A Little Art, A Little Travel, and A Little More Art

Today is the last day of April. Spring Break and Easter have passed us by and Summer is right around the corner. In the last month, I have taken a trip to Seattle with my youngest granddaughter (14 1/2 years old) and continued in my daily practice of doing some type of art, whether it be collage, art journaling or photography.

It’s the 16th week of the Colour Me Positive Art Journal Challenge which means its the 16th week of 2017.  I’m still loving the challenge of creating art based on a quote or thought for the week and filling up one journal after another. It often inspires and informs my other art by prompting me to seek ideas beyond the single quote for that week. I find myself looking online for quotes and inspiration related to the week’s quote which often spurs a new idea for a collage. My favorite online quote source is www.brainyquote.com.  These are a few of my most recent art journal pages.

The middle of April brought a Spring Break trip to Seattle with my youngest granddaughter, Holly, to visit friends and see some of the colleges she might want to look at when she’s ready to seriously consider her choices. Her older sister and my daughter were in NYC visiting colleges on her list that same week. She’s much closer to making the college decision as she’s a HS junior. We visited Western Washington University, Seattle University and the University of Washington. We also went to see the daffodils in full bloom (stunning),  the Taylor Shellfish Farms, where she had her first taste of raw oysters (not sure she liked them), and finished up the last day with a trip to the Chihuly Garden & Glass at Seattle Center.  What an inspiration!!! We had a great time and I took more pictures that I have the space to show you. Here are just a few from the Chihuly Garden & Glass Museum. The one of the Native American trade blankets is from Chihuly’s vast collection.

And here are a few others from the trip to the Taylor Shellfish Farm, the daffodil fields in La Connor and a funky junk artist’s home in Conway, WA.

I’ve also been working on a couple of new collages.

And, as an experiment, I had an art journal collage page turned into a poster which I call Rock Your Body and another one turned into blank greeting cards. Both have strong messages of empowerment. I am considering doing more and selling them on my Etsy site,  MyMixedUpArt. What do you think?

That’s it for this post. I end with one of my most favorite quotes from WordPorn. I would just add “to create art.”

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It’s Almost Spring, Easter’s Late, and When It Rains, It Pours…

It really seems like time is flying by faster and faster. As I readied myself to sit down and write this post, I reviewed my last one and could not believe I had not posted since January 8. I think I’m going to have to set a reoccuring date on my digital calendar that says “sit your bottom down in that chair and write.” It’s not as if I have nothing to say or art to share. I have lots to say (some of it not necessarily appropriate for this post) and lots and lots of art to share.

One of the most wonderful things I did this month is meet up with a dear friend for lunch at the Prado in Balboa Park. It was one of those beautiful days San Diego was known for and, of course, Balboa Park is one of the most beautiful places to explore on a sunny, breezy day. A visit after lunch to the San Diego Museum of Art and The Mingei  set my creative soul on fire. The Visible Vaults exhibit at the SDAM  was a recreation of  their most carefully guarded area, a place that is invisible to most visitors—the vaults. You could pull out drawer after drawer of original works of art, some never seen before. The Mingei featured an incredible exhibit of American and European Folk Art dedicated to three centuries of American and European folk art from the Museum’s permanent collection, with many artworks on view for the very first time.

January brought rain and cold temperatures to Temecula which have continued into February, with record rainfall yesterday. Having lived in the Pacific Northwest, I am used to days where it rains for 24 hours or days on end. Not in Temecula. It provided the perfect excuse to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea. Which is exactly what I did.

I’ve also been busy creating new Easter mixed media pieces for my Etsy shop,  www.etsy.com/shop/MyMixedUpART. Spring is one of my favorite times of year. I am inspired by the green grasses and wild flowers that bloom after the rains. I love to decorate my house from top to bottom with bunnies, chicks, carrots, and, of course, the ever-present jar of seasonally colored Peanut M&Ms.

The Colour Me Positive Art Journal group continues to inspire me each week. I really look forward to the prompt and being challenged to come up with just the right work of art to fully express what the quote means to me. Often, I will replace the quote provided with one that has more meaning to me personally, but still represents the intent of that week’s theme.

In addition to further exploring collage/mixed media, I have returned to my passion for photography. In the past, I had participated in a 365 Photo a Day group, but stopped when I took the Carla Sonheim and Lynn Whipple Year of the Spark class as I wanted to focus on learning new techniques. It’s so easy these days to whip out your phone and capture a moment in time that takes your breath away, catches your eye or just makes you laugh. So, I’m back at it and share here some of the photos I’ve taken over the last couple of weeks.

