Tuesday, April 24, 2012

SARK Tuesday: Clock of Forgiveness

SARK:  This clock doesn't keep time, but gives it to you in the kindest measure.  You now realize that time is entirely your perception and there is always enough.

MMinP:  When I can relax and remember the clock of forgiveness...it works brilliantly.  When I need the space to just stop "should-ing" all over myself - the clock is there.  For example:  I should practice this art lesson or take that class, clean the kitchen, do the laundry, attend to the kids (who are happily playing their own self involved game!).  A deep breath in and long out breath followed by doing something I really WANT to do.  Like just sitting and scribbling or actually painting anything...  Suddenly it's as if the world stands still for the time it takes for me to have this pause.

Usually everyone survives without me.  Everything is still waiting to be done/accomplished.  I find setting my timer allows me to totally submerge into this timeless space.  I stop fretting about forgetting to get my children to sport or start dinner etc.  I completely fall into the doing of my task - fine tuning little profiles of babes, how to make a hand and fingers that look like little fingers.  My mind clears long enough to write a sentence or idea for the Picture Book challenge of 12x12.

When my time is up - I'm so happy.  Calm, relaxed.  Better than anything - I'm energized -  Whoopie!  Why don't I do this more?  I always wonder.  Then the long to-do list punctures the bliss.  Oh yes.  I must be productive-(do all those things people expect I should do).  WHY?

That's another post for another day....or maybe more than one post....

Use the clock of forgiveness - come back and share your experience.  I might start living on CoF time instead of GMT+2.  Maybe I'll get more accomplished!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

SARK Tuesday

SARK: Courage to let loose the wonders inside. Our creative dreams expand brilliantly with this courage activated. Open your heart now to let loose the wonders inside you... MMInP: I drew this card today and immediately thought...Yeah Right. How many times does an artist let loose only to face a backlash of fear from others. Some folks recommend that you remember to let loose in safe company. This is a good idea. In some ways I think this is why so many of us blog. We know we have something to share... It's also a very good idea to remember those who have inspired you in your life journey. Remember how that person said or did something that gave you hope or even more? Well- what IF your courage to let loose your wonders were to inspire, give hope or other wonderful things to another person? What if it changed someone's life for the better just because you had the courage to let loose? What do you think the world might look like then? It's such a vulnerable place. Such a deeply human place. NOTE: this post is missing links and photos due to a failure in the hard drive of our computer. We are hoping for a full repair by next week -at which time this will be edited and linked!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thursday Progress

Today's post is going to start with  a tiny book review!  The Wizard is a children's picture book written by Children's Poet Laureate Jack Prelutzsky and beautifully illustrated by the talented Brandon Dorman.

The Wizard is adapted from a story originally published in 1976.  Mr. Prelutsky's rhyme combined with Mr Dorman's illustrations make this story a real page turner as the book opens you are invited into a seemingly ordinary suburban cul-de-sac with one very odd house at the end.  The wizard stands at his window deciding what to do that day when he spies a bullfrog...  There is a lovely surprise ending and the duo of Prelutzsky and Dorman leave the young reader with curiosity instead of fear as you turn the pages to discover what evil deeds the wizard is up to.

I found Mr. Dorman's illustrations so perfect for practicing my Make Your Marks Make Your Splashes water colour sessions run by Mark G. Mitchell.  Here are two of my attempts to copy digital art with traditional media.  They are thumbnails of the larger version I'm working on.

The Wizard my version from Brandon Dorman's work NFS -this was a leaning purposes only exercise

The Bullfrog my version from Brandon Dorman's work. NFS - stricktly for learning purposes
I'm very pleased with these two.  There are some imperfections but it is about learning and improvement.  Let's see how the big picture works out...

I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

SARK Tuesday: YES and NO

Still Bay Rock Pools - Photo Melissa Mead
SARK:  With regard to your creative dreams, what would you like to say YES more often too?  What would you like to say NO to more often?

MMinP:  A friend of mine once told me the story about the big rocks and the little rocks.  (Hey.. - April Draft Idea!!)  Okay - back to YES/NO.  A few years ago I was struggling to "do it all".  So my friend gave me this story about how you've got big rocks (priorities) and little rocks (all the little stuff -like grocery shopping) and you have to put them all in a jar.  Now if you put in the little rocks first you can't fit in all the big ones.  But - if you put in all the  big rocks first, all the little ones will fit.  (This comes from a popular motivational speaker whom I do not know his name because my friend couldn't recall - please if you know leave it in the comments and I will edit this post!)

It's been a few years, like I said, but I still can't get all my rocks in even if I shake the heck out of my jar.   I've got a new policy this year.  I made a notebook of goals.  I broke the goals down into month size pieces.  I put the notebook away on a shelf I walk past a million times a day.  I look in it at the beginning/end of the month to check what's done what to push into the next month etc.  I sometimes check in the middle of the month to remind me what I can do in the small moments.

Doing this has really helped me prioritize and see just HOW full my jar is.   I think everybody wants a bigger jar or maybe we want less rocks.  Either way my goal book helps me say NO to more rocks and YES to what is important to me.  I'm the only one who can say "no" to more small rocks and "YES" to the rocks that rock my world!

How do you fit all your rocks in?   (mine fall out sometimes :D)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

New Facebook Page

I have been working out HOW to incorporate all my new changes into my blog and social media.

