Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Living Life...

I just finished another 2 page spread in my Art Journal. There are so many pages that "need to be finished," and I found myself really hesitating to get started. The background was already painted orange, but I was just stuck with what to do next.

I did some exploring of my favorite blogs, and came up with the idea of "circles" from Misty Mawn's Art Journaling Prompts. Circles...I can do that! But, now what?

I started to think about the times that I "get stuck" when I'm creating. Those times when my inner voice loudly whispers, "Just do it, Jean!" but I still don't listen. In my heart, I know that the journey begins with a single step...but why can't I take that single step sometimes? I think for me, it's a combination of two things: first, being tired from all of my typical daily activities and second, having too many creative choices to choose from.

So, I devised a plan...a simple plan! I thought of just a few things that I can do creatively when I am totally unmotivated to choose. Easy choices requiring very little preparation and absolutely no planning. Skip the thinking...just act!

So, here is my very short list of things to choose from when I am feeling tired and unmotivated, but know deep in my heart that once I get started, I will have so much fun creating!! (I didn't say it was a short sentence, just a short list!)

1. Cut words out of a magazine
2. Cut pictures out of a magazine
3. Paint a page of my art journal with gesso
4. Color a page of my art journal using the first "coloring tool" I see


So, based on my new theory, here is what I came up with....

Once I started cutting out the words from my Body & Soul Magazine (always a great source for positive words), the creative juices began to flow. Next thing I knew, I was looking down at a collection of words that I want to describe my life. The important things in life...what I hope for...

See you next time!
Keep on Creating!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Guest House

Not much writing today, because I spent all of my free time creating this page :)

The page was first painted with white gesso mixed with blue acrylic. Then I used Pitt Artist Pens in black, gold and red for the text and drawing. I love my Pitt Artist Pens!!

This is one of my all time favorite poems! I hope you enjoy it as well! May you have a week full of joyful creating!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Home Sweet Home: Narrative Time Line

I've been working on my Vein of Gold "Narrative Time Line" this week and looking back on the places I've lived. I used my art journal to help me recall some of the important events that I associate with each of those homes. I showed my 17 year old the page while I was working on it, and she said, "What about college?" Ah, yes...I definitely lived there! I could easily write an entire chapter of my college years (and the 3 places I lived while I was there). But for now, I'll jot down some of my other memories of "home."

Boy, do those memories come back when you welcome them...One of my favorite childhood memories was the "tetherball" in the back yard. Funny, I haven't seen one of those for years. Looking back, I do remember getting quite a few bruises! But they all healed, and the joy of watching that ball on a string go round and round the pole was well worth the bruises!

Thanks Wikipedia for the fun image! A very pleasant memory excavated from my childhood mines! Well, I'm sure I'll be digging up plenty of other memories as I continue my Vein of Gold journey!!

Till Next Time....

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Vein of Gold

I just started Julia Cameron's book "The Vein of Gold - A Journey to Your Creative Heart." I'm reading it with about 25 other people from Coach Creative Space. We're going through the book at our own pace, sharing our insights with each other and posting our progress. They are my traveling companions for the Vein of Gold journey!

To be honest...I started reading Vein of Gold about 7 or 8 years ago, but I got stuck around page 60. That's in the chapter where you write your "Narrative Time Line." There are several pages that you can "fill in the blanks" with all sorts of useful tidbits from your past to help you get started...

Looking back, there must have been something deep in my soul that I wasn't quite ready to face at the time...because I see that I actually tore out pages 57 - 60! On second thought, maybe I wrote something very personal that I wasn't ready to share with whoever picked up my book and looked inside! Or maybe it was a combination of both these things...

(Okay all you people who own Vein of Gold...go on and see what's on pages 57 - 60 of YOUR copy!)

I've grown and changed quite a bit since the first "reading" of this book. One thing that I've learned over the years, is that it's not necessary for me to put "everything out in the open" for the whole world to see (or my whole family, for that matter). This is one of the reasons I love art journaling. I can use colors, symbols, words, and images to tell a story that may be very personal, but when I look at the pages, I still know the whole story. Sometimes, that's the only part that's necessary (my art journal viewers will just have to deal with the un-knowing!! Ha!)

So, one of the areas of my life that I'll be exploring is "The Places I've Lived." I'm starting with a simple layout...White Gesso, mixed with some Flesh Tint Gouache, and some simple house shapes that I cut from some stamp paper. I will see where it leads me...

