Monday, December 16, 2013

Until a New Year Dawns...

On the left hand side of this spread, I was experimenting with Dura-lar Wet Media Film which is a clear acetate that has been specially treated to accept wet work (like markers and paints) without beading.  I will most definitely being doing more with this product/technique in the coming year!
What with all the holiday chaos, art has been progressing even slower than usual but I'm looking forward to a time (after Christmas itself is finally over) that I can spend day after day painting & pasting, cuttting & collaging, doodling & dawdling around in my studio with not a care in the world.  The last week or so of the year tends to be some of my most productive and exciting as I plot and plan for the new beginning that presents itself on January 1st.  To that end, Lost Coast Post will close up shop until January 3, 2014.  Since I began this endeavor in May 2006, I wonder every year if I want to continue blogging.  I must say I have received many wonderful comments and emails as of late that have firmly decided the issue for me in advance of my year-end hiatus:  Lost Coast Post will definitely be moving forward into 2014, my eighth year of blogging.  Taking a wee break, however, will help me recharge my batteries and give me time to ponder where I go next.  At the very least, I'll have time to create lots of new work to show.

I wish all my readers, near and far, a wonderful holiday season, filled with friends, family, and course, art!  Thank you for gracing this space with your presence, your kind words, and unfailing encouragement!  I hope to see you once again when a new year dawns! 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Ecstatic Motion

One advantage of the recent cold snap (besides making 30 degrees seem positively balmy) is that all motivation to leave the house freezes up and one can simply hunker down in the warm studio and make art without an ounce of guilt.  I'm not a fan of this season anyway (in terms of all the commercial chaos & money worries) so it has been very easy for me hide at home and lose myself in the work.  The journaling in my "Scraps" book continues, progressing at a deliciously slow pace.  It is a perfect counterpoint all the environmental and retail craziness swirling around outside my door.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Only As...

It has been awhile since I posted from my Fiddlestick Hollow illustration journal.  I'm still shy about posting these pages and especially so since views and comments plummet when I do.  However, I refuse to let my blog and my past work define my artistic future.  The minute I feel like I am constraining my work to fit in with what is "expected" is the exact moment I quit blogging, regardless of the exposure it brings me.  I am driven to keep experimenting, evolving, improving; I loathe stagnation.  Even if I only ever write and illustrate books for my niece and nephew, I intend to "break into" illustration and that means practice, practice, practice!  Statistics are telling me to keep this new direction to myself but I'll continue to post my illustration work here & there for those who understand the need to explore and conquer new artistic frontiers.  That said, this seems an appropriate page to accompany this post...

Monday, December 2, 2013


This journal page doesn't document a day's events or a mind's ponderings.  It doesn't hold a scrapped snapshot or an ephemeral remnant of a life lived.  It doesn't feature the technique/product/subject-of-the-moment.  It doesn't have a title, a date or even a tiresome command to "Believe!" or "Dream!" or "Fly!"  This journal page just exists as evidence of play and that is enough. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Time in Stillness

I love this spread because when I look back upon it, I remember all the leisurely bits of quiet art time I stole from the middle of life's chaos.  These pages give me hope.  No matter how grim or busy or confusing or uncertain the world beneath my feet, inside there is an island of calm and beauty that waits ever so patiently for me to visit as long and as often as I need.  This island is unfailing and steady, a beacon to focus on whenever I feel darkness gripping a bit too tight.  Journaling used to be such a frenzied affair for me, mimicking my everyday life.  And then, something changed.  I allowed myself to get quiet for a few minutes here and there.  I learned to duck my head into the eye of the storm and stay a bit until I regained the courage to reenter the fray.  These pages - this journal - document my time in stillness and they hold the key to the way back should I ever lose my way again. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

All You Have is Today

I'm not sure where all the flowers came from in this journal but once I started doing them, I've found it hard to stop.  I love the flowing, organic nature of the coal-black sumi sketches and the vibrancy of the gouache and colored pencil work.  It is a very soothing process, sort of like creating and completing my own coloring book pages.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bloom...Right Here, Right Now

I have just a few more spreads and my "Scraps" journal will be complete.  Soon I'll need to decide on my next journal project.  I've thought about doing a series of loose pages playing with various background techniques...sort of a collection of abstracts with or without focal imagery.  I'm also considering creating my first fabric journal as the chilly autumn days are making me want to fall into my substantial fabric stash.  I'll probably spend some time browsing my library of art journaling books for some fresh inspiration.  I'm sure before long I'll have my next big idea and I'll be off and running.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Enchanter's Nightshade

I've been working on this little page since Halloween (hence the "Thurs 31") and I think it is finally done.  I used to sit down and begin a page from a blank background, developing layer after layer in a single, grueling session until the page was complete.  With this journal (and probably all future journals), I create a bunch of backgrounds over the course of a few days and then I cycle back around and add bits here & there to pages as my whim dictates.  This continues for another several days and then I suddenly have two or three spreads complete all at once.  The results feel more loose and serendipitous than my previous work.  I like that a lot!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Story So Far...

