Wednesday, April 27, 2011

52 Photos Project / Week One / Nourish

Reaching High

This week has begun 52 Photos Project with Bella Cirovic.  I met Bella at Squam by the Sea and she is doing amazing things with written word and photography.  

The theme for this week was {Nourish}.  It could be anything we wanted, we just had to find a photo and share one that followed that theme.  I went through all of my photos, looked in the back yard at all the beautiful flowers beginning to bloom and thought I was going in that direction.  Until I went back through my photos and found this collection of beautiful birch trees with the sun popping through.  I knew this was the one! Nourishment . . . I thought of reaching . . . reaching high and the feeling of being strengthened.  I came up with these thoughts:

When we are reaching for something new we step out of our comfort zones
We tend not to lean on our own understanding
Reaching for our dreams is nourishment to the soul
I can imagine all kinds of possibilities
Growth within happens when we reach
Sometimes we don't quite reach far enough and that is okay
At times I am fearful to reach out
Nourishing my creative spirit is reaching for greater things
The beautiful sun nourishes our world, we take that for granted
Nourishing comes in many sources:
faith, friends, experiences, growth, love, art, words, hugs, music, nature, dreams, sharing, goals, photography, poetry, prayer, ideas, meditation, love of family, hardships.

I ask you today . . . where does your nourishing come from?

Monday, April 25, 2011

A sweet opportunity from a friend

This past week I was featured as an artist by my wonderful and very creative friend Dyan Whyte.  I was able to meet her while taking my very first E-course, Creative Thursday with Marisa Haedike.  Dyan and I formed a friendship on Facebook and through our blogs and we have continued that love and support of each other's work. She has an amazing website and blog on her site The enchanting works of Dyan Whyte, visionary artist;  I encourage you to visit her site and see the incredible works she is doing.  She has a new feature entitled Creatives with Heart where she is interviewing artists from different walks and with different artistic journeys.  I was touched and felt extremely honored that she wanted to feature me!  She asked very deep questions that made me ponder and think on for awhile before I could answer them.  I wanted to answer them honestly and totally from my heart.  I just wanted to thank Dyan for giving me this opportunity and I decided to share that post with you on my blog.  I hope you will enjoy it!  It does give you a peek into my visions for my artwork.  I find it hard to put any spotlight on myself, yet I felt this was important for me to share.  The artist community is a strong one and I am blessed to have such a circle of creatives supporting me.  We all are sharing and growing together and I am blessed to be given such support on my artistic walk.  So here you go, my article from Dyan and I hope you will enjoy . . .

Creatives with Heart:: Donna Wynn

I thought it would be interesting to share some of my wonderful creative friends over the next few weeks. Today's artist is Donna Wynn. Donna is a collage and mixed media painter.
Donna, tell us a little bit about your art journey and how you cam to choose collage as your medium of choice.
My art journey started out as just a weaver and knitter, I have been a weaver for over twenty years. I loved the blending of colors and fibers.  I was part owner in an art gallery, Blue Skies Gallery in Hampton, VA.    I slowly grew tired of just sitting at the loom and the business of "running a gallery" became what took my time more than the beauty of creating handwovens.  I was  always drawn to watercolor painting and took several classes and workshops from many watercolor style teachers.  I loved it, fell in love with it, but Watercolor painting can be difficult.  I am not a perspective painter and not an excellent drawer either! I started my love for collage painting and mixed media by picking up a copy of Somerset Studio a few years back and my heart took a leap!  I knew that was what I was trying to accomplish with my watercolors and it wasn't happening.
It  was the change for me, summer of 2010!  I started cutting words, words, words and collecting so many images, papers, and stuff to collage with.  I absolutely fell in love with it.  I went to a girlfriend retreat with my wonderful friend and only took things to collage on, I came back with beautiful pieces of work.  It is wonderful when you can get away from your normal routine, and concentrate on your artwork for a weekend!
I then attended Squam by the Sea, in October 2010 and it changed my artistic life forever.  I was able to take a class with Sarah Ahearn Bellemare called "Mix It Up" and that was the change of my artistic style, right then!  Being in a room full of like minded women, art boards to create on and every possible art supply to collage with.  We then sat on the beach together and shared our work, I will never forget it.
Since then I have taken other e courses and enjoyed each style I have learned and now I have put all of what I have learned into creating my own mixed media style, I am in love with collage.  I recently took Misty Mawn's Stretching Within course and she took us from drawing to painting to collage, it was an incredible experience as well.

