... exploring in my creativity further in 2017

31 May 2010

Travelling Zen Doodles - On the Road with Pens

Well I kept at it. Can't say I believe these are my best little creations but little creations they are. 

I was away most of the week at a conference in Chicago. Very busy. Worked more at creating/building an increased knowledge base and friendships than artistic endeavours. I also created my own presentation and paper for the event which were well received. 

Monday: I tried using the pencil pastels but only had red and white. They didn't blend to pink as well as I had hoped.

Tuesday: My second favourite for the week.


Thursday: Tried gel pens. Yuck. Very messy, lots of smearing.

Friday: My favourite for the week.



So that was my week. I still have a little creation to show for each day. I'm now back. This should be a more normal week coming up and hopefully I will be more creative at least in terms of media. I was thinking I should sketch people when I was away but I (thought I) didn't have a pencil! (I'm not ready to sketch solely in pen yet - or maybe I am just being chicken). Just before landing at my home airport, I dropped the case for my headphones and out popped my pencil! Dang!

Hope you had a great one! As always I look forward to seeing your work!

How do you keep up your creative habit when you are travelling for business or pleasure?

25 May 2010

A page from my Gardening Journal

Not the best page but the most recent.....

I started this journal, using more than pencil and pen, this year. I have another that I would make notes in and draw beds and where I planted things etc. After starting the FAKE journal and doing all my CED2010 creations, I thought I'd start a new one with more colour. Other entries even include real flowers lacquered to the page. 

Are you a gardener? Do you keep a journal? Is it like my old one and just pencil? Or like my new one with colour?

I should have taken a photo of that bed - pre-weeding and pre-drawing! Filled with grasses and other invasives, it took almost a full day to clean it up and it's only a 6x3 foot length! I had better luck the next day and finished another  3 1/2 sections. The soil was so dry, I'm sure I'll have to work some more as I no doubt didn't get all the grass roots out.

Earlier this week I planted these in my planters by my backyard stairs but I only wrote in description. Later I will draw in the plants.

I need to go back to my old journal and add in the names of some existing plants - see what's survived and what I've lost over the years.

24 May 2010

Garden inspiration and Experimentation

This week many of my little creations were inspired by my garden. It is starting to bloom and while a source of frustration and hard work (with all the weeds that have overtaken it), it is also a source of inspiration. Last week ended with watercolour pencil and zen versions of a lilac, and this week started with a painted watercolour version of it. (My scanner dislikes purple - not sure why - so this is not the true shade.)



Wednesday: Today I tried to capture a lovely alpine poppy using my oil pastels.

Thursday: Same alpine poppy using pastel pencils. It always amazes me that two media called "pastels" can be so very different in consistency. I am liking these pencil pastels very much though I have very few colours.

Friday: Pastelled pepper plant... 

Saturday: I love these pink Sea Thrifts (Or Armeria Maritima), they are lovely in my rock gardens and borders! I think the pens captured their essence well. Note to self - plant more!

Sunday: My weeding companion!

That was my week! Hope yours was great! 

Next week will be crazy. I am off to a conference in Chicago and it promises to be very busy. I will take a tiny sketch pad but not my CED2010 book. I hope to keep this up but..... we'll see! 

Have a fun week everyone!

23 May 2010

Bird on a Wire

Serenading me as I weeded today was a very vocal bird - probably a mourning dove. He sat on the telephone wire high above me and cooed encouraging sounds as I worked.

Here is my meager attempt to capture him:

The bugs are starting to come out so time for me to relax and check out all of your work! Hope you had a great weekend - in Canada we have one more day to go  - Victoria Day. Yay for long weekends!

17 May 2010

Intuition on Wednesday and Other Flowery Creations

This week was a challenge. Much harder to get back to "normal" than I expected. But the one thing I did do was my little creations. And on Wednesday I tried to follow the CED2010 theme for May and just ask my intuition what to do. I'm rather surprised what it did. Not sure what it means....

Here is my week, I am forward to seeing yours!


Tuesday: I tried some pastel pencils vs my oil pastels today. Interesting effects! Especially the way they can mix and smear together. I liked it.

Wednesday: I asked my intuition what to do and these are the prompts I got. Draw a hand. Add eyes on the finger tips. Palm lines as vines. Hmm - needs something else. A turtle here. A bird there. A snowflake on that finger. 

Is there meaning here? I don't know!

Thursday: Trying those pastel pencils again...

Friday: I did this using oil pastels based on a photo from Holly Herick for a little challenge she was hosting.

