Category Archives: Art Every Day Month 2010

Day 24: Quotes, Self-Portraits & A Wolf

Today is Day 24 of Art Every Day Month, so I thought I’d should finally upload some of the creations I’ve made over the past couple of weeks.

I have stuck all these around our apartment, so that I can always see the bright, happy colours & read the quotes whenever I like. I even updated my Vision Wall.

Yesterday we went to the museum of natural history in our city of Daqing, I took a lot of photos! My favourite is of a wolf, the photograph actually looks more like a painting, thanks to the painted backdrop. I added some text & viola! My creation for the day was done ๐Ÿ™‚

I have also been playing around with my camera & setting self-portraits. I will always look upon this time in China as an awesome adventure, a time of great learning & growth, & a year that changed my life for the better…

I wanted to capture who I am now, in these moments, so that I will always have these photos as a reminder of how amazing life is ๐Ÿ™‚ย I included some of my favourite things in the photos, my favourite scarf, books, crystals, candles, incense, jewellery, fairy cards & tarot cards.

In my last post, I wrote about Tumblr. I am so in love with it! So many photos, quotes, awesome people… it’s overflowing with inspiring things to share, I’ve even started adding my own creations to the mix ๐Ÿ™‚

Check out my Tumblr page here!

Keep Smiling! ๐Ÿ™‚

Jen xo

The Cosmos & Other (AWESOME) News

 

By Jen Saunders 2010.

I have bee having some very interesting dreams lately. All my life I’ve had very odd, symbolic dreams, & I always look up their meaning the next day – if I can remember them, that is! Sometimes, I only remember a very tiny part of a dream, but then things happen during the day that help me to remember the rest of it, things like a conversation I have with someone in which they say a word or phrase that triggers my memory, or something I’m doing or watching on tv. It’s pretty cool ๐Ÿ™‚

A few nights ago I had a dream in which I was in outer space, sitting on a planet, admiring the moon that was right in front of me, huge, glowing & so close that I could see all it’s craters. There was a greenish coloured planet in the distance, & countless stars twinkling at me. I felt so completely at peace, so still, & blissfully happy. Weirdly enough, I was singing Taylor Swift‘s song ‘Today Was A Fairytale’ to myself, haha!

As you can see from the above image, this dream inspired me so much I decided to paint it. It’s now another creation to put towards Art Every Day Month ๐Ÿ™‚

The next night, I dreamt that dinosaurs were roaming the earth again, similar to Jurassic Park. I spent most of my dream running & hiding from the huge creatures, trying to stay alive. All of a sudden I saw a T-Rex heading my way, so I jumped on top of a building & saw this amazing view of the ocean. What I didn’t see was a huge tidal wave that was speeding into the city, & as I jumped off the building it swept me away. That’s it, I woke up straight after I was swept away by the wave.

So, I looked up the possible meanings to these two dreams, & here’s what I found (courtesy of DreamMoods.com):

Outer Space: To dream of outer space, represents your boundless creativity.

Space: To see or dream that you are in space, represents exploration and independent thinking. You are broadening your horizons and view.

Moon: To see the moon in your dream, represents some hidden, mysterious aspect of yourself. It is often associated with the feminine mystique and intuition.ย A full moon signifies completion and wholeness.

Galaxy: To see the galaxy in your dream, represents your creativity. It also means that you are looking at the broader picture and are more aware of your surroundings.

Singing: To sing in your dream, represents happiness, harmony and joy in some situation or relationship. You are uplifting others with your positive attitude and cheerful disposition. Singing is a way to celebrate, communicate, embrace and express your feelings.ย To hear someone sing in your dream, signifies emotional and spiritual fulfillment. Your mood is changing for the positive as your outlook in life is looking up.

Dinosaur: To see a dinosaur in your dream, symbolizes an outdated attitude. You may need to discard your old ways of thinking & habits.

Tidal Wave: Symbolizes the clearing away of old habits. If you are carried away by the tidal wave, then it means that you are ready to make a brand new start in a new place.

It looks like they were both very positive dreams, one symbolizing my creativity – which has been boundless lately! – as well as broadening my horizons & enhancing my life with positivity & celebration. The other symbolizing my need to discard old habits – negative thinking, perhaps? – & finishing with a tidal wave, meaning I have already started to clearing the negativity & make a new start. Yep, that definitely sounds like me & my life right now! ๐Ÿ˜€

In Other News:

Amazing news everyone! Something I wrote about my experiences in China & lessons I’ve learnt from it all is going to be published on Tiny Buddha! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m so happy about this, it’s a great opportunity to inspire others & reach such a large audience with my thoughts, creations & inspirations. I’ve been following tinybuddha since it was just a little tweet, & I’ve watched it grow into this huge inspiring empire, with the website, blogs & now a book, so this is an absolute honor for me ๐Ÿ˜€

It will be published sometime within the next month, so watch this space for news of it’s release!

