Welcome to my little corner of the web!  I have been involved in creating mixed media art for about 15 years now, and I thought it was about time to start sharing what I do with you!  What took me so long?  Well, I have to admit, “putting myself out there” is just a teensy bit scary.  There’s that whole “Is my art good enough?” thing.  But then again, don’t we ALL feel that way about something?  Please join me in my journey– I look forward to meeting you!

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The Ass-in-Seat Principle

There’s something deep inside you that’s been itching to come out; art that needs to be made, ideas that need to be put down on paper, music that needs to be written, bills that need to be paid (okay, maybe not that!). Everytime you sit down with the intention to create SOMETHING, you suddenly remember that the tub needs regrouting, the car needs to be waxed and the garden needs to be weeded RIGHT NOW! What’s going on?

The root cause of all this procrastination is a little four letter word: FEAR. We fear that if we publically express ourselves, we’ll be shot down before we even start. We’ll embarass ourselves. We won’t be good enough. People will laugh at our efforts. So what does one do to get past the fear and do it anyway? It’s called The Ass-in-Seat Principle. This concept is so simple that anyone can do it; put your ass in the seat and just do it. Your writing can suck. That’s okay. Your art can come out all dark and strange looking. That’s okay. You might want to be the next Jimmy Hendrix but your music sounds more like a four year old on a Playschool guitar. THAT’S OKAY. The point is, if you just sit down and start – and this doesn’t even have to be at the beginning – you’re doing SOMETHING. Things don’t have to be perfect, and they probably won’t. But you’ve begun your creative project. You can always go back and edit, re-sculpt, or switch to an easier song. It doesn’t matter. You’ve set in motion the creative process that’s been longing to happen and, once started, won’t be easy to turn off. And how did this miraculous thing happen? You simply plunked your ass in the seat and started. That wasn’t so hard, was it?

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My Art Room

I am lucky enough to have my own art space. It’s a long room at the end of the house with plenty of space and plenty of light. It was supposed to be a “bonus” room, and it’s a real bonus to me. I have all my favorite “stuff” there: Bookshelves to hold all my art and creativity books, open shelving to showcase my altered books and other projects, a large antique filing cabinet to hold supplies (not that there’s room for ALL of them there!), and two huge worktables to hold my works-in-progress. This is MY room, MY space and MY sanity saver! When I enter this room, I automatically leave reality and go into the “zone”. All time is suspended and my mind goes out into space. I always feel so much better when I’ve taken time out from my daily life to create SOMETHING.

Now, I realize that not everyone can have a whole room in which to indulge our creative passions; many of us are lucky just to have a corner somewhere to do what we want to do, make what we want to make. But even if you live in the teeniest apartment, you can find your “space”. Keep your supplies in a cupboard or bin and drag them out when you want to make stuff. I sometimes throw a piece of plastic over my kitchen table and create there (usually when I have waaaaay to many projects going and have run out of surface in my art room!). I have even heard of people keeping their supplies in an under-the-bed storage container and using their bed as a work surface. Hey, where there’s a will, there’s a way. The point I’m trying to make is that it’s important that we have a spot in which to express ourselves creatively. Maybe all you need is a computer. Maybe a journal will be just fine. But find your spot and GO CREATE SOMETHING!

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Making a mess…creatively!

I am lucky to have my own room dedicated to making art. It’s a large “bonus room” that is sectioned off from the rest of the house by french doors, so I can hide my mess! This room is my haven, my playground of sorts. As you can see, it’s not very neat, but it is somewhat orderly. My books are in one place, my paint in another, and a very large antique file cabinet in which to store my rubber stamps. I have two large work tables so I can spread out my projects. I work mostly with paper – collage, mixed media, occasionally stamping, so the room is set up to suit my needs. It’s my favorite room in the house.

I realize that not everyone can have a room solely devoted to their creative passions, but it IS important that you have a “spot” in which to play. If you’re a writer, that’s a no-brainer. All you need is your computer. If you journal, all you need is your journal and maybe a gluestick and a stash of magazines. If you prefer to work with paint, stamps, different kinds of glue, etc., all you need is a cupboard, wheeled cart, bin or other place to keep your supplies, and the kitchen table! When I get going and need to spread out more, I often drag my stuff off to the dining table and cover it with a protective plastic sheet. I’ve even heard of people using their bedrooms, storing stuff in an under-the-bed bin and using their bed as a work surface. Hey, whatever works for you. The main point here is that I believe everyone should have a place to express themselves on a regular basis. Taking time out from your daily life to be creative is a real sanity-savor. Get yourself a place today and make some art!


Visual journaling

I love to journal, but I don’t always feel like writing, and sometimes I just can’t find the right words to express my feelings. That’s why I love art journaling; I can express my self with pictures, images, doodles and writing, all according to my mood. I often will sit down with a pile of magazines and tear out pages that appeal to me, cut out images that attract me, and clip words and phrases that express the way I feel. Then I get out the old gluestick and have at it. I combine images, colors and textures, add stamping, doodling or writing boom! I’ve expressed myself visually, in only the way this art form can afford. I’ve been doing this for six years now and I find it a very freeing form of self-expression. It’s interesting to look back and see how consistent my taste has been in things like home decorating and fashion, and how much my art “play” has evolved. Sometimes I use my art journal to try out ideas and techniques for other projects, like altered books and collage. Visual journalling is relaxing and fun…you should try it!