A Day of Listening & Improv in Art & Life

This week’s art journal exploration…

IMG_4921 I’ve been in a phase of letting the imagery find me before I approach the page. I used to just show up at the page and let the paint fly. But it feels lately like the soul is listening … allowing imagery, guidance and intuition to precede creation….it makes painting more of a collaboration than a solo act.

IMG_4923For example, this morning I knew I was in the mood to create. I pulled out a few magazines to look for a message or some words to guide the creative process. When I pulled out the pile, the magazine on top had the words, “Find Your Place.” Boom. The idea for today’s piece arrived.

Later, I showed up at work to create…the background papers I was looking for weren’t there…sooooo…and this is where improv gets fun… I photocopied a bunch of stencils to create background patterns, ripped off pieces, and used gel gloss to adhere them to gesso prepped wood.

20141122_114245Have you ever done this?…lots of fun. Even the dried paint drops on the stencil show up in the copy….more texture which we love.

IMG_4925I adhered these to the wood, but they’d also make really good transfers because of the high contrast.

IMG_4926 It was a good reminder to me that we don’t need tons of stuff. We can usually create by making the most of what’s in front of us…so feeling thankful today for the chance to both listen and improv on the journal page and in life. Again, the journal always teaches me not only how to paint but how to live. I’m also lovin’ painting larger pieces…art journal pages all blown up.

IMG_4927Hope you get some time to create and mingle with the muses. Happy trails…

oh…and here’s my favorite spot to get stencils…proceed with caution. It is really easy to lose financial control here.

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Slow Art on the Side of a Fast Life

“Loving the Luminous Festival of the Heart”

Life has brought some great tools to heal the heart wounds in the last several months….you know…those ones left over from decades that you thought were taken care of but alas…they pop up like ghouls and beg to be freed…so I’ve been listening to their request and letting them go one by one.


I think we’re in a special time that supports that healing and awakening and actually demands it if we’re ready to rise.  I’m feeling a whole new level of quietness, expansion and spiritual warmth. And more than ever, I feel inspired to do work in the world that facilitates the creative and spiritual healing of other people’s heart. I don’t believe we can heal anyone. They have to want that for themselves. However, I do believe we can create spaces and experiences that nurture the healing and free the heart to bloom.  I have no clue what that’ll look like but the intention is there and signs and clues are arriving.

I found a big ole paradox this week that showed me a tip about heart centered journaling. When life goes fast, you can savor the slow journal. With only 20 minute chunks of time to journal, I had to break it up over several days….that actually left time in between to sit with the imagery and allow space for more images to find me. It allowed time to let the words arrive. I didn’t glue them down for a few days so they kept evolving until they revealed what the soul truly wanted to say. So much of the time, I can get obsessive and want to keep at it ’til it’s complete. And that rush or “go go” create mode doesn’t always feel as nurturing as this did.

I think there’s a time for “go go” but the heart tends to bloom with the art of “slow, slow”. I feel the heart moves slowly. It digests. It listens. It becomes still. It receives. Leaving hours and even a day between working on a journal page or any other artistic creation  gives you time to slow down, dip into the heart and allow the process to truly say something to you…. So may you enjoy some slow, savory and soulful creation time….with a side of yummy, hot coffee.

one of my favorite heart healin’ tunes by Sinead ….my song to the Divine

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“The Magnetic Image” , an art journal exercise

I love finding images that speak to me without  understanding why yet. I also love to paint from images not necessarily to emulate them but to learn the nuances of shading, shapes, etc…I had such a good time creating the page that I thought I would share the steps…


Art Journal exercise using an image that “magnetizes” you

1) Take a moment to relax and be still. You can do this meditation or just turn on some quiet music. Open yourself to more than just this world of form and sound….tis the portal of inspiration…at least for me.


2) Then find an image…face, form, whatever…something that draws you in.



3) Cover a 10 by 10 piece of watercolor paper with fiber paste and crackle….also add some stencil designs with modge podge as it resists paint and adds to the buffet of texture…These days texture is my “food” of choice.

4) Let it dry..Paint over it with watered down inks and watered down acrylics…using your hues of choice. For this one, I used blues and greens.

5) After that layer dries, use a credit card to scrape over a contrasting hue….this one was painted with “Golden” Indian Yellow hue.

6) Sketch out your own abstract or detailed version of the image onto the painted page, using the elements you like the most. Then paint the face (or image) using the shadows and light in the image as a guide. I like to paint the shadows first and then add in the lighter hues for the highlights.


