On my table for tomorrow. Two elements working together to produce what will eventually become MYPL page 23. I'll keep you posted as things progress.
On my table for tomorrow. Two elements working together to produce what will eventually become MYPL page 23. I'll keep you posted as things progress.
I'm so excited to begin each and every day. I look forward to absolutely everything. Life wasn't always like this. There were days upon days that I anticipated with boredom and exhaustion. What changed?
Something tiny. A very tiny thought popped into my head one morning while I was making breakfast. I thought that maybe I would enjoy cooking, eating, and after breakfast clean-up quite a bit more if I did something creative with it. So I did.
That morning I rummaged through the fridge and came up with a small handful of veggies that I washed, chopped and added to a dab of melted butter in a skillet before scrambling my eggs. And a pinch or two of spice. Maybe four extra minutes of my time made all the difference, and I really enjoyed breakfast.
During clean-up, I kept a notepad and pencil handy. I thought about what I might make tomorrow and I wrote it down. I even thought about busy mornings on the fly when a piece of toast and Nutella was all I'd have time for. I resolved that on those mornings, I'd use fine china for my tea and toast. Or spread a cloth and have a floor picnic.
Those thoughts took me through the day and here and there I began to write down things that would easily add pleasure to other routines. I thought about adding a flower--just one--to my table every day. And I thought about places to get flowers and about crocheting doilies and all sorts of other things, too. And I wrote them in my notebook. Some weren't practical, but it was fun thinking them up and writing them down.
I thought about expanding this. Seeing every single piece of monotony in my day in a different light. And I thought about driving, and how I hated it. So I resolved to notice one new thing on each and every drive and to remember to write it in my notebook. Once I noticed a shirt on a man standing at a corner. Another time I noticed that the telephone wire running along the outside of a building I always passed was painted blue. Just tiny things. But life started becoming more exciting. I began to look forward to seeing. And I fell in love with thinking up ways to add something playful to every routine.
Some other tiny things that made a big difference were how I turned book reading and film watching--things I've always savored--into an end of the day ritual, and how I purposely skip some days and just keep them open. How I randomly pick a day each week to sip wine or tea in bed while listening to music. How I invite my family to join me, or ask them let me spend my time privately, and what a huge difference voicing an invitation or a desire to be left alone can make, and how it gives a choice to others.
And then, all of a sudden one day I realized that I looked forward to everything. All of it. And the most beautiful thing happened along the way--I have very a hard time now remembering how it felt to be bored.
Tags: acrylics, art journals, collage, ink, journaling, life, looking forward, mixed media, painting, pens, positive thinking, tape
...in everything is knowing what to keep and what to throw away. That includes knowing what to say "yes" to and what to say "no" to. And what to focus on when you read and which words are just there to hold the others together. And what to eat all of and what to leave on your plate. And who to hold hands with and who to run away from.
They all--everything, that is--begin with an idea, and that idea can be distilled into a "this or that" format. Once it's this or that, the wisdom is in knowing which to keep and which to throw away.
A hint: Never, ever, throw away your freedom to decide. Always keep that, no matter the cost.
MYPL page 21.
Posted at 11:00 AM in Art Journals, Collage, Colored Pencil, Drawing, ink, Lettering, Life, Markers, Marvel: Your Precious Life, Mixed Media, Pencil, Pens, Stencils, tape | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: art journal pages, art journaling, art journals, collage, hand lettering, ink, mixed media, pencils, pens, stencils, tape
A very different kind of page for me (MYPL p.18), but I was determined to stretch my wings.
It began with the upside down hat, which of course needed something pulled from it. Owls. Wiser than rabbits. Maybe just one owl. And typed text. Typed on tissue. What to do to offset the sterility? Funky block letters. As imperfect as I can make them without crossing into the "messy as crap" zone. In pencil. God how I've missed pencils! Graphite is good. Scribbled in with markers.
If you have an old typewriter at your disposal, I urge you to use it! I have my mother's old Royal. It's cast iron and heavier than the table it sits on. I moved it to my work table a couple of years ago so that I'd use it. Finally! I can't believe it took me this long.
I didn't realize the date until I went to schedule this post, so I changed the title. Happy birthday, Daddy!
