inspired by what you've created. Every so often I will get an email from someone I don't know, that wants to share that they have been touched by my work in some way or by what I've written and shared and that feels so very good inside. It's an affirmation that creating isn't just a silly waste of time. It's not. 

A couple of years ago I was contacted by the lead editor over at Cloth Paper Scissors who told me that  A young woman had contacted them and was so moved by my artwork that she wanted to print several of the photos from the article into posters and use for her graduation party from college. They needed my permission to release the copyright.  She then contacted me and told me that the artwork so reflected how she felt about her goals she hoped to achieve in her life that she wanted to put the posters up to share her feelings with her guests. I was so very touched and moved that my humble artwork and touched her so deeply.
Those kind of moments takes creativity to the next level.  

Yes, there is some work involved with getting published and it can be a little bit stressful the first time, but trust me when I say that the staff over at Stampington publications are amazing and awesome. They make the process as painless as possible. I've also been featured in Cloth Paper Scissors and they are wonderful too. Each publication has it's own process for submitting work and they include submission guidelines within the pages of each issue.
And don't let a challenge or theme discourage you because often times if they really, really love what you've done, they will hold it for a future issue. It can mean your artwork has gone on an extended vacation without you but rest assured, it's in good hands.
Give it a shot. You won't know unless you try. And if they say no, try again. I've gotten a few rejection letters with the return of my work and ya know what? You just keep at it. Never give up trying.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Of Course You Can Fly

Daily Scrap
'Of course you can fly'
the butterfly told her.
I wandered down to my art studio this morning and not really sure what I wanted to work on. I could only give myself a couple of hours since I have to leave soon for a dance performance at my daughter's school which is an hour's drive from home. I have several projects needing my undivided attention and more hours than I could give to them today so I had to ignore their persistent pleas for me to notice them. 'Soon', I quietly whispered to them. 'Soon'. I then moved onto this journal page. I had enough time to complete this one page. 
Take a few moments to listen to that little voice inside your heart, the one that quietly reminds you that it is OK to take an hour for yourself. To sit and read, sip a cup of tea and watch the birds outside your window, take a walk with your 4 legged mate or maybe your significant other. It is OK, to do a little more closer to nothing, than taking on much more than your time will allow which then leads to  a place of stress which you know were trying to avoid in the first place. 

This journal page is also about a dream I recently had. It was an amazing dream and one I wish I could rewind and watch over and over again. I was in an incredible place. At first glance there were mountains in the distance and on the edge of one of them was a towering timber home which I entered. I was greeted with a wall sized window with a view of the mountains. A stream flowed from  a second story room, under a glass wall which lead to a small water fall down to the room in which I was standing. The walls were glass and big timbers. There were rooms upon rooms to explore. And as I ventured further into this amazing home, I discovered doors that lead to cavern sized spaces; one room was lit by thousands of tiny lights, splashed over dark, rock like walls, the little lights were held in clusters that seemed to go right up into a night sky and I discovered that I could indeed fly. I didn't fly, I soared into the air. I remember the gentle rush of air as it brushed against my face and reaching out to touch the tiny lights and when I did, they lightly brushed my hands and left trails of light on my skin that glimmered for a few seconds and then faded; what was left behind was a warmth that could only come from a love embrace. Oh to say I didn't want this dream to end is an understatement. These images are still clear in my mind's eye even now, several weeks later. I flew around the many rooms this dream unfolded and presented to me and there were so many. I am still just a little bit overwhelmed when I think about this dream. I wish in my heart it were all real.  'Of course I can fly' I remind myself each night as I drift into slumber. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Girl Friday

Girl Friday
Daily Scrap.
Believe in your own magic.
I've shared this before and it's worth re-posting.
"I know that life is hard, and there there's a crushing pressure to just settle down and get a real job and khaki pants and a haircut. But don't. Please don't. Please keep believing that life can be better, brighter, broader, because of the art that you make. Please keep demonstrating the courage that it takes to swim upstream in a world that prefers putting away for retirement to putting pen to paper, that chooses practicality over poetry, that values you more for going to the gym than going to the deepest places in your soul. Please keep making art for people like me, people who need the magic and imagination and honesty of great art to make the day-to-day world a little more bearable. And if, for whatever reason, you've stopped- stopped believing in your voice, stopped fighting to find the time-start today."

Magic. It's all around us. In case you are not sure you believe that, I suggest watching this program.
 Two hours of delight, drama and unbelievable sights. You won't be disappointed.

We all have magic in us. It's the part of you that still wishes on stars and believes they might just come true. 
It's the part of you that falls deeply in love and believes it will last forever; the savor and delight of a first kiss.
How often do we doubt our gifts? Those special parts of yourself that don't seem to really matter but they make you who you are inside. Believe in your magic. Believe that you are surrounded by something so amazing and incredible that you can only see it if you believe it's there. That it can only come true if you believe in it. I was thinking about this today as I finished up the above mixed media mini painting. I tend to remind myself, quite often in fact; that I can't really draw, but what's this? Another character coming from my own hand? Did I really create her? Paint her? Well what do you know? I did. I really did. It's not that this little painting is something jaw dropping or incredible and it's certainly not a masterpiece but rather it's a very tiny and insignificant personal victory. And that is when I started thinking about how to finish her. I knew she needed some words. I knew she was trying to tell me something if I only would listen.  
I tried a few different lines and eventually the word 'magic' simply refused to go away. I even tried walking away from her for a few hours, but every time I came back to her the only word that bubbled to the surface was magic. 

