Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gearing Up for an Index Card a Day

I'll be honest:  I suck at "Do a (fill in the blank) a Day" challenges.  However, I persist in attempting them because I think a daily art habit is essential to being an artist that continues to evolve over time, an artist who isn't afraid of beginnings because in truth, he/she never really stops.

Over at the wonderful blog Daisy Yellow, Tammy is looking for participants to take up her "Index-Card-A-Day" challenge.  I'll let you wander over there for all the details (you'll find lots of other lovely goodness at Daisy Yellow if you do some browsing) but it is super simple: art up an index card a day for June, July and August.

I love index cards for list-making and note-taking but I just knew that the paper would drive me crazy in the long term so I cut down some cold press watercolor paper into "index cards."  And then I remembered that I had a tiny journal project from way back, just sitting in a dusty card file so I dug those out too.  I'm going to give this challenge a whirl, especially since it is a great adjunct to my 90 days of blogging goal.  If I have nothing else to ramble on about, I'll at least have an index card worth of art to share.  Wish me luck...

Join Me for 90 Days of a Lost Coast Summer!

"In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."
            Albert Camus

With the passing of Memorial Day, I feel like it is finally here: the summer of 2011!  I have decided to pack the next three months with memories: big and small, one-of-a-kind and mundane, artsy and ordinary.  And you, dear readers, are invited to join me for...

90 Days
Lost Coast
Summer Adventures!!!

You see, I have this grand notion:  blog for 90 days...in a row!  I can see the heads shaking and the eyebrows raising already.  In fact, my sweet son is giving me that exact reaction right now.  I realize that this is a long shot; Lost Coast Post certainly isn't known for its consistency.  I'm very good at dropping off the map.  But I want to change that and it is never too late to try.  Never ever!

So here and now, I am declaring my mission:  I will document every day here on the Lost Coast, beginning June 1st and continuing through to September 1st.  Some posts may be long and detailed; other entries may consist of simply a snapshot and caption.  Some posts will be devoted to the grand re-opening of Hand & Soul Studios; others will be tutorials, reviews and whatnot.  I suspect a giveaway or two will pop up.  Whatever form and theme it takes, in 90 days, I will build a set of bright, inspirational summer memories that will buoy me up during the long, gray days of winter.  Maybe along the way, you too will find something to carry with you into the future.

It is important to say that I am not planning anything out of the ordinary - no expensive trips or once-in-a-lifetime events.  This will be me celebrating the ordinary, the cheap, the simple.  I hope to sharpen my observation skills and practice finding joy in the everyday.  I have several ongoing art challenges to inspire me, including this one, so between Lost Coast life and my artist life, I should have plenty of material to fuel 90 days worth of posts.  That said, I have no delusions that this will be easy; cheerleading will be gladly accepted!

Note:  There will be one slight deviation from this plan.  June 1st to September 1st actually equals 93 days.  Although I may opt to schedule posts, I am planning to briefly pause my blog mission June 6th through June 8th to allow for foot surgery and doctor-mandated down time (foot elevated & no weight-bearing).  Unseen complications from this procedure are the only possible sure-fire roadblock to my 90 day blog plan but I never go into a surgery planning for the worst so until those problems crop up, I'm moving forward with my summer!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Checking In

Just a drive-by post to let Lost Coast Posties know that today is my last day of teaching art journaling to 50 middle school monkeys.  I fully intend to breathe deeply, kick back, and post furiously once this milestone has passed.  I am crazy ready for summer vacation!!  See you on the flip side!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Spiraling Outward into the Light

 This snapshot describes recent weeks in the studio perfectly: lots and lots of time spent at the sewing machine.  I am crazy in love with free motion quilting!  I especially enjoy quilting in circles and so since the muse seems particularly drawn to circles right now...round and round I go.

This also perfectly summarizes my focus as of late:  after a long (and I mean really long) hiatus, Hand & Soul Studios will reopen in late May.  After my wrist fusion in February 2008, I essentially shut down the career side of my art life.  I've had a couple small art shows in the intervening years but otherwise, I've been completely focused on nurturing my health: mental, physical, emotional and so on.  Ironically, in turning inward so intently, I realized a deep-seated desire to be more "outward" in my life.  It is something I have to work pretty hard at because my comfort zone is in reclusion.  But working at it I am and manifesting a career is part of moving out into the light.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Today's Project

Despite the silence here at my long-suffering blog, my studio has actually been humming with fairly consistent activity. 

On deck today: construction of a new journal.  In January, I started up a new "daily diary" in a purchased watercolor sketchbook but very early on, I realized that I was completely unhappy with the format.  It just felt...impersonal... and that nagging feeling persisted every time I tried to work in it.  So I tore out all the pages I had painted (you can see the stack there under the book cover) and today I'm going to make a more inviting (and personal) journal.

More and more, it is becoming extremely important to me to follow and honor my creative impulses.  I haven't always been very good at that.  However, even through all bouncing from project to project and the crazy flood of ideas that just won't recede, a certain calm is settling into my bones.  It has been a long time in coming.
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