I know that heading is a little alarming – but it needs to be. I help to moderate the fabulous mixed media yahoo group called Paper Traders & every year since our inception, we have had a Round Robin Journal Project & I have hosted the project for the last 3 years. For the uninitiated, basically – 12 people (our limit) make a journal, decide on a topic, then send their journal of on a travelling adventure around the world. The journals rotate monthly, and each artist makes a page in everyone's journal until they finally recieve their own back. Each time we have done it, there have been glitches along the way & sadly, we have people who have not honoured their commitments and literally just not sent journals back to their owners – but what happened this last month has taken the cake! This month it appears that a international, priority paid, tracked & insured parcel has been very carefully opened (SO CAREFULLY – I can't see how it's been done) and looked through the 3 journals & the other contents of the box – and decided to keep one of the journals and the extra bits & bobs sent to me by the previous artist – and carefully seal the box back up.
The box left USA weighing 5lbs 8.5oz and arrived to me in Oz weighing barely 4lb. Despite there being no signs what so ever of tampering, the box was crushed down one side where the journal and other things 'had been' and now the two remaining journals moved around in the box. That's where the fun began – despite having all of the safeguards in place, no one could tell us (person who sent parcel, me as recipient or the missing journals' owner) at what point the weight of the parcel changed. A claim has been put in for insurance, which is SOMETHING at least for the trouble, but I am sure that we'd all just prefer to be able to post our art and know it's safe. I have to say, I have posted things all around the continent & the world for years, and for the most part, I haven't had a problem. THIS ONE takes the cake though! I would caution anyone reading this to think carefully about what you write as the 'contents' of a parcel sent. You need to use words that are 'honest' for security reasons – but not descriptive enough to raise the interest of any 'would-be' thief. Perhaps words like: book, paperwork, printed matter, if anyone has any others, it'd be good to hear them.
As host, I felt just terrible about this happening – especially as the pics I had seen of the original journal showed that it was fabulous (no wonder 'peeping thomas/thomasina' decided to steal it!). The subject was 'The White Rabbit' and being a big Alice fan, I had things on hand that I thought I would be able to use to restore the journal. It's not perfect, but it is better than getting nothing back. So here's some pics of the a couple of pages & the cover of the new journal, including a couple of litho etchings I did as my own contribution to the journal.
I guess the immediate question is……….Who is Sally???? Sally is one of my regular readers, who is the cousin of my dear friend Lynne. As they are regularly in contact, & Lynne & I are regularly in contact……. although we haven’t met, I feel as though Sally (who is apparently famous for her afternoon teas) is one of my friends already. She will be travelling down to visit Lynne in September & we plan to have a great day arting together & finally meeting face to face. I guess the SECOND question is (suspiciously!)……….I hear you asking….. I thought you had finished that journal??!?!?! (Sheepishly, I would be forced to answer…..)……. I had…….. (I had even finished the index page) however there was a page of Christmas that I had done toward the back of the journal, in a hurry, just before I sent it off that I JUST couldn’t stand….. it was so glittery & kitch…….& I just didn’t like it anymore……….SO………. I rip, rip, ripped it out!! (well…….truth be told, my daughter picked at it when she came to visit me, cos I couldn’t put my head at any angle except looking forward, upright. I have been home from work sick the last couple of days so it has been sitting there tempting me. Each time I have picked it up, this particular page really IRKED me! NOW…….. I must put it on the shelf & accept, that this is how my art was then, and move on to other things……… there is still ONE more page at risk……….hmmmm……….ok, ok, I am moving on!I have had an infection that has affected my balance & wooow……..is it wierd??!! I have been the equivilent of sea sick for days. SO this page has been put together in little stints of ‘wellness’ as I have had to stay quite upright to feel ok…..I have spent heaps of time on my blog because sitting up straight at the computer seemed to be alright. I hope you like the new editions……. A couple of surveys, some more links & eye candy & also a resource list have been added. I hope you find them all helpful. SORRY…….these scans of the Invitation & Colour Scheme are luminous again….I am DESPARATE for a new scanner, (sadly, all of the office equipment is disposable these days) however, I am hoping to pick one up on sale at the end of the financial year, so I am tolerating it for a few more weeks or so. (that is, of course, unless the ‘Scanner Fairy’ visits & leaves one at my door in the interim!) I now have the last of my 3 ‘background’ exercises to do on ATC’s…..this one is stencilling over several times with ‘sequin scrap’ (the sheet from where the sequins have been punched out)………hmm……….not really THAT inspiring (which is why I have been procrastinating about starting it)…..I am trying to get enthusiastic about it enough to start……. FIRST……….I have to rescue my studio from last night’s creative flurry that occured when the dizziness left for about 2 hours. Yeah……….kinda cyclone like!
