For the past few years I have participated in Creative Jump Start. You are able to watch short videos from between 25-30 different artists. It's helped me try new supplies, techniques, and simply make things during the month of January. You have access all year, but I'm trying to spend at least 30 minutes a day making something in 2017.
Today my 10 year old daughter and I worked on pieces inspired by Jodi Ohl on whimsical creatures. It was a lot of fun!
Here is a shot of my daughter working because she won't let me take a picture of her with her art. I'm grateful for all the CJS artists who share their ideas with us! If you are interested in learning more you can visit the website here .
I'm finally feeling like I am back among the living! Wednesday through Friday were pretty rough days for me recovery wise. The pain was high and it was difficult to eat. But, I turned a corner Saturday and have been doing better and better ever since. I haven't been feeling up to art journaling, but I've been writing down ideas that come to me!
Here is a picture of my companions.
Here is a photo of the ice pack I wear pretty much all the time that runs 43 degree cold water through continuously.
Here is the torture machine. It bends my leg from 0 degrees to whatever flexion I can manage, right now I have it set at 60 degrees. I'm supposed to get up to 125 degrees so I have a ways to go still. PT starts tomorrow - cringe.
Close to a month ago, I fell while playing softball and heard something tear in my knee as I went down. I knew it was bad, but was hoping for the best. I had to have my first MRI and then the doctor told me the bad news. I'd torn my ACL, which stabilizes the knee. He said it looked like two frayed broom mop heads touching. It took all my energy to try to process what he was saying, surgery needed, general anesthesia, taking a piece of my tendon from my quadricep to graft to my ACL, drilling holes into my bones to snake the new piece of tendon through and attach to the demolished one and six months of rehab. I got out to my car after the appointment and started sobbing. I was so disappointed with myself for getting hurt. How could I be so arrogant to think I could play softball and not get hurt. Now I was going to be a burden to my family, co-workers, and friends. We had to cancel a vacation that had been planned for 6 months to visit family in the Finger Lake region of NY.
That evening, I sat down and made this art journal page.
It felt good to create, work through my fears, and stamp a message that I needed to embrace. In the weeks that followed before the surgery, I made several more pages. With each page I felt like I was healing my emotions and speaking to myself with more compassion, as I would speak to a friend.
The thought of the surgery still kept me up at night and made me queasy, but that's when I relied on my mindfulness training. I stayed in the present moment and reminded myself that I was not in any danger and that worrying about the future would only rob me of my present time. The morning of the surgery I pulled this mantra I had printed and looked at it the whole way to the hospital. Instead of thinking about all the things that could go wrong, I focused on how I would be able to go for hikes with my family, walk to work, and get back to yoga. The simple things that bring me joy.
The surgery went well, but the general anesthesia did throw me for a loop. I couldn't keep any crackers, fluids or pain medicines down. But, that wore off in a few hours and I was able to eat a banana, take some pain medicine, and rest. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me. However, I am proud of myself for going into the surgery with a positive attitude, which hopefully allowed me to not activate a stress response in my body that produces the flight or fight hormones. I was able to speak to all the hospital staff from a place of gratitude, instead of fear, and told them that I appreciated their efforts before being knocked out. It feels like a major win to me and a great lesson learned.
I took a class on iris folding at my local library and learned a how to create these pieces. I used pages from national geographic magazines to create these lovely pieces. You rip 1 inch strips and fold following a template you can find with a google search. Pick a simple template to start then move to more complex templates. They would be great for cards or wall hangings.
I requested a variety of journaling and mixed media books from my library to explore. I'm fortunate because while my local library doesn't have these books, I can order them from libraries around the state. I want to recommend a few for you to look into. The first two books I recommend are:
Art Journal Freedom and Art Journal Courage by Dina Wakley. If you want to understand the principles of composition these are the books for you! Clear explanations and sample step by step projects to figure out things like the rule of 1/3rd, using white space, and repetition.
Here are some art journal pages I created based upon Dina's books. Enjoy!
I have been having a lot of fun drawing mandalas lately and took the 100 Mandalas challenge. The challenge is to draw 100 mandalas in 100 days, but I'm on the slower track of just drawing 100 mandalas sometime in the next year or two.
This is a great video that shows you how to draw and color a mandala in about 10 minutes. Check it out here.