Make, learn, change, grow...

I'm happy to report that my new cycling work process has given me new focus—I'm really loving it. I have so many things I want to work on—different kinds of art journaling, a long list of projects, multiple sketching goals and of course so much I want to share here on Hello Heart. Now, I feel I can do one thing at a time—and get to it all. All because I've given myself the structure and the assurance that I really will get to everything else. I think what I stumbled upon is a new relationship with time...which, since the time we've got is the life we've got, is a new relationship with my life.

No small thing!

All my adult life I've struggled with overwhelm as I try to get in everything I want to do (and everything everyone else wants me to do).  I vaguely remember being bored as a teenager, but honestly I have never been bored for one day in my adult life. How could I possibly lack something to do when there are so many books to read, movies to watch, events to attend, skills to develop, and especially arting to create--on top of home and work responsibilities and spending time with the people I love?

(How can anyone be bored—or even have time for aimless screen time?)

I am definitely bored no more. But now, I am not spinning my wheels, either. Finally, I've figured out that by prioritizing my creative activities and then cycling between them regularly over time, I can fall into the task at hand without worrying that I am neglecting something else.

My arting time is now all mine, and I am filled with much more focus and attention with the time—the life—I've got.

So with all this newfound focus, I thought I'd share a little of everything I've been working on in the last few weeks.

Art Journal

I nearly ran to my art journal with a fairy godmother-like moment that I wanted to capture. And it was a fun spread, but I did end up struggling with it a bit as I tried to tone down the background, make the text more readable and unify the two sides. This is what it looked like after all the elements were on the page :

Dream Moment 1As you can see: it was very busy. Then I began to tone down the background with some unifying blue:

Dream moment 2 A little better, but not it still needed more so I gave it one last try:

Dream moment 3I think I did get the the background in greater balance and integration with the whole, but the text is still not readable enough. I'm happy with the text for the most part (I used a font in a magazine as a reference) and I like the page, really, because it does capture what I wanted—but I realize that I need to push myself to the next level (there's always a next level!)

I've now set new goals for my art journaling:

  • Learn to add texture into my work. It's all paint and flat collage these days.
  • I need to learn how to tone/balance/integrate my backgrounds so that central images can stand up to them.
  • Focus more on central images. Often, I begin intuitively and look for my subject to come, which is a fine approach, but I'd like to begin with the image in mind first for a while...which means, like this page, starting with something to say...

I'll let you know how that goes.


I now make it a rule to work on only one project before starting another (even if it takes many cycles to finish). I've worked for several hours in two different cycles to finish this mini book I've been working on—and it's ALMOST done. Next time I come to projects, I will complete it for sure and show the results here.


Ooh, I'm excited about the sketching. I'm still working through the exercies in Carla Sonheim's book, Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists. Here's a gorillia I drew with three different colored mark makers (markers and crayon).

gorilla sketch

In the meantime, I decided that I REALLY need to learn how to draw faces. I've resisted until now. I'm not always drawn to art that features women's faces, but sometimes I am. So the real resistance is fear of failure (of course).This is not an unfounded fear, mind you.  So far I suck!

Anyway, fear of failure is not acceptable. Besides, in my quest for better image making in my art journal (and anything else I make), I figure I should know how to draw faces. So today I jumped online and found some basic face drawing tutorials (Both Michelle Mathey and Donna Downey have excellent "Draw" boards on Pinterest—much gratitude to both artists!) And then I began at the very beginning in my sketchbook with learning face proportions:

learning faces

You might notice that I wrote notes as I went through the tutorial step by step so I can go back to remember...then I practiced a bit:

Learning more faces

Not bad for a first lesson, huh ? (When they're one inch tall, at least!) As you can see, I've set out my curriculum for further learning. Maybe someday soon, you'll see me shading and actually drawing faces! But I hope at the very least, if you think you can't draw, you can see that it is possible...


Well, here I am as it's blogging time in my new cycling work process. I'm so pleased I've made time to share, and I do hope something about my process and my work sparks some ideas for your own time (and life) and art.

See you next time!