Ahhh...I hear the soft roar of rain starting up off in the distance as I type this...and here I am with nowhere I have to go.  Today I can just curl up in the warmth of my home and listen to the rhythmic patter of water on my roof.  I can putter around in my journals, sip a cup of coffee, and watch old movies on the telly...lovely.  There'll be time enough tomorrow for chaos, fretfulness, and breath-holding.  Today I rest.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Spirit Extraordinaire

After three blissful days, in which I refused to do any chores, errands, or work for school, Tuesday has me back at the grindstone trying to catch up after all that down time.  I'm not really one for "balance" and all that good is usually all or nothing with me: go in guns blazin' or curl up in bed & sleep (and I do the latter precious little these days.)  It is a mindset I am trying to change, especially in light of my complicated health problems which demand a bit more moderation, patience, and self-caretaking.  It is hard to break old habits.

One habit I am happy to cling to, however, is art journaling.  The days of marathon art-making sessions seem to be over; instead, I poke around here and there, seemingly getting very little accomplished.  And yet, when I gathered some of my journals to show my new class of journaling students, I realized just how many journals I have managed to fill over the  years.  Whew!  In the huge stack of bulging books pulled from every corner of my house, I found evidence that slow & steady does indeed win the race!  Good to know... 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Some Deep Thoughts Prompted by a Page I Hate

True story:  I loathe that hand collage on the right hand side of this spread; I want to rip it out of the journal every time I see it.  I've had a long time goal of eliminating magazine image collage from my work, especially if those images are basically unaltered and just slapped on the page...ick!  I've managed to purge my studio of about 80% of my image collection, either by throwing it away or donating it to a middle school journaling class I teach.  I've kept stuff I can alter (lots of generic vintage or copyright-free material) and images that can serve as accents for my own hand drawn or handpainted focal points.  If I get the urge to fill a page with collage (or prepurchased, scrapbooky-type items,) I have a journal just for that product-dumping style.  In general though, I want to stretch my brain and harness my painting & drawing abilities to create imagery that really reflects a piece of me and not someone else's vision.

Now before I get a bunch of hate mail incorrectly assuming that I am bashing art journalists that lean heavily on images sourced from magazines, please understand that this approach is what I have deemed necessary to expressing my voice.  This is my path prompted by my personal philosophy.  Do I wish more people would venture past cutting & pasting?  Yes.  (And I feel that more & more people are bravely venturing into what they can create themselves.)  I think there is deep value (beyond respect of copyrights) in generating your own imagery, whether you are using your own photos or doodling your own characters.  I think it helps to confront fear and reveal the uniqueness of the individual.  I also know two more things: 1) everyone has to start somewhere and collage is an excellent way to begin defining and expressing your voice and 2) not everyone likes to draw and paint.  Collage work is its own art form and can be very beautiful, expressive, and profound.  For me, it just doesn't "fit."  (And remember I am specifically referencing the use of images swiped wholesale from magazines and used as the primary image on a journal page.)

It is most important to journal in whatever way feels "right" to you.  No matter how much I hate that hand collage now, there was something that felt "right" at the time I created it.  It voiced something I couldn't put into words (or my own images) and for that reason it has value.  So I won't tear it out or cover it up.  I'll let it stand as an honorarium to whatever internal dialogue I needed to express on that day.  And I'll move onwards, following the sometimes undeniable urges and often barely audible whispers of my soul.  My journals will reflect both what I know for sure and what I can only guess.  If you follow your heart when journaling, it doesn't matter what techniques or mediums you use.  The result will be something authentic and worthwhile.      

