Only a few more days until Christmas. At our house everyone is home and things are getting very busy. I think I can say without offending anyone that this is the cutest of our house guests. Evie is only half the size of our cat. However she loves Basel. Basel loves Evie, when he notices her. Sometime he just thinks there's a slight breeze around his paws. He has taught Evie to eat snow. Evie has not managed to teach Basel that snow is cold. Merry Christmas everyone!
Only a week ago I took a picture of this lonely fern in the forest near our house. The yellowy green of the fern is my favorite colour. Today it seems out of place and impossible in our snowly world. So I've decorated it with my terrible photo editing skills! For any of you who have not ventured into image manipulation there is a great program called GIMP which stands for "General Image Manipulation Program". That about sums up what it does. It's free to download and there are about a billion instructional tutorials on the web. Hours of fun. The trouble is I don't usually have hours so I've never really learned how to use it properly. This means that when I want to do something simple with it I can be awhile.
When I'm not at my computer, or doing something mundane like cleaning, I'm working at my art table. My table was driving me crazy because, being a drafting table, it was always on a slant. This doesn't work well with collage. I got quite good at catching rolling pens. However, thanks to my friend Megan, I have a new drafting table which can go flat! I had been coveting her table ever since I saw it in her garage. It is perfect for my small space and I love the style. It is called Odyssey! I'm sure we will have many an odessy creating things together. I have already made several Christmas cards at it and it was smooth sailing.
Coolest Table Ever
I have so many great art projects on the go right now but I can't write about them! They're top secret. How frustrating!! Keeping secrets always reminds me of my son Christopher when he was in pre-school. Being a great talker he informed me..."I made you a secret present, Mom, It's blue and it's a bowl, but I can't tell you anything about it." He said this with a totally straight face. It still makes me laugh.
I am going to show you my cards. I don't usually make Christmas cards. When the kids were young I decided to edit my Christmas activities for sanity sake and cards were one thing that got cut. So when I was asked to make some it sounded like fun.
I carved my stamp from a soft lino block and then went wild with all kinds of different papers and paints. Sometimes I went a bit overboard with the sparkley doo-dads, but that's what Christmas is for! They are alot more textural in real life. I hope the people that get them like them. Now I must go. I have more secret things to do!
I think every artist has a voice, or voices, in their head who starts to talk as soon as they start to create. "That's not very good." " It's too big, small, crooked, green....." On and on they go. I had a dream afew months ago where these voices were an actual panel of judges that I sat in front of. Now I have faces and names for them! How does any one create anything with this bunch! You just have to keep going and you will develope a method.
This is the little notebook that I carry with me everywhere and I find it is a great way for me to deal with "the panel". Whenever I am waiting somewhere for someone, which happens very often to me, I start to doodle in my little book. Immediately the judges start up. "What is that supposed to be?" "You really should learn to draw." Natter, natter, natter. I have to remind them (in my head of course) that this is only a cheap doodle book and I don't have to do anything good in here and besides no one will see it. That usually shuts them up. Over time I have found that all my best ideas come from this little book. Not only that, but the doodles which upset the judges the most are the doodles that turn out to be the best ideas. Now I can really tell them! What do they know, those left brained, insecure sour pusses! So if you have your own panel of judges, try getting a little blank book, or find another method that works for you, and tell them to back off!
click to enlarge
© Laurel Martin 2010