Finding Balance At A Hectic Pace

My mother was a “hurried woman.”  There actually is such a term.  I’m not a fan of labels but I suppose it’s a good description.  I know I’m one as well.  Inherited or not, I run around from this to that carving out bits of time for kids, hubby, pets, work, and art.  (Notice I left out house cleaning, my favorite… NOT!) It is difficult to find balance to say the least.  I got a taste of what summer will be like this week with the kids home from school for April vacation.  Lots of deep breaths and much shuffling them around from place to place.  I don’t want to be so hurried.  I feel like a little less will equal much more.  In other words limitations are key for me to find some semblance of balance.  I want to do it all but I just can’t.  So my goal for summer is to simplify.  To take stock of what I do and re-evaluate it’s short term and long term importance.   I’m going to prune some branches from my tree of life.  Things that can go entirely will get chopped.  Some things will get trimmed, or at least take a back seat for now.

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I just ended a wonderful abstract painting class at MECA.  I’m sad to see it end.  The students in the class became like a little artsy family of sorts.  Very endearing it was.  Here is my favorite piece made from the entire outpouring of abstract work, by a student who wasn’t afraid to try anything.

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Below is my interpretation of a grid painting.

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And then my outside the frame/ sculptural work:

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And some yummy up-close texture shots from the above piece:

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Lastly is a minimalist inspired landscape.  Something that resembles balance in my mind.

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Tattoos in Bloom

Get 10% off tattoo guns for sale when you shop at www.AccessTattoo.com. Valid until April 2014.

And spinning off entirely into a new and exciting genre, I’ve just begun dabbling with henna temporary tattoos.  I was asked by my local adult ed center if I would be interested in teaching a class on the art of henna.  I had this done once, a most lovely and detailed henna flower on my leg, and ever since I’ve always wanted to try it.  So I said SURE!  I made my own dye, let it sit for the 2 to 3 recommended days and lo and behold, it was WAY too thick to use.  I added a bit more lemon juice and waited an extra day.  The stuff was then perfect!  I gave myself 3 tattoos, my 6 year old daughter received 4, and my 11 year old son got 2 on his arm, a Jabba the Hut and Jabba’s best friend.

Here’s my daughter’s better tatt:

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I admit I’m not that good.  It’s tricky.  Flesh is smooshy, not like paper at all.  But I like challenges thus will not be defeated…  And it smells glorious- like tea tree oil.  To be honest, I’d love to be able to draw with henna on skin much like I draw Zentangle doodles.  My latest Zentangle celebrates our family trip to the Boston aquarium.  I love that place.  It’s so serene. And the animals are so beautiful…

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And we really DO love Myrtle the turtle, the aquarium’s ambassador resident.  She’s a dear.

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Celebrate Your Own Unique and Creative Journey

As I meet more and more creative souls, I’m constantly reminded to celebrate my own unique creative journey.  I’m not in the beginning of my artsy craftsy endeavoring, I’m somewhere in the middle.  My journey is rich and full of ups and downs.  It’s far from perfect but I love it just the same.  I urge all my students, who are also my fellows peers and my equals, to celebrate their creative journeys, fully allowing themselves room to make mistakes and grow from those mistakes.

Being fully absorbed in the present moment is liberating for me.  I often only truly find this when I’m immersed in something creative.  I also never know where that present moment will take me.  I’m probably the perfect art and craft ADD candidate, jumping from one thing to another, traveling in spirals, leaving ideas unfinished, but one thing I know for sure: I find joy, peace, and true happiness when I use my hands and simply create.

I urge all souls seeking to make art or craft to allow themselves the room to make mistakes and to nurture their own unique creative journey.  Celebrate your beginning or middle, wherever you are on your timeline.

Here is an abstract landscape I recently completed.  It’s from a photo taken of a snowy foot-printed field at my kids’ school.  My kids think it’s a cheese planet.  Hilarious!