Also, I wanted to thank everyone for all the amazing comments I’ve received! When I started this blog, I wasn’t expecting any readers at all, let alone such kind, supportive & fantastic comments, so thanks! I hope you are getting inspiration to live your best life.

Keep Smiling! ๐Ÿ™‚

Jen xo

Day 11: More Photos Of China :)

Hi!

Today marks one year until my love, Mike, & I say ‘I Do’ โ™ฅ So we spent the day just relaxing, walking around our neighborhood – in the literally freezing -7 temperatures. It was a great day ๐Ÿ™‚ We did some shopping, then went to the park & played on the swings, followed by sitting on a park bench & marvelling at the beauty of the lake freezing over. Coming from Melbourne, where it very rarely reaches 0 degrees, & never snows, all this is very exciting for us – it’s supposed to start snowing tomorrow! ๐Ÿ˜€

Here are the photos, & my creative task for today – Day 11 of Art Every Day Month. (I also still need to upload photos of all the other things I’ve created over the past few days so stay tuned!)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Keep Smiling! ๐Ÿ™‚

Jen xo

Day 7: Vision Wall!

It’s Day 7 of Art Every Day Week already! What a great week it’s been ๐Ÿ™‚ Today I continued on with the theme from yesterday, creating pretty quote art to stick on my always-growing vision wall.

My vision wall displays pictures of my family, friends, things that remind of home, some artwork I have created, my favourite quotes, photos from some of my happiest moments – such as my first art gallery exhibit & the night Mike proposed to me – & some funny pictures that always put a smile on my face. Today I added quotes (see picture below) that I hope will motivate me to focus on study, as I am recommencing university studies later this month (My first two subjects are Philosophy & Art, so you will be seeing plenty of blog posts on those two topics soon!).

HOW TO MAKE A VISION WALL:

Vision walls are a great tool when it comes to achieving goals, leading a happier life, or even just brightening up a bare wall. Not only will a vision wall help to keep you focussed on what is important to you, but they are fun to make & you can add to it & change it as your goals, tastes, & desires change.

STEP 1: You can use anything as the canvas for your vision; a bare wall in your house; a pinboard; a scrapbook or journal… Even the refrigerator door or bedroom window! As long as you will be able to see it everyday, you can place your vision anywhere you like.

STEP 2: Collect photographs, magazine clippings, articles, sketches or other artwork that relate to your goals, desires or just things that make you smile & feel all warm & fuzzy inside. For example; if your goal is to go to Hawaii, you would collect photos & images of Hawaii, it’s beaches, destinations, hula dancers, & stick them on your vision wall. You could also add some articles about the islands, where to stay, even other peoples’ blog posts about their trip to Hawaii! To give it that extra ‘pop’, you could also add a Lei or a fake Hibiscus – one of the native flowers of Hawaii. To ensure that you stick to your goal, you could add some motivational quotes written on brightly coloured post-it notes & stick them randomly around the wall, such as:

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” – Les Brown

STEP 3: Spend at least 5 minutes every day admiring your creation. You can do this as you have your morning coffee or as you get ready for bed at night. As you do so, visualize yourself achieving your goal. Imagine how it feels, what it looks like, tastes like, smells like, to have achieved your goal.ย Continuing with the Hawaii example; visualize yourself lying on a beach in Hawaii, feel the warm sun on your skin (you’re wearing sunblock, of course!), admire the clear blue sea, the golden sand & the tall palm trees, smell the ocean breeze… feel how proud you are for achieving your goal, how relaxed you are, & how powerful you feel knowing that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

If you prefer, you could create a vision wall solely for happiness purposes, rather than for achieving goals. Collect photos of your loved ones, pets, role models, favourite celebrities, artwork, or things you have created yourself to stick onto your wall. Add lists of things/people that you are grateful for, inspiring quotes, funny photos… anything that makes you smile!

Maybe this can start you off:

If you have children, make creating a vision wall an arts & crafts activity for the whole family! It will be fun for them, plus it’s a great tool for helping them to set goals & focus on the things that make them happy. After all, it’s never too early for children to learn valuable life skills such as goal setting & positive thinking!

*If you create a vision wall – or already have one – please feel free to email me pictures of them (jenartist@live.com.au)ย I will include them in another post to help inspire others ๐Ÿ™‚

Keep Smiling! ๐Ÿ™‚

Jen xo

 

Day 6: The Art of Language

It’s Day 6 of Art Every Day Month, & I wanted to create something to add to my vision wall. The other day I bought a huge fake sunflower which I hung on the wall today & it looks awesome, but the wall still needed a bit more colour. So I got out my paints & had some fun ๐Ÿ™‚ Once the painting was dry, I decided to write one of my favourite quotes on it – so that I can always look at my vision wall & be that little bit more inspired…

“The promises of this world are, for the most part, vain phantoms; and to confide in one’s self, and become something of worth and value is the best and safest course.” ~ Michelangelo

I really love this quote, not just because these words were uttered by the legendary Michelangelo, but because it always reminds me to stay centered & focus more on becoming the best person I can be, rather than getting caught up in the illusions of the world.

