Friday, January 31, 2014

Works in Progress Wall

I have rearranged the seating a little in my studio so that I can see my "works in progress wall" more often. Each piece individually needs something more in order to complete it, but as a large grouping, I find it quite delightful to look at. Especially on this last day of January - when it is still months before there will be color in the garden again.
 Addition: Shortly after posting this I got a tweet from Julia Cameron with this quote:
"I have found that sitting in a place where you have never sat before can be inspiring." - Dodie Smith

I would add "or that you haven't sat for a long time..."


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Identity - A New Visual Journal

Many times an idea comes as the result of a collection of thoughts, reading and observing. This is the case with my newest art journal, which I have entitled Identity.

Thinking about what I would like to create next, I've decided that I would like to put me into my artwork. Yet I don't want it to be Frida Kahlo-like. I don't want my work to be portraits of me, just the essence of me. Like my Songbird Silhouette Series - the essence of the birds. Thinking about it further, I would like to represent me as a woman. (Yes, I am a woman, but I mean this in a generic yet inclusive way.) As such it would be a statement about women in the garden. (An artist statement for this will come at a future date. It will tie in with my other blog, Hortus Conclusus, The Enclosed Garden.) I plan to use other women as models in addition to myself.  Not having formal training in drawing or painting the human figure, this is going to be a challenge. In addition, I want to configure a layout that will be similar to those of ancient illuminated manuscripts, in combination with the style of Alphonse Mucha's work. I've loved both these looks for many years.
Times of Day - Alphonse Mucha
 I know I won't come close to anything this gorgeous, but it is my inspiration.

I have also been thinking about me - who I am, who I was, who I am becoming. Almost 53 years of age, I am swiftly approaching menopause and I can understand why they used to call it the "change of life". (I haven't heard that phrase in quite a long time.) Many changes besides the physical go on at this stage in one's life. For men, they call it mid-life crisis. The deciding how to handle the future in light of these changes is what all these thoughts are about. Something perfect to journal about!

So I began a few weeks ago by gathering resources such as images from magazines and catalogs along with ephemera of various sorts. Last month I purchased the Autumn 2013 Art Journaling magazine by Somerset Studio. In it there is an article by Sandra Skies Ludwig entitled, My Journey into Gluebooks. In the article Sandra explains that a glue book is an art journal in which everything is glued down. Pages of collage basically. Well I can do that! This was the perfect idea for what I wanted to do. I wanted to arrange the clippings of women and gardens and arches and wrought iron gates and flowers that I have been saving from various magazine subscriptions over many years, into something that told a story of some kind and which would serve as a "springboard" for my artwork. Also in this issue is an article by Kelly T.M. Kilmer entitled, Finding My Way. She uses cut outs of women from magazines and catalogs as well. This was confirmation to me that this is the project I need to be working on at this time. I read somewhere, maybe in one of these articles, that this journal is the place to use all those snippets of paper I have been saving for "some day". I won't use magazine images in collages that I would sell to avoid any copyright infringement issues. But pasting them into a journal that is for my personal use is perfectly okay.

I began by selecting a book to alter rather than using a blank journal. I chose a book that had some images in it that I wanted to use and that was of a size suitable to this project. I removed several pages to compensate for the expansion that would occur as I added elements. Using just a glue stick to begin, I placed one image of a woman per two page spread. Next I added garden images. After that, blank paper to cover up the original words on the page that would also provide space for me to write. Washi tape is being used as a decorative border on some of the pages. Here are a few pages, still not 100% complete, but getting there.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Spring and Summer Dates for Practicing the Art of Being Fully Present: A One Day Retreat

This one day retreat is intended to help you relax and help you connect to the quiet beauty that is all around you. For anyone looking to stop or slow down for a few hours.
Guided exercises will help expose you to unique thoughts and experiences.

This retreat will provide plenty of quiet time.  We will spend time in the gardens, create a small flower arrangement as an act of meditation and work in a visual journal.

Come revive your soul, free your spirit and live the day through your senses.

Location: My home in Stratford, CT.
2014 Dates offered:

Friday, May 30
Friday, June 13
Friday, June 27
Monday, July 7

8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Retreat is limited to 8 participants.
Fee is $60 which includes a generous continental breakfast and healthy lunch.
To register or if you would like further information, please email me at
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...