Still Life with apples and arum lilies - Melissa Mead

Thus far I've decided to embrace the "in Progress" portion of my title and put everything onto this blog.  Also I've made a New Facebook Page for MMinP.
The blog will be a place where I put "regular" entries - ie: Tuesday Sark and Thursday Progress.  I will work on getting a Children's Writing and Illustration Day worked into the mix as well.

The MMinP Facebook page will be for more spontaneous things and also for bits and bobs that I don't know how to fit into the "blog box".

Please visit the new page - there are already a few things there.

Friday, April 6, 2012

April 2012 is...

I'm fascinated by April.  April is Poetry Month.  It is also Autism Awareness Month.  I think this is amazing.

Some of my fellow 12x12ers are celebrating Poetry Month.  Please visit Rena J Traxel and No Water River for a month of poetic excitement.

My first Picture Book draft for the 12x12 in 12 was in verse.  Inspired by a verse from Hurry, Hurry, Mary Dear.  Perhaps I should try my April draft in verse also?  Hmmm.....

I grew up on Shel Silverstien maintaining my love of non-violence through his poem Hug-o-war.  I can still rattle off a number of his poems to this day and it amuses my children no end.

I'd like to leave you with a link for an American Poet (living) her name is Elizabeth Alexander.  The link is not to her webpage but to an interview she had with Krista Tippet for the radio program On Being.

Driftwood Poetry
And some thoughts on Autism...
Autism in and of itself is a kind of living poetry.  Some moments born of: beauty, love and wonder, others of: deep frustration, lonliness and anger.  My experience with Autism was brief - while I was working as a physical therapist at a children's rehabilitation center.  I remember the children I worked with and I remember their parents and their stories.  Such strength.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thursday Progress

from Marvel Comics Scarlet for learning purposes only.
Above is the inked in black bits of my "smalls" for art class.  The term is over however I will still finish it for the learning of it.  I've really enjoyed experimenting with the acrylic inks and am looking forward to more of this.

This will be my watercolour version - below was my first sketch

For learning purposes only - from "THE WIZARD" written by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by Brandon Dorman
The above pencil sketches (very light) are my preliminary work efforts to better take hold of children's book illustration.  The Wizard by Jack Prelutsky (Children's Poet Laureate) and illustrated by Brandon Dorman (Thank you Brandon for such amazing illustrations!).  Watercolours are not something I've worked much with neither gouache.  The amazing colours are enough to get me to try and Brandon's work is so inspiring.

I'm not sure what medium Brandon uses - the quick research I did gave me not a thing but maybe I can write to him and ask.  I love this books images because they use primarily greens and purples which made me think of Mark G. Mitchell's lesson about colour - the Queen and her court.  The book itself is perfect for Poetry Month as it's in verse.

I hope by next week to have both of these images painted in and maybe even finished.  These are high hopes.  Our fridge quit today, Easter weekend is here (in South Africa it's a serious affair of holidays and travel) and school starts again next week (year long school here - cool and not so cool).

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


There are a few SARK cards that are about resources.  They state two for specific purposes related to the card.  I'm going to give some of my own for today...

Fooling around with coloured pencils and the kids!

1.  "Women Who Run With the Wolves"  by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D..  My husband (when we first met) sent this to me to read.  You can imagine I thought he was just too amazing for words.

2.  A quote by Bruce Lee:   "If you put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and life.  There are no limits. There are only plateaus and you must go beyond them."

3. "Daily Paintworks" this is a family run business of the Marine's.  The most important thing here for me to share is the "artbyte" page.  There you will find a FREE download if you register (for free) about Carol Marine's experience of becoming a daily painter.  Better than that - probably the best advice you've ever read.  Give your self a great big FREE present - go register and read it NOW.  Then come back so I can tell you why I missed a few posts last week.

WHY is Mr. Lee's quote standing out there like mad.  I happened to mention to my hubby that I felt I was on a plateau.  That I'm feeling like I'm not really making progress in my dream vocation.  I've realized there is only so much attention I can give to my priorities and I obviously have to many of them.  The conversation continued as my partner looked at me with increasing amusement.  He gave me much encouragement and reiterated that it was just that - a plateau.  Furthermore - moments later he recieved this quote from a friend on facebook.  You gotta love serrendipity.

If you happened on this entry - maybe you too are feeling as I am.  So the point is - THERE ARE NO LIMITS except those you put on yourself or accept from others.  Keep going forward anyway.

Now I want to explain my abscence.  Mostly because I like to know why other people miss posts.  You see....we went on holiday.  They always twist me around-but that's fine.  Change is good.  We had good internet reception however I don't know how to run internet from my phone to the laptop.  Further I don't know how to make links etc from my hubby's i-pad.  So I dropped a note to say so.

I was in the process of posting on Saturday - the day after our return - when POOF.  No internet connection at home.  For Earthday we were treated to no electricty (and no internet- and no finishing my holiday laundry fun).  Instead we made recycled plastic candle holders in preparation for a candlelit Earth Hour.  We had discussion about taking Earth Hour that little bit further.  Sunday I couldn't post because you might think it was all a joke!!  And also because I was painting and drawing, exploring and experimenting with colour and paint and lines.
My eldest son waiting his turn with the scissors.

A value study for Marks and Splashes course.
This post was updated Tuesday 2 April 2012 to include labels.