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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Messy Art: "Navigating without a map"

“The reason that art (writing, engaging, and all of it) is valuable is precisely why I can’t tell you how to do it. If there were a map, there’d be no art, because art is the act of navigating without a map.” ~Seth Godin

Thanks to Lisa for featuring me on her DIY Creative Therapy Blog.  I wrote a bit about the journey that art therapy has taken me on.
You can read my article HERE!

Now is the time for giving back.  Take the world around us - great example.  After pelting us with snow for an icy, bitter winter, we are showered with lush greenery, burgeoning blossoms, and sprouting seeds...

I'm giving back too.  It's actually the first time I'll be a vendor at a fundraiser for Leukemia.  

Then I'll be singing some Disney songs at my old stomping grounds for the kids at Columbia Presbyterian Children's Hospital.

And of course - I get the biggest gift of all - a husband...quite soon :)

In The Studio...
Well this is how my studio first looked:
(Hold all compliments until you reach the end of this post!)
And now, the paints come out...

 As usual, I really didn't know where  I was going with this.

 Then, I made so much of a mess, that every thing that followed were sort of "mistake-turned-art"
 I spilled an open jar of blue paint in the corner, so I thought, hey why not go with it.
It still doesn't sit exactly right with me. but that's okay too.

I’ve had a very interesting relationship with figure drawing.  Being a self taught artist, the idea of drawing the human body always has intimidated me – we all have an inner critic!  However, I used figures in my work over and over again throughout the years in order to process what I was feeling after nearly 30 life AND body-altering surgeries.  After every surgery, I would wake up with a new anatomy – a bag here, no belly button here, this missing, that added.  

It was very dissociating and made me feel like an alien to myself.  I drew the figure to find wholeness with my body again, to accept it, to show the different “selves” of me, to love it as my own.  Now, I am very fascinated with the figure in how it relates to the world, nature, and the flesh.  Seeing my “figures” look more and more body-like reassures me – it lets me know that I am starting to feel human, starting to accept my body for what it has been through, and call it my own.

But I think Calvin says it best:

“As my artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance” ~Calvin and Hobbes
There are actually a few Calvin & Hobbes strips that I often think back on...
And you can also see 25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips here.

As a kid - I always used to get my inspiration from comics - I loved drawing the Dilbert necktie!

And remember the Little Miss and Mr. Men series?
Well...I like painting pottery too :)

There's something very therapeutic about just copying or tracing cartoon figures or simple characters - maybe that's why coloring books are so much fun :)
Are there any comic favorites of yours that you'll always remember or that you love to follow?  I'm open to recommendations!  Comment, please!

But Before I go...let me give you

And - for me and for anyone else getting married in...about 3 weeks!

Oh and by the way...this is how my studio looks when I"m done...
I did say I like making "beautiful messes!"


  1. I love your beautiful messes! I am inspired by you. I have always admired painters but never felt capable myself. Maybe I'll start living by Calvin's philosophy and decide that if it doesn't make sense, it must be great>

  2. There is so much texture in your work, what do you use to create it, celluclay? Modeling medium?

  3. Wow you are getting involved in some great charity work, that is awesome! As always your paintings are full of life! Thanks for joining the Link-It To Me Link Up Party, hope you will party with me again next week :)

  4. What a great messy time you had creating! Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty