Saturday, June 30, 2012

Day Trippin'

At work on Friday, I googled the best places to take pictures around Columbus and became fixated on Dawes Arboretum, which is about 30 minutes east of the city. I was up at 7am today, had a big breakfast, drank a big Red Bull, and was on the road by 9. I was a little concerned, because we had a fairly horrifying storm here yesterday that pretty much tore Ohio apart. Horrifying as in I was stuck at work and watched a boat blow across our parking lot. Straight outta Twister, I swear. So anyway, I didn't know what condition I'd find the place in. While I did come upon some upside down portapotties (hopefully no one was seeking shelter in there...) and about 1000 uprooted trees, I also found a place that was so incredibly beautiful that I got goosebumps. And it was 95 degrees today. More on all that later but here are a few previews of what I saw!

I was there for four hours and took 150 pictures. On more than one occasion I caught myself commenting out loud about how beautiful it was. Other than the employees who were cleaning up storm damage, I was the only person there. Actually I feel fortunate right now to have power, because 2/3 of the state doesn't. My brother (I have twin brothers who are younger - 26) who just moved into a new apartment this week is not expected to get power back for 5-7 days! Call me weird but I like getting reminders to appreciate things that most take for granted. Hope everyone is having a beautiful weekend :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Midwest Summer.

Who can believe that next week is July??? Not me, that's for sure. I had kind of a weird weekend last weekend, in that I suddenly out of the blue started to doubt my creative ideas. My dream is to make a living doing what I love: creating things. Then out of nowhere, I had all these thoughts of doubt that were screaming that me, "You'll never be able to keep up with all the talent that is already out there." So, I decided to do what I always do when negative moods strike: I grabbed my camera and took a little trip. This time I went to a local park famous for its rose gardens. Here are a few of the things I saw:

I guess I literally stopped and smelled the roses. Wait... did I just say something that cheesy? Oh well. It's summertime and livin's easy. Wait... did that just rhyme? I love having an inner nerd :)

Bohemian Inspiration

maidenHere are the definitions of some of my favorite words:

Bohemian: a person, as an artist or writer, who lives and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practices, living a wandering or vagabond life, as a gypsy.

Wanderlust: a strong, innate desire to rove or travel about.

Inspire: to fill with animating, quickening, or exalting influence.

Gypsy: a person with a traditionally ascribed freedom or inclination to move from place to place.

I think people described me as bohemian before I even knew what it really meant. I have always done my own thing, been the super weird and artsy type, loved to travel and be outdoors, and I have some very wild curly hair. It just kind of fits.

As far as art goes, I have never been able to get away from bright and vibrant colors. I took this painting class in college once with a Dutch professor who was super serious. Like we were not allowed to listen to music on our iPods during class. I had a friend who had a class down the hall and on occasion she would come and sit with me while I painted and we would chatter away. One day we were working on a painting that was supposed to come from a "darker place." My friend and I were chatting as usual, and my professor had had enough. She came over, took one look at the rainbow explosion on my canvas and said, "Jennifer, you are not doing this correctly. You cannot sit here and just happily paint." And she promptly banned my friend from visiting me. What in the world? Why can't I happily paint? I heard complaints from multiple professors throughout my college experience that I used "too much color." My work was "too busy." There was "too much going on." Sorry, didn't a very famous someone once say, "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful?"

Today I embrace color. I embrace all types of media. I fling paint. I doodle. I love sunshine and flowers and pretty things. And I love anything and everything bohemian. I have multiple Pinterest boards showing my boho love, and am also a HUGE fan of this Tumblr blog dedicated to the bohemian lifestyle.

bohemian  Makes me want to sit there and read a book!  . #bohemian outdoor paradise

What better time to let your boho side shine than summertime? Something about being outside and feeling the sun on your skin and smelling the flowers just makes you feel so free.

i love mason jars.. and flowers

I follow artist Katie Daisy pretty closely. Everything about her inspires me. Her work is amazing. She is so young yet one of those artists who has already made a name for herself by doing what she loves and was born to do. I love how she has wandered the country and lived so many places: growing up on a farm in Illinois to going to college in Minneapolis, then moving to the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina, then to Portland and now to the small town of Bend, Oregon. She posted this picture on her Facebook page today:

It was taken by someone who met her up on the roof that very day. The caption said "She was doing this while everyone else was doing that." I'm sorry, but she is just so cool. I have never been brave enough to just up and move. I went to college here in Columbus, Ohio (Ohio State baby!!) and was planning on moving to Chicago once I graduated. Then chickened out. I do love it here, but maybe someday when I don't have to worry about finding a job because making art will be my job, I will wander. In the meantime, I travel whenever I can.

