Saturday, July 09, 2016

Who is to Define What is Safe?

Hello dear readers, it has been a while; but I promise to do better.  I have been running a few ideas in my head based on some suggestions from friends and I think I will start to work on them soon.  However, the topic of this post is needless advice/criticism.

I participate in a lot of challenges throughout the year aimed at building confidence and stretching myself.  During the month of July there is the #worldwatercolormonth-july2016.  The paintings below are days 1-5.  I decided to try this challenge because I wanted to practice painting with watercolors.  It is fun and yet takes a lot of practice.  I got the really groovy idea to work through one my books on watercolor and make greeting cards instead of painting on a canvas.  These cards will be mailed on Monday as part of project to send encouragement to those in need of a good word.

Now you may ask what got my knickers in a not?  Someone posted in the Facebook group for the watercolor challenge that people should be brave and paint harder subjects and stop painting safe.  Well, what defines safe; and who is the one to define it?  It takes a lot of courage to post your work among strangers, even if it is a dot on a page.  The act of painting and then sharing is major; at least it is to me.  Plus, this not a class, it is a fun challenge for artists at all levels.

There was a time a statement like that would send me into hiding for months (and it was not even personally directed at me).  It is just the fact that as my daughter likes to say (and she is so right), we never know a person's backstory.  What seems safe to one person could be a major challenge for someone else.  

Each one of the cards below have things that could have been done better; backgrounds could be blended better; position on page could be in better proportion, etc.  However, the fact that I did it means so much to me.  And if have adopted the following attitude; I am doing the best I know how at this given moment and I am very proud of that.

I am so proud of all my art friends and always make sure to say an encouraging word.  Why, because they may need that word on that day.  

Watercolor Flower in Pot

Flower with Blue Background

Cute Little Birdie


Building Doodle on Watercolor Background

So dear readers be careful.  If you are an artist of any type; writer, chef, painter, jewelry maker, etc, think what you would want to hear and then act accordingly.  Don't tell a person on Youtube they have a terrible voice or talk to much...if you do not like it, just don't watch.  Everything we do is not going to be perfect (personally, I think perfect is overrated).  Yet, and this is very important, we tried and that is taking a risk; that is not playing it safe.

Ok, I am off of my soapbox now.  The smoke has cleared and on to another day of painting.

Until next time.....Pilgrim

Friday, May 27, 2016

2016 - Year of Rebirth

Photo taken in Alhambra, CA

I was just watching a video on art Heals hosted by Heidi Easley, it is a free series that is really good.  Today Lucy Chen was interviewed and what she had to say was phenomenal.  I am going to listen to her interview again.

She said that 2016 is a year of rebirth and that resonated with me. I realized that at the end of June, the first half of this year will be complete.  The thought occurred to me that I still have time to continue on my journey toward discovering who I really am.  But, I need to get busy and get back on program with purging "things" that clutter my space.  I need to set up my easel and commit to painting on that 30x30 canvas.

Art does heal and I have been trying to wrap my head around how I translate my feelings to the art journal or canvas.  I have kept so many deeply hidden, that I do not necessarily want to talk about, but need to be releases, so my goal for the rest of this year is to learn how to use art as a means of self expression, not a regurgitation of art class lessons.  Hmmm, this could prove to be really interesting.

See you soon, pilgrim.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Secret Sisters are so Very Special Journal

Today's post is about a very special project in which I was a very willing participant.  It was a Secret Sister Art Swap.  I like these swaps because you get some really great items.  This time was out of the norm really.  When I received my secret sister's name, Paula, I studied her wish list very carefully.  I wanted to make sure that I understood her likes and got items that would fit her life and style.  Many of the items I sent I already had on hand, but there were some items that I purchased because they would make the adventure of opening the box really delicious.

I have been blessed to visit Paris and have a lot if Parisian ephemera that I was glad to share with my "sister".  Last year one of my very best friends gifted me with a year's worth of french ephemera.  Every month I received a letter with the best french items.  I shared one of the month's with my sister; but the best item I purchased was the Pug Mandala coloring book....Oh that book was a real hoot.

