Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Creative Journey

I have just signed up for a wonderful class! It's called "The Creative Journey" and it's loosely based on Joseph Campbell's The Hero's Journey. If you Google "the hero's journey" you'll get a lot of info on the concept. There have been a ton of classes formed that explore this idea further as it applies to certain areas of people's lives, e.g. creativity in this case.

The class is taught by Barb Kobe and you can read about it at her website: The class runs from Feb. 22 to May 3. It's designed to help you through a difficulty in your life, a life transition, deciding what to do with your life, or any kind of question you may have about how to proceed on a certain issue.

The class is set up in a game motif. You design a game board based on your life and what you're going through. The above example is someone's actual game board from a previous class. Throughout your journey you'll design game pieces to signify obstacles, allies, fears, etc. The dolls in the collage above are actual game pieces from participants of past classes.

It's not too late to sign up. There has only been one lesson so far. You can listen to the recordings of the classes if you are unable to "attend" via computer. You get an e-booklet of the class structure and all the info you'll need for designing your game board, creating characters, etc. There is a private Yahoo group set up for the participants where you can access files, photos and any other info necessary.

Can't you tell I'm excited about this? I'm in the process of designing my game board now. The next teleconference is a week from Sunday and you should have your game board and your "hero" designed by then. I'll be posting bits and pieces of my personal journey here, along with my other art. It should be a lot of fun!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

No Escape

Periodically, I'll post these collages that I'm making to submit to the Baker's Dozen Collage Exchange. This one was a challenge because I hardly ever use men in my collages. No reason; just don't do it that often. The elements in this one called out for a more masculine touch, I thought.

Balancing Act

Here is another collage I've made for the Baker's Dozen Collage Exchange (see previous posts). I found a great glue for adhering magazine paper: Zip Dry. I got mine at Michael's but I've seen it at Jo-Ann Fabrics and Hobby Lobby, too. This glue does NOT wrinkle the magazine paper when you apply it!

I also had great luck in my first image transfer using packing tape. I adhered the packing tape over a magazine image of a little girl, burnished it really well with a bone folder and then soaked it in warm water for about 15 minutes. Afterward, the paper peels off easily from the back of the tape. Once removed, you get a transparent image that's gorgeous! The little girl superimposed onto the meditating woman is the transfer I'm referring to. I know it doesn't work with inkjet images; you have to use laser printed images.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Storm Warning

This is another collage I made for the Baker's Dozen Collage Exchange. These are all 8" x 10" in size and so far I'm using only magazine and personal photo images. The house in this image was my Great Grandmother's home.

More, More, More...

And now for a lighter note! All of this introspective work gets to be a bit much. Time for some levity. Here is one of the finished (semi?) collages I'm submitting for the Baker's Dozen Collage Exchange. Obviously, the theme is More! I've been saving all of these jewelry catalogs I get in the mail thinking there would be a good use for those gorgeous shots of diamonds, gold, etc. This was a lot of fun and a breath of fresh air.

I've already told hubby not to talk to me today; I'm in the zone! He's busy anyway, so it's a good thing. I want to knock these 13 collages out so I can get busy on my art dolls, canvas works in progress and a hundred other things I'm itching to get back to working on.

It's a snowy, rainy, gusty, windy, gray day here: a perfect day to stay in and make some art!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blue Masquerade

I am intrigued by masks. I think they are so mysterious and some are quite beautiful! I'm working on a series of 3-D collages incorporating images of masks. Here is a digital version of one I am wrestling with. Translating a digital idea to canvas has its disadvantages. It's never as seamless as in the digital work and the colors are not as vivid. We'll see how it goes.

I seem to be stuck in a "blue" period with my colors. I'm drawn to blue now more than ever. I'll stick with it and see where my Muse takes me. I love this shade; it has a mystic, otherworldly feel to me. I'm working on transferring these images onto other surfaces such as cloth, canvas and 300 lb. watercolor paper. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What Remains

I made this digital collage after reading a wonderful poem by Phillip Ellis called, "A Villanelle on Loss". The poem was very inspiring; specifically these two verses:

"...My heart, discoloured by stains,
is seemingly about to stall,
barely leached by ten years of rains.

Memories haunt, as ghosts of pains
long gone; through rooms and halls
ten years gone, an ache remains."

I thought this grungy background was a good representation of the heart discolored by stains. The damaged filmstrip and the ghostly doll at the broken window serve as the haunted memories.

I found these wonderful Photoshop brushes at:

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Heart Sees

I came across this quote in one of the Yahoo groups I belong to. I love quotes; I collect them for my art. This one is by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. and it's from the book, The Painter's Keys.

I'm slowly getting my collages together for the collage exchange. Now back to work.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Love Lies Bleeding: Missing Mom

There is a quote by the poet May Sarton that I'll never forget: "...Even when you're 80, you still want your mother." This is especially true for me today. I'm just missing my mom...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Marvellous Landscape of My Dreams

I suppose I should have posted this yesterday for Friday the 13th. It's not really fitting for Valentine's Day, huh? Well, I'm not one for tradition. I'm still exploring Photoshop brushes from Annika Von Holdt and the whole Gothic feel is still with me. You have to go with your Muse and create what she dictates.

After a bit of searching, I found where this verse came from. It is from the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay's translation of Charles Baudelair's poem, "Flowers of Evil". It's a little hard to read on the collage, so here it is:

That marvellous landscape of my dream
Which no eye knows, nor ever will
At moments, wide awake, I seem
To grasp, and it excites me still.

