October 11, 2008

how did that happen?? (a long post... you've been warned!)

(edited a few minor spelling errors- thanks to my BF, who pointed them out to me! It still surprises me sometimes that he- or anyone else, really- reads my blog... does anyone else feel this way sometimes??)

It went from being summer in Arizona (regular daytime high temps of 105F +) to fall (it's only supposed to be in the high 70s today...) in the blink of an eye! It was nice to finally see the end of the summer oven-like temps, though... waiting for the end of summer here is similar to waiting for spring back in the midwest- you're sick of the "same-ness" of the days, and can't wait for a change. At least here it's sunny most of the time instead of cloudy and gray, but to me, even sun gets boring after a while. Pretty soon, I'll be complaining that it's too cold!

(Anything under 70 F is cold to me; yes, I know I'm now officially a wimp when it comes to cold temperatures.) Hard to believe I used to live where you had to scrape frost off the windshield and let the car warm up for 15-20 minutes before it was even warm enough to sit down on the seat! I'll take hot over cold any day, now... you can always crank up the A/C, but I remember times when it took me two hours to shovel my driveway, and it seemed like I'd never be warm again!

And how did I go from being "afraid" of art journaling, worried about what kind of journal to buy, afraid of the white, blank page, to someone who now has 6 different books for journaling in, and two altered books waiting to be started?? That also happened in the blink of an eye, it seems- last summer was my first time at Art Unraveled, where I took my very first class with Kelly Kilmer... (I was so nervous- all those artsy people, who seemed to know soooo much more than I did!!) Since then, I've purchased and/or made all 6 of those journals, and I will be making another one in November, when Kelly's back in town to teach another class! (reminder to self: call Frenzy Stamper and sign up for that class.)

I work on pages and projects for a while, then realize I haven't taken pictures of any of them along the way... I also tend to get pages half-done, then they sit for a while till I get more inspiration, but I'm finally okay with that. I have finally (mostly, anyway) realized that art journaling, for me anyway, is as much about the art-making process than the words, if not more. And, I'm not so worried (most of the time) about whether the art on the page "goes" with the topic I want to write about. (Some of my pages are like that, but not all of them.)

It's hard to explain art journaling to someone who's never heard of it before; does anyone have a good explanation for non-artsy people that's easy for them to understand?? A couple of people have asked me about my doodling/artwork, and it's not easy to answer. So far, my standard answer is, "art journaling is sort of a cross between a diary and a sketch book" but I don't really like that explanation....

Anyway, on to the pictures... the pics below are from/of all but one of my current books; for more, check out my Flickr page (as soon as I get them posted, that is- hopefully later this evening or tomorrow). Now I know why I put off the photo/posting part of it- it's time consuming to take photos, edit and crop them, and then get them onto Flickr with all the tags, titles, etc. But it will get done!! (eventually)

This is the first "book" I bought to do art journaling in- it's one of those black and white composition books that you can get at any WalMart, etc. around back to school time for less than a dollar. It contains wide-ruled notebook paper, which isn't the greatest for painting on, but I started with it so I wouldn't "ruin" a "real" sketchbook if I didn't know what I was doing. (which seems kinda funny, now, because art journaling is doing whatever you want- there aren't really any rules!) I painted the front with my favorite mix of blues, green, pink, and purple, and the other favorite, stamping with bubble wrap. The arrow is a stencil from a 12x12 stencil sheet (technically for scrapbooking, I think), accented with gold leafing pen. Gold leafing pen also accents the zig-zag strip at the bottom (another of my favorite colors, a barn red.) The ribbon along the left edge was glued on to cover up the crappy painting job I did along the edge of the binding. (I can't take credit for that; I saw it somewhere on Flickr... but it works, doesn't it?)

