Friday, November 20, 2009

Waiting To Heal

I believe in posting about everything that is going on in my life: good and bad. Not that this is bad. It's just bittersweet, I guess. My dad told me today that he is getting married Dec. 26. I haven't met her yet; I am going to do that Thanksgiving.

Of course I said all the right things, congratulated him, and even spoke with her on the phone. It's wonderful to see him happy and hear the genuine joy in his voice. That is something that has been missing ever since Mom died five years ago. I have been worried about him and knew he was lonely and depressed. This person came into his life soon after his motorcycle accident. They've known each other for years and she lost her husband a couple of years ago.

So it's great that he's moving on, he's happy and he seems like his old self. I'm very thankful for that. I will always struggle with my grief from her passing and I miss her every day. I remember she laughed and said that if she died first she hoped he would remarry but doubted if any woman would have him. ;) She knew he would struggle and he has. But this has just reinforced the fact that she is gone and we all have to move on with our lives. I'm sure I'll be journaling about this as I work through it.

I'm just going to have to wait for time to heal my wounds. It seems to be taking a little longer for me...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Make Your Mark

Ever since I made the five journals using Teesha Moore's instructions I can't stop playing in them! Here is a page I just finished. I'm obsessed with this photo of Andy Warhol right now. I don't know why but it begs to be used in my journal. The image surrounded in white is a transfer onto rice paper that I then adhered to the journal page. I added white oil pastels around his head to give it a dreamy effect.

On the top of the page in the background you can barely see a transfer of the same photo onto an old book page. I picked up this tattered copy of classic poems in the library throwaway bin. The spine is loose and the cover is cracked and coming apart. I'll use that in another project. I tore a page from "Paradise Lost" and transferred the image onto that. This time, the image was colored in Photoshop before I transferred it. After I adhered it onto the page I used the oil pastels to bring out the color more.

The little figure of Andy Warhol in the upper right corner was so much fun to make! That is a cartoon figure I cut from a magazine. I made a packing tape transfer from it and I love how it turned out. It's transparent but the colors on the figure are really vibrant! The face on the left in the top frame is also a packing tape transfer. I've been doing a lot of those and they will be showing up in my future pages.

I do have to confess that once I uploaded this page into Photoshop to resize it I couldn't resist adding a few digital items. I added the polaroid frames around the two faces and the film strip stamp in the lower right. I wish I had rubber stamps of these but for now I'll use the digital stamps. Other than that, the rest is the actual journal page. I'm really having fun with the Portfolio oil pastels and the pan pastels that Teesha mentioned in her video. My fingers are constantly different shades of blues, yellows and pinks (my current faves)!

I've been experimenting with every technique I can think of in these journals. I'm glad I made so many because while one is drying I can go to another one and start a new page. Some of the techniques have worked out very nicely and some, not so well on the watercolor paper. More will be coming soon.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Journal Jammin'

In between my recent bout with the flu I have used my energy spurts to play in my art journals. This top page is a work in progress. I haven't journaled on it yet and I want to add a few more things. This is a homemade journal. I used Teesha Moore's instructions from her blog and made this one out of 140 lb. watercolor paper. The pages are 8 x 9 (I didn't have a wide enough sheet to make it 8 x 10) but this will do for now. I use this journal for trying out techniques.

The background is a dyed paper towel that I glued to the watercolor paper. I love the look you get when you dye those towels. I use Adirondack Color Washes when I dye the towels. They give such vibrant color!

The lady in the middle is from a wee little rubber stamp I picked up recently. She's part of a sheet of those acrylic stamps you can buy now. I just love this stamp. I bought the whole sheet just so I could get her. I scanned her into the computer and enlarged it about 200%. Then I colored her in using some water soluble markers. I really like the way she turned out. I repeated her image at the bottom. That is the original size of the stamp. Those are stamped onto granite-finish paint sample cards I picked up at Lowes. I'm in there a lot just to get the paint chips and other little free samples. :)

These next two pages are from another journal. These are my first attempts from Dina Wakley's class I mentioned a few posts ago. I love her art journaling style and want to take more of her classes. The challenge in this lesson was to make at least 10 layers and use a silhouette 3 times. I used another dyed paper towel as part of the background here. Then I journaled around the central bird.

This next page isn't finished yet. I used the same bird silhouette. I printed out an image of a bird I had in my files (after I enlarged it) and used the cutout as my mask. I don't think I'll do 10 layers on this page. I do like the colors:

I mentioned Teesha's journal instructions earlier. She shows you how to make a 16-page journal with one sheet of 22 x 30 watercolor paper. My sheet wasn't quite that wide but I managed to make one. Here is my journal. I used a sheet of my fabric paper as the journal cover and glued it on, wrapping it around the front and back cover of the watercolor paper:

And here is what the inside looks like:

This journal has 16 pages counting the inside and back covers. Lots of room to play and experiment with all of these techniques I'm learning. Hopefully my energy will return full force soon and I can really get busy.

