Sunday, November 22, 2009

What I Learned This Week

  • My marmalade baby Marley taught some fool human before me to let him drink out of faucets instead of bowls like proper cats so whenever he hears water running in the house, he comes running and hops up on the counter begging for water.  This is proving to be a very difficult habit to break...
  • I probably will never have a quiet moment alone in the bathroom ever again as both Tuscany and Marley have separation anxiety and feel they must supervise all operations in said bathroom...
  • Owning one cat is like owning an elephant; owning two cats is like owning the whole damn herd!
  • A herd of elephants will likely run you over if you don't get out of the way...
  • All it takes to lift my spirits is a torrential downpour.  I hope it pours buckets whilst I am on Thanksgiving break...
  • Although my break is ostensibly for relaxing, I have a ton of things to do and I hope I can be at least moderately productive in the coming week...
  • Last Minute Lesson:  I'd forgotten how tiny new humans can be.  I got to meet my nephew yesterday, just a mere 12 hours after he made his grand entrance onto the planet...welcome sweet baby boy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Miss Frankenstein


This piece is 9 by 12 inches in real life so there's a tiny bit of clipping going on in the scan but I think you get the idea.  It might not be finished so I am letting it percolate in my brain awhile before I call it good.  (I think it might need some text.)  These are pretty fun to do desite some tediousness.  I'm trying to decide if I want the top coat to be beeswax or simply a high gloss varnish.  I'm also going to play around with a more deliberate layout of the pieces, different "mosaic" materials other than photocopies of old journal pages and pondering the use of 3-D embellishments like keys, washers, rhinestones and so on.  My studio is filled to bursting with whatnots and whatits and I'd love to have a series that starts to make use of all that I've collected.  When I'm working, however, I tend to get stuck on a look and fail to stray much from the formula, even if that formula was created in the first couple of pieces.  I need more of a mad scientist mentality when it comes to my art.  I have all sorts of wild ideas but stop short of bringing them to life.  A fear of failure definitely comes into play but wow!  Soooo time to get over that!  I need to learn to throw the switch and see what happens!  Sounds like a good resolution for the new year...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Rain Came Down...


...and with the downpour, my spirits rose.  There's something about the relentless patter of rain that I find deeply comforting and inspiring.  Maybe it is a sort of white noise for my soul, drowning out all the hectic thoughts and doubts.  As the kitties stretched their toes before the heater, worn out from their usual morning play session, I settled into the studio, excited for the first time in days by a torrent of new ideas.  Of course, I should've been working on canvases for the December show but I felt that while the inspiration was flowing, I should follow it wherever it led.  What resulted was a series of small collaged canvases (5 inches square) on which I applied some of the journaling techniques I've been playing with lately.  I am excited by this concept and feel that the roots for a new show (or at least new work) have been planted.  I'm still very much in the experimental stage, trying to find my way through a wilderness of possibilities.  However, somehow I am confident that the path lies ahead.  I pop open a virtual umbrella and skip through the rain, delighting in the ideas falling from my brain.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Restless


For me, 2009 hasn't been a bad year...not spectacular but not bad either.  However, I am really looking forward to the turning of an old year into new and the fresh start it represents.  In fact, I sort of wish we could just skip right past the intervening holidays and get down to the business of ringing in the new year.  Over time, New Year's Eve has become one of my favorite days;  I love the concept of resolutions and take the making and keeping of resolutions quite seriously.  That feeling of renewal is something I start craving right about now.  The approaching holidays feel oppressive rather than joyous.  It is a mindset I am trying to shake.  Maybe things will lighten up on Friday as Thanksgiving break starts and I'll be able to relax for a few days straight.  That should definitely help.  It will also feel good to hang my last art show of the year on December third; I'm ready to move on to new explorations and themes.  This feeling of restlessness is almost overwhelming.  It flutters around in my tummy and rattles my brain.  I tell myself to breathe, to take each day one at a time but I am ever so impatient.  Each week feels impossibly long and every weekend unbelieveably short.  Yes, I am definitely ready for a break...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Seeing & Searching


Well, I've decided to publish through the weekend to make up for some of the days I missed during the week.  In accordance with "Art Every Day Month," I've been doing a little bit of art each day no matter how I feel or how busy I am; I just don't always have time or energy left over for blogging.  But when I fail to blog, I miss you, dear readers, and your witty, funny, supportive commentary and so Lost Coast Post is going to try and resume a regular publishing schedule in spite of the chaos that has swirled in with the autumn winds.