It’s true……I HAVE!!!! I am not sure how many of you know the work of the AMAZINGLY talented Misty Mawn. I am very fortunate to be booked in for a workshop with her next May organised by the amazing Jo & Jacky from Artistic Journey in Perth. There has been a lead up of a couple of months preparing & organising & the registrations just opened today. In the process there has been lots of toing & froing on their website with Misty’s work constantly before my eyes, enticing me, wooing me, drawing me in……..I ADORE it…..I love the colours she uses, the sweet soft, honouring way she presents each of her subjects AND of course…….she uses one of my signature elements….TEXT. …….(every collage needs some!!) Here is the FINAL page in my Le Reputation de Tients journal….it was HEAVILY influenced by Misty’s work, without a deliberate attempt to copy, I have used some techniques that look like her work. (of course desparately missing the original art elements she is SO AMAZINGLY clever at!)…….I wanted to put little white wings onto Rembrandts little lamb & a soft whispy angel in the sky above….but SADLY lacking in talent in that dept, & I didn’t want to risk wrecking it, other than that omission, I really like how it has turned out………I have titled it ‘The Valley of the Shadow of Death’ & I have made the colour swatch into a bookmark that will be in the page, with 23rd Psalm on the back of it.
this is a VERY ordinary scan of one of the most beautiful pages in my Le Reputation De Tients (the name of colour) art journal. I have been arting with my friend Lynne over the weekend while my DH is away playing cars interstate with some mates. The colours on the scan look much more luminous than they do in real life. They are a very soft, soft moss green & duck egg blue, ‘bleached’ out with translucent white gesso. The papers are Wild Asparagus, & the roses are (painstakingly) cut from Ann Griffin paper. These ‘loosly’ are the colours of the interior of our new extension. My studio (what walls you can see of it – most of the wall space is lined with shelves) is in the deeper blue, as is the cloth of our full sized billiard table. The walls are to be the soft green, if I EVER get around to painting them, instead of doing art or being on the computer! The ceilings & woodwork are white. So this page is representative of where I am right now, colourwise. I only have one more double spread left in my little colour journal, then I have the index page & I think I will make some extra embellishments & tags to hang off the outside……..that always makes it a bit more interesting & inviting to look at. I started with these little ‘bottle cap’ ones…………I KNOW, I KNOW, everyone has already been there & done that for SOME TIME NOW…….however I am really excited about them. I HAVE A NEW DRILL!!! I have had a piece I am building from recycled building bits on old weatherboards for a few weeks now, waiting for DH to drill 2 holes in it – he has put a new bathroom in one house & a new kitchen in another…….but I can’t get 2 holes in my piece of wood!!!! TWANDA…..I say (You had to be there……..Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe) You know the saying…….while the cat’s away, the mice will play????? WELL……….we have a THING in our house, my DH (who is a tradie) ‘steals’ my art tools & equipment…….there are lots of reasons for this…..mine are always in working condition, they are always in the same spot, & they are easily accessible. There are many things that have been ‘snaffled’ include 2 drills (one of them MY birthday gift), 3 heat guns, 1 small cordless soldering iron, gas packs (too many to count), screw drivers, a small shifting spanner (I had to buy another one to complete the rabbits for the babies for easter), enough said, the list goes on! SO while HE has been away playing cars (Australian National Dragracing)…….I BOUGHT MYSELF A NEW DRILL……..NOW I am just LOOKING for projects & things I can ‘drill’………..everything I do in the next little while will have holes in it! LOL!!!!…………but shhhhhhhhhhhh! it’s a secret………I have to keep it quiet or else I will loose that one too!!
