Yesterday we ended up at New Smyrna Beach. Totally unplanned. Perfect in every way. The sounds, the smells, the joyful play on the sand...
Listening for the answers to questions. My journey--never complete--building on the life I'm making in the now. The waves brought a cleansing sense of newness and inspiration of color and movement. It's complicated.
"listen to the ocean melody--
completely lost in dreams"
Original Abstract Collage and Mixed Media on 12 x 9 inch watercolor paper.
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Studio time usually includes some green tea. I love this kind--it has little flakes of green tea powder that you shake into your water along with the steeping of the bag. Hana Sushi in Altamonte Springs serves this, and it always reminds me of our sushi lunches! :)
Usually I have a journal spread in process while the larger canvases on the floor easel are drying or while I am waiting to find the next inspiration to hit me. I also use a small tabletop easel for the small works paintings. So, there are no less than 3 zones for the imagination to play in. It is hard to not multi-task, even in the creative department. LOL We won't even mention the fabric arts area with the sewing machine and knitting supplies... it's a disease. :)
Okay, this brush and miscellaneous tool collection is in need of some organizing! Maybe I'll dust too. I really do prefer a tidy studio...
Sometimes I'm not fully convinced that a painting is "finished." I mean, it takes a few weeks to think about the desired effect and whether or not the canvas speaks clearly my original intention. The translation of imagery may or may not develop immediately. So, oftentimes canvases sit on the sidelines--waiting for the opportunity to be altered, signed, or sometimes completely re-worked (also known as the GESSO overhaul-I-hate-this-painting technique).
This morning I decided to continue the painting conversation with a stretched canvas from my small works collection. I truly felt the need to go back in once more, energizing the colors with calligraphic lines and musical expressions. Collage elements once again were needed to complete the vision--musical notation from Mahler 5.
Finished? Not sure. But when am I ever completely certain about the finality of shapes and lines? ;)
Several friends have asked me how I use the old-fashioned, black marbled composition notebooks as my gluey collage journals--books that contain a variety of daily musings, scraps of found paper, art experiments, and whatever else becomes part of the magical creative experience on any given day!
I'm currently on my third book, and although I keep a traditional artist notebook for more serious painting and sketching studies, I find that these composition journals allow me to play without a lot of "art" rules. It's a fun way to record events of the day, and it serves as a place to also play with color, geometric shapes, and possible design elements.
The first rule is... there aren't any! It's that simple. The pages will buckle, the glue will warp into tiny bumps, your pages may even tear if you get them too wet, but in the end, it all works out. So just chill... relax... and plop down those first couple of paper bits and add slap on some acrylic craft paint...
BTW: I use matte Mod Podge. It's a fine glue for this type of art. I usually have several old, thick catalogs that I use as blotters when gluing the backs of the collaged pieces, and don't forget to use an old, large, cheap brush for the glue--something that you can just throw out after a few weeks if it gets too stiff. If you keep dipping your glue brush in a bucket of water and rinse it out often enough, it will last quite a long time. If you rip some wax paper into sections a little bigger than your page sizes, you can slip the wax paper under your working spreads to protect the other page edges until the top paint dries.
(1) I drew some shapes with a pen, added some collaged papers from a magazine, and put some yellow craft paint on the left hand side. I did not prep the paper at all, nor did I glue any pages together. I don't mind the wrinkling! It adds charm.
(2) Next, I added some blue craft paint---still liking the yellow I guess...
(3) Decided to make the right-hand side more of a yellow ochre. After I did that, I realized how much I did NOT like the lighter yellow, so I painted over it. Then I chose to add the black animal skin looking design on top of the blue with regular black craft paint.
(4) I decided to make the middle area a baby pink color to mirror some of the colors in the collage on the right. I then found the word "pride" in my "box of words" (yes, doesn't everyone have one of these? :) and also glued some other magazine clippings of old coins on the topmost layer. I continued by adding black accents along the top and bottom edge and couldn't resist splotching some pink inside the black organic shapes on the left. For now, this seems ready for some journaling, but I could mess with it more if the urge strikes! We'll see how it ends up... stay tuned. :)
Remember, this is not serious art---it's supposed to make you happy. Use colored pencils, pastels, add ink... let your imagination be playful. If you don't like it, you can always glue over it again! :)
I spent part of the morning editing my final paper for my grad class in Aesthetics. Hopefully I will be satisfied after I read through it a few more times--then I'll be done and will have more studio painting time. I'm still working on some composition notebook journal spreads. I will post some process photos of them soon when I get some time to upload them to Photoshop.
I couldn't resist snapping a photo of my glass fairy lamps as the sun was coming through the front entry window. I usually enjoy the soft lighting they emit with candles burning inside, but they are just as beautiful in front of the window too.
Trying to squeeze in art between grad school papers was not easy. It was wonderful to stimulate the cognitive-knowledge type brain cells, but the creativity section of the gray matter suffered greatly. I'm really going to enjoy some time off so I can get back into working in my studio. I am in the beginning stages of structuring an art journal seminar, and I hope to be able to offer some workshops in the future. For the past two days I've been enjoying the freedom of gluing and slapping paint on my composition notebook pages, preparing for a lazy afternoon of journal writing. There is so much to note about the daily journey of breathing, so many thoughts to give vision to... so much of life is wonderfully alive again.