Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Act of Creating is the True Gift

Thoughts:  I am finding that I am called more and more to create with paint and paper.  I feel more in tune with myself when I'm at my art table. I feel free of the restraints of the world when sitting at the cluttered little table surrounded by bits of paper and glue. I truly believe that whatever creative talents I have are a gift from God. The gift is how I feel when I'm creating. I'm content. The stress of the day slides away and I am at peace. The finished piece is secondary to the calmness and serenity the act of creating gives to me. That is the true gift from God.  

The Art: I used a heavy coat of thick gesso to create some texture. I used a pallet knife to make swirls in the thick gesso. I started by trying to drip orange paint but it was too thick so I used a brush and a spray bottle. I was working towards getting puddles of color in the ridges but was not too successful. I turned the page sideways to get a few green drips and used a paint brush for the blue. I wiped most of the blue off with a baby wipe. The birds are a Stencil Girl stencil that I traced and cut out in different pieces of background paper. I went back and stenciled on the legs. The words have no hidden meaning....they are just the words that came to mind when I looked at the piece.  I'm still not sure if I really like this piece. The background is "so-so."  I can tell you that when I finished this page I was feeling much better than when I started it, so for me, it is a true success.  How does creating make you feel?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mixed Media Madness

The Summer of Color Challenge  is coming to an end. This is the last week of the challenge. I really enjoy this challenge and I'd like to thank Kristin Van Valkenburgh for hosting the challenge once again.  
I was out of town last week so I am a little behind in my challenges. I combined the SOC and my Journal 52 (Technology was the theme).

I used acrylic paint and Silks for this page. I'm not sure I love the Silks because they ran when I used matte medium on top of them. The sun burst was made with a Tim Holtz stencil. The dots were made with a rubber stamp I found in my drawer.  My art drawers are always fun because they are like a treasure chest.  I forget I have something so when I find it, I feel like I've gotten something new.

I've heard a lot of pros and cons about the internet. I would just like to say that I've made many new friends in the last three years.  This page represents where the members of one group of friends live.  We share art and our lives with each other through the internet. We also trade mail art. I've received a lot of international mail in the last three years.  I feel like I have 20 plus pen pals. These friends have taught me a lot and have helped me gain confidence in my artwork.  I love the ladies of Mixed Media Madness. This page is for you. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


I started this page because the challenge this week at Journal 52 is Nostalgia.  I mulled several ideas over in my head and then I saw this picture in an old Child Craft Encyclopedia.  It reminded me of my one and only train trip.  My grandmother wanted me to experience traveling by train before they were phased out in the area where we lived. We traveled from Memphis to New Orleans to Houston.  I wish I could do it again.

I am really missing my grandmother right now.  I think part of that might be because I'm watching my friend, Mo, spend so much time with her grandson.  Logan will have so many wonderful memories of his grandmother because she spends so many quality hours with him.  I would not give all the money in the world for the many, many hours I spend with my grandmother.  This one's for you, Mamaw New Orleans.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Guest Artist... Wee Man

If you've been reading my blog you know that I've made friends who a wonderful lady and her grandson who live in Scotland.

The Wee Man and Mo, his grandmother, really liked my journal page using a Word Search.  I decided that I would make Wee Man one on his favorite subject... Transportation.. especially Trains and Buses.  

You see the results on the left.  He found those so fast I made the next one longer.  I also figured out how to make the next one shaped like a train.  

I am having so much fun sending things to Wee Man and his grandmother.  I have a feeling he is smarter than I am and I'm going to run out of words for the searches soon.

Again, I'm amazed that I'm making friends with people who lives across the ocean through art and word puzzles.  I am also very careful to send Wee Man's email to his grandmother because I want him to be safe. Children can meet dangerous people on the internet and so we must be very careful.  He is too young for an adult to contact directly. His grandmother is very good at keeping him safe. He is very lucky to have such a great grandmother.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Mixed Media Word Search

This page is doing double duty.  The challenge last week for The Documented Life Project was a puzzle and the Summer of Color challenge for this week is red, blue and bit of light blue. I think this covers all my bases.  This page brought several things to mind for me. 

The first being that when I taught school in the dark ages (ie before the Personal Computer was invented) I would not have been able to make this puzzle for my students without hours of work. I made this with the puzzle maker at A to Z Teacher Stuff in about 10 minutes. 

Second, it reminded me that if I was in school today, I would probably be diagnosed with a slight learning disability. I have comprehension issues and I can't remember more than 3 numbers in a row.  Sometimes remembering 3 is difficult for me.  As an adult I went to Occupational Therapy for a while and Word Search was one on the things I was told to use to improve my memory skills. I do pretty well with the Word Search puzzles.  If you want to torture me, give me a number search puzzle.  Coming from a teaching background, I can see where using Word Search would be a great way to reinforce vocabulary and spelling skills.

Third, I didn't teach for long. I was a good teacher but had no patience for discipline. I'd still be teaching today if I could have found someone to take care of behavior issues while I made learning fun. 

I'm here to tell you, teacher don't get enough credit for what they do on a daily basis.  A good teacher is worth more than gold.  Do you have a teacher that comes to mind, when I ask, "Who was your favorite teacher?"  I have a few: Sister Mary Gabriele, Mrs Barrasso, Dr. Woodard and Dr. Stedman come to mind for me.  What did all these teachers had is common? They all cared about us and wanted us to succeed. They made learning interesting. They all presented the material in more than one way.  I've been out of school for over 30 years and I can still name those four teachers.

* When I went to the Summer of Color page to copy the url I realized that once again, my comprehension is not up to par.  I thought the challenge was red and blue... it was red and royal blue.  Sigh... I used denim blue.  As you can see, I still have a little trouble on occasion.  This is why I did not become a brain surgeon... can't have an ooops in brain surgery.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Unexpected Gift and Long Distance Love

This piece was inspired by the orange envelope that was included in my birthday gift from my friend, Mo and her grandson, Logan.  We call him the Wee Man.  I love that name. It sounds so Scottish.. which is exactly what he is.  A Wee Scottish Man.

This page was done with all recycled and left pieces of paper. The half smile was on a Amazon gift envelope.  The houses are Dylusion stamps that were my actual gift of Wee Man and Mo.  This page is busier than some of my work.  I really like that about it.  It conveys my excitement about my totally unexpected gift from my Scottish friends.

I was having a very hard day when I found this package on my porch. It was a complete surprise and it brought tears to my eyes. This unexpected gift comforted me more than I can ever say.  Our world is filled with wonderful caring people.  I know many people say that the internet is keeping people from interacting with others. That may be true in many cases.  I just know that I met a lady from Scotland through an art blog and twice now, she has come to my aid when I was having a hard time. The first time she talked to me online in the middle of the night when I was missing my mom and now she and her wee man cheer me with a very unexpected birthday gift. Maybe I'm the exception but I'm finding very personal relationships online.

Link to: Twinkle Twaddle , Madarin Orange Monday