(Under) 2 Minute Background Technique

I’ve been experimenting with my iPhone recently, and discovered the free Ustream app which allows to me record videos and live shows with my phone. How cool is that? I’d really like to re-do this one, I was distracted (and stuffy) and it shows.

Super easy. Fabulously fast. Great for journals, or a layer on a mixed-media piece.  I think you’ll enjoy this faux batik, resist type background technique of mine; anyone can do it. Really.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 minutes of free time
  • Your art journal, or watercolor paper
  • A baby wipe
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Rubber stamp (or other object that leaves impressions)
  • Paint Brush/Water (optional)
  • Brayer (optional)

Products I used:

Easy peasy eh?

Artfully Yours,
Chrysti

Unleash your inner vandal: 46 Impressive Graffiti Pics

(1) by Akbar Simonse

(2) by funkandjazz

(3) by yewenyi

(4) by gillesklein

(5) by bit ramone (de vuelta)

Continue reading

Moving among mysteries

move among mysteries

“Those who are willing to be vulnerable move among mysteries.”
— Theodore Roethke

‘Move Among Mysteries’ – Christy Hydeck – 2009 -Artography
Print available here.

I feel as if life is just that these days – this amazing sort of jump from one mysterious adventure to another. My curiosity is peaked, senses are heightened & I feel like I have been bestowed with this awesome takes-the-breath-right-out-from-you-give-me-a-moment-to-take-it-all-in appreciation of all around that surrounds me. Love that.

To reach this state – and mind you, it isn’t always a high, happy place .. it takes a daily committment .. that allowing myself to be vulnerable thing. Giving myself permission to feel, to experiment, to trust and to fully immerse myself in whatever it is that is capturing me at the moment — I am willing to open my heart to the possibilities that await me.  How grand life is, when seen as an adventure.  Autumn always seems to beckon me into that glorious mindset…  exhilarating.

That new piece shown above, is a product of my renewed willingness to stretch myself, and dabble outside of my ‘normal’ — whatever that is…. and ya know what? I love it, I actually love it! I don’t often hang my own work around me, but that piece? It will adorn one of my walls sometime soon.. perhaps, you will consider allowing it to adorn yours as well. (shameless, i know..)

What do you think of it? What emotions does it evoke within you? What have you been courageous in lately?

Warmly, Chrysti

Am I good enough?

sm-cah-the_gift-closeup3-Image5

Each & every damn darn time I complete an article I get a sudden case of the dreaded ‘amigoodenoughs’. Let me reiterate:

Every.      Single.      Time.

My brain works overtime into this ri.dic.u.lous. sort of insane frenzy…  Am I good enough? Is it innovative enough? Is it clear enough? Did I forget something? Is there something new for people to learn? Is it supportive? Is it pretty? Am I sure I am done? Should I have added another piece? Did I proofread it well enough? Is it original and creative?  Is it at all inspiring? Can anyone do this? Is it too bizarre? Is it too common? Are the color palettes pleasing?  Are the pieces balanced? What will people get from it? Did I stretch my wings? Will the editors like it? Will it fit the issue they have in mind? What if it doesn’t? What if all the work was for nothing? OMG maybe I should start over. This isn’t good at all. This is the worst piece I have written. How boring am I? Am I good enough? … and it begins all over again. You know, that vicious circle thing.

Nothing is guaranteed. You may write a perfectly pleasing piece – it could be the nobel prize of art – and it just may get cut because it doesn’t fit. Granted, this has never  yet to happen to me – but I still worry it will. Financially, I have to place the majority of my time (or keep learning to) in things that I will profit from. I need to make a living.. and while rejection doesn’t bother me (much).. the idea of having wasted my time… THAT really friggin’ gets to me. Scares me. Scares the living bejesus outta me.. which triggers all the normal anxieties any one of us may have… and triggers my mood swings. Yikes. 

