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11/18/15
New Blog
Filed under: General, Creativity, About
Posted by: Mary @ 8:13 pm

I have a new blog on e-blogger and I am very excited about it. This makes me part of a wider art community and will expose me to a larger audience. My new blog will be a continuation of my musings about art, life and creativity.

Come on over to maryartlife.blogspot.com

The current blog will remain up indefinitely as a chronicle of my art activities over the past 8 years.


Mary MacIlvain

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09/13/15
Moo Cards
Filed under: General, Photography, Mixed Media, Creativity, Design, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 5:42 pm

I ordered some square moo cards today! I am getting 2.5″ square cards made with 5 different designs of my artwork on the back. They are an alternative to the traditional business card and I thought I could use them to tell people about my blog and website.They are more like a calling card than a business card for me. I don’t have a business and am just doing this for fun as a way to chronicle my artistic growth and share my work with others.

     

     

     


Mary MacIlvain

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08/28/15
Photo Collages
Filed under: General, Collage, Photography, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal, Design, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 4:26 pm

Today I enjoyed a vacation day, the start of a 3 day weekend, and went to White Flower Farm in Litchfield. I wanted to see flowers,take pictures of flowers, and be surrounded by beauty. And it was so awesome to be there. Hard to imagine there could be so many flowers blooming at the end of August. When I got home I played with my new and all time favorite phone app, PhotoGrid. It is an android app to make photo collages and there must be something similar for the iPhone. But PhotoGrid is truly great! Here are my photo collages from several gardens (my friend Kate’s gardens, Ballek’s Garden Center, my brother Larry’s gardens, and White Flower Farm) and of course this blog post wouldn’t be me without some shameless selfies :-)


Mary MacIlvain

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08/02/15
Just for One Day
Filed under: General, Collage, Photography, Mixed Media, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 5:40 pm

Here is what I created for week 4 of Inner Excavation with Liz Lamoreux - poetry and Photo Grid selfy collages.


Mary MacIlvain

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07/04/15
Getting Inspired
Filed under: General, Quilt Art, Creativity, Challenges, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 10:51 am

Last weekend I got inspired and started a quilt for the JAM art quilters July challenge, What Inspires You? I drew hearts of 3 sizes, made templates out of cereal cardboard, chose fabrics that I loved, marked and cut the hearts out, and arranged them randomly on a background fabric. It was spontaneous and fun. What inspires me? Love of family, love of friends, love of quilting, and love of art/ mixed media/ art journaling.

We are having a 3 day holiday weekend here because of the 4th of July, the independence of the United States and the birth of our nation. I intended to have a quiet weekend to myself with simple plans, and instead unintentionally made too many plans. A good friend of mine told me you need time to yourself when I told him about all my plans. I didn’t think so two days ago but now I realize he was right. Yesterday was too chaotic and I was totally exhausted when I got home. I am just getting over being very sick for 2 weeks and thought I was better but I am still supposed to be taking it easy. And as an artist I need to preserve and make time for myself every week, not just when I’ve been sick.

This morning I watched some videos from Journal52 and realized that I need to get back into painting/ art journaling/ mixed media. This is very important to me and I have been neglecting/ avoiding this since my mother went into the hospital February 14. I have been spending a lot of time worrying and unable to focus. I was able to start working on small art quilt projects in April and that has helped me a lot. There has been some hand sewing involved and that is very centering for me. What I really need to do is work on art journaling projects that are inspired by my internal landscape. The year long classes I signed up for in January are great and I can use them as a jumping off point, but they are not getting me where I am, where I live, where I belong. You can’t force it, you have to let it flow.


Mary MacIlvain

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05/25/15
Transition
Filed under: General, Collage, Quilt Art, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal, Challenges, Design, Creative Every Day, Book of Days, Quotes
Posted by: Mary @ 3:58 pm

For a while now I have been thinking about where I want to go with my art and my life so I have been feeling my way through transition. I was feeling uncomfortable about where I was at and was unable to focus on any one thing long enough to work on my art. Instead I spent a lot of time just being and flowing from one moment to the next and taking an introspective look at what I was doing and why. I asked myself a lot of questions about my life and my artistic direction.

As suddenly as I had stopped, I got started on doing art again but this time in a more relaxed and contemplative way. I no longer felt driven to complete the weekly challenges in all the classes that I had signed up for in January as I was not enjoying the frantic pace very much. And I felt that I needed to be more self directed.

