Tagged Creative Nomad Retreat

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Still Treasure Seeking

In my 55 years, I’ve held a few jobs and one “career”.   However, my education was in cultural and earth sciences – archaeology and geology.  It didn’t take me long to conclude those jobs wouldn’t pay my bills – not very well at least.  So one thing lead to another and I mysteriously landed in the world of television advertising.  (The “career”.)

Long story short, I eventually married my boss.  Yeah, I did.  We didn’t want to work and live together, so I retired.  My new husband, or the “Dream Maker” as I like to call him, set me free to discover what it is I really loved to do.  Oh God.

Yes, that may sound like a blessing to you (and indeed it was).  But, not until a years-long-tortuous-journey of self discovery . . . I had no idea what I loved!  I only knew working to pay the bills, ya know?

Somehow, my husband survived it all.  Several years later, after much searching and crazy making, I discovered I am an artist.  Which is really weird, since I was raised by a lifelong painter!  (But until this time of wandering about, I had never once picked up a paintbrush.)

These days I may paint, wander with camera in hand, write a bit, teach an art workshop or host an art retreat, but I’m still treasure hunting and documenting my findings.  This is exactly what I did as a young archaeologist.  Now I KNOW, Treasure Seeker is my calling, my vocation, my career!  I was born for this.

Through a commitment to my 7 year long painting practice, I have found my process.  (I tend to paint deep layers of color-filled strata.  Then I begin my real work of uncovering the treasures beneath.  I use a handful of tools I’ve tucked away in my treasure hunter’s knapsack.)

On daily walks and adventures, I focus my lens on the world’s treasures.  I’ll go to any length to capture small moments of wonder and beauty.

In my personal journal and sometimes here on my blog, I document and share my discoveries.  I can’t help myself.

ALWAYS AND FOREVER A TREASURE SEEKER.

ALWAYS AND FOREVER SEEKER OF BEAUTY AND THE EXTRAORDINARY.

ALWAYS THE DREAM DIGGER.

I want to share with you some of my discoveries.

If you’d like to take a look, my photographs can be found heremy “Project Wanderstruck”.

Some of my more recent paintings can be found here.

My only hope in sharing this with you, is that it will in some way inspire you to dig your own dreams . . . Enjoy!

Creative Living With Jamie – Her Chat With Me!

Recently, I had the pleasure of being featured on Jamie Ridler’s podcast.  In it we talk about everything from my relatively recent journey to discovering I was an artist, to the various types of journals I keep, to making time and space for your own artistic adventures!

I hope you’ll take a listen.

The interview is right here!

I hope you’ll find it useful and inspiring for your own creative life – do let me your thoughts!

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Stacking Up (aka The Making of 2 Series)

I generally paint with no plan whatsoever.  Which means I have no idea of what subject I’ll paint.  I think the only time I’ve ever done that was for a class.

My plan is simple.  Choose 3 colors I’m drawn to, and add black and white.  That’s it.  Next, I begin smooshing the color onto the canvas in any way that feels good (expressive) in the moment.

I also try to keep my body moving and my head out of the game! Eventually a direction reveals itself and I go with that – until, and unless, it changes – and it often does.

So when I’ve stacked up a few paintings, it’s always a surprise to find similarities among them.  That’s how my “series” come to be.

I do recall painting the one below.  It was a dark and grey summer afternoon – a BIG storm was blowing in.  I had all the windows in my studio open to enjoy the breezes and tingly electric atmosphere.

It rarely rains in Southern California, so when it does it’s an event!

Newscasters excitedly repeated their “storm warnings” and bragged about their modern (but seldom needed) radar system.  No wonder “Storm Chaser” came into being.

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“Storm Chaser”

I remember feeling in my bones that my next way to paint was revealing itself as I blended the many shades of blue.

I was “in it” – the flow, that is.

That doesn’t always happen, but I always pray for it.

There’s no more joy-full feeling!

“Storm Chaser” framed (SOLD)

Since then, a few paintings have the same aerial feel.  As I paint, land and seascapes emerge from under my brush or fingers.  Hence, the “Bird’s Eye View” series is born.

(The painting below was four-different-paintings before this finally came!  I’m learning patience y’all.  Really – painting teaches you stuff.)

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“Thunder Island”

 

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“Indigo Harbour”

 

During this same time period (since June) another series is taking shape…..one probably influenced by my daily walks – during which I’m amazed by the beautiful vegetation in my neighborhood, or in the wetlands and beaches I frequent.

