Monday, March 30, 2009

Handmade for You!

Here is my Haiku for this project:

Handmade just for you!
For responding to my blog
A present you'll get

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make for you!
2. What I create will be just for you.
3. It'll be done this year.
4. You have no clue what it's going to be. It may be a song. It may be a self portrait or maybe even some creation I haven't yet dreamed up. I may draw. I may bake you something and mail it to you. It may not be big or impressive. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!
5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

The catch? The catch is that you must offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog or Facebook. The first 5 people to post a comment will win a fun homemade gift by me! Let's keep the chain of love going around!!!

Cannot wait to see who responds! Let me know if you have a preference for something of mine that you cannot live without. I paint, draw, sculpt, carve, knit, write poetry, take photos...this list could go on and on.

Your Turn: Respond now! First five people will get something made for them. If there are more than five who want something, Follow my blog, and I will be sure to make you something! You just have to post this request to others. Open to artists and non artists alike!

Preparing for the Creative Journey - Haiku

Forbidden Palace, pic from Wikipedia

My big news that I have been bubbling to write about....

My partner Chris and I are going on a two-week cultural study tour to Japan and China!!!

It is through San Diego State University's Art Department, led by Associate Art History Professor Dr. Johnson. The focus is the traditional culture of Japan and China. We will be going to four different Art colleges, two in each country and interacting with former SDSU international students who live in these countries. We will also be hitting a few of the major tourist highlights such as the Great Wall and The Forbidden Palace.

We are so excited to start this journey, which begins at the end of May. It will be jam packed with learning and a condensed adventure.

I have been waiting to blog about it until I had some real exciting way of putting it, but gave up. So this is what you get. Words and exclamation points!!

In addition to studying the language and culture, I am working on how to get the most creativity out of this adventure. I found an e-book online today through the Art Biz Coach called "Creative Toolkit for the Traveler" by Cynthia Morris. Cynthia's blog is very inspirational for those of us looking to explore creativity where ever it goes. She writes a blog called "Journey Juju" about her creative travels. I am in love and envious of all her adventures. But since my blog is also focused on the JOURNEY of making art, I can explore that journey even when I stay close to home.

Through Cynthia's Toolkit, I was reminded of ways to express creativity even while I am stuck in my hometown. So for the next week, I am going to post some very Americanized Haiku to gear me up for my creative journey.

Here are today's Haiku
Stuck at my work desk

Body's here, but Mind is not
Need an Adventure!

Computers all day
Type, print, daydream & know that
Art won't wait till 5

Buddha on my desk
Blessing me in hopes I will
Take him to Japan

Creativity won't wait! Get started on the journey now!

Your Turn: Do you have some adventures planned for the summer or near future? What are you doing to get the creative juices flowing so you can be (as from the Toolkit) "transformed from ordinary tourist to traveling artist?" I would love to hear about your creative journeys!

Creatively yours! ~ Jaime

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Jaime Lyerly Spotlight in SDSU's Daily Aztec

Today, I am featured in SDSU's Daily Aztec! It is exciting to have a half page article with my picture, even if it is a college student run paper. And if you notice, I am wearing the little circle necklace from Linda Richichi. Artists have to support each other, so I share this with you.

Thanks to everyone who has been reading and responding to my blogs, Tweets, and Facebook notes. You helped get this Spotlight by your interaction. Without you I am making art in a vacuum. With you, I am sharing my art process and learning. Thanks to you!

Here is the article below. It can be found at this link.

SPOTLIGHT: Honor and pride attained by artwork

Kari Luu, Contributor

Published: Thursday, March 26, 2009

Updated: Thursday, March 26, 2009


Lauren Swann / Staff Photographer

Being a woman doesn’t come easy.

Most women agree, including studio art senior, Jaime Lyerly, who has learned this as an active feminist, a young mother and blooming artist, who never painted until she was 21 years old. With a refreshing point of view, Lyerly is a sculptor who explores her artwork through many mixed media; however, she has learned to take her artwork to the next level with an objective approach as she studies the psychological aspects of motherhood and the female body.