I started quilting again after a long haitus from needle and thread and found myself torn between art quilts and mixed media. Could I do both? Did I want to do both? The answer was a tentative yes. There is only so much time available and I work full time and want to spend time with family and friends. But I need my creative time and it is very much a part of my well-being. A lot of my work needs to be done at home. Still, there are portable projects like hand sewing aspects of a quilting piece or small mixed media pieces like ATCs or twinchies that can be done with markers. So off I go to work or visiting friends with a tote bag containing portable art and quilt items.

This is the opening spread for Book of Days 2015 Volume 2 Mixed Tape. It’s just a simple spread with a vintage photo of me and scans of CD covers of music that I listen to now. No, I don’t listen to oldies and like new music. I added some rubber stamping to unify the spread.

This is a spread for Book of Days 2015 volume 1, week 7. The theme was choices and I was inspired to write a spontaneous poem about choices. I used a simple collage approach to the spread.

Choices
We all make choices in life.
Some choices are small,
like what to wear today,
or what to have for lunch.
Some choices are not so small,
like who to spend time with,
where to work or where to live.
Some choices are not so clear,
like what is the right thing to do
in a complex or difficult situation.
You will choose many paths in life,
and it is ok to change direction
when you see new possibilities,
or when the truth becomes known.

This was from a trip to JoAnn Fabrics to look for a magazine. I have a lot of Art Journaling magazines at home and I have a previous issue of Bella Grace which is wonderful, but I wanted a magazine about art quilting and Quilting Arts was recommended to me by a friend.

This is my earth day challenge for the JAM Art Quilters’ April challenge. The only restriction was that the quilt had to be round and it was great fun exploring this format I made this 14″ round quilt at the Greater Hartford Quilt Guild retreat at the beginning of May and am very happy with how it came out. This Earth Day quilt, along with the Postcards from Iran quilt, will be in the JAM Art Quilters group display at the Newington Library in Connecticut for the month of June.

This quilt is a mariner’s compass wall hanging for Father John, St Mary’s retired pastor. He had seen a table runner in this pattern that I made for my son a few years ago and he liked it very much. So I made him a wall hanging this month.

This is a work in progress for the JAM Art Quilters’ May challenge, which was to use a poem or quotation. I chose the Rumi quote, “Open your hands if you want to be held.” It seemed only natural to trace my open hands for this piece. I am adding a few more things to the piece and then it will be ready for quilting. I am using hand applique techniques in this piece which makes it a portable project and it is also very relaxing to do hand work.


Mary MacIlvain

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04/12/15
Art Journaling
Filed under: General, Quilt Art, Creativity, Art Journal, Design, Quilting, Creative Every Day, Book of Days, Documented Life, Life Book, Journal52
Posted by: Mary @ 6:52 pm

There have been too many things going on in my life the past few months so I have not made a blog post for a long while. I wanted to share some of my work now before more time slips away.

This art quilt celebrates my return to quilting after a long hiatus (I had a wart on the underside of my thumb for over a year and that made it difficult to sew or even write). Last month I joined an inspirational art quilt group and they are doing monthly challenges. The March challenge was architecture and I chose to design Postcards from Iran to show the rich history of this country that dates back to the cradle/birthplace of civilization. The architecture is beautiful and so are the people.

This is a spread from Book of Days 2015 V1. The prompt was feathers. I painted a background and did pen and ink drawings and then colored it in with markers. Besides the feathers, I also drew some simple dream catchers and stamped with two of my hand carved stamps. I left two of the feathers uncolored because I liked the way that it looked.

This is from the Documented Life Project and the challenge was to use layers that you love and to see how many layers you could use. I had fun with this!

This one is also from DLP and the challenge was to use under papers. I chose to use papers that I had printed with my Gelli plate. I had a marathon art journaling session on Valentine’s Day and although I was alone, art journaling was a very nice way to spend the day in a snowstorm. It made the day special for me.

This page is from Journal52 and I am doing quick and easy postcard size art and taping it into a calendar planner. This must have been done on Valentine’s Day too and yes I am an incurable romantic and no I don’t want to be with just anybody which is why I have been alone a long while.

