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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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