Saturday, November 26, 2011

Art Journal Love from Donna Downey

I happened to be surfing the net the other day for mixed media artists and women bloggers and came across the website of Donna Downey. Art journals, mixed media techniques, tips and tricks, along with product trials are what she is a master at and I especially love her Inspiration Wednesday video tutorials about how she completes art journal pages. Her personality and style if refreshing, she is down to earth, which I love, and her images are easy to see and learn from. If you are an art journal fan and haven't heard of her, you have now. I am off to view more videos, then to sling some paint or glue. Peace!

inspiration wednesday 9.21.11 from donna downey on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gratitude, Gratitude, Gratitude and one INSPIRATIONAL Prom Dress Story

Let's just say this month has been one for the record books, books I would love to burn, page, by page, by page. But then again, all I have to do is turn on the T.V. or load Facebook to realize no matter how frustrated I am, no matter how exhausting life seems to be, no matter how impatient I have been, there are far worse things to deal with in life....and I am beyond grateful not to have to be dealing with them. My platter is plenty, thank you. 

Two things of significance happened this morning, despite the chaos that surrounded them.

 1. As I lay in bed enjoying the view of my bedroom, which at this point I could probably draw with my eyes closed, I realized I am surrounded by love....much love, and though I hate having to spend as much time in bed, I am grateful that my place of rest is a beautiful one. Here are some pics of my bedside. My bible is closest, though I truthfully admit it is not used as often as it should be. The notes from my sweet hubs stand as reminders when he is gone, or laying next to me, of his quiet love, the love I cherish. My reading list, at the moment, creates a beautiful sculpture of line and color, which speaks to my artistic spirit and seems to give my intellectual side the umph it needs to reach out and read, which at times has been hard. And then there are my candles. They help calm my mood, my spirit, and my senses, which are ever so helpful these days. These may be tiny little things to most people, but in my every day existence, these are the things that make life worth living, and make it beautiful. 

2. After becoming royally peeved with insurance and Medicare and 'stuff' I turned on Facebook to find a link my friend Joy had posted about a single mom who just happened to write a blog about her struggles, which included a pic of this "TO DIE FOR" prom dress she desperately wanted for her daughter . Now, truth be told, it was the dress that actually got me hooked, I mean, hooked enough to click on the link and read the blog, but it was the story behind the dress that blew me away. I sat with chills and almost tears....of amazement, of guilt, and of the notion of a tiny little voice, deep inside my heart saying, "Flush, and get off the pity pot." It was then that I realized how, once again, I live such a blessed life, that God takes care of me in ways I don't deserve, and that despite all the horrid news reports and media coverage about how the world is so screwed up, there are wonderful, decent, loving people intermingled in all that mess. Here is Michelle Grimm's Blog, A Magical Moment, A Dream Dress, and I simply want to encourage my readers to stop long enough to read her story, you won't regret the 5 min....promise, promise, promise!

Michelle's Blog

Life is hard, life is beautiful, but life can be, at times, harder to bear than we believe it should be. I can only speak for myself, but I am choosing to embrace love not hate today, friendship not hardship, life rather than death, gratitude rather that complaints, and faith rather than doubt. For today, that is the best I can do. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ten Words, One Prayer

Each day I get to work on art about 15 min. at a time, which is part of my rehab. This is a challenge because me, being such a boundaries master, lol!, feels like it's only about a blink. So, as I lay in bed surrounded by the supplies I knew would be manageable, I felt drawn to words, but had no clue which ones. When this happens, I always take a deep breath,, or two, or three, and as I opened my eyes I felt led to grab the book sitting next to me on my night stand, "Classic Paintings." It's a tiny, lovely book, printed in France, long, long ago, so I turned to the page by the supervising publisher, Germain Bazin, and wrote the first ten words that spoke out to me:


As soon as I saw the words I had written it was as if a wave of grief came over me. For the past few months the news has been filled with despair, wars, death, tornadoes, destruction, and hate. So, as I closed my eyes, took a deep, deep breath, this prayer for peace came to me. I share it here with you, on the eve of Memorial Day when so many of our loved ones are honored and hope this prayer brings you solace and peace, in a world where it is so deeply needed.

