Kelly Kilmer‘s workshops here in my town happened 7 weeks ago. Seven. Why am I writing about it now? That’s a good question. I’ve been wrestling with some stuff lately. The kind of stuff that has me questioning everything and ending my internal conversations with the question, “What’s the point?” and my psychiatrist asking me if I ever think of hurting myself.
I’m not. But still, Not Good.
I’m listening to an audio book called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck and getting schooled by a millennial. He’s saying all of the things I already know, but for some reason, it’s resonating this time.
So I’m going to post this thing I’ve been wanting to post for 7 weeks now.
Kelly’s workshops, as always, were fantastic. The woman can really teach and she definitely inspires me. I can’t recommend her more highly. All of the ladies who were in the class were inspiring, too. It’s great to go around and see everyone’s work. There was laughter and sharing and the woman who let us use her home for our weekend, Bev Perina, is a kind and generous joy to be around.
I’ve been in a serious art rut for a long time now, but I think these workshops have helped me to start getting out of it. I’ve worked in my Kelly journals a tiny bit since the weekend I started them, but not a lot. Maybe in sharing them here, I’ll get re-inspired.
So much glitter, people! I’m working on a few Christmassy projects right now, but my favorite so far is the project currently on my table. In the 2016 issue of A Somerset Holiday, there’s a great sparkly project on page 32 that’s making me swoon. Stay tuned for photos of the finished products!
This past weekend was glorious! I went down to Colorado Springs with some of my arty friends (Lisa, Susan and Karen) so that we could learn from the extremely talented and whimsical Mindy Lacefield. The class was called Inner Radiant Child and boy, did we do some child-like and wonderful work.
Mindy taught us her style of painting and it always amazes me that even though we were all doing the same thing as the teacher (little girls with eyes set wide apart in a primitive style), with the same tools and methods, we all created our own work. I love that about these workshops. I was also impressed that I really liked all of the women in the workshop. Sometimes there are one or two people who might rub you the wrong way, but I was happy to spend time and share with these ladies.
The most amazing part of the workshop was on the second day, when Mindy had us do a writing exercise in which we wrote a note to our younger selves. I wrote to my 7-year-old self, and it went like this:
Hey Tracey — you are such a lovely young lady, always taking care of everyone around you. But please remember that you need to take care of yourself first. Otherwise, you’ll have less to give (and I know how you like to give.) Also, everything doesn’t have to be perfect. Have no fear. You are building up such strength and it will serve you well in the future. Don’t be too bogged down in the shoulds as much as the things you want to do. What’s the worst that can happen?
After we wrote, we all shared and it was the most moving hour I’ve spent in a long, long time. It shocked me how much we all had in common and I wondered if all women have an inner child who is so bruised and battered. I feel as if what I wrote to myself is something I need to read daily as a reminder.
So, here’s the WIP that arose from that meditation — this is me, playing with a dollhouse my grampa had made for me. It was basically a bunch of wooden crates, nailed together and painted with fluorescent orange paint, with little scraps of carpet on the “floors”.
I’m so happy with the work I did. It was good to have permission to play and to just be myself, both in person and on the canvas.
The suite I shared with Lisa, Susan and Karen was very cool. It was great to hang out in the evenings and make art and listen to music and just be silly together. I also loved the one-on-one time in the car with Lisa, who I’ve met before, but hadn’t spent much time with. I love making new friends!
Next up: Kelly Kilmer is in town and teaching the 26th through the 28th. I can’t wait to get into a classroom setting again and work my journals.
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.
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.
See the glitter? and the doodling? Well, that’s all I had for a while, until yesterday, when I learned that two of my little house canvases sold this past weekend at Lola’s Fresh Patina. Now my mind has gone into overdrive with a mixture of inspiration based off my own little chunky canvases, plus the works of Denver artist Paul Cunningham, which I saw at Old Town Art & Framery last week.
This weekend, we had the white picket fence around our garden mended. It looks fabulous! Since we were having new posts put in and everything had to come down anyway, we had them lower the fencing so that our tiny dog, Doug, can’t squeeze underneath and get in to eat all of our vegetables. The result was two buckets full of scrap wood. I made Tim save it for me because they will make perfect tiny canvases.
And what will she do with them? Stay tuned, folks!
Something akin to a pre-Christmas miracle has occurred. I, along with a handful of my arty pals, am heading down to Colorado Springs this weekend for two Michael deMeng workshops. On Saturday, we’ll be making shrines and Sunday’s class is the famous Pez dispenser-altering class. It’s a little miracle because it’s affordable ($25 per class. No, I didn’t leave off a zero.) and there are enough of us going that the hotel rooms won’t cost a ton. I’m riding down with Lynn and we’ll meet up with Susan and Karen. I love taking workshops with my arty girls! Bonus — I get to see a couple of my Zoner friends and their offspring who all live down there.
So, I’m gathering my supplies and I find that it’s a daunting process. I don’t want to take too much, but I don’t want to be caught without something I’ll really need. When I take workshops in Fort Collins, it’s easy to dash home to grab something I really need (or call Tim to fetch it for me), but being three hours from my studio will be a challenge. So far, here’s the stuff I’m bringing. I believe the garden gnome that Dougie busted is going to be the central character in my shrine. I’m so glad I remembered him because he’s the perfect little dude to enshrine, don’t you think?
I don’t have a real plan. I’m just grabbing handfuls of screws, nails, rusty oddities, broken jewelry, pieces of glass, Scrabble tiles, little winged babies, tiny burned-out light bulbs and whatever else strikes my fancy as I go through my studio. It’s quite fun. I have always been a saver, and I have a lot of odd things that I’ve hoarded over the years, or that my grandma and mom have saved (and I have acquired), so when the shrine is completed, it will be an Ode to Those Who Save Things Because They Never Know, It Could Be Useful Later.
I’ll post to Flickr all weekend, snapping shots of whatever is in progress, so you can keep an eye on the madness that will surely ensue.
I have a few coach-type folks that I follow. One is strictly for my web dev business, eeep! productions. One is for my creative processes in general. And one is Fabeku. Fabeku calls himself a suck exorcist and his podcasts are invaluable to me in my business. He cuts through the crap and, as Andie says, is “made of magic.”
Recently, I’ve been purchasing and listening to Fabeku’s “teletastics,” which are basically these calls where he knocks me on my ass and makes me rethink how I’m doing everything. Which is good. We like that. While I listened to two of them, “The Un-Secret Superhero Clinic” and “Unfuck Your Money Mojo,” I painted. I took random papers, some of which already had marks on them, and did the intuitive painting/markmaking thing. It was glorious. Below are photos of the dried pages, back and front (click to enlarge). I’m turning the pages into journal books and will post those photos when they are ready.