What a GREAT day!

Today I was at a great symposium in Rochester – I met all kinds of amazing people and my little brain is all revved up with new schemes and possibilities. Then when I got home I discovered that one of my art idols – Lisa Sonora (creative genius behind the creative entrepreneur which CHANGED MY LIFE!) featured one of my journal pages on her blog. Yep – Life is good. Today was an EXCELLENT day to be an artist.

More journaling.

As was the case last year, a lot of stuff is coming up as I begin my year with a period of intense journaling. The word WILD chose me this year. If you are not a regular reader of my blog you may not know that I can be too detail oriented and that I am habitually drawn to complex, slow and large projects. What my art journals give me is a place to make a spontaneous mess.
As I have been journaling this year I have been trying to find my way back to a less mundane and more magical center. Strangely what has come out of that journey this week is my reluctance to let myself use many of the beautiful papers in my studio for something that is just for me, as if I am not worthy. So I gave myself permission to grab ANYTHING this week, and so my spreads have an air of abundance and luxury (to me anyway).
Here are some step out images of my documented life spread for this week, which was supposed to use gesso.

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First I covered the whole spread in my used book journal with gesso.

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Then I used some doilies as stencils, then I pasted the now painted doilies over the top, along with some scraps of the lovely textured paper I used on the covers of the book in the last post. I dry brushed some black paint over the page, then sprayed with a homemade gold alcohol ink and let that run.
Then I added another layer of Gesso to push the whole thing back and subdue it enough to journal on, but wasn’t really happy. So I started layering on more lovely paper from the studio.

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There was a long quote I wanted to use, so I printed it out and then sewed it with my machine to one of the pages, this is ridiculously trick when sewing into an already bound book!

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Lastly I added the Mary Shelley quote that was thus week’s prompt and the inspiration for this cobbled together gothic mess. Then I journaled on the page.
Inspired by the freedom of this page my 30 day journal pages have a similar feel and use many of the same materials and techniques.

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I feel as if I am finding my way back home this week. A big thanks to the Art 5 ladies and Lisa Sonora for putting together these FREE adventures that are taking my feet back home to my muse.

Just Say No

dryadart:

This is such a great post from my friend Jennifer – you will see my pesky friendship has driven her to just say no! But seriously – this is where I am at myself this year – too many people, too many projects, not enough time to dream away in my studio – read this! Thank me later :)

Originally posted on A Passion for Nature:

Today, I gave a talk at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown.  I’ll include the reading and hymn numbers here, just in case you are UU and might like to know.

Just Say No
Jennifer Schlick

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Opening Hymn #360 – Here We Have Gathered

Welcome and Announcements

Prelude

Chalice Lighting – Reading #448

Hymn #90:  From all the Fret and Fever of the Day

Children’s Story

A Cup of Tea

Adapted from a traditional Zen Koan

Once upon a time, there was a professor who had been teaching at the University for a long time.  He knew many things and was highly regarded by everyone.

One day, he learned that there was a very wise Zen master who lived high in the mountains above the town.  This Zen master was also highly regarded by everyone.

The professor decided he should meet the Zen master, to…

View original 1,575 more words

Happy Birthday to me!!

Today is my birthday – another year gone by – but FINALLY I can say – she is finished – yes! A Woman’s Work is finally done! I finished the sewing earlier this week, but was stumped on the covers – I opted for a textured but plain paper, as there is already a lot going on with this book. I snapped some quick pictures with my phone – she has a date with a real photographer later this week. Really, I can’t believe this two year project has finally ended, (unless I change my mind about those covers – it could happen).

It began with this idea during my residency at TLC.

It began with this idea during my residency at TLC.

and then I started collecting the LISTS

and then I started collecting the LISTS

poor book - still in progress - will I ever finish?

poor book – still in progress – will I ever finish?

the book block ready to sew

the book block ready to sew

and FINALLY all done!

and FINALLY all done!

except - a woman's work is NEVER done

except – a woman’s work is NEVER done

bottom of the block showing all the lovely strings

bottom of the block showing all the lovely strings

and the cover - hmmm still not sure

and the cover – hmmm still not sure

I want to give a huge thank you to Turkey Land Cove for the residency where this project was born, and to all the brave women who shared their to-do lists with me. This project had a LOT of help, and much encouragement from many of my readers & friends – THANK YOU everyone! Next up – snowflake bindings & a serious windfall of maple leaves!

guest posting!

and done!

and done!

Starting off my new year on a very happy note! A artist I met through the DLP Facebook page asked me to do a guest post about my first art journal spread of 2015 on a new mixed media blog. You can find it here. Of course if you read my post earlier it will be a bit repetitive, but it is so FUN to be invited to post someplace else!

2014 in Review – a tiny bit late

This year has been one of the most active of what now feels like a career as an artist. SO MANY amazing firsts happened this year, and all of them were linked to an amazing group of colleagues and friends, so to ALL OF YOU – thank you so much!

