2014 Week 28 of Making Something Every Day

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2014 Week 27 of Making Something Every Day

I like this week especially because you get to see nearly every single step, from start to finish, of my making process. I don’t have very many weeks where that happens so handily. Also, I like this week because I finished a piece at the end of the previous week and sold it. I finished the green piece from this week that I’ve called “Sea of Wonder” and it’s sold as well.

That brings my total for the year to six sold works. I’ve got three pieces currently available for sale. If you are interested in any of them give me a shout.
2014-06-20 18.56.09

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2014 Weeks 25 & 26 of Making Something Every Day

While I worked on this piece this week, Ferguson, MO has been on my mind and my heart. I kept thinking this wound to our country isn’t going to be healed with a few days of protest, no matter how cathartic those days might be. I hope that what will come about after this week is people with privilege to start inviting (and welcome!) people without privilege to have have a seat at the table. For people to open their minds and hearts to someone else’s story and experience. For true listening to give way to better understanding and better action. Keep going. Keep going on to become a better people and a more whole nation. Keep going toward healing even though sometimes healing hurts. Keep going.

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Thoughts on Week 25 of 2014 Making Something Every Day

I have struggled this week with Make Something Every Day.

I think this has been the worst week in the history of this project in terms of not being able to work. Sure there’s been times that I’ve been traveling or I’ve been working on something else but this week has been none of those things. I just haven’t been able to sit down at the table and do anything. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s end of summer marathon blues. The kids go back to school tomorrow.

bowling

I’m hopeful I can clear my head and get back to work.

Because not working is not working.

art table

And it makes me morose.

In other news, I’m working on my application to be on a Board of Directors of an organization that I am deeply committed to. If I make the cut, I’ll announce but I’m gonna hold onto it for a bit longer. I’m supposed to find out at the beginning of September. I have a phone interview tonight. Wish me luck!

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2014 Week 24 of Making Something Every Day

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2014 Week 23 of Making Something Every Day

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2014 Weeks 21 & 22 of Making Something Every Day

The past two weeks have been a lot of travel and a good deal of sadness. And laughter. And joy at reconnecting with family. My maternal grandmother passed away, leaving me at 41, with no living grandparents. While I didn’t have much contact with any of my grandparents once I left for college, they filled my childhood with happy summer days on their farms in Southern Missouri. I grew up loving my grandma’s cooking and her enjoyment of the natural beauty of flowers and rocks. My maternal granddad was county sheriff for eight years which always struck my youthful heart with a sense of justice for both my life and the world. I think I might not ever know the full extent of how some of these early experiences shaped the adult I am today. But I am thankful for the sense of family and inclusion that I gained from them. I strive daily to pass that little bit of them along to others.



Trying something new with my post this week. Embedding the actual tweets instead of hand processing the photos all over again. If only I knew someone who could help me automate this process…

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Week 20 of Making Something Every Day

Day 135: Pacific, 12×12.” For Sale: $50.
day 135
My feelings for this piece waxed and waned a lot while I worked on it. At one point I had it in a place I loved and then I took several days off for reasons I can’t remember now and I lost momentum. I ended on a high note thought with the Pacific lettering in the lower right. I love how that turned out and looks.

Day 136: Wider table shot today so you can’t examine the mistake I need to correct as soon as some paint dries. ;)
day 136

Day 137: Many thanks to @gelfling1220 for holding my hand though the last 15 minutes of compositional flailing.
Day 137
This one I’m calling “Weaver & Loom.” It’s 12×12″ and for sale for $50.

Day 138: printing for a book project.
day 138

Day 139: a little crochet after a long, full day.
day 139
This is a triangle shape that was supposed to be a scarf-like object. It turned out so small that Liza immediately claimed it for her use. She wears it on her shoulders and her head or just drags it around the house Linus-like.

Day 140: Finished 8×5.25″ bound booklet of gelli prints and found papers.
day 140
I keep making books and then putting them on the shelf. I love making them but then once they are finished my interest wanes. If anyone needs books for anything, let me know!

Day 141: An ATC to get back in the swing of things.
day 141
I didn’t do any work the 2 days before this. Busy summer days with kids and poor planning on my part. I should be on Day 177 and here I am only on day 141. Somehow over the past 6 months I’ve let a month get away from me. That at once aggravates me and doesn’t bother me at all. I’ve been extremely productive these past 6 months. So there’s that. But at the same time I wish I could claim 177 days. Here’s to renewal, in whatever form you need it.

