Wednesday, February 1, 2023

My Muse Is Back

I've recently started working on new pieces and doing so made me aware -- My creative muse has been missing in action for a very long time. Yes, we need rests, we can't be creative all the time but sometimes we extend those breaks longer than necessary and I'm guilty. I don't know if my daily walks and Art Journal practice have helped get my muse back but it certainly hasn't hurt.

Today's Walk, Harbor Island's walkway has been cleared.

I came into the studio earlier in the week intending to do something in that art journal but remembered that I needed to take more work to a gallery in Grand Rapids at the end of the week. For the first time in quite a spell I was inspired to do something new.  I have a lot of older work so it wasn't as if I didn't have anything to take but I really wanted to paint. And in the process of starting I realized a truth -- action is better than inaction. As I worked I was enjoying the process of adding texture, marks and collage materials. And I began to think about one of my Art Journal spreads. 

I don't think it's a good idea to force things.  Working on a piece when one doesn't feel inspired is going to result in a piece that just doesn't make it.  But playing in a sketchbook, making collage papers, messing about with some paint just to see what happens -- maybe that will shift ones thinking.

Another confession.  Sometimes I have so much fun making collage papers or playing with paints that I want to keep doing that instead of actually working on a painting.  Maybe best for me to stick to working in the Art Journal for awhile.  Even when I just make a mess like this bunch of experiments on a spread.

I can always cover it up with collage or gesso

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

More Art Journaling and Feathers

I'm trying a different sketchbook for the feathers.  This one was first sketched with a faux quill pen that I made out of one of my feathers.  I got the idea for making the pen from Robyn McClendon.  She did some gelli printing on her feather to fancy it up.  I just used feathers I had in the condition they were currently in which is stiff with paint.  I sometimes use feathers to move paint around on a substrate, they get messy.  I can't find the tutorial or I'd add a link but here are the two I made.  I think you can easily see what I did with a feather, a bit of really good glue and a couple Speedball pen nibs.

And there is the Art Journal, I worked on another spread doing a little each day.  

Why this

four days later ended up like this

I have no clue but it was kind of fun not knowing where it was going.

I've also continued my walks and it has helped me to focus on things I am grateful for.  One of those is that I live in this place where there are so many different areas to walk along water.  I do love water, it feeds my soul.

The beach

Our Boardwalk along the Grand River

and a couple different areas on Harbor Island

Including a third Harbor Island spot, Linear Park

And a bonus on one of my beach walks, a Pudding Stone

My husband has wanted a Pudding Stone for a very long time but thought he'd never find one.  I'm always looking for stones when I walk the beach and was surprised when I looked down and saw one right by my foot.  It didn't look like this but it was recognizable so I picked it up and took it to Julie Sanford at JSD Design Studio for polishing.  Ed and I have been married for 46 years, 47 this spring, and together for 4 or 5 years before that.  This is the first present I've given him that he truly wanted and was thrilled to get -- a stone I found on the beach.  I know I won't be able to top it so I'm not even going to try.  But if on a beach walk I happen to find another one this one may get a mate.



Sunday, January 8, 2023

It Was A Covid Christmas And A New Year, New Practice

I had intended to spend the week between Christmas and New Years focusing on what was good about 2022 and where I wanted to go in 2023.  Instead I slept.  Covid invaded our home for the holiday.  Fortunately we celebrated with our kids ahead of the actual day so it was just Ed and me, sleeping and reading.  Yesterday was my first day with people but I did get outside for some walks on the beach.

I feel blessed to live in this little town on the shore of Lake Michigan.  I get to drive by this lake every time I'm out running errands. I'm also blessed to have such a wonderful art community to inspire me.

One of the things I'm going to try to do every day is more experimenting in my art journal.  The celebratory piece at the top of this post is one.  I've done something daily and day 2 became a work in process.  I finished it Friday. Obviously the walks on the beach inspired me.

And yesterday, my first day in the company of others, I joined a group of Urban Sketchers,  #UrbanSketchersWestMichigan, held it's first meet up of 2023.  I've followed my friend Joan Tavolott
and her New York Urban Sketchers for years so was thrilled to find a group here in my area.

We were supposed to sketch the people in the group but my friend Ruth and I got there early, no people yet, so we started working on the view. After doing the view I did a few people sketches.  It's been a long time since I've done people sketching.  Time to do more of it I think.

Looking forward to getting back to sketching with my Tuesday group next week -- and more beach walks in 2023!

Wishing Everyone a Very Happy New Year!

Friday, December 16, 2022

Tuesday At The Hackley Library

 What an amazing building!  There was so much to see and so little time to sit and sketch.  We're going back next week.  

