Author Archives: dawnrogal

aaaand, I’m back

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It’s so hard to blog when you really don’t feel like you have anything to say. I’ve been struggling with a massive creative block.  I’ve read books about it, tried aromatherapy, setting up a little alter, hours online looking for inspiration but lately two things have happened that seemed to have helped me to turn the corner.  No wait, three things…

esmoa cyanotypeThe first is volunteering at the El Segundo Museum of Art. I cannot begin to explain what a unique and impressive museum this is. Each new installation is called an “Experience” rather than a show because it truly is something you submerge yourself into. The current show, which ends in a week or so, is called “Spark” and is based on the Mirrorworld books by Cornelia Funke, an author for young adults. Within the museum you’ll find her writing studio (complete with pieces from her home), a greenhouse, an ogre’s tavern, a bottomless tunnel, digital art, and art pieces both by Ms. Funke and other artists that fit the theme.  How can you not be inspired by something so amazing. Working on Family Day I helped visitors to create cyanotype prints, something I’ve not done for ages.

The second is finding some like minded friends to hang out and discuss art with. I’ve really really been missing my friends in Washington. I’ve realized that I need a community within which to work. I need the feedback and  the encouragement.  I can’t work in a vacuum.  Over the weekend I was feeling particularly anxious and my friend, a creativity coach (!) messaged me, “anxiety is the relief actually that everything has shifted. So it’s brilliant, a little scary, but know you are loved and supported creatively.”  How can I go wrong with Narelle in my corner and Kelly cheering me on? It has made a huge difference.

The third is getting a brand new sketchbook, pens and pencil case from my kids for Mother’s Day.  As my daughter said, “It’s just a cheap sketchbook and you can tear out the pages so don’t worry, just go for it!”  What would I do without my two biggest cheerleaders?

So yes, I’m back on track. I hope. I’ll keep you posted.

A Stitch a Day

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Last year I followed Crystal Moody’s Year of Creative Habits. I jumped in around January 5 and continued throughout the year, although I admit to slacking off towards the end of the year. It was great making the time each day to work in my sketchbook but here’s the thing… last year I never felt particularly creative. Blocked I think is the best way to describe it. I found that I struggled through most of the year not only with my depression (ugh) but with finding my artistic voice. Towards the end of the year I all but stopped blogging because I felt like I didn’t have anything to say.  I wasn’t creating, I wasn’t writing and I wasn’t enjoying calling myself an artist.

So what am I going to do different this year?

  • The biggest change has already been made. We moved to sunny southern California, to a little town that makes me very happy. We have orange trees in our backyard and sunshine everyday. That helps.
  • I am going to take the time to stitch everyday. I’ll still work in my sketchbook but this year I need to get back to the hand stitching that I love so much. I see birds and felt creatures on my horizon, I see finishing the repairs on a very old quilt, I see more fun pillows.
  • I’ll continue to blog. Maybe not as often so be sure to follow me on Instagram where I tend to post a little more often than over here.
  • And once again I’ll follow along with Crystal over on her website and the Year of Creative Habits folks on Facebook.

A California Christmas

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This year we are celebrating our first Christmas in California. I have to say, I don’t miss the cold and rainy, cloudy and dreary Northwest weather. Sunny and warm suits me just fine.

We have two orange trees in our backyard. My husband and daughter spent a few hours picking oranges, making juice, marmalade and candied orange peel. You can imagine how amazing our house smelt. For me, this is the new smell and feel of Christmas, sunshine and oranges.

I hope all of you have a wonderful and safe holiday season. See you in the New Year!

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Day of the Dead

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This year we went to Disneyland for Halloween. The park is decorated, people come in costume, the Haunted Mansion is amazing and Frontierland played host to a gorgeous Dia de los Muertos display.

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