Unlike most artists with a previous art background in their youth, Lyerly never practiced art because her dad was in the military and her father did not consider art to have value. Eventually, Lyerly began painting when her boyfriend inspired her to try it just for fun.

“When I painted for the first time with him, I really enjoyed it.” Lyerly said. “We were working in acrylic paints on canvas. I liked the immediacy of paint from tube to canvas, the textures and the colors. I used every tube of paint that we had, applying the colors with my brush, fingers and palette knives.”

Lyerly volunteers at the Women’s History Museum and Educational Center and recently found encouragement in her art when her piece “Weaving My Story” was selected to be in the San Diego Women’s Caucus for Art and juried in a show called “Herstory.”

“I am so excited to have one of my pieces picked for the show,” Lyerly said. “It is my first show ever and it feels good that it was through an organization that I am a part of and held in a place that I have volunteered with for years.”

Lyerly builds most of her artwork and she finds that the pieces develop their own meaning as they progress. “Weaving My Story” is composed of an odd assortment of encaustic, beeswax, dressmaker patterns, nails, wood and yarn. The piece meant to imply that everyone makes life out of what surrounds them.

“I hope people can relate to it,” Lyerly said. “No matter how life started off, you can always make something beautiful out of it and they provide a structure for a story.”

Before Lyerly knew she was going to become an artist, she struggled as a mother.

“Each day was a chore, especially without much support,” Lyerly said. “My son needed my total devotion and I grew up very quickly to accommodate his needs. The burden of taking care of a child is hard on the body, mind and spirit; and I grew as a person because of these heavy responsibilities.”

Lyerly has previously studied psychology and English and each piece of art she has produced is loaded with meaning. With her different level of maturity from younger artists, Lyerly hopes to pursue expressive art therapy, which requires a master’s degree.

“Now I can look back in my time as a mother and explore motherhood more objectively,” she said. “When your art is too close to home, it becomes too sentimental and too cliché. It hurts when your art is critiqued and feels like a personal stab.”

Now at 31 years old, Lyerly feels more secure about herself and her artwork. She hopes people will connect their life to her art.

“My partner and son fully support my artistic pursuits, however, my father still believes it is a waste of time,” Lyerly said. “Luckily, I am able to produce work without parental support. That is one of the joys of being a self-supporting adult. I make my work not too personal and I like my artwork enough now, that I am willing to show people and have them connect their life to it.”

Lyerly’s piece is on display at the Women’s History Museum and Educational Center until Sunday.

Happy Art Making! ~ Jaime

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Synergy Art Foundation - Survey for San Diego Artists

From the San Diego Visual Arts Network -

Synergy Art Foundation (SAF) is conducting an Artist Live/Work survey to evaluate the needs of San Diego County artists and arts organizations for permanent, affordable live and work space. The information collected will be will be shared with elected officials, community housing organizations, arts organizations, developers and potential donors, to inform them of the need for such projects in San Diego. It also will be useful in developing design guidelines and amenities for potential projects. Please take the time to complete the survey (about 10 minutes) and please forward this survey to any artists/arts organizations you think may be interested. It is critical to reach as many as possible. Fill out the survey is you need either work space or live work space. Please complete by April 15

Note that the term Artist is defined by this survey under many headings - Visual Art, Designer, Musician, Dancer, Video, everything else in between and Arts Organizations.

Please pass this along to all the artists in San Diego county that you know. It is important that our officials understand the dire need of this community for affordable and available housing and studio space.

Actively yours - Jaime

Monday, March 23, 2009

Encausticians, start your hot plates! Encaustic Techniques - Mono-Prints

So all this blogging and I haven't given you what I promised - encaustic techniques! I am constantly researching, experimenting and exploring new ways of making art and I have been hoarding all knowledge. Now it is time to share what I have learned and what I am dying to try out.

