Spring Ahead!

Spring Ahead!

After 2 years in the Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Counseling Program at NVCC I am now finishing up the last class with just my internship year left to complete; starting next fall! I am feeling energized and excited about new possibilities ahead, but sometimes a bit overwhelmed at putting all the various elements in my life together. In any case it has been a wonderful new direction that I never envisioned for myself, but life led me to it. I feel that this new path will open up new avenues for creating art for recovery in the future. Stay tuned to see how it all materializes…

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Gratitude for the expression of Gratitude!

I am writing about the wonderful feeling I got receiving an envelope of appx.. 30 thank you notes from what I think must be the third grade class that we did our guest author/illustrator presentation of “The Washington Oak Kittens” for several weeks ago.  What a wonderful feeling reading all of those letters gave me!
I am so grateful to get a glimpse of the impact it made and to see everyone’s unique way of expressing their gratitude! I will treasure those notes.  They are something I can pull out when I feel unsure or impatient for the next thing to happen with art.  This note especially (that I have reproduced in my blog) is a reminder to me of one of the best qualities that children possess: nothing they imagine or want seems impossible! They clearly can envision it happening! I remember being that way,  and  know I need to get more of that feeling back .  Just reading that comment about the Caldecott award made me laugh- it actually was in several of the notes!  But then I thought to myself: It is so important to just do what you love and hope for the best, and not get so wrapped up with how things will happen, or what hasn’t produced results in the past, or what might not work in the future- that openness to possibility is the gift in these notes! Maybe as Tyler says: “it isn’t that hard”. So to all the children at the Kent Center School thank you- doing the presentation and receiving your special heartwarming notes has had a profound impact on me. I will remind myself today that even though that was my first book- who knows how many more may still be in my future!  Thank you for wrapping up the perfect experience we had with a perfect ending!

 

Gratitude in a thank you note

Gratitude in a thank you note

thank you note from a student at the Kent Center Elementary School

Washington Oak Kittens, book launch

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Well, my dream of officially being a children’s book illustrator finally happened!  Renee Domogauer  (the author) came from Maryland for a long weekend of book promotional events in the area of Kent CT. We had  lined up 2 presentations at the Kent Elementary School on March 21st, (the day after we met each other for the first time) and one at the Kent Memorial Library on March 22nd. (Internet connections, as well as serendipitous local contacts we each had made all this possible!)  We worked together for most of the year on this via email and phone- it was an exciting collaboration. I felt it was so comfortable working together with Renee.  I now feel like a childhood dream has been fulfilled- it all went so wonderfully- and the photographer (Don Hicks of North Sky Photography) wrapped up our big promotional weekend with a wonderful dinner at his home with our families.  Thank you everyone- 

Wings of Faith

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This is the first painting I have done in the “Hello Soul & Mixed Media”  class.  It was fun to experiment with some new techniques and supplies.  What makes the class so enjoyable is seeing everyone’s work go up on the Facebook community page.  There are artists in this course from many different countries. As we all comment on each others work it is a great way to build an artistic and supportive community online. It’s amazing to find out how much you can have in common with others living half a world away! The words that I want to work on getting into this art in the future are: “Faith is the substance of that which is hoped for, the evidence of that which is not yet seen.” (maybe I’ll add them later with photoshop).  I am hoping to find a card publisher for this.  Working in the area of recovery demands huge amounts of faith, and I want to create more art to inspire those who are struggling in any area.

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I am excited about having signed up for Kelly Rae’s class e-course on mixed media painting!  Although I feel like I have so little time to devote to it at present, I felt it was important to just start.

I am so inspired by the many artists out there that write and put inspirational words into their art.

My chosen mantra to start with in this course is “bloom“.  Here is a quick photo we had to do for the course showing our “mantra” as applied to ourselves.

I am sharing a link to a blog called “A Beautiful Mess” that I find so inspirational, it is about looking for your dream and finding it from a different path in life than you originally envisioned. I seem to be in that place these days where I am searching on how to put together and balance various interests, career paths, etc. to fit my life for now.

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My inspiration for today has come from reading other artists blogs and seeing their art.  One of my favorites is Kelly Rae Roberts.  Seeing the journey of how her journaling and working as a counselor combined with her art is fascinating to me.  I have kind of done things in the reverse order.  Working in art freelancing since the beginning of my career, (around a variety of other jobs) it took me years to find my style.  I had a good run with my holiday designs and had many images that were licensed for other uses through the 100+ images I have represented with Illustration Source (This illustration is one in that collection).
Now I want to create new art that combines inspirational messages for recovery, and being lifted up spiritually. That will be the theme in my next body of work-more art from the heart, and my life experience that will have some of those encouraging messages that we all need to anchor ourselves through life’s ups and downs.  The challenge is with my job and school there is so little time right now.  I know I can produce some art this summer though, when I have a break from school. I hope my journey in putting words with my art, and hopefully reigniting my art career in a new direction will just naturally unfold if I just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I know God will find a way to use and combine  it all…

New book I illustrated

New book I illustrated

This is the cover of the first children’s book I have illustrated. It is a charming story based on a true story that took place in Gaylordsville, Connecticut. This has been a long time goal of mine. The book is now available, just click the image to go to the authors site.