Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Guest House

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ Rumi ~

I've always liked the idea of the house as a metaphor for the human body. I find myself drawn to and using houses more in my art. I came across this poem in an online class I'm taking on Healing and Transformation from SARK. If you don't know any of SARK's work you should check her out. She's very inspiring! She mentioned this poem so I thought I would look it up. I fell in love with it! So I put together a little montage of different photos to add a little imagery to the poem. I hope you like it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Migraine! -- Part 2

Since posting the first version of this earlier today I have been tinkering with it. Now I think I have the final version here. Jeez, if only the headaches were as fun as making the art about them! ;)


These past two weeks have been murder on my head! For some reason I've been getting migraines in clusters of three at a time. So in the last 14 days I've had 6 migraine headaches. NOT fun! I don't know if it's the weather or what, but these have been particularly debilitating. If you've ever suffered through one of these you know what I'm talking about.

Thank God for Imitrex! I don't know what I'd do without it. The after effects, for me, are a kind of numbness in my face and a blah lethargic feeling. It beats the pain of the headache, though, so I put up with it. Unfortunately I just don't feel like doing much else while "recovering". I'm trying to force myself to do things but can't seem to shake the lethargic feeling. Meanwhile, days go by and I now find myself dreading the next one for fear of another day of this! Today is the third one in a row in another cluster of three. Hopefully this will be it for awhile.

I made this piece to try and communicate my frustration at having to endure these darn things. It's not pretty because it's not meant to be.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Never Lose That Little Girl Spirit!

I was browsing through the book, "1,000 Journal Pages" and came across a page that had the quote, "Never lose that little girl heart". I LOVED that! I changed mine to "Never lose that little girl spirit!". I have a nice file of vintage photos and I've always loved the one of this little girl. She just looks like she's up for something adventurous!

By the way, the book is a great inspiration for art journalling. It really does show 1,000 pages of art journals. They are condensed so the book itself is not 1,000 pages! ;) But it does have some great eye candy for journalling ideas.

I'm playing with dolls today; the sculpting kind. I'm getting closer to making a face that I can live with! Stay tuned...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Color My World!

This is just something silly I threw together today. I absolutely LOVE the designer Christine Honsinger's work at She always puts together such fun elements. Most of these pieces are from her kits. I'm just absorbing all of the Spring colors blooming outside right now. LOVE them!

I plan on doing some serious doll work this weekend. Will let you know if I have anything worth showing after I'm finished. I just found out that Nancye Williams, who is teaching the sculpting class that I'm taking now, is going to offer a class on armatures and sculpting bodies. Ooh, I've been waiting for something like that. Color me THERE! Stay tuned...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


This is another digital collage I put together last week. I've been adding to/taking from it for a few days but I think it's finally finished. I hit the wrong button in Photoshop while trying something else and ended up discovering a whole new menu of fun options! That software is so advanced, I don't know who could possibly master it all! But there are people who are gurus at it who can educate the dummies like me (thank goodness!).

My last collage, "Moonlight Magic" was one of the featured photos of the week at the Creative Souls site! That's quite an honor and I have been fortunate enough to be featured a few times now. I have a link for it on my sidebar; if you haven't visited it yet, you should! Not because my photo is featured on the photos page (because they change those every Sunday) but because it is full of very talented artists from all over the world. I think there are over 2,000 members now. I see a lot of familiar names on that site (many whose books I own!) and love to study their art and techniques. It's always an inspiration to browse the photos and the individual galleries.

It's another cold, windy, rainy, blah day here so I thought I would infuse some color and mystery to the day. Now, back to work. I'm working up the nerve to try an experiment on canvas. What the heck! Might as well try...stay tuned.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Doesn't she look luxurious? I found some awesome images of textures on the web. I believe this one is silk curtains. Anyway, I thought how wonderful it would feel to just wrap up in this! So I found a suitable model and put HER in there instead. She looks nice and comfy, I think. It's a rainy, blah day here so I thought I would "cocoon" and play with my art. Sure, there are a hundred other things I should be doing but this sounded like more fun! ;)

I'm trying something new: creating while listening to music. I know it's not a new idea but it IS new to me. For some reason I always have complete silence when I work in my art room. It's nice to have some music playing. I think it can probably influence what you're working on but that's okay sometimes. I picked up a bunch of "new-agey" CD's at the library and just put them on and starting the dreamy music influenced my cocoon...that's a good thing! Looking at the titles of these CD's I have, "Secret Garden: Dreamcatcher, Loreena McKennitt: Parallel Dreams, and Loreena McKennitt: The Book of Secrets". See a common connection here? Jeez, I love all of these so much I may have to buy them! I have never heard of any of these people but I liked the titles of their CD's. So yes, I picked the CD for it's cover!

That's all for today. Just giving you a peek at what I'm up to. More to come with these tons of textures I've got to work with...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Balancing Act

This is how I'm feeling lately: like I'm balancing all of these ideas and projects and wants and wishes... all in my head! Figured out that I need to take a deep breath...and s-l-o-w down the monkey brain. The good thing is I am FINALLY caught up on all of my swaps and art trades and projects that I committed to. I'm just enjoying the feeling of no pressure to get something finished by a deadline. Anyone who knows me knows that I PROCRASTINATE. I have an idea for a project and I mull it over...and over...and I'm working it out a hundred different ways in my head before I even begin to put paint or ink or anything onto the canvas.

