... exploring in my creativity further in 2017

30 January 2011

Sunday Sketching - Happy Anniversary Sophia!

It's been one year now that Sophia has been hosting Sunday Sketches at Blue Chair Diary! Congratulations Sophia!! I just looked back and the first time I participated was 21March2010. That sketch seems like so long ago!!

My simple sketch seems fitting for your anniversary:

Sophia, yours is my favourite weekly challenge! You have attracted a wonderful group of loving and supportive artists and I always enjoy and look forward to our weekly visits. I have been thinking about its structure a lot as Kristin and I are busy concocting something fun to complement your challenge. (Stay tuned to find out what you've inspired! Details soon!!) IMHO (in my humble opinion), your challenge doesn't need to change at all! All the components work very well!! 

Has it inspired me? Yes! Every week I participate I create something I otherwise wouldn't have. It helped me through the Sketchbook Project as I could work on my efforts for it and be accountable here. The weekly Mr. Linky check-ins are fabulous for ensuring I actually accomplish something!

Has it touched me? Yes! It has introduced me to people I would otherwise never have "met" and I feel like a small part of their lives as they are of mine. I'd never have expected that this sense of community could be created in the blogosphere and it has, especially here. Very enlightening and very touching.

So thank you again for your wonderful Sunday Sketching challenge!! You are the best, Sophia!

(Below are the two simple pencil sketches I worked on today. The bottom was first but the top one was the one that called to be painted and presented! Maybe I'll colour the other later... now must go to grocery store, get ingredients and make chili!)

I look forward to visiting with you all a bit later!

26 January 2011

A Zentangle Challenge!

Zen Doodling was a technique I discovered last year during CED2010 and I played with it frequently. I wasn't making them quite the way that I now understand that zentangles are supposed to be done but I sure found the doodling to be fun, very relaxing and very zen. I have since discovered a few blogs specifically about zentangles: I am the Diva CZT, BLOG Zentangle, Open Seed Arts and the great index of zentangle ideas Tanglepatterns.com. Plus Eden of Draw, Doodle and Decorate Blog is another great source of colourful pattern ideas.  

I am the Diva CZT has started up a weekly challenge based on a specific pattern. This week the pattern is IXORUS (yes these patterns have names!) and this is what it inspired from me:

If you like playing with zentangles/zen doodling you might want to try this weekly challenge out! 

I couldn't decide which direction I liked best so I'm spinning it to see the other perspectives. Silly and fun!

And there are lots of participants to visit and see how this pattern  inspired them!

23 January 2011

After one late night too many of Porky's dueling banjo....

Farmer Brown said "Enough is enough"!!

Painted Sketch

Initial Pencil Sketch

Kristin recently introduced us to the Dueling Banjo Pigs blog (amazing illustrations - funny, witty and way better than my meager attempt) and since then thoughts of a pig playing the banjo has been invading my brain. (Bizarre) And this is what came to mind. A bit macabre. Am I sick or what?? 

I'm off to see what everyone has done for this week's Sunday Sketching with Sophia at Blue Chair Diary! Have a great day!

22 January 2011

THANK YOU! I am so flattered and appreciative!

This week two wonderful artists and bloggers, JA of Providential Egg and Kristin Dudish, my soon-to be partner in crime creativity (stay tuned - what we're planning will be fun!), presented me with the 

I was SO surprised!! Thank you both very much!! I have seen this meme circulate but I didn't expect it to find it's way here! Wow! 

As I understand it, everything is optional. I can tell you 7 things about myself and then pass the award on to 7 (or 15??) other people and even on that I'm free to do what I choose (as are you). This is great as....

