Thursday, December 30, 2010

Looking forward to the New Year

Hello creative souls!  Happy New Year! 

As the new year dawns let me just say that I'm not a big fan of new year's resolutions.  It's not that I don't think I will succeed, it's that I don't like to use specific dates as markers for how I live my life.  I like to choose the right time to set goals by how I feel not because it is a certain date.  Back in October, I started my big healthy diet and I have been doing great.  The holidays were hell to get through with all the food temptations, but I did it!  And earlier this month I met my first goal.

There are some new goals I would like to focus on in 2011.  I want to work on connecting my head with my heart.  I find that I make a lot of  decisions with only my head and then later I'm left feeling empty, unhappy or holding a handful of sour grapes.  
Logically it may have seemed like the best choice, but I didn't take the time to check how my heart felt about it.

The reality is that I'm still stumbling around trying to find my way on this solitary journey and I want to make better choices that will help me become more balanced and happy.

So as far as "resolutions" go, here are my goals for the new year ahead:
1)  Connect my head with my heart, even with the little things.

2)  Continue my path toward good health.

3)  Do more art and take more art classes!
4)  Continue to feed my spirit with focusing on the beauty of living creatively.

5)  Avoid shallow, empty people that try to make me feel I'm less than enough. That includes those who are laced up too tight! 

6)  Dance and celebrate that I am Woman!

And now, here is what I am thankful for today...  I am thankful that I finished my grocery shopping without yielding to the temptation to purchase a bag of Smarties candies!

Do you have some goals you'd like to work towards in the beautiful new year?

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday filled with warm and fuzzies.  Next post, more art stuff!!!

My finished journal spread from my last post...

Well I must go, I can't sit here any longer 'cuz Jasper the pup is farting too much in his sleep!!!

Forever in art,  Jessica 

Monday, December 20, 2010

There is a new girlie in the studio...

Hello creative souls!  I hope all your holiday preparations are going well.

I was going to work on another doodle fairy for the holidays but started a willowing girlie instead.  I will show her in stages as I started her last night...

She is not finished yet and I will journal on the spread too.  She is done in my 8" x 10" Fabriano 140 lb. hot press watercolor journal.

I have not finished the xmas decorating yet.  Not sure if I will get to it 'cuz I'm having more fun in the studio!  Ha!  I'm gearing up for Tam's new class in January.  Magical Mystical Makings.  Can't wait!

I ordered a book on digital art and photoshop effects today.  I am so photoshop challenged I wonder if I'll be able to do any of the projects.  Most likely I'll just be reading it and not really doing much else.  Still, I really wanted it and it's my xmas present to myself.  I would have liked a nice set of watercolor pencils from Santa but that will have to wait - there will be no cookies and milk in this house to leave for him xmas eve!  Ha, ha, ha! (ho, ho, ho)...

Music in the studio this week - every xmas album that I have!

Stay warm and cozy, snuggle with a loved one or your fur baby...I'm going to make me a s/f peppermint hot chocolate!

Forever in art,  Jessica

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Enjoying the Holidays

Hello my creative friends!  Happy Holidays to all!

This can be such a crazy busy time of year for some of us. Even for me. That's saying a lot now that I have a very small social life. This time of year can be hard for those of us that have experienced loss in some form or another. For me it has been so lonely without my beautiful husband and also my lifestyle change that ensued once he was gone.

In spite of all the trauma I have been through, I have not been able to resist the seductive beauty of the holidays.  There is so much beauty to be found if we take a deep breath, come out of our shell and open to nature and the goodness around us.

This was the first year I was very tight on money. Not to be undone by it I decided to get creative.  I've always loved doing up the packages with beautiful ribbons and such so even though my gifts were very modest there was no reason they couldn't look fab.  I got out my old stash of xmas paper and ribbons and then went to Michaels to see if I could get a couple of things on sale.  I found glittery cupcake ribbon for $.79 and packages of Martha Stewart tags for $2.00 with tiny crystals on them.

Then I started my Santa's elf routine.  I wrapped, tied ribbons, made tags from scrapbook paper and glitter, glued flowers and ornaments to each little package.  Albeit it was not as elaborate or fancy as I used to do my gifts but I think they turned out cute.  I tend to like the fancy foil papers and such but felt that would be going overboard for the modest gifts inside!

The lighting was so bad that the glitter didn't show up...

I loved what Kelly Brown did with her packages  .  She wrapped them in plain brown paper and tied them with twine then added lovely evergreen boughs for decoration.  Simple, green and retro.  Loved the look!

Thinking I might want to do the same with the fir tree greens, I took another one of my little adventures.  First I stopped at Dutch Bros. for my favorite S/F mocha and then drove deep into the woods and up a steep mountain on an old logging dirt road.  

My big chevy truck was almost too wide for the road/trail and some parts were quite steep and muddy. I was wishing for my little 4 wheel drive jeep I used to have! 

But I made it safely and found armloads of branches blown down from the tornado winds that had come through here a few days ago.

