Tag Archives: Mixed Media

being an artist is not necessarily logical

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I am always honoured to be included in Seth Apter’s blog.  Seth (who has recently published a collective of mixed media from around the world) is a hub of infomation of how artists tick – what they’re thinking, what materials they’re using – who is inspiring them – and so much more.  Being an artist is not necessarily logical.  Seth kinda gets a handle on this.  He brings together current exhibitions in his home town of New York, he ‘talks’ to artists across the globe, he IS an artist – check out his blog – you’ll be hooked!

Changing the subject, I have just gotten back from seeing the movie ‘The Vow’, where Rachel McAdams plays a young wife (who is a sculptor) who is involved in a car accident where she incurs a semi serious head wound.  As a result of the injury, she ‘looses’ a 5 year chunk of her memory – during which time she had left law school (her parents dream for her); breaks up her engagement to ‘the perfect’ guy; gone to art school……… become a sculptor (who has just secured a significant commission) & subsequently met, fallen in love with & married a gorgeous guy.  Through various toings & froings in an attempt to prompt her memory – she ends up back in her old life, living with her parents, in law school, and with the potential of hooking back up with the ‘ex’.  The thing I love about the film is that she never does regain that 5 years back – BUT her need to create is within her – & she sits in law school classes drawing studies of the human form, akin to the sculptures she was/had been making prior to the accident.  She has a ‘do-over’; yet her life (without the prior experiences) heads down a very similar path – with this art inside her needing to be birthed.  AND – amazingly – it’s actually a true story!  A bit gooey – but worth a look.

Sadly – Misty’s Open Studio has run it’s course.  It was fantastic & I feel a bit of a hole.   I have just downloaded Katie Kendrick’s  new book onto my iPad, encouraged by some other participants that this is a worthwhile purchase.  (I have to say, whilst I LOVE my iPad – I do miss ‘leafing’ through a book & the texture of pages!).  The piece above is much bigger than I usually work on – Misty encouraged us to ‘work big’ this is about 18in high x about 30in wide.  It is a combination of markers, crayons, watercolour, pens, acrylic & beeswax pencils.  It is loosely based on the work of Paul Klee – I love the way he uses colour & breaks up line & form……….but the evolution of the image itself & the form it took was inspired by Alan Alda’s quote:

‘ You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. ‘

I’m there.  My life has had so many twists & turns – some that I have chosen – some that have been life happenings………that I don’t any longer have a ‘city of comfort’  – but I must admit though – like all of us to some degree, I come carrying my own self protective wall!  So a little wilderness now and then is not entirely unwelcome! This piece of Klee’s is one of my favs – it appeals to me as a designer – a quilter – some one passionate about colour & an artist – it’s titled the highway – so it even has a tie in to this creation of mine.

I am attaching a new selection of free images for your own use & for use in your own published work, but not for sale or reproduction.  Despite significant effort – I CANNOT get them to behave – so they are appearing a bit higgldy piggldy…….they work just the same though! LOL!  ENJOY, and feel free to share the link to these with others, or on your blog. (cut & paste – http://wp.me/pXG69-m5 )

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.

Colourful houses

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You may remember a month or so ago, me revisiting the ‘little houses’ genre for a swap I was hosting at Paper Traders…..we’ll day by day, over the last little while, villages of little houses have been arriving, (16 groups in all) which has been great fun.  Somehow or other, some people got the instructions a little ‘confuzzed’ (easy to do) & some of the artists made atc’s with houses on them, as opposed to houses that fit within atc dimensions……….no worry, they were all mixed up a bit & look lovely together, but to tie the theme together & as a RAK, I thought I’d make ATC’s with houses on them to go out with the swap.  Not one to make anything much in multiples (the whole reason for not joining some groups!! LOL!), I needed to find some way of ‘expediting’ a large output of cards, but still making them different.  So, I got some paste board, & collaged up some backgrounds using paper scraps, postage stamps and vintage music & book pages, which I then sliced up in ATC sized pieces. 

Using acrylics, crayons & pens, I added houses on top & finished with more pen work & some rub ons. (luv ’em)

Little Houses

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IMG_0575_resizeI don’t know whether you have ever been ‘bitten’ by this bug – but little houses are such fun to make!  I am hosting a swap at Paper Traders at the moment & I set myself up a little ‘hotel studio table’ on our recent trip and made up my swaps.  It may seem a little over the top, but as I have described before, my DH is a BIG sleeper, especially when we go away anywhere (can you imagine my frustration being in ROME & him SLEEPING until 10am???  LOL!!!) so I always take art projects ‘in a bag’ with me when ever we go away.  Houses & ATC’s are such easy ‘take aways’ because they don’t require anything overly big & I often just use my bits ‘n’ bobs box off my desk, which has all kinds of leftover scraps in it.

