Grass in a Glass and Finding Strength – Art Journaling

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This is how I start my day.  I call it my grass in a glass.  It’s completely natural, organic, and all fruits and vegetables.  I figure no matter how badly I eat for the rest of the day, at least I start my day in a healthy way lol.  Today’s mixture included kale, wheat grass powder, unsweetened almond milk, flax seeds, half a banana, oranges, and frozen strawberries.  I enjoy the taste of it, and so does my kitty!  lol  She follows me around every time I make one, and won’t stop bugging me until I let her lick a little bit off my finger.  (can you say….spoiled kitty???)

For 2015, I chose an inspirational word to focus on – “STRENGTH”.  I’ve been dealing with a life-changing injury since last May, and also suffered a couple of traumatic losses, which seems to have sapped my strength – both physically and emotionally.  Somehow, I need to find a way to get back to my strong, healthy self.  So, inspired by Donna Downey’s “Inspiration Wednesday” class, I completed this journal spread.  It felt good to get into my journal, and I love the way it turned out – the colors, and the imagery really speak to me.  So, there it is – STRENGTH.  I found it.  :)

strength strengthl strengthr

Progress Pics – ART fun

I just LOVE playing with art mediums, layering and waiting to see what’s going to happen.  I started this canvas (24″ x 24″) with a very thick layer of drywall compound, applied with a large palette knife. I embedded some drywall tape into the compound, and let it dry completely.  I then added some heavy body yellow paint and black gesso here and there, and allowed that to dry completely.  Then, I added various texture mediums – in a very random fashion – Golden Hard Molding Paste, Light Molding Paste, Hard molding Paste, Crackle Paste, Kroma Crackle gel, and TriArt modeling Paste.  Here’s a detail shot of what it looked like after these layers had dried.  I love the big cracks!  The different mediums all responded differently over the drywall compound and black gesso.  SO FUN!

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Next, I added some Golden Cobalt Teal paint, in a very random fashion.  I painted the edges with black gesso.

Now the really fun part – I had a bunch of Viva Decor products from my stash – so I chose crackle mediums in silver, and black, and added very thick blobs here and there, and smushed them about.  Then, I found a jar of Liquitex Acrylic Texture Gel in Black Lava, so I spread some of it around, avoiding the crackle mediums.  I let these dry overnight, and…loooooooooooookie………I love the way the sunshine from the window behind this piece shines through some areas!2015-02-21 05.33

Just look at all the FABULOUS texture!detailsdetails2

So, my question to you, my loyal followers – What should I do next?  I hate to cover up all that beautiful texture and color, but it’s obviously not finished.  Hmmm….any thoughts/ideas?  I would love to hear them….leave me some comments, please!!!  Let’s start a creative dialogue.  :)

Making ART!!!

My poor blog has been so neglected.  :(  So, I thought I’d post a little peeky into my creative process today.  I’m playing with texture, trying to recreate a look similar to this piece that I did last year.texturalbyw

So, here’s where I’m at so far…

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Video Tour of My Art Studio!

Online Classes – What I’m Taking and My Thoughts…

10873463_10203262898558948_4697677102358009712_o I thought I would share my plans for online classes this year.  I’ve tried to be more selective this year, and not to over-commit, but it’s just so darn difficult!  There are so many options now, and I want to take them ALL!  And, because I am not able to play tennis, or work out right now, my art is my only real outlet.  (That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it!).

So, first, here are the paid classes I’ve signed up for:

***NOTE – I am NOT affiliated in any way to any of these artists or classes.  I am not being compensated or paid to support or promote them.  My opinions are just that…my opinions… based on my own experience with some of the repeat classes, and with the artists’ past teachings.***

I’m taking my friend, Effy Wild’s class – Book of Days, which is all about (for me) – painting faces and getting messy in my art journal.  I also love Effy’s style of teaching, and consider her one of my best artsy friends.  We have met, in real life, as she lives only about an hour’s drive away from me.  She went through quite a difficult 2014, too, so I really want the best for her in 2015! ♥

I signed up (again) for Lifebook, with Tam (Willowing) – this year-long class starts on January 1, and I have no doubt it will be amazing again!  She has a fabulous lineup of artists again this year, and I can’t wait to get started.  Honestly, even though I do this class most years, I have never completed all of the assignments.  I watch ALL the videos, and download them.  I do some of the lessons, if I have the time, and if they inspire me.  And, I’m totally okay with that!  It’s good value, in my opinion, and the online communities (both on Ning, and Facebook) are part of the joy I get from this class every year.

A new class for 2015, being taught by the BADASS Wyanne Thompson - You & Me 2015 – is a painting workshop.  Wyanne is one inspirational lady!  She has been through so much, and still, she is happy, and doing art, and now hosting a year-long painting workshop.  Check out her story on her blog.  She went through the same type of cancer that my Mom went through, so I feel connected to her somehow because of this.  However, I followed her art even before she got sick.  She is one AMAZING woman.

