Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Well-Balanced Weekend

Now that I live in Sutter Creek, along a busy-ish road, where tourists meander by to and fro from their lodgings, I feel like I want to be out and about more myself.

It's not new to be in town, I lived in Jackson for three years (a town slightly larger than Sutter Creek), but I was tucked away from the hubbub of daily life and could hunker down for long spells at a time, seeing no one and going nowhere (except for going to the day job, of course).

But now? I feel like it's going to be a challenge to just stay home, putter, go about my life without noticing what's going on and being distracted by what's "out there."

And let's be honest. What I'm really trying to say is, what's going to happen to my artistic path? Staying home and sitting with the creative process? It's not that easy on the best of days. Because that creativity inevitably means blocks, gremlins, and nasty bits that have to be pushed through. (They usually yield the best results, they do have their purpose, those damn gremlins.)

Glancing out my studio window and noticing the chattering group strolling towards main street for a pint and a tasty meal? It's not just about wanting to join them, no, there's also the thoughts like, "well I wonder where they're from?" and "gee, what's the story about that one guy falling behind, not worrying about keeping up with the group?" The stories I could weave, if I give into random mind-wandering.

Oye. I'm in trouble.

Or maybe not.

This past weekend I think I hit a very fine balance. Time spent out and about, but also ample time to be at home. For our nice long three day weekend my son and I kicked it off by taking a five minute walk over to a flea market (where treasures were indeed found) and had lunch. 
Two of these necklaces are new, but I couldn't resist
a pic of all of the ones I've curated over the years.

The next day we headed out early and took a hefty walk along the backroads over to Amador City and back (two miles one way), our goal being delicious pastries, hot chocolate for him, and a chai for me. 

The beginning of the walk back, which ended up
being definitely more uphill in that direction.

And the last day of our long three day weekend was spent having lunch at a new brewery with friends (in Plymouth, more known for being the gateway to wine - change can be good, I'm embracing it, grin)

Such yumminess. And right in our backyard. Lucky!

And yet there were still long hours of going within. My son draws like a fiend. He can go through a ream of paper in no time. Art journaling happened for me. As well as the ongoing, never-ending saga of unpacking (I revisited the 90's, who knew one box could hold so many memories!).

But as summer winds up to it's full-throttled pace, it will be interesting to see how much paint actaully gets thrown. Wish me luck!

Maybe this color will inspire me!
The green hills are being replaced by brown, but the poppies and wildflowers
have loved the extra wee bit of rain we've had this month

Friday, May 22, 2015

What I've Been Doing Lately

If you're following along with my last few posts, you know that after taking a break for over 6 months I've slowly been dipping my toes back into creating. It has seemed too overwhelming to bust out the blank canvases (why is that anyway?), so I've gone 3D.

It's not the first time to dabble in mixed media creations. Way back for a Halloween show I contributed this piece, "Here's Looking at You":

And there was this little gem I created several years ago, "Yin and Yang":

This one I did a month or so ago, and shared already, but will share again, it was the first "officially dipping my toes in" piece:

And now, this one! 

I guess you'd say it's called "The Visitor and her Tardis." And yes, she's wearing a tutu. And yes, her boots are sparkly silver, amongst other sparkly things.

There is something so freeing about creating in this 3D way. For this project I learned all about paperclay, and used it to bring my little alien friend to life. It's so forgiving and easy to work with. I have tons left and can't wait to play with it more. 

And my recent new favorite go-to paint source is fabric paint in a bottle that squirts out a tiny opening up top. I discovered it a few years ago when coming up with an activity for a 6 year old's birthday party (monster/zombie t-shirt painting). This one done by a very grown up little boy, not a 6-year old, but you get the idea:

Here's the kind I've been using:

I suppose regular old acrylic paint could be put into these bottles too. I'll have to try that. But the fabric paint also comes in all these fabulous glitter colors! Even when I'm having a gray-skies kind of day, playing with glitter paint brings me back to my happy place.

So there you have it. Creativity re-launched.

Happy weekend!

Friday, May 15, 2015

The In-Between - or Actually - Simply Being in the Present Moment

I'm still here. Keeping the momentum going on my re-entry into blogging.

I'm also continuing to create in a little different way these days.

Here's the latest WIP (the glare is horrible in this photo, when it's all done I'll take a proper picture):

One could say it's a Tardis of a sort. Where will it take me? What fabulous worlds are awaiting inside?

It's a little wood crate. I had painted it hot pink in a fit of breaking out of my "normal-colors-box" - but that was something like 5 years ago. And though it seemed brash and bold at the time. I wasn't motivated to keep going in that direction. So I repainted it. Black. That seems to be my go-to color of choice for fresh starts. White? Nah. Too dull. Black. Much more interesting.

And from that new blank slate? I've been going crazy with glitter paint. And gluing things on. Rummaging through all sorts of odds and ends I've collected over the years. Treasure hunting of a sort.

Creativity for its own sake. The best kind of course. Make art. Just 'cause.

This seems to be all I can do right now. I feel like I'm in some sort of gestation period. Something new will be birthing eventually. But not yet. 

Can I just say this is NOT an easy phase for me? No way. Drives me a little crazy to be honest. I love to be planning and doing and moving forward and ticking off items on a list. 

To just randomly create? To get into a creative zone with no goal in sight? And that's ALL I'm doing? Not as a break from the "purposeful" creations? Oye. 

But to let you in on a little secret... deep down? I'm having fun. It's very relaxing. No pressure. Easy. Art just for me. This is where ALL of my art should stem from. In a perfect world.  (Of course there is that idea of getting away from the "shoulds," but we'll let that go for now...)

Anyway. Here's to being in the present. Right where I am. As tricky as that can be.


Oh, one last little share. Heard this song today. It's not from the present at all. I don't usually dwell in nostalgia for the good ol' days, but these guys? They tap into my happy place every time. And that's a place I don't mind going at all.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Dipping My Toes In

I finally got my studio unpacked (well, mostly). And I can feel it in my bones that the next phase is gonna be different. Not sure what that means. I feel some of the past wanting to resurface: Celtic knot work, details sketched out first, my interest in glyphs (from various cultures)... but that hasn't coalesced into anything. Yet.

And I've been hesitant to pull out the canvases. That just oozes with commitment for some reason.

No, I'm dabbling instead.

In all the mess of things that I unpacked I found a few items bought at a thrift store ages ago, 5 years ago at least. I've been moving them from house to house for that long too. The original intent was to repurpose them. Paint them. Bling them up. Make them fun. Maybe even meaningful.

Yah. Well. They had some dust on them.

But they seem less intimidating than a blank canvas. I know I'll move through this. But for now? It's exactly what I need. To play. No worries about any involving or emerging style. Just fun.

Here's the first one.

It was boring fake wood brown. Maybe it's real wood. But the color was shouting out, "I'm drab!"

It's got all kinds of sparkle now.

And any meaning to it?

Actually. Yes.

As I painted my intent was simple: I'm inviting in whatever is next. I'm open. I feel ready to level-up. Something bigger. Whatever that means. But trying not to get too attached to anything in particular. But I'm ready.

Bring it on.