The Flip Side of Sharing

As I wrote my last post about putting yourself ‘out there’ and sharing your art, I was feeling the warmth of acceptance and appreciation for doing so. On Christmas Eve the latest issue of CPS arrived and I quickly learned the sting that sometimes comes from being ‘out there’ in the form of a letter to the editor.

I will admit that it hurt. As artists we are very sensitive about our work, whether it be in the form of art or writing about art. This is what makes all of us fearful at times to share our creative side with others.

When I write an article sharing a new product or technique, I truly want to encourage, teach and share what I’ve learned to hopefully inspire and help others on their own journey which in turn inspires me to keep pushing ahead.

When I pick up a magazine I do so knowing that not every article will be ‘for me’ and still can appreciate the time and effort the person writing put into it. We don’t have to share, we want to and there wouldn’t be wonderful magazines if everyone was fearful of rejection and decided against sharing because their work may not please everyone.

I wasn’t going to address this issue, but I feel the need to be honest and if I’m going to talk about the positive aspects of sharing, I need to also address the sometimes negative aspects as well.

It has made me reflect on why I share and the need to continue on despite an occasional negative response.

I appreciate all of the support you all have given me and look forward to an art-filled New Year, sharing my journey, good and bad.

The new year will bring the birth of my first grand baby and my first book. These are the things that propel me forward and help me not to spend valuable time worrying over things that really aren’t important.

Bless you all in 2010!

These and more have just been listed in my Etsy Shop

This and That

Here is the sample self portrait that I will be teaching at Inspirational Retreat in April. We will spend the first day working in the journals I provide, playing with drawing, mixed media techniques, and symbolism, getting comfortable in our own skin and then on the second day we will create a personal piece on canvas that will include a little shrine of the things we hold dear.

It’s a little hard to tell in this picture, but behind the optical lens is a precious little birds egg shell. The little birdie is long gone and this so speaks to how I feel about my own ‘birdies’ leaving the nest.
I’ve been asked if this is the same as my online Pursuing Portraits workshop and it is an extension of that, taking it to the next level putting into practice what I teach online. I will go into much more detail about different techniques I use to paint portraits.
The mail lady brought my advance copies of Cloth Paper Scissors which includes an article on Liquid Pencil, a fabulous product that is tons of fun to play with! I hope you give it a try. You can see an additional piece of work I did with it here.

Buried Treasure

March ’08

It’s finally here! My first work published in this months Cloth, Paper, Scissors. Laurie Blau-Marshall got to see it first and called me last night. She was a sweetie and scanned it for me and my issue arrived today. What a feeling opening a favorite magazine and seeing your work in there. I hope I will be able to work with them in the future. I love their publication and inspiring articles. Thanks for all of the happy dancing with me, this is a great start to an artistic 2008. Mine are the three collages on the bottom half of the page and the letter next to it.

Joining Seth Apter’s quest for ‘Buried Treasure’ gave me the opportunity to go back to the early posts of my then fledgling blog and recapture some very special moments. The most memorable and what I consider the start of a whole new venue in my art life, was the publication of my first work. Was it only a little over a year ago? It hardly seems so as so much has happened since. With the validation that came with this first little publication, I was encouraged to submit more work and the result is over a dozen articles and publications that have followed. I was even honored with a Guest Artist feature in The Stampers Sampler. And the most amazing thing, each time I find out something is going to be published I do that same little happy dance! Each time it makes me want to do more, to strive harder, to stretch my artists soul to that next level. I did not know I could write articles for magazines, I just knew I wanted to be fearless and try. I set goals for myself and did not let myself off the hook. When one goal was met, I added another. I think when you truly want something you will go after it. You will find your way. You will do things you never thought you could do.

February ’08

I just posted a new slide-show featuring pages from my first artistic journal. I officially finished it this week. No white spots left! It was a wonderful experience for me and I have learned not to be afraid of a blank page! It was intimidating to me at first. But I jumped in and just learned along the way. Now I am so excited to start my second one! This has been an valuable tool in trying out new techniques, documenting happenings in my home life, my artistic life, and just plain fun! I take it with me on airplanes, doctors appointments and school pick ups. It isn’t perfect, but that’s one thing I learned along the way, IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE!!! I kept going back to pages and adding things which was really fun, but I am ready to move on to Book 2.

This first journal taught me so much and now I’m starting journal #13! When I submitted some pictures from the first one to Somerset, they contacted me about doing an article in the inaugural issue of Art Journaling. It was a little scary letting go of my first journal and allowing it to be used without my having control over it, but the end result was one of my favorite features and I am thrilled that they are even using more of that journal and some of a journal I did this year for the latest Art Journaling due out September ’09. Journaling is such a part of my art life, I don’t know what I did before I started. My views have totally changed about it. I am no longer striving to make ‘perfect’ pages, I am just enjoying the process of it and letting the pages unfold before me. I love it so much that I am sharing my passion in two online workshops, and still journal almost daily. If you haven’t added journaling to your art life, I would highly encourage it. I don’t look at it as yet another ‘thing’ to do, this is something I do for me. I share about it because I want people to know how truly do-able it is and how to fit it into your daily routine, making it a habit that has untold benefits.

So what are your buried treasures? Have you looked back from whence you came in awhile? How did you get to here? Art is a journey. It does not stand still, it is continually evolving and taking new directions. It is important to look back to fully appreciate the path we are on.

Just Out

We made a little impromptu visit to our boat yesterday because the kids were out of school and it was 80 degrees, and how could we not? It was our first overnight of the season and my brother and sister-in-law went with their kids too. Very fun and relaxing little getaway.

I came home and found this waiting for me in the mailbox! The latest issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors featuring an article I wrote. Also featured in this issue are two other Melange Team members, Nancy Lefko, and Sue Pelletier.

Here are some little snippets from my article and a peek at the Homework section featuring some additional tips and one of my journal pages that those who are taking my Visual Journalism 101 online class will recognize.

Included in this article are step out pictures/instructions for the process I use in some of my mixed media portraits.

With Mother’s Day soon approaching, you will find the inspiration behind my portraits and why I find them so much a part of my art life.

This issue has some wonderful articles and I hope you will be able to pick up a copy. Let me know if you do, I’d love to hear from you!
A little insider info, the dress in this portrait, ‘Letting Go’ was inspired by my living room drapes. You just never know what your muse will lead you!