Sunday, November 29, 2009

Skydivers an image

This is the image I created to illustrate the poem "sky divers" which I wrote to celebrate the season. After painting on the body and gluing on the head, I took a photo and then layered it over a photo I took in my back yard. I talk more about it on my other blog if you care to read more. I will probably use it some way in a new very short altered book.

Who dressed you in your bright colors?
Who taught you to float in the air?
Who chose a crisp autumn morn
tapped you on the shoulder and said "jump"
to launch you out into space?

Who showed you the way to drift?
and pointed you to my back yard,
so I can enjoy your beauty
before I blow you into piles
and bundle you off to the dumpster?
Copyright Janene Ford 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Practice book or Art Journal

Some of my good friends are enjoying making art journals, and never wanting to miss out on anything that sounds like fun artistically (up to a point) - I have started one myself. It is much like a practice book - but I 'm not trying any structural things in it. I am using a composition notebook I covered with fabric, just like covering a board book as in the tutorial given earlier. I had no particular plans and was sort of wondering where to start, so I thought I'd follow what some of my art pals do, clean off your table and use the scraps. I had a folder sitting there with images and some poetry I wrote prior to doing the Mushroom book. These were rejects for that project - but they are good enough to save, so I started with them. Here are the first few pages. Thanks Roberta, Jackie, Pat, Sally, Krissi and the rest of you who have inspired this activity. I think this is something I can work on at the Sr. Center instead of carting paintings back and forth.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Practice book - a new page - Thanksgiving

It is so close to Thanksgiving and many of us are thinking ahead about our menus and our families and coming together. We are also thinking about the many blessings we have in our lives. So, let's take a 2 page spread and make it about Thanksgiving. What does it mean to you? You might want to do this in a journaling style, with writing out what you are grateful for. Or you might want to use your family recipes for the favorite holiday dishes. Or, thinking more globally, what are you thankful for. Our troops, our religion, our planet. Thanksgiving pages can be as personal as you like. Photos of your family might go here. Or drawings of them. And if you are lucky enough to have a grandchild around, or a young child - why not have them trace their hand in your book for one of those handprint turkeys. you probably have some rubber stamps with the word thanks, or thank you on them. This would be a good place to use them. I haven't done my Thanksgiving page yet, but I'll share a pic of the little dogs I'm so thankful to have in my life. They are thankful for that last little spot of sunshine on the couch on a cold morning.

New painting progress

Here are a couple more pics of this new piece. Combining painting and collage and drawing, I never know quite how to refer to my works. Is this a painting?

Again, I could have easily done this piece inside a book, or on a smaller piece of watercolor paper (the base) and tipped it into an altered book. some of the elements I used here are from the stash of stuff I set aside for the altered book I'm planning on Fish/Water.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Art show - Mixed Media

I recently entered two pieces in an invitational art show at the Lodi Art Center. The call for works went out with the stipulation that they must be small works. The paintings could be no larger than 8x12 - although the matting and framing could be any size. I entered two pieces in the mixed media category, one of which, Da Vinci Revisited took first place. If you click on it and look at it closely you will note that there is a lot of texture going on - all from a painting I'd done previously that I didn't like - so I painted and collaged over it. I'm sharing it here, although it is not an altered book, it could have just as well been done in an altered book.

I have had requests to purchase individual pages from my altered books!!!! Remove them, mat and frame them. I could not honor those requests because it would be like cutting off a corner of a painting. Or whacking off a piece of a sculpture. My books are cohesive units.

How do you feel about your altered books? Would you be willing to disassemble them and sell individual pages?

Monday, November 9, 2009

More leaves

When I was leaving the senior center today, after a morning of making art there - and being given persimmons by one of the seniors - I saw these leaves on the ground. These are the same leaves that fall at the University that I was going to go pick up today. It saved me a trip. Aren't they spectacular? Here is a little persimmon with a nose my friend Jean found. Or is it a little tea pot? Here's the new piece of art - a work in progress.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Leaves - checking on your progress

Did you play with leaves? We are having a cold snap tonite, so that means the leaves will drop fast now. They have survived a few wind storms but this will be the turning point. I can already feel the chill. So, tomorrow will be a good day to collect leaves to press. There is no rain so they will not be damp. You may know of special trees in your neighborhood or close by that have designer leaves. The Tiffany's of leaves. The Coco Chanel of leaves. Those are the ones you have to get NOW. There is a tree in the parking lot in front of the Conservatory of Music at the University. I parked under it for years, and could not resist picking them up on my walk to work. I'll have to pop over there tomorrow for my leaf fix.

The leaves in my own yard will need to be raked tomorrow.

I suggest you revel in the beauty of the season and get some leaves to use in your altered books.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Here are a few family images you can use in your art. Please do not copy and sell them on cds, digitally or in any medium.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Using what you have - Science Slave

It's surprising how much art we can make without buying a whole lot of supplies. A friend gave away some 1950's Mechanics Illustrated and Popular Mechanics magazines yesterday, and I brought a few home. Mainly to reminisce - my brother subscribed when we were young, and I read them too. Anyway, I immediately saw a couple images and backgrounds that I could use to rework a piece I'd done last year. There is no reason this could not have been done in an altered book. It started to be a practice piece, but I liked it so much I finished and framed it. I cut the hand out of the earlier work and put a few layers of mat board behind it to raise it above the surface of this piece. Don't limit your practice to your practice book. Try things out whenever inspiration strikes or you find yourself with something interesting to try. Trying them in your practice book is always a good idea.