Saturday, November 17, 2012

Lighten Up!

I haven't been able to post for a few days as originally planned. Doctor visits and trying to improve my health has been my focus, but I am glad to take a few minutes to share with you on "Swell Saturday."

I learned through a series of tests that I am in the pre-diabetes and pre-hypertension range. So I've really tried to change my eating habits, giving up caffeine (it was affecting my heart) and trying to kick the fast food habit for good. I'm back to eating more fish and vegetables, and organic when possible. I rejoined Spark People online to track my calories and get motivated. One group I joined creates vision boards to help inspire weight loss. I love collage, of course, and so I worked on a couple inspiration boards on Friday. Here is one of my finished vision boards:
"Lighten Up" vision board/inspiration board by Sandra Martin c. 2012

I used the back 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 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. I loved adding the large paintbrushes from my Dick Blick sales flyer. 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, 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. 
Well, I hope you enjoyed my vision board. I will share more art in the future. 

Live an artful life,
P.S. If you want to find me on Spark People, my username is SMARTIN77

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