Friday, October 26, 2012

ATC Swap

I feel fortunate to have been introduced to this fun exchange about a month ago. I have always loved artist trading cards (ATC's or ACEO's) but have never made any... not sure why... because they are so much fun! 
And what better way to give it a go than to enter an ATC swap? 
Today I shipped off 52 cards to be distributed among other swappers... and the best part... I get will receive a deck back. I can't wait to see all of the creativity!


The beginning stages...


A little embellishing...


And the finished cards with inspirational quotes...


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Inspiration Overload

Do you ever start to feel like you are on inspiration overload... in a good way? The internet  makes this possible. Find one amazing artist that leads to the next amazing artist and so on. Lately I have been having this experience ALOT...feeling like that little metal ball inside of a pinball machine... bouncing all over the place scoring up inspiration points as I jump from site to site. This morning the lovely Leslie Ann Harvey asked me if I had ever heard of Roben Marie... just dropped my first quarter in the machine... from there it was a smorgasbord of eye candy as I discovered more and more links to visit. 
 
This artist was one of the many treasures. I love her work! There is so much to explore within each piece... so much life and energy... beautiful work. And she had this incredible video on her site as well. I am in awe of the freedom and the uninhibited and natural creativity of this young artist. A testament and reminder that we are ALL creative beings. It is our birthright... most of us just forget or get sidetracked along the way. This is inside of you... set it free!
 
(lil' side note- I decided to up the font size... better?)




Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Creative Diversions

Although my focus has been deep in painting as of late, I do like to mix it up and work my hands and creativity in a different way. So, I have made some fun little crafty items...


I found these little banner flags at a craft shop and knew right away I had to make something. So tiny and cute- they are only about an inch or so in size. I stenciled the letters to spell LOVE and embellished with ribbons and beads. I have some different ideas to play with- think I will be making lots more of these...


It might sound crazy, but when I find a rusty bottle cap, an interesting shaped stick, a feather, rock or animal bone I get super excited as if I have just discovered a buried treasure... I guess, in a way, it is. I am a collector of these bits and pieces. I have boxes, bowls and trays loaded with them. They wait for the perfect time to show up in my work. Here is an old bottle cap and piece of driftwood that I incorporated into a little mobile-type goodie... again, I see more on the way...

And a new 6x6 inch painting I finished on Sunday...


Friday, October 19, 2012

On My Easel

Well, actually, on my work table... but easel sounded more romantic. 

Here are two of my most recent pieces that I have been working on over the last few days. It's a bummer that I didn't have any progress photos because these went through LOTS of changes... for the better. I am feeling happy with them and that is what I listen to when I am working... how does it feel? It is amazing what feelings can come up during the "birthing" of a new creation. There is an ebb and flow that feels much like riding a wave. Joy, excitement, wonder, sadness, frustration, fear, worry, happiness, contentment, satisfaction... I absolutely love this process even when the not so good feelings come in. I have learned to be with the process no matter what it brings and trust that it will work itself out. I used to struggle with the feelings that brought me down when I felt like the painting was taking a turn for the worse, that I was "ruining" it. But, I have come to realize that this is just a natural part of the work. It is a safe place to experiment, take risks and see what happens... it is only paint after all. It is an amazing "relationship" that we develop with our work. Some we dance with and never miss a step, others we grapple with, set aside for weeks or months before we revisit them, some we even start over, fresh, new, clean slate...
I am so in love with the process of painting and who it lets me be... myself... and how it makes me feel... joyfully ALIVE!  I am curious... What is your creative process like? How does it make you feel? What do you experience?


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mixed Media Progression

"Gratitude" is a new piece I recently created. I had my camera around to take some shots as I worked. Most of the time I forget to take photos as I get into the flow of creating but I am trying to be better about documenting my work. It is really interesting to look back and see how pieces progress...
This piece actually did not go through a lot of change. I wanted to keep it simple and keep the collage component more apparent... I have a tendency of covering up most of my collage backgrounds when I work in this format.





Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New Paintings

I am feeling very grateful and fortunate to have some extended time off. It has allowed me to be very productive in my studio. Here are a few new pieces... I decided to play with adding a second bird in a new mirrored way on a couple of paintings... maybe a "Lovers" series?
Today I rearrange, clean and organize my studio.

"The Sweetest Love" 12x12 inch acrylic on canvas

"Love Birds" 12x12 inch acrylic on canvas

"Believe in Dreams" 8x10 inch mixed media on canvas


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New MOOs

My new MOO cards arrived yesterday and I have to say that this company is in a league of their own. They are cutting edge brilliant. I love companies like this- always thinking ahead and creatively.
The look and feel of the card, with it's rounded corners option, thick card stock (and I didn't upgrade) and ability to upload multiple images of your artwork so you have a variety of designs within one order of cards... did I mention brilliant? These cards are like artist trading cards... And then they offer this... wow! Needless to say, I am hooked and will be using moo.com from now on.



