Monday, July 30, 2012

Arts & Crafts

Last week my daughter was in the mood for a craft project and introduced me to Galaxy T-shirts.  I had never heard of them but, not surprisingly, many examples can be found on the internet.  DIY directions are available on YouTube.  We watched a few of the videos and then made our own.
After applying bleach and 4 colors of paint (blue, purple, black and white) we had finished shirts.  It was a fun project for us to do together and fulfilled our need to be crafty. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Art is what we call the thing an artist does.
It’s not the medium or the oil or the price
or whether it hangs on a wall or you eat it.
What matters, what makes it art,
is that the person who made it
overcame the resistance,
ignored the voice of doubt
and made something worth making.
Something risky.
Something human.
Art is not in the eye of the beholder.
It’s in the soul of the artist.


Photo by Average Jane (

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Creating in Maine

I spent a week in Maine visiting my sister and her husband.  My sister is an artist.  She also teaches art to adults.  That means she makes art, reflects on the process of making art, and then explains it to others.  Pretty impressive. 

Before the visit, I asked my sister to buy some sewing patterns for me the next time she went to her local resale shop.  She ended up acquiring a whole box of patterns from a friend.  Upon my arrival I was asked what I wanted to make with the patterns and that was the beginning of a weeklong creative endeavor.

First we brainstormed what we could make with the patterns.  This step was already challenging for me.  My initial ideas seemed boring and obvious.  So we decided to try the paper on various materials.  We used matte medium to glue it to canvas, painted canvas, painted paper (both light and dark), acetate, and even a plastic water bottle.  One piece we painted with medium and just hung it to dry.  Ultimately I decided I liked the paper glued to raw canvas the best.  It had a leathery look and feel to it.  The next step was to decide what to make from this paper patterned canvas.

My sister and I decided to make a one of a kind tote bag.  I love the results and I have enough canvas left over to make other things.  Right now I am planning to make covers for composition books, which are the kind of book I frequently use for journaling.

My tote bag made using sewing patterns

Is a tote bag art?  I’m not sure.  For me, it felt like art because it was something I had never created before.  Perhaps that is part of the definition of art, although that makes the definition very personal to the artist.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Artist's Way

I have started reading The Artist’s Way, which is something that my sister suggested that I do quite a long time ago.  I am finally ready to commit to the 12 week program (at least I think I am).  This is only week 2, by the way.  The purpose of the program is to unblock your creativity.  The author, Julia Cameron, encourages your inner artist to come out, take risks, and create.  Many people I know have successfully completed the book and I hope it will help me as well.

So far I am enjoying writing the morning pages, but it is easy for me since I have kept a journal for many years.  Squeezing in a weekly artist date will be more difficult.  I went to the book store last Friday for my artist date.  I love book stores and find them so energizing.  They are almost as colorful and exciting as a fabric store.  Finally I am trying to spend more time in nature, taking walks through the woods around a local lake.  Even though it’s a hot summer I am enjoying my walks (sans iPod).

I’ll post again in a few weeks to update my progress.