Reinventing Myself

You go through phases.  You have to reinvent reasons for playing, and one year’s answer might not do for another.

~ Yo-Yo Ma

Have you ever reinvented yourself?

I realize, only after having a year of hindsight, that I have been doing exactly that.  Or, mostly exactly that.  I’ve also been reinventing my bubble, my environment, my world.

Artsy Business Growth

The hubs and I have continued learning all kinds of cool stuff, adding to our repertoire of painting and faux textures.  We started with cleaning up and re-coating cabinets, and we have gotten really good at re-coloring cabinets with stain and with paint.  We have re-done some cabinets in a distressed, shabby chic style.  We have even rebuilt cabinet doors with metal screens as the interior panel!

Recently we started working in concrete, making counter tops and awesome floors and oh, my gosh!  Talk about potential for all kinds of arting!  Concrete has so many possibilities, from texturing to a myriad of cool coloring techniques.  And smoothing it and forming it and playing in it is awesome.

Changes with the Kidlets

I’ve also taken over our kidlets’ education entirely.  We were previously schooling at home but following a program.  That program has changed so much in the past six years that it is almost unrecognizable compared to the original program.  The last school year I battled frustration and burn-out and in some cases, anger.  The kids were doing way too much busy work and had become tied to the stupid computers.

So we’ve left that program behind.  We’re now enjoying a much free-er, livelier, exciting learning adventure together!! 🙂

Personal and Artistic Growth

And I’ve also been plowing through some personal and artistic growth and expansion…and rebirth.  I’ve been getting into the groove of not being totally involved in the making money for the family.  Being a bit of a control freak, this part has been harder that I thought it would be.  But slowly I am letting go of thinking I have to be in charge of everything 🙂

That release has led to all kinds of stuff.  I feel more relaxed, and more peaceful.  I have stronger faith.  I have more inspiring energy to give to the kidlets and to making stuff and to my art.  Which has also expanded, way beyond my most common outlet of art journaling.  My projects are getting larger in scale and braver.

Overall, I have more courage and I feel more, well, more ME.  Which then turns around and make all of this bigger.

So where does that land the blog?  I’ve actually been missing posting here, and I’ve been amazed that my little corner of the blog-o-sphere still has a life of its own.  I still have traffic and activity and see my work show up in the strangest of places!

My goal is to connect the blog to my other online stuff, like our website and Pinterest and all of the fun and creative stuff we’ve been growing.  I’d like to include some of the family adventures in life and in learning.  Where it goes from there, who knows…but I’m coming out of the fog that’s been enveloping me.

I’m ready to share again, to look out here again, to see the world again!!

Rock Quote Pic

Art is My Job…Finally!

When I started blogging, my hope that was someday, somehow, I would figure out how to monetize the blog, or my art, or both.

The goal was simple: make art, post stuff, get subscribers, make money.

Have you ever seen the episode of South Park with the Underpants gnomes??  You know, they steal underpants, the kids follow them one night to figure out where all of the underpants were going…and the kids find the gnomes with enormous mountains of underpants.  They ask the gnomes what’s going on, and the gnomes tell them:

  • Phase 1: collect underpants.
  • Phase 2: ?
  • Phase 3: make profit.

The boys ask them, what about phase 2?  All of the gnomes stop and start mumbling and look around at each other, asking Phase 2???

That’s kinda how I feel…I have no idea what happens in Phase 2.  I just know that I make art, I like to slap paint on stuff, and I want to get paid.  Then I have way more time to art.

Oh, and I also love to talk about what I love doing, and I love sharing fun tips and ideas and inspirations, I feel a NEED to give it back cuz that’s how I found this whole thing, by checking out other artists’ blogs and videos.  That’s how the blog really got going.

And I knew only that if I kept blogging, somebody would eventually look at it, and I might be able to build up the following from there.  Doesn’t that seem like what others do?  They blog a bunch, they get a bunch of regular readers, and somehow they get paid.  Advertisers just magically want to start paying them for space on the blog, I’m sure that’s exactly how it goes,right??

