ICAD Week #4

June 28, 2014 Leave a comment

ICAD #22

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ICAD #23

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ICAD #24

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ICAD #25

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ICAD #26

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ICAD #27

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ICAD #28

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ICAD Week #3

June 24, 2014 Leave a comment

A little behind on my cards but just posted four of them.  Here’s week #3.

ICAD  #15

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ICAD #16

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ICAD #17

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ICAD #18

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ICAD #19

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ICAD #20

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ICAD #21

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ICAD Week #2 – The Challenge Continues

June 14, 2014 7 comments

Completed the Index Card a Day challenge for week number two.   I’m sticking with markers and gel pens and trying to explore all the possibilities with just this medium.  Obviously there are billions of things I can draw but there were a couple days when I just stared at the blank index card and couldn’t think of a thing.  I find that if I attempt to completely blank my mind and just make any mark then something will come to me.  By the time I’m done I love the card.

ICAD #8

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ICAD #9

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ICAD #10

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ICAD #11

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ICAD #12

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ICAD #13

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ICAD #14

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Challenging Myself

June 12, 2014 Leave a comment

Sometimes when you’re stuck and in a rut it’s helpful to take on a challenge.  Challenges push you a bit, ask you to go beyond what you would normally do and for me they’re a good way to get motivated again.  In the past couple weeks I’ve taken on two challenges.  One is physical and the other is artistic.

The company that I work for has provided all of its employees with a walking challenge.  Anyone that wants to sign up must do so as part of a team of seven people.  All participants get a free pedometer and there’s a web site where we can log our steps.  The challenge is to walk an average of 10,000 steps a day both personally and as a team.  The web site actually tracks the progress as if we were walking through various countries.  For me, this is the perfect activity to get up and going again.  I love to walk but over the last half year I’ve just been a lump on the couch.  I just haven’t been motivated to exercise.  This challenge has gotten me moving.  I guess I’m a bit competitive and seeing the other team’s steps makes me work all the harder to meet or beat their averages.  I’ve found all kinds of ways to make my goal.  From using exercise videos, getting up an hour early to walk on the town walkway, using Wii Fit games to stepping in place while I wash dishes and brush my teeth.  My step average so far is 15,945 steps with a personal best day of 21,065 steps.  That’s a lot of walking!  I feel so much better and actually lost a few pounds since I started.  What a wonderful way to get exercising.  If anyone is interested in getting their company involved check out the web site Global Corporate Challenge.

The second challenge that I’ve started a couple weeks ago is called Index Card a Day (aka ICAD) which is being promoted by Tammy at Daisy Yellow Art.  There’s a link directly to the challenge information in my blog roll on the right side of this post.  I believe that Tammy has been doing this challenge for a few years now but this is the first time I’ve done it.  The basic idea is to create a small art work every day through the months of June and July.  There’s no limitation to the materials you use except that every artwork must be done on an index card no bigger than 4×6.  There’s also no specific requirement for what the artwork should be.  You can sketch, paint, collage, journal, color, stitch, combine multi-media, whatever.  There are weekly one word ideas/prompts given for anyone that would like to follow them but it is totally optional.  The challenge is free and is meant to get your imagination going.  The small index card format is meant to get you concentrating on the process and not necessarily on the end result.  I’m going to post my cards in this blog as the weeks pass.  We’re almost done with the second week.

So, those are my two current challenges.  It’s fun to push yourself a bit with a dedicated challenge.  A few things that I’ve found helpful in making them work for me:

1. Set yourself realistic goals.  If doing something everyday just isn’t possible try for once a week or even once a month.  But I try to make the goal a bit difficult just because that pushes me to the next level.

2. Do a challenge that’s fun for you.  It doesn’t make sense to me to do something that I don’t like to do.  I’d just be miserable thinking about having to do it all the time.  If it’s an art challenge, make it flexible enough so that you don’t get into a rut doing the same thing over and over.  Mix it up!

3.  See if you can join a challenge with a group of people.  Personal challenges are good but if you join a group there’s typically places to log your results and see the work of others.  It’s very motivating and makes it more fun (see #2).

4. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t keep up with the challenge.  Again, it’s all about the fun.  Everyone has a different pace and we all have busy lives.  In any art challenge I usually have to try hard not to compare myself to others because there are so many imaginative people out there.  But, I do what I can and just push that inner critic away.

What are you doing to challenge yourself?

As promised, here are my first seven ICADs.  They’re all on 3×5 index cards using markers and gel pens.  Nothing fancy, just doodling and drawing whatever comes to mind every day.

ICAD #1

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ICAD #2

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ICAD #3

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ICAD #4

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ICAD #5

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ICAD #6

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ICAD #7

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Watercolor Painting at Kripalu

June 3, 2014 Leave a comment

This past week I was so lucky to attend a five day watercolor painting class at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. What could be better than combining art with yoga in a five day retreat? If you ever have a chance to visit Kripalu then do it. The grounds are beautiful, food is absolutely scrumptious and, so far, the classes that I’ve taken have been wonderful.

