Sunday, July 14, 2013

On Birthdays and Art

First of all, I understand that there is much in the world that is not worth celebrating - the Zimmerman verdict, the death of Cory Monteith (Finn from "Glee"), world upheaval...
and yet, these things also make me think that I should be grateful for my life, for my family and friends, relative health, and all other gifts - large and small.

Today is my 46th birthday. Birthdays are not all parties and cakes and celebration - they can be thoughtful, reflective and transformative. I'm not saying this one is all that - just that I have realized that the world doesn't just stop and celebrate the fact that I'm alive. I get it.


At the same time, in a parallel universe, I am enjoying the litany of well-wishes from my friends on FB, from my co-workers (one of them made me a handbound art journal with water color paper and a PINK cover!!), from my family and live friends.  It is good to wrap the love and good thoughts around you sometimes.

And on the art front, I took decided to take an online art class with the Art Journal artist that first got me into actually working in an art journal - Teesha Moore, and one of her artist friends, Jane Davenport.  The class was called The Mermaid Circus and I have been having a good time.  I used to draw some, but I was too much of a perfectionist and my sister was an amazing artist. I decided to use my writing skills instead. This class has lead me back to some drawing and I have enjoyed it.  I'm not done with the class and I don't want to give away too many of their secrets, but I thought I would post some of the work I've done so far.

A collaged Mermaid tail. I haven't done much here...afraid of "ruining it". Ugh. I have to get over that.

Teesha Style journal. She has YouTube videos showing you how to make them.

Inside the journal. Juicy color. Not exactly ocean shades, but who cares. It's my book.

More juicy color.

Teesha Journal #2.

Inside journal #2.

Second attempt at a Jane Davenport style face.

Fifth attempt at a Jane Davenport style mermaid face. I didn't love this one, but I wanted to post it anyway.

A few days later. I wanted to see if I could make faces that didn't all look like the same person. My original attempts all looked like the same mermaid. I think this was a pretty good exercise. Plus, hair experimentation. :)

Blown up version of one of the small faces

Another detail size of one of the smaller faces

Detail of a smaller drawing

Upturned Jane Davenport face. Not great, but first attempt.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Exorcising Mini-Demons

Prioritizing and letting go of physical things create some of my greatest anxiety and I don't like to discuss these issues, but I have been thinking lately that I should just say something and maybe the anxiety will decrease or change.

I consider myself a smart person, a resourceful person, but I get overwhelmed easily sometimes, so even in trying to find the answers to questions I have, I sometimes give up because I can't figure something out easily or quickly or to my own satisfaction. 

I know that it probably stems from when I was a kid and we moved around on the military's dime.  My parents were always worried about the weight of all of our belongings and many beloved toys and books and memories were sacrificed on that altar.  The decision-making process never made any sense to me and I think, because I wasn't really a part of that, something in my mind missed some of the finer points of letting go of things.  I think, too, that people were quite transient in our lives, so sometimes, the things that made it held more power than they should have because if people weren't familiar, at least the things they had touched were.  I also think that there is something about being a visual-spatial thinker (although I have a strong auditory memory, too) that is impactful. If I move things around too much, I will get completely disoriented and I won't be able to remember or find things. It is quite frustrating, to tell the truth.

So here are the ones that have been bothering me lately:

I have plastic bag recycling anxiety - what are we supposed to do with all those "single use" plastic bags?  I recycle them and try not to collect more. I reuse them for my lunches and I carry stuff in them and look like an idiot. I have a little cabinet where I crumble them up in a ball and save them for the reuse day.  I use them until they are dirty or until they fall apart. And I have hundreds of them.

I have RX pill bottle recycling anxiety.  I know that you can recycle them, but then I read something about soaking off the labels so people can't get any information off of them.  I haven't done it, so I have a single use plastic bag full of RX pill bottles.

I have a battery recycling anxiety.  I worry about people putting batteries in the landfill and I try to gather my batteries up and take them to the recycling center, but sometimes it takes me a while and...guess what?  I have a huge single use plastic bag full of batteries that I need to recycle.  I have tried to stop buying things that require batteries of those types - now with an iPod and some of the other USB powered devices, you don't need as many batteries. 

I know this sounds ridiculous. As I am typing it, it sounds ludicrous that these issues could create anxiety. Unfortunately, so much of the world creates anxiety for me - these are minor but daily things I think about. I try to tamp down many of the anxieties and I move through the world fairly smoothly, most of the time.   These just bubble up sometimes. I have been thinking about it and decided to take their power away.


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