Category Archives: Art Journals – PT Round Robin 07/08

from the guilt box

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I have something that I am sure NO OTHER ARTIST has in their studio!!   It’s kinda ‘the elephant in the room’ – I know it as my guilt box! My guilt box is something that kinda evolved gradually in the year before I began studying.  For anyone who knows what this means, it was the year of living with a black dog in the year that our business collapsed & we lost two little grandblessings.  A corner started to evolve,  that I avoided, it contained a growing pile of  beginnings of projects had become ‘stuck’ for one reason or another. 

I became paralyze and stopped beginning things, because I didn’t think that I was going to be able to finish them, so it wasn’t worth commencing.  I DO read my own advice to others! LOL!

The following year, (2009) I began studying art full time as a kind of therapy to ‘jolt’ me out of the ‘dog kennel’…………..but still the pile in the corner remained, and expanded.  It kinda happened as projects for leisure ongoingly took a back seat to the need to endlessly ‘produce’ artwork for one timeline after another for college, on subjects that I really didn’t have a great deal of interest in, but was obliged to complete & go through the process.  Works in Progress (WIP’s) were frequently packed up to ‘clear the decks’ for the current ‘SCHOOL’ project & WIP’s soon became Projects of Waiting (POW’s – waiting for inspirations, supplies, time, help!!) gradually slipped into the Unfinished Objects (UFO’s) & and then, as inspiration & momentum was lost along the way, gradually joined a growing list of things on my ‘guilt list’. 

GUILTY because
– I had bought/hunted out supplies especially for this project & now it was languishing, I have wasted time & money
– It is outside the expected time line (postage date, agreed timeline)
– I can’t think of an idea that doesn’t seem to lame to even begin to complete the task of completing
– The work I have already done isn’t what I want it to look like & I don’t know how to make it better
– I have completed/are doing other things instead of the thing I ‘SHOULD’ be doing/completing

OK!!!! IS THIS SOUNDING LIKE A PSYCH CONSULT?  AM i ALONE HERE????  Does YOUR studio have a ‘box of guilt’ in a corner or a drawer???? or do you all just begin & complete projects in one hit, and THEN move on to the next thing???  As we will be moving house soon, and I am going to have to literally pack up EVERYTHING and PAY to have it stored………..it will cost me money to retain these projects.  I MUST MAKE  A DECISION & I am a shocker when I don’t know what to do – I do nothing – it has been both my personal & professional undoing – but it is painfully true!  SO – here’s my plan – one month at a time – on the first of the month (I HAVE EXCUSED DECEMBER for pending Christmas projects) I am going to get something out of my guilt box or my pile of UFO’s.  I am going to give myself the whole month to ‘deal’ with them – ie make progress, send it back, complete it, decide how I am going to move forward……….at the end of the month – if it is still in the same state as the start of the month – it will be taken apart as ‘salvage’ – cut up, torn up, supplies separated, etc.  THAT’s my plan anyways!  SO the pictures you see here are October’s contribution.  I have had this journal (GULP) for about 18 months – sitting in my drawer, with the page below semi painted.  I wasn’t happy with my ‘Lady of the Lake’, I wanted her to be regal & kind of stately, without being pouty – I have painted & painted this mouth about TWENTY-SEVEN times!! LOL!!!  She still seems pouty to me!  Anyways, it’s done  & I had a delightful couple of late nights painting the ‘midsummer night’ pages at the top as penance (do an extra spread) before the darling little book goes home to it’s rightful owner.

THESE ARE THE BOOKS INFLUENCING MY ART THIS WEEK

also the article in CLOTH PAPER SCISSORS
Dec issue article ‘Artist Heal Thyself’ by Lorretta Bendetto Marvel

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changing medium with the weather

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I have GENUINELY been a MIXED MEDIA artist lately….changing medium with the weather & accomodating what ever my pain level of the day is…….IMG_0036_resize
We have been having wild extremes of weather – at the end of last week there were parts of our state in 'Catastrophic' Bushfire conditions and today – it has snowed!  We have had so much hail it has been like snow!…& of course this has provided us with a spectacular vista, night after night from our front verandah as the sun sets……last week it was a golden haze that almost hovered from the heat….tonight it is an ominous stormy sky, with smatterings of the purest white…… .. I am continuing my 'learning to draw' journey, done some collage work in a journal, made up a few ATCs, and continued with my 'love quilt'.  Here's a few pics of my recent work: 2-072b-Somewhere-far-Merged
I was incredibly fortunate lately to spend a little time sitting beside this lovely river recently.  A friend & I had caught up for coffee & she had to leave me & get off to work.  As it was so far from home I allowed a little time to explore & had come prepared to art!  I got down enough visual info (as well as photos) to capture what I needed to complete the drawing & then finished it off at home using watercolours, markers & tech pens.

