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

If you want things to change, you must change.

Welcome to my first post for Creativity Blossoms After 60.  I have been wanting to blog for a while but wasn’t sure what to write about.  So after much encouragement from friends and family I have decided to start a blog about the chapter of your life called “Retirement”.  I recently retired, I use that term lightly as it will be exactly a year on April 1.  I still feel like it is recent as I am in the process of  redesigning my life from career to leisure and doing what I want.  Though sometimes I get confused about what I want to do.  Retirement kind of caught me by surprise as I was offered a lovely retirement package and decided to take the plunge into this world I wasn’t quite prepared for – basically having 2 months to prepare for it.  I have to say it has been a bit of a roller coaster ride these past months as I let go of the need to fill my days with routine and things that resemble working and even feel guilty when I don’t create a to-do list for the day.  When you have worked since you were 17 years old, all of sudden not having it to fill your days leaves you feeling like you are just floating about with no real purpose sometimes.  Or at least that is how I feel some days.  For the most part I have to say I really do not miss the 9 to 5 routine, just the social aspect – I worked with wonderful people and I do miss them.

For the first few months I struggled on what I was going to do next and decided that the best route would be to create a new business, one that I could use my many years of experience and skills as an event coordinator.  So I worked diligently on creating a website, designing a business plan, business cards, etc.  Funny though the more that I did this the more I started to feel that perhaps that wasn’t exactly following my bliss.  Perhaps I just needed to take some time to discover what I wanted to do that would bring me joy, fun and adventure.  Although I still have thoughts of  doing events of some sort, I am taking a step back and letting things percolate for a while and see how I can do this in such a way that it would include creativity, art, travel and just plain fun while perhaps encouraging others to join me in discovering the creative side of life. 

Right now I am really enjoying making wire jewellery and  learning how to paint with watercolours, experimenting with collage and I am going to start art journalling thanks to my visit with Violette of Journal Bliss.  I am finding that I have this need to create and it does bring me great amounts of joy and satisfaction.  The greatest thing is that I used to do lots of artsy things back in my younger days and then life just got so busy with working and raising my daughter that I forgot how enjoyable it was and now I am in rediscovery mode and experiencing it full force and I actually have the time to do it.  If I want I can just create all day long – how great is that?

My life has certainly changed from a year ago and so have I – I enjoy being proactive in the changes that take place now.  I feel that I am becoming more of a free spirit and the changes I have made so far seem to be leading me down a path where I can explore my creativity.  It is all part of self growth and for things to change we must change.

I invite you to share your experiences on being retired. 

Michelle