Monday, October 31, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Weekend Journal

A Busy Week

At long last, this reclusive artist enjoyed a week of more celebrating than creating!  It began with a great Halloween party last Saturday night at Ro's, followed by a trip to Lakeview Cemetery with lunch in Little Italy, an artist reception for "The Skull & Skeleton in Art: Fold Art to Pop Culture" at the Gallery at Lakeland, and a final Halloween party at the historic Rider's Inn in Painesville last night.  Add a couple art journaling classes and costume shopping to the mix, and I had quite a busy week!

Halloween Costumes

It seems most of my creativity presented itself in photo taking and face painting this week.  The first costume I wore was easy - pajamas over street clothes, fluffy slippers and a shower cap.  I can say with certainty that I was the most comfortably dressed party goer that night!

What else could I have done for the Skull & Skeleton show at Lakeland?

It was time for a little zombie fun last night!  I found a great tutorial on using white glue and toilet paper for zombie makeup, so I give it a try with Mod Podge.  It worked great and was appropriately disgusting.  I won 2nd place in the Rider's Inn costume contest for this gory look.

I was actually more pleased with the makeup job I did on Keith.  I think we made a great looking couple!

Congrats to the 1st place winners, the gladiator  couple!

The Skull & Skeleton Show

We had a great turnout for the reception, and there were lots of fabulous artworks on display.  There was everything from ceramics, to soft sculpture, to jewelry and dioramas and everything in between.  Here are a few of the pics from the reception.  As always, clicking on the image will give you an enlarged view.

The Dia de Los Muertos ofrenda created by students at Lakeland

Ceramic work by one of my favorite local artists, Mark Yasenchack

"Hell's Kitchen" acrylic painting by another local favorite, George Kocar

3 of my 5 contributions for the show. Acrylic paintings and mixed media

Art quilt by Jacquelyn Moravcik

Soft sculpture skelly by Mary Oesterman

I didn't get the artist's name on this large, fabulous painting
Medusa and Satan

Paloma Pilar Grasso, owner of Galeria Quetzal .  He delivered a wonderful presentation on Dia de los Muertos

Mary Urbas, Lakeland Gallery Curator
I neglected to get this artist's name, but you had to see this amazing  art book!

So that was a snippet from my week.  I'll be posting about our trip to Lakeview Cemetery later in the next few days.  I hope you're all having some Halloween fun, and I hope you're finding some time to "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday's Mandala

I always like to have a winter project to get me through the long, gray months of snow and cold here on Lake Erie's south shores.  This year, I decided it will be my mandala journal.  I decided on the first week of April as my completion date, so after a little back counting I ended up here - the last week in October.  At one mandala a week, when I finish all 24 pages, the first signs of spring should be evident.  At least that's my hope!

Here's this week's finished mandala.  In case you didn't see the mandala book, take a look at this post.  I'm looking forward to creating a mandala a week.  I will be posting each new mandala every Monday until my journal is complete and spring is arriving.


I actually have a few photos to share today.  I spent some time driving around and just sitting at a park enjoying the beautiful day we had yesterday.  Come along on my journey!

My first stop was Harvey's Farm Market, in Fairport.  I love this little market - they've always got great produce and I appreciate the time they take to arrange their displays.  It makes you want one of everything.

I left the market with potatoes and apples in tow.  You do know that I'll be baking apple pies, right?  Hopefully, they will be photo worthy!

After I left Harvey's, I continued through Fairport and decided to drive along the Grand River and the stone docks.  I wasn't disappointed.  A rather long ship, the Joseph H Thompson, was docked and unloading gravel.  I did a Google search and found a very interesting history on this 706 foot ship. She's been in use since 1944 and was used during war time.   Have a look HERE.  I wasn't able to capture the entire ship in one frame.

After I watched the ship for a little while, I ventured off to a local park where I could sit near the Grand River and just enjoy the warmth of the sun.  This park must be a well kept secret, because there are never very many people here.  That suits me fine.

It was a gorgeous day, but still there were little reminders everywhere that winter is right around the corner.  I know sunny and mid 60 degree days are numbered, so I was happy to be outdoors and soaking up some sun.

Have a great week, and as always, take time for YOU as you "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Weekend Journal

Alter Egos, Dreams, and Things That Go Bump in the Night

Maybe it's because I've had Halloween costumes in the back of my mind, or perhaps it's the bedtime snack of peanuts, chocolate chips and raisins I've been eating; either way, it's been a week of horrifying dreams that left me feeling dark and edgy.  The results have certainly manifested in my journal pages!


Happily, the horrific dreams came to a halt and the week ended on a much brighter note.  We played with leaves in Thursday's art journaling class, and we all had a great time.  We made leaf rubbings with colored pencils and leaf stamps with acrylic paints.  It was great to be carefree and to once again experience the joy of playing with leaves through childlike eyes.

