November 22nd, 2011
Oh this poor blog has really been neglected! Well, I am back and have a couple of articles on journaling and art journaling that I have in my head. Now just to find the time to do them! Thank you for sticking by while I figure this time management stuff with my artwork, children, and journal making.
But for now, I just wanted to post that I have some new mixed media journals available for sale right now at amanobooks.
The Thread that Binds
7×5 inches, handbound blank journal
mixed media covers with exposed stitch binding
If you are local to Tubac, Arizona, I actually have three of my handbound mixed media blank journals in the Holiday Artisan Show at the Tubac Center of the Arts.
The Life of Trees
8×6 inches handbound blank journal
mixed media covers with exposed stitch binding
How I wish I could be there to see the journals in this juried exhibit. The exhibit will take place November 18th-January 2nd, so if you’re in the area, stop by!
July 26th, 2011
Summer is in full swing and life has been spent playing in the sun and cooling off in the air conditioned indoors. I have been busy this summer teaching at EncaustiCamp a 4 day retreat in Oregon and showing paintings in two shows here in Chicago. And yet, I am still dedicated to making mixed media blank journals for amanobooks! Really, I am! A little late, but better late than not at all, I always say.
Visit amanobooks to see the three new journals that I have just added.
Here is one of them:
Of Early Morning
6×6 inch blank journal
This journal showcases my current obsession with really working in different media onto one panel. The cover includes an image printed on tissue paper, beeswax, plaster, and acrylic paint.
March 28th, 2011
It may not seem like it, but I am still working away over here with creating new mixed media journals for the amanobooks.com shop! I keep pretty busy with creating paintings, teaching encaustic workshops here and there, and chasing after my two little monkeys these days. But I always return to my roots, which are handmade mixed media journals. Whenever I go back to these small canvas panels, it’s like putting on a pair of old comfortable shoes. I am happy to be able to add these two new journals to the shop.
6×6 inch blank handbound journal
Please visit amanobooks.com shop to read more about the cover art for these two journals.
March 12th, 2011
In honor of Jack Kerouac’s birthday today, March 12th, here is some good writing advice.
Belief and Technique for Modern Prose by Jack Kerouac
1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for your own joy
2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
3. Try never get drunk outside your own house
4. Be in love with your life
5. Something that you feel will find its own form
6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
10. No time for poetry but exactly what is
11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time
15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
19. Accept loss forever
20. Believe in the holy contour of life
21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
22. Don’t think of words when you stop but to see picture better
23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
29. You’re a Genius all the time
30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven
I found this on http://www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88v/kerouac-technique.html
February 17th, 2011
Two new mixed media journals have finally been bound up and added to amanobooks shop. Both of these journals are handbound with bright white paper, #65 cover weight. The covers are original mixed media paintings created on canvas panels. The books are bound using the coptic stitch.
To read more about the art of these two journals please visit my art blog, Contemplating the Moon.
Not merely an absence of noise, Real Silence begins when a reasonable being withdraws from the noise in order to find peace and order in his inner sanctuary. ~Peter Minard
January 26th, 2011
Do you need a push, a direction, or just plain help when it comes to journaling? I have used my journal for years and still I sometimes like to get some direction with my journal practice. Journaling for me is a tool for my self, for my art, for my personal growth. It’s a record keeper of my life and the milestones of my children. I can’t rely on my memory, so I depend on my journal to keep everything straight. But life is busy and to be honest, journaling often gets pushed aside.
Right now I am actually getting a push from two sources. They are keeping me accountable to my journal and I am enjoying getting back into daily, or almost daily, writing again. I have missed it!
