Follow Your Dreams


I walked down to the lake on Saturday afternoon wearing just a sweatshirt because we had an unusually warm sunny day for a Connecticut winter. There are a few park benches where you can sit and look at the ripples in the water and let time slowly pass by. It was so peaceful.

When you let time stand still like that you feel rejuvenated and renewed. You gain perspective on your life. Later on, when I was home, I went downstairs to my art studio and exuberance is what came out in my art journal. Giving myself space to just be let the feelings flow through me.

I had attended a volunteer meeting at Epoch Arts that morning and I am happy to say that I will be teaching two mixed media art workshops there in the next session of classes, art journaling and inspiration cards for ages 12 through adult. Teaching and sharing art has been a dream of mine for a long while. You need to follow your dreams.

Tonight I decided to relax and not do anything but daydream and listen to the rain on the skylight. My thoughts drifted like the ripples on the water at the lake and I realized I need to spend more time like this and less time rushing around in busyness and activity. The world isn’t going to stop turning if I miss a meeting. The dishes in the sink can wait until tomorrow. The To Do list will always be there and most items on the list can wait another day, or longer.

What is truly important? The people you love – your family, your true friends, that special person in your heart and life. And you are so important – that person inside of you who needs to take time for self, to relax, and to just be.

Art Journaling – Medicine Wheel

Art journal wheel

This piece was loosely inspired by the Medicine Wheel which is used by Native American tribes for health and healing. The four quadrants of the circle represent the Four Directions: East, South, West, and North.

Different tribes have different interpretations for the Medicine Wheel. Each direction typically has a distinctive color and each direction can represent a number of different concepts, for example stages of life, seasons of the year, aspects of life, or elements of nature.

On Friday night, while drifting off between awake and asleep, I had a vision of what I wanted to create the next day. I reached for the pad and pen on my nightstand, drew a circle with a horizontal and a vertical line, and wrote the words four seasons. When I looked at the piece of paper the next day, I realized that this was a Medicine Wheel.

I went through my day thinking about this in the back of my mind. I work intuitively and don’t have any plan when I sit down to make art. Then I thought about what a friend said to me the other day when we were talking about upcoming weekend plans… “No plan is the best plan – just go with the flow. Something good always comes up.”

When I was ready, I decided to work at the dining room table instead of in my art studio downstairs. I gathered up my new Canson CP 140lb art journal, my portable art tote, my Derwent intense blocks, and later on my bin of stamp pads. I don’t know how to explain how this piece happened, because it just did.

It’s a very simple piece and it reflects how I feel right now. It also reflects who I am as an artist. I was quite happy with this when it was finished. It marks a lot of new beginnings for me, both in my art and in my life.

Painting on Canvas – Believe

Canvas believe

I painted this canvas last weekend to celebrate the new year. My son gave me a package of 10 high flow golden acrylic paints for Christmas and I was eager to try them out. They are liquid paints in squeeze bottles and the colors are brilliant and super saturated.

I made a mess on my art table and got paint all over my hands. It was fun! I started out by dripping cool colors of paint (blue and green) on the canvas and spreading the paint around with an old credit card and a paintbrush.

While the paint was drying, I looked for my stencils and thought about which ones to use. The paint was not drying fast enough, so I used my heat gun to speed up the process. Then I added some warm colors to the canvas (red, orange and gold) and spread those around.

At this point the painting had a bit of a glow but it was looking kind of dark and I did not like that. Unlike watercolor paints which I had used for many years, you can always paint over something that you want to change with acrylics.

I chose an ivory bottle of craft paint, added some beads of this below the top edge of the painting, and tilted the canvas so that the paint would run down to the bottom edge. Now the piece was starting to take shape.

I had a circle opening cut out of plain paper and used that to paint a circle on the right side. The paint bled underneath the paper, so I used a baby wipe to restore the round shape. There is always a way to recover from a mistake and move on, if you open your eyes and see. Painting is like life and life is like painting.

I used my random circles template (this one came from Artist Cellar) and put a band of small ivory circles down the left side. Then I carefully put some small purple circles on top of the large ivory circle.

I stood back and looked at the canvas. The piece was saying what I wanted it to say. For me, it held that childlike wonder I feel when I look out my window and it is snowing outside. I added the word believe and I was happy.

Believe in miracles. Believe in the small things too. Most of all, believe in yourself.