I’ve taken so many photos of flowers lately, I’m sure it is the inspiration that’s become visible on my canvases.

This series, I’m calling “My Secret Garden”.

"Under the Willow"
“Under the Willow”

 

"Honeycomb & Fae"
“Honeycomb & Fae”

 

Even my art journal pages seem to fall somewhere between the two series now.

It’s all a mystery to me.

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I never know what’ll show up!

If I’m not in love with a painting or page, I simply add another layer of paint the next day or flip the page.

Non-attachment is necessary, or I’ll make myself crazy – which is so NOT the point of creative expression.

“No worries,” I repeat under my breath.

“Breathe,” I tell myself.

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No worries.

It’s just paint.  

Let it go.  

Let it go.

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Tomorrow, I’ll share something new and exciting – I’ve been interviewed by Creative Life Coach, Jamie Ridler, for her weekly podcast!  OMGosh she’s about the most supportive and creative person I know!!

And guys – there’s 1 seat open for the upcoming art journaling retreat I’m hosting in Palm Springs in January.  I KNOW it’s waiting for just the right person…..if it’s calling to you,

Snag it here!

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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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Art-On-The-Go “Kits”

I do have some mad organization skills!  That, combined with a lifelong purse obsession, a tendency to hoard art supplies and a desire to tote them everywhere is the “perfect storm”!

It’s manifested in an crazy array of “art to go” kits.  Perfect for jaunts to desert or beach, art journal picnics or attending yet another art retreat.

I thought I’d share them with you today.  I’ll put some links to various supplies in case you’re interested – and BTW the links do NOT earn me affiliate fees.  They are things I really use and love.  Almost everything can be had on Amazon.

This first kit is for “traveling light”.  I use this set up most often – it’s great for road trips or for a sketch date at the beach.

In this hand painted clutch I can fit a travel set of watercolor, a sketchbook or journal, and a zip case full of pens, tape, scissors and glue.  I also love to include my portable photo printer.  It prints pics from my iPhone and even has sticky back paper – perfect for sticking straight into my journal!  

It’s not unusual for me to pack an inspirational book – this one’s about Dan Eldon – the guy who first inspired me to art journal!

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In my world, everything is an art project.  I love to take canvas or cotton totes and alter them with paint.  I use regular acrylic paints and find they do not fade or wash out.  The flowered tote below was originally a gift-with-purchase bag from Victoria Secret – it’s at least 5 years old and hasn’t faded a bit.

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What’s organization without a pen bag?  It holds more than I really can ever use – it’s awesome!  My husband’s bag (the green one) is filled with his cigar accessories and other man gear.  No, I do not smoke cigars lol!

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My second art kit has many more supplies to choose from.  It’s the perfect “portable studio” for longer travels or for an in-person art journaling class.

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The organizer is really cool!  It has a lift out tray for sketching or art journaling in my lap – and of course being plastic, it’s waterproof.  It holds quite a lot.  In it goes tapes, a sharpener, glue, water brushes, a spray bottle of water, standard watercolors, little jars of shimmery water colors and water-soluble markers and pencils.

There’s plenty of room for a sketchbook or two – I may even throw in a guided journal like one from Shiloh Sophia McCloud.  Again, I love to carry a camera for taping in photos.  This one prints self developing mini’s similar to the old polaroid cameras.

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This final kit is full blown!  This amazing box allows me to carry everything needed for a days long painting retreat, except the canvas itself.

In it, I can carry paints, brushes, paint pens, a painting shirt or apron, an art journal (or two), a full size camera and more.  Pretty much anything can find a place.  Well maybe not the humungous inspiration book . . . it’s an incredible collection of art journal images by Peter Beard – another favorite artist of mine.

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I bound the journal to the right of the white camera myself –  it’s soft and mushy which I love.  I ripped the cover to size from one of my own un-stretched paintings on canvas.  I filled it with luscious creamy 140 lb. hot press Fabriano watercolor paper – the best paper ever made in my opinion!!

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They even make the box in other colors and sizes.  I’m seriously lusting over the turquoise one. There’s even a cool fabric one (that I will not admit to owning – uh huh).  I believe this box may have changed my life – well, my creative life – a bit, anyways!  

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Tell me . . . do you HAVE to tote art supplies wherever you go too?  Am I alone in this?  Do you go on sketching dates and art journal picnics and painting retreats?