Monday, October 15, 2012

Imagine the Possibilities

Yesterday I watched (via the internet) a man free fall from space... from over 24 miles above the earth... at over 700 miles per hour... He was attempting to beat a world record for longest freefall from space. Wait... someone else has already done this...? As I watched him blaze toward the earth (a vague white speck on the computer screen) my mind pondered the magnitude of this event. Oddly, I felt like crying. Partly because of fear and the potential danger of it... how could someone do such a thing?...but more so because of the wonder and excitement of it and the significance of such a feat... because it was a dream he was fulfilling...



Lately, I have been reading a lot about the power of intention and our thoughts, the law of attraction, how the Universe works and the capability within each of us to make our dreams come to fruition. 

POSSIBILITY

Watching this man, I couldn't help but be reassured that really, anything is possible and we must, we MUST, go for our dreams. We must listen to our hearts and make space for those dreams... plant the seeds and tend to them, even if it is only for a few moments in our days or weeks. We must nourish our dreams and give them the care so that they can grow... no matter how long it takes. We must believe in our dreams and breathe life into them... because no one else can.

It can be easy to push them aside, bury them or ignore them altogether because "life" takes over. We can be very hard on ourselves because we don't have the time, space or energy. Let's do it anyway! Even if it is just moments in our day. We must honor ourselves by honoring our dreams. This is our one and only precious life...let's live fully in the potential and in the possibilites.

In case you were curious, the man parachuted safely to the ground. He fell (no pun intended!) short of beating the world record by about 10 seconds... but what an incredible feat... from dream to reality.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday Snapshots... What a difference a day makes

Not actually a weekly wrap up since these photos are just a day apart... yesterday and today. Just a little "before and after" the first snow storm to make it to the ground around here.  Ahhh, Colorado weather... Hope you had a great weekend!






Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mystery Plant



Found these guys woven into a chain link fence in a parking lot today and had to stop and look closer and, of course, snap a few photos. I love the swirling lines inside of the fluffy white, cotton ball like "stuff"... yes, very technical description...

I am not sure what type of vine this is and can only imagine what it looked like in full bloom. 
Any ideas what it might be? 

I wonder if these will end up in my paintings in the form of new botanical inspiration...


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Do You MOO?

Over the years I have designed many different business cards for my evolving art venture. I  recall the first card I made back in the day... it was a basic template of information, no logo, not reflective of any creativity, made from a basic word program... printed from my home computer on the business card paper, you know, the kind with the perforated lines for easy separation... you had to make sure everything lined up or when you tore them apart your information was off-center or worse... part of the info ended up on the row of cards in the next column... remember those? I tried to snazz them up by hand drawing little designs on each card... the lack of success was more a reflection of my limitations than anything else. I know that many people are totally satisfied going this route.

Today, there are so many options. Over the last few years I have discovered and used VistaprintZazzle and Cafepress. All three sites offer similar products and printing services but I find that each one also has their own advantages depending on what you are after. I have made postcards, business cards, prints, stickers, canvas reproductions and even a cute little makeup bag, all with my art and logo printed on them. I have spent countless hours designing and redesigning... so much fun!

Wellll, enter MOO cards. Jackpot! I just discovered this marketing product paradise and I am hooked! Imagine not having to choose which artwork to feature on your business cards... instead, feature as many pieces as you like... Brilliant! I designed my new business cards yesterday and used eight different images of my paintings. They are like trading cards! I can't wait to get these cards next week...  I will update with a photo of all of the new designs as soon as I get them.
In the mean time here are two new pieces that I included in my business card order...









Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday Snapshots


We received our first couple of snow falls this past week. The mountains now have a light layer of white that may be here to stay, depending on how warm the days get. We have had some really cold nights already... last night it dropped down to just 6 degrees... but the sun comes up, the frost burns off and the days are warm and beautiful.


These cute little birds were perched above on the power lines as I drove down our street.


Yesterday we went down to Denver to run some errands and stopped near some open space to let our dogs out where we spotted this bull with his harem.


A piece I finished last night... I recently found these awesome acrylic paint pens and I am loving the fine point for adding fun details and typography to my paintings. The pens come in different point sizes and are refillable. Brilliant! I haven't tried the larger sizes but just might need to...

"Wild Garden" 11x14 inches, acrylic on canvas available in my shop

Friday, October 5, 2012

Love Power

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."  Jimi Hendrix

I truly believe in the power of love. Real, deep, love. The kind of love that sources from a place of kindness and compassion... that cannot see... only feels and gives freely from a deep and endless well, without condition or judgement. We need this, we need more of this. It is our birthright. We need to bathe ourselves in it and expand it out to others.

This is my focus, my intention. It is always there... a foundation... but sometimes the pulse of it surges and cycles stronger than other times. Love has been a stronger theme this week. I have been feeling it and needing it (when don't we need it?) and honoring it.

"Love Power" acrylic on canvas, 12x12 inches. A new piece I finished last night... available here

A ring I made a few months ago... I wear it daily.



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Intuitive Painting

Do you want to have fun? Do you want to unleash your creativity? Don't think you can? Already a creative with an established style?
Shake it up, do something new, do something different.