It's spring. One of the most magical seasons of the year. Tiny buds on tender branches are bursting forth, preparing for the blooms that will soon occupy the trees and bushes; flowers pushing through the warming soil. Spring is not my favorite season however I am constantly in awe of the transformation that happens this time of year. The view out the window is constantly changing. Right now I can see all the way to the playground that resides just beyond our backyard. In a few weeks, that view will be obscured by the blooms of the lilac bushes and everything will be green.

So during all this pondering of magic and the belief in the unbelievable. I also thought how wonderful it would be if, just for one day; that the only news shared world wide would be that of what fellow artists, musicians, poets, dreamers and visionaries were up to. That the only headlines would be filled with art and the amazing discoveries found at the hands of those of us that most of the world will never know. That would be infinitely sweeter than the constant barrage of politics, politicians sniping at one another, war and the never ending, needless suffering world-wide. It's not that I disregard these very serious concerns, because I don't. They often weigh heavily on my heart. There are so many different levels of pain both here in the USA as well as around world and so the way I see it, there are times when we really do need the many gifts; the art, the poetry, the music of others to bring this life into balance or at least a little closer to it, if that is at all possible. I believe it is. I believe in your magic. 
Do You?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Daily Scrap
Self Portrait. Well sort of.... 
My current girl began this way. A quick sketch. Some paint. A little bit scary....

Painting faces is something I want to get better at. It is my one art goal for 2012. I've signed up for several awesome on-line  classes and I am making progress, albeit a little slowly but I am determined to do it. 
Every so often I will create a face that well, looks like me, kind of, sort of.. mostly it's the quirks I see in my faces that remind me of my own quirky personality, that I am able to capture. 
Here are my very first attempts in one of my art journals.
This one goes back a good couple of years, 2009 I believe.
And these two were created last summer if I remember correctly.
Today's girl. More paint and layers later....
I wasn't going for a self portrait when I began this face and it wasn't until I added her hair that the light bulb went off.
You see over the weekend I got my hair cut. It was badly in need. My DD's both wanted to change up their own hair colors so we all decided we'd have a color party and we did. Britt went darker, Meg went brighter and me, well lets just say that the color I thought I was getting was a slightly darker blonde than my normal blonde/going grey hair....and well what I got was a brilliant, flaming red/orange. Oh Yeah. I am convinced I am showing up on radars all over the globe. Those red splotches on satellite imagery, that's me. And thus when I chose red for her hair, well I had to chuckle and that is when the light bulb went off. The hair length is about right, the curls; yup those are natural and that red. Oh Yeah. Definitely. 

And this is about as close as anyone will get to seeing the color of my hair here on my blog. Camera's don't like me. In photos I always end up looking like a dork. Not that I am not a dork, VBG; but cameras seem to exaggerate it way beyond my comfort zone so I tend to disappear anytime a camera is produced.
I am wearing this new hair color proudly however and not minding it. You see, I have an awesome sense of humor. My perspective on life most of the time is that there are the really big, important, things that I have to be a responsible adult about, paying the mortgage, keeping food on the table, making sure our daughters are raised to be good, responsible adults as they are sent out into this world.  That is my life day in day out. The color of my hair doesn't rank as something to break a sweat over. After all I am an artist who loves to play and who loves color.  Creating is my passion, my joy, the garden of delight I can escape to when the pressures of the day inspire me to 'go make art', find my center. PLAY. I love color. That it ended up in my hair, I can live with that. It's not the end of the world. I just have to live with it until it grows out and it will in time. In reality, no ones seems to have noticed it that much or if they did they were too embarrassed to comment, which makes me grin. The girls at the dance studio last night thought it was AWESOME, however. Me and my brave hair color. So my red haired girl became my current self portrait. And just for a little reality perspective. Meg said I look like I am related to the Weasley clan; aka Harry Potter's BFF, Ron. DH aligned me with Joan from the Mad Men series. I think my hair color is right up there with Lucille Ball's. So for the time being, just call me Red. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

One Heart

Daily Scrap

with one
art journal page

'one followed the sun
and one followed the stars
and in dreams they listened
closely for the beginning 
of all things,
for that was where they
knew they'd find each other.'
Brian Andreas

There is a line in a Winnie the Pooh book,
where Piglet is walking next to Pooh and he quietly takes his paw in his and says 'I just wanted to be sure of you'
Sometimes that is all we need to know from our closest friends is that they are there for us no matter what the circumstances. This photo from an old book of prose reminds me of that quote. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hope Flew In

Daily Scrap
What happens when I combine;
a little bit of paint
some graphite
and marker 
and a rescued 
scrap block of wood.
You get H O P E.

Hope is the thing
with feathers
that perches in the soul,
that sings the tune
without the words,
and never stops at all.
Emily Dickinson 

I've been working on hope for awhile now, giving her a few moments of time between other projects. A funny little bird, drawn with my non dominant hand on top of a wood block that was covered in left over dollops of paint swiped over it. Hope flew in and graced my art table with her sweet presence. Isn't that what 'hope' should feel like? A gentle settling that allows us to relax and trust that we are ok no matter what we are faced with. 
'this day is all I have'
I have written these words on the top of the block which remind me to stay in the present and not worry about the unknowns of tomorrow. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Falling Hearts

Daily Scrap
Hearts falling all over the world.
That is the thought that crossed my mind as I created the page. I was simply making use of extra paint left over from a painting session and was thinking about how at any given moment someone is falling in love, maybe deeply in love; maybe a love so big that is scares them just a little but they let their hearts 'fall' into that special place reserved for just that right one, even knowing it might end up breaking but hoping once their hearts are allowed to fall that in return for that leap of faith they will be rewarded with more than they would ever have if they held their hearts tight and close. Loving someone or something fully engages every aspect of our lives and once you fall deeply, there is no going back. Spread your love and let your heart fall; trust that someone will be their to catch it and hold it close.