A month ago I challenged myself to create a journal page a day. It was an attempt to be creative on a regular basis, to deal with the resistance that always comes up in me to creating, and to see jwhat would evolve! I have found that this was a very good exercise for me. I feel good that I've created something every day. I think that I will continue this personal challenge for another couple of months. To see all of the pages created so far, go to this page.
I am in the midst of cleaning up and reorganizing my art studio...again! I think that it grows smaller and smaller every day...the piles have lives of their own and have created whole families, the ribbons multiply, the xerox copies shed pieces of themselves like cat hair, the books levitate and multiply and threaten to block the doorway! I can't see anything except the colorful chaos that preceeds my creative spells. I do know that, now. It was kind of an eye opener: this is part of creating for me. Mess begets creativity. Nevertheless, clean up I must before I start soldering. I am now pulling items and piles out of it into the den and kitchen, so I can sort and throw away more efficiently. HAH! My husband is going to be real happy about THAT! Mixed into every pile was loose oriels, so I corralled them, herding them onto the kitchen table in order to see what inventory I actually had for a craft show in July. A group of them looked so pretty on the table that I decided to take a photo.
Aaaaaah -- finally the roses are appearing...and appearing...and appearing! You know there is a God because of the vast variety of roses: their abundant shapes, sizes, smells are an intoxicating kaleidoscope. They say that Cleopatra had rose petals spread on her bed -- nightly -- and this is something secretly I am drawn to try! We have a waterfall of roses on the back of our house; they frame the kitchen windows... ...and create a beautiful painting that I will be viewing all summer long. They are also creeping up and over the back deck railing, and falling onto the table and chairs. Only two rose plants have created this abundance of blooms -- fiery and incendiary in the mid-morning and early afternoon light: Don Juan and Blaze. How perfect -- they titillate the senses with an explosion of red! And make me sleepy with their promise of perfection!
It's been a long time since I went to an antiques market...well, it's been exactly a year ago. Last spring I attended the Petaluma Downtown Antique Fair, and decided to return again this year. I love Petaluma -- it's such a quaint, vintage-y type of town -- and the weather was beautiful, starting out cool, but rising to the 70's by 11:30am. Lots of great vendors. I could spend all day rummaging and routing around in the cast-offs of our great society. (Why is that? The comfort of childhood nostalgia? A collage artist's eye for variety?) I only had a few hours in between dance classes, and boy that was not enough time! There were twice as many vendors this year as last. And it was well attended -- lots of buyers in the vendor stalls and "grazers" moving from stall to stall. Luckily, I scored big very quickly. First was a Samsonite ladies' beauty case -- a soft teal green with beige trim. The latches worked and no scratches -- $18 -- which is quite the deal! I spent 3 times as much on a caramel-colored one I bought on Etsy. This one will be my traveling art box, the other my makeup case! At the same vendor I picked up a lovely wooden box with metal leaves on the top for $3. My next buy was absolutely a once in a lifetime. I still can't believe it. I happened apon a vendor who had alot of old photos crammed willy-nilly into cardboard boxes. I sat down and started looking through one of the boxes and found an album with old movie star studio shots, including Dietrich, Garbo, Lillian Gish, etc. Some of them were signed even! I was looking for suitable photos for my next round of oriels and I found some absolutely gorgeous photos. I am really looking forward to making pendants with these glamour girls!
My sister Mary is an art therapist, but not just that -- she has always been my creative champion, and I have always been inspired by her sense of design, color, and...bravado! I recently helped her put up a blog -- Art-Full Possibilities-- and she is posting "Art-Full Practices" -- tips that assist people in bringing creativity into their lives.
Just recently she posted an altered coffee cup holder tip. It is something you can do quickly out of readily available materials -- plus you are recycling! It took me 8 minutes to do this one.
Plus I like her pay-it-forward suggestion to pass it on to the person standing behind you in line! Another wonderful, art-full practice -- Yeah Mary!
Once in London, I decided that I was done with my first Challenge journal. Here is a shot of the finished cover. I found this challenge enormously helpful in keeping the creative juices flowing. I haven't written in it so much, but I am working with images and materials....and it has been relatively easy to keep to my goal of one a day. Often I create 2 or more pages a day because it is so much fun.
Page Creations Challenge, Journal No. 2 Cover
Creating pages while in London was easy. I started another journal, so my creative challenge was kept alive. I took a little travel kit, containing my Cat's Eyes pads, a UHU glue stick, a few rubber stamps, some pens and pencils, and I just purchased magazines while I was tooling around London. I sat in cafes, or on a park bench, or in the hotel lobby, or in our room and played with images.
My Old Travel Journal
I also took an older travel journal I had from past trips to London and Paris, but I only worked in it a bit. I discovered that I wanted to keep that journal for pages that contained travel mementos. My small journal I reserved for my quick and dirty daily journal page creations. Mixing up the two didn't feel right -- in fact I felt down right inhibited creatively -- trying to fill a larger journal page -- so after the first day, I just kept their purposes separate, and I created my challenge pages in the smaller journal.
Well, I had a wonderful time riding in Hyde Park yesterday! Walking into the quaint, hidden mews, where the stable was located, took me back 40+ years ago to my experience at Talland Riding School in Cirencester.
All the cleaning tools were neatly organized, and the girls were busy going about taking care of the animals and the clients. The horses were stabled in standing stalls, and they were all shapes and sizes and curious about visitors. They were obviously well cared for and didn't have that "Oh here comes another damn tourist" attitude, although more business like than overtly friendly, they were cheerful enough.
My horse was an Irish cob named Shamus -- what a love and a dream to ride. I really couldn't have been happier. We seemed to connect immediately and he was quiet, but tested me periodically to see if I was paying attention. He had an absolutely gorgeous mane -- at least 3 feet long, and a forelock that hung half-way down his nose. I loved stroking his neck and playing with strands of his mane as we walked down Rotten Row and watched all of the people enjoying themselves on a beautiful spring day in the park.
Welcome! My Mane Blowing in the Wind is a visual showcase of my art, oriel pendant necklaces, and creative musings. I have danced toward and away from art for the past 28 years. Much of the moving away from was due to what I guess you could call "artistic paralysis": I heard the muse but went internal with it instead of externally expressing it through art. But somehow my art keeps emerging and recently it seems to have taken on a life of its own. This blog is a record of that discovery.