Artist With Training Wheels

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced” Vincent Van Gogh

I see myself as a budding artist with training wheels, and I am very new to the collage and art journaling community I am loving the growth I have made in the past few months and know that the training wheels may be required for quite some time. If you had asked me 8 months ago if I would be painting and doing art journaling, I would have likely said ‘me I’m not a painter’ – because I have this voice inside –  that ‘EGO’ voice that stops me from doing so many things in life because of the fear it can instill if I allow it to.  That is why I chose to start off this post with the quote from Vincent Van Gogh  so we can remember to silence that voice otherwise we stop ourselves from experiencing our creativity and many other adventures in life. 

This past week I have continued to experiment with my art pages by incorporating and altering  magazine photos.  It is such an interesting transformation and it is amazing how something so simple can create such different and unique art pages. 

I was reflecting on the past few months and am so pleased with the progress in my art and all of the different techniques I have been learning.  When I think that up until 4 months ago I had not tried  painting or doing collage for that matter I  had really no thoughts of trying these different mediums, instead  I had been  creating wire wrap jewellery for about 4 months which I loved but I was searching for more.  Creativity opened  another door to me in December when I was inspired by a couple of collages a past co-worker had hanging in her office.  She had recently taken a class and created these striking wax collages and ‘ voila’ I was overcome with  inspiration and a tweaked curiosity to sample collage as an art form myself – it stirred some excitement within me.  I remembered doing collage of sorts back at the age of 19 when I covered the exterior of an old claw-foot bathtub with pictures and quotes to cover the ugly peeling paint – I wonder what the landlord thought of my artistic refurbishing of the tub? 

So now with  a new area to explore I started searching on-line and found many videos to watch on the collage process, painting, mediums, etc. – trying to learn all that I could.

Collage art page prior to being altered

I am so grateful that I stumbled onto the 21 Secrets Workshop Artists Workshops  http://www.dirtyfootprintsworkshops.com/2008/09/21-secrets-art-journal-playground.html through Violette’s  Creative Juice blog http://www.violette.ca/  where I discovered 21 talented artists who are willing to share their many talents – feeding my hunger to learn more techniques and try new things.  I look forward to where my creations will go in the next months while I wander down this exciting road of art discovery with my training wheels firmly attached – learning not only art techniques but more about my inner self from  these very talented instructors but also from the incredible 21 Secrets community that is rapidly growing with other artists willing to share their new artistic adventures and growth. Still three more months of fun in the playground.

So who says you can’t paint? – just give it a try, have fun, art journaling is a wonderful way to discover that child within and to experiment, use your hands – get messy and learn so much more about yourself as it is a very therapeutic past time.

After altering the magazine photo collage

Til next time happy creating

Michelle

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Altered Magazine Photos – Another Creative Technique

 

“Children, like animals, use all their senses to discover the world.  Then artist come along and discover it the same way, all over again.”  – EUDORA WELTY

I have been diving into a number of the 21 Secrets Workshop videos http://www.dirtyfootprintsworkshops.com/2008/09/21-secrets-art-journal-playground.html and learning some really fun techniques for expanding my exploration of this creative process.  The latest video I watched was Tamara Laporte’s – Collage, Paint & Soul – I believe that she lives in Britain and she offers many on-line workshops through her website www.willowing.org.   After watching the process she went through I decided to give it a try as I am always wanting to add some variety to my art pages and collages so that I continue to grow creatively and besides that is what these workshops are all about experimenting with new techniques. 

Tamara’s technique is to find photos of people from magazines and incorporate them into your collage along with the usual printed pages, patterned and textured scrapbook papers and any other things that you might like to add.  This creates the base for your page before you start to alter it with gesso, paint, etc.  She then paints over the face and other collage pieces which immediately alters the whole page – masking the original face of the model. Then you add new features, embellishments and so forth to totally make it into your own original piece. 

 This was a very interesting process and I was totally surprised at what I created. Again I start off my collages and paintings without anything really planned out – just letting myself freely create what ever my whispers tell me to do next – I find that works best for me because if I try to plan it out too much I just get stuck and end up sitting staring at the piece off and on for days – fearing that I will make a mistake and then finally I tell myself – what does it matter if I do make a mistake, I can alway cover it over with gesso and start over again.  So I do much better using free-form creating without a pre-conceived plan….just let the creative juices flow and see what turns up so that I don’t get so stuck. 

My first attempt I ended up loving the original photo so much I didn’t have the heart to alter it much so I just ended up adding collage elements of my hand written words and some painted experimental pages which ended up getting covered by

Dreams Infuse Your Spirit With Energy Spurring Us On To Greatness

Dreams Infuse Your Spirit With Energy

 molding paste, paint and stamping. 

