Wednesday, December 20, 2006

a very merry Xmas

Here's my little dog in her new winter coat. I know, she looks like she's wearing another animal! First of all, it's fake fur, and secondly she looks adorable in person (though there is someone who know who you are!) So I will leave you with this image for the holidays while I prepare to leave on Saturday for a couple of weeks to visit the East Coast. I'll be posting again when I return in January. Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

new art journal spread

I FINALLY sat down in my studio and did some art journaling. I have missed it so! I got the photo of the girl from Family Circle magazine...go figure!
This photo was in my mind for about 2 1/2 weeks, so I was very anxious to finally get to it. I started by gluing her down to a journal page, then letting her "talk" to me about what she wanted to become.

I'm finding now I have certain things in my "symbolic alphabet" (Anahata Katkin's term). Things that keep attracting me, coming into my art pieces consistently. Big things right now are halos, stars, wings, flowers, birds, type, and glitter letters.

It was really fun to magazine surf and look for inspiration in everything...a phrase or group of words here, a photo there, even advertisements!

I especially loved the photo at left because of the blurriness of the image and the joy on the little girl's face. I've included a couple of detail shots here too. Now, back to it!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas mania

I've spent today getting Christmas presents together to ship. Spent most of yesterday making them, then finished up this morning and now am too tired to go to UPS! Oh well, they'll be open tomorrow.

I will have time these next few days to work in my art journal before I leave for my trip next Saturday. Will post the results.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

a little more figure drawing

Here's one of my last figure drawings for class. I feel I'm finally getting it, just in time to take winter break! My teacher is setting up some open figure drawing sessions over the break and I'm taking my book and sketch pad with me to Cape Cod, so I'll keep my skills up over the next month.

Today is my last day of exam this morning and another critique this afternoon. Then I will spend the next week and a half getting ready for Xmas. Hopefully will have some time to work in my art journal. It feels like years since I did that!

Monday, December 11, 2006

let's try again with some new artwork

Ok, it looks like this time it worked. The other file must not have been to this program's liking. Ahh, the joys of computers!

Anyway, this was my last drawing for Life Drawing this semester. I like it, and look forward to honing my skills even more next semester.

It's kind of weird not having structured time all of a sudden. I feel kind of lost. Without the structure of classes everyday, the sadness and difficulties of the past few months is catching up with me and I'm looking at the holidays with an inward groan. I have tons to do, but somehow it's hard to get motivated to do it. Christmas is in two weeks, I'm going away for two weeks on 12/23 and I've only scratched the surface of Christmas shopping, etc. Well, it won't be the first time I've experienced the holiday blues.

Last night I crocheted, and it was the first time in months that I felt like doing any handwork like that. It was nice and I really enjoyed it. Am looking forward to doing more over my vacation and winter break from school. I dug through my pile of yarn and projects yesterday, picked one, and went to town last night. I think now that all my creative energy isn't being eaten up by school, I will feel more inspired to crochet, knit, quilt, and the like. And having gifts to make adds extra inspiration!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

it's been a busy weekend!

My little dog is showing how I feel right now...tired but content. It was a busy weekend in Phoenix, and I attended several events over the course of two days.

Friday night was the Phoenix "First Friday" art walk downtown. I'd been to it a couple of years back, so was pleasantly surprised to see how much it had grown. It was packed with attendees, and so nice to see all the artsy folks wandering around enjoying the art and ambiance. My friend Ted commented on how nice it was to see a thriving art event. Gives us hope for Phoenix!

Last night was the downtown parade of lights which I had never attended, and it was great fun! About 200,000 parade goers congregated along the parade route and enjoyed the festivities. My friend Vic and I got great parking and front row seats at the beginning of the parade route, so we got the best view AND a speedy exit! There were several floats filled with Christmas lights, and the marching bands were all decked out with Christmas lights on their uniforms. Christmas carols aplenty we heard, and were dazzled by sparkling Xmas lights everywhere.

Today I went to the Tempe Arts Festival with another couple of friends. It was a great day; a little windy and cool, but the sun warmed us nicely in the late afternoon. The show was kind of weak; lots of chili peppers wearing cowboy hats and Kokopellis, but I did see some beautiful work. In particular two photographers whose work was soulful and evocative. I'll post their website addresses when I dig out their business cards from my purse.

On to the last week of classes tomorrow, then finals...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

the journal covers continue...

I'm having so much fun with these book covers! This is my latest..a combination gratitude journal and an idea I got from one of the scrapbooking mags - writing down both the best thing that happened to you all day and the worst thing that happened to you all day. What a great way to have a unique record of the days without spending a lot of time writing. Since I seem to be in a bit of a time crunch right now (don't we all?!) this is a fast and easy way to pick the highlights of the day.

