From Treasure Seeking

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A Mixed-Media Life

There’s been so many different things happening in my world lately.  It’s a mixed-media-life dontcha know!

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a class with Misty Mawn.  I’d never met her, but had done her online classes.  Misty is so funny and a truly generous soul.  The girl over-delivers let me tell you – I have enough ideas to keep me busy for the next year!

The combination of story and painting is something I’ve been musing on lately.  Misty’s class dove deep into that process.  I will share more as it unfolds in my studio.  Meanwhile, here’s a couple of quick sketches and a small painting from the class.

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Tomorrow, I begin another workshop with Katie Kendrick!!  I went to one last year too – but couldn’t resist another opportunity. Katie is beyond talented!

Ya know, I have done many classes, both online and in-person.  But I dig the in-person workshops so much, I’m trying to do that as often as possible.  Being in the company of other artists touches my creative soul like nothing else can!

There’s also been art play in the journal too.  The writing journals I use are hand made by Jenni Bick and are a combination of writing and “artist” papers.  My latest has so many watercolor papers, I’ve been inspired to do more “art” than I usually do there.

A bit of paint or marker, some quick and clean collage and ta-da!

Purty pages!!

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There’s been work on the easel too.  I think my daily walks are leading to lots of abstracted flowers and nature-inspired paintings.  Here’s a new one.

"Honeycomb and Fae"
“Honeycomb and Fae”

Speaking of walks.  I believe today is day 141 of my self-imposed-daily-challenge.  Because I can never resist starting my day like this….

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As for who I’ve been hanging with, a stray kitty has adopted me.  Sigh. He’s the loviest-most-affectionate cat ever!

Too bad my mean dog won’t have him in the house.  I’m working hard to find him an inside home.  It’ll be safer for him (and the neighborhood birds).

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And well, these birds – they may be the funniest/coolest people I know!  They keep me young and maybe a bit hipper than I would’ve been without them in my life.

Yeah . . . I’m probably not ever been hip.

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The Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours

Live long enough and you begin to understand what “lights you up”.  I know that a bit of “adventure” and the delight of seeing creative spaces both really do that for me!!  Combine the two?  Forgetaboutit!

A few days ago, I stumbled upon such an opportunity when a new art friend told me about the annual open studio tours in a nearby desert area we’d never visited.

 WHAT!  I JUMPED ON IT!

Road trip with hubby + artful spaces = BLISSFUL DAY!!

Considering there were 95 studios open, this would take some planning.  There was no way we could see that many.  So we grabbed their catalog and map and charted our course.

We began our adventure in the farthest area (29 Palms) and worked our way back closer (Joshua Tree) to home.

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Some studios were easy to get to – as in paved roads and close the highway.   Others were situated far into desert dirt roads.  My jeep was built for this adventure!

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Half the fun is not knowing what’s around the next bend.  We were so lucky to purchase an incredibly beautiful painted drum from a Native American living in this deep desert “ranch” below!

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My favorite stops were where several artists used a sprawling “communal” space.  The high desert has wide open spaces to spread out, ya know?  Artists sure know how to make ramshackle buildings fun!

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I love all sorts of art, but hardly ever do I get to see where it’s actually created.  It’s really interesting . . .  I mean the studios themselves often become a work of art.

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Anything can become a “canvas” – walls, tables, furniture, even large storage containers!

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Look – this guy lays out a large stained glass installation.  Wow!  I never imagined that he would design and draw the piece first – of course he did.  Duh.  Then he makes, colors and cuts the glass!  Wow, that’s a lot of skill.

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Such an artful adventure does require hearty sustenance.

We heard the best burger in town was here at the Joshua Tree Saloon.

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The place had been overtaken over by LOTS of women bikers!  Pretty fun people watching dontcha know.

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I can hardly wait until next year – there’s so many studios we weren’t able to visit.

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It all had me dreaming of the “compound” I would create (if I could).  Some day!

I hear that the real estate prices are pretty darn reasonable in this neck of the woods.  Hmmmmm.

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BTW if YOU are up for an artful desert adventure of your own, there is 1 seat that has opened up for The Creative Nomad art journaling retreat I’m hosting in Palm Springs.

Print

Details are here.

Do join us!


"Under The Willow"

Under The Willow

together, my wild gang races through heavy southern heat

our games of chase and dirt clod battles disturb the quiet wood

birds take flight, bunnies scatter from our boisterous path

i’m the only one to see an ancient willow among the oaks

i part the shading curtain and disappear into its darkened circle

inside this secret fort, i stifle my giggles as you ask aloud where i’ve gone

a round of hide and seek begins as my hidden heart slows, my breath quiets down

under this willowed veil, a world of wonder and solitude unfolds

a floor of earth-scented-potpourri, a creeping tribe of rainbow caterpillars, empty nests of twig and straw await my departure, and the thick trailing leaves muffle your calls

when it’s safe at last, i reluctantly slip from under, unnoticed

some magic, one keeps to herself

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#everydaywalk100

100 days ago I made a decision to walk every day – for 100 days.

I did it for many reasons – but mostly to get “back in my body”.

Ya see, when I discovered art making 6 years ago, that’s ALL I wanted to do!  Once I began painting, I kept my ritual of writing morning pages with my coffee, but out went the exercise that typically followed.

Until then I’d been a fairly devoted exerciser – running marathons, hitting the weights and enjoying yoga.  Now there was no time for exercise – I had to hit the studio!  I was having so much fun swirling paint on canvas and lounging with my sketchbook, I had become downright sedentary.  Bleh!

