What we see

Cardboard base mixed media using vintage elements

One of the lessons in Creative Jumpstart 2022 was to use pieces from cardboard boxes and create a book. It ended up telling its own story as I chose photos and additional images. When I see old photos of people I don’t know I can’t help but try to discern the stories of their lives. Most photos are of joyful occasions, the subjects completely unaware of what is hurtling through time towards them. Sometimes there are ones that are sad, the story on display.

3 page spread of mixed media book project

Photographs allow us to step into another time, into someone’s life and consider what it might have been like for them. And how it would’ve been for us, the struggles we would encounter were we to travel back in time and try to fit in. We can look at the elegant clothes without the burden of actually wearing them. Ride in the conveyances without the bone shaking, partake in the meals without the slaughter and day long cooking. It is a fascinating flight of imagination.

Backside of the pages of mixed media book.

I doubt that online albums will hold the same appeal of sorting through photo boxes and albums. Much as emails lack the emotion of old letters and postcards.

The Dreaming Child

Boldly colored mixed media with text, photo and George Eliot quote

“Keep learning” is advice mentioned regularly, and good advice it is. From simple things like taking a new route on the way to or from work, cook a new dish, or listen to different music. To more involved ones like learn a new language, take a course, or tackle a new skill. Any one of them can shakes up the cemented pathways in your brain and open up all sorts of new and potentially amazing possibilities. Which then lead to more! The best part is that it is all up to you to take that first step and try something new. It doesn’t have to be grand and expensive, it can be as simple as a daily walk through a different neighborhood and grow from there. Start today, engage a friend or two, write it down and tape that first intention to your mirror. Just give it a go!

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.

Fill your life

Fill your life with sunshine and your heart with love quote on bright paint and layered paper background

Here we are, at the very final hours of the year. 2021 will soon be behind us. We will enter the new year with 365 days of unknowns to be dealt with. Throughout the year there will be all the usual ups and downs, plus delights and sorrows which will catch us off guard. I wish all of you a year filled with more ups and delights, and lots of laughter and success to offset the downs and sorrows. Happy New Year!

On this eve

Sheet music with blue and silver accents and printed text from O
Little Town of Bethlehem

Here we are, Christmas Eve of 2021. Another odd holiday for many of us. I am grateful to have the day off to do whatever I want, or nothing at all. Usually I am at work having a quiet day that moves slowly along. But this year we all decided to take the day and make the holiday weekend a bit longer. This year has required that sort of flexibility of thought, to change directions and try new courses of action. To gives ourselves, and others, the chance to aim for something better or at least recoup where they are at. It has been a rough 20 months, many would say past few years, and as we move into a new year I am hopeful that there will be progress on inclusiveness and equality as we do. May you all have a wonderful Christmas Day.