Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Drawing Yourself Back to Nature: Nature's Whispers

Whisperings from Angelina and the Wild Onions Journal Spread
Welcome to the second leg of the Draw Yourself Back to Nature Blog Hop! This nature journaling e-course promises a delightful journey and I am looking forward to getting to know and visually chronicling my backyard and neighborhood parks! If you would like to know

Kelly asked me to take an activity from the course and create a journal page around it. I chose "Nature's Whispers" because I am always feeling Nature is speaking to me -- sometimes loudly calling, sometimes softly in whispers. The above journal page is a result of me responding to Nature "whispering" to me. If you would like to know how I created this journal page go here.

If you would like to enter my raffle to win a hand-decorated Paperblanks journal leave a comment in this post's comment section and click on my Join This List button in the right-hand column.

And don't forget to continue on the blog hop by clicking on these links:
April 13 Kelly Johnson
April 14 YOU ARE HERE NOW (Also registration opens now for Drawing Yourself Back to Nature)
April 15 Grace Howes
April 16 Kiala Givehand
April 17 Kelly Johnson

Angelina and I often take walks around our yard and gardens, giving me a well-needed break from the computer or housework. I find these moments comforting, meditative, often playful. On a recent mid-afternoon walk, she led me to the far left-hand corner of out back yard, which faces the wetlands. Two river birches have grown up into that corner.

Angie stopped and sat about 6 feet from the second birch and the open wire fencing and stared out into the wetlands. I wondered what she was looking at and walked closer. Nothing was in the wetlands and them my gaze was drawn to the river birch beside me and I saw these delicate white wildflowers growing near the trees base.

I "knew" this was what I was supposed to notice -- these tiny trumpet like blooms. Just one little bunch. How did they arrive at this place? I wondered if they were a rare wildflower. They had such beautiful green lines inside of them and small golden stamen filled with pollen. I took a few pics and wandered back inside.

Finding them took me back to a childhood memory. I remember wandering in a small "woods" abutting a neighbor's yard. Really it was just a few scrawny saplings but it called to me (just like the blooms in my here-and-now yard). As I wove through my childhood "forest" I spied groups of bright white, tiny blossom -- all lined up in a row on one stalk. I was fascinated with their v-shaped little blooms with bright yellow tops. An unusual shape -- they were like magic finding them in such an odd place. Later on I identified them as "Dutchman's Breeches".

The blooms in my yard were only wild onions -- very common in this area of Northern California. In fact, we actually have tons of them in our front yard. But none in the back yard so these took me by surprise. But the memories they sparked in me were Magic!

To read about how I created my "Nature Whispers" journal page visit this page.

If you would like to enter my raffle to win the hand-decorated Paperblanks journal pictured below sign up for my newsletter here, and then leave a comment in this post's comments section. I will announce the winner on Monay, April 20th in a blog post.

To continue on the blog hop by clicking on these links:
April 13 Kelly Johnson
April 14 YOU ARE HERE NOW (Also registration opens now for Drawing Yourself Back to Nature)
April 15 Grace Howes
April 16 Kiala Givehand
April 17 Kelly Johnson

Enjoy the Draw Yourself Back to Nature E-Course! I'm already totally psyched about it! 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Nature's Whispers: What Called Out to Me the Other Day

Do You See What I See?
YAY! I've been asked by Kelly Johnson to illustrate one of the activities from her upcoming e-course "Draw Yourself Back to Nature" (registration opens April 13th). I chose the prompt "Nature's Whispers" with the task of creating a journal spread around that theme. Kelly describes nature's whispers as the little things in our surrounding environment that may go unnoticed, yet have great impact on us if we seek out and explore them closer.

This photo is for me an a perfect example of nature's whispers. I was walking on my favorite trail at Deer Island reserve and was drawn to a limb stump on this big beautiful oak tree, which had fallen from Sudden Oak Disease over the winter.

Do You See a Manta Ray or Horseshoe Crab?
I went over to look at it because there was an interesting shadow cast on it. The shape reminded me of a ray or skate or horseshoe crab. It reminded me of all the times as a child that I used to run on the ocean's edge on Captiva and Sanibel Islands. I was always so excited when the big, prehistoric-looking horseshoe crabs would wash up on the beach.

My Eye was Drawn to the Hollowed Out Limb Stump...

Then my eye was drawn down to a hollowed out place where a limb had broken way from the tree. The inside was filled with shredding wood and my eye was drawn again to a shape. I leaned closer and the image of a horse's began to take shape in my mind's eye...
A Horse's Head and Neck in the Crook of the Hollow?

