Monday, November 5, 2012

The "Heart" Challenge

Today Andrea Hiltbrunner from the blog "DreAm heArt sMart ArT" has challenged people to post something creative on the theme of "Heart".  Given how much fun I had participating in Jennifer McLean's "Shadows" challenge last week, I thought I'd participate in this challenge, too.  (I'm thinking that participating in these creative challenges could be a bit addictive... but in a healthy way, that is!)

So here's my heart...

It's a "Zentangle inspired" piece of art -- inspired by the art form of Zentangle doodling but not holding to the rules of it.

Back in high school I doodled a lot in the margins of my notebooks.  Then my inspiration game from faces -- I doodled eyes, noses, mouths, eye brows...  (In retrospect, it probably looked pretty weird to have disconnected facial features surrounding my class notes... but I digress...)

I was intrigued when I first heard of Zentangle art some months ago not only because I used to love doodling so much but also because I'd been reading about the stress busting benefits of doodling.  Doodling helps us relax... lowers blood pressure and heart rate... improves concentration and memory.  (Quick... hand me a pen and some paper... I need to save as much of what's left of memory as possible...!!!  lol...)  One article I read pointed out that as children we intuitively did things that were stress busting -- like hugging and doodling.... things we really should do more of as we navigate this complex adult world.

So to me this heart art is about more than art in the shape we associate with the heart.  The heart is often associated with creative inspiration, deep emotion, or our "true selves" and this art illustrates my journey to explore and reconnect with my creativity.  But in creating this heart using a style of doodling -- a form of art that brings health benefits to our physical heart -- I am also more literally nurturing and caring for my physical heart and the figurative source of creativity.

Hmm... that's a bit of a mind bender...  That something as enjoyable as art can also benefit us physically is one of those things that never ceases to amaze me.  Somehow I grew up with the notion that anything that physically beneficial - like medicine - will be unpleasant.  This (creating art) is the kind of medicine that's a pleasure to take!

So what kind of creative medicine are you "taking" today??  : )

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Shadows and Skies

Today I'm being brave and trying something just a little different.

I've been following the blog, "Just Add Water Silly" by fellow Vancouver Islander Jennifer McLean.  She's a watercolour artist and hosts the "Artist's Play Room" where people share their interpretations of a weekly theme.  I've been quietly observing (and enjoying) the submissions to the Artist's Play Room all the while thinking that maybe it would be fun some day to be brave enough to join in...

Well... today's that "some day" and I'm joining in.  It's a little nerve racking to do something you've not done before and expose your art to a whole new audience... but (...pausing for a deep breath...) here goes.....

The theme this week is "Shadow" and below is my interpretation...

The artwork is based on some fall leaves I collected today...

When I began the art piece I rearranged the leaves and I positioned a desk lamp off to one side of the leaves to create more dramatic shadows -- the type of task lamp that creates a bright spot-light effect on things it is close to.  In real life, the part of the shadows closest to the leaves include a bit of reflection from the yellowy orange of the leaves.  I tried to suggest that in my shadows.  I'm not entirely satisfied with how that turned out, but this is all about trying things and learning from our experiences... right?  : )

The art piece was done with water soluble coloured pencils -- Inktense brand, to be exact.  I'm working through Dion Dior's online workshop about watercolour pencils and I'm really pleased with how the Inktense brand are working for me.  The leaves are outlined in a fine point Faber-Castell Pitt pen in Dark Sepia colour.

The next part of this post is in response to a blog post by Suzi - another alumni member of the Creative Courage class.  Suzi writes the blog "Vignettes de la vie by Suzi Poland" and in her post of October 26th she posted a beautiful pastel night sky picture and posed the question, "Have you been to the desert and seen how big the sky is?" Now, Suzi's in Australia and I've never had opportunity to visit that country (yet...), so I can't say that I've seen how big the desert sky is that she's looking at.  But I have been to Phoenix Arizona (USA) and I was blow away by what the desert sky is like there.  Suzi's post inspired me to find some of the sky pictures I took in Phoenix last winter/spring and share a few with you.  The sky here on Vancouver Island has (in my memory) never looked quite this amazing!!

Not much else happening creatively at the moment.  I'm hoping to do more experimenting with the Inktense water soluble pencils.  Perhaps Jennifer McLean's next Artist's Play Room challenge will fire up some more creative neurones in my brain... who knows where the creative whim will lead me!

So... what's inspiring you this week...??
: )  Fern