Category Archives: Art

Crafting for my sanity

Tonight was so hard, I was having serious neuropathy problems in my legs (nerves that shoot random messages causing pain and spasms) on top of being so tired I thought I was going to fall asleep during the game but I didn’t want to ruin it for everyone so we played extra long and I tried to distract myself by working on a very simple quote art journal page (working on lettering) 6×6″ black card stock mounted in a small scrapbook cover (no sleeves) Prismacolor pencils and gel pen markers.

I think it came out good for how out of it I was.
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After that hell night and with the depression and rage fits I have been going through I did some thinking about why it is so important I get my art room organized.

[b]Here is something about why I NEED art to stay ahead of pain and stay sane[/b]

I live with chronic pain, sometimes it is a mild nagging in the background, that little itch or ache that mildly distracts you from everything just enough to qualify as annoying, other times it is front and center, taking away my enjoyment of life, washing out the colors, drowning out the sound of joy, flooding my senses with currents of agony.
Thankfully my issues are no where near as bad as many chronic pain sufferers who ate in the second state of pain where it takes central focus 24/7.
And more to the point is the fact that I have a few outs that save me from drowning in the pain, from losing sight of what is good in life and what is still worth fighting for.
It is strange because while I suffer from chemically based bi-polar depression I am blessed with a nature that is overall happy. I know people with no health issues, no mental or physical issues that simply go through life perpetually irritated and mildly unhappy or seriously angry everyday. And here I am, physically and mentally broken by most anyone’s standards, and yet I make an effort to see something beautiful in just about everything. I don’t claim it makes me a better person, I believe it is as much a combination of genetics that allows me to feel joy and be happy as it is a matter of genetics that causes my bouts of depression. It is also upbringing, I was taught to see humor in even annoying things and to find 1 beautiful thing a day.
I also have a drive to do art. I think I would be dead 100 times over by now if I did not have art to lose myself into.
The thing is art and crafting, and especially art journaling where I can easily do a little bit or a lot, where I can work 1 page when i have a single focus or prep 10 when I am so distracted I can’t focus on one thing, gives me a way to stay separate from my pain, to stay out ahead of it a bit. One of the reasons I tend to work on multiple projects at a time is a mix of AdultADD and pain management, being able to change my focus, not having to break off and stop working while something dries, allows me to keep a bit more focus which distracts me from my pain.
I don’t know how chronic pain sufferers who don’t or cant craft, or even read, survive. Without a distraction, without an outlet for both my pain and my joy I would break into a thousand pieces.
I often write about pain on line, but you will not find a lot of pages about it in my art journals. There have been times when all I wrote about, all I created was ruled by my mental and physical problems,. I glorified the pain by putting the problems down then found that i could not stand to look at them later because while it freed something in me at the time it kept bringing it back into my life over and over again afterwards, this was especially true of the things I did to express my mental issues of depression, anxiety and self loathing.
And so a lot of art was destroyed and some of the paintings gessoed over and the canvases reused, it wasn’t until I ran out of gesso and decided to incorporate a bit of the original images in the new more positive piece of art that I hit on a way to vent artistically and not allow my art to be eaten alive by pain.
Obviously I am not afraid to discuss my illnesses but I do not want it consuming my art work, I learned to use it as part of my art but not the final focus.
A good example of this is art journalling, I will pour out the pain, the thoughts that are eating at me, the moments of agony and then I will rework the page it was written on to make it something new, something not about the suffering underneath.
Sometimes I will write in pencil on dark paper then draw over it, I will print out blog posts or fb statuses about my pain, run all the sentences together so that it is line after line of solid text then draw or collage at random over it and then when I have “Broken it’s back” (its continuity) I pick words out and make found word poetry that has nothing to do with pain.
I can’t always control the pain, I have issues meds do nothing for except give me a badly disjointed sleep, but I can control how I express it. This is not to say there is no value in work about pain, work where suffering is the focus, but for me, well I have been there and I am moving on.

