An Art Journal Weekend

 

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A weekend with a friend is a great cure for stress.  An art journal weekend is even better!  I spent last weekend with my fabulously creative friend Annie, who can do amazing things with felt and beads, on my way to a San Diego for a work trip.  Because it is also Photo Friday, I’m sharing with you two of my favorite photos from Annie’s in the afternoon, high altitude sun.  No filters used here.

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We played in our art journal with stencils, gelli printing, and acrylic paint.  It was a fabulously relaxing and energizing weekend.  Annie doesn’t art journal often, so she was looking for inspiration.  I provided plenty of that!  I screwed up and resurrected a page, and almost screwed up another one.  I started and mostly finished a page without huge mistakes that I knew where I wanted to go with it.  I started another that is in a very awkward stage as I do not know where I’m going and it’s in its ugly phase.  So, here are my pages from last weekend!

My warm up page:

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My resurrected page, salvaged to be an abstract sunflower:

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The next page, which is too busy right now, but simmering:

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My third page, very minimalist for me!:

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My happiest page!

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And my last, awkward stage page

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Art Journal and Gelli Play

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Is so much better when done with friends.  I spent a pleasant weekend with my friend, Annie, in her fantastic house and studio.  This was a girls’ weekend where we had no goal other than to eat good food, spend time together and art journal.  We pulled out our Gelli Arts plates as well, because I seem to need to warm up on my Gelli plate before I can get in my journal and play.

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Friday evening, I worked on a page in my journal, where, unfortunately, I didn’t get photos of the in-between stages.  I was working on something that was looking like a mountain at sunset with a storm blowing in.  But I screwed it up.  I stopped working on it because I knew it was bad and didn’t know where to take it.  Saturday morning, we were warming up with the Gelli Plate again.  Annie was working with an acid green, teal, and red. 

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I looked up and BAM!  Lightbulb went off.  I pulled out some green gold and cobalt teal and started going over the white areas on the left page which totally dominated it.  Then I reworked my sky, fingerpainting white over the blues, turquoise and purples.  I collaged some of my print-outs from previous gelli-printing adventures and I was on my way to this page!

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I started working on the facing page Saturday, which had been a wipe-off page from Friday.  I started off by collaging a gelli-print on deli paper from my last on-and-off session in my own studio from the previous weekend.  I added finger-painted circles, collages blocks and got stuck.  So, I went on to another page.

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Friday night, late, snow started falling, but not much was on the ground by Saturday morning.  Canada geese put in an appearance just as the snow started coming down more heavily. 

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January Gray and Red

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Yesterday and today we had blue, blue skies, but that has so not been true of the rest of the month.  It is likely to end tomorrow evening, with a return to gray and gloomy.  I could not live in the Pacific Northwest, as I’ve found my energy levels are very much affected by the lack of sun.  But even in the gray days there has been some spots of color, the last of the leaves on my oak tree, the winter cardinal visiting my feeder. 

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I’ve been busy getting All Dolls Are Art faculty profiles written and scheduled on the ADAA blog.  It’s fun to see what people who teach and create for a living have to say about their process and inspiration, but it’s very tiring putting together all of the posts.  I’ve got three done so far and four more to go if I’m counting correctly.

I took a break from that this evening to play with the kittens.  They have a new favorite toy:  small, very bouncy, rubber balls.  I can get one started in the hall and they both take off after it, sliding across the wood floor to avoid running into the walls or door.  When they wear themselves out, Calla drops in and takes up a post in between the laptop and the printer where she entertains herself playing with the cursor on the screen.

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I didn’t do much creatively this weekend as I spent Saturday looking at venues with the Etsy Local ATX Artisans team leaders and then Sunday was spent cleaning the house.  But now that my floors are clean, and a blog post is done, I started a new spread in my art journal.

First I scribbled on the ungessoed pages with Caran D’ache Neocolor II crayons. 

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Then I applied gesso over the crayon.  While that dried, I was actually working on my blog posts. 

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The next step was digging through some of my collection of papers and I found several in the teal/turquoise/navy range that seemed to work with my right hand page color.  So, I tore, arranged, tore, rearranged and have pasted this arrangement down.  I’m letting the matt medium dry overnight before trying anything else!

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Art-Xscape 2015 Call for Proposal

I’ve spent the majority of my week, outside of my day job, working on getting Art-Xscape 2015 launched.  Hotel contract signed: check.  Website update: check!  Call for Proposal sent: check!!  Art-Xscape 2015 will be held October 8-11, 2015 at the Holiday Inn Austin Midtown.  That just happens to be the second weekend of the Austin City Limits Music Festival, so there will be a LOT of people in town.  Anyhow, if you’d like to submit a proposal, leave me a comment and I’ll be in touch.  The deadline is March 6, 2015.

The week between Christmas and New Year’s was spent with my baby brother, Andrew.  One of the things I did with him was visit the Hope Outdoor Art Gallery, aka the Graffiti park!  I had planned to go by once a month last year, but that fell by the way side.  Hopefully, I will make it back more often this year.  Andrew and I had fun clambering around the levels.  While we were there, I listened in on 4 gentlemen in work clothes talking about structural changes.  My fear was that they were going to tear the park down.  I checked in with the guys in the check-in booth and they reassured me that that was absolutely not the case.  The guys were from the city and they are working on improvements.  Hopefully, the work that is done will not close the park down for any length of time!  Here are some of my favorite photo’s from this visit.

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The shading on Batman is pretty incredible.

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My favorite work in the park was by ER.  This Einstein (Think Harder) was amazing!

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The turtle was also done by ER.

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The light was perfect this day (Tuesday before New Year’s).  The day before and the day after were cold and gray and rainy, but we had this one gorgeous day!

Enjoying My Flowers

My life tends to be full of tasks and I don’t often slow down enough to notice small stuff.  This spring however, I’ve been taking the time to inspect the new flowers I planted this spring; a variety of rudebekia, daisies and coneflowers; and the birds and bugs that have visited me.  I have hopes that my observations will help me in artistic endeavors in future!  But I am certainly enjoying the opportunity to slow down and see the daily changes.

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This Rudebekia has been opening slowly and the petals have been lengthening.  Here is a photo of it from this weekend, approximately 1 week later:

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You can see the center becoming fuzzier the longer it is open.

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This is another Rudebekia of a different variety.  This plant is covered in blooms right now.

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This is the last of the Rudebekia varieties to bloom.  This plant has only put up one flower stalk and has been progressing very slowly.

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My orange coneflower keeps adding on new blooms.  It’s really striking!

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I had a parsley plant that not only survived the winter, but thrived – growing into a 4’ tall bush.  These guys have been munching on it and making a dent in the seed heads by a small bit.  More of them show up each day and I guess the mature ones are dropping off to form their cocoons.

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I’ve never seen a green fly before, but this guy has been hanging around my rudebekia and I managed to catch him on the rock lily bloom with a Micro lens.

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I noticed this spider hanging in thin air.  It took me quite a while to find its web and even longer to get it in the frame in focus.

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This nice lady, a black crested nuthatch, has babies in one of the birdhouses on my back patio.  I noticed her eralier in the year scoping it out, but enver heard babies in it so didn’t realize she’d laid eggs in the nest I discovered there.  The wren family is in another birdhouse on the patio so it makes for interesting listening when both mom’s are delivering meals.