Friday, July 16, 2010

Birthday Girl

Red Path and Lemonade

This card started out as a journal page. I've begun to work larger and then reduce images to artist card size. Redline stamp "Birthday Girl". Fortunes from my birthday dinner: "The future comes one day at a time" and "Most success springs from an obstacle or failure". Sharpie accent markers, glitter glue (Crayola). Starbucks "treat receipt" stamp. Memento Dual Markers (Tsukneko).

I love how the process of making art always surprises and informs me. At the center of this card I pasted on my fortunes. I ripped one of them at the restaurant but it seems appropriate since this is the one that talks about success coming from failure. A lucky rip. I originally drew fortune cookies but they turned into lemons as I worked on them. I had put bits of my Starbucks "treat receipts" on the lower left, this became a frosty glass of lemonade. My inner self reminding me to alway lemonade when life gives you lemons.

Each of the quadrants of this piece ended up representing a part of my creative life. The lower left seems to be about comfort and nurturing myself. The lower right has card shapes flying around my head. These are my artist cards, the ones already created, and ideas for cards. I am thinking this also represents the Tarot. The Tarot deck is a wonderful source of symbolism and wisdom. It has been called "The Book of Life" because it represents the stages of the hero's path from birth to death. My friends like me to read for them.

The upper right represents transformation (books as butterflies) and a few books I want to write. The upper left represents my paintings and also some framed mirrors I want to make.

I added a wavy connecting line--a river. It became a stream of vitality--the life blood that energizes activity. I am reminded of Navaho lore: "The Red Path" is the path with heart that means you are following your dreams and destiny with courage.

Kind of a busy, messy piece but a wonderful reminder to continuing to follow my creative spirit despite my "senior" status (or maybe because of it).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thin Band of Humanity

Thin Band of Humanity

Collage made from larger tempera paintings cut up with fancy scissor and altered with gesso. Some of the edges were rubbed with copper colored stamping ink. Some stamping with an organic image on the lower part of the more distant mountain.

I had two large tempera paintings from a process painting workshop. Process painting is a spontaneous art process where intuition and the natural creativity of the inner self are invited to play. I liked my big paintings but they were getting damaged just leaning against the wall, and would have cost a fortune to frame. I decided to cut up my paintings into 8 1/2" by 11" pages for my visual journal. Makes great pages of you can deal with the ongoing smell of tempera. Reminds me of my first agency studio as an art therapist where I spent time mixing tempera and working with clients.

I had a number of scraps left over so I took some decorative sheers and began to cut and collage. At first I just had a shape that looked like a prairie dog, but suddenly it began to look like a sunset bathed landscape. The tempera colors were very vivid and raw so I started to experiment with softening the colors with gesso. Since gesso is water soluble I was able to vary my muted colors by using the mixture of tempera and gesso to make a sort of spontaneous gouache. I left one thin strip of tempera colored paper vivid at the bottom. When a glued on that strip it looked like houses and foreground foliage to me. I was struck by the huge beauty of nature in contrast to the "thin band of humanity".