Creative Process-ing

Art journal page in progress

Art journal page in progress

It's been a long while since I've posted and I've been super busy. I have four new large pieces in the works, I'm finishing up a color theory class and a photoshop class and I'm right in the middle of teaching an art journaling class, which I am loving! I have one piece a local show and several pieces in another. {Yay!} And in my "spare" time, I've been learning how to design surface patterns. Lots of creative activity on top of regular Life, which fuels me and feeds my soul enough to handle the "everyday" challenges.  

I've been thinking lately about what I would do without my creative activity. Probably go crazy! Or at the very least be a bit grouchy and unhappy. Over the past several months, I've had a few weeks that were taken up with other activities that needed my attention, some were family things. After about three days of not painting, I found myself feeling restless, a little irritable, frustrated, and overwhelmed. I started to become unfocused and unorganized. A little scatter brained. If a week goes by, I start feeling angry and resentful. Ugh. It's a terrible feeling and state to be in! Painting is like water to me, three days without it and I'm dying. I must paint. Whether I paint well or not is not really the issue. I would like to paint well, which I hope will come with practice. But whether I paint well or paint badly, I. must. paint. 

Isn't that strange? I have no explanation. I only know what I feel like if I avoid or cannot paint for several days and what a relief I feel after I do paint. I spent years trying to "find my way" after realizing in my 20's that I had been living someone else's life, someone else's dream, someone who was no longer in my life. I was rather shocked to discover that I didn't even have a dream for myself! I resolved that my 30's would be different, though I had not a clue as to how to go about changing things. I only knew I wanted to be at home--in my place, in my relationships and in my work, my work. Little by little, I started paying attention to what I wanted and what I didn't want; what made me feel joyful and what made me feel sad or angry. Slowly, I began to make different choices whether they made sense or not. Once I reached 40, I had started to make art on a more regular basis and had begun pursuing an artistic life.  I suspected that I'd found my path although I had trouble calling myself an "artist" and still struggled with my self-esteem. I had no idea how I would know when I'd found my home, but I knew it must be there. The first time I heard the phrase "follow your bliss", I was in a yoga class and wondered what the heck "bliss" was! It certainly couldn't be the surfac-y happy feeling that is so fleeting. So what exactly was it and how do you "follow" it? Had I ever really felt "blissful"? I didn't think so. What was "bliss" to me? It must be a bit personal for everyone, right? What did I want? To be surrounded by beauty and to create, came my answer. So, I decided to practice seeing beauty all around me, do the next right thing, follow my strong impulses and focus on my work (art making). It was a rich, deeply moving, uncomfortable, heart opening, mind altering, life changing experience which lasted two years before it became "real". As a result, there were a lot of changes, some uncomfortable and some welcome. I now know that I am on MY path and have every intention of following it wherever it leads. I'm working very hard, harder than ever in my life, and I'm happy. I feel that I've finally found my Home. I learned that the decisions come first, then action in practice and the feelings follow later. Had I not made a commitment to see things through whether or not I experienced any kind of feeling, I may have quit, thinking that home was an illusion, non-existent, a fantasy. 

What I love about teaching art journaling is that it makes art accessible for everyone, and I get to have the honor of supporting someone through their process. The creative process doesn't have to be the deep, earth moving process that I had, sometimes is just an outlet for stress or creative release or simply playtime. But no matter what kind of process one has, it is sacred to witness. Because art is a reflection of the inner life of an individual, a personal expression which no one else can truly replicate. Your marks are your marks made with your hand. Because no one else has your hand, and no one uses their hand quite like you do, no one else can truly make your marks. They might look similar, but they are not the same. This concept shows up glaringly so in art journaling. No two people's art journals are the same...ever. Isn't that incredible?!? Blows me away. I can teach one technique to ten students and see ten different results. And that amazes me! And what amazes me more is that often I see things in others' work that I would never have thought of! I love that! Art is therefore, truly collaborative, wholly individual and utterly mysterious. 



