Art is life.

today's ideaRepetitive actions are a necessary part of any art. The ability to do the same thing one more time. As a crafter/artist, I have daily practice and tasks. To do something well, it requires repeating. Athletes do the same when they train. I’m at summer camp right now and tried my hand at needle felting. I had no idea what it was, but I learned. It has everything to do with repetition. Repeating a learned skill over and over until you get the result you want.

There is a lesson here, repeating a learned skill over and over until you get the result you want and then continuing to repeat can be applied to all aspects of life. To life, to love, to work, to business, to art, to relationships. Isn’t that how we approach our worlds? We find what works and do it repeatedly.

Some spend more time on what doesn’t work, and continue to repeat that, that falls in the “Repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting different results” category. If it’s not working, fix it! Go ahead and try it one more time, but tweak it, change it, alter it in some way to avoid the same result.

Life imitates art. Repetitive tasks are what make up art, whether spending time writing, or beaning the bible (long story) or needle felting, or ____________(fill in the blank.)Everything requires repetition of small tasks. The same is true of life, to be successful at business, in relationships, in sports, everything requires repetition of small tasks.

My relationship is successful because I repeatedly do the things that make it so. I do small things for my partner, I tell him I love him, I hold his hand, I listen to him. All small tasks done repeatedly to show how much I care. My business is successful because I do a million small tasks repeatedly. I make posters, I respond to emails, I reach out to competitors, I follow through on every little thing (or try to!). I am a product of repetition. As is art, as is life. Repeat the things that make you a success, remember it is the simple act of doing the things again that move you forward, sometimes just inches at a time, but forward progress is still measurable progress. Celebrate the successes, then get back to work repeating the things that brought you that success.

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Meeting my Art Goals

artjournalLast year at this time, I set a goal for myself, I do that a lot!  But this one was completely different than most of them.  My goal was to complete the Documented Life Project 2015.  DLP is an art journal prompt, one each week for a year.  Art, really? What do I know about art?

Turns out, I know a lot more now than I did a year ago.  I have always been a crafter, I can copy what others do pretty easily, but designing things myself is a whole other story.  Fortunately, the Art to the 5th ladies and their guest artists provided a ton of inspiration each week. Each week, they gave a prompt, some photos and a theme.  My job was to incorporate these things in to a double page each week.

There were times during the year that I was severely behind, up to 10 weeks, quite often due to our schedule.  But I never gave up.  I would choose a day and tell Rich, “I’m going to art today.”  And break out my supplies.  A little paint here, some colored pencils, stencils, stamps, inks and paper.  It all came together to record my year.  I documented my life.  Each page includes a little bit of a planner, some recording as to where we were, what we were doing, who we were doing it with.  And now that I’ve come to the end of the year, I added some photos to the back.  It truly is a representation of what we did all year long.  My daughter has asked that I pass it down to her when I’m done with it.  It’s kind of like a scrapbook of our year.  I always had good intentions of scrapbooking, but could never pull it off.  It feels good to have this done.

Most of the pages can be found here – CLICK NOW

So here it is, a good representation of the art I created.  I learned a lot this year, but these were the most important lessons:

  • Color is my friend
  • Anything can inspire you
  • Pages don’t have to be perfect
  • That if I commit, I can do anything
  • Just because I get behind, I can catch up
  • That I am thankful for all the communities I belong to

If you are wondering what I’m up to that’s new, check out my new website

 

Art Journaling

art journal1All is quiet on the Western front…we’ve been in California mostly since Thanksgiving.  Filling our days with projects, computer work and, in my case, art.  I know, me and art in the same sentence.  My Farmgirl Sisterhood magazine got me headed over to the Art to the Fifth website that included an awesome take on an Art journal called The Documented Life Project.

The Documented Life Project is not much different than a blog, the difference if you journal on paper with cool stuff.   Some paints and paper, pens and brushes.  DLP is run by four fabulous artists who provide a free challenge each week and then their take on the prompt and challenge through videos, written instruction and pictures, lots and lots of pictures.  There also is a FB group where so many of those participating share their Art Journal and their support. It’s a great community to be a part of.  I’m hoping in my travels this year, I might get to meet a few of them.

I can’t remember when I’ve had so much fun doing something alone, but not.  Of course, it helps that we are at my in-laws.  My mother-in-law, Margi, has a craft room that rivals many store locations, anything I might want to use is probably in there, I just have to find it.  Last night I was looking for some stamps she had shown me, I looked in every drawer, every shelf, only to find them on the desk.  Figures, it was the last place I looked.

art journal cover art journal1.1

So far, I’ve done two sets of page and the front/back cover of the journal.  I am not an artist.  I think I’ve mentioned that before. I want to be, but I’m not, I am a crafter.  One thing I have figured out though, is if I like it, it’s good enough.  I’m being brave and sharing my work.  Take a look at the pictures, maybe this is your calling too.  It’s personal, it’s fun, it’s an opportunity to create.  The adventure continues and I’m loving it.

Day 148 – I want to be an Artist

artFor years I have fancied myself an artist, I’m not, but I want to be.  I can’t paint,  I can’t draw, I don’t photograph well, but I can do a number of things well, just nothing that would count as an artist.  I can cook a pretty good meal, every day of the week, on a Camp Chef.  I can craft well, not my own ideas, but I’m pretty good at embellishing others.  I love to make handmade cards, but my friends have to come up with the ideas first, I just know how to improve them.  I can sew, kind of, I can crochet, kind of.  I used to embroider and tole paint a lot, then I had kids.  I can put together a room that looks good, I can decorate for an event, I can create party favors, but still, I’m not an artist, I am a crafter.

So, surprisingly, when I told Big that I want an art studio when we finally land in one place, he didn’t bat an eye.  “Good idea,” he said.  I wonder what he knows that I don’t.  My latest obsession is found art, salvage art, upcycling.  What ever you want to call it, I am obsessed with re-purposing household goods.  There are a ton of things out there that have uses other than what they were intended for and my goal is to figure it out.  In my “house” we use a ping-pong net to hold the books on the bookshelves; we used iron pipes and couplers to create a pot/pan rack for the wall; we use mason jars for everything; we have old bus seats in our living room, but it’s not enough.

I picked up a book at my latest book store called “The Salvage Studio.”  In it, they show great ideas on how to truly re-purpose stuff that is old and outdated, from baby cribs to trophies; lamps to forks, I really want to do this.  I want to go wander through a thrift store or an antique shop and see what I could do with all the items in there.  I can’t actually buy anything, or work on a project because I have no room and no storage, but I’m hoping this might be my calling, finally an artistic side that I can actually use.  This isn’t a new obsession, but it is one that is nudging me hard right now.  I so wish I had a workshop….maybe someday.