As if all the art and journaling projects I have going on aren’t enough, I started doing a word-a-day journal prompt. I use a random number generator to generate a number between 1 and 365, and whatever number comes up is the number of the word I choose from the one-word-art-journal prompts list. I’ve gotten a wide range of words, including vintage, dragon, miracle, river, etc. Some days the word inspires a written journal entry; other days the word inspires art. Sunday’s word was “protect,” and I’ve spent the last few days working on the art journal spread it inspired. I’m trying to use more layers and get a little freer with my art. I am always attracted to bright, multi-layered pages, but I tend to want to control my backgrounds too much and have trouble letting them get wild and interesting. Once I’ve spent time laying down a layer, I hesitate to cover it up. But I’d say this one achieved “wild.”
I’m doing The Documented Life Project in a small three-ring binder with loose 8×5 inch pages that I add to as I go. I’ve been playing with small art journal pages that I can complete in just a day or two, trying to get in more regular practice. It’s been a good opportunity to experiment with some different styles and different media, without the pressure to produce a “presentable” finished product.
While working on a collage project a week or so ago, I found some quotes that I liked in O Magazine, including this one by Cynthia Heimel:
When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap.
That quote inspired me to draw today’s jester. It’s a particularly appropriate quote for me because, while in theory I agree with the advice, I’m terrified of following it. It’s that fear of vulnerability and fear of looking foolish that I talked about in my Freedom From Fear post. So I wrote the quote on the page in hopes of inspiring myself to step into that gigantic fear and take an occasional leap.
I cheated a bit on this one. January 15’s photo prompt was “In the Air.” I took a photo I had previously taken of Karlie dancing, and had a little fun in Photoshop with my new Wacom pen and tablet. I borrowed the earth and space image from the internet since I don’t anticipate a trip to space any time soon.
One of this week’s photo prompts was titled “In a Bowl.” I haven’t had anything interesting turn up in a bowl lately, so I decided to modify the assignment to “On a Plate,” (though technically I guess these are on a cookie sheet!).
I usually fold up my tent and head upstairs by about 9:00. I read, I talk to Brian on the phone, etc., before going to sleep by 10:30 or 11:00. Shaylie tends to be more of a night owl, and she’s up to all sorts of shenanigans after I go to bed. Often it’s shenanigans of the baking variety, and I will come downstairs at 5:30 a.m. to find freshly baked brownies, cookies, fudge, and even the occasional pie sitting on the counter. It’s always a surprise, and I still can’t get used to the idea of someone baking in what I consider the wee hours of the night.
This morning, when I awoke to freshly baked chocolate chip cookies (with a few rat-like bites taken out with a chocolate-covered fork) I decided this nocturnal bake-fest should be documented in my Capture Your 365 project.
I snagged one of the cookies for my lunch after taking the photos, and, as always, it was delicious! It’s kind of nice having my own bakery elf running around in the night, leaving tasty surprises for me to find in the mooring.
The girls got me a new acrylic art technique book for Christmas, so I’ve been experimenting with some new things, including modeling paste for texture (flowers on the left), adding glazing medium to my paints to make them mix more smoothly, drippy ink, doodle paint pens, etc. The result is last week’s canvas–Groovy Girl.
I’m also trying to do more quick and simple painting in my art journal in response to weekly prompts. This week’s Journal52 prompt was “Make Me Smile,” so I played with water soluble pastels and pencils to make this whimsical little bird.
Capture Your 365: January 14: Yummy
I’m a little behind on my photos, but I’m reminding myself that I don’t HAVE to take one every single day, and I don’t have to do every assignment on the day it is assigned. I like keeping the ideas in the back of my mind and letting the photo opportunity present itself later, or finding the inspiration to make an opportunity happen.
Tuesday’s assignment was “Yummy.” I didn’t take any yummy photos on Tuesday, but I filed the idea away, and tonight when I went to dinner with Kathy I realized I had the perfect occasion to photograph something more meaningful than just “yummy” food.
