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!


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

morris 1

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.


not much studio time…

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.


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.


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!