One of the other things that I have promised I would do this year is share with you the work of other artists that have inspired me in my journey. One of those artists is Cheryl Dossey. Cheryl defines herself as “A late-blooming mixed media artist who enjoys art in any form.” She has been featured in a number of Stampinton & Company’s publications and, most recently, has several pieces in the Spring issue of Somerset Apprentice – Mixed Media for the Beginner. I met Cheryl in the online Year of the Spark class and loved her  assemblage pieces. She is actually the first artist whose work I purchased after starting the class. It was part of her “Mini Homes” collection. Cheryl very happily shared her technique for the homes with me and generously sent me a package of craft house shapes cut from foamcore and a wonderful array of ephemera with which to create my own vision of a “mini home.” She now sells the blank foam house shapes in her Etsy shop and you can find lots of inspiration on her blog. Cheryl’s house is on the left, not to be confused with the “other” Cheryl’s on the right. I love creating these “mini homes” as gifts or to add to my very own collection.

That’s all I have to say and show, so I will leave you with this thought…let’s all remember to be passionate, compassionate, have a sense of humor and, definitely, some style.

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Happy New Year! (and belated Merry Christmas)

Where in the world did the last two months of 2016 go? I have been very remiss in posting and, for that, I am sorry. Chalk it up to holiday madness!

Despite the this being the busiest time of the year, I still found time for my creative self. Since my last post there were the last few weeks of the Colour Me Positive art journal challenge – a total of 53 art journal pages in 2016. I’m actually considering making a book of my adventure in art journaling.  And a few original collages and paintings were completed. I have to say, while collage is still my favorite medium, I am loving learning new techniques and styles.

 

I am also in the process of creating a number of Valentine’s Day framed collages for my Etsy shop, MyMixedUpART. There will be more in the coming month, as well as some handmade Valentine’s Day cards.

My family and I also took a week-long trip to the Big Island of Hawaii over Thanksgiving. The main reason for the trip was to take my Mother’s ashes home to where she was born and raised. We took a lovely sailboat ride off the coast of the Big Island and scattered her ashes in the waters she loved the most. My granddaughters swam with Spinner dolphins as the rest of us watched. It was a beautiful way to pay homage to a beautiful woman, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. Other highlights of the trip included a luau on Thanksgiving day, zip-lining, snorkeling, a trip to the volcano, a claustraphobic (for me) walk through a lava tube, and a visit to the graveyard where my great-grandparents, grandparents and an uncle are buried.

Then there was Christmas which zoomed past and here we are in 2017. Each year my family picks a part of the world or a country from which  our Christmas Eve meal will be based. This year it was Cuba. It was a traditional Cuban dinner with pork, empanadas, rice with black beans, and rum cake for dessert. I have to say it was one of my favorites!

My oldest granddaughter made over 900 cookies for friends, family and neighbors. To my surprise, she enlisted me, the Grandmother who does not particularly like to cook, in last minute preparations – rolling cookie dough, dipping cookies in icing, and putting in the last two cookies and closing and sealing the gift boxes. Her peanut butter cookies are my favorite. And her Cranberry Bliss were to die for.

 

My last Colour Me Positive art journal page for 2016 will be framed as my mantra for 2017. I truly believe kindness will get us past the last very divisive and mean-spirited months of 2016 and help us in the challenging months ahead. While I try my best not to be political on this blog, I want to remind the President-Elect that he too should remember that “where there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.”

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I will end this blog on that note and promise you that I will commit to posting more often in 2017. Lots planned for this year, including a continuation of the Colour Me Positive art journal challenge, a class at Bloknote Acadamy on Water & Paper, other classes yet to be discovered, and lots of creating for my Etsy shop.

May 2017 bring peace, hope and kindness to the whole world.

It finally rained in Temecula!!!

Yesterday was a beautiful rainy day in Temecula, CA, with tons of thunder and lightning. A perfect day to spend in the studio and create, right? No. The thunder and lightning scared my goldendoodle, Zoe, to death so I spent much of the day on the couch with her on my lap. Poor baby. She shivers and shakes and mild sedatives don’t help. It’s very unusual for us to get the kind of thunder and lightning we had yesterday. So, while I pray for more rain, I can do without the drama. I did, however, catch up on my favorite recorded TV shows and a movie. Here’s Zoe at a calmer moment in time.

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I did promise to post my new MyMixedUpART business cards when they arrived. I am so pleased with them. I have always had such uninspiring corporate cards and it was so much fun to create a card that was funky, square and in color.  They came in this really cool square box. I highly recommend the online printing company called MOO. They offer high quality printing, design flexibility and competitive pricing.

I continue to work on holiday mixed media collages for my Etsy shop and have added a few Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas pieces since my last post.

The Colour Me Positive Art Journal Challenge is in Week 43. Scary to think that there are only 19 weeks left of 2016. Don’t despair though, we still have three of my favorite holidays left to celebrate – Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

My sister also asked me to create a piece for a good friend’s birthday using photos of her home in Redwood Valley. Using an aging program on PicMonkey, I aged the photos, mounted them on wood and placed them in a shadow box frame with the word “HOME” in block letters . I sure hope she likes it.

