Sunday, November 9, 2014

Highlight of my Week


The highlight of my week is working at the senior living facility, arting with my elderly friends.  We have been together for several weeks now, know each other and have a great time.  This last week we had show tunes playing during our painting time and boy did we enjoy singing along!  The high point was singing “Oh what a beautiful morning, Oh what a beautiful day…” from Oklahoma.  The whole room erupted with our voices!  So much fun!

I have included more information regarding the Alzheimer's Assoc.,  Memories in the Making program in this post.  I had a very special time recently, with a woman very dear to me who is afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease.  We got to her happy arting place through looking at my sketchbooks.  She was articulate in analyzing my compositions, she was happy, and mentally sharp and quick too for 30 minutes.  It was absolutely wonderful to enjoy that time with her!  It was also an AHA moment for me in putting the MIM program to the test and hitting goal!  So grateful and inspired to keep working with others!

Memories in the Making®, Alzheimer’s Association
A fine arts program for people with dementia

Memories in the Making (MIM) was introduced in 1988 and is a signature art program of the Alzheimer’s Association Orange County Chapter. It is a unique program allowing persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias to express themselves through art.
MIM can benefit each participant in the following ways:
     • improves self-esteem
     • serves as an outlet for emotions
     • increases attention span and focus
     • activates neurons
     • reduces isolation and provides opportunity to socialize
     • taps into pockets of memories that still exist
     • reconnects families
Dementias and the loss of language does not mean the desire to express oneself is less. One does not cease to exist just because one can no longer remember the past few decades of his life.  Through the creative process of painting, these individuals speak to us, offering us the essence of themselves. In viewing the art, the families, caregivers and public are often very touched by the tangible evidence of what remains of the individual even after the disease has robbed them of so much.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

An Update to My Edlercare post - May 2012

Eldercare has continued to be prominent in our lives as my mother-in-law's Alzheimer's dementia has progressed.   As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been inspired to pursue volunteer opportunities in our area --  but I hit road blocks.  In 2013 a friend referred me to the Memories in the Making program with training through the Alzheimer's Association.  I took the training last year but scheduling service times didn't work out.  I retook the training this year along with a few additional classes and I am happy to tell you I have landed at a facility where I am needed and feel useful.  It's wonderful working with elderly folks with dementias making art!

My role with Tim's family is one of an ambassador providing encouragement and helps from the compassionate and professional information the Alzheimer's Association provides; plus preparing to be caregivers as our turn is coming up.   In case you would like to look into the Memories in the Making program or to check out the Association's tips and helps I have provided a couple of links: http://www.alz.org/oc/in_my_community_10849.asp 
http://www.alz.org/oc/index.asp

This is the quilt I made to depict Mom's treasured memory of her Coming of Age time of life. She is floating to depict her floating memories.



May 3rd, 2012
There are wonderful opportunities for random acts of kindness in eldercare.  As we have been working through aspects of care for our mothers this has come more to my awareness.  My mother recently passed away and my husband's mother is afflicted with dementia. 

During a trip last month my husband had the privilege of escorting Mom to the Senior Day Care Center.  She would not go if she knew it was a day care facility, so covert operations were required.  The staff was wonderful to simply call it the "Senior Center", eliminating "Day Care" whenever Mom was around.  It was well worth it!  My husband witnessed Mom "lighting up the place" as soon as she arrived in the designated multipurpose room.  It did not matter to her who could understand her and who could not.  She had a cheery greeting for each one.  Smiles & attentiveness spread throughout!  The aides told my husband "it's always like this with your Mom".   Her acts of kindness to cheer everyone there is very endearing!

I am inspired to pursue volunteering at the Senior Center near my home - craft ideas and playing games are on the top of my list! 





Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sketchbook Skool Article now Live on Wanderarti

My article about the Sketchbook Skool has been published on Wanderarti. http://www.wanderarti.com/the-sketchbook-skool-international-travel-and-making-art/  

Sketchbook Skool is a wonderful online drawing school that I am sure you will enjoy. Koosje Koene and Danny Gregory started SBS early in 2014.  SBS is all about sketching daily as a path for a healthy life.   You can now choose from 3 courses.  There are 4 terms per year.  Hurry, this term begins October 3rd. I have had great fun and met great folks through SBS.  Do check it out!  http://www.sketchbookskool.com/intro
 
 



Monday, September 22, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop - Sharing our Creative Path

