Journey

Moving through time we imprint the moments of our lives and form journeys. Creating change, explorations, experiences that are forever remembered. Does the word journey bring up trips traveled and experiences you will never forget?

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Today I start on a new journey. A change in direction, a new collection of time that will form my future. Today was my first day of class for the MAT (Masters of Art in Teaching) at MECA (Maine College of Art). I am ecstatic, motivated, and grateful to be able to change my career mid life and get behind something I am so passionate about.

The left side of my mind says, “why didn’t you do this sooner?” And the right side reminds me that life gives us what we need when we need it and this is the right time to invest in the education of our future artists and art lovers.  To completely change my career and go back to school is so scary and makes me feel so vulnerable. But as my favorite inspirational writer Brene Brown would say, to swim in vulnerability is to live and grow.

We can take journeys in our lives that are physical, traveling to a location to experience another place. Or internal journeys, changing our inner compass and discovering new insights about ourselves. I do believe that our physical and internal journeys exist together and when they find alignment with each other we have found our true compass. Our true path.  Collecting our paths from our past  and connecting them to our future is so important. Hence, why my right brain is telling me everything is okay. I needed all my

older paths to find these new ones and guide me.

I think the most important thing we can do is be present on our current path. Pay attention to the detail around you. Feel the earth under your feet, the breathe from your lungs, and the birds overhead. Because this is your journey to remember and to imprint in your mind for your future self. 

What is your current journey? What path are you embracing?

 

Transitions

I am in a translucent world lately, allowing light to pass through.  Moving from one place to the next allowing myself to fully flow as life leads my path.  Two of my worlds collided and made me feel as if I have completed a circle.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to finally paint my friend, Michele's, belly cast that she gave me many moons ago and said..."here do something with this".

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the beginnings

The underpainting of purple and red.  It is like the veins of the piece.

It sat in my studio for a good decade, until the guy that once grew in that womb had a graduation of high school. What a change coming, her first boy leaving her nest and finding his own path and becoming an independent in this world (well sorta independent, I still need my mama).  I thought, what a great time to finish this waiting project and give the great mama a gift.

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Trees of growth

Belly cast with Acrylic Painting

As I painted on her past frozen in time,  I felt my past art pieces arriving from my mind.  With all the work to apply to go back to school I have been reconnecting with all my past work, shows, and experiences.

My paintings and sculptures of voluptuous women that I did back in college were shouting at the top of their lungs in support to complete this project.  I felt so connected to this piece placing my current self on a piece from the past, connecting my body of work with women to my work of nature.  I felt as though this circle was being threaded around me.

As I head back to school this Fall along with Michele's boy I feel so ready to create a new circle that threads into the old.  May our paths grow with all the things we need to keep more circles connecting.

Love the joy on Michele's face.

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Michele receiving her belly gift

Graduation day of her first baby boy.

Spring abound

80 degree weather last week and yesterday is just the beginning of what is to come. Spring is my favorite time. When everything is blooming in front of us. It goes so fast, so making sure we pause and take time to see the changes are so important.

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I took the time to visit Two Light State Park (Maine) on an amazing spring day that felt like summer.  Found a spot down in the rocks that was smooth and could get my L.L.Bean portable chair out for testing.

Don't forget a large Hydroflask to keep hydraded with cold water and the LLBean TriPod Quick Chair

Don't forget a large Hydroflask to keep hydraded with cold water and the LLBean TriPod Quick Chair

I love the rocks in this area. The rocks look like fortified wood and have so many interesting angles and positions.

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Worked on this piece with three pieces of wood that I put together on my easel. As I worked through placing shape and color as I saw it, after about an hour of time I said to myself what is this? I was so entrenched in the many shapes and colors surrounding me, but when I looked at my canvas I couldn’t see anything.

Frustrated and irritated I told myself “step back lasdin, step back”. I got up stretched and looked at another view. I turned back around at my piece and BOOM! There it is, there are the shapes and shadows! It had been on my canvas all along, but I couldn’t see it because I was too close.

this was the moment I needed to step back. I wasn’t seeing this piece come together until I stepped back.

this was the moment I needed to step back. I wasn’t seeing this piece come together until I stepped back.

The process of painting always ties back to living through life.  We can be so caught up in our day to day, our issues and problems in front of us. But when we take a moment to STEP BACK nd see our situation from a distance greatness can arise.

ell friends, this woman found greatness and continued to work on my canvas for another hour to define and pull forward that greatness. 

So remember to take the time to step back and watch Mother Nature create her greatness throughout Spring. Embrace time.

Also, continue to follow me to other state parks this year because this girl has a state park pass!!!

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Two Lights

Acrylic on Wood

16"x20" (3 Pieces 3"x12")

 

Mixed Media

Oh the smell of oil paints! How they bring me right back to my days of school with paint encrusted floors and a mind fully focused on the bliss of art.

 How does one balance “adulting” and still get the same feeling of school bliss?

 Still working on that one, but the more I stay with my work the closer I am getting.

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I have worked really hard this January to integrate everything through the right balance. Not going to say it’s been smooth or easy, but that’s life.

It’s not finding balance, it’s become an expert at balancing.  

Working hard to be present with my family and friends. Keep present with myself through meditation, dance, writing, and the outdoors. Integrate art every day, every moment. It’s all a balancing act, but the more I commit the easier it gets.

