Friday, August 31, 2012

Daily Paper Prompt August 2012 #26-31

Very much fun, very challenging, even too challenging for me at times, yet I've thoroughly enJOYed the Daily Paper Prompts from Tammy at Daisy Yellow Art to follow up ICAD2...

The "even too challenging for me at times" refers to getting BEyond my wee little comfort zone, sketching, for instance. Perhaps this has more to DO with feeling challenged to respond to a prompt rather than follow my own intentions. I learned a good bit from DOing what the prompts asked. And as for sketching in my garden... well let me just say that same as I use paper to paint, I used my scanner to sketch. After Isaac's visits, with the back fence down for the count, the outside of the Wee Cottage is quite NOT any sort of garden... so I decided to DO a work-around.

And without further ado, here are the last of August's Daily Paper Prompts My Way!

#26 was making 3 ATCs by the end of August. I'd really NEVER EVER yet made  one, but once I got going it was a gas!!


The thing I have to say is that ATCs are also mucho-lotso-fun to play with in Currie's World of Digital Fiddling aka Picasa.

#27 was a prompt to DO Slow Journalling, and I found this perplexing and then just a LOT of fun. I actually did it in one of my art journals, one I have had a very many years and it's just a great place for such an activity...

It was fun to see how the lines and swerves showed up playing in Picasa. Clearly I inverted the colours in both of these.

#28 was the garden sketching. I put it off and thought about it again and then forgot to take anything to sketch with and and and... Then this morning I had a blinding flash overtake me as Gracie and I were out on Morning Adventure. I saw this lovely little leaf in the road. I walked on, turned round, and picked it up. Once home I picked up another leaf in the yard and some stuff off the palm that has a lovely texture. 

My intent is to make them over into drawings and critters, somewhat a la Carla Sonheim's wondrous Imaginary Creatures. Her soon-to-BE released Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals is at the top of my wish list. To BE even more forthcoming about this, Carla has inspired me to STOP saying "I can't draw" and helped me see that drawing is NOT like having a root canal, it's just SEEING... and it's also FUN... So here are the critters-in-progress:

#29 was Swirly Writing and I actually found this, at first, ambivalence-inducing. I have been making words into art lately, so it was more a prompt I wanted to push off from. That is, until I tried it. Yet again there is great potential in this to play in the Land of Digital Fiddling... Here's what happened there:

#30 was definitely sweet, especially as I spent the better part of yesterday on buses going to the various ends of the area I needed to go. I decided to pick up the books on hold for me at the library so that I could peruse them on the other 4 buses. Although I ended up falling quite in love with an audiobook, I did spend a good bit of my more glazed-over time looking at two books by Peter H. Reynolds, the dot and ish

On the back flap he writes that when he asks kids in classrooms for a show of hands for who loves to draw, "In kindergarten and first grade, all the hands go up. By fourth and fifth grade, most of the hands are down, or perhaps pointing to 'the class artist.'" This is actually what I, too, have observed, a large part of why I wanted to get these two books. Makes me pause a bit, get inspired, and open my heart bigger.

So, that brings me current. Today's prompt was Finishing. Every last day of the month I have a series of things I DO to complete, back-up, and clear-out my month's goodies and DOings. It was very thoughty, then, that Tammy said to Finish today.

So glad to hear this will start right back up tomorrow... Yet for me, for Now, I bid you adieu!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What Inspires Me? Artist's Play Room #24


My inspiration comes from many fronts and often in such close succession that I have a hard time nailing down that which is "it."

Inspired reveals what could actually BE at the heart of my inspiration. 

First there is process of sifting and sorting and gathering my "paper paint." 

Next I BEgin looking for words or phrases. 

So there are two definite sources of inspiration.

While NOT all the art I make has a purpose, a challenge frames purpose in a curious way. Until asked to share what inspires me, I doubt I would have put this particular painting together.


What I learned from this is how much I am inspired by my process. 

I think my process is less about completing and more about engaging, allowing, and inviting.

I am inspired by BEing an artist. 

I am the only ME who ever has been or will ever BE. 

This gives me loads of room to explore. To discover. 

To DO a thing the way only I CAN.

I am inspired by THAT!!

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Making Habits My Practise ~ Daily Paper Prompts #22-25

I am one of those people who finds something she likes DOing and hangs on for dear Life. Some people call it having an addictive personality, but that word conjures up all sorts of yuck and ick and bother, don't you agree?!

