Where Are We Now?

I am sure everyone has asked this question of another at some point in their life. I know I have. It is a relationship checkpoint question. It is a question used for clarification. It is a question that possesses a tone of longing.

When I decide that it is time to work in my art journal I do not always know what I will write about or what picture will come to life until I begin to write and paint. I feel as if I am merely a vessel or conduit that art flows through. When I enter into an “adventure” I experience it as a meditation or a trance like state and I am not even really sure how I paint what I paint. I am like a medium. I channel art.

If I asked any one of my artist friends who paint, draw, or work with fibres and fabric, they will agree that their medium owns them as well. The doll births itself. Fibres join together in the way they wish. Paint touches the page exactly where it wants to touch. Any artist will know exactly what I mean when I explain this concept. It is intangible, yet it is real.

This new painting is a mix of collage, paint, and doodling. I used acrylic paint, a charcoal pencil, old sheets of music and book pages, matte medium, Krylon workable fixatif, stencils and a permanent fine line marker.

My Friend Randi-Mae wrote a poem to go along with my drawing and a piece of original magical mystical music with the same title as this post that you can listen to on Soundcloud. It is truly beautiful. I hope you enjoy our collaboration. I hope there will be many more!

By Heather Gailey
By Heather Mitchell Gailey
By Randi-Mae Stanford-Leibold
By Randi-Mae Stanford-Leibold
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When one door closes…another one opens

coloured door

I am working on a new art series involving beautiful doors from around the world. They are alarmingly beautiful, often barren, and weather-beaten, and all have a mystical feeling about them. As with any closed-door, it is human nature to wonder what is behind it. In this case I would ask that you look intently at each door and try to use your imagination to envision what may lie behind it. Then write about it in your journal. It will be the beginning of a new adventure for you.

THE QUOTE

While working on this project it has prompted me to think about what the statement “when one door closes…means, and in the larger picture, what meaning it conjures up for me. I did some research and searched for the statement on the internet and there I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is actually part of a larger quote by Alexander Graham Bell. The quote is as follows:

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed-door that we do not see the one which has opened for us”.

How perfectly fitting for my post today!

MY THOUGHTS

This week it is my goal to manifest Abundance, Expansion and Creativity and write about these things in my art journal. I have talked about my plans for success with any and all who will listen and it is an exciting time for me where I feel that I can write my personal history and bring whatever I wish to life. They are many amazing and beautiful doors that are opening up in front of me to offer limitless adventures and happiness. I just have to walk through them.

In preparation for publishing my book this fall I attended a writer’s circle group with a girlfriend Randi-Mae near where I live, and had my mind expanded even further. The creativity and skill in the group made me want to write more. To get us started the organizers challenged us to take a writing prompt and start a story that would be read out to the group when the time was up. The time on the clock was 5 minutes…and five minutes only. Five minutes to get out all you could on the topic at had. It was stressful yet fun.

THE PROMPT: A twinkle in his(hers, theirs) eye.

Every time she looked at him he had a twinkle in his eyes.                                                     He had happy, beautiful, blue, and sparkling eyes.                                                                 He had loving eyes.                                                                                                                 Yes! That was it. He had LOVE in his eyes.                                                                           When he came through the door after work he would look at her with love.                  When he left for work he would look back at her waiting on the doorstep with love,             And in those last moments when they lay staring at each other before drifting off to sleep in each others arms, he would look at her with love.                                                   The twinkle in his eye was pure and it was sweet.                                                                 It was his gift to her,                                                                                                             And each day she received his gift with gratitude and grace.

This is all I got down for 5 minutes, but it was truthful, from the heart and very meaningful to me. When it was my turn to read aloud what I had written, I tried not to cry because at that moment, in those five minutes of moments, I chose to take my eye off the door in front of me and chose to take a peek at the door behind me that had once contained happiness and adventure. For 5 minutes of moments I looked longingly towards that closed-door that closed for a reason. It was a closed-door from the past that I will never open again. Today I know that if it hadn’t closed, I would not have all that I have today. I was grateful then and I am grateful now. I know we all have doors like that behind us. Thanks for letting me share this with you. Now go write in your journal!

