Saturday, April 30, 2011

The last day of National Poetry Month...

It was National Poetry Month for April so I thought I'd look for a poem from my only book of poetry in my library. It's a pretty big book and filled with poetry from many cultures across many centuries. I figured if I would have at least one poetry book this would be a good choice and it has been...


It's been a few years since I've picked up this book to see what poetic treasures are still waiting to be discovered, but if you look carefully, you'll see many tiny book marks for pages of poems I've already discovered that became favorites...

many tiny snippets of paper acting as book marks for the favorite pages of poetry...

As I sifted through the many little book-markers I came across a poem that I think is fitting for this blog and this time in my life. It is a Toltec poem from Part V, Chapter 3 that contains Meso-American and Andean poetry...


THE ARTIST
The artist: disciple, abundant, multiple, restless.
The true artist: capable, practicing,  skillful;
maintains dialogue with his heart, meets things with his mind.

The true artist: draws out all from his heart,
works with delight, makes things with calm, with sagacity,
works like a true Toltec, composes his objects, works dextrously, invents;
arranges materials, adorns them, makes them adjust.

The carrion artist: works at random, sneers ar the people,
makes things opaque, brushes across the surface of the face of things,
works without care, defrauds people, is a thief.

Anonymous (c. 1450?)
translated by Denise Levertov with Elvira Abascal

A close-up of one of my art journal pages that goes nicely with the poem quoted above...


Happy National Poetry Month to you all!


World Poetry Day will take place on March 21 next year - I hope you'll join me in celebrating this wonderful art!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Is this an art journal? Part 4...

Hello! In case you've recently dropped by this blog, I've been conducting a series where I've been sharing art pages I made for a small art book and investigating if it could considered an art journal - I'm discovering that I have been journaling aspects of myself with each page I have created. You can read the previous posts here, here and here...

There a few pages left to share and one more I've been in process of creating that had not yet been photographed until the other morning! At this time, my book is not fully assembled, by which I mean that I have not 'bound' my book in any way whether by a traditional binding or by using small binder rings. I'm thinking that there may be a different way to 'bind' the pages within the book covers, but I'm not sure of it yet, so I'll keep you posted...

In the meantime, here are the last pages of my art book/art journal:

Art Book of Collage * Art Book * Art Journal
 
On the left, more red with butterflies and hearts stamped across the page - to the right, it's ALL about me!

This page is one of the most autobiographical pages yet in this collection...Many of you know that I began my creative life by sewing when my grandmother put a needle in my hand at the tender age of six. I've been sewing most of my life and have worked in the field of costumes in Los Angeles in many illustrious venues that are listed in this post.

This page contains many elements of a seamstress: pattern paper, images of dress forms and scissors, safety pins and buttons. There is also a snippet of ribbon sticker next to the ticket and a scrap of a book title "alterations on ready-to-wear". The image of the scissors is a copy from a deck of cards given to me a few years ago from a good friend called "Tarot of the Tailors" - it's a fun deck of cards and fitting for a seamstress and costumer such as myself!

But there is another autobiographical page on the other side of the page as you can see to the left in the photo below...

I love hats and handbags and am lucky enough to have rubber stamps of each that were used on the small attachment, stamped of course in RED ink!


I have a collection of vintage catalogs from an old department store called "B. Altman and Co." or "Altmans" that once belonged to my grandmother and I've photocopied many pages to use in my collage work as I've done in the lower right hand corner of the page...

I found several words in the descriptions of the items and decided to circle them in red ink to highlight the words: charming, special, smart, brilliant, effective, attractive...I am many of these things on any given day!! ;)

The other side of a "bookmark" page with a detail shot below - to the right is a page filled with bright juicy color...

Gold paint make up the dots on the 'bookmark' page...

The final page of the art book/art journal filled with juicy orange and pink colors and lots of green for GROWTH...

The End...or is it??? ;)

I'd begun to work on a new page for both art books and here is how the page looks for my companion book:

This page illustrates some of my favorite things such as favorite words, the color pink and my love of butterflies...the rest of the page is going into my larger art book which I will have to share soon!