Monday, November 4, 2013

My Soul Surfaces

November 2013 is here and I am quietly following along with Art Every Day Month.  I do art every day anyway - sometimes a little, sometimes a lot - so this is actually a piece-of-cake challenge.  However, I'll only be posting as time and energy allow.  And besides, I doubt that posting glimpses of my daily art routine would be very exciting for anyone; sometimes, all I do is stick down a piece of washi tape or sketch out a flower in sumi ink.  I do have those days where I spend hours in the studio but when I'm in that rare, treasured groove, I am loathe to break momentum for picture-taking.  So I'll just continue posting recent work which in today's case means another spread from my "Scraps" journal.  I'm close to finishing this one so very soon, I'll need to decide on my next project.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy HOOloween!

Just a little wide-eyed owlet to celebrate this seems I can't ever paint or draw enough owls! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Forget Me Not

Yay!  Today I have found time and energy for a bit of blogging!  Here's another page from my ongoing "Scraps" journal featuring more painted flowers and a pie chart page inspired by a prompt from the incredibly informative and inspiring Daisy Yellow zine.  I work on this journal in little chunks of time throughout each day: a swipe of paint here, a collaged scrap there.  I am taking my sweet time with this journal, returning to it whenever my everyday life gets a touch too troublesome.  As a result, this work feels calmer and more spacious than much of my previous journal work as seen here and here as well.  Art journaling morphs to accommodate and reflect the artist's needs, state of mind, daily struggles, and inner desires.  It is truly a fabulous coping mechanism for living.  I have no idea where I would be without my journals...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tiptoe in the Wind

Working to find my stride in the middle of chaos...sort of like trying to tiptoe in the midst of hurricane force winds.  I am hoping that, as in the past, my determination will carry me through to the other side of bad times.  As always, my journal provides a soft, quiet place to land, even if only for a few minutes here and there throughout the day.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Every Thorn Has Its Rose

My progress around the studio has slowed to a crawl as I focus my attention on simply navigating life and all its hassles, expected and unexpected, mundane and exotic.  There is a possibility I will need surgery (on my left foot yet again) and that news, while far from concrete, has me reeling because I'm just so tired of health issues.  Ugh!  If I do have to go under the knife again, that will make my 11th trip to an operating room.  As the saying goes, if it weren't for bad luck, I might not have any luck at all...

I'm trying to visit my journal a little bit each day even it is only for a few minutes...just not very enthused about art right now.  Still, each little bit adds up and I do have a few things to post over the next few weeks.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Slowly Getting Back into the Moments

*sigh* After an absolutely crazy couple of weeks, life is starting to settle down.  Yesterday was the first day in 16 (!) that I was able to stay curled up at home all day long.  I am exhausted.  However, the show is up so I can relax a little bit for a week or so.  Next up:  Some intense lesson planning for a new round of art classes to begin the first Friday in November (due to run through the end of January.)  I know that I'll be teaching cartooning for certain but I haven't made a firm decision about what else to teach.  I'd better hurry up and make up my mind!  Anyway, Lost Coast Post will be slowly coming back to life although I'm really not able to make any firm promises about a regular posting schedule.  Right now I am focused on just trying to remember to breathe!  Thank you to all who continue to grace this space even when I am absent! 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Moment 3: A Finished Fishy

I'm in panic mode for my upcoming art show, trying desperately to dredge up the energy and enthusiasm I need to crank out some more small paintings before the official "opening" next Friday evening.  I completed quite a few big paintings this summer but it's the small ones that actually sell so I am pushing my body and mind to the brink so I can get some more work on the walls.  (Zoomed in close on this one to pop the texture of the canvas...sort of looks like tiny scales!)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Moment 2: The Sweet Spot

I promise that not all my "Moments" photos will be of my cats but this snapshot of Tuscany perfectly captures my yesterday: quietly dodging the shadows to soak up what sunshine I could find.  Some days, that warmth and peace is more elusive than I would like but every day I hope to discover the sweet spot, at least for a little while, and drink in the fabulousness of life.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Beginning "The Moments"

I'm supposed to be on a hiatus from blogging to concentrate on my painting but my sweet friend Tammy over at Daisy Yellow has posted another fantastic challenge so I thought I'd try and participate in between frantic brush strokes.  October 1st marks the beginning of a 31-day photographic challenge called "The Moments" in which bloggers are called to post a photo each day this month (with a brief caption or explanation) that documents a moment in their daily lives.  I've never tried a photo challenge before and I love to support Daisy Yellow's endeavors so off I go!  We'll see how far I can get!

