Earlier this year I began exploring in a new direction for me in expressing myself with art. I had been concentrating on stylized faces of women. I still enjoy this type of illustration, but I wasn’t saying anything. I was creating and exploring with medium and technique but i didn’t feel as if i was drawing the viewer into my world. So I began with my first Artistic Love — Collage. I began making collages of things that I love way back in junior high. So as a beginning of my exploration I asked friends about what they loved and their passions…to move me out of my comfort zone.  A place to start exploring…new themes…new imagery.   In the process of this exploration and collecting ideas images began to emerge.

Above is just a couple of the illustrations that i developed after my breech through my plateau. Yes plateau…I had felt as if i was doing OK, but not moving anything forward with my work. Not my skills, not my story, and not communicating past the mask of the girls I was drawing. I have many miles to go before i can sleep and I am looking forward to discovering every step of them.

Ode to my Cozy Memories Blanket

Layered with the connection of love, craft, creativity and hard work woven into each skein by the dyers who produced and … the yarn. Overlaid with the kinship to the earth by sheep who grew the wool; the land they grazed and the environment they roamed.

I am filled with immense pleasure, satisfaction, joy and comfort as I sit nestled among the folds chasing all the chills away. This was made by me … hand knit stitch by stitch. Loops through loops … color coiled around time and memories curated by me, linking me to a kaleidoscope of moments and emotions.

Cozy Memories Blanket finished in 2017

No podcasts lately but I have been creating

I had a podcast all recorded and ready to be edited just before Christmas 2018. While I began editing I noticed that the video and audio were out of sync. Thinking this should be an easy fix I didn’t worry until 2 days later and no results and I was set to begin Christmas Vacation. So I didn’t record again.

Not that I won’t be posting videos again, but I want to want to record. Podcasting is fun for me. It is no more than me sharing with you my knitting life and and a bit tangential to that world.

I’ve definitely been in a funk this past winter. That’s very unusual for me. I typically get inspired the most during the cold days of winter. I love the light in winter. My eyes are very light sensitive so the lower sun in the sky helps. It is getting steadily brighter out there for you summer loving folks even though the temperatures say different.

I’m just sharing a few finished projects or works from February 2019. These are the first things that I have completed in sometime and I feel if I am getting some mojo back even if it is coming along sluggishly. I’m currently reading Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. For those of you who have read it!…It is SUCH a great book. It reminds me a bit of the Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King. For those of you who HAVEN’T…And like YA Fantasy novels go get it. I am almost finished and already have Muse of Nightmares all queued up and ready to go.

I hope you all have had a much more uplifting and productive winter. Hopefully, I will be in front of the camera again before long. Til then Happy Knitting 🙂

My February Bujo/Calendar/Journal Collage

Not a great picture BUT I have finally finished my Park Tee Tunic. Truly a labor of love. Not sure if I will be over dying it with some grey??? Will keep you posted.

Why I Create

I create because it brings me great joy.  It is a need that I have to put paint, pen or needles to work.  I also love to give my creations to the people I love.  I feel a deeper connection with them as I share a bit of myself with them.  We both get a smile out of it.

Creating brings me back to center.  When I am stressed out or feeling like I need some space to myself I sit with my work and the world drifts away.  It doesn’t matter what medium that I chose, but working daily on some bit of creative activity just brings my day together.

It is also a way to document my life without having to write it all down.  It is more of a visual record of my moments and what I am interested in doing or commenting an event.  Creating is also a process.  I enjoy the process of expressing myself.  I enjoy taking something from a dream to a reality that I can share with others.

Currently I am working on a set of gifts for my niece.  I have several knitted objects for her and I would like to paint something for her as well to go into her package.

I have to go where my creative muse takes me at the moment.  I drift in and out of several mediums depending on my mood.  It is great to have a variety of things to go to as I like having a daily outlet.

Knitting bug still has me in its clutches

My creative life is still going strong, but with another medium at the moment.  I am still knitting away and not painting at the moment.  I just made a hat for a friend and continuing on with my cozy memories blanket.

I have some gifts that I want to make for my niece and nephew for their birthdays and very excited about them.  I am not knitting anything complicated, just relaxing with my knitting and letting it take the stress away.  Its a good way for me to relax and feel connected to my Mom.

I have also been away from my blog at the moment as well.  I have several things that I want to post about, but I have been hibernating a bit right now.  I want to continue with this blog which is one of the reasons I am checking in today.

I am enjoying the knitting mojo for the time being and letting the painting inspiration marinate for now.

A trip to the MoMA

A couple of weeks ago I went to the MoMA to see Matisse the Cut-Outs.  While I was there I stopped by a few galleries…my favorite paintings to see and get inspiration.

I first stopped by to see other work completed by Matisse.  His range in the years that he created is fantastic.  This is work completed before his Cut-Outs.

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I then stopped by to see Modigliani.  His work more than most others most influences my work.  His proportions and portraits are very beautiful.  This work showcased below is so languid.  I love the patchwork of colors and how the body is glowing on the sofa.  I really like how he exaggerates his proportions so the body almost feels stretched.

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I then stopped by to see Rothko.  His work is so moving.  When I was in Rome quite some time ago I saw an exhibition by him.  It was so moving and so full of emotion.  It was of his color field work, but the image I am showing below is not from that series.  I thought I would show something that he is not known for.  The piece is called Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea.

IMG_1460I love the surrealist qualities to the piece.  His linework is spectacular and the touches of color here and there just dances your eye along the canvas.

