Here’s an idea…find time to create as you celebrate!
Who doesn’t love the beautiful moments ushered in during the holiday season..sweet aromas swirling around from the kitchen, visits with family, festive parties, baking sweet treats, rummaging through boxes filled with ornaments and decorating the Christmas tree, traditions old and new, sparkling lights all around, finding the perfect gift, and sipping tea by the glow of candlelight. Even though I love it all, there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to lose touch with making art. And here are a couple of simple ways I keep connected to my practice in the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle. I hope they inspire you to stay in tune with your art making and you find bits of time to create as you celebrate.
During a recent visit to Florida I discovered fallen sea grape leaves. Though all of Florida is still green and lush in November, these sea grape leaves had fallen, and turned a rich earthy brown and caught my attention. I stuffed them in my suitcase, not knowing how I could use them, along with this amazing sand dollar I found on the beach. When I got home I decided to try mark making with a white gel pen. Yes, the surface is bumpy, and yes, the leaves become brittle and can crack easily, and yes this is not a perfect process, and yes…embracing the imperfection made it an absolutely perfect way to spend a short bit of time creating. Fallen sea grape leaves are nowhere to be found here in our beautiful state, but other fallen leaves abound around the landscape. Scoop up a few, larger ones work best, tuck them in between book pages with waxed paper to absorb moisture, and try your hand at mark making with a gel pen or sharpie.
Remember a few years back when coloring books were the rage? They still are a tried and true way to keep your hand moving. I love using my colored pencils to fill in the spaces, experimenting with color combinations, letting my creative intuition lead the way. If you have a coloring book on hand, take it out, and use either colored pencils or markers and color away, with abandon. It’s easy, accessible, and a satisfying way to get your creativity moving. Hopefully you still have a few pages that need a splash of color, if not, coloring books are available almost anywhere.
Card making is another idea. The above design was created on white card stock using a stamp for the background (gray ink) and a couple of stencils for the main design. I also wrote the word joy…blank inside for writing your own message, it is the perfect way to create when time is in short supply. Also, you are sharing your artistic expression with the world and blessing someone with a unique design hand-made by you.
There’s nothing I love more than bookmaking. Pictured is an art journal I made from snippets of paper from my stash. The cover is two pieces of watercolor paper attached to sticky back canvas, with a space of one inch for placing the pages. After gathering the papers together, cover the inside spine ( sticky back canvas exposed ) with PVA glue and attach the papers, let the book dry on it’s spine propped up with pages open. For the outer binding I am going to use the brown fabric, add simple stitching, the silver milagro wing and a hand-made bead. Before gluing the brown fabric to my book, the pink ribbon will be added in the middle for a tie to hold the bulging pages together. Even if you only have time to gather the papers together, it is a start. This book measures 4″x 6″, inner pages are all sizes, and while watching a Christmas movie I can easily stitch the brown fabric. I am absolutely in love with this little art journal!
Lastly, here are some wooden panels where I have added the first layers. It is always a win to have some substrates ready for making art. On the top image I used vintage text and matte medium to adhere, being careful to remove all air between page and panel. The panel edges are colored with walnut ink. This panel is ready for a botanical drawing and acrylic paint accents. I hope to share this process in my upcoming Abstract Botanicals class which is in-the-works.
The second panel has a layer of painted newsprint adhered. For my daughter’s baby shower I made paper flowers out of painted newsprint. I had some leftover pieces, and decided to use them as a first layer on a wooden panel. I have no idea where this piece will end up but the blank white canvas is gone and I can easily jump right in with acrylic paints and create a still life or expressive floral.
When there are many demands on your time, I hope these ideas help to keep up your art practice. Sharing your creative expression on a card, making an art journal for yourself or a friend, making marks on leaves, coloring pages, or preparing a substrate for a future painting, all are accessible and will give you the chance to … CrEaTe…while you CeLeBrAtE..!!!
Thanks for stopping by and please share your creations with me.