Category Archives: Writing Exercises

Art Journal Prompts

I like to give myself art challenges.

Yesterday, I had a few minutes to experiment in my 9 x 12 inch Canson mixed media art journal.

I started by writing the date and drawing some random shaped boxes on my paper:

Next, I worked quickly so I wouldn’t overthink things.

I added paper collage, doodles and creative prompts to work on later such as a dictionary word and paint sample name:

I will show you my completed journal page later this week! I encourage you to create your own art journal prompts to get your creative juices flowing!

Cheers! 🙂

The Daily Mews 🐾

I created this in my art journal on Tuesday.  Carla Sonheim gave us the assignment for her year-long online class to create a headline describing our day.  I decided to write it from my cat’s perspective.

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I went online to fodey.com to create my fake newspaper article.  It was a lot of fun!  I typed it on the computer too because I thought it may be difficult to read in my post.

I think a fake newspaper article would make a fabulous one-of-a-kind greeting card for someone!

Cheers!  🙂

P.S.  Jack said to tell you, “I hope you keep your paws dry today!”

Sit, Walk, Write

Today, I was without electricity for several hours so I didn’t have internet access.  I think sometimes this can be a good thing because it forces me to slow down and READ!  I’d like to read more but there always seems so much I need to be DOING!

In Natalie Goldberg’s book, “The True Secret of Writing,” she talks about slowing down and “uprooting the urgency, the feeling that everything is an emergency.”  She suggests you sit still for five minutes a day and pay attention to your breath.  She also has you slowly walking by not going anywhere but focusing on placing one foot in front of the other and being present in the moment.

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I have always dreamed that “some day” I’d be a writer (and an artist).  I think this is the reason this book caught my attention.  I also like the art and colors on the book cover…

I do believe that blogging has helped me write more but I’d like to learn to create a daily writing practice much like creating art each day.  I’m hoping this book will give me the tools to make it happen.  I will let you know how it goes…

I created this doodle in my journal with a black pen and watercolor pencils on Sunday after I started reading the book:

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I think that silence or quieting my mind, can help me to truly listen.  To pay attention in art, writing and life.

What about you, what helps you to slow down and focus?

Happy Creating!  🙂

Mr. B and Ms. C

Writing 101 – Day 6 Assignment:  Write about the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year.

Mr. B arrived before Ms. C.  It was a warm day and the trees were beginning to open their buds.  I could see by the grin on Mr. B’s face that he was in good spirits.  I was excited to greet him with a friendly, “hello!”

Mr. B and Ms. C were our new neighbors at the office complex where I worked.  They had moved into the vacant rooms next door in mid-March.  I enjoyed having them there.

Ms. C had a cheerful personality.  The kind that made you feel relaxed and energized when you were around her.  When you walked into her office, you immediately felt your worries melt away.  Her framed art lined the office walls.  You could feel the ocean breeze when viewing her photographs of seagulls in flight.  She displayed seashells from her walks on the beach, jars of fine sand and pots of green plants that helped you breathe easier.

And Mr. B, what can I say?  Always a friendly fellow with a smile on his face.  He had the personality of a wise soul.  He knew when you needed a friendly greeting or just a gentle nudge.  You see, Mr. B was a dog.  Not your everyday mutt mind you but a certified therapy dog.  He was Ms. C’s helper.

Baxter on carpet

Ms. C had the gift of touch.  As a massage therapist, she had the ability to relax your muscles and your mind.  And Mr. B, well, Ms. C had him trained so he slept when a client was on the table.  He rarely barked.

Watching Mr. B (Baxter) chase his Frisbee down the long hallway during breaks between clients was pure joy!  Mr. B with his tail wagging, ears flopping and little legs running.  One could just tell he was smiling!

Baxter in chair

There is nothing like the friendly lick of a dog’s tongue on the back of your hand when you are having a tough day at the office.  It was evident that Mr. B had the gift of touch too.

One couldn’t ask for better neighbors or friends as Mr. B and Ms. C!

Baxter smiling

Smile!

Goldfinch, Tobacco and Raggedy Andy

Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go…  Well, maybe not through the woods – more like through the wheat fields.  My grandma lived about 45 minutes away from my childhood home.  I remember my older sister and I riding in the backseat of my parents green Chrysler, the size of a boat, as we anticipated a trip to see grandma.

I had a grandpa too.  Grandpa with his tobacco stained fingers, smoking his pipe.  He would sit in his big, brown, easy chair that swiveled around.  (I know about the swiveling part because my sister and I would swirl around like a top when he was not in it).  Grandpa would sit quietly in his chair, looking out his big picture window at the birdfeeder watching the birds.  Robins and perhaps a Goldfinch or two?

Goldfinch and Tobacco

I wonder what he was thinking as he puffed away on his pipe.  While grandma sat across from him in her turquoise blue rocking chair.  Her sewing basket open with spools of thread, scissors, pins and needles.  My grandma loved to sew.  She made my sister a Raggedy Ann and me a Raggedy Andy when we were of a young age.

Raggedy Andy on red blanket

I have fond memories of my sister and I twirling them around by their golden yarn hair (we apparently had a thing about twirling), tossing them into the air, changing their outfits, hugging them tight and kissing them good night.  As you can see by the above photo, Andy was well-loved.

I think the love she stitched into creating him will forever be on my heart.

Love heart on doll

Do you have special memories of your grandparents?  I’d love to hear about them!

