Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 Issues and Goals Collages

2011 Issues Collage

2011 Goals Collage
In the '90s I taught a workshop called "Everyday Art Therapy". During the workshop we explored the "classic" art therapy techniques: drawing, painting, clay and collage. I had my workshop participants make two 8 1/2" X 11" collages, one describing life issues, one describing life goals. This was often described as a favorite activity in the workshop.

We would then do mind maps about each of the collages, followed by a journal entry for each. My thinking is that collage making is a right brained activity--putting one in touch with personal imagery and symbols. Mindmapping is a technique that utilizes the right brain function (free association) with a left brain function (word choice). Traditional journaling (just words, no images) is more of a left brain function. Mind mapping works like a bridge from the collage (subconscious/intuitive mind) to the journal entry (conscious/rational mind). In this way the subconscious mind (which can often provide very useful information) can offer insight to the conscious mind.

Over the years I have gotten into the habit of making an "Issues" and "Goals" collage right around the New Year each year. The "Issues" collage is often a record of things I would like to change or address, while the "Goals" collage is about what I intend to create in the New Year. It is very useful to contrast hard realities with goals. As an analogy it could be like a person getting on the bathroom scale to honestly evaluate the state of things, then setting a goal of an ideal weight for the future. Until the actual state of things is faced goals for the future can not be effectively steered towards.

Issues: Turning 60 in 2011 (Life is Short) so learning to savor and not waste each precious moment on the planet. Feel like I want to upgrade my "style" (woman in a potato sack) so looking to upgrade my wardrobe; still shocked and confused by the sudden reversal of my fortune in terms of working as a career college instructor (confused face, puzzle pieces, Saturn) so needing to re-boot my working life and determine my next direction. Sometimes feeling like I don't know how to play the game (Bingo) and that its all luck anyway. Yet still feeling inspired (shining star in upper center) and enjoying my freedom (pink bird) before I find my new job.
Goals: In 2011, soon to be "The Year of the Rabbit" (my Chinese astrological sign) and so "my year"! Ganesha is at the top, blessing new beginnings and writing projects. In 2011, an intention to "Get Fit" and find a "Great Job". Making sure to pursue my creative projects and wishing to enjoy the "deliciousness" in life. Last, but not least, hoping to create a happy home for myself and my son.
Happy New Year Everyone!

2011 Resolution 5: Have a Great Job

2011 Resolution 5: Have a Great Job

Office 2010 clip art, Word Art, collage

I have been struggling a bit with career this last year. It's not that I don't know what I ultimately want to do: Creativity Coaching, Art Therapy, do workshop and classes about artist cards and the creative process. I want to finish my book and then do related workshops. The catch is that I don't really know how to get there--I am at a career low, in some ways. I am broke, only have two career college classes to teach in the January term and haven't really gotten much response to my job search. Should I go work in customer service? For mental health? Need to find gainful employment fast but sort of paralyzed by all the unknows.

This card represents my quest for a new, suitable and lucrative job that contains the following elements
  1. contributes to me and to those I work with
  2. education related
  3. counseling related
  4. creative
  5. hands on
  6. health insurance
  7. has hours that allow me to take my son to school
I really love teaching art, student foundation courses and psychology. I love helping clients to problem solve to improve their lives. I hope I can find a job soon that allows me to make a living and also enables me to contribute to others.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2011 Resolution 4: Daily Creative Activity

Unlock Your Creativity

Collage, Derwent Intense Watercolor Pencils,
Office Max brand metallic markers,
acrylic paint, key embellishment.

Whether it's journaling or writing or making artist cards or planning other creative projects I resolve to not let my creative endeavors be put off until another day. I recently listened to a another woman lament that she needed to find a place in her home to do art, and I recognized the excuse I used to make. I think we often wait for the time/space/money we think we need to express our creativity.

I used to say that I needed to wait to do art until I had a dedicated room or studio. Now I know that a TV tray will do, or the kitchen table. Supplies can be purchased at craft stores with 40% off coupons or during sales. And supplies don't have to be fancy. You will find good art supplies at Office supply stores and your local Target. Finally, artist cards, with their small size do not require a lot of time to complete. No excuses.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2011 Resolution 3: Stay Connected with Nature

"Stay Connected with Nature"
Botanical drawing with Picassa text

In the last few months I've had the opportunity to teach a drawing and multimedia class at the Denver Botanic Gardens through the Colorado Free University. It has been so wonderful to look at nature and capture images of the Gardens each week. Teaching also offers a unique opportunity to see through your student's eyes and find your own unexplored answers to student questions.

The splendor of nature has always lifted my heart. In the New Year I will take more walks and continue to draw and paint the beauty of nature. Being in a natural setting is a great stress reducer and helps me recover from many hours spent each day on the computer and bombarded by other electronic devises.

Monday, December 27, 2010

2011 Resolution 2: Daily Meditation Practice

2011 Resolution 2: Daily Meditation Practice

Collage with stamped roses and inked edges

This one seems very important. When I am strong with my mediation practice (no matter what spiritual "flavor" I am practicing) I am stronger in my life. There is a quote from the I Ching that goes something like this: "When a person has assigned the right place to fate and to life then a light develops in life that shows the path". To me this means aligning one's will with one's spiritual path. This happens naturally (as opposed to be arranged and figured out by the conscious mind) in meditation, I think.