  • The first thing about me is that I hate receiving chainmail. I cringe. I don't even open an email if it hints of that. I often feel bad when friends send me such a thing as I SO wish they hadn't.  I'm feeling a bit hypocritical at the moment (something I  also strongly dislike in myself) as blog awards seem to have that feel about them. BUT because of the totally optional aspect of this (and as they say, because flattery will get you everywhere, haha) I will thankfully accept it and pass it on with the understanding it can be easily ignored by the recipients or accepted and passed on as they choose. 
  • Speaking of STYLE, while I usually dress in suits I have often been told that I am very stylish and I love adding some colour to my attire if only by wearing bright accessories and fun socks with pantsuits. 
  • I am forever thankful video phones never caught on. "Cause sometimes I am not the least bit stylish. When I work online before going into the office, I am in my pjs with unbrushed hair. When I make phone calls I am so grateful those predicted ubiquitous videophones don't exist and that videochat is totally optional!
  • I often get inspiration in the oddest ways. No doubt all of you do? After receiving JA's comment and award and thinking about the word STYLE, another girl with a funny hat called to be created! (Maybe I should rename them "stylish girls"? She thinks she is!)
  • I am easily amused by little things. Picking up pretty rocks or shells, snorkelling and seeing fish - they don't need to be terribly exotic but if so that is a plus, just seeing some is wonderful!
  • I love the Moon! We have a very special relationship. He talks to me and I try to include him in my little creations whenever appropriate. Sometimes I search etsy and ebay on "moon" just to see how he inspires other people.
  • I would rather talk about you than me. I (obviously) can do it once I start but it is a challenge. I sit here pondering what else to say. I feel like Shrek sometimes - like I'm an onion. (I absolutely love that line!) There are layers to my personality that aren't always initially evident. It's not that I try to hide them as much as there is often no reason to talk about them unless someone is really interested. I discover new layers in myself all the time. And I wonder.... are we ALL onions???
Oh and one last thing that some of you may have actually been wondering about. Why does she not follow me when I follow her?? I do but I use iGoogle to follow everything that interests me. I have many pages on different topics of interest. All of you who follow me are on one page and I try to keep track of what you are up to. I'm not always successful and I don't always comments but I am watching.... (lol - that sounds creepy but it's virtually the same as following).

So who to award??? Argh! So tough!! And I have seen so many of you presented with this recently that it seems excessive to nominate you again, but....

Sophia at Blue Chair Diary hosts the very fun Sunday Sketches challenge. I really enjoy this sketching group. It is very low-key, very supportive with a real sense of community. A fabulous group with a wonderful host(ess)! I really want to nominate all the participants there too!

Priti Lisa is one heck of a charming, talented artist and persuasive arm-twister! (Yes Lisa this is coming around to you again. I know it has before but I couldn't resist.) Without Lisa, I would never have started the Sketchbook Project and be part of the big tour! Thanks Lisa!

So thinking of how Kristin approached this, who in the blogosphere might you not have met? (I have duelling banjo pigs invading my brain, thanks to her.)

Veronika has two amazing sites and a fabulous style. Notes to Self (I love that name - I am always either saying that or doing it - e.g. Note to Self:  Remember to check the pocket of the seat in front of me on the airplane before disembarking. You don't want to lose another book!) and Secret Fashion Diary starring the most extraordinary fashion model. Very catty! ;)

Peggy Stermer-Cox does amazing abstract pieces as well as fascinating blind sketches and studies. I sure wish I had her discipline, talent and eye for seeing pieces and putting them together in unusual ways. (So Peggy - you can ignore this as I know you don't like/want blog awards but I just wanted people who hadn't seen your work to do so.)

I'm really enamoured with Donna, the Happy Painter's work. I came across it during the SBP and have been quietly dropping by since! A fun combination of quotes and painting. Seeing her work makes me want to play in my art journal more.

M.H. Dunaway's art intrigues me. Bold. Introspective. And when I first visited, the Moon was prominent in  the art a lot!

Is that 6 or 7? Does one artist with 2 sites count as 1 or 2? Well since it is up to me, I will leave it at that. I'm sure you've had enough of my ramblings already. Please be sure to visit JA and her delightful Egg and Kristin Dudish if you haven't already as well as these awardees!!

Now to try to figure out which month is my favourite for Inspiration Avenue's weekly challenge. A tough one!

16 January 2011

Sunday Sketching - The Magical Scarf

I find it bizarre how one word can influence so many sketches! SCARF. Not quite the word you'd think would be inspirational but that it has beenMr Toast's theme for this week's Creative Tuesday continues to influence my sketches. So for Blue Chair Diary's Sunday Sketches with Sophia, I have another crittter, this time with a magical scarf that is taking him to his heart's desire!

Kristin and I have an idea and we are hoping you would like to play too. Stay tuned! But until we work out the details and make a big announcement, I have a question for you:

Who loves to play with paint? Are you? As much as you'd like?

Will drop by to see your Sunday Sketches soon! Have a great week!

15 January 2011

Today is My Day and Inspiration

Today is my day in the Diary Project 2011!

And the day I am starting a new painting.

Inspiration Avenue's Weekly Theme is "What Inspires You?" and I have decided this very artistic (haha) photo of my blank canvas is my entry.