Okay, so I understand that’s not reality.  And I have found all kinds of other satisfaction from the blog.

So as we kept plugging along, praying for some opportunity to get paid to be artistic, I got more and more frustrated with “practical” jobs, “practical” choices and so on.  I was having more trouble smooshing myself into that mold.

Now, over the years, my hubs has painted houses, sometimes all white (boring) and sometimes with super-cool faux painting schemes.  He’s re-done cabinets and installed awesome wood-work and helped people with color schemes and decorating diy ideas.  We just hadn’t really pushed it to become a more consistent and financially supportive part of our lives.

But now we are doing just that. 

What I realized is that I want to get paid to paint.  Commissioned work is pretty cool because I know the piece is sold before I make it.  And the customer gives me the idea and the inspiration.

Painting a house is exactly that: a commissioned work. 

It’s not exactly what I was thinking I was working  towards, but it is so way much better than calling people all day long, looking to make a sale.  Stuck in a chair all day long, no sunshine, no exercise, and no painting.  That kind of day sucks for me.

And because I’m playing in paint and painting tools and Home Depot for jobs, I am thinking about other projects and inspirations while I’m working.  And while I’m working, I’m listening to music, chatting with the hubs, and finding new ways of doing things all of the time…

It’s taken a few jobs to get in the swing of the physical exertion part of my day, but I’m feeling stronger and more energetic and more excited all of the time.  In fact, I had a break because my oldest kiddo and babysitter was at camp.  I had to send the hubs to the job without me…and what did I do?  I painted the walls in my living room in between art projects at home!!

Here’s the point…

So often many of us pine for an artist’s life.  We ache for a way to make money arting so that we can spend all of our time arting.  We feel a pang of longing looking at the artful lives of those out there and feel like we’ll never get there ourselves.

If we can broaden our scope of possibility just a bit, we can find ways to live the life for which we’re pining.  We might be able to find other ways to explore our artistic selves and to financially support ourselves and our art supply habits! 🙂

And all we did was put up ads on craigslist, fairly often, and eventually built a free little website so that we could give that link on the ads.  People can go to our website and see explanations of what we do and see examples, as well as click over to our flickr page for more pics of our work.  We also believed in ourselves, that we could do it, and kept up our optimism.

And people do call us.  We do get work.  And I get lots of left-over supplies to play with!

pink room

Pink and white walls, black doors, and stencils and stickers to decorate.

Painted walls, trim, and stained and painted stair rails and posts.

Painted walls, trim, and stained and painted stair rails and posts.

 *Now I’m looking for someone to get brave and hire me to do a full-blown mural!  Then I’ll really be having some fun 🙂





Face Practice

GirlWow, so long since the last post.  Sometimes I wonder how I miss so much time??

Our painting business continues to grow.  We built a small website (take a look here).  I am amazed at how much better I feel getting out and painting and refinishing cabinets, and really physically working.  For so long I have used my brain and my conversation skills, selling and serving customers and, well, sitting.  Way too much sitting, talking on the phone, using the computer, and not getting up and moving around and doing more physical labor.

I really like it.  My body is feeling strong, my back feels better, my soul feels better…this kind of work is so meditative!  And I get to spend my work time hanging out with my hubby, making things beautiful!!  It just really doesn’t get much better than this 🙂

And in my art time outside of that, I have been continuing to focus on drawing faces.  Maybe soon I will start practicing bodies to go with the floating heads, lol…

The biggest challenge for me with faces is the coloring…I thought I would battle more with the features, but nope, it’s the coloring.  I have really come up with some interesting color combinations, that’s for sure!  But I keep at it, I’m actually learning to not fight it, but to just keep going…like so much else in art.  That’s a common theme for me, it seems.  Trust the process (I wrote ages ago about that here).

What a feeling of accomplishment, though, to keep at it and begin to see the success!  And this particular girl has a special place in my art journal…she is on the last available page of my current large journal!

Finishing an art journal…that has a very solid feeling of accomplishment.

