I mailed out the ‘holiday’ postcard I made as part of a mail art swap for a little online Facebook community of artists that I am a part of. I hope it arrives safely… and that the one coming to me also gets here alright. And since there is always a flip side to every postcard, this is the back side: May this holiday season bring you much comfort and joy. Adriane xo
I’ve been circling my art supply laden dining room table like a dog on a walk, looking for the right spot to relieve himself. It’s a strange analogy but certainly reflective of how I feel lately. I’ve been slow in getting going, rooting around in my imagining, sniffing out the root of that creative kernel… that ah-ha moment when you hit pay dirt… there it is! So fleeting, though… if it’s not immediately captured, it shifts in the sand and requires more digging, more sniffing.
I’ve been so busy lately… with work… with a whole new project that I brought forth into the world by virtue of my indignation at being shut down so completely that I was made mute. I’m not good with mute. To summarily remove my ability to express myself brings about a sort of rage, an all-consuming force that propels me into motion. So out of chaos was borne cohesion… and a re-ignited community of phenomenal beings.
I am resentful of the days moving too fast, though too slowly as well. I live for the freedom of the weekends, but even those seem to be overladen with responsibilities that I can barely scratch off the top of my to-do list without adding them again to the bottom. I used to be so organized… what happened? I had this whole chore thing down to a science. Somewhere along the way I lost my oomph. Now I just sit and stare at the list and short circuit, and wonder how I will get all of that done and still have time to do what I really want to, which inevitably involves the creative process in some way. But when I sit down to create, I am unable to dig deep enough into the silence of myself to pull anything out. Frustration ensues… they say that sometimes the act of lovemaking is enough, even without coitus. Perhaps I need to apply this same concept to my creative efforts. Just showing up is sometimes enough.
***update: I’ve uploaded the finished not-so-white piece-done!***
My pink and black postcard is ready to go out. I started out with a sketch of a Venetian Carnivale masquerader and worked a pink background on watercolor board with US ArtQuest’s watercolor palettes. They’re glittery and fun and when I need to take myself a bit more lightly, I pull them out. I layered on several coats of the stuff through a paper doily. I love the resulting texture. Then I transferred my sketch onto the board with graphite paper and added dark paint and texture on my masked man as well. I’m grateful that I only have one (as opposed to nine) to do.
I’ve been thinking on a lot of things lately. I picked up Doreen Virtue’s Divine Magic (Hay House Classics) last week, and have been reading it since mid-week. Interesting stuff, this… not new, per se, but neatly, concisely packaged, along with a “meditation” CD. It’s inspiring, in the least… whatever it takes these days.
Everything about my professional life, lately, seems to be ill-fitting, except perhaps the regular paycheck. I’ve spent most of my adult life in the corporate world, working as what can be equated to a servant position… that of secretary, though nowadays the term administrative assistant is by far a more politically correct designation. And as with all positions of servitude, the degree of palatability is entirely dependent upon the person you serve, and to a lesser extent the nastiness of the other wenches in your household, so to speak. Some days they behave, other days not so much.During a rather philosophical discussion with one of my co-workers, I was advised to “rise above it” (as opposed to wallowing in the slop of the pig sty). Some days this is easier to accomplish than others. I truly feel that my calling is not amongst these ranks, though it does provide a steady and dependable flow of income. I’ve most always picked the easier route in my life, choosing not to rock the boat even though every ounce of me was screaming that I should tip it over. Other times, when I’ve done just that, after the dust settled and the other passengers in the boat smoothed out their disheveled hair, I always found that I was in a better place (at least on a soul level).
But it’s always good to have a plan…I’ve almost completed my Kaizen-Muse coaching program and can now officially be called a “Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach.” As with any new clothes… shoes… titles… this one will take a while to feel comfortable in, but I’m sure I’ll adapt. That… and I’m just about convinced that I’ll be winning not one, but TWO very big lottery draws… I’ll keep you posted… maybe even throw a party.
Here is one of the Harvest color postcards in its final form. They are all a little bit different in color and hue, but substantively similar. I am glad that this postcard project is coming to a close because while I am pretty good at keeping focusing on ONE item, when I need to do several of the same thing, not so much. I attribute it to a sort of carpal tunnel of the creative spirit… the repetition makes me feel constricted, and it really is a painful process for me. I did, however, suggest extending the postcard exchange project into 2008, with one slight change… instead of creating multiples of one postcard for a whole group of people, we will now be only making one each, and will be alternating to whom/from whom the cards will be routed on a monthly basis, depending upon each month’s participants. That will take some of the pressure off and make the whole process a bit more enjoyable, I hope, for all concerned.
I conducted my second full coaching session with my practice client (see Lynda’s whimsical writings here), who is actually a co-trainee in my class. The coaching sessions are in-earnest, though, and I was really excited to see that we’d made some significant progress, though in the big scheme of things, I imagine Lynda is most likely the easiest client that I’ll ever work with, since she’s already very self-aware, quite motivated, and has a pretty good idea of where she wants to go. How couldn’t she? She’s been coached by Jill! 😀
As part of our session follow-up, I wanted to integrate our recap into a more visual format, so I had fun sketching this drawing which I intend to incorporate into a larger “picture map.” I’ll be doing that as soon as I’m done gluing down all of the elements of my Harvest postcards, because I have no room to work. That’s one way to ensure that I move along with my projects, eh?
Another year has flown by. They appear to go by more quickly these days. An illusionist’s trick, it seems, since the days edge along, sometimes even creep so slowly that I feel I can’t bear another minute of it, and yet the year has gone and here I am, again looking back, from this vantage point, at the dizzying speed at which it elapsed.
