Friday, January 30, 2009

I've gotten "that" call.....

My aunt called me this morning to tell me that my dad has cancer. I feel like the photo....void of feeling, numb, in an abyss. He's going to be having surgery soon. He is 81 and in general has good health. If you're a prayer, please pray for him. Thank you....

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Margaux is terribly pleased with herself...she opened the box of milkbones, crawled into the box and dug out all the bones. What a stinker!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Journal Day 27

I've gone over her skin again in shades of blue, glazed her dress, painted her hair and the candle. I've gotten totally lost in this painting and have enjoyed every minute. I'd like to get the background to look like old walls, in my mind I see sort of a medieval dungeon setting. Scary. Still not sure about the face......

Monday, January 26, 2009

Day 26

Revisiting a painting that I started a few months ago. I finally figured out what it's about. The girl (hmmmm, possibly me) is standing in the blindness of denial. She holds out a candle, the light of hope. Her face is going to be left unfinished....because of her flicker of hope she is emerging from the darkness-her blindness and is beginning to see. (I have goosebumps)
I think I'm going to spend time focusing on this painting this week. I want to see if any other images or emotions come out. I hope check in daily to show it's progress.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Art Journal Day 25--Shape


I love the shape of pears, the curves, the sensual. n'est pas?
I found a super painting exercise here. It's a glazing exercise. This painting isn't finished, but I've run out of time for today. What's left is a glaze over the "table", finish the stem and a glaze over the pear. I didn't think about colors.....just grabbed a few and went with it. This was so much fun.

The giveaway goes to: Stephanie Lee!
Steph, please email your address to me and I'll mail this out.

....and on to some thoughts on this Sunday. I've been spending most of my free time on journaling, and have been able to express some very deep emotion. I haven't spent much time reading the past couple of weeks, which is why I'm stopping this painting at this point. I need to spend some time reading this afternoon .
Yesterday, for some reason, I ended up on Susan Powter's website....remember her? I've always thought she was a excellent teacher. Anyway, on one of the videos on her site, she talks about taking before pictures of yourself, either naked or in your underwear, then take your measurements--seal the pics and the measurements in an envelope and put them away for 3 months. Well, yesterday I got brave. I asked Paul to take the pictures. All I have to say is....holy mackerel, do I really look like that? oy vay! The pictures don't lie. The measurements....yikes! No wonder my pants are tight. What a wake up call....sheesh. So I've come up with a game it is. My intentions are: Exercise 20 min in the morning before work, and 20 when I get home. Instead of trying to do 3- 1 hour workouts a week, I'm going to split them up. Day 1 upper body, Day 2 abs, Day 3 lower body--repeat day 1 on day 4....etc.
Whilst I watch Alfred knee therapy. Eating: Read labels. Think before I eat. Cut down on pasta, lots of veggies. Moderate whole grains. DRINK LOTS OF WATER. Cut out sugary foods. Pack a lunch to take to work. NO soda-bad- chemicals. I CAN DO THIS. I'm feeling very hopeful.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Art Journal-Day 24----GIVE AWAY!

"it takes every single person to hold up the sun. if you don't feel like getting out of bed today then your part of the sun goes unsupported and the world suffers from the darkness. We are all necessary to ourselves and to this world. And it's important for us to take the journey that allows us to find our true selves. To be an ordinary person who accomplishes extraordinary things." unk

Gouache, walnut ink, sumi ink, Dr. Martin's bleed proof white, gold acrylic paint on Arches black cover stock.

Please leave a comment, I'll put your name in a hat and have Paul draw one--Sunday afternoon.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Art Journal-Day 23~~in the style of favorite artist

True life is lived when tiny changes occur.
It was very difficult to choose one artist. I enjoy different artists' work for different reasons. Monet's painting of Notre Dame painted at various times of day affect the light. Degas pastels of ballerinas, Klee, Klimt, Turner, DuChamp....on & on. How to choose just one? I really enjoy the work of Jean Miro. Abstract "calligraphy"....very fun and funky.
This piece started on heavy black paper, calligraphy written with an automatic pen--using sumi ink. Once the ink dried, soft pastels were smudged around the "letters". The quote was written with a jelly roll glaze (clear) pen.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Art journal Day 21-Altered Photo

This morning as I was writing this quote ("and the day came, when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom" Anais Nin) I felt a surge shoot through my body. Today is that day. Today is THE day. I can't stay in this place another day. Starting today, and every day following, I am going to take 1 risk a day. Starting with a small step. Everytime I tell myself I can't do something, I'm going to try.'s a scary and powerful word. What if I fail? What if people laugh at me? (my 2 biggest fears!)
I have to keep matter what. I can't sit still anymore. I can't keep waiting for something to happen.
Are you with me on this?! Let's walk together step by step.

