I’m not including a photo of the picture I started painting last night. You’ll just have to use your imagination. But I’m including a few photos of old artwork, to give this post some color.

A mood, a place, objects that may inspire . . .

A mood, a place, objects that may inspire . . .

This was a totally new experience for me. Last night I sat down to make a “midnight sketch”–something I’ve done three nights in a row now. I started sketching a little landscape scene, but my imagination got going and I found myself drawing a possible location for the story I’m working on with my writing partner, Heather.

Random landscape photo.

Random landscape photo.

Soon this imaginary place started suggesting stuff that could be in our story: maybe the people live up in the mountains, maybe there’s a lake, maybe . . . maybe . . . maybe . . . Don’t want to get too specific because it’s all a big secret at this point.

All you writers might want to give this a try. Draw a picture and see where it takes you. You might create a setting, an event, a character, or a mood for your next or current project.


Willow and Stream

Willow and Stream

I didn’t plan to be an artist this summer. I planned to write.
Got to love how plans change themselves.

Funny thing is, I keep thinking about writing. My stories keep playing in my head, but I don’t seem interested in putting them on paper.

I’m actually not much into anything right now, but art’s the thing I do the most. Can’t consider reading and watching movies as “doing” things. They’re more like stuff that happens to you, that you submit to. Lots of submitting going on these days.

Does it make sense to say there’s too much sunshine? It’s too hot outside?

I’m in a blue funk. Wandering around at the bottom of a hole in my life. Not especially unhappy. Definitely unmotivated. Feels like pretending sometimes. Around others, I pretend to be the person I usually am. And I guess that’s all right for now. I expect to be back some day.

There's a couch in there somewhere.

There’s a couch in there somewhere.

So, I’m messing around with a lot of stuff right now–crocheting (which is a staple in my life), sewing, reading, writing a little, drawing, painting, studying. Maybe not feeling a lot of enthusiasm, but I expect it’ll come back . . .

Come fall.

Art Journal Girl

Art Journal Girl

Once upon a time . . .

I learned not to judge by appearance.  God looketh on the heart and so should I.  This includes the heart of a matter.  Sometimes guidance comes in reprehensible-looking packages, so I’ve learned that even when I don’t like a particular word or expression, if my eyes can stomach the content (despite a flaw or two), then I can learn some really great lessons.

Such was the case yesterday.  Below find a quote from one Mandy Jordan, a fellow art-journalist.  (I have edited slightly.  The quote has not lost its meaning.)

“the thing about journaling is that it is supposed to be personal.  if you find yourself comparing your journal pages to others’, if you worry that you’re using material you “shouldn’t” or whatever, stop.  I might even suggest you not join a group like this or otherwise make your journal open to public scrutiny if it makes you feel like you’re trying to fit in or compete or whatever.  I used to read books on journaling techniques and take workshops and subscribe to magazines until I realized that as inspiring as it was, it was ultimately a muse-killer.  I had to walk way from all that and go back to basics, to not [caring] what my journal looked like and if I was “doing it right” before I could find my voice again.  I hope this does not offend. I just hear myself in your questions.”

After reading this I wondered if I would have the strength to quit my online art groups.  I loved what I was seeing from others.  And I got such good ideas for art exploration and imitation that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

I want to spend my creative time wisely.  It’s challenging to post my latest work, but it also feels good for me–in a helpful and enjoyable way.  It would be easy (though a bit of a wrench) to quit, but if it weren’t for the group I wouldn’t be doing any artwork at all.  The challenge to be true to myself but also make art worth looking at is a challenge I can cope with.  I don’t have to post everything.  I think I’ll stick it out for now and see how I learn to deal with situations that are tickly or sticky or tough.

Spend wisely and know when to walk away.