Tag Archives: art journal workshops

Satisfaction is Creating Your Own One-of-a-Kind Altered Books

Creating one-of-kind altered books is a deeply satisfying process. You simply choose a book you are thinking of recycling or donating, or you buy something at a used book store. Then you begin to alter it by collaging, painting, adding ephemera, or making any number of alterations to make it your own. The pages from my altered book below are mostly collage, however I kept the picture in the book of this man sitting in a lotus position as a focal point. When I saw the coral skeleton I thought, “Now that is a heart that embraces all of creation.” Who knows why we are drawn to this image or that one. We could spend hours analyzing our work. But we really do not have to – we simply feel something and that is what matters. And, if others enjoy, that is icing on our cake. Now we can share ourselves with them and perhaps inspire them to choose a book and see what happens…I feel blessed to be working with wonderful women weekly who inspire me with their creativity and enthusiasm.

Collage Pages from my Altered Book

Collage Pages from my Altered Book

To create one’s own world in any of the arts takes courage. – Georgia O’Keefe

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Art Journal Workshops, Mixed media art, Mixed Media Art Journaling

Art As Escape from the Matrix

Play in Your Art Journal and be Free From the Matrix

Why make art? Why spend hours working and playing in our art journals? For me, it’s a way to temporarily escape the Matrix. Remember the movie, “The Matrix?” Remember when Morpheus tells Neo the Matrix is like a “splinter in your mind?” We feel the itch, the pain, the pointlessness of this dualistic reality – we get tired of being batted about by the play of opposites, the never ending wars of good versus evil. We know all too well we are tethered here, we are tethered by time, by our temporary forms, by the attachments, and the demands. Along with the joys and freedoms we experience, along with the glitz and premisses, we know we are plugged into a system that somehow runs us, that dictates the course of our lives, that calls the shots.

Art Journal Page

Art Journal Page

The creative process, however seemingly humble and insignificant we may sometimes think it is, offers reprieve from these demands. We can find ourselves in the flow, outside of time, and hopefully free from the internal editor or the voices of parents and figures of authority. This is why artists have been willing to sacrifice everything to devote themselves to the call of the muse. This is why we make time to sit and write our blogs or novels, our prose or poetry. We continue to pick up our crayons, put ink to paper, brush color onto the blank white canvas. And, humans will continue to express themselves creatively – to  sing, dance, draw, scribble, doodle, garden, write music, and explore the unknown until the end of creation. It is one of the ways we escape from the Matrix and tap into our unbounded source.

Start an Altered Book

Altered book Madona

Go to a used book store, or simply select a book from your library and begin the process of alteration. I’ll post more on getting started soon!

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious – the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”
Albert Einstein, Albert Einstein

2 Comments

Filed under Art Journal Workshops, Mixed media art, Mixed Media Art Journaling, Uncategorized

New Journal Pages

Kartika's art journal page

Kartika’s art journal page

I’m loving these pages! They make me happy. And, I’m so lucky to be able to create and to work in my own journal while having classes in my home. I get to work with wonderful women who are kindred spirits in my “Soulful Art Journal Workshop.”

This week, I’ve been having some personal sessions with a friend’s 16 year old daughter. There are those people who take to the creative process like the proverbial ducks to water. They sink like stones into the zone of timelessness. They begin to journal and experience the joy of self-reliance. Self-reliance comes with this territory as we learn to trust ourselves and our perceptions of what works and what doesn’t for us. We learn to let go of the fear of what others will think of our creations. We take the flying leap that is required to dare to make art, to accept that we can and are creative beings who can start whereever we are on this path to self-discovery.

Kartika's art journal page

Kartika’s art journal page

Having the time and the resources to play with art, to be creative, is truly a blessing. But even if we’re extremely busy, it’s important to carve out some space for some kind of creative expression, especially for those of us who say things like, “Someday when I have time, I will write a book,” or when I retire, “I will learn to paint.” Tomorrow may never come.

“If you have never kept an art journal, the prospect of doing so many seem intimidating, but the beauty of keeping a journal is that you don’t ever have to share it. It can be a unique and private place in your life for personal exploration. Journaling may allow you to express yourself in a way you never thought possible and can help expand your artistic skills and confidence. – Dawn DeVries Sokol

3 Comments

Filed under Art Journal Workshops, Mixed media art, Mixed Media Art Journaling, Uncategorized

The Soulful Art Journal Workshop: It’s all about the layering

Mixed media art journal page

Mixed media art journal page

Experimenting with layering:

Yesterday afternoon was the 4th session of my Soulful Art Journal Workshop. It seems the participants are focusing more on layering and becoming more comfortable using mixed media. The technique of layering adds interest and dimension to art journal pages. It requires experimentation and time to find what you like and what works for you. This is one of the pages  I finished yesterday and it was very satisfying to see how it evolved as I added layers.

The layering process involved:

  • Starting with some paint strokes using black gesso. I love colored gesso and I just bought some grey and black. They are now staples in my art supply stash along with the classic white.
  • As I collaged, I continued adding acrylic paint by rubbing it on with my fingers. I absolute adore M. Graham and Co. and use the color Terra Rosa regularly.  It has a rich earthy look and reddish tones.
  • I also added areas of color using oil pastels. I picked up a nice little box of these at one of my artist friend’s yard sales. I was thrilled because I’d never used oil pastels and I love the oily texture and strong colors they produce.
  • I finished my layering process with some Ranger Ink in Distressed brown. I could not make art without it! It is so versatile and looks beautiful layered over photos and collage images.

I know I’ve only scratched the surface of the techniques of layering, and I’m fascinated to see what I will discover next.

3 Comments

Filed under Art Journal Workshops, Mixed media art, Mixed Media Art Journaling

The Soulful Art Journal Workshop: Working with Mistakes

Sunday was an interesting and fun Soulful Art Journal Workshop. This was the second session in a series of 4.  The workshop is working in the mixed media art journal, so on Sunday I introduced ink. I love seeing what the women come create. I worked on my own mixed media piece along with the other women, and some of us were struggling with the inner critic.

Altered book pages done in collage and mixed media

Altered book pages done in collage and mixed media

Why I love Titan Buff paint color 

Making art requires us to be flexible and learn ways to deal with so-call “mistakes.” In reality there are no mistakes because art is just a process of trying things and learning what we like and how to make what we like happen more and more.

What do we do when we don’t like what we are producing? Do we have to rip out the journal page and start a-new? This week while teaching my workshop, I used myself as an example. I admitted that I hated what I’d done so far, but I kept changing the paint color. Finally after trail and error and going over the color with diffferent colors a few times, I pulled out my tube of acrylic Titan Buff. It is a staple in my paint stash. I always have a Titan Buff on hand – all artists have their equivalent of Titan Buff (often it is Gesso, another favorite of mine). Titan Buff is a lovely, creamy off-white color. It is a paint color I love and it works well with all of my earthy tones. And, it covers beautifully.  It accepts layers well, so you can paint over it or stamp on it with great effects.

So that’s my little story for Sunday’s The Soulful Art Journal Workshop.

Happy art journaling and happy art making….there are no mistakes, just opportunities.

1 Comment

Filed under Art Journal Workshops, Mixed media art, Mixed Media Art Journaling