Monday, May 30, 2016

Find joy and learning in your mistakes

The person who doesn't make mistakes is unlikely to make anything.
Paul Arden

This quote was mentioned in an art journalling class and I wrote it as hand-lettering practice.  When I made the mistake in the word mistake I thought it was so apropos.  Then, when I was looking up who to attribute it to, I realized that it had been misquoted, and there came a second mistake to fix on my page.  So, this piece has been a lesson in being okay with mistakes.

This is something I find I am still working on.  In art journaling, your journal is supposed to be a place for collecting pieces that remind you of life, for play, exploration and consistency.  So far, for me, it has been a little of that, but mostly something I don't pick up, because the idea of working on it- of "making it beautiful" is daunting- paralyzing, actually!  So interesting, since I have felt so free to continue to mess around on new, larger pieces of paper and the work that has come from these sometimes astounds me.  Maybe it is the fact that the journal is bound and a whole statement unto itself.  This might be why many art journalers use loose leaf and then put it together after.  Well- I am still finding my way.

Interesting, since I was reading an article in Happinez magazine in which the Australian musician, Xavier Rudd, states, "Don't be afraid to fall at times.  It is the beautiful think about life: it will teach you."

In this photo I also included another learning point for myself as an artist- the fact that though these beach stones are strong and sturdy, the very fine vintage thread that I crochet around it is not.  Very late last year, when I was transporting the meditation stones I create to and from a holiday market, my friend found that a few had gotten broken in the transport.  A stinging lesson, as these were big pieces- ones I was so happy with and proud of the delicate work!

So there again, I have these three stones saved as a reminder- that life holds so many paradoxes- things can be strong yet delicate and breakable, that mistakes, though seemingly bad, can be a beautiful space for learning.

I hope you can be in the frame of being this week where you can honor, celebrate and learn from your own mistakes, while remembering to keep the grand joy of life surrounding you!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Seeking Simplicity or Sophistication...

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Leonardo da Vinci

It seems so many of us are seeking it.  I have been working to simplify my life in many ways.  This week, it was to test out simplicity in painting.  I love colour and texture and beautifully patterned layers, but there is something relaxing about seeing less.  This is a life lesson, which I have spoken about- seeing less in our house, less on our calendars and less money go out of our wallet.  It sounds so simple.  And once you achieve it, that IS an ultimate form of sophistication.

For this painting, I chose a simple Baja view, 
since my summers there have been a glimpse into the simple life...

Monday, May 16, 2016

Laugh in the sunshine

A good laugh is sunshine in a house.
~William Makepeace Thackeray

This is one side of a little bookmark I made recently that I thought I would use today. Life has been busy, but beautiful.  When I began this challenge I wanted to ensure I was creating consistently, while spreading my love of quotes.  I am proud to say I am doing both!  This week I created at least 5 new stones, 4 paintings and 5 small drawn pieces like this.  Not bad for a working girl.

Wishing you a good laugh this week!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Just Float- And You May Just Figure It All Out

Don't swim.  Float

I love the simplicity of this quote.  How many times has life reminded us that trying too hard doesn't always bring for the most organic, genuine outcome.  (This goes with my continuous playing with letting go and seeing what emerges in the paint!)

Sometimes floating- going with the flow or taking a moment to let things set, is just what's needed.  The hard part can be to float, instead of steer...

About this painting:
I have been enjoying creating backgrounds using different techniques, and often have them waiting for the right top layer.  Very soon into this face, she had moons in her eyes.  I was enjoying the brush strokes of her windblown hair.  The flowers just seemed like they needed to be all over.  I wasn't quite finished, but I began looking for a quote, using various key words, such as wind, breeze, blowing, flowers and moon.  I found so many great quotes (for instance last week's!) but not quite the one that seemed to match this painting.  Then I tried the word floating (as in on the breeze), and then I realized!  She isn't standing in the wind, she is floating on the water and looking up at the moon!  Such a nice surprise, which now makes total sense!

Float on!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Sailing From Save Harbor- Child's Play

Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.
~Mark Twain

I just love the feeling I get from this quote.  It is so encouraging and upbeat!  All the while, Mark Twain is reminding us that there's less of life to be had when we remain in the safe harbor indefinitely...  So get out there and feel the breeze in your hair and discover new lands!

A little about this week's process:
This piece mirrors the quote so well, even thought I didn't plan this.  My recent quest is to test out childlike brush strokes so that I can play and abandon so much planning and perfectionism, as I get to know paint and all it can do.  This is one of two pieces that began with a warm colour-burst in round, swirling shapes.  Soon I realized it wanted to be a sunset on the water, so I researched some simple traditional sail shapes and added all the silver in the billowing frame shapes.  I actually happened upon this quote while looking for the perfect quote for another piece (may be next week's...) and then I knew that this painting had come together!

Wishing you a chance to let go and see what unfolds and emerges for you this week!