This was my journal entry.

Friday, May 27, 2011

It's Gonna Be All Right

There are no coincidences. I truly believe this. As much as I believe there is a God who loves me, I believe there is an evil force in our world trying to conquer my significance and light. In these two truths, at least to me, I believe nothing happens by chance. I believe one of these two forces in my world, God or evil, moves and life reacts around me, and I to it. Strong beliefs, yes. Controversial, to some. But in this year of my life, I am boldly saying, you don't have to agree with me, this is who I am, this is what I believe, and I love you regardless.

Two weeks ago I had my neck fused. Many of you know this, but many of my new fans and friends may not. Actually, this was my 23rd surgery, no car wreck, just a joint disease that has been a challenge since I was 23. Despite the physical limitations I have faced, the pain, the tears, I have and still believe I live a beautiful, unimaginable life, and am grateful.

Surgery is hard. Many of you know this, and many of who may be facing surgery are probably apprehensive, scared, and worried. I was, with every one. I have also had to deal with the post-operative depression that comes afterwards. Not to everyone, but to some, and to me, often. Part of it is meds, part pain, part life issues that surround me, but like my approach to everything, this will not conquer me, it's gonna be all right.

Today, after almost two months, my Occupational Therapist worked with me to begin painting again. Not a masterpiece, just a simple piece of art to teach me how my posture and adaptations will change for the rest of my life if I want to keep painting. The neck brace, it will be my new best friend. I kinda look at it at this point as an albatross around my neck but I will mentally deal with that because expressing myself creatively is a must, and I will not allow my physical limitations to conquer me either.

The back brace is a new, and constant friend, too. The collar keeps my neck from bending down, the brace helps my core stay stable. And, as I am told, starting small, with baby steps is what I must do, so I will. I wanted to share these with you, because many of my friends struggle with neck and back pain who are artists. If you know of any art friends who face these same issues, please share my blog with them. I have found limited resources and would love for them to know they are not alone. These are my adaptations, but they just might help you as well, especially if you are healing like I am. The painting is simply a start. I have no clue what it will turn into, but it felt good to put paint to paper and feel connected to the artistic spirit that flows within me.

And in the midst of all of this, life can actually fall apart, or it seems. Tears will flow, fears will become real, but in those moments I stop myself and simply breathe, breathe in God, breathe out everything else. My dear friend Terri Keller knows this, and for us, and hopefully many of you, those moments are what becomes the glue to our sanity.

A few hours ago I checked my Facebook page and my blessed college friend Pam had posted a video for me that made her think of me. This is where I know, coincidences don't happen. Every word of that video I needed to hear, to know, to believe, and there it was on my page. God is like that. To me, it's not about religion, it's about a loving God who knows how to gently reach out is hand, even through FB, and say, "I have you, I love you."

As I researched more about Sara Groves, this artist, her song, "It's Gonna Be All Right" struck a chord, especially the quotes. I felt the two videos simply needed to be shared, for private reasons, and for the simple fact that someone out there might need to know, IT WILL BE ALL RIGHT, in time, in faith, with the support of others. I love all of you, I love that you follow my stories, my journey of courage and healing, but most of all, that you love me for me, faults and all. Stay strong my friends, it can be overcome, it can be done, and WE WILL HEAL!

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Snail's Pace is Perfect

It has been almost two months since I created, painted, or delved into that whimsical world of mine that is as much a part of me as my faith. Actually, I believe they are intertwined, and the time has been oppressive. That doesn't mean I have laid wailing and whining about a horrible life, on the contrary. My life is blessed beyond measure. It simply means there are parts of us, that make us each unique, and when one or more of those parts slip away, the person begins to fade just a bit. In my world, I hate to fade. 

One week ago I had my neck fused. Surgery isn't new to me, but what that means in reality is that the creative process will take a bit longer to come back full circle. This morning, I went into my studio, lit a candle, and breathed in God and breathed out everything else. I have missed this place. The place of being surrounding by color, and potential, and imagination, but mostly the place where God is in the midst of it. As I sat, I pulled out a quote by Ira Glass and spent a long, southern bit of time pondering it, kinda like my grandpa used to do on the front porch in his rocking chair. 

