Monday, December 27, 2010

Half way through the Holly- Daze- Blessings


This holiday season has been very stress free for me, my goal was simplicity and joy.  I found that experience in the process of baking a different kind of cookie daily for the week leading up to Christmas, adding to my Italian cookie repertoire.  
Biscotti, Zelletti and Pizzelle

                        Here are two photos of my pizzelle - the second one filled with cannoli filling

Now that Christmas is past, things are slowing down and I am hoping to find some time to do some art making as well as preparing a bit for our Mandala Workshop on January 9th.

So, I am taking the time to send blessings to whoever reads this, but sharing this drawing that I did way back in 1994.  I call this the Blessing Angel, who showers blessings, Peace and compassion to the earth on a daily basis.  
May blessings present themselves in the simple pleasures of life shared deeply and creatively to all of you.
                                                       Prismacolor Pencil on paper 1994
                                                                      Earth Blessings

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Thrill is Gone- Still making postcards..


As I continue to make postcards for the Art Therapy without Borders, post card swap,  I have to say, tthat the thrill is gone.  Gone is the excitement of creating, being replaced with a sense of the obsessive need to complete the project.  
I know, ..... I know that I have 6 months to complete the postcards... but I feel the weight of the commitment to it haunting me, and keeping me from doing other things.


So, I have been creating postcards in bits and pieces over the past week, and now I only have 3 more to make and I am done.  
The other day I mailed off the last of the cards to go to the US and  as soon as I finish making the last three I will mail off all the international cards and be on to something new.  I am often like that when some creative process turns into a creative commitments, something shifts for me and....somewhere along the line, the excitement of the initial creative response leads to the feeling of the grass is always greener syndrome...only in this case the greener longing for another art engagement of some sort.  Maybe it is the colder weather, but encaustic is calling me.
So these are the last few cards that I haven't shared here yet.  Once again, using rice papers and collage bits and pieces of ephemera, to create a visual ground and then adding words.   The words for the  Raw Soul Art Card came from a little box of words and letters that I keep adding to.  I just pulled words from it and tried to find some wisdom from the random words.

I love this Pablo Picasso quote, which I added to several postcards...."Art washes form the soul, the dust of everyday life."
Art Heals...
                                                                            Inspire....

So  artists and art therapists, and all creative beings, are explorers of spirit.

May you all find the way to explore spirit through creativity in your own unique ways.
Thanks for visiting, and sharing in my art process.  

Friday, November 26, 2010

More Art Postcard Fun...

I  am having so much  fun creating the next set in this series of 26 postcards I am sending out to Art Therapists around the world as part of the Art Therapy Without Borders postcard exchange.
I am creating this next set in my series differently.  These are all still in process.  


I am covering watercolor paper, with a variety of washi paper,  rice papers,  and bits and pieces of textured collage papers that I am once again randomly picking out from a pile of collage supplies.

 Along with images, and words I am collaging on and around the papers, adhering everything with modge podge.....which I love to
work with..
 Some of them I am adding quotes to, while others,  I am going through my baggie of cut out letters and words and finding ways to put them together in a meaningful way.  The Ministry of Art came out of this process.
 I love to randomly allow something to come through and always am delighted and sometimes blown away by the synchronicity of it all.
 Is it possible is another statement that came through randomly, on rather synchronistically.
random |ˈrandəm|adjectivemadedonehappening, or chosen without method or consciousdecision a random sample of 100 households.• Statistics governed by or involving equal chances for each item.
 Some of them, are so lyrical without words, or images that I just might leave them alone.
So far I have 11 of them done this way although I have only photographed the ones shown here so far.
More to come, more art fun and joy.  Blessings. And Happy Thanksgiving.. To all


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Post Card Exchange- Art Therapy Without Borders

Well, I have been busy making mail art postcards, for the Art Therapy Without Borders Post Card Exchange.  I will be making and mailing over 25 Art postcards to be sent to a list of art therapists all over the world

Add caption
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This art exchange includes over 350 art therapists and art therapy students participating from Singapore, India, France, Scotland, Slovac Republic, Canada, Ireland, Australia, the UK, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, Taiwan, Belgium, New Zealand, Malaysia, Hungary, Honduras, Chile, the United States, South Africa, Germany, Peru, Spain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, Indonesia, Jamaica, Portugal, and Hong Kong.