This is MYPL page 18. I started it on Thursday, February 7th. For some reason I was really uncomfortable and I couldn't focus. Very unusual for me. So I got myself to a stopping point and called it a day.
That night I announced that I was sick. Really sick. It was strange that I just announced that, and even more strange, it felt less like I was talking and more like I was just listening to myself talk. Surreal. But then fevers are surreal. This one lasted ten days. Ten days of fevers plus a host of other symptoms that viruses bring.
I finally went back to that page yesterday. Ten days later. When I began again, all that was on the page was background, the topsy-turvy ladies, and the hearts: two positve shapes (bottom right) and two negative shapes (top left).
Valentine's Day got lost somewhere in the middle of those ten days. The hearts hold the dates.
This is page 17 in Marvel: Your Precious Life. It has to do with some of my childhood aspirations for adulthood, and nothing at all to do with fashion models. More than anything, I aspired to a life without limitations. Not without reasonable boundaries. There is a difference. I was taught from an early age to beware of people who say "can't," and to positively reject those who dare to say, "you can't".
Posted at 11:00 AM in Art Journals, Collage, Drawing, ink, Lettering, Life, Markers, Marvel: Your Precious Life, Mixed Media, Pens, Stencils, tape, Water Soluble Wax Pastel | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: art journals, collage, ink, mixed media, pens, stencils, tape, water soluble wax pastels
I added color to part of the black and white photos with Faber-Castel Pitt brush pens, but other than that I left them alone.
There is a common thread throughout this book. You probably haven't seen enough pages yet to make the connection, but then again, you might have an idea or two of what you think might tie these pages together. If you need a need another look at page one, you can find it HERE. And you can see the inside cover and learn a little more about the book by clicking HERE.
This is page one in my Connections journal, but only the barest of beginnings of a page. If you're interested, you can read a little more about the book and see the inside cover HERE.
I may or may not show this page again when it's been a little further down the line, but I wanted to show it at this stage to point out how easy it is to turn one thing into something completely different just by making tiny changes here and there.
For instance, the center photo was black and white and glossy. I removed the gloss and gave it an uneven sepia tint with walnut ink. Darker here, lighter there.
The paper top left was a light cream color. What now looks like a lighter design was quite a bit darker than the background. Brushing on walnut ink unevenly, stained and darkened everything but the design which resisted the ink, so now the design appears lighter. Nothing more than that.
The lettering was fun. I did that by myself. But the flowers--bottom left--were stamped with plain, black ink. Adding a bit of the blue from the letters at the top turned the flowers into something completely new altogether.
Now the fun will be in adding more and more layers, making it uniquely personal, tying it all together, and turning it into something more than a composed grid.
Tags: art journal pages, art journals, collage, composition, ink, lettering, mixed media, pens, rubber stamps, stencils, walnut ink
This is the inside cover of the book I bound in a workshop with Kelly Kilmer on Saturday. It's scanned. When I decide how I'm going to finish it, I'll snap a pic of the outside of the book. It's a wonderful, unusually constructed book, and I know I'll be binding more of them.
This collage has only 4 separate pieces of paper, including the two focal images. The rest is a collage of tape, and a snip of open-weave twine.
It's far from finished, but I plan to scan each page as they get to this point and print copies. I'll bind the copies in paper back journals and see how many variations I can come up with for the same page. Just for fun, and to keep me on my toes.
That little girl looks a lot like pictures of me when I was that age, right down to the haircut. But my mother didn't look at all like that lady, and she wasn't a French accordian player.
Page 16 from Marvel: Your Precious Life. An entire page dedicated to tea.
To accurately illustrate the importance of tea in my life, there should be sonnets and love songs as well. Perhaps even an opera.
Tea has saved my life more than once. As Agnis Hamm said in E. Annie Proulx's Shipping News: "Tea's a good drink. Keep you going."
I love this page. It said everything I wanted to say in picture, in symbol and in word. That makes it successful for me in terms of journaling. But there's so much more than just the journaling to consider before I decide whether or not a page I've created is a success. For me, it must also be successful in terms of expermentation. In other words, I must have tried something on the page that is new to me, either in form, color, design, balance, technique, or execution, and it must have provided me with information that will be useful in future applications.
