Friday, November 21, 2014

Happy Friday #31: On Journaling

Journaling seems to be a topic that has been poking it's head around the general public as of late. In modern times,  what has once considered an embarrassing admission of teenage angst, is now gaining acceptance as a tool not only for the creative mind, but for one's mental health. Today I thought I would cover not only my personal journy, but a few instances where I found the topic of journaling covered, from a psychological standpoint, to words of wisdom from creative souls.

Recently for me, my deepening interest on the subject came when, in an almost embarrassed demeanor an acquaintance mentioned she hadn't written in a journal since her teenage years. Personally I had only kept a journal briefly during those precarious times, when I was gifted my first real diary at the age of 16. As I wrote maybe a handful of entries of the whoa's of my 16 yr. old self, I began to wonder if I had anything worth talking about and then when I did, if anyone would read it. Hence the journaling quickly ended.

I again picked it up in my late 20's. I was re-introduced to the topic by the well known books, "The Artist Way" and "Writing the Bones".  Both books basically advocate writing on a regular bases in order to clear the mind and jump start the creative process. This would have to be the first time in my life where I kept a journal for an extensive period of time, however this too came and went as a practice in my daily life.

As I sat there and thought about why it never really stuck, a few things came to mind. The ease of technology, the societal believe that it is a useless pass time, page fright, the belief that one doesn't have anything interesting to say, and/or the simple fear of being discovered.

The other day I came across an interesting interview about the singer Stevie Nicks and a young band called Haim. In it, she imparts words of wisdom to the young musicians, one being the importance of the written journal...

“You want your journals written by hand in a book, because someday, if you have daughters — I don’t have daughters, but I have fairy goddaughters, thousands of them — all of these books are gonna go to them, and they’re gonna sit around just like we are now, and they’re gonna read them out loud, and they’re going to be able to know what my life was.” Then, pointedly, to Este: “And they’re not gonna find it in your phone.” -Stevie Nicks

Many a times I hear, and honestly felt myself, that I do not lead an interesting enough life. Not enough to warrant writing about anyways...  To that I would have to say and remind myself, a lot of things happen in a day that is taken for granted. From the clothes you wear, to the interactions you have on a daily bases, it is the slice of life that is uniquely yours.

As many of you know, whether I wrote or not, I have an affliction for journals in general, but I too went to the dark side for years. Everything was digital. Granted there is a connivence factor to it, but such a soulless one that is devoid of character. And ironically due to the nature of the internet, the fear of security was so high, it was always a censored version of my self. A bulleted version of life one could say. Once I shifted back... I would have to agree with Ms. Nicks about the tactile joys of the hand written journal.

I also came across this quote a few months back by John Berendt (of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil), that I thought was brilliant...

“Keep a diary, but don't just list all the things you did during the day. Pick one incident and write it up as a brief vignette. Give it color, include quotes and dialogue, shape it like a story with a beginning, middle and end—as if it were a short story or an episode in a novel. It's great practice. Do this while figuring out what you want to write a book about. The book may even emerge from within this running diary.” 

― John Berendt

Which in turn made me think of the short writing session I did from a Lynda Barry YT video that yielded one of the most visceral piece of writing I've ever done. It was truly just a moment in time that I was picturing in my head, but my pen just floated over the page. In a short amount of time I felt like I truly showed my moment and not just told what happened.

Although I digress... it occurred to me that I was ultimately dealing with the same sort of fear I had to over come with my art. I know it is nothing new... the usual fear of the white page, criticism of not only your peers, but yourself... however the epiphany truly comes when you no longer put art or writing on this pedestal of perfection.

Any who, despite the obvious utility journaling holds for creatives like Ms. Nicks and Mr. Berendt, the act of journaling is not only an ancient tradition that dates back to at the very least 10th century Japan, but is known to have positive impact on our well-being, as an article from the PsychCentral community shares.

Journaling is such a fascinating subject. Whether or not what you write is prolific, whether it is about what you wore that day, or a screaming dump session that you immediately wonder if you should tear out and burn, it is a slice of your unique life.

Who knows... an entry may inspire a novel, a wonderful piece of art, or a song one day. Besides that, one thing is for sure, the act of journaling has wonderful health benefits. So why not?