Now I have to find some time to start working on Christmas gifts...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

new glasses

I picked up my new glasses; my first pair of progressive lenses. Wow. I'm getting old! I'd heard the progressive would be hard to get used to, but so far so good. They're a little different than regular glasses, but I've been wearing reading glasses with contacts for the past few years, so I'm kind of used to the gradation thing. Anyway, they may be progressive lenses, but they look cool.

I have drawing class today, so it will be interesting to see how I do with these new specs.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

another book

I've really been into altering and making books lately, when I'm not working on figure drawing. This cover is one I saw in the book, "Decorative Journals" and redid for myself. This afternoon I'm going to work on the covers for a gratitude journal. Will post the results.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

a little something

Here's a little journal I've had mostly finished for awhile and finally finished today. It was just a plain tiny notebook from the drugstore, but now it's embellished and ready to enter my purse.

My little cat has a respiratory infection that she can't seem to shake, so today we're heading to the vet AGAIN (this is the third visit in as many weeks). Hopefully the next round of antibiotics will kick this nasty infection she has. Poor little thing...she's really miserable and I'm worried about her. At least she doesn't have the strength to fight me when I give her the medicine. It's just me giving her medicine for the next couple of weeks and she can be a real hellcat. When we visited the vet a few days ago, Little Kitty (yes, that's her name and it really fits her) made a snuffing noise, and the vet said "She just gave me a cougar chuff!" That's my girl!

I've been reflecting on creativity and my creative process over the past couple of days. How difficult it is sometimes to engage in that process, and what I use to avoid it. For me, it's shopping. I feel a great urge to create but get fearful, not even consciously sometimes, and think, "Oh, I'll just go shopping for this or that". I would say shopping would be my drug of choice in stressful or difficult situations. Fortunately, I'm not like some folks that have 100's of pairs of shoes in their closets that they've never worn, but it feels like an avoidance tactic at best and an addiction at worst. Something I need to work with and stay as conscious as possible about.

On that note, off to the vet. If you would, keep Little Kitty in your thoughts...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

more recent drawings

Here are another couple of drawings from figure class; I really like the woman above, though I need to put more work into her face and hands. Those are just roughed in.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

what I've been doing

This is the latest in the series from life drawing class. I'm feeling more confident, that is to say, a bit more confident (long way to go!) in my structure and volume. The volume needs more work; I still tend to get lost during this part of the process. Practice makes perfect, and I plan on practicing a lot over Christmas break.

Sunday night here in Tempe there's something called "Anti-art School" going on. I think it's a social thing, where you can hang out, have some snacks, listen to music and figure draw. I'm thinking I'll check it out if I'm not too exhausted from the Thanksgiving festivities.

On the personal front, things are very much in a state of flux. My partner and I have been talking and reconnecting in a big way, and the only thing that's consistent is my feeling completely conflicted about what I want to do with my future. I have some very big decisions to make about what lies ahead for me. I'm trying to take it day by day, but can't help projecting into the future and stressing myself out. This morning lying in bed I thought about moving to Portland, OR and had a mini panic attack, but the thought of NOT going feels awful, too. I'm feeling like an oyster that's got sand in its shell; so uncomfortable that I'm doing everything I can to get rid of the sand. But hopefully by the end, like the oyster, I'll have a pearl.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

everyday beauty

I got this rug last week from Target and just love the vibrant colors. Inspiration is everywhere!

Friday, November 10, 2006

more drawing...

From figure drawing class. I think I'm starting to get it, but have a long way to go. Next semester, Art Anatomy!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

see beauty

This little page is in my personal reminders journal. I played with using paint on the stamped lettering and can say I'm not crazy about the result. I think I have to practice more, get the technique down.

This week has been crazy so far, and I have SO much to do! Tons of schoolwork, then one of my best friends is coming in on Friday for a weekend visit. I can't wait to see's been almost 2 years since we saw one another last. That's way too long!

So, I'll keep my post short and sweet. Will try to post some art in the next couple of days again.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

rubber stamps and scrapbooking

This is a set of pages in a journal I'm doing to remind myself of certain concepts I often forget in daily life. Like breathing. Trust. The basics. It was fun today to pull out my supplies and get a couple of pages done. I'm not terribly happy with the picture above. I need to get a little better with the camera. The colors are much more vibrant in person.

This morning I went to the semi-annual rubber stamp convention at the Mesa Convention Center with a friend of mine. I realized that I am SO not into rubber stamps anymore. Not that I was huge into them to begin with, but there was nothing at that show that interested me in the least. The only rubber stamps I seem drawn to are alphabet stamps. Other than that, not so much. We went to a local scrapbook store after that, and I thought, "Now we're talking!"

