Thursday, 30 July 2009

Art Journaling Classes start again

My Art Journaling classes start up again this coming Wednesday, the 5th of August. Eight weeks of journaling prompts, mixed media techniques and inspirational quotes. To say nothing of various Zom wisdoms (tee hee).

I wish you could all be there. But alas, the class is in real time and physical reality at a beautiful, sunny space in Byron Bay, Australia. Above the inspirational art space of Still@theCentre in the Arts and Industrial Estate, where they have great coffee and the best art supplies on the Northern Rivers.

If you can make it to Australia, please come.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

I Will Persist

I have been following an internet class on stenciling with Mary Ann. I say following rather than taking the class because the class has ended. I am only on the second lesson out of four.

I got stuck in the first lesson as I discovered that I cannot stand spray paint. Since then I have been researching alternatives. Mary Ann suggested some possibilities such as spray inks but I couldn't find them where I live (Australia pretty far from any big cities.) The same for the spray bottles she suggested.

I have been experimenting. Today it didn't go well. I bought what I thought was EZ-cut stencil film, but when I began cutting stencils I discovered it is opague! I am not sure what I bought.

So then I tried using tracing paper. That didn't work so well. Of course it didn't! tracing paper is notoriously sensitive to humidity, much less spraying watered down ink on it! (the ink is another experiment). You can see the 'stencil' in the background, all curled up and pathetic.

For the spray ink, I watered down some refill ink. I don't recommend the brand I used, VersaMagic, as it was way too thick. Actually at this point, I don't recommend pretty much anything that I am doing. Just thought I would share.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Does this Photo Shock You?

It shocked me, and I am not proud to say that.

What disturbed me was the woman with the mass of red hair and no makeup.

I saw this photo in the entertainment section of the weekend Sydney Morning Herald. It headed an article about Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of American Vogue. The woman is Grace Coddington. She is a former model who started at Vogue magazine the same day as Wintour and is now her number two.

What shocked me? Do I even have to say? It was this old hag. To see an old woman in the entertainment section of the newspaper. An old woman who obviously has money and has not had surgery nor is wearing makeup.

Then it excited me. Grace Coddington is obviously a woman of courage and great self esteem. Imagine having the guts to look like that when your life is in the fashion world. Next to her, Anna Wintour looks 20 years younger. But she isn't. Grace Coddington has the courage to look her age. It is a radical statement in this time and culture.

And really, she looks kind of cool.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Can Art Journal Pages be too Good?

Here is something different. Art journal pages that are too good.

How can a journal page be too good? Because I like it so much that I can't touch it. I know that whatever I do to it will lessen it. Well, I don't know that - but it is what I fear. The background was done in multiple layers of acrylic paint, one layer with my homemade background stamps and gesso. I love the way it created a texture and how the gesso covered the underneath colours. A bit of texture on the pages is a lot of fun. (Wait until you see the pages I am working on at the moment. A lot of texture there.)

The crows and the writing are done with package tape transfer. I even like the blob of gesso that worked over from another page.

Sigh. I like it all too much. So I have run up against another creativity killer. Attachment to my creation. I want to preserve it, therefore I stop it from growing.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Look at This! Holy Hope Journal Pages

Wow, look at this cool effect. You end up with these background images just barely coming through. I can show you a couple of the stages on this one. I didn't take photos in the very beginning.
This technique isn't my original idea. I found it a while ago on the internet. If anyone recognizes it, please tell me and I will give credit where credit is due.
You begin by gluing pictures down on the pages. I cut them all out in rectangles.
The first coat is gesso. Keep your brush dry and drag it lightly over the images. Keep your strokes in one direction. Don't cover very much. Think about what you want to start to obscure and what you want to keep.

Follow it with more layers of different colours. Some you might want to glaze over the top - yellow gives an interesting effect. Others just lightly drag. It's fun to see how you can change the reading of the pictures by the placement of your strokes. Elements come forward and recede depending on where you cover and which colour you use.
Later I added packing tape transfers and writing. You can see how anything you add on top serves to make the background recede.

I don't know why the pages say "holy hope" or "over and above" or "get your". It was just words that came to me so I put them down. I think it's fun.

The only thing with this technique, it always seems to come up kinda spooky. I have done it on two spreads and both times the same. Nothing wrong with spooky. But I wonder if I could get a less spooky look, or if that is just what happens. See, over in the lower left corner, that was a rather twee photo of a doll, but spooky with this effect. Maybe I should try all really cutesy stuff and see what happens. That could be fun.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

The Ruthless Artist Child

It can be such a relief to get rid of pages I don't like. Cut it out! Gesso it over! Whew; I am so glad you are gone! ( I tried to get more excited about the above page by adding the black gesso, but my new affection didn't last!)