It does represent Inspiration to me (or sometimes the lack thereof). It is totally open to interpretation and can become anything. It can be a landscape, a portrait, an abstract. It can be formed using many different media or combinations of mixed-media. It can be a masterpiece or it can be a mess. Which of those it becomes may relate more to skill but how it touches the viewer has more to do with inspiration!

For me inspiration often comes from a word, a quote, a phrase or a prompt - which is why Inspiration Avenue's weekly challenges are so great! Everyone takes the inspiration and comes up with such vastly different interpretations! Other times an image does it. But most often during my experience making 365 creations in/for CED2010 just putting pencil or pen to paper led to the inspiration for a new creation. Often much to my surprise late at night or on brain-dead types of days!

I still don't know what will provide the inspiration for this painting. I think it will be certain colours that I know I want in it. From there, who knows!!

Off to find the colours and make the most of "my day"! I hope inspiration finds us all!

(Oh! P.S. Inspiration struck! In the shower! (Water is AMAZING for providing insights and inspiration!) I know what I will do now!)

(P.P.S. I'm thinking about starting a "challenge" - 52 paintings in 52 weeks. Anyone interested?)

14 January 2011

2011 Art Journal Page 2 "Flowers of Propulsion"

I have my Word of the Year. PROPEL.  This led me to think about what is it that I can do to propel forward. And how I could use my art journal to play with these thoughts. 

This is what I came up with - my "flowers of propulsion".

All the flowers are collaged images of propellers and my writing encircles them. I'm not sure if this is the right way to do an art journal page. Or even if there is a right way. But I am hoping it will be a good way to visually think through ideas and questions. 

Do you journal? Art journal? What works best for you? Is writing important?

Trying to get the rhythm of this.... so far it's fun and intriguing!

13 January 2011

Stanley the Snake Wanted to Catch Snowflakes...

so he put on his new sweater scarf and ventured outside... for the first time in winter.

And he caught one!! Playing in the snow can be such fun!!

I find myself still oddly inspired by Mr. Toast's bi-weekly theme of "scarf". Plus Stanley is pretty whimsical so he is my submission for Dan Haase's Whimsical Wednesdays.

Hope you're having a great week!

09 January 2011

George the Giraffe wasn't so sure about skating after all...

My challenging "I'm sorry I forgot you..." themed Sketchbook Project is finally finished and mailed off to the Art House Co-op in Brooklyn! Yay!! So my Sunday Sketching has lost its forced focus. What to do now? I'm free! (And lost and confused! lol)

Actually, I was inspired by a lot of different challenges this week. First I saw Inspiration Avenue's Weekly Challenge theme of "Colour" (I know the spelling has changed and Americans don't like U(s) but like many Canadians, I do. So while I am usually a meticulous speller, some of my words still deliberately have U's in them).  I immediately thought PURPLE.  My Word of the Year is PROPEL and those two words seem to be meant to go together for me!  

Next I read Mr. Toast bi-weekly theme of "scarf".  Hmm purple scarf... And I always love Sophia's Sunday Sketching, CED2011 and enjoy Dan's Web of Whimsy. This whimsical image of a giraffe attempting to skate started to creep into my mind...

And became much clearer with the addition of the colour PURPLE!! (Dang, that photocopier makes purple look like deep blue!)

This is my submission to all of these incredibly inspiring websites and challenges!! 

One of the things I want to do more of in 2011 is art journaling (and painting - on canvases vs on paper). I am working on an art journal page to help me brainstorm ideas of things that might help propel me forward OR help me to propel others forward. Participating in these challenges is one great way to do that!

I am looking forward to seeing what you have created for one or other of these! If you haven't visited the others, please do. There are great people with wonderfully creative ideas and fabulous art in each of them!

What else do you enjoy participating in?

I look forward to seeing what you've been up to creatively!!

04 January 2011

New Year, New Word

2011 - New Year, New Word

A few years ago I came across the concept of the "Word of the Year" instead of doing the usual New Year's Resolutions. I liked that idea. A theme for the year or, for some, an intention. Last year I chose CREATE and had my most creative year ever. If you took the average of all my previous years' efforts as a norm and then took last year, it is as if I lived a millennium in 2010 I did so many creations!

So after such a great word, what next? I really liked EMERGE but while I do need, and want, to overcome my tendency to hibernate, it wasn't quite right. I loved EXPLORE but it was too passive, not action or accomplishment oriented enough. EXPERIMENT enticed me. EXECUTE was good - very results oriented but not quite right. Together I liked them even more - like a motto - the four Es:

But they weren't the word for this new year. Then I was reading something and the word PROPEL leapt out at me and I knew that was it. PROPEL.  Make arrive at a certain situation or result. Stir to action. Motivate. Move forward.

