Yes, it's time to change my story. I had a little glitch in my retirement plans and am working two days a week now, but only until October 21 when I will be fully retired. Having essentially 5 day weekends now gives me time to find myself and I'm doing that in my art work.

When anyone asks me what I will do when I retire I have to chuckle to myself. Anyone who knows me will know there are so many things to do that I still won't have enough time. But at the moment I am making a transition from writing to art, from work to leisure. I'm exploring a lot of different art media, styles, and techniques and will slowly develop my own style and my own preferred set of media. For now it's a lot of learning and discovery. Different approaches to art such as art journaling, floral painting, Chinese brush painting and calligraphy are grabbing my interest.

The world of art journaling itself holds a vast array of media and styles. So far this has been my favored method. This weekend I experimented with the method of layering paints, using brushes and stencils, tissue paper and images from napkins, along with stamping and words and images cut from magazines. Here is what I created during this experiment.

When I first created the layered background I was disappointed. I thought it looked too messy and dark. I added the stamped flowers which seemed to pull it together but I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it from there. I hunted through my stash of magazine words and pictures and the words "change your story, change your life" spoke to me since that is what's happening to me now as I transition from career to retirement.The image of the girl is a print of one of Degas' bronze statues and she seemed to be ready to step forward into her new life, just like me. Once I added the words and image to the page and highlighted them with charcoal I felt the piece came together.

So off I go to work on the next art journal page!
copyright by Renee Howard Cassese


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