7) Paint one more hue around the face or your image…one that will make the colors of the image pop. I picked white to make the blue of the face and the orange hair (or headdress??) pop.

8) After it’s painted, sit in silence with the image and listen for what it says to you….what message is there for you. Begin to free write on and around the image…scrawling if you’d like to keep the words private.

IMG_49029) Then sit with it once more and pick one word that captures the image. Stamp the word onto some painted paper or find your letters in a magazine. I have been using old journal pages and cutting out their backgrounds to add elements like the necklace and the letters…

IMG_4905Painting from “magnetic” images that draw you is  a way to open a dialogue with yourself and the “beyond” as well as a way to learn how to draw better by understanding the nuances of shading, light, shapes, dimensions, angles, etc…Hope you’ll treat yourself to some creative soul time….have a beautiful Saturday!

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The Two Stable Forces in the Universe

This has been my motto for the year…so far, it holds true…(as long as the fungus doesn’t take over the coffee crops.)

god&coffeeAdding final touches to the one below…almost done…

IMG_4897I have fallen in love with wood icing and texture.

IMG_4896…and continue to learn the art of patience in art and life. You have no choice but to let layers dry between the wood icing. I normally want to get it all done NOW! But I enjoy that space to come up with new ideas and to return with fresh eyes the next day.  IMG_4894

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The Joy of Paint and Plants

A friend of mine gave me a mother load of wood panels so I’ve been painting “wide” for the first time! This is the first piece I’ve ever worked on that’s beyond 12 by 12…so another lovely adventure….it’s still in progress and I am loving the space to sprawl out …

IMG_4877Her necklace is made of scraps from old journal pages. I’ve been recycling old backgrounds and using scraps of them for new ones.  love adding paper elements from other pieces…

IMG_4879I also joined the Seminole Heights Community Garden this weekend. The people there are wonderful and eccentric…lots of artists and bohemians. I weeded for an hour, sipped yummy coffee, painted garden guardians and had some nice convos.

gardenI walked away with my arms loaded with calalu as well as a few good gardening tips! It’s like spinach but a bit hardier. It felt so good to cook something I had just plucked from the earth…

IMG_4876…added a bit of coconut oil, salt, pepper, hing and a little lemon and it was divine…really enjoying a re-connection with nature.

Have a great week!




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Turning the Blahs into Blooms

IMG_4861 I think the blahs are flashing neon signs that we need to do freshen the approach….whether it’s an art form, meditation practice or relationship. They’re a sign that a new shift is at hand and it’s time to expand.   Exploring texture and integrating that to what I’ve  learned has been an oxygenator. Dabbling outside the realm of faces and figures has also turned the blahs into blooms. This is my first hot air balloon …grungy and textury (I think that may be a fabricated word)…created this on a wood block and will stock it on the Etsy shelf soon.


…also dabbling in a wee bit of gardening. I really want to be more self reliant & grow my own veggies…so I’ve been studying away. I paid my landlord to make me a grow tower. You can grow up to 40 plants in these little wonders and no weeding is involved. In the center is a compost tube where you put your daily organic scraps. The worms feast on it and the soil gets perpetual fertilization….

IMG_4869That’s my pet owl (plastic) below to startle the squirrels and rodents. So far it terrified the dogs. Let’s see…hopefully new adventures are finding you and turning your blahs into blooms. Take care and have a grand weekend!

IMG_4871There is no certainty. There is only adventure.

                                                 Roberto Assagioli

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The Real Voyage Begins When You Take your Hands off the Wheel &…


add582_fcadc3cceb5b4c61a13e139d5dc82ec6.jpg_srz_p_300_233_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzI have been loving the 21 secrets workshop for a few reasons…I  made much needed money having a grand time and got free access to wonderful videos by 20 artists. One artist named France Papillon is fantastic!  The piece to the left is her creation. She knows her materials, is a superstar of texture and explains things clearly and simply…..Take a peek at her website.  This was her first online teaching workshop and I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for more.

  Since her workshop, I’ve been dabbling alot in crackle paste and texture mediums. IMG_4859 I often don’t give myself time to formulate the words on the journal page fully. So on separate paper, I free-wrote about what each image said to me and didn’t stop writing until words popped up that clicked….a good reminder to me to take time with everything.

 “The Real voyage begins when you take your hands off the wheel and steer with your center”

IMG_4853I think I went a wee bit thick with the crackle paste on the one below but found this video by ?? to crack the codes of crackle. Happy Creations and peaceful trails!

(And if you see a workshop from France Papillon, you can be sure it’ll be a good one!)

IMG_4849“Be real and you’ll come out of cracks to kiss the sky”

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