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I've had the priviledge of having a 'play' in Jenene's gorgeous 'Affectionately Yours' Round Robin Journal from Paper Traders…..the journal is based around correspondence, notes & letters, to create the topic for your pages……I have used a whole lot of vintage bits & bobs to create a story around the garment & fabric industry.   I hope Jenene likes what I have created as the last entry in her book.

Fish garden webJan 10

This is one of my latest ATC's called 'Fish Garden' inspired by the ads we are seeing at the moment on TV about our City Aquarium.  It has large sharks swimming through the air overhead.  The Princess LOVEs these ads & has put in a special request for Poppa to take her to see the fish swimming in the air!  (they have an overhead viewing tank)  

I have also been creating a Valentines Token to participate in a swap at Paper Traders.  For those from Oz – it seems that in USA the tradition of Valentine's Day has retained some of it's original glamour & extends to friends & aquaintances as well as members of the opposite gender you may have designs on.  (or have re-designed LOL!)  I dithered & dalied with this so much – it was on my studio table for a week and it NEARLY ended up in the bin in frustration.  I have really gotten out of the altered art process & I just couldn't seem to bring this to a happy conclusion.  It is made on 640gsm Fabriano cotton watercolour, so it was a dream to work on & then I decided I wanted to stitch it, which of course was a little bit of a hassle as it's NOT that bendy!  I also created an ATC to add to the Paper Traders' Winner Takes All pot (one artist is randomly drawn to win all the cards entered for that month)  I thought that February's should be one for LOVE!

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As I said I have also been doing a little patchwork, continuing with my 'love quilt' & incorporating some of my Nan's linens (as well as some found vintage treasures) as I said last time, these blocks are 15in square – so they are quite large.  It's a nice size to work with actually.

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actually, in reviewing this post, it may not have been entirely a bad thing being without my computer, it's certainly been a productive few weeks.  The thing that I didn't add is that The Princess has been for a 'little holiday' at Nonna's and we have had some fun times playing.  She has started on her FIRST mixed media journal and I am convinced (in typical Proud Nonna style) that she has the makings of a fine artist!

OH, and BTW – I have FINALLY joined into Facebook – if you are out there and want to touch base via facebook – here's the link to my facebook page.  I haven't worked out how to link my blogs & pages all up yet – I will get on to that shortly! 

WARNING TO ART JOURNALLERS

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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 IMG_0002_resizebox 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.

IMG_0001_resize The Red Queen's Birthday Party IMG_0004_resize IMG_0003_resizeIMG_0021_resize IMG_0009_resizeIMG_0022_resize

It Used To Be Fruitful

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FruitfulwebI didn’t participate in this year’s Paper Trader’s round robin journal project. In one way I am sorry, because there were some GREAT topics (The DEEP Sea of Poetry!) & some fabulous artworks produced.  In another way I am glad, because this year there has been more than a few hurdles that I just didn’t see coming, & I have had my plate pretty full & it was probably for the best.  Through a number of drop outs for various reasons & some last minute cancellations (we normally do 12 participants for 12 months) – some of the 07/08 journals ended up with numerous pages still blank.  I offered to do a page in one of those that was a bit light on, it is titled ‘In the Neighbourhood’, with a bent toward how the neighbourhood you grew up in used to be…….The housing estate that I grew up in was the first, in a newly developed outer lying area, & it was literally smack bang in the middle of fruit orchards & daffodil farms.  The orchards with blossoms were so pretty, grove after grove of them, I used to MAKE my sisters (I was the eldest of 4 girls) walk with me slowly through the orchard & try to see if blossomImg_0649_resize would blow off the trees on to our faces like confetti on a bride………and convinced them that if we could catch the water falling of the flowers after the rain – that it would turn us into fairies (and we could fly away from our crap home life)…….. (while I am writing this – I have just had an AH-HA moment – perhaps that’s why I love pink & green in spring!)  So that’s the story I have illustrated here – the surrounding area has been, for many years now, completely developed, with not a fruit tree or a flower (being commercially cultivated) in sight!  But – It Used to Be Fruitful. I have created a double 8in x 8in spread (so 8" high x 16" wide) by scanning in street maps of where I grew up, then printing them out onto watercolour paper.  Then I removed the pages of the book & stuck my watercolour paper to them.  I wanted to do it this way so that I was able (to the best of my ability) work in watercolours using real watercolour paper, so that I could work ‘wet in wet’, a method that only really works well if you are working on cotton paper.  I have used watercolour crayons, pencils & calligraphy inks to draw the fruit & flowers.  The scallops at the top are representative of two things – the window awnings we used to have on our house & the awnings at the front of green grocer shops. (Fruit & Vegetable shops)  I created these by painting & stamping book pages, (there are about 6 different variations on the paper pages.  Then I stamped again with a different colour (first timber brown, then midnight white).  After that, I cut them into strips & scalloped the ends.  Then I mixed them all up & pasted them in random order.