"The goal of this collaborative art project is to allow community members from the Art Therapy Alliance, International Art Therapy Organization, and Art Therapy Without Borders to receive postcard art from art therapists and art therapy students living all over the world." ~ ATWB


Here is the entry way to my studio and some of the supplies that I have been using for my mail art - mixed media post cards....




So   I  have finished 11 of them and mailed them out yesterday.   I am posting the mixed media cards I sent out as well as my process here, for your viewing        Here are the 11 postcards that I sent out yesterday , to art therapists in the USA.   I plan on doing the international ones all in a group, so I only have to go once to the post office for the correct postage.

My process....  I started with a large sheet of watercolor paper, I  measured the size for each postcard on the back....then I created washes and played with it without any specific focus.  

 I then cut out each postcard (and I found out that the size given on the directions was a little to small)
I loved the idea  cutting out each section and letting only a part of the whole be the postcard.  Here is one of the watercolor postcard sections.  I love the combination of orange and blue...so vibrant.

 Here is the card that this section eventually became.   I took a folder of laser prints of some of my mandalas, that weren't extremely high quality prints and cut parts and pieces of my original art out.
                                         Then I glued pieces onto my watercolors randomly...
              I took irrdescent and metallic watercolor paints and doodled on each of  the watercolors.....

                        All of this was done in stages, watercoloring, doodling, collaging and then
                                        stamping....all around, once again randomly.
                                     my intention was to have fun, without judgement or plan.
                    The last step in the process was adding words with rubber stamp alphabets.

 I really like this quote by Norman Vincent Peale.
"Imagination is the true magic carpet" 

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Well for some reason, I am not being successful in uploading the last several images...so I will leave it be for now.  At least this gives an idea of my process and the fun I have been having.
My next series will be done a bit differently.  I am looking forward to getting started soon and will share not only what I do, but what I receive here.   Until the next time.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Gathering with my Tribe @ the American Art Therapy Conference

Well its been a few weeks since I last posted here and I have been quite busy since then, journeying a bit on both the inner and outer level.  This past weekend I attended the American Art Therapy Assn. conference ( ATA) in Sacramento.  The 3 days were a whirlwind of inspirations, connections, networking and mini epiphanies.   I sold some of my art at the Arts and Crafts marketplace on the first night, which allowed me to sit in one place and have people visit me and see my art, and talk about my work.  I was happy to see many old friends and make new ones as well, and to attend quite  few exciting and inspiring workshops that speak to the power of making art in a studio based setting.

ONe of the compelling things I participated in was an introduction to the Soul Collage cards with Seena Frost, in a key note lecture and a hands on workshop.  Above is the card I created in the workshop on Saturday.  

The interesting thing about this work, is not that it is new to me, but that it is something I have been doing for years,  that combines my early work with the tarot, my gestalt jungian bent in my art therapy practice, and my ongoing involvement and love of collage.  It is a great fit for me, and I am planning on taking the facilitator training in the new year.

This card speaks to me saying:  I am the one who calls to your sense of adventure, your longing for a deeper journey, standing as the gatekeeper, calling you to the next step, helping you to find that inner map that leads to another part of your souls calling.  


So  I am sharing this with you all, a little wary of putting this out there before I act on it, but the image calls me to this as well.

Along the collage path, I am participating in an exciting Art Post Cards exchange, through Art Therapy without Borders....I will post photos of my cards and more of that whole international community art process in another post..  



Friday, October 15, 2010

Why do we do what we do?

I was just reading a post on Lanie Garrity's wonderful blog 14 Secrets to a Happy Artists life,  and one of her posts focused on this question.  It really got me thinking about my life now,  as an artist and as an art therapist.

I was born with a congenital heart condition, and as an only child growing up in Chicago, I spent alot of time alone, often in the hospital, and when not, missing school often, rarely playing outside with other children.

I was pretty lonely, and art became my best friend, my ally, and my constant companion.

I self soothed, created imaginary friends and worlds, and lost myself for hours in lovely fantasy.

This rich inner world, stayed with me my whole life, and after having open heart surgery on my 13th birthday, I threw myself into life and activity.

But artmaking stayed with me, throughout my life and shaped my life into the one it is today.



