Thursday, June 26, 2014



I'm on Instagram, are you?

I've been using Instagram more frequently and am enjoying it as a new and different way to  connect and interact with others. So I was happy to read that the 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt organized by Rinda Ontiveros is using Instagram as an avenue for posting photos. I am posting my finds there and will do one blog post here when I have completed the list, or summer has ended. Whichever comes first!

To see what I am posting, click on the icon above.

To learn more about the 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt, click here.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Evaluation of the Fake Journal Experience

Last Page of Lily's Journal
Roz Stendahl suggested in her last blog post that participants of International Fake Journal Month set the recently completed journal aside for a week and move on to a new project. Then take the journal out, read through it and really study and evaluate it. What did you like about the experience? What worked? What didn't.  Write it down so that you have it for future reference.

Here is my evaluation.

I liked the freedom I felt I had to create and write anything. I was able to say things that I have been thinking about, wondering about, hoping, but that aren't necessarily real life for me. By making these experiences real in someone else's life, I got to be a part of them too. I could combine my own memories with bits and pieces of other people's lives and make it Lily's life and world. I liked that I could put a little bit of me in her friends and in her family. I loved her parents. The relationship she has with them is what I've wished for myself (though didn't know that until working on this journal.) I would have loved to have had a close relationship with an interesting, wise, loving father. My dad may have been, but I didn't get the chance to find out. And I think that subconsciously I may have wished that my mom had had a strong, loving, supportive husband to share her years with. I hope that the relationship Lily has with her parents is the type of relationship Alina feels she has with us. Lily is modeled somewhat after Alina  (my 26 year old daughter) and her love of New York City, with some of Beth, an old friend, (confidence) and Paula, my sister in law, (independent) added in.

It is hard to know for certain how the character of Lily Roberts came to be. I do think that if I hadn't created my Identity Visual Journal* this past winter, Lily would not have been the character I developed for this fake journal. My Inner Hero, the Historian, is in large part who Lily is. Her love of medieval history and art is because of My Inner Hero, The Monk. Her parents characters came about because of my desire for a father to grow up with. See my Inner Hero, The Child.

Notes on the art of the journal:

What I liked:
The paper held the paint well. It didn't curl much.
The pens write over the professional acrylic paints beautifully.
Lesson learned: use the cheap acrylics to add color. In areas where I want to write something, apply Liquitex or other quality acrylic.
The colors layered on top of each other on Days 1 and 2.
The size of the journal both to work in and to hold.
Working on just one page a day (rather than a page spread) made the project achievable.
Working in a bound book rather than a spiral one. The pages fit nicely together and allowed for a seamless flow from one side to the other.
Having a limited amount of pages. It created a book.
The simple outline of the faded rose on Day 10.

What I didn't like:
The pinks and baby blues on Days 13 and 14.
Days 23 and 24 are too busy with distinctive marks.

Taking it from here:
Want to strengthen my lettering skills. Take Valerie's on line class?
Want to get good at italic calligraphy again. Must practice.
Do more spontaneous drawings such as the tulips on Days 15 and 16.
Do more image transfers.
Use light colors on the page backgrounds.

I have a new visual journal in mind for this summer. It is one that I will do through the persona of Lily.

*I have yet to upload the completed pages of this journal, but you can click on Identity Visual Journal tag on the right hand side to see the pages I did post about.

You can view my fake journal in its entirety by following this link: Lily's Journal

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Month of Fake Journaling

As mentioned in the previous post, I have been working on a "fake" journal during the month of April. It has been a blast!

Lily's Journal

This was an opportunity to work in a journal format that I have wanted to explore, but as of yet, had not. And work in a style different than what I usually do.

When I work on my art, I place a large sheet of paper down on my table and work on top of it. I use this paper to test colors, clean off brushes, make notes, etc. I have been saving these with the goal of using it as pages in a journal or the background a new art project. Tearing the sheets down to journal size, I nestled them in an order that allowed the pages to relate to the ones they were next to. Before binding it, I added some paint randomly on most of the pages to give the journal some cohesiveness. Next I used a stencil to date each page. Then I bound it with a 5 hole pamphlet stitch. The pages were torn which created a nice deckled effect.

