The Value of Story

September9

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While working on the PDF file for my Teens Self-esteem Journal DVD i realized that I should have storyboarded the entire thing BEFOREHAND to make life WAY easier for myself.  Now i have to go through 2 hours of video footage step by step to find out what i did and in what order so that i can write the PDF file to accompany the video files.  Ack!!!!!!!  Also i found that i was packing so much information into the videos that i had forgotten to take some photos (to put in the PDF file) of certain projects so had to duplicate them and photograph them.  Life would have been much easier had I first created a storyboard of the project Smile. Oh well – live and learn eh?

Telling Stories through narrative and art

Which brings me to the book I’m reading by Daniel PinkA Whole New Mind.  Daniel talks about the importance of story and storytelling rather than simply stating facts which do not engage people.  Daniel mentioned StoryCorps which is an American company that records people’s stories and preserves them. People are crazy about documenting their lives and sharing them with other people.  Think about the amazing popularity of Scrapbooking?  That only confirms our obsession with story.  My Mom’s life would not be as joyful if she didn’t have scrapbooking as a hobby.

Video documenting my parent’s lives

A couple of years ago i video taped my Mom and Step Dad.  I asked them to tell stories of their past from the time they were little up until now.  They were kind of shy at first but after getting going they riffed for a long time…..in fact i had to stop them since i had run out of tape!  The video was to be a gift for my grown children so they could remember the stories of their grandparents.

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Remember this self-portrait i created for the self-portrait challenge? Well the bottom half of the page is what i thought about while creating this art journal page.  My Mom had told me a little story about my grandfather and how he loved his flowers (something she had NEVER told me before).  I never met my 2 grandfathers – they died before i was born.  So i relied on stories my Mom told me to feel some kind of connection to them.  Recently when my Mom told me about my grandfather saying goodbye to each and everyone of his roses before going off to the hospital for heart surgery I cried. She said it was as if he knew he was not coming back. And he didn’t as he died during the surgery.

I cried because i felt a connection to my grandfather since i too talk to my flowers (the only one in my family) – i had always felt like a Freak – but now i feel a kinship with my Grandfather thanks to the power of story.

Last week i had promised you a Contest Giveaway but my interview questions to the author got lost in the ethers and so hopefully i will have the answers and contest giveaway on Monday or Tuesday. My apologies!

I hope you all have a marvellous weekend.  We are enjoying a fabulous late summer here on the West coast of Canada! Hooray!

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    Self-portrait Challenge: Day 30 Hooray!

    August31

    portrait_blackberries1

    This is the photo i worked from.

    portrait_watercolor1

    Blue bowl and blackberries

    Don’t ask me why i gave myself yellow hair?  I think that it’s more difficult to manipulate watercolours than acrylics– once they’re down they are down!  I used ordinary cardstock rather than watercolour paper also i used a small Koi watercolour set to colour in the image.  I resisted the urge to outline the image with my trusty micron pens.  Notice the fingers and the foreshortening? I had a heck of a time with the fingers.  I think it’s important to resist the urge to always draw people with their hands behind their backs – just practise drawing hands and fingers.  Obviously i need to practise my fingers too!  I’m pretty good at cartoon hands but have difficulty creating realistic hands.

    Even though this is not my preferred way of creating I’m happy that i stretched myself during this challenge to try a few different techniques.  Now i know which ones i will want to further explore and which ones i will torpedo Smile.  I think i want to learn how to use watercolours in this manner – i believe it will be helpful for when i want to capture “moments” or wee snippets.

    Well today is the last day of my challenge – even though i missed a few portraits (I’ll have to check for sure to see how many i have left) I’m pretty stoked about sticking with it for the 30 days (well pretty much).  I can leverage this newly acquired skill into other areas of my life!  Hooray!  How about you?  Did you stick with the CHALLENGE?  You can always start at the beginning of a new month and announce it to the world – through your blog or Facebook or twitter that you’re doing it.  It helps keep you accountable when you make a public announcement. Another idea is to have an accountability partner – find a friend who is also interested in furthering their artistic abilities and begin the challenge. Either meet up for coffee every day to show each other your portrait or call each other on the phone.  It’s always more fun when you do it with someone else!

    I have lots of updating to do on the Flickr 30 Day Self-Portrait challenge group.  I’ll be going there to post my newest portraits and to check up on everyone else’s progress. Thank you so much to all of you out there who have played with me. I hope you enjoyed the challenge!

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    Here i am in the veggie patch with some of our vegetables (the blackberry bushes are to my right).  I can’t tell you how excited Mr. G and I have been to be watching the vegetables growing daily.  We lift the leaves to track the growth of the zucchinis and cucumbers!  It’s been such fun and oh so gratifying!

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    We have zucchini and cucumbers coming out of the wazoo now Smile.  Anyone have any good recipes for zucchini loaf or ideas on what to do with cukes apart from putting them in salads? 

    Thanks!