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Then, spiraling off to a different subject, I’ve been LOVING making hand bound books lately like this big belted beauty below:

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Here’s the inside, full of sewn paper pages, brimming with scraps of mementos and art from my past…

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And doodling is another passion I dive into on occasion.  Here is my happy word list.

 

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And last but not least, I taught a lovely group of ladies today a bit about Zentangle and how to approach this fun and fancy free doodle art.  Here is my Zentangle inspired and tattooed Easter bunny.

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Oh how fun this journey is…

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Goddess, Blackness, and Wooliness

Do you ever sometimes ask yourself, “How did I get so lucky?”  I do.  I’ve been reveling in gratefulness lately.  More than ever, I am thankful for the circumstances that led me to where I am at now.  I guess I was raised to see the glass as half empty, more or less.  Now, as I approach 36 years young, I can say for sure that I see the glass as half full.  I have so much to be thankful for.  Healthy kids, a supportive partner, a warm home, a flexible and creative part-time job, a love for making art and craft and an arsenal of supplies to feed that love.  Not to mention THE best dog in the world.  And our cat’s not too bad either.

I’m in love with this online class, Lifebook 2014, where I get to devour a downloadable art lesson every week for a year!  The instructors are so amazing:  happy, cheerful, sweet, enthusiastic…It’s the best $116.00 I’ve ever spent.  My dear cousin told me about it and we joined together.  Here’s an amazing goddess that was born from a lesson several weeks back.

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My goodness what a goddess!

Anyway, last week’s video was by Alena Hennessy.  I had never heard of her before but it didn’t take me long to become a huge fan.  I love her artwork as well as her blissful and serene approach to art making and teaching.  I loved her lesson so much that I played it four times, completing a different piece each time.  Here are my Alena Hennessy-esq works:

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They’re so colorful and busy and child-like with “no quadrant left behind.”  I am in love with the black contrasting with all the vibrant colors.  I just can’t get enough!

Lastly, I get to teach a felted soap class soon.  I love making felted soap and sharing this joy with others is quite rewarding.  There is something about the sheep’s wool, the handmade natural soap, and the warm sudsy water…  The process is almost foolproof yet requires a special patience.

I was able to purchase an SLR camera recently.  Something that was always on the back burner of the “stuff-that-I-want-stove” came to the front.  The picture below of my darling felted soap cairn shows how nicely the camera works.  I can practically count the individual wool fibers…

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Artist Makes Five Clones of Herself

It’s been a busy month.  Artistically speaking.  I’m gearing up for a month long show at Curtis Memorial Library with my dear friend and artist, Abigail Robbins.  We have a mix of encaustic work, prints from hand-carved rubber stamps, and Abby has done some absolutely amazing paper mache sculptures of the birdish kind.  (The best part of the show if you ask me!)  It hangs from Feb 3rd to the 28th.  Below are snippets of two pieces by moi that will be on display:

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I’ve also bee busily keeping up will my Lifebook 2014 lessons.  I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to learn from so many talented people from around the world.  (THANK YOU ZOE for suggesting it!!!) Here’s my latest, a Cotton Candy Diva taught by the fabulous Marieke Blokland from the Netherlands.

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My diva exists as a puppet on a dowel for now but will be collaged onto a glorious art journal page shortly.  Going back a bit further, I also did another face in the style taught by the lovely Tamara Laporte below.

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I really really really like that one! A lot.

To make things even better, I’ve just started an abstract painting course at MECA taught by the very talented artist Angela Warren. But to quickly make things just a little worse, I’ve learned that I will need to work a little bit extra during the week.  I’ve seen this coming from a mile away and it’s finally here; my main part-time job has averaged so far between 13 and 15 hours per week but now it’s probably going to approach 18 hours.  I do like this job for the most part but the increase puts a definite strain on my “free” time art endeavors.  With so many irons in the fire I would like to have several clones made of myself…  That probably sounds crazy or egotistical but there’s just so much I want to do an so little time.  I know, patience, deep breaths, and all that stuff….

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