(you may notice on my ‘hotel studio’ table there is a red book – that’s my new Alice project – more about THAT in my next post)

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So these little ‘treasures’ have literally, primarily been made out of scraps (including mARTy’s christmas party hats! – thanx M!).  Mind you (guilty gulp!) that goes no where near helping to reduce my pile of scraps & bits I need to use up.  I JUST don’t have it in me to throw them away!  I think that being a mixed media artist has slowly turned me in to a hoarder.  Luckily we are moving house soon as I will HAVE to purge then….however our next home will be our ‘forever’ house (you know, the one they carry you out in a box from!)  I can almost imagine people having to turn sideways walking down my hallway to get past all of the boxes of my ‘treasures’!@  OK – I HAVE to do better at this!  LOL!!

ART TO GO – travelling with art supplies

I have been asked alot about what I take when I go travelling, so I I’d write up, the things I take, it changes a little each time, depending on what projects I am taking with me & whether we are driving or flying to where ever we are holidaying.   I keep a ‘travelling studio’ list in with my travel list – computers make this sort of thing SO easy – I have an excel spread sheet – there is a trip we make annually – to the same place for a conference – but some times we have different accommodation.  Each time we go away – I review the list when we come back & make notes – so that I don’t have to give it any head space the next time we go – it’s just print out the list and tick it off.

I usually just travel with two bags – a scrapbooking/craft tote on wheels that’s like a small fat suitcase (a bit bigger than carry on size) and the 13 x 13in zip up paper holder, that fits in it.  I don’t always bring the paper holder – it depends if I need full size (12 x 12 paper) – this time I was meeting up with an another artist & we were doing book making – so I wanted to have whole sheets on hand for end papers & such – when I am taking it, I DON’T put it inside my wheely tote (I can’t fit it in!), I take it separately.  The FIRST thing is to think about what you might like to do.  I DEFINITELY have a ‘mourning’ knowing that I am leaving my art supplies behind – there is a tearing about what is left behind – but I have gotten better at it.  Having the right containers for your supplies helps – it prevents damage to your supplies and stops them contaminating other supplies.

My storage is in 3 ways – plastic clip lid boxes, which I use to keep breakables in; soft packing cells, I use mostly for paints & mediums – & clip lock bags – for papers & bits n’ bobs.  I usually take extra clip lock bags (small, medium & large) incase I need it to keep half completed projects together in one spot – or if I need to isolate a problem (a leaking bottle or something)

I have some heavy bodied Golden paints decanted into some small air tight ointment jars – I can fit about 4 – 6 tablespoons in each one & it lasts indefinitely.  I went to Kathmandu (don’t know if you have them – but a mountaineering/hiking shop) – and got some lightweight zip up packing cells. (just strong pencil case type things with a clear top & about a 2in wall.  (see pic)  I can fit about 12 pots in one that is only about 5in x 8in.  Depending on what I am doing – sometimes I take gel medium or other mediums.  As you can see – I use masking tape over the lids – back them a row at a time in a clip lock bag, then seal the packing cell.  ABSOLUTELY no risk of paint migration due to a spill or opened lid.

AS well as that – I usually decant some PVA & Matte medium into sturdy travel bottles.

