Let’s Go to the Hop: Liberate Your Art 2015

What a maddening month (so far)! I’m happy to take a moment out of my busy end-of-the-academic-year life to focus on pretty things and happy mail.

For the fourth consecutive year I participated in Kat Sloma’s Liberate Your Art swap.  Again, I sent my art out into the world and have had various expressions of art land in my mailbox in return.

This year I received five of the six postcards that were sent to me.  That’s a little improvement over last year when two postcards went missing. I also received two extras in private swaps.  Here are the postcards I received.

Liberate Your Art 2015:  At Work

Liberate Your Art 2015: Postcards Received

I know this isn’t a very creative or interesting display, but the postcards are “on exhibit” in my “temporary” work environment.  There was an electrical fire in the building that houses my office, so our entire unit is slightly displaced in another building on the basement floor.  Although I can look out (and up) the windows and see beautiful trees all around me, my office walls are bare.  Fortunately, I had the LYA postcards in my craft pouch, so I used them and a couple of photos that I was using as bookmarks to add a bit of color and beauty to the wall I face as I’m working on my laptop.  There’s nothing like a wall of words and art to make me happy all day long!

Let’s take a closer look:

"Summer's Memories (Nellie's Flowes)" by Jane Ross

“Summer’s Memories (Nellie’s Flowes)” by Jane Ross

Jane of Reston, Virginia shares this beautiful reproduction of her mixed media art.  She includes an Australian Aboriginal proverb on the back of the postcard: “Those who lose dreaming are lost.”  She also encourages, “Let your imagination soar”–advice perfectly aligned with the soaring birds in her art.

KnoHerPhotos

“Tiny Tumbleweeds” [my title] by KnoHerPhotos

Jeannette sends greetings from Oregon.  I love these “tiny tumbleweeds” and the shadows they cast on the surface.  Jeannette’s “art starts with her camera.”  Mine too! You can find more of Jeannette’s work beautiful work at KnoHer Photos on either Facebook or Flickr.

"Natural Beauty" [my title] by Cathy

“Natural Beauty” [my title] by Cathy

Cathy hails from Arkansas.  This still life is simply elegant.  She also sends an inspirational quote. “Write it on your heart that every day will be the best day in the year” (Ralph Waldo Emerson).  You can find more of Cathy’s still life photos on her blog, Gramma’s Little Corner.

"Mondrian 2.0: A Tribute to Dutch Painter Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) by Will Conway

“Mondrian 2.0: A Tribute to Dutch Painter Piet Mondrian” (1872-1944) by Will Conway

Will of Dover, New Hampshire sends wishes for a creative and rewarding year of art.  I am delighted to be introduced to another artist.  Mondrian is new to me.  Like many LYA swappers, he included a quote: “All art is autobiographical.  The pearl is the oyster’s autobiography” (Federico Fellini).

"Imminent Downfall," by Kat Sloma

“Imminent Downfall,” by Kat Sloma

My last postcard of the “official swap” came from Kat, our lovely swap organizer.  Needless to say, this tribute to autumn is clearly a favorite.  Kat writes, “When you liberate your art, the world is a better place. Thank you!”  This does little justice to the word art she places on the back of the postcard each year.

So here it is–

"Kat's Postcard Back," LYA 2015 Thank You

“Kat’s Postcard Back,” LYA 2015 Thank You

I took a little liberty and added the texture.  The postcard back is white. You can find out more about Kat’s photography, the swap, and the courses she teaches by visiting her site:  Kat Eye Studio.

And here are the bonus cards.

"Cakers Knitting," by Cakers

“A Knitting Selfie” [my title], by Cakers

My friend Cakers surprised me and sent one of her postcards when she sent her set to Kat.  She writes, “My art is knitting and photography combined.  Knitting is what I do to calm my mind.  Photography is what I do to express my creative side.”  She includes a quote about knitting “Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled stpirit, and it doesn’t hurt the untroubled spiriti either.”  Elizabeth Zimmerman.  You can see more of Cakers art–both knitting and photography–on her blog, Cakers and Company.

And finally, when I saw Sherry’s postcard on the LYA Facebook page, I immediately fell in love with it. She generously offered a postcard to anyone who wanted one.  I accepted, of course!

