Friday, September 28, 2012

Make Time for Art - journal post 9/28/12


How do you make time for art?

Me, I'm more of a time hoarder; I work as few hours at my day job as I can comfortably afford, and I don't have kids. But that doesn't mean I make as much time for my art as I possibly can.

It's true. I spend a lot of time watching videos on youtube, reading articles, maybe playing a game. It is very easy to spend all of my free time on those. Like right now, I could be finishing a painting, but the act of filming it is such a turn-off. My camera only records in ten-minute chunks, and my memory card can only hold 15 minutes at a time. So it's quite cumbersome and makes me not want to paint at all.

Sadly, time does not magically appear out of nowhere, and you often have to sacrifice one activity for another. For me, it's internet. For many, it's television. For others, it's housework. Maybe sleep for those who have no free time at all.

There are less than three days left in the month and I haven't even started my newsletter yet! Meep.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

DIY craft display


I'm getting impatient for the fall craft shows so I've been busy putting together a display for my books and prints inspired by this page.

Unfortunately, she didn't have any tutorial images so I had to kind of guess. I took some foam board from the dollar store and cut a few "stair" shaped pieces. Then it was just a matter of cutting out little boards for the actual steps. It was a bit difficult to measure out, and then there was the challenge of putting flat boards together into a 3D shape.

I'm so excited! One of the shows only gave me half of a table space (3x3' at the most...) so I have to work up and up and up! I altered the original design so that I could have a little "shelf" at the bottom for my art journals. :) Can't wait to try it out!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

Journal Post 9/21/12


There are opportunities over the horizon. This is the jumping point...

Do you fold under the pressure of the success of everyone around you, fold under the envy that seeps in under every door? Or do you rise above it and take a chance? 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Have an Art Playdate!


Oh my goodness, so I finally hunkered down and finished Starry Night this morning. Stitching paper by hand is incredibly tedious, even more than painting the extra spotty layers! But it was done. Whew.


Yesterday I had a "painting playdate" with Nolwenn in her sweet little studio! Unfortunately I didn't have my camera so I don't have any action shots of the day. But we had soo much fun! I got to play with some things I'd never seen before so now I've got a little list of toys I want to get... hehehe.


Many of my favourite online artists use heavy gel medium but I could never justify the cost of it. I... I think I might have to stock up on it now!


Here is some more gel medium in action, except this one has a microbead texture! I thought I was going to hate it but it's actually pretty cool.


I get asked about the butterflies fairly often. It seems to be a powerful symbol to everyone in a lot of different ways. I think people feel that butterflies symbolize change, taking something that is unpleasant and turning it into something beautiful.

That explanation is pretty relevant in my life, except that I never found caterpillars to be unpleasant things to begin with! haha. 

In this case, I sometimes tend to use butterflies when I'm not feeling creative enough. I had no idea where this painting was going, and it was beginning to frustrate me, so I turned to my old standby image of a butterfly.

The questions are interesting and I will have to think on it a little longer... could make a good topic for the newsletter. :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Art with Cookies


Yesterday was the artist reception for some art shows at the Surrey Arts Centre, including Mirror Mirror where I got to show my self portrait. Here I am standing next to it with a doofy face on. :D

Today I made some cookies for a friend's birthday. They took nearly the whole day!


I've been inspired by the whimsical "vintage" look and I think it's really pretty! I've never actually put much time and care into cookies before, but it really wasn't bad at all. Just took a lot of time!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Journal Post 9/13/12


It is soooo difficult to keep spirits high most of the time. Currently, in the moment, I feel comfortable and hopeful.

But I also feel like I'm at a serious crossroad, where there is only one correct direction to go and I don't know which way that is.


I am so leaning towards hope. So much. I am filled with this intense need to make the best of life and to aim for the most difficult of goals.  This is crazy and stupid. But I've never wanted something so badly as this. I have never felt more useful and appreciated in any other application in life as I have in art. People have said AMAZING things to me. I often print these things out onto paper and stash them in secret locations so that when I'm sorting my papers on a bad day I see these notes and sob.


I have never felt anything but unappreciated and worthless in any of the jobs I've ever worked. Unless, again, I am showing someone my art.

What does this mean???

It means I have to pull myself together and try as hard as I can. It means that as long as I am not endangering my life or the lives of my loved ones, I am going to continue on the Crazy path. And believe me, I am so terrified of failing. It is extremely likely that I will never make it. It is extremely likely that I will miss some important thing and get in some kind of trouble.



I am growing extremely unsatisfied with my current job, and to be honest, I get scolded on a regular basis just for staying there. To find another job may require giving up my art dream... this schedule conflict is such a huge wrench in my gears. I have to find a way. I have to find a self-respectable day job that can coexist with my hopes and dreams.

I wish I could hold on to this stubborn and determined feeling and not let fear keep me in shackles like this. A day was too long at my current job, let alone five years. 


Here is a new note for my private stash: It's time to raise some hell.

Monday, September 10, 2012

I heart paper


I'm soo excited over the silliest thing right now. Paper products! eeeeee!

They say that paper products actually require more energy and resources to produce than plastic, but I can't help but love them. Paper is charming as all hell. Seriously, just look at those little brown bees!

These bags are for a couple of upcoming craft shows. I can't wait to use them :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

What Inspires You?


Often when I see amazing artwork, I usually wonder "where do you get such great ideas?" I don't get ideas too often, and even then, they aren't always great. Bad art happens, and I'm cool with that. What inspires you to create? To paint that picture, to take that photograph, to write that poem?


I'm currently working on a slightly larger painting of a starry night sky... erm. Reluctantly. It could be a bad art, it's too early to tell. But I thought about it as I was walking home super late at night from work, looking up at the sky and feeling disappointment that the light pollution kept blocking my view.

I have an old memory of camping in a really crummy campground that had no lights whatsoever. It was a lousy trip but the stars were amazing! Before then I had no idea how many stars were really up there! And there is a good chance that I may never see it again. But I will remember.


I am often inspired by current events, emotions, stories and memories! Unfortunately I'm stuck in a bit of a grey zone right now, so nothing is particularly inspiring. But they say creativity is a muscle that needs to be exercised on a regular basis or it will become weak, so I can't float around in the grey zone for too long.

What inspires you?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Mini Painting - Lotus


 Quick little watercolour practice of a pretty flower. I've never actually seen a lotus in real life, they must look pretty cool up close and personal.

There are so many things in the world that I will never get to see. At the same time, there are so many things in the world that I will never have to see. Maybe that's why we collect all of these pretty pictures, to offset any horrors that await us in the future.


Available here.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Troubleshooting Wax - Note to self

 Note to self:



I know it's quite messy to try to sprinkle wax onto paper by dipping an old toothbrush into it and then running it across a toothpick. But those little dried bits that fall onto the paper? Don't try to rub them off with an old towel. You'll wax everything.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Choosing a New Desktop Calendar

I don't know how to use it yet, but I've decided to try out Rainlendar2! It's a free little desktop calendar where I can keep notified of events, and even a To Do list! Eventually I will probably need a central database instead of all of these little picky bits (excel sheets, txt documents and now a calendar) but this should be good in the meantime!

And of course I needed a nice place to put it (and a replacement for my June "calendar" background image - yeesh). I went a little crazy downloading playful bits and pieces for Photoshop. Scrap papers, honeycomb textures, cloud brushes, tags, washi tape.... so much joy! If I never miss another deadline, this will have been time well spent!

Lauren Harrison