WHAT IS IT YOU PLAN TO DO WITH YOUR ONE WILD & PRECIOUS LIFE? is the quote ‘hidden’ in the story of Mrs. Margaret Hooper…….a former entertainer, now in her 70’s she looks back over the years & her experiences as a Paris night club singer & dancer, & how all this came to be. The pictures on the page capture her evolution as Margaret – an innocent child playing in a flower rope, to playful Maggie in the ’30’s in London & Megs, in Paris in the ’40’s……her theatre memorabillia covers the 45rpm that I worked on last week, & this is inside a sleeve, in her ‘page’ in Suze’s RR Travelling Art Journal called Amazing Feats of Strong & Extraordinary Women. This page was such fun to do, it was one of the themes that I have been ‘collecting’ for, throughout the whole project (that started a year ago). This is my last Journal of this project now…..so it is just counting the months until the next one starts. I think my next one is going to be about WORDS… following my obsession & fascination with language this journal will be about Words & Definitions. Each artist is to choose a word as the title for the page/s & make the page about that. I haven’t decided at this point, the size it will be, the style of it or how I am going to present it, but this is all food for my imagination at this point. I don’t have a name for it yet though (& this is something that held me up for ages with the last one) so if anyone has any suggestions, they would be gratefully accepted. At the moment, I am a bit stuck on the differentiation between a new ‘words’ journal, my ATC book of quotes AND my ‘altered dictionary’ which is still a great source of pleasure to me. In the end it may mean that I will change topics altogether. I still have a little time to decide on this though.
Even though I can celebrate the arrival of MY travelling journal, at the same time that I recieved mine home, I recieved 2 more journals to work in. Both have some lessons to be learnt about binding for RR journals. The first one is Rust & the second one is Strong & Extrordinary Women. The Rust journal, whilst a wonder to behold because of the beautiful artwork in it, is a good example of how NOT to bind a travelling art journal! It is bound with plastic spiral binding & has not survived the rigours of a year of travel so well. (In fact, I am not entirely sure whether there was another piece that has been lost altogether, which is sad) I will be working on that one next…….so stay tuned for ‘rusty stories’
Strong & Extrordinary Women is a really sturdy book, that is, in and of itself and EXTRA-ORDINARY book. Being one of the last contributors, it is VERY difficult to work in, as the journal has become ‘fatter’ than the binding will really allow, so the journal will not open out to work in, and it is not possible to take it apart to work on the ‘page’ alone. Regardless, it is a beautiful book that is full of stories of amazing women……mostly from history…….my entry is much more flippant………The pages of the book are made like slip covers for old 45rpm records, so I hunted an old one out of the attic, and ‘altered’ it!! (as I have said before……NOTHING is sacred. I have decorated both sides, & then it will go inside the ‘cover’ & I will decorate the page…….somewhere or another I will write a story about my character who is a woman who has lived her life in the live theatre business & is looking back over the last 50 years.
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FINALLY, after a year of travelling, my first little handmade book is home. It is called Le Reputation de Teint (which loosely translated French meaning ‘The Name of Colour’) Since I commenced the book, I have had shared with me about 4 – 6 different ways that this should have been expressed……but that’s what it’s called. Apart from the covers, there are 12 double pages done by me and 9 double pages done from other artists around the world from my Paper Traders group. This was the first handmade book that I have made & I am pretty happy that it is still all bound tightly, that it sits up quite firmly, having left enough space for the expansion required for 3D elements added by various artists. I used a linen thread & coptic stitching (albiet it wasn’t overly well done, it was strong). The journal is 6 inches square.
I know that some people make their art journals out of any old thing, not particularly caring what paper they use, however I did a bit of research knowing there were watercolourists & acrylic artists in the participant group & I wanted the paper to be able to ‘hold’ it’s own. On reflection, many people have chosen to ‘stick into’ the book, rather than to work on the paper the pages are made from, so perhaps I didn’t need to be quite as fussy about that.
The instructions to artists were quite simple, just to pick a domestic paint sample from a paint company with a name that appealed to them & use the name as the inspiration for the page. The paint chip was to be included as part of the page.
Each of the artists have been identified on the pages they did. It is hard to pick a favourite, they are all so different. The stranges thing to me is that the journal has been gone almost exactly 1 year…..It left me on May 15th, 2006…….and I look at the art work that I did in it now, and can’t help but think how differently I’d do it now. I think that the art strategy that I have adopted to ‘Just keep making…..no matter how it is turning out’ is really impacting my style over time. I remember at the time that I started this project I had only just discovered Golden paints……… most of my pages use them & it is all just so shiny………….not a look I usually favour. As a couple of artists dropped out through the process…….I have 2 blank pages in my book……….now……hmmmm what SHALL I do with those?????
