New Year’s Rejuvenations

 Resolution: :  the act or process of resolving: as 
:  the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones 
:  the act of answering :  solving
:  the act of determining
 
Rejuvenate: 
:  to make young or youthful again :  give new vigor to 
:  to restore to an original or new state <rejuvenate old cars>
 

I would rather rejuvenate than resolve. I would rather breathe new vigor into a habit or pursuit than solve a problem. And so this year, I have made some changes for the better, a fresh start with the New Year… but I am reframing it all in a more positive fashion. Resolutions are notoriously short lived. And to me the term implies that something is broken and needs repair. It doesnt resonate in a positive way… 

With the New Year, I have rejuvenated some practices in my life, things that I (for the most part) enjoy, and that are good for me – body and soul. January usually is a slower month for me as to work/production/teaching so I am prioritizing these parts of my day, these aspects of my life I want to become firmly entrenched habits. 

art journal Jan1

The daily art journal. 

Doodles, sketches, for me, not for an audience, nothing official. A record of my day, thoughts, actions, ideas. No goals other than to draw something. I will be posting here occassionally, but many may be private. Today is the 12th. As I write this there are eleven entries in my journal. So I will draw tonight, cuppa tea, TV on… because I havent missed a day yet. I signed up for a class “Sketching and Watercolor in the mixed media journal” with the incomparable Jane LaFazio – it starts Feb 1. My goal is to make it a habit, and then class will further encourage and challenge me! 

art journal in progress

Vision Board

This you only get a sneak peak – I know the premise, and I collage in my journal all the time. But this time its made real, manifesting my intentions for the year. On foam core, tacked up on my wall. I do think that seeing it will be a motivating visual reminder. 

vision board detail WIP

Reading. Research. 

I have books everywhere. I love books. One thing I have struggled with for years as a self employed/work-from-home artist is reading. I feel like reading during the day is tabu. Daytime is for working. Well – the honest truth is that many of the titles pictured here will influence my work. So I devote more time to reading, and give myself permission! I am in 2 book groups – one virtual, one local – so there will be additional novels. But I know that my Muse will blossom when I feed her words, ideas, theories, history… 

Fiction book list

Book list part 2

And the blog… 

Last year there were more times than I would like to count when I posted only once a month. And that when it was a reveal for Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month! So I will tend to this here blog, and give it more attention. I relish comments; its nice to know yo uare out there… so please comment if you are so inclined. So far we are at one post a week; that will be my minimum! 

Alright – think I’ll read a little before dinner. 

Here’s to a fruitful and creative 2015! 

 

 

Fall festivals and festivities

 

“…season of mists and mellow fruitfulness… 

Keats said it well in his “To Autumn”. Those words embody September in my mind, and in my artistic life. 

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, 
  Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless 
  With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees, 
  And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; 
    To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells 
  With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees, 
Until they think warm days will never cease,
    For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Summer – what a whirlwind! I adore September, its my favorite time of year. Windows open, fresh crisp air, a cup of coffee, and time in the studio. September for me is a respite from teaching, and a round of arts festivals: travel, scenic drives, friends, and great customers. 

BF 2014 detail

The picture above was from my exhibitor’s table at Beadfest Philadelphia this past August. My third year vending and my first teaching: a smashing success. One of the highlights as always was the camaraderie of my fellow artists and designers, especially my team mates at the Art Jewelry Elements blog! (If you are interested in pictures of my student work and my Beadfest loot, they can be found here. )

Art journal WIP  AJ2 Wip

In some ways September feels like a new start, a clean slate. Is it the residual timing of the back to school schedule from my years teaching? Whatever the reason – I am starting anew at an art journal. Nothing formal, it will be just for me to doodle, sketch, paint, collage. I have a sketchbook filled with notes and planning sketches, of course. This is more for play, for journaling thoughts visually… I am trying to leave one table set up as a place to work. It helps to keep things out, to have water ready for waterolors. To steal a moment here and there. I am trying to do a two page spread each week. 

BoC 2014 swap

The Beads of Courage charm swap and auction is the undertaking of Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictions. Participants create and swap art beads/charms. Surplus charms are auctioned off to raise funds for  Beads of Courage. This organization provides “innovative, arts-in-medicine supportive care programs for children coping with serious illness, their families and the health care providers who care for them.” I have signed up to contribute 2 charms to the swap. This year’s theme is “Soar” and I have plans to donate an additional piece to the auction on November 14th. 

 

That’s all for now! 

Off to pack and prepare and fire the kiln one last time.

Upcoming shows: 

Artsfest at Annmarie Garden – September 20-21st. Dowell MD 10-5pm daily. 

Art on the Avenue – October 6th. Alexandria VA. 10-6pm

 

 

Starting anew…

Happy New Year! 

Meditation table

Yes, its the 2nd, and I am still honoring feelings of fresh starts, cleaning out the old, preparing for the new. Last year was a hectic mad dash to the holidays.  A mad dash that I felt was my state of operating – for the entire year. Many things DID get finihed, many loose ends neatly tied off and trimmed before December came to a close. Others? Well – January is the calendar’s Restart button. So I feel the slate is clean, and I look forward to the new year, its offerings, its potential, and its promise. 

Having said that – I dont do resolutions as much as I do “new beginnings”. I wanted to share with you a few things I have begun and will be endeavoring to continue as the calendar pages flutter by, as the wheel of the year spins… 

I am a collector of Tarot decks, and have probably a dozen. I tend to use the same few decks most frequently. I like to draw a card for the day, sit and ponder the message, sip on my coffee… It is the closest I come to meditating, but a few minutes of stillness to start the day is so beneficial. I was inspired to create wool/felted/embroidered/beaded bags for each deck. And then that grew into working with a deck a month… This month its the Druid Animal oracle deck, looking at totem animal, and animal symbolism from the Celtic/Druidic perspective. Written by Phillip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, it is exquisitely illustrated by Will worthington. In the back you see the bag I have started, upcycled from a felted wool sweater with a needle felted white horse ( ala Uffington) I still need to do details. 

Worthington's deck

The daily practice thread continues – into an art journal idea. A Rolodex card-a-day art journal. I can see the finished Rolodex in my mind’s eye, filled with color and texture, snippets and memories. The cards are so small – 4″ long – easy to travel with, and I am allowed to catch up if I miss a few days from business, sickness, etc. The idea to do a piece in 365 parts was inspired in part by Kirsty Hall.  Kirsty Hall is a British artist who did a 365 jar project.

Kirsty Hall Jar 365 in situ  KHall jar 365 detail

The 365 jars project has its own website. The project was interactive – jars were found, recorded on the site and adopted by their finders. Sadly Kirsty is in the UK, or else I would have been searching for a jar myself. It was fascinating and very inspirational to travel the year with her. While this is much smaller in scale and definitely more personal – I have to tip my hat to her! I have ordered a vintage metal Rolodex card file… but started on New Year’s day regardless. 

Rolodex sketchbook

Rolodex sketchbook2

One last venture – The Empty Shelf challenge. The idea of author Jon Acuff, the idea is to fill an empty shelf with the books you read over the course of the year. Well, I have no empty shelves, and read many things on the Kindle. So I am translating this to Instagram & Twitter, where I will be posting pix of finished books, and tagging them #emptyshelf. I have meant to do this many years running, and with the ease and fun of editing pix in Instagram – I may just achieve it. Many thanks to Jess of Rosy Revolver for bringing this to my attention! 

 

Please feel free to follow along – my Instagram ID is “jdaviesreazor and my Twitter ID is “JDRshrineart” 

I’d love to hear what you are reading, planning, or resolved to do in 2014!