Kathy and I are creatures of habit when it comes to food. Our friendship began with a play date for our two oldest daughters almost 15 years ago. We enjoyed a lunch of pasta and brownies with ice cream. It was simple, tasty, and something both the girls and the moms enjoyed. So we had it again the next time. And the next. And the next. It became a weekly tradition for many years, and we still try to have pasta and brownies together with our daughters (we now have five between us) whenever we can.
As the girls got older, Kathy and I decided we needed some grown up time occasionally and started going out to dinner, just the two of us. One of the first restaurants we visited together was Aiyara, a delicious Thai restaurant in Temecula. So we had it again the next time. And the next. And the next. We order the same three dishes and the same two glasses of wine every time we go. We keep saying that one day we will branch out and order something different, or even got to a different restaurant, but we just love Aiyara so much.
But yummy doesn’t just mean the deliciousness of the Thai silk salad, yellow curry scallops, pad thai noodles, and Chateau St. Michelle Riesling. More importantly, it’s the comfort and friendship that is associated with those yummy foods. Honestly I could go just about anywhere and eat just about anything with Kathy and it would be yummy, because what’s really yummy, and truly priceless, is our friendship.
Capture Your 365: January 13: An Encouraging Word
Words hold the power to inspire us, encourage us, comfort us, and challenge us. Bring words to your daily photography to capture your mood, your activities, or fill in when you feel uninspired.
If you are following along with Ali Edwards’ One Little Word Challenge, photographing your word in different settings and in different ways can help you stay focused on your word.
After reading today’s challenge, I started flipping through a magazine, hoping I might find my One Little Word–Freedom. Sure enough, there was a full page ad the upcoming movie, Mandela, with the word freedom in it. I photographed the ad, then tweaked it in photoshop to make my word stand out. Then I couldn’t resist adding a quote from the top of the ad, since it encompasses my Freedom from Fear theme.
This is a view of my own hand that I see all day every day. I wanted to capture both hands, but quickly discovered that taking a photo of your own hands, even with a tripod, is tricky stuff. So I settled for just one. I see my hands on the computer keyboard all day at work, and then I come home and place them on my own beloved Apple keyboard. I like to think that at work my customers are in good hands; and as a die-hard “Apple Fan Girl,” I’ve always believed that having an Apple product in hand is a good thing!
Capture Your 365 January 10: Photograph A Doorway
For the last several months, I’ve been including cats in my paintings. Which is strange, because I’m not really a cat person. But they keep appearing in nearly all my recent artwork. Now they are appearing at my door. And all over my yard. It started when some new neighbors moved in next door. I came home from work, and Karlie was giggling hysterically at the back door as a cat tried to push its way into our house. Later that evening, we heard constant meowing, and thought it was the backdoor cat calling to us. Turns out it was a different cat, who had gotten locked in our garage when I came home! In the pre-dawn hours of the next morning, Karlie was awakened by the sounds of copulating cats outside her window! Since then, every time I look outside, I see at least one of three cats in our yard: a brown striped one, an orangey one, and a white one. Recently I discovered that there are at least two of the orangey ones, as they were both lounging in our yard together. And this morning… two brown stripy ones!
Today’s Capture Your 365 photo assignment was to photograph a doorway. This is a photo of the doorway to my backyard, with one of the two brown stripy cats trying to con his way inside. I literally had to close the door in his face to keep him out.
In keeping with my “Freedom” theme, I created a painting that represents one of my primary freedom wishes–freedom from fear. Fear is probably my biggest obstacle–fear of making the wrong choice, fear of loss, fear of lack, fear of change, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of appearing silly, fear of vulnerability, fear of the future, fear of not being good enough, fear of not having enough, fear of not doing enough, fear of not being enough. Fear, Fear, FEAR.
I like the ghostly hint of the butterfly in the top right hand corner, and the blotches of neon pink in the sky (the first blotch was an accident when my brush skimmed the pink paint on my palette on its way to the blue), which seem to hint at freedom and brighter skies.