My other staples are

  • watercolour pencils & watercolour pad (often just the postcard size (can get 2 ATC’s comfortably out of this size with a little to spare – unless I am planning something specific using this – then I take the size I need for what I am doing)
  • caran d ache Neocolours II (selected fav colours)
  • selection of drawing pens & pencils – Stabilo marks all black, brown, blue & white, F, HB, 3B & H pencils, Pitt pens (aquarable), Sakura Pigma Micron (water fast), gold & silver pens (I like Pentel the best)
  • 6 x 6 pads of scrapping paper
  • a few stamp pads – staples are tim holtz burlap & versamark fine black – but I usually add in a couple of colours
  • some unmounted stamps (text, music, mini alphabet, ornamentals, birds, trees – depends what I’m doing) – they all go into a zip up pencil cases
  • ome sparkle – a couple of H2o’s; perfect pearls, some lumeier – again – just depends on what I am doing – but like ALL magpies & bower birds – I like a little bit of something sparkly!
  • a ‘bits ‘n’ bobs clip lock bag – some vintage music in various sizes, some vintage text & dictionary pages, old photos, interesting postcards & or magazine clippings, a few transparencies  (this is basically just left over bits & scraps that are from projects through out the year – I have a big wide drawer that I ‘swipe’ it all into to get ready for the next project – then when we are going away any where, or I want to put together something quickly – I have a plethoral of colours, styles, textures & design. 
  • Some of my own preped papers & card that I use for backgrounds, tags & bases for other things
  • A few sheets of rub ons that work with what I am doing
  • a little jar of trinkets – beads, vintage buttons, charms, jewels, brads, eyelets, etc
  • some little bags of paper flowers,
  • PROJECT specific bits – ie – if I was doing Gothic arches – I may print out some images or transparencies of Renaissance stuff; because I was doing houses this time – I packed chipboard both precut & some for individual add ons or designs.
  • an art journal or some pages to work up into a book at some later stage (some times when I get to our destination – I am inspired to make something totally different than what I planned because of some experience or stimulation I have had)
  • small cutting mat, paint brushes, small & large scissors, exacto knife, bone folder, steel & see through ruler (I like my patchwork 12 x 4in one – as it is grided which makes it easy to square things up if you need to)
  • disposable tools – roll of waxed paper (use to protect surface, as a palete, also to wrap up anything that isn’t quite dry when you need to pack up / move on) – tooth picks, baby wipes, pop sticks (I scoop a little paint out on to the pop stick & use it straight from the stick if I have just a small painting project), gause,
  • AT LEAST ONE – but sometimes 2/3 (depends on how much space is left in my bag) I usually throw in a NEW (don’t peak) cloth paper scissors, Somerset Studios/Gallery mag & a book or two with good eye candy

It’s not really a staple – but easy and cheap to get and it’s a lifesaver if you need it – a small, portable light – I use an LED book reading light that takes recharagable batteries.  It’s GREAT!

a little more art

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here's a couple of bits 'n' bobs that didn't make last night's post – iE was being a BEAST & kept dropping out – URGHHHH!  Very frustrating – in re-reading my post – it does seem a little 'point form' & truncated – sorry about that - the POINT was – I kept loosing it every time I'd insert an image……….so here's a couple more that I didn't get to last night.Wings-of-peace-web this is a LONG over due tip in page - for LONG – suffering Hermine……..
   These are quite little & cute – 5 or 6 inches square – the words, which are both typed & written on the wings are -  you shall write peace on my wings and I will fly all over the world……..written actually of the 'peace crane' by a 13yo girl who contracted Lukemia as a legacy of the bombing of Hiroshima.

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this is my latest EDM drawing after Van Gogh….the topic was supposed to be the view from under your bed – well considering my bed is only about 3in off the ground – I couldn't really imagine much else than the lines of the bottom of our robe doors on the adjacent wall – which wasn't very inspiring…..so I deferred to Vincent….I am studying him at the moment a little at college – & I am working up a 4 colour lino cut of Van Gogh's Starry night – I can't wait to see how it works out – as it is only 15cm square, I have cut the pic a little - I hope it's ok – I am in excellent hands I have a great tutor this year for Printmaking workshops.
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4-238-From-1st-Aid-kit-web the next EDM challenge was something from your first aid kit – when I looked, the bandage seemed appropriate – the leaf was a hitchiker – I must have found it at some point and put it in there because I liked it's colour or texture or shape – SOMETHING like that – I probably picked it up on some job site & liked the look of it and put it in there for safe keeping – oh – and FYI - the first aid kit is where I keep all of my interesting 'found pieces' LOL!!   Enjoy your week – speak soon! x

A new project

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As a further stretching exercise for my drawing skills, I have joined into the Moly-X group and begun swapping Japanese fold out Moleskiene books with other artists.  The process is the same as mixed media projects I have been in, however the art is primarily original work instead of collage.The 'standard' media used is the Moleskine Japanese foldout book which is about 9 x 14cm.  For my first one, I am have the honour of exchanging with the amazingly talented Jennifer Kraska – OMGOOODNESS – how lucky am I?!?!  Jenn & I have been online art buddies for a while & I am excited to be doing this project together. 2 Title Page web

My first Moly-X book (I have already been invited to participate in a second one!) has been Inspired by the singing of Britian's Got Talent superstar – Susan Boyle (I CAN'T believe that YOU haven't heard of her – but there's the link anyway!@) -this Moly takes it's que from the words of 'Memory' from theatre production Cats – while in general I am a 'live performance/ballet/theatre person. I am NOT a cat person, so it was a show I have never given any consideration to seeing.3 Daylight web 
The lyrics of the song have been taken literally, with no particular reference to the production.

you may see an odd stray cat wandering through, or veiled references, but the book is not  either about cat animals OR Cats the show.

