Wednesday, November 6, 2013
I've fallen in love. With Stencils. And painting with stencils. And spraying ink with stencils. And layering with stencils.
I took a class with Dina Wakley up in Charlotte a few weeks ago during Art Journaling Live and am hooked. After a rough, challenging day at work on Monday, I snuck out early (1730...5:30 p.m.) and planted myself at my painting table for about four hours. It was perfect! The piece above is one of the most finished set of pages. I probably worked on about 25 different sheets of paper or pages all at once just because the palette I had out was so fun to play with.
I find that the more paint I have on my hands the better my piece will progress!
Happy Happy Joy Joy
Thursday, October 24, 2013
I left every meeting during my duty day today with my mouth hanging open in awe. I am in awe of the challenges ahead for Fiscal Year 2014 and the radical cuts that are coming in the programs my squadron owns and manages. I've been in the job a little over four months and today it became clear that the rest of my tenure will be focused on managing the cuts. My worklife will be focused on coming up with options and priorities...what activities are more important to readiness and which ones can we do without? And I thought I was feeling stressed lately...it's only the beginning!
But, that leads me to my set of pics for today. In an effort to find healthy stress relief, I have been digging into my massive hoard of art supplies. I spend a couple of nights every week at my work table painting, glueing, drawing, coloring, studying, cutting, imagining, writing, and all-around escaping from the "real world" into a world of color, texture, mistakes, messes, fonts, brushes, markers, and joy.
It really all started a few weeks ago when I met up with my friend, Michelle, for a day of art play. We totally took over her kitchen table and for almost eight hours never really took a break from just playing. She got me started with inspiration from artist Mindy Lacefield. Mindy is all about getting back to basics...making art is like making magic and should be fun and exciting and serious and frivolous all in one. She has a particular way of painting a face and share's the technique in her new book, Wild Surrender. There's really no one who could copy her spirit, but I looooove the basics of the faces and have wildly surrendered into making lots of them!!
Michelle pushed me to go with the flow and at the end of the day I had several little people added to my life! Their personalities are all different, but they all look back at me as if to say...you are a pretty cool chick and these bright colors and textures Rock! :) I respond with a generous thank you and a sink full of wet, rinsed paint brushes and a stack of journals in the works. Oh, and then I take them all in for show and tell at the office in the morning. It's probably weird that I'm the boss and I want people to tell me my stuff is cool, but I do it anyway! haaaaaaaaaaaaa
Here's one that's based on my feelings of freedom and escape while running on the beach at the Isle of Palms.
In reality, it's just this table that is my magic making studio and my wands are the brushes and pens that are becoming more and more familiar to me. I may not be a master artist by most standards, but I am certainly mastering how art can bring peace and joy into an otherwise overwhelming world of decisions, stress, and unbelievable challenges. These little journals provide a window that I can jump through into another time and place.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
I finally made a friend here in Charleston...a fellow commander who has just as much stress on the job as I do and needs someone to talk to about it. Plus, she's a great role model for eating healthy--but well!--and getting outdoors and having fun.
Tonight we went out for a chocolate-beer pair tasting at a brewery over in Mt. Pleasant: Westbrook. It's not exactly the appropriate "meal" for my low-carb, low-cal diet (in prep for my November PT test) but it was amazing!! I've lived in Italy and have felt the magic of just the right wine with just the right bite of food. It can make serious magic. Who knew that a delectable little truffle could make a sip of beer sing?!
It was so funny...with one little nip of sweets and a sip of pale ale, I was just smiling! Sure, you can't go wrong with chocolate and beer, but this was a whole new way of looking at it.
To this post's title...The night started out with a piece of chocolate missing from each of our places. The server (aka the brewer's wife) explained that the chocolatier forgot to bring the vanilla bean/dark chocolate piece to pair with the crazy dark brew. She says, "the angry chocolatier's wife" is driving through rush hour traffic back to the shop to pick them up. I stopped the girl and made her repeat the phrase, "angry chocolatier's wife" because it just sounded so awesome. Seriously. I want to make that the title of a book! Alas, I'm using it here and that'll have to work.
