IMG_3290 I meant to post this on Friday, and then promptly forgot. Such is my frozen neuron life these days….and they say more Arctic temperatures for this week too! It amazes me that it can be so sunny outside, but yet so cold. I digress…
    I've chronicled here on the blog about my journey into art over the last few years. It began with scrap booking, and then blossomed into a part time photography business. I talked about how I dreamed of opening an Etsy store, which I finally made a reality in December after being a merchant at a craft show in the area. It's been an adventure that has totally amazed me. It was not at all what I would have expected three years ago. I am type A, and I tend to be very practical, very focused and organized. Art is anything but. Yet for a long time I struggled with this sort of longing, of feeling like there was something about myself that I was fundamentally missing.
    Art began creeping into my life about four years ago, when my mom introduced me to scrapbooking. I loved it (still do!) and playing with the colors, paints, and papers filled me up inside in a way that totally suprised me. I felt kind of guilty for enjoying it so much, but would console myself with the fact that scrapbooking was very practical- a way of chronicling my family's journey. Slowly, however, I began to enjoy creating simply for creating's sake, and began to dabble in all sorts of mediums.
    My "play"time is fitted in around a very hectic life. My friends often ask me how I accomplish it- how I could possibly have time to do such things? My response is often, how could I not make time? Ten minutes playing in the paintbox will calm and restore me for ten days worth of being a momma. It often happens in the evening, after the children have gone to bed. I try very hard to have all the chores and needs of the day taken care of before dinner, so that the evening time is open and free. I don't tend to watch television, although if I am working on something intricate that takes a lot of hand work but not a lot of head work, you might find it on. Because it is important to me, I make time for it. I fully understand that doing this is what fills me up, but that it may not be the same for my friends- I would encourage them to not judge themselves against me or feel a loss because they are not artistic or what have you- but encourage them to find the thing that does fill them up, that helps them to unwind and relax.
    One on of my intentions (I hate 'resolutions') for this year is to spend more concentrated time trying new things in an artistic vein. To "delight" in art. I found some Artist Trading Cards from Strathmore that have a bunch of different papers inside: bristol board, watercolor medium, vellum, etc. They are 2×3, and are a perfect little size to mess around with and not have to worry about waste (you know me, ever practical). I intend for my work in progress Fridays to be one of these each week.
    Right now, I am a bit obsessed with tracing paper. Not for tracings sake, but for the way it reacts to liquid based mediums like watercolors or alcohol inks. Remember this piece? It has been nearly six months, but I knew that this was one of the first things I wanted to mess around with in my play time. The ATC above is a couple of layers. On the bottom is Bristol board, treated with "Weathered Wood" Distress Ink from Tim Holtz/Advantus. The middle layer is eggplant alcohol ink (again, Tim Holtz/Advantus) dropped on tracing paper. The top layer is a celtic cross traced onto the tracing paper, "painted" with lettuce alcohol ink, and then cut out and applied to the lower layers. What I love about tracing paper is that it holds up to the liquid mediums without tearing, but upon drying has an almost cloth-like texture to it. This especially comes across when it gets modge podged to something else. The translucence of it makes for a cool effect, as you can catch the colors of the lower layers coming through. All in all, I am really pleased. It always brings me delight when something in my head happens on paper, and it never ceases to amaze me. I wanted a stained glass appearance, and that is exactly what I got. I can't wait to fiddle around some more. But now the laundry and kiddos call…

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Related:

Rebecca Sower- An Artful Year Art Sampler

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