Sunday, April 24, 2016

Activating Your Sacred Art Studio with a Collaged Candle

My studio candle and a Happy Buddha

7" x 7" collage including catalog images of sculptures from Sacred Source

Dollar Tree altar candle
I wrote a paper about creating personal altars as part of my Sandplay Therapy training.  My research into altars, from many traditions, lead me to understand that most altars have at least two things in common. The first is that altars are most often created to acknowledge the importance of something or someone we value in our lives. Another commonality is that a lit candle activates the altar and the sacred space (such as your studio).

Whether you are initiating sacred space for art making, workshops, groups, prayers, meditation or personal therapy, I believe that lighting a candle can enhance your important activity. I would like to suggest that you make this candle even more meaningful by creating a special candle for your studio.

You will need a 7" x 7" piece of flexible paper (I used a nice rice paper), an altar candle (I bought mine at Dollar Tree), images for collage, scissors, permanent glue stick (for collage) and paper craft glue (for attaching your collage to your candle).

Simply create your collage by cutting out and attaching images that relate to your art process and your creative life. I have an image of an ancient calendar (honoring the seasons), a picture of Ganesha (the remover of obstacles), an image of the triple goddess (the three ages of the feminine: maiden, mother and crone) as well as a window (view into other worlds) and art supplies. This collage represents the sacred nature of art making and group work that takes place in my studio.

You must choose your own imagery: your playful inner artist, an image of a muse or mentor, important family members, images related to personal goals. Don't over think this--just gather collage materials and allow you intuition to guide you.

Once your collage has been completed just wrap it around your candle, putting paper craft glue in a line at the two joining ends of your collage. If you only glue the joining edges you will be able to remove your collage from your candle, when the candle has burned down, and put it on a fresh altar candle if you want to. You might also like to make a new studio alter candle collage each year or season. Alternatively you could glue your 7" x 7" paper to the candle first, then add your collage images. The advantage of this is that the two ends of your collage will match in theme and color.

Enjoy this activity and please leave comments about what kind of studio candle you made for your sacred art space.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Altered Day Planner for 2016

2016 Altered Day Planner, hand designed stencil, gelli plate, collage

Planner, back. Tea-stained music sheets cut with stencil,
bubble wrap patterned gelli plate paper

2016 Altered Planner, collage, gelli plate,
Twinking H2O paint

2016 Altered Planner, Brush Dance design,
washi-tape tipped in pages.

For the last three years I've been altering a day planner from Brush Dance. I love adding custom
covers and adding extra pages with washi tape. I can't tell you how great it is to glue in monthly
mementos of events like post cards, photos, sketches and doodles, favorite quotes. At the end of the
year I end up with a perfect (for me) memory book for the year. Since it gets "fat" I keep it closed
with a dollar store elastic headband.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

More Flower Mandalas

Flower Mandala Page
Pam Carriker color wheel stencils, spray ink, collage, watercolor pencils, Gelly Roll pens

There is something wonderful about working within a circle. Love making marks, scribbles,
punching out colored dots, playing with color. What could be better? Great to gradually work 
on this page, coming back again and again to add layers of color and texture. I think one
day there will be journaled text all around these circles on the page, but taking my time. At this
point kind of like the stray stripes of yellow ink. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Pink Flower Mandala

Pink Flower Mandala

Acrylic, collage, Twinkling H2O's, Gelly Roll Pens

I used Pam Carriker's color wheel stencil to start this piece. I'm obsessed with sectioned circles, spinners, mandala's
and labyrinths right now. Of course I've also been staring into the face of  flowers for years as well. Why?
It makes me happy. 

Lovey to walk the local labyrinth that happens to be close to where I live. Love the idea of entering being willing
to receive, receiving the peace of this walking meditation, then integrating that peacefulness on the way out.
Know it's different for everyone. Know that others have their own way of interacting with these millenniums
old constructions. Know that I will learn new ways of using this sacred interaction as the years pass as well.

Looking at this pink flower mandala I'm struck by a lot of things. How pink has not always been one of my favorite colors.
I remember as a child being angry that diluted red (weak) was the color assigned to girls while blue (strong) had been
assigned to boys, at least that's how it seemed. And blue is the color of the whole huge sky and the whole huge ocean
while pink seems mostly to dwell in the barbie aisle. I demanded a room with blue walls (strong) and refused to wear pink.
But now? I love how bight and vibrant it is. I love how it vibrates next to the blue. And pink relates nicely to spring green.

