Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap Celebration

The 6th annual Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap (aka LYA) has come to an end… with 175 artists, 12 countries and 1050 pieces of postcard art!

Wow!

This is the card I sent out:

The postcards fresh out of the box!

The postcards fresh out of the box!

Here are all the cards I received during the swap:

The quote on the back of the card reads: It doesn't matter what kind of dance it is, you just have to dance. -- Unidentified Youngster

This card is from potter, Mark Wilson, from Oregon. He describes the pieces as: “Temples of Not Yet Discovered Spiritual Traditions” The quote on the back of the card reads: It doesn’t matter what kind of dance it is, you just have to dance. — Unidentified Youngster

Miss Sahara appoved of this card.

Glomz says she loves to do collage because she can’t draw or paint! Her etsy shop is: LoLaiLo. Miss Sahara appoved of this card.

I had to take a picture of two NY apples with 2 California lemons... the tree in our backyard.

Vicki aka Hula-la from New York State sent this card. She sent wishes of love, peace and joy in abundance. I had to take a picture of two NY apples with 2 California lemons… the tree in our backyard.

This cheerful chicken looked right at home among the ducks at Seaport Village... The artist, Debbie Osborn, hails from Fakenham, Norfolk in the UK!

This cheerful chicken looked right at home among the ducks at Seaport Village… The artist, Debbie Osborn, hails from Fakenham, Norfolk in the UK!

I thought this moody piece would like being in a Southern California "meadow"!

I thought this moody piece from Suzette near Dallas, TX would like being in a Southern California “meadow”! She says: “Think love, live joy.”

Then I got the final card from Kat Sloma, the organizer of the the LYA…

When you liberate your art, you get a boost of happiness and joy!

When you liberate your art, you get a boost of happiness and joy! That little faucet in the sky turned out to be a scratch that happened during transit… really had me thinking for awhile!

The Side Swaps:

Each year brings the opportunity to swap with folks who printed extra cards and enjoy side-swapping.

The first came from Sonya Versluys from just up the road in northern Southern California:

I thought her snowy landscape needed a spring thaw!

I thought her snowy landscape needed a spring thaw!

Next came a cheerful flower from Sheila Delgado who is my neighbor in the mountains — just an hour or so away.

Of course I had to frame this cheerful flower in our Mexican Marigold bush! Unfortunately, Sheila's card got damaged during transit, but it's still happy and vibrant.

Of course I had to frame this cheerful flower in our Mexican Marigold bush! Unfortunately, Sheila’s card got damaged during transit, but it’s still happy and vibrant.

The third card came from Janice Darby, also a SoCal neighbor.

She sends Peace, Love and Joy!

She sends Peace, Love and Joy!

Check out the amazing video Kat made of all the cards!  So inspiring!

This was definitely a labor of love for Kat Sloma who coordinated, labelled, stamped and mailed all the cards and then made the celebration video.  It was also a labor of love and leap of faith for each of the 175 artists who sent their creations out into the world, and made the world brighter for it…

Liberate Your Art 2016

Liberate Your Art 2016 Postcard Swap Blog Hop 15-17 April

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The LYA cards are arriving!

Postcards from the Liberate Your Art swap are starting to arrive. The first one is from Mark Wilson from Oregon. He describes the pieces on the card as “Temples of Not Yet Discovered Spiritual Traditions.”

The quote on the back of the card reads: It doesn't matter what kind of dance it is, you just have to dance. -- Unidentified Youngster

The quote on the back of the card reads: It doesn’t matter what kind of dance it is, you just have to dance. — Unidentified Youngster

The second card came from Glom2 who loves “to do collages because I can’t draw or paint…” Her etsy shop is  LoLaiLo.

Miss Sahara appoved of this card.

Miss Sahara appoved of this card.

The third card arrived today from Vicki aka Hula-la in New York (state not city). She sent wishes for love, peace and joy in abundance!

I had to take a picture of two NY apples with 2 California lemons... the tree in our backyard.

I had to take a picture of two NY apples with 2 California lemons… the tree in our backyard.

Waiting with anticipation for the next three cards in the swap to arrive! I’ll keep you posted!

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Blooming

A friend saw my Word of the Year painting and asked me to make a journal with that design.

My word and goals for 2016

My word and goals for 2016

It had never occured to me to put mixed media paintings on small leather journals. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I did NOT want to print out a copy of the painting and glue it over the journal’s beautiful leather cover.  I would have to create something inspired by the design, but entirely new and painted directly on the notebook’s cover.

