Catching up….

I’ve been absent for a while and I apologize. I could say it has been a rather crazy time, however, that would mostly be in my head. I have been learning everything I can in regards to mixed media art and avoiding everything else in life that is possible to avoid.

Why?

I just don’t want to look at it right now. Too much of it is sad, worrisome, and in some cases scary. I won’t go into the details, just know, my art endeavors are keeping me sane.

In October I focused on Inktober. In November, I started Christy Sobolewski’s “30 Pages” class videos she has on YouTube. I completed them by Christmas. Here are a few pictures:

page-4-5

The page on the left is my favorite. It is page 4 of Christy’s class.  I love everything about this page and would love to do something like this on a larger page for framing.

page-8

This was fun, page 8, she used collage from a magazine. I chose to use copies of my own artwork for the collage. It shows some progress in my faces.

page-18-19-copy

Page 18, on the left. She is actually a tip-in. So far the best face I’ve done.

page-18-behind-tip-in-19

Just so you can see, she actually is a tip-in, the left side is the view of the page behind her.

These are my Inktober drawings:

When I first started Inktober I had no idea what to draw each day. The first day’s drawing didn’t come out anywhere near what I had hoped. The second day was a bit better but still left me wondering what I would do next. The third day I decided to draw a mandala and before I completed it I knew my theme from then on would be mandalas. I thoroughly love drawing mandalas. In fact, as I work on different class projects, while I’m waiting for things to dry or have some extra time, I work on another mandala. I’m building up quite a stash of them. Most of them are in black and white, a very few I have colored, and even less I’ve used colored card stock or art paper, instead of the white or cream.

I was also working on Willowing.org’s class “Art, Heart, and Healing” by Tam.  Her approach to art is more on the whimsical side. While Christy’s isn’t quite whimsical, her style also isn’t realistic, at least in her art journaling. Both gave me plenty to experiment with.

When I was younger, much younger, as a child and a teen, I received no artistic encouragement, even though there was plenty of talent in my family. It wasn’t until 8th grade, I learned I could actually draw something realistically. That first drawing was of a baby horse, a colt. My art teacher who was my only art teacher from 8th grade until I graduated high school, saw my talent and subtly encouraged me, keeping a few of my best pieces. I was thrilled when he asked to keep them and I gladly agreed. I have no idea to this day how he used them or what he did with them. It still gives me a good feeling to know he wanted them and encouraged me to pursue art as a career.

I didn’t follow his advice. Outside of school, I was too afraid to pick up a pencil and give my skill a test run. Every time I tried, the pencil would be put back down before even a small portion of the drawing developed and not picked up again for months if not years. My inner critic was too loud and hell bent on being a perfectionist. I was also determined to create realistic drawings and frustrated when nothing came out even close or at least perfect enough for my critical eye.

I’m a great deal older now, maybe not wiser, but definitely having experienced enough in life to know there are more important things in life than to be hung up on something not being perfect. Especially, when it means not enjoying something I love to do.

I wanted freedom, emotional freedom, to express myself in my art. I am getting there, but how I got here was a hard and difficult journey. I want to be able to do what I love, so here I am. Doing just that. Imperfections and all.

I started writing this post several weeks ago, set it aside for a while and just today have come back to it to see if I could complete it and post it. I had to update it a bit because I’ve finished much of what I said I was working on and have started new projects.

I started Life Book 2017. I thought I would have problems getting the work done each week, interestingly, instead, I find myself with time to spare and waiting for the next lesson. One of the bonus classes is something I can continually add to. I can use this to help fill in while I’m waiting.

I’ve been working on 21 Secret’s Techniques and Tools class, taking my time as I work through it, so I work one in now and then during my wait.

I also found Documented Life Project online, but with things as they are, I chose not to spend money on the current offering and found 2015’s is free, so I’m following 2015’s prompts for 2017 and aligning the weeks as best I can. I’m still working out whether I’ll do it like a planner or just an Art Journal. It may end up a mixture of both.

As if those three weren’t enough I’ve been looking for other projects to do. I came  across Jennebellie’s Monthly Challenge Group, so I may work those in once in a while. They are an option when I’m feeling the need to fill in gaps of time. She has a list of the challenges all the way back to 2014.

The past few days I’ve been in research mode. I don’t like working in fixed bound books. Also, I’m not crazy about the coil or wired type bound journals or art books because of the holes in the pages even though I can take them apart and work on the pages separately. I love working on loose leaf paper which gives me the flexibility to choose different size as well as different paper type, however, it leaves me with the dilemma of how to store them. If I bind them afterwards into a book, that means either holes in my pages or fixing them to a backing of sorts that can then be bound. I don’t like the idea of either of those.

I started looking into portfolio options. I’m thinking about creating portfolios which would contain my pages for each of my projects. There are different options. I could use cardboard to create the portfolio which would be similar to the elastic bound folders you find in office supplies but it would unfold completely to lay flat when I want to flip through my pages. Another option would be to make a box. The book boxes could be an option where I make different sizes for the different size paper I use but that would mean my pages might not be sorted by project. My logical mind rebels at that idea. I’m still sorting this all out.

I still have work on this site I need to do. I won’t go into what right now, just know I have more plans for it than just a place to blog.  I need to get off my duff and do it.

One thing is for sure, I’ll never be short on something to do.

~Patti

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