Anticipating the Future

I had a crazy day yesterday driving all over shuttling kids to events and back.  The Portland National College Fair was the big event of the day and I am so proud of my oldest daughter because she was better prepared and better composed than most of her friends, including those who are Seniors.  We bounced happily from one of her choices to another crossing schools off our list one by one and finding surprises along the way.  None of these schools are in our current state and half of the choices are nearly as far away as you can go.  I’ve always known Miranda would leave the nest and fly far – that’s just her spirit.  What surprised me is that she is far more focused than I imagined and her mission is all about the program, not simply to get away from home.  The fact that Tampa FL and Pittsburgh PA are two of the locations is happenstance.

I recalled my own junior year of high school being full of disappointment and squelched dreams because my father experienced a long lasting period of unemployment and my parents decided that my only option would be the local junior college.  Looking back, I should have applied anyway; but, I was a good girl who listened to my parents and trusted they had all the knowledge (at least where finances were concerned).  My parenting reflects my rebellion as I constantly encourage my children to explore and believe that anything is possible.  How amazingly grateful I am that my daughters can choose to approach life wide-eyed and fearless now instead of waiting until they’re over 40!

My best friend Jessica and I were talking earlier this week about our aspirations in the art world and she expressed to me that she is thinking about being a full-time artist, to which I replied, “No, it’s happening! It’s definitely happening!”  I’m done with thinking about potential possibility.  I am ready.  I am an artist and I’m going to make art for a living!  So what that I am divorced, over 40, and every other excuse the old tapes play in my head when I am feeling doubtful or scared!  I’ve learned, and am continuing to learn that the magic isn’t out there in the future, it is right now.  I’ve learned that taking one step every single day is the only way to make a dream come to reality and I’m honestly not looking at time, though I have goals written down because that’s good to do, I am looking at today.  I’m writing this article right now because it’s the step I can take in this moment to move myself closer to being a full-time artist and teacher.

I’m also writing this article because I pledged to myself and my dream that I would write every Sunday morning about what happened in the studio this week.

I did a paint over early in the week entitled, “Bliss.”  It was a fun piece to do and I honestly had no idea what the result was going to be.  I started with fluorescent oil pastels in my journal and then gessoed over them using a stencil.

IMG_0009This resulted in an extremely bright page but the rays weren’t as prominent as I IMG_0010wanted so I painted over the whole thing with blue acrylic paint and then, while it was still a little damp, I placed the stencil in different positions/directions from where it was the first time and picked up the paint through the stencil with a baby wipe.  The result was much closer to what I had originally intended.  I love the way that the colors peek through.

My next step isn’t documented by photo, but I drew 3 hearts down the left side with a fluorescent oil pastel and decided I needed a face.  I am still learning how to draw expression and I found an image in my stash which captured exactly the feeling I wanted to evoke.  I got to work.  I painted with acrylics and gesso and I activated my neocolor II crayons.  I embellished and the end result is surprisingly WAY different that where I initially started.  I love it.


Isn’t she beautiful!  Isn’t she blissful?  This is exactly representative about how I feel about my present and my anticipated future.

The rest of the week was really busy and the weather shifted more to our typical fall so I did a lot of reading and resting in addition to working 40 hours at my current job.  But I managed to take and post a bunch of closeup photos whenever happiness appeared in my world.  Here they all are in case you didn’t see them on Facebook.

I wish you a fantastically creative artsy fearless week!


Art This Week

This week I was very productive.  I cannot stress how freeing it is to have a dedicated space in which to create.

I started the week with a mixed media piece for the wall in my studio.


Then I got inspired by all of the art posted on and created this beautiful blue haired lady.

 And lastly, I was inspired to do this art journal page…

In addition to all of this, I created two pendant designs in copper for a upcoming jewelry making retreat I will be doing in mid-November.  You can see those here:

As you can tell, I had a lot of fun! How was your week?


prompt 5For this post, I incorporated the title of my journal “Abundance” into my journaling.  Instructions were to divide the page in half and try using transparency and/or journaling on top of the image.  The hearts and the word gratitude were done in gesso.  A black glaze pen was used to doodle and to enhance the word gratitude.   The rest of the decoration was done using layers of paper and a K & Co. border element.  The image of the woman I saved because I liked it, but had carved out a word from the back of the image for another project, making a rectangular cut across her nose.  So I used this to highlight the word “gratitude” and since I journaled on top of the image, the cut is less apparent.  I think this is a good example of how you can really push the limits of using what you have in your stash.  In the past I would have thrown something like this away, but I saved it and now have been able to use all of it.

12/10/12 Journal Page – No Trespassing

No Trespassing I’ve been working mainly on my art journals this year and have participated in several swaps trading pages and journals.  It’s been a very healthy process and I have grown a lot as an artist.  Most of my journal pages deal with the moods that I’m experiencing at the moment.  I always wanted to journal growing up but when I would sit down, I felt silly cataloging my days chronologically like a travel log.  What I’ve learned is that art journaling allows me a much freer expression and rather than being forced to say everything, I am able to focus on only a few things or even one thing and provide that one thing a lot of detail, focus and attention.  Somehow, this is very freeing for me.  I feel too that it has helped me grow as a writer.

The page was added to an altered book.  I gessoed the page background to start and then added the yellow swirls.  Next I found images which express what I am feeling.  The fence seemed perfect to illustrated the strained communication between the man and the woman.  Then I added them in opposition to one another distanced and separated by the barrier.  The man is struggling with his thoughts and the woman is hiding in the dark, masked, but beautiful.  She just wants him to look at her and see her as she is.  She wants him to get beyond the mask.  I used blue for his background and orange for hers because they’re compliments.  They also nicely add a little element of flow between them.  The color was all created using watercolor.  The phrasing and details around the outside of the page were created using Sharpie and the journaling is done in pencil so it is much softer than the Sharpie.

Using a Neutral Palette

This piece was created as part of a series which focuses on using a limited palette.  The only rules are to create a piece that uses only the selected colors and no others.  The palette for this piece is neutral colors.

I’ve been saving some vintage images I purchased from my favorite supply and inspiration source – Art Chix Studio.  After selecting the image, the piece came together rather rapidly.  I collaged the background with vintage papers and foreign text for texture – and noticed after the fact that “memoires” was at the top – hence this became another focal point and the title of the piece.  I added the screen as well for a worn look and simply stapled it onto the piece.  I think it gives it a country feel.   I finished the piece by lightly rubbing gesso here and there with my finger across the screen and around all the sides.  Lastly I embellished it with silver feather-like doodles and a few rhinestone centered paper flowers.

One word of caution, gesso and walnut ink end up making pink when mixed together.  The light touches of pink were unintentional, but I think they ended up being a happy mistake because they add a little bit of warmth to the piece.

Who says that pink can’t be a neutral color?  It goes with nearly everything, doesn’t it?