Art Journaling Class Begins in 1 Week!

Art Journaling class at the Petaluma Arts Center starts one week from today, on October 28 and I can hardly stand it! I'm sooo excited! Blank art journals, supplies, paints, inks, pens, adhesives, etc. are all gathered up and ready for a creative journey. There are just a few spots left in the class if you are still thinking about registering. If you're on the fence, come on over! You can register here, or call Hilary at 707-762-5600.

Art Journaling Class Starts October 28!

I am so excited about my upcoming Art Journaling class at the Petaluma Arts Center! For those of you who have already registered--we are going to have so much fun! For those of you who haven't registered yet and are on the fence--please join us! It will be so much fun to have you in class. There is still time to register and seats available but seating is limited, so act today! You can register here or call 707-762-5600 to register over the phone. 

As I've been preparing for class during the past month, I've been busily gathering supplies and materials, putting together cool projects for us to make in class and working in my own journal. While I've been doing all of this, I've been thinking about why people keep journals, in particular, art journals. I've come across lots of examples of art journals and the variety is astounding, from keeping sample books of colors, designs and fabrics to recording every day life events, thoughts & feelings to drawing/painting/collaging. Throughout history, artists like Frida Kahlo, Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Picasso and many, many others have kept art journals. So, what can keeping an art journal do for you?

  • Exercise your creativity and give you a place to experiment. Keeping an art journal that is just for you, can give you a safe place to experiment and practice different techniques. It's important to warm up before doing anything and your art journal can give you a place to do just that as well as a place to play.
  • Find and use your voice. If you're needing a place to be able to say something or if your unable to express yourself in just words, your art journal is the place to find and use your voice. For this reason, you can keep your art journal completely private or you can share what you feel comfortable with. It's up to you! 
  • Play! Sometimes is just sheer fun to play with paint, ink, collage or drawing in a journal. It doesn't really have to be any more important than that! 

As always, I welcome your comments and questions about the art journaling class coming up or art or art journaling in general. Feel free to use the contact form, email me or leave a comment below!

Art Journaling-Register Now

I'm so excited to teach Art Journaling at the Petaluma Arts Center this fall and registration is now open! If you're interested, you can register online here or call 707-762-5600. If you have questions about the class, you may contact me through the contact page.

One of the things we are going to be doing, of course, is mining for images. Our culture is filled to the brim with images. We are image-making creatures and images and symbols fill our history and our psyches. Thus, images can be found anywhere and everywhere. By using images in our art journals, we will be creating our own visual language. We'll be finding images that relate to our own personal experiences of life in magazines, photography (yours or someone else's), advertising and even drawing our own. I'll have lots of material to choose from in the class, but you can also go online, use your own photography, use old books or vintage photographs found at a flea market, graphic art or any number of other things. Ephemera is also part of images. Like the ticket in my art journal page above. Use maps, brochures from a trip you took, letters, postcards, etc. The possibilities are endless...and personal. So, I encourage you to look around and start gathering things that you might want to incorporate into your journal. Gather things that speak to your soul, things that get you excited or cause you to say, "I love that!". Place them all in a folder, box or accordion file and bring them to class.

Register now and as always, I'm happy to answer any questions! Either comment below or contact me through the contact page

Art Journaling Class

I'm so excited to announce that I will be teaching an art journaling class at Petaluma Arts Center this fall! This is going to be a really fun class and appropriate for all ages and skill levels. I'm busily writing a bunch of fun things for the class! 

The reason I am so excited to teach this class is that art journaling is for everyone! And each person creates a unique, personal art piece based only on themselves and their view of the world. I get juiced watching students experiment, discover and create these pieces. Art journaling can useful in so many ways, as a idea book, mood or vision board, as a way to record your feelings, as a way to experiment with art techniques and so much more. 

Please feel free to contact me with any questions about the class. Art Journaling starts in October and runs for six weeks. I'll send out another notice when sign ups are available.