Earlier this year, was the first time I dropped the ball on an article. (i am still so, so, very sorry pokey) Mentally? I was in a bad, bad place. Physically? Not so good either. I was overwhelmed by life – overwhelmed by pain – overwhelmed with work – overwhelmed with home – you get the idea…  and when I couldn’t complete the task at hand, I beat myself up for it. I still do. It has and will always bother me.. that from time to time, this disease gets the best of me. I don’t want to be ‘that’ girl. Ya know? Things hit rock bottom for me this year… and I picked myself up. I have spent the year focused on getting that proverbial ‘all’ under control, while battling some life changes that would make a normal person crazy.

Still with me? I really do have a point here, I promise!

So I stopped writing, I didn’t commit to very much. I have found strength I forgot I had. I started over again, and began writing once more. When I completed my latest article, (which you should hopefully see in Somerset Studio next spring .. hello part deux) I was actually a bit surprised that my brain went right back to that way-too-friggin-rambly-insecure-mess you saw above. Talk about frustrating. Like a trooper though, I packed it up – shipped it out and hoped for the best. It is a good article, I think. Yet — is it good enough? I really get the most from inspiring someone to do something that they didn’t believe they could — I guess, like any of us… I want to know I contribute, that I have value – and that maybe, just maybe… someone else will gain something from that ‘thing’ I so loooove to do.

When the nasty lil thoughts hit me, I remembered something – a letter I received after my first article with Cloth, Paper, Scissors. It wasn’t the normal, ooo i like it… it wasn’t from someone I knew complimenting me… this was a stranger, who tracked me down.. and sent me the most touching note I have ever received about my writing. It made me cry. She gave me permission to share it years ago, and I hadn’t… but I think today I will. I would never post a private letter without permission.

I know this post is long. I know you may be sick of reading, I am asking that you continue doing sopretty please?

Chrysti,

I wanted to write to let you know how much your article in Cloth, Paper, Scissors has helped my 30 year old daughter.  She suffered an episode very similar to a stroke after the birth of her 3rd child last year and had to have surgery on her brain.  She has limited use of her right side and her speech is slowly coming back.  I have been trying to get her to play with some form of art or another (I am a cloth doll maker and jill of some trades) to help her heal and when I read your article I knew that I could get her to try her hand with this.  Her brain injury occurred on her left side and I knew that if I could show her how much fun she could have just trying some of the techniques she would find the confidence to try even more artistic endeavors.  One thing that we have been told is that the right side of the brain can compensate inadequacies (sp?) that happen to the injured left side and I knew that this was an art form that she would be able to do.

 She was a hair stylist by trade and color was her specialty yet she never felt that she was “artistic”.  Today she tried the first three steps in making a “Skinny Book” and even applied these techniques to some watercolor paper postcards.  We have taken a break until next weekend to let things dry.  I truly want to thank you for the great article with steps that made her feel like there are “no mistakes”.  She is her own worst critic and with limitations put on her now her self confidence and self esteem has been waning.  It was so fabulous to see her eyes light up as each new layer of play was completed. 

Biggest of hugs to you, my dear!

kimber

I of course, replied.. through tears.. the follow up note from her read as so…

Dearest Chrysti,

Thank you so much for writing and by all means share my note with anyone and everyone that you would like to.  You have a gift, my girl, and you were correct in saying that being “different” is one of your blessings.  Know that you touch more lives daily by creating the works that you do. 

When Morana first had her AVM episode they told us not to expect her to live.  A mother’s worst nightmare, I can assure you.  The blessings bestowed on us were many and we continue to be blessed in her healing process.  One of the many has been how you and your art have touched our lives.

When Morana was growing up she considered the art that I did daily just “something” her mom did.  When she was a little girl she drew daily but after a bad experience in school where they made her conform to what “they wanted” her to create she quit drawing, doing so only when assigned.

With this injury being on the left side of her brain I knew that if I could show her that there were no rules I could stir the right side of her brain to react positively.  I have always believed that art has healing qualities and I can already see this in her attitude and outlook about her life in general. 

Your article for Cloth Paper Scissors was just what we both needed to begin the baby steps in her art therapy.  I will be sending some pics next weekend to show you our progress. 

I will also be sharing with Cloth Paper Scissors what your article has stirred in our lives.  As “great” as it is to get “published” they (CPS) were the lucky ones in having you do such a wonderful article for them.

