Sunday, January 22, 2012

Finding a place for art in your day

I will be the first one to admit to finding that time can pass by me at the speed of sound and that I have not gotten around to the tasks that I had set forth to accomplish.  Generally, I have a schedule worked out for each and every day just so I can try to get as much done as possible.  Most mornings I tidy up the flat and do a load or two of laundry if necessary.  Errands are taken care of early in the afternoon so that I can be home at a decent time to make a pot of tea and sit down to an hour or two of reading.  Not a very exciting existence, but it suits my lifestyle for the most part.  I must confess that on some days, I long for a little excitement, just a little.  It is not that I long for a major change in my life, but just a little something to add some flair to the day would be welcome.

Excitement, or a change in lifestyle will only happen if I put the necessary elements into motion and actively pursue an activity of some sort.  That is where my artistic journey comes into play.  Each day, I try to find as much time as possible to spend in my studio room where I can paint, draw, work with various inks, stamps and other equipment necessary for artistic pursuits.  Sometimes I find myself working far into the night on one project or another and lose complete track of the time.  That is when I know that I am onto something that just might turn out into real art.  Real art is in the eye of the beholder, I truly believe that.

With this in mind, I wander through various art forms in search of inspiration and satisfaction.  Art is a passion and I try to work in as much studio time into almost every day of the week.  Some days find me working on calligraphy, other days you might find me putting paint to canvas.  So far this year, my passion has been for making cards using stamps, embellishments, various types of paper and almost anything that might give me a little texture or just a little oomph to jazz up what might have been a very plain card.

I mentioned in the first post of the year that I was going to challenge myself to make at least five greeting cards each week and put them up for you to see.  So, now that I have found out how to load the pictures onto my computer system, I will share with you some of my creations over the past couple of weeks.  Rather than make the cards too busy with excess colour, I have kept the cards on the simple side.  One series that I will share with you is one that I refer to as my ladies from yesteryear.
The ladies are done with a sepia coloured ink with the stamped image going onto ivory card stock.  I have embellished the card with simple bands of a peach washi tape that I purchase from Marisa at Omiyage.  Marisa has a passion for lovely little things from Japan and runs a web shop to sell them.  Have a look at her web shop and read her blog at  For those not familiar with it, washi tape is available in many widths, colours, patterns and some even with a confetti pattern.  The tape can be repositioned if necessary, but it is still wise to be careful with your placement as the tape curls easily when pulled up from the card stock.  I have used a number of rubber stamps that I have collected over the years and set aside for a special project.  Once the stamping was done and the washi tape positioned, I added a little colour where I found it necessary.  Sometimes in getting the image down on the card stock, not enough ink has been picked up in some areas of the stamp resulting in faint lines in some areas of the stamped image.  This is where a light hand with either coloured pencils or copic pens comes in handy.  I will not say that I am as deft with stamping as I would like to be, but I am working on my technique as well as working on various ways to create interest in the images on the cards.

My second series of cards is one I refer to as the black cat series.  Five different cards have been created by tracing shapes removed from a heavy card stock.  One can either trace around the images or use the cut out areas on the card stock as a stencil.  The shapes that pull away from the stencil sheet can either be decorated or used to trace around on various colours of card stock.  This gives way to a variety of different coloured felines to be created as the spirit moves you.  I have visions of some orange cats with black stripes showing up in the near future.  Washi tape was again used to add some interest to the cards which still remain simple in their style.

I have no doubt that I will have many interesting art sessions making greeting cards over the upcoming year.  As I put stamps away, I am grouping them into series that will end up on the front of greeting cards and possibly some other items that I have been eyeing over the past few weeks.  That is the joy of stamping, you find so many ways to use the images on items one might not normally think of as being suitable or destined to receive different imprints.

I will return to painting very soon!  A little more tidy up in the studio and I will be stacking up some canvases that need to be finished as well as a fresh pile of canvases requiring the initial coat of gesso.  I am still putting together some ideas for paintings and cannot say for sure what is going to be the first challenge put to the acrylics with me wielding the brush.  Jewelry is still a major interest to me and I am working on some designs on paper before I try to put my ideas into action.  So much I want to do, but I am rationing my time and energy so that I have time to kick back and have time to read and dream about what I want to try next.

I hope you enjoy the images I am posting alongside this blog!  And, I would love to hear what you are working on this year.  Type in a comment and send along a picture if you like.  I will put them up for everyone to see and be inspired by.  Meanwhile, I hope you are having a wonderful start to this new year and are feeling optimistic and inspired.  I know that I cannot find enough hours in each day to get done what I would like to or to read all the books that I would like to read.  And then there is cooking to be done.  But, I have that covered by using Julie Anne Rhodes' PCApproach to cooking meals.  Pick a day and cook several entrees at one time and then freeze them in suitable portions.  Check out her web site for more information, recipes and a wonderful friendly blog in which she relates some fun stories about her life.

Have a wonderful week and I will post more pictures next Sunday of other cards that have been made in the past couple of weeks.  Most of these are one offs, meaning that they are not part of a series, but still very special in their own way.  That is it for me this week!  I am off for another day spent in the studio puttering around at my own pace in my own little world.  Not to worry!  I will surface in time for tea.

Sincerely,  Rutheemac

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