I had to begin with this sweet moment: Marley Bear snoozing on my studio table.  I don't accomplish much art when this big, loveable cat takes center stage but I do get to bury my hands in his thick, soft belly fur and make him coo in his sleep.  The stress reduction that provides is invaluable...

Monday, September 30, 2013

Gone Painting

Acrylics on 6x6-inch gallery wrap canvas
I'm taking a week off - maybe two - from the blog to try and stir up some painting madness in anticipation of my upcoming show.  I hang this coming Sunday and the official "opening" is the following Friday.  I have a lot of work to do but we'll see how far I get...wish me luck!

Friday, September 27, 2013

In the Garden of the Mystic

Finally it's Friday!  Here's another set of pages from my "Scraps" journal: more flowers and a feather for some variety...enjoy!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Soft Giraffe & A Single Candle

So far, this is my absolute favorite spread in my illustration-only journal.  Everything here just works for me: the pairing of quote with illustration, the expressions, the characters themselves.  These two pages make me smile and I hope that they bring some light to your day as well.  Happy Wednesday!

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Many Faces of Shakespeare

Today I'd like to share some of the Shakespeare caricatures created by my art students at Laurel Tree Charter School.  I think they are simply delightful and I am so proud of their work!  I teach mixed age group classes with students from 4th grade up through high school.

We began by discussing exactly what caricature is and how it differs from a traditional cartoon.  Then we all looked at a large, black and white portrait of Shakespeare and tried to find those features that we could exaggerate and still draw a picture that was recognizable as the Bard.  The kids pointed out his enormous forehead, his fancy collar, the bags under his eyes, and his funny facial hair.

Some of the students were worried about drawing faces but I assured them that caricatures are supposed to be silly.  After that brief instruction I turned them loose and wow!  These kids absolutely shined!  I love how each child put their own spin on his or her caricature and yet each portrait evokes the recognizable essence of Shakespeare's face.  Remember there was no technical instruction on drawing faces.  I gave them a picture to look at for reference and asked them to jump right in!  Sometimes it is best to just encourage a leap of faith...

These portraits will eventually be attached to the cover of the students' Shakespeare journals.  One group is studying A Midsummer Night's Dream and the other group is immersed in Macbeth.  My job in the next couple of months is to lead these kids through art activities that complement and supplement their study of these plays.  I think we're off to a stellar start!

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Process of "Scraps"

On Wednesday's post, Krissy commented:
I love these scrap pages, too, and I want to start a scraps journal to play in. Can you help me with the procedures of how to make these pages? Do you gesso the pages first and then collage scraps of paper on before you apply all the paint and doodling?

I began with a handmade journal made partly with 140lb cold press watercolor paper and partly with Gelli plate prints on cardstock.  This gives me a white surface to work with or pre-painted pages if I'm feeling sort of stymied by the blank page.  (Thick, good quality paper is really important.)

I scrape on layer after layer of acrylic craft paint with a palette knife without gessoing first.  The palette knife creates thin, grungy layers that dry fast.  Occasionally, I will glue down a piece of collage material first but looking back at my pages, I see that I've only done this maybe 5% of the time.  Mostly, I just start in with the paint layers and keep going until I get a blend of colors and marks that I like.  This is an extremely forgiving process; don't like a layer?  Just keep going and your "oops" will disappear.  All the paint layers end up creating thick, almost leathery (and very durable) pages so there's no need to gesso first (if your paper is thick and sturdy to begin with.)  Also, somewhere in between the layers, I'll add strips of washi tape.  Sometimes I cover those pieces of tape completely with more paint but usually, I try to leave just a bit poking through to the surface.

Next, I typically work back and forth between stencilling and mark-making.  Again if something happens that I dislike, I can come in again with paint and palette knife to fix the page.  Don't have a palette knife?  Old credit cards work too.

Once I achieve a background that I like, I sort through my scraps box and pick some pieces of paper to collage.  I may add some more tape and even a little more scraped paint to tie things together.

At this point, sometimes I choose to leave things alone and move forward, especially if the page already feels busy.  However, I have been finishing most of the pages off with sumi ink flower sketches that I sometimes color with gouache, pencils, and paint markers (only because I want to practice this skill set and not because I think the pages really need to be "finished.")  This mostly a wordless journal but every once in a while I add a phrase clipped from a magazine.

The most important things to remember about this "Scraps" journal are the following:
1) I work a little bit here and there, not in marathon sessions.  These pages represent the sum total of many moments stolen from many days.