Paint was scraped onto the page with a plastic card. The photo was sanded, the edge torn for a more organic look, then painted with acrylics.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Art Journal Day 20--One word

The emotions continue to spill out. I'm grateful. Journaling in January with you has been a gift.

Acrylic paint smeared on page with my fingers. Gel pens, colored pencil and Sharpie for writing.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Journal-Day 19-Embellish

Today as I was looking through another art journal I found a list of the things I'd like to be.

This page was created in 15-20 min. I used a brayer and rolled on acrylic ink. Next fluid acrylic paint was dabbed onto a huge foam stamp. Words written with a sharpie and a gel pen. Spiral paper clip embellishments.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Art Journal Day 17--Yellow

"Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark"
When I look at the color yellow what comes to mind is hope and faith. This is such a hopeful quote by Tagore, don't you think? Everyday morning in a new morning to start fresh. Our "old failures" belong to yesterday, we have another chance to begin again, to try again.
The page was brushed with gesso, some of the watercolor paper showing through. Hansa yellow medium, Quin gold (I still have some left!) and yellow ochre were layered over the gesso once it had dried. The quote was lettered on next. Then I brushed on glue and applied gold leaf (not the real stuff), after it dried I brushed away the leaf that wasn't glued down and scrubbed it with a kitchen scrubber to scuff it up. Lettering was done with a brown Pitt pen.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Art Journal Day 16--Red!

I love red, it's vibrancy, it's powerfulness, it certainly gets your attention.
Continuing my quest to live life more intentionally and fearlessly, I'm sharing one of my favorite quotes. "It's not trespassing to cross your own boundaries" ~author unknown

Slowly, I'm working my way through this book, the exercises are challenging my thinking. In chapter 8 we were arked to define freedom and discipline. After writing down first thoughts like...discipline~~doing things you don't want to do as you grind your teeth while someone is whipping your back, freedom~~ Doing what you want when you want. Hmmmm, there's got to be more to it than that, doncha think? After spending a good bit of time pondering this, I came up with: Discipline: I think it's getting past the emotion of "I feel like it", or "I don't feel like it". I believe it to be a set of ideals--intentions--carried out. For instance, I know that for many reasons exercise is good for me to do. More often than not, "I don't feel like it" rules the intention. I think discipline moves beyond that to being as part of your day, say, like brushing your teeth....routine, something done without thinking about it...a habit. OR, you do it because it needs to be done whether you really want to do it or not, say, going to work everyday.
I believe there to be consequences for not being disciplined. Chaos, losing your job, not being in out of shape, etc.
Freedom: I think freedom is not living in chaos, freedom is being who you want to be, setting routines. I have learned a lot about setting routines from Marla Cilley.
Actually, I think freedom and discipline are at each end of a see saw.....balance.
What are your thoughts on freedom and discipline?

The background was created by wetting a page in my journal (140# cold pressed watercolor paper). 3 shades of red watercolor were brushed on mamby-pamby and spattered on. I sprinkled some course salt over the wet paint and let it dry overnite. This morning I drew around the bleed backs with a technical pen and wrote the quote with a gel pen, very quick and sketchy. (I spent about 30 mins on drawing the lines and lettering) I have to keep reminding myself, it's not about perfect and pretty, it's about getting out emotion. It's about sharing myself with you.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Art Journal Day 15--White

In the depth of winter
I finally learned
that there was in me
an invincible summer.
Albert Camus

I started this piece with a textured sheet of white gessoed paper, stained it with payne's grey and wove strips of the same paper into it. The quote was written with a very fine Pigma Micron pen.

