Sunday, April 13, 2014

happy april!

wow- another month gone....
there has been art done in that time- mostly journaling- it seems to be what I want to do these days (and what there is time for)-
this is from the florida trip- an image transfer of a posterized photo on a background that had already been painted (some color added)- pelican might get more color, but the water is good keys color, making me want to go there right now-
this in the journal I made to take with me on work trips. this done sitting on the deck of the hotel room looking at a palm tree- the shape of the underlying ink was perfect for the right side of the palm. I chose to go in close and try to get the interesting part above the trunk & below the fronds- I made things a bit too even, but do like the texture.

relationships can be complicated and art journaling is a great way to sort out my thoughts. i am not by nature introspective. I'm not terribly self aware. i have good intentions and am fortunate to have a tribe who love and accept me and don't find me too annoying (and if they do they will mention it). when i really piss someone off or hurt their feelings it usually takes me by total surprise and i feel awful about it.

one of the things that really impresses me about my friend lisa cheney is how fearless she is about putting her journals out there. she has taught me that there is more power in speech than in silence. conversation is critical. cuz if you don't converse you only have one side of the story. i know that there are always at least 2.

these next 2 pages are me working through my side of a complicated relationship (and aren't most of them?).

took an awesome class from mare blocker this weekend- revisiting embroidery patterns of my childhood and learning new bookbinding stitches. be big fun to figure out how to incorporate this into my art.

lastly- springtime on the marsh-

happy easter- back in a week or so :)

Sunday, March 16, 2014


back on the road for work. the dawes song "from a window seat" really resonates with me-

great lyrics (other than the male orientation)-

I buckle in my seat belt, plug my headset in a chair
And to the music, I watch flight attendants move
They are pointing out the exits, but it looks more like a prayer
Or an ancient dance their bloodline reaches through

These planes are built for sifting through the warriors from the men
I've got time to sit and watch them for a while
You can see everywhere they're going, everywhere they've been
And how they look out at the clouds each time they smile

And I think, maybe he's in town for someone's birthday
Maybe he makes trouble everywhere
But as much he resists the conversation between the rivers and the freeways
He knows it's always there

and more..... check out the video here

dawes- from a window seat

anyway, listening to this flying home last week I got to thinking about the dreams (thoughts, lives) of people on the plane- so much we know nothing about. I was going home, and happy about it, but there are so many other options.....

I drew the seat in front of me & the sleeping man on the plane and started to doodle on the left. last night, I did some collage and more work on the left side. I now wish I had left the right side black & white to show the richness of the mental state vs. the static state of flying, but now I know.


I'm on the road for the next few weeks and challenging myself to journal. I made the damn books after all :)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

adventures and journaling

since the last post I made a business trip to texas and took my book-
this is the first page, which sums up travel for me- movement and waiting. learning to be in the moment and accept what's happening- not a lot of point in fighting or wailing, make the best of things. it's been a good lesson for me to learn.
i always enjoy looking out the window of the plane, trying to figure out where we are and seeing patterns. flying into lubbock there is a lot of flat farm ground, neatly sectioned out and watered with center pivot irrigation. browns and greens. the walnut ink background worked out really well for this page.

i had so much fun making that book that i decided to do one for personal trips too-

i opted for a bright, colorful wash on some of the pages

just the right color scheme for the keys (and sunny vacation days anywhere, really)

i also took an old book that I've been using- i cut pages out and glue others together to form a sturdy background, then texture with tape and tissue and prepare different backgrounds. this book goes in the suitcase.
first page started at my friend's house outside at their tiki bar. not too bad for drawing in the dark drinking rum :) still needs work.

did this after getting home. something my friend said that struck me- "i remember the day i decided to be happy"- it is a choice, every day. i don't remember the day i decided to be happy, but i do remember understanding that i am responsible for my own happiness and how i am in the world.

i am curious to see how this work comes back into my art. i'm taking a leave from the gallery because of all of the travel I'm looking at until april, so i have the luxury of playing in these books and trying new things- be fun to see how it comes together.

off to chicago, ft worth, so cal, Portland and phoenix- lots of drawing opportunities-