This page is also an autobiographical one - I do love the color pink and I included some meaningful words and snippets of vintage fabrics that were color copied...

Lots of meaningful words and quotes are stamped onto small tags, some of which I hand-cut...the image is of me as a happy, smiling baby...

..a dainty reminder to "follow my heart"...


A color copy of the original photo of me tucked into a vintage envelope that was rubber stamped in pale pink and another reminder to myself...yes, this page contains elements of my Self all over it!

Here is where the page is being placed in the book now...


The new page is now nestled next to the red page and the pink page is next to the blank page that awaits me...


I did not realize how much these pages were a form of art journaling my Self - I had originally seen them as ways to play with collage and techniques in  mixed media. Now I see how much of my Self is directly on these pages...but I think after learning from Orly Avineri I might be ready to start including my own text in my own hand on some of these pages...and I'll be sure to share that when it happens!

My Art Journal waiting for a 'binding' and more pages to fill it up...

Thank you all for reading through my investigation on what makes an Art Book  an Art Journal!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A little "Spring Break" and a Quote...

So it was Spring Break last week and then Easter Sunday came along with lovely mild weather. My dear boyfriend and I were strolling through the local farmers market when I spied a small bunch of flowers that he bought for me...


I thought these were just right for a lovely Easter bouquet with the colors of Spring! They were so pretty I thought I'd try to capture them with watercolors...I've been looking for reasons to use watercolors since the workshop with Orly Avineri last weekend!


I thought I'd use the last watercolor postcard I had to make a quick painting and I plan on gluing it into my new art journal, as I learned in Orly's workshop last weekend. A few quick pencil lines to begin and then the watercolor was swished onto the paper...


I also made a color swatch of sorts to go with my little painting and it will probably be glued into my journal as well. The color swatch is reminiscent of how I would work with fabrics when creating designs in my Fashion Design classes...

I was also reminded that Pepper Stitches is sharing her favorite quotes and inviting others to do the same. This Spring bouquet reminds me of a favorite quote about Spring:

I stuck my head out the window this morning and Spring kissed me bang in the face -
 Langston Hughes


Do you have any quotes about Spring? Maybe you have a favorite quote about flowers? I'd love to hear about them!


I'll return soon with the last remaining pages of my Art Book/Art Journal...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Is this an art journal? Part 3...

I've been sharing pages from a small companion art book/art journal I have been creating over time as I look into what makes an art journal an art journal...

I've started with a statement from Orly Avineri:


....and from there I've been looking at each page of a small art book/art journal that was created as a companion book to the larger book I made at the Artful Journey Retreat last year...

How This Book Came About
The pages of this book were made from cut-offs of the larger pages I had created for my original art book. The paper I was working on was a larger measurement than the book covers I was working with at the time, but I knew I would be cutting away the excess to fit. The left overs were just as interesting, often more so, than the large pages made, so I kept them and when I won the lovely old book covers used in the the book "Taking Flight", I realized that the left over papers would make a great companion book to my original book.

The cut papers were exploding beyond the old covers but I liked the look of it! Let's continue to look at how these pages might be ways I've journaled about myself...

Art Book of Collage * Art Book * Art Journal

On the left, my favorite color palette of sepia tones and tea dyed colors - to the right, shades of red/crimson again...

I love paint chips and began to use them as pages, often covering the backside with art papers or old images I've kept for collage purposes such as the image of this rose...yet more flowers that I love!

If you look closely, you can see the faint image of stars stamped in pale gold ink in the corner - I love looking at stars in the night sky...

...shades of red are on both pages here...yes, I do like red tones...

...a detail shot of a stenciled image over laid with gold flakes rubbed on - that was a fun technique to learn!

This page is very special for me as it was a scrap of watercolor paper found among my grandmother's things. There were splotches of color in browns already on it and a touch of red, so I added a larger sweep of red that would allow me to use a photocopy of a vintage postcard from my collection of paper ephemera - a post card that reflects the heritage of myself and my grandmother. I added a layer of vintage pattern paper that belonged to my grandmother as well, which speaks to our shared history of sewing. I then used a bit of sheet music to finish the layers. I like to think of this art page as a collaboration with my grandmother that stretches across time...

