Sunday, August 20, 2017

Happy Art Journaling

Many poets, journalers and art journalers begin this practice in order to process difficult times and emotions of their lives. And what a perfect way to slowly explore where you are and where you need to go, what to change, or what to keep. It was that way for me in poetry and journaling but not with art journaling.

I am a typically happy, optimistic and Pollyanna-ish woman and when I think of art I think of art I think of my childhood and hours spent drawing, coloring with a huge box of crayons, painting by number or coloring with a Venus Paradise colored pencil kit. Those were hours of pure and joyous creation with no particular investment in the outcome. And that is how I approach my various art journals.

These two pages are examples of how I express my happy moods. Not to say that sadder emotions don't creep up but I prefer to tackle those feelings with words on the pages of spiral notebooks. I leave my art journals for fun, happy and whimsical splashes of color, image and words. I work in several journals at once all with mixed media pages so that they can hold up to the weight and wetness of paints, inks and gel medium. But they are in different sizes. Sometimes my choice depends on the images I want to use and other times I choose a size to reflect my mood. Am I working tight and small or loose and intuitive. 

I came to art journaling in my fifties and I'm glad I discovered this wonderful way to express myself and to play.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tribute to a Poet

Several years ago we took a trip to Amherst, Massachusetts and visited the home of poet Emily Dickinson. It was a wonderful experience to see where she lived and wrote her hundreds of poems cloistered in her room all alone. Artifacts of handwritten poems, notes and letters, her iconic white dress with lace collar, the garden outside the door. As a poet and lover of poetry I was touched and inspired by merely being in the same house she had once been in.

I do enjoy incorporating my own poems into my art but many times I like to make an art journal layout that honors a favorite poet. Here is one I did in honor of Mary Oliver and my favorite poem of hers.

Today I made my Emily Dickinson page because the need for hope is strong and crucial right now. Here is her poem about hope.

And here is my art journal in tribute to the solitary poet, the Belle of Amherst.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Making the Most of Every Moment

Before dawn raises her sun striped arms in the sky I gaze out the window, stretching awake my muscles and bones. Hummingbirds flitter outside at the feeder and butterflies hover over the flowers. Each day is a gift and we cannot let even one go without stopping to witness new growth and creative ideas. We cannot pass one moment not observing beauty or being grateful for Mother Nature's gifts.

do not waste time
on idle hours
this life graces us
with moments we must cherish

I take to my art journal in order to spend my moments creatively and to wash my soul of the chaos in this world. I look for images and quotes, or create my own poems, that bear witness to the good in the world.

No matter what I am in the process of creating I feel a thrum in my soul that lets me know I am fully alive and witnessing all that each day holds. I am not idly waltzing through life, but taking advantage of its gifts and appreciating everyone and everything I come to know.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


It's time to give this blog a face lift and some much needed attention. My creative muses have conspired to lead me in directions filled with heart and passion. That means poetry and art journaling and ways to incorporate the two. I've been exploring ways to combine my art journal pages with my poetry and here is a fresh example of what I've come up with.

For me poetry and art are equally satisfying and soulful ways of expressing myself. I can't abandon one for the other so it was necessary for me to find a way to combine the two. I like more structured art journal pages such as the one below.

But I also like the free flowing form of intuitive painting. Therefore I have to work in two journals. I use my moleskine sketchbook to create art using stamps and quotes and design theory and structured techniques. But I am beginning a new 8x8 inch art journal that will include my intuitive painting journeys combined with new poems.

Intuitive painting such as this:

allow me to freely express what's happening in my head, which is always a turmoil of creative inspiration. It lets me play with paint and get messy without worrying about what the finished painting will look like. I can put on any kind of music that attracts me at the moment and just smear paint across the blank page. 

I like the idea of using these paintings as a backdrop for my poems and will be busy working on these pages. Poetry and painting emerge from the same place in my soul and give me the same sense of satisfaction at self expression.

It's a new creative journey that I look forward to and to sharing the stops along the way with my readers.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Finding Myself in Poetry and Art

The morning is born in silver and blue, calling to me from the slats of light between window blinds. Black crows squawk, demanding attention, the way my mind demands I rise from the bed and head to my desk. A pen with ink the color of a mid-morning sky and a blank page of notebook paper await. The pen will dance my thoughts across the white page, curling dreams into letters and joys and sorrows into verse. The conduit from my mind, through my arm and my fingers, through the pen and on to the paper is a golden ribbon that unfurls from my soul. And here in morning silence I find myself.

Poetry touches the heart. I read poems and a fire lights in my head, birthing flames of new poems. I write and the fires are staunched for the moment only to burn again at the sight of flower blooming or the song of swallow.

If I feel lost, I can open a collection of poems and find myself in depictions of happiness and nature. But writing poems or even stories can act as a mirror to my soul and show me what is important in my life.

Once the poems are written images of paint emerge to be danced across a canvas or art journal to express the parts of myself I have newly discovered. Life begins in the lines of a poem and the swirls of a paintbrush and my spiritual practice unwinds like a song.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Art Shows

As members of the Temecula Valley Art League we are offered many opportunities to exhibit our art. It's not so easy to put yourself out there in the world. To feel confident enough about what you are creating to share it with the world and display your heartfelt canvases among the works of other artists, some of whom have been in juried exhibits, have sold their work and been displayed in galleries.

Eventually though, as an artist who creates in the confines of your own room, all alone, with only the muses to sing to you, the time comes when you have to get out there. In April Frank and I had the chance to display our work at a monthly exhibit in Old Town Temecula. Putting our work out in the world was a challenge, not to mention trying to maneuver the hooks and wires needed to hang canvases from the racks we were provided. But it was a lot of fun!

We finally got everything hanging up securely and to the tune of a live jazzy/blues band we wandered around the vast space looking at the work of other artists. As with any endeavor in this world there were many who were better than us and others who were not as good. And in the middle is a pleasant place to be in terms of artistic talent.

We also got to meet other artists and chat about the creative process and the opportunities that exist in our new home town to share our art and meet other creative people.

I know we will be exhibiting more often and we both look forward to that chance.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Blogging, Art and Networking

I know, I know, I said I wanted to blog more often. Well I'm working on it. We did go away for a few days to Paso Robles, another one of California's wonderful wine country regions. And we spent some hours walking on the trails along the coastline at Moonstone Beach. But with the mobility of electronic devices travel may no longer be an excuse not too blog. Though too much food and wine might suffice.

Well I'm back now and ready to talk about art and all that.

Frank and I attended a meeting of the Temecula Valley Art League last night and my discussion with the current President of the organization prompted this blog post. It's related to networking and publicity.

The TVAL monthly meetings are a lovely blend of pot luck dinner, business meeting and artist demonstration. When we moved to California from New York I researched several arenas for networking with artists and the Temecula Valley Art League came up. We've only been to two meetings so far and just became official members but already I see the potential. Not only for networking with local artists but also as a way for me to get involved in something that I feel passionate about. Besides art making I am very passionate about promoting the arts, especially for children.

TVAL is presently looking for new board members and that announcement prompted me to talk to the President and find out how I could volunteer my services. Aside from taking on some responsibilities for doing tasks the organization needs to be done I also want to brainstorm ways that I can offer new skills and services to the league. They need a new publicity person and I might take that on if I can do enough research about how to go about it. I want to promote art for everyone not just promote my own art making which is more of a personal hobby than a profession.

I'm taking it on, along with other clubs or groups that sound interesting and I hope this blog will also be a forum to publicize events and happenings at the art league here in beautiful Temecula.