Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Are you ready?

Taming My Critic

Here is a double page spread from the exercises in Journal Spilling (Diana Trout). This is based on the section about our inner critic; you know that not so small voice that can scream at you to stop making art because no one cares, you aren't any good, blah blah blah.
Taming the critic

There is a TON of journaling on here though you see very little. The face is notebook paper that I wrote over numerous times with all the negative stuff I hear in my head about my work. Diana has you cut it and paste it down and then build up around it using water colors. Then you glop on some gesso (I used clear) so you can do more writing in water soluble crayons and still preserve the previous layers of color. After writing or "spilling" more thoughts you wash them away so to speak. I did that a few times until I was happy with it. THEN you add facial features. The face is meant to represent you but doesnt have to look anything like you (though I did give mine green eyes!) She has you add some designs on top and include some words from the dictionary that feel right to you. I added in some black squiggles and doodles  and called it good.

I chose the words affinity, affirm and affirmative because by the time I got to that step I wanted to think on a more positive note. Its so easy to feed those negative thoughts about your work and I am struggling to not do that. I can't tell you how many times I talk myself into not sharing my work any more. Almost daily. I know I would never stop creating but this entire journey has been about being brave enough to show it to the world and receive feedback on it.

By the way...the delete button is almost as good as washing away your words! Can't tell you how many times I've used it in this post! *L*

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Mugshot

2012-10-29 13.08.50

As Sandy pummels the North East we are safe, sound and dry here in NC. However, this transplanted Hawaiian needs something hot to drink this afternoon because its cold here...well, cold by MY standards! can see the scarf I started yesterday afternoon for C3 next to it. Maybe she will model it for me when its done and I can share it here. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Thinking on this...

From Journal Spilling by Diana Trout

...Artistry is deciding which idea is art and which is simply an idea...

She references this quote...

Creativity is allowing oneself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
Scott Adams, The Dilbert Principle

What Have I Been Working On?

A couple of my friends asked me that the other day and I realized I haven't posted anything this week so here is a catch-up post. (In no particular order)

Decided to dye an old piece of linen that had the butterfly and edging on it already and then add some rough stitching to it. Not sure where I am going with it as of right now but keep watching for it to make another appearance! Glazed some leaves and added glitter to one of them. Folded a paperback book and made a needle felted hummy and nest for my friend who is recovering from surgery. (I couldn't wait to show her so she has already seen it on skype!) Was inspired by another of Donna Downey's pieces so I did a collage of some stamping samples (from the stamps I carved last week) and added more stamping and painted in the designs. Finally there is just a glance at my desk in the early morning light where I was doing the resist exercises from Journal Spilling!


 2012-10-27 11.46.50 2012-10-26 13.22.03 2012-10-26 13.22.43 2012-10-26 13.23.07 2012-10-24 17.52.31 2012-10-22 14.08.36 2012-10-25 09.33.54

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Art Journaling and November

In November there are two special art journaling events that I usually try to follow along with. 

From Creative Every Day (weekly check-ins) comes
Art Every Day Month (AEDM)

This is an event that I have done for a few years now but usually very quietly and not publicly.  This year I hope/plan to post what I am doing since I am more comfortable about sharing my work these days. Stepping out and stretching myself a bit more all the time!

I have even joined the AEDM flickr group already!

November is also....
Watch Dawn's blog and get ready for her daily word prompts starting 1 November. You don't have to use the words if you aren't interested. Its all flexible!

Here are some other ongoing challenges I participate in (in case you are interested in joining!)

                                                                Art Journal Every Day
 (no prompts just do a little work each day and post to group)
Art Journal Every Day

 A Year in the Life of an Art Journal 
(prompts posted twice a month)

(once a month theme)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Artistic Growth

I just wanted to share what I am working on that is not in my art journal per se. I am in the midst of working my way through Julia Cameron's book, The Artist's Way.