To usher me out in grand style, the year has thoughtfully given me something to carry with me into the new year… a head cold. I was beginning to feel it’s grip on my on Friday morning at the office, and was relieved that they let us out earlier so that I could go home and rest up. I’ve been drinking lots of fluids and also a concoction of Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) drops stirred into orange juice… and garlic toast and hot herbal teas with the juice of a whole lemon and a big dollop of honey mixed in. I’m happy to announce that I’m on an upswing. And… Puffs brand tissues scented with Vicks mentholatum is da bomb!
Christmas was once again generous. Gabriel got a Guitar Hero 3 game from the Grands, while Steve gave me a lovely (oh how I coveted this necklace!) Tiffany lapis lazuli “bean” necklace. I’m embarrassed to admit that it is appropriately named a “choker” as it fits around my neck but only just, so I’ll either need to go on a diet and lose some of my neck’s girth, or have an extension added… more likely the latter. Steve went out on a limb and purchased a couple of bottles of scent for me… something that he hasn’t done… maybe ever? As most women, I am rather particular about perfumes, and since I don’t wear one daily, it’s pretty hard to figure out what my favorite brand is (assuming you are paying attention… and since this is not something Steve normally pays attention to, I was warmed by the effort made). Gabriel also got a very cool BMX bicycle, and many other goodies. Steve got a pair of new eyes, having had a lasik procedure done on the 21st, but had a few things under the tree to open as well… a nice set of headphones for this iPhone and/or iPod, and an iTunes gift card.
We were able to partake of our customary family holiday dinner together this year. Steve’s parents, brother Brian and sister-in-law Sheri joined us for our usual roast beast (well, TURkey, if I must be specific), with all the fixin’s. I was baking up a storm all the way to Christmas Day morning, which delayed putting the bird into the oven and hence, dinner. I was disappointed in how my baked goods turned out, for the most part, except for the Chewy Bars, which is a Family Recipe and was delish. The breads were either over baked (and hence, DRY) or underbaked (and hence, MOIST but not in a good way). I’ll have to try these again; this oven is difficult to guage as the heat fluctuates a fair a mount, and I’m guessing that even the location of the rack greatly affects the outcome. Love gas ovens, but they certainly are trickier than the electric kind.
Feeling better this afternoon, after a warm shower which cleared my head, I began work on my (overdue) “harvest colors” postcards for the color postcard swap that I have been hosting for the last year. I’ve had my challenges with staying on the monthly plan, but I still end up sending them out, albeit tardy. Not everyone has kept to the program, though, as several people have dropped off altogether and not sent their cards at all… which I’m sure vexes those who are tenacious and punctual. In any case, above is my batch of harvest colors in the making.
I wonder what good and wonderful things this next year will hold? I’ve long ago given up on “new year’s resolutions” but today I think I’ll send out some intentions into the universe, and see what transpires:
- I wish to do my best, at all times, regardless of the endeavor, taking into account that my best will change from day-to-day
- Take small steps to better every moment that I walk upon this earth
- Be gentle, kind and loving with myself and others
- Do little things each day that make my soul sing
- Trust that all will work out exactly as it was meant to, and surrender the outcome
Happy New Year, One And All!
Since I forgot all about this indigo-orange card, and it was supposed to have been mailed out at the end of last month/beginning of this one, I’ll start off with this one instead of finishing up the other two. So… I was thinking “spooky” and found a vintage engraving of a toad pulling a pumpkin carriage. I resketched it, changing the image a bit, and sketched in a huge pumpkin instead of the toad. I imported it into Photoshop and changed the black to indigo… then I’ll print it out and transfer them onto an orange watercolor board base.
Well, here it is… acrylic washes, leaves, squarish “squiggles” and dots masked out with frisket, universal wash over entire piece, frisket removed, leaves and squiggles outlined with leafing glue and gilding added.
I’ve finally decided that I’m not going to kill myself making these cards, and that quick and relatively easy doesn’t mean sub-standard.
I had this idea, see… it was actually from an ad in a magazine for furniture. The outline of a sofa was watercolored in these subtle colors, and over the top someone had calligraphied, in the shape of the cushions, what the sofa represented for them. Deciding that I wasn’t going to completely plagiarize the whole concept, I drew my own version of the sofa, cut it into a stencil, and wrote my own poem:
Holder of coins and crumbs
my HEART has been won and LOST,
stolen and BROKEN
Witness to Christmas Eves and
sleep overs ~ children rocked,
BABES nursed in its soft confines
NOT merely cushions
AND springs TO support
bone, sinew and SKIN
but a cradle for my SOUL
Not sure about the colors, though… royal… hmmm… I used my cat’s eye pigment ink pads to tamp on the colors and then wrote the text of the poem onto the sofa with a dip pen and Aladine inks. The background was painted with US ArtQuest’s Stargazers watercolor palette. Then I put little glitter dots all around the edge. Me and glitter… ha! I’m not sure I like the glitter… sooo not me. Still debating on this one… any comments?
Green & Copper Postcard
Polaroid transfer onto watercolor paper
Hand-tinted with pastels
I’ve been working on my color-themed postcards. I have finished the Polaroid transfers, but still have to hand-tint a little over half of them. I picked up these new pan pastels and love how they apply. I was going for suble coloring and they work famously. I shot this photograph at the cemetary on Mount Royal** in Montreal many years ago. They have fabulous old monuments that date back to the first French settlers.
** It seems I overstated the antiquity of the Mount Royal Cemetary but several centuries… shows how much attention I was paying during history class…