Art, writing

Good News, Art, and Updates

It has been a while since I’ve posted, but it’s because I have been really busy writing and revising. Yay! I had initially created this site to chronicle my journey into visual art hoping it would eventually bring me back to my first love: creative writing. I am happy to report that spending eight months focusing on visual art led me right back to the novel I had been dreaming of writing since 2011.

In October of last year, an artist I follow mentioned a live FB event with author coach Sage Adderley-Knox. While sitting in my car waiting for my son to get out of school, I watched Sage discuss her six-week program for writing a first draft. I decided to take the leap, and I’m so glad I did. For the first two weeks of the program, I was still completely blocked and just could not write. Then during one of our live meetups on FB, she said, “You are not writing this book for other people, you are writing this book for yourself. You must write something you are proud of. You cannot do that if you are writing for someone else.” Something about that clicked for me. I had been trying to figure out how to write the novel based on what I thought other people might want to read with a thousand different opinions screaming in my head. When I started to focus on the story I wanted to tell and how I wanted to tell it, the novel just poured out of me and onto the page. Six weeks later, on December 24, 2018, I had completed an 88,825 word first draft. I decided to continue working with Sage one-one-one, and I am nearly finished with the first revision of the novel I had dreamed of writing for seven years! And…I finally came up with a title that I love! What a miracle!

So, what else have I been up to? I’ve been making lots of art, too. I’ve been participating in Effy Wild‘s amazing art classes. In addition, I’ve been using an incredibly healing technique in my art journal called Cosmic Smash Booking created by Catt Z, and have been learning so much about some very freeing abstract painting techniques from Ady Almanza’s Abstract Dreams course. If you head over to my Instagram page, you can see more photos of what I’ve been creating over the past four months.

I am learning that I cannot just write or just make visual art. If I try to do too much of one without the other, I get really cranky. So, I am working on finding a balance between writing and making art. I hope that you will stay with me for the next part of my journey as I chronicle the art-making and novel-revising, and figure out what is next for me on this wild and wacky adventure.

art journal, Daily Art Devotion

Daily Art Devotions: Day 40

I did it! I completed the 40-day #DailyArtDevotions Art Journal Journey with Elizabeth Foley. I have enjoyed expanding my creativity with the daily prompts. I really enjoy flipping through the journal and looking at everything I’ve created. I do still have to paste into the journal some of the entries that I created on separate paper. Along with those I’m going to add some other pieces I’ve created these last forty days, and I believe those together will fill up the entire book. Yay!

So, what’s next? Well, I’ve made a commitment to once again return to finishing my novel. I’ve joined a six-week writing program that offers support, structure, accountability, and fear busting so that I can fulfill my one main goal this year: having a polished first draft of my novel completed by 12/31/18. This novel continues to call to me no matter what I’ve done over the last seven years to avoid writing it. It’s clearly a story that must be told.

I don’t know how much art I will be doing over the next six weeks, but I am considering doing a short blog post each day to share my favorite line from that days writing. I realized today, as I was speaking with Elizabeth Foley, that I love art so much because of the connections I’ve made. Writing is a lonely process and there isn’t a beautiful piece of art to share at the end of each day. Connections get lost, and since I’m already fairly isolated, losing those connections is difficult for me. So, I will have to come up with a creative way to connect even while dedicating myself to completing my novel.

For the final day of this art journal journey, my page represents the gift of gratitude. I put gesso on the page first. Then I filled the entire page with what I’m grateful for in turquoise ink. I then added more gesso and some gold acrylic paint and used a brayer to spread them both across the page. I then added some Brusho Crystals in red and violet and sprayed them with water. Once the background was complete, I added my present made with cardstock with an embossed mandala (which is the first time I’ve embossed anything! Woohoo!). I then added a bow on the top with gold ribbon. And my gift of gratitude is complete as is this special journey ❤️

art journal, Daily Art Devotion

Daily Art Devotions: Day 39

For Day 39 of#DailyArtDevotions (only one day left!!!) we created a representation of “the sands of time.” I decided to go a little wild with my page. I wanted to try out new things so I used my new Daniel Smith watercolors and new Brusho Crystals. I used molding paste over a clock stencil for the clock. I used resist for some of the water, and then painted over it to add variations in water color. I used a script stamp with gold archival ink underneath the sand to add variation in sand color. I am pleased with how most everything turned out except the perspective. It is off so it looks like the whole world is weighing down on the clock, which now that I think about it, is pretty accurate!

art journal, Daily Art Devotion

Daily Art Devotions: Day 38

For Day 38 of #DailyArtDevotions, I created a sketch that represents how I feel about being in nature…well, when it’s not thirty degrees outside. We went from very warm summer temperatures right into very cold winter temperatures skipping right over my favorite season: fall. Maybe I will have to create fall on the page!

Also, I started adding color to my latest mermaid sketch. I used acrylic paints and acrylic pens for her scales and my new Daniel Smith watercolors for her tale and the rock. Then I added shimmering color to her tale with a sparkling brush pen. I will keep adding color as the colors come to me. Each day I sit with her to see what comes to me.

art journal, Daily Art Devotion

Daily Art Devotions: Day 37

For Day 37 of #DailyArtDevotions we were to create an intuitive doodle with our eyes closed and then open our eyes and color in what we saw. I decided to draw my intuitive doodle with my non-dominant hand.

Very quickly, after opening my eyes, I saw eyes and then a face emerged. But as I began to add color, the image transformed several times. Originally, the swirl with the circle was the mouth, then it was the heart, and finally I realized that it was something hidden within the large heart.

After coloring the image, I then wrote down phrases that kept coming to me throughout the process.

art journal, Daily Art Devotion

Daily Art Devotions: Days 35 and 36

I have almost completed the 40-day #DailyArtDevotions #artjournal journey with Elizabeth Foley. I have learned so much about my creative practice over the last several weeks. Most importantly is that I create cyclically, and sometimes it’s important to take a few days off to fill myself up with other activities so that I can return to creating with a refreshed mindset.

For Day 35, I revisited the mermaid sketch I created as part of this practice. I wanted to see if I could scan the sketch and print it on watercolor paper. I’m often afraid to add color to sketches that I really love, so figuring this out would allow me to keep an original sketch. Though it is not exactly what I had wanted because of sizing issues, I was able to scan in my sketch and then print it on hot pressed watercolor paper. I am now waiting for the Daniel Smith watercolors I ordered with my birthday money to arrive so that I can add color to the printed sketch. I like the way it printed on the page leaving a lot of space at the bottom so now I can add some water below the rock she is sitting on.

For Day 36, I added a special red thread closure to my journal to remind me of the connection between us all. I then added a “just breathe” medallion to help me remember that stopping and taking the time to breathe is the best way for me to reconnect with the Divine.

art journal, Daily Art Devotion

Daily Art Devotions: Days 32 through 34

For Day 32 of #DailyArtDevotions I created an art journal page inspired by candles and flame. I decided to use my favorite stencil over a page I had previously washed with watercolor. I used black and gold acrylic paint and then used a yellow Posca pen to add the light to the lanterns. I’ve always loved glowing lanterns and this page reminds me of all the light in my life.

My Day 33 #artjournal page is dedicated to Georgia O’Keeffe. I recreated The Lawrence Tree in watercolor.

For Day 34, I created sprouts that represent some of my biggest dreams. I added little blooms to represent hope for their fulfillment. And each one has a word that describes its essence.