"Wonder" by Sherry Harmes, Amook Island Creations

“Wonder” by Sherry Harmes, Amook Island Creations

Sherry writes from Amook Island, a remote island off Kodiak Island, Alaska. Notice how she includes a tiny portion of the map in her mixed media piece.  She admonishes,” Conceive, believe, achieve!”

Thank you to all of the artists whose work now adorn my office wall (I’ll be contacting your shortly).  An especial thanks to Kat for committing so much time and energy to the swap year after year and all the helper-swappers in Oregon who give their time and assist her in getting things organized and ready for mailing.

As usual, I had a difficult time selecting photos.  I had postcards made of six and couldn’t decide which one to eliminate, so I let family and friends decide. Even though it was also a challenge for them, everyone voted (against) the tulip.

"A Tulip for You," Huntsville, Alabama

“A Tulip for You,” Huntsville, Alabama

Here are the postcards I liberated. You may recognize “Abandoned,” “December Rose,” and “Dogwood” from earlier posts.

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As usual I enjoyed the swap and am looking forward to next year.  The inspiring work I receive and the amazing bloggers I encounter through Liberate Your Art push my creative growth.   I find myself experimenting more with different subjects, composition, textures and colors.  Every year, it seems, by the time the swap rolls around, I’ve added new techniques, either in composition, or in post-processing.

In liberating our art, we give ourselves to the world.  But it is an amazing gift that we also give ourselves.  We lose self-consciousness and self-judgment and give ourselves permission to create beauty where we are and as we see it.

I have a few postcards left, including the tulip, so if you’re interested in swapping LYA 2015 postcards, just let me know in the comments or via email.  Also, if you’re interested in my 2012-14 Liberate Your Art posts, you may see them here: LYA 2012; LYA 2013; LYA 2014.

You can find out more about the swap and artists by checking out the Liberate Your Art blog hop.  Let’s go:  Liberate Your Art 2015 Participants and Blog Hop!

One More!

What, Chandra Lynn?  A blog post two days in a row?!  Unheard of! Well, here’s the deal. We checked our P.O. Box for the first time in two or three weeks and there was a postcard waiting for me–

"Lavender," by Laurie, Silverbird Photography

“Lavender,” by Laurie, Silverbird Photography

The last of my Liberate Your Art 2014 “extra” swap postcards!  This one’s from Laurie of Silverbird Photography.  Pretty, pretty lavender.  Something about the marriage of purple and green is so appealing to me!  I met Laurie through WordPress. She left a heartfelt message shortly after my sister’s passing.  I am ever grateful for people like her who reach out and deeply touch the lives of others without realizing it.

You must check out Laurie’s blog, Shooting Glass in the Garden. She truly creates “color poems” as her site address declares: colorpoems.wordpress.com.

More Art Liberated

A few of us had extra postcards from the Liberate Your Art swap and we were all too happy to share our extras and keep the party going a little longer.  But, before I share the newest art that came in, here’s the collage Kat Sloma designed in honor of Liberate Your Art 2014.  She created it using several of the postcards that were liberated this year through her swap.

"Liberate Your Heart," Kat Sloma, 2014

“Liberate Your Heart,” Kat Sloma, 2014

These posters were sold for a short stint during the LYA 2014 blog hop.  There’s a great deal of truth in the words “When you liberate your art, you liberate your heart.” I usually feel a little more “free” after I’ve released a little part of my creative self into the world–a little anxious, but free.

Kat jotted a quick “thank you” on the back of the postcard she mailed to participants of LYA 2011, the very first LYA. I didn’t find out about LYA until the first swap was over, but now, I have all of Kat’s LYA postcards, so that sort of makes up for my missing #1.

"Vespa," by Kat Sloma, Liberate Your Art 2011

“Vespa,” by Kat Sloma, Liberate Your Art 2011

The first “extra” postcard I received came from Pat.  “Hooray for art” is typeset on the back of her card.

"Seagulls" by Patricia Lyon Surrey

“Seagulls on a River” by Patricia Lyon Surrey

Pat shot this photo in Vermont, where she has lived for almost 40 years, then “enhanced it in PhotoShop.” You can see more of Pat’s work on her site.