To the internet, Encausticians! Found: a short tutorial on Encaustic Mono-prints.

Since HGTV will yell at me if I steal their tutorial, I will link you to the site for all the details.

Here is a sample:

Encaustic Mono-Print

Russell Thurston creates vibrant prints featuring his encaustic technique.

Click here to see the whole tutorial.

Mono-Prints are something that I have been dying to try out. I have a super busy week, but plan to have some mono-prints done by next week. I would love to see if anyone has done this type of print with encaustics.

Your turn:
Find something creatively inspiring on the internet? Share it! No more hoarding knowledge. Plus, if you blog, then all those great links you find will be in your own blog. No more sorting through a mile-long bookmarks tab. It will be all right here for you and others to share.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Collaborative Art Project for Facebook

All alone in your studio space? Need some inspiration? Tired of stressing over your own work and need something for the creative juices? Maybe it is time for some COLLABORATION!

Collaboration on the big scale means people in your space, coordinating schedules and lots of energy. But what if you want do something smaller, and still get into the spirit of collaboration? Facebook groups to the rescue!

Through an artist friend Lisa Bebi, I found a group on Facebook being run by another member of the San Diego Women's Caucus for Art, Grace Matthews. It is a Collaborative Art group which takes the idea of mail art and adds the technology of photo sharing on Facebook. Grace even made a blog to showcase the work.

First you make your 1-5 art pieces which are small enough to fit into a normal letter sized envelope, and scan or photograph them. Then post them up on the Facebook group page for the group to see. Then send them the other members in your group. Each person works on the piece, signs/dates it, scans it in, posts it and sends it on to the next. When it comes back to the starter, they say if it done. If not, work on it, and send it on its' way again! The photos document the process of the individual pieces and the work of group in general. You get fabulous art without all the stress and ego. Brilliant!

Since I am in the third group, we are a little late starting on the fun. Here are my backgrounds, which are waiting very patiently to be loved and used by the other artists.

"Wheel," "Streak," and "Horizon" by Jaime Lyerly, March 2009
All pieces are encaustic paints and collage on claybord.

I cannot wait to see what the others do to my pieces. I am a little nervous since I never heard back if any of them are familiar with encaustic, so who knows what the reaction will be when they get it. Plus, it will be my first time mailing out encaustics, so hopefully they won't end up with an envelope full of hot wax in their mailbox!

Your Turn: Do collaborative projects inspire you? Do they make you explore other ways of working or seeing your art? Can you let go of control over the work? Let me know what you think!

Happy Art Making and Collaboration! ~ Jaime

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

More veggies for the Stone Soup Challenge!

photo from

Jaime's cooking again -- Adding some more veggies to the pot of stone soup! To read more about the Stone Soup Challenge, check out this post.

My purchases for this month so far have been a special request of about 40 large nails from Pvcatalina through I am working on multiple pieces similar to my piece called "Weaving My Story." These nails are going to be a treat to work with. You can also post a photo of the finished piece to the Etsy shop to show them what you have done with their supplies. Free marketing for you!

Another goody for myself was purchased from artist Linda Richichi. This professional artist is selling in galleries. Yet in the spirit of our troubled economic times, she is offering original mini paintings in prices we all can afford. They have a loop to be worn as a necklace. Each week she posts a mini painting, and the bidding begins. I won last week's and I love it! it is beautiful, unique and a low enough price that I could buy it without hesitation. She is also donating a percentage to charity. What a way to share.

Check out what Linda has for this week! Here is a picture of Circle #8 from her blog:
Circle #8, Mini Painting from Linda Richichi

I am tempted to buy it myself, but I don't want to be greedy. Must share the soup.

Your turn: Are you adding veggies to the Stone Soup by supporting independent sellers and artists? Do you have any creative ways to get the $ floating your way? Post them here and let's all get a taste! More soup for all!

~ Share your journey ~ Jaime

Sunday, March 8, 2009

WCA/WHM - "Herstory" Juried Show - My First Show!

