Sunday, June 24, 2012

To MCAD, huh!?

I have been busy the last two days trying to pack for a week-long vacation of sorts. I am so excited and yet so afraid I am going to forget something. It isn't like I am going across the pond, rather I will only be less than 1.5 hours away in Minneapolis but just the same I don't want to forget anything.

Why, you may ask am I going to the cities for a week? Seems like a silly week-long vacation destination, I agree. In fact I am actually taking a class at MCAD (Minneapolis College of Art a Design). Ten years ago I was accepted into their graphic design program but turned it down for the opportunity to got to St. Mary's University in Winona. I loved SMU and am so glad I made that choice, of course I always wondered what it would have been like to go to MCAD. Well this week I get my chance. I am taking a printmaking class that is all day, everyday this coming week. No pressure to be creative, I am sure. We will be doing Intaglio, Collagraph/Embossment, Monotype, of which I am familiar with Monotype, and haven't done that since SMU.

Not only do I get to take this class but I get to take it with my brother. How sweet is that, of course we haven't spent a week together in a very long time so let's hope we get along great. Only kidding I know we will. We spent a lot of time together last summer as he frequently drove down to spend time with me during my wait in the hospital. He blames me for his lack of garden last year, yeah, blame the invalid! In any case, we will have a great time and will produce wonderful things, it will certainly make me want to do more creative stuff when I return home. I still want an old printing press, that is in the back of my mind. Patience!

So, I will let you know all about my week when I return - unless I  find myself in blogging mode while I am gone. I am also going to be exploring MPLS on a bike, Henrietta and her owner are going to get a work out. Yea for us!

Have a great week!

Friday, June 15, 2012

I Broke Through

Okay, not sure if I really broke through creatively or just that I worked on a painting that I have been putting off and in so doing felt that spark again. Yes, I have been procrastinating, I know not a big surprise if you know me or my family (not my Mom, she isn't a procrastinator - she blames my dad). Back to me, because that is what this is usually about anyway.

I have been putting of doing the painting of my nephew for like a year now. I knew when I saw the photo of him last year that it NEEDED to be a painting, one he and/or his parents will cherish forever, because it is so him. I haven't painted a portrait in years and flesh tones are about the hardest thing to do, for me anyway. I watched videos on YouTube to get some hints and basically those people just irritate me because they are so good. Really, could you make it look any easier? When it isn't! In any case, as the rain came down last night outside the window I picked up my brush and my six colors and began working on Kai's portrait. Layer after layer later, I am getting there. I hit it again this morning and I think I am pleased with how it is turning out. I will post a photo here once I get it done.

So, six hours of painting and I am nearly done with something that's been waiting a year to be done. I am glad I did it, I am glad I just told myself that it wasn't going to paint itself and most importantly to not be scared. I can always try again, that's why there is white paint - it was delete before there was a delete key/button. That's the problem being a graphic designer, on the computer deleting and changing is easy, not so easy with paint but still doable.

Fear and procrastination aside I can say this has been a good day, I can't wait for my brother to see it. And I can't wait to hear Kai say in his little voice, 'that's me'. Or at least I hope he realizes it's him I have painted.

Thank you Kai for your inspiration and mostly for just being the awesome little boy that you are!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Creativity, Where Are You?

To my loyal readers, all three of you, I apologize for my lack of blogging. I have been in a creative slump lately. Last week was a great week, probably partially because I had a birthday but I also was painting like crazy with all these new ideas flowing in and out. I think I used up my creativity last week and now I don't know which way to turn. I am sure just like the weather it will change back one of these days, or hours, I am hoping for the later.

I was telling my husband this morning that I feel like I am missing something, like there is something in front of me that I am to be doing but I can't quite put my finger on it or see it clearly. I am not sure if it is a mental thing or a creative thing or a personal thing. It's just a thing. Kind of akin to Dr. Who always telling Ms. Pond that it's at the corner of her eye, she just can't see it. Then again maybe I am watching too much Dr. Who. However, I don't really think that is the case.

It was shortly after that conversation that I received an email from my sister-in-law about a printmaking opportunity at MCAD and I was so excited to see it. I am hoping I will be able to partake, I will keep you posted on that. I feel sometimes I am looking for something creative that I haven't found yet. I keep trying new things and discovering new ways to brake out of old habits. The reason I started working in watercolor for awhile, a new challenge that has it's own benefits when it comes to painting different subject matter.

It seems when one creative area slumps they all seem to, even my writing, thus why I haven't blogged lately. I need a new spark, and you would think I would be endlessly sparked by the fact I have a whole new lease on life but sometimes it is still difficult through these new waters. I still have days where I don't feel well, likely because on the days I do feel well I work really hard and then pay for it a few days later. That old saying make hay while the sunshines, that's what I do, I work when I feel well then suffer (of sorts) later.

Like the moon to the tides I am also directly affected by the weather outside my window, give me sun I move with it give me clouds I can't seem to find a direction.

Here's to sunny days ahead and finding my creative spark again. I have been contemplating the 30 posts in 30 days challenge, but I am not sure I could keep up or even keep you entertained with that many posts. But it might also be a good way to pull me up and out into the light again.

I will leave you with a few photos from last weekends photo session.



Monday, June 4, 2012

Creativity and Beyond

A year ago, June 1, I entered the hospital only to stay there for five plus months. That's a whole year that has gone by in the blink of an eye in hindsight. In real time it was a nightmare that never wanted to end. One of the hardest transitions and decisions for me last Spring was stepping aside from my job as I struggled with my medical crisis.

Last July was my seventh year working for Community Education as their graphic designer, and it was a rewarding job but also a very stressful job. Deadlines, calendars, working ahead months in advance, being 'creative' every day of your life, and working when feeling my absolute worst, between bleeding and collapsed lungs I still managed to get the job done. CE was kind enough at one point to lend me a laptop that I could work from home (and occasionally the hospital) if need be and I did my best to get in to work even when I could hardly drag myself out of bed. I think you will find most Cystics are that way, the disease that pummels can't keep you down and when it finally gets to the point of defeating it's staggering. The reality hits like a train bearing down - how can this be, how can I not function to get the job done, not possible!

It has been a crazy year but today as I am sitting at my desk from home, trying to clean up the remnants of my CE job, electronic file folders filled with design ideas, concepts, past and future projects I am overcome by the the joy that it brought me, yes even with all the stress and illness, within that was my creativity shinning through. I came  across the cover I had planned to use for Fall 2011, I already was working on last May 2011 and it is beautiful. So there, in the computer sits a creation that will forever be a digital beauty, never used, never seen but today it reminded me of 'what was' but, more importantly, 'what is' part of me.

Design and art, it's what I do, and if I may say - it's what I am good at! It doesn't matter if what I do is digital, or with paper and pen/pencil/paint it's in my blood and what keeps me going from day to day. The ability to create what emanates from the soul. It doesn't matter at the end of our time on earth whether we had the biggest house or car but rather did we enjoy the journey along the way and do things that made us happy inside and out.

Sometimes we forget our way and neglect that things are the most important and those things are different for each of us. Go find what that is, go live the things that make you happy, discover something new about yourself or rather rediscover. Life is fleeting, life is beautiful, and today is your chance to capture it.

I will leave you today with more of my 'aperture' beauties, thanks to my good friends beautiful back yard.