Sunday, March 30, 2014

Finished Up

So here's the finished spread from a few days back. Some changes, but not too major. I find I'm waiting for a lot of things in my life right now, one of them is the end of a steroid taper, that's the most concrete of them. If you have ever done a long one of these, you'll know the feeling.

I've also  been playing with watercolor. Everything they say is so true about it - it's hard. It's wildly uncontrollable. It's so easy to create hideous badness. And it's fun.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Monday, March 24, 2014

A color experiment

Using the suggested palette from Mix it Monthly

Watercolor and acrylic ink. Not sure it's done - may use this as a basis for digital stuff too.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

In Progress: leaving well enough alone.

The biggest pitfall, I find with the free-flowing everything is right and nothing is wrong dictums of mixed media, is that it's far too easy to overdo things.

I do it a lot. 

When you draw observationally, you are in a constant state of push and pull with the thing you are referencing. You simply don't have a choice about whether to stop and analyze what you're doing - drawing observationally is a kind of analysis in itself.

When you don't, you have to make yourself stop. Step back. Analyze.

If everything is right simply because it's you, you have no criteria to use to decide whether you should or should not do something.

It's true that an art journal should be a place of experimentation - but for me, it's also a place to learn lessons, to make mistakes and also to learn how mistakes were made so that not making them repeatedly becomes habitual.

So this is a spread at midpoint.  I have a few regrets in it already - that's OK - but it's a good time to take a breath and listen and look.

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Finding Place

This quote really engaged me, so I made some space for it.

“I had no one to help me, but the T. S. Eliot helped me. So when people say that poetry is a luxury, or an option, or for the educated middle classes, or that it shouldn’t be read at school because it is irrelevant, or any of the strange stupid things that are said about poetry and its place in our lives, I suspect that the people doing the saying have had things pretty easy. A tough life needs a tough language – and that is what poetry is. That is what literature offers – a language powerful enough to say how it is. It isn’t a hiding place. It is a finding place.” 

― Jeanette WintersonWhy Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

I found a lot of my thoughts about the value of education and the place of literature perfectly articulated here. Which is her point - literature lets the disconnected, the discontent, the marginalized person to know that others have been there before.

You could also switch out "art" for "poetry." Why not? Go for broke, right?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Journal Page - The Difficult

I got out the gelli plate the other night - monotype with a press is my "thing" - years ago I had an artist residency at MN book arts for my monotype work.  It's completely different without a press, but I think I'm going to enjoy wrestling with this little silicone blob until I like the results.

 Her crown and dress are some very subtle mossy gelli printed papers. Collage, watercolor, stamping, drawing - other than the water color washes almost all the paint is applied with a tsukineko fantastix foam stick. I'm still crazy for those things.  I should keep a running list of supplies I find "worth it."

Mixed Media on Loose Fabriano Watercolor

I am trying not to go ape and throw poo be bummed about YET MORE SNOW. Enough. Any time now.

Well, even if I'm kept indoors at least I can play. This is like the rainy day activity that never ends.

In GOOD news, it is the anniversary of Paint Party Friday! PPF has introduced me to many talented and friendly bloggers/artists, and it's one of those nice blog parties that makes a self-employed freelancer feel just that tiniest bit less like a cave dwelling hermit. YAY PPF. Here's to many many more!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Journal Page - The Possible

I've got a Moleskine A4 that I've been kind of precious about using because it's expensive watercolor paper and a nice binding and blah.

What a mistake that was! It's nice to get out of the square format of my usual journals. I do love Bee paper recycled 9x9's quite a lot, mainly because I find them heavyweight enough for all that I throw at them AND nicely portable.

But the Moleskine? There's obviously a reason they're popular. I believe these to go in the "worth every penny" category. It's just really pleasant to play with water media on the right kind of paper, and still have the option to keep things bound.

What's all this then?

Watercolor, my own carved stamps, pigment ink, commercial background stamp, acrylic, gesso, caran d'ache crayon, acrylic ink with a crowquill pen, charcoal, washi tape, alpha stamp. Whew!

You probably don't need a psych degree to tell that things are turning around a bit for me, too. The hopeless malaise of a flare that lasts for unknown amounts of time is over. I'm moving away from misery - for how long who can say, but my experience tells me I can now dig in and get on with the rest of my year, with any luck!

The body may be a step behind, but the mind is light and ready to say yes to things.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Chronicles Project week 5 that is not week 5

One of the hidden joys of doing 29 was finding the Chronicles Project over at Wonderstrange. Sarah's prompts and journal concerns seem as if they were tailor made for my brain.

Let's break it down - say you see a journal page with the word "dream" on it.

What does that tell you? What does that actually cause you to do?

I tend to get anxious. The problems in my life are not caused by a lack of vision, rather by a poor sense of implementation, sometimes within my control - just as often NOT within my control.

Results: look at happy pink spread. Feel miserable.

Chronicles is not about writing down "awesome!"  - it follows that best of literary rules.

Show don't tell.

So, my awesome. Let me show you it.

These are the parts of the week 5 prompts I decided to work with:

  1. Write about your favorite thing that happened this week.
  2. What song do you love this week?
  3. Take a picture of the thing that is making you really happy right now.
1. This is not a banner week. I know a lot of us have horrible autoimmune diseases, mine is making my life less than fabulous, though better than hospitalized, so not all is lost, right?  The wife made cookies and made things not completely implode all around me. That was awesomesauce.

2. Easy.  Avant Gardener. It's so awesome to me because it both deals with being sick in some fashion AND having that outside-of-yourself ability to laugh at the first-world-problems nature of being sick and outside the "old enough to be sick" demographic and the way that other people look at you or your worries about the way that other people look at you.

Also "The neighbors must think we run a meth lab. I should amend that, I pull up weeds" is particularly awesome.

3. I don't photograph my life. Which is funny, because photo was a huge interest of mine in art school daze past. I opened an instagram account, and took a picture of one of those little things in life that's making me SUPER happy (yeah I know wheat and sugar are inflammatory, but if a coffee and a cookie are going to kill me it's not worth it anyway.)

This would ordinarily go under the journal rubric "it's the little things." Amirite?

 A little repurposing of my own stuff. I printed a card, it misfired, I cut it up.

I don't hoard scrapping stuff, but I do have some, and since everyone has some psycho IP insane Angel policy for every sticker now, it can just go live in my journal.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Additional Blog!

Hi blog peeps!

I've really enjoyed the FACES project, though I'm not sure I hit 29 it's been loads of information for me about new ways of working, new concerns, more discoveries than I can shake a stick at. I'm pretty sure I'm going to do the next one, too!

One of my realizations is that I really like a bunch of different things and getting them all to sit happily under one umbrella isn't always working for me. This isn't the newest of news flashes, but it's making more sense lately.

I've started a paper craft / shabby craft blog - specifically for things I define more on the craft side than the art side. It's craft playtime in all its unapologetic glory! Craft teatime and cookie therapy - to which I stake a little claim. Also, I'll be doing challenges. Lots and lots of challenges. I'll be using stamps! Craziness, I know.

This blog is kind of my personal art incubator, for journaling, illustration, new techniques, brutally honest product bitching  reviews, also sometimes a tutorial or two in messy inky journaly stuff - I'm not sure where the limits of this are, but I do know that I need a separate place to make little heart-shaped things of paper and cloth.

So, if that kind of thing makes you happy, there's tons of it at...

Little Altered Heart!

Follow it if that's your thing.  Don't worry, I'll be posting here too.