San Diego Women's Caucus for Art (WCA/SD) Juried show called "Herstory" opened last night and is showing until March 29, 2009 at the Women's History Museum and Educational Center (WHM) (2323 Broadway Ave, San Diego, CA).

I am so excited to have one of my pieces picked for the show! It is my first show ever and it feels good that it was through an organization that I am a part of and held in a place that I have volunteered for years.

"Weaving My Story" by Jaime Lyerly
Encaustic, beeswax, dressmaker patterns, nails, wood, and yarn on 12 X 12 in birch panel.

There was a great band called Kontious and the Ko-op which rocked outside for the first hour of the show.Here are some pictures of the people and art all crammed into the intimate space of the Women's History Museum
WCA/SD President Laura Jean Thompson (on right)

WHM Director Ashley Gardner in a flurry of activity

Wonder Woman even made it! Okay, maybe not - it is a fashion design piece

A disturblingly beautiful video piece on the wall with the WHM exhibit called "All Our Grandmothers"

My partner Chris and I together before my piece. Rare photo of us together; only a dozen over the last 8 years!

Me and my piece - "Weaving My Story"

There are many other pieces that were wonderful in the show. However I would need to take some pictures when it is less crowded. More pictures to come!

I am so glad to share these pictures with you. Until next time...

Happy Art Making and Show Entering! ~ Jaime

Monday, March 2, 2009

Drumming for Renewal - Workshop (aka Uncomfortable Learning)

This weekend my partner Chris and I participated in a workshop on Saturday called "Drumming for Renewal" run by Music/Dance Therapists Kat Fulton and Draza Jansky at an expressive arts therapy studio called "The Art of You."

Before we went to the workshop, I was communicating with my mentor Mr. Fobes about how uncomfortable I was about the performance aspect of the workshop. He said "If you are uncomfortable, that means you are learning."

This comment has been marinating ever since.

The workshop consisted of four parts: drumming, vocal toning, movement and meditation. I never did any of first three, so this was an experience. I also have not participated in any performances since junior high and my anxiety was almost overwhelming.

1. Drumming - After a short intro to the drums and we fell into a rhythm of the group. It was by far the easiest part of the workshop for me, and I could almost block out the others around me by closing my eyes. The thud of the lower drums was soothing and the vibrations resonated through my body.

2. Vocal Toning - Next we moved on to vocal toning. The each sound connects to different chakras of the body. It is used like crystal bowls to align but can be done on your own. Elivira Melody's website has more info. This was getting more of uncomfortable territory for me since I haven't sung in public since elementary school! I tried to keep my voice low and not concentrate on other people.

3. Movement - Onto the expressive movement - my most uncomfortable learning! My body and I are not friends and generally ignore each other. I can follow directions when I am doing yoga, but to freely move around the room just for the sheer pleasure of it was so odd! We also did patting of our body and rolling around on the floor. Even trying to put it into words makes it sound silly! But silly is what I am missing out on now that I have to be an adult. My uncomfortable adult side was not willing to let my child come to play.

4. Meditation - Finally, we did a meditation to seal in the final act of healing and set our intentions for renewal. I was back to more a comfortable learning. I loved listening to the sound of Draza's voice as she spoke. When she asked us to think of a person that we could be completely ourselves with, I first thought of my partner Chris. Then she said that it didn't have to be someone who was still alive and I thought of my grandfather. He died when I was in my pre-teens. He was the only one in my family that did not judge. He was a creator too; made little rocking chairs out of clothes pins. Tears started streaming out of my eyes as I cried for the relationship that was lost so long again.

Overall, this uncomfortable learning experience was profound. I can no longer tell myself that I cannot dance, drum or sing - I just have to do it!

Your turn --
What has opened up your world to new experiences? Ever try something that you never thought you would? Ever move past anxiety and experience some uncomfortable learning? Share and let us all learn!

Happy learning!