Sunday, February 24, 2013

Art Journals

Don't get me started!    It's my current passion.      Winter is such a good time to make art journals.    You don't need a lot of space, or a lot of art materials.     I'm using up scraps and images and old pages from books that were discarded long ago.     Photos, magazine cutouts, just about anything.    My art journals are more like little embellished scrapbooks.    I don't usually start with a background and work upwards as most art journalists do.    I start by gluing in images and scraps or quotes and then building a page around them.  

I started my first one with the Lodi Mixed Media group.   I didn't get the hang of writing in the journal and ended up pasting things over the words.     Then I gave up on the writing entirely and was much happier.   The first was in an old journal I collected in Sutter Creek years ago, maybe even a decade or more.   It was so darling I never wanted to change it, but then when the mixed media gals wanted to do journals, rather than go buy one, I went through  my stash and found this one.   

The second journal was given to my by pal Rosemary.    She had given one to me, one to Cat and one to Pam on a trip to the beach.    We were thinking beach journals but then got so busy visiting nurseries and stores, we never got around to journals.   LOL  

 The third one was given to me by my friend Bobbi a year or two ago.  She also gave one to Bev the same day, and Bev immediately set to work on hers, and I put mine aside.   After finishing my first joural, I wanted to start another as I missed the activity and had lots more stuff to use.  This one is larger so I could use images that would not fit into the small one.   

When I finished the third one, I went back to my stash and found a couple cheapo journals but i didn't like the paper in them.  While on the trip to Hobby Lobby with my grandson to get his photos framed, he spotted some little leathery bound journals for $2.98.   He likes to draw so I bought him a green one, and myself a red one.    I love the feel of this little journal.  I can carry it in my purse with a glue stick and I'm ready to make art anywhere!     LOL     I finished it off in January and then started another one that I finished this month.   I've been back to Hobby Lobby three times now for journals.     I'm not buying them ahead because I buy with a coupon LOL, and also I might lose interest and then have them laying around.    

Most of the time I work in the morning in the house, in a sunny window.   Then when it get's closer to noon the sunroom has warmed up and the dogs and I go there with my working materials on a tray.     NPR is always playing, in fact right now it's playing Wait Wait, don't Tell Me.     One of my fav shows.     Anyway I work until I feel like going down to work in the garden.     Then when I come back up, I work on the journal some more.       I can also carry them to the mixed media group and the senior art group to work on there.

It took awhile dabbling in books before I could work without a theme.  It is really quite liberating to do these little journals without a plan or expectations.     I find I almost always have a chicken somewhere in each journal, a self portrait, some old book pages, some images from Trader Joe's flier, and some of the washi tapes that are so popular right now.    They can really help hold down loose things, and also give their own touches of color and design.     I use a lot of polka dots in one way or another, so I guess you can say there is some consistent elements and my books are recognizable as "mine".    I like the mix of contemporary images with vintage.   Unusual text, unexpectedly humerous sayings, and incongruous mixes of images make thethe journals interesting and fun.   

Sally has a very distinctive style in her journals, as does Trina.    They use more of the same materials, yet they are totally recognizable as their own.      Roberta who inspired me, way back when, has her own style too.    I'm hoping she'll do another one soon.     

I hope this inspires you to want to grab up some of your stash and start gluing them into an old book, or a new jounal or make one from scratch.   Trina recently made some with scrapbook papers cut to fit the little purse size plastic calendar holders.  Such a good use of materials, and pretty quick and easy.   She used a book binding stitch to hold them together.        See what you can find, and join the fun.    Journals don't need to be written in.  They can be anything you want them to be.   

Friday, February 22, 2013

Changing times

On New Years Day I shut down the Mixed Media Artists of Northern California group that had met for many years in Sacramento.   It was sad to see it go, but attendance had dwindled to nought, and no one could take over the group after I stepped down to start the Lodi Mixed Media Group.   Some of the membership migrated with me to Lodi, thank goodness, so I see them often.     Those in the group that are most interested in book making still meet in Sacramento in another venue.   