When, on an early morning this June I read Terrie at Creative Explorer sharing about something called ICAD, immediately [if NOT sooner] my antennae went up. I had a look-see and found Tammy at Daisy Yellow Art sharing prompts and visual inspiration for DOing a single index card each day for the balance of June and July. 61 little pieces of creative inspiration...

A large part of the appeal of this sort of thing takes me back to that word modifying personality above. I'm REALLY REALLY GOOD at DOing things one day at a time. I've learned this about myself. I didn't catch on for a long while, but in the past 5 years that's been changing and HAS changed in a huge way.

Each and every morning for the past 22 months I have been getting up BEtween 4 and 5, writing for 2-3 hours, one little this* and another little that*. [*those things which make up my writing practise] In April of 2011 I caught on to Writer's Digest's Poem-A-Day Month and rather than my usual sharing of an interesting, curious, or favourite quote to lead off my daily Gratitude Practise, I BEgan writing a poem. I call it "poeming" BEcause that's what I'm DOing. I am a writer. Writers write. If somebody throws a prompt or a challenge out there, I'm pretty much game to get on with it. 

Well, April ended but poeming lives on... And, in June of this year I started to post my Gratitude Practise on a blog I call I Love You, Currie BEcause that is how I always close.

See, habits... they aren't ALL bad after all, eh?!

I've built a few other nifty habits in the past year. Last November I took on the Art Every Day Month challenge that Leah Piken Kolidas does each November over on Creative Every Day. I met some new friends who live all over everywhere, and you know what?! I never ever had to go anywhere but right here to meet and to continue getting to know these new friends. Very. Cool. Beans. Especially for me who enJOYs her solitary Life and is definitely an introvert.

Meeting these friends and playing along in November encouraged me to carry on each week with Leah's Creative Every Day Challenge. HOW?! By creating my 366 Daze of Grace blog. And guess what else?! I've met more friends and learned about all sorts of other challenges and good stuff.

I share all of this for a couple of reasons. One, I want to make sure to acknowledge OUT LOUD the people who have opened their doors wide and pointed some other doors out to me. I try to say so, regularly, yet recently I have felt a little more like singing it from the rooftops. These extraordinary [yet probably really just as ordinary as I am] people have turned my Life into a regular picnic. Two, I need to start using links and tags and such, so I thought I'd practise here... the links bit.

As I write this there is a rollicking good rainstorm and winds blowing outside the Wee Cottage. It's Isaac, in whatever form, and it's been DOing this for the past 48-ish hours. I'm fascinated by the wind and rain, and I've been using the time ~ oops, sorry, thought the thunder booming and lightning were past tense...NOT!!!... to catch up reading others' blogs, writing, and DOing the past few days' Daily Paper Prompts. This is my Life Now, and I have to say I LOVE it, even if I am a wee bit overwhelmed with the winds that have been blowing and rain that's been accumulating.

So without further ado... DPPs 22-25.

#22 Map of an Imaginary/Imagined Place
My Map of The Wonderful World of Collage

#23 Drawing a Mandala using only pen, paper, and lines
Added colour after as a calming activity ;~D and further fiddling
in Picasa after scanning

#24 Using a simple plastic card & paint
Further fiddling in Picasa, yet again ;~D

#25 Write upside down
[which I did and then flipped horizontally when scanned]

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Why BE?! Artist's Play Room #23

Why DO I spell some words with B+E in them with capital B + capital E?!

And, Why BE Currie?!

It's silly, perhaps, yet that wondrous-to-me word BE is a touchstone. It reminds me that Right Now is my only chance to BE.

And, since I've been going by my middle name, Currie, for many years, I chose BE Currie for my blog BEcause it's a way of acknowledging my first name and reminding me what this blog is for: to BE Currie.

Okay then... this week Jenn's invitation at Artist's Play Room is to illustrate a word. What better an illustrated word than this BE I did in early 2010?!

I'd just started to stir the embers of my artist self at that time and I wanted to find a way to let myself out to play with words and art and the serendipitous dance they inspire in me.

I found these wonderfully LARGE letters and jumped right on in. I looked for the sorts of words I try to BE and made use of other words I found. It really was a dance and perhaps the one thing that made me sure this is the path for me at this time in my Life.

Thank you, Jenn, for your inspiration and encouragement and everyone else at Artist's Play Room for yours as well. EnJOY & BE Playful!!

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Daily Paper Prompts #13 to 19

It's been awhile... how interesting how despite the past week having taken a couple of unexpected turns, I come here today feeling happy just to share my past week's Daily Paper Prompt Responses...