Color Makes Me Happy

Writing assignment for Day 3 is to write – empty my mind without editing.  No crossing out or correcting spelling.  Just write for 15 minutes about 3 songs that influence me – I cannot choose them as favorites of all time but these 3 songs speak to me:

Pharrell Williams song, “Happy”

Cindy Lauper, “True Colors”

Michael Franks, “Dragonfly Summer”

I was thinking about what makes me HAPPY.  The color orange, creating art –  experimenting, playing with techniques, taking online classes, connecting with other creative people through Facebook and on my blog.

Color makes me happy!  Love all colors, the brighter the better!  I like orange the best probably because to me, it is a happy color.  My mom liked this color too.  Plus I look good wearing this color.  I like the color blue too as it reminds me of blue skies and summertime.  Floating on the lake in our boat and looking up at a brilliant blue cloudless sky with dragonflies dancing in a soft warm breeze.  And I like many other colors too.  I like the bright green of moss growing in the woods, spreading itself like lush carpet over rocks and across the path.  The yellow-green leaves of a birch tree.  And then there is my love of birds.

Hummingbird in color pencil

I think my favorite is a hummingbird.  Its brilliant colors on such a small body.  One has to be paying attention to see a hummingbird as it moves and darts about so quickly.  Hummers remind me of summer too since I see them a lot at the lake feeding on red flowers – Salvias and Geraniums.  I love the color purple too – sunsets, rainbows, Lilacs.

And there is yellow – another happy color.  Sunshine – ah, love to feel the sunshine on my face.  Like how warming it is as I sit in my living room writing.  I like walking around without a coat outside.  I like how it makes the flowers grow and the trees bud in the Spring.

Then there is Red.  Red, White and Blue!  What is there not to like about red?  Red lips and tongue from a popsicle, red balloons at a birthday party.  Red roses to celebrate an anniversary.

I do like color and I love using color in my art to create a mood.  I can always learn more about color too.

What are your true colors?  What colors make you happy and want to dance?  What colors do you like to wear?  What colors help calm and soothe you?  And what birds do you like because of their coloring?

If you are looking for something to make you HAPPY today, then google – Pharrell Williams, YouTube video, “Happy.”   Hope it brings a smile to your face!

Do You Know Me?

You landed on my windowsill yesterday morning.  At first I didn’t recognize you.  After all, it is Spring and the Flowering Plum tree is in full bloom.  It’s bright purple-pink blossoms have exploded early.  The Daylilies have begun stretching their green foliage through the soil.  And you know the Rhubarb!  Well, it is already growing a mound of tender stalks under curly green leaves.  The grass is even green having lost its yellow blades from winter.

Then you show up.  I know we need you but I didn’t expect to see you now.  I watch you flutter from the sky and land on the fir tree.  Your touch is light.  You seem to delight in your presence.  I can’t help but notice how beautiful you are against the gray sky.

Maybe you won’t stay long.  You bring with you a chill that makes my hips ache.  Yet you are unaware as you dance in the sky, skipping from branch to branch on the budding trees in my yard.

Suddenly, the sun appears, breaking up the clouds.  I see you fly away.  I understand now.  You wanted to sing your song one more time for me.

The Snowbird

The song is from an old children’s songbook.  The painted backgrounds are gelli-prints on watercolor paper.  The bird is a gelli-print on deli paper.  My flowers are doodles with a black pen.

Let’s give a cheer for Spring!  🙂

The Wobbly Wheel

Please note:  I’m participating in Writing 101 for Bloggers that WordPress is offering for the month of April so you will get an extra post now and then.  Hope you enjoy!

Why is it that I tend to choose the grocery cart with the uneven wheel?  I guess I could take it back to the cart area and choose another one but then I may choose something worse so I push on.  “Bang, clang, thump!”  My cart’s front left wheel churns as I head towards the milk isle.  I start feeling annoyed.

I wonder how many of these shopping carts have a bad wheel?  Is it one in four?  And who repairs them anyway?  Is there someone in the store room behind crates and boxes with broken wheels lying around whose job it is to fix these unwieldy carts?  Do they have a job title such as:   Shopping Cart Repairman (or woman?)  Or maybe it is one of the young kids whose job it is to retrieve the carts from the parking lots.  Do they draw straws at the beginning of their shift to see who has to retreat to the back of the store with a wrench and can of grease?

Are the carts all lined up in a certain order for repair?  Missing wheels would have priority over a squeaky one I’d imagine.  I wonder if there are some carts that have been repaired so many times, like a car, that they are tagged to be destroyed?  Does someone push them over a cliff?  “Here lie the broken carts that are beyond repair,” a junk yard for shopping carts?  Or maybe they get sent away to a big factory that squishes them flat and then recycles the metal into new and shiny models.

I would think that someone could design a wheel for a shopping cart that would not break down or wobble or bump and clang.  Maybe there are BMW models of shopping carts out there but my store is too cheap to carry them.  It is difficult to say.  And do you think there are actually shopping cart salespeople?  Do they push their model into the store to show the store purchaser just how wonderful their cart is compared to the one abandoned in the parking lot?

One does consider these subjects when they spend 30 minutes clanging around the isles of the grocery store.  My nerves are shot.  I think about the joy I’d get pushing my cart over a cliff but I restrain myself.  Next visit I will examine my cart closer and choose a shiny model with Cadillac wheels!