Sunday, April 29, 2012

Be Brave! With Texture

Be Brave!

Border texture: Tim Holtz Texture Fades "Pattern and Stitches",
copy of Ryder-Waite "Strength" card.  Studio G ink, patterned scrapbook paper,
 Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist (Wheatfields), Tsukineko Walnut Ink.
  Sharpie brown marker, Galeria Iridescent Medium 

Be Brave! Detail

One thing I LOVE about Visual Journal pages is that, in some ways, they are never done.  This page is still "blank" but it is complete for now.  At some point I might journal all over it but for now I am happy with the yummy textures.  I've used the texture folders for artist cards but never for a journal page before.  I just got Tim Holtz "Pattern and Stitches Set" embossing folders and made those wonderful embossed stitches on music sheet patterned scrapbook paper for the border strips.  I distressed a copy of the Strength tarot card with markers and double sided tape.  I altered it a bit with metallic markers.  I used Glimmer Mist to make the parchment looking background as well as Walnut Ink.  I used a die cut flower for a mask. 

The Art Therapy angle: I love the Strength card because it reminds me that strength does not have to overpower but can be gentle.  I am a naturally introverted person (although I am an extrovert, for the most part, at work) and sometimes my sensitivity to the noise and stress of the large world is just too much.  I feel like my life is held together by last minute stitches in addition to the proverbial "stitch in time".  This page is weathered because I feel "worn" today.  I need to remind myself to Be Brave! which means moving forward when I want to retreat.  Bravery can be represented by persistence in the face of challenges, it does not have to be brave like an action hero.  So, this page is weathered, stitched together, like me--but it is interesting and beautiful.  Yes!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Art Making Opens the Window of My Heart

Window (Envelope) of My Heart pg1
Window (Envelope) of My Heart pg2

This is how my journal pages turned out using the recycled window envelopes colored with alcohol inks. I used acrylic paint, metallic markers, stamps, Iridescent Medium,
a picture of the 5 of Coins and a cut paper border.

In my Visual Journal spread the idea of the heart opened through creative activity is in contrast to the attitude of fear (poverty and scarcity) represented by the 5 of Coins Tarot card.   This is something I struggle with sometimes.  The artist must suffer and starve--isn't that what goes with the title?  I must say that I far prefer the idea of the playful artist creating with a joyful and open heart.  The difference?  Although there are rough patches in everyone's life I think it is, for the most part, a spiritual attitude. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Window (Envelope) of My Heart

Open Window (Envelope) of My Heart4
Recycled window envelope with window
colored with alcohol inks, gold marker
Open Window (Envelope) of My Heart2
Recycled window envelope with window colored
 with alcohol inks, gold marker, sharpie pen

Having fun altering recycled envelopes.  I've always dreaded opening those business envelopes (can be bad news) but now I love opening them because you can make art with them!  Used Ranger Alcohol Inks (wild plum, stream, butterscotch) to color the transparent window.  You can't see it here but these colored windows look so much like beautiful stained glass windows.  These altered envelopes make great pages in a home-made journal.  The first picture is of an altered window envelope that I haven't use in my journal yet.  The second one is more complete.  Need to add more color to the lettering.

I just used a metallic marker to make the window frame and shutters.  I have been following the facebook group "Art Journaling for Women" and they have been posting pages entitled "I Am An Artist".  For some reason I was dragging my heels making one.  I thought about HOW I know I'm an artist: stained hands; piles of art supplies and journal fodder;  and that when I am not making art I get blue.  Making art is meaningful to me.  A meaningful life means the difference, for me, between happiness and despair.  Plus its fun!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dive Deep

There is an Unlimited Ocean of Love Inside of You--Dive Deep
Acrylic paint, metallic markers (Office Max), K&Company starfish,
altered photo of water ballet, Big Lots circle stickers, Sharpie Pen

This spread followed my discovery, through processing my dream about the fish out of water, that the "Fifth Element", Love, is the element I seek.  Where to turn?  Look inside through meditation and art making.  Reminds me of a Rumi poem:

"There is a life-force within your soul, seek that life.
There is a gem in the mountain of your body, seek that mine.
O traveler, if you are in search of That
Don't look outside, look inside yourself and seek That".*


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Lotuses with Watercolor Pencil

Lotuses with watercolor pencil

Love botanicals and have been working to improve my color layering skill.  This is a first attempt with layering--usually draw directly with the watercolor pencil and then add water.  I think that some of my lines are too dark but like the yellow and green where it is subtle and the buds on the left.  Important to take what one can from each drawing--rather than just tossing out a "failed" drawing take the time to see what works and what doesn't and why.  Every time I make a painting I learn new things!  This time I found that I could lift color with a wet brush.  A technique I have used with traditional watercolor but not as much with watercolor pencils.  It is all about the color--and I am glad that this drawing will stay in my journal to reference in the future.

Of course I must mention the beautiful lotus.  The lotus reminds us, through the presence of buds, full blossoms and seed pods that there is an endless cycle of life-death-life and all exist in the eternal now.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Visual Art Journal Fish Out of Water Dream Pages

Fish Out of Water Pages 1 & 2
Inktense Watercolor Pencils

In this dream I go to the beach house of a friend because she is getting married.  On the beach I find a large orange fish (like a gold fish) lying there.  I know that the fish needs to be in water but it looks like a fresh water fish to me---so I don't know what to do.  I think if I put the fish in the wrong kind of water (fresh or salt) instead of saving it I will kill it.  I put it in a water-filled ditch but it is too small and the water is dirty (perhaps like my apartment which I have been meaning to clean?).  I ask questions about myself as the fish: What is my element?  Why can't I breathe?  Finally I make a picture (while recording the dream) of a fish swimming in it's element.  Amazing to me I do not get the "element" reference until I post these pages in "Art Journaling For Women" fb page.  I have just been talking about the movie Fifth Element and that Love is the fifth element.  I realize that the element that I am seeking is love.  These words came to me (the next page I'm going to make):  There is an Ocean of Love Inside of You--Dive Deep!  I realize that I have been looking outside of myself for my art muse--to the creations of artist friends. Inspiring--but I must connect to my inner artist self to create authentically.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Activating my imaginative life by looking inside...

"Art Garden" Art Journal Pages
Tim Holtz "Tattered Florals" die, newspaper, rusty washers,
scrapbook paper, markers, ink, Inktense watercolor pencils

I've been feeling so weird lately.  Inspired by a million images and ideas on facebook, YouTube and other blogs.  Think I need to shift from gathering to planting, tending, harvesting.  I saw this great quote from Joseph Campbell and I think it cuts to the core:

"We're living in a period that I regard as a kind of period of the terminal moraine of mythology. It's as though a lot of mythological rubbish is all around. Mythologies that built civilizations and are no longer working in that way are just in rubble all around us.

"So an individual who puts himself to the task of activating his imaginative life - the life that springs up from inside, not in res...ponse to outside information and commands - that person can find stimulation in this wonderful literature that is pouring into the libraries. Now the world is full of these wonderful things again.

"So there is no rule. An individual has to find what electrifies and enlivens his own heart, and wakes him."

Joseph Campbell, "The Hero's Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work," p. 133
The wonderful images I have been awed by are not "rubbish" they are pure gold, but they are not the gold I must seek inside of me.  I need to focus on activating my imaginative life through my own art process, then I will feel more whole and grounded, I think.  I need to focus on "the life that springs up from inside, not in response to outside information and commands".