I was thinking about how (and this probably sounds horribly cliche) woven our lives are. Misty's invitation to work along in our art journals with her everyday is just what I needed to get back into art making. It has introduced me to so many other people who are so much like myself. We want to grow as artists and as individuals. This quote reminds me that despite our struggles, there is hope. Everyone's got their "El Guapo". A golden thread was woven into the piece as well, sybolism to the thread we follow. I really like the play of light and shadow. I left the weaving unfinished ain't over.

A bonus 'bout that! I wanted to do something with contrasts.....

Follow your inner moonlight don't hide the madness.

Allen Ginsberg

Black Arches cover stock, traced around a plate, wet the inside of the circle with water and brushed on gesso thinned with water. Then I took the brush and "blessed" the gessoed area by flicking the brush to spatter the moon so it would be mottled.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Art Journal Day 14-Green

Ah, the color of life, the color of new growth!

As I posted this, I noticed "with" was written instead of "within", so I looked up the quote and found there was more....

“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

I'm one of those people that need background noise, be it the tv, radio...whatever. It's difficult to sit in silence for any length of time. Probably like everything else, it's something to be practiced. If you haven't listened to the deep yearnings of your heart, do they silence? Do they return if you are silent? "There are no mistakes", isn't that great?! By misspelling the word, and looking up the quote, more was found. "No coincidences", things happen for a reason....and timing is everything. I sometimes think, "why did didn't I know this sooner"?, or "why did it take so long to learn this"? I wasn't ready. When you're willing to be a learner, you'll learn what you need to when it's time. I want to be a learner..... how about you?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Art Journal Day 13-Orange!

Last night, as I was sleeping
by Antonio Machado

Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt -- marvelous error!—
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?

Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt -- marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt -- marvelous error!—
that a fiery sun was giving
light inside my heart.
It was fiery because I felt
warmth as from a hearth,
and sun because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.

Last night, as I slept,
I dreamt -- marvelous error!—
that it was God I had
here inside my heart.

Such a beautiful poem. Marvelous error! So many beautiful images painted with words. A spring breaking out in my heart. The golden bees making white combs and sweet honey from my old failures. The fiery sun giving light inside my heart. God here inside my heart.
Another very quick page. Acrylic paint and gesso scraped onto a journal page with a plastic card.
The poem with written with a gel pen and a sharpie marker. bing-bada-boom no obsessing no fretting no igottadothisperfect. Work quickly and don't think about it--just get something on that page and see where it leads you.......

Monday, January 12, 2009

Art Journal Day 12

This format of working on a page a day is freeing. You don't have time to obsess and fret and procrastinate and then just plain give up. How many of us are perfectionists?! Things have to be just so, and if the planets aren't lining up just right, (my tongue is firmly planted in my cheek)... forgetaboutit. I did this page this morning in about 20-30 min., in between getting ready for work. I was thinking about a quote by e e cummings, "once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit"
There is a first part to this quote which says "we do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch."
A HUGE problem I have is not believing in myself, always second guessing myself.
So much of this goes hand in hand, encouragement, risk, affirmation, confidence......lather, rinse, repeat.
After I drew the quickie semi-blind contour drawing, I noticed I was only able to fit in half of my mouth. Maybe subconsciously (or maybe serandipitously[!]) I don't think I have anything worthwhile to say, or something that hasn't already been said. I have a heart full of emotion that I just cannot put into words. I read other blogs and am so drawn that the writer is able to express the depths of their very souls. Those words resonate deep within me. A little encouragement goes a long way......doesn't it?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Day 11

My stay wet palette.....
I've spent a couple of hours painting the wonky blind contour drawing from a coupla days ago. I used napthol red light, pthalo blue, arylide yellow light, titan buff plus black and white.
Layer upon layer.......