#13 Music
My favourite song EVER is Somewhere Over the Rainbow. This little collage in a painting speaks to these lyrics: 
Birds fly over the rainbow...Why then oh why can't I?

#14 Pockets
I was in a strange mood that night. NOT bad, only strange... 
I was thinking about Kangaroos and pockets then saw all my funny fish from a series I've been into the past few months and chose them to BE my Ah-HA Pocket inspirations!!

#15 Words
These are some of my favourite words and I had fun putting them together in a quasi crossword Scrabble-ish format. 
I love that I made an OOPS!! with Sing and Grace but then I remembered that at camp we used to sing Grace BEfore our meals. 
Loved that memory!!!

# 16 Patterns
It was a little different for me, this prompt. I was in a difficult place, feeling HUGE feelings like waves in a storm. I thought about the ways I've learned to quiet myself a little, to bring myself in off those ledges I find Life sometimes BEing. I think the part where I did them to the time when I scanned them showed me that DOing them really HAD settled me down to where I could actually digest a bit of the WAVINESS pulling me under that day.

# 17 Chandelier
I have only recently developed a consciousness about how I say what I say [and have long said] about How I Draw. 
I thought the prompt, chandelier, a bit silly, which then made me laugh since here in the Wee Cottage there are two light fixtures that would qualify, yet neither one really works. Anyhow, the one that worked twice but NOT BEtween the 2 times or since the second time is the one I drew. 
[I know, who cares, Currie?! but I am learning to BE brief and this is why]
I drew it mostly without "trying" and even Now I can see I drew it pretty much as I see it. 
I realised that one of Picasso's quotes speaks to that. That how he drew things was NOT how they looked but how he SAW them. 
When I scanned all of these DPP's in this morning and and later played with them, I also was reminded that just a week ago I was still totally intimidated by Photoshop Elements 8, a program I received for Christmas in 2009, yet only just last week, after diving headlong into an eCourse was/am I FINALLY learning to navigate in it a wee bit. 
So, for me, playing with all these scans in Picasa was like turning on the faucet after a week of pumping water... so easy, so fun, so daring to try things and just see what happened. 
Anyhow, this is a very tiny drawing and way TOO many words about it.

#18 Accomplishments
I enJOYed making this sort of like an Oscar envelope with a piece of printer paper I'd cut and had a good bit of left over. I also enJOYed writing my list and then painting over it then making it even MORE invisible in Picasa!!

#19 Mail Art
Okay, this may or may NOT turn into a thing that I mail, but making it moved me to send off two letters I wrote to two people I haven't written to in a Very Long Time. I sort of liked the serendipity of that, y'know?!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Make Me Laugh - Artist's Play Room #22

I've had a time of it this past week. I knew straight off that it was kismet, that Photo Art Friday and Artist's Play Room would both BE best served with the very same photo.

Of course, I also realised that I could make it "oh, so much better" by applying all that I am learning in Kim Klassen's Skinny-Mini e-Course.

Well... I think that I raised that bar a little too high since I spent most of the week Right Here, learning at a snail's pace yet LEARNING and fully appreciating the JOY of BEing taught something that truly matters to me.

I don't have too much of a story BEhind this photo. It's one of my favourites ever of Gracie when she was a wee pup. I took it just a few weeks after she came home with me, so she was mayBE 6 weeks old and tiny as a sack of apples. She has always loved getting into tight but just right spaces for HER, and this was one of her first.

As I write this I look to my left at a far bigger Gracie who is exceedingly patient with me wanting to write and post this BEfore getting this day underway. We sometimes DO have a time of it here in the Wee Cottage, working round each other in our 300 square feet, but it's never been quite so nice for me to share space with another...

Gracie In A Wee Basket May 2005

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

When I Was Very Little... Photo Art Friday 17-18 August

As soon as I saw this prompt, I knew the photograph I wanted to play with. I sort of let it sit and wait, though, since I'm taking Kim Klassen's Skinny-Mini E-Course and was hoping I'd figure out how to use some texture with it.

Well, I didn't, yet, but I DID figure out how to navigate a wee bit in PSE8, so you won't catch me complaining about how I DID end up playing with this photo.

It was taken in June of 2005, when Gracie had only been with me a few weeks. Hard to BElieve my girl was once THAT tiny, but I love the reminder of those early days and her making herself right at home in that little basket...

Gracie in the Basket...June 2005

I did crop it some and did some other stuff I can't completely recall just Now, though I am happy I discovered how all those steps you all share are kept track of in PSE8...

I am hopeful when Bonnie and PAF are back in September I'll have both oars in the water!!