Then, I received this lovely watercolor postcard from Sheila.  She sent hers in an envelope with a nice, long note (the note, in my opinion, is the point of happy mail anyway). 😀

Sheila

“Hydrangeas” by Sheila Delgado

Sheila makes beautiful postcards.  Of course, I’m happy this one is purple, my favorite color! You can find more art on her site, and if you’re interested, you can purchase her watercolor postcards at Sheila’s Corner on Zazzle.

Finally, Janice shared her vintage camera photo.

LYA Bonus and NPCW Received 2014-4

“Vintage Camera,” by Janice Darby

Janice ran out of postcards from this year’s swap, so she sent a postcard from LYA 2013.  Lucky me!  I “heart” photos of vintage cameras and I’d been coveting a journal by San Francisco-based artist/ illustrator Lisa Congdon with designs (quote and vintage camera) in this style, so this one really made me squeal with delight.  Janice wrote a quote about “mail” on the back of the postcard, which made it extra special:

“And none can hear the postman’s knock without a quickening of the heart.  For who can bear to feel himself forgotten.”

And while we’re on the subject of art, I received this beautiful handmade postcard from swap-bot BeckyG56 for a “May Flowers” swap.  I’d recently taken a photo walk around campus to capture the tulips.  I wasn’t pleased with the tulip photos, so this postcard came just in time!

LYA Bonus and NPCW Received 2014-1

“May Flowers” by Becky

Becky made this collaged postcard with images from calendar pages.  Isn’t it bright and cheerful?

That’s it for now.  If you missed the original Liberate Your Art 2014 post, you can check it out here.

National Postcard Week!

Did you know that May 5-11, 2013  is National Postcard Week (NPCW)? I just learned about NPCW last year, but so far, I haven’t been able to participate fully.  It comes at such a “bad” time for college profs.  We’re typically in the throes of finals and grading, so anything extra–no matter how much pleasure it brings–just adds to the stress.  If you want to find out more about NPCW, check out Demaris Swint’s “History.”  Demaris organized a swap on swap-bot and I joined because I “heart” postcards and I figured I can handle two partners.  I’m going to get started early next year.  It would be great to send and receive 100 postcards. Here are the two postcards I designed.

Horseshoe & Nails, Ferguson, North Carolina, 2012

Horseshoe & Nails, Ferguson, North Carolina, 2012

There's a black and white version of these flowers in the previous post.

There’s a black and white version of these flowers in the previous post

Send a postcard this week!

My Art Liberated!

When I wrote about the Liberate Your Art swap hosted by Kat Sloma of Kat Eye Studio, I neglected to post the “art” I sent out into the world.  The last few months are a blur, but I think I sent four different photographs out into the world.   There was no real process in selecting the photos.  I have FAR too many to make choosing less than a daunting task, so I randomly selected four photos that caught my eye.  I hope you enjoy! And don’t forget to check out Kat’s site. May you be inspired to liberate the artist in you!

Goree Institute

This gorgeous courtyard can be found at Goree Institute on Goree Island in Senegal. I captured a number of images of this courtyard (of Goree Island in general). I was attracted to the colors, architecture and “layout” of the courtyard.

A Solitary Place

I shot this photo in 2005 at the Nature Center in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina. The Nature Center closed, and as far as I know has not reopened. It saddens me that this “scene” no longer exists, but the photo itself often brings me a bit of serenity. I imagine myself sitting at the picnic table alone with my thoughts and my journal.

How High

This is our neighbor’s fence in New Orleans–altered in Photoshop. The vines climbing up the fence reminded me of Emily Dickinson’s poem.

“Beloved Wife”

My hubby and I were out and about looking for the perfect “Ides of March” photo for a swap I participated in–on March 15th of course. We ended up at one of the Cities of the Dead in New Orleans where we found many gems. That is where we found this beautiful tribute to a beloved wife. How this man must have cherished his wife!  I altered the photo in PhotoShop.  Perhaps, I’ll post the original one day!

If you missed the “Liberate Your Art” Blog Hop, check it out by clicking the link.