Mixed Media panel
I made this piece last fall, having some fun with collage, stamping, and stitching. During the month of November 2013 it hung with a few other pieces of mine in a local church as part of their effort to bring the arts into the church. I was honored to have a part in that–I love seeing honest art in our churches.
The brave girl in the piece is from a stamp by Stampotique. When I first saw this stamp, I knew I had to have it. “Mary” is sad but sweet, and I want to tell this girl that she is stronger than she knows, and that things will get better. She shows up all the time in my own art journal!
This brave girl will appear in my Etsy shop soon!
Pen and Inktense pencils.
Pen and Neocolor II crayons.
I had a frustrating couple weeks with my art as soon as I opened my Etsy shop. All of a sudden, I felt as if I couldn’t do any art, it wasn’t fun any more, and I was out of ideas and energy for it. I knew it was about the fear associated with calling myself an artist and having the audacity to offer my work for sale. But understanding that was just a beginning to fixing it.
So the past couple days I have tried to give myself permission to play. Yesterday I got out pens and drew the whimsical cityscape you see above. I added color with Derwent Inktense water-soluble pencils, and it was relaxing and fun.
So today I tried some flowers. I used a different pen, and I’m sorry because it blurred when I added water, but I learned something. I also used my Neocolor II water-soluble crayons. I can never decide whether I like the Neocolors or the Inktense better, but thankfully, I don’t need to decide. Again, I had fun. It’s art play, and my soul needs that.
Art journal page from my planner
I am participating in a yearlong project called A Documented Life. The idea is to build a customized planner to use as planner, journal, and art journal. I started with the recommended Moleskine planner and have added “tip-ins,” extra pages hinged on decorative tapes. Each week the sponsoring artists supply a creative prompt. The first one was to draw or photograph or otherwise incorporate your front door. I’m not at all confident about my drawing skills, but I took the plunge and gave it a shot. I’m happy with the result.
Light is my word for 2014, so I wanted to incorporate that. And it seemed to make the most sense to view my door the way I most often see it: from the inside. I like thinking of my door as full of opportunity but also a way to stay safe when I need to.
In December I took the plunge and bought a domain name, ordered business cards, sort-of started this blog, and opened an Etsy shop. All more or less at once, all terrifying and strange and strangely exciting and–less strangely–anxiety producing. But all that was last year. It’s a new year, and I’m moving forward.
I’ll be feeling my way, probably in fits and starts. I’ll be posting some artwork, finished and unfinished, experiments and practice, some daring and some possibly boring–some of everything, I think. I’ll share a little of my process and a little of my life and the journey that has brought me to this point. I’ll try not to bore my readers to tears. I’ll try to be honest. I’ll try to be brave.
And I’ll try to find a way to welcome folks, to create a place to encourage artists and people who don’t think of themselves as artists, to invite some others along in this journey to create brave art. Because creating any art is brave, and creating art from places deep within, from wounded and bleeding places as well as places of joy and insight and light, is especially brave.
So, hey, 2014–let’s do this.