Friday, June 1, 2012

Who Me?! by Tracey Clem

Who Me?!

Hello friends and fellow DoodlebugHeart devotees! Deb and Emily very sweetly asked if I would help out a bit on the blog as Deb is waist-deep in the Big Move. I am honored and humbled that they would put their faith and their charming blog in my often-fumbling hands. But since I'm here I thought I would take a moment to tell you a little about myself - who I am and who I'm not.

I am a Domestic Engineer, a full-time Crafter of Future Adults, and a giddily-in-love Wife, even after 12 years. I am the Master of the Laundry Room, the Landscape Technician Extraordinaire, and Finder of all Lost Loveys and Legos. I am passionate about food and wine and love to cook, bake, and yes, even grill. In my past life (aka "pre-kids") I loved and lived to travel and knew no greater joy than climbing on an airplane with my adorable husband. I will read almost anything I can get my hands on - though these days will often fall asleep 2 pages in. With two hilarious and exuberant boys - ages 2 & 4 - I am also a Seeker of Endless Sources of Energy and Patience. As they say around the Doodlebug table, "I am all of these things."

my studio
Now, let me tell you who I'm not.

I am not an Artist.

Emily is an Artist. Have you seen her work? Visit her website, her Etsy store, her posts here and you'll know. She puts paint and paper together and it's transcendent. Deb is an Artist. Seriously, this gal is like the McGuyver of crafts. Give her a flower pot, a paperclip and some chewing gum and she comes up with both a stunning centerpiece and a party favor you want to take home and display on your mantle. And this doesn't even begin to touch on the myriad of other artistic talents these gorgeous ladies have - but, I'm running out of room.

But me? Artist...hmmmm. This is something I have struggled with for years, the idea of embracing "Artist" for myself. I can't pick up "The Heart of the Artist" or "The Artist's Way" without cringing a bit. It fits so many people...but I just can't seem to wear it myself. I guess for me personally it communicates a level of talent that I don't quite feel I have...I haven't earned the title. I would more comfortably say that I enjoy creative activities. Pre-kids I was a singer, and gratefully still get to sing on occasion. As I mentioned, I love to cook, which takes a certain level of creativity. I have picked up Visual Journaling in the last 6 months, which I love to do, but would hardly call "Artist" worthy. I have had the opportunity to do some writing, which is certainly creative. Parenting alone is  a lesson in creativity. 

Why do I confess this? Because here I am...writing on an artful blog created by Artists. And maybe I'm not the only one who feels this way. Maybe I'm not the only one who craves all-manner of artistic pursuits, but can't quite claim the name. Maybe I'm not the only one who loves the process of creating art - all kinds of art - but still laughingly, self-consciously calls myself a "dabbler". If this is you too, I encourage you (as I try myself) to explore the possibility that maybe we truly are...deep breath...Artists. That we can embrace the Oxford English definition: "A follower of a pursuit in which skill comes by study or practice"...and that we can enjoy every moment of that pursuit. And if you're already there, living in and knowing yourself as an Artist, I hope you'll help show me, and those like me, the way. The way to own "Artist" as one passionately involved in the creation of art...all kinds of that hopefully someday soon we can own it too. 


***What's next?***

***We just joined You can join too and get quick, easy email messages about when we're meeting. Follow us here: 
***We were listed in Larchmont-Mamaroneck's on-line Patch. Read the article here!

***Erin Faith Allen is Coming to New York!

Erin Faith Allen
One week from now!
Doodlebugheart is hosting the beauty-filled, super creative, ahh-mazingErin Faith Allen in New York! She's coming to lead a workshop June 9 and 10 (Saturday and Sunday, 9:30 - 5:00) ~ one of her last, before she has a baby this fall.
Email us immediately for more info and to register. Only one or two spots left!
(1-855.OUR DBUG)
Here's what you need to know:

Erin Faith Allen ~ As an international mixed media art teacher, I act as a guide inward ~ to the innate creative genius spark that lies within every one of us.  An artist and empath, I experience the world on a supernatural level.  I make art to understand and process my self, life, and the planet I live on.  My work conveys the delicate dance between light and shadow, and I believe we must know our depths to know our heights: we must howl in wild stark exposure at the moon in order to know true bliss in the glow of sun. 
My artwork can be found on
Course description:
Is your soul a stream of consciousness word parade that flows across your surface?  Does it swoosh in gentle abstract harmony, or blaze it’s way vibrantly across the page?  Have you ever created a piece of art with direct connection and intention to express this pure and unique essence of self?   In this soul-full hands-on collaging workshop we will dive into the depths of our very being, to find our own unique soul signature and express it through mixed media collage.

The clarity of self-image will assist greatly in manifesting your dreams, desires, and circumstances that are your hearts desire.  To hold a self-created image of WHO YOU ARE is a talisman for growth, a gift that keeps on giving for years to come!  You will be given tools of self-awareness that can be utilized in your studio and career, to unleash your potential through this creative process at any time you need to connect with yourself for answers, guidance, or fun.

With guided visualizations, music, and stream of consciousness writing we will create at least one Soul Portrait, and as many as time allows!

Day One:  Technical / conceptual dialoguing, opening up, and getting into the flow, with hands on creative play time.  
Day Two: is devoted mostly to full-blown artmaking.  I am very hands-on and give a lot of one-to-one time :)  My teaching style is loose, and while technical education and information is part of my class, my passion lies in diving deep into the soul for conceptual and energetic information and inspiration.  

Recommended Supply List:
  • A minimum of 7 photographs of yourself in a variety of sizes, distances, and/or poses so that you have a lot to choose from.  (It is best to work with self-portraits when possible).A minimum of 7 symbolic images that reflect your interests and personal nuances.  These can be colors, shapes, favorite animals and other things in nature, fairy tales, characters, hobbies, beliefs, textures … the sky’s the limit!
  • If you do not wish to use photographs of yourself (though this is highly recommended), you can collect imagery from magazines, ephemera, or hand-draw/paint them to assemble your soul portrait.
  • 11x14 or 11x17 paper, as many as you feel you will fill. This can be scrapbooking paper, watercolor paper, xeroxes of old books or ephemera ~ anything! Gel Medium or preferred adhesive
  • Calligraphy Pen and Ink in any colors that you choose 
  • Any other mediums or accessories or images that you prefer working with – this can be (but is not limited to) acrylic, watercolor, paint pens, stencils, text, found images from books or magazines for collaging, scrapbooking papers for backgrounds.  The more the merrier! 
  • Brushes and tools that you prefer and are comfortable with. 
  • Scissors or Xacto knife

On a personal note... I can tell you, I took class with Erin at ArtFest 2012, which is why I am so excited to bring her to New York! She is intuitive, energizing, insightful, and gorgeously talented. She has a calming presence that allows your true thoughts and feelings to come through -- no judgements, only honor. All levels of ability welcome!

I am thrilled with not only the work I did in the class (it's hanging in my bedroom!), but also I'm touched by the depth of sharing everyone had and the friendships I cherish from it. I cannot recommend her class highly enough. She is wonder-full! You can see her work at or just look at these!

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