Let’s Get Digital

I’ve been busy sketching my two main characters, Fox and Raccoon ~ and trying to figure out their design as well as to find out who they are; personality wise. For me, characters always come before story and so the more I draw them, the more they are able to reveal to me what we are all going to say….it’s very much a collaborative effort 🙂 My characters are very real to me…I’ve been apt to sketch them and myself in various behind the scenes comics which always make me laugh ~ so yeah, it’s true!

At any rate, I really love to sketch fur with a pencil and so much of that quality is gone when I go to my old cut-paper collage style. With that in mind, and also because I wanted to do some color studies, I took out the wacom tablet that I haven’t touched in some time and swore off of last year because I found the whole process frustrating. You know, old dogs, new tricks? What I didn’t plan on, is I’m actually enjoying it this time around. And my hands are not sticky and the floor is clean….and I have easy access to the music I like as I play tunes all the time while I’m drawing  ~ AND corrections are EASY!  I don’t know, maybe new tricks aren’t so bad.

Here is my first version of Fox

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And Raccoon’s first time at bat…that tail is very furry I must say 😉

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So yeah…I’ll be exploring some digital rendering for a bit and see where that goes…

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but thus far, there is clearly something magical going on in the moonlight…

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Surround Yourself with Magic

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I first heard these words when I scoured my brother Johnny’s journals after his passing…I tucked it away for safe keeping and even kept it on my bulletin board for years as it seemed a nice thought to hold on to. Like most things that my brother wrote, I would come much later to deeply understand it’s significance and what pearls he left me in those journals of his.

Obviously some people have discovered the truth of this statement and have been living the magical life and reaping it’s benefits for decades; but most not.  It’s quite a transition when you make the leap; the shift in consciousness. The magic is utilized with the mind ~ and controlling the thoughts that occupy it. Thoughts have more power than most people realize. It’s said that if we knew how powerful our thoughts are, we would never have a negative thought again…for what we think, we become….hence the mind is a magical tool especially when it’s hardwired to the heart…for the heart knows everything and it can use the mind to achieve great things — that’s how it works. How it doesn’t work is when the mind is the one steering the ship and the heart is ignored.

Is is any wonder three of my favorite children’s book authors know/knew about the magic of the mind/heart connection? 🙂  So let the heart be the Captain of your ship and navigate while the mind is the engine that gets you where you want to be.

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and remember what ties it all together… 😉

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and…

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Let’s talk about LOVE

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“Nothing done with Love in the Universe is ever lost” … I once read these words from the pen of a man I came to “know” in a very unexpected way. He’s a man I would very much like to meet someday; but he’s about 85 years old so it best be soon ~ Bucket List.

Love is all there is, love is a many splendid thing, love makes the world go round. It’s why we are here ~ well, most of us anyway…. So why not write a book about the subject? Many have, many will continue to…for love is magic, love is mystery, love perseveres, endures, transforms; doesn’t it? All the good stories have love woven into them…it’s all we are ultimately.

I find myself listening to a lot of love songs lately ~ prior to and working on this book. I find myself digging up the old treasures from the past that I tossed, vowing to never go dig them up again – but they seem like they have been there waiting ever so patiently for me to rediscover them…those old parts of me that I discarded bitterly…. so I buy them, again ~ only this time for a buck at the library resale store that I frequent after yoga. I’ve gotten the CDs I used to have so I can play them in my car, loudly and sometimes I get daring and roll down the windows and sing them at the top of my lungs. And why not? For I am free…free to love once more…free to embrace the next adventure that awaits in the unknown.

And there is Springsteen…he is back. Long ago from the past – (before I ever married/crashed/burned), when he was discovered right where he should have been….on the Jersey Shore in a bar one night and still more later on the sand of said shore where I ran barefoot and laughing being chased and even commended for my winged feet. I’ve listened to a lot of Bruce lately; interviews on youtube and I’m reading his autobiography BORN TO RUN currently. His songs are like mini memoirs and layered with meaning; and I wonder if that is why he is so beloved by many. He dares to show himself. I like that…a true artist. I picked this out of an interview I saw on youtube:

“When that world of LOVE comes rushing in, the world of FEAR comes with it…now you have something you can lose. To open yourself to one thing is to face the other thing. YOU HAVE TO EMBRACE BOTH THINGS. One must walk thru the World of Fear so One can live in the World of Love”

yes, Boss, ain’t it the truth.

 

A Breath of Life

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At long last; I am working on a new book! The working title is “Fox and Raccoon” – heh; nothing fancy…yet….This one has been inspired by the last year especially (since I came to live in the woods by a creek) and certainly the journey of the last 5.5. I am very excited about it and it has many autobiographical aspects to it. The inspiration came with a decision I made and it’s been flowing freely ever since I committed to following that impulse. It’s marvelous when that happens…when you don’t want to stop drawing/writing and after being uninspired for quite some time; it feels particularly amazing. It’s going to be something when I start dabbling in color…not sure what’s going to happen when I go there…but I am more interested in evolving my style than doing any kind of repeat performance. Over the last few years, I tried my hand at different genres and now I’m happy I didn’t follow any of them to completion – they were necessary stepping stones to get me back to what I do best; I guess….This feels like a much more positive work, I’m happy to say. They say you write what you know; and I had to get here before I could write anything worthwhile and not completely dark. 😉 For I am free…

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I am Free; Free to Shine and the Whole Shebang

Once, I was a prisoner
Lost inside myself
With the world surrounding me
Wandering through the misery
But now I am free

You gave me a breath of life
Unclouded my eyes
With a sweet serenity
Lighting a ray of hope for me
And now I am free

[Chorus]
Free to live
Free to laugh
Free to soar
Free to shine
Free to give
Free to love
Free enough to fly

Once, I was all so alone
Unsteady and cold
But your love rained down upon me
Washing away uncertainty
But now
I am free
I am free

What if there was a book that made magical things happen the more you read it; thus you would never put it down?