2011 Resolution 1: Get Fit

Resolution 1: Get Fit
Collage with embossing

I struggled a bit with shifting from making my usual cards to making an intention card. Wanted it to be "pretty", needed it to be clear about the things I need to do to make this goal be realized. Hard to find pictures of older "fit" women as well. Was able to find important phrases.

  1. Focus on Small Changes

  2. Move More

  3. Smart Choices (food)

  4. Have a Goal and Commit to It

  5. Eat Smarter

  6. Keeping Fit
I started yesterday--tracking my food choices, weighing myself daily, found out about membership at the community recreation center. Small steps, smart food choices, moving more will take me to my goal of getting my "real" body back. I am done with this fat suit. Unzipping it and stepping out of it will take that commitment and persistence--probably the most important component. I embossed the important words (all of them) and added a picture of me from a slimmer time. I stamped a key--the words and images on the card are the key to my success in this goal. I am using the words goal, resolution, intention interchangeably. I couldn't decide which word was most fitting so will use them all.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Year's 2011 Intention Cards

2010 Resolutions
Above is my New Year's Resolution card from last year made with collage, metallic markers and gel pens. This year I'm going to do this a little differently. I am going to, starting today, the day after Christmas, make 7 cards, one each day, until the New Year; to set my resolution/intentions for the year. Last year I made progress in each of the areas I wished to improve although the road into the dark wood is often part of the journey to one's goals.
Today I woke feeling stiff and heavy. I am indeed heavier than I have been since I gained 70 pounds (weight I soon lost) when I was pregnant with my now 13+ year old son. Maybe I have become pregnant again, with my own new self (ha). Anyway, this morning I thought: I need my body back! I do not recognize this creaky button-bursting body. I am signing up for the local recreation center (Broomfield has a great one) and back on Weight Watchers or some variation until I can recognize this body again. I know that, no matter how much weight I lose, I will never be young again, but I refuse to be old before my time and surrender to some over-weight related malady. I'll post my "Fit" card in my next entry.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pencil and Pen "Embossing"

Pencil Embossed Poppies
Pencil, Office Max brand mellic markers, Target brand gel pens.

Pansey Chain
Metallic markers, pencil, gel pens

Botanical Pattern
Metallic markers, gel pens, Derwent Intense Watercolor pencils

I've found that chipboard, the support I use for my artist cards, can be given and "embossed" look (or is it engraved?) by going over lines repeatedly with gel pens or a pencil. I'm sticking to my botanical theme (the beauty of nature continues to life my heart) but am experiementing with more abstract images.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cool Cards I Got at the ATC Trade

Jerry's Glitter and Beads Dragonfly

Duct Tape!

three sisters

Gel pen and pop-dots

Variation on a classic, love the pipe cleaner Woolly Caterpillar!

Love the "Current Events" twist!

I finally got it this week--I have been taking this trade too seriously. Most people present kept their cards simple--heavy on the idea, light on the labor. I discussed this with the mom of the three children present who were trading their art card craft. We agreed that I need to put less "blood" into my individual cards. I found another trader whose individual cards were serious art pieces. We are going to meet to trade cards like these, privately, and have a more light hearted approach to the monthly trade.

"Insect" Theme Trade

Botanical Drawings with Office Max Metallic Markers,
Derwent Watercolor Pencils, Target brand gel pens, Pitt marker. Butterfly and
Dragonfly images from K and Company  ephemera pack (at Michaels).

Went to the Denver Make 'Em Trade 'Em Group Trade at Core on Saturday. Added transparent insect images to some of my botanical cards. It's a new idea for me to add pre-made images to my Gardens drawings. Now it makes all my previous botanical cards look boring. I especially like the way the drawing shows through the transparent wings in some of the cards. I got some cool cards too. I'll put some in my next post.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dare to Wear Your Silly Hat

Digital Photo, colored pencils,
metallic markers, dymo tape letters

Photo of my son on his 11th birthday. He chose this hat,at the Party Store,for his party . I am so proud of him--he is proud of being unique and occasionally outrageous. His variation on "Why Be Normal"? is: "This is Normal for me"! One of his career goals is to be a K-12 Science and Math teacher and wear silly hats to class to keep them laughing despite the "serious" topics.

More Blossoms

Mixed media with gel pen, acrylic, Derwent Watercolor Pencils, metallic markers, pitt marker, black.

This card is going to the be the basis of "Insect" cards for the Denver ATC trade group. Have chosen to add butterflies and moths for the theme.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Variations on a Botanical Theme

Pitt Pen, metallic markers, Office Max brand, Derwent Watercolor Pencils.

Love my class at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Last day of the fall session last Saturday. We decided to do a botanical art card trade. I started with a previous botanical art card (with yellow flowers, above) and made 10 more in various color schemes. Fun to do variations and each card, with time and effort, becomes an "original".