Tag Archives: art journals

THE CLOCK MOVES ON

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HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERY ONE, I hope you enjoyed my 5 DAYS of GIVEAWAYS – I have been very busy in the studio over the last week completing a “SECRET” project I am submitting for publication……….here’s a little peak at some progress…………

As a new year commences & I have hardly noticed the last one gone, I am reminded how quickly our life flashes by. In the process of my “SECRET” project, I have been reflecting on the book of Ecclessiastes and the Jewish folk tale of King Solomon…..gam zeh ya’avor. This Hebrew phrase, often mistakenly thought to appear in the Bible, means “This too shall pass.” Some surmise that it was derived from Psalms 57:1, but most Jews attribute it to a folkloric parable about King Solomon – here’s the story:

“There was a king who had the most magnificent collection of jewels in the entire world. It was the source of his greatest joy. One night he dreamed that somewhere in the world, a magnificent ring held the power to make a sad person happy, and a joyful person even happier. The dream was so real to him that he decided that he must seek and possess this ring.

“He offered a huge reward to anyone who could find it. After everyone else had given up their search, one of the king’s servants continued to scour the world for the magical ring. Finally, he too was ready to give up, when he stopped in to one last shop. There, the owner said that he, indeed, was in possession of this ring!

“The servant offered to pay whatever price the shopkeeper asked, but the man refused payment saying, ‘No, your king needs this ring. Take it as my gift.’  “The servant rushed to the palace, entered the king’s chamber, and presented the ring to him. Upon opening the box, the king found a plain, unadorned metal ring. Could this truly be the precious, magical ring he had dreamt about? Then he noticed three Hebrew words engraved on the ring. ‘Gam zeh ya-avor – this too shall pass.’

“The king was puzzled. And it took him many years to realize the true magical power of the ring, in time, he came to realise that all his wisdom and fabulous wealth and tremendous power were but fleeting things, for one day he would be nothing but dust.

When he was truly sad, he would look at the ring and it would remind him that “this too shall pass,” and he would be consoled. And when he experienced true joy, the ring reminded him that “this too shall pass,” and he learned to hold on and appreciate those precious moments of joy. Soon the king realized that this truly was the most valuable ring in the world. He lost interest in the rest of his collection. All his dazzling jewels and gems paled when compared to the plain ring with the three Hebrew words, ‘gam zeh ya-avor, this too shall pass,’ and he always wore this ring of greatest value with pride on his royal finger.”

Abraham Lincoln made reference to this parable in an 1859 address, and there is a custom among some Jews to wear rings inscribed with the phrase (or its acronym), particularly during or after having coming through a seriously trying period in life. It’s an apt tale for the passing of another year, with the precious blessing of our darling new grandie, Ariel Faith……welcoming a season of emotional sunshine – after a long black winter……..watching the gradual deterioration of my mother-in-law in her twilight years, some changes in our family living arrangements, acknowledging the loss of some of my physical capacities this year & the purging of long held trinkets & treasures & the timely handing on of various significant family pieces in preparation to move from our home of the last 20 years………the good and the bad……..material & immaterial……..this too shall pass…………. It reminds me of the rewards of patience, the fact that no season, despite how good or bad it is, lasts indefinitely and the wonders of the cyclical passage of time.

This amazing montage of 365 days of photo’s sum up the year of 2010 in about 2 minutes – that’s about how fast the clock seems to be spinning for me right now.

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New Journal Pages – Another Perspective

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as promised last week – here’s some of my new & refined journal pages – when you are ‘playing’ with a style different to what you are comfortable, finding the ‘finishing line’ is tricky.  I am really not sure whether a couple of these pages now fall back into my heavier, over coloured work that was beginning to get quite murky………..the very thing I was attempting to make a break from.  I usually create a new journal one of two ways, either I create signatures & work in them & then bind it all together, or I create a blank journal and work through the pages in it.  Each has its benefits and draw backs, however the perfectionist in me struggles to complete a book when I start to dislike one or two of the entries.  It just languishes on the shelf, untouched.

This time I tried a whole new approach, I have torn up a whole stack of pages and am just working on the pages as I go – they are not even a ‘folded page’ (for a signature) – just loose pages.  My intention is to ‘Zutter Bind’ them when the time comes to bring them together.  It is actually quite liberating – ‘cos if I really hate something – I just don’t have to include it.  That makes a big difference to how I approach each page, I don’t feel the anxiety of the ‘blank page’ because I can abandon the composition at anytime.  Sounds VERY precious & non commmital doesn’t it???  I have just found that it’s liberating. 

SIGNATURE – (as far as in relation to Communication Arts / Printing, Lithography & Bookbinding)
Printing a.  a sheet of paper printed with several pages that upon folding will become a section or sections of a book

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

More from ‘A Different Perspective’

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Thank you for the kind, & encouraging comments & private emails in reference to my last post – saying my art wasn’t very good – it really sounded like a pitty party & I am sorry if I lost you there – it wasn’t my intention – the story is that I am on a cusp of my art moving from altered art to original art (printing, painting & drawing) – but my ‘original art’ is not of a good enough standard at the moment to stand alone – then I try to blend a little original art and the ‘muddy’ colourful altered style that I tend to lean toward – & that’s were the self loathing kicks in!  I usually don’t like the result.  It actually gets back to what I talked about here  Perception & Reality are not always aligned.  Anyways – moving forward……….