 It has taken me a while to get into it because I wanted to have a good handle on working on the morning pages and artist dates. Journaling on a regular basis ( forget daily) has never been my thing. I go through spurts where I do consistent work and then it drops off for whatever reason and eventually I pick it up again but nothing where I feel I can say I have a habit of journaling. So I committed to the morning pages for 30 days and found a good set of parameters that I could live with. Julia says you should complete 3 handwritten pages. And that it doesn't matter what you fill them with but they are daily. My personal standards are 30 minutes or 3 pages which ever comes first and my goal is 5 out of 7 days a week. Weekends are difficult since my normal routine doesn't exist when Randy is home. I also chose a slightly smaller journal rather than the notebook paper size. These seem to work nicely for me and most days I fill more than 3 pages and I have even managed to journal on weekends more often than not. I must just need to have that freedom to blow it off when I need to. Since there is no guilt to it it is easy for me to jump back in there and pick up where I left off.
This week I began working through Week 1 assignments. I won't bore you with all the details but will say that it is imperative that we as parents and adults look for those children who are creative (every child!) and go out of our way to encourage them to pursue their creative interests. Provide the materials, encouragement and support they need to keep going. Sometimes all that is needed is a kind word or praise for their work to keep them doing what they love. Esteem artistic pursuits as valuable and meaningful and as possible careers and not merely as hobbies or simple past times.

I am also working through Diana Trout's Journal Spilling; Mixed Media Techniques for Free Expression.

 I have been through it before but far more haphazardly than this time around. I have used it as a reference book but really wanted to go through it slowly and savor all the wisdom and nuggets she imparts in the writing. Here is one nugget I found that should not be missed: "(A journal) is wabi-sabi: beautiful and dying; ugly and living; a perfect vessel with a crack. It has a true, deep beauty like a woman over 50." The woman is pure genius!! *L*   I have done 4 double page spreads based on her instruction and am about to begin playing with resist.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Its that time of year again when my family's minds and hearts turn to the work being done on breast cancer research and a cure. You may remember I did an entire album a few years ago and continue to create pieces   about this topic every year in honor of my mom who died from breast cancer in 1987. It is hard to swallow that all these later we still do not have a cure. I cannot wait for a time when I no longer need to create art to bring awareness to this cause. Here is this year's piece.

                                 2012-10-21 17.11.34
Let me know what you think and if you have done any work on this cause be sure to post a link so we can see it! Be sure to leave a comment and let me know you stopped by!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Memory Sticks

I saw something like this on Alisa Burke's blog a while ago and just loved them. When I was in CO recently I wanted to capture the colors and feel of autumn in the Rockies and gathered driftwood (along the river), rocks, acorns and leaves. I coated the leaves with modpodge to keep them supple. Last night I  decided to work on my memory sticks and finished them up this morning. I hope you can see the additions of the leaves and acorn on the one to the left. The yellow and green tag on the  bottom are bits of the elephant poo paper I found at Meininger's.

2012-10-19 13.42.48              2012-10-19 13.43.55

                          2012-10-19 13.40.38
 I like having them around  as a bright spot of color and autumn inspiration. What do you think?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

More Handmade Stamps

Seems I have developed some minor obsessions of late - needle felting and creating hand carved stamps! Here is the latest round of stamps I just did this morning. Handmade stamps

I just quickly stamped them on a pre-washed page in my journal and layered 3 colors of distress inks on each.
I just noticed that I made two of each size though I didn't intend to do that. I didn't pay any attention to the individual size but just concentrated in the designs and patterns. I think I am still stuck on patterns from September's Sketchbook Challenge!

Cabinet of CuriosityI really am working on this month's though....

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall Is In the Air

October 15 prompt from A Year in the Life of an Art Journal.

Fall is in the Air
We are experiencing autumn for the first time in many years and though I am homesick for the islands I am enjoying this seasonal change very much. We have a tree that is shedding it leaves and dropping pods (Sweet Gum) and you can see the pod in the photo. I carved these stamps a week or so ago and today I lined up all my fall-ish color ink dyes and began to alternate the colors one after the other. I wasn't going for a great composition - merely trying to capture the colors and feel of autumn on my page. As I worked on this our weather turned from warm and bright and to dark and thunder-storming! I am now going to enjoy my cup of hot tea and watch the action out the window.
Check out the entire prompt here.


