Sunday, July 25, 2010

More Doing, Less Thinking

Which is just counterintuitive to me sometimes. What wrong with thinking about things, right? I'm finding that there's nothing wrong with thinking about things, the problem comes with OVER thinking about things. It begins to be a little paralyzing. So I did this little journal page with that in mind. I am learning that if you just sit down and do, all of the answers just fall into place, in the EXACT time that they need to and whether it's art or any other situation we face in life, it's the doing that brings those answers to us.
This page started out with as little thinking as possible. The background was painted over a few painting sessions with the small leftover bits of paint on my palette. I just hate wasting paint (it's so expensive, I think that's where the term "starving artist" came from, the paint's a killer) and my friend, Kate, gave me the idea to just paint it on something for a background later. She's so smart! So I started doing that with my leftover paint and ended up with this background. It was very random and I paid no attention to whether or not I thought certain colors should even "go" together. When I looked at the background, there was this green shape that looked like a leaf, so I added a couple more collage leaves and cut petals from book text, then painted over it with fluid acrylics. I stuck some pieces of collage with NO thought as to where and just started "doing". After I started doodling on them, I realized that one of the collage pieces had only one word on it, "DO", and it was further confirmation that I was on the right track. In the end, I really LOVE how it all came together. The answers came and it was a good reminder that I don't have to have an entire piece planned out in my head. I just need to start and TRUST that is will all come together when the time is right. I still may journal on it later, but for now, it's on to the next project that calls me to just "do something".

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Freaky Cats

Well, here are my "cats in bed" from lesson one in "Drawing Lab". You are supposed to draw them while your resting the paper on a pillow, mattress, or something soft so you have less control over the lines. Obviously I had not much control over the lines. The assignment was to draw 30 or so cats and since I drew a few pages with my non-dominant hand (those are way freaky), I ended up with some pretty goofy looking cats. The page on top is actually the best of the bunch, I think, the rest get progressively scarier.
Then you are supposed to chose a favorite (which is a challenge considering they are all a mess AND I discovered that drawing cats is NOT AT ALL interesting to me) and render it in another media. I was really bored with cats by the time I finished my drawing in bed assignment and needed a way to make my alternate media cat exciting enough for me to be willing to finish it. Then I thought, "I wonder what would happen if I applied some of the techniques I used in my Liesel Lund flower tutorial to this cat...hmmm....well, let's find out". As my art teacher used to remind me, "It's just a piece of paper, what's the worst thing that could happen." (Of course, I would usually smartly respond that a $10 piece of watercolor paper is NOT JUST paper, it's $10! Oh, how she must of loved me.) Oh, how surprised she would be to see me painting this cat:
Whoa! This is one freaky cat. My husband thinks it's kinda cool. He tells me that someone is going to relate to that cat. I'm not so sure, but I do know that it made my cat assignment MUCH more exciting. It kind of reminds me of something else my art teacher used to say to me when I was painting "too tightly" (which was most of the time), "You just need to go out and get drunk before you start painting", which is a problem for me considering I don't drink, but looking at this cat some might wonder about that. But nope! Completely sober.

Monday, July 19, 2010

OK! So I Skipped Ahead!

Recently, my long anticipated "Drawing Lab" book arrived and much to my absolute excitement, I discovered that one of my all time favorite artists had a tutorial in it. Which I found to be super exciting because whenever I look at her work, I always find myself saying, "How'd she do that?" I am fascinated by her things. She is Liesel Lund and although we have never met, I love her. I check her blog for new things every, single day, I think and when I found that she had posted the pictures from her "Drawing Lab" tutorial, only bigger, I decided to give it a try, even though it was found at the back of the book, I just went for it. So instead of drawing "cats in bed" (lesson 1) I skipped ahead. I NEVER skip ahead. This is SO unlike me. I have to do things in order, especially if a book tells me to. But I was so excited and I just did it.
Here's what I ended up with after following Liesel's tutorial, which can be found on her blog HERE. I started with a teeny, tiny, picture of a pink geranium and "Lieselized" it. This was so much fun. It used just about every type of medium, except collage, and did I mention it was fun? You just have to try it. In fact, I ended up trying it on one of my "cats in bed" (yes, I went back to lesson 1, I'm not completely liberated yet) but I will have to show you that another day. Oh, and here's another great reason to check out Liesel's blog today, she's giving away a copy of "Drawing Lab". Trust me, you really want it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Fun Day...

