Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sweet and Gentle...Face 1 of 29

I am super excited for the 29 Faces challenge!  You all know of my enduring love of faces, so this challenge seems like the perfect one for me!  You can click on the picture below to find out more about 29 Faces:


29 faces

My first face is in my huge Dylusions Creative Journal, which you may remember is also the book I am doing Inner Excavations work in...I'm actually killing two birds with one stone on this spread, first face and the IE spread are one and the same.

Napkin (from my darling Pamikins!) in the background, die cut flower border thingie (from the kind Laura E.), acrylic paint and Microns (black for girl outline, sepia for lettering...should have done both the same, but my black one seemed to be sputtering it's last...)

I had grand intentions for this spread, starting out with the beautiful napkin from Pamikins.  I rarely get too uptight about what I want something to look like.  I have a general idea of what I want to happen, but because my imagination can do a lot of things that my hands haven't learned to do quite yet, I try not to get too persnickety.  But with this page, I was a little over-confident.

"Self," I said, "self, we are going to do this, this, and this...it's going to be easy..."  And right there was the point I should have stopped myself, because the logical side of my brain knows that me and plans NEVER MESH!  But my logical side kept her mouth shut for some reason, so I forged ahead...  And, through a series of what I'm going to call critical errors, what was in my head was absolutely NOT what came out on the page!  

But all is not lost...I do like what ended up happening...it's just not what I planned for it to be.  Luckily, I do have more of the napkin to work with, I only used about a fourth of it in this spread, so I get to have a do-over and I can try my grandiose plan again...  And since I know what my critical errors were this time, I will at least make new mistakes next time!  

The positives on this page are:
  • I experimented with a different color scheme.
  • I like that the Eiffel Tower from the napkin shows through so clearly.
  • I like that there is an interesting perspective, the girl looks in the foreground and the Tower in the distance...neat!
  • I LOVE that I got to use some of the goodies from the care packages I've been sent.  (Thank you beautiful gals for the goodies!!!)
  • I like the concept of the wind/breeze blowing the hair and dress.
  • I REALLY like that the girl extends outside of the border I made around the edge of the pages.  I've seen that in other people's work, and I think it looks so awesome when people do it!
The questionable things for me were:
  • The color scheme...I'm glad I went for something different, but I don't know that I am super enthralled with it.  
  • I kind of didn't give this poor girl a neck.  I don't know what happened...  But she just looks a little neck-less to me.
  • My lettering skills are something I really need to work on...I have complained about my horrible handwriting long enough, I need to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
  • I love the concept of the blowing breeze, but the execution is not correct.  I need to work on showing movement a little more smoothly.
So there you go...that's my 'realistic' critique of my own work...what do you think, is it a reasonable one?

I wish I could figure out how to get more accurate colors in my photos...the highlights in her hair are not bright yellow like they seem to be in this picture...  They are pretty contrast-y, but not quite as harsh as what the camera picked up...


"Hold on to the good with both hands, and let a sweet and gentle breeze blow over you and steal away the rest so you can be light and free."  Thank you to Boo for the idea of holding onto something with both hands...she said that in a comment once, I think in reference to joy, and I liked that phrase so much that I had to put it in a page! 


As far as the Inner Excavations work, the chapter I did this week was Chapter 5: I Look Closer.  This chapter deals with what we see when we look at ourselves.  There were some prompts to take self portrait pictures, and so I did that...nothing too spectacular came about...I've seen my face...so have you if you've been reading the blog for a while...  This chapter (and the whole book, really) deals with the internal aspect as opposed to outward appearance.  And I kind of giggled to myself a little, because when I think about the art I've been making and the things I've been writing on the blog, it seems like everything I do, especially lately, deals with my inner self.  I've made a lot of changes, and there are still a lot of things I want to change as well.  I've had so many highs, and I've had a few pity parties.  Since I talk a lot about myself in my spreads and on the blog already, I really wanted to make this spread be an overview instead of being specific.  So how do I see me?  I see myself grabbing up the good and letting the not-so-good get swept far, far away from me.  

When I first started making art and doing the blog, I didn't  have anywhere near the amount of self-awareness that I do now.  Seriously, go back to the beginning and look for yourself!  I made art for the sake of making art and then I showed pictures on the blog.  I wasn't always a blabbermouth about the squishy inside stuff.  I've never really been that kind of person...

I don't know when or how the switch happened exactly...I just know I view things a lot differently now.  I can admit to having emotions... (What? I have emotions???  I know, it was a shock to me too!)   Before, outwardly, I was in a constant state of denial or, in the very least, silence.  Internal-wise, everything stayed in my head, spinning around and around on a constant loop!  I was fixated on everything and nothing at the same time.  I never let anything out of my head, so it just stayed there and became a stagnant hurricane.  I couldn't concentrate on one thing long enough to work to fix it because there was so much clutter in there that everything fell into my lap at one time.  There was just no way to function!