I was lucky enough to win a spot in Stephanie Lee’s journaling class called Shifting Ground. This is a pure writing class and it really is about using your journal to help shift perspective, to find stability within. I highly recommend it and I believe you can still register for the class until February 4th even though it has already officially started.
a journal entry + drawings by my 4 year old
The other journaling push that I have been doing is from Donna Drozda and her blog which follows the moon cycles along with thoughts on following your path in regards to your art and vision. I have been reading her posts for a long time now, but it wasn’t until I started to actually journal along with her in my own journal, that the ideas and thoughts that she puts out started to germinate in my own head. I was able to make connections between her words and my own art path. I don’t know about you, but I think I am still old-fashioned in that there is a disconnect between myself and the computer screen. It’s almost like if I don’t write it down with my hand with pen and paper then it doesn’t fully sink into my brain. If you have a vision for your artwork and where you would like to follow it, I highly recommend following along with Donna’s moon guidance in your own journal. Or at least take a visit to her blog and enjoy her artwork!
January 11th, 2011
Speaking of the energy of intentions…
Back in January 2009 one of my intentions that I listed was this:
10. Ponder some more about teaching small workshops. Ponder for a little bit, but then decide! Research.
I put it out there, I pondered for sure, but at the time it wasn’t a good fit. But I put the idea out there for myself. Planted a seed of “what if..” and I am excited to share that things have a way of working out that can’t be explained, in which paths that have crossed become paths joined and that an intention, an idea, has become a reality.
Several years ago in Seattle I attended a demo at Daniel Smith Art Supply to learn more about a medium that I had been experimenting with in my studio. The artist who was teaching the demo was Patricia Seggebruch. I won’t go into the long story about how our relationship developed, but just share that she is a very generous person- in spirit and talent. Patricia is not only a woman of grand vision, but she is also blessed with the gumption to follow through with her visions. Her latest dreamchild is something she is calling EncaustiCamp which will take place July 13-17, 2011 on the outskirts of Salem, Oregon. And Patricia has invited me to come and teach a workshop on encaustic and mixed media.
Click on the link above to go to the official site to read about the retreat and find out about the workshops. The idea behind Patricia’s desire to create this retreat is this:
Encausticamp is about everyone; encaustic artists, mixed media afficionados, experimenters extraordinaire and all form of crafts persons alike! This retreat is about going beyond the borders of encaustic art and opening welcome arms to the art and craft world at large so as to expose the beauty, versitility, accessibility and intense pleasure of this multi-media friend to all walks of artist, crafter, experimenter.
There will be six instructors, myself, Patricia, Crystal Neubauer, Michelle Belto, Jan Harris, and Judy Wise. We are sharing what we do in our own studios and hoping to bring our love of the wax medium to people who are curious about the medium and have never tried it before,to people who have experience and who may want to learn new ways to combine encaustic with different media. There will also be six assistants for each workshop-Mary Beth Shaw, Megan Anderson, Christine Webb, Sue Simpson, Deryn Mentock, and Tonia Davenport who will be assisting me with my workshop.
Patricia is all about inclusion and I am honored to have been invited to teach and share what I know. Together we came up with the idea to combine my two passions- book making and encaustic. I will be teaching a 1 day workshop, that I will teach each of the three days, entitled A Book of Images and Wax
encaustic and mixed media accordian book
The past few months I have been obsessed with combining encaustic and paper as well as creating different book forms with encaustic as a main player. It has been so fun. Experimentation. Discovery. Those beloved Aha! moments.
a little photo montage of some book art that I was working on back in November. The top two images are from a coptic bound book filled with encaustic and mixed media pages. The covers are encaustic as well. The bottom image is of a triptych book in which the covers open up to be the two side panels.
I also worked on a book of plaster, encaustic and paper that is hanging from the rafters in my studio right now. Working on another one right now.
I am so excited to be part of Patricia’s dream and to be sharing what I know and have learned through the years of working with encaustic. Registration is now officially open. Come join us!
January 6th, 2011
An oldie, but goodie. This entry was originally written in 2009, but is something I always done at the beginning of the year.
Keeping a journal can be so helpful towards attaining goals because it allows us to reflect, adjust, and plan accordingly. The beginning of the new year is the perfect time to sit with your journal and envision what you would like from the year ahead. Write that vision down even if it seems far-fetched. The first step to attaining any dream is to actually dream it.
