Monday, February 21, 2011

Postcards to Get Me Going

Even after working on the Art Journal, I still felt stuck in a creative canyon.  Or a lack of creative canyon.  I was sort of half heartedly working in my studio but not accomplishing much.  Is "accomplishing something" one of the boxes that I stick myself into? Maybe.  But anyway - I was wanting to do something different and not quite sure what that meant.  My solution when I get in this situation is to make quilted postcards.

The postcards are made with paper, are regulation size 4" x 6", can definitely be mailed successfully, and are quilted.  First I choose a little picture of some sort and then some words and shapes and glue them to an index card.  Then I add another index card on the back and quilt through the two layers to secure the edges of the glued objects.  Then I add another index card and a backing printed card with postcard information and sew around the edges.  A tiny little one-of-a-kind quilt!  Made of paper!  Very fun.

These cards are still at the glue stage with no stitching but I thought it might be fun to look at them.  They are mostly silly and rarely make any logical sense.   Hope you enjoy them!       Barbara

Am I in a Box and Two Ghostly Gals Journal Page

As you look at my work you may notice a certain tendency to use my favorite colors (like purples and blues and greens) and avoid other colors (like red and yellow).  That is because I am SO much more comfortable with those colors and SO challenged by the others.  So I decided that an art journal should require not just comfort but challenge.  So take a look at this page!

The critter on the right is the same design I used for the Everybody Counts! quilt.  She is sort of trapped in a box.  I think that my thoughts on this page will focus on whether I sometimes feel caught in a box - and whether this box is one that someone else is squishing me into or whether it is of my own making.  I am quite amused by the various thoughts that this journal is already starting to generate - even before I start writing.

The Gals on the left side came into being because I used a credit card to paint this page and it left some great white blobs of paint - and I decided to give those blobs some personality.  I really really like them a lot and I think that they will become quilts.  Or maybe a single quilt because they might get lonely if they were separated..... I wonder if they are sisters?  And what are their names?  Hmmmm.       Barbara

Grow and Sing Journal Pages

As I began adding collage bits to the pages I looked at other artists' journals and found myself thinking "How can I make my pages look like theirs - they are SO fabulous".   And I am really good technically so I probably could have duplicated or mimicked their work.  But then I thought "Wait!  This is MY art journal so why don't I use some smaller copies of the critters that I drew and have made into quilts?"  Mind boggling, don't you think?  Use my OWN stuff instead of trying to be like someone else.  Sheesh! 

Anyway - I did just that.  I made some copies of my own drawings and colored them in before adding them to the pages - this was a lot easier than trying to redraw them and get the colors light enough to show on the darker pages.

AND I really like the way that these pages are starting to look.  This first one has the word Grow and I think that my thoughts will center on how I want to grow - risks associated with growing - all that sort of thing.

This next page includes a bird on a fence and if you follow this blog you may recognize the critter as Alice Has Something to Say - or in this case perhaps Alice Has a Song to Sing!  Next to Alice is a pocket that I can stick various cards in.  That should be fun and will add a new dimension to the journal.  The music border on the far left is torn from an old book of Standards that I got from my Father-in-Law Roy.  He was a wonderful piano player and this places a tiny bit of him in my book.    Barbara

A Jar Full of Creativity, Some Flowers and Some Fish

Now remember as you look at these pages that they are In Progress and not even half finished.  The first steps require painting and adding collage bits to take away the scary Blank Page.  The paint that I use is just cheap old acrylic paint and I smear it on with old credit cards and with my fingers.  Very very fun.
I have a lot of weird photos that I have collected over the years and some great collage pages that I have purchased from various sources. This first page has a jar labeled Creativity and various stages of how I feel about creativity listed above.  The large pointer is attached so that it moves and can indicate various stages of creativity.  The next step is to add writing.

This page doesn't have a theme yet.  I like the combination of Zentangly flowers with cut out shapes for other flowers.  The crazy looking fish are from a collage sheet by Iktupilli.  She has great weird stuff on her site.  I made some dominoes for my daughter Anna with really weird spooky creatures.

Art Journals can be FUN instead of Torture! Really!

I have always and forever been impressed by the gorgeous art journals that are shown in magazines.  So I would buy a nice blank journal - and then sit and look at the blank pages and just about cry because I had no idea where to start.  Two things saved me:  Art Journaling - Pages in Stages (a Cloth Paper Scissors DVD featuring Dawn DeVries Sokol) and Teesha Moore's web site (her advice for making an art journal including directions for actually constructing and binding a journal).
 So even though these pages are only partially finished, I am going to share them with you.  After all what is the point of having a blog if there is nothing new to see when you visit? 
This is the outside of the journal.  I built it with book board covers so it will be sturdy and covered it with some really great paper.  It will have a title on the front and beads on the strings that you can see along the binding.  There are several signatures (a bunch of pages folded together) that are sewn into the Italian Book Cloth that acts as the binding holding it all together.  I used waxed polyester for the binding cord.  Barbara

Sunday, February 20, 2011

AGES since I added to this lovely BLOG -

So here is what has been happening....I haven't posted lately because my life has been fluctuating so wildly that my Creativity has slumped to an all time LOW and I am just sort of flopping around.  Why?  Because I have MORE time on my hands - not less.   And I think that my entire soul is sort of reorienting itself to the new reality.  Which is a really good thing - but strange. 
For the past couple of years I have been very involved in an environmental effort - but sadly it was eating me alive and I had no energy left to work on what I really love which is my Art.  So I resigned from the environmental effort - and have more time.  You would think (at least I DID) that this would make me just blossom in 16 different directions creatively - but alas it has not.  Instead I feel at loose ends and don't really have a focus.
When I don't have a focus and am not creating art - I feel frustrated and less than happy.  So in order to break out of this slump - I did two different things - both of which I will post photos of on this blog.  Check out the next couple of entries to see what I am talking about.      Barbara