Since I usually work in a grid-like fashion with squares and rectangles and lots of collage, this fake journal incorporated circles and I prohibited the use of any glued on material. I found this to be the most challenging part, but the most beneficial. If I wanted to visually depict something I was forced to draw it. I used graphite pencils, colored pencils, acrylic paints and inks and various types of markers and pens.

The layers of random jottings and paints created a very intricate, complex, beautiful background. One I would not have been able to create from scratch. It happened all by chance.

I have wanted to create some abstract work but really did not know how to begin. Creating this journal taught me how to approach it.

The best lesson I learned was to just go for it and have fun! That I did.

Click on the photo to visit my fake journal blog. There you can read all the entries.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Adventures in Fake Journaling

At the beginning of April I read about Roz Stendahl's IFJM (International Fake Journal Month) project. I loved the idea and the wheels started cranking immediately, so I proceeded full steam ahead.

I am half way through the journal and have posted the pages on a separate blog. If you want to read along, follow this link to the first entry. Using the arrow on the right hand side under the post, continue to read the posts in daily order.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Kitchen Renovation Done (Mostly)

My husband worked part time for three and a half months on our kitchen remodel. I tell him all the time that he is my hero! There are a few things still left to do. The above refrigerator cabinet is still on back order. I need to paint the trim, decide what is going on the walls and work with my daughter-in-law to fashion curtains from towels and vintage lace. But as is, we can start entertaining again!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

John Mayer on Magenta

“Life is like a box of crayons. Most people are the 8 color boxes, but what you're really looking for are the 64 color boxes with the sharpeners on the back. I fancy myself to be a 64 color box, though I've got a few missing. It's okay though, because I've got some more vibrant colors like periwinkle at my disposal. I have a bit of a problem though in that I can only meet the 8 color boxes. Does anyone else have that problem? I mean there are so many different colors of life, of feeling, of articulation. So when I meet someone who's an 8 color type...I'm like, hey girl, Magenta! and she's like, oh, you mean purple! and she goes off on her purple thing, and I'm like, no  

 I want Magenta!

John Mayer
I think that explains it!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Craving Magenta: A Visual Journal

Why Magenta
Not one to take things at face value, I wanted to know if my craving for magenta was deeper than just wanting to experience some warmth and cheeriness on these bleak, cold, white and brown days. So I researched the color meanings of magenta. It was an interesting read. I am using quotes from the articles I found as the basis for this journal.

Working with Magenta
Next I needed to decide on what colors I wanted this journal to contain besides magenta and its variations. I know I don't like brown with it. That reminds me of the slices of Neapolitan (strawberry/chocolate/vanilla) ice cream we would sometimes get with school lunch when I was in elementary school. Always delicious, but never visually appealing to me. I like magenta with orange, but am not feeling that combination right now. I'm never far from including green (in its many variations) in any artwork, as it is my favorite color. I love using black, white and gray with greens so decided to use these too. Finally, I chose purple and peacock/teal blue as accent colors.

The Format
If you read my blog posts you may remember that I mentioned creating my Identity Visual Journal after reading two articles in Somerset Studio's Autumn 2013 issue of Art Journaling Magazine. One of the articles was written by Kelly Kilmer. I have been reading her blog since then and looking at the online courses she offers. They all sound wonderful and they are offered at a very reasonable price. I decided to sign up for one of the classes - The Journey Within: A Guide to Unlocking Your Creativity. Her classes offer instructions on creating visual or art journals, based on her journals. She provides templates for each page along with step by step instructions on how she created her page. Kelly provides a long list of things to try and how to change it up. Wanting to stretch my boundaries and do something a little different than the way I have been working, I thought this would be a fun way to try something new. Kelly also gives instructions on how to create a book from scratch. I think each class offered provides a different type of book construction. This particular one is one that I have not seen before and I know I will use it often. Wanting to get started right away on the journal, however, I forewent this step and used a Strathmore spiral bound visual journal that I had on hand. It is small - 6" x 8".

The Journal
I've created 5 pages so far following Kelly's templates. Having these templates to work from makes it easy to work in the journal. The need to figure out how best to layout the page is eliminated as you follow the template. There are thirty pages worth of templates. I will post what I've done in groups of five pages as I complete them.

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