LINK TO LYRICS: <a href="http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/cats/memory.htm" rel="nofollow">www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/cats/memory.htm</a>

LINK to CATS performance of Memory: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-L6rEm0rnY" rel="nofollow">www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-L6rEm0rnY</a> (I think this is Elaine Paige)

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cats_(musical)
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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! 

Washing off the Dust

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Without a Trace

Given that it's 'holidays' from collage at the moment, despite a 'truck load' of home work leading up to final assessment, I just HAD to let my hair down and do something just for fun!  It WAS only a LITTLE fun – this ATC was made for Paper Trader's monthly 'Winner Takes All' draw.  It ended up a little over worked, and the 'rub on' looks a little contrived, however, I had built up so many layers that I couldn't get anything to make marks on the surface (even 'Staz-On' paled to insignificance). 

Of course, there HAS been SERIOUS art work as well.  I have been working hard on my 'life drawings' at the moment putting a lot of time into drawing hands.  (which is also the subject of my oil paintings – can't WAIT 'til THAT trial is OVER!!!).  I am going to make a separate post for this because I want to create a 'catagory' for my life drawings, without people who'd like to see them having to 'wade' through lots of other stuff included in the same post.

It's a bit ironic that I am spending so much time drawing hands really, as movement in the joints of my right arm and hand is still a big health challenge and coitersone with a daily pain management drug regime is still my best friend!  In theory, my art course was supposed to relieve the stress that is apparently causing my 'joint' issues, in reality, I am not sure whether it is better or worse as the stress builds for assessment!   LOL!!!  I never have been very good at 'evaluations' – I find it hard to separate the 'assessment' from myself when the thing being 'assessed' has come from within me.  I guess it'll all that sensitive/creative type stuff.  Still – it's not my favourite thing and I cringe when people ask my opinion of their art, not sure if they really just want to be told – it's great (aka – you're ok) or here's how you can make it better (aka – let's work together to improve this).

If, as Picasso said 'The PURPOSE of Art is to wash the dust of daily life off our souls' in theory, the quality of the art doesn't matter.  It is THAT you do Art that does.  And so, I hold to the maxim I adopted about 18 months ago.  I am an artist – therefore I do art!  DAILY – it's what I do.

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Here this is my art from the last week or so – tip in pages for Connie's journal.  BUT silly me, I had an old print out with the original configuration in landscape and it was revised to portrait, so I ended up doing them twice!  Once I realized my mistake (AFTER they were finished & I was posting them! LOL!!!) I initially thought I could 'cut them up' and make a 'joined' page out of pieces, adding appropriately to them – but that really didn't work out, so I only managed to save 2 of the 'mounted' picures.

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I am proud to be a human today

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I realise that not every Front-cover-webone agrees with this man's politics – and there are some things that I am not keen on either – however I feel that he carries the blood of all of the martyrs that have paid with their lives for true equality & freedom.  As a student of history, I have always held the mistreatment and subjugation of African American people heavily in my heart, I feel proud, I feel as though as mankind – we have taken a huge leap into the future…. and it is not my politics!   In a 5 minutes to midnight decision – (actually – WAY past midnight  actually – (thanks for your patience J!) I have, coincidentally changed the direction of my RR Journal.  Unusual for me, the book is bound & the cover is sewn on.  It's made from 600lb Artistico Fabrico (yum!)  I have used a delicious palette of Golden paints: Diox Purple; Gold; Quinacidone Nickel Azo Gold (a firm fav) and black.  It is dramatic, but very tactile on the cold pressed paper. 
I will still finish my Star Cross'd Lovers – but not for a little while – I have made a whole lot of bits & pieces & haven't worked out how I am going to tie them together.  (how like me!) My new Journal is titled FREEDOM.  I have sent it off into the world with just double page spread – hoping that it will come back filled with amazing stories of martyrs & journeys made in the conquest to achieve freedom.  Dr Martin Luther King Jr has long been an inspiration to me & I was also a fan of Kennedy – not because they lived seamlessly perfect lives – because they believed in the good of mankind and they believed in thI-have-a-dream-RHS-webe possibility of change & the process of democracy.  I-have-a-dream-LHS-web  YES – WE CAN – and YES – they DID!

oh… & p.s. – the background of the page is Martin Luther King Jr's whole 'I have a Dream' speech written out long hand.