Since the painting features some stenciled elements as well as drawn detail, I decided to try that with the notebook.  I used multi-surface craft paint since it is so durable.  I carry my decorated journal in my purse and the craft paint has never chipped, flaked or budged.  And the jewels that were attached with the craft paint have also stayed on.  That stuff is tenacious!

I made smaller versions of the 5-petal flower stencil and used a similar golden color.  Since the notebook is about half the size of the painting, I could not use the original stencils — the balance would have been off.  So I used a flower border stencil that I found at Michael’s.  I added in some jewels and also used henna techniques with the paint in a henna cone for textural variety.

Notebook cover inspired by my Word of the Year painting.

Notebook cover inspired by my Word of the Year painting.

I am really happy with how this project turned out and am eager for the next challenge!

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LYA 2016 — On their way to the Swap Meet

The postcards arrived a couple days ahead of schedule from Moo… and they are now on their way to Kat’s studio for the March 12 Swap Day.

The postcards fresh out of the box!

The postcards fresh out of the box!

Of course I had to make a special envelope for them.  Over the years, people have really upped the ante of envelope embellishment.  And I’m not going to be the one to send mine in a plain, vanilla envelope!

The back of the envelope with fairly traditional henna design.

The back of the envelope with fairly traditional henna design.

I gave the front of the envelope a Hawaiian theme in keeping with the postcard

I gave the front of the envelope a Hawaiian theme in keeping with the postcard.

Now to wait for the cards to arrive!

 

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Getting ready for LYA 2016

It’s that time of year again!  Time for the Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap as organized by the amazing and wonderful Kat Sloma of Katseyestudio. This is my *5th* year of participating!  Wow!  Hard to believe!

This year I am still dreaming of Hawaii… although we have no plans to visit in 2016, we did visit twice last year.  And I had some lovely experiences with the ukulele… which has become a happy hobby.

There is a little mneumonic ditty that my teacher taught me to help remember the tuning of the ukulele.

MyDogHasFleasSHeetMusic

It makes no sense.  The notes do not correspond to the words.  Every Good Boy Does Fine makes sense in that Every stands for E and Good stands for G, etc.  But My is a “G” and dog is an “E”… ridiculous!  And yet…. I can sing My Dog Has Fleas and I am in tune and can tune my ukulele with good relative pitch using this “song”.

So, this phrase is dancing in my head. AND I started taking an online course with Miriam Schulman called Painting with Words. And I decided to play around with this phrase.

from my class art journal

from my class art journal

And today I finished the mixed media piece, My Dog Has Fleas.

MyDogHasFleas_sm

I painted the flowers and the dog separately, then cut them out.  The music was scanned and glued on.  Even though I sprayed everything with acrylic, the matte medium that I used to glue things on with smeared things a bit. I retouched the flowers and tried to sharpen the music notes and I had to add in the jumping fleas to cover smudge marks. The font is based on a free font I found on the internet called Tiki Tropic.

I uploaded the image to Moo and should have my finished cards back in a few weeks!  So excited!

If you want one, I ordered 40 — way more than I will need for the swap, so let me know and I’ll put one in the mail for you!

 

 

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RAW Futures Event

On January 20th, I had the supreme honor and pleasure to be a part of the RAW Artists Futures event held in San Diego at the House of Blues downtown.

RAW_FUTURES_Banner

RAW Artists is an organization that promotes young, indie talent in fashion, design, makeup, music, graphic design, photography, and fine art.  They are loud and proud and a lot of fun.  For some reason, one of the RAW talent seekers found my website and thought my skills would be an excellent addition to the line-up of January show.  I’m not particularly young… and I’m not particuluarly new (been at this since 1998)… but he thought I was cool enough, so I was in.  Turns out I wasn’t the only non-spring chicken in the group.  So I felt right at home.

The event was a one-evening extravaganza — part art show, part music gig, part dance performance, part runway show.