THE PROCESS

I probably should tell you about the process of making the doors. They are all 8″ x 10″. The process begins with a close cut paper photo of a door and then I expand on each one using my painting skills. I challenge myself to make it difficult for the viewer to tell where the picture ends and my painting begins.

Here are four that are in various stages of completion. Thanks for reading my post. I welcome your comments and feedback as always.

painted blue doorPhotos/paintings of doors from around the world

pink door

Red and beige door

Writing a book….

I am actively bringing to life a book I have been meaning to write for years. My goal is to have the publishing process completed before Christmas and after I return home from my journey on the El Camino de Santiago this fall. My plan is to merge my art with my journey. So far it has been a mind expanding process. As I go along I will share bits and pieces of the pages that will live inside the cover of the book. Maybe the book will find it’s way onto your bookshelf as well. One never knows….Have an awesome day!!!

A woman living on the edge of a new adventure

paint hands

HI there everyone!

When I started my blog back in 2012 I was truly a woman living on the edge of many adventures – One of them being ART JOURNALING. I came to WordPress because I wanted a consistent platform where I could come to share my creative works of art with others from all over the world. Additionally, I wanted to inspire others who had never made art before to fall in love with something I call “doodle meets diary” , and allow me to share this amazing phenomenon with them.

I regularly shared my own works of art and the beautiful creations of the friends I met while online. I developed inspiration Fridays, where I shared with my readers what inspired me that week, and even had a tutorial day where I taught my readers a technique they could take back to their art room and use in their own art journals.

We all know that life has a way of leading us in directions that we are sometimes not ready – sometimes down a path with many unexpected twists and turns. I experienced many changes at once such as: a new job, a chance to go back to University, and a wonderful new partner. The good news is that I never stopped creating art during that busy time…the bad news is…I just stopped blogging. Now I am ready to begin again and to learn more about how to make my blog more interesting and up-to-date. I can’t wait to begin this process and meet all those involved in the current blogging 101.

My first post back in 2012 was “The Fun Starts Now!” and now today I should say I am looking forward to the Fun Beginning Again!

ART Heals the Troubled HeART

Healing a Troubled Heart
Healing a Troubled Heart

Last weekend I attended a Christ Light Healing Session with Karen McBride in Whitby, Ontario. “Christ healings are a gentle and passive way to unblock negative/stuck energy to assist us in moving forward in life and reconnecting with the soul self. This healing may release physical pain and emotional stresses from the mind, body and soul. All you need to do is be open to receiving so the healing will take place”. During this session I felt energy shifting in my heart and body. In the past I even experienced visions during the meditation.

When I cam home I went directly to my journal and took the time to express what I had felt during the session. This is the best part of journaling as it is a way to immediately get thoughts and pictures and feelings down on paper. These feelings can then be effectively processed at the same time or at some time in the future. Even though the heart picture ended up looking very dark, that is not the what I wanted it to represent. It does however represent a heart being cleared of all negative and unwanted energy.

Before the painting was completely finished I put it aside to do something else and when I came back later to finish it the word ART jumped out at me. That is how I came up with the title of this post and why I put the white border around the word ART. Anyone who is an artist knows that ART heals.

Just remember, there is no wrong way to art journal, and if you end up not liking what you have created there is always Gesso or simply turning the page.

That day, I was able to fully, and whole-heartedly turn to a new page.

The Love Puzzle

Love is a puzzle that artists, poets, authors, historians, and scientists have tried to piece together for infinity. The intricate pieces that come together for it to work are so precise that it is wonder that anyone ever falls in love, however when all the pieces magically snap into place there is a beautiful rush of emotion, attraction, excitement, and contentment. Sometimes it takes awhile for love to grow, and it does so, slowly over time, and sometimes you can experience the split second experience of love at first sight – When you see a person for the first time and you know that you have a strong connection that makes you want to get to know them better…immediately!

Have you ever been on the edge of new love? Have you ever been on the edge ready to jump off from an old love? Have you ever had issues loving yourself enough or a member of your family? We all have been through the ups and downs that being in love and loving ourselves and others brings. How many times you have been through it depends on your age and life experiences.