I've been seeing so many cool art/scrapbook things lately. I stumbled upon this site by Shimelle that I absolutely love. It makes me happy just to look at it. Her colors and fun sense of style really make me smile.

Check out her "5 Favorite Things" mini book. So fun, bright and happy!

I'm wanting to work with photos more lately. I keep thinking about new ways of journaling, capturing things I'm not right now. Hmmm...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

more figure drawing

Here's another drawing from class. It looks slightly different now after the critique the other day. I changed the "halo" around his head in the background, and made the whole thing more uniform and illuminated. This morning I have a little time, so I'm going to play a bit in one of my journals.

I was looking at Anahata's blog this morning. I love her blog! It's always filled with beautiful images and inspiration. I like how she talks about all aspects of creativity. Recent posts have included ideas on interior design, which I love. I'd like to incorporate more of that into my blog as well. Am feeling a little stale lately in the posting department.

I want to fill my world with beauty right now. My big thing design-wise is pattern, really feminine pattern with lots of flourishes, brocade, sparkly things, etc. And flowers, always flowers.

She mentioned a site called Brocade that I checked out. Wow. I signed up for their free catalog.

I love the colors, the delicacy of the look, so pretty, classic.

I really like all kinds of different styles. Sometimes it's tough to pick out my favorites. There are so many beautiful looks, patterns and textures out there right now. It's kind of overwhelming! I love the ultra-feminine, girly look, but also like the clean lines of the new retro patterns as well.

The trick is to replicate some of these looks without spending the insane prices they want. Thank goodness for Target and IKEA!

Monday, October 30, 2006

stuff lying on my desk

I was looking at my desk and saw this little pile of stuff and thought, "hey, it's a collage!" So, impromptu collaging at its best! My studio is a bit of a mess right now (slight understatement). I hope to get some play time in the studio later this week or on the weekend. Right now, it's study for a big test on Wednesday.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

life drawings

I've been working on getting my second portfolio ready for this coming Tuesday. We've been focusing on portraits for the past couple of weeks. I've really enjoyed the portrait section. Trying to capture the likeness of the person is challenging, but a fun challenge.

I've been going back and forth on taking some form of life drawing again in the spring. I don't particularly care for the medium we use (charcoal) because it's so messy. It's funny...I'm an artist but I hate getting my hands dirty! But another semester to hone my figure drawing skills sounds tempting. I'm particularlly drawn to the "Art of Human Anatomy" class offered in the spring. We would be focusing even more on the anatomy of the human body, would actually draw from a cadaver that's present with us (kinda weird, but interesting), and really focus on how the body goes together.

I'm so glad I've had this class because I've felt rather blocked lately in my art journaling attempts. If I didn't have this class, I think I would pretty much be doing nothing creatively. I feel an overwhelming desire to work in the journal medium, but when I sit down, I can't seem to put anything together. I'm trying to stay patient with myself, allow myself to be where I am right now and not put pressure on myself to "perform". A lot has been going on personally, and that's taking a lot of energy. Between that and school I don't have much left over.

Today I have to finish my body parts... one more nose and three mouths to go! I'll post more drawings over the next few days.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

some nifty inspiration

I've been buried in schoolwork, so haven't had time to do any art other than figure drawing. Hopefully this weekend I'll have a little time to play.

I was reading a craft magazine before bed last night, and they talked about finding inspiration in everyday things, like packaging, colors of ordinary objects, advertisements, etc. That's something I don't often think about, but would be great to apply to my own process. Mostly because it causes one to really look at the things around them, instead of just going blind throughout the day. I know I tend to go on autopilot most of the time and barely look around me. So, I'll be keeping this tip in mind, and try to shift my way of looking at the world.

Friday, October 20, 2006

some cool art

My friend Dawn did this fabulous journal page in our journaling workshop a couple of weekends ago, and I wanted to share it. Beautiful!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

back from Portland

journal pages from Anahata's journaling class

I'm back from a whirlwind weekend in Portland. It was full of bonding time with my friend as well as lots of fun activities.

I arrived there on Friday evening and was picked up by J and her partner. We headed to McMenamins Kennedy School restaurant which I had just read about in Cottage Living Magazine. These two brothers from Portland started buying abandoned buildings like schools and theatres back in the 80's, and redesigned them to be spas, hotels and restaurants. The former Kennedy school was renovated with such imagination and creativity! Original works of art and photographs are scattered throughout the hallways, all of them depicting scenes relevant to the school's past. The restoration was done with a lot of love and integrity, and it was so refreshing to see such care and creativity. And the food was great too!

