Tag Archives: collage

Souful Art Cards

We long to be free.

We long to be free.

We long to be free. This Soulful Art Card represents that whether we are incarcerated in a prison or simply struggling to find personal freedom in a world of boundaries, we are guided, blessed, and never abandoned.

A Poem by Gilbert Vasquez, inmate and pen-pal

The Man in Front of Me

I stare at the man in front of me.

He parts his lips and asks, Why have you become my enemy?

That was never my intention, I respond.

But you’ve hurt me, your daughter, your brothers, sisters, and your mom.

I stare at the man in front of me with nothing to say.

He parts his lips again, Do you expect it to all just go away?

I cast my eyes away from the man, wanting to hide.

Look me in the eyes, or are you that full of pride?

I finally turn and begin to walk away.

I love you, I hear him say.

I slowly turn to find tears rolling down the man’s face.

I love you, but you can’t seem to find your place.

I look at he man in the mirror and say,

I’m lost but will find my place one day.

Card by KartiArt

Inspired by Circle of Love Inside

http://amma.org/slideshows/circle-love-inside

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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

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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.

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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.

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Wonderful Soulful Art Journal Workshop

Altered book pages using lace, dictionary pages, collage, paint and handmade paper

Women Inspiring Women

I’m so happy about the wonderful group of women who participated in the Soulful Art Journal Workshop this Sunday. I was so inspired by watching them in the midst of making art, connecting with themselves through exploring and playing with mixed media. One of the most exciting things for me is when women share their stories and ideas about life and art. Everyone has unique ways of working with media and being creative, and the more we open to OUR way the fuller the well of creativity becomes. The well never runs dry if we continue to dig deeply and don’t allow fear to obstruct the natural flow.  I feel so blessed that so many women both inspire and encourage me on the journey of living the artist’s way. We can become each others teachers and muses.

I’m in love with Altered Books.

One on my current passions is creating altered books. I’m having so much fun with this process that I’m already imagining what my future altered books will look like. Both of these pages reflect my current love affair with vintage lace. I cannot get enough of it.

Altered book page using collage, paint, lace, handmade paper, and tape

Altered book page using collage, paint, lace, handmade paper, and tape

The wise Picasso understood that life is gritty and covers us with worries. For me making art is a life-saver, a place of refreshment.

We all need a good dusting on a regular basis!

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.
Pablo Picasso

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Guan Yin: The Beauty of the Divine Feminine

Quan Yin collage by Kartika

Guan Yin collage by Kartika

This is a mixed media collage using paint, tissue, ink and fine art images. As part of my Buddha collage series, of course I wanted to include Guan Yin who,  as the Buddhist Goddess of compassion, reminds us that the feminine part of our psyche  must be enlivened and given its proper place in the world and within our consciousness.

Since the 1st century AD, Guan Yin has been venerated throughout Asia. Her image has been a source of healing and comfort for millions throughout the ages. This is because she offers unconditional love. Like Mother Mary of the Christian tradition, or Mother Divine of the Hindu tradition, Guan Yin represents the qualities of love, forgiveness, compassion, and motherhood. She offers compassion to all living creatures, to all sentient beings, as well as to all of nature. I see her as one with Mother Earth and as a protectress of creation.

I’m now reading Son of Man, The Mystical Path to Christ by Andrew Harvey. What a find, what a treasure. To read something brilliant, enlightening, and well-researched, by a teacher who is keenly aware of the need for humanity to move from the outmoded institutions founded on all things patriarchal.  Harvey believes that our very survival depends upon our ability to awaken to the fusion of the Father-Mother within the psyche and in the living practice of every human.”

The divine heart is really the Divine Mother’s heart feeling the suffering created by our ignorance. So, as the divine draws you nearer, it draws you through these rounds of beauty and bliss until you are ready to experience the agony of the Mother’s heart, which nearly kills you. – Andrew Harvey

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