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Once again it’s been a couple of weeks since I managed to catch up long enough to actually complete & be ready to post a submission to IF. This week..finally! Plus I had a lot of fun doing it. A few minutes in my studio to sketch the bottom two rows (about 1/3 of the length) of my prize purchase of a bookshelf (going out of business at Borders) for my studio. I am truly in love with this bookshelf and of course all the reference books, magazines & such that it holds. I hope you enjoy my submission, as much as I enjoyed doing it and writing about it.

In my studio you will find…….

Oh wow, I’ve been busy for a change and as I struggle with the balance of working on a commissioned piece I’ve thought about all the freedom I have (normally) to just sketch & play when I want to ….. most of each day. I really haven’t kept up with my normal Everyday Matter’s group & missed 2 weeks of Illustration Friday challenges (oh no), but I have indeed been sketching everyday no matter what. So I just decided to at least share the dancing of my pen, and acknowledge that it is truly hard to work everything in but it is really important for me to take a little time NO MATTER what else to sketch just for myself. I hope that you take time too!

Keep sketching my friends!

The fireplace mantle in my family room…watching TV?

Using up the blue ink?

‘rambling on’

Old Oak in the Park…listening to the birds!

Yes I am a journal junkie, and sometimes I wonder just where I’m going in my art. I’ve been actively involved in Travel Journaling (it seems like forever), making art, doing the Travel Journaling thing, and teaching workshops. All along the way I’ve been buying all kinds of reference books that lead me more into the Art Journaling – Mixed Media style. I devour these books yet I can’t seem to just let go, and fall into the mixed media habit, and what I mean by this is the use of all kinds of materials, tearing up, and pasting down. Yet my inner child is telling me this is what I need to do,  just let go, and let the kid out. As I continue to contemplate just letting go, here’s a couple of pages where I have only swished on some ink to get the bright colors and ‘journaled a few thoughts’. I’m sure sometime soon I’ll get to the point where I can do the backgrounds without thinking I have to draw it in first. See, it’s like I’m beginning to fall into it.

I think most of my friends know that I’m also doing art challenges with Illustration Friday’s FB Group. It’s a great way to keep your mind working. Each week a word is posted and I do my thing and ‘illustrate’ it. This piece is for the word challenge ‘TALL’. Hope you enjoy!

Very tall, long, long legs!

Just completed a short trip into Reno, NV! I of course reverted to my standard ‘dairy style’ of journaling the tid-bits of the day on the fly. I love documenting the daily minutia, and thus started out with a 2 page spread with a hand drawn map to fill in as we drove along.

Page 1 of map

Page 2 of map spread

During our stay at the Grand Sierra Casino & Resort, I did several sketches in the early morning hours near the Starbucks 🙂 of course, while I sipped on my morning latte and listened to the great background music! I had fun sketching folks, but often they catch on and try to cover their faces….so, I gave up on the folks and just did sketches of the immediate area. I painted them in watercolor after we returned home.

Casino Sketch

AM walk for latte 🙂

I was thrilled to stop in Boomtown on the way back. I actually recouped my previous losses. Then, on the way back home a bit of sketching in the van while Norm drove. We really had a great trip, nice & relaxing and by the way if you ever make a trip there make sure you do the National Automobile Museum. It’s awesome!

Have a great day, and keep sketching my friends!

Over the past week I’ve been thinking about how some of the EDM Challenges seem to me to be  harder than they should be to complete, and in doing the thinking thing a lot of thoughts tumbled out. This is what I think I learned, hope it makes sense to you as well.

Just not into the whole thing?

The learning is in the doing! The challenges if completed in sequence will at some time make you uncomfortable. This has happened to me, more than once. Now, I think this is a good thing. What if you are ‘just not in the mood?’ I suggest you just try ‘to work through it’, even if it takes all day (or more than one day). Inside this process  “the experience of learning” I have stopped to do some research, and to think about the given activity – starting with why am I feeling this way, why am I not connecting or why is there no immediate interest?  From that point forward I’m truly ‘looking’  for some inspiration, YUP ‘inspiration’. Without ‘inspiration’ or some kind of connection the emotional part of the process of drawing needed  to complete a challenge seems ‘life less’ and if so the completed piece just doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t feel lively it is without the “spark of life”.

Lovin my new socks!

Skipping around may keep you from being un-inspired but not allow for the other learning to occur. For example: how our feelings impact what we are attempting to complete. Or, how our ‘lack of patience with ourselves’ and always being in a great hurry impacts our work and produces unwanted results. If we take time to enjoy the ‘journey’ even if it is for only a few minutes we learn it contributes to a successful piece. Our soul is enjoying the amazing FUN as we learn to use new (or old stuff) media like a child ‘with that new pen’, paint, or paper.

When we take time for ourselves to discover a new perspective ‘visual or mental’ it helps us see and feel differently about what we are doing, or attempting to do. Aaaaaah, what a challenge.

EDM.50 ‘my front door’

So, maybe our short-term gains by staying actively engaged & skipping around can offset the ‘uncomfortable feelings’ you (we) run into now and the. This can be a good way of continuing forward – but,  it often skirts the issues lying just  under the surface and those may be what are holding you back from a real genuine emotional breakthrough it your work, or life issues.

Over the past week I’ve been busy working on my background ‘faces’ project and began thinking about how the differences in process are directly connected to ‘my personal journey’. As I observed  the changes in my habits (ha) first I realized that ANY change can be just the boost you need to rekindle the fire in your journaling. In this case fire is good, and I believe these changes have helped me become more creative. Although now, instead of 1 journal with everything in it, I have again slipped back into separate journals. It seems to be something I do periodically, really don’t have a clue as to why.

A background page ‘face’ painted & ready to go!

I Am Thankful for Life! EDM#42

A journal page complete!

One journal now is more or less just for writing, and it’s not really up to date.  It’s just there in case I decide to write more extensively, and at the moment I have 3 different ART  journals going with mixes of the Everyday Matters Challenges, Illustration Friday works, and many, many faces all in various degrees of completion to use  for backgrounds.  I’m thinking, ah, this craziness must be because we haven’t taken a road trip in a while, I’ll know soon because we’re getting ready for one.  So, I now recognize that for me the difference truly is in the process I use and preparing backgrounds to journal INTO for me is ART JOURNALING, and doing illustrative journaling ‘on the go’, as it happens or where I am at the time seems to enable me to document my life and thoughts more along the TRAVEL JOURNALING path. Well at least I think I have it isolated in my mine anyway.

I hope you enjoy, and maybe try making some for yourself.  It’s the little sparks that start the fire.  I’m looking forward to this upcoming road trip because I think it will validate my current thoughts, and of course my TRAVEL JOURNAL will become fodder for an upcoming entry.

Keep playing, it’s good for your soul.