This is my newest art store purchase, a 9 x 12 sketchbook containing 93 lb heavy weight sketch paper... much better for painting on; it doesn't wrinkle when its painted like the ruled composition book paper does! I remember back when I took that first class at AU with Kelly; I was so intimidated by that 10 x 14 piece of paper she gave us to work on- it seemed soooo enormous to me, I thought I'd never be able to work on anything that big! She said we could use a different size if we wanted; I think I folded and tore that 10 x 14 paper into at least quarter-sheets (remember, I started out rubber-stamping cards and making ATCs, so I was used to working 4.25 x 5.5 inches, or smaller). I recently purchased this sketchbook because the composition book pages were starting to feel too small to me! Decorating the cover is going to wait till I get inspired, but you can see some of the inside pages here (soon).

The above spread is from one of two "graffiti books" I made in a class with Kelly Kilmer last fall... painted, stenciled, monoprinted, and written on paper backgrounds that were cut up to become the book pages. The book pages were folded and stitched into two pamphlet-style books. (pics of both books I made in this class are here.) The class was a lot of fun, but for some reason, I was intimidated to actually use the book for anything. I think it was because there was already so much work on the backgrounds that I couldn't bring myself to cover them up with anything! (it sounds silly, I know, but that's what I thought.) So, this past weekend, I actually started working in it during another Kelly Kilmer class called What's Next??? where we worked in our own books. Now that I've broken the ice with this book, I have a theme in mind for it, and am ready to do the rest of the pages!

This is one spread out of the Avante Garde book I made at this year's Art Unraveled. I don't think I've posted pics of this book here yet, but I will soon... We made covers and a spine for the book from matboard, put together the cover, and filled the book with "found" papers- magazine pages, envelopes, receipts, text pages out of other books, anything you wanted to use. (again, this class was taught by Kelly Kilmer. I know, it sounds like I take a lot of classes with her, but I really haven't- I've only taken 4 so far; one of the other students in last weekend's class has taken 19 classes with Kelly, and I think that was only in the last couple years!!) This page is eventually going to be about the Beijing summer olympics... the dragon was out of an in-flight travel magazine; I found it in February, and it's perfect for this page, I think!

(a sort of related note: I find it really hard to throw anything away now; I always have an internal dialogue in my head when I go thru the mail: "would this be useful for anything art-related somewhere down the line??" You'd probably be amazed at some of the things I save... I'd probably keep more, except for the fact that I have limited space for crafting supplies. Perhaps my "paper and supply addiction" would be a good topic for a blog post??)

This page spread is out of the miniature avante-garde book made during the AU class; it's finished size is 3 x 6 inches, I think. It's a bit harder (for me, at least) to work on pages this small, but I've made a start- I covered a couple of the pages with random scraps of paper- magazine and catalog pages, vintage book text, scrapbooking paper, etc. and it will either be painted, or left as is... who knows??

After next month, I'll have another book to add to my collection, and I really do want to start working on the altered book project I have in my head... it's translating the ideas from my head to a finished project that I have a difficult time with, but perhaps that's a limitation that every creative person has?? (people sometimes say that if they won the lottery they'd get bored if they didn't work, but I don't think I'd have that problem for a loooong time, that's for sure- I have lots of ideas waiting to be worked on!!)


Kelly Kilmer said...

I'm VERY happy with the weather here today-68-woo hoo!! 60's/70's is my kind of weather!!!

Most people don't get the "art journaling" thing. "Glorified scrapbook" LOL is another term. You could say Visual Diary or journal. I think pretty much anything you say to describe it will lead to flood of questions, so that's usually when I whip out my book and say SEE?


Looking forward to seeing you in November!!

LOVE the journals you've been working on. I know it can be hard to work on painted pages, but once you start playing and messing around with it, it gets easier. The key word is to PLAY in your books. Make a MESSY book and see what happens. ;)

Mare said...

I'm LOVING your work! I am a fan of Frida K so of course i am partial to that piece! ;) I laughed when you wrote how you were afraid to start working in your notebook for fear of "ruining" it! I sat and looked at my first canvas for weeks before i had the courage to paint on it, for that very same reason. OIY! We have some "unlearning" to do, huh?