I have imagined such a book….and it is a very big project that I am currently working on. It is multi-faceted, and has many avenues/markets that will spin off of it. I guess you could say it’s my big grand idea….at any rate, I’ve decided to make myself the guinea pig for it. After all, if it doesn’t work for me; how can it work for anyone else?

I suppose this all sounds rather mysterious and well things of magical qualities usually are of that nature…right now I am working on a prototype; thus using materials that have already been put out there. That’s an important concept of the book because…well, you’ll see…all in good time….

For right now, let’s just say I’m answering the age old question, “Who Wrote the Book of Love?”

I did. I am. And I will.

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Change Your Story…Change Your Life

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Hello…yeah, it’s been a while….not much…how about you?…I’m not sure why I blog…I guess I really just wanted to talk to you… 😉

Apparently I was headed down the wrong path and that can happen when you are traveling on the slippery slope. So here I am again, ready to make new. I am reinventing myself…

We had to say goodbye to a lot of the old, and letting go is one of the biggest lessons in life. One cannot stay stuck in the past–for one thing, you will miss out on a lot of great things in your present and of course your future.

So I have let go of fear, and am embarking on a new adventure. Paper has always been a playmate of mine so that hasn’t changed. But I have an interest now in the making of a special kind of book. A magic book…

So I will be playing with some new toys…And that’s going to be a lot of fun. I’ve already found that out!

I no longer look back at what was, nor do I necessarily concentrate on what is, I focus on what could be.  I’m the subject of my next project and if it doesn’t work for me; it won’t work..period. But I highly doubt that. Watch and see…

 

 

 

 

 

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Old Time Blogger Back!

Blogging isn’t new to me. I used to maintain a somewhat popular blog after my son was born and it was back when blogging was relatively new and the craft renaissance (not just for Grannie’s anymore) was born out of it. All this was back in 2004.

I made many internet friends and some of them I continue to converse with to this day–never even having met in person. This process allowed  women who were stay-at-home moms that were interested in bringing the “handmade love” back into their world for their kids to connect and converse together. We all shared ideas and our artistry on a daily basis. Many of us opened ETSY shoppes and many more went on to have books published based on their crafty creations.

There were many swaps I participated in from around the world, the birth of the Plush Movement, Softie Awards (I won a couple!), and Gallery Shows~ PLUSH YOU!  and I even put together a project of my own entitled “PAPERBAG SWAG” in which each participant created art, swag and whatnot for a few pages in each participants book as it was mailed around the United States. I think it took us all over a year to complete it! But we did. And the results were amazing; as so much love and care went into every page.

Many personal tragedies over the years plagued my blog continually and I struggled with maintaining a happy disposition while dealing with many real life issues, Grief and Loss being the persistent one. I wrote from the heart and soon my blog was more about the deep questions of life than about the art and the craft. I lost my audience as I lost myself in too much pain. In short, I had entered “the cave”.  What I didn’t know was all this was changing me; challenging me, transforming me, and bringing me to a much better place. The Universe was clearing the decks of everything that was wrong in my life and built on sand. Everything that was holding me back from being my true authentic self. I learned that Trusting in something bigger than myself was the key to freedom.

Dwelling in deep dark caves can be scary where nothing is known and everything is unfamiliar. But it can also be trans-formative if you go there. Solitude allows one to hear one’s own voice which is drowned out all too easily in the outside world. And that is the ONE voice you need to listen to for it is only then you will truly “know thyself” and that process is a miraculous gift.  It’s a necessary place that one has to go in life in order to get anywhere and I have many things to say about it as I have experienced it firsthand. But there is time for all that.Everything for a reason.

One fine day though; the end of the darkness comes and there is light at the end of the tunnel. And as you walk out of the cave; it only gets brighter and brighter.

So here I be. New & Improved, so much Wiser and Shiny new, polished by stones. And the best part? I know who I am and why I am here.

Good things are going to happen here. Stay tuned.

Your Life is Your Story

…and is the best place to start cultivating the pearls from the depths of your experiences. Everyone has a story to tell and if you are an artist; it’s your mission to be the truth-teller of the human experience. Life is full of ups and downs, challenges, joy, laughter and heartbreak. All the stuff that makes life worth living.
Welcome to my world. I invite you to share and hopefully be inspired by what you see and read here. It’s just my creative process and I feel fortunate to do what I do.

acrylic and collage ©Theresa Smythe 2013

Joseph Campbell outlined The Hero’s Journey as the basis for all great mythical story arcs. This is also known as the Journey of the Soul. So when we write stories that reflect this path, they resonate very strongly with all of us because we are all on the path of the Hero whether we know it or not. Sooner or later you will get the “call”. Whether you answer it, is up to you.

And let’s face it, I’d rather be a Hero than a victim; wouldn’t you?