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.

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‘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!

Springing Ahead with Homemade Cards

Happy almost spring, dear readers!  Are you getting pumped for the time change?  I know I am.  Sure, we lose an hour, but we gain a whole hour of daylight!

I’m celebrating the end of hibernation by making my own cards, which I haven’t done in years.  I’m excited to reignite this pastime, which one of my dearest friends got me hooked on ages ago.  Here’s a little poem for inspiration.

Go towards the daylight

go willingly

even if it ends in sleep–

Catch stars in your wings

For you were born among them

Shine brighter than the sun and moon combined

 

© 2016 Angie Kidd all rights reserved

Happy Friday from Petunia Owl!

Image

I Kissed a Frog

Not really, but according to the book I just finished, kissing frogs is the equivalent of going after your dreams, the things that make you happy and fulfilled.  The frog is the very thing holding you back, so why should you kiss it?  Because you can always transform something negative into something positive and change your life forever.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Kiss That Frog by Brian Tracy.

“Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance.” —Bruce Barton

“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” —from John Milton’s poem “Paradise Lost”

“There is no failure except in no longer trying.  There is no defeat except from within, no really insurmountable barrier save our own inherent weakness of purpose.” —Orison Swett Marden

The final quote I want to share comes from a middle grade novel I just finished reading called A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd.  It’s funny how once you start focusing on an idea, the more it shows up in your life in different places.

“It’s as simple and difficult as that.  Sad memories don’t just come in ice cream, you know.  Everything you touch, everything you smell, everything you taste, every picture you see—all of that has the potential to call up a sad memory.  You can’t choose what comes up first.  But you can choose to replace it with something good.  I choose to think on the good parts.”

May positive thoughts bloom in your mind instead of weeds 🙂

 

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