Saturday morning we had breakfast with two of J & K's friends. They were absolute sweethearts! They made me feel so welcome and at home. I felt like I'd known them all my life, and know I will be enjoying their company when I relocate. After breakfast we drove around a bit to check out some neighborhoods and house pricing. Portland is a lot more expensive than I thought! It was a little discouraging. But I shook it off and we headed out in the afternoon for a little shopping in some of Portland's cute little shops followed by a lovely soak in K's hot tub.

In the evening we went to see a dance event sponsored by White Bird organization. They are hosting shows choreographed by International women choreographers. The show we saw was choreographed by a Mexican woman. The performance was amazing! The music alone was worth the price of admission! The costumes for each piece were simple, but powerful. And the last dance was performed in a 3" deep pool of water, with water being a part of the dancer's costume. After the show we went to a swanky restaurant around the corner from the theatre and had a late night snack before heading back to J's apartment and bed.

Sunday we walked around the corner from J's house in the pouring rain and had breakfast at a cute little hole in the wall restaurant called Jam's. Then we visited a friend of J's (where I got to make new kitty and dog friends) and did a little more shopping. Later we hung out and I headed to the airport for the flight back to Phoenix.

It was a mixed weekend emotionally. The thought of leaving my life, my home, my friends and some of my animals here in Phoenix is very hard. Being in Portland made my happy little dream of living there more real, and that reality brings with it fear and a heartbreaking sense of sadness. It felt rather overwhelming, the thought of picking up and moving to another state, another city, and starting all over again. But I brought myself back to "one day at a time", and am trying very hard not to stress about something that isn't even a possibility for several months yet. In the meantime, school and other necessities of life keep me rolling and sane.

This week I hope to work in my journal. I'll keep you posted (no pun intended!).

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Off to Portland for the weekend

I'm off to Portland, OR this weekend for a quick visit with one of my dearest friends (you know who you are!), so I thought I'd do a quick post before I jet off tomorrow. I've been a bad blogger and didn't post after last weekend's wonderful journaling workshops with Teesha and Anahata. I'll post some art here, then when I get more of a chance, I'll write more. Till next week!

Friday, October 06, 2006

channeling the future

I've spent the last few journaling sessions visualizing what I want for the future. I've made some decisions over the past few weeks, one of which is that I'm moving to Portland, OR in May/June of 2007. So I'm beginning to think about what life there will look like. Home and job have been my focuses this week. I just did this office layout this afternoon. Saw this photo in Mary Englebreit's Home Companion and just loved the look of it, so used it as inspiration for what I'm looking for in the future office and job-wise. So, if anyone out there knows of any opportunities in Portland, keep me posted!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

journaling weekend

I'm very excited about this weekend. The Paper Studio here in Tempe is doing a journaling weekend, with classes by Tracy and Teesha Moore, and Anahata Katkin. My friend Dawn and I signed up several weeks back, and I'm so happy it's finally here! We'll be taking Teesha's class on Saturday and Anahata's class on Sunday. Last I heard they'll also be doing a journaling party Saturday night. I need this! I had some spare time this morning, so I did a little more work in my France journal (see above). After this weekend, I will have many new things to share. Till then...

Saturday, September 30, 2006

I've been negligent

It feels like months since I've posted to my blog, even though it's only been a week or so. I had a busy week at school, and didn't get coordinated enough to get pics of the latest drawings from Life Drawing class to post before having to turn in my portfolio there.

In the few minutes I have had here and there I've really been enjoying a scrapbooking book I purchased at the scrapbook convention a couple of weeks ago. It's pictured at left.

With my graphic career training in full swing, I'm finding that I'm really enjoying the scrapbooking publications. They're full of excellent graphic design ideas and layouts. I particularly like Cathy's book. She keeps her designs very simple but graphically exciting. I'm finding my soul really fed by this stuff right now. I also like how happy and girly her layouts are. You know I love the girly stuff!

So...hopefully I'll have some of my own art to post very soon. Stay tuned...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

cool photo

One of my dear friends recently came back from a trip to Oklahoma City to visit her son, and she took some pictures on a disposable camera while she was there. She gave me this one; isn't it cool? I love it! It has such a sense of mystery and wistfulness. To think it was a "mistake". Happy accidents, I love them! I will be using this photo in a piece of art, not sure what yet, but when the time's right I'll know.

I also have to put together my first portfolio for figure drawing over the next couple of days, so will post new drawings from class as well.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

dressing as creative expression

I did this page as an homage to my love of clothing. For me, clothes and jewelry are another way to express my creativity. I've toyed with the idea of designing my own clothes, and may get to that yet. I really love the look of a pretty dress over blue jeans. Have yet to try that, but fall is coming!

