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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Best Laid Plans....

Hi everyone....the slump continues. And not only that, when I did try to do something this morning, I completely screwed it up! While searching through some things I found one of my art journals and sat down to look at it. Mostly this is a book where I have pasted in some papers, some wallpaper, and not much else. I thought that if I could just add something to one of the pages it might help.

I found a page that had some pretty papers and a small leafy picture already on it. Looked good but there was a big blank spot at the top where it needed something.

I searched my images and found the perfect thing....cut it out, grabbed a jar, thinking it was my gel medium, and began to attach the image. I had some trouble with it and so I applied more "gel medium" quite liberally. Then I set it aside to dry.

Walking into the kitchen for a drink of water I noticed I had white stuff all over my fingers. I thought that was strange because I hadn't been painting anything. I got my drink and headed back to the studio expecting to see my page all dry and pretty only to discover that instead of gel medium I had used gesso!!!! The entire image was ruined!



And I love that deer head. Lucky for me I had scanned it into my computer so I can print out another one....but this was the original that I used. I thought the page looked so good when I was testing it. Ah, the best laid plans....

On the same note of trying to get something going creatively, I have joined a free group/class. Yes, I said FREE! It's called The Heart of Art. If you are not familiar with Tam over at Willowing & Friends then go over there and join up. Tam offers several classes (not free) and has a big following. I have one of her classes on DVD and enjoyed it very much. Maybe this group can get me going again.

Now I'm going back to my work table and I'm thinking of making some HUGE labels for my gesso and gel medium! I still can't believe that I did that....

EDIT: I just found the button to take you to Tam's free group and have added it to my sidebar.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Is That a Light At the End of the Tunnel???

I'm sure you're all sick to death hearing about my art slump. Yesterday I forced myself to sit in the studio and do something....anything....I got out some cheapie craft paints and some grocery store ads that came in the mail and I made some papers. Nothing fancy, nothing great, but at least I got paint on some paper and I actually kinda like how they turned out.



It's a start. Maybe I can use these papers in some collage or as texture under a painting. I think I told you that a few days ago I put some paint on a journal page and then didn't know where to go from there....here's that unfinished page....



I had thought this might be something for the current art crusade which is all about scraping paint....I love using a palette knife to put down paint so that's what I did here. Then I added the stencil of backwards ABC's....that didn't do much so I added some text and that seemed too much on top, so more paint to cover the text and that's where I am right now. YUK!

Also I mentioned that earlier I had drawn out two more faces that would have doodled hair. These are on black backgrounds so they're difficult to see....and keep in mind they're in the very beginning stages but here they are....



I did a blond and a brunette earlier so I thought I needed a redhead. I wanted her to be looking over her shoulder so I found this picture in a magazine. This way she has lots of hair to work with. You might be able to see a couple of curls drawn in off to the left....those are going to go. I just started to put down some paint and then the slump really hit hard so these have been sitting on my table for a long time.



This is the other face I wanted to do....also from a magazine picture. Both of these will eventually have doodled hair. I have them in my mind but I just haven't been able to get myself to work on them.

HB is gone for part of the day so I'm going to stay in the studio and see if I can do something else. Maybe even start working on these two faces. Who knows....maybe the slump is ending. I sure hope so. I hope that's a light at the end of the tunnel and not a freight train heading my way!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Day After....

Thank you for all the lovely comments on my birthday post. I had some really great emails (you know who you are!) lots of cards and e-cards, and both my kids phoned me so it was a beautiful day.

HB outdid himself this year when it came to my birthday cake. He found the perfect, decadent, "killer" cake. Three layers of chocolate cake....chocolate frosting....bits of brownies and walnuts scattered across the top....and chocolate glaze over that!



I think I was in a sugar coma after the first bite! It was soooooo good! I saved some for you, too. I've got the tea kettle on so come on over.

A few days ago I got a birthday package from my long-time, best friend, Gail. She always sends me the best gifts....they're always so personal and so thoughtful. She has a real knack for making me feel special. Here's what was in my package this year....(sorry about the messy work table in the background!)



I love it all! And that flower seed ad couldn't be more perfect!

Here's a close-up of the little bottle she made....I had it turned the other way in the photo above so all you could see were the ribbons....



It has little strips of paper inside with messages printed on them....and it's PURPLE!! Wonder why she chose that color for me!! :-)



She used one of my doodles for this wall plaque....I love the added jewels and the purple background. Thank you, Gail!!

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I think I might be slowly coming out of the big art slump. I've been trying some of your suggestions and they seem to be working. I'm taking baby steps but I think I might be getting back into the swing of things. I watched a couple of videos late last night and got the urge to get my hands dirty with some paint. So don't be surprised to see me popping up around Blogland. I think my self-imposed exile is almost over.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cake and Ice Cream....Maybe!

What a response I got from my last post! You really came through with terrific ideas, lots of encouraging emails, and even a couple of phone conversations....and I'm still not making art but I'm feeling ok about it. Maybe ok is not the exact word but I think you understand. Thanks for always being here when I need you.

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Today I turn 67 years young! Yep....it's my birthday. I don't have anything planned. HB has been asking me for weeks "what would you like to do on your birthday?" and I keep coming up blank! It's not like I haven't done this 66 times in the past! It's fun to have a birthday but I don't need some big celebration to make my day. I'm just a quiet, somewhat plain kind of gal. Give me some cake and ice cream and I'm happy! My waistline won't be happy but I will!!

So here's my cake....


image from the internet

I think the candles might have melted all the ice cream!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Art Slump - How Do You Handle It?

