Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Soulful Art Journal Workshop: Working with Mistakes

Sunday was an interesting and fun Soulful Art Journal Workshop. This was the second session in a series of 4.  The workshop is working in the mixed media art journal, so on Sunday I introduced ink. I love seeing what the women come create. I worked on my own mixed media piece along with the other women, and some of us were struggling with the inner critic.

Altered book pages done in collage and mixed media

Altered book pages done in collage and mixed media

Why I love Titan Buff paint color 

Making art requires us to be flexible and learn ways to deal with so-call “mistakes.” In reality there are no mistakes because art is just a process of trying things and learning what we like and how to make what we like happen more and more.

What do we do when we don’t like what we are producing? Do we have to rip out the journal page and start a-new? This week while teaching my workshop, I used myself as an example. I admitted that I hated what I’d done so far, but I kept changing the paint color. Finally after trail and error and going over the color with diffferent colors a few times, I pulled out my tube of acrylic Titan Buff. It is a staple in my paint stash. I always have a Titan Buff on hand – all artists have their equivalent of Titan Buff (often it is Gesso, another favorite of mine). Titan Buff is a lovely, creamy off-white color. It is a paint color I love and it works well with all of my earthy tones. And, it covers beautifully.  It accepts layers well, so you can paint over it or stamp on it with great effects.

So that’s my little story for Sunday’s The Soulful Art Journal Workshop.

Happy art journaling and happy art making….there are no mistakes, just opportunities.

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Wonderful Soulful Art Journal Workshop

Altered book pages using lace, dictionary pages, collage, paint and handmade paper

Women Inspiring Women

I’m so happy about the wonderful group of women who participated in the Soulful Art Journal Workshop this Sunday. I was so inspired by watching them in the midst of making art, connecting with themselves through exploring and playing with mixed media. One of the most exciting things for me is when women share their stories and ideas about life and art. Everyone has unique ways of working with media and being creative, and the more we open to OUR way the fuller the well of creativity becomes. The well never runs dry if we continue to dig deeply and don’t allow fear to obstruct the natural flow.  I feel so blessed that so many women both inspire and encourage me on the journey of living the artist’s way. We can become each others teachers and muses.

I’m in love with Altered Books.

One on my current passions is creating altered books. I’m having so much fun with this process that I’m already imagining what my future altered books will look like. Both of these pages reflect my current love affair with vintage lace. I cannot get enough of it.

Altered book page using collage, paint, lace, handmade paper, and tape

Altered book page using collage, paint, lace, handmade paper, and tape

The wise Picasso understood that life is gritty and covers us with worries. For me making art is a life-saver, a place of refreshment.

We all need a good dusting on a regular basis!

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.
Pablo Picasso

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Guan Yin: The Beauty of the Divine Feminine

Quan Yin collage by Kartika

Guan Yin collage by Kartika

This is a mixed media collage using paint, tissue, ink and fine art images. As part of my Buddha collage series, of course I wanted to include Guan Yin who,  as the Buddhist Goddess of compassion, reminds us that the feminine part of our psyche  must be enlivened and given its proper place in the world and within our consciousness.

Since the 1st century AD, Guan Yin has been venerated throughout Asia. Her image has been a source of healing and comfort for millions throughout the ages. This is because she offers unconditional love. Like Mother Mary of the Christian tradition, or Mother Divine of the Hindu tradition, Guan Yin represents the qualities of love, forgiveness, compassion, and motherhood. She offers compassion to all living creatures, to all sentient beings, as well as to all of nature. I see her as one with Mother Earth and as a protectress of creation.

I’m now reading Son of Man, The Mystical Path to Christ by Andrew Harvey. What a find, what a treasure. To read something brilliant, enlightening, and well-researched, by a teacher who is keenly aware of the need for humanity to move from the outmoded institutions founded on all things patriarchal.  Harvey believes that our very survival depends upon our ability to awaken to the fusion of the Father-Mother within the psyche and in the living practice of every human.”

The divine heart is really the Divine Mother’s heart feeling the suffering created by our ignorance. So, as the divine draws you nearer, it draws you through these rounds of beauty and bliss until you are ready to experience the agony of the Mother’s heart, which nearly kills you. – Andrew Harvey

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Buddha Collage Series

Collage by Kartika using fine art books, paint, and paper

Buddha in the City – Collage by Kartika using fine art books, paint, and paper

Collage by Kartika using fine art books, paint, and paper

Buddha in the Garden – Collage by Kartika using fine art books, paint, and paper

Collage by Kartika using fine art books, paint and paper

Buddha with Devotees – Collage by Kartika using fine art books, paint and paper

The Buddhist Way

I have loved working on this collage series because the symbols and the images of Buddha move me so deeply. Although I’m not a Buddhist, I love reading bits and pieces of the Buddhist teaching. The Buddhist practice of “mindfulness” is one we can all benefit from. Paying attention to our breathing, our bodies, the present moment is powerful. I’ve read books by Thich Nhat Hanh whose teachings help us be better Christians, Buddhists, and people in general. I believe love is the only religion we need.  And, who better to remind us to forgive and to love our enemies than Thich Nhat Hanh, a survivor of so many social injustices. Yet, his life is dedicated to love and to kinship with all sentient beings.

There are so many wonderful Buddhist teachers both known and unknown to the world. I love this quote by the Dalai Lama, one of the world’s greatest teachers , who in spite of all of the suffering he and his people have experienced, he teaches only love and forgiveness.

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple, the philosophy is kindness. – The Dalai Lama

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