I have been working in that particular journal for two full years now.  It’s funny, when I first started journaling, I would work in one journal straight through, then moved to the next journal.  Along the way, I started working in a whole bunch of art journals at one time.

I have old books that I used as journals, I have kids’ board books as journals, I have loose pages that I journal together, I make mini-journals out of bags or cards or junk mail, I have composition books as journals…and I have my sketch books.  I have themed journals, I have chronological journals, and I have extra paint journals (you know, the ones where you slap extra paint or ink on pages that you use as backgrounds for stuff later).

And the journals are all over the house!  I was cleaning up some shelves, and I counted…seven journals going at the moment!!  My kids thumb through them, they show them to their friends, and my hubby looks through them all of the time.  My art has become such a way of life in our home, I never imagined how ingrained in our lives it would all be.

That has its own very satisfying and fulfilling level of accomplishment, too.

More Art Time, or Turning Lemons into Lemonade

Look at every path closely and deliberately, then ask ourselves this crucial question: Does this path have a heart?  If it does, then the path is good.  If it doesn’t, it is of no use.

~ Carlos Castaneda

It’s funny…I hated my day job, I prayed for a way out, and I had been pining for more work time with the hubby…and I had been praying for new ways to bring in other sources of income so that I can work on more art and make money with my own hands.

I sort of thought, in all of that pining and praying and fervently hoping, that I would have some alternative worked out BEFORE I left the hated job.


So I don’t always get to choose the timing or the details or the exact path of how prayers are answered, or so I’m learning.  I did not get a new job lined up, I did not make sure I had plenty of savings at the ready, I did not have a whole bunch of multiple streams of income all neatly lined up.

Nope, I sure didn’t.  My prayers got answered with a big old fashioned kick in the butt as I lost my grip on the slippery rock of seeming safety.

I have been through this before.  When we opened our business consulting firm 6 years ago, I fought to keep a hold on that rock.  I was so afraid to let go and flow with the river.  I was afraid of the unknown, even though I hated the work that had me “trapped” in the known.

While I have since moved away from so much business consulting as the economics of small businesses have changed these past couple of years, I loved my work and my rules and my customers and my way of being able to sink or swim on our terms.

Then I got foolish and took another “Joe Job”.  And in the short time I was working it, I got complacent and liked the feel of the rock under my strained fingers.  I lost sight of my priorities and how I wanted to create my life and how good it used to feel when I felt good about the work I did everyday.

Then comes my answered prayers.  I lost my job.  Before I was ready, or not exactly on my terms and on my timetable and when I was all neat and tidy and “ready”.

And guess what??  I’m living through it!  It seems that I can earn money and art at the same time!  It’s a bit different than what I imagined, and is not the total sum of what I want to do in paying art time, but it so totally works!

Christopher and I have been painting the walls in people’s homes…faux painting, which is just an enormous art journal background!  And re-finishing cabinets and designing murals and playing in color and going to Home Depot…it’s what I love to do, just on a much larger scale than my art journals.  Of course, not so many rub-ons or markers 🙂  But I get to hang out with Christopher and listen to music and wax rhapsodic and paint and make something that looks beautiful and brings joy!

I am still fighting the fear a bit, it’s certainly uncomfortable still, but I have faith that we are moving in the right direction, and I feel so inspired when I come home from a day of painting!  And I have time to art more and get back to so many projects that were falling by the wayside…Now it’s just a matter of scheduling enough jobs to keep the lights on and the art supplies coming!!


Happy Fish


Dream a Little Dream, an Art Journal Page in My Little Red Book

Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine.

~ Elvis Presley

What a loverly morning…Christopher and I spent some time together (sans kidlets!) at the church with our Pastor, talking about ways to work towards some funding to help build and expand the church’s facilities.  How happy, some of those business-y details filed away in the brain for years has some practical use outside of our business life 🙂

We were able to leave the kidlets home with big brother, so hubby and I got just a little bit of time together, while not exactly what you’d think of as a date, it was wonderful and stress-free.  And on the way home we stopped by the local thrift store and I got some plastic boxes and baskets to help organize some of the art supply clutter we have everywhere.  And a couple of board books to alter, yay!!