Another DLP piece and the challenge for this one was to use a repeated shape. I photographed previous work and glued it down for this page, then added the small dream catcher like circles as ornament and the words that I was feeling at the moment. The work came from a circle book I made with round pages that I had painted with watercolors, written an inspirational word on each page and then stamped them with my hand carved leaves stamp. It is fun re-using your work in another art piece.

I did this today for DLP and wanted to show my work table - the dining room table covered with a vinyl tablecloth. The challenge was to use 5 layers and I did something simple - paint, paint, and more paint and then I used punchinella (sequin waste with little holes) followed by an interesting circles stencil. I didn’t use any water, which is something I really like to do, because the Dylusions journal does not like getting wet and the pages really buckle when you work the paint wet.

This piece was from Life Book and it doesn’t look anything like the lesson seeds of love but I enjoyed doing the layering and used my awesome tree stencil over the layers to give it a floaty look. I added some sideways writing along the trees.


Mary MacIlvain

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01/25/15
January Journal52
Filed under: General, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Art Journal, Quotes, Journal52
Posted by: Mary @ 7:29 pm

Journal52 2015 is a free continuation of Journal52 2014. There are creative prompts each week and there is a group on Facebook for sharing work with over 9,800 members. You can sign up to get the Journal52 prompts via email here. I am having a lot of fun with this and the prompts are great. I am doing my art on a 4″x6″ postcard size piece of watercolor paper and then taping my art into a Japanese woodcut art planner that I found at Barnes & Noble. Here is what I did for the first three weeks.



Mary MacIlvain

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January Life Book
Filed under: General, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Art Journal, Quotes, Life Book
Posted by: Mary @ 7:23 pm

Life Book is run by Tamara Laporte from the UK and there are students from all over the world. The lessons are challenging but it is very wonderful. You can learn more about Life Book and the 25 awesome teachers and sign up for the year long class here. Life Book is quite reasonable priced and there are free classes here too. There is a Facebook group for sharing your artwork and there is a Flickr group too, with over 3,200 people taking Life Book this year. These are the 9″x12″ pages that I did for the first three weeks. I did not do every lesson presented this month as there was so much there. I chose to do the lessons that most inspired me.



Mary MacIlvain

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January Documented Life Project
Filed under: General, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Art Journal, Documented Life
Posted by: Mary @ 7:11 pm

The Documented Life Project 2015 is a free continuation of DLP 2014 but this year there is a dedicated classroom and learning space and you can sign up to join at the Art to the 5th Academy. There are weekly prompts with inspiration/ideas and photo sharing in this social network. There are over 6,000 members in this worldwide group! Here are my spreads for the second and third weeks of DLP. I am working in the recommended large Dylusions journal which is quite nice but you can use any art journal that you like.


Mary MacIlvain

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January Book of Days
Filed under: General, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Art Journal, Book of Days, Quotes
Posted by: Mary @ 6:58 pm

Here are my week 1 and week 2 spreads from the Book of Days 2015 V1 Ordinary Beauty class with Effy Wild.This class is really resonating with me. I have been taking art journaling classes with Effy for three years now and each year just gets better. Effy shares so many techniques and ideas and she is really awesome. There are both free and paid classes on her ning network and this is a wonderful and supportive social network with over 2400 members. There is a group on Facebook too. Art journaling helps you to sort through things in life and find your true self. It is very empowering.


Mary MacIlvain

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01/04/15
January Week 1 Art
Filed under: General, Mixed Media, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal, Creative Every Day, Book of Days, Quotes, Documented Life, Life Book, Journal52
Posted by: Mary @ 7:05 pm

I was feeling a little under the weather this weekend and spent a lot of time on the couch reading. I am reading this fascinating e-book memoir called Sketchbooks by Lisa Sonora. She talks about her personal creative practice and she intersperses discussions about dealing with major trauma in her life. I usually read books in print but it has been hard to put my Kindle down, her story is so captivating. She shows such vulnerability and honesty it is truly heartwarming. She provides great inspiration for those of us who have experienced trauma in life and spend a lot of time looking inward. Creating art is a positive way of making sense of your life and moving forward.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” ~ Socrates

I was discouraged tonight because it seemed like I had not accomplished that much this weekend. Weekends are my time for art and I felt that my time had been wasted. I didn’t work on the altered card deck that I started last week, I can’t get motivated to work on an art quilt, and I didn’t get through all of the Life Book class videos for week 1 so that I could start on the lesson. But when I looked around the house (and in my smart phone photo gallery) I realized that I had created some very thoughtful pieces. Sometimes I have unreasonable expectations of myself and push myself too hard. Sometimes? Often. That is just the way I am.


