Thursday, April 16, 2015

Liberate Your Art

This year I participated in LiberateYour Art for the first time. I really enjoyed this. One of my goals for 2015 is to "show" my art more and this is a way to do that. I love snail mail ... I love creating postcards and receiving them. So this project was a win-win for me.

These are the cards I submitted for the swap:

And these are the cards I received:

These are from:
Bethany Lee from Florida
Carol Hart from Seattle
Leena Andrews from Florida
Karen (do not know location)
Sherry Harmes, Amook Island Creations, Alaska
Kat Sloma, coordinator extraordinaire

I'd love to keep on swapping ... so anyone who wishes to receive a postcard from me, please let me know!

Jan from Huntington Beach

Saturday, April 11, 2015

My current art "journal"

I hesitate to call this a journal because I'm not writing much in it. It's like a sketchbook except I don't sketch. It is simply a book where I make or adhere art. Some pages are "finished"; others not. 


That's not to say that I'll go back to finish them ... I may or may not. I guess I could call it my "Art Play Book". 

I hope you are having a creative weekend!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Photo Play

Playing in Photoshop ...

from this ...

to this ...

another playful experiment ...
from this ...

to this ...

Just playing.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Liberate Your Art postcards received

Here are the postcards I received for the Liberate Your Art swap. 

Thank you, Kat, for hosting this. And thank you to those who participated. These are so much fun to receive!

To blog or not to blog

That is the question. Following the theme of "letting go of what no longer serves me", I'm wondering if this blog serves me.

I started writing this blog July 2006 (370 posts) to show postcards I was mailing off to FiberArt for a Cause. Throughout, I've talked about my creative process and shown my art. I've also shown travel photos and photos from my day/life. 

One of my goals for this year is to show my art more. This blog is an obvious place to do that. 

I also am re-thinking my art ... looking back to where I've been. Looking ahead ... where do I want to go artistically/creatively? This blog helps me do this ... it's all recorded (easier than sifting through years of written journals!)

I need to "store" my art online. I have a Flickr account for that ... but it is easier to write about art here on the blog. Plus, not everything I post here (like recent photos about Journaling by 5s) are uploaded to Flickr. So the blog serves the purpose of "documenting my creative process".

I do not see this blog as my "real journal". I keep a morning pages journal practice and don't feel the need to process life things here.

Rarely do I get a comment, even though the statistics show viewers. So that begs the question, am I blogging for me or for others? Or both? 

I've thought, throughout the process of keeping this blog, that perhaps my "musings" could resonate with others and perhaps inspire others. It's part of my educational perspective to share thoughts of my creative practice and process. Some blogs get lots of comments, all the time; while others don't. But the writer keeps on blogging. 

Okay ... so it looks like the blog does continue to serve me. Perhaps I'll re-commit to it.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Letting Go

Sunday's message was about renewal. In order to make room for new, we need to let go of old. Old stuff that no longer serves us. So that got me to thinking about what, in my creativity, no longer serves me ...

  • Trying to do art journal pages that look like other artist's pages
  • Watching videos of artists make art (unless I'm seeing and learning something new)
  • Hours of looking at other artist's art
  • Collecting more "inspiration"
  • Collecting more art supplies
  • Clutter, piles of stuff, projects in progress (that never progress)
  • Books and magazines that I haven't looked at for 3 1/2 years (since they were put onto their current shelves)
  • Hours each day on the computer
  • This blog?

I'll have to give this blog some thought ... does it serve me or not ...
    I hope you have a great day!

    Sunday, March 29, 2015

    My (not so) love affair with Art Journaling

    Once again, I'm faced with the fact that I love to look at artist's art journals but I do not love to create them. Let me be more specific. Pages with paint and collage and images and words do not come easily to me, nor do they particularly "speak" to me or "say" what I necessarily feel. I've done plenty of these pages, including several of Kelly Kilmer's classes. These pages take a lot of effort and rarely am I pleased with the outcome. These are not books I return to look through. Books I pull down from the shelf and look through are:

    • Visual Journals (where I "record" my life)
    • Doodle Journals - mandalas, creative doodles
    • Travel Journals
    • Art Journals that are more art-y than collage-y

    So, with two recent books, I realize this isn't my thing. At least the Journaling by 5's book hasn't taken that much time due to the 15 minute sessions. And I have a full book (35 pages!) either finished or ready for the next stage. All done within a 2 week timeframe ... this would have taken months to do. So ...

    What I like about this process: Working in one medium at a time ... paint, stamp/stencil, random collage, pen/marker work. Working on several pages at a time (although not in the same book unless I figure out what to put between the pages that won't stick). Timed sessions - gets you out of your head and into the process quickly.

    What I don't like is: the timed sessions for "focal points" ... Actually I don't much like the focal points. I realize that I love to create backgrounds. That's what I really enjoy (backgrounds that I use to make scrappy journals). I also don't like ruining pens and markers trying to write on paint and medium. 

    So, these pages are ready for me to do whatever is next. At this point, I have no idea where they will go (if anywhere). I will spend some time with this book, not considerable time. But there is the challenge of bringing it to a point where I feel good (or at least better) about it ... and feel a sense of completion (which is one of the BIGGEST challenges I have as an artist).

