Friday, December 30, 2016

My word for 2017

Ever since 2012 when I heard the concept of choosing a word for the upcoming year instead of making new year resolutions, I was sold and have been doing it ever since.  I put a lot of consideration into choosing my word.  When I feel the word is right I try not to question it's validity I just go with it.

Sit back and let me tell you a little story...

I lived in Wisconsin for a big chunk of my adult life.  Starting in my early 30's I became an avid goal setter.  I learned about this in the time I spent as a Mary Kay consultant.  I would write all my goals down on paper.  Device my 5 year plan projections broken down into smaller increments.  I made my 10 most important things to do list everyday.  I understood the law of averages and lived my life with those in mind.  I will stop with my in-depth explanation here... you get my point, right?


In my early 40's I moved to Flagstaff, AZ where I was introduced to spirituality, not religion, spirituality.  An interesting path began after I read a book called "The Celestine Prophecy" by James Redfield.  I could go on and on about my adventures after reading this book but that would take on another whole new story.   I met some absolutely amazing people who, I am thankful to say, remain in my life today.

In my mid 40's there was a shift in my life.  I moved from Arizona to Illinois.  I was saddened to leave Arizona for several reasons.  One was I was afraid I would loose my spirituality.  Yet... I am an optimist.  Onward I went.  I clung to the idea that maybe this move was an opportunity to combine my goal setting self with my spiritual self.   As I settled into my new life, well... life happened.  What more can I say?  I can talk a good talk but the truth is I never implemented it.  I just lived my life, which by the way has been good.

I believe, from the very core of my being, that everything happens exactly when it is suppose to happen.  As I was pondering what my word for 2017 would be it came to me in a flash.   My word for 2017 is BALANCE.  It brought tears to my eyes.  This is my time to focus on blending my goal setting self with my spiritual self.

I made this piece of art that begins with:
~blending my conservative self with my free spirited self
~blending the dark times with the light times
~blending spirituality practices with actions
(click to enlarge)
Thank You for all of your support and encouragement.
It wouldn't be the same without YOU!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

what a difference a year makes.

As the end of 2016 draws near I take this time to reflect back on my artful and personal life. 
Often asking myself the same proverbial questions.  
Throughout the past year it has been easy to caught up in false assumptions 
that my dreams are so far away and may never come true.
Yet when I do take an in-depth look back I unveil an 
appreciation and deep satisfaction in my progress.
This feeling fuels me and propels me forward.
(click to enlarge)

I ask myself, "Why does it matter?"
I find this answer not an easy one to articulate.
The simple verbal response is to say that I am
using my gift, from God, of creating art.
February 2011, there was a pivotal moment.
I never knew that I could paint or draw until that time.
Creating art has changed my life.

I believe we are all creative yet we doubt ourselves 
and hesitate to let our creative spirit out to play.

PLEASE NOTE:   You can read all my entries that chronicle my creative journeyat the side bar of this blog under All Posts-Now & Then.



Thank You for all of your support and encouragement.
I couldn't do this without YOU!

Friday, December 2, 2016

What have I been up to? I've been asked.

My life shifted a little after my husband, John, had major surgery on October 31st. 
(he's doing remarkably well now)
By his side, in the hospital, is where I chose to be.  
From time to time I would pull out my sketchbook and draw.
I found comfort in those brief moments spent with my creative self.
John was released from the hospital November 6.  We were both eager for him to come home.  
"there's no place like home"

 Mid November I was honored to be part of Art on Elm exhibit where I could display some of my art.
I have squeezed in time incorporating encaustic medium into several custom pieces. 
I'm loving it!
                                 



Currently John is feeling stronger, moving around more, becoming more independent, and less needy of my assistance.
That means its time for me to go into my studio and welcome back all the creative muses.
Yet when I actually entered into my studio I was stymied, not sure where to begin.  
I have felt this feeling before.
I knew it was simply resistance holding me back. 
My priority became to overcome it.
I picked up a piece of water color paper, grabbed a soft brush, pulled out my pan pastels,  and painted this fine young lady.
She isn't perfect by any means which is quite OK with me.
The whole point was just to begin and that I did.
I overcame my resistance.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Honorable Mention

Yesterday I picked up my art from the Aurora Public Arts Commission where I entered this piece for 
The Creative Muse exhibit. 
I was excited, like a little kid, when I saw the yellow ribbon for Honorable Mention by my art.