It is no secret these days that all the “gurus” on television and in print say that Intentions play a big part in who and what we attract in our daily lives. It is just as important to take time to think long and hard about what would be acceptable traits in a life partner as would be in the case of what you wanted in a new career. The key is putting it out to the universe in the form of writing, prayer, or meditation. You can then just sit back and wait while the beauty of love unfolds.

Finding an artistic way to illustrate this was easy with the use of an actual blank puzzle. The Love Puzzle is a workshop offering for those looking to carefully place intentions with the hopes of finding a new love, for those celebrating the love they have, or for those who want live large and are not scared of learning how to love themselves. When the puzzle is complete, take it apart and put it into a small box and give it to someone special on Valentines Day or keep it for yourself as a daily reminder of how awesome you are!

Here are a few photos of the stages of building a Love Puzzle of my own. You will see intentions for desired traits for a new love written with a black Sharpie marker on the blank white puzzle. The words will all be covered over with paint and you will only be able to see them faintly when the puzzle is complete. Of course for this example you can’t see all the pieces because some things are secret.

First hand experience – It works!

Love Puzzle with intentions
Love Puzzle with intentions – yes it says…sexy. Gotta ask for what you want.

The intentions are then painted and collaged over with pieces of tissue paper and vintage stamps and are like a secret message hidden from all except you.  The next photo shows the painting stage which comes after all the collage items are completely dry. Which may take up to an hour.

By Heather Mitchell Gailey
The painting stage – in progress

Below is the finished puzzle, You could write a message on it or a favourite quote about being in love before you take it apart and put it in a gift box of your choice, ready to give away or to keep.

Completed Love Puzzle by Heather Mitchell Gailey
Completed Love Puzzle by Heather Mitchell Gailey

Why not share in The Love Puzzle “artventure”? Gather a group of your friends together before Valentines Day and I will come to your home (within the Durham Region) and guide you through the process of designing and creating your own.

If interested, you can message me here or on Facebook.

LET’S GET CREATIVE!!

Heart Bubbles

It has been a very long time since I have sat down and taken time to blog. I started out feeling bad that I have been away for so long, but then quickly reminded myself that sometimes art has to take a back seat to life. Which is a bit weird in itself, because when you are an artist…your art usually IS YOUR LIFE!!!! That being said, it has been a tough year for me personally and I have had to focus all my energy towards family and work. When change is on the wind it breeds uncertainty, and uncertainty is not conducive to providing a safe place to create in my opinion.

On a more positive note, I did still manage to create some works of art and was also able to find solace in teaching art to others in lieu of creating my own. It was a good distraction. It is my plan to begin blogging again regularly and hopefully you will welcome me with open arms.

Heart Bubbles is the name of the piece I am posting tonight. It is an entry in a journal that does not belong to me unfortunately. It is part of a journal pass that is slowly coming to an end. The watercolour paper in this particular journal was quite thick and maybe a bit thicker than I would usually have used. It was also highly textured. I used acrylic paints and found objects for stamps. The background was a complete work of art on its own and then I decided to paint a face on top. I am sure by now you know I LOVE painting faces. I named it heart bubbles because of the hearts I painted around the circles in the background. Some of the changes I was going though over the last six months had to do with matters of the heart and so I feel this sightly sad, contemplative woman is feeling the hard lesson of a love that has been lost.

I hope you enjoy it, and I promise to write again soon

Heart Bubbles  Sept 2014
Painted by Heather Mitchell September 2014

Grannys Rule!

It is about time I talk about grannys, don’t you think? My grandmothers were truly spectacular, strong, and adventurous women now that I think back about it.

I received a journal in the mail last week from the “Willowing” round robin with a theme of “Stately Ladies”. Immediately I thought about my granny and her sisters on my dad’s side. True stately women with big torpedo tits, blue hair, and stockings. The three sisters were Betty the oldest, Jean the middle, and Beatrice the baby. They made up the fabulous Baker-Boys sisters. All three sisters married to wonderful men, all went to Havergal College in Toronto, all had affluent and a wonderful familial upbringing.

