Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


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Getting Sketchy

Well, I haven’t been quite as dedicated to the 31-Day Drawing Challenge as I intended. I find the task of beginning and sticking with a practice, just about any practice, to be more and more challenging as I get older. Which seems to be the opposite of what I thought would happen. You know, you get older, have more time, more wisdom, so starting something and sticking with it should be easier.

At least that is the impression I picked up somewhere on this journey.

But I digress from the point of this post. And that is to share the latest sketches that I have completed as part of the 31-Day Challenge (which, incidentally, ended with the month of August. But who’s counting? Not me. Obviously.)

“Nest:” Trying not to be too literal and go with the first thing most people might think of, a bird’s nest, I opted for a picture of Nesting Dolls as my inspiration. Perspective was much more challenging to capture.

Nest

Nest

“Breeze”: How does one interpret this prompt?

Breeze

Breeze

“Warmth”: This prompt brings to mind several images. I went with something quick and used colors as inspiration.

Warmth

Warmth

“Forest”: Can you see the forest through the trees?

Forest

Forest

“Rain”: I’m not sure if I would’ve created this drawing in this manner if I had not visited the Van Gogh exhibit at The Clark Museum. It was in that exhibit where I saw Van Gogh’s depiction of rain as inspired by Japanese paintings (which inspired one of his paintings.)

Rain

Rain


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On Using Our Hands

…”she connects the importance of using our hands with the way in which we understand and find value in ourselves and in others. There’s something so honest and pure about her thought — that we gain a deeper, more meaningful relationship with our own humanity and our greater world by using our hands.”

I wanted to share this post from the OnBeing blog. I was deeply touched by Renate Hiller’s words. I agree with her in that we have, at times, lost our connection to each other, the earth and spirit by not using our hands as technology becomes more and more commonplace. Whether used to create, to heal, to touch, to hold, our hands, as editor Trent Gilliss states, grounds us.

Engage with your hands. Put down the technology. Make something. Dig in the dirt. Clasp them together. Shake your hands in the air like you just don’t care!

A World Through The Hands


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The Challenge of Drawing

I recently joined Craftsy’s 31-Day Drawing Challenge. Well, “joined” may not be the best word. I’m not submitting what I create on the Craftsy site. Rather, I’m sharing my drawings on my Facebook page and here in blog-o-land.

So what is this “challenge” exactly? If you go to the above link, you’ll see that Craftsy has provided a prompt for each day in August. Interpret the prompt in any way you want. Yes, the suggested format is drawing. But if you’re not into drawing or sketching, then write a poem, make some music, do an interpretative dance, take a picture. Paint a picture. Let the prompt inspire your creative muse. The format isn’t important. Letting your creative juices flow is!

My challenge is trying not to be too literal with the prompts. That’s probably why I made it through the first three and haven’t picked up my sketchbook since then. That and well, just setting aside the time. I’m trying not to put pressure on myself as I find myself falling behind (uh, oh, see the tiny beads of sweat breaking out on my forehead.)

That making time thing and just doing it, well that’s a post for another day.

Anyways, here are my interpretations for the first three prompts:

Grow” Inspired by the baby robins that were in a nest outside our kitchen window.

Grow

Grow

In Bloom” The Black-Eyed Susans are bursting in our yard.

Black Eyed Susan

Black Eyed Susan

Flutter” This brought several images to mind. Butterflies. Wings. Eyelashes. I chose a large turkey feather as inspiration.

Fluttering Feathers

Fluttering Feathers

What will you create with the prompts in the 31-Day Challenge?


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Rising From The Ashes

I can’t remember when I last wrote a post for this blog. (Okay, I just looked. It was May 7, 2014. More than a year ago.)

I’ve pondered, on and off, the idea of restarting this blog. Or perhaps starting a brand new blog. Though I didn’t feel highly motivated by either prospect. But this blog, and the fact that I just let it die, continued to pop up in my head every now and again.

A week or so ago, WordPress sent out an announcement for their upcoming summer online workshops, “Blogging 101” and “Blogging 102  201″ I decided that maybe, with WP’s prompts and incentives to write again, I could revive this blog. So, here I am.

Why The Disappearing Act?

I’ve also been thinking about why I let my blog drift off into the Internet ethers. Yes, there is the proverbial life stuff. But I think it was more the fact that all the life stuff over the past 3+ years changed me. Changed what was important to me. Changed my interests. Maybe not changed per say, but brought more of my true self to the forefront.

