Seeing Things Differently

So, one of the things I wanted to do this year was learn to draw. I finally got my hands on and have been devouring Danny Gregory's book The Creative License. Last year I altered a cheapo calendar planner from the Dollar Store and every morning in the car before work, I documented by life with tidbits of journaling and bits of art. It felt good to me to do a little art before I went into work. I will show you that finished book at another post. Now I am starting from scratch, learning to draw, learning to see things differently. I found in the last two weeks, I cannot finish a drawing in one session- it takes one session to sketch it out and another to add some color to it, and, I really have no idea how to work with watercolor, so I really am just experimenting and playing. It's quite different for me. It tests my patience. I am so used to slathering, spreading, throwing down some paint. But I want to illustrate what's going on in my life or my day, along with some tidbits of journaling. So here is what I've started with. Please excuse the poor photographs. It is night as I am photographing and posting and the lighting is not very good. So, there you have my humble beginnings of illustrating my life. I am linking to Paint Party Friday. Go hereif you want to see lots of wonderful art and a friendly, supportive place to be. Thanks for visiting here. I hope you have a peaceful weekend......Jo


She Laughs Without Fear

Greetings friends and Happy New Year!! I hope everyone is well. Just wanted to share something short tonight. It's been a heck of a work week and it's all I can do to sit at this keyboard. I've been playing around with water color for a few weeks. I really do not know much about working with water color, but I know I do not want to paint with water color in the traditional sense. I have much admiration for true "watercolorists" but I know that's not me. So, I've just been playing and learning what the paint will do, and then adding bits and pieces of collage. I came up with this. I'm pretty pleased with it. I gave it the title "She Laughs Without Fear" as I have decided that despite the changes that are happening and will continue to happen in my life over the next several months I will laugh without fear. It's kind of my new mantra. I wanted to say how much I appreciate you who visit my blog, who check in on me in various ways, who leave kind words of support and encouragement. It means so very much. Thank you. Thanks for stopping in and I wish you a peaceful, creative weekend. I'm going to the party hosted by Eva and Kristin. Happy Paint Party Friday!!


Greetings and Happy Paint Party Friday!!!

Hello good people!! It's been awhile. ..Life happens, stuff happens and some of it can feel pretty crappy sometimes as we all know. ..... Since I last posted........... I had a birthday. I know that some of you know that I have a twin son and daughter who are now 24 yrs old, but some may not know that I also have a twin brother. Yes, I know........... I thought it was supposed to skip a generation, too! ha ha ha ha. Somebody!! Help!! Let us out of here!!! John and I, I think, have this game every year to see who is going to be the first one to send birthday greetings on this day, be it text, email or phone call. I think I usually beat him because I start my day earlier than him. Happy Birthday, womb mate we say. My daughter, Liza, treated me to lunch on that day and I had the day off from work so it was rather nice as I'd never had my birthday off in my adult life. I continued to paint and create and got up each day and went to work and dragged myself home. My 11 year old sweet dog, Buddy, blind, deaf, diabetic, with Cushing's Disease, really had gone down hill. Fast. It was very sad. And it was one of the hardest decisions I've had to make.......... to let him go. He was a much loved and cared for dog. But he had become very sick. The first picture was taken two days before I let him go and was a rare moment when he was able to stand up. I think the love we have for our animals is a love like no other. They are, for many people, our family. They love us unconditionally. While I'd always had cats in the house as a child and my adult life, I'd never had a dog until Buddy when I adopted him from some not so nice people. I have to mention here without drawing this out too much that letting your pet go peacefully at home makes so much sense. I found the most caring, tender woman vet who talked me through every step of what was going happen before it happened. Not only did she care about me, she cared about Buddy. My dear brother Jim, was with me, supported me, as we said good bye. The vet proceeded to take out a ball of clay and make a print of Buddy's paw, which I thought was kind of special. ............ Yes, it's hard to say goodbye. Hard to let go of those we love..... hard to change schedules and routines which had revolved around our pets, and hard to see empty corners........... But life does go on.... ....... despite the sad state of affairs our world is in................. We will continue to love, love our animals, and create through it all. Thank goodness for ART. I miss the good people at Paint Party Friday so I am headed there I wish you a peaceful, creative weekend. Thanks for visiting here.


