Saturday, September 30, 2017

Second Childhood

I've really been joying finding and using imagery from vintage children's books.  I got two copies recently of The Complete Flower Fairies, and have cut up most of both of them already.  (One of the copies had gotten lost in the mail, I got a refund from the seller, and a month later the book showed up.)

I found a very old and very funky copy of The Original Mother Goose at a city-wide yard sale not long ago, and have been cutting images out of that.

I have duplicate copies of several of the My Book House series that I'm also cutting up and using in collages.  And then there are the several old children's readers text books that I've been using imagery from for a few years.

Perhaps the reason I like these images so much is that they evoke a much simpler time, when life wasn't so complicated and harrowing.

I'm enjoying autumn ~ the air, the light, the shorter days, the clouds, the gorgeous sunsets.

Have a peaceful week.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Strange Days

Strange goings-on are afoot.  A few weeks ago my Instagram account was hacked, for the 3rd time, and although I did get it back, I learned in the recovery process that it had been stolen by someone in Russia.  All my images were still there, but with someone else's username and email associated with the account.

Yesterday I started having problems with AT&T/Yahoo mail, and this morning I discovered that my email account had been hacked.  So I ditched that account, am using Gmail for email now, and spent the morning changing my email everywhere I do anything well as my password on all accounts.

It seems like very little, if anything, is safe anymore.

I did no painting this past week.  In fact, I decided early in the week to put away my painting stuff for now...or maybe forever.  As with most other media I get into, I got to the place where I felt good about my skills, and my being capable of doing whatever I set out to do.  But I have no ideas of what I want to do...and I'm tired of copying others' work just for the practice.  So until such time as I generate some ideas of my own for what to paint, I'm not going to do it.

There's also this:  the best challenge for me is no challenge.  I "challenge myself" to not challenge myself.  I don't need or want anything hanging over my head as a "have to" when there's absolutely no reason why I need to be doing that.

So no more challenges.  It's challenging enough just to get through these days, with their horrors du jour, in one piece.  And manage a life of constantly increasing costs-of-living with zero increases in an already abysmally-low fixed income.  And that's been weighing on me heavily lately.

And being fall, I'm really feeling myself drawing inward.  I likely won't stop blogging as I have previously when I went reclusive.  But there's not much I feel like putting any energy into now, except collage and reading.

Speaking of the latter, I've read two fantastic novels in the last month that I highly recommend:

A History of Loneliness by John Boyne.

The Shadow Catcher by Marianne Wiggins.

Enjoy autumn. xx

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Unusually Productive

I did a lot of art this week, more than I normally do.  I'm working in both collage journals now, my Midori inserts (number 8 completed last night) and the hand bound journal I showed you last week.

I've also been cutting collage elements out of books a bit like of a fiend.  Cutting has become my meditation, and I spend many nights on the couch happily adding cut images to my boxes of collage fodder.

I also joined one of the numerous painting challenges on Instagram, so I've been painting most days, too.  I no longer see challenges as something I need to adhere to strictly.  After all, it's for me, and no one else.  So I make them work for me. Meaning, if I need to take a break for a day or two and then get back to it, no problem.  I'm still doing the challenge and my intent is intact.

The paintings you see here are what I did this week for the challenge.  I have another piece in process, but needed to step away from it for a couple days.

Additionally, this week I pulled out another handmade journal, a "junk" journal made with different sized papers of a wide variety: magazine pages, early sketchbook collages of mine, handmade papers, etc.  And I started collaging in that, too, although I've not yet photographed the one spread I've done thus far.

This art journal looks like it'll be a hybrid of my current ephemera-based collages, and my earlier, more modern art-architectural collages from a few years ago.  In fact, the first image here, above, although done in a Midori insert, is a bit of a precursor to the hybrid style.

If I continue to be as productive as I was this past week, I might start posting twice a week again.

The weather has definitely changed.  I can't believe what a short summer we had here, and now it's autumn.  I needed an extra blanket last night, and this morning the heat came on by itself.  There's snow predicted for the Sierra Nevada this weekend, many inches of it.  Although that won't impact us here on the North Coast, it should definitely put a damper on forest fires still burning.

Have a good week.  Enjoy the autumn equinox.  xx

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Branching Out

I started collaging recently in a handmade journal I made a few years ago with covers from a vintage book.  The book is the second image; you might remember it from when I posted it originally.  The image to the left is the first actual collage in the new journal.

I'm still working in the Midori Travelers Notebook inserts, but wanted to move into a different sized journal as well.  What I'll likely do with the new journal is have text from one of the pages in the original book in each collage, as I've done in this first piece.

I haven't been doing as much watercolor as I was, but I keep thinking that any day now I'll start up again in a more regular fashion.  Like I did when I was doing a challenge...which I'm thinking I might do again just for my own purposes...but haven't committed myself to yet.

Last weekend was a scorcher here.  Today it's damp and cool.  I'm not complaining, though.  About the only likely natural disasters in my area are occasional the 9.+ quake that's supposed to hit any day now, like they've been saying for a number of years already.  Could happen; might not.

My prayers and best wishes for all the folks throughout the world who are or will be victims of increasingly bad hurricanes, monsoons, forest fires, droughts, and any other natural disasters the earth throws at us, in her revenge for hundreds of years of devastation at the hand of mankind.  And special prayers for all the animals who are the innocent victims of human hubris.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

True Friendship

"The mark of true friendship is how someone treats you, not how much you have in common."

It's taken me all my life to come to this understanding.  I spent my life up until recently taking a lot of shit from people, because I was brought up and lived most of my life thinking I had to accept peoples' bad behavior toward me.  That I didn't have any say in the matter.  That I couldn't just walk away.

Over the years I've become increasingly accepting of foibles, my idiosyncrasies, my blind spots.  And I've likewise become accepting of others' as well.  People are people, we do what we do, we are who we are, nobody's perfect, most don't have bad intentions or seek to do antagonistic things on purpose.

But what I will not accept anymore, is someone's unkindness toward me ~~ their lack of compassion and empathy, their lack of respect, their inability to put themselves aside when the time calls for it so they can be here for me, as I've always been there for them in their times of need.

I will no longer make excuses to myself for others' bad behavior toward me.  Historically I've given people the benefit of the doubt, often for years, instead of listening to my intuition that the relationship was going bad and it was time to change it or get out. 

And I'll no longer accept in my life people who refuse to take responsibility for their own issues, people who consistently point the finger at you when you attempt to talk to them about these things, people who refuse to acknowledge their negative impact on you, people who refuse to apologize for anything they do or say.  It's not my responsibility to try to fix these people, although I've spent most of my life thinking it was.  It IS my responsibility, however, to remove myself from situations that no longer satisfy my very-human needs for kindness, respect and empathy.

"Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right, forget about those who don't, and believe everything happens for a reason."