  • Who inspires you as an artist?

  • I am of course inspired by Sarah, she has the sweetest spirit come through her work.  I love Marisa from Creative Thursday, her paintings are beautiful and simplistic.  I love Juliette Crane, I am currently enrolled in her how to paint an owl course, she shares so much of herself in this course, I love Misty Mawn she inspires all of us and I truly love Kelly Barton, she is an encourager and I am totally in love with how she paints her girls. I love your work Dyan, it is so beautiful and I also have connected with Harmony of Feed your Soul Art, her style speaks to me and we have connected in friendship.  Love my Lisa Gonzalez of Happy Mama, her work is sincere and beautiful and she paints from her heart.  Monet, one of the greats, has been an inspiration to me even when I was just weaving, and still holds my heart today with his style and color choices.
    Donna your collage art features love as a dominant theme, why love?
    I truly feel that love is the most important of all things.  I try with my art work to collage in the words love, cut out words or have a peaceful and loving theme.  With my work I want to relay a message through the collage, more than just paint and images.  I am in Love with a might God, I am blessed beyond measure and want so much to relay that to others.  Love encompasses so many good things  . . . peace, harmony, gentleness and support.Tell us a little bit about your spiritual journey and path?
    What is the guiding principle or mission behind your art? Why do you do what you do in the way that you do it?
    I have been a Christian for a long time in my life, since I was a teenager.  I follow a mighty God who has blessed me beyond meausre, even through difficult times.  Having faith in God, and faith in myself, I see goodness and peace in all things and try to live a life that is gentle and in harmony with others.  Practicing yoga has also taught me to reach inside, find goodness in all people and to slow myself down and constantly reach within and strive to be better. Each day I try to walk stronger than the day before. My faith and yoga practice are strongly intertwined.How has your spiritual and artistic work impacted on each other?
    My guiding principle behind my artwork is to create beauty from within.  Before I create anything, I pause and think about what it is the piece is wanting to relay.  Artwork has a beautiful way of coming into its own, with you creating it.  I know if I am not in a beautiful place, it is not time to run into the studio and paint.  I have to be centered and at peace before I come to my art table.  It never works the other way!  My work has to have a feeling of calmness, beauty and above all gentleness.  I think that the colors, words, and images I choose in my collage work relays that.  I am not comfortable creating out of my norm.  I truly set an intention for the piece I am about to create.  
    Do you think your spiritual path helps you to be more effective in achieving your guiding principle as an artist?
    I definitely know that my artist self and spiritual self are intertwined with each other.  My spiritual walk, that which guides the choices I make each day also impact the artist within me.  I know that when I am calm, and feel right about my life, my artwork will flourish.  When there rough times and discontent in my life, I can't create, I know this to be true.  I went through a dry period of time when my mother was so ill with dementia, I couldn't create, being a care taker drained my creative spirit.  She has passed now and I feel my artistic journey has exploded from within.
    I think that is why I entitled my business Gentle Threads . . . living life creatively one day at a time.  When I am right with my spiritual side, everything comes together and my art will relay the message it is suppose to have.  When I am tired, angry, not doing well in my day to day, I can't bring myself to create anything.  So yes, the two are definitely connected with each other!
    I am a 53 year old baby artist!  I have been married 34 years to a wonderful man, have two grown married "delicious" sons!  I am an Optician and manage a very busy Optical boutique.  I love hot yoga and have been practicing over four years, I do love reading on my Kindle and knitting socks and lace when not found with a paintbrush in hand. I created a blog over a year ago, and it has taught me so many things.  I have grown in so many ways since having my blog.  I consider myself to be a gentle spirit, always seeking creativity in my life.  I have the gift of a beautiful and amazing art studio where I get to create in whenever I want to!!! Visit Donna's blog here to read more about her and her art.