Sunday, January 16, 2011

Brown Bag Journal


Stamp from Redlead, clips from Dick Blick art catalog, glass microbeads,
Metallic Rub-Ons from Craf-T Products and map patterned tape.

Pages 1 & 2
Redline stamps, collage, Metallic Rub-Ons

Pages 3 & 4
Collage, Martha Stewart bird punch, Metallic Rub-Ons.
Pages 5 & 6
Collage with magazine clips and from Denver Botanic Gardens brochure for their Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate Program
Back Cover
Tsukineko Walnut Ink Antiquing Solution, "Java". Tim Holtz stick on letters, magazine clips, Metallic Rub-Ons, map patterned tape.
I tried out the Paper Bag Journal as described by Yoli on her blog at
These little journals are easy to make--just cut the bottom from two brown paper lunch bags, fold in half, crease and secure the binding with a line of thread, brads or you have it. This leaves you with a front and back cover, 6 pages to embellish and 4 pockets to tuck secret messages into. I did this project with my son and my landlord's 7 year old. Fun and easy.
Then I worked into the night with collage, markers, stamps and small index cards. The message I had for myself: keep up the blogging, keep up the botanical drawing and continue to work towards completing my artist card book and a career in art full time.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Nourishing Your Creativity

Nourishing Creativity
Collage made with scrapbook paper, Campbell soup ad, stamp (redline) with sepia ink (Ranger).

This card is actually a miniature (ATC sized) version of the cover of one of my visual journals. I am excited that today I proposed two new classes I want to teach for the Colorado Free University. Later today I got an email saying both of them were accepted, and will be workshops offered in the Spring. They are: "Nourishing Your Creativity through Creative Art Journaling" and "Make and Trade Artist Cards".

I love doing workshops like these and hope that my full time work, in the future, will be conducting workshops from my own office/studio as well as around the country, along with practicing creativity coaching, teaching and art therapy. Oh, and selling my art work as well. Fingers crossed.

Friday, January 7, 2011

January Feather Themed Trade

Feather Theme 1 of 20

Background created using a brayer with Golden fluid acrylic, Iridescent Gold Deep. Stripes made with unbleached napkin ripped strips. Edges enhanced with Derwent Intense watercolor pencils. Redlead stamp, embossed with gold embossing powder (Stampendous).

Feather Theme 2 of 20

Background created using a brayer with Golden fluid acrylic, Iridescent Gold Deep. Stripes made with unbleached napkin ripped strips. Edges enhanced with Derwent Intense watercolor pencils. Edges sanded and inked. Redlead stamp, embossed with green ink and clear embossing powder (Stampendous).

Feather Theme 3 of 20
Stamp from redlead, card altered in "Picnic", a feature of the Picasa photo share program. Embossed with Marvy embossing markers and clear embossing powder (Stampendous). Edges sanded and inked.

I love my redlead feather stamp. I wanted to try something different with the background so I used a brayer with fluid acrylic ink (Golden). I looks just like gold leaf. I wanted something funky for texture and interest so I ended up tearing up an unbleached napkins from some fast food place or another. Glued on with gluestick. I enhanced the edges with watercolor pencils.

While scanning and saving my images in Picassa I was offered a new feature: to alter in a program called "Picnic". The third image in the blog is my first experiment with using that photo alteration program. Fun. I know I have just begun to explore. One of these days I want to put PhotoShop back on my computer and really get into playing with layers. It has been therapeutic for me to work hands on these last two years, though. Nothing beats the real sensual experience of working with materials.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Recognizing Repeated Symbols

Finding Direction 7-2009

2011 Issues Collage

It occurred to me that there was perhaps an important image in my Issues Collage that might be a reoccurring image. If you look at the card called "Finding Direction" from 2007 you can see the bird perched and looking into the scene. In general birds are symbolically creatures of heaven because they can fly. They also symbolize the angelic or spiritual. In the 2007 card I thought of the parrot as a messenger who was calmly looking into the "right" direction while the woman in the card looked around, confused and lost. I took it as meaning that I should wait until things settled to see the clear direction for my life. That turned out to be good (and reassuring) advice.

In the 2011 image the bird is again perched and looking in the "right" direction. The potato sack woman, although appearing confident is actually feeling bad about herself, feeling confused, puzzled and star-crossed. Because of her drop in self esteem she is looking for answers in the opposite direction as the bird. Interesting that the bird is pink (a sweet and venerable color) and clinging to the cage she is no longer trapped by. The repeated message? To me it is that I need to trust spirit (star at top of 2011 image) and work to recover my true worth. I have been blue since being pushed out of the comfort of continued adjunct work by a reorganization of my primary employer. I will find the right direction.

Images in art, as in dreams, are often communications from our subconscious mind that our intuitive self wants our conscious/rational mind to see (open). When talking about the symbolic language of the subconscious I often paraphrase the statement of a Jung contemporary: "Dreams are messages from God that should, at least, be opened".