Photo by Thai Chau of 'AXYZ3'

Photo by Thai Chau of ‘AXYZ3’

RAW_Bandelier

Bandalier performing. Photo by Thai Chau of ‘AXYZ3’

Performance by members of the San Diego Ballet. Thai Chau of 'AXYZ3'

Performance by members of the San Diego Ballet. Photo by Thai Chau of ‘AXYZ3’

RAW_Boothshot

My booth. Photo by Thai Chau of ‘AXYZ3’

 Photo by Thai Chau

I tried to cram as much as possible into a tiny 6 x 6 spot! All those mugs, hand-painted notebooks, necklaces and shotglasses are made by me! Photo by Thai Chau of ‘AXYZ3’

It was quite the party until 10pm... when we all packed up and headed home!

It was quite the party until 10pm… when we all packed up and headed home!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcoming 2016 with a new word

It’s a new year, a clean slate and a fresh start.  2015 was a very tough year and I felt as if I were in an emotional fog for most of it.  I was in shock and numb from the back-to-back losses of both my mother and a good friend.  And I did my best to do what needed to be done… and I got things accomplished, but I had no passion, goals or dreams.

It is 2016.  The fog has cleared and I am back.

This year I decided to focus on a word, and let my goals flow from that.  The word that came to mind was: Bloom.

There are many definitions for the word bloom according to Webster’s online dictionary:

  1. 1a:flowerb:  the flowering state <the roses in bloom>c:  a period of flowering <the spring bloom>d:  a rapid and excessive growth of a plankton population (as of algae or dinoflagellates) — compare red tide

  2. 2a:  a state or time of beauty, freshness, and vigor b:  a state or time of high development or achievement <a career in full bloom>

  3. 3:  a surface coating or appearance: as a:  a delicate powdery coating on some fruits and leaves b:  a rosy appearance of the cheeks; broadly:  an outward evidence of freshness or healthy vigor c:  a cloudiness on a film of varnish or lacquer d:  a grayish discoloration on chocolate e:  glare caused by an object reflecting too much light into a television camera

I chose to focus on 1a and b, 2 a and b and 3 b.  Bloom as a flowering state, a time of freshness and vigor, high achievement and an outward evidence of freshness or healthy vigor.

These work well with: bringing my health back to a bloom through daily walks, weight workouts and cleaner eating: bringing my business to a state of achievement by increasing my social media presence, adding products to my offerings, and continuing to refine my booth and books: blooming creatively by taking classes and reading books: blooming financially and encouraging a period of flowering between the cats (there are 3 and they do not like each other).

My word and goals for 2016

My word and goals for 2016.  Homework for the Lifebook 2016 online mixed media class I am taking.

Have you made resolutions for the new year?  Do you choose a word for the year?  How do you work on goals?

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Henna Camp 2015

I love going to conferences… all  the collective creative energy of fellow artists, the new ideas, the new products….

This year I went back to the Henna Intensive & Retreat. It had been a long summer of working every day and dealing with fussy, cranky and greedy customers… I NEEDED a break!

The retreat part is because of the location — 6000 ft about sea level, in a spartan boy scout camp, with no cellphone and spotty wifi in the dining hall. There was a spring-fed pool, which was very cold.  And an on-site massage therapist with hands of gold. We all stayed in communal cabins and ate together in a central dining hall.  The food was good, plentiful and fairly healthy.

My home away from home at the Lion Camp, Teresita Pines

My home away from home at the Lion Camp, Teresita Pines

I shared a cabin with 3 other women.  We all had bunkbeds and all chose the lower bunks.  Thankfully, our cabin had a bathroom so we didn’t have to trek in the cold and dark at 3am…

Not only were we at elevation, we had climb elevations to get anywhere!

Not only were we at elevation, we had climb elevations to get anywhere!

The camp was built on a mountain — and it still is a mountain with steep rises between cabins.  Even after 3 days, I still got winded walking up to the dining hall.

Each day we had 3 sessions of classes — some 2 hours and some 1 hour each.

Debi Varvi explains her method of creating frankenflowers.

Debi Varvi explains her method of creating frankenflowers.

I took classes on design building, Saharan traditional henna, jagua, facepainting and photography. The teachers were excellent and all the handouts came on a cd, so I can print as I want.

I also taught a class.  On glitter tattoos.

Students practice making glitter tattoos

Students practice making glitter tattoos

And there was much spontaneous henna practice….

Spontaneous henna

Spontaneous henna

On Saturday there was a talent show.  There were lots of bellydancers, one balloon artist and 3 singers.  I sang a Hawaiian song with my ukulele.  It was a really fun evening.