I got back to playing in my Little Red Book of Selling Art, an altered book I’ve been using this year (you can see where I got started here).  It’s been a really fun book for me, it’s a bit smaller than other journals I’ve used, and the size and shape and weight of it all feel really good in my hands.  If you haven’t turned an old book into an art journal yet, you should totally have a go…it’s fun and a little bit addictive!!  You can find some ideas on turning an old book into an art journal in this earlier post.

So this little red book is one of my faves, only I don’t work in it so regularly as my other larger, experimental journal.  This one is sort of my “practice sketching” journal.  More of these pages are dedicated to actual drawings of something.  I guess that’s why I don’t work in it quite as much, I still shy away from sketching sometimes…feels a bit more like work or something.

I did have fun on this one, though.  I love the colors and the ideas and I’ve been just gawking at it since I finished it.  It’s like I’m surprised that it actually looks like the vision I had in my head when I started (I did NOT envision the text from my stamps running off of the side though, lol)!  It all starts with the dreams, huh, with the vision, with the thought and the love and the inspirations.  Never forget to dream, and never squelch anyone else’s dreams…my little ones remind me of that daily as well.

The inspiration for this little spread also leads us to a prompt for today:

Prompt: Find an advertisement and use it to inspire a journal page.  Maybe it’s the colors that you like, maybe it’s the text, and maybe it’s the actual image in the ad.  Old magazines are such a great place to find Art Fodder™, and that’s where the inspiration for this little page found me…right in the back of a magazine, in the advertisement section 🙂

Time is the Greatest Expression of Love, an Art Journal Page

Yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.

~ Khalil Gibran

What’s your relationship with time?  Do you constantly watch the clock?  Are you a scheduler?  Or do you not worry about the time of day, going through time without giving it much of a thought?

Are you always running out of time, wishing that you had just a few more hours in the day?  Or does time seem to pass too slowly, as you wait?

When I was just a kid, I always thought that time was way too slow, that I’d never reach whatever the next milestone was.  As happens with most people, I guess, time seems to move faster and faster each year.  I watch my little ones grappling with time, and I catch myself thinking that I wish it would all slow down now.

I did give up wearing a watch years ago when I gave up being an employee for someone else’s business.  I get a pretty good feel for the time of day from the sun, and we basically follow the natural day-lengths around here.

I say fairly often to my business clients “Time is the one finite resource we have”, usually when I’m talking to them about how to build a business system as they plan for growth.

Christopher told me as we were courting, that our bond transcends time and space (which it does, by the way, I’m pretty sure we’ve done this before and will do so again).

And in church last Sunday, the preacher talked about how the greatest expression of our love is the gift of our time.  Wow…the gift of our time.  And our time really means our attention, don’t you think?

Time is a pretty big concept.

What is your relationship with time?

Your prompt, create an art journal page around time.  Explore what it means to you.  Use words, pictures, quotes, colors, whatever seems to express that weird, ethereal concept.  Time.









P.S. For an added bit of fun, here’s a side note on my page: For the background and inspiration before I even got to the theme of time, I played with school supplies.  I used watercolors, markers, and some flower stencils that I got in the pile of school supplies for the kidlets.  Nothing in that pile was more than a buck, yay!!  The clocks were all cut out of old magazines.  A little bit of glitter glue and some embossing powder added the pizzazz.

A Mother’s Day Journal Page

God could not be everywhere and therefore He made mothers.

~ Jewish Proverb

What a whirl wind week this has been for us!  Up till now, I have been so consistent with blogging and sharing with you…I hate it that I missed a couple of days this week!  One of the things you’ll find in the tips of any blog about blogging, is stay consistent!  As your readers come to expect your posts on a regular basis, whatever that expectation is, keep it going.

With that said, while my goal is to keep this blog consistent and regular (wow, I don’t mean for that to sound like a bodily function, lol), I got super busy this past week with our business.

