A Different Direction

I wasn't happy with the way the faces I showed you in the previous post were laying. I just couldn't seem to make them fit no matter how I rearranged them, but I patiently and painstakingly glued them all down to this huge piece of plywood after spray painting the wood with a black, flat paint. I tried filling in the spaces by experimenting with other collage elements and doodling which still left me feeling uninspired. I tried adding more black paint, sort of weaving in and around the faces to try and give it more of ..... what? I dunno. I thought, maybe it's the black paint. Maybe I need to go with white so I white gessoed on top of the black. No. I then tried a golden yellow. No. I went back to black and that's when I kind of "lost it." All these faces were staring at me!! lol!!I thought maybe I should only be looking at a few, certain faces.(Some of you have to go.) So I mapped out which ones I felt were "calling me" to keep, I dumped water on the ones I would get rid of and started scraping and rubbing the paper off. After working on this for much of the day this weekend, I am left with this. What a mess!!I am turning another direction. I shall see where it takes me. I hope you are out of the cold, and warm wherever you are. Thanks for visiting.........................Jo


Here's Looking at You

Remember all those 5am "Morning Pages" faces I've been doing for a over a year? I decided I need to do something with them so yesterday I started laying them out on a 2 x 3 piece of plywood. I like that some of them are done with pan pastels and some with water color, however, I'm not sure if I should put a spray fixative on the pan pastels ones or if I needed to have had something underneath them to begin with. I have adhered the faces for now with masking tape until I am sure of the lay out. I need to fill in the empty spaces. When I figure out what to do with the pan pastels and the fixative I will feel better when I put a sealant on top. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? I had to chuckle when I was thinking of a title of this piece. How about "Somebody's Watching You, " or All Eyes on YOu. Or "That crowd of People." Ha ha ha .I am sure you could think of a few. Thanks for visiting and stay tuned.


A Year Ago this Month

I had a big piece of...... foam board, I guess you'd call it, on my work table where it'd catch all the spills, wipes, testers, glue and paint blotches. Well, you know what I mean. This was the result of leaving it there for several months at least. I wanted to draw faces. No. I really wanted to paint faces and I did. And then, my inner critic jumped in and told me I didn't know "Jack" about drawing faces, much less how to paint them, and those women looked pretty sorry, if I was asking for an opinion. I wasn't. I slammed the door but knew I would leave this piece behind a few other pieces also waiting to be finished. And there it sat for an entire year as I convinced myself it really was a piece of garbage until a few days ago after I painted my "guardian angel/protector( who is going to keep my inner critic far away from me this year.) and who I discovered in Life Book's 2014 first lesson. I got brave again. I said," I can do this. I CAN do it better than I did before." So I started again. I actually got a bit excited. ha ha ha . I'll keep you posted on the progress. I got a really nice comment from a wonderful artist whose work I have long since admired, whose lovely delicate hand made books and journals, full of birds and faces, have always left me in awe. Seriously, you have to check her out. Her art is simply beautiful. I wish she would do an online workshop on how to make some of these wonderful little books. It was she who gave me the idea of creating art on a tea bag. Consequently, I have a habit now of drying tea bags. Thank you, Kim, for your kind comment. Thanks for stopping by. I hope everyone is staying warm.......................xoxoxo Jo


Life Book

My Christmas present to myself this year was a year long online class called Life Book. Tam Laporte has gathered together about 23 artists/teachers, some of whom I am familiar with. I love Tam's goofy, quirky sense of humor and warmth she presents in her videos and her writing. If anyone visiting her site needs a boost of positive, creative energy, they will find it there. It's like an invitation for anyone and everyone, no matter what your background or experience to Come one and all and come as you are now, because you are alright just the way you are. Seriously, this woman can make you feel THAT good just visiting her pages. I feel as if I'm in for a treat, a new lesson once a week and sometimes bonuses. This class began on January 1st. The first thing we did was a warm up, along with some basic color theory, combined with a meditation, whereby at the end of this you were to decide on a word for the year and a color scheme. I haven't chosen a word for a year in the past. Ever. I know many do. I guess I kind of thought it was kind of corny. It was kind of like a New Year's resolution and I don't "do" those. I tried the meditation twice. I fell asleep. ha ha ha. It took me three times to come up with what I was supposed to come up with. So this is what my warm up page looks like. The first lesson was an extension of the meditation, drawing a sort of guardian angel who would protect you from your inner critic the entire year. Generally, I have learned to slam the door and or stomp on my inner critic with big boots and a few chosen expletives, but I tried a more gentler approach. I'm not sure I like the finished product and that's ok, but I am growing to like her more and more as she has a determined, stare down look, which serves as a reminder for me (as she is an extension of myself) to pay attention to the word she carries with her. And of course, she has to have some age. She can't be a young chick. She has to have some wisdom and experience. She had to have some silver in her hair............ I think I will glean a lot from this class. Do check it out. I will share more as it progresses as well as some other things in the works. Thank you for visiting. I hope you are having a messy, happy, creative weekend.....xoxo Jo


Happy 2014 !!

I found some new inspiration to welcome in this new year. One of the things I found is this amazing artist who makes amazing books. Books of all kinds. I have followed some of her work on her website and on You Tube. Kiala Givehand is her name. I like her name, too! She has come out with an inspiration deck for mixed media. It's a deck of cards with a different prompt on each card. On one card the prompt might be to use spray inks on a page and then blot. On another card the prompt of adding a quote or using water color or adding ephemera. You can deal your self a certain number of cards and work only with those cards or pick out ones you want. I bought a deck and had a blast. It challenged me to work differently, more freely, and I used items I might not ordinarily use. I had so much fun with this process I forgot to take photos of every prompt. Here are a few I did remember to take. I followed the prompt of using spray inks and then blot with a paper towel. I added collage pieces. I added stamps and added a border. I drew something. I thought I was done.The last prompt was to add a quote. I had to sit on this for a couple of days and then ran across one that resonated with me at the time. I really like how this turned out. I have no doubt if I want to create something quickly and without a lot of thinking or staring at an empty white page, I will pick up this mixed media card game/deck. But do check out Kiala Givehand who is not only a book artist but also a poet and creativity coach. I will share more adventures in the days to come. I feel excited and energized with the new year here. Thanks for visiting.