Nature whispers...yes, She does! I'll be giving a sneak peak of my journal pages using the prompt "Nature's Whispers" tomorrow

If you'd like to learn more about Kelly's e-course "Draw Yourself Back to Nature : Art Journaling for Everyone" go here.

And to join the blog hop and a chance to win free seats to the e-course and some great prizes -- go here!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Drawing Myself Back to Nature...

Nature sustains me. Aside from the moments I share with my companion animals, I never feel as relaxed as I do when I'm walking in the woods, or sitting under a tree, or gazing at distant vistas. One of my intentions this year is to bring more of nature into my journals and altered books. This is an area I want to explore and celebrate.

Kelly Johnson, a "coheart" of mine, is preparing to launch an e-course "Drawing Yourself Back to Nature" -- so I jumped on this chance to manifest my intention to do just that! One of the lovely things about Kelly is that she makes drawing in nature a fun, exploratory, and engaging pastime. She works a lot with children so play is a big educational tool in her teaching vocabulary. And that's very important to me -- because historically if I I take a "serious" course my critic comes in and all things stop. Play and a sense of wonder is what encourages my creativity.

Check out Kelly's description of her "Drawing Yourself Back to Nature: Art Journaling for Everyone E-Course". The minute she opens the course registration on April 13th -- I'm there!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I Did It! My Very First E-Course!

Journals from my Daily Journal Page Challenge (2009-20012)
This was a BIG step in my creative journey: I finally completed planning, developing, launching, and teaching my very first online art course: "Your Daily Creative Practice: 30 Days of Pocket-Sized Journal Collages to Grow Your Creativity".

I'm kind of in shock now that it is all over! It took such a Herculean effort to get this thing out of my imagination and into reality. It's almost unreal how it all came together. I started thinking about it a year ago in one of the Right Brain Business Plan groups (and I probably set it as a goal even further back than that). I was actually planning on releasing my Intro to Altered Books first when I took the marvelous Kiala Givehand's Design, Develop, Deliver e-course in October and got a bit more fleshed out around that. I learned so much about e-course structure, development and technology in this course.

Then a few more months went by and in the Fall I took one of Jennifer Lee's Product Development Playground e-course and switched my gears to really developing and pulling together an e-course of my 3.5 year Daily Journal Page Challenge (how I really started to really develop my creative eye and sense of myself as an artist). I named my instructional e-course Your Daily Creative Practice.

Happy Ending: 37 people signed up for Your Daily Creative Practice, and over 25 of them participated in the secret Facebook group that I set up so people could share their journal collages and get inspiration from each other. I learned so much and had a terrific time creating this course and it was an amazing gift to teach and interact with so many gifted people!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

AEDM2014 Day 30: Last Day!

Art Every Day Month 2014 Day 30: Last Day!
Last day for AEDM! I finished my little journal's cover for today's art. It's been a fabulous journey this month. Once again I am impressed with the power and benefits of keeping to a regular art practice. I also loved creating again in one of the Paperblanks journals. There is something oh-so-satisfying about filling a hardbound book with art. And that fat

My AEDM 2014 Journal, Completed

Saturday, November 29, 2014

AEDM2014 Day 29: "The Natural Liberation of Habits"

Art Every Day Month 2014 Day 29: "The Natural Liberation of Habits"  
Because I grew up in an alcoholic home I was effected on many levels by the dysfunctions that come with living with a family of addicts. It's amazing that I never became an alcoholic or an addict. Part of my ability to survive, I think, is because I believe that I, and all life, has a connection with a loving, Creative Being. And that's about as far as I take it except that I try to live the Golden Rule. I haven't always been successful at it but that is part of living, isn't it? Meanwhile I have my own habits that so far I am unwilling to give up: chocolate, and art making!!!

AEDM2014 Day 28: "Balance."

Art Every Day Month 2014 Day 28: "Balance."
A reminder to myself every day -- yet some how I know that my real job is not to hide away on some mountain top. To be as engaged in this life as much as I can -- but stay aware. That's being in balance.

Friday, November 28, 2014

AEDM2014 Day 27: "Income for Life"

Art Every Day Month Day 27: "Income for Life" 
I find it humorous and even a bit interesting when I can't figure out why in the name of *** I put images together! Money doesn't grow on trees? (Actually I think Nature and Creation are the source of wealth.) Is the Madonna Gaia or a feminine representation of God (from whom all things flow)?"