Art class prep time

Teaching an art class is more than just turning up … it’s preparing samples, making sure you have the right supplies, putting together instruction sheets, making up class packs. I’m teaching a few classes in the coming month, so have been working on the prep.

The samples & instructions are done, but I still need to buy a few supplies. Art supply shopping — hardly a chore! I’ve put together the class packs for the gelli and art journal classes, and have them tucked away in a corner of my home office.

I like knowing everything is prepared, and all that’s left is to keep advertising & hope people put their names down before the lists are full. The classes are a gelli one in Hawera, and both gelli and art journal classes in Greymouth.

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Another week almost done & dusted

I love recording life’s wee details in my Dylusions dyary. I’ve never kept a ‘proper’ diary but this format suits me; a bit of art, a couple of photos, and whatever I want to record. Sometimes it’s day by day, sometimes one event needs the whole page; this week, it’s all about family, love and loss. Hug the people you love…

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Well, that pushed my buttons

The journaling on this page tells the story!

This is the first layout in a new 5×8″ Dylusions journal – I love the high quality stock for working on. I used Dylusions paints (Periwinkle blue, Vibrant turquoise, Mushy peas), stencils (Diamonds in the rough, Teardrops, Squares) and stamps (Dy’s alphabet), letter stamps (Tim Holtz tall text), Pitt Big Brush pen in walnut, Distress Ink in black soot for the edges of the journal strips, Ranger Distress collage medium & Tombow Mono adhesive. The image is from an old magazine – I keep files of people, buildings, angels, religious icons and flowers.

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My art journal habit

I’m also teaching an art journal class in Greymouth next month and, as with gelli printing, participants get a pack to get them started. When I teach art journaling its about how to get going, tips and tricks, making it your own.

Why do I art journal? It’s a fun, creative outlet with no rules. It is whatever I want it to be on the day; writing or no writing, paint or collage, personal thoughts – found word poems – song lyrics, deep and meaningful or light-hearted.

I write down the things that are in my heart and soul; sometimes I leave it so it can be read, other times I journal in such a way that even I can’t re-read it. My journals are a trusted friend where I pour out my feelings and work through anything that’s bothering me. I frequently record song lyrics – I love recording the music I listen to – and often there’s a message in the song I chose on the day.

Here’s a fairly random selection of pages I have created in the last 2 or 3 years. I hope you enjoy the variety of colours, styles and imagery.

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Gelli-ing in Greymouth

I’m teaching a couple of art classes in Greymouth next month, so I’ve been busy putting class packs together. I love gelli printing because it’s something anyone can have fun with, regardless of artistic or physical abilities. There’s no toxic chemicals and you don’t need a lot of time or materials.

I thought I’d share a few fav prints from the last two or three years; as you can see, gelli printing can produce a wide variety of styles. Some prints I keep as artworks in their own right, some become the base for mixed media works, some become part of collages, some I cut up and use when I’m making cards.

 

Being an adult means self-care

Self-care. It’s not all yoga, warm baths and getting your nails done with your bff. It can mean harder stuff, like cervical smears (thank goodness I don’t have to anymore), mammograms, exercising even when you don’t want to and a squillion other ‘not so fun’ things. 

A couple of years ago my Dr and I talked about a ‘thing’ on the side of my face. Should we cut it out? Well, maybe, but very near the nerve that controls your face, and also right by my ear so it would sound yuk! We opted to try a topical treatment used for cancer spots. Yeah nah!! It didn’t budge even a millimetre. 

I did what any sensible adult would do. I ignored it. Only now it’s got worse. I can hear my mother saying, “I told you so”.  

Trouble is a few years back I had a lump cut out of the back of my thigh. Five minute job, Cath, you’ll be fine. Except the Dr couldn’t get to the bottom of the lump and, 35 minutes in, had to inject more pain relief so he could keep digging. So, I have good reason to be a sook about it, kind of…

 

Anyway, just now I have logged onto managemyhealth and made an appointment with my fa Dr to get a referral to a skin specialist so it can be removed. Can anyone recommend a favourite brand of brave pills?

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Love is love

I talked with a friend today about love and friendship, and responded to a FaceBook post about gay and lesbian love. My comment, as always; love is love.

I sometimes comment to my staff that there’s infinite variety in the human condition. We don’t all share the same taste in music, shoes or tattoos, thank goodness. And we don’t all want the same things in a partner or lover – thank goodness again!

Tonight I talked to my brother-in-law about a past unrequited love, and the way his feelings for the person have changed over time. Sometimes passion is fleeting – burning bright then burning out – other passions transcend time and what life throws at us along the way.

Time and life’s challenges change us too. We age, get sick, need something different from our partners than when we were younger. That’s just life it’s ok. It’s still love.

You love a man? Great. A woman? Nice. A man *and* a woman? Good on you! If we spent more time loving others and less time worrying about what others do, the world might be a safer and happier place. Love is love.

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Hidden

Years ago we did some training at work that included Johari’s Window. I won’t go into all the details, except to say it struck a chord and has stayed with me. I’m fairly open on social media but that doesn’t mean I share everything, just that I choose to share more than some might. Yet there *is* a hidden part – parts of me that I know and others don’t (or only a few people know).

Why don’t I share everything, given I share most things? Same reasons as for others, no doubt. Fear of judgement, of being made to feel wrong, that people won’t like or approve of the hidden parts of me. And, in today’s world of strong judgment via social media, fear of starting a “Twitter pile on”.

This is the last page in my small Dylusions journal; I have had such a great time filling it up. It’s ok, though, because I have lovely new one waiting in the cupboard!

Stamps: Dy’s alphabet, Heads n Tails. Stencils: Diamonds in the rough, Sugar lumps, Blocks. Paints: Polished jade, Lemon zest, Periwinkle blue. Other: Ranger Distress collage medium, Archival ink, Distress ink, white gel pen, clear alphabet stamps, Pitt Big Brush marker, black Uni pen.
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Exercise your art muscles

‘Use it or lose it’ is as true for art muscles as any other, although actually I don’t think we lose our art capacity, we just get rusty and uncertain. Simple quick exercises are a good way to stay in touch with your sense of colour, pattern, design, negative space and so on.

Every week I do the #ColourMePositive challenge on Facebook. The moderator provides a prompt and people share what they’ve created. For me it’s a quick way to warm up my art muscles. This isn’t art with a capital A, it’s more like warming up exercises before going for a run. I decided to (sort of) record my process today.

I used Distress paints for the bottom layer, Dylusions paints for the stencilling with Tim Holtz stencils, Distress ink to colour the edges of the word strips and  Tombow Mono glue to glue the words down. I’m working on the Tim Holtz glass media mat; it’s on my desk all the time and I love it.

It was almost finished when I realised, matching my mood, it was a bit dark and dreary considering the quote is about sunshine. I used Dylusions Pure Sunshine paint with Tim’s sun rays stencil, then went back over the orange with Atelier Rich Gold for some bling.

 

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