I'm a 40-year-old mom addicted to reflecting on life and my role in this crazy world we live in. Through writing, art, photography I try to make sense of where I am, and through genealogy I try to know from where I came, and gardening, well, it simply connects me with mother nature and her connection to god.
I just have to admit that I'm really bad at blogging. I read other people's, but I'm not taking the time to write my own. Part of that is due to the fact I simply don't have time, and I definitely don't have time to create any art, so... However, that being said, I worked this last week to create something. I feel so much better after I've made something. I know that, and I know that I need to take more time, but sometimes it's just easier not to worry about it. So, I've been experimenting. I got Kelly Rae Roberts' book and totally fell in love with it. I think it's the best book I've seen in a long time. With it, I've been less afraid to try a few things. I've been working with acrylics--have a long way to go with them, but I love it so much. Also, I've been using canvases rather than paper. I tried to use my moleskin journal, but it just gets to crunchy after being wet, and the paper gets too warped looking. Canvas allows me to use various sizes and then scan them on to paper for journal pages. I like that.
My friend and co-worker Sean posted an assignment to our schools' collab blog. It is most fitting for today. On a cold and snowy day, where else would you find me but inside writing. Well, today, I'm trying to write. Having moved from my own house, I'm finding it really hard to find a space in the place I am today.
So where did I write before? Well, my favorite spot was on the front porch. Summer was about flowers, the front porch and writing and reading. On rainy days, the kitchen table was the next spot, but there was always a vase full of flowers near by to remind me the sun would be out soon enough.
In the winter, it was at my kitchen table, again, but I'd usually find myself using the table as a starting point, a catch-all for the stuff that I dragged to the front room, where the fireplace would be lit, or a squishy warm blanket was kept.
Today, I want my house back. That's sad, isn't it?
I'm moved it. Only a few things are left at the old house and then I need to clean it up. It's amazing how dusty the house is when you move all the large furniture out! School starts tomorrow; the class I'm taking also starts tomorrow night, and the class I'm teaching on Saturdays begins this weekend. If I can make it through the week without pulling out my hair, I'm home free. The tidbits left to do before Friday's close on the house are small, but it's just squeezing the time into the evenings to ensure it all gets done! The art room is set up, too. I haven't had time to use it yet, but next week, I'll be in there, gathering some sanity back and doing something fun!
Today, I'll be moving my art room to Eric's. Yesterday was my last day working in my space here at "home". I started with the Something to Crow About weekly challenge, and that final product was not very nice, but it got those creative juices flowing, and after I did it, I created this piece. I like it a lot. Over the last month, I've been allowing myself to layer, layer, layer. Before this, I had great fear of that. Part of the fear, I'm sure, comes from my elementary art classes. Although we were taught all those shading techniques, we weren't allowed to change what we had set out to do. If we planned on painting a tree, that's what we needed to do. It couldn't change. My middle school art teacher wasn't quite so bad, but there was a right and a wrong, and we were so caught up in learning primary, secondary, tertiary, etc, that we didn't have fun. High school was a bit better, but by that point, I just really wanted to make clay "sculptures" I could then use as ashtrays. Of course, ashtrays weren't "legal" projects in high school, so you had to be real creative, knowing full well once it left school it would have to become something else.
So this layering thing is new to me, and I cannot believe I've never allowed myself to do it! I love it. With this one, I painted the page, added pages from a book, then started adding more and more layers. I like including a drawing, too. I liked how the last one turned out, which I think will now be named Cassandra, which was a name submitted once on the blog and then someone dittoed that in an email.
So layering is fun and exciting and you can make mistakes (which I do constantly), but that's okay because you can just add another layer and ultimately there is really nice texture.