Today I received a box and knew it was from the person assigned to be my Secret Sister.  Well I was blown away when I realized that my Secret Sister was Paula......This was just a coincidence (remember there are no coincidences)  more to the point it was a God Wink.  Below are a few pictures I took of the items I received.....It has a Paris theme, but more important it was actually art created by my sister.  A journal that I need to complete, Gelli plate Crusty bits, Napkins which I absolutely love to use as an under layer in my art.  One of the napkins is an Owl Motif and Owl is my totem animal.  I am so verklempted and overjoyed.  When I took the photos I started to crop and eliminate the background "noise", but I realized that I am an artist and that is how my artist table looks, full of brushes, paper, paints; all tools of the trade.  So my new finds fit in perfectly.

Beautiful bag that I am going to use for my Real Brush markers, soap from Lush and special eraser

Journal created and painted by my sister

yummy page for me to create on

Another Yummy Page  have to future out what to do

Owl Napkin...I am in love

Gelli Print - Crusty Bits technique using Paula's Stencil girl stencil,,,super in love
Portrait drawn by Paula to paint and add to journal page.
Swaps are so much fun.  I love the opportunity to participate in  them.  Thank you to Paula, my secret sister for making my day.  I will cherish all of my "goodies" and try my best to enjoy the creative process working in the journals, coloring books and everything else.

Dear readers, if you have an opportunity to participate in a swap, please do so.  You will have so much fun.

Until next time......Pilgrim

Comments are always appreciated.  Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Where Has the time Gone??????

Painting done in Mystele Kirkeeng's class during An Artful Journey Retreat

The painting above almost did not happen.  I have a love/hate relationship with painting faces and went into class with a resolve NOT to paint a face on Sunday morning.  A classmate relayed a statement from another teacher about overcoming fear by just doing it.  So I dove in.  I used a painting I purchased from Mystele as a guide (more about using guides in another post) and got busy. I have a lot of work to do to get more comfortable with the process ( even on this painting), but I am so glad that I am once again trying to paint faces.


The post on Happiness below was shared by Renaissance Unity Church of Warren Michigan.

I love, love, love Don Miguel Ruiz and his writings.

Our life is so short that every time I see my children, I enjoy them as much as I can. Whenever I can, I enjoy my beloved, my family, my friends, my apprentices. But mainly I enjoy myself, because I am with myself all the time. Why should I spend my precious time with myself judging myself, rejecting myself, creating guilt and shame? Why should I push myself to be angry or jealous? If I don’t feel good emotionally, I find out what is causing it and I fix it. Then I can recover my happiness and keep going with my story.
~ Don Miguel Ruiz
Today's Affirmation
Adversity provides me with a chance to grow.
Today's Meditation
Dear God,
Life is fragile and oh so temporary.
I commit myself to enjoy who I am; to enjoy my own company, to be ever grateful for who I am - a vehicle for you to express through.
As I remind myself that it is You who has made me,
I feel a surge of respect and gratitude. 
Help me, God to remember that I am important to You and to all of life.
Help me to see in my loved ones and friends, Your goodness so I treat everyone with the uttermost respect, knowing that life is fragile and none of us knows who may be next in line to exit the body form.
As I celebrate myself and all others, I rest assured that my mind and heart are one with You.

Hello Dear friends and readers.  It has been a while. Where did the time go?  We are entering the 3rd month of 2016 and time seems to have just flown by.  I went to a wonderful Art retreat over the past weekend,  It was number 2 of the retreats I have planned for this year.  I received a lot of food for thought and creative action that I will reveal in later blogs.

In July I will be celebrating my 10 year Blogaversary. Now that is a real hoot.  10 years people.....What will I do to celebrate?  Hmmmm.......only time will tell.

Well that is all for today, but I will be back soon.

Follow your dreams dear readers, follow your dreams.  pilgrim.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 4 and Final Days of the 30 day on same canvas challenge

The start of the final days of the 30 days painting on the same canvas are so exciting.  To work with no direct purpose or goal is very freeing.  The make drastic changes is really out of this world.  I know that when I covered Day 24's painting with black Gesso many of my supporters cried Nooooooo!  To tell the truth, I loved that painting and did not want to cover it up, but, the purpose of this exercise as I have said many times was to embrace change and not become married to any one thing. I found that all of the bumps and texture of previous layers pushed through making this a most juicy canvas.

