Studio Diaries 4: Art Day, Journals & Robots

Day Dry Brushing

Getting back to Art Day with my sister Shannon this weekend gave me that wonderful feeling of things finally settling down just a bit. It’s amazing how grounding it is to be back to your normal routine! Though, actually, that’s a bit ironic for this Art Day because we worked on our next Y is for Yellow class by Carla Sonheim, which invited us to really get out of our comfort zone and try things we don’t usually do.  For me that meant abstracts (okay, I did paint a fish) and working with a more neutral palette. It cracks me up that I ended up using a lot of green, which Shannon tends to use, and she had a fair bit of pinks and blues on her palette, which I tend to use. I guess that means we followed the rules!

There were times in this exercise that I felt completely in the weeds. I had no idea where to start or how to develop an abstract painting. I still don’t! But the wonderful thing was I didn’t panic. I didn’t get mad or even particularly frustrated. I just kept painting. In the moment there were two things that helped me keep going and eventually finish with paintings I quite like.

The first was Carla’s instruction to keep going until you liked it. I really committed to that and I trusted (mostly) that eventually that would happen.

The second was that after I had been painting for some time and was still not liking the results, I got curious. What was I doing or not doing? One thing I noticed was that I was being very protective of the two little bits I did like on the painting. Every choice that I was making was to protect those bits but nothing else was working. It was only when I decided to let them go and trust that I’d find something else to like that I did!

Gentler Skies

I love doing collage work too and have been wanting to do more of it. This weekend I gave myself a little bit of time to start developing a piece. I really enjoyed just pulling together this and that and seeing where they led me – clearly to gentler skies!

Escher in the House

I think Escher was on the same page! (I love that on Facebook Michaela called him a Purrito!)

by Shuttlewerks
by Shuttlewerks

Today in addition to working with my brilliant clients, I popped out to put more Give a Girl a Journal packages in the mail. Girls in Ontario and across the US (Florida, Arizona, Texas, New Jersey and North Carolina) as well as girls in Germany, Australia and India will be getting journals soon! Feeling inspired, I took the scenic route back and I’m glad I did. Check out the robots I saw on the way home.
by Shuttlewerks

Now that’s a sentence you don’t hear every day!

Prompts for Your Studio…

  • What routines help you feel grounded?
  • Book an Art Day for yourself. I know “Art Day” sounds really ambitious but we spend about 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon creating. What time can you give yourself?
  • Get outside your comfort zone by experimenting with the opposite of what you normally do. This can apply in life too, not just in art. If you always dress in neutrals, try something bright. If you always make the most efficient choice, try the most leisurely. Where can trying the opposite stretch you?
  • Is there anywhere that holding onto what you like is actually holding you back?
  • Where might you find some gentler skies?
  • Be a part of the circle of magic that is Give a Girl a Journal.
  • What did you see on the way home today?

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If you’ve been looking for a place to fill your creative well, to discover your creative self, to stretch your creative wings, Jamie Ridler Studios is here for you.

When you sign up, you will get a 10% discount on all classes and access to abundant free resources such as Studio Forum recordings on topics such as Journaling, Creative Habits & Challenges! Plus you will receive a weekly email love letter and occasional announcements for courses and offerings.


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