HIR_Nat_ukuleleByMorganCollierLeflerThe jagua class was particularly interesting.  Melissa Addams, our instructor, brought in fresh jagua fruit from Brazil. The fruit starts out white when cut, but then the flesh turns blue as it oxidizes. It also stains the skin a deep blue-black, and when mixed with henna produces a mahoghany color.

photo by Jillian Hawkins

photo by Jillian Hawkins

We learned a bit about jagua’s cultural context among the Kayapo people, a bit about the plant and where the gel comes from, and then application techniques.  I am definitely adding jagua to my line-up of services!

Alas, all good things must come to an end.  On Monday, we all packed up and returned to civilization.

But I still have the quiet of the mountains inside, and am brimming with new ideas and new enthusiasm. I can’t wait to get back to work!

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Hopping with Liberate Your Art 2015

It’s been kind of a tough month — busy building my stand at Seaport Village and updating my materials, busy trying to navigate through paperwork and organizing things so I can settle my mother’s estate next month, still slowed down by grief.

But getting postcards every week were bright spots — even if I couldn’t get myself together enough to blog or post on facebook about them…

The first one to arrive was from Chandra T. Mountain of chandralynn.wordpress.com

Chandra's old car deserved a ride on a vintage carousel...

Chandra’s old car deserved a ride on a vintage carousel…

Next to grace my mailbox was a lovely scene from France by Ma’ (manuelles.canalblog.com)

A countryside from France visits a California meadow...

A countryside from France visits a California meadow…

Then a strawberry arrived just in time for Easter breakfast! (from jpeeksphotography.com)

A digital strawberry joins real strawberries for Easter breakfast...

A digital strawberry joins real strawberries for Easter breakfast…

Then came some lovely shells by Cathy Hubmann:

A gift from the sea spending a day in the desert...

A gift from the sea spending a day in the desert…

Then I got a card from a friend I met a few years ago through LYA:

Sheila Delgado (www.sheiladelgado.com) shared a lovely few quotes with her card:

“One eye sees, the other feels” Paul Klee

“Imagination needs moodling – long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering.” Brenda Ueland

Sheila's floral delight enjoying a morning stroll with my neighbor's roses...

Sheila’s floral delight enjoying a morning stroll with my neighbor’s roses…

Next came a romantic couple from Sherry Galey (sherrygaley.com)with the quote:

“To love yourself as you are is a miracle, and to seek yourself is to have found yourself, for now.  And now is all we have, and love is who we are.” Anne Lamott

Catching a kiss among the daily routine of life... at the grocery store...

Catching a kiss among the daily routine of life… at the grocery store…

And finally, the card from Kat Sloma signalled the end of the the swap.

When you liberate your art, the world is a better place.

When you liberate your art, the world is a better place.

Miss Cali is not sure what to think of her card!

Miss Cali is not sure what to think of her card!

Looking forward to next year’s fun!

 

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Liberate Your Art 2015

It’s that time of year again.  Time to liberate some art into the world! Kat Sloma has organized the Liberate Your Art event for 5 years.  This is my fourth year of participating.

Artists can share anything that can be printed on a postcard… paintings, photographs, photographs of sculpture, scans of silk painting…. the postcards can be printed at home or professionally.  5 postcards are sent to Kat, who then sorts and labels and sends them out.  Each participant gets 5 cards, plus one of Kat’s. Part of the fun is sharing the cards we have received by taking photos of them in our spaces.  I love seeing where my cards end up!

For the past 3 years, I have done collages that were heavy on henna-like embellishment.  This year I decided to try something different.

I inherited my mother’s cat this year, and she is very photogenic.

CaliCatI thought about using a straight photo, but wasn’t happy with the results.  And XnView, the program I use for editing is not strong with effects.

Then I took an art class with Suzanne Visor and was inspired by the constraining frame. I had originally thought to use the right side.

A close up

A close up

Not quite right.

So I tried the left eye.

The left eye

The left eye

More interesting.

And then I tried painting it… which is way out of the box for me!  I am a henna artist.  I work with lines, not brush strokes.  But after several hours of painting and leaving and thinking and more painting and more thinking and more painting, I ended up with something I liked. It doesn’t look exactly like the picture, but close enough!

The final painting.

The final painting.

I uploaded the image to Moo and am waiting for my postcards to return.  Once they arrive, I will send 5 of them to Kat, and then wait for the fun to begin!

I’ll have extras, so if you want one, just let me know and I’ll send you one!

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