Tomorrow, I am going to make some more pieces like this to add to my vision wall – I’ll post more photos too.

Keep Smiling! ๐Ÿ™‚

Jen xo

Day 5: Transformation

A lot of things have been changing in my life lately, myself included. For Day 5 of Art Every Day Month, I decided to create something that symbolises all of the transformations that we all go through in our lives.

The koi fish, lotus flower, & butterfly are all symbols of transformation:

The koi fish swims upstream until it reaches itโ€™s destination, where it transforms into a dragon.

The lotus flower pushes through the mud, then grows through the water in order to reach the sunlight at the surface, reaching enlightenment.

The caterpillar reaches the end of itโ€™s life & disappears into a cocoon, only before awakening again as a beautiful, transformed butterfly.

In this artwork, which I’ve titled ‘The Transformation’, the koi fish is at the bottom of the image, representing the time before the change. The lotus flower is opening up after reaching the surface, representing the time during the change. And the butterfly, fully transformed, represents the time after the change & the new life that begins as a result.

I also created it as a tshirt design. I might buy it for myself as a Christmas present!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep Smiling! ๐Ÿ™‚

Love Jen xo

Day 4: Photography!

Welcome to Day 4 of Art Every Day Month! I decided to go for a walk around my neighbourhood here in Daqing & take some photos as my creative task for the day.

Leeks hanging outside our building.

The street outside our gated complex.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We live inย Heilongjiang province, which is the northern most province of China – in between Russia & North Korea. It’s funny to think that I’m living in the oil capital of China, a big city with a population of over 2 million people, when only a few months ago I was inย Melbourne & had never even heard of Daqing. But now here I am, experiencing an amazingly different world than the one I grew up in.

Cropped photo of the entrance to one of the many apartment buildings.

Our graffiti covered front door.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the biggest differences we are experiencing at the moment is the weather. Back home the southern hemisphere, we would usually be getting ready for summer right about now, but instead we are wearing huge winter jackets & even buying balaclavas for when winter really hits over the next couple of weeks. The temperature in winter often reaches -30ยฐC, something I have certainly never experienced before!ย It has already snowed once & the rivers are starting to freeze…

The small river near our building, starting to freeze.

 

 

 

So, that’s my art for today! And now you also know a little bit more about me & my life ๐Ÿ™‚

Keep Smiling! ๐Ÿ™‚

Jen xo

Day 3: Cooking!

Today is Day 3 of Art Every Day Month. I’d been wanting to make a vegan shepherd’s pie for a while now, soย I decided to do some cooking as my creative task for the day. I found the recipe on VegWeb, but I added some new ingredients (& disregarded a few other ingredients that seem to be unavailable here in China) & my version goes something like this:

Ingredients:

  • Lentils, cooked. (I used a whole bag so that we can have leftovers for lunch tomorrow)
  • 1 stick of celery, chopped
  • 4 medium potatoes, cooked & mashed (Sweet potatoes are healthier but I’m not too keen on the taste so I compromised & used two normal, two sweet)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 green capsicum, chopped
  • 1 can of corn
  • tomato sauce
  • cooking oil

Note: I was only making this for Mike & I, & these ingredients gave us plenty, with some leftover for lunch tomorrow. Add more of whatever you like, this isn’t set in stone – be creative with it! ๐Ÿ™‚

Due to my tiny kitchen & limited cooking supplies, I had to use our mini toaster oven to cook the meal, so my directions probably won’t be helpful to anyone, haha! Here’s what it says on VegWeb:

“Preheat oven to 350 degrees. ย Saute onion, celery, and garlic in a little olive oil. ย Add lentils and tomato sauce and cook 15 minutes. ย Pour into a baking pan and cover mashed potatoes.”

Here’s how it turned out:

I know it doesn’t really look like much, but it was delicious! And, best of all, it’s super healthy ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me know if you try it for yourself!

Keep Smiling ๐Ÿ™‚

Jen xo

Art Every Day Month 2010

As many of you may already know, every year in November is NaNoWriMo – or National Novel Writing Month. It’s a great tool for writers all over the world, encouraging them to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. I recently found a similar event for artists, called Art Every Day Month, & signed up immediately. Every day for the month of November, my task is to create art, so far I’ve been painting, but it could be anything from drawing or photography to cooking or decorating, just as long as it’s creative.

As well as posting my usual entries, I will be using this blog to track my progress during the month & posting my creations.

Here are my first two creations – both are paintings, my first time using gouache paints:

Both works (as well as many others) are available for purchase as gift cards, prints, etc. here:

http://www.redbubble.com/people/smilinghearts

See you again soon with more creations!

Keep Smiling! ๐Ÿ™‚

Jen xo