Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Three Muses Challenge - Crowns, Wings and Things

Elements from Holliewood's "Broken," "Little Prince," "Enchanted," "Stark," SJD's "Royalty" and KAagard's "Soap Bubbles."

Postcard Swap Part 1

My friend Marguerite Bryant and I participated in a postcard swap hosted by Kat Sloma at www.cateyestudio.com. We sent 5 postcards designed by us to Kat, and in return, she mailed us back 5 postcards from people we have never met. She also added one more that was a postcard made from one of her own photos. There is going to be a blog hop where we post the postcards we received from the other participants. Marguerite, however, sent me the 5 postcards she made since there was little likelihood we'd receive others' postcards.

M, as her friends often call her, loves to create art while listening to jazz. She hand drew 5 different people renowned in the jazz world and made them into postcards. Wow! I love her drawings, and wanted you to see them, too. I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I did.

In order of their appearance, they are Ella Fitzgerald, Thelonious Monk, Nina Simone, Chet Baker and Billie Holiday. Aren't these fun?!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Take A Word Challenge - Beautiful

Photo by Coffee Monster at Deviant Art. I think watching the births of our four children was the most beautiful and amazing thing I have ever seen.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Joyful Paris

Original photo by Eric Tenin of Daily Paris Photo. Digital elements from Oscraps' kit "Parisian Holiday."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Steampunk Beetles

I did another version of the steampunk beetle project that I posted a while ago when I was taking a class by Kelly Hoernig. My original one was done in reds. I did this one as a gift for my friend Shane. I never showed the first one after I framed it, so this will let you see what the finished version is supposed to look like.

Mixed media and steampunk are so much fun to do!

Three Muses Challenge - Blue Moos

Blue Willow pattern Googled.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013

Art Journal Caravan 2013 Week 16 - Play

Elements from "Steampunk Utopia" kit by Studio Tangie and Studio Rebecca.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Making Your Creative Mark

Making Your Creative Mark is a new book written by Eric Maisel. I wanted to read this book, because I have another of his works, The Van Gogh Blues. I highly recommend both of these books to all artists. It seems we artist-type people go through a wide range of emotions as we think about and actually create our art. Eric Maisel is an excellent coach for helping us to understand the varied thoughts we sometimes have to fight through to accomplish our goal.

I was amazed that Chapter One of Making Your Creative Mark immediately describes what I fight with every time I want to paint, write or engage in any other creative endeavor - negative thoughts. Those thoughts have stopped me from starting a project many times. Chapter One, though, teaches us how to deal with those negative thoughts by changing them into something different. The publisher of Making Your Creative Mark has given me permission to include an excerpt from this first chapter, and I hope you will find reading it useful.