Still nothing....I'm continuing on in my deep art slump. I can't seem to find anything to snap me out of it. I'd love to hear from you and know how you handle art slumps when they happen. This one seems to be hanging around, sort of off and on, for the past few months.

And I'm beginning to question my creativity. I know I can "duplicate" just about anything I see. I can draw most things. I can paint most things. I can make a collage, alter a book, do a journal page, I've even dabbled in beading and sewing but none of it has been my own idea. Most of the time I need someone else to show me what they've done and then I can do it.

All the techniques I use come from someone else. All the art I do is done because someone else did something that made me want to try it.

So what does that say about my art? Am I just a copy cat? Is my creativity just a mirror image of what someone else does? And is there really anything that is original anymore?

Lately I've been spending time just sitting at my work table in the studio. I sit and look at all the things I have to make art. I have so much stuff that I could probably make art for the rest of my life and never have to buy another thing. But I seem to do the same old thing over and over and frankly it gets boring even to me.

In the past few years I have taken 27 classes. In fact I recently signed up for number 28 and I've barely even looked at it. I keep thinking that if I learn just one more thing then I'll be able to create something unique and beautiful. But each class, even though they've been great classes taught by really wonderful people, leaves me wanting more. I learn just enough to let me know I don't know anything!!

So what is the answer to creating art? I've always loved color and texture. I've always loved drawing and creating. My big dream when I was younger was to be creative and to be an artist of some kind. But for years I didn't pick up a pencil or a paintbrush. I didn't do anything artsy for a looooong time. Then one day I just began drawing again and I haven't stopped (very often) since then.

But I draw faces from a magazine or I draw something from a book. They aren't from my imagination. When I sit down with a pencil and some paper it's very difficult for me to think of something to draw. Usually there has to be something that I can look at and then I can draw it.

Can you tell I'm frustrated? It's like I'm wandering around inside my brain and all the doors and windows are closed, locked, and have the drapes pulled shut. Is it just part of the creative mind to act like this? Does everyone go through this or am I just weird? You don't have to answer that!!

So, if you've been wondering where I am and what's been going on, now you know. Please don't read this as a plea for praise or compliments....I don't want that. I'm only trying to explain where my head is right now. If you comment I'd love to hear how you handle something like this....or maybe it never happens to you. But please DO NOT leave me a comment telling me how much you like my art!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Zip....Zilch....

Guess what? No art! I'm in another art slump....can't seem to get myself going again. The weather has been incredible so maybe that's why I'm not interested in spending time in the studio. We are enjoying cooler temps than we usually have at this time of year and I'm lovin' it!

Just so you know....this is what my work table looks like today....



Lots of blank space....nothing happening....no inspiration....nada! Zip! Zilch! My brain went on vacation and forgot to take me along. I still have two faces drawn out and ready to paint but that's as far as I got. One has the background for her hair and the base coat of her skin and the other one has nothing but the pencil lines.

I haven't been reading blogs, haven't even been online much. Actually I've been cleaning house. It always happens when the weather gets nice. During the hot part of the summer I just do what has to be done and leave the rest. Now I'm getting the urge to clean. So if you don't see me around Blogland for awhile you know it's either because I'm cleaning or I'm sitting here looking at an empty worktable, trying to get back in the swing of things. Send me some inspiration if you have any extra. I could use it.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Nothing Exciting Here!!!

What have I been doing the past couple of days, you ask. Well, definitely not getting any art done, that's for sure! HB and I have been running around taking care of "stuff" that needs attention and that always means I don't get to spend time in the studio. And we all know that translates into BORING blog posts with no art!!

Late last night I put some black gesso on a couple of pages in my art journal and sketched out two new gals I want to paint. I was going to take a photo of them this morning so you could see the beginnings of some art but then I realized HB took my camera with him today.

He's been taking a class every Saturday and he wanted to borrow my camera to take some pics of himself in the sound studio. So no camera, no pics, not much to share with you today.

I can tell you that my chin is STILL numb! Part of the feeling has come back to my lip but it isn't 100% yet. I'm still eating a fairly soft diet. Each morning during the summer I have a smoothie for breakfast. A couple of weeks ago I took a photo (thank goodness I at least have these to show you!) of all the things I put into my smoothie....



Plain non-fat yogurt, almond milk, fresh blueberries, a peach, a banana, some pineapple juice, frozen strawberries, and a handful of chopped spinach....yes, SPINACH! Believe me, you can't taste it in the smoothie.

It all goes into my trusty blender, gets whirled around for a couple of minutes, and Viola.... yumminess.



Can you tell how old my blender is by that avocado green color!! Yep, I've had this blender since the very early 60's and it still works great. I have a newer one that HB bought me a couple of years ago but it doesn't work half as good as this old one.

Ok, now that I've bored you to tears, go out there and have a fun day. Do some art, play outside, see a movie....just enjoy yourself. And come back tomorrow as I hope to have some art to show you then.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Another Page in My Art Journal....

Hi everyone. Bet you wonder why you haven't seen me around Blogland today. HB is doing some work on his studio so things are sort of topsy-turvy around here. But don't worry, I'll be around to visit ASAP. I can't stay away too long.

Yesterday I started another girl in my new art journal. She took me longer than I expected....I just finished her minutes ago. I think she's rather plain compared to the one I did a few days ago but here she is....



I wanted to try darker hair so I could use the white Sharpie poster paint pen. It's ok but I still like the other one better. Here they are side by side in the journal....



Sorry, the picture is a little blurry. I must have moved but you can still see the comparison.



The scan cut off most of her shirt in the pic above. I like doing drawings on the hair because I have such a difficult time painting hair. This way I don't have to worry about it!

I hope you had some fun today.