I've made a few more sheets of fabric paper for my ongoing wall hanging project. I'm almost halfway through with beading the squares. I have a few more things in the works right now and will post about those soon.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Scene From A Dream

Doesn't this just look like something you'd see in a dream? Well, it does for me. I have been having the worst bout of insomnia. I hate laying there wide awake watching the hours tick by... and if I do manage to doze off, I often end up in a place like this!

I think it has to do with brain overload. There is so much I'm involved in right now. My brain races all of the time from one project to the next. I'll be working on dying some fabric and then think about a technique I want to try in my journal. Then I'll go and do something else and get distracted because I'm not organized (despite the cleaner studio area) and I have to spend time looking for something. And when I finally get to bed my mind really speeds up. It's a phase that I go through from time to time. I've read that some people in menopause have bouts with insomnia. Better look into that...

But I'm taking notes as fast as I can. Today I spent a lot of time giving myself permission to make bad art. I wanted to try some techniques in my journal that I'd been thinking about. And I even made up a few of my own. I let myself ask the question: what would happen if I did... and I'm finding out. I found out that I LOVE the gel transfer technique. I took an old photo of me as a child and transferred that into one of my journals. I'm still working at getting the right amount of gel for it to look like I want but now I know the technique can look cool. I finally found some fabric foil to play with and am foiling all kinds of snippets of my fabric paper with beautiful results. I'm trying it out with scraps first before I use the nice pieces. I also played with dying some paper towels that turned out so vibrant I can't wait to cut them up for collage work. I made some clay tiles using an old package of air dry clay. I even did some of my own experiments with crackle medium. Some worked, some didn't. But now I KNOW.

So today was very productive. I'm sitting here looking at all of these little experiments feeling pretty good about them. I even managed to get out today and take some cool photos for my photojournaling class. I love taking photographs and I don't know why I procrastinate about doing that. I need to build up my archive for LK Ludwig's class. Often, she'll say to search your archive for a photo about something and I have to admit my archive of personal photos is very low. This week she wants us to shoot tons of photos so I'm making myself do that. Now, if only I can get more than a couple hours of sleep at a time, life would be perfect. ;)

By the way, credit for this cool background room goes to Norbert Lov. He has an amazing flickr site full of these kinds of photographs. Check him out.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Emerging From The Fog

This is another digital collage I put together using the Manga tutorial I mentioned in my last post. Credit to Intano-Stock for the background (before manipulation).

It's also how I feel lately...emerging from the fog. October was a bad month for me, healthwise. I keep a calendar to document my migraines for my doctor. Last month I counted six migraine headaches and I went through a whole package of Sudafed for the sinus problems. Ugh. I feel like October was a big fog for me. I was so thankful for the days I didn't have either a migraine or a sinus headache. Let's hope that was an aberration and I can start November with a clear, pain free head!

There are so many projects I'm involved in right now and want to dive into. First, I've beaded 58 squares for my fabric-paper wall hanging. I'm a little over 1/3 of the way finished with those. I need a total of 144 squares for what I envision. So, every night while hubby and I watch TV, I bead my squares. I look forward to that time; I spend time with him and make good progress on this huge project. I'm loving the latest batch of fabric paper I just made. I cut the squares last night after the dye was dry. They are a mixture of indigo blue and plum. They turned out gorgeous and I added just a hint of gold webbing spray to the sheet before I cut the squares and started the beading. The beads are indigo, purple, and bronze seed beeds. I'll post a photo of these later. Not everyone gets as excited about beaded squares as I do. ;)

I'm also taking a Photoshop course called Visual Poetry from Susan Tuttle. I love Susan's work with photomanipulation. This class just started yesterday and I'm very excited to learn some new techniques in Photoshop.

I'm also taking an art journaling techniques workshop with Dina Wakely through her blog. She had a gorgeous spread in Art Journaling Magazine and I was thrilled to see her share the techniques from that spread in this class.

So, lots on the table right now. I'm continuing into October with LK Ludwig's excellent class on Point and Shoot Journaling. She has some awesome techniques for making your photos more interesting in your journals. I hope to have some finished spreads to show you very soon. I ended up getting a larger journal for this class. I find that I need big space to work in. By the time I had printed out my photos and put them on the page, there wasn't much room left for journaling or technique in the old journal. I can still use it for smaller journal pages, though.

Now, while my head is clear and November's chill is settling in, it's time to get busy on some serious work today. Hope you all have a great week! I'll check in again soon with some results.