Sunday, November 28, 2010


When we were young we used to say
That you only hear the music
when your heart begins to break
Now we are the kids from yesterday...
from "The Kids From Yesterday"
by My Chemical Romance

This started out as a journal page. Then as I painted the sketch I started to like it more. I added the art papers I made from my CitraSolv stash and then added paint to those and really liked where this was going. So now I have this in my art journal and may do another one on canvas.  :o)

I bought the CD by My Chemical Romance over the weekend and really like a lot of the songs on it. Among them was the one I quote from here. Another one I just can't get out of my head is "Scarecrow". I'm going to have to do an art piece on that one; it keeps calling my name. I'll be blasting this CD all the way to Columbus this weekend, I can already tell.

This piece just makes me happy. It reminds me of myself, both as I am now and as I was younger. Escaping into music when things get to be too much. And the sunglasses just make me happy! I used to always have lots of pairs of sunglasses in the car. They were kind of like purses: I could never have too many! ;)

I worked on this collage all evening while watching football with hubby. I had the art journal spread out in front of me and all of my papers, paints, gel medium, etc. It was relaxing and brought back a lot of memories. It was funny, though, because I was listening to the iPod as I worked on it, too! I guess some things never DO change! ;)

It's been a low key weekend and today was a nice ending to it. I hope you all had a safe and happy holiday weekend. I'm really looking forward to next Sunday. Another trip to Columbus for a week. I have to get a lot done around here this week before my trip but I hope to post at least once or twice more before I leave. I'll have computer access while I'm there so all is not lost!  ;)  Stay tuned...

Friday, November 26, 2010

When The Rain Comes

More art journal work. The girl is an illustration by Kat Macleod. I LOVE her work. I want to draw figures like that when I grow up!  ;)  I cut and pasted her in. Then gave her a colorful umbrella, raindrops and background. I wasn't really sad when I put the page together; it must have been all the rain we've been getting over the past few days. I was in more of a laid back, funky, colorful mood!  ;)

I have tons of  fabric in my studio and sometimes I'll incorporate some in my art. But for my journal work I usually just make a copy of it and paste it in. I found this tie-dye looking piece that was kind of cool so I copied it and used it here. I thought it suited the girl pretty well. ;)

I'm trying to get organized in my studio again (still?). That's an ongoing project that never really lasts for long. Things tend to get scattered and piles accumulate when I'm painting. Right now it's hazardous to even walk in there.  :(  So I have to force myself to go through the piles and set things in some kind of order so I can get back to work. I've never been a neat, tidy, organized person and this late in life I'm not going to change. But I do need to take a breather now and then to at least clear a walkable path through the chaos. I think it's hard for me to concentrate on other projects when I know the studio is in shambles. It's always nagging at me in the back of my mind... strange but that's how it is!

Still working on some special projects for special friends. I'm a bit slow in my progress but I'll get there. I'm having a quiet holiday weekend but that's the way I like it. I hope you all are enjoying yours as well!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bring On The Dancing Inkblots: Journal Page

I thought I would lighten things up a bit today and send in the dancing inkblots. Ha! How fun are these? This is my journal page for the current prompt: "shapes" in the Journal Journey group at Roses. I decided to drop India Ink on the page and see what developed. I thought they looked like dancers... I let it sit for awhile and last night, watching the dreadful football game with hubby, I started playing with these little guys and began to giggle. They just came to life, dancing across the page.  ;)

My favorite is the gal in the turquoise. LOVE her expression, if I do say so myself! ;) She's just having too much fun. Anyway, I thought I would send just a little fun to lighten up your Tuesday. :o)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Far Away

For S.

