Friday, July 13, 2012

Natures Beauty

Sometimes we all need a little boost of motivation, especially when it comes to forming an art habit that lasts a lifetime.  Several years ago, when I was devoid of motivation, I stumbled across The Sketchbook Challenge.  The concept of it appealed to me as it was an art challenge designed around building a sketchbook habit.

The rules were simple...there were none.  Each month Sue Bleiweiss and her team of fabulously talented creatives, would post about a theme, and each month participants would scribble away in their sketchbook, interpreting the theme in any way they chose, posting their pages on Flickr.

The thing I loved the most was that the participants came from all walks of creative life, and the sketching abilities of everyone was so varied.  Shortly after I started this challenge, about 18 months ago, I received an email from Sue, asking if I would be willing to submit a page or two of my work for a book she was writing.

At the time, I was very new to this public art thing.  I'd been creating for decades, teaching, learning, playing, but I never showed my work, nor did I sell it.  I was thrilled and honored when Sue asked me to be involved.  She sent me a theme, and mentored me through the process, encouraging me to set up this blog along the way.

This month, her book, The Sketchbook Challenge, has been released.  The program itself is more active than ever, with thousands of participants from around the globe enjoying the same creative inspiration as I did nearly two years ago. 

Sue's book is filled with projects and ideas by some very talented mixed media artists.  One of the pages I produced has made it into the book and I thought I'd share it with you here.  This butterfly mandala was done using Twinkling H2O's and Ink over white gesso with a flourish of fine glitter. I used a masking fluid resist technique and painted, sponged, and splattered the colors over the top. 

If you'd like to challenge yourself to build creativity into your life and you're not sure where to start, then I recommend you check out The Sketchbook Challenge blog, pick up a copy of the book, get yourself a free Flickr account, and start sharing your work. Engaging with other like-minded people is extremely rewarding, and building a creative habit into your life is the best thing you can do for yourself.  This challenge changed everything for me, and I have Sue Bleiweiss to thank for it.

Thanks for checking in. xx