There was so much carving on this fireplace and so little time I opted to just do a portion of it.  Next week I may do the entire fireplace -- or maybe the second fireplace in another room.
Or perhaps some of the wonderful old hardware.... these are just a few.

I love old so this place was heaven for me.  The only thing better would have been an old boat yard but that would be outside and it's a bit nippy out.  

We have snow today, not enough yet but a start.  Winter is another love.  My husband says it's because I don't have to shovel it. That's true but I loved it even when I did have to do the shoveling.  The only problem I have with winter is the cold and my Renaud's Syndrome.  I use handwarmers.  My doctor suggested I put heated gloves on my Christmas list.  I didn't know there was such a thing but I put them on the list I gave my husband.  I may even help with the shoveling if he gets them for me.

If I don't get time to post next week I wish you a
  Very Merry Christmas 
and I'll be back before the start of 2023

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Tuesdays and Christmas

 Another coffee shop with my Tuesday group.  This time Jumpin' Java because it was closing its doors at the end of the week.  We'll miss it but all is not lost, there are two more coffee shops in our downtown.

I'm still working on the 5 minute pieces but the most recent have been Christmas Ornaments. I started some awhile back intending to take them to the Gallery for the holiday exhibit. I didn't get enough done so I took Christmas Trees instead. The trees are similar to these that are around Ed's Sinterklass. I made him several years back for my Dutch husband. The ornaments will go to the Gallery next year.


Planning for next year has also been a priority but first a review of this year, the good and the bad.  Do you review your year?  I've been recording my thoughts on it in an art journal I recently made trying to improve my coptic stitch bookmaking. I still need to work on the stitching part.


My plan is to put a light coat of gesso over the journaling and use the journal this month to do some journaling about what I want to accomplish next year, another coat of gesso and start the new year with the journal actually serving as an art journal.  

Do you set goals and accomplish them?  I set them but don't always accomplish them. Intention matters to the artist—but so is play. The act of creation by nature is intentional. While art can be serendipitous, overall it is not accidental, we go into the studio with the intension to make art! I need to work on avoiding thinking, evaluating, judging or pre-conceiving when I start. I believe spontaneity and playing is an important part of the art process but I tend to miss that part.  Not always but often. 

Friday, November 25, 2022

Tuesday Painters and A New Sketchbook

 This Tuesday there were just two of us at the Aldea Coffee Shop.

We have our granddog here this week so studio time has been limited.  But that didn't mean I didn't do any art making.  While I'm not a bookmaker I do make books every once in awhile and that seemed the perfect thing to do at the kitchen table while the granddog lay between my spouse and me.

Awhile back I had seen Laly Mille's youtube instructions on how to make a coptic stitch art journal without a a cover (it would be added later) and with all stitching on the outside rather than the inside.  Perfect time to try it so I got out paper and began making folios, then the signatures and finally stitching.  And when my spouse took the granddog for a walk I went into the studio to dig for paper to cover the book boards.  

This is a paper I made by layering the string between two pieces of tissue paper and applying gel medium.  Once dry I added the color.  Perfect size for what I needed.  So I covered the boards, glued them to the first and last pages of the journal and a leftover piece was perfect to cover the stitches on the spine.  Iset a bunch of books on top to be sure it all dried flat and happily opened it up the next morning.

I've decided to use this small one to review my year and hopefully figure out what I want to concentrate on next year.  Granddog is still here so I've started folding and stitching a larger one.


Friday, November 18, 2022

Tuesday Painters and Starting A Review

 This week my Tuesday Group went to the Spring Lake Library.  Libraries are favorites in winter months,winter is starting and we have 3 libraries to choose from.  We also do coffee shops and that's on the docket for next week.  This is what I did this week along with my morning 5 minutes.

And here are a couple of my 5 minutes in the morning pieces.

I'll continue doing the 5 minutes, at least until the end of the year.  And my Tuesday Group will continue and maybe I'll get out even more since some of us have joined Urban Sketchers West Michigan.

Meanwhile, it's time to begin a review of my year.  I read a few blogs,  Nicole Warrington is one of them and she had a list of review your year questions on her blog a couple years ago.  I kept the questions but never used them for my year end review.  This year I'm going to, they're good questions.  Here are a few of them in them:

    What did I discover this year about my art or my creative process?
    When during the week/day did I feel most creative?
    Where did I find support or community for my creative soul and my creative practice?
    What elements of 2022 do I want to bring forward in 2023.

There were several other posts on Nicoles blog that got me thinking about some things I may add to my morning routine.

And I did another feather this morning...

Until next time....