Sunday, February 16, 2014

bowing to the inevitable- bookmaking

let's see..... since I last posted on February 2 I have been to Phoenix, Portland and Southern California. With an unplanned stay in San Fran due to a missed connection.
this week, I go to Lubbock, Texas. Luckily the Fort Worth portion of that trip was scrapped. Friday next week, Florida. After that, Chicago. and it's not like I have less work to do because I am traveling- there have been plenty of late nights and weekend hours in there to stay caught up too.
I'm not getting much art made. I took a leave from the gallery, which has given much needed breathing room. I've been buying moleskine journals and hauling an altered book with me on travels, but when my friend Lynn came to studio night making herself a nice lightweight journal a light bulb went on.
I've been reading some books, one of them Gwen Diehn's The Complete Decorated Journal, which gave me the idea of dropping color onto the pages before I bound them to avoid the dreaded blank page syndrome. I used walnut ink and a small bit of dylusions spray ink. I only put color on one side of the paper, and bound color to color, blank to blank, so there are some plain white pages too.
I used Stonehenge paper on the recommendation of my friend Lisa- it is nice paper, smooth enough to draw on, but taking other media well too.
I did my expense report this morning and, as usual, was left with a raft of receipts. Decided to incorporate them into the cover. The maps are rental car maps of regular destinations- Phoenix, Fort Worth and Portland. Lubbock & SoCal are also represented, as is United and Boise Airport.

Here's a look at some of the pages. There are 5 signatures (groups) of 4 pages folded in half.

Here's the end result- I love it! A wash of Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold ties everything together and we are properly accessorized :)

The pages are protected by the cover wrapping around on the inside as well as the outside, where it ties closed.

Another look at the pages

The front inside cover-

And the spine....
Now all I have to do is actually use this- but I am looking forward to it. I'll still bring along a small journal to doodle in, but I plan to actually draw in this one- stay tuned!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

february already!

I've finally accepted the fact that journaling is a good way to make art while traveling- in addition to photography, of course, but there's something about paper and pen/pencil/marker/paint/texture/drawing/whatever.....
post travel as well- these pages are from the ca trip and I quite enjoyed reliving it while working on them. don't love either artistically, but I'm still figuring this out and both capture the experience, which is what matters.

this is the 6x6 mixed media piece that I did as a thank you for my hostess. journaling clearly influenced this. hope she likes it :)

some art journalists choose a word for the year. the practice is about looking deeper and contemplating shit (sorry, this isn't easy for me). having a guiding theme helps.
my word last year was surrender- as in realize what you control and what you don't and roll with the punches better, let things go (but don't give yourself away).
this year seems to be shaping up as choice. which is a great word.
first go-

and round 2- like the separation of the left and lower vs. the top and the way the face seems to be in the light now. I also enjoyed crossing 2 "I haven't played with these since I bought them" supplies off my list-alcohol ink ( red) and chartpak markers (yellow)

frequency didn't work, so in 2014 I will see if being intentional works better for me-

Saturday, January 18, 2014

welcome back!

I started the new year off taking an online workshop with Roxanne Evans Stout - found the class on a facebook journaling page. I have wanted to incorporate stitching into my art for a while and this was a good place to take that leap-


I started 5 books. The rest are languishing in the studio. My goal is to finish them this year. :)
There was a month at home. Sometime in December til January 10. My first trip of 2014 was vacation- a good omen- to the central California coast to see the elephant seals. What an amazing trip!
My friend Pamela invited me after our Driggs Swissy weekend in October. I showed her what I love about Jackson and she told me about the seals and invited me to come visit. What a gift!
I love this guy- he looks like a happy sea monster to me
here's how a male seal looks not zoomed in- beautiful coastline-
this shot is immediately after the pup was born- scale provided by the seagull (who is looking for tasty afterbirth)

pup and male

fam on the beach- and yes, they're loud!

got some great bird shots too-

My resolution for 2014 is to be kinder to myself- I plan to blog more often, and to focus more on my art- but photos are art and where and what I see I go informs art down the road......

Thursday, January 2, 2014

happy new year!

toward the end of 2013 I finally got my word for the year (surrender) journal page to a tolerable spot. 
I did make art that reflected my word last year

but it was good to have the word and language and art in my journal before the year ended :)
I also covered up 2 pages of me writing about being afraid to use the beautiful book that Lisa gave me for my birthday with a spread about how I will be brave and use the book as it should be used-
no fear is a good way to journal. I am going to try really hard to live there in 2014. I am not by nature introspective, so it's hard enough to put aside time to sit down and think about myself, let alone commit to paper with marginal drawing skill. nevertheless there is likely value there, so I will try.
in that spirit, I joined a facebook group called a stand for art journaling and found an online class called the thread that weaves taught by roxanne evans stout . i was most interested in the stitching, but as with most journaling classes there was more involved than mere technique.

one prompt was to collect colors that remind you of this season, pile, tie together, write on a scrap of paper & tie it all together. oddly, i chose to journal


 my thoughts on the threads in my art and my life-

the actual classwork to follow- i have one of 5 books done- if you follow great wide open art on facebook you've seen it.
 and another very close-

 emerging themes: west (top); warmth (next) and (not pictured) raven, nest and winter.

i will do a post on the process and progress soon-