{making for the sake of making, in and out of digital}

This afternoon, I was thinking, "I haven't done any art lately, have I?"

The reasoning for this goes: The last time I sat in the studio working with paints and such was last Thursday, after a day out with iced chai. This week's live vlog was interrupted by circumstance and appointments. The weekend was spent out with friends all over the city.

So I felt guilty. This is because, as Linda Woods said on Twitter today, "Sometimes it's hard when your job is what everyone else does for a hobby." When you don't go and work in your journal, it's because life's busy. When I don't go in and work on a painting or in my journal or make a video, I worry because projects and such are what I depend on for a living. Sending out emails and writing articles and teaching classes. I'm still in this valley between finishing one project and starting another, but haven't been very pro-active, and I need to be.

My thought, thus, made me feel guilty. And like a slacker. But then I realized something -- what I was doing for fun was just as much art as anything I create.

And here's where we enter silly fangirl territory. Because in order to finish this post, I'm going to have to show you what I was working on over the weekend.

Ahem. Yes, they're wallpapers. Now that I have the desktop computer, I can work in Photoshop much easier, which means I've been making stock images, collecting textures, and re-building my brush collection.

Funny thing is, I haven't made digital art for fun with no hope for future use in years. And a lot of what I've learned making my own graphics and laying out PDFs and books and teaching in classes has really influenced where I am now. So I sat back, after I felt a little guilty, and realized this is art, too. Sure, they're wallpapers for a movie I may be a little enamored with, but I'm happy with them.

There is so much I used to know how to do that I've simply forgotten. I had to sit back and try to remember how to apply a texture. How each layer style worked. Opacity. Effects. Even color combination. Sitting and doing art different than I have been for the last five years was fun. I thought differently.

And all this has me thinking more and more about digital art. I've been hugely impressed with Roben-Marie's work, every little thing she makes amazing me (and I was able to preview sets made with my artwork today, and am just....floored by her talent). I've done hybrid journal pages, starting with paint and ending on the computer. So now I'm thinking of going deeper. Exporting more. And what if took the digital and brought it back out of the computer and into the physical world and applied it. How would that work? And I'm excited to try and answer that question.

Anyway, I guess all this means that we don't need to strive to make high art, or "right" art, or what's good right now or popular. We can sit down in front of our computers and play with screenshots from a movie just because and maybe, just maybe, can bring it all together and create ourselves along the way.

(The wallpapers are available on my LiveJournal, btw. I'm going to go hide, now.)

(I am working on all the emails from the garage sale; you should have a response tomorrow.)

{faith & love & being raw and open....on a blog?!}

How do you like the new navigation bar? I'm hoping to add more features to this blog in the coming weeks.

The above is also October's wallpaper! Head on over to get a copy for yourself!

Faith is a tricky thing. When you face your worst days, you often wonder where the Divine presence went -- weren't you just here with me, chatting about a new painting? About that cute pouch we're going to make together?

Hello? Are you there?

Yesterday was a hard day. A VERY hard day. I had no grace. I sobbed at work. I upset someone. Got bad news about my car and pending disability case. If there were ever a definition of hysterical, yesterday was my day to fill it. Every time someone hugged me or told me it would be okay, I broke down. Those deep, hitching, oh-my-God-I'm-sobbing-at-work tears that waterproof mascara was designed for.

And as I sat there sobbing, I prayed. Dear Divine, what the hell has gone wrong? Weren't we having an awesome time together?

When I got home, I was sent to bed. I felt like the heroine in some 18th century novel. "Oh, she's hysterical. Bed rest." Add in the doctor with his bag and bad beard and someone guarding the door, and BAM, I'm a Jane Austin character.

Which isn't half bad, if only for the wardrobe.

This morning, I woke up and took ten minutes to clear the dried tears from my eyes. Bounced back. Except for the rain, that my knees predicted yesterday, I'm doing well. Feeling much better. Did I just have a breakdown?

Last night, while watching recorded programs to distract myself, I drew. And not the girls I usually do -- those are done quickly, with little shaded detail -- but took the time to draw deep eyes. I swear, the second one took twenty minutes to get just right. And tears took over the page. In fact, I sat down to write this blog update three hours ago....and then was distracted by wanting to color the drawing with paint, and have spent the time shading. I think spending more time on this one has brought me more solace than a good night's sleep.