At some point, I realized that I was doing art, but not art journaling.  I wanted to be able to look back at my life and know how I felt when I made a certain piece.  So I just started.  I'm sure I started pretty small, but I made myself put some little piece of me into what I made.  A little practice...and a little bit of forcing myself to do something I wasn't quite comfortable with...was all it took.  Once I started earnestly trying to get things out, they started to flow out really quickly!  There were (and continue to be) a lot of things that have taken me by surprise...feelings I didn't know I had, thoughts I was entirely unaware of!  I could put something onto a page and it would stay there...it would quit circling around in my brain!  I could pull out all the bits and pieces, put them on a page and form relevant conclusions!  I could look at an issue and think about it rationally...I could analyze it...I could figure out what was behind it and what I could do to change it if I wanted to!  I can't even begin to explain how much of a relief it is.

When I write about it on the blog, I kind of feel like I'm getting to share, not only my art, but also my life...my inner workings...my progress and setbacks.  All my life, I've kind of felt like a lone weirdo in a world of people so different from me.  Normal is boring, I know, but it's pretty lonely if you've always got the feeling that you're on the outside looking in.  Since I started sharing all this beautiful mess, I've gotten to know that other people feel the same as I do, or at least that they understand where I'm coming...it's an amazing and beautiful thing!

I think it was C.S. Lewis who said "We read to know we are not alone.", but for me, I want to change it to write.  I write to know I'm not alone...and for other people to know that they're not alone either.  At first, I wrote the blog so that I could share my art...I wanted critique...I wanted validation...I wanted someone to tell me I was decent...or at least to tell me how I could become better.  I can't lie, I still kind of want that! (Haha!)  But now, more than solely being about trying to make art, I want to write all my jibber-jabber that goes along with the art...I want people to know that they are not the only ones who feel a certain way.  I want people to see the good parts and the messed up parts and everything in between.  Every time my brain spits out some randomness, I want to type it out as fast as I can and look around and see who else feels the same way...so that both of us can know we're not lone weirdos!  We're at least a group of weirdos...and if there's a group of us, we can't be that weird after all.

45 comments:

  1. She is thinking something her own and She remembers wonderful memories, too.
    Backround is amaising, I like it very much. And I like it, too, that She is a little bit shy and don't show all to us.
    We must wait tomorrow or more... interesting!

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    1. Thanks Uuna! She does look like she is remembering something wonderful! Thank you for seeing that! I'm so excited to keep going with the challenge and see what everybody does tomorrow!

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  2. Lovely spread in your journal and why not kill two birds in one. I would do the same :)
    ManonX

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    1. Thanks Manon! I kind of feel guilty about all the bird murder! (Haha!) Thanks for stopping by! I can't wait to see your next face! <3

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  3. A very nice start to the Faces Challenge! I especially like the flowing hair. She's lovely :)

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    1. Thank you! I have my doubts about that hair...but it makes me feel AWESOME that you like it! :) And GREAT job on your piece today! I am so impressed with your digital skills! Can't wait to see tomorrow's face!

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  4. Love your spread and your chat with us. Love the wind in her hair! The perspective turned out great. With the Eiffel Tower in the background. I love it all!

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    1. Thanks Shirley! You know I'm a blabber mouth! I can't just post a picture and not go on and on! I want to work on the wind in the hair...I feel like I can do better...but thank you so much for the compliment! I am happy with the perspective that happened, it was TOTALLY by accident, but if anybody asks, we'll tell them it was my genius art skills, ok? :) I can't wait to see your faces!!! <3

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  5. Wonderful girl in your journal! I love the clolors you used and this romantic touch ♥

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    1. Thanks so much Erika! I'm glad you like the colors...they were one the things I was not so sure about, but now I know they're ok!

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  6. LOve the wind-blown hair of your wonderful girl (she has a neck. She is just shrugging her shoulders from the wind.) Don't you just love using those beautiful napkins for backgrounds? Great job.

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    1. Thanks Faye! I like your view of the neck...shrugging shoulders is much nicer than no neck! :) I do love the napkin backgrounds! I've been very lucky to receive some pretty ones from some artsy friends; I can't seem to find good ones around my area! Thank you so much for the compliments and I can't wait to see your face for tomorrow! <3

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  7. Hey, almost sister-in-law! Love your wind blown lady! I also love the background of your journal page . This vague existence of people and whatever. Great
    Cheers
    Gabriele

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    1. Thanks my almost sister-in-law! I am glad you like the page! I need to use that phrase: "This vague existence of people"! I like that quite a lot! Thank you so much! Big squishes for you! <3

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  8. Sitting here nodding my head you know? I always thought I was not into all this wishy washy touchy feely stuff. Then I start doing a post called Rocking Friday (thanks to a great bloggy friend) turns out working through all that to the positives... good for the soul. Who knew? :) I swear my blog and art - best therapy ever.

    As for your face - love a bit of windblown hair I do ;)

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    1. I'm so happy I'm not the only one who thought the touchy feely was not for me! Boy, did art journaling prove us wrong or what!?! The art and the blog really ARE great therapy...I swear, a few more months of the way I was before I found these outlets and I would have been in the crazy house for sure!