Photo Art Friday

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Photo Art Friday 10-11 August 2012 ~ Gifts

This prompt was curious. I didn't really nail any particular interpretation until earlier today as I was posting my Artist's Play Room "art-come." [which is how I am seeing the "results" of the various challenges and prompts I'm participating in...] 

I realised, as I was working on something altogether else on Monday afternoon, that I really DO use my photographs and digital fiddling with them as "drawing" that works for me; working in a very real way, far more than pen and ink or even pencil and paper ever have. I am making an effort to NOT say "I can't draw" BEcause that's simply NOT true and it's a box I don't want to stay in any longer!! The truth is I like what I "draw" a lot better when I use my photography & digital fiddling as my primary tools for drawing.

Bringing this back to "topic," I came upon my submission for Photo Art Friday as a "gift" from learning to see things through more experimentally open eyes. I have some photos of Gracie, my Golden Retriever, when she was a wee tiny thing. One of them in particular I was practising "drawing" by playing with a cropped version of it in Picasa and Pixlr Express. I think since I was working with the colour theme for APR#21 of turquoise and lime that without intending to I gave myself a gift. NOT ONLY can I Now "draw" that shape, which is ALL I really wanted to BE able to DO, I discovered other hidden "gifts" in Picasa and Pixlr Express that I'd NOT discovered prior to my experiments!!

So, without further ado ;~D here's a smattering of Wee Gracie in colours and hues and organised in some fun and even silly ways!!!

Gracie Mae On Red Rocks May 2005

The above photo is what I started with. I just love that face and body language!!!

Next are some of the very oh-so colourful takes I played into BEing on Tuesday...

And last, though NOT least, a collage made of them playing with some things I'd NOT discovered until that very moment I DID!! on Tuesday.

If you look closely at the above you can see all the smaller ones. I didn't quite get the hang of that feature in Pixlr Express, YET, but I liked it a LOT!!

The above and BElow are two takes of the collage using different effects and overlays.

I am grateful BEyond words [though I've sure used a LOT of them ;~D] to BE learning where I am actually able to "show" what I've done. I no longer feel inept and clumsy so I am more willing to see What Happens If??? I love what Michelle V. Alkerton has shared many times about how easy it is to use the UNDO button liberally and there BEing no real mess to clean up after!!

Many gifts here I think!!! Thanks Bonnie!!

Photo Art Friday

A Sea Dreamscape in Turquoise & Lime APR #21

A Sea Dreamscape in Turquoise & Lime

No more the maiden voyageur, I am excited this week to have really explored the theme for this week's challenge at APR#21, turquoise and lime

Making this collage was especially fun as it was a return to the 6" by 6" size I was using almost exclusively in 2010; well, until I went even smaller!!! 

I went scavenging in a National Geographic from 1956 that has some of the deepest and most delicious turquoise I have seen in a magazine. My layering it made for some pretty effects. Of course this isn't so visible anymore, but that's part of the fun: knowing this collage through its many stages!

Eventually I just let it rip. I've been DOing so much digitally lately that it was fun to get up to my old messiness with matte medium. AND to have bits and pieces of paper everywhere.

The lime colour wove itself in amongst the turquoise and then I found the two pairs of legs that I'd been saving since who knows when and suddenly I was "done" and my wee collage complete. Such a nice feeling that one, completion.

I also played with one of my favourite old photos of Gracie, digitally, using the same colour theme:

I have been working my way through Carla Sonheim's Drawing Lab all of 2012, and I got an idea after last week's APR of a "series" of early Gracie photos to DO a bunch of drawings, she recommends about 20, really fast, one after the other. While those efforts weren't all that and a bag of chips, the exercise taught me that repetition makes impossible BEginnings into very much possible outcomes. I'm still working on this batch in some other digital fiddling ways for my Photo Art Friday this week.

I love how this is all playing out, where one thing influences another, or opens an unexpected window. I've even brought this week's Turquoise & Lime theme into my Daily Paper Prompts. Of course this is truly the way it all is meant to BE, eh?! Starting out with Art Everyday Month last November, where I met, then or since, through participating in Creative Every Day, such wonderful folks, like Terrie at Creative Explorer, who actually inspired me to participate in Artist's Play Room. [and ICAD2!!]

P.S. last week I was wondering HOW DO I MAKE LINKS the way "the big kids DO" but didn't know how to ask [or was too shy to]. I started this post out by "borrowing" Terrie's APR#21  and from there figured out the rest myself!!! Who says that time on the Internet is a waste?! 

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