I am thrilled that Chris Staver invited me to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop!   The theme of the Blog Hop is to share about our art and our creative process. 
I am a textile and watercolor artist.  I publish articles, curate exhibits, make art quilts from my watercolor paintings, and I love to promote my work and other artists.  When Chris invited me she hoped that you all might enjoy the variety of the work I do. Chris Staver is a wonderful art quilter that did an interview with me.   Find her interview on my blog at: http://deborahstanleyinspirations.blogspot.com/p/artists-interview-series-014.html  scroll down to April 2014.   Here’s Chris’ Blog Hop post 9.15.14 - http://chrissquiltinguniverse.blogspot.com/2014/09/around-world-blog-hop-monday-september.html

1. What am I working on?
I am in the midst of a sabbatical to develop a series of quilts based on the theme of stories about people – depicting people doing everyday things.  My favorite subject is people and portraiture.  Here’s my latest piece in process:



We all develop our design knowledge and skill with each art piece we make.  Over the years I have collected books on color theory and design.  As I’ve searched the web for design fundamentals, elements and principles I have found some excellent information.  I have had the pleasure of workshops with Caryl Bryer Fallert and Elizabeth Barton.  When I came across Elizabeth Barton’s book Inspired to Design, I brought it right away.  I was delighted to find her class, by the same title, on Academy of Quilting.  This class helped me work through her approach to design.  Well worth the time and effort – it involved a lot of sketching  http://elizabethbarton.blogspot.com/  In Elizabeth’s class we did various exercises that opened up design development to me, and out of this a new series of textile pieces emerged.  Stay tuned – I plan to unveil my series early in 2015.  It is scheduled for a solo exhibit in the fall and I hope to do a few additional solos throughout the year.  The dead line is approaching!











Another area of skill development I’ve been working on this year is to capture through sketching the subjects that inspire me:  buildings, landscapes, flowers, cityscapes and people.  I want to embrace them all in my sketches.  So, this has led to Art Journaling.  My sketchbooks are little bites of experiment, exploration, learning and playing. They are not intended to be a finished piece to frame – though they might inspire a full sized piece someday.  It is a “no harm, no foul” way of arting that I love.  And, it’s a confidence builder!  I have met great folks with similar desires through the Sketchbook Skool online.  Check it out! You might have fun playing this way too.  
SBS
http://www.sketchbookskool.com/intro
  
 
 
Taking a sabbatical from being spread way too thin, scattered to too many obligations has been good for me.  It was timely and the right decision, so much so that I may extend it for another year.  Breaking back has given me time to reconsider where I’ve been artistically, where I want to go and how to go about it.  It has been great to clean out, clear out and redirect my endeavors.  More than one art instructor has told me to “simplify”.  I’m able to embrace “simplifying” now and I’m finding its worth!

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? Although I have done traditional quilting, my love is art quilting & mixed media work.  I blend watercolor painting (on watercolor paper) with creating textile pieces in that I use these two areas to inspire each other.

3. Why do I write/create what I do? I write to promote my artwork, and to promote the work of other artists.  We all learn and are inspired by others.  I want to help get that enjoyment out to more folks.  Over the last 2 years I have published 23 Artists’ Interviews.  They are on the Featured Artist tabs of my blog.
My art background was focused on portraiture and I have a large body of work for portraiture.  I am working to expand into people in scenes telling a story.

4. How does my writing/creating process work? I use my own photography for inspiration as well as attending plein air painting outings with painting groups.  I have 2 friends that can really spark and inspire me particularly when I am stalled or in the O hums.  It is wonderful to come away from a chat full of energy and ready to develop my ideas!

Have you ever made an Inspiration Book?  I love these.  A friend was sitting next to me in a club meeting and I noticed her notebook.  It was a small sized sketchbook.  She had glued inspiring magazine photos on to several pages.  I loved the idea and went home to make a few “Inspiration Books” of my own.  I thoroughly enjoyed taking my collection of photos from file folders where they were buried and not so easily accessible and glued them into my sketchbooks.  I started 3 books that day: one for large photos that included cityscapes, seashore & landscapes; one for portraiture; and the last for people and general.  I used small, medium and large sketchbooks I had on hand and wasn’t using because the paper was too thin for my sketching.  So – it worked perfectly for my inspiration books!  Great idea Victoria!  Thank you.  My next step is to add notes describing why I was attracted to the pictures I chose.  I learned from Elizabeth Barton that analyzing in this way (and more) is also an important step in design development.

