Note to Self – Week 6

For this first page, I used Tam’s lesson from Life Book 2014. She taught us how to make these very simple and beautiful flowers.

These are made using your fingers and without a lot of thought. I love the way they look. They made me really happy to make. So much so that I felt compelled to write “beauty is everywhere” on the bottom after I was done.

Because it really is, isn’t it? It’s everywhere. How incredibly beautiful is each flower. The magnificent trees. All the shades of green in each tree never cease to amaze me. I feel like I am surrounded by so much beauty and yet I take so much of it for granted. I do the same thing with my family, my health, my home. The things that are just here. Things I depend on deeply but don’t realize that they are such huge privileges.

I am so lucky. Beauty is everywhere around me. In nature, in the people I love, in the food I get to taste. In the body that houses my soul.


Note to Self is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Note to Self – Week 5

For this first page, I used Kate Thompson’s lesson from Life Book 2014. She is magnificent with drawing faces. Me, not so much. But I felt like trying anyway.

This whole page is painted gold and is really shiny. I am not sure why I didn’t take a shot of it sideways so you can see. But just imagine it. 🙂

In the spirit of bravery, I wrote down the lyrics of the Alanis song I was listening to at the time. It says: I recommend biting off more than you can chew to anyone. You live, you learn. You lose, you learn. You cry, you learn. You live, you learn. You scream, you learn.

To learn, you have to live. And if you live, no matter the result, you learn something from the experience. As with my word, I want to be brave this year. I want to bite off more than I can chew. I want to try harder, do more, work harder. I want to learn. I want to push myself. I want to learn about what I am capable of. I want to scream, cry, laugh, live.

I want to feel alive.

Note to Self is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Note to Self – Week 4

This page was originally supposed to be a Tam assignment for Life Book 2014. Representing ourselves as an animal that represents growth and strength. But I didn’t feel like drawing any animals.

At the time, I was taking several big leaps of courage and I was thinking a lot about being brave so I decided I wanted to draw this girl leaping from one side of a cliff to another. I wanted her to be doing it gracefully, fearlessly, joyfully. Alas, my drawing skills aren’t that advanced. I tried and tried and this was the best I could end up with. I don’t love it but I also don’t hate it.

It says: the courage is in choosing to leap, not in the outcome, so celebrate the leap.

I wanted to remind myself that bravery is not about not being afraid. But it’s also not about the outcome. It’s about trying. Being willing to try. To jump without knowing what’s on the other side. To have faith.

This is a good one for me to remember as I go on my journey of being brave this year.

Note to Self is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Note to Self – Week 3

For this first page, I used Alena Hennessy’s lesson from Life Book 2014. Alena’s style is very fluid and intuitive and I wanted to emulate that.

This page also has no text. It’s easier for me to be organized, have a plan, and write my thoughts down. It’s considerably harder for me to just go with the flow. For this page, I painted the whole page first, and then I drew my flowers and painted over everything else so what you’re seeing in the flowers is what was underneath.

This one reminds me that we all have layers. What you see at face value isn’t always all there is. It also reminds me that what’s here now doesn’t have to be the final version of what there will be. Like art, we are always evolving. We are not finished products. And anything can be painted over. We get to choose who we are. If we don’t like what we see, we keep changing till we do.

It also reminds me to be more fluid. To trust my intuition. To trust that beauty emerges no matter what.

here’s a closeup of the left side:

and right side:

Thanks to Alena for teaching me so much.

Note to Self is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Note to Self – Week 2

For this first page, I used Carissa Paige’s lesson from Life Book 2014. The subject was about home and I thought a lot about what home means to me and what I consider to be my home.

I grew up in Istanbul, Turkey and my sister and parents are still there. A lot of what I consider to be my home is all the way there. I now live in the Bay Area and am married with my own family here. So my heart is always split. Some days I feel like both are my home and other days I feel like neither might be. And the truth probably lies somewhere in between as it always does.

So for this page, I collages some pieces to represent my childhood on one side, and some from my adulthood on the other. I then drew the globe (if I had planned it better, I would have put my sister and I on the right side, closer to Turkey and my boys and me on the left, closer to the US but alas I didn’t plan it.) in the middle and painted all over it.

Then I wrote: Home is where the people you love are.

isn’t that the truth.

here’s a closeup of the left side:

and right side:

this one has a lot of texture:

So, next time I find myself wondering where I belong, I remember: I belong with the people I love.

Note to Self is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

2015 Projects – Note to Self – Intro and Week 1

Each year, I like to make sure I do one project that involves painting. Acrylics for the most part but any kind of painting. I liked the idea of Remembering things like I did for last year’s Remember This project. And I signed up for Life Book in 2015, too.

So Note to Self will be a year of painted pages, using mostly Life Book lessons and a moleskine watercolor journal.

At least that’s the plan.

For this first page, I used Flora Bowley’s lesson from Life Book 2014. Even though it has no writing, my note to self here to let myself be more free. Looser. This piece was done in many many layers and without any forethought. With some structure and grouping of colors but not much else.

It’s a reminder that I need to practice letting go. Like everything else, it’s a practice. This is also a reminder that what looks like chaos at first might end up as something magnificent. Part of the trick is trusting the process. Learning to see what’s there. To see inside the noise. And let the beauty emerge.

I am looking forward to another year of wonderful reminders and joyful art.