I have been slowly working my way through another 30 day journal project from the wonderful Lisa Sonora. I have received some wonderful feedback from other artists online, and so in the spirit of paying it forward I am offering a free download of one of the images from this series. I will be loading other similar images into my Fine Art America account as I scan and edit them, in case you loved one of the others and would like to purchase one.
To get a FREE printable jpeg or pdf of this image fill out this form and I will email you the file. Feel free to share!
Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that I am the co-founder/creative director of a women’s art biennial. Last week I was busy installing the huge show across two galleries, and Friday we had another amazing opening which was well attended. Of course while that is really fun it does keep me out of the studio, especially as my students are also expecting me to say something intelligble during lectures! I have been trying to stay on track with my blackout journaling project, and do a little catching up to the group. I find the blackout pages are really relaxing when I am stressed. Here’s one I really like from last week. I started out drawing a path to my dreams, but then it sort of looked like a tail to me, so I made it into a dragon instead. I am loving adding the coloured pencil to these pages too. Maybe they are not works of art, but they are so much FUN! This is not a great picture – I just snapped it quickly with my phone, but I hope you enjoy it. I think it looks a bit like a story book illustration.
I thought I would share a step by step of my page meditation process for the owl page. As each page is different, this isn’t really a tutorial, more a look behind the scenes.
Step one for me is to hold an idea or thought in my mind and then wait to see what words float up from the page. This is the meditation. Just being with my own thoughts, waiting for what each page has to offer.
The prompt for this week’s journal page was to incorporate an animal. So I added a very simple stylized drawing of an owl, my spirit animal. Solitary, thinks too much.
Then I start blacking out the words I am not using. This goes slowly if I am incorporating a picture as I decide on the fly where the divisions go between areas.
I decided the owl needed to look a little more spunky so I added some spiky hair/feathers. I gave the owl hybrid human/owl eyes.
So here is the page completely blacked out. Next step for me is to add in white doodles and details. I use sharpies to black out and white gel pens to doodle over the top.
Here I have added details to the eyes and feathers. Again, this is not a planned process, I just try to feel what the image needs as I go along.
The last step is usually a quote stamped on. I love the quirkiness of hand stamped text.
I am enjoying the challenge of using only really limited materials to work with the journal prompts.
Here are two more catch up pages I finished up since my last post.
Thanks for visiting!
It’s been a day around here. When I first started writing this blog I promised myself I would try to be honest about the bad days too. I’m currently trying to figure out what to do next in my life. The college where I teach is restructuring some things, which will mean next semester I will be paid even less to teach the same material in less time. And I am struggling. I just don’t think I can take a pay cut and I feel the students are also getting shafted. So I am looking for new work. It’s pretty demoralizing to realize I am unqualified to adult.
So I am thinking about ramping up the more commercial aspects of my studio practice, which means there would be less time to focus on an upcoming gallery show. I could also get more serious about workshop development and marketing. I could apply for some residencies, look for some grant funding maybe. I feel like I am standing at a crossroads here.
So I did what all artists do. I went to the studio and pretended everything was okay. Well sort of. Actually thanks to Seth Apter’s blog, I discovered a new source for free journaling prompts. Even though the site is called colour me positive, I decided to go back to basics and work in black and white and do blackout style pages, hoping some insight will appear. Obviously I am behind, but as this week is spring break for me I am doing a prompt daily. Here are the first 3
Journaling left me feeling more centered, so I played with some gelatin printing for a couple of hours. I’m still under employed but I have a roof over my head and a studio full of supplies. Life could be worse.
Firstly, eek! Where has summer gone? It seems like suddenly it is time to write lesson schedules and plan for a new term. It also means it is almost time to install a new work for a faculty show at one of the colleges where I teach. So that’s mostly what I have been tinkering with this week. Having thought about this work all summer and procrastinated, I am now nervous and uncertain about whether it’s going to work. Stay tuned I guess!
Week 2 was interrupted by camping. A couple of days in the woods with a good friend. And then a host of international counselors came to stay for the holidays. I did a little dabbling, but no serious work. On Sunday there was a lull, so I broke out a new Keith Smith book and decided to spice up making functional books for festivals by expanding my repertoire.
I got to use some handmade paper, some hand dyed paper and some paste papers, and lots of paper from my leftovers box. It was so much fun I am going to keep on trucking. I completed all the one section options with variations, so I am onto two section sewing.
Today I had to spend a few hours hanging out at the gallery waiting for artists to pick up and drop off work. I took along supplies to do some page meditations.
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.