Category Archives: Organization

Unstuck

While many of my friends would consider me unhinged…or perhaps unglued… today, I’m simply “unstuck”.

When I took the blog dark earlier in the year, I really thought I was just taking a short break.  A week, maybe 2 or 3.  I thought I was just a little stuck, a little overwhelmed, a little blocked.  In reality, I was hip-deep in quicksand with nary a jungle-vine in sight.  Indiana Jones had nothing on me.

I subscribe to a blog called “Write in Color” by Melody Godfred. She always has something interesting to say that’s pertinent to any creative person, whether they be a writer, a visual artist, or a musician.  I know, because I am all three of those things. (Note:  I am just now, at age 48, becoming comfortable with applying those labels to myself.)

Today, however, her blog hit me right between the eyes.  I felt like she was writing specifically for ME.  The entry was titled “Do You Suffer From Analysis Paralysis?”.  Why yes….yes I do.

Today that ends.  The blog is back, boys and girls…..and I have a plan.  A plan that will be just one more way I can stay motivated and productive, and you are welcome to come along on the ride.  Yay me.  And yay Melody Godfred!

Click the link and check her out.  You’ll be seriously glad you did.

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Doggy Bag

Because I have to divide my time between my home studio and my work studio, I end up having to haul a lot of stuff back and forth.  If I intend to get anything done it’s necessary that my art and jewelry supplies follow me around.  What this mostly means is that I cuss a lot because something is invariably missing from my bag because I forgot to pack it.  I am very, very good at sabotaging myself, apparently.

I do, however, have a wicked-cool doggy-bag to haul all my stuff around in.  This is one of my Laurel Burch bags.  Yes, one of them.  I also have a purse and a suitcase designed by Laurel Burch.  It’s not all that surprising that I’m drawn to her work…just LOOK at those colours!!  A bag like this can lift your spirits from the depths of the doldrums and put a definite skip in your step.

What came out of the bag at home today:  gesso, acrylic retarder, impasto medium, iridescent medium, camera, large tube of acrylic titanium white, large tube of an amazing copper/burgundy/metallic gold acrylic paint.  I don’t remember what the colour is called but it’s the kind of colour you just want to squeeze a glob of into your hand and smear  all over your canvas….or your face.  I know.  I’m weird.  But this colour is THAT yummy.

What went into the bag to come to work with me:  my journal, my sketchbook, watercolour pencils, 6 x 6 watercolour paper, letter-sized watercolour paper, water pen, scotch tape.

Things that stay in the bag all the time:  archival ink pens, drawing pencils, a small ruler, gum eraser, white eraser, a very basic drawing pad, a bottle of masking fluid, and my camera  manual.

This poor bag has a constant ebb and flow of supplies.  Things go in, things go out.  It’s like a daily tide of supplies and goodies.  Sometimes everything stays inside because I don’t get to it or my Muse takes a powder, but sometimes…..sometimes magical things happen when things come out of the bag.

Now a question for all you creative types out there:  Have you ever bought an art or craft supply just because you fell in love with or were intrigued by it, but didn’t have a single clue what you were going to do with it?  Something you just HAD to have that you may or may not have ever done anything with?  Sort of like a tube of amazing copper/burgundy/metallic gold acrylic paint?  Let me know in the comments.  Come on….fess up….have ya huh?  The lady with paint all over her face promises not to laugh.

I’m a Bad Bad Girl

Yup.  I am.  Over the weekend I went to watch a girlfriend’s band.  We stayed over and had a weekend of pub food and beer.

I did keep track of my points and tried to make healthy choices.  BBQ chicken and lasagna were just too tempting to pass up though.  As were the yam fries, the sushi, and the yakisoba.I won’t even talk about the curry.  Or the black-bottom cupcake.  Or the three beer.  *sigh*

I ate all those things.  The difference, however, is that I ate smaller portions of those things.  I asked for the take-out containers and used them.  I also fortified my diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.  I knew in advance I was going to be eating out a lot this weekend so I planned for it.  I made sure that I was extra-careful in the days before and after my trip.

And the result?

A loss of 1.4 lbs.  Total loss of 6.2 lbs.

Maybe I’m a good girl after all.