Another of my favorite artists, Donna Downey, is bringing back her “Inspiration Wednesdays” for 2015!  I have missed her unique art journaling style so much, since she stopped doing these videos last year.  If you’re not familiar with this series, check out her Youtube channel – there are TONS of FREE videos there.  She is charging a nominal fee for 2015, but, trust me, it is going to be worth it!  I also met Donna in person – I had the pleasure of taking some classes with her a couple of years ago.  She is hilarious!  ♥ her!  :)

I am continuing my membership in  The Artstronauts Club – a group with Tracy and Teesha Moore.  This is a much different type of class – it’s not really a class, it’s just a private, hosted website with inspirational videos, downloads, and such.  I paid an annual fee to for access to whatever gets posted, and they are very generous with sharing their ideas and skills.  I love Teesha’s art journaling style.

The FABULOUS and FANTASTIC and FUNNY(published author) –  Joanne Sharpe is offering a year-long workshop again this year.  I didn’t participate in her (similar) class last year, and I missed her!  I have met Joanne in person – I took one of her classes at a nearby art studio – and she is exactly as she seems! ♥  “Artfully Inspired 2015″ sounds like it’s going to be another great art journaling class, with the focus, in trademark Joanne Sharpe style, on lettering.  I have taken many, MANY of Joanne’s classes, and always enjoy them.  PLUS, I purchased the recommended Strathmore art journal last year, not knowing what I was going to do with it…so, it’s meant to be.  :)

I just found out that Jane Davenport is running another live class of her famous “Supplies Me” class!!!  I am already a member of this class (membership in Jane’s classes are now FOREVER!).  I highly recommend it, for anyone who loves art supplies as much as I do.  She teaches you how to use so many different supplies, that I couldn’t possibly begin to tell you.  Her classes are so JAM PACKED with content…LOVE Jane!  (I met her when I was in Australia in January, 2014…she is AWESOME! <3)  AND, she has a new book coming out VERY soon….can’t wait!  <3

And, a couple of FREE classes I plan to participate in:

The Documented Life Project 2015.  This is a free class being run by a group of artists that call themselves “Art to the 5th”.  They have changed things up a bit this year – I think it will be more art journaling, and less planning.  It is quite an active group of artists!  Last year they posted the prompts, etc., primarily on Facebook.  But, this year they have moved things over to their academy here.

Another free class – being run by Suzi Blu – Paint and Chronicle – sounds like it will be more focused on writing/journaling, and less arting.  Suzi has been around FOREVER, and is a published author, and known for her whimsical faces. <3

There are so many classes available now!  I want to join them all, but obviously that’s silly lol.  (is it?)  I would love to hear your thoughts on any classes you are participating in!  PLEASE leave me a comment.  I really do want you to!

But, for now, I’m going to go make some art.  REALLY!  I am going to make some art.  Watch me… ;)

2014 – The Good, the Bad, and the Sad

selfiedec14_edited-1I know I haven’t blogged much lately, but I do plan to change that!  2014 was VERY difficult for me.  I am so very hopeful that 2015 will be a much better year.

I did have a nice, quiet Christmas, spent with hubby, kitties, and hubby’s family.  Santasteve was VERY good to me.  I am one grateful girl.

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Even though we – 1.  took our dream vacation (a whole month in Australia!), and – 2.  built a new BEAUTIFUL home, :) – I also suffered a serious back injury, in May.  And I lost some very special people. :(  As a result of my injury, I lost an entire summer season of tennis.  That is the first time that has happened in about 25 years.  Not only is my tennis fantastic exercise, it is also my primary social outlet.  I am also unable to exercise, and that depresses me even more.  Secondly, as a result of our move, I wasn’t able to do much art.  These are the two things that keep me grounded, and help me deal with the stress of life.  I’m still not recovered from my back injury, unfortunately, but after months of waiting, I finally have an appointment at the local Pain Clinic on February 6, so I am hopeful that I can find a drug-free method of pain management (at the very least).  I lost my Mom, unexpectedly, in November, and I am still so sad about that. RIP Mom.  :(

Mom annd I

BUT, my art studio is now complete!  I am so excited, and grateful to my fabulous husband.  I now have the most awesome space in which to create!  I still need to do some organizing, but I am working slowly on that.  :)

Here is what it looked like on December 3 – sorry the photos aren’t the best quality, but you get the general idea.  It’s changed a LOT since then.  When it’s “finished” (will it ever be?) – I’ll post updated pictures.  It’s a HUGE room in the basement, with large windows, and tons of storage, horizontal workspaces, excellent lighting, and a cork floor!  I have been creative most of my life, so I have managed to accumulate quite the collection of supplies.

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Here are a couple more, taken a couple of weeks ago:IMG_3738
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And….more progress:IMG_3742IMG_3741IMG_3743

And, the centre island worktable is installed!  This is the only picture I have taken so far.  Wilson likes it.  ;)

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This blog post has taken way longer than I had anticipated.  But, I hope you enjoyed taking a peek into my life.  Thank you so much for stopping by.  I have another post almost ready to post – I will be talking about the online classes I plan to take for 2015.  Since I can’t play tennis, and I have this awesome art studio, I REALLY want to do tons and tons of art!  So, check back tomorrow….ta ta for now!  :)

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 35,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 13 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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