Such a simple evening...fun conversation, interesting tastes, meeting new people, and laughing out loud. It was just a genuinely fun night.
Posted by Jen Judd at 20:31
Monday, September 9, 2013
making : my house into a home for two cats and a girl.
cooking : super-healthy dinners comprised of baked Tostitos and cheese with an occasional grape thrown in.
drinking : a cold beer, light of course.
reading : a great little Barbara Kingsolver novel, Pigs in Heaven, that I found on my shelf.
wanting : to like exercising more.
looking : around me and appreciating the little things, like dinosaurs in alleys.
playing : with a big-ass set of magic markers that I just had to have while hopped up on Benadryl after getting a big-ass wasp sting in my bootie.
wasting : energy on wondering what else I should be doing right now when there's really nothing more important than letting my brain wander.
sowing : inspiration and new expectations around my squadron.
wishing : that I can get rid of the house I own in northern Virginia without totally screwing up my security clearance so I can retire free and clear!
enjoying : every item I tackle on my little to-do lists stacked up here on notecards.
waiting : for my shy kitty to just walk over here and say hello.
liking : the promise of cooler weather in September and the ensuing outdoor napping opportunities.
wondering : why I can't become a morning person so I can get workouts in earlier.
loving : the sunshine coming in the workshop window now that I trimmed the crap out of the shrubs outside and threw the branches over the back yard fence.
hoping : my squadron fulfills its potential for awesomeness!
marvelling : at the arts and crafts supplies I have that are crying out to become messy, amazing, and loved.
needing : some social connections.
smelling : kitty breath and stale cereal.
wearing : my favorite pink butterfly pajama pants that are threadbare but perfect.
following : the news about Syria because it freaks me out.
noticing : how much I look like my mother.
knowing : I can be considered an expert in some things.
thinking : I need more time to just think.
bookmarking : meetup groups and volunteer opportunities around Charleston so I can meet people and do good things.
opening : my dishwasher to see if I remembered to push "go" before I left this morning.
giggling : at funny internet cat videos...sometimes I just can't stop watching.
feeling : exhausted and exhilarated.
Posted by Jen Judd at 19:17
Sunday, August 4, 2013
Thursday, August 1, 2013
I'm excited! I need to reconnect to my blog friends and make a little jewelry. What better way than to join in a challenge...the 2nd Annual Challenge of Travel hosted by Erin of Tesori Trovati.
The challenge isn't so much about traveling far...instead we need to travel near in the spirit of a staycation. So, I get to focus on my recently-found home, Charleston.
Recently I've been feeling in a funk a bit because I'm just so focused on the job I haven't really been spending any energy on the rest of my life...my evenings are boring and my weekends are even worse. Luckily, my mom came to visit and got me out. Now, this week I'm hosting my sister and her girlfriend and all of their boys...four of them from ages 8 to 11. I had no idea the noise level and just overall confusion could go up within seconds of them walking through the door. It's awesome. Makes me appreciate the peace and quiet I normally have around here that I would generally assume is boring. We are doing all sorts of things around Charleston and the local towns, so I'm already embracing the spirit! Today, for instance, we toured a cypress swamp with a guide named Cowboy, rang the bell at the top of the climbing wall, played basketball (I watched and sweated), shopped at the Base Exchange for sunglasses, ate at a dive bar where the kids enjoyed reading vulgarity written on the table, and broke in my noodles in the neighborhood pool. The day isn't even over yet!
So, I'm going to take a lot more field trips, even if I'm on my own, and get some inspiration for this challenge!!
Check out this Hipstamatic shot of an amazing flower (which I just figured out is a lotus!!) from the huge selection at Cypress Gardens today:
I'll probably end up facing an over-inspiration problem by the end of the month...and that's a good thing!!