And today might be the perfect day to do some "Serious Art Journaling." Serious fun, that is! The temperature right now is a balmy 15 below zero (probably quite a bit colder if you factor in the wind chill). We cancelled classes at our preschool today, and I have the day off! I don't think I want to take my car out anywhere today, so an inside art day seems like a perfect choice!

Here are some other photos I took this morning (while "Dad" and "Daughter" were still asleep...and still are sleeping as a matter of fact!) (Which is fine with me...I enjoy the peace and quiet of the house....sleep on, you two!)

First, my new "toys" that I brought home from my Artist Date yesterday...

And another art journal page that I'm beginning...

It looks like a fun day of creating ahead of me...and a day of reflecting on my past a bit, too (not always fun, but an important tool for inner growth!). Have fun creating in your life today, whatever it may be!

...I had a thought the other day that everyone one of us is an artist, because we all create every one of our days! So, create away!!

And PS to my friend, Nikki...thank you for teaching me how to use my camera and how to resize pictures to put on this blog! What would I do without you?? It's good to have young friends to teach me about all of the modern technology in the world! LOL!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Three Kings Day

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star...

Oh, star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy perfect light...

May the love, peace and joy of the Christmas season be with you through the year!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Create Every Day!

Just a short post today....

Did you ever realize that the words acceptance and patient use the same letters?

See you soon!

Friday, January 2, 2009

My Clay Space...

I am so blessed to have a place in my house where I can go to play with clay! It's a 15 x 20 foot room in my basement, that I'm in the process of calling my own. It still has some things that need to be purged (e.g. can you see the fish in the photo below?)

I recently bought a used electric kiln from a friend, so it's definitely time to start creating! In November and December, I spent most of my clay time on the wheel, but lately, I've been feeling more called to make small pieces by hand, just for fun!

Today, I created a bit of delight,

along with some round tuits,

and some unicorn horns :)

So if you see any tiny unicorns that are missing a horn, tell them I have some extras! I'll probably paint them gold when they're out of the oven :)

I really love making small things out of clay, bisque firing them, and painting them with acyrlic paints. I'm getting quite a collection of these little bits and pieces! I think I'll be using them on some of the 6x6 artist boards that are lying around my house! I'll post some photos of the completed projects!

Oh...I almost forgot...I joined a new challenge yesterday! It's called The Creative Every Day Challenge, and you can find it at
The challenge is to create something each day of 2009 (which could become quite a challenge when my Christmas vacation is over!). Each month there will be a theme, and January's theme is PLAY! So today, in addition to playing in the basement with clay, I also started a mixed media piece called, "I Love to Play." (so sorry, but you'll have to wait to see that one!).

I recently finished 2 months of "Creating Every Day" on the Coach Creative Space website - what perfect preparation for this new challenge! Speaking of Coach Creative Space, if you are a Julia Cameron fan, you should take a look at the new Julia Cameron's readers groups at A group of us are just beginning to read The Vein of Gold! Come join us!!

May joy follow you until the next time!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Creating a New Year!

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called "Opportunity" and its first chapter is New Year's Day." Edith Lovejoy Pierce

And so begins yet another New Year!

I love the idea of the above quote by Edith Lovejoy Pierce (and how about that name!). A New Year truly is filled with opportunity. What a perfect time to create what we want to see in our lives! I've never been a big fan of New Year's resolutions - probably, because I quickly learned that those resolutions usually don't "stick." But I am a fan of setting intentions for the New Year!

My primary intention for this year is to be true to myself. I have spent so many years caring for everyone else around me, that it seems I've very much neglected my own spirit. Last night, as I reflected on 2008, I thought about what I want this new year to look like, and what I can do to make that happen. And I realized that it all comes down to being aware of my surroundings and paying attention to where I'm headed. I'm hoping that the following questions will help me stay focused on where I want to go in 2009...and who I want to be:

What brings me joy and what do I need to eliminate from my life?

Which people brighten my life and which people drain my energy?

Am I taking care of my own needs as well as I've always taken care of others?

Who in my life inspires me, and do I spend enough time around those people?

Where are the places in my world where I feel that I can be completely who I am?

What are those moments in my life where I get the feeling that "this is exactly what I'm supposed to be doing right now"?

What are the questions that are speaking to you as we begin a new year? Wherever the year takes you, I wish you peace and blessings on your New Year's journey! Happy New Year!!

"Every new year people make resolutions to change aspects of themselves they believe are negative. A majority of people revert back to how they were before and feel like failures. This year I challenge you to a new resolution. I challenge you to just be yourself." Aisha Elderwyn