And I don't have to have a good reason why. I just wanted it out. It was a perfectly good drawing. Quite pretty in fact. I don't know why I didn't like it, I don't have to know - I can just cut it out cause I want to! Nyah, nyah!
And this prompt that I imposed on my Art Journaling class about collecting patterns. A few people hated it. I think in the end, I did too!
You are gone now too, stupid collected patterns.
I wonder if I will regret my hasty action. Will I miss my cancelled journal pages?

Friday, 10 July 2009

Art Journaling is ...

I don't know anything about Judy Wise (yet) but I think I would like to.

Why does art journaling feel so important? I don't know, but it does.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Soldiering On (and overly dramatic titles)

Another journal page from my A4 journal. I used tissue paper on this one. Did you know that you can write on the paper, then glue it down and it goes translucent? I like the way the tissue paper makes it look a bit grunge.

Concerning other creative matters, I have been doing some research in response to my frustration with using toxic spray paints in the online stencil class that I am taking.

To give credit, Mary Ann, the tutor of the class, has not only made suggestions for other media, but has included instructions in her class. You do not have to use spray paints to take her online stenciling class.

That said, living in Australia, we don't have the same buying options as in the States. I also live hours from a capitol city,  and buying online can entail expensive postage. The spray inks that she suggested as one option apparently aren't allowed to be sent airmail. 

I will be using Lynne's suggestion of a foam roller and acrylic paint. I am also going to try to get some of the little spray bottles and use Jennifer's idea with watered down acrylic paint.

Another option that I am looking at is called an atomizer. I understand that they used to use them before the days of air brush. Perhaps they still do. 

This isn't a very accurate diagram for what I going to buy, but it is close enough. You blow into one tube and the perpendicular tube sucks up the liquid to spray it out. It will be interesting to try. 

I will let you guys know how it goes.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Sometimes it is just so WRONG

I am taking Mary Ann Moss's online stencil class. I have been excited all week, looking forward to getting out my new spray paints (3 colours: matt black, matt white and sea green). She started the class Friday before last, but I haven't had the time to do anything but watch the videos as I have been working on my Creativity Workshop.

Today was the day. I did my minimum of weekly housework. Got grumpy when my DH wanted me to move some books. I was rarin' to make time for my first lesson: found stencils and spraypaint.
Finally got out the spraypaint. Picked a level spot in our large yard, moved out a small table from my studio. Newspaper collected. Retrieve out my way-too-old half face protection mask. I know I should have replaced the filter, but Bunnings didn't have the brand. So I had my fingers crossed that it would still be okay. My found stencils are not impressive. A few scavenged building bits and one doily. I like the idea of using lace, but didn't have any. I did score some great magnetic letters at a garage sale.
Hey, the stencils look cool. It could be fun  -- but it wasn't. I hate wearing the face mask. It hurts my face. It is uncomfortable. I hate the smell of rubber. I felt woozie afterwards. Was it a lack of oxygen or weren't the filters working? I remembered the days I wore that mask in the past, when I was oiling out our windows. I was very grateful for the protection, but I hated it.

What was I thinking? I am the super sensitive type. I eat organic food and have a special diet. I can't even drink black tea for heaven's sake. What was I thinking, imagining that I could use spray paint??? Even in my studio I feel weird from the low toxic painting medium. I can feel the electromagnetic field from my computer. How did I ever imagine I could use the severely toxic medium of spraypaint?

It was a 'completely forget who I am' moment. Do you ever have those? When you start imagine doing something that you are completely unsuited for? something that anyone who knows you would say "what were you thinking?"

Friday, 3 July 2009

My Workshop: the Six Secrets of Creativity

"Over two days, Zom will share the six secrets of creativity, each building upon the one before. Each secret has a strength developed when you live it. These six strengths or qualities are needed for creativity; qualities like trust, intuition, courage and playfulness. Once you know each individual secret, it not only helps to open your creativity, it also develops one of these necessary companion qualities."

That is the beginning of the blurb for my Byron Bay workshop at Still@the Centre on the 11th and 12th of July. I have been working on it for weeks now. 

It was initially based on the classes I have been teaching on Creativity through Byronshire ACE, but I have enlarged and altered the format. There is going to be more action (games and play) and less introspective stuff. There will still will be inner work, cause that is important too, but I wanted to balance it with physical play. I think it is going to be a lot of fun. I am making the workshop that I would like to attend. 
Cause I can! tee hee