Monday, October 24, 2016

what I've been up to, lately

Let me share with you some things I have been working on in my studio.

I took a short break from other activities to do this real quick pastel practice in my art journal.
Chalk Pastels are one of my favorite mediums to work with.  It goes hand in hand with charcoal.
Both mediums are very forgiving.

Eagerly I did a charcoal drawing of Marita to be added to the Smile Project.
I'm on the look out for more smiles for this project.  My goal is 52 faces to finish this project.  Right now I have 26, the half way mark.
You can follow this link to learn more:   http://www.asmilemaker.com/p/smile-project.html

One of my intentions is to adapt to drawing/painting looser portraits.
I'm fully aware that in order to accomplish this I need to practice, practice, practice.  I can do that!
I did these 2 ladies as I babysat for my GRANDdaughter, while she napped.


Thank You for all of your support and encouragement.
I couldn't do this without YOU!


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

I have found another love

I have found a another love (artistically speaking that is) ... ENCAUSTIC MEDIUM.
I have played with it off and on in the past but I never was serious about it.
Not certain what prompted me to pull out my supplies out again but I am sure glad I did.
I am having a blast.
I am learning lots.  What I am learning I have been sharing with my friend, Christine.  Together we have been reveling over the outcomes.  Almost like little kids. (This kind of excitement is ten times more enjoyable when you share it with someone.  Which is why I love to teach!)

In May 2016 I had created this piece I titled, "Balance".  I liked it yet I felt it was missing something.  Last week while I was learning more about how to use encaustic medium I pulled this piece out.  I began adding layers of wax and fusing.  I noticed the piece was changing and appeared to be coming more alive.   I recalled the flower presses I had  stowed away in my basement from previous years when I pressed flowers as a hobby.  I brought them upstairs from storage.  I began adding leaves, flowers, and more wax to the piece.  
What a transformation!

                                                      Let me show you.    
           
By applying encaustic medium to this piece it has more interest, depth and richness. 
Encaustic is a keeper and will be a technique I will use more often in my art.

 I finished this piece yesterday.   It's of my oldest sister Judy when she was, I believe, in 3rd grade.  I used encaustic medium to layer the photo and flowers.
One of my desires is to develop creative ways for people to display photos.
To get them out of storage boxes and put them where they can be enjoyed.

To learn more about:
  • Scheduling a time to create art with me
  • Ordering a custom made piece of art

Thank You for all of your support and encouragement.
I couldn't do this without YOU!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

just a little off kilter

It would be fairly accurate to say that lately I have been feeling a little off kilter. 
I believe several contributing factors may be from two on-line classes I am currently enrolled in:  
Jeanne Oliver's Reflections : Paint Your Story and Melody Ross's Soul Restoration
There's a lot of soul searching and cleansing going on.
I am currently creating a cast of characters who have played a role, good or bad, in my life.
The characters that were in the good category were easy. I shared some of the stories in previous posts.
Now I'm delving into those bad characters. Not too fun! These characters I will keep private
I'm sitting with these feelings knowing that (mentally) running away or trying to hide is not an option.
I'll wear my BIG girl panties and face them head on.
On the others side I will be blessed with a broader knowing and understanding of myself.

In the meantime...
Today, in my journal, I created this sweet little girl amongst some very happy daisies.
While I created this piece my heart was filled with peace and love.
(acrylic, charcoal, pan pastels)

Saturday, September 24, 2016

He's the one that gave me the nickname of Top Cat.