Maybe you want to finally take that dream vacation- where is it, what will you be doing, how will you be feeling?
Maybe you want to finally clear out a neglected room and make it your studio or reading room – what does it look like, what will you be doing in there, how will you feel when it’s done?
Maybe your goal is to feel healthier- how will you feel, what does “healthier” actually mean? What steps do you need to take? It could be as simple as drink a glass of water every morning.
A goal doesn’t have to be bigger than life. It is important to realize and celebrate the fact that achieving a goal is done step by step. After envisioning your dream/goal, try listing steps on how to make that happen. Taking baby steps is much easier than a full long leap. And you will feel more accomplished. You can use your journal as a tool to work things out. By writing it down, abstract thoughts and ideas take on a reality. By breaking it down into little steps, we may actually achieve our goal. Or we can learn that maybe the goal needs to be re-evaluated.
Visualize what you want to do before you do it. Visualization is so powerful that when you know what you want, you will get it. Audrey Flack
For those of you who are more visually oriented:
Do this same journal entry with images. Tear out images from magazines that may encompass your dream. Glue it down in your journal. Or cut out words that capture what you want or that express your feelings.
Here are some examples from a journal I had several years ago when I was envisioning taking the creative path in life.
a collage of different artist’s studios collected from magazines
A dream studio found in a magazine. I intended to fill all the space around the photo with words/phrases that had special meaning for my life at that point. Or words/phrases of things that I wanted in my life.
a designer’s studio and a quote from the article
A coil bound journal like the one used in the above spreads are available in the amanobooks clearance section.
January 3rd, 2011
Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. ~Hal Borland
At the end of each year I have made it a practice to sit down with my journal and reflect back on the previous year. I do this twice-for my personal life and for my art journey/business. Doing this has given me the ability to look back, celebrate my achievements, learn from my mistakes, make adjustments, and look forward to what is ahead. It is always interesting too to try to sum up the year in themes, or by a word. As I wrote I noticed that the two themes that kept popping up were “Acceptance” and “Gratitude”.
What themes come up for you as you look back on 2010?
Another way to tackle this year in review in your journal is to come up with the themes before hand and then look back and find the events that fall under that theme. Make a short list. Or if you are more of a descriptive writer, write little vignettes that illustrate the theme.
a mosaic of 2010 artwork, includes paintings and journals
Over on my art journal blog where I discuss my work as well as chronicle the journey of becoming a working artist, I do a review of my 2010 accomplishments. It’s really been a great tool for me. Here are the categories I use, but feel free to change it!
Learned: This category can be either a workshop or class you took. Or it can be a new technique that you learned. It has always been important for me to keep learning and pushing myself with my artwork.
Shows/Essays/Articles: This is just general highlights or accomplishments of the year.
Produced: This category is an actual number of what I created. It helps me to see the numbers and evaluate what that means.
In less quantifiable terms: This category is broad. Not all accompishments are tangible or can be listed in bullet form. But they are just as important!
The unexamined life is not worth living. ~Socrates
I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life. ~Thoreau
December 6th, 2010
I recently had two separate commissioned projects involving creating journals with mixed media covers. The first, and the one I am sharing in this post, was a journal I created for a customer using her own photograph that she took using a Holga camera. I really enjoyed working on this collaboration.
Big Sky and Fields of Grass
mixed media panel
6×8 inch handbound journal
This panel uses an old record sleeve to frame the photo. This is an idea that I’ve used before and I got from L.K. Ludwig at one of her workshops that I attended several years ago. To protect the surface of the photo I brushed a thin layer of beeswax. Not encaustic, just plain beeswax.
While taking on commissions is always a little anxiety producing, I do enjoy them. It pushes me to try something different, to look at a project in a different way. Because when I work on a commissioned piece, each brush stroke, each stitch, carries the thought of that person in my mind. Normally when I work, I don’t think about the audience. And so I look at commissions as collaborations. Whether the person inspires me with an image, a thought or a poem.
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