Saturday, 25 April 2009

If I wasn't Afraid Journal Page

I don't know if you guys remember, but a while back I said that I wanted to do more drawing in my art journal. So here is a page that I  painted it from a magazine photo. I liked the girl with the parrot on her shoulder. 

First I gessoed the page, then painted a wash of mauve in acrylic that I mixed from cobalt blue and red. The triangle border is printed with home made stamp made of craft foam glued onto a wooden block. The girl and parrot are painted in acrylic paint. You can see some pencil lines from when I drew her out.

I added the writing later with a Zig Millennium pen. The writing began on the facing page where I did the writing prompt: What I would do if I wasn't afraid.

I do notice that when I work from a photo and don't change anything, even if I like the photo the way it is, I get bored pretty quickly. This page looks okay but it doesn't excite me. I guess that's because I wasn't doing anything new with it. For me, my art journal is either about trying something new or putting down ideas. It isn't about making pretty pages, and when I get caught up in that I get BORED.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Pens, Pens, Pens

I have been going loopy lately buying pens. I have bought all these in the last week. I can't seem to stop. 
I am looking up pens on Ebay. I am looking up pens overseas, hoping I can get them cheaper in the States. But there is postage, there is always postage. 

 Of course I love the gel pens. All art journalers love the gel pens. The uni-ball Signo have smooth writing . I am using the black much more than I thought I would. It is smoother than my Staedtler pigment liners over acrylic paint. I like the thicker line for writing. 

The paint pens on the right are fabulous! But so expensive. I got the galaxy markers on sale for$2.50, half price at Spotlight. But they aren't carrying them anymore. The Uni Posca you can get from Officeworks in Lismore or Dolphin Choice in Byron Bay for six dollars. Yup, six dollars. Painful. These are Australian prices you lucky americans. 

The paint pens are just what they are called. They are like writing with paint. Wonderful. Go over anything. But make sure they are waterbased. I haven't tried the other ones, but I don't think they would work so well in a journal.

Jeeze, what is the deal with buying all these pens?

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Excited about My Classes

I teach two classes, one about the process of Creativity, the other on Art Journaling. (You can see the connection, can't you?)

I am really excited because I just received some fabulous inspiration for my Creativity Class. I have been teaching the class for 3 terms, and it has been going really well. It has been a lot of fun. This term I am extending it from 5 weeks to 6 weeks because the students have consistently said that they wanted to go longer.

The inspiration is to teach the class in terms of secrets. The six secrets of Creativity. Each week I reveal one of the secrets.  They build on each other. And each secret has a quality that is developed when you follow the secret. Qualities that are needed for creativity; qualities like trust, intuition, courage, playfullness, discipline, initiative, etc. Once you know the secret, it not only helps to open your creativity but it develops that specific quality needed to become more creative.

It was one of those times when the inspiration just popped through fully formed. I know it has been percolating in my subconscious but I didn't have to do a lot of work. And it is cooler than anything I would have thought up, tee hee.

This term is going to be the best Creativity Class ever!

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Don't Want to Play it Safe Journal Page

This is one of the first journal pages in my new, larger journal. It is A4 (205mm x 295mm) size. I love it! I love working in the larger size. Nice, big pages. It is a lot to fill up but I like that. I am doing a lot of writing. Sometimes I just put down a background and then fill the entire page with writing. Not especially attractive or anything. 

Here, I will show you:
This is the previous page (confusing huh?) It isn't all writing, but you can see that it is very plain. (Except for the red lace tape. I love the lace tape. but it is so expensive here in Australia. winge, winge.) 

I like the freedom of some pages being very plain. Some crowded with stuff. It is so fun to be inconsistent! (I am using lots of exclamation points in this post, I must be excited.)

I have often started my studio journals, and now my art journals, with an intention. Or perhaps it is more of a wish. 
This time, I didn't plan to have an intention, it just happened. Not wanting to play it safe is my intention for my art at this time, and is not limited to my art journal. But if I can't do it in my art journal, I won't be able to do it in my studio.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

It's my Party and I'll Do What I Want to

Vision from Kirsten Murray on Vimeo.

Gee this looks like fun.
I hadn't really thought of having a 50th birthday party this year, but maybe I should hang up a huge roll of paper and make everyone draw on it. IMHO that would be a lot more fun than sitting around and talking. At parties I always find myself wishing I was drawing, so...

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Why I Create Art

Do you know what an artist statement is? Me neither, lol, even though I have written quite a few. Laboured over the little buggers. Even taken a workshop about writing them.

When I write or rewrite my artist statement, I find it is easy to get caught up in some big idea about why I create art. A lot of artist statements sound like the artist thinks he some kind of genius. How their act of creation makes the world a better place. A common statement is that their art will cause people to see things differently. I have been guilty of  implying that my paintings could bring someone closer to Spirit. Or reconnect them with their Soul. 

All of which makes me sound a bit of a wanker. ( a rude Australian term that means an egotistical jerk)

Happily I had an epiphany about the whole thing this morning. 

The truth is, I create art to enter another reality. The reality of magic where everything is possible. The one where I can fly, anything can happen, the grass could be blue and the sky yellow. The reality of dreams and infinite meaning, intensity and depth. 

The truth is, in spite of some really embarrassing artist statements that I have written, I create art for self-indulgent reasons. 
It is only later that I hope it will give something to other people. 

And only much later, when I have to write an artist statement, that I am stupid enough to try and define what that would be.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Art Changes Everything

This made me cry with a kind of happiness. 

Suzi Blu's Vlog on Criticism of Your Art

Suzi Blu is vlogging and today is a good one. She is talking about when people put down your creations. She gives some truths that I wish someone had told me twenty years ago. 

I don't know why we are so hard on each other, and ourselves, when we are learning to paint and draw. There is some kind of belief that artists are born rather than made. This is NOT TRUE. Artists have to learn and practice just like musicians, dancers or any other creative type. We are not born knowing everything about how to draw and paint.

Even for those with talent, there are a lot of bad paintings and drawings. I don't know if that ever stops. And talent is a small ingredient. You can have two artists. One with loads of talent but not willing to practice and work, the other with less talent but Dedicated. The second will end up the better artist.

You do not start out making great stuff. Maybe a few people do, but they are bloody rare. So, don't let other people give you a hard time. And don't give yourself a hard time either.

And go watch the vlog. It's good.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

New to Art Journaling?

For anyone new to art journaling, or if you just want some more ideas, Daisy Yellow has a great post called Art Journaling 101. She has a list of basic materials, handy definitions, suggestions for beginning,  and loads of fantastic links.

I have Begun my New Series of Paintings

On the way from our house to my studio.

My classes finished last week and I have been in the studio painting. I am so happy to be working on my new series. Last week I began the first painting!

(Here are some photos of last series that I completed and showed at the Tweed Regional Gallery. Apologies, I need to update my website and post the rest of the paintings.)

The front view of my studio. Unfortunately it is not as big as it looks here.
To my surprise and delight the new series came from my art journal. You might remember that I said that I wanted to draw in my journal more. Well, I did and what popped out was my new series. I had a strong feeling that somewhere my art journal and my work as an artist would link up. It happened suddenly, no warning. I love the way inspiration works, it is so mysterious. 

I am not trying to be coy, but I won't be showing you those pages yet. It is because of what I explained in my previous post. It is too early. I haven't shown anyone. It can be important not to talk about your ideas too much, or sometimes at all. You watch what happens when you do. It can actually dissipate or use up the energy. It is like you talk about it instead of creating it. Not nearly as fun or satisfying.