I need variety.  I usually have a few projects going on at a time.  Working this way helps to keep me inspired and enthused because I tend to get bogged down working on one piece at a time which is usually large.  I also often give away my small projects: totes, small wall hangings, etc.  I have had my fun making them and I enjoy passing them on for someone else to enjoy.

Lately I have been making fabric collage pieces using black felt for the batting finish cut with a decorative pinking blade, fabric I have painted, embellished and quilted.  Here are a couple of just finished pieces:
















Linking to talented artists and my friends!
Eileen Wintemute – http://eileenwintemute.blogspot.com/
Eileen is a watercolorist and fiber artist.  She makes great art quilts in which she includes birds and fish wonderfully well.  Her latest works have included commissions for geologically based themes.  Do check out her work and her blog.  Eileen uses her blog as a teaching took as well.


Judy Warner – http://judywarner.com/
Judy’s art quilts are characterized by bold shapes and delicate detailed stitching. Her handwork similarly reflects a reverence for delicate stitchery expressions.  Judy loves nature and has a passion for travel that is reflected in her art.  Do visit her website and blog – her work is a must see!


Deborah Weir - http://deborahweir.net/
Deborah is a fiber artist.  Her current work is comprised of massing, layering, manipulating and embellishing to draw the eye of the viewer to explore more. She uses almost any technique which embellishes a surface. You just have to see her work too!


Would you like to participate in this Wonderful Hop?  Just post a comment below and I will let my invitees listed above know.  They may need tagees for their post next week.  Thanks.

I hope you will enjoy backtracking to discover many of the wonderful artists’ involved in this Hop.  I have listed several links to help you enjoy the journey!
*Chris Staver: 
http://chrissquiltinguniverse.blogspot.com/2014/09/around-world-blog-hop-monday-september.html
*Sheila Mahanke Barnes: 
http://idahobeautyquilts.blogspot.com/
*Institches by Bonnie: 
http://institcheswithbonnie.blogspot.com/2014/09/design-wall-monday-9-8-2014.html
*Valerie Reynolds - Quilting Studio:   
http://myplvl.blogspot.com/2014/07/around-world-blog-hop.html
*Marianne Jeffrey: 
http://adventurousquilter.blogspot.ca/2014/07/around-world-blog-hop.html
* Judy - Quilt Paradigm:  
http://quiltparadigm.blogspot.com/
*Esther – I Patch and Quilt: 
http://ipatchandquilt.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/around-the-world-blog-hop/
*Dorien -  Made by Do:  
http://madebydo.blogspot.nl/2014/08/theres-blog-hop-going-round.html
*Flowermouse:  
http://flowermouse.blogspot.nl/2014/08/invite-to-colors.html
*Stel:   
http://haak-en-stekie.blogspot.nl/2014/08/blog-hopping-in-mzansi.html
*Tina Craig:
http://seaside-stitches.blogspot.com/2014/08/around-world-blog-hop.html
*Debbie:  
http://aquilterstable.blogspot.com/2014/08/around-world.html
*Kirsten:  
http://gemini-stitches.blogspot.com/2014/08/round-world-blog-hop.html

Friday, September 19, 2014

Creative Fun Posts for today!


See my watercolor & ink sketches on the Creative Fun tab above.

Have you ever participated in a "link up"?   It's a great way to meet new folks and share your art.  Please click on the links on my Creative Fun page or from the left column for: 

Sketchy 5150's
Off the Wall Fridays
and Creative Every Day

I hope to see you on a link up!  best, deborah

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Virtual Paintout - Kinmen Island - August 2014

Jinmen National Park area

As a participant in Virtual Paintout, I traveled to Kinmen Island this month!  Wonderful opportunities and fun await at Virtual Paintout - take a look:  http://virtualpaintout.blogspot.com/
Kinmen Airport Tower

Monday, August 11, 2014

Watercolor Painting - Birds

I am sketching and painting birds that are part of my husband's book of bird poems and stories.  I do love the challenge of illustrating these wonderful creatures. 

Here's a few for a look see.  Enjoy!

When my sketchbook is full I plan to give it to my dear husband who is patiently waiting!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Artist for July 2014 - Jai Kim


Jai Kim is a fabulous watercolor painter and he is my Featured Artist for July - see his complete interview on the Featured Artist 2014 page tabbed above.  Enjoy getting to know Jai and his work! 

Unfortunately Jai's interview is NOT live on the Patch Online News yet because The Patch is shut down for a system revamp.  I'll let you know when my pages are back up and running!  Hoping SOON!

best, deborah
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