Life Under the Apple Tree

Thinking Out Loud

AEDM Day 22: Sketch of Andrea

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Andrea, Thanksgiving 2006

Today I felt like sketching. I chose my usual inspiration — one of my children. This drawing comes from a picture taken of Andrea on Thanksgiving three years ago when she was ten. It doesn’t look exactly like her, but I’m not always concerned with exact likenesses when I draw my children, or people in general. I consider the person I’m trying to draw to be a jumping off point in an attempt to create a picture that looks like somebody. My aim is to capture a soul, a certain spark, or a glimpse of what it means to be human. I’m not sure I succeeded here, but I like it, and I’m happy that I’ve confronted my fears and attempted it.

I’ve avoided doing much sketching for AEDM because it scares me. It makes me feel naked and vulnerable to do it and to share it. I’ve been becoming more aware that it’s something that I need to do for precisely that reason. I’m even considering following AEDM with a sketch-a-day month in December. They say it takes three weeks to make a habit, and we’re three weeks into AEDM. I’m comfortable doing art every day when that terrified me in the beginning. Now I’d like to become comfortable with sketching.


Written by cherapple

22 November, 2009 at 9:09 pm

AEDM Day 21: Easy-Peasy Art Journals

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Jessa’s Journal

My Journal

Yesterday Jessa (my ten-year-old daughter who has been doing AEDM with me) and I made these Easy Peasy Journals as instructed by Samantha Kira. They are made with manilla folders for extra thick paper, with the pages sewn in, which is something I’ve never done before. Now we have our very own hand-made journals that should hold up to paint, gesso, glue, sanding, and just about anything! What fun. Here’s the first instruction video (there are two):

Edit: I have just discovered a purpose for my new journal. I’m going to use it to explore the Soul Journaling prompts from Sarah Whitmire. You can find the original prompts at Sarah now tweets a prompt a day and you can follow her here: Soul Journaling Collage Potpourri: A Tweet A Day! So many ideas, so little time! (Thanks to Tammy at Bonsai Habits for sharing the prompts.)

Written by cherapple

22 November, 2009 at 9:46 am

AEDM Day 20: Teesha-Style Page

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This is my first page inspired by Teesha Moore. Edited to add: This page was not planned at all, but I like the way it came out — portraying the idea of secrets sent into hibernation, and the masks we wear to hide them in our daily lives. We all have secrets that lie asleep, perhaps in wait for the day when spring will come and they will be free to come out into the sunshine and into the open. Some secrets, however, stay “asleep in their winter clothes,” warm and safe forever.

Written by cherapple

20 November, 2009 at 11:00 pm

AEDM Day 19: Zentangle

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It’s been almost a week since I posted anything for AEDM. I’ve been busy — there was one day where I had no time to do any art — but mostly I’ve been blocked. I’ve doodled in my journal. I’ve watched other people doing art on YouTube. I’ve painted and thrown my work away. So it’s not as if I haven’t done anything art related. But I haven’t been productive in any way that I’ve wanted to share.

I have several pages gessoed, primed, and ready to go in my art journal, and I’m feeling inspired to paint. I’m loving layers. The pages never need to be done until I’m satisfied with them. I can gesso over them, rework them, and keep experimenting until I come up with something that I like. I basically consider these first journals to be my “junk journals,” where my first learning is happening and I’m free to make lots and lots of mistakes.

Last night I doodled this zentangle. I’ve had this page in my journal for a couple of weeks. It began as an experiment with making a background by squirting fluid acrylics directly onto watercolor paper. I stuck a quote to it and attempted to decoupage it to the front of my journal, but the cover was too glossy and it didn’t stick, so I glued it to an inside page instead. Sometimes part of the process involves doing things that don’t work, and just letting things sit until the mood strikes you to try something else with them.