Biggest hugs to you, my dear!

kimber

See, this was my long-winded way of reminding you that despite our deepest reservations, despite our inner critics, despite what has seemingly become routine to us — through the good times, and the worst of times … we touch people. Our lives are all somehow connected, and each of us – has impacted someone in ways we may never know. In ways bigger than us.

Just by being who we are.

Just by sharing what we know.

So, goodbye, for now my-woefully-annoying-lil-insecurities .. I am reminded and trust that everything happens for a reason… once again. How many times will I learn this lesson in my lifetime? And Kimber? Thank you, for still being such an inspiration to me. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Chrysti

Scatter Joy

scatter joy - blog

"Scatter Joy" 16" x 20" Mixed Media Painting by Chysti

For the record, I am totally convinced that if you want a handbook on how to live a good, fulfilling life – one should look no further than always-oh-so-inspiring Ralph Waldo Emerson’s writings. Don’t believe me? Try this sampling of quotes on for size, all of course written and so graciously shared by Emerson.

  • “Be and not seem”
  • “Every man is in some way my superior.”
  • “Happiness is a perfume which you cannot pour on someone without getting some on yourself.”
  • “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.”
  • “Good luck is another name for tenacity of purpose.”
  • “Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.”
  • “A man is a god in ruins.”
  • “There is no knowledge that is not power.”
  • “For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
  • “We learn geology the morning after the earthquake.”
  • “Accept your genius and say what you think.”
  • “It is not length of life, but depth of life.”
  • “The greatest homage to truth is to use it.”
  • “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
  • “Life is a perpetual instruction in cause and effect.”

and lastly, “Scatter Joy” …. it has become my mantra of sorts this year.

Detail in Scatter Joy: Click to see larger.

Detail in Scatter Joy: Click to see larger.

I have mentioned several times how this last year has been one of my roughest ever.. day after day I have been faced with extreme emotional challenges, physical ones and the struggle of once again starting my life anew. It’s a bizarre sort of thing really – for as much pain as I have endured, a part of me absolutely thrives on the challenge – and really, which of us hasn’t had our lives torn apart a bit, only to begin anew? I am also grateful that I have been given this time to learn who I am, and just what I am made of .. and should I forget that, should i forget all the good this world holds for me, should i forget the choices I have in front of me… I have the words of Emerson to remind me.

.. and I have art.

Detail of Scatter Joy Birdie: Click to see larger.

Detail of Scatter Joy Birdie: Click to see larger.

Despite some heavy depressions, lots of cursing and a few really dim days …  I have been creating these wonderfully vibrant pieces, full of color and light.. whimsy and happiness.. full of.. well, good ol’ fashioned optimism. How amazing is that? It is rare I plan out a painting.. I typically crank up the music and allow whatever that magic is inside me to come forth, to emerge. I create with wild abandon, with a huge heaping of freedom, and without judgement… the final result is often eye-opening to me and more beneficial than any 50 minute session with a therapist could ever be. I have discovered, or more accurately- been reminded – of what an incurable optimist I am at heart .. even when the times are more than a bit tough.

Sounds so simple doesn’t it? Yet, it is life changing for me.

Scatter Joy Detail: Click to see larger

Scatter Joy Detail: Click to see larger

 The piece I have shown throughout the post here is aptly named “Scatter Joy”, I threw a good chunk of myself into it & got lost in the magical little world I created … it contains well over 85 layers (i stopped counting there). It is one of the pieces that are dear to me, and one that is difficult for me to part with.. it is up for sale, and on sale at etsy .. and if you decide it holds a deep meaning for you too, I will give you $100.00 back on it – if purchased by Saturday, October 17th … just tell me you heard i ton my blog when you check out.  With that, I am ending here.. before I change my mind!

“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.”

I know just what to do with my time.. paint, paint with creative abandon.

Chrysti

P.S.  I still have some practically free yarn lots left, and the pre-order deal on the 8×10 of knowing  is expiring soon!

