“Love Me” Owl

Happy Valentine’s Day, my dear readers!  I thought I would share a new piece of artwork that is near and dear to my heart.  How many of you are familiar with The Love-Me Bird, a picture book by Joyce Dunbar?

I love this story, which is about a little songbird who goes around calling out, “Love me! Love-me!” in search of her perfect mate.  Well, she never gets a response, which is sad at first.  But then she decides to change her tune to “Love you! Love-you!”  Before you know it, she finds her true love.

This is such a great message.  It’s easy to have expectations, especially on a day like today.  Everyone wants to be loved.  But it’s often the love you give away that comes back to you.

Today and every day, I hope you feel loved.  But don’t forget to share your love with others.  You just might find what you’re looking for ❤

 

Get Your Zen On with Zentangle!

Greetings on this lovely Friday the 13th!  I’m sending some good vibes your way with some very relaxing artwork that I just made in a new art class– Intro to Zentangle.

Maybe you’ve heard of it.  Maybe you’ve even seen it printed on t-shirts or bags.  It’s taking the world by storm, so of course I decided I needed to see what all the buzz was about.

It’s the art form described as being for the non-artist.  Why?  Is it because it isn’t artistic or doesn’t require skill?  Well I guess it depends on how you define art and skill.  It was founded by a couple named Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas.  They wanted to practice art that was both creative and meditative but without all the rules and tools required of most other types of art.

Everything you need comes in a little drawstring pouch.  And here’s something to keep in mind.  One of the tools is NOT an eraser, because there are no mistakes, only opportunities.  Don’t you love it already?  The basic concepts involve focus, framing, creating a string, filling, shading, and signing your work at the end.  We learned just a few tangles, but there are many more and you can even come up with some of your own.

But the best part about zentangle is getting into the zone!  This goes along with coloring mandalas, which I mentioned in a previous post, so you can see why I like it 🙂  It will be interesting to see how I can factor this into my own art.

Even if you aren’t an artist, you might want to give this a try.  It was designed for you 😉  It’s a great way to practice mindfulness–focusing on the present moment.  Imagine what you can create if you put your mind to it and just relax…

Consider their motto: “Anything is possible…one stroke at a time!”

A House for Dreaming Big Dreams

collage, acrylic, ink

Greetings, My Lovelies 🙂

Happy Almost-Friday!  I’ve decided to share with you another new art piece that I’m excited about.  This piece helped fuel my inspiration and basically makes me happy every time I look at it.  It opened doorways that allowed me to re-envision an ongoing art project that I put aside for quite some time.  Yata!

What I love about the technology age is that there has never been a better time to be an artist.  Why?  Because we have access to so many styles and tutorials at our fingertips.  No longer must one simply go to an expensive art school to learn traditionally.  There is certainly nothing wrong with going the traditional route, but in today’s fast-paced, modern world, not everyone has time or money for this.  Even if they do, everyone can benefit from additional education and opportunities for growth.

I learned this collage technique from artist nicoletta zanella in this video.  I encourage you to go online and find some art classes or web videos to watch.  Engage.  Be curious.  Take on a new challenge.  See where it takes you and how you can incorporate it into your own personal style.  And in the end, you may find that you’ve expanded your world and you can be more YOU.

Embracing Imperfection with Gyotaku and Cherry Blossoms

ink print

So as promised, here is the artwork I created at the Japanese art class.  The above fish ink painting is inspired by the Japanese art of printing fish known as gyotaku.  We used rubber fish, but typically artists print from the real thing!  The tradition may have started as a way for fishermen to record their catch.  It’s harder than it looks because you have to use just the right amount of ink and then press in all areas evenly.  But boy was it fun to paint a fish!

watercolor and ink

This next piece is considered a Japanese scroll painting of cherry blossoms.  I thought it was perfect for the season 🙂  There’s actually an interesting story behind the process of creating this painting.  My friend and I attended this workshop together.  Both of us like watercolor AND controlling the outcome of our work.  But those two things don’t really go together.  The nature of watercolor supports spontaneity and embracing happy accidents.

Well, we finished our blossoms and couldn’t seem to go any further, although the next step was to take a clean, wet brush and paint over the surface to produce a beautiful, loose, watercolor effect.  Were we doing that?  No way!  But then I decided I needed to grow.  So I took a chance…a slightly calculated, slow, rhythmic, in-the-flow chance.  And wow, the world didn’t end and my painting didn’t get wrecked.  Under total surrender, the painted deepened in its value and aesthetic beauty all because I took a chance.  And you know what?  I looked over at my friend who appreciates control far more than I do.  And what is she doing?  She’s embracing water and freedom and lack of control like crazy!  And truthfully, it looked like a perfect storm on her paper for a few minutes.  We could not predict the outcome to save our lives.  BUT as the water and paint dried, there emerged these blossoms as if from a fire of smoke, water, and ashes.  Imperfect.  Beautiful.  Just like life.

‘Tis the Season for Flowers

Greetings my lovely readers!  I’m still making cards.  I recently attended a Japanese art class where we painted cherry blossoms.  Look for that in a later post 😉  But meanwhile, it inspired me to go home and create even more artwork!  I decided to try painting some of my mixed media flowers with watercolor and ink.  If you would like to see others like this, check out my post here.  Enjoy 🙂

 

 

 

Learn to Monitor Your Heart with Mindfulness

If you need to run, I’ll run with you.

I’m sharing my latest card creation in celebration of mindfulness.  Mindfulness is the meditation practice of becoming more aware of your thoughts and learning to stay in the present moment.  You focus on your thoughts, feelings, and sensations but without judgement, as if you’re observing them rather than experiencing them.

One particular technique involves body awareness where you notice the physical sensations you’re experiencing throughout your body, like muscle tension or heart palpitations.  Instead of freaking out or trying to force yourself to stop experiencing these sensations, you simply allow them to happen while observing them in great detail.  You may find that the less you fight them or beat yourself up for having them, the quicker they go away.

If you are prone to panic attacks, this exercise can be particularly useful.

So the next time you notice your heart racing, just let it.  Better yet, get out your running shoes and follow it along.  Pretty soon, you’ll both be too tired to continue.  If you let it calm down on its own, so will you!

 

Spring: The Season of Rebirth

Don’t let anything hold you back…especially yourself.

Spring has sprung my dear readers!  And so must we.  It’s time to hatch, come out of the cocoon, wake up from hibernation, reinvent ourselves for the year.  What better way to do that then through art.

I’m here to share another one of my recent homemade card creations.  It’s been awhile since I made a brain painting, but let’s just say I was inspired!  This time I’ve included the card’s message, which is posted in the above caption.

I think many times we focus on what holds us back in life– work, family responsibilities, money, health, etc.  But at the end of the day, we make our own choices and decide how our day and our life will be.

It’s a mind game that we’ve created, setting our own limitations, but we can always choose not to play.  If you could step outside yourself, or who you think of as yourself, for one day, who would you choose to be?  What would you accomplish?  Would you take time to just BE?

Well, guess what?  The time is now.  I’m giving you permission to set yourself free.  Now go fly!

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