For my next page I found a picture of a women that was quite large and it was at the edge of the page, I liked that because I felt like I wanted her to be looking out onto the page in a way.  I also used a picture of a goose and a clock that called out to

The Ability to Understand Beliefs About Yourself - Release Your Fears Discover Your Wings

 me, it also had a golden egg with it but it ended up getting covered up with her face.  I added some torn up pieces of hand written ‘ things that I love’  underneath everything so that it had some soul included, even though you can’t see it in the finished piece – the soul is deep within :).  Where her hair was I added some molding paste to give it a bit of texture and now it looks more like a hat then hair.   When I was in Michael’s yesterday looking for Paperclay I noticed that they had a huge new stock of stamps for $1.50 and I found some really interesting ones and I used this neat textured stamp to finish off the page.  I was quite pleased with the overall look of the page and my first attempt at altering photos from magazines.   I wish I had remembered to take the before picture so that you could see how it changed.   I am sure that I will continue to explore this technique – it really does have a lot of potential.

If you are wanting to discover more of your creative side, or learning how to do art journal pages or collages and want to expand your repertoire be sure to check out the 21 Secrets workshops  http://www.dirtyfootprintsworkshops.com/2008/09/21-secrets-art-journal-playground.html.  There is still another 3 months to enjoy and explore the playground – it really does open you up to some wonderfully fun and juicy ways to be creative plus look deeper within yourself while being a member of a community of other like-minded souls.

Til next time – happy creating!

Michelle

Shopping Therapy and Creative Fun and Games

Pretty Bridal Shower Table

I had the pleasure of spending this past weekend with my sister and my American family.  The majority of my family live in Bothell, Washington so we don’t get to see each other that often – the last time was in January.  So when I was invited to attend my great-niece’s bridal shower this past weekend I immediately accepted. 

My youngest niece is 8 years younger than me and I always love spending time with her cause we have such fun and I was delighted that she didn’t have to work on Friday giving us the opportunity to do some serious shopping therapy. We headed to Alderwood Mall to Macy’s for their huge one-day sale, which actually is a three-day sale.  It was amazing the discounts that were available in all departments and our dollar was above par so it made the sales even better.  I was in the market for a dress for my great-nieces wedding in June as was my sister, so we hit the more formal wear department.  I found a great dress for a fraction of the price plus a dress for my daughter…bonus!  We took a break for some lunch at the Paneria and enjoyed some wonderful soup and then headed back  to Macy’s for a bit more browsing.  I ended up going back on Saturday on my own and spent another couple of hours scouring the many racks of clothes and came out with some wonderful deals.  I ended up with $422 worth or merchandise and paid only $152 including taxes, now that’s a sale and the best shopping therapy ever. 

Sunday was the Bridal shower and I was really looking forward to it as my niece loves to throw a party and always has great ideas for games to entertain the guests.  She did a wonderful job decorating the food table – it was picture perfect.  Besides being a decorating diva she has this really great sense of humour and loves to do silly things.  She had made a visit to Value Village and picked up a bunch of crazy hats, wigs, over-size sunglasses and changed  the old game of

Dahling we look simply marvelous!

musical chairs to musical hats.  She split up the group so that half were wearing the hats etc. and then when the music stopped you had to grab one and put it on

Musical Hats Group Photo

your head and then there was a group photo, and it continued in such a fashion eliminating the hats as we went along.  It was certainly fun and we laughed so hard as everyone looked so funny.  Of course I am sure that the main reason was so that my niece could get some crazy silly photos and she definitely succeeded with a new twist on an old game and it was entertaining and sure beat the old make a wedding dress out of toilet paper game. 

Til next time live life creatively!

Michelle

Joy of Cinnamon Coffee

I have always loved cinnamon – when I was a kid my mom let me make baking powder biscuit pin-wheels where I piled on the cinnamon mixed with sugar.  They were delicious and I have to say they didn’t last long.  Cinnamon buns are also a favorite of mine and sometimes throw a dash of it into my chili and of course there is cinnamon toast for a treat now and then. 

Recently I was reading a blog that was surveying some artists on how they start their day to get them ready to dive into their art. This one artist mentioned that she starts by preparing her coffee which she adds cinnamon too.  I thought it sounded like something I would totally enjoy so thought I would give it a try.  Well now I am totally addicted to the cinnamon flavour in my morning coffee – it gives it such an exotic taste – I love it, good thing I can buy it in bulk at Costco! 

