The cards on the table

Artist trading cards
Artist trading cards

I reached my goal of 100 artist trading cards on Monday, and even went over by a few. There were days the creating came easily, and days it was choppy, but over all I am pleased with the final pieces. The 100 day project gave me the opportunity to try new techniques and use supplies in new ways. Now I can incorporate those into new courses and projects. I did not reach the bottom of my scrap boxes, not even close, but I made a valiant attempt. Now after a short break, I am gearing up to try something new!

Spend life happy

Artist trading card of junk mail

I decided to create my 37th card using nothing but junk mail, of which I get a regular supply. The variety of patterns, colors and text gave me an ample selection to work with. In my art I like the challenge of working with what I have or unusual items. I have done several You Tube videos on stamping and printing background papers using everyday things. Check out one of the videos here! In doing the 100 day project I have let myself try new techniques and see how things work together. Sometimes it is a cool result, sometimes rather blah and in need of more work. Either way it is forcing me to think differently. By the end of May I will have 100 mini projects that I can use as reference for future projects and courses. It’s all part of the growth I said I would undertake this year.

Staying with it

Artist trading card with pink, turquoise, and yellow colors and scraps

It is the end of the weekend of a very hectic week, one I have no problem not repeating. I feel drained and a bit disoriented by it, and am so glad I kept to my daily creating schedule to give me a bit of peace and quiet. That has been vital to keeping my sanity, and I think will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. #the100dayproject is perfect for this, as all it asks is a consistent slice of time and a repeating style. The variety of ideas people choose is fascinating: quilt blocks, watercolors, stamps, fractal designs, etc. And of course it doesn’t have to be art, it can be fitness, writing, cooking to name a few. Why not try your own version of the 100 day project starting today!

Believe in the Garden

Mixed media piece of butterfly on a rose and heavily detailed background

Though it is winter, and the garden is covered in snow, I know things are happening at the root level of all my plants. They are dreaming of spring and bursting forth into the sun. yet even during the winter months the exposed branches give structure to the garden, highlighted by snow and occasional bird. For many January can be a hard month. It is cold, dark, the weather can be unpredictable, the celebrations past, and resolutions sounding hollow already. Plus this year, still, we have the pandemic continuing to throw monkey wrenches into daily life. Both sides of that issue are feeling irritated about that, though some won’t dial it back which only adds to the general annoyances we are all experiencing.

I decided to start my year off with regular trips to the gym to keep both my physical and mental strength up. To get outside in the fresh air when I can. And I decided to take part in Creative Jumpstart 2022 to keep my creativity flowing. I have just finished the first week of lessons and it is a blast. It is providing me with the same sort of benefits as the gym and nature. It’s a trifecta of goodness to ward off any January blahs that might come my way.

Strength

Mixed media with butterfly , bright circles, jewels and “strength” chop mark

As part of the Creative Jumpstart 2022 course I am taking through Nathalie Kalbach’s site there are daily creative videos from wide variety of artists. Each one is designed to encourage exploring new materials and techniques. It is proving a great way for me to get into the studio every day and dig into my supplies. I am determined to expand creatively in every direction I possibly can this year, and this course came across my screen at the perfect time. It is fun to stretch myself in this way and see what I can do.

Tiny wonders

Four 2 inch bright mixed media pieces

When I work small I have to approach the piece differently. Different decisions have to be made from the start in order not to overwhelm the final balance. One thing I enjoy about tiny art is that I get to use up my tiniest scraps, all the bits I have hung onto “just in case”. When I do 1” size the restrictions are even tougher to work within. If you want to try making small scale pieces like these, go ahead and dive in! You will likely enjoy the process and feel encouraged to make more. Start at the 2” size first so you can get used to the scale, and then try some 1” ones.

Four 1” bold mixed media pieces

Here are some 1” pieces, commonly called “inchies”, so you can compare the two sizes. You are working with the littlest scraps you have for this size. But, much like bonsai, it is what you choose to leave that makes it work.