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Week 19 of Making Something Everyday

Day 127: Finished piece. Faith, 8×10.
day 127

Day 128: Hey, is this what you are calling my gray (& blue) period?
day 128

Day 129: Chevrons.
day 129

Day 130: more paint…more paper.
day 130

Day 132: it’s coming together nicely.
day 132

Day 133: 2.5 years making these tags for towels, this is the first batch without mistakes.
day 133

Day 134: I think I’m gonna call this one ‘Pacific’
day 134

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Some Thoughts During Year 2 of Making Something Every Day

So I’m six months into Year 2 of Making Something Every Day. I’ve missed a few more days this year already than I did last year. I felt the pressure of not letting up last year. Not slowing down for any reason for fear of losing momentum. I’m much more laid back about it this year because I know that I’m going to keep doing it. Because, well, I’ve already done it once.

I set my goal for this year of continuing 20 minutes a day but with a couple of rules. Cut down on the yarn posts. Pretty sure that one is a bust but hey, something I can keep working on! And to finish 4-6 canvases/larger pieces this year. That one, I’ve got. In fact, I’ve sold four pieces and finished eight total. I currently have three for sale on my mantel. Hint, hint if anyone is interested.

2014-06-09 15.29.46

A friend asked me to post a few thoughts on the 20 minutes a day process. So here’s a few of those.

Creativity is a practice.

I’ve heard that all my life but the past year and a half have really and truly chiseled that into the granite of my brain. I tweeted this at the beginning of May:

When I studied art history in college, I was always a little bit intrigued/annoyed by the repetition in the body of an artist’s work. Why does this happen? Can’t they see that they are essentially making the same thing over and over again? Don’t they want to do things differently? These are the questions that I’ve kicked around off and on for a large part of my adult life.

What I’ve seen happen in my work over the past 18 months is a slow variation over time of things I’m interested in, skills I’ve mastered, skills I’m attempting to master, and a very large helping of, “Ohh! Look! Pretty!!” I do wonder if other artists are structured with this process. If it’s something they work on deliberately or something that evolves for each of us organically. All I know is that I work a little bit every day: trying new things, keeping what works, doing the things I know to do and then repeating the process. I can attest to it coming more naturally now. I think I’m a bit more creatively/mentally flexible so that once I start, the next thing comes more readily. I love that part!

20 minutes is more time than you think.

I started with the 20 minutes because I thought it would be a slice of time I could give up from all the other things that consume my day and still feel like I was accomplishing something. There are very few days that I work longer than 30 minutes on the current art project. So if you are interested in starting on a project, I very highly recommend 20 minutes a day to start out.

After 18 months, I’ve made 13 finished paintings, several zine style books and notebooks, and a vast number of ATCs and postcards. 20 minutes a day is over 120 hours in a year. While that’s not a huge amount of time compared to say, the time I spend making dinner every day, it is over the course of the whole year. Everyone has 20 minutes that they can free up to do something they love. And now I just feel like I’m plagiarizing this Onion article.

Making Something Every Day is my retreat time.

I know I’m going to get that time in sometime today. And tomorrow. And the next day. Maybe it will be early and I will be really fresh and energetic. Maybe it will be mid-day when I am more apt to be thoughtful and a bit more leisurely. Maybe it will be late and I will be more introspective and moody. Anytime of the day that I get to go do art feels like a little mini vacation. It centers me and lets me de-stress from what the day is dishing out. Yes, it is creativity on demand but on my terms and on my time so even when the art I make isn’t very good it’s still time well spent.

Making Something Every Day is good for my kids.

I want my kids to learn that doing the things you love require practice. Sometimes all of your life practice. And that it’s ok to wear many hats. Maybe you don’t make a living being an artist. But being an artist on the side can make you a better worker at your regular job. I want Eli and Liza to grow up thinking that spending time working on something that you are passionate about is a pretty fine way to spend your weekends and evenings instead of just watching endless amounts of TV. Also some of my best creative times are with Liza in the office with me. She can be working on her own thing or we can be working together but it’s so fun to have her as a partner in craft.

And finally,

Making Something Every Day has allowed me to connect with people.

Posting art every day on the internet is a risk. I am showing people who I am. It’s personal and real for me. I hope that folks connect with the journey even if they aren’t crazy about my particular style of art. People have been encouraging and warm toward this process. I’ve had a lot of good conversations with people about what I’m doing and their creative journey as well. I’ve had several people tell me they look for my posts every day. I’m grateful that I get contribute to people’s joy in this way.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this or your own creativity practice!

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