It's a cool rainy day here, it's nice to have one of these every once in a while in the summer. Once again, I'll be working away at my to do list of cleaning, organizing my life, and making art :) My parent's house is still home base for Tyler and I as we job and apartment hunt. I was finally able to set up an art space here though which feels really nice. The third floor of my parent's house has two large bedrooms- one is now our bedroom and the other I am using as my art space (as well as the room that holds all of our shower gifts that we don't have a place for yet!!). I've had some time in there the last few days and have worked on several things.
painted paper towel stamped collages
sewn and beaded pockets for my book project
and some bigger messy acrylic paintings
Our spring and summer have been full of art and travel and it's been amazing. We've been so fortunate. Now, we are starting to settle a bit and I've been feeling some of the uneasiness, nervousness, and doubts that come with moving to a new place. I know it's part of the process, part of getting our feet on the ground and getting settled and I try to remind myself of this, try to keep it in perspective and feel what I'm feeling and work through it. I know we are where we are supposed to be and I just have to remember that getting settled takes a while. I'm so glad I now have an art space where I can go to help me work through some of these feelings. I'm eager to get in there again this morning, but I've told myself I must take breaks so I can write thank you notes and do the laundry :)
I started today by going to a diner to have breakfast with my brother and my 2 1/2 year old niece and I'll be ending the day by going to my 13 year old niece's play. In between I hope to have a bit of time to make art and also start on my thank you notes to all of the lovely and generous people who came to my shower last weekend.
Speaking of thank you notes! I turned several collages into thank you cards and I love how they look and I'm excited to say that they are up in my Etsy shop! You can take a look here. I also put some "yellow leaves" note cards and "love a lot" note cards in the shop.
I also finished the painting that I posted pictures of last week. It doesn't have a title yet. Here it is:
I thought about painting in the roofs of the houses a solid color but I didn't. I still might do that.
I also finally put together the book form that will hold all of the pictures I took during our month out at the cabin. I have lots of ideas for this book so I hope it comes together! I'm eager to see it in it's finished state but it's quite a big project so I need to take my time and enjoy the process. Here's a sneak peek:
So, how long does it take to settle back into a place? Into a routine, a job, a life, a community? I know this isn't a question that is easily answered. I know the answer if different from person to person. Lately it just feels like the "to do" list is long and as soon as we finish one we have to create another one! Mostly the things we have to do are banking/student loans/credit cards/medical stuff and then a bunch of random errands. My to do list for today is long: blog (check!), laundry, diy wedding project, clean my computer and get stuff onto a hard drive in preparation for getting a new computer (yay!), catch up on emails, go to the grocery store, make a wedding checklist, finish up some art pieces that are almost done, start writing thank you notes, do the dishes...
I'm not really complaining (ok, maybe a little) and I actually feel quite energized about getting things checked off this list today, I'm just curious about this settling back in process. And somewhere in here I have to start looking for a job (yikes!). Tyler, thankfully, has already found a job and he is very excited about starting.
In more fun news, I started a Society 6 shop- you can check it out here. I just thought I would explore one more avenue of getting my work out there and just see what happens with it. It's cool that they can put your work on so many different kinds of items. Right now I have prints, framed printed, stretched canvases, iphone/ipod cases and skins, and stationery cards.
I'm also taking Juliette Crane's new Abstracts and Backgrounds class. I've only done the first lesson so far but I had fun with it. I took a painted page that I already had and started putting more layers on it. Using acrylics, charcoal pencil, oil pastels, colored pencil, and watercolors. I think I'm really going to enjoy this class and it's always fun to get new techniques and strategies for just letting go and playing. This is my first class creation:
I'm glad my Etsy shop is back up and running. I actually had two sales last week- that's huge for me!! I put two new original collages in there last night. "make art" and "be grateful". I'm hoping to get some thank you cards into the shop later this week.
Well, now I can check blogging off today's to do list. I better get started on the rest of it!
It's great to be home now and finally have some more time and space to make art. On our trip I brought a plastic bin of art supplies with me (cause I can't be completely without them!) and would occasionally work in the car as Tyler was driving. It worked but it was a pretty cramped way of trying to make art. Now that I am home I'm having the urge to work big and messy! I bought some canvases the other day and have been having fun playing around with them.
I brought the canvases outside and started layering paint (it was such a luxury painting outside! something I could never do while living in NYC.). My 11 year old niece came over in the afternoon and I gave her one of the canvases and we spent a couple hours out there layering colors, making marks and not worrying about what it looked like. It was fun to paint with her.
The next day I spent some time defining the painting a little bit more. I always find this hard. Putting representational imagery into my work doesn't come naturally or intuitively. However, there are certain symbols that pop up a lot for me and when I use them in a work they are often the very basic outlines of these symbols. So, while looking at my layers of paint I kept thinking about houses and how I wanted to make a row of houses on the painting. I also kept thinking about leaves. So, without thinking too much about it I went with my instinct and included these symbols.
I think I will add a bit more- outline the shapes in black and add a few stamped circles and lines to the grey background. No matter the result, it felt really good to paint big!
Tyler and I just returned back home to Syracuse after a fun but tiring month on the road. We arrived in Syracuse just as a tornado and severe thunderstorms were moving across the area. Luckily, my family and friends were all safe. The next day was my 32nd birthday and I'm so happy we made it back in time to celebrate it with my family.
We took so many photos on the road and below is a brief tour of the states we covered.
The Grand Teton Mountains,Wyoming
Durango, Colorado (where I got to visit with my old friend Lindsay!)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Returning to New York State!
Now that we are home I hope to get back into both a blogging routine and an art making routine. Hopefully soon I'll have some new art to share with you!
We made a stop to one of Tyler's favorite used bookstores in Minneapolis the other day. At first I didn't even want to go in but I'm glad I did. Look at the goodies I found! I'm especially interested in the book on creativity.
I found some time to work on my travel journal and make some mixed media collages as well. I'm so glad I brought my art supplies with me, even a little bit of time making art helps keep me balanced.
I downloaded the "a beautiful mess" app on my phone and had fun playing around with it yesterday :)
We took a hike along the St. Croix River with Tyler's parents yesterday afternoon. It was a lovely hike along steep cliffs that overlook the rushing river. After, we headed down to Stillwater, a cute river town, to have dinner.
I hope you are having a nice week too and that you are finding time to be creative, be outside, and be with people you love!