We were blessed with a huge new client and a large base of referral clients this past week.  We have been hoppin’ busy, taking care of their orders and phone calls, hosting conference calls, and doing paperwork.  I am so thankful for the blessing and the new business, but it’s cut into my arting a blogging time a bit.  Not a complaint at all, of course, but it has been tough not being able to art as much as usual.

I did take the day off on Mother’s Day.  I had the most awesome Mother’s Day yet, mostly because the little ones are big enough now that they are all making me lovelies and cards and picking me flowers and so forth.  Christopher and my eldest grilled out fajitas and put together the most yummy Mexican Fiesta dinner for me.

And I did get in a bit of art time, enough to play in one of my art journals and make a bright and cheery page about the day.  I just finished it up last night…

This page is the result of me digging around in envelopes of Art Fodder™ I have stashed around my studio.  Sometimes just thumbing through the piles of stuff spurs the whole thing, and that’s definitely what happened here.  I wanted to play with the butterfiles from a card I had saved along the way.

I hope that all of you Mommies out there had a wonderful Mother’s Day and that the rest of you got the opportunity to call yours…

I did also spend some time reflecting on how much I love being a Mother, and how much my kidlets have taught me about love and life and the world and God.  I spent time reflecting on continuing to be the best Mom that I can be, and to continue striving to be even better throughout this coming year.

I will be back, Christopher and I are working on a couple of cool technique how-to’s for you, and I am still fixin’ to get ready to finish up my latest caulk canvas (I’ve been hiding from the hand-lettering that I’m going to attempt on the canvas).

Happy Freakin’ Friday…We Should All Be as Imaginative as This Kid

Not everyone takes the time to check out my Happy Freakin’ Friday videos, I know it’s sort of my own little joy…but this is well worth the peek.  This guy is innovative and believes in himself and in his dream.  We can all learn something from him…

Preparing Our Creative Self, or Gratitude as a Way of Life

As artists, we’re all on the lookout for inspiration.  We’re always on the lookout for amazing art fodder (something I’m tend to post about a lot as well).  We’re always reaching for the next a-ha moment, where we get smacked upside the head with our next creative idea.

I would like to suggest that one of the best ways to keep the ideas and inspirations coming is to train.  You know, train like an athlete, who not only has to practice the actual physical activity he’s pursuing, but train like an athlete that is working to keep his mind and his spirit in harmony with his body.


It takes discipline to master anything.  It takes focus.  And it takes a positive mental attitude.

I realize that not everyone is looking to become the next Picasso, but even anyone who is looking to create for personal joy can benefit from finding that place of positive mental attitude.  Keeping our hearts and spirits and minds in the right place can keep the inspirations flowing.

Reflections on Gratitude

Gratitude for all of the blessing in our lives is likely one of the most important pieces of maintaining the right mental attitude for our creative selves.  And gratitude for what we have already in our lives is a great start to bringing in more.  I personally have way more fun when I give to someone who appreciates it, as opposed to someone who doesn’t.  It’s not that the giving is about receiving gratitude.  It’s that if I can choose where to offer my help or my time or my resources, why wouldn’t I choose someone that feels gratitude rather than someone who doesn’t??

I’m certain the same force works when we’re talking about God and the Universe.  If we’re ungrateful, or even if just not actively grateful, why wouldn’t the blessings go to someone else, who IS actively grateful?

Even with a plea for inspiration, the same energy holds true.  And so to keep ourselves in top form, to make sure that we’re living the life we imagine, and to really prepare ourselves for the creativity, we should start with being in a place of active gratitude.

Casa de St John

In our little family, we have cultivated a habit of gratitude.

It started years ago when our eldest kiddo was a little bitty guy.  He liked to do bedtime prayers, the traditional kind where he would bow his little tow head and ask God to bless his mom and his dad and his grandma and his grandpa.  It got to the point where he would rush through it (like many super young kiddos will be prone to do), and it definitely got way less sincere over time.  Not that he wasn’t sincere in wanting God to look out for all of his family members, but insincere in the way that he was going through the motions without any thought or feeling.