This is a painting I did for a friend in Ohio. At this time of year I realize how much I miss all of my friends. I'm so happy that I am going to get another visit to Columbus before my surgery! I am lucky enough to be able to see the ol' gang again the second week of December. I plan on remembering every single minute of it. Sometimes I feel like I am just so far away from everyone, but really I'm not. I'll trade a four hour drive for a week of bliss anytime! ;)

I think I'm finally caught up on my painting class now. I have a few other personal projects that I've taken on that I'm very excited about so I'm keeping busy behind the scenes. It looks like I'll probably not be making the trip home for Christmas, though. Surgery will be a few days before... but that's okay. That time of year I would just like to spend some quiet time here for a change. 

So things are slowly moving along. There are some other works that I hope to be able to post soon! :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010


"... a lifetime isn't long enough for the beauty of this world
and the responsibilities of your life ...
scatter the flowers over the graves, and walk away,
be good-natured and untidy in your exuberance ...
in the glare of your mind, be modest,
and beholden to what is tactile, and thrilling."
--Mary Oliver

First I want to thank everybody who has sent me their well wishes. You are all awesome! Thank you! I will be having surgery in December and hopefully be on the road to recovery after that. ;)

I haven't been updating my blog very much because I've been busy painting! Ooh, I am having so much fun in Wyanne's class and doing a little experimenting on my own. We are learning a ton of new techniques, getting some challenging assignments and I'm really just soaking it all up. I hope to have something to show in a couple of days.

This is a digital piece I put together with some elements from Scrapbook Graphics. The background is a compilation of some of my art papers merged together with papers from various digital kits. As always, Mary Oliver's words are an inspiration to me.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I'm finding myself having to make a few decisions. Some health problems have come up and now they loom overhead like vultures. I hate hospitals and doctor visits. That's ironic since I worked in a hospital lab for years analyzing blood. I guess it's different when you're not the patient. ;)

Today I'm trying to stay busy tidying up my studio space. Ooh, it's gotten out of control again. Part of this activity is avoiding the latest assignment in the painting course I'm taking. It's a challenging assignment and I'm frustrated that I can't figure out what to do with it. I think my mind is just too full right now. So cleaning is always something that can be busy work and productive at the same time. After I exhaust myself with that, I think I'll just take a nice hot bath and relax with my iPod. Music seems to always take me to a nice place! :)

Oh, speaking of that, I made the mistake of checking out iTunes yesterday. I discovered so many new (to me) bands and songs... so my iPod is full of new music now. They are so sneaky how they entice you. After you download a song you like, then they suggest other bands you might like. They get me every time. ;)

At least Fall has returned. A lot of people were excited that the warm temperatures were back this week. But I love the cool weather. It's soothing to me. I like the crisp air blowing, the leaves's my favorite time of year. The yard is full of leaves now and even the deck is full of them so maybe I'll go out and rake for awhile. Anyway, Sundays are good for reflecting...that's what I'm doing today.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Different Realm

"I seem to stand outside the realm of God's mercy." 
-- John Cheever

I can so relate! This quote has stayed with me for decades. I have a bookcase devoted to writers and poets, along with their journals and notebooks. I love reading their journals and seeing inside their heads. Those journals fascinate me. It surprises me sometimes to see that these favorite writers and poets that I admired so much struggled with a lot of the same pain and insecurities that I do. Sometimes when I come across a line that stays with me I'll write it down in a notebook I keep. From time to time I'll look it over and it gives me ideas for my art or it will give me my own starting points to write about.  

I woke up this morning and just had to paint. Had to. I haven't felt this strong an urge to get to the canvas in a long time. I tossed and turned last night with so many thoughts in my head. So I was surprised I was driven to the studio so early. Cheever's quote kept coming to me all night and I dreamed strange dreams intertwined with that theme. Dreams about childhood and all the crap that was hammered in my head. Without going into gory details, suffice it to say that my Dad has always made it quite clear that no matter what I do I am never going to measure up to his expectations. So I feel quite at home with Cheever on his thoughts.

