Saturday, August 29, 2009

Trying to Keep on Keepin’ On

“Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.”
~George Elliot

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I have been off work since finishing up Monday evening about 7:30pm. I thought that having this extended time to myself would give me the inclination to blog more, do more art, do some much needed housework, list some things on Etsy and more.

Did it?

Pfft! Not quite.

I think I’m falling back into a funk of sorts. I’m still creating, doing work in my art journal(s), but that urgent NEED to do some of the things that I want to do (in my head) and things that I know need to be done just isn’t there. I find myself wanting to sleep much more than I should…except late at night. It is then that I am filled with the urge to create, to write, to be alive!

I’ve been to the doc and she doesn’t seem to think it’s anymore than just a normal part of the cyclic life I live…a mild case (in her words) of manic-depression (aka bi-polar disorder). No change in meds but the encouragement to get more time outside in the sunshine, more exercise, and to just keep on keeping on.

That doesn’t solve anything for me. I am not one of those people that wants a pill to cure everything, by any means, but I’m also not stupid and know that this is not something I am able to overcome on my own…I’ve tried. For years, I’ve tried, and it’s just not working. I just don’t know what to do at this point except try hard to keep on keepin’ on.

I do know that without my art journaling, I would probably go completely insane (as opposed to the partially insane that I’m holding on to right now.) Each night, when the urges keep me wide awake, that is when my art journal(s) and I have these nice long visits. It is my friend, often times I feel as if it is my only friend, and we create together and share pain, anger, fear, sadness, joy, happiness and every other emotion that is engulfing me.

I have this dream of creating a workshop for art journaling here locally and I was working toward that end when I went back to work and that dream slowly fell by the wayside. Recently a Twitter friend and I decided to work on trying to get an art fest set up here in the South (since all the good ones are so very far away) and my inability to focus or even to feel that urge just isn’t there. I need to write a letter to someone asking for their feedback and ideas on making this art fest idea a reality…yet, I haven’t done that. And I’ve had all week to work on it.

I see what I’m doing (or failing to do) but I can’t help but be flooded with the feeling that, no matter how small the action may be, it’s just far too overwhelming to even begin anything, much less complete them.

So, I think you all can see why I haven’t had much to say this week.

But, as the old cliche` goes, this too shall pass.

I have been saving some things I like online HERE and journal pages that I find inspiring HERE. I’d love for you to take a look and maybe you’ll find something that strikes you or inspires you or just makes you think or laugh at one or another of them.

I hope you’re all doing splendidly.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Friday, August 21, 2009

Life is a Highway

“Your sacred space is where you find yourself again and again.”
~Joseph Campbell

I used to always begin my blog posts (in another time, at another place) with a quote that struck a chord with me that day. 

I think I should resume this wonderful practice.

I really just thought I’d take a minute to share a pic I snapped on my iPhone (my wonderful new addiction) on my way home from work yesterday.

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It was like I was the only soul on the road for miles and miles (and in this neck of Alabama, I may very well have been the only one) and all I could see was the dark skies looming, foretelling of rough storms ahead.

Life is kinda like this picture sometimes, isn’t it?

You’re the only one on the road you’re travelling (after all, no one can travel our journey for us, can they?) and you can see the dark skies ahead…but you can’t just stop traveling, stop moving. You have to forge ahead…not around the storms but through them.

A few road signs along the way give you insight as to what’s coming up but they can’t protect you, only warn you. You just have to leave the sunny, safe part of your journey behind you and weather the storms, come as they may.

Okay, enough waxing philosophical for now, I really just wanted to share the photo. HA! I guess I’m thinking a little deep right now, huh?

I hope you all have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend. If you need me, I’ll be in my studio working on some new pieces as well as finishing up some that need completing.

Now get out there and be creative!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Beloved Words

I really should be getting ready for work but I thought I’d take a moment to share something new I’m embarking on…Dawn Sokol’s Art Journal Stimulus Project, a great art journaling workshop.

Words I loveThis is the first art journal spread that I’ve completed for the workshop.  It makes me happy.

