I’ve been to London to Visit the Queen

Pussy cat, Pussy cat, where have you been? I’ve been to London to visit the Queen. Pussy cat, Pussy cat, what did you there? I frightened a little mouse under the chair….

Well…you will have noticed that I have been away for a while from my blog. It has been a busy time and not a busy time all rolled in to one. I have been teaching a lot and my day job is very stressful. Sometimes it takes all my energy just to stay upright. I have been creating, but it has been creating just for the classroom – samples of what we will be doing each class. I have not been doing much creating just for me and I believe it is a time when I could have used it.

After returning from my trip it was no surprise to those who have embarked on the same journey, that I returned a different person. Nothing seemed right…nothing fit. It was like I was displaced from my previous life and thrown into unknown waters. I know this sounds weird because you will say, but Heather it is your life. I say yes…and no.

All I truly know, is that it has been a really rough year.

As I come up to the point where I left for my adventure last year I yearn to tidy up loose ends and finish projects and get them gone! Here are a few things that I have done just recently.

I finished a round robin travelling journal entry that will be going to Harriet Hensley in Tennessee. I painted Toronto  because…Let’s face it! She would have no idea where Durham Region is. I used spray inks, collaged magazine letters, and acrylic paints in my double spread.

I also finished off a page in another journal headed for Virginia. The theme was things that you like or bring you joy. I love coffee and so I made some cups out of scrapbook papers and glued them onto the page. I used acrylic paints on the background and wrote out the words of a song by one of my fave groups the Manhattan Transfer – I love coffee, I love tea, I love my java jive and it loves me….It was a lot of fun and I really liked the colours I chose.

The last picture I worked on will go towards my many faces of women project. I have a plan to paint 52 pictures of women. I am delving in to other cultures for the next few paintings to see what flows out of me. Here is Mariel. Named by my friend Shireen.

Mariel

So you see…I have been painting. Just not sharing. I will promise to get better and post more if at all possible. Mission accomplished – 3 things done! Next!!

Artfully yours

P.S. No mice were actually harmed in the process of making this art ; )

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – Into the Garden

Sometimes I am not sure what I am painting. Sometimes it is down right ugly. Sometimes I know that if I never finish the painting we owe each other nothing.

By Heather Mitchell Gailey
By Heather Mitchell Gailey

Then I take a break and come back to it. I give it another chance. The painting…and…SHE… gives ME…another chance. Another chance to give her a life, and to make a difference. Sometimes it works and sometimes, it still doesn’t.

By Heather Mitchell Gailey
By Heather Mitchell Gailey

Another day passes and she reveals herself to me. She is the face of my garden. She is the soul of a colourful sunny day. She is the moment where flowers kiss the earth. She is my soul. She and I merge. She is complete.

By Heather Mitchell Gailey
By Heather Mitchell Gailey

I came to your garden – saw you there, saw you there

I hovered up above – in the air, in the air

Moved your hand with intention – as you dug, as you dug

I longed to touch it again – feel the mud, feel the mud

I am proud of your garden – my love, my love

I will smile down on it like the sun – from above, from above

Thank you Mom.

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

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.

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

Sometimes I just need to remind myself. Do you?

Sometimes in all the cuffuffle of daily life I sometimes forget who I am. Today I needed to remind myself. I, Heather Gailey, am a colourful and creative creature! Now I have to mail it away because I painted the picture in someone else’s journal.

By Heather Gailey
By Heather Gailey