And I was daring. I drew her without clothes. Just the top! But still, this was hard for me, as nudity is an uncomfortable subject for me, even art-wise. I just felt something guiding my hand, telling me to expand to this uncomfortable and daring territory, to push through it and get it on the page. And I felt better. I'd challenged myself. I may never show it to anyone, because I don't know how it would be received, but I felt empowered as a woman and believer in a feminine Divine.

I don't know why I'm writing this -- I had something else in my head to write -- but know I had to. Lately, my blog has been a place to think on the page; writing for myself is okay, and I do it often in my journal, but longer writing, like this, only seems to flow when I know it may have an audience. Does that make any sense?

Okay, moving on!

The painting above was done on this new gessoed art board by Speedball. I was intrigued, and let me tell you, I DON'T like it. Really. I'm used to canvas and paper and maybe even canvas board. But the texture on this, the way the paint performed, I don't like it at ALL. But I finished anyway, wanting to complete something, and love what came out. I'm looking for deeper symbolism in my work, so it's beginning to come out. Slowly!

But the faith. Yes. I'm trying to work on a book. And I need the faith to take suggestions and improve on things, not be discouraged by them from an editor. That I've even gotten to that point is a good thing! But I find my voice is not "original" enough, that I don't have it down just yet. *sigh* More work, more prayer, more art. Isn't that what life's about?

And now, I'm off to play in my journal a bit more before going out with friends. Isn't that what life's about, too?

{we all need a sanctuary}


Remember when I said I'd make wallpapers? Yeah, well, here I am! We just missed a month. Hope that's okay!

Go here to get one!

August was a blur of work and sleep. I must have been sick for awhile, there, or perhaps I'm trying to excuse my procrastination? There are many projects going on behind the scenes here in Kira Land, and many have taken up all my time! I hate when work sucks up the joy of living -- aren't we working so we CAN live? I don't want it to be the other way around; it was like that for awhile, when I was younger, and I left those kinds of jobs for a reason!

I am working on responding to your emails and comments! The other day, I was chatting with Dawn, and we were talking about how, with school starting again and the seasons changing, that comments have gone down in the world of blogs. I said, "I miss that connection with others." I don't like counting them, or even look at traffic reports....bah! I don't blog to be popular! But I do love "meeting" new people and connecting.

Of course, it's a two-way street! A week ago, my monitor died, so I really wasn't reading emails -- but I'm back and feeling better and ready to teach, inspire, and connect. In fact, as soon as I finish this entry, I'm importing video for a new vid! WOOO! And it's just one where you watch me work. I find people want more of those than anything else. And I'm happy to provide!

Have a great week, lovelies!

{new goodies! this month's wallpaper & collage sheets return!}

Boy, do I have some goodies for y'all today!

First up, a new wallpaper! I know you've seen the painting before, but now, you can customize your desktop with this wonderful image! Available in three sizes, this girl weathering the storm is cute and fun. She's in the Wallpapers gallery, for July. What will I create for next month? *G*

Secondly, while in the process of cleaning & packing the studio, I happened upon the originals for my collage sheets! Remember these? I printed them on fabric for use in your journal OR fabric projects. Well, as things are transitory right now, they're available as digital downloads. Click, print, and enjoy! They're $2.50 each, which I think is a pretty fair price for some cool collage fodder.

Looking over them, I realized I haven't made any new ones lately! So keep an eye out for a whole slew of new collage sheets created from my journals. I use 'em, too! When I'm looking for a little something to spice up a page, I grab one and glue parts down. It's really fun!

I would have had this all set last night, but I accidentally deleted all my work under the Join In! section when trying to clean up the spam in the forum. So that's relaunched -- I missed some newer posts under Future Video Suggestions, so if you posted there recently, please do so again! Silly spammers! *sigh* Tis all part of having a website, I suppose!

There's also a new contact me form to make it all easier to drop me a line. *hint hint!* I LOVE getting emails! It's just so fun, and the digital age's answer to getting a letter in the mail (which I love even more, btw!).

Sending love and puppies!