Been working on painting bigger and have been struggling with getting the right texture. As my husband reminded me I used to drag my wet canvases out to the beach and pick up sand texture, throw sawdust to create texture.  So this adult ordered some water based oil paint to work with.

Enjoying the update to my process. I ended up buying Holbein Duo Aqua Oil paints which claim you can mix with acrylic. I also picked up some Windsor and Newton water-based oil (my favorite acrylic brand, along side golden) which only says to layer on the top of the acrylic and don’t mix.

Last night I tried the Holbein oils and loved not only the smell, but the added texture and overlay I got in this piece I have been not enjoying the results with my usual media.

Had a blast getting into it. Tell me what you think! 

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Beach Day

A relief from our frozen moments we have a high of 47 today. This girl hung out in her backyard with just a sweatshirt

"Curvy Fence" Ferry Beach-Maine

"Curvy Fence" Ferry Beach-Maine

I thought it was a great opportunity to get to the beach and breathe in some ocean air. 

I don’t know what has been in my isolated air lately but I have been so stuck in my thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, working through our thoughts are a good thing.  It’s important to ask ourselves the why we do things and the why behind what we want. Getting behind the why helps us create the drive to accomplish things.

Spiral of our Thoughts

Spiral of our Thoughts

I have been hyper focused on my thoughts to help guide me with my future. My current work situation is in a huge change and unknown future, which is creating me to rethink or develop my direction.  Been loving all the mental work I have been doing and working to get more art infused into my days.  But all this work has definitely put my brain into a funk.

Photo bombing dog

Photo bombing dog

But what’s a great way to get out of a funk? Get outside

I forced myself to bring my sketchbook and not land on the good old excuse “it will be too cold” that I find in my vocabulary during these winter months.  

I was so glad I pulled it out and captured the quick sketch on the wind blown shoreline. Got some walking in to warm myself up and get my dog happy.  Not a sketch to write home about, but it’s amazing what the mind captures when you are working to mimic the world around you. It’s like a meditation with pen in hand. Hyper focused only on the moment and sensing every detail around you.

May we all just breathe in the moment and release our thoughts into the ocean air.

Breathe in the OCEAN AIR

Breathe in the OCEAN AIR

Winter Abound

Winter is in full swing in Maine.

Winter began in mid December with a good dusting of snow, but then covered with rain.  January gave us extreme freezing temps that even I started to get sick of them.  I think my only response is cuddle and sleep.  Got myself outside as much as possible, even though my internal core just didn't want to warm up.  This year is making it hard to be my regular outside self.  Always good to find yourself not as your routine self.

One thing I set out to accomplish this month is painting larger than I have been, wait I think I started this summer. Since I started painting "plein-air" (outside painting) I have been using smaller canvas's.  I thought go big, Justine, you used to paint huge 8 foot paintings, this will be so easy....

Day after day I struggled to 'go big', first I thought it was my paint brush size, then maybe it was the paint?  Questioning myself and realizing I was in full struggle, the cold set in and my motivation kept thinking about those blankets and warm bed to cozy up in.

I have been listening to Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin and I must say this book is helping me get through my stuck.

She talks about habits and how we end up creating our habits and how our personality type can really sway our habits a certain way.  So many great tidbits about how to break or create new ones.  

A great new year/ new you book to reflect on your own personal habits and create new ones. Working to understand my personality better so I can understand my habit of having a consistent procrastination technique.

"Lost with the Rocks" by Justine Lasdin Springer 30"x30" Acrylic on Canvas

"Lost with the Rocks" by Justine Lasdin Springer 30"x30" Acrylic on Canvas

At least I got some legs in my habit race, got one of these paintings done.  30"x30", not 8 Feet, but I will take what I can get.

What's your habit that you are working on?

Getaway

Every year I take this getaway to an island in Maine that has no fresh water and delicate septics. Life on the island isn't like camping, but it's a simpler life. Still a working island with lobstering October through June and the summer months of visitors from birders, hikers, artists, and the just gotta be there people. My friend and I take a long weekend every year to paint as much as we can and embrace the special energy this island gives. The light on the island is spectacular and we pick the beginning of the summer which has the most light of the year. This year we kept joking that every moment was noon because the sun just kept on shining. 

We embraced the time and it just kept giving us a ton. Many of my non island days I say I can't find enough time. Not enough time in a day to work, paint, eat, visit with friends. But this island gives this to you. The time is abundant. Granted I am not working my regular paycheck job, but painting is the job on this island. And that is the ultimate beauty, to bask in the moment and do what my heart loves.

I have not taken much time lately to create. A lot of time to think and stew on things. Heck I was stuck in my head and was struggling to move beyond my thoughts. I would try to move and kept finding a wall that kept me back. But life gives us walls so we can be challenged and figure away around the wall. Sometimes it's as easy as walking around the wall, but many times we have to get rope and sweat our way to the top only to be stuck.  Moments, time, people, and the earth can guide our way down and that is what my weekend gave me.

A time to really reflect on my creative energy and understand my direction and desire that I want to embrace ahead. I won't go full force and stay on the island for the rest of the summer, but I will bring the island light with me.

I did so much work on the island and it was a great combination of drawings, playful experiences, and finished pieces. There were many struggles and frustrations. Like the day I forgot to grab the white paint or when I realized my easel was missing a piece and I had to paint in my lap. I moved through all this and kept painting and trying and now have a great body of work to reference for more pieces from my studio.

I am as tired as my dog in my sketchbook, but will continue to work on integrating art within my everyday.