Saturday, January 25, 2014

art journals and observation

art journal jan 22 2014
art journal page, self-portrait, acrylics and collage. jan 22, 2014

Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.
Leonardo da Vinci

The journal page above was inspired by Rachel's prompt, how people see me. When I started the journal page, what surprised me most was how I had to subdue my negative inner voice. Seriously? I did not see that one coming! I decided to focus on the who and narrow it down to what my Mother would say or my husband. That brought on the positive inner voices and made the written words more an exercise in how others see me. The bear, the dragonfly and the lotus are more about my observation of myself.

Recently, I've been going through my notes and drawings from the past two years to cull material for a new zine. Whether I am looking at someone else's journal or my old ones, there is a sense of otherliness: Something foreign and mysterious yet experienced. And having some distance from the time my journal was written gives me a better understanding of where I am now in relation to where I came from.

Degas is one of the very few painters who have given the floor its true importance.
― Paul ValĂ©ry

Last week I started reading Drawing from Life, the journal as art. This book features journals that are not kept for the purpose of art, but for the sole purpose of recording observations and information. Some of the journals are field journals such as ones kept by geologists or marine biologists, and others are by artists. The book was compiled by the biographer of Dan Eldon and his journals, Jennifer New.

What I've found most interesting are the field journals and how these journals add another dimension to recording data that is necessary. To realise that even with modern technology, having a personal field book to look back on really shows how personal observation, written notes and drawings give the viewer a better understanding of the experience.

joining A Year in the Life of an Art Journal and Sunday Sketches

Sunday, January 12, 2014

off to a good start

dragonfly linocut, wip

“Many human beings say that they enjoy the winter,
but what they really enjoy is feeling proof against it.”
Richard Adams, Watership Down

The days have been spectacular with bouts of hard rain, winds mixed with fast moving clouds and brilliant sunshine. I managed to get a short bicycle ride out in the rain which was unplanned but fun. Today I walked about and enjoyed the sea-green ocean views and paynes grey clouds.

I spent this week working on drawings of bees, dragonflies and trees. And today I started the linocut of the dragonfly.

Last week I ran into a snag with my four year old digital camera. It decided to stop working, so for now all digital photos have to be with my computer which takes lousy photos. I have a G9 canon which seems to have a common defect of loose screws which short out the motherboard inside the camera. The camera is working off and on so maybe there is still hope for it's revival. Last resort will be for me to take it apart and find the loose screws. Hmmm ...

“I've always felt there is something sacred in a piece of paper that travels the earth from hand to hand, head to head, heart to heart.”
Robert Michael Pyle

For those who like snail mail (me! me! Me!), I am joining Kat's postcard swap for the second year in a row. You can find more information on her blog.

I also signed up for a print exchange through the Brooklyn Art Library. They host various art projects for which they open up to anyone, anywhere. In the past, I have joined their sketchbook projects.

For the print exchange, there is a limit of 500 printmakers for their annual worldwide print exchange. This year's theme is "Let This Be a Sign..."

And if you like art journaling with prompts for guidance, check out a year in the life of an art journal. I followed along with Rachel and her prompts last year and am looking forward to another year.

joining sunday sketches

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Daily Sumi Ink

enso jan04 2014 aceo
ACEO,  Enso Jan 04, 2014

“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
George Bernard Shaw

It's the New Year, and I like making one resolution at the beginning of each year. I may not always keep it consistently, but it gets me off to a good start. A couple of years ago, my resolution was to read daily, not on the computer, but to actually hold a book in my hand. It's a habit that I continue now, and not just most mornings, but also at night before I go to bed.

sea rock, barnacles and sketch
barnacle rock and sketch

Last year my resolution was to sketch daily which I did most days.

Thumbing through my sketches from last year was like going through old family pictures or school yearbooks. These quick drawings showed me a history and a collection of ideas, many of which morphed into art journal pages, collage works, photographs and paintings.

daily sumi
sumi ink stick and brush

Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door.
Emily Dickinson

This year I will work with sumi ink daily. It's a general resolution, so I will not be limited by how I use sumi ink.

And on those days where the art goes in the trash (like it did the first three days), I'll have faith that one of these times, the sumi magic will happen (like it did today) and I'll have an art work that brings on a smile.

joining Sunday Sketches
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