All Things Altered- Part 2

Last Friday I shared with you my love of altering pumpkins. I'm showing you the photo of the two I had done this year and asked you if you could tell which was the real one and which was the artificial one. Many of you guessed right and some of you said you weren't exactly sure but pretty sure. I think if the turquoise one had a longer stem it might have been harder to tell. I have found that most live pumpkins have shorter more imperfect stems while the orange, colllaged one has a stem that looks a bit too perfect. I dunno but the answer is the turquoise one is the real one. I'm sure you must feel better now that you know. hee hee hee. Not too long ago I showed you the shower curtain I designed for my Mom that can be viewed at Society6. My Mom had relocated a couple of months ago to another state and wanted to redecorate her bathroom with some different colors, which is where I came in. The reason I am showing you this again is that I have also altered a couple more items. and Lately I seem to be in this home decor line of thinking with my art. It's weird how the same things look in different lighting. And lastly, one of my coworkers asked me if I would paint her phone case. Here is how I altered that. I was pretty pleased and so was she. So that's my chapter on my latest altered projects. I am linking to Paint Party Friday here and wish you a good weekend full of painty messes, fun and maybe something altered. Thanks for stopping by.


All Things Altered - Part 1

Two years ago around this time I really went all out. I discovered the great pleasure of altering pumpkins. Everything from collaging them to painting them to doodling on them. I gave a lot of them away to family, friends and coworkers. I had shellacked them all and the ones I kept sat on my dining room table until just after Thanksgiving. I was kind of sad when I had to toss them in the garbage. I got the itch to alter some more this year. I discovered when the fall season was over last year that you could buy artificial pumpkins so I bought a couple. Hmm. Good idea. You can leave them out until just before Christmas I thought. I wanted to show you all sides. I discovered two years ago if I gessoed the pumpkin first (because of it's slippery surface) that paint would really take hold. Otherwise you're just moving paint around and it's not sticking to anything. So between using my fingers, small sponges and paint brushes I got that paint down. I think I did several layers followed by my homemade stencils ( I made with a hot glue gun) and homemade stamps made from foam shapes glued to a piece of cardboard. Pretty simple and pretty good results if I do say so. Finally, I added some pen work and doodling with various markers and pens. I took it outside one afternoon and gave it several coats of spray shellac. This one was also gessoed in the beginning but then I decided to collage it. I had already done some painting on deli paper and then finished it with the homemade stamps and stencils and shellac. So here's the question. Can you tell which of these two is the real one and which one is the artificial one? Usually I am late for this very important date at Paint Party Friday but for once I am early or perhaps right on time. Go here. Thanks Eva and Kristin. You will feel welcome and they've lots of good treats. Thanks for visiting here.


A Collaboration

I like collaborating with others. I think sometimes it can be scary. What if that person who asked us to collaborate won't like our "stuff?" What if we mess up? What if they say there are no rules and you end up altering something the other person really didn't want altered? What if............ I've collaborated twice over the last several years and thoroughly enjoyed it. Most recently I've been collaborating with a woman who's in my mixed media/art journaling class that I lead most Saturday mornings at my local AC Moore craft store. Connie called me one day to find out more about the class. I hung up the phone with her thinking "she gets it. She gets this art journaling thing. She gets me." I did not know if she really would show up and if she did if she'd keep coming back. She did and she has. So we've been passing our Strathmore 5.5 x 8.5 inch water color journal back and forth to each other. Connie's and my style is totally different which is what's cool about it. What's interesting is the blending of our styles to create something totally new is so interesting. So, we will exchange our books not knowing...... we agreed no rules, we agreed to trust each other, be respectful and trust the process..... she might start a page and I then might add to it or start something on the opposite page. We have jumped around a lot. We don't really know if any of the pages are really finished yet. Connie's and my choice of colors or color palette is very similar except for this orange she "threw" at me. I mean how was she to know that orange was my least favorite color to work with unless it is around the Autumn season? So I took up her challenge and tried my best to celebrate orange. I think the neat thing about any collaboration is that collaborators bring their own stories to the canvas, which then can spark new ideas and opportunity to play in a different way so the art takes on an entire new feeling. Does that make sense? Seeing these images on the screen looks and feels differently than in paper form. I am reminded by Julia Cameron's words: "The courage to create is a courage to make something out of what we are feeling." You can find more of Connie's work by going here I am linking to Paint Party Friday where there's a lot of courage and creativity going on. And thank you Connie for our collaboration, for being who you are, and for "getting me." Thanks for visiting. Until next time.