    And I'll continue to enjoy looking at other artist's pages ... but I think I'll let this go. I'm ready to move on.

    Thursday, March 26, 2015

    Journaling by 5s latest

    So, I finished the first round and decided to do the facing pages as round #2. What I mean by finished is, I did a little marker work for step 5 ... nothing special or significant. I'm definitely not pleased with the pages as they stand. However, I have a "plan" for facing pages so I won't do the "extra" finishing touches on these just yet.

    Step #1 Paint - liquid watercolor and neon sprays. Step #2 Collage - napkins and tissue papers. And here is where I went terribly wrong. I put deli paper between the pages as I worked - pages that were wet with glue. 

    Lesson learned: deli paper sticks! Really sticks.

    So now, not only do I have a bunch of ugly first round pages ... I also have messy ugly 2nd round pages. They were not helped much with Step #3 stamps (no stencils). I'm considering ditching the project. However, that is my modus operendi. And because I'd like to at least try and salvage this book ... I'll proceed to Step #4. I've printed my focal "images" and am ready to go.

    Wednesday, March 18, 2015

    Journal by 5s, steps 3 and 4

    Step 3 Stamp and Stencil. I somewhat enjoyed it; however really felt time constrained. I mostly used stamps with ink pads. On a few pages I used gesso through stencils. When finished, I fought the urge to go back through with a 2nd round, and forged ahead. After each session I've gone back and dried the pages and glued down anything that needed it. 

    I think I "cheated" on Step 4 Imagery and Text. I went through a large stash and cut out more than I would need. Then I stuck the focal image in the page it would go (this took about 10 minutes). I also cut out lots of words but didn't place them ahead of time. So when I set the timer I had my glue stick ready which I used to adhere things quickly. On a couple of pages I switched images but pretty much went with the first layout.  After I got all the images partially adhered, I went back and added phrases or words. I got through the 18 pages in the 15 minute timeframe.

    Then I spent time glueing things with a watered down Elmer's glue. I'd used that with step 2. The difference is that in this step, I was using magazine images and words. The wet glue made for lots of wrinkles! About halfway through I switched to soft gel medium which caused less wrinkling. I'm not pleased with the wrinkling and therefore would change this step to basically take 15 minutes to place images on the page, not adhere them. 

    Some pages are beginning to take on meaning. Most, however, are open to more. Next step is details with pen, pencil, markers. 

    Tuesday, March 17, 2015

    Journal by 5s

    So, I happened upon this "challenge" created by Shannon Green and immediately fell into the rabbit hole of distraction by watching many (I mean many!) videos of artists participating in this. The purpose is to do 5 sessions using 10 prompts, each session for 15 minutes (!) on 20 pages (!!). 


    5 sessions--all in one day or just one a week...your choice.
    10 prompts--2 per session, feel free to make substitutions.
    15 minutes--that gives you 45 seconds per page so don't mess around!
    20 pages--just one side of a sheet of paper, not both sides. 

    These are the recommended prompts for each session. You may make substitutions to fit what you have on hand:

    Session 1-Background: Paint, Ink
    Session 2-Texture: Collage, Recycle
    Session 3-Pattern: Stamps, Stencils
    Session 4-Focal Point: Words, Images
    Session 5-Details: Pen, Pencil

    I thought I'd give it a try for several reasons. 1. I'm easily distracted. 2. It looked like fun. 3. It is a way to use up lots of stuff lying around. 4. It's a way to just play, not going for perfection, pushing the critic aside (there is no room for much thought i.e., inner critic discourse, when you are working on 20 pages in 15 minutes. So, after much viewing of what everyone else is doing, I've begun the process.

    Here is what I have so far:

    Step 1, paint and spray inks, was fun. I enjoyed just picking paint for each page, not thinking about the "future" of that page. Just squirt paint, spread it around with a brush or brayer, move on. I used deli paper between the pages and only got a little tearing. I didn't realize until I was finished that I'd skipped a page, so I "cheated" and painted it. Somehow I only have 18 pages, not 20. That's probably because as I was gluing pages together I wasn't paying close attention to the goal of 20.

    Step 2, collage and texture was fun also. However, with only 15 minutes, I was able to add just a little to each page. I'd hoped to use up a larger part of my stash. I considered "cheating" again and going back for a 2nd session of step 2 ... but I've decided not to do that. So I'll let this all dry and prepare for the next step, stamps and stencils.

    So far, I like the process. Not impressed with the pages ... but that's all part of the process. Were this not "timed", I'd spend a lot of time on these steps, trying to reach a "pretty" stage. These pages aren't there, and they may not get there. I'm trying out the process of working in stages simply to see how it feels. I've read other artists who follow this type of process, i.e., Diana Trout and Dawn Sokol. So far, it feels good. 

    I don't care for the idea of only 1 side of the spread completed. However, I have an idea for what I'll do with the facing page. I would like to have a book that feels "finished" or perhaps ready for journaling. I'll see how it goes.