Friday, December 31, 2010

Out with the Old

Here we are at the end of another year, and as usual, we wonder what happened to the previous 12 months!  Life certainly seems to go by in a blur, and as I reflect back, I'm grateful to have my journals and blogs to help trigger the memory of those moments worth recalling.


My first "Angelia's Art Journals" post appeared in March 2010, and that's lead to more than I could have ever imagined.  I can't believe how many wonderful people I've met through this blog and I'm looking forward to meeting more of my fellow creatives in the next 12 months.



2010 was the year I decided to take control of my health and begin walking.  My almost daily pilgrimage to the beach has become an integral part of my life, and in spite of the inclimate winter weather, I still sneak down when I can.  I haven't given up on the walking though.  It's been temporarily replaced by a treadmill and recumbent bike. It's not the same, but it's growing on me.





There were commissions and parties and lots of other good moments in 2010.  There were, of course, some moments that I would not want to revisit again under any circumstances.  But you know what?  I can make the choice NOT to revisit those moments.  It's all about editing, and I think this clip from "Everybody Loves Raymond" is the best statement on editing life that I've ever heard.




So, as we bid a final farewell to 2010, I hope that all you take with you into 2011 are the good memories, and I hope you take time to reflect on those things that have helped in your evolution of the wonderful and unique person that you are.  "Happy Creating!"

Monday, December 27, 2010

Embracing Winter

Anyone who knows me knows that winter is my least favorite season. I like to be outdoors with my hands in the warm earth or sitting on my deck painting and communing with the birds. Winter in northeast Ohio is not the place for this, but I've decided that I'm going to try my best to embrace winter this year.


I bundled up against the cold and headed for the beach. There was a strange comfort in the silence and there were still signs of life in the desolate terrain.



The path lay before me with not a sign of any human activity, but I did find tracks of the birds who still call Headlands home during winter.  Their winter dance left behind a beautiful abrstract in the snow.


I found a bush along the path, it's folliage long gone, giving way to glorious red berries that shone brightly against the stark white snow and remined me of a Jackson Pollack painting.


The beach grasses had taken on a warm, golden orange tint and stood in stark contrast to the cool blue of the sky.



Lake Erie's southern shores remained open and flowing, and there were only traces of ice floating near the beach.  The sand lay mostly hidden beneath a thin blanket of snow.



I returned home, chilled by my outing but inspired by the quiet beauty of my journey.  I thought about the artwork that mother nature had left behind in the aftermath of all those warm, sun filled days I had spent on the beach, and I thought about how much more pleasant the winter will be if I make the choice to look at it differently.



I decided that if my little squirrel friend can embrace winter, than so can I.  Who knows what "Happy Creating!" this new perspective may lead to as I open the pages of my art journal?



video

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Winter Song

I began this journal spread as before; I had previously applied paint left over from my previous day's journaling.



 I didn't know what I was going to journal about, so I took black artist acrylic and drew in some random shapes and the shapes of faces that I could see.



I still wasn't sure where I was headed, so I began to add color to the pages, first adding a medium purple. . .


And then a medium shade of ultramarine blue.



I continued by adding some fuschia as highlights to some of the shapes, and I made some additional shapes and lines for added interest.


I decided to add yellow to the pages to warm the cool colors and add additional highlights.


As I worked with the spread, it began to take on a life of it's own.  A shape on the left seemed like a door and the small rectangles reminded me of windows.  The crescent shapes reminded me of cobblestone.  I added more black lines to both pages to help tie them together and to add some shading to the flat shapes.



As I continued working with the spread, the building began to take on some character and I saw a fushcia path leading to a mountain.  It put me in mind of a cold, winter version of VanGogh's "The Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum, Arles, at Night". 


I added more shadows with black artist acrylic and I added the moon and more hightlights with white artist acrylic to complete the spread.

This will be my last post until after Christmas.  I hope that all of you have a wonderful time and remain safe and warm wherever you are.  I also hope that your holiday season is complete with all the things you love and hold dear to your heart, and that whether you're baking cookies, wrapping packages or making memories, you'll find yourself in the spirit of "Happing Creating!".  That is my winter song for you.  Blessings to you all and I'll see you back here for more journaling inspiration on Monday, December 27th.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fly

Once again I opened my journal to the next pages that I coated with the left over paint from the day before.


As I looked at the pages, I saw three birds.  The colors were dingy and muddy so I decided to add some cerulean blue and yellow green artist acrylic to punch it up a bit.


