Wading into Watercolors

My creative journey has taken me on a long winding road with many unexpected side trips. It began as a child when poetry and art grabbed my spirit and burrowed in. No medium was out of reach. There were crayons, paints, chalks, colored pencils, charcoal and sketching pencils. From stick figure people to trees with a round head of leaves and rudimentary sketches of bowls of fruit I made my way in the art world of childhood. 

Poems erupted in my heart and onto paper at a staggering rate. Poor as they may have been they fed my creative soul.

Eventually, as I grew up, art seemed to slip away and I focused on writing. I journeyed from poems to short stories and onto novels and settled for many years only on writing. Then slowly my creative mind wandered down meandering paths not taken in many years.

It began with a foray into scrapbooking. I was looking for a visual way to express my creativity and happened upon a scrapbook magazine in Barnes and Noble. I bought one. Found a local scrapbook s…

Devoted to Mary Oliver

I have been a fan of Mary Oliver's poetry for years. Her poems are detailed and heartfelt images of nature, the humbleness of being human, and a clear indication that writing poems is a form of prayer. Her newest collection, "Devotions," is a compilation of poems from nearly all of her other collections and I keep it on my reading table and dip into it each morning. The title also gave me the idea for the art journal I've been toying with creating for a while now.

I have wanted to create a journal that honors Mary Oliver and includes some of my favorite lines from her poems. I've been lately intrigued by these 6 x 6 inch disc bound journals and I think it's the perfect style for this new journal.

I will create mixed media, art journal style, layouts and incorporate lines from the poems. It is my way to highlight the lines I love and to pay tribute to the poet who inspires me to write poetry and to experience and witness nature in all its beauty and tragedy with…

Opening the Doors to Poetry

are you the one
who turns her head
when your name is called
or does a silent someone
lurk in your soul

Even before I began writing tanka my short poems contained no capital letter except for proper nouns. The only punctuation I ever use are a random comma to suggest a slight pause, or a small dash to carry the reader along into the next thought. It is simply a style I have always liked. But today I came upon a hidden and profound reason for eliminating these artifices in poetry.

I am reading "The Way of Tanka" by Naomi Beth Wakan, which is one of the best books I've read about the writing of this Japanese form of poetry. In her book she described the lack of a capital letter at the start of the poem as a way of keeping open in the reader's mind, all that has gone before.

So many find poetry to be inaccessible and I strive to make my poems easy to read and understand. There is no obtuseness about them, nor does the reader need to consult dictionaries or ancient stories or te…

Artist Exhibit

The Temecula Theatre Foundation is sponsoring an art exhibit at the Merc in Old Town Temecula. The exhibit will run from April 6 to April 30. Artist receptions will be held on April 6 and April 27 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. I will be present for the reception on April 27. I hope you will come out and see this special exhibit. All art work is a donation to the Temecula Theatre Foundation and funds no-cost field trips for 4,000 students.

These are the three pieces I will be exhibiting. The art work for this exhibit is no bigger than 6 inches by 6 inches. I like working in this small dimension so it was a perfect fit for me. I created mixed media work on canvases and included lines from my poems in the pieces. I hope to expand my artistic realm by finding more ways to incorporate poems with my art.

Although this is not a juried exhibit it is always an honor to share my art and poetry with the world. As a writer and artist I spend many hours alone in my room playing with paint and paper or swirl…

Never Alone

I've been art journaling for years and it has lately become my most favored mode of self expression. I can see as I look back on my old journals how much I have learned about art and how to use various mediums and supplies in my work. I would never show anyone most of those old pages and hate looking at them myself, except in order to see my creative growth.
I am still very much interested in incorporating poetry into my mixed media art but I am also looking to expand my art journaling to include more writing, more exploration of thoughts and feelings. Many times that writing will be covered with gesso or paint as it is only for me, but I am working at using art as a starting point for journaling and vice versa. I'm particularly in search of ways to use an art idea as a means to write. 
In this particular piece I began with a coloring page from Stampington's publication "The Coloring Studio," which sadly is no longer being published. I colored and cut out the woman…

Autumn Art Journaling

We moved from New York to California a year ago. At the time the drastic change of this loveliest of all seasons was buried beneath unpacked boxes, learning how to get around our new hometown and getting to know our newest grandchild. This year however is different.

Now that we are settled into our new home and know where to find everything we need in our new neighborhood I am feeling the loss of autumn in New York. Where is the crisp cold air, the wild colors on the trees painted by my favorite artist, Mother Nature? It is going to be 95 degrees in Temecula today but I am pre-programmed to be slipping into jeans and sweatshirts in the middle of October, not wearing cotton shorts and tank tops. I am missing the splendor of autumn in the northeast. I am missing my friends and the chance to go out with the girls. I am missing my tribe of writers.

Art journaling is my creative expression of choice these days. I love the fun, mess and relaxation of the paint, glue and the feel of the scisso…

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…