I like this page, but am not crazy about the white pen I had to use. I need to find a good white pen that can be seen, yet isn't as thick as what I had to use here. Any suggestions on what would write on different surfaces?

I also got to use a couple of my new stamps I bought this weekend at the scrapbooking convention on my page. But before I use anymore, I need to get the proper cleaner for them. I should've bought the stuff at the show, but I thought baby wipes would work on the clear acrylic stamps. NOT! So I went on the website and ordered some cleaner today.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Here are some fun items I picked up from the CK Scrapbook convention in Phoenix yesterday. It was a great vendor show; just huge! And crammed with crazed female shoppers elbowing their way into booths to check out the goodies. To add to the excitement, the fire alarm went off during the show, so all the crowds had to evacuate the building. Not an easy thing when women are in the midst of a shopping frenzy! I know I felt reluctant to leave my stamps that I was just getting ready to purchase behind. We were herded across the street from the building, all of us chomping at the bit to get back inside. After about a half hour we were allowed back in. My friend and I made our final purchases then escaped to the relative peace of downtown and the car.

I love scrapbook products. The papers are luscious, and the other toys are just as much fun. I can't wait to have some time to dive in and start creating with my newfound treasures. Will post the results!

Friday, September 15, 2006

soul collage

I want to start with serendipity. I've had this book for a few years now, but never really looked at it. I stumbled across it again last night while looking for a little something to read before bed. And it's just what I need at this time in my life.

It's such a cool idea. Basically Tarot cards but using your own collages to make up the cards. It's intuitive and delves into the spirit part of ourselves, the soul. I'm getting together with a friend of mine next weekend who's also doing some soul-searching so we can each start our own decks.

It seems what I need is coming to me right now. People, books, situations are all helping me to cope with the huge changes in my life. I may not be happy, but I do have a small measure of peace here and there, and hope for the future. I guess that's all I can ask for right now.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

still here

This is a scrap of some really cool paper I bought at the Paper Studio with some birthday money a couple of weeks ago. I'm going to use it for a new journal cover when the need arises.

I was swamped with schoolwork but have managed to catch up, so I should have some time to work in my art journal this weekend. I need to. I'm feeling better emotionally, but it's difficult. I need to do some art to help me keep things moving.

Also, there's a huge scrapbooking convention going on this weekend in Phoenix, so my friend and I are checking out the vendor show on Saturday. I'm not a scrapbooker, but I love the papers and cool little geegaws they sell. That will be fun. I'll post the goodies I get!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

healing hands

These hand drawings are for my Life Drawing class portfolio. I realized as I drew them that these are a metaphor for what I have to do in my life in order to start healing...namely NOT stop doing art! Art is what is going to keep me sane through this. So I will continue to make art, work in my journal, cry, and piece together the broken shards of my heart.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


When I took the top off of the honey this morning, this is what greeted me. I really needed a smiley face today. While things are not necessarily easier, this little message from above was a great comfort.

Friday, September 08, 2006

a rough time

Last night my partner of 10 years told me she didn't want to be in our relationship anymore. This was devastating news and I'm still reeling. So I don't know how the blog's going to go. Either I will need to write a lot, or I won't post for awhile.

My life is chaos right now, and I don't know how things will end up, where I'll end up. Right now I just want to crawl into a hole and not come out for the next several millenia. But that's not an option, so I will muddle by as best I can. I will try to still make art on a regular basis. Right now breathing feels too strenous. We'll have to see.

Monday, September 04, 2006

journaling amid the homework

I spent a little time yesterday working in my art journal as a reward for spending a good deal of time doing homework. I used some new papers I purchased a little while back. It's so fun to work with new tools, new papers and the like. I may do some more journal work today before heading out to a picnic with friends.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

angel revisited

I spent some time working in my art journal and this is the latest creation. I bought the fall issue of "W" magazine and found some compelling, inspiring images to get my creative juices flowing. I can't seem to get away from the angel motif. She just keeps coming to me, so I'm going with it. There's a lot of black and white photos in this issue, and I just LOVE that. So mysterious and simple. So I used those images as a starting off point. I will work a bit more in my journal this weekend along with doing homework and practicing figure drawing. I have an extra day, yeah!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

figure drawing today

Today we spent 3 hours drawing in figure class. It was fantastic and also exhausting and intense. But I loved every minute of it! We started with 2 minute gestures drawings, then did 20 minute poses after that. Above are some of my valiant attempts.

I also worked a little in my art journal today, so will be posting something from that very soon.