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Spread #77- It’s All In The Cards November 19, 2009

Posted by Orly in Uncategorized.

The way I understand ‘Play the cards you were dealt’, ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’, or ‘Life happens while you make plans’ is that we are all given a set of circumstances at any present moment and it is up to us to ‘make the most of what we are given.’ Easier said than done, isn’t it? We all know we should ‘turn our obstacles into opportunities’…but who does it well, and all the time? Do you? Look how many exhausted expressions we have come up with to describe what we ‘need to do’. Having said that, I also believe that sometimes the same hindrances actually do nudge us gently to bring some amazing things into being, breathtaking creations into existence and I’m talking about life. Same can be said about art, many limitations can come to play when creating art; critical and unforgiving voices from within, fear, rusty minds, hearts and hands, lack of tools, time, focusing on the end result rather than on the process, the list goes on and on. Sometimes having limitations can produce unexpected processes and outcomes. A rough road may be more inspiring than a smooth one, it may stretch our imagination and make our creative juices spill all over it. It may present a great opportunity to grow. In terms of art journaling, I enjoy being a student, I thrive on the limitations set before me by someone else, it may be the graphic designer in me,  “here is your prompt, your theme, you will now use this material to achieve this next step, you will use only soft natural colors, you will create 7 layers, you will incorporate lettering in your pages,” and so on. That’s when I go beyond my usual self to discover more bits and pieces of me, bits and pieces I have not known before. With this spread I became a student of myself, setting limits…do you know how hard it is for me to work with pink? with ‘cute’ images?…well, ‘I made the best of a bad situation’…hehe.


1. Brian Kasstle - November 19, 2009

Oh how I enjoy being one of your students!!! It was a really great class. I also enjoyed seeing all your spreads from the three classes, how different they all are and so you!

2. allmimsey - November 20, 2009

How beautifully said! I have never been one to like the euphemisms of “things are tough, buck up!”. But as I have gotten older, I do see the excitement of the challenge. I’m even aware of craving the limitations at times, just to get started. Thanks for sharing your images and ideas!

3. joanne - November 20, 2009

oh i so agree with you about the challenges… i think it is the storms that really shape me and have given me more depth and character (and a lot of silvery hair too)… and it is the willingness to accept the challenges and see what can made of them that keeps us growing, learning, expanding, becoming… it somehow feels more like living that way, doesn’t it?

i really like your pink pages 🙂

4. theartofyou - November 20, 2009

ooooo! I so relate! Some of my best work was in grad school because I loved working with the challenges presented to me in composition classes. I loved having the parameters laid out, like a creative puzzle to solve. It gives my creativity some new inspiration and handles to work within set structures. And I still see “me” coming through even though the “angle” or approach was unfamiliar. Seems like parameters give a fresh window to look at ourselves through. I totally agree with the adversity thing too. Definitely have done some awesome work from dark or tight places. Yay for challenge. And yay for pink and pretty too!

5. eb - November 21, 2009

you’ve gone way beyond
pink and cute
I love your thoughtful ruminations
such good medicine for me
as I have not allowed myself journaling time
for too long
and now it is time again
and you’ve inspired me as you always do
as I am a student of you too
and I’m bringing out the lemonade
thanks Orly
for being a constant and fixed place
of refreshment
I do appreciate…

xox – eb.

6. aimee - November 22, 2009

i’m not a very sunshiny person when i get into these spots. i grouse, i gripe, i moan that the world is coming to an end. and then? it takes my work in a totally different direction and i wind up really happy with it. right on, orly – as always!

7. rcscreations - November 23, 2009

I love your blog post, Orly…it certainly has my mind reeling…thinking about intuitive art vs. challenge oriented art. About a year ago, I got a huge taste of “intuitive art” and I had a hard time wrapping my mind around that…I usually needed a theme, color, something to get me started…so, when I was just told to go for it, and see where it takes me….well, the mind almost shut down 😉 But I have to say, in just a year’s time, I have come a long way, in giving myself permission to play, even without a specific purpose in mind…and that has been the challenge this year…and that is where the journal comes in for me. Allowing myself to play, without those bounderies…
by the way, you do girlie pink very well 🙂

Enjoy your week!!!


8. shannon - November 23, 2009

as a teacher and student of yoga, i see life as a school and that we are here to learn. i believe that the art of self-study is so important and is a way to living more presently and deeply. i love how you said you are a student of yourself, and going beyond to discover more bits and pieces of you. that’s beautiful. going deeper can be so scary, and yet so worth it. going deeper is a big theme in my life right now. thanks for sharing, orly.

9. Stephanie - November 25, 2009

You have turned pink and cute on it’s head. I am right here with eb…learning from you insightful words.

happy thanksgiving time and I AM thankful for making my way over here.


10. Gil - December 9, 2009

You really worked that pink! Congratulations.

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