Saturday: A little sprig of lilac - zen doodled. Not sure why the scanner doesn't make purple its true shade.

Sunday: Another small lilac spring done with watercolour pencils - before and after water was added.

This week I also started a journal for everyday use and drew, painted and wrote all week. I may post some of it but I haven't yet decided. I learned a hard lesson though. I am using both sides of each page (unlike my CED2010 book where I only use one side) and I used sharpie markers on one. Big mistake!! It pretty much wrecked the image on the previous page. Unfortunately that was my favourite so far. Well I won't do THAT again!

How was your week?

I'm looking forward to see what your efforts brought into this world!

16 May 2010

Inspiration Avenue - Architecture

When I read about this week's Inspiration Avenue challenge, I immediately thought of this variety of different "architectures" and homes. Hope it's okay that it wasn't done just this week I created it in February when the CED2010 theme was "Home".   

Here is my humble and somewhat frivolous submission :

14 May 2010

Flowering Quince Art with Holly Herick's Beautiful Photo

Holly Herick, a fellow participant in IFJM, posted a gorgeous photo of a flowering quince bush last weekend and invited any and all to join her in creating a rendition of our own.

This means you too!

I have an apricot coloured quince bush/shrub that is not yet in bloom and have always admired it, so I immediately loved her image and decided to play along. Instead of watercolours, I chose oil pastels and did this in my CED 2010 book. (As always, double-clicking makes it SO much clearer!)

It isn't quite the right shades and I didn't do the dark background but I had to work with available supplies (and time). Here is her photo. Please make sure to go to her blog and see the other creations and (I hope) submit your own!

11 May 2010

Pondering April's FAKE Journal Experience

The final request Roz had for us FAKE journal writers during IFJM was to write up our thoughts about the experience. I'm a bit late doing this because of bad news, unexpected and then planned travelling but I did want to reflect on April's efforts.

I have never kept this type of journal before. I discovered IFJM on April Fool's Day (appropriate?!) and spontaneously decided to "just do it"! I am very glad I did! I am amazed at the results. The story really wrote itself. I did a bit of research as ideas popped into my head but I really did not over-think the journal, preferring to keep as a simple memory of my writer's voyage. I devoted time to it but not too much. Some days took longer than others but really it was fairly straightforward and enjoyable. An excellent creative experience!

Will I start a real journal? Yes, I will try. In fact I am starting 3. The first I also started last month and it is devoted to my garden. I will write in it when I am in the garden or seriously thinking about it but likely only then. It has some art in it already. I liked that and will continue to do it. The second I started earlier but haven't done much in it except paint some backgrounds with leftover paint. I want to try some of the art journaling techniques I have seen some of you use - with collage, words, images, altered book images etc. I am thinking of it as more "art" and less as journaling. Maybe as "art therapy" too - I wrote some words on two darkly painted pages after learning two week ago about the death of a girlfriend in San Diego and then again of my sister's death in Saskatoon last week. I may need more of that "therapy". The last, and perhaps my main new journal, I just bought and it will be more like my FAKE journal.

I have kept "morning pages" on and off for a while but they are very different. This new journal will not replace them and I will likely continue them too in my current haphazard fashion.

What will be different?
  • My FAKE journal was 4x6. It was a bit too small. But the "art" journal and the garden journal are bigger than I'd want for everyday.
  • It was a cheap blank journal with a pretty cover from the dollar store. I'd like something with better quality paper. 
  • The paints I used were quite chalky to write over - but they were convenient.
  • Quickly writing in my office at home, with the watercolours to brighten up the pages worked for me. I think my "painting" improved and the visuals helped the writing to come alive.

What will stay the same?

  • I liked the focus on everyday activities. My life may not have most of the unusual sightings that my writer just experienced but I suspect I may be more observant of the little things in my day-to-day life as a result of keeping such a journal.
  • I liked combining drawing, painting and writing. I may add more media as I go forward.
  • I will try to write most days but won't be quite as stringent as with the FAKE one. Knowing you only need to write 30 entries is easier than writing for a prolonged and indefinite time period. Having said that, I may give myself a challenge to journal every day for 3 weeks or something like that - to get the habit formed. Travelling has disrupted the habit and it needs to get restarted.
  • If art is like golf, you only need fancy tools when your skill improves. Buying them too early is a waste, so I am going to stick to my cheap materials until I get better at this and learn what really to use. Well, that's the thought but I have fairly good golf clubs and I still can't break 100!