Now, I was feeling tight and constricted in my body – and oh yeah – chubby and weak and lethargic!  So in a fateful moment 100 days ago (while actually walking) I decided to change my ways.

I wanted challenging, yet I needed doable!  I needed to feel successful.  Believing walking to be the most “portable”/least-excuse-probable exercise, I committed.  I’d walk for 100 days straight – for a minimum of 30 minutes.  No other rules.  Period.  Just get off my butt!  So I came home from that walk, photo copied a monthly calendar and numbered off 100 days.  I had begun.

I decided to Instagram my daily walk, but within a few short days I had bored myself silly.  That tedium threatened to make me quit walking – so I quit Instagramming and kept the walking instead.  K.I.S.S.  Keep it simple stupid.  Right?  Right.

On the days I saw something exceptionally beautiful, on landmark days or on the days I just felt like it, I posted a blurb and a pic on Instagram.  Otherwise, I kept the time just for me.  It was good.

I worried about lots of things at first.  Things like:

  • I’ll never make it through 100 days without getting sick or injured – surely something will stop me.  It didn’t.
  • I’ll get bored as hell and just stop.  I’m a “scanner”.  I need diversity and a change of scenery at the very least.  So I linked my love of new experiences and discovery and adventure to the goal . . . I sought out new places to walk, changed up routes in my normal haunts and varied my length of walk time.  Mostly I walked alone, but sometimes I went with my hubby or a friend or drug my lazy ass dog along.
  • I’ll “fudge” my time and not always do my minimum of 30 minutes.  I’ll cheat.  Wrong.  I’ve averaged 49 minutes over my 100 days!  It became a kind of game!
  • I worried there would be days I just wouldn’t find the time.  Yeah – that didn’t happen either.  Blew that theory.  Huh.
  • I worried that my plantar fasciitis would get worse with all that dang walking.  Didn’t!  Seems that time spent on my custom orthotics daily has helped me immensely – it’s nearly gone!

Of course, the experts tout the many benefits of consistent exercise.  Sure, I know that to be true logically.  But until you do something every single day, you can’t really  k n o w   –                          u n t i l   y o u   d o ! 

SOME benefits of daily walking I now KNOW:

  • it makes you a happier human!
  • it gives you way more energy than it takes
  • it gives structure to your day – seemingly increasing the time one has (to paint)!  It’s magic.
  • you can lose a bit of weight easily – without making any other changes
  • but it will make you want to make other changes too
  • it’s pretty freakin’ easy – it’s pretty freakin’ fun
  • you’ll reconnect with neighbors and friends
  • you won’t forfeit time with your spouse – you’ll just drag him along with you
  • you’ll solve problems more easily and have lots more brilliant creative ideas while walking!  Take a notebook.  Really.  Do.
  • you’ll discover places you never knew existed!
  • your confidence will soar – cause you are keeping promises to yourself and creating a sense of completion and accomplishment

In my 100 days, I’ve walked at dawn and at dusk.  

I’ve walked on days where my to-do list was longer than my arm and on tired days I wanted to hide under the covers.  

I’ve walked in four states!  

I’ve walked with dogs, old friends and a woman I’d only just met.  

I’ve walked in the rain and in temperatures over 100.  

I’ve rescued a dog from traffic and stumbled onto a homeless encampment I never knew existed.  

On my walks, I’ve laughed till I’ve nearly cried and actually have cried having witnessed the aftermath of domestic violence.  

AND I’ve seen such beauty – dolphins – white pelicans!  

I’ve gathered enough inspiration for a 1000 paintings!

So what now?  True to my scanner personality AND my new found love of self-imposed-challenges, I’m onto a new 100 day program.  I’ll move in some way – any way that feels good – every day for the next 100.  I’ll keep the majority of it (4 days minimum) a cardio based movement – walking, biking, hiking, spin class, whatever.  But now I’m free to do many other things I love – yoga, weights, dance!  I’ll also up my minimum to 35 minutes – just because I can!

I’ve marked off the next 100 days on my calendar!

Let #everydaymove100 begin!

Anyone care to join me?  

You can do this – I KNOW you can.  

(Why do I have a feeling this will become a 365 day thang?)

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Scenes From The Road

Over the past week,

we’ve roamed the Southwest US . . .

from Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico

to Monument Valley, Utah

through Flagstaff, Arizona and the deserts of California.

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I’ve spent a few days circling with friends, old and new,

rediscovering my sense of “play”.

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I’ve over-indulged my photographic

obsession with doorways and windows.

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And seen more stars in the night sky

than I EVER knew existed!

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Even piles of rubble are made beautiful

in the hands of local southwestern artists.

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My “well of inspiration” is running over . . . 

I may burst!

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I’ve seen such diverse beauty.

Sacred and profound and quiet and simple.

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I’ve hardly had time to “process” or capture my thoughts,

but I may not stop painting or writing for months

– okay, maybe NEVER!

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The “big sky” country is incredibly gorgeous.

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The hues – so deep and rich.

The architecture and decor – so magical.

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Even the food is color-full and spicy-delish!

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Icons are everywhere – appearing in art and on buildings.

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Around every bend, more beauty, more embellishment.

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Overhead – underfoot.

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Textures, both velvety and rough.

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A single art journal spread

is all that I’ve worked on during my trip,

as I focused on gathering inspiration and beauty.

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Here’s the same page AFTER 20 fellow retreat 

goers added their mark to the page!

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I’m aching to get back in the studio!

So that’s happening NOW!