We decided to shake it up a bit.  We started gathering together on our big bed and take turns saying something to God each night.  At that point we had kid number 2 with us.  And it did help for a while, but eventually, it got to where they were arguing over not wanting to go first, and the prayers were the same old thing every night, without thought.


That’s when we came up with Thank-You-For’s.  This is a routine that has hung on for years, and through the addition of 2 more kids, numbers 3 and 4 (I do sometimes call the kids by their numbers, especially when they’re all being super loud).

Here’s how it goes: Each night, we gather ’round the beds in the little kids’ room (it’s a part of the tuck-in routine, and the little ones are first).  Someone different starts each night.  We go around to each of us, and when it’s your turn, you get to say something that you are thankful for that day.  It can be anything.  What it cannot be, though, is some gripe, or some wish that something had gone differently.  It can’t have some kind of modifier on it, like “Thank you for the sunshine today, even if it was a bit hot” (don’t laugh, I heard that one at the beginning).  It’s got to be something clean, something you’re actually thankful for.

The thank-you-for’s range from cartoons to one of the pets to friends to family members to toys.  We’ve been thankful for clouds and rainbows and worms and rocks.  We’ve been thankful for monster trucks and motorcycles and air soft guns and care bears.  My favorites from the kids are when one of them is thankful for another one of the kids.

Just When I Need It

This has helped through so many rough days, those days when I just can’t wait to drop into bed, thinking that maybe I should have stayed in bed all day long.  It has helped with those days when I’ve been stressed about finances or kids griping all day long or when I have had a client in my business give me a really hard time.  It all seems to melt away when we sit down and focus on that for which we are truly thankful.

It sends us all of into dreamland with thoughts of joy and gratitude.  And it sends us all there together, as we’ve shared in the gratitude, and the whole energy of the household is positive and warm and happy.

How to Get Started

You might not need a huge routine for gratitude.  That’s not what’s important…what’s important is that you find that place of gratitude.  Everything else can built from there.  I have a gratitude journal app on my iPhone, where I record the top 3-5 things that I’m grateful for every day.  I create in my art journals quite often about my gratitude.  I make lists in my sketchbooks, I find posty-notes with gratitude lists stuck in the bottom of my purse.

So find yourself a way to focus your gratitude.  Make lists.  Use one of those extra little spirals or Moleskine notebooks or hand-made journals.  Grab a little book at the Dollar Store.  Start a list on your computer, or get an app for your iPhone.  But get to it.  And save those lists.  They are a terrific reminder on those days that feels a bit ungrateful that you do have something to be grateful for.  They can remind you of how wonderful your life is, right now.  They help you keep your heart and mind open and connected to the Creative Source and all of the inspiration out there for you.

Prompt: What are you thankful for RIGHT NOW?  Make a list, on a card, on a tag, on a piece of patterned paper.  Use that in an art journal page.  Do it again tomorrow 🙂

Permissions in Art

It’s spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!

~ Mark Twain

It’s not that we must ask “permission” of anyone to be creative.  That’s not what this is about.  But as artists or creatives of any type, we have those encounters that offer wisdom, that offer tips, or that offer inspirations, that seem to give us permission to try something new.

My Creative Journey

My creative journey started when I was a kid.  I wrote in my first journals as a grade-schooler.  Somewhere around fifth grade, I wrote my first poem for a contest and received an award.  I was hooked.

I continued writing throughout my young adult life.  I wrote creative poetry and short stories with a journalistic-type style.  I practiced writing, and I approached writing as a discipline.  I wrote book reviews for a small newspaper in Dallas, TX.  Along the way, I started exploring the visual arts as a way to enhance my creative writing.

During my mid-twenties, I formed a terrific friendship and partnership with some other artists, and we ultimately opened a community art studio and gallery in Dallas.  At the time, I knew very little about running a business…all I knew was that I wanted to be around all of the different artists and magic happening in that art community.

