{artful charity, Q&A, & more!}

All right, darlings, we have a lot of ground to cover today!

First order of business…

me & meg at Ritsurin Park in Takamatsu, Japan. 2005.

I have this box in the corner of my studio space. It’s full of paintings I created between 2008 - 2010. I used to worry about not having enough pieces finished to have some sort of portfolio, and now look how many canvases I have!

The other night, I had a thought. It went something like this.

“I really want to help Japan, but have no money to give.”

“You should find the funds somewhere.”

“What about that box of paintings? Chrysti did charity work with paintings on Facebook, didn’t she?”

“OMG, I could sell the paintings and raise funds!”

(I would love to tell you there was only one speaker there, but I think we all know, at least at this point, that I’m the type of girl who has conversations with herself. ;) )

I’ve created an album on my Facebook Page and filled it with a bunch of paintings. There are pieces ranging from $10 to $150, and 70% of all the funds raised will be donated to the Red Cross. See? I can just text them a bunch of times — except I’ve read that the donations from cell phones don’t ACTUALLY get there until, and here’s the kicker, the bills are paid.

Yeah. Headdesk, anyone?

So I’ll be donating directly with the funds raised by painting sales.

I see it as a win-win-win situation: I gain more room in the studio & actually do something to help in the wake of all that’s happening, you donate money, and you get a painting to hang in your home. Oh, and add another win to that because the people in Japan affected by everything will also get some help! Win-win-win-win.

You’ve gotta like those odds!

Check out the album over on Facebook and see if there’s anything you like. Because the pieces are all kinds of sizes, I’m calculating postage after purchase so I can put in exact details to give you the best price. I can also take the paintings off the frames for a few of them, and send them rolled along with the disassembled frame. Your choice.

Next! I’ve started using my Tumblr account again, if only to spout random inspiration and photos at you, as well as answer questions. Here’s what I’ve answered this week:

Sure could use some advice as to how to let go of my expectation of the project and just create.

How do you pick a subject to start a journal page, and how do you determine what materials to use to create that page?

What is your favorite pen and why? ^^

Do you always make your own journals? If so, what kind of paper is your favorite? And, if you buy them, what kind is your favorite and why?

Do you have a question? Head on over and ask it. I’ll get to it ASAP!

The Button Journal workshop’s open and has it’s first few students. I’m getting GREAT feedback on the process, and hope you’ll come join us.

Won’t you? For $20, it’s a steal!

And last but not least, Nolwenn, a dear friend and one of my blog’s sponsors has opened her Etsy shop! Go over and take a look at her darling paintings! 

{ new directions, rambling thoughts, & futures }

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Puppies! 12"x12" mixed media on board"]puppies![/caption] I've had blog-writer's block. My computer is full of photos – paintings, journal pages, even a few of events and such – all cropped and colored and re-sized for posting, yet every time I sit down to write something, I come up short. The words just don't flow. I want to write something valuable, something to teach or inspire, but feel as though I'm moving out on a new adventure, breaking away from the norm, my comfort zone, and, as with all new ventures, my path isn't exactly clear. A lot has to do with the reading I've been doing lately, on blogging and purpose and content, all of it causing me to reexamine what I'm doing in this space. I still clearly remember the core purpose that got me blogging in the first place: I wanted to create the type of blog I was looking for. One with easy answers, photos, inspiration. Someplace where the jargon and mysteries of complicated, layered journal pages could be magically revealed. When I began visual journaling, I had no art knowledge past abstract watercolor paintings I'd done with my mother when I was very young, sitting at the kitchen table in our small townhouse a town ago. Heck, back then, I didn't even know what kind of glue to use! That there was a difference between fluid acrylics and heavy-body acrylics. Where to find the cool papers to collage. My first journals were full of cheap, thin paper that warped and crinkled and crackles when I turn the pages. It's the sound of nostalgia. Of beginnings and wanderings and failed experiments. I think one of the things that is lacking is a clear schedule. Now that I've fallen into a semi-permanent routine re: daily job, I can plan out my time better, which means I can deliver content more reliably. I want to create more videos, not just how-to ones, but me chatting like we're old friends. I want to show my vulnerabilities, my successes and failures. Because I learn from both, and so should you. I'm not in this to keep things close to the chest, to hide my techniques so I can launch classes and be the only holder of such information. I want so share everything! Journaling and art has opened up my life so much, has shown me things about myself I never knew before, has reconnected me spiritually and socially with the world.... There are so many benefits and I want to give you all a glimmer of this wonderfulness I've discovered, want to help illuminate this path. Every time I hear someone say they can't do art, I want to put my arm around them, pull out some pens and a journal, and laugh at the snouces (I've done this before, with a colorblind and “not artistic” friend, while sitting in the cool shade in Grant Park, in Chicago; we drew and scribbled and created something out of nothing for the joy of it. Thus, snouces, a cross between a snake and a mouse). So here's what I'm proposing. I'm going to post a video of some kind a week, technology-willing. I'm going to post a lesson of something I've learned once a week. I'm going to post journal pages two days a week, with small posts giving simple instructions. I'm going to link to other inspiring sites and stories once a week. That's five posts a week. And I'm going to do my best to stick to this. Look out for changes coming to the blog in the upcoming weeks, changes to me, to everything. Friday will be my first video post of this new schedule – the final part of the video series I've been posting. I know the quality's not the best, but I've got all the right stuff, now, so future videos will be much better. Weekends, I'm taking off to gather content for the upcoming week (and to work!). And Monday will mark the beginning of a new A Girl and Her Journal.

i am taking an internet break for myself.

i need to check in with myself

from a place without


or other artists to see

a place with a floor as

soft as grass

and a sky of pure cobalt blue.

i need to take several walks a day, learn to journal again with just a pen and a piece of paper

and know this is for me

and not pretty pages meant to

make me a "name"

or up stats & comments.

i think this is a trap we all fall into. and it is a trap we must escape by taking some time for ourselves away from the online world, go back out into nature, to those coffee houses we love. this is not withdrawing. it is pulling all the fragmented pieces of yourself, pieces created by busy weeks, stress, calls that pull you in so many directions, you feel weak in the knees, it is pulling these pieces back into yourself, caressing them, singing them to sleep. giving them time to fall back into place. and when you're refreshed, you're strong and confidant with your soul whispering in your ear, that is when you can come back and inspire and paint and laugh over bottles of gesso and paint with your friends.

i will try for a week. i will succeed for a few days; of this i'm sure.

i'll still be checking and sending emails as i want to have layout finished this week for my fall issue. if i owe you a package, it will be sent monday -- sorry for the delay. if i owe an email, it will also be sent tomorrow. i am tired. fragmented. weak because i am missing pieces of myself i can only recapture with the sweet nectar of self-expression.

and perhaps a few hours of stargazing.

<3 Kira