Day by Day Art Journal

A couple of generous art souls are encouraging me with bite-sized art challenges and short courses, which I find suits my creativity-seeking starts and stops method perfectly.

One such individual is Kasia Avery, a kind and marvelous teacher whose Everything Art website offers classes which vary in length from a few days to an entire year. She offered a free art-journal style Advent Calendar short course last year that was one of my best on-line experiences ever. Kasia’s firm but gentle coaxing was effective. I wound up with a bundle of new skills and a small journal that re-inspires me every time I pull it from the shelf. In January, I enrolled in Wanderlust 2019, a year-long class featuring not only herself but a panoply of gifted artist-teachers. In only a few weeks, I was completely overwhelmed and hopeless behind. (That said, once enrolled, participants have continuing access to the classes and all-important videos, so I have a treasure-trove yet to explore.)

A few days ago, Kasia started a 15-day course called Day by Day Art Journaling. I signed up and am enjoying it immensely. These short time periods work well with my Restless Head Syndrome!

Another fun, massively creative teacher is Marieke Blokland, whose Bloknotes Art School, “raw and quirky,” is so clever and feeds my love of the abstract. Marieke recently offered a 5-day art challenge. It was a blast and oh by the way, an amazing learning experience.

I took an old blank 5×7 mixed media journal and covered the front with a card stock copy of some ancient Japanese wave art downloaded from the Internet Archives, then decorated it. Actually, I’m pretty sure I went at least three steps beyond where I should have stopped.

I’m adding in whatever suits my fancy, along with the exercises from Marieke’s art challenge and Kasia’s Day by Day prompts.

No better way for a writer to quiet that still, small, destructive, voice of her internal editor than to get a little dirty playing with paints. It’s helping me learn what I really think.

Marieke Blokland’s Doodle Faces Lesson

Great fun! This was a lesson from week #6 of Wanderlust 2019, taught by artist Marieke Blockland. I learned a lot and had a blast making this spread based on Marieke’s Doodle Faces lesson. Marieke’s teaching style made for a fun lesson (one where you learn much more than you realized until it’s over!)

I went a little crazy at the beginning of this year (so what’s different about 2019?) and signed up for two art jounal/mixed media year-long experiences: one is the gifted, irrepressible and kind artist and teacher Tamara Laporte’s Lifebook 2019, and the other is the equally gifted and welcoming artist and teacher Kasia Avery’s Wanderlust 2019. Both are phenomenal. They have gathered a remarkable array of teachers for these journeys.

I’ve also joined the Bancroft Collective, a brave and talented group of creative folk who, in the words of founder Georgina McClure (a nom de plume of creative guru Heather Blakey) “have taken up residence in Bancroft Manor because they are passionate about the power of the expressive arts to heal”. At Bancroft Manor, Georgina leads an online Writing for Wellness course.

Am I waaay behind? Absolutely. Am I happier, more creative, learning like I never thought I could at my (ahem) somewhat advanced age, and writing more as I stretch old muscles and find new ones? YES! Oh, yes.