Thursday, January 27, 2011

No Compromises

Lately I have been unable to get out of working in my journal.  I have been so inspired lately, that I just don't want to ever come out of it.  And that's a good thing.  I believe it is my arts first love, so it would make sense that I am happiest there.
But here's the thing: journal art does not translate well to art shows.  Yeah, I can make prints of pages, but it's not the same.  You gotta have something to hang on the walls, plain and simple. Last week I was invited to participate in Claremont's First Friday Artwalk, to be the March artist. I am very excited and I am honored to have been asked by Cherie Savoie and Jenna Guzman of Hair Stream Claremont to be a part of the event. So I start looking around the studio, and guess what: I have very few new pieces that are hangable art. So lets get busy!!

I have been in this position before, with a show I did a couple years ago in Phoenix, and let me tell you what I remember most about that time: I remember the battle I had within myself.  What I mean by that is this: do I make art that will show who I am and what I love, or will I make art that will be sure to conform and not offend?  Now, I am not talking about something edgy or offensive, I am talking about the thoughts that run through my mind like "Ohh don't make that too religious, people won't buy it" or "do you really want to use that picture or that's pretty "Christian".    And sometimes it comes at me with "do you really want to do might have to explain yourself or actually take a stand for what you believe in." 
So I stayed true and made art I was proud of, and it all worked out.  But now, two years later, that same old voice is back in my head.  But you know what? I'm not having it this time.  I know who I am, I know who I am in Christ and a little something I learned last night:  While you are pursuing your dreams.....don't forget to pursue the Dream Giver.  HE has made this possible, and HE is who I will honor.  Not the world, not art sales and not compromise.
So the show is titled "Caged".  It will ask the question: Are we "caged" by the world, or "surrounded" by Him.  You decide.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Definition of..................

Art is defined as :" The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form, such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power"

"Art is"  24"x24" mixed media on wood
First of all, I know that my skill and imagination does not come from me. Meaning, my "human creative skill" is not human at all, and my imagination can only grow as big as the cage that contains it. The cage is the world, the doubt, the self awareness, that sometimes, isn't very aware, and the rest of the crap that gets in the way.
When I pray for inspiration, and God shows me exactly what I've asked for, it's my job to remove all that human-ness that keeps it from being what He would have it be.  That is me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Inspiration...Where does it come from? God, of course!

I go through  periods of time, where it seems like everything I do creatively, is work.  I mean, like hard work.  I struggle to pull everything out, from wherever it is, and to make it good.  Those times are rough.  Those are the times when staring at the tv seems like all I can do.  Those are the times when I look for anything else to do, so I don't have to think about what I am NOT doing.... ....creatively, that is. 
Thankfully, those times are not usually long lasting.  And when all else seems to fail to inspire....I go to music.
Music, for me, is a deep part of who I am.  I can't go a day, an hour, sometimes even a minute without music somewhere in my background.  All kinds of music...rock, country, hip hop, alternative, and worship especially.  Wherever I seem to be, at any point in my life, there is a soundtrack.  And the soundtrack of my life inspires!
At this point, I am soaking up the worship music.  Everyday, all the time, every chance I get, right now even...this is the soundtrack of my life.  There is something that happens to me when I am in worship and the music is really touching me.  I mean deeply. 
And right now, it happens to be a wonderfully annointed leader named Richard Andrew.  Please check out his music here, it's amazing.  Sometimes it's even overwhelming.  What I mean by that is, sometimes I can't even process the overwhelming feeling of entering into the presence of God, it's so powerful.  And God has truly annointed Richard to be able to take us, in worship, to the place of the Most High. 
So there I was, sitting in the front row at The Rivers Edge (local peeps, check it out...awesome) minding my own business, and worship started, and it was 36 minutes of overwhelming.  Really!
So back to the inspiration.  We worshipped to a song that reached my heart, and all day yesterday, I had a vision in my head about where I wanted to go with it.  I wanted to do a journal page, but I did not yet have the images put together how I wanted it.  So that started a whole process.
First I had to create the original image, which I did, using the image of a tree that I had drawn for another piece a few years back.  I printed the tree, did a gel medium transfer onto watercolor paper to get the image directly on the paper (without having to draw it again) and some background color.  I then added some details and scanned it into photoshop.  I wanted parts of the journal page in black and white, so I added layers and textures so I could make the water a monochrome image.  I then adjusted color and added the dove image and printed.  Now I had images to use in my journal, so I took bits and pieces, added charcoal and oil pastel and gesso.  (These journal instructions are part of Pam Carrikers Strathmore journal class I am taking. I needed some prompts to get working, and this class has been just the ticket. click the link to sign's free!!)
So, at the end of a long, inspired process, not only do I have what I wanted for my journal, I have three separate pieces, very different, inspired by the same worship song. So one more time, I thank God, as He never ceases to amaze me, and never stops inspiring!!
"You'll find me there, singing hymns of praise.  Under the shade of a tree, down by the rivers edge.  Where His people gather and sing, unto the Lamb"........richard andrew

Friday, January 7, 2011

Long December and the Year in Review

Well would you look at that....not one blog post in the month of December.  And what would I attribute that to?? One word.....LAZY!! Once the turkey leftovers were gone from Thanksgiving, it seemed like just a hop, skip and a jump to the crazy of Christmas.  Christmas was great, but I'm not gonna lie.....I am always excited to put away the physical part of the holiday every year.  I enjoy the retelling of the season and the reasons behind it, but I am not one of those that suffers from post holiday blues.  No sireee, not me!!
The constant packing on of pounds, that forces the air from my lungs on those long walk from my parking spot to the mall doors.  The ever present panic of "should I have bought a present for them" and the depletion of my bank account.  Nope, not sad at all.

So let's recap the amazing year that was 2010.
The company was in some major financial trouble...things didn't look good.....  Bad
We had more lawsuits (albeit mostly bogus) than we had jobs going.......Really Bad
I spent the first three months studying for my Contractors License........ Boring
I was published twice in Art Journaling magazine......amazingly good
I went to Art&Soul and Journalfest........awesome
My boy got straight A's the entire proud
I lost 11 pounds and 9 inches......and gained it all back by Christmas....sucked
I got a new Canon Rebel camera for my birthday that is fabulous.....fabulous
I passed my Contractors exam the first time.......freaking awesome
We were awarded the job that would pull us out of the hole were were in...totally God's blessing
We completely paid off that hole we were in.....More of God's blessings
I lost 11 pounds and 9 inches...............oh wait, I already said that....yeah, it bothers me that much
Hubby and I consistently worked on our marriage through out the year.....Amazing
We taught the boy to snowboard and he loves it and is good at it.....that rocks
So basically it was up and down, but through the entire year, God has continually showed up in our lives and blessed our socks off.  So much that we were able to pass some of those financial blessings along.  But that is not for us to's been all GOD!!!!
So now it is the first week of January, and I haven't made a whole lot of new art.  I have parked my butt on the couch a whole lot and watched tv and hung out with the family.  That's good. awesome!!
Here are pages from the 2011 Art Journaling that was published this week.  I love the journal they chose for this one.  It's one of my favorites.  Happy New Year Everyone!!