I experiment in my journals. There will never be enough time in a lifetime to have tried everything, so on every page, I aim to try something new.
On this particular page, I experimented with methods of adhering tissue paper to the substrate. That may not seem like much, but it provided me with an information set that will be invaluable in future work.
I now know how a particular tissue--they are not all created equal--reacts when adhered with several different types of adhesive to the particular paper that I used.
I experimented with a tape created for invisibly adhering vellum and a quick dry adhesive that is acrylic polymer based, neither of which I had used before in this manner. Both performed well. Both produce radically different results, and both are valid and valuable depending on how I want the tissue to sit on the paper.
If I want the tissue to seamlessly become a part of the substrate and can live with a minimal amount of drying time before the page sets and the buckling evens itself out, then I'll go back to my tried and true stand-by: Cocoina glue stick.
If I want instant adhesion, no drying time or buckling, and don't mind that the tissue sits on top of the paper instead of becoming one with it, then the vellum tape works nicely, but won't adhere the frayed edges of torn pieces of paper.
The polymer based quick dry worked well for the edges as well as for any smaller pieces. It's also perfect for the infinitely small. It has roughly the same chemical make-up as a good quality heavy gel medium, but comes with a precision tip and is very fast drying, so it isn't suitable for large pieces or large areas of a piece because it dries too quickly.
For me to consider my journal pages successful, they must teach me something new. There must be experimentation. I must in some way or other, have stepped out on a limb and lived to tell the story on another page, in the future.
There are many reasons--all valid--that people have for art journaling. All valid. We all set standards for ourselves based on what we want and what we expect to have gained from the process once a page is finished. These reasons can change from day to day. Some days, it's about the words, some days it's about the color, some days it's about, about, etc. All valid.
If art journaling is one of your means of artistic expression, I'd be interested in hearing what your goals are for a page. What it is that makes you say, "This page is successful", and what makes you think that a page hasn't lived up to what you'd hoped it would be. Leave me a comment, or email me. I'd really like to know.
And what I just said--the part about thinking that a page hasn't lived up to something--that's an illusion, by the way. In case you didn't realize. All pages--ALL pages--teach us something about ourselves, and in that way, they all are successful. There is no such thing as an unsuccessful page.
But we do have hopes, sometimes, of what we'd like to accomplish, and these are the things that interest me when it comes to other peoples pages. What is it that you hope for when you create a page?
Every once in awhile a page will be less about what's on it, and more about what's behind it. This page is a tribute to a very dear friend. No, not anyone you know. She's not an artist, and she's not online. But we spent many years putting various projects together, we accomplished much, and we celebrated every single holiday together for more than 20 years--until she moved very far away. We even celebrated our work days. Before, after, and right in the middle of them!
Happy Birthday, Angie! I still have my silver sixpence, and I'm pretty sure it's still working! Many years to you!
Interesting how patterns sometimes seem to emerge randomly and when you least expect to see them. Patterns which otherwise might have gone unrecognized often begin to display as sets of coincidences once they're noticed and taken note of, as the deep mind seeks out for the conscious mind to notice more of what has been called to its attention, deeming it as a potential necessity to survival.
This is probably the rationale behind the repeating sets of numbers that I've begun to notice for the last month or so, every time I make an off-hand glance at a clock. It's odd, but when I'm not specifically looking for the time of day, but happen to glance at a digital clock display that is unexpectedly within eyesight, more often than not the time displayed consists of repeated digits in pairs, triples, or quads, such as the pair, 12:12; or the triples, 1:11, 2:22, 3:33, 4:44 and 5:55; or the quad, 11:11.
Metaphysics and numerology would provide their own explanations for these occurrences, I'm sure. But I believe that once I noticed the repeated digits a couple of times and also took note of them, I sent a signal to my brain, telling it that it was somehow important for me to become aware of what my eye sees on the clock when those numbers repeat. How many times a clock is within eyeshot containing numbers I don't notice because my brain filters that information in favor of other information in my line of sight is something I would not be aware of consciously. But I'm sure that there are plenty of digital readouts that my eyes see, but my brain does not take note of because it doesn't matter.
Good material for a journal page, though.