My religion is glitter

I love winter holidays, crafting and lighting up the darkness.  I am not religious at all nor am I against religion and I respect peoples right to believe whatever they believe if they will respect mine not to believe the same and to put glitter on stuff

it is a joke among friends that my religion is Crafts and my sacrament is Glitter which my husband HATES
It is sad but true, Alex is my glitter oppressor.

Ok Ok my husband doesnt actually Oppress me or my glitter, really he just shakes his head & tells me if I spill it I can vacuum it up my own damn self

8 steps to free yourself up as an artist:

Step #1 go to Pinterest (or a google image search)

Step #2 find a board with about 2000 pieces of random art (art journal ideas in this case http://pinterest.com/mardi_sheridan/journal-ideas/)

Step #3 pin (save) EVERY piece you see that even part of it inspires you, dont worry if it isnt something you think you can or would do or if only a tiny bit of it inspires you….PIN IT (or save it)

Step #4 go through your list of inspiring pins (pics) and think of the art you can create with these inspirations and ideas (not duplicate but make your own in maybe a new style)

Step #5 envision it on your wall

Step #6 imagine your friends seeing it on your wall

Step #7 every time you imagine and worry about your friends not liking your art because it is different from stuff you usually do, or not cool enough, or has pink in it…SMACK YOURSELF UPSIDE THE HEAD until you realize that it is YOUR art and what you think of it is what matters

Step #8 CREATE SOMETHING DIFFERENT, make something you might not otherwise try, open yourself up to ideas, go for it!

10 facts about me and my art

There are all these 30 day blog challenges but I hate challenges I am bound to fail so I am picking and choosing some of the prompts I want to try.

I have other blogs on other subjects (Weight Loss surgery and general stuff) and I will tailor the prompts to them as well.

POST A RECENT PHOTO AND 10 FACTS ABOUT YOURSELF

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#1 I am a 42 woman from Boise (correction : I turned 43 Dec 7 2011…bonus fact, I am forgetful)

#2 I am an alumni of Boise State University where I studied Art and English as a double Major, I have 1 semester of Fine Arts and 2 of English (writing) left to graduate.

#3 I prefer mixed media and painting as a primary medium

#4 I love art journaling and have about 8 journals going of different types and subjects at this time.

#5 I am a crafter and do many more crafts than actual paintings but I try to bring my own touch and feel to every craft and seldom duplicate exactly anything other people do.

#6 I have a spare room for arts, crafts and my computer and sadly just dont seem able to get it organized, having this room is one of my favorite things in the world and I am willing to put up with the lousy parking at our place to keep it

#7 I am a huge fan of upcycling, I use anything I think I can make work and try to find new ways to alter things for art

#8 I really wish I was more motivated, even though I am driven to create, even though I can’t go a week without doing some kind of art or craft I am so scattered and easily distracted that I generally can’t focus on any one thing long enough to get as good at it as I would like to be.

#9 While my favorite quote about art is “The only artist you should compare yourself to is the one you use to be” I still feel as if I am not as good an artist as I should be.

#10 I create because I dont know how not to.

Art and Craft books I want

So many! Here are just a few…

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My passion right now is mixed media and upcycling stuff for art

New art journal pages

Going on the Craft Shopping Wagon for 2 months

I am a compulsive crafter but worse than that I am a compulsive craft supply shopper, there was a time this blog was going to be named “So many Art supplies…so little time”

The problem is two fold, my art room is a disaster, that desperately needs sorting and organizing and yet I keep getting new craft supplies and then there is the fact that I am BROKE… money is tight and I spend way too much on crafts so until I establish a secondary form of income I just can’t afford to be buying $50+ a month in supplies no matter how great the sales are.

I am not giving up crafting, the whole problem is I have tons of supplies, so many I am often finding things I forgot I had so the goal for August and September is to continue to craft with just what I already have.

I plan to use up some of the canvases I have stacked in various places, the beads and the dice, the scrapbooking paper and the kids puzzles, hell maybe I will get our wedding album done.

I will be posting the art I do this next two months on here and hopefully keeping up with the blog better.

Here are some pics of the craft room to give you an idea what I am dealing with though to be honest these pics are not up to date and it is much worse….