-- Edna St. Vincent Millay, Flowers of Evil (N.Y: Harper and Brothers, 1936)

Isn't Google wonderful! ;)

Friday, February 13, 2009

I Dream In Flowers

This is my "honey" piece of art for this week (see Monday's post). It definitely makes me smile when I look at it. It's peaceful and soft; you can almost smell the flowers. I have a lot of doll images I like to use in my art. This is one of my favorite dolls. She just looks like a dream to me.

The other part of the challenge was to make note of your feelings as you made your "honey" and "vinegar" pieces of art. I found myself smiling a lot while putting this one together. Blues and purples are showing up in my art again. I love everything about this one.

I've blocked off the last two weeks of this month to work on my Baker's Dozen Collages. You have to create 13 collages (8" x 10"). You'll get 13 back from all over the world. As soon as they are completed I am shipping them off. These will be sent to New Zealand where they will be displayed in an art museum that has set aside room for a special exhibit just for this exchange. They have to arrive in N.Z. by mid-March so the sooner I ship them, the better.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Haunted By Her Past

I started out to make something else today, but these images wouldn't let me be. I was going to make my "honey" piece of art today (see previous posts); obviously this isn't it. I don't know where this came from but I like it. You see what I mean about playing around with Photoshop brushes? Especially the mystic ones! I am going to submit this as one of my collages in the Baker's Dozen Collage Exchange. I have to get busy on those. I plan to mail them to New Zealand by the end of the month. This will probably go through a couple of revisions when I convert it to a 3-D image, but overall it's a keeper.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bella Donna

The song, "Bella Donna" by Stevie Nicks has been on my mind all day. I think they call that an earworm. But I LIKE the song, so it doesn't bother me that it won't leave my head. I just decided to create a little collage of what came to mind while the tune played.

I used more Photoshop brushes from and the beautiful ones I've had from . I also found some new brushes at . If you get a chance, check them out. Once you start looking at brushes, though, time flies by.

I seem to be drawn to the darker side of things lately. I have never been a fan of cutesy art. There isn't anything wrong with it, it's just not my style. For awhile I'll stay here in the darker, more mystical universe. I rather like it!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lucky Lady Dip

Here is a group of ATC's I just completed for a swap called, "Lucky Lady Dip". The idea is to pick from a list of over 50 titles of themed "ladies" to make. It's a 4 for 4 swap, so you make 4 and you'll get 4 back. The four titles I picked were: Gothic Goddess, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, Marionette and Lady Gray Ghost.

Obviously the one pictured above is the Gothic Goddess. I colored her face in with white charcoal pencil just to give her a little more contrast. I added a background of two layers of black lace and then a layer of black tulle over the whole thing. Oh, I almost forgot. I added two tiny black buttons to her coat!

This next one is my Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds. I really love the way these all turned out. I'm going to hate getting rid of them! For her card, I made the background with Gold Micaflake. It's this wonderful product from Golden that I found at DickBlick online. It's just as shiny as the photo shows. I LOVE it! Then I embellished her gown with different sizes of Swarovski crystals. I can't decide which card is my favorite.

Next is Marionette. I tried to make her a puppet, obviously, with that name. If you look closely you can see the threads I tied around her finger and on her right side. She's supposed to be on a stage and the strings reach up into the rafters to her puppeteer.

And finally we have Lady Gray Ghost. I had a vague idea of a vintage lady with tattered gown and hat. I found this photo when I searched for "lady gray ghost" on Google. It's a costume! Perfect. So I painted up some cheesecloth in a dove gray and added that along with some white lace. And of course a cameo to finish it off.

These were all so much fun to do. I hate to get rid of them though. But I'm curious to see what I get in return!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Model Behaviour

This collage is called, "Model Behaviour". I made it in response to the Artist's Happiness Challenge course I am taking. The challenge for this week: create two pieces of art: one that shows negativity and one that shows positive energy. The lesson this week was called, "Vinegar and Honey" referring to names for negative and positive emotions, respectively.

So this is my "vinegar" collage, if you will. I'm working on a series of collages around a fashion theme for the Baker's Dozen collage exchange. This is the prototype for one that I have in mind. It shows a model in silhouette whose perfection is always on her mind. People are watching her, she's always got to be perfect and she's backed into a wall here.

I like working with the silhouettes for many reasons; mainly because I can't draw. I'll post my "honey" image when I finish with it. By the way, the brick in the background is one of the many cool images I found at this fantastic site. It has tons of free Photoshop brushes for download. Here is the link:

Saturday, February 7, 2009

At The Threshold: A Study In Blue

I've been experimenting with using different colors than I normally work with. Today, it's blue. Also, I have enjoyed finding new Photoshop brushes on the web. They add that mystic feeling I was going for in this piece.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Enchanted Dream

This is another digital collage I put together in response to the Artist's Happiness Challenge course I am taking. The challenge for this week: make a piece of gratitude art. Think of someone you are thankful for and make a piece of art in honor of them. Of course I chose my mother. I've been dreaming a lot about her lately and this is in honor of her. I'm thankful she was always there to hold me hand and guide me through anything. I do miss her so much!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Breaking Through

This is a digital collage I made in response to a course I'm taking called the Artist's Happiness Challenge. The little girl at the window is part of an old photo of me as a child. It was wrinkled and in bad shape but was actually the look I was going for here.

I'm looking out of a literal and metaphorical blue window in my soul and finding there is happiness and possibility out there. Working through dark times opens the gate to brighter days. The sun is just starting to peek through the dark clouds that have been around me for too long.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Beginning To Shine

This is a digital collage I made in response to a course I am taking called the Artist's Happiness Challenge. The first challenge is to name three things you are grateful for and incorporate those into your art. I named: the color yellow, music and my health. After taking the first three lessons of this course, this is how I feel!