I actually thought I was done with my cast of characters until I woke up this morning with this knowing that I had to talk about Uncle Travis.  
He was one of my mother's younger brothers and my favorite uncle.
When he would come to visit my world would light up. 
Even tho I had a speech impediment he always seemed to know exactly what I was trying to say.  He's the one that gave me the nickname of Top Cat.
He made me feel special!
Unfortunately his life was cut short from a car accident at the young age of 32.  I was devastated! 
 For the longest time I believed it was my fault.
Here's why...
Because we had no inside plumbing, at night instead of going to the outhouse  we used "the pot" inside the house.   
Uncle Travis accidentally walked in on me while I was using "the pot".
I felt really embarrassed and I wished he would go away.
So when he died I thought I was responsible.
In retrospect, I see that I carried that guilt with me for a very, very long time.
Thank You, Uncle Travis.

I am currently enrolled in several on-line classes that are offering the opportunity and tools to dig deep into our past for clarification.  

This prompt is from Jeanne Oliver's class Reflections : Paint Your Story
Creating a cast of characters who have played a role, good or bad, in your life. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Cash Kids

We are family...my brothers, my sisters, and me.
As a group, my parents often referred to us as "the 2 older girls and the 4 little ones".
As I was searching thru my memory bank for someone who had an impact on my life, these guys came to the forefront.
We each have totally different personalities which collectively made us a force to be reckoned with.

There's not enough time and it's difficult to share the impact that each of them have had on my life. 
Just know that it is big! 
The journey thru this course of reflection  has made me even more aware of that.
It was pleasing to my heart to spend the special quiet time with each person as I drew them.
I am grateful.

I am currently enrolled in several on-line classes that are offering the opportunity and tools to dig deep into our past for clarification.  

This prompt is from Jeanne Oliver's class Reflections : Paint Your Story
Creating a cast of characters who have played a role, good or bad, in your life. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mary Kay Cosmetics

In my mid-twenties I was offered an opportunity to join Mary Kay Cosmetics.
I was shy and very insecure of myself
Yet the person who spoke to me about Mary Kay saw something in me that I did not see in myself, so I trusted her.
I went to a meeting to learn more.  
I was surrounded by positive, optimistic, encouraging women.  It was contagious.  I wanted more.
It didn't take me long to know this where I was suppose to be.
I thrived.
I was a wife, mother, full-time employee, and a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant all rolled into one.
Did I mention, one very busy lady?
I overcame many obstacles to make this work.  Most of them were in my mind.  Yet I did it.
Being in the company for almost 7 yrs. and surrounded by incredible women I did things I never would have thought were possible.
I kicked fear in the a** many times.

Beyond the cosmetics, Mary Kay is all about empowering women to be the best they can be.  
I am filled with tremendous gratitude for this woman and the empire she grew based upon her strong beliefs...

It's Not Where You Start, It's Where You Finish!



(P.S. I still listen to this song often!)

I am currently enrolled in several on-line classes that are offering the opportunity and tools to dig deep into our past for clarification.  

This prompt is from Jeanne Oliver's class Reflections : Paint Your Story
Creating a cast of characters who have played a role, good or bad, in your life. 



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

When they knew better, they did better

As I grew older is when I began to appreciate, I mean really appreciate, my parents and ALL they have done for me.  
I may not have seen it in my younger years but I certainly do now.
When I began to see them as regular people and to put their lives in perspective is when I felt a shift.
 The blame and the shame washed away.  
In reality, they did the best they could with what they knew and when they knew better, they did better. ― (Maya Angelou)

I have acquired many positive attributes directly related back to them and the way I was raised.
I am choosing to celebrate the good things and learn from the not-so good things.
Both reside as a learning experiences.
The reference photo I use for this drawing was from a little photo taken of them in the spring after I was born.

I am currently enrolled in several on-line classes that are offering the opportunity and tools to dig deep into our past for clarification.  

This prompt is from Jeanne Oliver's class Reflections : Paint Your Story
Creating a cast of characters who have played a role, good or bad, in your life. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

you are so very special

Granny King

She was the mother of the pastor of the small baptist church we went to when I was little. 
I think everyone called her Granny King.
She was a short stout woman, looking very grandmotherly, with the sweetest look about her face.
I recall many times Granny King would sit me on her lap, nestle me close to her, and whisper in my ear. 
"You are so very special!  One day you will see."
If I close my eyes and get really still I can hear her words.
Words do have power.
I believe she was a messenger sent to me from God. 
I am forever grateful to Granny King and the role she played in my life.


