end of another semester

I had hoped to post more often, but life has been getting in the way at lot. The end of the academic year is always busy, lots of papers and exams to mark, wrapping up, longing for it to be summer already. But this year has been additionally complicated by a sudden illness, and a trip to the hospital. Although I am fine now the 5 days I missed laying around in bed have really thrown me for a loop.

Things are gently ticking along both in and on the studio, which is being renovated right now. After 20+ years of working in a largely unfinished space, my long suffering hubby is helping me frame out some walls and hang sheetrock. This was largely motivated by my decision to be a part of an open studio tour at the end of May. Here’s a picture of my lovely bright space now shaping up, this was taken a few weeks ago, so we are further alongand should be at least halfway done by the time the tour comes along. In the meantime every previously empty space in the house is filled up with my relocated art supplies while we work!

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It is hard at this point in the year to find long blocks of time to work on anything but I am still keeping up with my weekly color me positive journal page, and because these meditative pages are so relaxing for me I am also adding a daily quote related challenge for the month of May. I realised I have been doing these blackout style pages for over a decade now as part of my daily studio practise. Here’s a blast from the past

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Here are a few new images to enjoy.

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This weekend I will be at an Antique Book and Paper show – next weekend our youngest graduates from college and then I Have to deal with Finals for my own students. AND then I have to really buckle down to get ready for the open studio tour and summer festival season. And I REALLY hope a more regular blogging schedule. It may remain a bit quiet here for the next couple of weeks, but please stay tuned.

 

A little process tutorial

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The last step is usually a quote stamped on. I love the quirkiness of hand stamped text.

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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.

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Thanks for visiting!

A rather late new year.

This year I am beginning my year the same way I have started the last two years with the great blog prompts from Lisa Sonora. It’s been a very slow start as I have had the flu and then bronchitis and I am still getting caught up.
In past years I have used an old book as the foundation for my journal, but the book I thought I might use this year was  just not the right size or scale or something, it didn’t feel right. Instead I decided to use random formats of watercolor paper as a basis for my journaling.
Working on individual sheets has been a different experience. I started out with 30 randomly sized pieces of watercolor paper. Next I added a layer of collage. I pushed myself to work with brighter colors than I would usually use. It was a good game plan, but after I added additional layers of paint, printing and tissue, many of the pages ended up being in my happy beige range! A few brighter ones survived, but not many.
The final layer on each page was the stamped quote of the day, and I was able to use the reverse side to journal.

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This weekend I bound together the finished pages. I’m still behind but I think I am going to use this technique for the rest of the year, maybe making monthly books.
I have a much less hectic teaching schedule this semester, so I am hoping to get better at guarding my studio time, and posting more regularly here.

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So hopefully there will be more to come soon. Thanks for hanging with me!

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.

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!

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!

Still finding my roots.

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It has been a slow art week. In addition to gearing up for classes, I am also away from home taking care of one of my children who had surgery earlier this week. I have been working in a tiny portable project and falling behind with my journaling. Here are some new images.

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Hopefully I will have something new to share soon!! Thanks for stopping by all the same.

coming or going?

simple abundance july 25

I was driving my youngest daughter back to camp earlier this week when we passed a truck just like the one we were riding in – “watch out” she said, “we just passed ourselves going – we’re in a time paradox!” Too much Dr. Who in this house maybe?

But honestly that is pretty much how I have been feeling all year. Somehow I cannot seem to get grounded at all, and although some incredible and splendid things have happened, I feel they have all slipped by half-appreciated in a blur. I have been far too busy living to have a life. All of my good intentions seem rather tattered and I am feeling glad that a new school year is just around the corner (and a little freaked out about how much work I HAVEN’T done on my new lectures) and with it a fresh mental start.

I am trying to be gentle with myself – but I am frustrated by the fact that so many of the projects I had hoped to complete this year are still unfinished in the studio.I have made incremental progress on a few – the signatures for women’s work are almost completed – but I didn’t finish it in time to enter it in the Rochester Art of the Book show as I had hoped. I know it WILL get finished – and probably pretty soon, but I feel as if I have let myself down yet again. I know the only way forward is to pick myself up and renew my efforts, but I honestly just feel a bit tired. I’d like to just take a nap – in the woods away from everything.

never done....

never done….

I have signed up for the August round of the root 30 day journal project – just to see if anything comes to the surface. Obviously something is holding me back from following through with my commitment to myself, to make more time for my own art, maybe by going back to my journals I can figure it out. While I am waiting for August – I have decided to reread Simple Abundance and journal about whatever that brings up – maybe by staying in the pages of my journal where it is safe to make mistakes I can rekindle my energies and get back to work.

Now back to my coffee and preparations for the upcoming Bookfest at WNYBAC

skipping a few days

You will just have to take my word for it that I have been journalling everyday – as some of the prompts are bringing up things I am not ready to share. Today I can share though – so here it is

stagnation, boredom, security,

stagnation, boredom, security,

In other news – my office and studio have migrated to the dining room as it is SO FRIGID (-13) here today. I have been rewriting lectures and reading in my pajamas most of the day. My sewing machine is about to move in too so I can do some work on women’s work after dinner. I can’t believe that my break is almost over – I still have so much left I wanted to accomplish. Ah well.

I want to get back to work in the “studio” but before I go – please consider sponsoring this artist – Elena Thomas – part of the SCIBASE group I have recently been exhibiting in Europe with. They are coming here to do a show in April (yikes another project I need to work on) and to cover her costs she has come up with a way to combine the work with a sponsorship idea. Follow this link to find out how to help, and thanks!

a sample of the beauty you will be sponsoring!

a sample of the beauty you will be sponsoring!