Sunday, July 26, 2015

art journaling

i love the idea of art journaling, and actually do it sometimes, but am not disciplined enough to feel like i'm doing much more than dabbling. i have been hauling the upper right journal around for at least a year on my business trips
sometimes i drag it out and draw hotel room lamps

sometimes other things, but with no real consistency

so when i saw an online extreme journaling class with juliana coles i thought it would give me something productive to do when i'm traveling and provide structure for my journaling practice.
i love making books. this cover has been hanging in the studio for a while, waiting to be my next book. i finished it with 6 signatures of various types of paper bound with a running stitch. and accessorized with fabulous beads.

page paper includes maps, music, watercolor paper and pre-prepped colored paper.

next- the supply list- I was a bit disappointed but not at all surprised that i didn't need to buy anything on the list. this is partly because I've taken art journaling classes with lisa cheney and partly because, like a raven with shiny things, I pick up every interesting art supply knowing I will need it some day.....
I am particularly fond of pens and markers-

but- I still "had" to buy pouches and pencil holders and organizers- and a few more markers

 I did get things pretty consolidated, though, and am happy to be using supplies that have been buried for years. the first lesson was to use everything in the tool kit & see how it works and how it reacts with the other items.

next- create a natural background & write 20 favorite things in nature-

number 3 is a view from my window- and as I am on a plane tomorrow and that seems to be my norm that's what i'll do. it will also be a good way to pass time :)
a) love being able to learn, play & grow and not stress about making art for the gallery (much of which was self imposed, but still)
b) amazing to be able to learn online at my own pace when i'm gone so much-fun!
have a great week- i'm off to lubbock, then vacay in jackson, where my heart is at home-

Sunday, July 19, 2015

oversharing, photo style

I use my iPhone as my camera 90% of the time. The Olympus point & shoot only comes out if I need waterproof, the Sony NEX, much as I love it, doesn't accompany me on short close to home hikes any more. The Nikon is amazing, wonderful, heavy and not easily packable. The phone is always there.
And with apps like Retro Camera (which sadly seems to have disappeared), Hipstamatic & filters available on Instagram there is much fun to be had with the phone. As a result, I am a social media nightmare.
How many I'm sitting on the plane looking out the window at the gate shots can one take (um, lots)

or look at my cute dog shots? (again, a lot)

the this is where I am now shots




and the view from the window seat


but..... I am taking photos. I am making decisions about composition and subject matter and style choices. Looking at light. The photos of the same subject matter (airport gate shots) don't all look the same. I am chronicling my life. I like looking back in the Facebook timeline and remembering trips and dinners and time with friends.
These experiences all inform my art. Overtly or not, it eventually shows up.
The images below are 12x12 prints on printmaking paper that will be framed & hang in a show in August. I mentioned to my husband that I thought they might strike a chord with other business travelers and he said- or people who would like to travel but can't. We'll see if they speak to anyone- they may not- but I will keep shooting & posting-


Sunday, July 12, 2015

anatomy of a commission

white bird started showing up in my journal a little over a year ago. she can be very joyful and mysterious
she can be thoughtful and wise

when i first posted these images on social media i was surprised at the response. these are doodles- i can't draw- but these pieces elicit a response.
"sing your song" is the first piece of art to come from the journal entries

then I was contacted by a woman whose sister bought her a print of mine. we've met, and she's a facebook friend who I am looking forward to actually getting to know. d. wanted 4 roughly 12x12 pieces for her bedroom. she likes white bird. she likes nature- flora and fauna. she's a quilter, so I received fabric swatches from the quilt and beyond that I was free to come up with art.

the fabric lived in my studio for far too long. she was patient while I traveled, did a traffic box, traveled more, apologized- and didn't work on her commission.


but it turns out that i was working on it. figuring out how to do it right. the journal page dark backgrounds are dylusions spray ink- but they're water soluble and can reactivate when wet- they get muddy sometimes (see the right side of the first photo) and the ink from the pen is not always white as I would like (white bird's head in the forgiveness spread).

finally one day I went to the art supply store and bought stonehenge paper, acrylic inks and miskit. i soaked the paper and dropped ink on it. i used the miskit (a watercolor product sort of like rubber cement that acts as a resist then rubs off) to create the swirls and spirals and added layers of ink.

once i was happy with the background i photographed it and did something i have never done before (and i have done commissions)- i roughed out the piece for approval. not because d. asked, but because i was in uncharted territory and wanted to be sure i was on the right track. 

then i went back to the journal to work the flowers out. this also gave me something to do in that hotel room in lubbock......

and, finally home for a while, i got to work this weekend. first i divided the paper into 4 11x11 sheets. i started with white bird
moved on to the flowers. made adjustments. didn't feel quite right about the upper right corner. let it sit.

consulted with my studio assistant

decided white bird just needs someone to hear her, so here we are- the finished piece ready for its new home.

i can't wait to see how this is framed.
this commission was such a gift- i got to play and learned so much. d. was generous and understanding of the time it took to let it come to life. i gained confidence in my scribbles and doodles that i have brushed off as not being "art" for so long. i am proud of this and so grateful to d. for having me create it.
sing your song

Sunday, July 5, 2015

what happened?

i was in Yellowstone and now it's a month later- what happened?
lots of this:


In thinking about what informs my art, this comes into play. I love taking these photos and sharing via social media. love the patterns I see out the window, the sense of adventure of being in a plane- the motion and the journey. there's definitely a series there- i will figure out how to make this into art besides instagram and facebook posts. I have a brilliant idea that will hopefully come to life this fall.
besides taking photos from the plane & on my travels, I've been working on updating my website, which includes opening an etsy store, GreatWideOpenArt. of course, the business of updating the website and setting up the store takes lots of time- finding images, getting them in the correct form and place, thinking about structure, writing statements, etc. be worth it when done, but it's a lot of time not spent creating.
I am working on a commission that's been owed for quite a while now. my buyer likes the white birds from my journal and wants 4 panels with birds/flowers for her bedroom.
 she's a quilter and has luckily been very forgiving regarding the time I am taking on this. it's way out of my comfort zone. going from doodling to art feels like a big leap to me. tho I did base the piece below on the journal page above.


I've been trying to figure out the right media- settled on acrylic inks for the background so that they don't reactivate as I work the piece. I used miskit to create layers and shapes. the background below will become 4 11x11 pieces.

here is my rough draft next to fabric samples and the background.

and some work on flowers/vines to incorporate.
so now I just need to get started. that's what i'll be doing in my at home time this month. that and getting my web mistress what she needs and filling up the etsy shop. and making an effort to post more often.
hope you're enjoying your summer!