Since my last post in May 2014, I ended my remaining consignment contracts at local art galleries, I began volunteer work, I travelled to Ireland to discover my roots, I spent more time painting, and I suffered a traumatic hand injury that resulted in the partial amputation of a finger on my right hand.

We downsized our house. We started over in a new community. I became certified as a Reiki Master practitioner. I spent 12 days in France. I’ve jumped into new opportunities in the art community. I haven’t worked with polymer clay on a regular basis since winter 2014. And I don’t really miss it.

Behind all these changes, and what I think is closer to the real reason I stopped blogging, is that part of me feels different and new. And I don’t know if my old readers are interested in this new and different person. This person who is more likely to blog about painting and Reiki and spiritual stuff and how they all fit together in my life now.

I guess I’m about to find out.


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Come to ArtSpace Maynard’s Holiday Art & Craft Show This Weekend

This weekend I’m participating in ArtSpace Maynard’s 11th Annual Holiday Art & Craft Show. This my last holiday art & craft show for 2011.

I’ll have new Ornimals (Animal Sculpted Ornaments), Pyramid Fortune Vessels, Soulful Sprites and Heart in Hand Talisman. The Sprites & Talisman make great stocking stuffer gifts! I’ll also have a selection of wine bottle stoppers, perfume pens, and business card cases if you’re looking for a more traditional holiday gift. And if you’re looking for wall art, I’ll have a small selection of artwork from my Languedoc-Roussillon series.

Here are three new Ornimals that are coming with me:

Clown Fish Ornimal

"Gwynnie" Dachshund Ornimal

Great Horned Owl Ornimal

Hope to see you this weekend at ArtSpace!

Happy Holidays.


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The Video: Snapshots & Memories from Languedoc-Roussillon

Well, it only took three complete video shoots plus a few short missteps and installing the newest version of  iMovie. However, I am happy to announce that I can now finally share with you the video version of my latest series of artwork, Snapshots & Memories from Languedoc-Roussillon.

In this video you’ll learn about my inspiration for the series and hear a little more about the individual pieces. All of the artwork in this series is for sale. If you’re interested in purchasing a piece, please leave a comment and I’ll contact you.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel and receive updates when new videos are posted.

Enjoy!


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The Apprenticeship Project on Kickstarter

Friend and fellow artist, Susan Lomuto, has created a project on Kickstarter. Her project is the aptly titled “The Apprenticeship Project.”

The goal of this project is to raise $1,500.00 by November 28, 2011. The funds raised for this project will help Susan document what it means to be a working artist today by working as an apprentice to artists across the country.

Susan is no stranger to working as an artist apprentice. She did just that last fall when she traveled to Connecticut and Washington, D.C to work as an apprentice to a jewelry artist, a ceramic artist and a glass artist.

This time, however, Susan needs your assistance to make the Apprenticeship Project even bigger. Her initial apprenticeship experiences appeared as posts on her blog The Daily Art Muse. Now Susan’s goal is to capture this documentation in three books: one book on the life of an artist, one photo essay book, and one book on her life and what brought her to this project.

To hear about The Apprenticeship Project, you can listen to Susan describe it in her own words:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2038555215/the-apprenticeship-project/widget/video.html

Now isn’t this something you might consider supporting?

Still not sure?

Click on this link to read more about The Apprenticeship Project.  You can even ask questions. If you decide to make a donation, your credit card won’t be charged unless Susan reaches her goal of $1,500.00 by November 28, 2011. How cool is that?

You can donate as little as $5.00 or as much as $5,000.00. And you can choose a gift to receive based on the amount of your donation.

I wouldn’t blog about this if I didn’t believe in the project.

Full disclosure: I’m a backer of this project.


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A Little Jaunt To New York

We got away for a long weekend to New York this past weekend. An early anniversary trip. Over three days we walked almost 30 miles. Those 30 miles included two museum visits, a trip to ground zero, and walking through part of Central Park and Times Square. All that walking and I still gained weight. Darn those cupcakes!

Below are some shots from our trip, most from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was our first visit to the Met. After a few hours we were definitely on art overload.

St Patrick's Cathedral at Night

Atlas at Night

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Klimt

Barbara Hepworth Sculpture

I was not familiar with Barbara Hepworth’s artwork. You can read more about her here.

Jackson Pollock

Pollock’s large paintings are really impressive.

