“This month, focus on consistency. You’ve started, now continue. Make mindfulness a daily practice, one you leap into rather than dread. Or one you wake into. A way into a richer, more creative life rather than another “to do” item on your list, something that weighs you down.
Read, reflect, practice, reflect. That is the rhythm of these days. Dive into February with renewed passion for living a life full of laughter, love, and meaning.”
~Patti Digh, Your Daily Rock
Focus on consistency. Good advice for this second month of the new year, especially since those intentions made at the start of January are either going well, or have gone the way of the dodo bird. Slotting good practices (i.e. exercise, meditation, daily art, etc) into my day felt difficult at the beginning. I mean, donning exercise gear and heading out into the cold chill of a winter morning was not my idea of fun. Persistence is key, and now I look forward to stretching and moving my body at the start of the day. Are there mornings I’d like to roll over and snuggle deeper into the blankets? You bet…but if nothing else, guilt
whispers shouts in my ear, “Get your self out of bed NOW!” lol
Showing Up. Every day, I wander into my studio and sit at my work table – in other words, show up, even if time doesn’t permit much else. Often, just that small act gets the creative juices flowing. Almost any book ever written about creative practice will advise that you make a commitment to your art by showing up. If nothing else, I’ve been sorting and cleaning, always trying to find the ‘perfect’ organizational system that makes sense and brings my art supplies close at hand. “Out of site, out of mind” – if I can’t see it, I forget it’s there.
I’m particularly motivated because over the last 5 weeks I’ve been immersed in Roxanne Evans Stout’s Pathways and Wanderings workshop. Roxanne is a gentle, beautiful soul and a wonderfully gifted artist. I’ve learned so much from her already, and also about myself. For instance, I’m very drawn to a certain style that uses one or two colour palettes, lots of texture and stitching, and perhaps one focus object. Soft and serene, magical and mesmerizing…a depth of artistic expression that just draws you into its story. However…
… as you can see, what emerged on my own pages was quite different – far busier than I’d intended! The concept of “less is more” just hasn’t taken hold, but I’ll work on it – haha. Perhaps one reason is that this practice weaves together my varied interests and allows me to express them in a way that feels deeply satisfying. It was difficult choosing what to include and what to leave out – I wanted to use everything!
Collage and books/journals have always been my go-to practices, but now my collections of driftwood, shells, dried flowers and leaves, rusty bits, pieces of fabric and lace, and so much more, will be put to use in new ways. Through the course, I’ve also met fellow artists that are as eager and engaged in this mixed media art practice as I am, and I hope the connections and sharing continues.
Mail art/swaps are great fun; I just posted a bundle of postcards last week that will travel to various locations in Canada and the USA. I started with 4×6 printed cards, adhered a postcard image found online to the back of each, and then collaged papers, images and fabric on top. Pieces of washi tape and stitching were added here and there. Some metal bits would have been fun, but from past experience, I’ve learned it’s best to omit metal when sending art through the mail.
Last weekend, I participated in a ‘Goddess Gathering’ with a number of women who were invited to come together to network and support one another in their businesses and intentions for the year. The ‘goddess cards’ below are what I made to include in the parting ‘goody bags’. I used watercolour paper – already folded and leftover from another project – pan pastels, and spray inks for the background, and then cut and adhered the goddess form from pages of an old calendar. Inside, I included my business card and a few flyers announcing upcoming workshops. The words were chosen intuitively from a sticker sheet, with hopes they are inspirational and meaningful to the recipient.
Consistency is something I continue to work on; it can be a struggle at times to find balance between studio time, family, posting, and promoting upcoming workshops. And, despite having great intentions, I can’t believe how much time goes by between posts. So with that being said, I thank you, dear reader, for sticking with me. <3