I haven't stopped CREATing though and I knew the theme for Mr. Toast's Creative Tuesdays was "New Year", so I got out my pencil, paints and new art journal and tried to put an image to my word and motto and it make it come more alive!

It will be a great year!

03 January 2011

The Final Sketchbook Project Pages


Inside Cover/Title Page

Overflowing tub

Fashion Faux Pas
(Thanks Yves)

Burning Glue Gun
(Yes I did this to myself trying to make a wine cork wreath. Could not believe how much it hurt! I highly recommend Second Skin for any burns you might get. Amazingly effective!)

Wilted, Unwatered Plant

 and the unfortunate way my year ended...
(still works (poorly) except for the a, s, and d keys but a USB keyboard solves that temporarily. It was time for a new computer anyways but I hate that my forgetfulness and carelessness has forced the issue. Sigh.) 

You can see a slideshow of the full sketchbook, in order (rather than the order I did and posted the pages) on Flickr here.

And that is it!! I am now done!
To those of you who are still working on it, my thoughts are with you!!

02 January 2011

Sunday Sketching 02Jan2011 SBP Cover and More Pages

The deadline approaches. Argh!!

I have been sketching like a mad woman trying to get it all finished!!  I am making progress and I "think" I might have enough ideas to complete it. Here is what I've done today and in the past few days (as always double-clicking makes the image clearer):

The Cover
(the words on the boat say "Sailing on a Sea of Forgotten Dreams" and the others say "People", "Deeds" and "Things".

Accidental Biology Experiment

Forgotten Smoke Detector Battery

Forgotten Protection
(Thanks Scott for this idea)

I wanted to keep most of the sketchbook slightly humorous if possible but this one I wanted to do even though it is so very sad and horrid and not in the least bit funny.

Tire Iron
(Thanks Dad)

(Thanks Katie. And yes, that lawn chair is frozen into my pool.)

(I'm embarrassed at the number of times I've bought the same book!)

(Still some more pages in the middle to go yet though! I didn't work in a very regular order.)
Today I am continuing to work on this in between taking down the tree and putting away my extensive decorations and checking on your Sunday Sketches. Hopefully by next Sunday, my sketches will be of something other than "I'm sorry I forgot you"!

01 January 2011

Successful Completion of Creative Every Day in 2010!!

Phew!!! I made it! 

For 2010, I choose the word "CREATE" for my Word of the Year and then shortly thereafter I came across Leah's Creative Every Day Challenge. I thought - "what a great way to ensure I follow through on my desire to create" and I promptly joined. I have a tendency to take things a bit too literally and so I took a blank book I had and started to create something in it every day. The first few months I stuck closely to the themes and then when they no longer remained inspirational, I switched to just creating something. 

I filled four books and some of a fifth. I did an image for every single day of the year in 2010. There were days I did 2 and days I did none but those were relatively few. Travelling was the major challenge (and I do travel so I experienced that first hand) and so were holidays. Some nights I was up much later than I wanted trying to finish a creation! 

I experimented. I tried pens, zen doodles, coloured pencils, watercolour pencils and crayons, a few kind of pastels, several kinds of paint, pencil and charcoal.

I surprised myself with the ideas I came up with and with what I created!!

Here are the last few:


Tuesday: Inspired by my Nutcracker collection "Herr Drosselmeyer"...




I never thought I'd complete the full year. But the more I did, the more I felt I had to continue and finish 2010. Will I do the same in 2011? Not the same, no.

I joined CED2011 but I won't have books of daily creations and I might not do things daily. I discovered I wanted to work on bigger projects and these little ones left no time in my already busy schedule for that. And the big projects can't be completed in a day. But I also found that I like creating and I want to continue and expand on it.

Most of all I discovered wonderful artists in the blogosphere and made new friends. What an amazing community you are!! The news is filled with negativity but I am in awe of all the warmth and positive forces that exist in this creative group. Thank you all for your comments and encouragement.

I look forward to seeing what you will all create in 2011!!!

P.S. I will write about my new Word of the Year for 2011 soon but I am focusing on finishing up the remaining SBP pages for the Sketchbook Project - due soon!

P.P.S. Do you choose a Word of the Year?

P.P.P.S. HAPPY NEW YEAR to you!!! May it be a happy, healthy, prosperous and creative 2011 for you!!!