I’m sorry I didn’t write down the name of the artist who created this piece above. I believe his first name was Robert. Yes, that is an eagle mounted to this mixed media piece.

Cy Twombly

Wharhol

Which do you prefer? Monet’s Irises….

Monet

Or Picasso’s Irises?

Picasso

I like both of them. Each are unique interpretations of one of my favorite flowers. I do think, however, that I like Monet’s Irises better than his waterlilies.

Salvador Dali

How is this for a mantelpiece? I believe it is from the Vanderbilt estate.

The last room we visited had all this amazing Oceanic art. The ceiling tiles below were all created individually and then assembled to form the roof/ceiling of a home.

Ceiling Tiles

Headdress

The headdress above was worn in a certain ceremony. A male and a female headdress were typically used in the ceremony. The dancer wore the headdress for a very short period. And then the headdress was destroyed.

Strawberry Fields

This time we walked much further through Central Park and finally visited the area now known as Strawberry Fields. The Dakota rises over this area of Central Park. At the heart of Strawberry Fields is the Imagine medallion.

Imagine

As we sat on a bench watching people take pictures of each other on the Imagine medallion, I remembered being in Italy last year for our 25th anniversary.

While staying in Venice we visited the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. In the museum’s sculpture garden was a “Peace” tree with little pieces of paper dangling from it. Next to the tree was a container with pencils and pieces of paper with strings attached. Visitors were asked to write their prayers and wishes on the paper and then to attach the paper to the tree branches.

The Peace Tree installation was created by Yoko Ono.

Sitting by the Imagine medallion, it felt like we’d come full circle.


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Blog Anniversary Week 3 Winner

I am now 3/4 of the way through my blog anniversary celebration. Only one more giveaway to be conducted this month. Before introducing the final giveaway this Friday, 8/26, let’s see who won the week #3 giveaway…..

This giveaway had a jewelry theme, so what better way to choose the winner than with a Tiffany gift box.

All the names of those who left a comment were written on piece of paper and placed in the Tiffany box.

Then the box was shaken. Shake your head up and down. See the box move up and down.

And the winner of a copy of Debbie Jackson’s book “Polymer Clay Jewelry” and my Mokume Gane pin is…..

Mokume Gane Pin

…Diane S

Congratulations Diane!

Thanks to everyone who participated. Check back this Friday, 8/26, to see what you can win in the final week of my blog anniversary celebration.


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Blog Anniversary Giveaway Week 3: Win a Copy of Polymer Clay Jewelry

I’m half-way through my blog anniversary celebration. I’m having a good time. I hope you are too.

This week, I’m giving away a copy of Debbie Jackson’s lovely book “Polymer Clay Jewelry: 20 Projects Plus Techniques” and one of my Mokume Gane pins.

First, Debbie Jackson’s book:

Jackson’s book is a great resource for the polymer clay beginner, for someone returning to polymer clay, or for anyone interested in using polymer clay to make ethnic inspired artwork. And that is one of the beauties of polymer clay. Versatility!

In the book, Jackson shows you how to create artwork inspired by Asian, African, European, and South American cultures. The projects focus primarily on jewelry such as pendants, brooches, bracelets and earrings. However, you’re a creative being and you can certainly adapt the techniques to other projects such as vessels, home decor, and sculpture.

The techniques you’ll learn in Jackson’s book include: Mokume Gane, building canes, making a push mold, making a Skinner Blend, carving, and using liquid polymer clay. Her step-by-step instructions are detailed and accompanied by clear color photos.

And my Mokume Gane pin:

Mokume Gane Pin

Pin Detail

Along with Debbie Jackson’s book, one winner will also receive this Mokume Gane pin. The pin was inspired by the colors of late fall with hints of Asian design. It measures 5 ” long and would make a lovely addition to any blazer or coat. The Mokume Gane design in the center features copper, gold, and black polymer clay. It is framed by textured black polymer clay and accented with copper Pearl Ex.

I rarely make jewelry anymore so this is truly a collectible piece.

If you’d like to enter this giveaway, just leave a comment on this post sharing one of your favorite sources of creative inspiration and why. Please include an email address when you leave a comment so I may notify you if you win.

Comments will remain open till midnight EST on Tuesday, August 23. The winner will be chosen on Wednesday. Giveaway items will be shipped via USPS and limited to U.S. residents. I apologize for the restriction on shipping.

The winner of this giveaway was Diane S. This giveaway is now closed.