The layers of pattern paper and sheet music wrap around from the "collaboration" page to the other side (left page) - this wrap around was done to the page on the right as well, with just a bit of paper to complement the orange paint layered over some gesso with patterns etched into the surface...

...the left page was made of one sheet with the wrap around on the previous page and two paint chips added in the lower left corner...

...detail shots of the small paint chips covered with scrapbook paper and ledger paper - small pages on larger pages to write in special messages that can remain hidden if needed!


I can see how these pages really reflect parts of myself, without the use of words on them. I thought I was creating an Art Book, but I see now that it can be seen as an Art Journal as well!

There are still a few more pages to be shared so stay tuned!

I hope you all had a lovely Easter Sunday =-)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Is this an art journal? Part 2...



Let's see if there are elements of myself within these other pages of this book, shall we..?

Art Book of Collage * Art Book * Art Journal
 
left page: technique using spray paint and paper lace doilies...and an image of a bird..
 
...the other side of the small page, which my dear boyfriend calls "book markers" - if you can write on it, it's a page if you ask me! ;)
 
Detail of page corner with more birds...I do like birds, just as I like flowers... 

...shades of green I like and the rubber stamp of the dragonfly to the right... 

 ...to the right are vintage papers that came from trips my grandmother frequently made to visit relatives in Mexico...
 
 I like to call it "My Heritage Page"

 Hmmm, more red here and old maps too...

 ...and a quote on the page to the right as well as a favorite color palette of aged colors...

I do love quotes! 
 
There are no hand written words on these pages, but I can see myself reflected here among them...
 
 
I am beginning to see that "creating is a form of journaling ourselves"...
 
 More pages will be shared here so stay tuned!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Is this an art journal?

I've been thinking a lot about Orly's words regarding what makes an art journal since last Saturday's workshop. I'm not one to write down my feelings or events that happen to me in a book, though I've tried. But I do love to share my doings here at this blog, which could be viewed as an art journal of sorts, just using the medium of TECHNOLOGY, instead of an old fashioned journal book with covers...

My first hand made books I created with Wendy Poma, a favorite  bookbinding instructor...

The art book I created at last years Artful Journey Retreat was one that helped to me move into the realm of creating art-books, but I still didn't journal in them. I do create pages that have space for writing if I ever feel so inclined, but mostly I like to look upon my book as a collection of techniques learned and visual compositions that can be referred to and expanded upon later...

My art book made at last years retreat...

When Orly made the statement that making pages is also a way to journal, it really took hold of me and I began to think about some of the pages of my art books - I say BOOKS because I made a smaller companion book for the main book created last year. I will begin to share that companion book today...

Do these covers look familiar to you??

I don't think I shared the story about how I won a lovely set of old book covers in the class from last years retreat. They were on the table where Kelly Rae and Mati Rose were teaching and I'd been eying them for the entire weekend. Kelly decided to raffle them off and I won them!! They were beautiful aged covers in a lovely shade of burgundy, one of my favorite colors. It wasn't until I got home and looked through my copy of Kelly Rae's book that I realized something...

The rhinestones have been changed out and the window has a new image, but these covers are the same...

I won the covers that were used in Kelly Rae Roberts book "Taking Flight"!!! I changed out the rhinestones since one had gone missing and I had a pair of vintage butons to use instead...I have some other things I'll be adding to the cover later but let me share the pages of my book as it looks so far...

Art Book of Collage * Art Book * Art Journal

vintage buttons where rhinestones used to be and an image of a flower - I do love flowers...

I also love old maps and shades of crimson/red...

Elements of myself are on these pages...


I am fascinated by the power of Dragons and their mythology...
A blank page awaits on the right...

...an old piece of paper with watercolors makes the page on the left and paint chips make smaller pages...

...the image of the blooms on the right was photographed by me in the neighborhood where I'm working...until June 30th that is!

I love to coordinate colors together - a personality trait that is now within these pages...



I guess this could be seen as an art journal...what do you think? More pages to come so stay tuned!