...and a not so fun follow up.
OK, so I am a little behind in updating my blog, so first let me start with a couple more journal pages I finished while answering the hard questions in Creative Awakenings. First is my things I would wish for if all that was involved is a wave of magic wand. While going through an old magazine, I found the Fairy Godmother. The image was perfect.I having the best time with cutting the edges of my journal pages.
So much fun, in fact, that I cut this one into a lightbulb. I loved it and then I turned it over and realized that I would have to come up with something lightbulb shaped for the back page. And then EPIPHANY! I got it. But you'll have to wait a bit before I show you what it is.
I had a great day on Thursday. I spent the day with Kate in her home. We worked on our journals, we looked through her beautiful journals and collaboration books, learned about Copic markers from Kate's super talented daughter, I met her critters, saw her flags, and had an all around great art day.
Here's Kate and I in her studio. Check out that wall of stamps behind us. Wowzer! Also, please disregard my very round Prednisone face. Argh!!!
Here is Kate's page that she worked on . It was lovely. You can see more of her art HERE.
And here's what I ended up putting on the back of my lightbulb page:
That's right! A question mark. I made it while at Kate's house and I am LOVING that irregular stack of pages that I am making. They just look so cool together. I had a great day with Kate and I hope to do it again really soon. Thank you Kate!
I have been battling a cough for the last couple of weeks and decided on Friday afternoon, that I should probably go in and have it checked out. I have been hesitating because that would have been my third visit to the doctor in a month and that is just crazy! Can you believe I have pneumonia?!!! I just want to bang my head. Apparently when you have an auto-immune issue, little bugs become big bugs rather easily. Now I know. I had to have a shot on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday which brings my grand total of visits in a month to 5! Crazy. And that doesn't even count the opthamologist and the LSA scan and the rheumatologist. I didn't see a doctor that much even when I was pregnant! Gratefully my visit with the rheumatologist is tomorrow. I have been waiting for a month to see him and get an "official" diagnosis and hopefully be on the road to feeling better. I'm tired of living in limbo. I know that tomorrow, my life will change forever, but I'm ready to know...knowledge is power, and I have felt powerless for far too long.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What's More Difficult Than a "Whiny" Page?

A page about my strengths. That's what!
Still answering hard questions about myself in my "Book of Dreams" and still LOVING the not square edges. I still have a million and one ideas for page edges that I can't wait to try. It's just so exciting. Thank you Ingrid! I thought the "whiny" page I did earlier was difficult, but it turns out, thinking about nice things to say about yourself is even harder. When I thought about strength, the picture of "Rosie the Riveter" came to my mind and then the idea of plane panels with rivets. I started with a collage background and rubbed gray acrylic on with a damp baby wipe. I then used charcoal around the collage pieces and dry brushed with white acrylic. I then added Rosie, my journaling, and metal brads for rivets. I LOVE her.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Book of Dreams

Lately, I have been working on the book "Creative Awakenings" by Sheri Gaynor. I have been s...l...o...wly working on the assignments but I have really enjoyed them. One of the first was to create my "Book of Dreams Journal" to use for the remainder of the exercises. I finally finished the covers on Friday.
First I did some metal embossing. The book suggested silver, but I already had copper so I decided to use it. Then I cut the square in the front and gessoed the whole thing just like the book said. That's when artistic license started to really come in. I really didn't care for just glazing over the gesso like the book suggested so I decided to take the covers out of the spine, and gel medium vintage tissue pattern papers to it and then paint it. Then I glued patterned paper to the inside of the covers, and put the book back together. I wanted my journey to be about the heart so I chose to emboss a heart that would hold meaning for me. The book suggested adding glitter to my metal piece, but once I did, I really didn't like it, so I scraped it off. The scraping took off the alcohol ink from the heart and make it look really interesting, so I left it. Then I was ready to begin working in it.

My kids went with their grandparents camping for the weekend, so I spent all day yesterday, playing with my journal. Good day. My first page was a note to self:And here's the most exciting thing: While perusing my new Art Journaling magazine I came across an article from Ingrid Dijkers about using varied page edges. When I read it I thought, "DUH, why didn't I think of that!" I loved it immediately and found myself thinking about, dreaming about, obsessing about, all the different page edges and shapes I could include in my newly finished book of dreams. No more rectangles for me and it makes me almost giggle.

For the back side of my new not rectangle page, I had to answer a question (honestly) about the last year of my life. I feel a little unsure about sharing this one because, (honestly) this has not exactly been my year and mostly this page comes off as whining to me. It was more difficult than I expected to write a whiny page. I felt so ungrateful. I really do feel grateful about all of the good things that have happened to me but at the beginning of the year when I imagined 2010, it really didn't look like this. Don't get me wrong, I feel grateful, hopeful, and optimistic about things right now, but if I have to (honestly) look at how it's been going, I'm not going to lie. It's not been a party. But I really do like how the colors in this page turned out so I thought I would share. So my suggestion would be to enjoy the colors and EDGES (I really love those) and ignore the rest.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Thinking Alike

Yesterday, my sweet husband took me out to dinner to celebrate our 18th anniversary. After dinner, I asked him to take me to the Barnes & Noble so I could pick up the new copy of this:Of course, since I was at Barnes & Noble, I had to peruse the art book section, just in case I find something that just makes my heart beat faster. I was visiting with a woman who was looking at the bead art books (I meet the coolest people in the art book section) when another woman began checking out the mixed media books. I noticed she was carrying a copy of "Art Journaling" too and I realized she looked a lot like Kate's (see previous post) picture on her blog. I looked at her and worked up my nerve, "Are you Kate?" It was Kate! Amazing. Although we live in the same city, we had sent messages about getting together, but we just hadn't worked it out yet. Anyhoooo...Kate is wonderful! We visited for about 20 minutes about all the mixed media books as if we had known each other forever. So much fun! Not only were we both carrying the same magazine, but we both were checking out the same book. I ordered this book on Thursday but I was so excited to see it, that I wanted to check it out.I know, I'm impatient, but I am just so excited. And now that I've seen it in person, I'm even more excited. I may or may not have checked UPS 3 times today already just to see where it is now. The holiday is making my little "Drawing Lab" treasure SO SLOW. Kate was looking at "Drawing Lab" also, to see if she wanted to order it herself. What's that about great minds? Oh yeah, that's right. They think alike! It was so great to meet Kate and I look forward to visiting with her again soon.