"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake." - Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country
Just about two years ago to the day, I began, or more accurately, resumed, my art journey. As a kid I loved to do arts and crafts. I sewed, knitted, did embroidery, but most of all I liked to draw. All I needed was some paper and pencils for that. I remember one Christmas my parents gave me a tackle/art box with real art pencils and paper and a book on drawing. It really meant a lot to me. I never took art classes, fearing I wasn't "good enough" and therefore afraid to get a bad grade. Ah, if I knew then what I know now, I'd have certainly done things differently.
As I became older, though I continued to draw here and there, my creative pursuits took me into the kitchen. There cooking and mostly baking, became my creative focus and outlet. I relished my culinary explorations. At one point along the way I took an introductory watercolor class and a drawing class in a local adult ed program. I really enjoyed both, but the demands of working and raising kids didn't leave me much time to practice, so it again went away. Then about 2 years ago I was diagnosed with some auto-immune conditions and told to eliminate dairy, sugar, soy, gluten....pretty much all the yummy stuff. I quickly realized that it would be difficult for me to prepare those foods and not want to gobble them up. So in the interest of my health (a work in progress), I decided I needed some other creative outlet in my life outside of the kitchen. So I decided to go down the art road.
I googled art classes in my area and could find nothing. Or I'd find something only to find out it lead nowhere. In my searching I discovered lots of artists not in my area who had on-line presences. People like Dina Wakely, Donna Downey, Stephanie Ackerman, Junelle Jacobsen, TIm Holz, CeeCee and so many others. I began searching YouTube videos for any and all art tutorials, especially in mixed media. Along the way I happened upon an art journaling project that was free called Journal 52. I started that sometime in January 2014. I was really (and I mean REALLY) hesitant in my creating, again afraid to really suck at it, afraid I wouldn't measure up to the other artists out there (and believe me there are some amazingly talented people out there making it all look very effortless). Although I never completed even close to 52 entries, I did what I could and tried new things all over the place. I am still and will forever be learning, a perpetual student. I see I am growing and improving (that is when I am not making something that still looks like a 5 year old's work). Most and best of all, it is exactly what I want to be doing creatively. It fills a void in me that traditional cooking and baking used to occupy, and it isn't bad for my health in any way. When I start working on a project, I completely lose myself in it. Time stand stills and I am connected to something greater than myself. It's heaven. If you have ever felt the urge to get messy with art supplies and create something, I would encourage you with my whole heart to just start.
Tomorrow I will post a little mixed media tag tutorial of sorts. In the meantime here are just a few samples of work completed by me in the last 2 years.
all artwork by me, Lynda Byrnes- copyright 2016.