I went out today and bought a medium size spiral bound sketch book from the art store. It is 5.5 " x 8" with a hard black cover. You know the kind. I also bought a mini paint set. These seem manageable to work with at my desk and to take with me when/if I travel. I suspect I will do something to the cover (like paint it with acrylics) eventually but not immediately.

Will I participate again? I think so. I already have other ideas that are currently percolating through my mind. I was fascinated by some of the other IFJM journalers' ideas - Melinda's Executive Protection Specialist's journal  was suspenseful and spellbinding at times; - Neonfog's Tour of Corsica was just like being there; - Evie's coverage of Saints and their Feasts was wonderful and so um enlightening! and The Journal of Marco Polo's Fourth Wife lovely and philosophical (though the link seems to no longer be working). These are only just a few of amazingly creative participants efforts.

My only suggestion is that I missed the weekly check-ins with Mr. Linky that Leah uses in CED2010 and Sophia in Sunday Sketches. It is so easy to follow other participants efforts that way.  I like the camaraderie that check-ins give. Roz posted everyone on a sidebar though, so I tried to visit everyone from time to time.

Thank you Roz for the idea and the great IFJM experience!

I hope some of you fellow CED2010 participants will join me in this next year!

** (Argh! Blogger did crazy things after writing this but before posting it, added an incredible amount of html garbage and in cleaning it up I lost some of what I wrote and I''m unsure what! ARGH! Hope it still makes sense!))

10 May 2010

Travelling and Zen Doodling

As explained in my very late posting for last week, this week was chaos. I was away for most of it and not really in a creative frame of mind. Regardless I did at least a very little creation each day.


Tuesday: ( I had been watching Dexter on the plane to distract myself...)



Friday: (After Saskatoon, I was in Texas on a previously scheduled business trip...)

Saturday: Back home and this was part of my daughter's birthday celebration... Yummy!

Sunday: Mother's Day rose that I was given. I tried to capture its shades using new pens I'd bought.

That was my week. I'm still not quite my self but I am back to working in my CED2010 book and not in a small sketchpad. I loved the experiment with doing the same image in a variety of manners as I did with my Magnolia until I got that bad news. Should I try again? I don't know yet. I will but am uncertain if it will be this week.

Well, I hope everything is great with all of you and I look forward to seeing all your creations!

09 May 2010

Sunday Sketching - Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day everyone!

Mother's Day obviously influenced my sketch today. A Mother and two children - though these are not mine. I tried to press harder on the pencil but the scan quality is still poor - clicking to enlarge does help somewhat. Not sure what I think about this effort except that I need to practice drawing people. Still, it feels in the spirit of the day!

Looking forward to seeing your efforts! Have a great week!

08 May 2010

Magnolias - Most of the Week

When I posted my CED2010 update last week, my intention was to experiment with a variety of media using my saucer magnolia tree that was in bloom as a "model" And that is the way the week mostly happened.

Monday: I did the first image using watercolour pencils but didn't add any water until the second scanned image.

Tuesday: This version was made using my fat pastels.

Wednesday: A pen zen doodle version...

Thursday: Since joining CED2010, I have started to follow some amazingly talented artists. One is Hybrid J who does amazing pen and ink dot drawings of mischievous starfish (among other things). I was thinking of her style when I tried this one.

Friday: In creating my FAKE journal in April, I did most of the entries using some cheap watercolours, so this version was done using those. I wish I could draw flowing lines better freehand! (Note-to-self: Practice would help!)

Saturday: A zen blossom...

Saturday my world turned unexpectedly upsidedown. I got a morning phone call that my sister had died at 5am in Saskatoon (about 2000 miles away in the middle of the Canadian Prairies). She has been in the hospital for @10 months because of complications of diabetes (Type 1) and we always knew this might happen as she was so frail. But it was a shock because only a few days before she had been very cheerful and chatty on the phone. She was only 50. After telling my Dad he and I hopped on a plane and my magnolia theme ended. I didn't take my CED 2010 (Book 2) with me but just took some pens and a small sketch pad. So this and Sunday's little creations were done on that. I wasn't feeling terribly creative after that call but I did finish up the week.


Hope your week ended better than mine. I want eventually to get caught up looking at all you your great work but it might take me awhile...

01 May 2010

FAKE Journal - Last Entries

This is a rushed posting of my last few days of my FAKE journal. I was going to write about the experience but it will have to wait. I had bad news today and await a ride to the airport as I type. While waiting I decided to upload the last few days of my writer's journal.

Day 28:

Day 29:

Day 30:

I will write later about this most interesting experience - once I return home after two trips. And I look forward to seeing everyone else's last entries and commentaries.