Talking about these things is making me want to find a sunny spot to paint in!

do the bohemian dance!  these colors... wow.  Colored Glass Lanterns!

Have a beautiful (boho!) Thursday! :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Travel Journals: Why Didn't I Think of This?

You know that saying about the left hand knowing what the right hand is doing? I'm kind of feeling that right now idea right now... so years ago, back in 2005 when I was a carefree college student, I studied abroad in China over the summer. It was an indescribable experience. Like I still get chills thinking about it. I seriously saved every single little thing I came in contact with there, from maps to money to receipts to candy wrappers. Yes, candy wrappers. That following spring, my wanderlust was still going strong and I traveled to Europe with some friends and did the same thing. They thought I was nuts and it became this running joke, where they would give me their trash asking me if I wanted to save it.

So here I am now, seven years later (wow I suddenly feel old), and I have all this stuff in shoe boxes. I have been art journaling like crazy for the past year and obsessing over other peoples' journals and websites and blogs and pictures. Travel journals have been of particular interest to me, because I haven't been out of the country since 2005 and urge to do so is almost unbearable. Suddenly, this past week, it dawned on me. I have all of this great stuff, all boxed up collecting dust... why am I not making a travel journal?? I am beyond excited to start this new project. And maybe soon I will take a trip (I have always wanted to fly to Europe alone with no plan and just go where my feet take me) and have a whole new box of stuff to work with. Here are some of the travel journals that have been inspiring me lately:

Mary Ann Moss... good lord. I am obsessed with her journals. I'd pay money to look through them in person. Seriously. Check our her Flickr page. Be sure you have at least an hour or so to kill before doing so.

After you are done oogling Mary Ann Moss's Flickr page, please dedicate another hour to Ashley Connelly's blog, The Creative Place. You know those blog's that just inspire you to make something immediately? This is one of them. Sometimes the gratitude I have for being a right-brained creative weirdo is overwhelming.

Jessica Pollak

Simone Capano
Okay last website, seriously. August Empress. Inspiration and eye candy galore. Time to go make something :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sharing Some Magic: The Art of Feanne

This girl... I could never say enough about the magic that just radiates from her work. I think if given the opportunity, I could sit and watch Feanne  draw for hours. Her lines are so flowing, so organic, so perfect... and I've never seen anyone with a style like hers. I've followed Feanne for years, first finding her work on Deviant Art. If you have time today, please please please go there and check out her huge gallery. You will be insanely impressed and inspired. Promise. She also has a Tumblr  page with tons of drawings and pictures from exhibitions; oh and she is a singer/songwriter too. Talk about a creative soul! Happy Thursday :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Art Journalers Anonymous.

Goooooood mooooorniiiiiing (said like Oprah, possibly while waving arms)!!!! Looking for recommendations! After almost a year, my beloved art journal only has about 12 days of space left in it before it is completely full. I thought I would be excited to fill it up and start fresh in a new book, but I am feeling oddly sad and sentimental about finishing this one. I can look back through the pages and remember some amazing and also not-so-amazing times over the past year. It will definitely be great to start another chapter so to speak, but bittersweet too.

Anyway, enough rambling. I've had too much coffee already this morning and it's only 9:30. I am trying to decide what kind of book I want to use for my next journal and am wondering what everyone out there uses. I have seen some amazing handmade books on Etsy, that have all different types of paper and sizes of pages. I really really like those. Moleskine journals also look nice, but I think I need something with thicker paper. Watercolor paper maybe. What does everyone use? Do you make your own? Buy handmade? I am super indecisive and am having a tough time finding the perfect journal to commit the next year to! Hope everyone is having a beautiful Wednesday :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Art Studio Re-Arrange: An Instagram Journey.