That being said, I do enjoy all of the swaps and art trades and collaborations that I've worked on. I enjoy the finished product; the satisfaction from finishing a piece of art and sending it off in anticipation of the person's reaction. The bonus is getting a piece of art in return! How cool is that?!

My method of madness in creating anything, art or writing, has always been to wait until it's almost too late and then begin. It's not a style most people would choose. I'm not going to change now and I'm not sure I want to. It's how I operate and I've done pretty well with it. Yes, I stress out but when the pressure is on I find that I can and do deliver. I made it through college this way and it has continued on through life. So I learn to just go with it. IF I get started on a project early, I'm shocked! It happens, but not too often. ;)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Moonlight Magic

I've been playing in Photoshop again! This time I was working on the "reflection in the water" effect. I'm getting there! It's supposed to be a little distorted. Anyway, this was a fun image to play with. She just looks like a magical creature. Photoshop tutorials on the Web have links to all sorts of images like this to be used in your experiments.

I was not happy with the background I painted for the collage trade I'm working on. I just didn't like the color. I added bits of color and shading to it all day yesterday after each layer dried. So today I just painted over the whole thing. I think I like this hue better. Tomorrow I'll start adding the collage bits and see if it will work.

The doll sculpting lessons are getting more difficult but the type of clay is getting easier to work with. I am not a fan of Original Sculpey. This week we are working with either Fimo Soft or ProSculpt (which is not available anywhere here). So the Fimo is easier on the hands. When I sculpt a face I'm not ashamed of, I'll let you know. ;)

I have nine background pages painted in my art journal. I'll post some of those this week. I hate to put anything on them! Oh well, I have an entire journal to paint and mark up so I better take the plunge and start collaging over them. Eventually I'll have to add some writing so I can't get attached to backgrounds.

That's all for today. Hope you all had a great weekend! Maybe Spring is finally here?

Friday, April 10, 2009

At Home With Color!

I've really been enjoying Pam Carriker's Visual Journalism 101 journal workshop. It's nice to get some pages going with backgrounds! This week we are just concentrating on getting color onto the pages and creating interesting backgrounds. I've got about seven pages colored and have begun some more. We aren't thinking about what we'll put ON the backgrounds yet...just getting color down. My colors have been in the blues/pinks/oranges hue. I'm really liking most of my pages so far! When the backgrounds are completely finished (before journalling onto them) I'll post my faves.

I have also begun a project for an art trade with a cyberfriend from the Artella website. We are making 8 x 10 collages for each other to exchange. I need to get more done on that project this weekend! Playing with all of this color and paint and texture just made me want to create a little digital art journal page until the "real" one is finished. Aren't these colors yummy? ;) That's one of the few photos of me as a youngster that I actually like! These digital elements are all from the designer Christine Honsinger (Fiddlette Designs) at Scrap I just love her style and have been grabbing up her kits as fast as she creates them.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Magic Time

I'm still playing with the ttv frames I mentioned in earlier posts. Love these frames! Other news: I'm enrolled in a new workshop that starts today: Visual Journalism. It's all about creating and maintaining an art journal. I'm determined to get this underway. I have a blank journal and am just needing a push in the right direction. The workshop is being offered through Creative Workshops online and is taught by Pam Carriker whose art I love. She has appeared in many issues of Somerset Studio magazine and I was thrilled to find her workshop.

I'm in week 2 of my art doll workshops. The first one deals with sculpting polymer clay heads and faces. This one is a tough one! I'm not a sculptor, I'm finding out. But I'm determined to learn how to do a face that doesn't look like an alien! That's okay if it's the look you are going after but I'm NOT going after that look right now! :) I am making progress. The teacher is an awesome dollmaker and the workshop is offered through her ning site, "nancye's art dolls". I've loaded their badges in my right sidebar so you can check these sites out. These ladies do awesome work. The other doll workshop I'm in is offered through and is a whimsical little doll made from an Altoid's tin (body), wires, clay and an adorable push mold face. I'm progressing and will post her when finished. This is week 2 of 5 week workshop so it will take awhile.

These are all keeping me pretty busy right now which is what I like to be! Stay tuned for any finished works. They'll get here eventually.

Friday, April 3, 2009


And now for something completely different... I've discovered ttv's! What's a ttv? It stands for "through the viewfinder". These are photos that photographers take of viewfinders and what you end up with are these awesome frames. The resulting image looks kind of vintage and you then fill them up with your art! This frame started life as just the black border and a gray interior. I made my own background with layers and layers (20 plus layers in this piece!) of colors, images, text, etc.

I don't usually work in reds and oranges so I thought I'd try something with those colors. These ttv frames make me want to use my vintage images and I do have a bunch that I've downloaded over the years. I thought this lady had a very determined look on her face. After some tweaking I made her more of what I had in mind for this piece.

There is a flickr group totally dedicated to viewfinder photos. Goldmine! I downloaded a ton of them so expect to see more of these in my art. You can view them at this site: . Check them out! My favorite contributor is Nesster. His viewfinders are always nice and clear.