Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Finding Peace in My Studio and Calm in My Garden ~

In the long couple of years during my husband's two lay-offs, I found myself getting lost in my studio and my garden.  I nurtured my flowers and kept my studio alive with new art.  These places centered me and gave me calm and peace.  But, after the lay-offs, I found it very difficult to find peace anywhere.....and, I still feel lost and hopeless and terrified of another lay-off.  So much so that I find myself so overwhelmed that I end up doing nothing most of the time.  

I manage to keep my garden watered ~ 

I try to keep in touch with the little good guys that live in the boysenberries... 

and the new growth that will eventually bloom ~ 

But, in all honesty, I am still struggling.  My family is still struggling and my garden is still struggling.  With these types of financial disasters, it's hard to believe that anyone can ever get back on their feet.  Life becomes gray and dull, even with all the colors of the rainbow showing off in my garden.

I never disregard the goodness in my Everydays.  But my mind is so cluttered with money worries that I can't seem to find the heart or the time to connect to anything for fear that it will be taken away.

Last week, my worries escalated to the point of absolute brain chaos!!  I had to find some peace and calm in order to keep breathing.  

My studio.  My art.  I did it!  I walked into my studio and prepared 2 canvases.  Might not sound like much, but for me, it was a breakthrough.  I had not created a mixed media piece in almost a year.  I've sketched and painted a bit, but collaging/mixed media is really what I love to do.  

Sinking my teeth into 2 new pieces in less than a week was like being rescued from a dark, musty dungeon.

I felt safer.  

Not free from loss, but safer somehow.  Like, even if we do lose our house, I will still have a home in my art.

So, here is the first mixed media piece created in 2016 ~  


The name Lucine means moon or illumination.  

In this piece, Lucine is having an awful time making sense out of her life...out of life in general.  Her pal, Archie, is protecting and comforting her.  Archie has always been Lucine's guardian, through good times and bad times.  

If you're interested in purchasing the original, you can do so by clicking HERE.  :-)

The second mixed media piece of 2016 is a "revisit" entitled:

There are a few character studies from my book that I created several years ago that I like, but I'm not fully satisfied with.  Occasionally, I like to revisit, or re-do a character study.  For me, it's similar to re-writing a chapter.  "The Uninvited" is also one of my tiny tales.  When you purchase the art, it comes along with a short story printed on lovely calligraphy paper.

Here's the little story:

"Today is Miss. Laramie Rabbit's big tea party.  All her friends will be there, ready to have a day of fun and food ~ yummy little rosy cupcakes, delicious boysenberry turnovers, and sweet, minty tea.  But...someone a bit dark and eerie has made an appearance.  Someone or something Uninvited.  What will the day bring for Miss. Laramie Rabbit and her friends?"

If you're interested in purchasing this original, you can click right HERE.

So, as the future still holds some really scary maybes and what-ifs, I have to find peace.  We never know what the future holds, anyway, right?  I think for me, one day at a time is the only way I can breathe through my life.  The recent past is horrifying and the future holds the possibility of losing our home.  So, living in the moment ....one day at a time...is where you'll find me, and you can now find me in my studio too!  :-)

Until Next Time:
Gerushia's New World

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A Little Bit of Catching Up To Do.....

It's hard to believe that it's been exactly 8 months today since the last time I blogged.  At that time, my husband was working through his second lay-off in 15 months.  It was only a couple of weeks after that last time I blogged that he was hired.
Things are still difficult in some ways, but oodles better than they were during the lay-off days.  I suppose it will take a long time to "get back on our feet."

During the last 8 months, I have been up and down.  Thinking, figuring, trying to make some sense out of life.

As always, I have found peace and balance through my garden and nature....

California poppy and a busy bee ~

Hollyhocks reaching for the cerulean sky ~ 

A sunny yellow blossom.  My beloved Mexican tulip poppies ~ 

 I have found that the gifts of nature can be healing....

blustery clouds ~ 

rainbows ~ 

and Johnny Appleseed skies ~ 

Garden strolls with my puppy.....lizard patrol ~ 

He runs himself ragged chasing my garden lizards.
Time for a nap ~ 

Sometimes, just getting away from home for a little while is the best thing... 

I went with my daughter to get her first tattoo a few months ago.  I wouldn't trust anyone more than this guy for my daughter's first!  He's the only artist I've ever trusted for myself, so it was only natural that he would be my daughter's first.

On our way home from our tattoo journey, we left the beaten path and found the wild wild west ~

Even a visit to a local bookstore can be a welcomed journey...

My inspiration ~ 

I am sad to say, I have not been prolific in my studio.
I haven't created a single collage/mixed media piece in 2016.

I have, however, revisited sculpting ~
My son and I worked together on some sculpting projects.  The skeleton you see is his work in progress.  I am working on sculpting a Humpty! 

During the holiday season, I dabbled with some fun, salted watercolors.
I am not a person that loves the winter, but I do love a snowman ~ 

The originals have all sold, but you can get these 3 in print versions right HERE.

I have also continued to work on a series of Humpty Dumpty salted watercolors.  These paintings have helped to get me through some rough patches.

Again, the originals have sold, but both can be purchased in print versions.  Simply click on the titles to view the print.

This piece is about burdens.  Never-ending burdens all year 'round.  Humpty pulls his burdens along with him everywhere he goes, all year.  Winter = the snowman.  Spring = the rabbit.  Summer = the lawn gnome and Fall = the pumpkin.  The thing is, Humpty doesn't have to bring these burdens with him, but he doesn't know how to let them go.  

This piece is about empty promises.  Humpty promised snowman that this would be a safe trip home.  A smooth ride.  But Humpty can't always be trusted.  He gave the pig a little kick in the ribs to make him buck, knowing that it would scare snowman.

Empty promises are one of the things that I have learned to loathe since the time my husband was job searching.  Companies would make so many empty promises, and not follow through.  Sometimes, not even calling back.  It was beyond frustrating.

There is no way I can sum up the last 8 months in a single blog post.  So, I hope you can enjoy the photos and know that things are better now.  We are hopeful that life will continue to get better and the last 2-1/2 years will one day be nothing more than a blurry memory of a time gone by.  

Thank you so much for visiting me again.  I won't make any empty promises about blogging more often.  I love my little blog.  I love taking photos of my garden and sharing my art.  I hope to be back soon....but I won't promise.

Until Next Time:
Gerushia's New World

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Hopefulness, Art, Fear, Thankfulness, Life, Darkness....

I hardly know where to start.

Life has surely pitched my family a curve ball.

You see, my husband was laid off in December of 2013.

He was unemployed from December through the end of July 2014.

He took a less than perfect job, because, let's be serious, that's better than unemployment.

He worked there for just over 7 months when that company restructured.

In early March 2015, he was laid off again.

Currently, he is still unemployed.

During this time, I have helped to keep food on the table with my Art Shop ~

So.....I don't know what the future holds.
But, no one really knows, do they?

I try to stay focused.

And grateful.

Grateful for those dreamy days that are far and few between....

Tea time with a friend ~ 

Quiet days in my studio....working through the worry ~ 

Staying focused ~ 

Thankful for friends that share their bounty ~

Working working working on new art ~

Savoring sweet moments ~ 

....and working hard to make ends meet.

I just recently, (finally) introduced blank inside note cards into both my shops ~
(Still trying to perfect taking artistic photos of my note cards). 

You can find note cards with my art in my Art Shop ~

You can find lovely gardeny note cards in my Photography Shop

This is a rough patch...to say the least.

I have learned a lot...

Especially this ~ 

I have also learned  that, even in the most difficult, dark times....

There can be fun things.

Good things.

I am so happy to say that The Press Enterprise (an Inland Empire newspaper in the Southern California area) interviewed me for their "Artist Spotlight" this week ~  ARTIST SPOTLIGHT

They even included a slide show of my work  ~ SLIDE SHOW

My daughter was so patient last week....

Snapping a gajillion photos to get one single artist photo of me for the spotlight  ~ 

I see the tiredness in my eyes and the hardness in my smile.
And fear.

But....I see gratefulness too.
And a bit of hope.
 And thankfulness.

Until Next Time:
Gerushia's New World

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

"Guardian of the Melody Maker" Character Study.....

One of the great joys in my life is creating character studies for the fairy tale I'm writing called "Gerushia's New World. 

I love my work and I love the research that goes into writing a book and creating art.

This brand new piece is called ~

(Available through my Etsy shop)

You see, in Gerushia's World there is a lot of music and...a lot of music inspired characters. 
This gal is a Melody Maker. She is part of a large group of musical personalities that live within Gerushia's World.  
Melody Makers often roam freely and share their music, hoping to bring calm and wonder to their world.

In this piece, you see her practicing under the yellowy skies of an oncoming storm. 

I used a scan of my Grandma Watson to create the Melody Maker ~ 

In Gerushia's World, under the yellowy skies and bruised storm clouds....
you will find kindness, hope, good and evil, comfort and fear.
But most of all, you will find peace.....eventually.

Until Next Time:
Gerushia's New World

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

It's True....I'm Still Alive ~

I am so happy to be visiting my blog today.
It's been a little while, hasn't it?
April 17th, to be exact.

During these warm and unsure days of summer, my garden calls me.
Snapping photos of the buzzing life all around ~ 

Busy birdbath ~ 

Taking advantage of a cooler than usual afternoon ~ 

Purple stars ~

Hollyhocks in the morning sun ~

Collecting seeds ~ 

Snipping bouquets for the studio ~ 

...taking time to stop and smell the roses.  

Working on new character studies for my book....
This gal is a melody maker (work in progress)

Life has been topsy-turvy .
I've found a bit of calm while working on my book....

and creating new art ~ 

"Beryl's Beginning"

"Guardians of the Questionable Motive (Revisited)"

"Just Horsin' Around"

...and, a new character study for my book ~

"Serafine's Daughter"

These pieces have all sold, but you can surely get them in print versions in my Art Shop.

Life is a mystery.
Sometimes scary.
Sometimes exciting.

We've had a rough couple of years here in Wlassak Wland, but we are pushing forward and living one day at a time.

Until Next Time:
Gerushia's New World

P.S.  It's very hot here today!