Going through my visit to the MoMA has reinvigorated my creativity and painting mojo.  I have been immersed in my knitting world lately which is just as creative but does not give me the same satisfaction that painting and drawing do.  There is something about drawing and painting that just connects so much of who I am on the inside to the outside world.  I feel more expressive when I am painting and drawing.  Knitting is meditative and relaxing, but does not quite release the creative spirit in me that painting and drawing do.  Back to the studio.

Lull

I have been in a non-drawing mood for the last week.  This is unusual for me of late.  I see all of the drawing and painting supplies lined up all beckoning me to use them, but I have been distracted.  I just haven’t been able to sit down and focus on my art practice.

I want to get back to my daily painting routine.  I think to be connected to your work on a daily basis is very important.  To get too far from the picture of you creative life can easily slide to a bad habit of not being in the zone.

I am in the process of learning a language.  To create a fluency in my work I need to put in the hours and days to get closer to my goal of being a native.  I think sitting at your workspace everyday even if its to just to layout a new color palette or put a new layer into your painting even if it will get covered up is essential.  Or reading about art theory or an artist that I admire will help keep me in the realm that I desire to participate.

I think tonight I will sit and list a small series of goals that I would like to achieve in the next few months to help spur me on in my lull.  Some of the goals that I am thinking about are to:

become more fluent in painting 3/4 profile faces, finish a large scale canvas painting, gather inspiration in a notebook for my work, etc.

Even writing this post today has been a bit of a slog for me.  But pushing through it and just typing out where I am in my creative life today has helped me to see a few things more clearly and invite me back to my studio.

Knitting Bug…

This won’t be turning into a knitting blog, but all I did this weekend was knit. I watch A Southern Girl knits podcast and she suggested watching A Homespun House podcast. As I was catching up with Molly on  a Homespun House she showed a bunch of knitted projects that got my knitting bug going.

I have been concentrating on my art almost exclusively for the last year. I am a long time knitter, but just loving the art side of me lately. I do keep up with knitting community through podcasts and  I did knit some gifts for my family for Christmas, but very little knitting time.

What got me knitting again is a very easy, but addictive project called the Happy Memories Blanket.  Its a blanket that is a series of mired squares that uses all of the yarn in your stash.  I have a moderate stash and it did get me thinking about all the projects that I did knit the difference yarns out of.

Knitting for me is a very relaxing and enjoyable time…it connects me to my past and present.  Just like the afghan that I am knitting.  And the knitting community is such a wonderful group.  I have yet to meet a knitter I didn’t like.  It’s such and inclusive and warm group of people.

Watching the A Homespun House podcast led me to Yarngasm podcast and her indy dyed yarn at Voolenvine Yarns.  Her color sense is just so fantastic.  I had to buy a skein of yarn and I can’t wait to get the new yarn and try it out with my cozy memories blanket.  I really like supporting indy dyers.

I will return to my canvas and sketchbook this week, but right now it is the knitting bug that I caught and it has me in its throws.

Playing…

How often do we get asked or told to go play as an adult?  Not too often in our daily lives.  But art and creative outlets give us the chance to do just that.  Last night I just randomly picked out two delusions spray inks and just sprayed them in my sketchbook.  It got me so excited to start playing  in my journal.

Playing with your creative life is so important.  You discover things with your materials or techniques that you may not have thought of before.  It may lead to new subject matter or symbol in your work.

This is something that has taken me the last year to really discover.  I have heard various teachers say just play with your supplies, but I was so caught up with technique at first that it eluded me.  I believe yet again that it is confidence in yourself that leads you to playing.  I feel much more comfortable with art that I feel that I can let go sometimes.  But I still have a ways to go before I feel like I am not thinking so hard about exactly what I am doing.

It comes back to daily painting or creating again.  Showing up to your creative space and putting in the work or time.  Looking at a lot of wonderful projects is great, but I can say from first hand experience that working at my craft often has taken me along way to feeling confident in my work.

I have experimented a lot in the last year with various supplies.  But there is so much more to learn and the only way to achieve that level of “mastery” is to play.  It is also a great stress reliever.  This is because what you do with your art can be just for you.  You can put anything you want on the page and escape or face the current moment you are in.  There are just so many possibilities when you let yourself play.

Presence

Where are you at the moment?  How are you feeling; where is your mind?  Are you having trouble getting into the flow or is it right on? Is it important for creating though?  So much of creating for me is floating away and being dreamy, but is it really?  Or I am just being in my current state of being and letting go?

I have trouble being in the present moment.  I find so much of my time is spent daydreaming or thinking about what to do next or what has just happened.

I want to be more conscience of where presence takes me in my creative process.  Taking a few moments to check in with myself as I sit down in my studio and I begin to draw or paint.  Will this effect my end result?  I am going to see.  Being creative gives me the chance to explore that side of myself.

What is presence?  Is is showing up to your creative table everyday and making a couple of marks?  Is it being mindful of your current state of being?  Taking control of your creative process?  Letting go of negative self doubts that inhibit you from creating?  I  believe it is different for everyone. But slowing down and taking a few minutes for yourself is for everyone.

I know that presence should be non-judgemental and you need to take time  to do it.  Its a daily practice just like creating.  We have such busy lifestyles and so much going on that we forget where we are right now.  We may love where we are right now or dislike it a lot.  Its focusing on the right thing at the right moment.

So much of being an artist is capturing a state of being.  Whether it be on the canvas or on a page or whatever your medium is.

What is your present moment now?  Let me know.