Here’s a couple more pages from my recent art efforts for my new ‘simple look’ journal……’A different Perspective’  Some of them are still works in progress, however I am not sure whether that’s me trying to complicate them or whether they truely need more – so I am just sitting with them as is.  UNUSUALLY – not many photographs this week, not much happening that has captured my attention………except to say I love the late afternoon sun in my new west facing studio room.  It bathes me in orange & watermelon pink & I love it.  I imagine it as glory!

post script …………. this little ‘vessel’ has slipped out of the slide show & I can’t put it back – so it stands alone at the moment.

old is new again

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WOW – only a week in as a FB newbie & I love it!  Have touched base with heaps of old friends and have even managed a 'catch-up' coffee & a dinner date for this week.  Facebook's not my only 'uncovery' of IMG_0592the week – I have also managed to discover iPhonography (like I need ONE more distraction from my iPhone…………..my hubbie just groans & mummbles something inaudible as I display to him my latest iPhone discovery………….warble, warble, fandangled……warble………)…. I am not going to go on about that here, I have done a post about that on my journalling blog if you'd like to look – it is pretty amazing what can be done with 2mg camera + iPhone apps = fascinating results………here's a peak of one of them

What I have been concerntrating on (art wise) is finishing off to very special gifts (!gulp!!! - they are actually a CHRISTMAS present! - we have this understanding see – by recieving late gifts, the celebration lasts longer!)…… these friends are adopted 'family' & we have an understanding about these things! – don't we guys????  we still do – yeah???? LOL!) - I just can't seem to finish it I think I'm done – but then I want to add more - I leave it a day or overnight, and then hate it when I come back to it.  I swear I procrastinate in a way now over my art in a way I NEVER did before art school – here's a clue for budding artists – DON'T go!  ANYWAYS, enough of my cynicsm (sp?) - I have been on the computer all evening – still haven't bought it to a conclusion – and it's time for bed.  TOMORROW i WILL do better! (ummmm……if I don't open my Facebook page! [sheepish grin]

 Here's a sneak peak of a little – as it isn't sent yet – I won't show too much – but just a little eye candy! IMG_1511_resize
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I have been exploring the concept of Wabi-Sabi with this project and I have to say that I have a nurtured & growing appreciation for it.  I'll explain more about this later when I finally post it.  Finishing this off has kept me quite busy as there is a lot of work involved – but it's a labour of love for special friends and so I want it to be unique!

AND to finish off on a great note!  An absolutely intriguing YouTube video of an altered book form.  It's not new – it's another of my uncoveries of the week!

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.

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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! 

computer woes

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Christmas has come and gone & I am sorry peoples – despite my best intentions – I have something wrong with my 'puter & it's NOT well!  This has stopped me from posting my promised freebies, it has a pending appointment with the computer doctor & I am unsure how long it will be away – SO – I will post some images for you for use today (as a separate post) & hope to be able to have a concurrent give away in a month or so.

A couple of good things happening in the art world – AlphaStamps has some GREAT "9 Days of Giveaways!" give aways happening right now on the blog, along with a big post Christmas sale.  Lots of chances to win but its already day 2 so hurry over and see all the great goodies you could win. For full contest rules, click here

For all you art journallers out there – we are starting a great new art journal project at Paper Traders which will run for several months & have a combination of prompts, techniques & challenges.4-227 Tote Bag_resize

I have been continuing with my EDM drawings, albiet, not daily, as I am also doing a little patchwork. (more about that later)  I have scanned all of my EDM drawings to date & they are in their books on my Flickr site – if you click on the drawing above, it will link you to my site, if for some reason it doesn't – here's the link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thecolourguru/collections/72157608675713059/

I used to patchwork & quilt alot however it really took it's toll on my arm & finger joints, particularly coupled with working on a computer in my work-a-day life.  I made quilts when the grandbabies each arrived, and it is with hope that I have started another one.  I am hopeful in annoucing that we are expecting another little one in April.  I have waited this long to announce it because of the two little loves we sent to heaven in the last year, as each week goes by, (currently 23 weeks) we are more and more hopeful that this little one will be with us.  If you click on the image it will take you to my Flickr site where I have posted the other blocks I have completed so far (each block is 15" square)

Nurture_resizeMiss 3 has lots of wisdom on this, when discussing the prospect of a new little one she said:

'Nonna, Aunty is having a little girl baby,' says she with a very serious face.
'How do you know? I asked.
'Well, we don't want any more boys around here!' she replied completely nonchalant, and continued with her playing……further pearls of wisdom were revealed a little while later, when she said

'Nonna, God sent me, to you to love, didn't He?'
'Yes darling,' I replied with a cuddle……
'And for icecream' she added…..