 I will decorate my mantel with them and then share a picture with you next time.  The xmas cards are mailed, almost all the little gifties are wrapped and now I have time to do a little more decorating and art.  Due to my diet the only baking I will be doing this year is a pumpkin pie for my parents.  Oh how I miss the baking and the putting up of Kahlua fudge sauce for my friends I had planned to do...  Oh well, health first!
Here's to a healthy happy holiday!
Forever in art, Jessica xox

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Poinsettia Fairy Doodle

Here she quickie, in front of the T.V. holiday fairy doodle. 

I wish her eyeshadow would have shown up more - she's better in person.

I don't usually color in the faces of my doodles, letting the background color dictate the fairy's face color.  But since I've been having such a fun time practicing Tam's (Willowings) techniques I just had to do the face.  It was a real challenge 'cuz this was done on inexpensive paper and it wasn't holding up well to the paint and water.

She was truly a mixed medium endeavor.  I used graphite, black ink copic multiliner, gel pens, prisma colored pencils, caran d'ache watercolor crayons, gesso, acrylic craft paint and golden fluid acrylics.  Yikes!  Just about every kind of medium I own.  It was an experiment to see how well these things worked together.  The pen work over the watercolor crayons is not recommended!

I've decided I'd like to do a more elaborate holiday fairy so stay tuned and we'll see what develops!

This is looking out of the window of a little diner in Bandon By the Sea where I was doing some christmas shopping at my usual favorite - Winter River Books.  I was planning to take more pictures but the gale force winds came in and it was blowing rain so badly I cut my shopping short.  Maybe next time... 60 to 80 mile an hour winds are not uncommon in the spring and winter there.  It was a long drive home that day!

Music in the studio this week is:  Sheryl Crow's - Home for Christmas   Love, Love, Love it!

Keep the spirit bright!

Forever in art,  Jessica

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Quick Angel Update...

Hi all!  I thought I would post a quick photo of my angel spread so you can see it.  I'm disappointed in the results.  It's like I can do the backgrounds when I'm just doing backgrounds but when it comes to blending the subject artwork with the background I am having a bit of a challenge.  I had no idea what to do and I didn't want to get crazy and mess up the angel. 

I think next time I will start the  background a little first, do the main artwork and then finish the background concept.  It's thinking through the whole design that I haven't been doing.  I'm still learning!

I am working on a xmas doodle girlie that will be finished later today and will post her this evening.

Is anyone out there going to take Willowings - Tam's  new Magical Mythical Makings class in January?  I will be there with bells on!

Hugs to you all!  Jessica

Monday, December 6, 2010

Angels in the Studio...

Willowing again???  Yes!  I'm just now finishing week 4 of  Art, Heart & Healing.  This is the last week where Tam shows us how to create our healing invitation angel.  We are to be open to receive healing from our angel - or higher power - for whichever need we are choosing to target.

So while we create our angel, we invite all the healing blessings to come in and change our lives - to manifest our need of choice.

And here she is...
I will be printing up some xmas cards when she's finished.
Here are a few photos of my process...

Of course, I have not finished my background and words yet but I wanted to share her with you all.

It was very difficult for me to do this in such a small format as my 16 page art journal is an 8x10.  Tam had suggested a canvas of 12x16 I believe.  This is why her head is slightly bigger than her body proportionately, I couldn't do the face any smaller.  Yikes, I don't like working quite this tiny!  My previous portraits were done in a 7x8 inch journal.  There was no way I could manage a full figure in that one! Lol.

I used a little of the caran d'ache watercolor crayons along with fluid golden acrylics this time.  I had some of their wonderful metallics to play with.  Fun!

Of course I listened to dreamy christmas music the whole time and took little breaks to work on my cards.  The studio has sure been humming with activity!

To free my spirit, I've been taking a daily drive with my pup in the countryside and enjoying a s/f mocha from Dutch Bros.  We only have one large Starbucks in town but about 5 little Dutch Bros. all over the county and they make the BEST mochas and hot chocolate ever!  I did do a tiny bit of xmas shopping too.

That long and winding road...

The hangin' tree...

Music in the studio was Sarah McLachlan (again!) - "Wintersong", and Enya's - "And Winter Came".

So until next time, keep those creative fires stoked!

Yours forever in art,   Jessica

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Spirit in the Studio...

Yes, I have the xmas creative bug!  Here is a photo of my glass ornament wreath I have made for my front door...
I started it on an old grapevine wreath - no easy task I assure you!  Then I used E6000 glue because I thought the hot glue gun might break the ornaments.  After becoming almost asphyxiated with the fumes I took the risk and went for the glue gun.  It worked so much better and was much quicker too!
I hope you can see the detail....

Then last night I worked on my new portrait and I'm mostly done - might do a little more on the background.

I used caran d' ache watercolor crayons and titanium white heavy bodied acrylic on the face and hair.  Then Golden fluid acrylics and gesso with various stamps and a bit of glimmer mist for the background.  I wrote my sentiment and word with a .05 copic multiliner.  The lighting makes the words look faded but they're not.

Hope you enjoyed my process!

Music in the studio was my favorite xmas album of all time - "Wintersong" by Sarah McLachlan.

Happy xmas creating!

Forever in art,  Jessica