Okay, so I got my first DSLR camera last fall. While I have gotten the hang of shooting outdoors and in bright light, my inside photos, well, completely suck. For lack of a better description. I hate using the flash because it blows out the color and creates such harsh shadows. I love shooting in aperture mode, but my inside pictures are always blurry and I am way too lazy to use a tripod. I am trying so hard to figure out how to shoot Christmas lights and get the result that I want; my studio is filled to the brim with them. I rearranged things in here one random Friday night about two weeks ago... Like I was up until 3am because I was moving a 10,000 lbs bookcase and reinstalling shelves into new walls. I wanted to take pictures of my new space tonight with the lights all lit up (Okay honestly I had to turn my AC down to 69 because of all the heat the lights generate. That's not a lie.) but was disappointed with my blurry, yellow pictures. So I used my trusty old iPhone (no really, I may be the last person on the planet who still has the 3GS) and Instagram, because at least now the crappy quality is excusable.

I seriously love Christmas lights, or any type of string lights or lanterns in general. Don't know why. I think that half of my electric bill is due to the hours I spend in my studio with everything plugged in.

Changed the wall my workspace was on. Now my window (the only little one in the room) is to my right instead of behind me. I like being able to see the sun.

Such a mess. I have a lot of mediums (media??) and varnishes and glues and solvents. And Crayola crayons from lord knows when.

My $10 fake tree that I got at the thrift store: one of my all-time favorite purchases.

Bought a United States map last fall (took me a while to find one... because who sells maps anymore?? Thanks AAA.) and highlighted in yellow my ideal cross-country road trip. I will take this one day. Every time I see the map on the wall it's a reminder to work hard, because this is one goal that I want badly.

Vintage bubble lights. I don't know why I think they are so incredibly cool. But I do. 

So that's my little slice of heaven. One of the most amazing feelings for me is to walk in the door when I get home from work, say hi to the kitties, and come in here and plus everything in. It's almost symbolic; it gets the creativity flowing and kills the stress that I build up during the work day. I have also been getting back into running lately - crazy! I used to be so good about going almost every day, then got a job as the bar manager of a Mexican restaurant a few years back and ate for free... and gained 25 lbs. Damn you, chicken quesadillas. Now working a desk job and pretty much sitting for 8 hours a day doesn't help either. I actually just signed up for the Columbus half marathon in October... I must be nuts! But it's great to have goals. And I have found that any day that involves art and running sums up to a good day when I'm laying in bed at the end of the night. Okay, time to stop rambling and start arting. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Leibster Blog Award!

So I am pretty new to the blog world and am quickly becoming an avid and addicted fan. I tend to play hopscotch and click links from blog to blog to blog... It is so refreshing to see so many creative people sharing what they love with everyone possible. What an amazing community with such incredible talent.

Today I was delighted to receive a Leibster Blog Award from the lovely Carolyn from Little Gretel Dolls. I may or may not have used up 30 minutes of company time when I got lost in the magic of her blog at work. Whoops. But hey, we all need a little magic in our lives right? Her blog is beautiful... the perfect place to get lost. Thank you so much Carolyn :)

The way the Leibster works is once you receive it, you want to share the love. Pick three of your favorite blogs (I have read somewhere that blogs with under 100 followers are preferred?) and pass the award on to them. Here are three blogs that brighten my days:

Such Pretty Canvas by Shahrul Niza. She is a mixed media artist with a fabulous eye for color. I am in love with her art journal pages!

Also loving Sasha Fitzgerald's blog, Fashion, findings, art, life, and LOTS of eye candy. It's a happy feel-good kind of place.

Imported Eyedea by Kt... this girl writes with charisma that will make you crack up... like out loud. She shares her life in her blog and is what? Oh, a fantastic and unique jewelry maker.  

Well... time to get to art journaling... is it Friday yet?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Rainstorms and Symbolism.

It rained today, for the first time in seemingly forever. I am pretty much 100% guilty of being all sad and gloomy when it rains; the sun and warmth and glow just feed me. Yet there is something magical about those certain rainstorms that end and then the sun comes out immediately afterwards. Like the old has been washed away and the new is coming in loud and strong. That happened tonight. So I took a walk and decided to try to appreciate the rain. Of course I took my camera... here is a bit of my journey!