Saturday, June 30, 2012

16/365: Make a Little Garden Out of Life

Today I made:

a succulent garden...

a symbol of resilience, adaptability and balance-
and aren't the colors and textures just lovely?

Friday, June 29, 2012

15/365: When to Let Go

Today I made:

the workings of a painting...

Sketches and scraps and color palette, oh my!

A friend is moving away and I wanted to make her something symbolic of her life in San Diego.

I'm working out my idea here.
This part is serious danger zone for me.
Sometimes it helps to play with the pieces of my vision, pulling together the collage elements, sketching out my idea, making the blue prints.
Other times I get stuck on the design, can't get passed the composition, and it never materializes.
(If I have promised you a piece of art in the last three months, please know that it's probably sitting half-finished in my wee studio for precisely this reason.)

Don't quite know what my hang up is. It's one of the things I'm trying to discover through this whole daily creative project. I know there is a time for planning and preparation. I also know there's a time for just attacking the blank canvas. I suppose it's the difference between trying to create a certain end result and just creating for the sake of self expression. Product vs. process. Brain vs. heart & soul. When to let go of one over the other? This is what I'm learning. I'll let you know when I figure it out.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

14/365: Tutoring Picnic

Today I made:

This smile...

It was such a beautiful day, we couldn't help ourselves. My little friend "J" and I traded in our study spot at the kitchen table for a beach towel in the sun- bare feet, green grass and dreams of fifth grade learning.

It was a lovely and creative way to spend a tutoring afternoon. The dimples came out in approval! How cute is she?!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

13/365: What Makes Me Tick

Today I made...

a timely reminder (Part I)

Thanks to the demise of our living room clock, I have a repurposed art project idea.
A sneak peek into "what makes me tick"...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

12/365: I Heart Snail Mail

Today I made...

an art card for a friend.

I get nostalgic for the time before
email and text, when we sent news and greetings through the post.
Getting mail from a friend always
puts a smile on my face.

My love for snail mail inspired this little card, the first of a line I'm working on. Gotta love a little envelope filled with sweetness just for you.

"I Heart Snail Mail.."
mixed media: ink, colored pencil, patterned paper

Saturday, June 23, 2012

9/365: Take a Hike

Today I made...
The View from Stonewall
Sunny Self Portrait

a trek up a mountain

a spot in the sun

a picture of

the lay of the land

Friday, June 22, 2012

8/365: I Deserve a Cookie!

Today I made:

a reward system...
Another night of hammering away at the ol' business plan. My dog is wondering why I'm doing so much whining and muttering under my breath. While writing a business plan certainly qualifies as creative, I must admit, I'd rather be painting or beading or sorting photos or art journaling or reading books that don't have the word "spreadsheet" in them. When it comes to planning and writing, I typically have a really strong work ethic. I usually can't tear myself away until it's done. But this thing makes my brain hurt! If anything, I'm learning the importance of taking a break and balancing my creative tasks. So I had to come up with a system- something to reward myself for my productivity and keep me from pulling my hair out.

For every 40 minutes that I spend working, I get a seven minute break away from the computer. (I like random increments of time.)

Breaks may include:
- any art that strikes my fancy (and can be dabbled with for 7 minutes- this doubles as my daily creative goal!)
- spontaneous dance party with my favorite tunes (gets my creative juices flowing)
- playing with my dog (puppy love soothes stress)
- my favorite stretches (These usually also involve the dog since he sees me on the floor and thinks it's an invitation to play.)
- ice cream (7 minute portions! :)
Breaks may not include:
- whining and complaining about having to get back to work
- Facebook (that dangerous vortex of time)

I'm hoping that having a little treat to look forward to between marketing analysis and operational plans keeps the avoidance behaviors and unproductive daydreaming at bay. I will do just about anything for seven minutes alone with a bowl of ice cream.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

7/365: Right-Brain Entrepreneurs

Today I made:

this happy sign to remind myself...

Normally the thought of a business plan makes me cringe, but this sign (adapted from the book) serves as a badge of honor reminding me that business is creative, that my work matters and that I can "define my own succes" (with one 's' people!- I don't need two to succeed. ;)
Jennifer Lee's book, The Right-Brain Business Plan, came at just the perfect time!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

6/365: Bless My Mess

Today I made:

This mess...
(and a letter of apology)

Dear Husband,

I regret to inform you of the tragic loss of our dining table. It served us well in hungry times, but has since seen its last place setting. It is now destined to become an office/research lab/creative space for yours truly. As per your recent contribution of the comfortable high-back stool, I gather you are in favor of this change. I apologize in advance for the impending piles of (organized) chaos. What can I say? Big ideas need room to spread out.