 I took out my black water soluble crayon and began to sketch in the outline of the birds.  I liked using the pastel on top of the acrylic.  Adding water to the crayon made it easy to wipe out and re-draw some of the lines until they were the way I wanted them.



After the rough sketch was competed, I added black artist acrylic to further define the shadows and consequently that added areas of highlight.  I added additional highlights with white artist acrylic and I added black lines to represent branches and add interest to the background. 




I added lyrics from the song, "Blackbird", and word "Fly" to complete my spread.

I thought about what birds represent to me.  I thought about Maya Angelou's, "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings", and I thought about that song made popular by the Beatles, "Blackbird".  I thought about soaring as high as the clouds and I thought about freedom.  I thought about this gift I have of being what we label "artist", and I was grateful that I have the freedom to express myself through journaling and what I love to call "Happy Creating!".

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Beautiful Life

Creating art is a beautiful life but contrary to popular belief, the creating begins long before the paints and canvases are pulled out.  Creating begins with the appreciation for all that surrounds us, and the warehouse of appreciation I have gathered over the years is where I get my inspiration for the art I create. 

I'm a maniac about not wasting paint, so when I finished my last journal spread I spread the left over paint on the next blank pages in my journal.  "Waste not, want not", Mom always said.


What I notice immediately is the makings of a face.  Do you see it?



The second thing I notice is all the white of the left side of the spread.  I must take care of that immediately!  I put small blobs of paint directly on to the page using the same colors I used yesterday and a lot of white.



I spread the paint in a random pattern with my wet brush, and decide that I'm in the mood to do some collage.  I haven't done any collage in a while!


 As the paint dries,  I go through my file of magazine pages and images and pull out a dozen or so images that "speak" to me as possibilities for this journal spread. Once again, I have no idea where I'm going with this.



Then I go to my baggies filled with words and smaller images and see if anything feels appropriate for this spread.


I settle on a dozen or so images and words that have a possibility of making the final cut to my journaling spread. 


I begin to play with the placement of some of the images on my spread.  I'm immediately drawn to an image of an angel. 



I like the angel image a lot, but she just feels too heavy on the page. 


I attempt to lighten the image with a 50/50 mixture of white acrylic and water, but I don't like the way it looks.  So instead, I coat the image with Mod Podge and place it upside down on the page and let it dry.



Of course, an impatient Angelia doesn't let it dry completely.  I begin rubbing the image with water until the back magazine layer begins to rub off.  I've rubbed down to the paper in some spots, but I like the way it looks - very grungy and aged.



As the angel transfer continues to dry, I begin to work on the face using thick strokes of the same paints that I've applied to the background, and of course, black acrylic was bound to show up for the party! 


 I glued they eye to the palm of the hand and all the words on the page with Mod Podge.  The left side seemed a little bland, so I added the stars and swirls. 

I'm always amazed at how these intuitive spreads just seem to come together on their own, and I'm always grateful for the messages and reminders that I get from them.  "Creating art is a beautiful life" speaks volumes to me, and is a true representation of how I feel when I create and share my creations with others.

I hope you'll practice  "Happy Creating!" from intuition and let your journal spreads emerge on their own.  Choose colors and images that speak to you and let the art flow from your beautiful life! 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Painting with Plastic

When I take out my journal, I have no idea where creativity will take me.  This morning, as I pulled out the colors that spoke to me, I decided to paint with plastic. Yep, plastic!


Usually, I only choose 2 or 3 colors, but today 5 colors jumped out at me! Aren't they luscious?



I applied 5 big blobs of color to the right side of my spread



Then I took an old credit card and transfered some of the paint blobs to the left side of my spread.



Holding the card at about a 45 degree angle, I spread the paint in a random manner.



 I applied more blobs of  the same paint colors to my favorite palette - a small paper plate.  In addition, I added black and white and pulled out my plastic fork.  While the background dried, I studied the patterns to see what I could detect.



As I stared at the pages, the shape of a figure began to form, and the purple strokes reminded me of a keyboard.  I began applying paint with the handle of the fork.  First, the light green to highlight the arms, and  then, white and black to hightlight the keys.  I could see the faint beginnings of a face on the upper left.



I turned my attention to the right side of the spread.  I saw the makings of a hand on the lower right corner.  The yellow area looked like the top of a drum, and as I studied the page further, I saw the faint shape of two eyes and a head.  Continuing to use my fork handle, I applied more paint highlighting and shadowing the various shapes that I could see.  I added the curved black line behind my bongo player to draw the eye to the left and add a little more interest to the page.



