Art Journal Morphing

First Fridays at VERONICA’s Voice are so much fun. The art journaling class has morphed into a general art class due to necessity. I found it difficult to explore new art journaling techniques when so many times the women in class did not have their journals or had not begun one yet. Many times the class was about making a new journal or altered book which did not develop past the cover. There were a faithful few who brought their altered books to add more to their pages, but overall I began to lose enthusiasm. So today we tried something new.

The assignment was to choose an image from a magazine, any image that spoke to them, and glue it on a piece of cardstock. After adding a bit of gesso, I had them add words, words about their day, their feelings, or why this image spoke to them. Then the layers with creamy Portfolio pastels were added. Some were very satisfied at that point while others journeyed on with layers of paints. My favorite part was listening to the stories behind the finished collages. One spoke of her mother, another of her new life, another of her freedom, beautiful stories, eyes lit up with sharing.







So my sweet artist friends, if you have ideas to share for this art class, please leave comments. I need projects that will work as a one-time class with limited supplies, since the audience is different from month to month. Have you experienced a project or taught a class that would work well in this setting? Art = community.

amanda ∞

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Circle Journal Joy

My dear friend’s inspiration has evolved into something grand. Alexandra invited many of her Artfest sisters to join in on a collaborative altered book project. Since then the idea has become a circle journal with a group of about 15 gals making and sending their journals around the group each with a distinct theme.

I was so fortunate to be the first to receive Alex’s book. Here’s the cover and pages she made using a Victor Hugo novel. I love Victor Hugo, but alas, I could not read it in French:

Her page is on the left which opens up to a sign in page for all the participants:

And the pages I added:

Page in progress (I love mud and weeds):

Done:

My own journal, below, which was sent to Amy has the theme, Symbols – Personal Imagery. I made the journal from a book cover and filled the inside with Bristol paper. The journal is bound with rings so that pages can be easily added and removed, and chunkier pages will not be an issue.

Cover:

Sign in page:

This is an old dictionary page with the definition for symbols, symbolism, symbology, etc. Although I sent this journal on already, when it finally arrives back home, this page may get another going over. It just doesn’t feel done to me. I was in a hurry to mail:

And my personal recurring symbol is trees. The tree on this page is a sketch I did about 8 years ago at a park in Nashville. Ah, memories, the children were so young:

And on the flipside of that notebook paper is a journal entry about my feelings for trees, the cottonwood in particular. It can partially be read if held to a mirror.

Right now I have Jessica’s journal and look forward to adding a page before sending it on. Her theme is Signs and the journal is just incredible.

More pictures to follow as this journey plays out.

amanda ∞

Symbols Shaping Space done!

Artfest was over 2 months ago. I am still finishing up details and adding thoughts to my Artfest journal. Yesterday I was thrilled to have completed the mobile from Katie Kendrick‘s class: Symbols Shaping Space

This was my absolute favorite class. Katie is an intuitive artist, so as she taught, she drew out creativity in each of us. To begin the class, she broke our minds free with some non-dominant hand exercises which were incorporated into the final piece. I learned so much and was overflowing with emotion.

I hung my mobile from a piece of an antique rocking chair seat. The shape of this wood just called to me.

The mobile is covered with thoughts and remembrances of childhood, from the pieces of my favorite childhood book, The Owl and the Pussycat, to the antique barrettes that were my mother’s.


I was hoping to share with you a song, Beautiful Pea Green Boat by Laurie Anderson, but sadly cannot find it. For those of you who have the Bright Red album from 1994, go back and take a listen. It’s delightful.

amanda ∞

Botanica Exotica


The last class I took at Artfest was Botanica Exotica taught by Melissa Manley. We formed botanical shapes from wire and added sausage casing. Having had little experience working with wire, I found forming the shapes to be the challenge. Also the lack of sleep from several days of Artfest infusion was affecting my ability to let my intuitive creativity flow. I was having a serious mental block and couldn’t remember what a flower looked like! To top that off, I found myself comparing my work to the others in the class. I caught myself soon enough, but really struggled with it the whole class.

Despite these challenges, I found myself truly enjoying working the SAUSAGE CASING and plan on experimenting more with it this summer. The casing was soaked in water. To apply it to the form, it either needed to be split open to wrap around the form, or slid over the form in its natural tubular shape. The casing adheres to itself when wet, so no adhesive was needed. While wet, it looked like a lumpy white mess, but when dried it had the appearance of aged translucent parchment. I used a type of wire that I knew would rust. I loved how the rust added to the ancient look of the pieces.

My dad’s birthday is this week. He is such a creative, earthy person, I thought this would be the perfect gift for him. Actually, he is the one I would like to work with this summer on some new projects. I hope we have the opportunity.

amanda ∞

My daughter, the teacher

While I was away at Artfest filling my head with creative things, my daughter became the teacher for the art journaling class at VERONICA’s Voice. She did a wonderful job leading and teaching and guiding.  Here’s the mosaic collage technique she demonstrated that day:

tree-collage She sketched out the tree for placement, then added the color. The paper is from magazines which she tore and placed with a glue stick. Fun!

The art journal class is going well. While we do bring suggestions and techniques to the table, the women are free to do whatever they would like in their journals. I’ve signed up for the Stencilry Class over at Dispatch from LA and am hoping I can share some of what I learn. Fresh ideas are always welcome.

On another note, I just had to share this hilarious card my mom sent me:

symbol-minded-card The inside reads, “You’re my symbol-minded friend…”

Isn’t it hilarious? My grandmother purchased this card sometime in the 60s or 70s. I come from a family that either saved or used everything, so after both my grandparents passed, my mom inherited a box of very charming vintage cards. I am so thrilled to get them in the mail on occasion. They are my absolute favorite.

Our family will be joining with all of my husband’s immediate family this weekend for the Easter Holiday. It has been years since all the siblings and cousins were together at the same time. We are all very excited for the reunion.

And then next week I’m going to share all my wonderful tales from Artfest as well as glimpses of my projects. I’m still on a creative high. Even preparing tax returns could not bring me down.

Have a meaningful and joyful Holiday in celebration of the risen Savior, and in remembrance of the Passover.

amanda ∞

Harvest

This last piece for the Summit is entitled Harvest. The face is of a child, so I added imagery from children’s books and encyclopedias. The clock was stamped by my mother-in-law when she was a child. The verses featured were:

John 4:35-36  Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.  (36)  And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.

The wheat is from my grandfather’s field the year that he died, and the dirt is from my back yard. Our basset-lab was kind enough to dig a fresh hole for me. The sides are cut from an old farm journal.

While I was gluing everything down with gel medium, I was reminded of the 4th grade. Being bored in class, I had spread glue on the palms of my hands and was peeling off the dried glue when the teacher noticed. She thought that was the strangest thing I could be doing. I thought it was cool how the glue came off in sheets and I could still see the lines and wrinkles from my hands. And here I was again peeling glue off my fingers after having such a wonderful time spreading it all over this final piece. Maybe I am strange, but glue makes me happy.






amanda ∞

Providence

The focus verse that was used for this year’s Summit is Esther 4:14b.

Esther 4:14b  and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

In the last couple months, our pastor taught through the book of Esther. Wow. I loved learning and applying what was being taught. In Esther, God’s name is never mentioned. God is represented by Providence. Esther was created to be queen to save the children of Israel from annihilation.

During the teaching on Esther, the topic of providence and purpose in each of our lives was heavily implied. This can be a difficult topic for me when I am in the throws of depression from Seasonal Affective Disorder, but knowing the truth, that God has a purpose even for me while I am dealing with depression, helps me to find joy within my winter days.

And here is step by step, Providence: