Filed under: catalyst
As always, thank you to all of our visitors and all the encouraging comments you left for us. For those of you who did, thank you for playing along with us.
Ok! Here’s catalyst number fifty:
What is something that you turn to, to lift you up out of a bad mood?
We’re so delighted to have Jen Crossley as this week’s Guest Artist.
I can’t remember where I first saw Jen’s art but I remember the first impression it made on me. The way she combines paper and metal is unlike anything I’ve seen.
Her mixed media jewelry spoke to me immediately. I wanted to touch each piece, examine the details, feel the different textures. Each piece is so unique that I can spend hours looking at it. This is the kind of art I’ve always wished I could learn and I would love the opportunity to take one of Jen’s classes if she ever comes to the United States.
Here is Jen’s art with this week’s catalyst. You can click on it to see a larger version.
My art work lifts me out of Bad mood, I escape into another world, and my mood automatically changes. I throw myself into my art it’s my sanity.
I gain a lot of comfort from my art. I use lots of techniques I love having paper and metal together, either wiring the two, or riveting it to combine the two elements I just like the look of the soft paper and the contrast of metal with it. Another technique I like using is layering to give a 3d effect to make your work POP. I like to think outside the square and look at things differently yes I could put a small word or picture in say a key hole. I think small and love attention to detail in my work.
Thank you so much Jen; we’re so very honored.
Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team. As you’ll see we have another new member on our team: Karin. I will make sure to write an entry about our new members in a short while.
No matter what kind of mood I’m in these two boys can always bring a smile on my face. They remind me what’s important and what really matters in life. I put the phrase “Simple Things” because it really does come down to the most simple things that make them happy and full of wonder. That in turn always brings me to that level of contentment with my life. Even if my bad mood is brought about by one of these cute little faces, they both always have a way of bringing it back around to laughing. My youngest has a new thing where after he’s done something wrong he will come up to me and say “Mommy, I want to tell you a story.” I’ll ask him what’s the story about. And then he says… “The story is I sorry to you.” How can I stay in a bad mood after that? Never!
The one thing that never fails to lift me out of a bad mood is music. Even if I’ve had the worst day, I can get in the car, jack up the music all the way and feel better instantly. That’s why I am thankful for my 120gig iPod. This way I never have to worry about not having the kind of music I am craving at that moment. All my music is in one little machine.
I’ve recently taken up the art of crochet. And just in the nick of time. Wedding planning. House hunting. Future dreaming. All have left me a little chaotic. You would think it’s crazy of me to take up crocheting during this crazy phase of my life. But in fact it has helped silence my thoughts. During these times of learning and practicing the rhythm of the process, I have found my thoughts are all hushed. My time has been well spent. Thinking pondering and praying. There are times when I just listen. And most of the time I’m not such a great listener. It has also helped my patience level :) But the combination of the two has helped my outlook on all the things I’m juggling. I find this time to be the best at bringing peace to my heart. All the while I am bursting with pride taking up a lost art in my family and creatively expressing myself in another form. This is for sure something I hope to continue throughout my life.
I laid a drawing I drew years ago of one of my hands over the top of my blanket that is still a work in progress. I felt like it fit the picture perfectly. As drawing was once my quiet time long before scrapbooking and crochet came into my life.
To get out of a bad mood, I have the perfect prescription for me! It’s been the same things for as long as I can remember – music and art! I listening to music with an uplifting beat that forces me to dance off the “icks”. While doing this, I set up my paint palette and pick up my paintbrush. I allow myself to become completely absorbed by the movement of the paint on the canvas or paper. Following that intuition has always helped me to work through anything.
I have always turned to music to lift my moods. Most often when in the darkest of moods, I am instinctively drawn to the powerful and intricate, carefully woven music of Mozart or Bach. At other times I seek songs with lyrics that touch my soul, words that will hold my hand and pull me forward, giving me strength and hope. In recent years, I have found that I can work through a mood by watching and sketching the birds outside my windows, allowing me to step outside my mood and focus on lines and shapes and color. I always smile when I see a heron in flight, or a handful of feisty chubby chickadees at the feeders, or the pair of eagles who call my trees their own . Completing the lines on a sketch of a sparrow or junco will always lift my spirits. Finally, playing with fabric is sometimes all it takes to move me beyond a mood. I can rummage through a bin of fabric and watch the play of colors before me, touching the different pieces, moving them around, remembering the projects that were made and pondering those that will be. Always, there is the possibility of new ideas emerging and taking over the mood that was there.