What I gained from this is that part of healing is loving myself enough to believe a snail's pace is perfect for now. I may draw a line on a paper, I may simply dream in color, watch the sun dance through my colored glass window, or I might even go back to my all time love of Play-doh. No matter the pace or the product, the beauty is that for me, creativity doesn't have to be limited to making a painting or a collage. It is simply part of who I am, part of my beautiful world, and God has been surrounding me with it the entire time. 

It is easy to feel defeated. Physical pain can zap my zeal in an instant. Emotional and Mental Pain can completely debilitate me. But for today, I am choosing to embrace my creativity in much smaller ways, find the juicy tidbits of joy that surround me, and give myself permission to create anything, knowing full good and well the best of me will show itself when it is meant to. In that I am content. 

Regardless of where you are, I hope his quote encourages you to see that creativity is meant to be experienced daily, in some form, no matter how small.....nothing or no one is insignificant!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Start From The Beginning

Beginnings are part of us, each day, each moment, each breath.

I believe it is how we approach these beginnings that move us forward into our journey or cause us to stumble and fall back. 

Neither motion defines our lives, but the culmination of the beginnings eventually leads us into a place we call "identity." 

I pray today that my beginnings bring me to the point where my identity is at PEACE with the person I believe myself to be, and one who brings courage to those taking their own first begin again.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Arts in April!

Wow! So much going on during April this month in the world of art!

Arts Alive Festival is April 8-10th in downtown Mobile. Art(ology) will have two booths with interactive art demos on the 9th and 10th.


Jennifer Norris, jeweler, will be our guest artist at Art(ology) for April and May. Her gorgeous works will be on display for Artwalk as well.

Mobile Arts Council will host the St. Joseph's 100 years of Light on the Hill show as part of the alumni week at Spring Hill College. St. Joseph's chapel will be the jewel of this show as it is portrayed across the century by different artists and different mediums. My watercolor will be part of it and I am honored to be part of such a great group and great cause.
The Artwork of Ardith Goodwin

Last year, during this week, The Artgown Project was kicked off with a ton of work from Karen Cassidy and many others at Blue Velvet Studios. My Kandinsky gown was part of that show, and just yesterday we found out it was one of two selected from our are to head to New Zeland for the next round of judging in the World of Wearable Art competition. Thanks to Karen, Mobile is now on the map in the international art and dress scene.

On a more personal note, still dealing with the persistent neck issues but as I have come to understand what a therapist once said to me, "Hang on baby, this too shall pass," all is well in the land of Ardithian.

Send me some love friends, missed texting it up with you lately! A

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New Year, New Month, New Day!

2011 came in quite subtle for me. Usually, I would set some goals, make some new resolutions, blah, blah, blah, but this year.....I simply let it happen. What I found was that without all the expectations I place on myself, letting life happen turned out to be one of the best ways for me to start this year, this month, this day. I actually gave myself permission to let those things go and simply approach each day as's been really liberating, to say the least. Now, I wish I could say I am on top of the world and such but no......I am blessed though. Blessed is good, really, really, good, :)

Without the whine...and cheese, I have been struggling with the crud, a cold, or something, and haven't felt great.  It seems to have found a way to completely zap my energy and for 5 weeks now it has gotten old, as old as the penicillin growing in my fridge. I have been collaging through it, writing through it (in my journal), but I haven't felt up to sharing, at least not on the web. I won't apologize for not posting though because I am a firm believer that if your ability or your spirit doesn't lead you to something, then don't go. So I have stayed, alone with my thoughts, my art, my ideas, and the quiet time has been calming. My friends though, have been such a wonderful layer of support and entertainment, which I am most grateful for. 

So, today, despite the sky covering us in a cold and gloomy mood, I am choosing to begin a new painting, work on some collages, and take the time to breathe in God, and breath out, everything else. For me, for today, it's what I need, and taking care of me is all too important these days. My prayers, my thoughts, my smiles throughout the days have been with you all and I hope it finds you well. May you too, take some time, to renew yourself in which ever way seems best! might just fit in some too!

Here is step one of the new piece I am working on. It's a slow process.....may even have to call this one, "Patience."
Step one, transfers from a Biology text, when the paper layer is removed