Sunday, August 4, 2013


In this Wild Summer Art class that I've been yammering about for the last six weeks, instructor Junelle always ends the week with a challenge. A couple of weeks ago, it was a doozie. She actually dared us to unplug ourselves for a bit -- to turn off facebook and all other social media, at least for a day. Can you imagine? She claimed that the trick to her being a busy artist was to turn off the computer and get her head and her heart busy with her own art. She even went so far as to promise that if we would do this every now and then, we would:
  • make more art
  • focus on our own inspired ideas
  • use our own palette of colors
  • not find ourselves comparing all the time
Most importantly, she said, our art-heart would thank us for listening to her! Those are some pretty big promises, are they not? I knew that shutting off my computer here at home would be mighty tough, especially when I was in the middle of an online class, so I decided to try it while I was in Dallas. Normally, I would be going to my sister's computer three or four times a day to check email and facebook, but this time I ignored it completely for three whole days, and survived without a scratch. Granted, I was there to take an art class from someone else, so I wasn't exactly focused on my own art-heart that whole time. It did, however, get me to thinkin'.

Here's my great epiphany. Every teacher I've taken a class from has had their own unique style. Christy Tomlinson likes messy collage, with lots of layers and lots of paint globbed on, usually with her fingers!

Some Projects From My Intro Class With Christy
Joanne Sharpe was all about color and lettering and pens and markers.

A Project From Joanne's Color-Love Class
My third instructor, Junelle Jacobsen, was mostly about sweet sketches and appreciating all the small things in life, like precious little lambies.

Alyssa Burke is an outdoor woman who lives on the Oregon coast, and she has a more graphic design approach to art, inspired by nature. She got me to start a nature journal.

Donna Downy is a true mixed-media artist, who uses everything from drywall tape and tissue paper to acrylic paints, stamping, and pastels in her creations.

A Project Done In Her Pan Pastel Class
An then of course there is Dyan Reaveley, whom I played with this week.

A Project I Made Using One Of Dyan's Couture Stamps
So here's the thing. Dyan had several of her completed journals there for us to thumb through, and at first they made me green with envy. Her's were all so gorgeous, and so, well, Dyan, while mine are all such ugly mishmashes of stuff. "Why can't mine be more like hers?", I wondered. But then, as I said, I got to thinking, and I realized that the main thing all of my teachers' art journals have, that mine don't, is just, well, consistency!

None of them had style or talent that was superior to anyone else. What set their journals apart is that they had each found their own groove and settled into it. They found a lettering style they were comfortable with and stuck with it. They figured out whether they preferred sketching or collage or whatever, and whether they preferred acrylics and watercolors over inks and sprays, and they stuck with those.  They even discovered their own personal palette. As a result of all this, their journals took on a cohesive style that was a reflection of them, and which became recognizable. Their journals stopped being a hodgepodge mash-up of everyone else's style, and began to have a sense of unity, and that unity is what made them gorgeous!

So there. That's my epiphany.

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