Click to join Paper_Traders

Click to join Paper_Traders

Still booking

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I have spent half of this weekend in school, one of the courses I am doing requires some Saturdays, and fairy clock yesterday was one of them.  It seemed like such a waste of time sitting in a lecture room, with sparkling sunlight twinkling in at us through the windows & the delicious feel of spring in the air. Today I wanted to make up for it.  Impending assessment dead lines are forcing me to commit to decisions (which may NOT be entirely a bad thing) and follow through instead of procrastenating about challenges, design ideas and possibilities with this book in a box I am making.  SO today I 'blocked' in the base of my 'Fed Square' book form, in order to make it open out better, stuck the 'top' on and am working on the pages.  I made the original of origami folded squares & triangles that mimiced the mosaic on the outside of the building, however they are separate pieces, glued together & I am working on trying to make it without glued sections to avoid the 'bulk' from double thicknesses in sections.  Still resolving that one.  fed sq book form A new challenge has presented itself.  Now that the base is blocked out, it seems to have 'pushed' out the walls of the box ever so slightly which has made the lid quite firm.  Consequently, I will definitely need some sort of 'opener' on the top – that DOESN'T wreck the asthetics of my 'mosaic' & will tie in appropriately.  I have the standard kind of things: 7 gypsies (which I LOVE, but doesn't work on this) – old door handles, (but this is an ULTRA modern new building, so that doesn't quite suit)………..hmmmmm………..thinking music…………. mmmm…… thinking cap on – but it's rotating round & round of it's own accord!  Yep…. nothing yet – don't know what I'm quite going to do yet…. but HERE'S THE NEW EDITION – this book was made for a very dear friend that I have known for about 15 years…. she travels from time to time, & although is deep in business usually when she does, she is very creative & enjoys to paint & draw.  I have made her a hand stitched book that has a combination of high end cartridge for notes & drawings, watercolour paper, decorative pages to stick things on to & some other special bits.  These include mylar pockets, archival envelopes and pages of thick acetate (to use as a watercolour palette).  The out side is silk, the inside is cotton & there are pockets on the inside of both the front & back.  You don't get any sense of it at all from the slide show, but it is all shades of pink, from burgandy to soft baby pink.   I will post some more pics of this one finished in a few days.

Life in Focus

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IMG_0025_resize It took a while, but FINALLY we have done something at art college I feel competent at! LOL!!! The last half of last term was spent creating hand made, coptic bound books. It seemed like an incredibly upside down way to create them,however, I guess there's another difference between 'art' & 'craft'. PURPOSE.   With no project, purpose or design in mind, we were to 'tear' or 'cut' pages (depending on paper being used) into book pages, to be coptic bound. 

I had SOME trouble getting my head around 'creating' a book (that was not an art journal/notebook with plain pages) that had no definition – it created significant indecision within me as I struggled to 'design' with no 'purpose', particularly when we were expected to use high end materials.  I felt concern for the potential 'waste', not having cash to splash for art materials.  It's not a method I'd recommend, or you just end up with a whole lot of books that are beautiful, but useless.  I always, make my pages first, THEN make them into a book – unless I am creating a blank art journal to work in.

I have struggled with following 'book instructions' of coptic stitching in the past, and leaning on my 'embroidery' skills, I sort of made up my own version, which looked, ok, but a little less than elegant or even!  In the end I made up 4 books, this is the only one that I actually photographed in process, because I did alot of the work on this one at home, due to the complex (& messy) way I created the finish on the pages & cover.

It was incredibly frustrating to put all ofthe time and effor tinto creating this treasure, not to actually have any 'purpose' or 'subject' for it.  But the result IS beautiful, despite it being 'plain' pages.  My initial thought was some style of doodled drawings, but not being so confident of my drawing skills & unable to settle on a topic, it is just sitting in my shelf, a bit lonely at the moment.   I am sure that some creative use will come to me eventually….oh, and I forgot to mention – the holes wasn't in the cover, my very special DH cut those in for me!

It may take a while to download the slide show, so here's the direct link, incase you have trouble viewing it.  http://tinyurl.com/ybbthvc

Secrets & Journals

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Losses from last week and HOT HOT weather have left me a bit listless and flat…… grasping for my muse………I CANNOT believe how many people I have spoken to recently that have embarrasingly confessed that they are or have been struggling with depression…….I am sure it is the modern day PLAGUE…….it seems that many people are suffering days when hope is hard to find and the future seems too bleak to contemplate………

What creativity have managed to summon has been directed to finishing off some work that is not due for release yet for Alpha Stamps – I will be able to show you soon – it's an exciting project & one that I have loved doing…….. last weekend I finished off these two projects.  I created these pages for a tip in journal about cats…….SO-fisti-Cats-web

and these pages for an RR journal about Water & the Sea
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…..I have done a little drawing…. but nothing remarkable……… these are a couple of my more recent ones……….042-I-am-Thankful-for-web
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