Sunday, April 20, 2014

my life this week: sunshine, snow and family

This week we literally had all four seasons in one week. We had some absolutely gorgeous days that dried up our backyard and made it possible to get outside and do some yardwork. And then... there were the not so nice days. Rain, freezing rain, snow, you name it, we got it over the Easter weekend. 

But I'm hoping that it will clear up, warm up and that we'll have a nice week because my oldest has no school and it'd be nice if we can actually have some fun outside. This is the first year that I've let the younger of the two boys go out with his brother and explore the neighbourhood. We live at the end of the cul de sac and four out of the six police officers in town live right next to us, so it's a pretty safe street for kids. So they've been exploring together, which is nice because it gives me a little time once in awhile just to spend with the baby, who doesn't get my undivided attention as much as she probably should. She does get loads of attention from all of us, but sometimes I worry that she isn't getting the same childhood the other two had. Our oldest had us all to himself for almost five years and then he started school the fall after the youngest boy was born, so the youngest boy had us all to himself during the days while his brother was at school. But baby girl hasn't had that much time with us without one or both of her big brothers hanging out too. So it's a nice change that sometimes they're both outside playing together and I can stay in and just hang out with her.

Hubby was off almost all last week because of the way the schedule fell, but had to start back to work early this morning and will work through the week, so unfortunately we won't get to go out of town or anything during the Easter break, but we celebrated Easter a day early so that he could sit and enjoy his Easter lunch without worrying about getting called out. And my parents came for the weekend, which is always nice. I actually managed to take a bunch of great photos this weekend, which made me really happy. Our Nikon started giving us some problems a couple months ago so I finally sent it away to them and they actually sent us a brand new one just last week. So yeah, a huge shout-out to Nikon Canada, because they are awesome!

Oh and then last week this also happened: 

I made a bit of a spur of the moment decision and now I have bright red hair and bangs. I haven't really decided if I like it yet, but it's fun for a change. I guess I've changed a lot in the past year or so because this time last year, if I made a split second decision like this and was unsure of the end result, I'd probably cry about it. A lot. But I just don't sweat the small stuff anymore. Mainly because we've had our share of dealing with the big stuff and I've just realized that being stressed and worried everyday is soooo not worth it - it just takes you away from the things that really matter. And how the heck do you enjoy life if you're anxious about every little thing. So not fun. And not good for a creative brain. I know some very famous works of art are created out of angst, but I need to be happy to create anything I really love. Or at least at peace with whatever's going on in my life.
And speaking of artwork... I'm so happy that I finally finished the canvas I've been working on forever for my studio wall. I really wanted something that I created, in my favorite colours to inspire me. This is the beginning of a wall dedicated to art (mine and others) in my studio so it's an exciting start. I just love the bold lines on this one. Although I keep looking at the words and thinking it needs another one for balance. I may have to do a little tiny bit more after all. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

a journey of authenticity: re-evaluating my creative life

Over the past six months, I've spent a lot of time re-evaluating my creative life and my family life. Being a mom of three instead of two, with a baby in the mix has definitely changed our routine and my freedom to create. But I started to realize that it wasn't the change in our family dynamic that was stifling my creativity. I am actually my own worst enemy.

I realized that I was spending more time looking for inspiration than actually creating. And I had painted myself into a little box where I was stuck creating what I thought people expected to see from me, instead of what I actually felt like creating in the moment.

I spent more time thinking about what I should create next than actually creating anything. I spent hours planning. Possible blog posts, what to post on my Facebook page, what I wanted to list in my Etsy shop next, what I was going to create for the magazine and what I should teach at The Art Studio. 

My mind was whirling 24/7 but my hands never got a chance to do anything. And I had to take a step back. Actually, a few steps back. I made the decision to leave the magazine and decided that I would not be teaching at The Art Studio. I decided it was time to stop looking for inspiration and just start creating what mattered to me. I decided to stop trying to define my style and just have fun.

During this whole internal creative struggle, the one thing that I absolutely knew was that going forward, I wanted to focus on authenticity. Being true to who I am and letting other people see me without filtering myself, my art or my life. Because I am actually pretty awesome, even if I am a little weird :)

Quite a few years ago I started on this amazing creative journey and I've enjoyed every minute of it. 

But I'm not entirely proud of the fact that a lot of my creativity has been forced - catered to the needs of other people, whether it be creating for specific topics/magazine calls or creating class material, not because it was necessarily what I wanted to teach, but because it was what students expressed a desire to learn. And don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at SNR and my time as a teacher. But now it's time to focus on me and why I started creating in the first place - because it brings me peace and makes me happy. Because there's nothing I like better than sitting in my studio and just letting it happen - seeing a piece of artwork come to life under my fingertips organically.

So here I am, embarking on a new journey. One of authenticity. Keeping it real.

A recent self portrait art journal page - Luminarte Twinkling H2Os, Liquitex Soft Body Acrylics, Daler Rowney gesso, Stazon inks, Sharpie pens, handmade stencils.

Monday, April 14, 2014

monday color inspiration: purple and turquoise

Purple is definitely the color I hardly ever reach for in my inks and paints but I've been trying to stretch my color boundaries lately so I've been working with shades of purple a little, experimenting a little with different color combinations. 
Turquoise and teals are the colors that I have to replace most often so I've been loving the combination of deep purples with vibrant turquoises. Whenever I'm trying to use a color that I don't often use, I always try to pair it with one of favorites so that I'm not too far out of my comfort zone :)