It is hard to know where to begin so I am going to start with collaborations and then go to some personal milestones. I curated or helped put together some exhibitions including the women create biennial with my amazing enabler Jennifer Schlick!

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Then March became April and my hometown was invaded by two waves of British artists in an event we called Colonize, with an exhibition across two galleries, workshops, lectures and lots of community building. None of which would have happened without help from Wendy (SCI) & Bruce (Basement Arts Project) and all the artists involved. Not only did we get to be on the radio – we also became video stars and front page news!

we made the FRONT PAGE of the local newspaper!!

we made the FRONT PAGE of the local newspaper!!

I also put together this exhibit for the Dykeman Young Gallery – and then I was asked to become a part time curator at the 3rd on 3rd Gallery, and created these two shows to round out the year.

FRESH PC show-Poster

I’m looking forward to playing with new artists in the gallery in the coming year!

I was also able to share my work through workshops, here in my own studio and at a few other places, like WNYBAC, The Morgan Conservatory and CBA in NYC. To everyone who signed up to take a class with me – an enormous THANK YOU for giving me the opportunity to travel and share my work and meet such amazing artists!! I REALLY hope next year provides some similar experiences for me!

Of course I did also manage to squeeze in (not enough) work of my own. It seems this year has been a bit bogged down in large slow projects, but of course I made plenty of books, some beautiful commissions, and got to play in my art journal frequently.

just learned this french stitch - so pretty!

just learned this french stitch – so pretty!

back view of the tiny book

my table display at bookfest

my table at WNYBAC’s bookfest

OH and I was completely sidetracked by sewing on all manner of things and learning how to put needlelace on leaves – I am pretty sure there is more of THAT to come

magnolia leaf with needle lace bars

magnolia leaf with needle lace bars

photo by Jennifer Schlick

photo by Jennifer Schlick

I exhibited a bit, and I also managed to fit a small solo show in, along with many trips to hospitals and doctors as members of my immediate family struggled with health problems.

Thank you for indulging my trip down memory lane, here’s to a very happy super healthy art-filled new year for us all!

Happy Journaling New Year!

I am starting this year of again with three new sets of journaling prompts. One I will not be sharing here as it is more wordy – but the other two are going in my art journal I started last year. It is getting very fat now – I cut the spine away so it would have more room to fluff out, maybe by the end of the year it will be almost circular – that would be cool!

New for me this year is the Documented Life Project - I kept seeing it everywhere last year so I thought I would give it a try. There are monthly themes and weekly challenges & prompts –  I am not sure it will be for me as it is much more ART journaling but I am going to give it a try and push myself a bit. Hoping some new book content ideas will grow out of it. And it never hurts to loosen up and try.

The first month focuses on the blank page – which is not such a challenge for me – I have long since learned almost any “mistake” can be fixed, but I am looking forward to seeing their ideas. The first week’s take was book pages – so  – well it fit in to my existing practice and was a comfortable place for me to start. I knew I wanted to start the year with this great border that came from some sheet music someone donated to me. I began by blocking out in pencil all the page that would NOT be covered by the border and circling any ACTIVE words left on that part of the page

I think you can see the pencil lines marking out the spaces and words

I think you can see the pencil lines marking out the spaces and words

Next I blacked out all the exposed text except the words I had chosen to keep using a fine line marker and a fine point sharpie (and a ruler). I left any blanks spaces in the text open so I could go back and write in them.

blacked out text with the border stuck down

blacked out text with the border stuck down

Now I could dive in and begin to journal in the spaces. I used a fine line Bic Z marker for the black text and a white gel pen for writing over the blacked out areas. I have used this technique before in my journals, for me it is a fast way to see what is on my mind, I think of it as meditating on the filled page.

Adding layers of journaling and doodles copied from the border

Adding layers of journaling and doodles copied from the border

I also stamped a few key words in red and doodled with the gel pen to mimic the leaves and flowers in the printed border.

and done!

and done!

I plan to use the weekly prompts to divide my journal and then add daily prompts in between. So turning the page from this spread I began with a page for January 1. I so enjoyed working with the Root Journal prompts from Lisa Sonora Beam twice last year that I am doing this year’s FLOW prompts. It is free to join and you can find everything you need to sign up here. Again – I am not approaching this as art making so much as a way to access my inner muse and kick start my year in the studio. I am using the same kind of “junk” as last year – scraps of paper, collage and found objects, along with some simple stamps and markers. No fancy equipment – just stuff that is laying around. Here’s my entry for January first

letting the muse flow into my studio!

letting the muse flow into my studio!

My goal for this year is to refocus on my own practice. I have so many projects that have been dragging on over the last year (or two) that I want to push on to completion. I am also hoping to get back on track with my blog, and there are more workshops already lined up for next year. I am trying to say NO to things that don’t serve my work and hoping that my family life will settle down a tiny bit! To help stay on my path I also purchased a passion planner – I am a paper person, and I hope it will keep me focused as this year unfurls.

Tomorrow I will post my “best of 2014″ – so much happened I want to spend some time fussing with it. Until then Happy New Year!