Aloha everyone!
I have just switched to a new comments system and have not really got a grasp on it yet. Please bear with me as I figure it out. Normally I reply or return visit right away but there may be a delay as I adjust to this. Thanks!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Once Upon a Time...

This was the prompt from A Year in the Life of an Art Journal on Sept 15th but I didn't get a chance to work on it until now. This is watercolor, real leaves (I coated them with gel medium, a copy of Japanese art from somewhere (not sure) and some really bad handwriting! Randy walked in and rubbed my shoulder just as I was in the middle of it! I am not worried about fixing it at all.

Once upon a time...

Not worrying about mistakes or changing things is one of the JOYS of an art journal. It is a great place to capture ideas, try things out and just play around to see what works and what doesn't. Don't take all your art so seriously!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Revealing What's Underneath

Decided to paint another face in my journal and this is who appeared. The title comes from her lips. I removed the white paint to reveal the layers underneath. I wish you could see all the textures and  layers. They're interesting. I  took another photo of them and posted it below! If this was on canvas I would spend more time and redo her eyelashes but this is great for my journal. I think I will keep doing more of these and then perhaps attempt one on canvas. I am finding I like painting faces. I am far less tedious about them than when I pencil sketch.
2012-10-13 17.54.48

2012-10-13 18.11.31

Friday, October 12, 2012

I Only Let You See So Much

I Only Let You See So MuchShe was painted in my art journal a few moments ago and I love her. Acrylics. There were some sample stampings underneath (you can still see a leaf shape on the right side sort of).

I just realized this is the first face i have ever painted. I have always done them in pencil til now. Please share your thoughts? Do you prefer sketching or painting faces?

Curved Z String

I was antsy last night so did a tangle while Randy watched TV. I like the Torchon Lace addition in particular. Which do you like best?

Curved Z String

Thursday, October 11, 2012

First Needle Felting Project

Here is a project that I have been interested in attempting for a while but just never seemed to get around to picking up the materials or instructions. While in Colorado recently, I went into a lovely shop and picked up a small felting kit.; Here is the wool roving:

                                       Needle Felted Sheep

The directions were easy enough to follow and I was able to create a reasonable replica of the sheep pictured on the box. Here is a side view.            
                                      Needle Felted Sheep
And finally...
               Needle Felted Sheep

Although this link is not related to my kit in any way it is filled with great tips and information - much of which I wish I had known before attempting to felt my sheep. So check it out - it has 6 parts but is worth the time if you are thinking about giving felting a try: Kay Petal Video Tutorial

I now know that he was too densely felted because he is as hard as can be. Fortunately the kit came with enough roving to create 2 sheep so his brother is much softer. Shortly after realizing his younger brother was much larger he decided to grow a mustache. What do you think? Did he go too far?


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Empty Nest

The prompt from A Year in the Life of an Art Journal this month is BIRD. Here's the details!
This is my take on it....

Empty Nest

I had pre-painted this spread but didn't like the colors so painted it over with white acrylic. That didn't suit my mood so I plastered it with blue acrylic paint. Perfect! I intended to use white acrylic ink to add the details but when I cleaned my dip pen I splotched the paint with windex. I loved the result so created the three egg shapes in the lower right corner using more windex. Then I rubbed a bit more away until I got this nice speckled effect. I used a white Sharpie Poster Paint pen to add the details of two bird shapes and some lines. From there I just filled in areas with designs and patterns as I felt lead. I wanted a full, unexpected,  busy look to it since that is how I am feeling about having adult children right now. Its sort of crazy and chaotic but lovely none the less! I also wanted the parent bird shapes to sort of fade away and blend in to the page to show we are not as prominent in the lives of our fledglings! A happy celebration of a new life stage!