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Box of Rocks

There is always so much non-art to do in my daily life, and after the absorption of the Meditation series (and a painting to complement the series, shared on my other blog) I needed something kind of dumb and mindless to get the art juices flowing. Granddaughter received a mandala rock painting kit for Christmas, which gave me the idea of collecting random rocks on my walks and painting them with words or phrases, then putting them back into the world.  There’s nothing very original about this, but it’s helping me find my way back into postcards and collages. In the meantime:

In progress

Ready to go back into the wild

A Hello Kitty eraser stuck through with straight pins makes a handy stand when working with wet paint

Ready for the Spring Swap

After registering for iHanna’s spring postcard swap, I worried I might not have 10 cards ready by May 4, even though I already had five made.

I’m ready. In fact I’ve done a little painting and drawing recently, so maybe soon there will be be more than postcards to share.

My last post included four cards, so here are my newest creations:

Harp(s) and Flower(s)–Collage. This was sent to my cousin in New Zealand for her birthday.

 

Busy Blues and Greens–Collage.

 

Air Mail–Collage.

 

World Bling–Collage.*

 

Nature’s Kaleidoscope–Collage.*

 

Many-faceted–Collage.

 

Spring–watercolor, mixed media.*

 

Coronation–watercolor, mixed media.

* The faux 99 cent Australian stamps are by Nat Uhing, of the Smallest Forest blog.

The Yips, Zentangles and Boundaries

There is a golf term called “the yips,” but I think it applies to anything that requires steady hands. Basically, when it’s most important to have muscle control, the muscles, or the brain, don’t cooperate and you twitch. There have been studies of the neurology behind it, and I won’t go into it, but suffice it to say I’ve suffered from my own version of the yips, especially with a permanent marker in my hand. I’ll have a beautiful curve flowing across the page and–urp–a tiny jerk spoils the line.

Through a chance encounter with someone who teaches it, I learned about Zentangles. Once again I won’t go into detail because you can follow the link if you’re interested. When I looked into it, I loved the images and the idea of a meditative sort of doodling. I’m a big doodler anyway, so I decided to try it. There are certain standards and parameters, and I doubt if I’m following them strictly, but it doesn’t matter. Once I have some black lines down I can’t resist coloring them, and that’s what is the most fun for me. Since the drawings are small (3.5 inches square) and I do them strictly for exercise, there’s no pressure and fewer hiccups, and if they do occur they’re incorporated into the drawing.

The other thing that I’ve found interesting about both Zentangles and my whole mail art obsession is the power of having a boundary. A big canvas is really hard to get started on, but a 4×6 postcard is a nice little space to fill, and if you don’t like it you don’t have to gesso over it.

Last week was granddaughter week so I didn’t get cards done. We went to the Blanton Museum and a water-color exhibit at the Dougherty Arts Center, did some art together and she sent some cards.

I have been drawing and coloring Zentangles to stay loose. I am far from accomplished, but these are a good start on my new meditative art practice.

ZT 1

 

ZT 2

 

 

Fun for the Weekend

A few new pieces going into the weekend. 

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“View” (water color with masked areas) (This is one of my favorites)

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This cartoon expresses my feelings so perfectly I scanned and hand-colored it. (New Yorker cartoon, marker)

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“Mountain sunset” (marker)

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“Doodle #14” (marker)