Another splinter group, started by Wendy years ago, is still in existence, the Critique Group.   It is a tiny group that have stuck together all this time.     We had a meeting last week at one of the members homes in Sacramento.     Pat and her husband had recently undertaken a remodeling project, and we got to see her fabulous new kitchen and all the changes, including a sloping shower so she won't ever trip over the doorstep   What a fab idea!      One of our members is buying a condo in Florida and will be spending a laot of her time there exploring the art community on foot with her husband.   They are looking forward to this adventure.    We'll miss them, but Susanne assures us, it is only part time.      They will maintain a residence here too.    At least that is the plan.      We did not have a lot of work to critique this month.   Susanne had a couple  large paintings she wanted us to comment on and make suggestions about.    This we did.  Roberta is no doubt, our  most productive artist and she always has a lot to show us.      And likes to have her work critiqued as part of her growing process art-wise.    She has been taking a workshop online with Misty Mawn.    You must pop over to Roberta's blog to see what she's been up to.   She also painted 30 paintings in 30 days.    This is the kind of thing Suzanne used to do for the 20th Street Gallery in Sac.   Sally has been busy doing her magic with invitations for her granddaughter's wedding, and decorations for her shower.    Pat was so busy with the renovations and her health issues that she has had little time to produce any art.   Her whole renovation was so creative, I think she deserves a big hand for a job well done, and well designed.   I wish I had taken pictures in her kitchen.   The colors of the woods, the tiles, and the granite counter tops, was so masterful.      Kudos, Pat.    I only had my little art journals to show this time, and I have yet to photograph them or scan to upload.  I will soon, I promise.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Feb 20

A lot of time has elapsed since I took time to post anything to my blogs.    My best friend had an aneurysm and that kept me pretty challenged, mentally and physically.     She is home now and I am only visiting once a week in person, otherwise by phone.  She's made miraculous strides in her recovery, but has farther to go up that road before she can resume normal life again.

One of the exciting things that occurred during January was the Photography Exhibit in Lodi.    My grandson Nathan showed three photographs in it.  This is his first public showing of his work.    It was also his Birthday month, so I took him shopping for the frames and mats for the show.    He had a good time picking out each frame for each photo, and was satisfied with the way they looked.  In fact, he's pretty proud of himself.    This was a juried show, so he knew he only had a chance to get in, and hoped to get at least one in. Then when all three were accepted, he was so thrilled.   The whole family went to the opening reception which was very well attended.    In fact, it was crowded.  The quality of the photographs exhibited was wonderful.    It is still showing for the month of Feb, and I am able to go again, so I can really soak in the images and admire the details.  The photo above is one of mine that I was going to enter, but I decided to concentrate on helping Nathan instead.    You know how grandmothers are.   LOL

During January and Feb, I worked in little art journals in my spare time.   I have found them to be a lot of fun, and have just used materials at hand, and not following any theme.     I completed two in January and am almost done with a February one.     The latest two are in the little leather bound art journals sold by Hobby Lobby, for $2.99.   I like the feel of them, and the small handy size.    I've also been using the Tim Holtz distress stains to make polka dots on pages.     They were a newer purchase and it's been fun having those wonderful colors in my arsenal.   I'll post pics soon. 

Here are some of the post cards s I received recently.    I'm so far behind, there are New Years, Valentines all together.   I love getting these post cards, thanks friends.    Cards are from Linda Geise, Linda McCallister, Nancy Sadoyama, Beth Kelsey, Char Stott, Bab Schwartz, Norma Soulet and one Anon.   They came from all over the place, including Florida and Hong Kong.   How cool is that?

The Mixed Media group has been meeting every Thursday in Lodi for the first two months of this year.   We are trying it out to see if we like meeting that often.  It has actually been good for me to have this break in the week, and friends to chat with.    Can't say we've done much in the way of projects, but things are in the works.   Like the Word Project.   We each picked a word, and are making a page to illustrate the word, then will make copies or photocopy enough so everyone can have a page and make a little collection. 

We had a super Valentines Day party, with all kinds of goodies to go with a cup of tea.    It was so easy and fun, not much work for anyone, and put us all in a good frame of mind.     We had show and tell that day and some freebie sharing.  One member had the back of her car loaded and lots of things were taken.     I took another blank journal.      And some white feathers for a friend who can use them.

Jean Jannsen and I are showing some art in Tracy, so we had to make a trip there to drop it off, then again for the opening reception.    My piece will be moving on to the Tracy Theatre show ( the art director selected entries from the Tracy Show) where it will hang until Mid May.  I've never shown any of my art in Tracy before.    It was a lovely reception, met several people from Lodi and Stockton there.   We were able to see a wide range of art by people I had not met.     

That's it for today.  I need to get busy scanning.  Then I'll pop back in and add the photos.