It's kind of like the texture being added to my own life now that I'm deciding to get married, move out of my house and start a new life. True, I'm nearing a panic attack--no kidding, I've been fighting it for a couple of days! But that panic is based on the upheaval of my house. It's a wreck, and I don't much care for my house being this disgusting. Don't get me wrong, during the school year, it can get pretty messy--enough that I'll stop you at the front door and say you can't come any further, but right this minute, it's horrid. I mean there are boxes, and things strewn on the floor that I'm not sure what to do with, and trash bags filled with crap I didn't know I had and wonder why on earth I kept it, etc. It's more than the "house is a mess today, let's sit on the front porch." Trying to meld my household goods with Eric's is also hard, but bless his heart, he's letting me bring as much as I can to his house so that I have enough of my "stuff" to feel like I'm at home. His backporch will be my new art space. It's not very extravagant or "classy" ....or.....well.. it is after all a backporch, but it's a space, and that's all I need. When we put his house on the market, and buy a new house that we choose together, I'll have a better space, but for now, I can make do with what we have. After all, it's kind of like that ceramic ashtray I made in high school--it had to be whatever the rules allowed at that moment.
Okay, I'm still moving, which is why it's been almost a week since I posted. Yes, it's a slow process--slower than any other move. We are doing it in little trips so that we don't have to get a U-haul. Plus, the way our schedules are working out, there isn't a full day that we could move everything to every place it belongs. So as I speak, I have no dining room furniture, my kitchen looks like it's been ransacked, the only things in my living room are the tv, couch and boxes and boxes of things that need to be taken to various and sundry locations for storage.
But no worries. I have been in the art room today. I had to complete the Something to Crow About weekly challenge, and although that journal page stinks, it did get the creative juices flowing and I am in the process of completing a couple of other things I really like. I'll get them done by tomorrow (Saturday) because I'm moving the art room tomorrow. I hope to have it ready to go, though, by Saturday evening. I'll need some down time after moving it, I'm sure, so a glass of wine in one hand and a paint brush in the other will be a nice distraction from the lengthy day of moving stuff.
In addition to finishing the Something to Crow About weekly challenge, I also had some time to draw this woman--who needs a name. Suggestions? I also used some of the fantabulous papers I received in a grab back from Kelly Kilmer this last week. I had never bought a grab bag on line before, and let me tell you if Kelly ever sells more, I will buy them. What's great is that she lives in California and well, here in ol' St. Joe MO I don't have a lot of paper varieties, so opening her package and finding such wonderful Asian influenced papers was heavenly. I really wanted to roll around in the papers. Yes, I have issues, but I'm such a tactile person, that I just wanted to feel all the textures and stare at the vivid colors. I used the papers to create this drawing's clothing (no really she needs a name). I really enjoyed incorporating the colors and textures for her blouse.
So, today, the plan is to organize my art room and get it ready for the move. I am trying to decide if it should be the first room to be moved or the last. Later today, I'm helping Eric move some of his kitchen stuff around and out to make room for my new dining room table, which means that the first room to be moved from my house will likely be my dining room. Eric doesn't have a dining room--just a large kitchen, so we are going to have to do some shifting. All of my dining room furniture must move with me and not go to storage--to much monetary and emotional value in them to trust them to the dreaded storage unit!
If you haven't visited Something to Crow About, you must. There is a great weekly "project" taking shape there. That's what I'm working on right now. Each week, the group (I think there are over 70 now) receives a set of images that we can use in our collages, journal pages, ATC's, etc. What's great is to see how these images take shape in our own minds and how they land on the page. Mine isn't very good this week, but that's okay. I have been swamped with the whole idea of moving. If you haven't read my last post, you should and you'll get an idea of how freaked out I was earlier in the week! Goodness. Anyhow, the weekly images are such a great way for us to get thinking about creating something. Sharing ideas and inspiration and encouragement is what it's all about.
My journal page connects the images given to us along with my own. I found a photo of my grandma in a swimsuit--which wasn't hard since she had no issues with her body. She loved her body and was proud of it. I wish some of that had rubbed off on me! I also used an image of the Ford Fairlane that was from the front of my grandpa's stash of owner's manuals. He bought a new car every 2 years and kept a chunk of the manuals that I'm now copying and using for my collages. Then I found the image of Marilyn and it juxtaposed nicely with my grandma, who was playing with the strings of her swimsuit. I put all of it together with the images from the "project" and tada. Not the best in the world, but like I said....
Oh, and please stop by Collage Contessa. She, too, is awesome, and I love the work she's doing. She's the one who awarded me the BFF, so I need to give her a shout out!