2) I just use whatever materials & tools are within reach.  (Just get started!)

3) I don't date anything.  For me, dating pages anchors them in a specific time and adds a formality I am trying to avoid.  This journal is just a playground, open for business whenever I wish.

4) I don't work in a linear fashion.  I just open up to a set of pages and start!  Again, I am trying to promote randomness and spontaneity.

5) The pages DO NOT have to have a finishing focal point!  Maybe you just want to use up scraps of paper cluttering the studio or maybe you want to swatch some new colors of paint or play with a order to get the most out of this type of journal, it has to be all about the process!

6) Don't feel that you have to work in "steps."  Try to aim for fluid movement back and forth between techniques and materials.  Think of this as a freestyle art dance where you can repeat steps and/or make up new ones as you go along.  Just keep dancing as long as the page calls to you...

Adapt this process to your own needs and desires.  Don't have a bound journal waiting in the wings?  Work on loose pages and bind them later (or not).  Don't want to paint?  Then collage is your playground so make of it what you will!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Playing Continues

The reveal of my "Scraps" journal continues today...not much to say about these pages except that I continue to practice playing and letting go of the outcome.  If you look at any of my previous journal work, you'll see that this journal has a much looser feel.  The bright, bold colors are still there as are the layers of patterns and marks but overall, the creation of this journal comes from a much more relaxed place of my heart...maybe it's a little corner of my soul that I am trying nurture and protect right now when it seems everything else is dissolving into the scary unknown.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Wee Ones

Here's another spread from my "illustration-only" journal I began back in mid-July...just playing around here creating little characters and creatures...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Flowers Everywhere

The experimentation with sumi ink flower sketches on top of my colorful, multi-layered backgrounds continues.  In fact, I've started "finishing off" most of the pages in this journal with flower paintings.  There's no real rhyme or reason for this except that the flower portraits are making me happy and in the end, that's really the only thing that matters.

Some days I work on creating the backgrounds, a little scrape of paint here and there along with some collage, washi tape, stamping, and mark-making.  It can take me all day to finish a couple of pages as my "sit down" time in the studio is limited nowadays to stolen moments throughout the day.  Once the backgrounds reach a point that I consider "done," I make a quick sketch with the sumi ink, let it dry, and then color with pencils, gouache, paint pens, and/or watercolor.  It is a very peaceful process and much needed with all the other chaos in my life right now.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Friday, September 6, 2013

Journaling Freedom

In this, my "Scraps" journal, I've been experimenting with adding some loose sumi ink drawings on top of my vibrant backgrounds.  Sometimes I color the resulting sketches with paint pens and pencils and sometimes I leave the doodles alone.  I keep my brush nice and loose and if a sketch doesn't quite work out I either wipe it off (if it hasn't yet dried) or just paint over it.  Loving the freedom of this journal!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

No Words Necessary

This is one of those spreads in my "Scraps" journal that seems very minimal and yet feels very "done" to me.  Not every journal page needs to say something profound in words; for me, this page captures a lovely feeling of calm, a moment of pain-free creating and joyful art play.

See that scrap of colorful watercolor paper with its swirling yellow, splashes of purple, and drops of aqua?  That was sent to me by the lovely Tammy of Daisy Yellow.  In fact, Tammy has sent me a couple of envelopes full of vibrant handpainted paper bits and I have gleefully incorporated those pieces of painted paper perfection into the pages of this journal.  I love how a little scrap of paper can become a focal point for a words necessary.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Thomas Soared & Mama Ogre's Enthusiasm

A little bit of humor for your Labor Day Monday...hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend!

Friday, August 30, 2013


These pages feel pretty complete to me but I reserve the right to change my mind.  It is nice to not worry so much about whether or not I have a distinct focal point and thus, a "complete" page.  Usually, I plan content in advance and then work slowly, page by page, making sure each one feels "done."  In this journal, I am attempting to break that habit by working fast and without any premeditation.  Just slap on some paint, make some marks, perhaps add a scrap of paper here and there...I'm also not working chronologically (hence no dates.)  I just bounce back and forth between pages as my whim dictates.  I expect that a lot of these pages will transform into something new and different as I continue to play willy-nilly.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Old Frogs from Bogs