We are ALL creative beings... we do it everyday, with a variety of tools... with words, with food, with our voices, pen and paper, in the way we dress. There are so many ways in which we create on a daily basis so why not add some new tools to your toolbox?  

Crank up your favorite tunes, pick up a paintbrush... or better yet, use your fingers... dip into some delicious paint, pick any color, pick your faves, pick the ones you'd never use and put them onto canvas, wood or even a piece of paper. Drip it, drizzle it, splatter it... there is no right or wrong way to go about it... just go with the flow, let it come naturally, let it come out of your body... don't think about it or contemplate what it looks like, whether it is "pretty" or "ugly" or "not working". Let go of those notions... make room for the experience just.as.it.IS. It is ALL right and ALL good. Go for it, there is nothing to lose...in fact, there is  potential for growth. It is joy and love and passion and FREEDOM. It is the experience of being alive and in the moment... right now... breathe it, be it, let yourself go... HAVE FUN!

I always begin my paintings in an intuitive manner...

For more examples of this process and various stages, check out this post.

I am so excited to be offering this class on Saturday, October 13th from 3-6pm. We will explore this creative process and experiment with a variety of exercises to tap in to our deep well of creative expression.
Click here for more details and to register. For more inspiration check out
this site and this one too. 
If you cannot make it to this class, I will be offering more opportunities in the future. Keep ya posted... Or, if you're like me and just HAVE to jump in right away... experiment for yourself... go for it... you can do it...and Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I've been needing this...



Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle. - Christian D. Larson

Many of the messages I share when teaching a yoga class are about self-love, honoring our bodies and our hearts, giving to ourselves so that we can give more fully to others... I know this is true and while I suggest it to others and have known it intellectually for myself... it wasn't until last night, while I was immersed in creativity (painting the piece below) that I actually felt this... embodied this... not in my head but in my heart and in my whole being. It was like a giant pulse of energy that transferred the knowing literally from my brain down into my body. A sensation of pure love radiated out from my core all the way out to the very edges of my body. It didn't last long but I felt it and it was a pretty amazing sensation.

"Love Letter to Myself" 36x40, acrylic on canvas

I found this book by SARK yesterday afternoon on the sale shelf at the library. I had come across her over the last year browsing different blogs but never took the time to learn more about her. I guess she came at just the right time... I am loving her message.

Succulent Wild Woman by SARK
Courtesy of http://planetsark.com/


 And the message on my morning cup of tea today...








Monday, October 1, 2012

Gifts in Disguise

"Take as a gift, whatever the day brings forth." Horace

This quote has been on my desktop for a couple of weeks now. It is one that truly resonates with me. It has been my practice to make the choice to see the positive, in everything. Even the difficult stuff... 

In 1994 I started to have a pain in my left wrist that was diagnosed as carpel tunnel syndrome. Over the next two years the pain slowly migrated up my arm, into my shoulder and then into my neck. I went through a battery of tests, ultrasound therapy, massage, myofascial release, chiropractic work... nothing seemed to help and I was left with a vague diagnosis and a not-so-comforting suggestion to learn to deal with my pain... for the.rest.of.my.life. Tough pill to swallow as every night at about three AM I would wake up to the feeling of ever-tightening vice grips clenched around my neck. I wasn't sure I could accept that answer. Thankfully, my father pushed the school clinic (I was in college living over 1000 miles away from my family) to get me in touch with a specialist. Within days I had an appointment. 


On the day I got an MRI I was told to expect results in about a week, so I went about my day. That same day, when I got home from classes, I pressed play on my answering machine and this is the message I heard... "Christina, this is the doctor's office. We have the results from your MRI. We have found a significant abnormality and we have found a doctor who is willing to work with you on an urgent basis. Please call as soon as possible." What? A significant abnormality... what does that mean? It was a tumor.... they were fairly certain it was benign... thankfully, it was. The main concern was the location of it in my neck, pressing against my spine. The doctors were worried about the removal of it and the too-quick decompression of my spine and the risk of paralysis. I was put on steroids to reduce the swelling and felt almost immediate physical relief. I also felt relief having an answer or at least and explanation to the source of my pain. 

Within two weeks I was in the operating room. It all happened so fast that I really didn't have much time to process anything before the surgery. It was my time afterwards where I spent time healing that I was able to contemplate what had happened and what was happening... I don't know why or from where this decision came, but I decided that this experience was a good thing. I chose to see this tumor, this mass of cells, as a symbol for any negativity that had built up inside of me. I saw it as a cleansing and a clearing and a chance to start fresh.  I saw it as beautiful. An opportunity. I liked this perspective and I feel that this experience was the beginning of my spirituality, one that continues to grow to this day. I am happy to say that I came away from the surgery and the healing process a stronger and richer person and I am grateful for the experience.


Today, I have received another gift (in disguise). The details are insignificant. Instead, I am focused on the possibilities and the new opportunities that I have just been provided and not the circumstance. The universe works in mysterious ways and if we are open to the signs and the messages and jump at the offerings we will get what our heart's desire.