As you can see from the above journal page, I continue to shamelessly indulge my Zettiology passion.  The incomparable Bea of Dog in the Hole Studio suggested a Zetti alter-ego as a vehicle for riding this wave of Teesha Moore-inspired art and I just think that is a fabulous idea.  I am currently auditioning characters in my brain and we'll see who comes out on top.  I want to be able to pursue my joy for Zetti without guilt over neglecting the other art styles and mediums I also love.  Of course the guilt is all self-manufactured but there nonetheless and I find that it is putting a damper on the merry-making.  And I feel like there is lots of merry-making to be done.  The world of Zetti is seemingly infinite, bounded only by the limits of imagination, and I want to spend plenty of time skipping through it, no matter what the art pundits say about imitation and originality.  Surely something that makes my heart sing can't be all bad.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Meet Marley

This seemingly laidback and lengthy fellow is definitely responsible for a good deal of my recent weariness as a human being.  He is also the reason that there will be no Christmas tree (aka "giant kitty toy") this year at Hand & Soul Studios (unless I am suddenly afflicted with brain fever).  Please welcome Marley, the newest (and last) addition to the family.  Marley is a freakishly large eight-month old bundle of insane energy that has quite literally turned our household upside-down.  I never really appreciated how sedate and sweet Miss Tuscany was until I introduced dear Marley into the mix.  And what an introduction it was.  At first, Tuscany hissed and growled and spit for all she was worth, puffing herself up to three times her normal size just to let the interloper know who was boss.  The two cats hunched their backs and inflated their tails, scuttling around each other like furry, furious crabs.  Three days later, they are chasing each other throughout the house like hormone-crazed teenagers.  Both are "fixed" so no fear there but that doesn't seem to put a damper on the love affair.  My son and I are on the sidelines, cleaning up after the feline hurricane.  We may need to be rescued from these rescue animals.  But as wild as they are, when they are "off" (and recharging), Tuscany and Marley are curled up in their respective spaces, looking adorable as ever.  And in those quiet times, I catch my breath and remind myself that it will eventually settle down.  I remember that they give as much as they take most days and that life would definitely be emptier without them.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What I Learned This Week


  • Some weeks there doesn't seem much to glean as it is all about survival to the weekend...and then to the next weekend and so forth and so on...
  • I was weary of the holiday season starting back in August; this may be a Scrooge year...
  • The monkeys and squirrels seem particularly sensitive to my weariness and feed off it like vultures...
  • Thanksgiving week will be a welcome respite...
  • My obsession with Teesha Moore continues unabated and I will let it run its course to see where it may lead no matter how much self-doubt trails along behind...
  • My doodling skills are quite rusty...
  • There are a lot of supplies and skills that I've left to rust and I really feel that I must do something about that...
  • Once my favorite place to haunt, I realized that I now hate scrapbook stores and all the neat, predetermined looks they advertise as "must-haves."  Fine art stores are much more supportive of real soul expression...
  • My soul is in serious need of authentic expression.  I feel some humdinger New Year's resolutions forming in my head...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Marching Forward Through Doubt


