Thursday, October 3, 2013

Lighten UP!

As an artist, I'm such a VISUAL person. I need something I can look at, especially when I'm trying to reach a specific goal. Prompted to develop healthier habits, I re-joined Spark People a little over a year ago. I was prompted by one Spark group to create a vision board to inspire weight loss. I love collage, of course, so naturally a vision board is a perfect project to work in that medium! Months later, I still enjoy looking at my inspiration board and find it helps me to remember who I am as an artist, just as much as a reminder to be healthy and happy. 

Here is what I came up with:


I used the cardboard backing of a scrapbook paper stack for the base. I adhered a couple pretty scrapbook papers to this with some gel medium (great for collages). One paper was rainbow colored and the other had repeated text that said "You Rock." Though neither are visible in the final piece, they helped inspire me during the creation. That's the beauty of collage....building up layers and sometimes adding or removing sections to add depth and dimension. 

The instructions were to use words from magazines, so I spent a few minutes quickly flipping through several magazines and snipping words or ripping out pages. I didn't over-think this, but let it become an intuitive process. Certain words jumped out, and most were related to the idea of a fresh start but also creativity. 

I took the whimsical image of the laughing model with flowers in her hair from a folder of magazine pics I had saved specifically for art journaling. I think she was originally part of a Clinique ad. It was gratifying to finally use this fun pic in an art piece. I attached these words and pics with gel medium and allowed it to dry. The super heavy gel medium added texture to the piece. 

Then I got out my acrylics (tubes and craft paint) and began adding color. I made it bright and bold, using orange and turquoise as the main colors with pops of pink. The orange is very motivating and energetic to me, and I love using it often in my work. I loved adding the large paintbrushes from a Dick Blick sales flyer laying around. After the paint dried, I added some more color. Then I went over portions with a white paint marker. Finally, I outlined certain letters and elements with a gel pen. I am very happy with the results. 

Here are some phrases in the piece, and an explanation of why I added them:
  • "Lighten Up!" This carries multiple meanings. It speaks of being happy and positive, looking on the bright side of life and not taking things so seriously. Another meaning is to lighten your load, lay down burdens, and lighten up physically by shedding a few extra pounds!
  • "Yes...I am a unique, filled artist." A declaration that I am not unfulfilled or lacking in my life or in my art. God's love fills me and I am a reservoir of ideas, hopes and dreams. 
  • "I did it!" With childlike glee, I shout out that I've reached a goal...whether that is weight loss, choosing a healthy habit, or creating something wonderful.
  • "Wake Up!" I need a little trumpet next to this phrase. I feel I've been asleep creatively and spiritually....this is also a wake-up call to change my health for the better.
  • "Celebrating Fresh Starts" This is a new beginning. I am believing for a blossoming in business, art, and relationships. I am starting anew, putting aside past failures and moving forward. 
  • "Funky and fun....free-spirited, colorful, and all on my own....always evolving." These were words to express individual styles but they fit so well in this collage. This is the kind of artist and person I want to be. 
  • "Fresh Dreams" It's time to "Dream Big" and reach for the stars. Make new goals and plans.
  • "Vibrant" That is what I want my life and art to be. Alive, blooming, growing, thriving. I want to be more active physically and in relationships, not remain stagnant. 
  • "Advice: Try Something New every day" This is a key to staying fresh, vibrant and new. This makes life interesting. I want to live with a sense of adventure and discovery. 

Artfully yours,
Sandra