                  ~  xo, Your loving wife

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

5/365: My Most Creative Time of Day

Today I made...

a midnight idea journal.

For the past several nights, I have been waking up at about 4 o'clock in the morning with ideas racing through my head at an alarming rate- art ideas, business ideas, anxious ideas, courageous ideas, ideas for how to solve the problems of the world, to do lists, to don't name it, I have it all worked out in my overexcited mind before the sun comes up. I usually manage to fall back asleep about 30 minutes before my alarm goes off, at which point I either promptly forget my most brilliant concepts or come to realize that what I thought was brilliant in the wee hours of the morning turns out to be mostly ridiculous. Or is it? By then I'm too exhausted to decide.

So I'm starting to wonder if maybe my claim to being a creative night owl is really true. If you know me, you know I'm not a morning person. (Don't even talk to me before 7:00 a.m.) But what if my internal clock is changing? Maybe my creative brain is really ready to take on the day after a four hour "power nap" rather than after a full day. Very little will drag me out of bed that early, but maybe just maybe, I'd do it for art. 

I don't think my hubby would appreciate me diving into my art space that early, as it's set up at the foot of our bed, but I could sit by my kitchen window and write away the morning. All solitude and peace and quiet, before the busy day muddles my thoughts. Tonight I will place this little journal by my bed to record any early morning bursts of brilliance. I will have to experiment to see what comes of my internal clock's new favorite hour. At the very least, I'll have something to laugh about over breakfast.

Monday, June 18, 2012

4/365: Beach Reads

Today I made...

my summer reading list.

Ahhh, I finally have a little more time to soak up some sun and catch up on my beach reading. Feet in the sand, head in a book- it's summer!

There seems to be a theme in that pile of pages. Hmmm, I wonder what's on my mind 24/7.

Joseph Campbell said it best:
“Sit in a room and read--and read and read. And read the right books by the right people. Your mind is brought onto that level, and you have a nice, mild, slow-burning rapture all the time.”
Blog library updating soon!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

3/365: Still Life

Today I made:

fresh squeezed juice and this still life...

The fruit is ripe on our orange tree and the blossoms smell amazing!

Finding myself drawn to making set ups for still life photography.

I kinda like the patchy shadows from the tree above- good way to remember this sunny day.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

2/365: On Art & Nature

Today I made...

this discovery

on my morning walk with my pup.
It's some sort of seed pod from one of the many old trees in my neighborhood. It was the only one of its kind in the grass, and I've never seen one like it before. The bright orange caught my eye and I was instantly drawn to the color contrasts and the symmetry of it. I love the way the light reflects off the shiny black surface of the seeds.

Nature is so good at making the simple seem beautiful. Nature inspires. This little find makes me want to paint with orange or design a funky ring. Art is in nature. Art is in the noticing.

I must always pay attention to what draws me to things: their colors, textures, shapes, patterns. This can inform my art. Noticing what we're drawn to brings us closer to finding our voice as creators.

"If you will stay close to nature, to its simplicity, to the small things hardly noticeable, those things can unexpectedly become great and immeasurable."  ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Friday, June 15, 2012

1/365: She Had to Begin

Today I made...

Just after 6:00 this morning, I woke to the sound of an idea banging around in my head- and everything was different. I’ve rarely been so excited to get out of bed, but today there was an energy.
I had a big purpose. I had a plan for my daily art practice!

My intention: to participate in one creative act.
Each. And. Every. Day. For 365 days.

I'm putting my commitment in writing and marking my calendar. I'm starting with my blog- my online journal, a camera to document it, and a $2.00 calendar I purchased at Staples today. (Deal!- because who buys a 2012 new year calendar in June?) The only other things I need are my eyes and heart
w   i   d   e       o   p   e   n, 
ready to catch myself in a creative act.

I’m beginning today and I will continue tomorrow and the tomorrows after that, for one whole year.
Wish me luck! Comments are welcome. I am not historically great at making commitments to myself, but this one I intend to keep. A commitment is a beginning, and I've been much better at beginnings lately...

I made a small piece of art a few weeks ago using a technique where I just paint over a page from an old book to give my background some interesting texture. Upon close examination of the finished piece, two short lines of text popped out at me- four small words. It was completely unplanned in the composition, (which is what makes it so meaningful for me- like my art is trying to tell me something!) It's so fitting of the theme and so fitting for this day.  If you look closely, you’ll see it- about eight lines of text over from the left, just under the crook of my thumb where the new paragraph starts, one line under the other:

“She had
 To begin”

She had to begin. Today.