Saturday, 30 May 2009

the Business of Art

Being an artist has two sides. There is the creative side, in your studio making the work - with all its wonders, tortures, delights and challenges .

The other side is the Art World. Finding a gallery (or not), trying to sell your work, dealing with people who seem to have the power, trying to feel successful and dealing with your own ego. Trying not to get disheartened. Trying to achieve a balance of believing in your work but not becoming an egomaniac. Making peace with the distinct possibility of never making a living wage. And so on.

That is the world I have been in this week. I have been quite anxious, getting a portfolio together for a networking event. I have also been anxious putting together paintings for a group show. Both are good things. The networking went really well. There was an encouraging amount of interest in my work. 

I am quite happy, but I am also grumpy. I feel frazzled and drained. I want to be in my studio working again. But I need to confirm my new contacts, send out more photos of paintings - research galleries that have been recommended to me, and phone those galleries. And then send out more photos. 
I am really happy and very grateful, but I miss my studio. And I miss my art journal. I want to go back into my creating and forget about the business side of art.

Monday, 25 May 2009

What do You write in your Art Journal?

I am enjoying writing in my art journal. 

Writing in my art journal. Writing!

That is what a journal is: a daily record of news and events of a personal nature; a diary.

Not a sketchbook, not a mixed media book, an art journal.

What is my point? To tell you the truth, I'm not sure. It's something about feeling free to write personal stuff in my art journal. And that is kinda weird because I teach art journaling and so I think I should show my students my art journal. 
I want to share my art journaling. And I blog it - so there is my journal out for everyone to see. My personal writing.

But hell, isn't that what an artist is? Don't we share our soul's journey and maybe say stuff that other people are scared to? Hell, I am scared to as well. I am scared to be judged.

Last week, journal girl wrote a neat post on my post about what people write in their art journals. Maybe a few more people would like to get in on the conversation?

How much should we try and control how other people see us? Can we control it? If we let others see us 'warts and all' will we suffer for it? These are the questions on my mind.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Doing Nothing Journal Page

I honestly believe that if everyone had an art journal and fooled around in it, the world would be a happier place.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

My Dilemma

I go through different phases in my art journaling. At the moment I am loving drawing. I am drawing in my studio, then in the evening I am drawing in my art journal. 

I have a bit of a dilemma though.

The first watercolour is from a photo that I got off the web. I think it looks quite lovely. It wasn't really my inspiration; it wasn't my photo. I am not sure about copyright. 

It was fun to do, but not as much fun as the drawing below. The dilemma is that I think it looks much more impressive than the drawing below. 

This drawing is just something that I doodled up. It was a lot of fun. It is my own inspiration, completely original. But it doesn't look near as impressive as the first one. That is because if you draw something out of your head, it is not going to look as realistic as if you have the image in front of you to draw from. There is too much information to try and imagine. How does her wrist meet her hand? Where would her shoulder turn at that angle? How do jeans wrinkle at the knees? 

So, can you guess what the dilemma is? It is a contest between my ego and my artistic child. Who gets the art journal?

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Give Me Your Ordinary Thoughts any day

What is it about Journal Pages that make us so lecturing? I love looking at art journal pages online, but sometimes I get a little annoyed at being told to: Inspire, Create, LOVE, Dream, Follow your Dreams, Discover and so on. And then there are the quotes, the preachy one liners that sound like greeting cards. Did we get this stuff from the scrapbookers, or are we afraid to write our own stuff? Afraid that we won't be profound enough? Or maybe we feel like complaining, but think that isn't done in an art journal.

Maybe I am being unfair. Maybe people are making these pages to remind, or encourage themselves. Maybe the pages are like little cheerleaders, urging them on to a new life.

What do I write in my pages? I have certainly done plenty of quotes. It can be a way of remembering stuff that I wrote down. Maybe my quotes are corny too. Sometimes I get nervous to just write down whatever. It can seem like the visual image should be with something interesting rather than my usual neurotic drivel. But the truth is, I am happiest when I write my whatever in my pages. When I write quotes and stuff form other people I get kinda bored. I guess it's that thing of expressing yourself. And many times I am just not that impressive. Even so it still feels good to express myself, neurotic drivel or other stuff.

And if you care, I would rather read your normal daily drivel in your art journal than someone else's profound realisation.


The lovely Luthien from Pimp and Paint has tagged me.

I am going to play a shortened version, as 8 things is too many for my short attention span, tee hee.

4 things I am looking forward to:

1. A trip overseas. It has been 10 years! Nothing planned yet, but it will happen.
2. My next art journaling class. I love playing with my students.
3. Teaching Creativity workshops. A weekend of creativity secrets! Whee!
4. Painting more paintings. I always look forward to that.

4 things I did yesterday:

1. A beautiful walk on the beach.
2. Bought a tub of gelatti.
3. Did a drawing in my art journal.
4. Wrote out my morning pages.

4 things I wish I could do

1. See the movie Harold and Maude again.
2. Do an artist residential road trip in the States.
3. Find my way around places.
4. 100 push-ups. Not that I have tried.

4 things or shows I have watched

1. Mad Men
2. West Wing
3. Shameless
Oops, I can't remember a forth. Do you tube videos count?

4 of my favourite blogs:
okay, this is just random pickings from many favourites. 


Thursday, 14 May 2009

Inspired by Leanne Ellis

In my own signed work I would not make a drawing from someone else's art, not even with changes. But in my art journal, anything goes. It can be fun to try out other people's styles and ideas, like trying on someone else's hat, to see if the influence will eventually influence your own style. Or just to do something different, outside what you usually draw.

Here is the original illustration by the talented Leanne Ellis of la-la-laillustration.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

I Need Sun Journal Page

I am dating my journal pages now. I date them when I write on them. So, you can see that I don't post them straight away.

I like the weird clothes this model is wearing. I thought I might use them in a painting sometime. 

It used to be that I would consider them for myself, but those days are gone now. Dressing doesn't give me the pleasure that it did when I was younger. When I was young, I could wear most anything and it would look good.  I guess I took that for granted. 

It has been sunny the past few days. As soon as I posted this photo, it began to rain. Truly.

Friday, 8 May 2009

I Love the Crows Journal Page

I have been experimenting with different approaches to my art journal pages. This is a very basic, mostly collage page. These pages are easy and quick, and work well as a kind of interesting visual for the writing. But I must admit, I get bored with this technique quickly. 

The background was done with about six layers of acrylic paint. I don't really like the darkness of it, though it worked with the mood of the crows. The writing is from Scott Alexander King's book, Animal Dreaming.