Mary MacIlvain

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01/01/15
New Year Abundance
Filed under: General, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal, Creative Every Day, ATCs, Book of Days, Documented Life
Posted by: Mary @ 1:51 pm

All of my online art classes opened up today and I am so thrilled to be continuing on with these year long adventures in creativity. It feels like such an abundance of joy. Yesterday I went to the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme with a friend to see the Life Stories in Art exhibit. There were three concurrent exhibitions:  paintings by Mary Rogers Williams, glass art by Kari Russell-Pool, and sculptures by Mary Knollenberg. It was not that long ago that women were not recognized as artists in their own right and with time that has changed. It is interesting to note that the mixed media art circles that I currently run in are populated mostly by women. This type of art is not usually embraced by the mainstream art community. But you know what? We don’t care. We are coming together in community and we are expressing ourselves through art that is meaningful to us. We are breaking new ground and finding ourselves in the process.

Here are the classes I am taking, in no particular order:

Life Book 2015, with a lineup of 25 teachers worldwide http://www.willowing.org/life-book-2015/

Book of Days 2015 V1, art journaling with Effy Wild http://effywild.com/book-of-days/

The Documented Life Project 2015, with Art to the 5th http://www.art5academy.com/the-studio/the-documented-life-project-free

Journal52 2015, art journal workshop with Chelle Stein http://journal52.com/

Flow, 30 day journal project with Lisa Sonora http://www.lisasonora.com/

Radiant Faces, with 9 teachers including Effy Wild http://effywild.com/radiant/

And I have my own projects that I will be working on throughout the year, like canvas painting, altered card decks, ATCs, twinchies (two inch squares of art), small art quilts, and monoprinting with my new gelli plate that I got for Christmas.

This is the cover I painted for the Documented Life Project

This is the cover I painted for Book of Days

And a New Year’s post would not be complete without mentioning my one little word for the upcoming year. The tradition of choosing one word to guide you throughout the year was originally begun by Ali Edwards. Here is a link to my post for the new year two years ago Grow: Word for 2013 There is no post for last year as I had taken a 9 month sabbatical from blogging, but my word then was trust. My word for 2015 is illustrated here in collage from one of my altered card decks. I chose this word to honor my feelings inside for someone special who has come into my life.


Mary MacIlvain

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12/14/14
‘Tis the Season
Filed under: General, Photography, Creativity, Inspiration, Family and Friends, Creative Every Day, Quotes
Posted by: Mary @ 11:34 am

December brings the winter solstice and the shortest day of the year. December brings holidays, family gatherings, and renewal of friendships. December brings a flurry of activities as well as a quiet contemplation of all the things in life to be grateful for, however large or small. December can also be a lonely time and it is important to reach out to others and let them know that you are there. It is also important to reach out to others when you are feeling alone as that will bring you outside of your inner world.

I have experienced a tremendous amount of growth and healing this year. From somewhat tentative steps taken over the past few years to make my life better, I have found self acceptance and self confidence that was not there before. I have been through a lot of very difficult times but I kept going and did not give up. There are a number of things that have made a difference in my life and I want to honor those here.

• Online art communities, online art classes, and art journaling

• Deepened, reciprocal relationships with my children as young adults

• My job, where I feel a sense of belonging and appreciation

• My friends, there for me even when I feel a need to pull back and withdraw

• My family, always there even when we don’t see each other often enough

• My doctors, who keep me healthy - can’t say enough good things about them

• My favorite person, for making it safe to open my heart and to trust

• The earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, the water, the sky above us all

• My faith in God and my belief that everything happens for a reason


Mary MacIlvain

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11/22/14
Fall Quilt Retreat
Filed under: General, Quilt Art, Creativity, Inspiration, Family and Friends, Design, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 7:21 pm

I went to a three day quilt retreat with the Greater Middletown - Heart of the Valley Quilt Guild at YMCA Camp Hazen in Chester, Connecticut a couple of weeks ago and wanted to share about my experiences there. I have not been able to participate in any quilt activities the past 6 months because of my cataracts. After the cataracts healed from the surgery in October and I got my new glasses, I was able to thread a needle again, so I was a last minute signup for the retreat and filled the last empty spot. I have been attending quilt retreats for well over 10 years (see Quilt Retreat and Friendship) and these respites from daily life with good friends are very important to me.

