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A Delayed #ArtThursday

So super late, must admit, the last week has felt a bit overwhelming, just so much that has crept up on my plate. In some moments I feel like quitting and crawling under the covers and sleeping right through all the chaos but in most of the moments I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. When I finally got home last evening I was having a “ah, forget it, I’m so tired moment” but then some little things with big impact to me happened…I received two of my product shipments for my upcoming store launch (more news to come in the future about that!) and I saw my latest unfinished painting sitting on my dresser where I had strategically placed it to finish for an upcoming local art show with the very soon deadline of midnight last night, and I felt a little bit of inspiration creep up inside me. I realized I couldn’t catch up on it all last night but I did pull out my paints and I felt motivated again.

Sometimes lining up the art show deadlines on my calendar can add to the stress…but the actual part of letting loose in my artwork is where my therapy comes in… last night I sat down on my bed, watercolor pencils in hand, with no definite thought of where I was going to go with my painting, other than it was a bug and I had decided I was going to paint a praying mantis. The thing I love about diving into my paintings is that I find freedom and escape there. The more I let loose, the more exuberant my paintings become. My paintings are teaching me that the process is many times more important than the end result. I’m learning to live more in the moment and to focus on the process in all areas of my life through my art sessions. You can check out more of my artwork on my Artist Instagram account

Do you paint, do you draw? What activities do you find escape in? Share your arts and craft projects!!!

Link Up! 

(And because I was late, I extended the open party!)


Next Link Up June 8th!!!

10 Ways Art is Therapeutic for Your Mind, Heart, & Soul

Today’s #ArtThursday is brought to you by me…and the benefits of Art Therapy. Did you know that practicing art or even by doing a craft it can act as a meditative practice for you? When we channel our energy into creating something it can have many therapeutic properties.

1.) Art is relaxing and has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety and decrease worry.

2.) It can teach us insight, empathy and acceptance.

3.) It promotes self-expression and can help us express and process emotions or stress that we may have suppressed.

4.) Art therapy stimulates the mind.

5.) It can encourage self-discovery, self-observation and encourages the discovery of our subconscious.

6.) Art empowers us.

7.) It helps teach us constructive ways to deal with tough feelings and traumatic or stressful situations.

8.) Art Therapy improves emotional, cognitive and sensory processes.

9.) Art can help us see beauty in rough times.

10.) It provides us with many learning opportunities and provides a sense of worth and accomplishment when we complete projects.

Now it’s your time to share! Link up your current artwork and projects! DIY Arts & Crafts, thoughts on art, Art Bucket List, all welcome!

What kinds of art and projects do you do to relax?


My Artist’s Bucket List – Exploring New Territory

As an artist I am always looking for ways to grow. I have several forms of art and artistic expression that I am eager to try.

Oil Painting – my go-to paint choice has always been acrylic, in the last year I’ve expanded into water colors but I still have yet to give oils a try so that’s most definitely on my list!

Macrame – The beautiful wall hangings and jewelry that I’ve seen come from this wonderful craft are beautiful. I think this is a skill that will take more patience but I think it will be relaxing and rewarding.

Pottery – Think “Ghost”. How could you not want to try this? I’m a Virgo, meaning I’m an Earth sign and it absolutely intrigues me to be able to create something from such an earthy substance. I cannot imagine not liking the feel of building and creating something within my hands.

Figure Drawing – I’ve started dabbling in this as I explore with oil pastels but this is something I would like to really take the time and dig into. The art of the shape of the human body is beautiful and I truly want to be able to depict it on paper.

Weaving – The intricate designs and colors that can be captured within a woven piece is amazing. How each piece can tell a story of its handcrafted journey.

Calligraphy – I am a quote and inspirational words fanatic. I think this would be a wonderful skill to master to share that love.

 Screen Printing – Old school style. I tried this out when I was in school and it is so cool putting your artwork onto the fabric. I would like to revisit this skill.

 Dance – I have had dance on my bucket list for a while. The expression that can be shared through the art of dance can be quite powerful. There are many forms of dance that can be explored.

 There are so many forms of art out there. What kinds of art do you do and what’s on your bucket list to try?

The Path of Art Journaling – Exploring My Growth

About a year ago, I started art journaling…I found it a wonderful release of the stress that the day had brought. Since then my mind has opened and the creativity and artistic nature of my personality has unleashed so much more. Today I sketch, I paint routinely, and I dive into free drawings with my pastels when I find I’m struggling to sleep. This #artthursday I took a look back at where I started adding art back into my daily routines…this shows that when we start with just a simple step it can unleash us into many wonderful places as we continue to move forward on our paths.

March 2016: So one of my bucket list to-do’s is to make an Art Journal. I’ve always thought they were so beautiful and such a wonderful way to be expressive. I have seen tons of great ideas online, you can check out some of my fave ideas on my Pinterest Board – Art Journaling.  I want my art journal to be fun, push the limits of formality and tradition. I want lots of color and funky doodles. I try not to conform to one set style or structure, just let myself explore and be free. I’ve found this a wonderful way to calm myself, a unique way to add to my meditations, a place to release. Some pages take thirty minutes, some take hours, some pages are part of one project, some a single thought.  I’m still quite a newbie and cannot compare to some of the beautiful creations I’ve seen online but my art journal is mine, not a following of any one else’s, my own creation, part of my artistic and spiritual journey… I’ll share as I go along, as I evolve and grow, hoping to inspire and stir ideas for your own…

I continue to grow more and more each day, some days I produce more art than others. Some paintings take months to finish and some I finish in a day. Each month, I find myself trying a new medium or a new technique. I have become more free in my expression and pushing past boundaries and limitations I used to hold myself to. I have opened myself up to seeing inspiration in so many more places and it has brought beauty to each moment in my days.

