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.

I expect to have the past week's entries up by the end of this week.

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.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Craving Magenta

"I'm so bored with white I could scream." 
- Beverly Ellsley, interior designer, as quoted in House Beautiful magazine

My sentiments exactly!! It many sound odd, but I have been craving the color magenta for the past week! I suppose it is because it is a warm, sunny, summery color that evokes feelings of joy, happiness and gaiety. Looking through my winter wardrobe, I did not find this color. 

How can I surround myself with it to satisfy the craving? I searched through my stash of art supplies and papers for some of this delicious color. Couldn't find much. Decided to search out paint, decorative papers and washi tape from the craft and art supply stores in my area. I was able to find and purchase this collection. (stores visited: JoAnn Fabrics, Michaels, Staples (they carry washi tape), Lowes and Blick Art Materials)

Magenta is one of those colors that is difficult to capture and pin down. It is close to fuchsia with less pink. It is close to mulberry with less purple.You can see that in this color chart found on Wikipedia:
The items I purchased span this color spectrum. 

Okay, so now that I have this stuff, what am I going to do with it? I'm not going to work with the paint just yet. I plan to use some of the paper to cover hand bound books. But for now, the quickest way to interact with these colors is to work in a visual journal. I'll show you that in my next post.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Gifts for Contemplation

Today is my birthday. I bought myself this new coffee mug and journal to keep me company during my morning contemplation times.

I like the muted colors - they provide a peaceful, quiet atmosphere important for introspection and prayer. A compact sanctuary.

How do you create a peaceful space for your quiet time?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Winter's Day - New Identity Art Journal Entry

Taking a break from the inner heroes portion of my Identity Art Journal, I have completed this page layout today.

These pages are painted with several layers of acrylic paint. I actually did these pages before deciding to stick with collage only for this journal. I had the image of the woman from a clothing catalog already in place. I added the quotes, journaling and definitions today.

"A major obstacle to creativity is wanting to be in the peak season of growth and generation at all times... but if we see the soul's journey as cyclical, like the seasons... then we can accept the reality that periods of despair or fallowness are like winter - a resting time that offers us a period of creative hibernation, purification, and regeneration that prepares us for the births of Spring." - Linda Leonard (as quoted in The Artist's Rule by Christine Valters Paintner)

January - a new year, a time for new beginnings. Knowing it was time to move on from the experimental two months of being in a retail co-op where I always needed to be able to come up with something new, I chose to withdraw in order to narrow my focus (this has included not taking any new natural science illustration courses for a few months as well)and concentrate on what it is I most want to do.  Most of the month was a creative void and sea of indecisiveness with a touch of melancholy and doubt. Like the quote above, a time of despair and fallowness. But reading The Artist's Rule again reminded me that this is okay. It is a part of life and the creative cycles to have times of rest and of purification. January ended with the idea of creating this journal and February so far has been a time of single focus - a narrow vision - of being drawn inward and discovering the quiet beauty that winter - both outward and inward - has to offer.

Such a snowy February! Over 34 inches of snow during a two week period. Plus all the overcrowded rooms in this house as a result of renovating the kitchen has left me with very few options. It is forcing me to concentrate on what is right before me - I can't flee!

Learning to be present to every moment - even, and probably especially, the ones I wouldn't choose for myself - is a challenge that requires daily discipline and a continuous committment to it.
 I trust that deep inside, my roots are being nourished, just as the trees and plants are from all the snow, and that I will see the results of this quiet, resting, fallow hibernation before too long.

Dormant - as if asleep; quiet; still. Latent, implicit, undisclosed, potential, undeveloped, unrealized, veiled, hidden, unapparent

"Yet we are called to dwell in the dark, fertile soil of the earth, in that space where seeds incubate and begin their cycle of growth. Here we can cultivate a different way of seeing the possiblities not yet named and dreams being born. In nurturing creativity we must learn how to rest in periods of unknowing, finding peace in the knowledge that movement is happening far below the surface of what we can see." - Christine Valters Paintner in The Artist's Rule
Vigil - watching, waiting, listening

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