Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Some more art journal pages

Here are just a few pages from my art journal.  These are mostly experiments with different media: gel pens, liquid ink pens, markers, and watercolors.

Until recently, I haven't worked with anything art since early grade school, it's been a childlike experience to "mess around" without guilt. 

Cheap gel pens and cheaper watercolors.

Cheap gel pens and Unibal Signo on black paper - enhanced with software.

Cheap gel pens and Unibal Signo on black paper.  This is what it really looks like.

This is Uniball Signo gel pen, no name liquid ink pen, Prismacolor marker, and Dollar Store watercolors.
  I know it all looks crappy and childish but I'm having fun.  I've never had the gift of art, but I'm making it mine from now on!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

When I Won the Contest at "Whatever"

Julie (Okami) at Whatever had a contest not too long ago and I was one of the lucky winners.  Pentel, the sponsor of the contest, sent me a package of their pens to try out.  I had the package open maybe only 2 or 3 minutes before my family started helping themselves.  I was left with only the Slicci and the HyperG2.

Jackie Flaherty at Letters & Journals was the other winner.  She has a post up today that shows an almost identical haul from Pentel.  Head on over there to see it!  She promises some reviews soon, too.

A big thank you to Julie (Okami) and Pentel!  Pentel rocks!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Just Keep Breathing

Hi.  You probably have noticed that I've been away for a few weeks.  And I have been "away".   Not so much physically - although I was in Flagstaff last weekend working at a conference - I've also been away mentally and spiritually.

While dealing with one major stressing event in my life, I was sucker-punched with another.  That took the wind right out of me.  I won't go into these events because it would start to sound like a country western song.  I hate country western songs.  I really, really hate them.

My journaling stopped for a few days, too.  I had to stand still and deliberately force myself to breathe (in the metaphorical sense).  Then, slowly, haltingly, I picked up the pen.  It took time but eventually I was able to let go and let fly.  It's all splattered, blotched and bleeding all over the page.  And that's the best place I know to leave it.

The very physical act of pushing your thoughts out of your head, down your arm, through your hand, out through the pen and onto the page is one of pure magic.  Best drug I've ever taken, too. 

I also realize how incredibly lucky I am to live in such a safe environment that will allow me to do this drug.  (My brother-in-law once grabbed his daughter's diary and read it aloud in front of the family when he was on one of his Bible-thumping head trips.  I do not socialize with him.)

I guess what I really want to say here is that I may still be winking in and out of Daydreamers Welcome for a while.  I need more time and some space to work through this junk.  Fortunately for me, I have my freshly inked fountain pens and a stack of Clairefontaine and Rhodia notebooks waiting to help me along.



Sunday, May 1, 2011

White Tank Mountain Regional Park: A Review of Sorts

Yesterday I finally got to go to the White Tank Mountain Regional Park in Waddell, Arizona. I’d been wanting to visit for a while after I picked up a brochure on the parks that are located within an hour’s drive of where I live. There are quite a few, I’m happy to report.

The White Tanks are so easy to get to. All I had to do was wake my hubby up early and drive 3 miles north to Dunlap Avenue and then head west until Dunlap became Olive Avenue and then kept heading west until the road ended in the park.

The drive was one of my favorite parts. We drove through the neighboring cities of Glendale, Peoria, Sun City, and finally Waddell. The only indication of changing jurisdictions in this metropolitan area are the signs posted welcoming you to their city.

After Sun City and on the way to Waddell the countryside was beautiful. Farm country with tall old trees surrounding their homes, county roads with four-way stop signs, a rail road track on the right and an irrigation ditch full of fast moving water on the left. Even on this Saturday, the fields had workers in the middle of them. There are no weekends off for farmers.

Both my hubby and I breathed in the clean air and felt nostalgia for our childhoods wrapping itself around us. I grew up in farm country and when he was young, Glendale was still new and building up around the open farm fields. Today it is full of concrete and asphalt, the farms just a memory.

Waddell is a farming community that is suffering modern housing developments now, too. It won’t be long and Waddell will be another Glendale. But until then, I hope to enjoy many drives over to the park.

The entrance to the park is overlooked by the newest county library building in Maricopa. The fee for entering the park with a motorized vehicle is $6.00 and you use the honor system of paying until someone can get to the little shack to give you the human touch.

We drove into the park and were met with a beautiful, immaculate, and well laid out facility. Having printed a map of the park before we left, I knew that our destination, Black Rock Trail started from Ramada #4. We pulled into the large parking lot, used the very clean restrooms, then stepped out onto the groomed trail.
Along the easy path were stone benches that had bronze plaques dedicated to the memory of someone. Some were simple, others had lines of poetry, but all were read by us.

Also located by the benches were wooden stands that held information about the plants and animals that live in the park. They came in handy when Hubby and I had a mild disagreement on one particular cactus. We were both wrong!

When the trail ended we sat at one of the picnic tables enjoying some fruit that we brought with us and watching the hawks circle in the near distance. The vista was magnificent. I could see for miles across open desert to a blue mountain range on the horizon. It was yet again one of those times when I wish I could paint.

On the way out of the park we turned into the library’s driveway and after a too brief perusal of the art show and nature center, we headed out. Duties awaited our attention at home.

I encourage anyone who lives in my area to make at least one visit to the White Tank Mountain Regional Park. You won’t be sorry. Just remember to bring your camera, binoculars, or a sketch pad!