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      Self-Portrait Challenge: Day 29 Thinking good thoughts

      August30

      portrait_silouette1

      Silhouette on Sgraffito paper 

      This is a silhouette I did of myself – i took a side view photo (can you saw awkward?)  printed it out and then placed it on top of a “failed” crayon sgraffito paper and then simply cut it out. I don’t really like this portrait but i thought it would be a good idea to have a bit of variety in this challenge!

      portrait_thoughts1

      Replacing the stinky thoughts with good thoughts

      Yesterday i received some disappointing news regarding a project which i thought was pretty awesome and would definitely be a go.  It would have been pretty lucrative for me.  Anyways after receiving the news i slipped into my “default setting” of negative, stinky thoughts – “I’m not good enough, not talented enough, not ever going to be successful – yadda yadda yadda”.  I could feel myself slipping into a major funk.  So I decided to take myself to a little coffee shop by the beach, write about my feelings, draw the above self-portrait and then go and spend some time at the beach.  I wedged myself between two large rocks, buried my feet into the pebbles (the sand was further away) and lay there facing the sun.  I let the beach and the sun embrace me while i thought positive thoughts about myself.  I decided to replace the stinky thoughts with loving positive thoughts. It’s amazing how simply doing this can shift your mood!  Try it sometime!

      I only have one day left on my challenge and as you can see I’m behind……so I’ll be catching up the next few days.  I plan on bundling all of these self-portraits together and create a book!

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      We celebrated Mr. G’s birthday this weekend – the lucky guy had 2 not one birthday cakes and birthday celebrations! He was royally spoiled.  We spent quality time with a few friends and then Mr. G’s family.

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      Here he is receiving a little bit of help from his grandson Leium.

      Thank you everyone for leaving me messages – I am sorry i have not had time to respond yet – i really appreciate your comments and of course read each and every one of them!

      Have you signed up for Brave Girl’s inspirational Daily Truth e-mails ? – yesterday they used one of my bird portraits in their Daily truth messages.  Thanks so much! You can submit your birdie art so you can be featured as the “little birdie artist of the day” too!  While you are at the Brave Girl’s Club have a poke around and be inspired by all of the goodness there!

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        Self-Portrait Challenge Day 28

        August29

        portrait_anxiety1

        Sorry – i’m so late – been really busy with company and sadly have fallen behind – I think i’m 3 portraits behind…….so i’ll be posting some more tomorrow.  I’m off to a meeting so this will be brief.  This self-portrait is of the anatomy of an anxiety attack……..when i look at it I think it’s pretty funny however at the time i certainly don’t think it is!  Thankfully these anxiety attacks are far and few between. When i welcome them rather than fighting them the energy dissipates much quicker.

        See you tomorrow.

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          Self-portrait challenge continues…..

          August26

          portrait_blackberries1

          I’m enjoying mindfully (if you’re not mindful you get pricked a lot!  Ha) picking blackberries for my lunchtime smoothie. I thought this might fit in well with the Sketchbook Challenge’s August challenge of Ordinary objects – my blue bowl which i love so much.  I’m off to babysit my grandson so don’t have time to work on the portrait this morning – I’ll be doing it later today. I plan on attempting to create a water colour portrait.  While babysitting young Sammy (20 months old) I’m going to enlist his help in laying down the foundation for a crayon sgraffito portrait!

          I hope you have a wonderful weekend – even though i have a busy weekend of celebrations – (it’s Mr. G’s birthday tomorrow!  Yay!) I promise to fit in some time to create self-portraits!  I hope you do too – it’s good discipline!

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            Self-Portrait Challenge Day 25: Blind Contour

            August25

            portrait_blindcontour1

            I’m almost too embarrassed to post my blind contour drawing…ack!!!!!! I felt like cheating and doctoring it up a bit but then that wouldn’t be honest would it?  During blind contour drawings you’re not supposed to look at the drawing at all – i was looking at myself in a mirror while drawing (it was very difficult not too look).  Note the eyebrows below the eyes????? EEP!   And the hair on the face?  I clearly have to practise more blind contour drawings – this one took about 2 minutes to create.

            Overwhelmed with too many ideas?

            Are you overwhelmed with great ideas and don’t know where to start? I know that’s one of my big challenges.  Check out Alison Lee’s video here for a helpful tip.  You might also want to watch her  video on The NEXT STEP if you don’t know how to begin. Alison’s videos are just a few minutes long so don’t take long to watch. You can also go to Craftcast.com where Alison Lee has downloadable classes  but also have a listen to some of the very inspiring podcasts she produces.  Alison has had so many inspiring creatives on her show!  Now you will never be bored while walking, running or creating in the studio – you can download these podcasts and listen at your leisure.  I love to listen to Creative podcasts when I’m on long road trips. It’s fun to be driving and be inspired by the scenery outside as well as what’s going on inside your vehicle all at the same time!

            Happy listening and viewing!

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