I am currently enrolled in several on-line classes that are offering the opportunity and tools to dig deep into our past for clarification.  

This prompt is from Jeanne Oliver's class Reflections : Paint Your Story
Creating a cast of characters who have played a role, good or bad, in your life.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

she was my guardian angel

Ms. Linke played a pivotal role in my life.
She proved to be more than my kindergarten teacher, she was my guardian angel.

Back in the day...when it was time for a child to be enrolled into school for the first time it was customary for the public health nurse to make a home visit. This may have only applied to poor people, which is the category my family fell into. She came to our house for the evaluation and was concerned to find a child (me) who was extremely introverted and who couldn't speak. I only made grunting noises. It's my understanding, that her recommendation was for me to be placed in a home for "retarded" children. (remember this was in the 1950s-very common) Ms. Linke intervened and persuaded my Mom to allow her one year to work with me before she followed thru. My Mom agreed. This is where the long road of speech therapy began and lasted all the way until high school

I am currently enrolled in several on-line classes that are offering the opportunity and tools to dig deep into our past for clarification. This prompt is from Jeanne Oliver's class Reflections : Paint Your Story . Creating a cast of characters who have played a role, good or bad, in your life.



Saturday, September 17, 2016

Stand in your light

Often I (we) realize I am holding myself back from things I am truly capable of.  I (we) can conjure up many pliable reasons why I (we) can't do something yet when I (you)  dissect all those reasons it seems to always  boil down to fear.  Fear of failure...fear of being judged...fear of this or fear of that....it can even be fear of success!

I saw a video clip, on FaceBook  today, of this man who was in a wheel chair apparently he was a paraplegic.  He drove a big dump truck for a living.  He pulled himself up into the truck using only his arms.  From the seat of the truck he reached way down and disassembled his wheel chair, putting the pieces in the passenger seat of the truck. 
 Watching this video reinforced the meaning and depth behind my piece I created in my art journal yesterday.

I want so much for be able to make this art business successful, to be able to support myself financially, that I loose track of my true purpose.   Thus opening the door for a sorts of fears to come creeping in.  Some of them I don't even realize are there until I look deep.  At this juncture of my creative journey I want to "Stand In My Light".  What does that mean?  Well I  haven't totally been able to formulate into words yet, other than to just be me and do what I love.    I know what it means in my heart, tho.  That's the most important place.
My art comes from my heart.
Here are a few photos I took during the creation of this piece.  The middle one is the ugly stage.  This one used to stop me dead in the tracks until I learned the secret to "just keep going".
the sketch
beginning of shadows & highlights
the ugly stage
Thank You for all of your support and encouragement.
I couldn't do this without YOU!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Freedom to be




On my mind, today, was the "limitations" we put on ourselves.  
Conning ourselves that we can only do this or only do that.  
These are un-truths that we tell ourselves.  
We can do whatever we choose to believe we can do.
Thus...FREEDOM TO BE was created.







Saturday, September 10, 2016

Reflection


You are invited



Take a few moments, literally 32, to watch my slideshow of the progression of a charcoal and pastel piece of art I just finished. This documents my largest piece of art I have created. (26" x 36")
Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Who Am I?

It begins with a single step.

No plans - got out my journal - added a coat of paint - I ripped a page from the newspaper, while the paint was still wet I laid the paper down on the page and transferred it - I let it dry a little then I removed the newspaper. 
My background is ready.
Look to our  right side of the page, notice the strips of paper I couldn't remove?  
This is known as a "happy accident".  
They add more character to the piece.
I grabbed  a reference photo - set the timer for 20 min. - and off I went with charcoal in my hand.  
After the timer went off I added color with PanPastel to her blouse.

I'm wanting to improve with my portraitures so I came up with a way that you can help me with that.
Who's is this person?
The first person to tell me who she is in the comment section will win a prize from me.
The only clue I will give is...
She's been on TV for multiple seasons.
~ READY ~ SET ~ GO ~

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