      Thanks for the compliment! <3

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  9. We are not alone. Reading, writing, drawing, painting, breathing … :) A wonderful start to the 29 Faces challenges!

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    1. It's VERY good to know that we're not alone! I am so grateful to all the nice people I've met who prove that to me everyday! Thank you for being one of those nice people! <3

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  10. love your girl, she has great movement

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    1. Thank you so much! She is much improved over what I've done in the past, but I know I want to keep practicing! I guess I'll have 28 more chances, right? :) I loved your spunky gal from today and I can't wait to see what you will do tomorrow!

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    1. Thank you so much! I loved your colors scheme today and I can't wait to see more! <3

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  12. Hello SRC, I like what happened too! I like how you reviewed the positives! I like how your picture expresses the words you have written. I LIKE!

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    1. Hi Clare and thank you so much!!! I try SUPER hard to always give myself a realistic critique...not so harsh that I get discouraged, but not so forgiving that I never improve! It's a balancing act!

      Are you doing 29 Faces too? I tried to click on your name so I could check out your blog, but your profile is private...will you let me know your website so I can make sure to see your faces?

      Thanks for all the lovin'!!!

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  13. She is beautiful... and so full of expression.... love the background too... looking forward to a month of your lovely faces...

    Jenny ♥

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    1. Thank you Jenny! I'm really excited to get in the practice and even more excited to get to see everybody's beautiful art! I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

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  14. I really love her! She looks like she is feeling the beautiful breeze and that she is in thought. THe hair looks like its covering the neck. I love the chunkiness of the hair. I love your writing! You will not believe this but it looks exactly like my writing! I love the napkin. When i was little the girls at school would collect napkins. It was so much fun and we would take them out and show what kinds we had and also trade some too. lol I lost all of mine though. Anyhow, I totally love this! I also love the colors. Very earthy. Wonderful start to a wonderful month!

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    1. Thank you so, so much! I can't believe we have similar writing! That's awesome! I thought I was the only one!!!

      I wish I would have collected cool napkins as a kid! ...I collected X-Men cards! I always liked the art on them and the back-stories! I'm making up for my lack of childhood napkins as an adult!

      Thanks for all the sweet lovin'! I am so excited for tomorrow, I don't know how I will sleep tonight! <3

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  15. There is a lot of expression in her face and her flyaway looks awesome. Very nice. Nice to hear about your fur baby.:) Have a great week.

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    1. Thank you! I am looking forward to seeing tomorrow's face!

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  16. OH, I see her as STRONG, a reflection of you no doubt!

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    1. Thank you so much! I don't know if I quite fit the bill on that one or not...but I'm willing to take the compliment! :) I really do love your piece, you made me want to try the collage elements and the way you used color... *sigh* ...just beautiful!

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  17. sweets, your girl is absolutely beautiful. Not sure why you don't like the color scheme, it's so pretty! I, too, love the perspective and the hair blowing (which is covering her toned model neck). Wonderful use of the goodies in your care packages.

    Love you so much. Hugs, Pamikins

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    1. Thanks Pamikins! I don't know why I don't like the colors...the more I look at it (and the knowledge that it has Pamikins approval!), the more I like it. I like that the hair is covering her neck...it's much better than being neck-less! I can't wait to try again with the napkin...I really wanted to put those numbers that Rose sent on the same page as the pretty Eiffel tower napkin, they just look like they belong together! I'm glad I have more napkin to work with!!!! Love you too, my darling Pamikins! <3<3<3

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  18. She looks so peaceful, walking along with her eyes closed, and her hair swinging in the breeze. :)

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    1. Thanks Miz Katie! I can't wait to see more of your beautiful and interesting faces! <3

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  19. she has a wistful look with her eyes closed, the wind in her hair and blowing her green dress. i feel as if she is enjoying the moment.

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    1. Thanks Irene! I think she must be enjoying that breeze too! :) I'm so excited to see your upcoming faces! <3

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  20. so wonderful
    to explore
    experience
    enjoy and discover!

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    1. Thank you! It is SO great to be able to see everybody's work! I'm so excited for this challenge! Can't wait to see your next face! <3

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  21. Awesome! I love the movement, and the muted cityscape in the background. This is really exciting. I feel the wind in my hair and smell bakery looking at the piece!

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    1. Thank you!!! I like the city in the background part too...I think it is my favorite thing about the page! It made me so happy that you can put yourself in the scene! You made me have a HUGE smile! <3 <3 <3

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  22. Your face is great! I like her chunky hair which you got just right to show the wind blowing. No negatives for me here!

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    1. Thanks Virginia! I'm happy you don't see the negatives! That's so nice of you! I keep looking back at her thinking maybe I was a little harsh with my critique...you all are making me look at her with new eyes! <3

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  23. Your face is great! I like her chunky hair which you got just right to show the wind blowing. No negatives for me here!

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