Wonderful to know that I am doing something healthy for myself as well – I found out that it is good for you to consume this delectable spice, apparently there have been some studies done, it seems that cinnamon may lower blood glucose, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol in people with Type 2 diabetes.  So there you go a delicious flavor plus health benefits and a creative addition to that ordinary cup of morning coffee.

Til next time be creative even if it is with your coffee!

Michelle

Fun in the Creativity Playground

In my last post I wrote about my new adventures with the 21 Secrets Workshop series (more info on how to join the playground http://www.dirtyfootprintsworkshops.com/2008/09/21-secrets-art-journal-playground.html ).  I have to say it has been amazing playground so far.  I have been experimenting with the different techniques using paint, gesso, magazine pages, book pages, stamps etc. and now I  have a number of painted pages ready to do more creating on.   

The instructors for the various workshops are fantastic and they give you so much inspiration and great instructions.   One of my favorite things so far has been the three word phrases and being able to put together poetry of sorts from my phrases –  I have to laugh at the thought of me creating a poem that speaks to me from phrases I have written previously in my journals – but once I started it came easy. I think the last time I may have attempted any kind of poetry was in elementary school, now that is a long time ago.  Mind you this is not rhyming poetry and it may not speak to anyone else except me, but that is okay.  It is all about self-expression. 

The workshop The Self Portrait Experience is very intriguing for me as well, the artist conducting the workshop is Barbara Nigg of http://www.creativefires-studio.com/ and she lives in Switzerland!  I haven’t started on any of the exercises  yet as I have had to limit my creativity for the past few days due to tendonitis in my right thumb….very frustrating when you can’t even hold a pen or a paint brush.  But it is 90% better today thanks to icing, Motrin and EFT – so if I watch what I am doing and not over-use it I should be back to the painting and creating in the next day or two. 

I am so enjoying watching the various workshop videos and seeing where the participants are from some as far away as China and Australia !  The WEB is a pretty amazing tool for bringing like-minded people together and being able to share their accomplishments.  I am so excited that I have four wonderful months to experience this and I plan to make the best of it and learn so much! 

I am posting a photo of a page I created using glued together magazine pages that I covered in gesso and then used stamps, acrylic

Guided to Believe in the Moment

paint, gel medium, charcoal and a poem I did with the three word phrases.  

Til next time happy creating

Michelle

The Teacup, Moroccan Mint

My friend Scott does a wonderful blog called What’s for Lunch BC this is one of his latest and I’m sharing it cause I love tea! The Teacup, Moroccan Mint.

21 Secrets Workshop – a very fun playground

I am so excited that the 21 Secrets Workshop started on Friday.  I couldn’t wait to start exploring the various artists workshops – 21 artists created workshops that assist you with your creativity in your art journal pages and other art forms.  The first one on the list was “Three Little Words” – to begin you are instructed to go through your journals, favorite books, etc and pick out strings of three words that speak to you and just start making lists of these phrases. At first I thought I would not get that many on my list but so far I have created three pages with two rows on each page!  Some examples of my three word phrases:  embrace the funky, place of calm,

In the moment - my own emerging

learning to enjoy, my creative life, permission to create, what feels real, warmth that influences, energy of being, discover the tears, the open heart.  By doing this exercise it has created a wealth of phrases that I can use in my art pages, and they are words that speak to me and how I am feeling at a particular moment and helps to remind me that I am on a creative journey.  So far I have used six of the three word strings in three different pages I created.  What a great tool this is – I love it!

You can jump around and join in any of the workshops whenever you like which is great cause you don’t have to do them in order or be structured, just go where you are called to at the moment – so the next one I checked out was the  “Child’s Play Workshop“, it was number two on the list so I wasn’t jumping around too much yet.  Here I learned how to create my own stamps to use with paints and inks, how cool is that?   It reminded me of when I was a child and we made potato stamps, she didn’t do this but used strings, a

Everything is possible - set the course

 sticky back foam, etc.  So I had to try it out – I need to refine my designs but it worked and I used the stamp on some pages and I actually liked how it looks.  I will have to dig deep into my memory and try creating a few potato stamps just for the fun of it.  So now I am looking around my studio for things I could turn into a cool stamp. 

There is so much to learn through these workshops and the community is growing daily, it looks like it will be a really interactive one that I will enjoy getting involved with. You can post your creations on the forums for the various workshops too and see what others are creating as well.  If you are interested in joining in on all this creative fun check out the playground by visiting http://www.dirtyfootprintsworkshops.com/2008/09/21-secrets-art-journal-playground.html to register is only $59 and you get access to the site and community from April 1 to August 1…..well worth it. 

 Til next time happy creating!

Michelle