NaNoJouMo – Week 3

Weeks 2 and 3 were challenging on a number of levels, but mostly because I didn’t have as much child care as I normally do in a week. It was difficult to get things completed and I got behind on bills and groceries and all of the house management stuff, not to mention work, but I snuck in little bits of work on this here and there throughout that time. I’m pleased with what I did in the time I had.

NaNoJouMo - Week3
NaNoJouMo – Week3

15 – Disney quote
16 – When in Rome
17 – Things to climb
18 – The city
19 – “simple as this”
20 – trees
21 – lady liberty (musings underneath the flap)

 

NaNoJouMo – week 2

 

I approached week 2 in dribs and drabs and completely out of “order,” but I love how this page spread ended up. The prompts are below the image and I thought it would be fun to tag the photo so you can see where I applied the prompts to the page. Click on the image to see more detail.

NaNoJouMo Week 2

Day 8: 5 hot things (I made a list around the edge of the page)
Day 9: start a bucket list (I’ve never been big on bucket lists, but I put down a few things that weigh on me as I approach birthday #49)
Day 10: little houses (I applied the color scheme from the prompt to my background, tied in with the prompt from day 12)
Day 11: just doodle (there is doodling underneath the flaps on the right, you just can’t see it!)
Day 12: spread paint and find an image (that sticker from Rubbermoon just happened to be in the right spot to sketch in a long, tall body wearing a dark dress)
Day 13: dreams (Saturday, I thought a lot about the attacks in Paris (and around the world, and I wrote down my biggest wish for humankind)
Day 14: I am (lyrics from an old R.E.M. song)

 

NaNoJouMo – week 1

Artist and author Dawn Devries Sokol is running a daily journaling prompt project this month and she called it NaNoJouMo (National Nonstop Journaling Month), in a takeoff on NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

Every day on her blog, Dawn gives followers a prompt and we are to take whatever we want from that prompt and use it to jumpstart our journaling for the day. Folks are encouraged to take what they want and leave what they want, to journal for 5 minutes, or 5 hours or anything in between, as long as we’re getting something down in our journals daily.

I love this project. I used to journal daily, first throughout the day, then every evening on the living room sofa, and now I find that most of my journaling is hit or miss, with no set times, but I try very hard to fill in the details of each day, even if I’m catching up a week’s worth of days. So what I decided to do this month is, since I work weekly in my journal, to take what speaks to me from each prompt and incorporate it into the page spread for the week. Here’s week 1 (I put the thought bubble over some sensitive writing for privacy):

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Day 1: The “Hello my name is” sticker
Day 2: I pulled a similar orange-y color from Dawn’s prompt image and painted it around these two little weird guys.
Day 3: I added a tag to the page and wrote a little on it about “I’m not really…”
Day 4: Added stars and scribbles using a scarlet watercolor crayon and then mushed the color around a tiny bit.
Day 5: Added the little house shape, torn out of a book page.
Day 6: I scribbled around the edges of the little guys’ clothes.
Day 7: I may have forgotten to do the “the way to…” prompt. HAHA!

So, I started this week’s spread last night and I’m super excited about what is starting to happen there. But you’ll have to wait till next week to see it! 🙂

my little primitive family

I bought a Mindy Lacefield lesson online last week and this Tuesday, I thought I was simply starting the painting, but by the time I went to bed, I realized it was finished. I have rarely ever finished a project like this in one day, except maybe in some in-person classes. I’m really happy with the results, though I continue to be tempted by the character on the left…I want to straighten her out a little. But I won’t. I’m going to stencil some letters above their heads to complete the painting and then that sucker is going up on the wall!

Cree primitive family portrait

Eh, I know that they are silly little drawings and they’re quite stylized, but that’s only because I rarely practice drawing/painting. I definitely need to keep practicing.

The thing is that I haven’t really made time for making things in so long…since before my surgery mid-August. I keep trying to work in my journal, but I haven’t been inspired. Luckily, tonight I came across some large sheets of decorative paper I got forever ago in San Francisco when we went to Flax Art. Still in the damn mailer I used to ship it home to myself. I know I used some of it because there are pieces cut out of some of the sheets. ANYWAY, I’m getting inspired by these papers for use in my journal and I’m pretty excited. Stay tuned!

WIP: Journal page 7/25/15

I think I started this in the wee hours of 7/25 in one of the journals I made in last weekend’s Kelly Kilmer workshops. This book is huge, with the pages measuring about 9.5″x13.5″. We worked with large images in our collage exercise in class, but I felt like painting the other night and grabbed this book. I was having fun twisting the delicate papers to enhance what I painted. I think this spread is awaiting a special focal image still.

(acrylic paint, oil pastels, watercolor crayon, pen, marker and collage)

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what is visual journaling?

Last week, I led a 90-minute session at the Colorado State Foster Parent Association’s education conference to introduce foster parents to visual journaling. It was a success, I’m happy to say, and when I mentioned this on Facebook, I had a number of my friends, some of whom have known me for years, ask what that is.

I guess I’m doing a bad job of letting people know what I’m up and marketing my own art!