As Halloween approaches, there are costume parties and celebrations in the making, and I, for one, can't wait to gather with family and friends for these joyous occasions.  I hope you'll be taking mental notes and photos for your upcoming journal pages as you "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tuesday Tips and Techniques: Poetry as Prompts

Poetry is a great prompt for art journaling.  Words tumble across the page like music, and bring images immediately to mind.  Using your favorite poems are great for a start, but how about writing some of your own?     I know it can be scary if it's something you're not used to doing, but give it a try.  There are many different poetry forms that are easy enough for the novice.

This past week, my class and I learned some new poetry forms ourselves.  The first form we explored was the Alphabet (or ABC) poem.  This form of poetry contains 5 lines.  You may begin with any letter of the alphabet but each successive line of poetry must begin with the next letter.  For example, your 5 lines may begin with A, B, C, D, E.  If you choose to begin with letter R, your following lines would begin with S, T, U, and V.  Here's my Alphabet poem.

First of all, a black and white image on Angelia's blog?  I know, I know - shocking isn't it?  I bought a new white Sharpie paint pen that I wanted to try out (which I like a lot!).  I began my Harvest Moon poem with the letter E.

Enigmatic wonder of 
Fall sky - 
Gleam on 
Harvest Moon -
Initiate October
The second form of poetry we explored was the Acrostic poem.  I somehow had it written as Acoptic poem.  I'm claiming that the site I was using had a typo.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!  Anyway, the correct form is Acrostic.  In this form of poetry, the title of the poem is often the word used for the poem.  The word (or two words) that the poem is about should be written out vertically.  For my poem, I used the word "leaves".

Lovely gems
Emit a glow -
Ambassadors of
Vacant limbs
Escape their
Summer Prison

If these two poetry forms are still just a tad more creative writing than you care to indulge in, the third poetry form that we explored was the Copy/Change poem.  I had never heard of this form of poetry until one of my students (and friend), Katherine, showed me the poem that she has written.  You can see her poem here.

For my Copy/Change poem, I chose an old Rod McKuen poem that I remember from the .....well, more than just a few years ago.  His poem is titled "Listen to the Warm", and it is also the title of his book of poetry that includes this poem.  To my amazement, when I researched a copy of this poem, I also discovered that he also sang and has albums.  His song, (different from the poem), "Listen to the Warm", is playing on my MixPad player today. I did not write to Mr. McKuen and ask permission to use his poem in this way. No copyright infringement is intended.  My high school English teacher, Mr. Shaner, always said that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.  I hope Mr. McKuen agrees.

Here's "Listen to the Warm", by Rod McKuen.

Here's my Copy/Change poem titled, "Listen in the Dawn"
(Click on image to enlarge)

I have these poems together as one spread.  The colors for "Listen to the Warm" emulate the colors that I remember on the cover of Rod McKuen's book.  The colors I used for "Listen in the Dawn", represent my very dark bedroom as I awaken.  My sweet hubby brings me coffee in the morning before he leaves for work. (Yes, I am a spoiled princess!) 

I hope you'll consider using poetry as a prompt in your art journaling endeavors. I hope some old favorite but forgotten poems come to mind as you read this post,  and I hope you'll try writing some of your own poetry.  Here's a site to help you explore some new poetry forms on your own: Poetry Online  Hey - why leave any creative stone unturned as you "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday with Mother Nature

Mother Nature waits for no one, and with that said, the growing season at my house came to a close today.  The forecast for the remainder of the week is crappy, crappy, and crappy followed by more crappy, so I took heed began winterizing my garden and window boxes for winter.

Creativity abounds even in the most mundane of tasks.  The simple arrangement of the final vegetables caught my eye; what a pleasing color palette. And there were other things to spark my imagination.

I began by harvesting the remaining vegetables, and I found a couple surprises to further spark my creative imagination.

This undeveloped bell pepper looks like a boxing glove to me - what do you think?

The pieces of what once was a nice trellis lay scattered across the table like so many pick-up sticks.

I found beauty in the tangled remains of my pole beans as I pulled them from the garden box and piled them on the deck.

The addition of the pepper plants, impatiens and trailing vines turned the tangled pile into a giant mound of beautiful potpourri.   It was almost too pretty to toss into the wheelbarrow, but I finally had to succumb to the task.

As I turned my attention back to the garden box, this little lady bug caught my attention. (Not really a lady bug - so says our local weatherman, Dick Goddard)  I felt bad about disrupting it's home, but it didn't seem to mind at all.  It made me think about how we need to take things more in stride and stop making change out to be such a drama.

Anyway, that was my creativity for the day.  Tomorrow, I'll be back indoors.  It will be a great week for hunkering down with hot mugs of coffee and art supplies - Dick pretty much guarantees it.  No matter what the weather, I'm sure it will be a week where I find time to "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!" - and I hope you do, too!


This is what I love about autumn - dramatic purple skies and northern winds pushing clouds rapidly overhead, and the sun set low on the horizon casting dark shadows and setting the trees ablaze with color.
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