May 15, 2007

First Art Retreat: Final Segment

Dear Friends!
Wow, I gotta wrap up my thoughts on Art and Soul, for life is moving fast and I've got loads of other stuff going on! Ok, well, as requested, I am posting pages from my Extreme Journalling class (took some today using a great trick I learned from our journal junk group). I think it's Nancy that said she puts her journals on the floor and takes a pic with door open. Woo, that was fun and much easier. I'm glad for this trick since these journal pages have lots of colors and layers so, this way you can see more detail.Img_4556


I'm am having the time of my life with visual journalling! I am totally lovin' it. I had indeed over-thought the whole process and for some reason thought the "boogie man" was gonna jump off my pages and scare me, but quite the contrary! I have all sort of completely painless, inane, insane and fun minutia to scribble on to my pages. Anything goes, from Aretha Franklin's "New Attitude" song (which is my "theme" song since my return from Art and Soul), to painted squares, to what's for dinner and other random and tandem thoughts. I've painted several backgrounds and will share soon, I promise!!! I have just gotta wrap up here on the retreat. I've been decluttering around and about in my house and the rest of the time I've been at kids sports games and practices. Today was great because I got to stay at home and "catch up". I worked on my new squares late last is a peak.

So, in summary I am very glad that I went away to this retreat, even though it was hard being away from my family for even a few days! I really learned alot about myself and it taught me that a bit of time away makes me stronger and gives me time to focus on myself and my own needs. I've been more aware of how I always put myself last on the list and that doesn't make me a better person, it only makes me a neglected one! I also believe that the concrete art lessons I had started a whole new and exciting chapter in my art journey! Thanks for being there for me, my friends! It's been great getting to share this with you. xo L.

May 11, 2007

First Art Retreat: Segment 3

Dear Friends! T.G.I.F.!! Woo-hoo. I'm back to my lil' ole self again. Just a new, improved version. LOL. Thank you all so much for your heartfelt comments and advice yesterday~I read each one and it helped me so much to hear suggestions and new ways of looking at how to "process" my new experience and what I learned about visual journalling. Chantal and Paula (who was in class with me and who I met before when she was teaching Altered book classes nearby), both helped me kind of reconcile my thoughts on the whole "extreme journalling" concept. Chantal wrote that they are sort of like morning pages (The Artists Way). I never thought of it like that. I have done Morning Pages and they indeed get out all the Junk I think about and help me with new realizations. Paula also brought up some great points as far as having more than one journal and that it indeed helps you breakthrough some things that linger emotionally. Paula also echoed alot of what I feel like when I make pages and other artwork: I want to look at something pleasing to my eye...that makes me happy and is a great escape when things get hectic and stressful. It's a great place to go and play. I could go on and on, but in summary, I will be keeping my own personal "get it all out there between the pages" journal. I will keep it as more of an artful "morning pages", dealing with things I'm thinking about now. I don't feel the need to dig up old things...if something comes up, well, I'll deal with it, and as dear Fran suggested, I can just paint right over it!! The photo above is a little set up I made after coming back from art and soul. I normally work at my lapdesk and thus later in the evening next to my husband. I don't normally get "everything out" on the table because I have to pick it all up later, but that has changed. I gave myself "permission" to put it all on the kitchen table and have it layed out. I love being near my family and I go back over to the table in between all the other stuff I do and add a few things here and there! This is working great for me. Last nite, I remarked to my husband how much I liked working in this area and that I was able to work on bigger pieces and he said, "Now you can move up to 2" inch squares! LOL. I really laughed. He's such a sweetheart. I have lots more to share with you on supplies, etc. and I will do so very soon. YEs, there are more unconventional supplies I found there that I love besides the baby wipes. I haven't even discussed my color-mixing class and I also want to share a list of projects I want to try that other really cool students had made and brought there.
This morning my hub said that he is so glad that I went and I am too. If anything else, it taught me to take out time for me and to take care of myself in the same way I take care of others. I am worthy of that. I need to love myself. Thank you for listening, you all have really helped me process all this new knowledge and helped me move on to the next phase of my art junk girl life! xoxoxo ~Lia
p.s. here are a few other pages from the class and a new page I'm working on...

New page I'm working on at home...

Oh and did someone say something about squares? Look *here* to see the one I finished last nite! Have a great weekend my friends! Get your art out now! xo Lia

May 10, 2007

First Art Retreat: Segment 2

So, where were we? I cannot believe it's Thursday already...this week has been a whirlwind. My head is still on art overload while I'm trying to get things done out and around the house. I've been wrestling with the whole visual journalling concept since I got back. Juliana's class certainly changed the way I think about Visual Journalling and now I'm left to decide if I want to "go there". I know now why her method/concept (which she has developed and copyrighted by the way), is called "extreme". Basically, in the world according to me (this is only my take on it), I see her concept of a visual journal is one in which you let go of control and let "whatever" happen on the page. At the same time, you are working fast and putting down lots of stuff and mixing tons of media to make something that, well, looks like shitt. Oops, did I just say that? Anyhow, that's really what it is. So then you are looking at it and thinking, whoa, what does this mean? What is all this junk comin' out on this page. I've always thought I was a go with the flow kinda art person...but I'm finding out that I do, indeed, control my outcome. I'm continually organizing my page process. I'm editing the yucky stuff. I'm putting in my pretty pictures. I'm dreaming, playing and basically having fun. Not anymore. Now I "know too much". Now, I need to decide what I will do with that information. I don't know if I'm making sense here, but this is just a synopsis of the convo that I've having in my head as I go about my business cleaning, organizing and trying to bring order to my daily life. On the one side, I see this type of journal as a place to play, get stuff out, but not anything I want to show to others. In fact, I am having a hard time posting the pages I made here......they are just too personal.