I had a lot of fun with this spread, and now I have a jazz club in my journal.  I know that somewhere out of view are people laughing and chatting at tables in darkened corners, and the soft tinkle of ice against glasses.


And me? I'm tapping my toe to the rhythm of the bongo player and contemplating where "Happy Creating!" might take me tomorrow. 


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Playing with Watercolors

I spent some time looking at old Christmas photos this morning, and my favorites were of the boys making cookies.  There would be flour and sprinkles from one end of the kitchen to the other, and our dog, Roxy, and our tiger cat, Jake, would be nearby waiting for the opportunity to scarf down whatever hit the floor.

Those were good times, and viewing those photos triggered the memory of the one and only gingerbread house I ever made for the boys.  One or both of them wanted a gingerbread house "really bad".  I had the presence of mind to purchase the ready made gingerbread pieces from a local bakery, and I remember presenting the finished house to them on Christmas morning to their delight and amazement. The only other thing I remember about that house is royal frosting.  Royal frosting. Royal pain. Just sayin'!



I still love the look of a gingerbread house dripping in candy, so I decided to make one today.  This one was much easier because I made it out of paper and watercolors.  It was the most fun I ever had building a gingerbread house, and my gingerbread people seem to approve.

If you've never made a gingerbread house, I think you'll find this method to be a pleasing alternative.  If you do decide on an edible version, I'd get one already made and skip on making the royal frosting!  Either way, "Happy Creating!"

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Do You Hear What I Hear?

OK, I have to come clean.  Most people I know look upon Christmas with happiness and excitement and that's why I largely dedicated this December blog to a holiday theme with my journaling prompts and music playlist.  If I were creating blog posts for my benefit, I have to tell you there wouldn't be much about Christmas included.  It hasn't been a favorite holiday of mine for a very long time, and as I observe some of the things going on around me, the fondness decreases with each passing year.  I think my feelings are evident in my last intuitive journaling spreads.

Do you hear what I hear?  I wonder what people in mysterious places where I've never been might think about all this holiday hoopla.  What do they think about a holiday that promotes excess when they're looking for a safe place to rest or wondering when they'll get another meal?  Do you hear the cries of our brothers and sisters across this great planet who think only of surviving day to day?


Do you hear what I hear?  Do you hear the plethora of TV commercials implying that you're NO ONE if you're not buying expensive gifts for the people you love?  Do you hear the commercials of kids saying their parents are "nerds" if they're not driving brand new vehicles with all the bells and whistles?  Do you hear the commercials telling you that you can only be a "hero" if you buy diamonds for your someone special? 



Do you hear what I hear?  Do you hear the bombardment of "The Machine" telling you that the only way to have a successful holiday season is to spend a lot of money you don't have?  Do you hear "The Machine" telling you that there must be no signs of Christmas in public places?  Do you hear the hypocrisy?



Do you hear the songs of angels?  I know you do.  I refer to the songs of the angels you call your friends and loved ones.  Do you hear the content moaning of your angels after they've eaten too much of a meal you've prepared for them?  Do you hear the hearty laughing of those angels as fond memories are recalled or the compassionate sighing as they nod in understanding to your bad times?  Do you hear them say 'they'll always be here' with a warm embrace before heading back out into the cold to their own homes? 



Do you hear what I hear?  I hope so.  I hope that above all that is wrong in this world and wrong in your own life, I hope you hear the sounds of all that is good and decent and loving.  I hope you hear joy in the voices of the young angels in your life, and I hope you hear the warm echos of those voices who remain with you as just a memory.  Maybe most of all, I hope you hear the sincerity of my wish for all of you to hear the joy, laughter and love in your lives not just at this holiday time, but for every day in your ever after.  "Happy Creating!"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Favorite Things

Here are a few of my favorite journaling pages from 2010:





And here are a few of my favorite moments from this year:







One of my favorite things this year was walking at the beach, and here are some of my favorite images:




One of my favorite things this year has been creating and blogging for YOU!  I've enjoyed sharing my art and videos with you and I hope you've enjoyed peaking into my world.  Hopefully, you've laughed along the way, and hopefully you've been inspired to make art journaling a favorite thing in YOUR life!




As you make your way through this hectic holiday season, remember to take time for YOU and to reflect on those favorite things that put a smile on your face, a song in your heart and a journal in your hand. "Happy Creating!" Let your art shine all over


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