Today, in Australia, we are celebrating Anzac Day. It is one of our commemorative days where we remember the lives of those fallen in the fields of war for the cause of our freedom as a nation. I created these pages in Mary’s travelling art journal last year, however, today is the day we are reflecting on the events & sacrifices depicted, so I thought it appropriate that I post it today. Gallipoli is such a tragic story in Australian War History (one my Grandfather played a part in) that I wanted to record it in my art. For the sake of my overseas visitors, in 1915 Australian soldiers were landed on a beach in Gallipoli, Turkey, & were outnumbered & out gunned by the Turkish. It resulted in the wiping out of a generation of young men from outback & country towns & it had a huge impact on Australian life. (PLEASE………..any war buffs, please don’t be offended, this is not meant to be trite in anyway, just a very simplified description). The old pages on the RHS are from my grandfather’s service record.
For anyone who is interested in the story the long version (blow by blow) is here: http://www.awm.gov.au/histories/ww1/1/index.asp
a more suscinct, narative style version is here: http://www.anzacsite.gov.au/1landing/why.html
Here is my latest ‘RR travelling art journal (if you don’t know what that means, there is an explanation at the bottom of the catagory, click in the sidebar at the left where it says ‘Travelling Art Journal Project’ & it opens all of the entries about the journals from when I started with Typepad in Oct) This journal is titled ‘Somewhere in Time’ & many of the entries to date are of vintage images & places & I was trying to come up with something a bit different different. I came across an image of a painting of ‘blackbeard’ in an old National Geographic from the ’80’s & it prompted me to follow a pirate theme.
This journal is quite small compared to others that I have worked in (this one is approx 4" x 6") & MUCH smaller than my own art journal – 11" x 9" where I do my ‘mock ups’ & try out my idea for the page, hence this was a bit of a challenge. I started by covering both pages with Sandylion Treasure Map paper. Although I intended to stick other images over it, I wanted a ‘lighter’ feel than the black of the journal pages.
After a good ‘spritzing’ with gold & umber water wash (some paint diluted with water in a small spritz bottle) to age the page a little I stuck on the images I had sourced on a ‘shipwreck’ & pirate them. I pulled them together with the text ‘story’ of the capture of ‘The Sea Devil’ & cap’n Rubin Roberts. The galleon is a 3D stick on from Jolee’s. It was a bit cutsy, but some wax & some aging with ink made it a bit more presentable. It was actually quite an expensive way to get a ship, & if I were a better ‘drawer’ I could have made one myself out of papers, however, this is what people who are ‘drawingly challenged’ have to resort to! I made several tags & trinkets & tied them into the journal on the spiral rings.
Well…finally…. the ‘dreaded lurgy’ seems to be passing, my head has stopped throbbing & I can move more than arms length from the tissue box………..so things are looking up!!! Feeling a little better, last night & this morning, I ventured into my studio to do something a little creative……..As I have mentioned before, I am a part of a Round Robin Art Journal project. Essentially 12 people are participating, each of whom has selected a subject, made a journal, done some work in it on the topic, then sent it travelling around the world. Each participating artist recieves a journal each month to make a contribution in. They are quite varied in style & topic……This one belongs to my art pal Cynthia from Kansas, & I recieved it before Christmas, I did the moons & stamping before I went on holidays, & I wanted to integrate ‘planting with the moon cycles’ or something like that, but I didn’t know quite how to do it, and although I found information on it, I couldn’t find anything that inspired me artistically. I have been practising my drawing while I was away, & I just thought, oh well, I’ll have a go, I always try to assess what is the worst case scenario, in this instance, I’d do the page again, or replace it (there is no one else’s work on the other side), but to be honest, I am pretty happy with how it came out, despite my limited drawing skills (which is all the more intimidating because I am doing it in someone’s journal who actually CAN draw (shivering timidly)………
I scraped Gold Wax on the textured paper to start with, then stamped using Pigment ink. After this I drew in the Moon Cycle in chalk, then the flowers using Beeswax pencil my final step for the illustrations was to touch up with Twinkling H2O’s. Last of all I spritzed the page with gold & brown patina………and voila……done! These are the pages before I put the book back together. Once I had re-assembled it, I found that more of the ‘fold’ section showed than I anticipated, so I added a bit more detail in there. & in the bottom LHS corner.