A Magic Toy on My Doorstep (lots of pics!)

Look at the beauty that arrived on my doorstep today! 

I’ve never bought a digital camera before — the one I’ve been using has been borrowed, and aside from my Bloggie, which promised to be great but has been a sore disappointment, I’ve used hand-me-downs and, for a few weeks, a gift that couldn’t compensate for my less-than-steady hands. Being able to not only purchase a camera, but a nice one for video recording and blog photos, well, I never thought I’d have enough to be able make such a big purchase! 

And the reality is, I have, in the past, but realize I’ve been a Money Hoarder, always worried that the moment I spend the money on anything large, it’d never be replenished. This is a definite lack of faith in the Universe or God or whatever you may believe, believing that God would gift you with funds one day and deny you the next. I don’t want to get into a discussion about my thoughts on such things, as they’re still deep in bramble patches full of thorns made from a past of illness and uncertainty, but I do believe that God has a vested interest in you as long as you have one in yourself. 

And I decided, in the swell of magic that’s taken residence in my life since the unbelievable generosity around the mini-class and the lives it continues to touch, that it was time to truly invest in myself and where I want to go. To stop making the little, safe choices, borrowing and cutting corners where I could and take that giant leap into this new path I’ve forged for myself. 

If I’m going to be filming one or two videos a week, pouring my heart into each, then it makes perfect sense to purchase a camera that would not only record beautifully, but allow me to see myself as I film (which, if you’ve considered using a digital camera of some kind, it’s kinda difficult!). It will make my work easier and cut down on frustration. 

But more than that, I believe it says: 

Universe, I am ready. I’m not ‘getting by’ and making it work — I am investing seriously in my future. I have declared my mission; now, I’m declaring my commitment. 

Here are a few shots from around the studio today. I’ve been taking it easy for the past few days, as my FMS has decided it wants to chill out in lounge clothes on the couch, so I decided to show you a few details from my new journal. I went ahead and bought a 9”x12” Strathmore Visual Journal (mixed media) as I love the smaller one they sent me a few weeks ago…and I really love this one, too! I don’t have to gesso pages and can still slather on the layers! 

I cannot stress how much my life has become magical after figuring out how to help you by helping — and being — me. Shifting my focus from simply teaching and sharing to helping and being myself has made everything so much clearer, and the world seems full of opportunity. Things just keep happening awesomely. So this new journal is a place where I dream of possibility and abundance. I want to be reminded of these things every day, each time I take out my journal. 

Okay, I’ll stop rambling now! Enjoy the pictures! 

(I'm transfering the sketch to the wood...fun!)

PS. I have a cool surprise for y'all this week, and so many projects and ideas to write down, I'll be busy for weeks! All things to help YOU journal your lives easier, and create beautiful art no matter how healthy, ill, moble, or tired you may be! 

29 Faces in May: Final

I thought I'd film the final face, the only side profile I attempted (I didn't realize this until I was nearly to the end of the month!). So check it out below! 

Overall, I had a great time attempting this challenge. While I may not have finished all 29, I did work on one every single day. On some days, when it was hard to do much art, it was amazing to feel accomplished for sitting down and simply drawing with a pen or pencil while watching a movie. 

Here are the rest, in order from the first to the very last...

(I wanted to post these so you could see my progress....and that sticking with something and working on it every day, even for a month, can teach you WONDERS. If I can do this with only ONE art class in my life, YOU CAN TOO!) 


(this one was done with OILS!)

Asking, Asking, Learning


my work's in the center.

Today, we all pegged three of our drawings on the wall, sat back, and gave each other feedback. 

I’m no stranger to this process. I’ve been critiquing my own journal pages for years, now, being honest with myself as to what works and what doesn’t, collecting all the good things together like mythical roll-over minutes (side-note: do those still exist?), letting the good compound atop each other until now, when I’m mostly confident I’ll like the pages I create. 

(This is also the ‘fake it ‘till you make it trick of live demos and uStreams.)

I also encourage this habit in my students and you, my darling readers, because everything we create has a lesson to teach us, even the worst pages we want to pass off on a small child or perhaps some magic faerie that tips bad pages into journals for fun. You know, not made by you

There is good and not-so-good to be gleamed from everything. 

Here’s the thing — you are not your art. 

We’re all learning. No one can pick up a pen and draw amazingly and in-proportion on their first try. There is always room for improvement, something to learn, and something to celebrate. 

What I learned today is this — I may be a pain in the ass in class, asking questions all the time, asking for advice, looking for that little nudge in the right direction, but that’s how passion shows up. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t ask. If I didn’t want to learn, I would just draw whatever I could and give up. 

Yes, I had problem areas. And overlooked shadows. And only had 45 minutes for one of them, but in the long run, I’ve been having so much fun that it doesn’t matter what grade I got or where I messed up — looking at what I’d managed to create with my own two hands and an unfamiliar material (charcoal), I couldn’t help but smile and be proud

So be that person, darlings. Ask questions. Keep searching for answers. Email the artists you love and don’t look back. 

The ones who ask questions are the ones who are passionate, curious, and creative. Never forget that. 

Learning Curve

We’re working through our second still life in drawing class this week, this one with the full range of shade values — the first only had three. 

I’m finding myself challenged. In a good way. 

When was the last time you were learning something so interesting, you wanted to work through the struggle to get to the other side? When you were so engaged, hours could pass in the blink of an eye? And I’m not talking about learning on your own, where the pace is set by the books you check out from the library and the blogs you read, but a class, where there’s structure and an instructor, and grades

Oh, yes. This girl is getting graded. Which is always a challenge when you’re a bit of a perfect student. My college GPA was a 3.975, which bugged me (though my final semester was straight A’s!). Despite taking this class for personal enrichment, I’m striving to get a good grade, to do good work, and be liked by my teacher. Which is hard when you’re always asking for help. Input. Pointers. I want to amaze. 

I want to prove I’m an artist. 

I know, I know. But I think some part of me wonders, “If you don’t do well in this class, are you really an artist? Do you really have talent?” 

But the other part of me is thrilled at all I’m learning. For example, when I was editing the above photo, my eyes were drawn to the black vase on my artwork. I had to do a double-take — is it me, or can you see the light reflecting off it, the shading, the light? Did I really do that? 

Yes, I did. And I will keep trying, keep drawing, keep showing up to class, because I want to be challenged and stretched and grow as an artist. 

And as I prep for my first free demo at Jerry’s Artarama here in Tempe, I know how you, as students, want to be taught.