Usually I go to a retreat with too many projects to complete and I stay up late and don’t take enough time to relax and visit with friends. This time I was the first one in bed on Friday night instead of doing marathon sewing and being one of the last ones going to bed. I signed up for a chair massage by the fireplace on Saturday and that was wonderful as all the tension in my shoulders melted away. I worked on some small journal page size experimental art quilt pieces without having any plan in mind. I signed up for the art doll class with the talented and creative Pat Gardiner. Her dolls have been exhibited widely including Houston Quilt Festival, the biggest quilt show on earth. While this was not a doll I would have chosen to make on my own, it was a fun experience and everyone in the class enjoyed themselves in the process of making the dolls and sharing our own stories.

Friends are important - the good, healthy kinds of friends who don’t have a hidden agenda and have your best interests at heart. These are the friends who accept you as you are and don’t expect you to compromise your values or do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. They don’t cross or push your boundaries - they respect your autonomy as a person and your right to be who you are. That is what friends are all about.

Here are some photos from the quilt retreat. Enjoy!


Mary MacIlvain

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10/31/14
My Little Book
Filed under: General, Book Arts, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal, Creative Every Day, Quotes
Posted by: Mary @ 9:21 pm

I finished my little book tonight. There has been an ongoing problem with the underside of my thumb and right now it is being wrapped in duct tape in hopes of solving the problem. My surgeon examined my teeny-weeny itty-bitty thumb and he said no, he does not want to do surgery on my little thumb, so let’s try something crazy instead, hence the designer duct tape. It has been difficult to sew, write, draw, and use markers for a long while now, although painting has not been a problem. Somehow things got easier with the duct tape wrap and I was able to finish this spontaneous project that I started last weekend.

The book is made of four 7.5″x11′ pieces of watercolor paper folded in half and stitched together with yarn using three holes that I made with my awl. I used my ink blot technique to create a background for each page. I did the paint dribbling process all at once in the book over my masonite painting board without waiting for anything to dry and made a big mess. It was a lot of fun! While the book was drying, I went through my selfies and printed a page of those in wallet size. Then I found quotations from one of the altered card decks I made and printed out a page of those. These quotations were from the book Brave Intuitive Painting by Flora Bowley. When the book was thoroughly dry I added the selfies and quotations to the book with gluestick. I outlined each item with my Tombow markers and tonight I added one handwritten word for each photo and another faint line with a white gel pen. Those single words came from another altered card deck so in a way I am recycling or repurposing my work. Here is my finished book!


Mary MacIlvain

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10/19/14
The Impermanence of Things
Filed under: General, Quilt Art, Creativity, Inspiration, Quilting, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 12:20 pm

Yesterday I went to the New Britain Museum of American Art (NBMAA) for my Connecticut Chapter meeting of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA-CT). It’s a wonderful museum and I love going there. SAQA-CT meets in various places around the state as we draw members from all over the state. The meeting was inspiring and energetic as usual with discussions about upcoming art quilting initiatives. We took a long break in the middle of the meeting to view the new exhibit, Let Me Quilt One More Day, with invitational quilts from Connecticut quilt artists as well as quilts that span the past 250 years.  The exhibit runs until January 4, 2015 and is a must see. Syl will be there to greet you :-)

It is always great to see the art quilt pieces that members have created. I am a fairly new member and was fortunate enough to meet several quilt artists yesterday who are working in mixed media as well. It is not that easy to find people locally who are doing this kind of work which crosses boundaries and spans different art media in one piece. Most people tend to focus on one type of expression and develop a body of work based upon that, whether it be painting, collage, photography, sculpture, art quilting, surface design, bookmaking, doll making, or something else. If you have a lot of interests it is difficult to limit yourself to just one thing and it is hard to choose. The good news is that you don’t have to choose - you can do whatever you want. It’s your art piece and your expression of what you feel inside and want to bring to life.

The wall of cups at the museum is gone. It has been there in the stairwell for a long while and I knew it was temporary but I was still sad to see it go. I found this picture I took of it the first time I saw it. It’s an installation piece and the entire piece was made of plastic drinking cups that are adhered to the wall in a swirling pattern. It was fascinating to walk around it and look at it and I wish that I had more photos but I don’t. But I will always have my memories of being in the same space as this beautiful work of art and what I was feeling at that time. It does speak to the ephemeral nature of life and the impermanence of things. All things must pass and nothing lasts forever. It is so important to enjoy what you have and the people in your life and be thankful.