My First Important Permission

One of the first and most important “permissions” was from a fellow artist with tons of experience in painting (and every other art under the sun).  I had painted my first large canvas, an abstract called “Birthday Cake” for a friend of mine.  My artist friend looked at the painting for a long time, and finally said, “It looks like you just used the paint right out of the tube, no shading or mixing of color.”  That is exactly what I had done, and I was pretty confused.  I didn’t understand what the problem was.

He explained to me that my black background had no texture or movement or interest.  And the colors on top of that in the foreground were, well, boring.  The whole thing was flat.  My aim was to show movement and swooshiness.  I had failed miserably because the piece did not have movement, it was actually quite the opposite.  He showed me a quick way to add some interest to the texture by using the cellophane off of his cigarette pack, crumbling the paper and getting some paint on it and dotting it around on the background.  It immediately added some interest and texture and movement.

So I went back to the ole drawing board to keep painting.

Permission to Play with Color

Another painter that had rented the studio next door to mine was hanging out with me late one evening.  I was bemoaning the fact that I couldn’t find the right color of red.  I tried to explain in words what I red I was wanting, and she suggested that I add a little bit of one tube of red and a bit of another tube of red.  I felt the proverbial light bulb click on over my head.  Mix two different shades of red??  I hadn’t thought of that, and the whole world of color opened for me.

I have been creative for many, many years.  Somewhere along the way, I stopped thinking I was so creative.  Trials and tribulations in life seemed to stifle my creative self.  I got the fear, I buried that spirit deep down inside.  I got caught up in career and building and just simply thought that the dream of Art was lost.  I decided I was more of an entrepreneurial spirit rather than an artistic spirit.  I didn’t realize that even while I was building businesses that I was expressing my creative self.

Permission to be an Artist

And then my wonderful and loving hubby gave me another permission.  He gave me permission to create.  He gently urged me to start arting once again.  He started acting as a muse; through his sweet and loving words of support and encouragement, he helped me get back out the art supplies and start once again.  He never forgot that I was an artist.  He reminded me that it was all about playing and expressing myself and to heck with what anyone else thought.  The art wasn’t about pleasing anyone other than me.

Permission to Draw

My most recent “permission” has come from an unexpected source.  I am taking an online class originating with Christy Tomlinson.  If you haven’t visited her site, do so, she is super awesome and has lots of great technique videos and a really neat store.  I have taken other classes of hers, and they are really fun, and she always has lots of cool techniques. She is also a great example of an artist success story.

Her newest class is with a guest teacher, Junelle Hallstrom Jacobson.  The class is Art of Wild Abandonment.  I don’t know exactly what I expected in the class, I only knew that I liked the other two workshops that I had taken with Christy.  I had seen a couple of photos of Junelle’s work and I really wanted to see how she was doing things.  That’s about the whole of it.  What I didn’t expect was a bunch of videos during the first week totally focused on sketching.  Eww, sketching.

I have not been much of a sketcher.  I am one of those lazy gals that just complains that I can’t draw very well and then I don’t practice to get better.  I just let it be in my mind that you can either draw or you can’t.  I forgot that it’s possible to get better at something, just about anything, with practice.  You know, I say that all of the time to my kidlets, I just ignored my own advice!

Through the first week of class videos, we have been working on sketching as a practice.  It is so like the discipline practice when you’re writing.  You just do it.  You just sketch faster than your inner editor can think or speak to you.

I now have pages and pages of sketches and ideas and drawings.  And ya know what?  I can draw stuff that looks like something!  I am not the world’s worst drawer (is that a word??), I am not one of those people who “can’t draw”.  I am able to draw the thoughts that are in my head, I am able to sketch and practice and get better!  Once again, a whole new world is opening up to me.

This page is the result of a really cute prompt on sketching spring and clothes lines…

Blessings and Gratitude

Thanks Junelle, through your sweet encouragement and gentle pushing, I have found another piece of my soul finding the door to freedom.

Acrylic paint, Neocolors, papers, gel pen, Pilot UniBall Pen