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That’s it for now. Have a great week.

Cheryl

 

Happy Fall

I can’t believe it’s the first of October and Halloween is right around the corner. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been very busy producing little framed houses for Halloween and Christmas in preparation for opening my very own Etsy shop called MyMixedUpART. It opened last week and I have had four sales. Here are some of the handcrafted, one-of-a-kind pieces I am offering in my shop.

It’s scary, exciting and time-consuming all at the same time. I’ve had exceptional support from family, friends and, most of all, from the wonderful artists’ community of which I am a part.  For that, I want to say a great big THANK YOU!

I continue to participate in the Colour Me Positive art journal challenge. We are at Week 40 which just shows me how fast 2016 is flying by. I can’t say that I have paid as much attention to my art journal over the last couple of week as I should have. This week was a tough one and it’s not one of my best. It was inspired by a quote from Oprah Winfrey – “When I look into the future, it’s so bright it burns my eyes.” As you all should know by now, I don’t use a lot of really bright colors in my art. I tried this week and was not too excited by the results. In the spirit of sharing, I will post it and Weeks 38 and 39.

As I write this blog and reflect on the last few weeks, I realize I’ve done a  heck of a lot of work. Other projects were mostly inspired by artist friends/classes I’ve mentioned before including Kelly Rae Roberts Unscripted and Herma Starreveld’s Silly Faces.

And, I have designed a business card and labels for MyMixedUpART using my self portrait inspired by the Silly Faces class.

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I will leave you with this quote which seems very relevant to me this week…

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.                                                                                                                                      – Scott Adams

By the way, I keep them all.

Cheryl

 

 

 

 

It’s A Cool Blustery Day…

It feels like Fall here in Temecula with cooler temperatures and a blustery wind. I know it won’t last long, but I am enjoying every minute of it. I do believe I will be posting more to this blog when Fall becomes a reality and I can cozy up with my computer (not really) and a cup of tea.

Not only is the weather cooperating today, but I have been feeling “Fall-ish” for the last couple of weeks. Readying myself for the holidays season by creating little houses, big houses and all sorts of holiday fun. I am hoping that some of my pieces find a home in a local shop, but if they don’t, I hope that my friends appreciate them as tokens of my love for their friendship and support of MyMixedUpArt endeavors.

I have actually been considering an Etsy shop, but have not taken the plunge. Not sure what is stopping me as I’ve had lots and lots of encouragement from artists I know and respect. I guess I have to work up just a little more courage.

The weekly Colour Me Positive Art Journal Challenge and the Kelly Rae Unscripted projects continue and I find that I take both inspiration and courage from both and that they influence me as an artist a lot.Both have also given me the courage to try new techniques and further develop an artistic voice of my own.

Here are just a few of the pieces I’ve been busy creating over the last few weeks.  I want to give credit to some of the wonderful digital papers I have found on Etsy and from TheGraphicsFairy.com website. It’s such fun to imagine a piece and go searching for the elements that will fulfill my imagination. Both are a tremendous resource.

Little Houses

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Colour Me Positive

Bigger Houses

I’ll leave you with this quote I just discovered on creativity. I think it says it all. I’ve been blessed to have found some really terrific artists who have been willing to pass it on to me.

“Creativity is contagious, pass it on” – Albert Einstein

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweltering Summer Days…

It’s been a month to the day since I last posted and I’ve been busy taking online classes, creating art and trying new techniques. And, trying to stay cool as summer in Temecula revs up to peak temperatures. Can’t wait to see my electric bill! The heat is definitely keeping me indoors and creating art every day.

Went to two plays in the last week and was inspired by both to see many more this year. Saw Beautiful, the story of Carol King, and Green Day’s stage adaptation of their rock opera, American Idiot.  It was performed by a very talented cast of local actors, one of whom is my neighbor and good friend’s daughter. Both were fabulous! I came home and downloaded the soundtrack to Beautiful immediately and have not stopped listening to it since. While the the music to American Idiot by Green Day is not exactly in my wheelhouse, I can certainly appreciate the spirit of the play’s message.

The Colour Me Positive weekly art journal challenge and the Kelly Rae Unscripted online classes are certainly keeping me busy. I also just took a quick class on Skillshare from one of the artists that participated in The Year of the Spark with me. Her name is Herme Starrveld, from Studio Masterre. She teaches a class called “Draw A Silly Face.”It was great fun and I can’t wait to draw a silly face using Herme’s techniques.  I will share my first silly face in my next post.

Meanwhile, here is sample of what I’ve been creating over the last month.

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One of my newest passions is little houses. I found these wonderful unfinished wooden ones at Michael’s and did some collage houses that I showed in a previous post. Now  I have done some small wooden ones in white with simple messages for Halloween and Christmas, as well as more inspired by Cheryl Dossey.

I hope that you enjoy seeing what I am getting such great joy in creating.

Cheryl