On my Dad's last visit we had another terrible argument. We've always had an antagonistic relationship ever since I was a teen. I think it's the Taurus in me. ;) Mom used to always act as the buffer. Since she's been gone, I've tried to make more of an effort to be, I don't know, more civil. So I was trying to point out some of the good things I've done: being the only one of five children to graduate from a university, made it on my own without ever asking him for a dime, done pretty darn well for myself, etc.  

All I got in response was more of the same disappointment, blah blah blah. So, thinking over all of this, I realize I am never going to please him. And thanks to a very dear, very wise friend (thank you, David!) I am reminded that you can't please other people; only yourself. You do the best you can and you go on.

So, fast forward to this morning. I'm painting away and end up with this painting: I call it A Different Realm. In this realm there is room for mercy. For everyone. ;)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Working Through It

This Gentle Surgery

Once more the black blade of a morning breeze
glides almost too easily through me,

and from the scuffle I've been sutured to
some flap of me is freed: I am severed

like a simile: an honest tenor
trembling toward the vehicle I mean

to be: a blackbird licking half notes
from the muscled, sap-damp branches

of the sugar maple tree... though I am still
a part of any part of every particle

of me, though I'll be softly reconstructed
by the white gloves of metonymy,

I grieve: there is no feeling in a cut
that doesn't heal a bit too much.

by Malachi Black

Just doing a bit more journal work. I can't seem to do much to please some people this week. Trying to work through it.  ;)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ride A Painted Pony

In the painting course I'm taking we are not supposed to give away too much about the content. So, let's just say we are doing a little work with our inner child. One thing I loved, loved, loved as a child was going to the county fair. I loved to ride the carousel. That was my favorite ride. (Well, that and the Tilt-A-Whirl, but that's another story).

I would love to walk around the ride and very carefully pick out my favorite horse and my Mom would lift me up and place me on it. Then I would make her leave the ride and stand where I could see her, off to the side, and wait for me until the ride was over. I would just hug the horse's neck, giddy with joy, listening to that magical music anticipating when the ride would start.

So we are channeling that little girl again this week in our painting exercises. While I had a little of that magic still in me, I decided to do this little digital piece. My friend Kimmie provided a starter image of the girl in a pink dress. In Kimmie's image, the girl is walking in a field of green grass. We were told to put her in any world we wished. So I put her on a carousel pony and had her look back, just for a little while, to a magical world where she's a little girl again and her Mom is still standing a few feet away laughing, watching over her, and she knows she is safe and loved and there's not a care in the world.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Wild Geese: A Journal Page

I've been working a lot more in my art journal lately. This morning I opened to this background that I had painted yesterday. If you could look into my soul right now, these would be the colors you'd see. When I woke up, I had this poem on my mind. It's one of my all time favorites: "Wild Geese," by Mary Oliver. I remember the first time I read it. It was like someone literally woke me up from a stupor. The first five lines really hit home. After being raised with quite the opposite message, this was a lifesaver. I adore this poem and have it posted above my art table. If you click on the photo you can get a better view of the poem. This is just where I am today...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

And The Music Plays On

Sometimes solutions aren't so simple
Sometimes goodbye's the only way

And the sun will set for you
The sun will set for you
And the shadow of the day
Will embrace the world in gray
And the sun will set for you

So I'm obsessed with music lately. These are lyrics from "Shadow of The Day," one of my favorite songs from Linkin Park. Do you ever get a song in your head and it just won't leave? This one has stayed with me for days. But I really love it so it's okay that it's playing over and over. And maybe it has something to do with the fact that I'm also playing it repeatedly on my iPod while I write or work in my art journal.   ;)

I'm still trying to adjust to a regular schedule now that I'm home from my trip. I'm also trying to get my emotions back on track. So listening to music, thinking about a lot I left behind leaves me sad. I need to move on and rejoin the here and now.

