Feeling Hopeful

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I am feeling hopeful. I can’t really say why except that is how I feel and so that is what I tried to express.

In my last art journal entry, the paper fought me at every turn. So this week I decided to try watercolor paper. I am very pleased with how this page turned out. Since I was working with a hardier paper I was able to explore with some different art supplies than what I am used to. I explored a little collage, inks, acrylics, water soluble pastels and much more. I really wish I could have purple hair like that by the way.

Do you have a favorite paper for mixed media? I would love some recommendations.

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My Own Wonder Woman

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So it has officially been one year since I started my fitness journey.

I am lazy, undisciplined and I hate exercise. At least that is how I felt a year ago. I have always been a little on the heavy side and pear shaped. Once I had children it became impossible to lose weight. I just assumed I was stuck with “mom” body, genetics and all that. I quit my job to become a stay at home mom, which is wonderful. But I noticed that I had more time to snack on junk food all day. It wasn’t really acceptable to sneak a snickers every 10 minutes while at work you know. I realized I needed to make a change. I wasn’t happy about it. I hated even thinking about it. But it needed to be done. I wanted to be healthy for me and for my daughters.

So it has been one year of healthy eating and exercising consistently. I have tried a few different things this past year. I fell in love with weightlifting though. I have had the best results with weights and it makes me feel strong. I love working out now because I feel my body changing for the better and my confidence is growing. I have found that my mantra to keep me moving forward is, “Become my own Wonder Woman.”

My daughters are into super heroes, which is so fun. Who needs a prince to save you if you are a super hero?  So here is my art journal page inspired by my mantra and celebrating my one year fitness anniversary.

It isn’t perfect. I tried some new things and the paper fought me every step of the way. But I am happy with how it turned out. I feel that the message came through.

What will you do to become your own Wonder Woman?

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Dia De Los Muertos

The Day of the Dead is a holiday that is very close to my heart.

I am not of Mexican decent nor have I even visited Mexico. However, I love the thought of celebrating loved ones lost rather than mourning them. Now don’t get me wrong, I do mourn the loss of my loved ones. I miss them terribly and I selfishly wish they were still here with me. Day of the Dead, though, is a day I remind myself to celebrate the life that I shared. I play good memories in my mind. I think about what I loved the most about the people that are no longer with me. I don’t go through all the traditions of building an alter and filling my house with mums but I do spend much of the day remembering.

This year I spent the day (well a couple of days) working in my art journal. It was very therapeutic for me. I used various scrap papers and pages from an old book to collage a background. I used acrylic paint, dye-na-flow ink, paint pens, prismacolor pencils, and my newest favorite art supply the Elegant Writer Calligraphy Marker. When you wet the ink from the elegant writer, the ink turns blue and purple. It is so fun to play with. I am pleased with how the page turned out. She is far from perfect but I love her!

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Dia De Los Muertos

Why am I Here?

My name is Ashley Haley.

I am a mother of two beautiful daughters. They are the center of my world. In my desire to be the best mother I can be, I sometimes forget to do things for me. My oldest daughter, at the time of writing this she is eight years old, tells me she wants to be a photographer and an artist like me. I love art. I have loved it for many years. Unfortunately is has taken a backseat. My daughter has reminded me that my girls are watching me. If I want to them to pursue what makes them happy, I need to allow myself to do the same.

I wouldn’t consider myself a blogger but recently I have been motivated to create art more frequently and share my art, rather than keep it to myself. I mean art is meant to be shared is it not? So I warn you, as an artist with slightly introverted tendencies, words are not my strong suit. I know some people who can speak and write with such eloquence. I might sound like a toddler compared to such wordsmiths but I love people and I love art. So my words may not be pretty, I will have awful run on sentences and horrid spelling and grammar mistakes but bear with me.

My goal with this blog is to find myself as an artist and share my experience with you not to win any awards in writing. So welcome to my blog and wish me luck in my artistic self exploration!

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Ashley Haley and Family