Wednesday, January 27, 2016


 These days I don't hear many people talk about making New Year's Resolutions. A trend I have seen over the last few years is the tradition of choosing a guiding word for the year. I have been intrigued by this idea, but didn't think I'd do it until several things occured to make my word find me rather than the other way around.

1. I was telling my child about how some people do this. I remember where I was on the road when this conversation took place. I then said "I don't know what word I would choose unless it was...." and out the word popped. What a surprise!

2. The next day I was reading the blog All of Me and her post was about, surprise, her guiding word. She also posted a link to Susannah Conway's Find Your Word for 2016. I promptly signed up, went through the process and ended up with exactly the same word. It was a great process, one I would highly recommend. Thanks Lynette and Susannah!

My guiding word for 2016 is Intention. 

While there are plenty of other worthy words out there, I know what I need this year is Intention. There are so many demands. So many tasks that need doing, or seem to need doing. There is no way to fit them all in. So being guided by living intentionally I may start being buffeted less by the winds that blow and start charting my own course with more accuracy. 

I want to be intentional about my work, my family, my art and about my living space. I am sure I will find more ways in which intention enhances my experience of my life. 

So when I finally got down to doing my warm up page for Life Book 2016 (I need a little more intention to get that rolling) I knew that my message would have the word Intention front and center. 

I want to make sure I make time for creating. The intent is that I fit it in every day. It is like meditation for me. 

More often I'm intentional about whether a thing, activity, obligation really has a place in the life I want to live. There are still winds of unexpected changes, but I am starting to choose more carefully. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Those days

Some days are for finishing, for forging ahead, for executing visions with paper, pencil and paint. Other days are for starting. 

Today I am thinking ahead. Preparing pages for those days...the bleak and barren ones...the days that there is little energy left and deciding to give up would take but a moment. Those days are days I would not like to loose momentum. I would not like to pass the day without creativity. Yet on days such as those there is not a shred of inspiration, motivation or drive. Those are days that I can pull out a sketchbook with some colorful ink or paint or paper already installed. 

A page that seems begun is a resting place. A place to feel peace. It is a place I can go and stay for a moment until I can see the hint of a shape, the breath of a life. On such days I can pick up a marker or a gel pen (have you heard how I love them?) and add a hint of this and a sparkle of that. Those are the days for such tools. 

On days such as those I will be glad that today I chose to spread ink for future happiness. Storing away the color and the warmth for a day less blessed. Today I felt like banking the colors and inspiration I could feel and invest it for a future which needs this color. Which needs the vibrancy of me on this day. So some day I will look at these backgrounds and see the love that pours through me on to the page and into the blogosphere. 

That day I will be happy I had today. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Every Day

Sometimes it's increments of the smallest measure. Sometimes it's bigger. Sometimes it's grand. 

A few dots. Several lines. Once started the gel pen moves almost on it's own. Just a few minutes is enough to keep the momentum.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Work, Family, Art Balance

It's not easy to balance everything. That's exactly the reason I am determined not to give up. So finding ways to sneak in more creativity is an art I want to pursue. 

Some people would stick with one journal and see it through. 

Not me. I am a firm adherent in the multiple journals philosophy. With just five minutes to create, unfurl three journals to in progress pages - usually pages that are in their first few layers of existence. 

Choose one color of acrylic paint and then another as the first one is dried up. A dollop of paint on the palette, a make up sponge and a couple of minutes is enough to move three pages along....more if you have space to spread them out and have them dry. 

Always having something in progress - rather having multiple things in process has been a technique I have used to keep me moving forward. 

It works for me. More pages. More art. More finished products. Happier me. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Remembering June

Remembering June and planning for this year's Roses. 

I left my play journal out on the desk. There were many chores waiting me, but I stole some time for me. There is nothing that centers me like putting color on a page. Tonight it was prismacolor markers that did the trick. The feeling of the marker making contact with the paper - this makes me grounded. 

I had prepared this page over a month ago. Big red circles and then petals from a silk flower gessoed down to the page. The rest was added tonight. Once looks completely different than when I started.

There are chores to do and I'm running behind in my art courses. But I'm adding color to my life and moving forward. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Busy Time Play

It's been hard to fit in time to paint lately. Too many things to start a new year. I am signed up for two classes and had hoped to make progress in each of them this weekend, but alas, it was not to be.

Still I just had to listen to that voice that begs for expression. Some time ago I decided that I needed to create a forum for just such times. Using a thin journal I splashed paint on the pages, added ink and started adding extra paint/ink/stmaps from other projects. The concept of this book is that it would be easy enough to pull out and do 10 minutes of playing. Some of the pages have ended up favorites.

Too bad it lay forgotten - until tonight. I pulled it out and added color with abandon. It now looks nothing like the page it began as. Transformations are fun. The page wasn't the only thing energized. I was too.

Note to self: This should be a core activity and done so regularly that it is not forgotten in overwhelming times.

Hope you will make a play journal too.