One of my favorite page spreads in my 2014 journal.
One of my favorite page spreads in my 2014 journal.

Visual journaling, also known as art journaling, is a way to keep a diary of sorts, using both words and images to express your thoughts. Visual journals can be used for a variety of reasons, by a variety of people. There is no wrong or right way to do it. My hope is to bring visual journaling to foster parents as a new-to-them tool for processing events and feelings as they help their kids through their time in care.

my shelf of finished journals...one for each year
my shelf of finished journals…one for each year

I’ve been journaling for years, beginning back in high school, when I’d carry an extra composition book around and used it to doodle and think when I was bored or needed to comfort myself (it was a rough time as my parents were divorcing and things were pretty bad at home). I still carry my journal around in my purse and work in it whenever I get the chance. These days I enjoy taking workshops to learn new techniques and practice new ideas. For the past 12 years or so, I’ve successfully kept one journal per year, usually a composition book, documenting my life, my thoughts, my happenings.

A page spread in my journal from February. This one is heavy on collecting memories of an event (a trip to Vegas).
A page spread that's more heavy on writing and doodling.
A page spread that’s more heavy on writing and doodling.

So there you have it! Watch this blog for more info over time.

WIP paintings 4/12/15

Here be a few paintings in various stages of done. I’ve been reading Tracy Verdugo’s book, Paint Mojo, and I’m fascinated by her techniques and the results she gets from them. I feel like I’m taking all of the things I’ve learned over the years from Kelly Kilmer, Tracy Bautista, Judy Wise, Katie Kendrik, Leighanna Light, Lynne Perella and from my own experimentation and flinging it all upside down and getting something amazing. I’m so happy with these so far.

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what if she kept a journal?

Today my father-in-law brought to my attention that the oldest person in the United States died yesterday. Gertrude Weaver was 116 years old. I loved this part of an obituary I read:

When you asked for advice on how to live a long life she would say, ‘Use a lot of skin moisturizer, treat everyone nice, love your neighbor and eat your own cooking. Don’t eat at fast food places.”

It made me think about banning fast food from my life, of course, but it really made me think about how extraordinary Gertrude’s life must have been and how much I’d love to look at her journals. What if she had kept a journal? What would it look like? I can’t even imagine. I wonder a lot about my own grandparents and what I would give to have even a year’s worth of their thoughts, dreams, musings. It’s just another reason for me to renew my commitment to recording my own life and encouraging others to do the same.

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Written All Over Her Face

The last year or so has been extremely challenging for Tracey Kazimir-Cree on all levels -- professionally, emotionally, and personally, including the deaths of her mentor and brother-in-law. Her enthusiasm for a lot of things naturally waned as she dealt with these losses, but her interest in art journaling grew stronger as she had more challenges and sadnesses to process. Tracey is recommitted to journaling as a tool for helping herself and others to move through the good and less-than-good events the comprise our lives. Written All Over Her Face is a reflection of that, with many layers of collage, paint and words that make tangible who she is.
The last year or so has been extremely challenging for Tracey Kazimir-Cree on all levels — professionally, emotionally, and personally, including the deaths of her mentor and brother-in-law. Her enthusiasm for a lot of things naturally waned as she dealt with these losses, but her interest in art journaling grew stronger as she had more challenges and sadnesses to process. Tracey is recommitted to journaling as a tool for helping herself and others to move through the good and less-than-good events the comprise our lives. “Written All Over Her Face” is a reflection of that, with many layers of collage, paint and words that make tangible who she is.

The 2015 Masks Show Opens this Week

It’s pretty exciting to see my work hanging anywhere but in my own home, but it’s super exciting to see it hanging in a museum. This is the second year I’ve participated in the Masks at MOA silent auction fundraiser that Fort Collins Museum of Art does each year. To the right is my mask for this year and my original statement.

About 200 artists participate, creating one-of-a-kind works that are exhibited for a month and that over 4000 visitors to the museum can bid on. This is the museum’s major fundraiser each year.

I will be at the opening on Friday night, April 3, 2015, to see my mask and that masks of my fellow artists. I hope you can join us — and please bid on a mask!

 

 

 

WIP: Twenty minutes to make art

Today I had 20 minutes to make art.

My baby girl and I have both been sick for about two weeks now and I wasn’t able to take her to day care because of her lingering cough/runny nose + my own inability to wake up in a timely manner because I still don’t feel well. So we had Mommy/Baby Day, during which I counted the minutes till nap time so that I could lie down. (No, I do NOT feel guilty about that.)

And lie down I did, but only for 30 minutes, because I seem to feel worse when I haven’t made anything for days and days on end and I set my alarm for only 30 minutes so that I could make something, anything, today.

So, I napped until I could get up and then ran downstairs to do as much I could in the few remaining minutes until my blessed angel awoke from her nap.

I’m not saying it was good. I’m just saying that I did it.

I took two halves of a scrapbook paper that I had painted on forever ago and collaged over the paint with scraps of paper that I had sorted out last night from my collage boxes. The next step will be to gesso over these scraps and map out a drawing of some sort.

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