Considering that I have let my art journaling fall by the wayside a bit since going back to work, this workshop is already working magic for me just by getting me back into the waters.

I love my art journaling but with work these days, I’ve just been so tired that I procrastinate doing anything in them…I’ve realized that I can’t do that. My art journals are healing for me; they give me much needed release and peace. I have to MAKE time for working in them, that’s all there is to it.

I hope your week is going well. I should be around more over the next couple of weeks since hours are being cut by the company and mine are the first to be slashed. Today is my last day this week and I will only work Monday of next week. *shrug* At least I have a job and I know it will pick back up in a few weeks so I’m okay with it.

Now, to jump in the shower before I’m late.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Little Secrets

That’s exactly what I’m doing…taking things day by day, doing all that I can with the time I have and then rising up to try again tomorrow.

I guess that’s really all any of us can do, right?

I’m not sure what I mean with all that…I think I’m just tired today.

IMG_0207 I’ve made progress on our Vacation Collage but not as much as I’d like to have made.  It just doesn’t seem right so I’ve stepped away from it for the time being and will get back to it in a couple of days with fresh eyes. Maybe then the vision will be clearer to me then.

Work has consumed my day today but I was off yesterday (boss said there was nothing for me to do) so I had a day all to myself. 

I do love those kinds of days.

IMG_0209I’ve not had idle hands, though. I got this idea in my head that I needed to paint/collage something and this is what has surfaced so far.  (Sorry about the blurry images. I took them with my iPhone because I’m too lazy to get up and get the digital camera. LOL)  I started working on a background based on an idea from “Journal Bliss” by Violette (good one to grab if you don’t have it already) and I’m still working on it but this is where it is right now.

It just gives me such joy to play with my art supplies. It doesn’t really matter what the end product is like…it’s all about the journey. Enjoying the process is so important and I am really enjoying playing with this one.

Oh, and for those of us that often say stuff about how we can’t paint or draw or do some of our art because we don’t have the right canvas or this or that to do our art….well, I’ll show you my little secret from this piece…

IMG_0210Yep, this is the back of the above piece…a Ritz cracker box front. I am never at a loss for something to do art on in my house because no box ever goes into the garbage without me taking it apart to save the pieces I can use in my art (which is most of every box!)

So there…don’t ever say you don’t have anything to paint or create on…you do, right in your kitchen pantry.

So tell me, what are you doing creative these days? What are you doing to nurture your soul? What little secrets are hiding behind your art?

Share, won't you?

Peace & Love,
~Barb~

Monday, August 3, 2009

Life’s a Beach!

We just got back from a semi-spontaneous yet FABULOUS vacation to Tampa/Clearwater Beach, Florida.  Oh my, how wonderful it was to get away and just relax with our feet in the sand and withOUT the cell phones ringing off the wall.

I brought back tons of memorabilia from our trip.  You know, ticket stubs, paper menus, shells and bits from the beach, pictures, fliers, yada, yada, yada…you get what I’m saying.  Anyway, you know how you bring back all these things from a trip and then it winds up in a box somewhere, never to be seen on a regular basis?

Well, I decided that was just crap. I am turning all our vacation “loot” into a collage celebrating the wonderful time and all the memories we have from our time there. A real mixed-media piece, if you will.

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Here’s the start to the piece I’m doing.  It measures about 18”x24'”.

I took a cardboard poster that I bought for a buck at Wally World, gessoed it, then painted a little sand/ocean/sky basic scene on it, and started putting on some of my flat pieces.

I will probably be done in a day or two (I like to work on a piece for a while, leave it for a day and come back and work, etc. so I get a change of perspective as I work on things) and will share it with you guys when it’s complete.  I’m really enjoying this piece…more than anything I’ve done in a long while.

102_4243Speaking of the beach…here I am, on our private deck, feeling like someone from one of those Corona commercials.

How can you not love that view?  I so did not want to come home…why couldn’t we just stay there and live like beach bums?!?

Hope you’re all doing well and making beautiful art!

Peace & Love,
Barb

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