As a child, I remember often looking down from our third floor window watching the kids in the alley and courtyard, riding bikes, playing with hoola hoops and on the swings.  I felt like an outsider and wanted to belong.


And even though making art made me happy I wanted to do it with others...  Whenever I was sick, my parents would give me another paint by numbers set, or kit for weaving pot holders.  I loved to make different things, use my hands, and build little people out of mushed up toilet paper, making up stories and traveling across the united states in our long hallway with my handmade paper doll friends....

As I fast forward to my life now, I see that I live a life now that allows me to do art with others, share all the different art processes I have learned, and offer   others the opportunity to explore the healing realms of their imagination.

This is a bit more personal that I have been before on this blog, but it seemed to fit for today, so Thank you Lanie  for your wonderful prompt.

Why do you do what you do?     Ciao

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall Mandala- Process of a Drawing....


About two weeks ago, myself and my working partner, Patricia Water's, led an Illuminated Mandala workshop, focusing on the change of the seasons, from Summer to Fall.  
We are both facilitators of the late Judith Cornell's Mandala Process.  The workshop was a wonderful day and I have shared the groups process in my last post.  I have finally finished my mandala and am sharing the process of the drawing here.  
This is my original drawing, using white prismacolor pencils on the black paper.
In this second image you can see how I add the scale of light (reversed shading) to the images on my mandala, illuminating the shapes with light.

  
 In this drawing I have begun to add color, in some cases going over the white and in other areas, leaving the white light uncolored.
 Each step of the way is primarily unplanned, and whenever I do something I don't particularly like, I go with it, letting it take me where the drawing wants to go.  Allowing it to change and evolve organically.
Here is the final pieces, a lot more subdued than the last image, but still illuminated.  The intention of this piece was release as well as trusting the process of life and change to guide me, as we move into the winter, the dark, the unknown of the cycle of life.

This mandala, along with many of my other mandala's will be available as a matted print on my etsy store, for purchase.  Patricia and I take these workshops on the road, so if you are interested please get in touch, here.  Our next scheduled Illuminated Mandala Seasonal workshop will be a New Years Intention Mandala Day in January of 2010. Please check our website at the Creative Arts Studio for updates on the details.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mandala Workshop- Recent Images...

I am finally posting the images from our recent Autumn Equinox Mandala Retreat Day.


We had a wonderful, small circle of women, drawing and sharing in my studio, last Sunday.  The weather really co operated, thankfully and it wasn't as hot as this weekend, with Indian Summer blazing away  here in northern Ca...otherwise the studio would have been like a sauna.


 Photos speak louder than words for the process so here are some from that day of what emerged and our process.



Here are some of the small practice mandala's that were created just in the white on black.








 The contrast of the white prismacolors on the black canson mi tientes paper is always so stunning.  It is hard to jump into color, because often these  are so perfect just as they are.


This is the mandala that I began that day.  It really expresses alot of my feeling about transitioning into autumn and the approach of winter.  Actually, fall is my most favorite time of year, but their is always a bittersweetness to it as well.

Lots of release and letting go is inherent within it.
There is something about the dark center that is so provocative

After a wonderful morning of diving in and drawing small mandalas, we began our bigger ones and then created small test color wheel mandalas, practicing blending the rainbow prismacolor pencils that we use in the process. Color is so exciting, and it changes everything.

 We use a limited palette in this process, just 6 colors plus white.  Aquamarine, true green, yellow, orange, magenta, and violet.

                                 With these 6 colors it is possible to mix hundreds of vibrant colors.




The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.╡
>
> - Kahlil Gibran -




Here are all the mandala's in process up on the wall.  Because this is such detailed work, we need to give our eyes, hands and backs breaks.  Often times when you stand back and look at what you are doing, it is possible to see the work in new ways. The mandalas will let you know what the next step is.
Please note the intricate detail on this amazing mandala.
Close up..........
This is the mandala that I began that day, in process. I will post the completed process at a later time.
This is Patricia Waters mandala in process, created with a dear friend in mind who is going through some traumatic life changes.  

Most everyone in the group promised to send the completed mandala images to me, perhaps those will be included in another post.  

I knew that in finding the mandala as an expression of the self
 I had attained what was for me the ultimate.
 C. G. Jung