This piece embodies all three paths I might take to lift a mood and is constructed in the way of my journal quilt pages. The background fabric is a batik I found in my stash that suggested the ‘not so clear’ lines of a mood. The black swirls were cut from another fabric, rearranged to form both a musical treble cleft and the swirls and spirals of a dark mood. The musical notes are cut from a piece of hand-dyed fabric and quilted on to a background of iridescent Angelina fibers. A watercolor sketch of a heron is tucked into the bottom. All three paths are shown: music; bird art; and fabric play.
No matter how bad my day has been, or what has happened, there is nothing that can brighten my day and my mood like a smile from this little boy.
Quiet. Solitude. Serenity. Those are what I crave when I’m in mood. I’m not one to sulk for very long. I have to get through whatever is bugging me and in order to do that, I need calm. I need to be alone.. With kids being homeschooled during the day and everyone being home in the evenings, I find I get in bad moods when I don’t have quiet time. I need it. My brain begs for it. If I have that calm I’m able to think over problems, plan what to do next and how to go about it. I need serenity.
I started with an old white tablecloth and cut a piece. Spritzed with Glimmer Mist (pink). Added layers of papers/stamps. Stenciled ‘S’ w/Shiva Paintstiks & rubon letters for the word (outlined all in gel pen.) Image is from AlteredPages.com. I sewed, strung beads and gathered the fabric strip. Used a broken piece of trim from an old bed on the top as well as a flower from a 1930’s hat and button from my great grandma. I swiped glue around the edges and sprinkled pink glitter. Sewed on flowers & beads and glittered them as well. Sewed jeweled necklace piece on the top as a hanger. I then glued the whole piece to mat board for support. It hangs in my art room wall to remind me to take time to be calm.
When I’m upset or feel distressed, it’s often difficult for me to know what to do. But during those times, I hear a still, small voice whispering in my heart…calling me to a place where I can find comfort. My journey towards towards that place begins with a prayer for God’s grace and wisdom and my steps are guided by the words of Holy Scripture. When I step forward in faith, seeking wisdom from God’s Word, I find that all the things that once burdened me fall away. Then I find that I my heart and soul are renewed with hope and a loving reminder of God’s love and care for me. That is when I find peace…from words of comfort in my Bible:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. -Matthew 11:28
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. -Romans 15:4
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. -Romans 8:28
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. -Romans 15:13
My awakening to birds is relatively recent and yet the birds have become an anchor and a hinge of my day. I write about birds. I watch birds. And I draw birds. When I draw a bird, I am able to lose myself in the lines and textures and tones that give contour and edge and softness to the bird. No matter what my mood, the act of drawing a bird soothes me and settles me within. I knew that my response to the catalyst centered around drawing birds. But then I was sitting at my table late one night with a cup of tea, and I was sorting through several small bags of scraps, pulling out pieces to be used for patchwork birdhouses and making another pile of even smaller scraps to be used on cards. As I fingered the fabrics, delighting in the bits and pieces that remain from other projects, I realized, suddenly, the beauty of the tableaux in front of me. It is true that sketching brings me calm. So, too, does working with fiber, picking pieces and laying out possible combinations, and creating a whole, seam by seam. After sorting through the scraps, I had intended to sketch my bird for the day, but first I did a quick sketch of the cluttered space in front of me…. an unexpected still life. The next day, I took some photos, hating to disturb the space but unable to work on anything else if I left it all there! In this drawing, I see reflected the way my creative self turns to the birds and to pen and ink… and to fabric… to keep me in balance.
When I’m in bad mood, I’m going to sing, and really, it helps me to turn out of the bad mood. I love to sing, one of my favorites songs is this, it’s from “Hillsong”:
Lifted me from the miry clay
Forever, I will never be the same
Cause You came here
From the everlasting
To the world we live
The Father’s only Son
And You lived
You rose again on high
You opened the way for the world to live again
Hallelujah, for all You’ve done
I used a chipboard background. I made the edges wet, with water, and I crunshed the edges it with my hands to get an old distressed look. I dried the chipboard with my heat gun, and sprayed glimmermist on it, midnight blue and applegreen. After that I added some paper, and laces. I printed the song on a sheet, and add it on the paper with un visible cleartape.
Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What is something that you turn to, to lift you up out of a bad mood?” I urge you to give it a try. This was a particularly healing catalyst for our team, I hope it will prove to be that way for you, too. Embrace the healing power of art. It can be any form of art as long as it speaks to you.
Leave us comments with your work and you will qualify for the RAK we offer to a random participant. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.
Remember, this is not a competition. If your art makes you feel even a bit better at the end, you’ve won.
Until next week, enjoy each and every moment.
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