To Journal or Not To Journal

Something that I’ve noticed as I’ve bopped around the internet is that a lot of artists have these amazing art journals.  Many of them are works of art in their own right.  They range from child-like to masterpiece material. Here\’s some examples…

I’ve resisted doing a journal, mostly because I’m impatient.  I’ve always felt if I’m going to spend great amounts of time making a beautiful journal, I should just get on with it and do the piece I’m journal-ing about.  Here’s the problem with that.  I’m a planner.  I work things out in my head long before I ever put them into physical form.  I can think for days, or even weeks about a piece I want to do before I get to step one.  Unfortunately, that sometimes (even often) means that the piece stays stuck in my head.  There’s an up-side to all that mental designing; I can troubleshoot and tweak to my heart’s content in my mind.  If I botch it when I’m building it can be a disaster.  Really this just keeps me from doing something concrete.  I need to re-define my idea of what a journal should be and stop worrying about it being a work of art and view it more as a tool.

I did my research and found that the most-recommended journal was a brand called Moleskine.  They have a durable cover, an elastic to keep them closed, high-quality paper for whichever medium you choose, and they open flat so each set of pages can become one broad palette.  I bought myself one made for watercolour as I can use it for several mediums.

The best way for me to use a journal as a tool is to use it as a place to store images of things I want to use in my art.  I don’t do well at imagining things and reproducing them when it comes to painting and drawing.  I am better off and much more successful if I have reference points.  I have accumulated thousands of images on my computer of things I would like to paint: flowers, owls, birds, bugs, trees, deserts, landscapes, abstracts….the list goes ever on.  I need to start putting these diverse images together so when I’ve decided I’ve obsessed about something long enough I can actually produce it.  This is all about setting myself up for success.

There’s a painting I want to do called “Catcher”.  These are some of the images I have scavenged that I want to be part of the painting.  The easiest way for me to compile them for the journal was to print them out onto one page.

Now I have everything in one place with a blank page facing for sketching and/or painting….or whatever else I think needs to happen in this piece.  This finally makes sense to me.  Which is really the point of any type of journal, isn’t it?  It has to work for US or there’s no sense doing it at all.

Part of the reason for this journal-excursion that I also have a fair bit of time at work where I can do things artistic.  The problem is that the space is very limited and it’s tough to make sure I have ALL the supplies I need when I try and do something there.  There always seems to be something critical missing, no matter how carefully I pack.  This journal is a way for me to do things there that put me closer to completing larger pieces.  I get stuck…a lot.  This is just one of the ways I’m going to work at getting un-stuck.

I’m obsessed with houses these days.  With what houses mean to us, whether it be home, safety, shelter, prison, cocoon or something else altogether.  Houses. Little Pink Houses.  Sounds like an idea for a series.  Or for a song.  *grin*

Baby Steps

Today was my second weigh-in at Weight Watchers.  I really didn’t know what to expect as I had 3 days this week that I had to eat food others had prepared that I had no control over.  I did my best to track what was in everything and stick with it and think I did ok.

We talked a lot about tools tonight.  This WW system gives you tons of them, which I mentioned last week.  Certainly if you’re internet and tech-savvy, they’re easier to use, but I love that I can calculate the points for pretty much everything.  If I want to have a candy bar, I can have one, as long as I track it.

It’s interesting to watch the different attitudes in the group.  There are people there who are more like me, who have a bit of a sense of humour about all this and aren’t really quick to be down on themselves, but there’s also that other mindset, the one I don’t like.  I don’t for even a second want you to think that I’m down on the people who have the mindset; I just resent that the mindset exists at all.  That idea that we’re bad people if we eat a piece of chocolate instead of a salad or don’t lose as much as we think we should that week.  That we’re somehow failures already because we’re fat (there’s that word again) and if we aren’t religiously faithful to the program we’re even bigger failures.  It’s not their fault they feel this way.  We’re taught to feel this way.  And I bloody-well resent it.

So I’m going to fight it.  I’m going to keep being open about this, in day-t0-day life and at the meetings.  I’m going to be willing to say the things that no one else dares to say.  I’m going to drag the myths, the toxic attitudes, the traditional thoughts and biases about being fat out into the sunlight.  I’m hoping they’ll burst into flames…..like vampires.  Because, after all, the negativity and judgment are like vampires.  They suck away our self-esteem, our ambition, our dreams, our goals.  No more.  Not while I’m around.

Good thing garlic is zero points.

Down 1.2 lbs. this week…..5.4 lbs. total