Day 25
Start of the final week with Black Gesso

Day 26
Adding color to the canvas by means of a grid

Day 27
Marks and secret language

Day 28
Adding stencil marks and color

Day 29
Added a little more color and marks

Day 30
Finished painting Varnished and signed

Well, the project is do I feel?  A little sad because I loved the process and yet very happy and proud because I accomplished it and have a hangable painting. Am looking at as I write this post because it represents a breakthrough for me.  I actually completed an abstract painting.  This is not part of a class, a prompt or anything else.  I have pictures of paintings that I can go back and use as inspiration for future paintings and that is so exciting to me.

What did I learn from these 30 days?

  1. I love painting without a plan
  2. I can make changes freely
  3. life is about changes
  4. life is about trial and error
  5. always sign you work, commit to it, it is you
  6. just have fun
I think this will be an annual process, so I will mark my calendar for Oct. 16, 2016, tuck a way a canvas (much bigger than this year's), and just have fun,

Thanks for following me on this journey.  Thank you to Judy Wise for inspiring this wonderful process.

Until next time, be happy.....pilgrim

Monday, November 09, 2015

Week 3 of 30 days of painting the same canvas

The third week is here and it is hard to believe.  I have actually been painting on the same canvas since Oct. 14th.  The 30 days will actually end on Oct. 13th my brother's 65th birthday.  He died of congestive heart failure 10 years ago and I think of hime often.  So it seems so perfect to honor his day in this manner.

As I work through week three I have had some profound thoughts, at least for me anyway.  I often observe the techniques of other painters, the softness of colors; the ability to make portraits so lifelike and want to be like them.  It can really be frustrating to try and achieve the effect of another.  It occurred to me that what I need to do is perfect my own style, embrace my palette and enjoy my process.  That takes a lot of pressure off my shoulders.  

I am learning a lot during this 30 day process, not just about painting but about myself.

Day 15
Gesso and Dylusions spray inks

Day 16
Golden Acrylics, Stencilgirl club stencil, black and blue stabilo pencils
Day 17
Golden Acrylics, white and turquoise craft acrylic and black acrylic paint in fine liner
Day 18
Acrylic, gold acrylic

Day 21 More subtle changes

Day 20
Flowers changed, book page added, rubber stamp dragon fly,  acrylic glaze

Day 22
Patti Tolley Parish Stencil added to top, love this stencil

23 and 24
White grease pen added for depth, Hurricane stencil from  Art Anthology

The end of week 3, the number of days is a bit off due to technical error but hey, it is all about being human.  Anyhoo, I thoroughly enjoyed the work this week and know it will be hard to cover it up, but cover it up I must as I continue this quest.

Observations for this week:

  • trial and error can be really fun.
  • There are times when I need to just play and see where it goes
  • I am finally getting really comfortable with not having a solid plan
  • a canvas can hold up to a lot of abuse and changes
  • this has affected my view on life
Week 4 is the last week for this current challenge,

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Week 2 of 30 day Painting on the Same Canvas

My thoughts for this week:

Entering the second week of the challenge with a complete paint over.  I love Black gesso and it occurred to me that I could paint over everything from week 1 with Black gesso and then see what happened during the following seven days.  This could be brilliant or a disaster, but it is only paint and can be covered over.  I am trying to embrace abstract painting and it is a challenge.  I was thinking about it this morning and abstract painting reminds me of algebra (which gave me loads of problems).  I am an accounting type of person, so my natural inclination is to paint something concrete; flowers, trees, birds, etc.

Day 8
Black Gesso, Golden Interference Paint, Gold Paint and Golden Fluid Acrylic for drips
Day 9
Acrylic paint, Patti Tolley-Parrish Pod Stencil, Stencil 101 border stencil

Day 10
Added Alcohol Ink splatters to the painting, knocked back with light wash of white
Day 11
Gesso, Acrylic Paints, fine liners

Day 12
Addition of color blocks using Silks Acrylic Glazes

Day 13
Mark Making with black stabilo pencil and black grease pencil,
Stencil girl club flourish stencli

Day 14
More mark making and subtle changes with white gesso

Observations for the week:  This week started out with painting black gesso over the entire canvas.  The colors of last week disappeared but the delicious texture remained.  While the black was start, the introduction of color during the remaining days brought out stunning changes (if I say so myself).

I place the canvas where I can live with it all day, I find that I really enjoy looking at the changes each day, but I am not married to it meaning that I am eager to make changes an see what will happen.

I am still a little tentative in my approach.  I hope that by then end of this challenge I will be less tentative and more go for the gusto.