If my counting is correct, this set of characters brings my total for my 365 in 2013 project up to 210 characters completed so far this year.  In actuality, I've created more than that as I cartoon nearly every day and there are so many I haven't counted.  Really, I'm only counting the creatures, critters, and characters that I manage to show here at the blog.  Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I haven't abandoned that challenge.  The countdown to 365 continues quietly in the background.  For me, it isn't as much about exact numbers as it is consistent practice of my illustration skills.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Gentle Scraps

This is another spread in my "scraps" journal.  When I look at some of these pages, I think that they feel complete while others seem to be begging for a focal point of some sort.  It is very possible I will need to photograph a few of these spreads a second time so you can see how the pages progress.  I'm trying not to think too much with this journal; I'm just adding paint, paper scraps, washi tape, and random marks throughout the day when I get a free moment.  Then, when inspiration strikes, I can add something on top of these backgrounds I'm creating.  All in all, I'm trying to allow this journal to evolve gently and naturally.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Getting Into the Swing of Things

Back to the illustration journal for this Friday, August 23.  Just about two weeks now till I'm back to teaching...these last couple of weeks before summer ends are always particularly busy.  This past Tuesday, I found out the specific teaching schedule for the first semester and more details about the Shakespeare unit that I will be team-teaching in September and October.  Sometime between now and then, I need to read A Midsummer Night's Dream and Macbeth.  The students are creating a companion journal to their study and performance of these two plays and I'm in charge of the artsy side of the project.  We'll be creating caricatures of Shakespeare, illuminating "manuscripts," developing original illustrated potions, and creating found poems using Shakespearean words.  There will probably be some crafty work on sets and props thrown in for good measure.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sweet Dreams

In between developing art lessons for a Shakespeare-themed journal and trying to get in the mood for another round of intense painting, I am playing in my new "Scraps" journal.  While it is fun to get lost in journaling, I have very real tasks that need completing and sometimes, I think that I should quit journaling altogether just so I can get the real world stuff done.  It seems there is no middle road; I either journal non-stop (to the exclusion of everything else) or I don't journal at all.  If I didn't journal, I'm not sure what I would show here at the blog; my works-in-progress shots would be rather boring.  For the most part, lesson planning for me is all about lists, charts, and outlines.  Often, I deliberately wait to make the lesson samples until I'm in front of the kids since super-finished examples can sometimes be intimidating and I like my students to see the thought process/problem-solving that occurs as a piece is created.  Anyway, while I spend the next few weeks preparing for this and that, get ready to see journal page after journal page.  It takes a while for me to get my feet beneath me once the school days chaos hits home.  Hopefully, I'll be able to think up some new content for the blog once life settles into a rhythm.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Beginning Scraps

While my illustration-only journal is progressing swimmingly, I still have an unquenchable thirst for vibrant, saturated color so I started another journal that I'm simply calling "Scraps."  Unlike my previous color-soaked journals, I'm not taking these pages much beyond the background stage.  This journal is just a place for me to noodle around with paint, marks, and collage.  Sometimes I leave this journal open all day and add to it here and there as the whim strikes me.  Some of these pages I consider to be fairly "finished" while others feel more like works-in-progress.  I might, at some point, add focal points but for now I am having fun just playing. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Another Robot & A Creature Feature

Happy Friday everyone!  I am in teaching prep mode so this is a drive-by post...trying to squeeze every last drop of free time out of the next two weeks!  It is amazing to me how fast this last little bit of summer vacation seems to slip away...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Skeletal Frida & A Quote Skirt

Well, for me, summer break is just about over.  I found out yesterday that, yes, I will be teaching art again this fall (always have to wait until budgets are finalized).  The first two months, I'll be helping the kids make a Shakespearean-themed journal to complement their study and performance of two plays: A Midsummer's Night's Dream and Macbeth.  After that, classes are up to me and I think I'll be repeating my cartooning class as well as the softie design & construction course.  I also have my biggest art show of the year coming up in October so the crazy busy time of year has officially begun.

This is when it becomes very tricky to squeeze in art just for me.  Working while managing chronic illness is a huge balancing act and many times, I have to set aside what I want to do for what I have to do, whether it is prepping for classes or scheduling self-care time so I don't crash & burn.  I'm not very good at the latter but with the addition of the Parkinson's diagnosis, it is especially critical that I make time to reduce stress.  Sometimes that means playing in my journals but that might also mean just sitting on the couch in front of the TV or reading a good book.  Last year, I worked one day and then spent four days in the hospital so things can only go up from there!  As always, I am looking forward to getting back to the classroom and soaking up the creative enthusiasm that young art students seem to give off in buckets!
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