You can see the edge of the blue Chihuly glass sculpture on the side of the cup photo. To fill the void left by the removal of the wall of cups , they have brought in a companion Chihuly piece to share space with the existing sculpture. The two glass sculptures are quite striking appearing together like this, as if in a dance of light. When two people come together with feelings of love they each bring their own light with them and together they make a greater light that is more than what was there before. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. And yes, that is how I feel and I hope somehow you know this and understand.

It was a delightful day at the museum bringing warm thoughts and feelings to my heart. A day like this lets you leave worries behind and rejoice in being alive. It also makes you realize what is important and what isn’t worth getting upset about. I do fine hand work and like to embellish my small quilts with beads, buttons, charms, yarn, sea glass, shells, and other things, but I have not been able to sew with a hand sewing needle, except with great difficulty, for about a year now. I am finally facing up to the problem with my hand not being successfully treated by the regular doctor, so I am seeing a hand surgeon on Friday to talk about my options and schedule surgery. I need to be able to sew little objects onto things, not just quilts but paper too, so I am going for it! Glue is fine but stitching is more permanent, even in an impermanent world. SAQA-CT will be mounting a second Local Color exhibit in 2016 and I want to create an awesome piece that will get juried into the show.


Mary MacIlvain

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10/12/14
Altered Card Deck Flip Through + Tutorial
Filed under: General, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Creative Every Day, ATCs, Quotes
Posted by: Mary @ 8:50 am

I love creating altered card decks based on ATCs (Artist Trading Cards)! I start with an ordinary deck of playing cards and by transforming them through art they become an inspiration full of quotes and ideas that can be held and flipped through.

I have created a tutorial to share with you. There is a PDF with step by step instructions to download here.

There is a flip through video with some of my favorite ATCs to view on my YouTube channel here.


Mary MacIlvain

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10/05/14
Fall is in the Air
Filed under: General, Photography, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal, Book of Days, Quotes
Posted by: Mary @ 12:43 pm

Fall is a time for renewal and rebirth,
for growth, change, and transformation.
Fall is a time for  examining where you’ve been,
where you are, and where you’re going.
Fall is a time for chili in the crockpot
and crunching leaves as you walk along outside.
Fall is a time for losing yourself
and then finding yourself once again.
Fall is a time for centering yourself
and for going deep inside to the wellspring.
Fall is a time for reaching out, seeking,
and connecting with kindred souls.
Fall is a time for lovers to know
the depth of feelings that they share.

Usually I write a poem on paper first with a lot of crossouts and changes, but this one flowed right out of my fingers through the keyboard. I have Pandora music on in the background playing the New Age channel. Fall is my favorite time of year and it brings such good things for me. I have always lived in New England with the cycle of the four seasons and it is a strong part of how I mark the passage of time.

I am spending some time in the kitchen today. My son is coming over and we are going to enjoy a variety of foods… chili, guacamole and chips, penne augustine, and apple crisp. Those seemed like the right things to make on a fall day. Spending time preparing food to share with loved ones can be a sacred, meditational act.


Mary MacIlvain

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Power Elements
Filed under: General, Photography, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal
Posted by: Mary @ 12:39 pm

In the Book of Days 2014 Volume Three art journaling class we explored four power elements as part of a mini-series in this 12 week class. The four power elements are illustrated in the following four art journal spreads. I chose to use selfies instead of painted self portraits as I do not enjoy painting portraits and I wanted this to be fun for me. The facial expressions of the photos I chose reflect the feeling of the element. One of the things that I love about taking classes with Effy is that she presents the lessons in detail and encourages you to do your own take on the ideas. She also lets you download the art instructional videos which is so generous. I have been taking classes with Effy for two years now and she is an inspiration. Effy is teaching in Life Book again this year, a celebration and honouring of you. Life Book is an awesome year long mixed media art class run by Tamara Laporte from the UK and there are 25 inspiring teachers in all. I love taking online art classes - the videos are great and I can go at my own pace and fit the classes into my life.

Here are my four spreads: To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Be Silent. Simple and yet powerful. Sometimes something simple says a lot more than something complex.


Mary MacIlvain

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