Feeling Stuck? 20 Ways To Get Rid Of Creative Block

We’ve all been there, as an artist, as a writer, as a blogger…creative block sometimes gets us. I get it at least once every few months. I know there’s awesome things there waiting to burst out but I can’t get the door to open. So I kick into gear on busting down that wall and getting those creative juices flowing again! 

1. Read – Dive into a fantasy novel, drift off into a good story.

2. Revisit your work – Look at old paintings, read old blog posts, review & edit the novel you’ve been working on.

3. Meditate.

4. Visit an art gallery or museum.

5. Take a nap – Dreams can be wonderful inspiration.

6. Get outside – Explore & surround yourself with nature.

7. Take a Class.

8. Listen to music.

9. Have a spa day – Sometimes you just need to relax & take the pressure off.

10. Research something unusual – There’s all kinds of crazy topics out there that can spark something in your mind.

11. Spend time with friends.

12. Scope out Instagram & Pinterest for ideas.

13. Cook – Try a new recipe or get cozy with a family classic.

14. Participate in a sketch or photo challenge.

15. Travel – Take a mini vacation or go for a day trip.

16. Just scribble or splat some paint on the paper – Let the chaos of the mess lead your artistic ways.

17. Drink some wine – Not something to overdo but a couple of glasses of wine can help you let your barriers down.

18. Pick a word & journal about it – What does that word mean to you? How does it inspire you?

19. Exercise – Go to a Yoga class, go for a run, get your Zumba on.

20. Clean & reorganize your space.

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Speaking to the Artist’s Soul & Emerging in the Progress

Creating art is a therapy for me…when I pick up a paintbrush or open my sketchbook I immediately feel a wave of calmness enter me. The stress of the world melts away. I become the center of the balance beam. 

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” ~ Thomas Merton

It frees me. It allows stubborn emotions to flow out of me, whether it is trauma or joy, the feelings can pour freely from my soul, leaving my heart and my mind clear. 

“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

It opens a space for me to heal.

“Art opens the closets, airs out the cellars & attics. It brings healing.” ~ Julia Cameron

I used to rush my paintings, feeling the need to bring them to completion in one sitting. I found that through my patience they became so much more. I have learned to allow them to be works in progress. I allow them to grow as I grow through them. Letting them layer upon layer as life does, creating a story to be told. And in that they give back to me as what I put into them.

Art is beautiful to the eyes, but it is compelling to the soul. 

 

My Visions & Dreams In Paint – Hidden Self Portraits

I had it on my bucket list last year to paint a self portrait. I took it off my bucket list this year.

Though I haven’t sat down in front of the mirror and painted a mere image of myself, I have painted many self portraits.

Each piece of my artwork also has a piece of me in them. A reflection of who I am, how I feel, how I see. Artwork is an expression of ourselves, in each piece a part of our individuality is captured. Therefore I will always be painting a self portrait in some way. In my Phoenix is how I arose above and beyond life’s challenges and tragedies, the strength in my angel that I found within myself, the blue hues of my dreams in my gypsy…each painting and sketch holds a view or a dream of mine.

FLOW

A friend of mine that I chat art with quite often recently pointed out to me the other day that I seem to not like to illustrate faces. My initial response was yeah, I’m not very good at faces so I avoid them…but after pondering like I do (being a Virgo naturally makes me overthink everything! Sometimes this can have it’s advantages though leading to deeper meanings) I realized it goes much deeper than just not being good at drawing faces. That was a superficial response. I could take the time and the practice to develop my talent in illustrating faces but I don’t. As I continued to think about it, the truth became evident to me, that really I am holding back in my artwork. This was an emotional obstruction for me. The process of making art for me is personal, it is emotional, it is expression, reflections of how I see myself and how I see the world…and how much of that perception I want to share with the world. “Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide.” ~ D.W. Winnicott 

I find it hard to share my emotions with people unless I am able to present it in a logical format, or in that of teaching a lesson. I push myself daily to be open with the ever-flowing emotions that travel through my mind and though I appear as open as a book, really I hold much back. I don’t like to share my deepest feelings (not that any of us really do), I don’t like to show the deep-down ugly or sorrow. The face can be a wide-open book spilling the words of our heart, our mind, our soul unto the world at any given moment. So my questions of thought became “Do I avoid illustrating faces to preserve myself, to hold back just enough to hide?” and “Does my artwork suffer because of this? Could my art be so much greater if I let all of it flow out of me onto the canvas?”

My friend says to me, “Your artwork feels very open to interpretation”. My response being, “My artwork is an expression of my inner-workings without being outright”. This conversation struck a chord with me. As much as of an upfront type of person I am, yet in my most beloved activity I hold back. I paint and draw to feel free but I have set limits for myself within that sense of freedom, where is the truth in that? 

As we enter the end of the year, we reflect on how we will live differently in 2017. In 2017, I am going to learn to let go more. I am going to let my heart pour into my artwork, both literally and figuratively. I want to show the rawness that we each hold in being human, the ups and the downs that we see in life, both the beauty and pain that is in the eye of the beholder, because without each, life isn’t true.