The lips were hard because they weren't connected....who knew. Getting more depth with the layers
Working on the background. While this was a fun exercise, I'm really tired of working on it. Maybe it just needs a rest. Not sure where to take it from here. I'm ready to move onto something else in the meantime.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Day 9

Joanne suggested I paint the blind contour drawing that I did yesterday. So on my drawing board the painting is started. I will hopefully finish it later (dang day job). I grabbed a yellow, a red, and a blue plus white, titan buff and black acrylic paints. It's a good exercise to mix colors out of whatever you grab. Depending on the color, say a cool blue vs a warm blue and so on, you get to know what your colors will do. Using a palette knife to mix colors keeps your brushes from getting too gunked up with paint. You can make a great stay wet palette by taking a styrofoam plate, wet a few paper towels so they're goodly wet, soaked and dripping, cover the paper towels with a piece of tracing paper as you mix your colors on your palette, mist them with water to keep them moist. When you're finished painting, mist with water and cover with plastic wrap. This should keep your paints from drying out for a couple of days. Slick huh? .....and if you add gel medium to your paints as you mix them, it acts as an extender so you get more bang from your buck...your paints will go further. Until later........

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Day 8

I call this "blind contour drawing-self portrait-with morning hair". Who am I kidding, my hair always looks like that. It's 5:33 am, and believe me, my eyes are NOT that wide open.
Blind contour drawing is an interesting process because you are only looking at your subject moving your eyes ever so slowly and moving your pencil at the same speed. It's difficult to not rush your eyes or your pencil. The results are er, well, judge for yourself. The inner critic quiets down. There is great freedom in this technique. I'm sure my mouth will straighten out once I've had my coffee.....

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

Let go of the monkey bar

Well, after a long, glorious holiday weekend, here we are back to work. sigh..... This is a good committment, working in an art journal everyday. There are days that time is nearly nonexistant, those are the days you have to be resourceful. This is one of those days;) This is a tiny painting....2 1/2 x 2 1/2 it's from a class I took a looong time ago. It was on top of my work table so I wrote the quote on it. Nothing fancy. There is a very powerful essay written by Patti Digh of 37 days. It reminds me to have faith.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Art Journal Day 4

I am enjoying the process of working in an art journal. I'm finding that by not worrying about the end result (how it looks) I am able to focus more on getting out my feelings-giving them a voice and asking questions. It would be very easy to look at all I have posted thus far-criticize it, loathe it, hide it or rip it up and toss it in the trash. So far this experience has been good for me to do.
This page was done by slapping gesso and paint on a page. Cutting a picture of a girl out of a magazine and painting over her (I read the how to in Susan Tuttle's book). That was incredibly fun.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Art Journal Day 3

I enjoy collecting quotes. This one seemed perfect for today. I took a magazine page, scuffed it up with Never Dull, painted on top of that with acrylics. Hmmmm, I covered up all the areas where the Never Dull took away the magazine ink. Why did I do that? Got carried away, as I do. While the paint was still damp, I took pieces of masking tape put it down on the paint and pulled up. Some areas worked in others the paper pulled up. Since this isn't about pretty or perfect, it is what it is. That's what I like about raw art. I wrote with a white correction pen and added a drop shadow with a fine line marker. Next it will get glued into my journal.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Day 2

Working through this book is proving to be emotional. It's mentally exhausting to ask yourself a list of questions and be patient for the honest answers. Sometimes the people around you unknowingly are part of the process. Paul said the right thing at the right time and emotions came spilling out....I couldn't write fast enough.... I almost couldn't think fast enough or put the emotions into words. It was important to sit there and let them happen, let them wash over me like a big wave. Be willing to be tossed a bit but know my feet are on the ground. No food to comfort me this time. Getting it out and on paper, I felt a release.

Something to think about;
Define confidence:
If I were confident:
If I had more confidence:

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Day.....A New Beginning.....

Today we're celebrating the Meissner Christmas. Paul's brother and sister and their families are in town. The whole family gets together twice a year. This year, however, will be different as Paul's mother passed away in Feb. It's been a pretty tough year.
I'm up even before the ferrets this morning, got my good strong coffee in hand. Every year I make sticky buns as part of our brunch. So, while the dough rises, I get to post.
"A New Beginning" is the first chapter in "Change Your Life in 30 Days". Fitting for this day.
Maybe you would like to live your life with intention. Maybe you've got fears that keep you feeling stuck. I invite you to join me, together we can encourage each other and move forward.
Misty Mawn has sent out an invitation to work in our art journals everyday in January with her. I plan on working out thoughts and emotions that come up as I go Rhonda Britten's book in my journal, and post them here.
Something to think about today:
If you were true to yourself you could.....
Define success:
What would you need to do to have a successful life?
What would you have to let go of?