“Art is not a making-oneself-understood but an urgent understanding-of-oneself. The closer you get in your most intimate and solitary contemplation or imagination (vision), the more has been achieved, even if no one else were to understand it.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Written by cherapple

20 November, 2009 at 9:16 am

Over-the-Top Blog Award

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I got up this morning to find an Over-the-Top Blog award from Lisa at Random Veracity, just when I needed a shot of hope. Thank you, Lisa! Yesterday was such a “puttery” day, spent thinking a lot about art and creativity, but not really accomplishing much. I worked on a project, but it didn’t come to anything like a satisfying completion. I have to remind myself that part of Art Every Day Month involves a simple choice — to focus on daily creativity, in whatever way, shape, or form that may take. It’s a simple shift that is so important for me because I’ve spent so many years avoiding creativity in fear of failure. How crazy is that? (It’s pretty common, actually.) I mean, creativity is the basis of humanity. Everything that humanity has ever been and everything that it will ever be is the result of individual creativity. It is how we express ourselves, and how we become fully ourselves.

“Creativity is a way of thinking, of being. It doesn’t mean you have to be an artist or writer. It means you approach life with the ability to be open, to solve challenges in new ways and try new things.” ~Ren Allen

Today I resolve, in spite of my fears, to keep going — keep trying new things.

There are two “rules” (bah, rules) for accepting this reward. One is that I provide one-word answers for the following questions. The other is that I pass the award on to five other bloggers (and post on their blogs letting them know). How exciting to have the opportunity to pass on my appreciation to a few of those who have inspired me in the last couple of weeks. The choices were not easy. (I have no idea where this award originated, or who has yet received it!)

1. Where is your cell phone?… Purse
2. Your hair?… Short
3. Your mother?… Working?
4. Your father?… Same?
5. Your favorite food?… Vegetables
6. Your dream last night?… Forgotten
7. Your favorite drink?… Coffee
8. Your dream/goal?… Joy
9. What room are you in?… Living
10. Your hobby?… Playing
11. Your fear?… Fear
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Creating
13. Where were you last night?… Shopping
14. Something that you aren’t?… Bossy
15. Muffins?… Yum
16. Wish list item?… Paints
17. Where did you grow up?… New York
18. Last thing you did?… Wrote
19. What are you wearing?… Pajamas
20. Your TV?… Off
21. Your Pets?… Eight
22. Friends?… Blessings
23. Your life?… Quiet
24. Your mood?… Hopeful
25. Missing Someone?… Yes
26. Vehicle?… Subaru
27. Something you’re not wearing?… Earrings
28. Your favorite store?… Blick
29. Your favorite colour?… Blue
30. When was the last time you laughed?…Yesterday
31. Last time you cried?… Recently
32. Your best friend?… Solitude
33. One place that I go to over and over?… Thoughts
34. Facebook?… Sometimes
35. Favorite place to eat?… Home

My nominations, of course, include Lisa, and I want to include everyone that I follow, but these people are really “over the top”:

  • Cheryl — Who has inspired with her journal pages and comments on the Blissfully Art Journaling Yahoo list
  • Messyfish — Who shares both her successes and her failures while creating with a little one
  • Tortagialla — Whose courage inspires me to be more courageous
  • Tea With Ren — Who inspired me to make the very first mark on the blank page
  • Stitch, Stitch, Stitch — Of whose clothing designs I’d like to see more, more!

Written by cherapple

16 November, 2009 at 11:17 am

Posted in Award, In response, Thoughts

AEDM Day 14: Angel for Peace

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Peace Angel

"Angel for Peace"

Here’s the result of “smooshing paint around,” as inspired by Leah and her amazing, fiery paintings at Creative Every Day — this strange, armless angel with black wings. I didn’t really achieve the fiery effect (partly because I’m limited in color choices until I get more paint), but I like my angel, even so, and even with her oddities!

Written by cherapple

14 November, 2009 at 9:43 pm

AEDM Day 13: Manga Girl

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Girl Manga

"Manga Girl"

On the way home from work tonight, the sunset contained the most beautiful shades of blue and pink. I was inspired to try to paint it when I got home. I wasn’t happy with the way it came out, however — my kids say I’m never happy with my artwork (largely true!) — so I drew a manga cartoon instead. I really love drawing human characters and I need to do it more often. My sunset picture came out so blah that I decided to play with the colors in iPhoto and intensify them. Here are the results.


"Sunset on the Drive Home"

My 10-year-old daughter, who has been doing AEDM with me nearly every day, wanted me to post the sunset picture that she painted tonight.

Jessa's sunset

"Sunset Over the Mountains," by Jessa

Written by cherapple

13 November, 2009 at 9:01 pm