I knew I'd be feeling like this when I returned and I was hoping I could find a distraction. I didn't really plan it quite this close but I'm taking an online painting course. The first week happened to fall while I was away so I'm already a week behind. But this will make me focus. I thought it sounded like a great class. It's called Paint Free and it's taught by Wyanne. She wants to help you develop your unique painting style; not one that mimics someone else. Well, we shall see what develops! Stay tuned.

That's one of the things I do like about digital art. It's nice to do in Photoshop what I wish I could do with paint and brush. So if I could paint properly, I'd do a piece like the digital one above.  ;)  I did happen to stop at a real, bricks and mortar DickBlick Art Supply store while in Columbus. Ooh, I found some yummy encaustic paints that I had not seen in their catalog. Yep, I grabbed them up and now I'm trying to decide what to paint with them. So, I'm thinking all of this through. I'm sure something will come to me and I'll be back to "normal" soon.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fear of Flying

I'm back home from my trip. Got a late start on the road Sunday due to my procrastinating. Eventually I had to just get in the car and go. We both had tears in our eyes as we hugged and said goodbye.  :(   But I have another visit planned for sometime early December. So that is something to look forward to.

I wish I could travel more. I mean really travel. There is an encaustic workshop planned for this summer that I really would love to attend. It has the best teachers lined up, some of my very good online buddies are attending, all of the incentive in the world to go.'s in Oregon. And I'm in Indiana. So I'd have to fly. That means an airplane. I'm already having a panic attack just thinking about it.

I have flown before. It wasn't pretty. My first time was with my husband. I figured that would be okay. It was a short flight from Columbus to Madison, WI. No biggie. We didn't even have to change planes. He didn't think it was a good idea that I insisted on a window seat. But I didn't want the aisle; plus I couldn't help myself. I had to look out the window. So we're flying along, me with both hands glued to the armrests. He kept trying to talk to me but I just kept trying to remember to breathe. Then it got bumpy. The plane would jump, then fall.

That did it. I started to panic. I looked at him and he had this horrified look on his face. "Are you crying?" he asked. Well, yeah! I was terrified. Who knew you would be flopping around in the air like that? He kept saying it was fine. It was just turbulence. No, it was not fine! It was a nightmare. I just closed my eyes. The flight attendant came by. He assured her it was okay; that it was my first time flying. It was humiliating (for both of us). And this was a short flight. The only thing I could think of (besides falling out of the sky) was that we'd have to do this again on the trip home. I could not believe he had talked me into this.

So, fast forward to a few summers ago. He was going to London for a business trip. All my life, the one thing I've always wanted to do was visit London. He asked if I wanted to go because I would need to get a passport and make a lot of preparations beforehand. Well of course I wanted to go. But I knew I wasn't going to. No way was I going to be able to endure an international flight. Because that would incorporate my other fear: water! That would mean flying over water. Just give me my heart attack now and get it over with.

I think he was actually relieved when I told him no. So he went on and I stayed home beating myself up. He would call, describing all of the places I'd never see. At least I have the photos. But of course it's not the same. He is planning another trip back there in a few years. Maybe I'll figure out a way to get there yet. But I digress... This encaustic workshop would be such a great time and I would learn so much.

I am so hampered by my fears. Not just the flying but others, as well. And all of the rationalizing doesn't help. You know, when people say "Oh, it's the safest way to travel...blah, blah, blah." My friend and I were talking about this during my visit. She asked what, specifically, about flying scared me so much. I said it was the crashing and burning part. "So I guess I'm really afraid of dying," I said. Hmm... The conversation took a different turn there. That meant another bottle of wine and then we got sidetracked.

So, I'm getting advice from everyone: from different drugs to take to getting liquored up, and everything in between. I'm not sure how those would work out since I'd be travelling alone. But I'll sort it all out and see what I can come up with.

The art piece at the top is a combination of a few of my art papers that I merged together in Photoshop and then printed out onto silk. I LIKE! :) When I think about my fears, these colors came to mind, and this piece is what I came up with. I only wish it were this easy to get rid of them!