My granny, Beatrice, married John (Nickname Jack, middle name Hales) who unfortunately died when I was one. My Aunt Betty, or Aubie as we called her, married Walter (nickname Gray) Graham who sadly also died before I was born. My Aunt Jean Clarke married Bob who was around for my whole life until early adulthood and ended up being the overseer/protector for all the sisters. These three stately women were strong and lived well into their 80’s and 90’s.

I remember stories of how my Aubie went to Japan with the YWCA during the war and then travelled back many times after that to visit friends she had made while staying there. I spent hours listening to stories of riding elephants in India and numerous trips to mysterious and far off places all over the world. With their husbands gone they decided to take the world by storm and travel, which at the time was not something women did (how times have changed).

So, here is my picture depicting three stately and courageous women. Not a photo realistic picture in any way, but an artistic representation of who they were. A memory embrace for me. I love you. I miss you! Who you were has molded me into who I am today. Thank you!

The fabulous Baker Boys sisters

I miss going to school

This semester I chose to take a break from taking my Bachelor’s of Adult Education prompted by a new job and an unknown workload. Sitting here today on this fine Sunday morning I muse that I miss going to school every Saturday. Crazy eh? I most definitely miss my tiny cohort of 6. I also found out that the Professor that is running the current course is in my top two favourites so far. I seems, some days like a double whammy that I am not able to attend. Yesterday one of my classmates even told me that this course is the easiest one thus far. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Don’t tell me that! Oh well…we have to own our choices.

Today I thought I would share with you a journal entry that I made in honour of the last professor I had. She was wonderful and supportive and I thought she was journal entry worthy. She did some amateur acting on the side so I called her our leading lady. This shows you that you can literally make a journal entry for any reason. She reignited my love for learning and discussion and teaching. Thank you Starr!

For this entry I used acrylic paints and stencils to colour the background and then used magazine pictures and words to convey my main thoughts. The writing with my sharpie came after I completed the whole picture. On the last day of class I presented her with a colour photocopy of the page and she was very moved that she had inspired me to make art. Later Starr let me know that I had inspired her to get back to her art as well. Happy!

The Shining Starr 2013
Mixed Media painting by Heather Gailey

 

2 Angels are better than one!

I received a pretty little journal (maybe 6″ x 8″) in the mail last month from someone in our round robin Journal pass group named Beth. The theme of her journal was “things with wings”. Many people had done dragons and such, yet for some reason I focused my artistic energy towards painting these two sweet Angels.

Journal entry by Heather Gailey 2013
Journal entry by Heather Gailey 2013

When I think of Angels I think of all my precious friends and family who have helped me through hard times over the years and in doing so have become part of my success story. For now I am only going to speak about one such Angel. Her name is Nola. Nola and I have been friends now for 34 years. We met back in high school when we were in grade 10. We went through a lot together, and even though we live far apart we still call each other friend.

Why is Nola and Angel, you ask?

When I was going through my separation and my husband first left me I did not know which way to turn. One day, soon after the break up, I decided it was necessary to make to meet with a counselor at the local Social Services office to discuss my situation. I needed to feel more confident in my ability to live, eat, and support my children, and so I went there to speak to someone about my situation and ask for some short-term financial help. I remember it was winter time and very cold outside on the day I went to apply for help. Inside the office I stood behind a woman in the long line of people waiting to speak to a clerk. It shocked me to see that even though it was snowing outside she stood in front of me with broken shoes, no socks, and a torn coat. It seemed as if life had not been kind to her. I was very emotional with all that was going on and when I arrived back home I called Nola and told her what I saw and shared that it was a scary thought that I might end up in that same way. She said to me in such a strong and reassuring voice…”Heather…I will never let that happen to you”. She stood true to her claim and never did. She would take me grocery shopping and helped me afford paint to jazz up my dingy apartment. She was there for me in every way. She never let me fall. Her wings lifted me and helped me through one of the hardest times in my life. This is why she is an Angel. I love you Nola!

Who are the people in your life who are Angels is disguise? How did they help you in a time of need? Have you told them how much you love and appreciate how they have helped you? Maybe today is the day!