These last few days have been a strange mix of excitement and ennui as I try to find some balance between doing and being.  Tis the season for such feelings I suppose.  Even if I'm not directly involved in the holiday chaos, I can feel it in the air and it is sucking the life right out of me.  I'm definitely looking forward to Thanksgiving break.  I've been keeping up with AEDM for the most part, working on journal page construction or the journaling itself.  In her videos, Teesha explains that she completes all the artwork in advance of the writing and then sits down later to add her thoughts.  Thus, the images don't always relate directly to the journaling and I'm finding that hard as I tend to use the imagery to inspire and support what I have to say.  I'm also struggling deeply with working in this style; it feels oddly comforting and foreign at the same time.  I'm wondering how I can make this my own.  Perhaps I can't.  Maybe I just need to balance this sort of work with continued work in all my other journals.  Art journaling is supposed to be for one's own soul alone; what it looks like isn't all that important as long as the process of building the pages supports the expression of internal dialogue.  And I adore this process of collaging, character construction, doodling, and lettering.  As I relax into page construction, my brain relaxes as well and the words begin to flow.  That what's  most important.  I just need to keep that in mind if I begin to doubt myself.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What I Learned This Week

  • Sometimes a week is clearly defined by one, simple overriding principle: "What was I thinking??!?"
  • Attempting two shadow puppet, ad-libbed productions of The Wizard of Oz in three weeks' time definitely rates several "What was I thinking??!?" moments...maybe a lifetime's worth...
  • Attempting said production with 45 middle school monkeys with rather sketchy memories of the Judy Garland classic is even crazier...
  • "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is hilarious when sung by a middle school boy who doesn't know the lyrics...
  • When allowing students to improvise, be prepared say "Keep it appropriate" about a billion times.
  • Ghetto scarecrows, zombie tin men and cross-dressing lions may show up during improvisation...stay calm...  
  • Post-teaching beverages should have an alcoholic content of some kind...sigh!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy Is As Happy Does


It is day 5 of Art Every Day Month and I'm cruisin' right along.  In between four loads of laundry and a kitchen full of dirty dishes, I am doing some journaling on Zetti pages that I've completed otherwise.  These pages have been so much fun to do but I have to keep reminding myself not to over-contemplate things and just clip, glue, go!  The borders seem to come together in a jiffy but constructing the characters is a much more tedious process.  So much material to choose from...so many options...so much digging around in the stash for the perfect image.  I guess that the more I do it, the faster I'll get but for now it seems to take forever for a character to form. 

According to the weatherman, there's a big rainstorm is rolling in off the Pacific and I hope that's the case as I adore the sound of rain.  I sleep better, I work better, I feel better when a little bit of precipitation falls down around me and I can stay inside with some coffee, a good movie, and uninterrupted art time.  Sigh!  That sounds absolutely delicious!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happiness is a Warm Journal


Wow!  Welcome to Wednesday!  The week is almost halfway over and not a peep from me since last Friday!  Those of you who care may ask yourselves "Now what has that girl gone and gotten herself into?"  "What is shakin' over at Lost Coast Post?"  Well, this year's Art Every Day Month started out with a bang on Sunday, November 1 and thanks to Miz Teesha Moore, Hand and Soul Studios has been rockin' and rollin' ever since.  As you may know (the art journaling world seems sort of abuzz about it), Teesha has posted a series of videos over at her blog and on YouTube showing how she journals step-by-step.  FOR FREE!  Talk about a gift!  As a long time fan, I am thrilled to pieces and am completely enthralled with journaling all over again!  Do these pages I've been creating follow and mimic Teesha's stuff?  Yup.  Am I worried about not having my own voice or look?  Nope.  Do I care?  Nope.  Not one teeny tiny bit.  'Cause I'm having so much fun!  I figure Teesha isn't worried all that much about it either.  I have about 12 journals in varying stages of completition (besides the one above) and those journals are very much "me."  Hell, I think that even my "a la Teesha" pages are "me" as my eyes, brain and hands assembled them.  My heart gets poured out onto the pages.  I'm not out to teach a class in the techniques I pick up from Teesha nor do I plan to sell my work.  I plan to play my brains out.  I want to slip into some sort of collage trance with bits of paper softly drifting down down around me, remnants of a paper clipping blizzard.  I plan to lose all my pens a thousand times in the disaster I now call my studio table.  I intend to find them again and doodle, doodle, doodle until my fingers stiffen around the barrels like claws.  Then I'll take my paint-splashed self and collaspe, exhausted, wrapped in the sheer bliss that follows a fabulously frantic day of art-making.  And then I plan on doing it all again tomorrow...   
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