So, I'm basically at a crossroads here. Do I take the journey to grow and stretch myself in a book that will show ugly and perhaps dredge up tramatic things from my past, or do I just hum along and continue what I was doing before; having fun and not thinking about anything deep. I just don't know if I wanna "go there". ....anyway, I'm rambling and babbling. So, that's where I am right now. Everything I thought about visual journalling, out the window. Sigh. Ok, well, I best get on with the day! Thanks for listening friends. ~Lia

p.s. the two pages above are from my saturday journalling class. Here is a link to an older, but still pertinent interview with Juliana Coles on HeartsArtRadio about "extreme journalling". I think I'm going to take a listen to this again today. If you haven't checked out this site, it's definitely worth a visit as there are many wonderful artist interviews there in the archives.

May 07, 2007

The Hot and Not of my First Art Retreat:Segment One

HOT Discoveries and Tidbits:


1. Baby Wipes: Who knew? The baby wipes that were on the table were NOT only there to wipe our hands...NO, they were used to wipe off paint from our journalling pages. It was awesome to paint over a bunch of junk I had just glued down and then see what "appeared". For those of you who don't know, I took Juliana Cole's Visual Journalling class. I have yet to "process" the whole experience, but I do have some such tidbits to share detailing my initial observations.

2. Working FAST while art journalling is fun and yields some interesting discoveries. I feel that the number one thing I did differently while working on visual journal pages was working very quickly. The one thing that Juliana kept repeating was to reach and keep "touchin' your stuff"..your art supplies silly. sheesh...Ok, so it worked. Every page was different. The page unfolded by itself and told the story. Letting go of "control" (aka our critic) can be very liberating and enlightening in the creative process.

3. My fave supply I brought: Sharpie White Poster marker pen. Thanks to Ruth Rae, who generously gave us journal junkers pen suggestions! Ruth, you totally Rock. I used this pen more than anything. It was able to show up over layers of junk I "obediently" layered down during class instruction. I am engaged to this marker. Tomorrow we will marry. A woman I called "jersey girl" at our table who was obviously very learned and talented in journal writing inquired on "what pen I was using". I softly said..."sharpie poster peen....Thanks Ruth Rae, my online friends are the best. I felt like I was "in the knoooow"...LoL.

4. I bought 5 neocolor watercolor crayons last year and they are still going strong. I reached for those more than any other supply I brought (other than my White Poster Paint Sharpie). I LOVE them and I feel like a kid coloring...but these crayons are like godiva in chocolate as far as crayons go...


1. I should have brought less EPHEMERA, ie: paper, scraps, whateva you call it. Sheesh. Like, man, I brought enough scrap paper to cover the freakin' empire state building already! Guess what? Paper is plentifyl at art retreats. There exists what I call (ok, that's good english) ...a "dump" table in every class. I literally could have gone without a stitch of paper and done just fine. In fact, even if there was not a "paper dump" table, I could have just brought one vogue magazine and been good for the whole weekend.

2. I should have brought more cheap acrylic paints. So, I went and bought the expensive paints on the list for my other 2 classes. These annoyed the crap outta me cause I'm not used to squeezin' them outta a tube and all and mxin' them and all that junk. I found that I really, really love cheapo paints. Did I bring even one of the 143 bottles I have. NOOOOOO... I had to take time to dump, mix and paint from my new designer paints.

3. Not all brushes are made alike. I should have brought some small brushes. Yeah, I was the one with 129 foam brushes in my arsenal. Foam doesn't do when you are taking a visual journalling class that includes writing with brushes. Ok, so I major league missed the boat there...

4. No. 2 Pencils. Like, isn't that the No. ONE thing you were ever told to "bring to school"??Do ya think I had one freakin' one? I had an ebony pencil, I had a pencil that wrote on glass, metal and sheetrock, but do you think I had a freakin' no. 2 pencil? NOOOOOOO. Next question. Never underestimate the power of everyday basic materials. ching ching. pencils are like, practically free.

5. Don't be late to a class. I was late to my first class because I had to leave the very morning of my class due to family committments. I "apparently" walked in seconds after the teacher said, "I hate when people are late"...and thus I became, "oh, you were the girl that was Tarrrrrrrrrr-dy". Coupled with the fact that this instructor ended the class 45 minutes early, I don't feel I got alot out of this class.

SO, that's it's for now friends. More later as my frazzled mind digests the experience. I promise to have some good things that happened for you. I'm saving the best for last! :) Thanks for being the wind beneath my wings friends! xoxo L.

she's baaaack!

she's baaaack!
Originally uploaded by artjunkgrl.

Got back from Art and Soul last nite. I'm wiped out but have lots to share with you all. I'm still "processing" the experience. I've been making some lists about what I would have done differently, what my fave supplies were and other such minutia. I will share with you all this week. I especially can't wait to share my visual journalling class experience. I thought of you all while I was gone and made some notes so I wouldn't forget to share some fun things. More soon I promise! xoxo Lia