P.P.S. What is your favorite Emerson quote? Share it by Saturday October 17th, and you just may win an Artography print of mine!

Permission to Play

Ok.  So it may be old news to some of you.

Alright, more than a few of you even…

but still, it’s pretty cool news ya know?

Article in the July/August 2009 Somerset Studio

Article in the July/August 2009 Somerset Studio

In the July/August ’09  issue of Somerset Studio not only did I create 4 exclusive artist papers, but tutorials on how to create on each of them.. and boy-oh-friggin’-boy was the feedback amazing ! It actually took me aback – just how much folks enjoyed it. Delightful accolades are still pouring in about it even now – love that. It touches me. It motivates me. Words can’t convey how good it is for my heart, for the whole of me .. to know that just by sharing something I abso-friggin-lutely love to do, it somehow …inspires someone.

Simple, yet powerful pleasures that I am continually thankful for.

 “We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.”
 Frank Tibolt

I stumbled on this video a few days ago – it uses my article as a jumping point, and also showcases Claudine Hellmuth’s fabulously delicious  paint line…. I thought y’all may enjoy it as well.

Here are a few others who have also generously shared their results:
(i know there are more, but lost the links i had saved – please resend!)

Did you use the artist papers I created in a project? Did you give the tutorials a try? Shout out in the comments with a link to your work/post and I’ll add it here too, ‘cuz y’all inspire me. For those that have asked, I just may *cough* be working up a part deux of Permission to Play.

Go. Play. Permission? Totally granted.

 Chrysti

Finding Confidence

:: knowing ::
‘Knowing’ © Christy Hydeck 2009

“Be like the bird who, halting in his flight on a limb too slight,
yet sings, knowing he has wings.”

-Victor Hugo

I want to BE that bird.
Some days I AM that bird.
Other days I forget that I  too, have wings.

Self Confidence is a tricky, delicate thing if you ask me – and a subject I find myself reflecting on quite frequently. Circumstances in my life have changed drastically this year; challenging me on nearly every-single-little-or-big-aspect in my life. Until this year… I don’t think I had realized just how much I unintentionally looked elsewhere to validate my worth – when in truth it is my own validation that was so sorely needed. I suppose I thought I had just the right amount of confidence since I can easily rattle off my strengths, and balance that just as quickly with a list of my shortcomings. I don’t see myself as someone afraid to try things, yet it has become apparent that fear has kept from me so many possible joys I could have obtained had I just given something a go. I have been reminded of a (painfully) harsh lesson this year; that by protecting myself from failures, I have hurt myself more than if I had  just… well, let go. I gave others my power, instead of harnessing it myself… a mistake many of us all too often make.

We speak so often on the importance of self esteem, yet rarely do we acknowledge how it is obtained. Much like art, the importance lies in the process, not the result. Esteem isn’t  innate, it is built by overcoming challenges and learning how to cope with the inevitable failures that cross our paths. I am learning to look at life how I have always seen art and how I view creativity. I am adapting my mantra to fit my personal battles and not just my professional ones… it bears repeating:

For everything I create, there will be someone who loves it, someone who hates it, and someone else who could care less.” –Chrysti

So… ultimately, it is how I feel about  it that matters – the rest? It is just noise. I heard someone once say – ‘give it your best, and forget all the rest…’ doesn’t that ring so very, very true? Knowing that has always kept me focused on the journey and what gifts I stood to learn along the way. Now, I am learning how to apply it to the other aspects of my life… and yes, I am becoming more confident by the day… and where there is confidence, there is happiness….

All because I am simply allowing myself to fail.

What have you failed at recently? Cheers to both of our failures, and as a result… our triumphs.

Chrysti

 :: knowing ::

 OVER HALF OFF! Pre-order special on the 8×10 ‘Knowing’ (print shown above!)

  • $12.00 + $3.50 (US) shipping – October 6th – October 14th 2009.
  • Shipping begins on October 15th.
  • Print will be signed & a free ACEO enclosed!
  • Paypal the total amount & your shipping address to khryctee (AT) bellsouth.net
  • Or leave a comment with your email addy, and I will send a paypal invoice.