This particular class was called “Watercolor Landscapes: The Spirit of Adventure” taught by Ann Lindsay. She is the author of the book “Watercolor: A New Beginning, A Holistic Approach to Painting“. Suffice to say that she is an awesome artist and wonderful teacher. Considering that I’ve never painted a watercolor landscape in my life I was quite pleased with the results. She really knows how to present the medium in a fun and low-stress way. We learned so many tricks and techniques (now all I have to do is practice them).

Below are a few of my works of art from the class.  I’m really looking forward to continue to explore watercolor and possibly take some more of Ann’s classes.

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Mid-week meditation

April 3, 2014 Leave a comment

Here are a couple of meditative journal pages I worked on this week.   I’m trying to add more drawing to my pages.

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March Link-Love Mission – My First “Link-Love” Post

March 30, 2014 2 comments

If you’re interested in some fun journaling prompts then you might want to check out the Daisy Yellow site.  I’ve been following it for a short while.  I’m actually in the middle of taking a couple of the watercolor classes on the site which are really so much fun.  Tammy is the author and she’s full of ideas to get your creative “juices” flowing.  I’m just starting to find out about some of the various fun challenges and prompts that she has to offer.  The one that I’m blogging about here in my post is the “Link-Love Mission“.  This is the first time I’ve tried this.  As described in her blog:  “The idea behind the Link-Love Mission is simple. Save the world, one blog at a time. Show some love for your favorite blogs by linking to them! It’s free, it’s simple, and we hope it makes a difference. The Mission runs the last Friday of the month… a joint venture between Daisy Yellow + CraftyPod.”

This month’s Link-Love Mission challenge is to list and write about five informative blog posts that you pinned/bookmarked for future reference.   Below are five that I’ve found and look forward to returning to in order to research them some more:

1. My Handbound Books – I love the whole concept of creating your own hand bound book or art journal.  I watch YouTube videos about it, search for blog sites with tutorials and buy books for reference.  I’ve tried a couple very simple binding techniques and would like to delve deeper into the subject.  This blog site looks very interesting.  It is completely dedicated to the art to bookbinding from papers to binding techniques there are posts from 2007 until current.

2. Nicole’s Free Coloring Pages – I love to color.  I have the standard Crayola big box of crayons as well as numerous markers and cray pas oil pastels.  I found this blog site which has a number of free coloring pages to download.  There’s color by numbers, animals, adult therapy, mandalas and holiday themed.  A lot of fun to be had at this site.

3. Digital Photography School (DPS) Posing Guide –  I first spotted this blog post on Facebook.  It is a helpful post regarding useful poses for photographing women.  It’s actually the second in a set of posts on this subject.  What caught my eye, though, isn’t the photo tutorial but rather the sketches that someone has done to illustrate the different poses.  I plan on going back to this post and downloading the sketches in order to practice drawing women in various postures.  I think it would be great as a guide to drawing.

4.  The Ink Pad, NYC – 2014 Art Classes – Always on the lookout for new classes to take, I found this site while visiting Julie Fei Fan Balzer’s web site.  New York City isn’t that far away for me since I live in Connecticut and this store looks like it’s chock full of fun art materials and classes.  There aren’t a lot of posts here yet but what’s there is interesting.  Definitely going back to this blog to read more.  Maybe I’ll make a trip to NYC soon.

5. Jumping in Art Museums – Ok, this one doesn’t have anything to do with tutorials or learning new techniques but it’s a FUN blog to browse through.  According to the blog introduction “Sometimes, while visiting art museums and galleries, people get so excited by what they see that they have to jump for joy. They send photos of their Art Jumping to me and I post them to share with the rest of the art-loving world.”  This blog makes me laugh.  What a cool idea for a photo project!  It also gets me thinking about all the creative ideas that people come up with to post on their blogs.  The next time I visit a museum I’m definitely going to get my husband to take a picture of me jumping and submit it here.  LOL!

6. Kripalu Kitchen – I know the Mission is to post five blogs but I had to add a sixth.  This one has to do with food and some of the most wonderful recipes.  Last year I treated myself to a week long retreat to the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox Massachussetts.  It was the most wonderful experience.  I actually took an art class there which could be another whole blog topic for me.  But the very best part about the trip was the food.  I never wanted to come home and cook for myself again.  Fortunately the Kripalu blog devotes a section to recipes that are actually used at their center.  The link above is to the home blog but if you want to try something absolutely heavenly then go directly to the link for Vegan Chocolate Brownies.  The bakers at Kripalu make these brownies once a week and believe me they’re gone in a matter of minutes.

If you get a chance to check out some of my bookmarked posts let me know how you like them.  Or, better yet, start your own Link-Love Mission on your own blog site.  Then let me know so that I can check them out.