The fall leaves in New England always inspire me. This year I did not go on a far flung quest north of here for the perfect moment of leaf peeping foliage viewing. Somehow just being with the leaves here in central Connecticut as they quietly go through their changes has made me reflect on how seasons pass and time changes all.
I have been doing a lot of different creative things since the last post on my blog. Last week I carved some leaf stamps using a Staedtler MasterCarve block and a Speedball Lino Cutter Assortment from Blick Art Materials. It was very easy to cut which was great for me as I don’t have much hand strength and can’t cut linoleum blocks. I painted some wet passages with cerulean blue and ultramarine blue Winsor & Newton Galeria acrylics (I like to work wet) in one of my smaller Strathmore Art Journals. After that dried I grabbed my assortment of stamp pads, stamped some random leaves, and then used a purchased longhand script writing block stamp which I just love. The colors paint my mood at that moment: deep pools of dreaming deep.
What else have I done? I filled a written journal in just 5 months - usually it takes me a year or more to fill a written journal. I usually have a number of art journals going at once but those are worked in sporadically and do not chronicle a sense of time for me. That may change. I have not actually completed one yet as art journaling is something new that I just got into about a year and a half ago after taking the 21 Secrets art journaling e-course at Dirty Footprints Studio. My written journals are a private tool for self discovery and growth and I don’t share them with anyone. That is a boundary issue for me and it is important to have personal boundaries, whatever they might be, to keep yourself healthy and protected. I have written journals that go way back and I always make a point to try to be positive in them as it is not uplifting to go back and read a depressing rant years later.
I have submitted work for publication which is a scary but important step in growth. I sent an abstract quilt diptych (the actual piece was mailed to California) and article for consideration to Art Quilting Studio by Somerset Publications. And I submitted a high-res image of a small quilted piece based on an assignment, in consideration for an upcoming book called Geography of Loss by Patti Digh. It is taking a risk, putting yourself out there and trying to get published. You have to be strong enough to accept rejection which is inevitable in this process and realize and affirm to yourself that your work is good enough and may just not be the right piece for the particular publication or issue.
I would like to end this post with some words about commitment. I have made a commitment to be true to myself and to fully be myself: be is my word for 2012. My intention from here on in is to follow my inner voice and listen to the inner child inside of me who speaks to the creative heart and soul of my being. We can’t hear our inner voice if we are listening to everyone else. We need to choose to listen to another art spirit who inspires and rings true for us. And we can’t be who others want us to be. We can only be ourselves and that is who we need to bring to the table. Prolific writer Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) has said before that it is just your job to show up. That’s it: just you, not someone else who you think you should be.