The Mind Key
An Excerpt from Making Your Creative Mark by Eric Maisel

Your first task as a creative person is to “mind your mind” and think thoughts that serve you. Doesn’t it make sense to speak to yourself in ways that help you create more deeply and more regularly, that allow you to detach more effectively from the everyday chaos of ordinary life, that decrease your anxiety and negativity, and that remind you that you are in charge of showing up and making an effort?
Many of us do a poor job of minding our minds, of choosing to think in ways that serve us. We present ourselves with self-sabotaging thoughts and refuse to dispute those thoughts once they arise. If we all did a better job of noticing what we are thinking and making an effort to replace defensive and unproductive thoughts with more optimistic and more productive ones, we would live in less pain and give ourselves a much better chance of our dream life.
It is this simple: Notice what you are thinking, dispute those thoughts that bad-mouth you or that send you careening in the wrong direction, and replace them with thoughts that better serve you. This is tremendously important!
You can use many useful strategies, available from the cognitive-behavioral school of therapy, to get a better grip on your mind and help yourself think more productively and positively. Here’s one I’ve created.
Often you have a productive thought, but then you immediately follow it with an unproductive one that stops you in your tracks. This sounds like “I’d love to practice the piano” followed by “but I’m much too old to learn complicated piano music.” Or “I want to get my novel written” followed by “but I don’t really know what my novel is about.” Or “I love my photographic collages” followed by “but lots of people are doing them.”
People engage in this self-sabotage all the time, deciding that something matters to them and then talking themselves out of taking action. It is almost what we do best as a species. I would like you to notice how this dynamic works in your life. Look at your own defensiveness, self-unfriendliness, and self-sabotage when it comes to those things that matter most to you. Look at this pattern, and then change it.
Complete the following, filling in the x and y with your own responses: “I say that x matters to me. But I often follow that thought up with y thought, a thought that does not serve me. I no longer want to countenance that thought.” You may have more than one self-unfriendly y thought — you may have lots of them! By all means include as many y thoughts as you like in your response. The clearer you are on the things you say to yourself that don’t serve you, the better will be your chances of extinguishing them.
Here is how some of my creativity coaching clients completed this exercise:
“I say that making art and selling my artwork matter to me. But I often follow that thought up with the thought that my artwork is not good enough to be considered attractive to buyers, a thought that does not serve me. I no longer want to entertain that thought. I will be open to opportunities to create and market my art, and I will make an effort to gain the support of art patrons.”
“I say that being organized matters to me. But I often follow that thought up with the thought that I will take time to organize my work space some time in the future, a thought that does not serve me. I no longer want to entertain that thought. I am taking the time to organize every day so that my studio feels peaceful and spacious, with a good energy flow.”
“I say that writing my screenplay and revising my novel and sending out articles are important to me. But I often follow up that thought with ‘What does any of it really matter?’ In the past few years, I’ve come up against so many roadblocks. It doesn’t feel like I matter to anyone. My husband is sick and needs my attention. Maybe concentrating on more basic needs is the most important thing to do — cleaning, gardening, exercising. But I realize that the only sure way I can fail at my writing is if I stop. The thought of quitting doesn’t serve me because it prevents any success from ever happening. I no longer want to entertain the thought of stopping.”
 “I say that music matters to me. But I often follow that up with the thought that I can’t afford to dedicate myself to it, that there are more important things in life, that I’m not good enough anyway, and that there are a lot of other things I’m interested in and almost anything pays better than music, which generally pays close to nothing. I no longer want to countenance those thoughts.”
I’m sure you can see how this process of telling off the thoughts that do not serve you will help you to create more often and more deeply and will improve your relationship to the art marketplace. Complete this x-y exercise, and then put the results into practice.
Creating depends on having a mind quiet enough to allow ideas to bubble up. Living a successful, healthy life as an artist requires that your self-talk align with your goals and your aspirations. Your job is to quiet your mind and extinguish negative self-talk. These are your two most important tasks if you want a shot at your best life in the arts.
Eric Maisel is the author of Making Your Creative Mark and twenty other creativity titles including Mastering Creative Anxiety, Brainstorm, Creativity for Life, and Coaching the Artist Within. America’s foremost creativity coach, he is widely known as a creativity expert who coaches individuals and trains creativity coaches through workshops and keynotes nationally and internationally. He has blogs on the Huffington Post and Psychology Today and writes a column for Professional Artist Magazine. Visit him online at http://www.ericmaisel.com.

Excerpted from the new book Making Your Creative Mark ©2013 by Eric Maisel.  Published with permission of New World Library http://www.newworldlibrary.com

I know you will enjoy reading the entire book! You will find it at Amazon by clicking on this link: Making Your Creative Mark: Nine Keys to Achieving Your Artistic Goals

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Three Muses Challenge - Kite

I don't know where this weird idea came from, but . . .  Image of man Googled.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Art Journal Caravan 2013 Itinerary 15 - Butterfly

Elements from "Steampunk Utopia" by Studio Tangie and Studio Rebecca. Model by Felix Dion at Deviant Art.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Art Journal Caravan 2013 April - African Dreams

Elements from new kit "Steampunk Utopia" by Studio Tangie and Studio Rebecca and "AJC 2013 April Parcel Collection."

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Time Tango 2013

Want to create a new relationship with time? "Time Tango 2013" is a fun, free teleclass Thursday, April 18 where you’ll use art and writing to create the new time in your life that you crave. A year ago, I participated in the blog tour for Marney Makridakis’ best selling book Creating Time and I’m excited to share this special one-year anniversary event! Sign up here by clicking here: Time Tango 2013

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Art Journal Caravan 2013 April - African Proverb

Elements from "AJC 2013 April Parcel Collection" and Mr. Whiskers' "African Mix."

Friday, April 5, 2013

Art Journal Caravan 2013 April - Africa

Elements from Tangie Baxter's "Art Journal Caravan 2013 April Parcel Collection."

Stay Human

My wonderful friend Marguerite has a very interesting post on her blog that all of us people who feel "weird" would enjoy reading. We artist-type people are all a little weird, and to me, that's a good thing! Who wants to be like everyone else anyway? I borrowed the picture below from her post, but she has another picture and video I know you would appreciate seeing. The link to her blog is: http://redballoontothemoon.weebly.com/1/post/2013/04/stay-human.html

I hope you will take the time to go read her post. Tell her a friend of Frida Kahlo's sent you. :o)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Life Book 2013 Week 10 - Heart Gratitude

Yay! Back to mixed media! I didn't follow all of the instructions for this lesson. There is a layer of writing that talks about the people I feel "heart gratitude" for. I didn't use rolled up pieces of paper with more writing about the same people to create the heart with as I felt I said enough in the other layer. I cut out and collaged a heart instead. I need to work on my lettering skills still, but . . .

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Three Muses Challenge - Transport

Balloon from itKuPiLLi's kit "Victorian." Road from Tangie's "Compendium Dreams." Fog from Altered Emporium's "Oz Punk."

Monday, April 1, 2013

Dark Whispers Challenge - Dorothea Lange

Dorothea's photos made me think of this song by The Carpenters.