I also really enjoyed scribbling on this piece. And, I enjoyed scribbling with the eraser tool in photoshop today.
I thought of Jackson Pollack and his scribbles of poured paint and thought about how Jackson would have liked the kind
of disembodied but fully engaged marks I scribbled. Man, is it all about going back to that primal scribble to just purely
enjoy those ecstatic scribbly marks?

I'm also noticing that those seeds at the center of the flower made by punching holes in patterned paper. Despite
that vibrant pink they seem to have the most presence in this piece.  I think I've been thinking a lot about getting
older (and going to seed, lol) and what I'm creating for the future. How I will give to future generations?
Not sure, but I will keep you informed.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Enough Owl Energy

"Enough Owl Energy"

DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic applied with a small Gelli Plate, roller, brush. Stenciled with
fluid acrylic (white).  Lettered with Identipen, outlined with Gelly Roll Pens.


I've been neglecting my blogs.  This one about visual art journaling and my other about sacred art
including art therapy and SoulCollage "Healing Art Works".  In this new year I intend to get the
energy going in both of them again. Today I went to Alice's house to make pages.  I think this group
(Eileen, Alice, Tisa, Betty, myself, and others cycling through) could be called the Raven Journal
Group.  The raven is a symbol of the crone, and all in our group are over 50, with a few of us
a bit farther down that road.  I mention this because it feels like my task this year is to "accept
the things I can not change", which mostly boils down to coming to terms with getting old. Not
enough energy, not enough time to do all those things on my life's "to do" list.

My monkey (neurotic) mind has been taking note that, like a car past its warranty, parts of this 
body are no longer in the pristine shape it was, say, 30 years ago. Each birthday (July) and each 
winter (cold) seems to gift me with a new ache or line. This new year has been newly bulging
blue veins and newly sagging skin. Sigh. Also new worries about where money is going to come
from when the child support stops this year; the additional issue that surfaced yesterday. Yes,
I am both a senior and a single mom to a teen who graduates from high school this year. Oh did
I mention the employment problems most adjunct college instructors are experiencing?

I think that universal health care is necessary but it has also meant that employers have limited
most of us to 2 classes or less. So with all this weighing on my mind I brought my trick bag of
supplies and my journal to my group, almost staying home because of a bad case of angst.

So above is the page that emerged. Love the gem colors of the DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics. Used
the smallest gelli plate to stamp on color and texture. Rolled off the color from my brayer; got my
brush in there as well. Then stenciled with a doily stencil, pouncing on with a makeup sponge.

At first the stenciled patterns made the page look like the rose windows of a church. Then I noticed
that the colors seem to vibrate and radiate. Then the words came: "Enough Energy", "Enough Time",
my word for the year "Courage". Then I saw that those energetic circles looked like owl's eyes.
Which made me think of the wise owl and the "Wisdom" that can come with age. I love it when the 
message of my journal pages is inescapable. The energy of this spread can not be denied. 

Despite my anxiety about life's realities I can see and feel this message: See things clearly, there is
enough energy, there is enough time. The croning process can bring wisdom. Take courage.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Koi Sketch plus Gelli Print

Gelli Plate print using acrylic paint plus stencils 

Gelli Plate print with sketch of Koi in watercolor

You know the lucky accidents I mentioned? I just took a wonderful workshop with Elizabeth
St. Hilarie Nelson called Paper Painting Collage (more about that in a future post) and wanted
to start some sketches for a painted paper collage of Koi. When I leafed through my sketchbook
for a blank page I ran across a Gelli print that I'd pasted in.  The orange and red in the print sort
of reminded me of Koi so I tried a sketch, then added watercolor. Of course watercolor on top
of acrylic meant that the colors of the print shined through and also meant that I could rub the 
paint off where I wanted to and play with texture where the watercolor resisted the acrylic a
bit. I really love this effect and am looking forward to creating backgrounds more intentionally
for future sketches.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Round Gelli Plate Water Lily

Round Gelli Plate background created with acrylic paint, textured foam sheets and stencils
Waterlily painted with acrylic, iridescent medium, Gelly Roll Pens.

OK, I am officially in love with my round Gelli Plate.  The mandala shape is just so exciting and inspiring.  I found
myself wanting to paint flowers enclosed in that shape. Blue acrylic paint and the textured foam sheet and stencil really
made me think of water.  Love the way the paint that makes up the waterlily petals is kind of translucent (the plus side
of bargain paint). The Gelli Roll pens made for fun, shiny marks. Overall I like that the feeling of color shimmering 
in a watery environment.