Music of the Day:
Haim : Falling

Friday, November 14, 2014

Happy Friday Vlog #30 : Gouache

Hello everyone! Happy happy Friday to you! Today's vlog is all about gouache. As you can see here my collection has grown! I will briefly chat about the two different types of gouache I have. I went into it in a previous post Gouache 101, if you would like to take a gander.

Here are a few more detailed pictures of my collection of Holbein Acryla and Holbein Artist's Gouache.

Closeups of my favorite detail brushes : Royal Langnickle 20/0 and Princeton Art & Brushes Co. 10/0.

And finally my little Acryla Gouache Elephant...

Music of the Day:
Bag Raiders : Shooting Stars

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Cute Kitty Inspiration

Music of the Day:
Clazziquai : Cat Bossa

So cute... remember the group I mentioned in my last Vlog? I came upon this song. Very cute in the perspective of a cat. Which inspired me to do this little painting. Meow...

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Inspirational Treat : Angie Lewin

Hi there, came upon this wonderful artist from England named Angie Lewin. She is a painter and print maker who loves being out in the open and painting her lovely nature scenes. Take a gander... its yummy inspiration.

Here is one of her books, Plants and Places, you can look through on her website or purchase on Amazon.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Happy Friday Vlog #29 : My Journal Journey

Hi Everyone, today's Vlog is a little babbling journey with my old journals. I know I may have skimmed over some of them in the past, but I thought it might be fun to take a gander at the things that I've dabbled in since embarking on this fab journey.

Music of the Day:
Clazziquai : I Will Give You Everything

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Recovery with a New Pen

Ah Halloween has passed, but not without a victim. Alas, I couldn't say no to my kiddos and I took them out on the faithful day. It rained on and off all day, but luckily it only drizzled a bit when we went out. In our town I was told there were a few streets that were blocked off and very family friendly.

Any who silly me, I assumed it would be about 30 mins. to an 1hr. at the most. I mean it was supposed to be one street yeah? Well 2.5 hrs. later we were home. I mean the experience was great, the street and the homes beautifully done. In fact they even offered treats to the parents, glasses of wine and such, but... the night just about knocked me out for the past few days.

That being said, yes I still managed to work on my NaNoWriMo here and there, but my art muse was in hiding with my blanket of fogginess and aches and pains for sure. That was until tonight. I received this beauty of a fountain pen in the mail today and was quite pleased at how fine the tip was and how smooth it was despite it.

The pen comes with a carbon ink cartridge so it is water proof to boot (you can buy packs of cartridges as well). I'm absolutely in love with it. You can find it on Amazon, Goulet Pens, and Jetpens, what ever your poison maybe. Just look up Carbon Ink Pen. I would definitely recommend it for your art instead of the Microns. Many of you  know how I love the fine points of my Hi Tech-C pens, but sad they weren't waterproof. I would say this will satiate my fine pen fix in the water proof realm.

So here is another installation of my writers in ink and watercolor in my Midori. It's amazing what a little pen can do for recovery... oh and that little piece of Nuubia ganache didn't hurt either ^_*.

Music of the Day:
Delerium ft Sarah Mclachlan : Silence

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Friday #28 : Happy Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween everyone! It's definitely chilly here now and apparently rain is in the forecast for today! How strange that my Chicago weather has followed me here for this momentous occasion. The kids are a bit disgruntled by the prospect of not going trick or treating, but we shall see.

This here mama is a Chicago native! If I can wade through 4 ft. of snow, shovel a driveway the size of a basketball court, and have icicles form on the tips of my eye lashes while sweating profusely under layers of clothing... sure I can go brave the cold winds ripping at my hair and the cold sharp teeth of the rain as it bites down into my clothes. Not a big deal, none at all, uh..... Ok the truth? I'm a weakling... I'm old and I've been living in sunny Cali too long and that my friends is what I'll stand by come 5:30 pm and 2 sets of baby brown eyes stare at me pleadingly haha.

Any who here are a few pages from the trusty Hobo, Moleskine, and Stillman & Birn sketchbooks. I'm really having fun with my watercolors and enjoying in the pumpkin festivities this week as I ramp up for NaNoWriMo! One day left till we start whoo hoo! Hope you all have a wonderful spooktacular day!

Music of the Day:
M83 : Midnight City