Friday, October 13, 2017

New Book Collaboration

I recently did an accordion book collaboration with Nancy Gene Armstrong, a terrific artist in Louisiana. I saw her work on Facebook and was so drawn to it. Her collages are very narrative- each one seems a story and that is how I often like to work as well.  https://www.facebook.com/nancygene.armstrong  The first book is mine and I will show my starts and then show her finish.  Then the next book will be hers- I will show her start and then how I finished it. I love the challenge of a collaboration like this-

My start  for inside of my book

Nancy's finish for the inside of my book. She
told me the bright colored background I had painted
was a challenge for her as she never uses bright color. As you can see she did just fine!

The finished book  inside standing up.

My start for the backside of my book

Nancy's finish for the backside of my book.

The finished backside of the book standing up.


Now for Nancy's book. She uses amazing old papers for her backgrounds. Old letters, ledger pages
and pieces of old book pages with that amazing "patina" of age.

Nancy's start for the inside of her accordion book.

My finish for Nancy's book inside.

 The inside of Nancy's book standing up.

Nancy's start of the backside of her book.

My finish for the backside of Nancy's book.

The backside of Nancy's book standing up.




Sunday, October 1, 2017

Is it really October?

It has been so long since I have posted- done really know where to start.  It has been a bit crazy- Ron's recovery from his heart surgery has been amazing. We had our house on the market but recently took it off for now as we do not want to move in the winter.  I also have been dealing with some family things that are very unpleasant.  Much of my work has been in my journal.  I will share a few spreads.  I also recently started a book collaboration and will share that. I think I will just start with September.




September 1 at 6:16pm ·

I took time to journal today- I grabbed my big journal and chose a fold out spread- large for me- this is 12 x 25. I needed to process some thoughts- feelings. I have house on the brain- having the house on the market and not much action- sort of in a limbo state- then I realized I have NOTHING to complain about. My heart goes out to those thousands that have lost everything in Texas. and around the world- the flooding in other parts of the world is horrific. So much devastation. This on top of the daily horrors coming out of Washington makes it hard not to lose hope. Hope for our country hope for all those in dire need. Courage is like love, it must have hope for nourishment. Rumi

I have been dealing with some major  stuff. Mostly . I am pretty much over it and tired of the ongoing drama. So I saw this quote and it was perfect for where my head is right now. Ron's support and my family of choice has really helped.

I am learning
to love the
sound of
my feet
walking
away from
things not
meant for me. A.G.
The spread is a fold out in my small journal the fold out here is 7 x 17. I had to write a lot to process this all- I learned from Juliana Coles about writing and then covering it up sometimes completely.


September 26 at 4:03pm
 I love this French proverb: Gratitude is the Heart's memory. That's the title for this spread. I used walking legs the other day in a spread I posted here- these are different ones- in this spread I walk forward.  This quote I found to be so meaningful.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home and a stranger into a friend. Melody Beattie



I am doing an accordion book collaboration with Nancy Armstrong- a wonderful artist from Louisiana.  I have posted book collaborations before - I make 2 books- I start both sides of one and send that along with a blank book for  Nancy in this case.  She finishes mine and starts hers and mails both back to me I keep mine and finishes hers and sent it to her- so we each have a book.









Friday, June 23, 2017

More catch up sharing

Here are some more things that I have worked on. I took an online class with Lynn Whipple. http://lynnwhipple.com/  It was called making faces- out of my comfort zone but I had a great time.  She is so fun to watch and listen to.  So here are some things that I have done lately- journal spreads and some collages.



June 9 at 4:00pm ·
Seems like ages since I have posted- and it has been a while- I just finished an online class with Lynn Whipple Making Faces. Totally out of my comfort zone but I had a great time Lynn is a wonderful teacher. I have scanned and played with some of my faces and wanted to use them in my journal. We have spring early summer up here in the northern part of Minnesota- our lilacs are just past peak now the smell on the deck from them is intoxicating and there have been many many butterflies. I try to focus on that- so much else of what is going on in the world is so ugly right now- finding the balance between being informed and being flipped out is a hard one. This quote by Jean-Michel Basquiat is one I love:
I don't think about art when I am working.
I try to think about life.
My journal is where I run to.



June 10 at 3:44pm ·
Had some journal time today- used another face I made in the Making Faces class. I have been reading a book again- I got it in 1991. It is full of short quotes that really get to the heart of things. Illuminations Visions for Change, Growth and Self-Acceptance by Stephen C. Paul. This one really has stuck with me as I deal with big life changes.
Every time you let go of something limiting, you create space for something better.

June 13 at 4:18pm · Still loving the faces. I was also thinking about something I read- so this spread is about that. June is pride month for the LGBT communities. As always there are some very hateful things being said. This was a response someone gave to a hater.
Gay pride was not born of a need to celebrate being gay,
but our right to exist without persecution. So instead of wondering why there isn't a straight pride movement,
be thankful you don't need one.
 
 
 
 
Sometimes there is a reward for hanging onto things. I came across a whole bunch of photographs that I took and then altered and printed out long long ago. So that's what the backgrounds are for this set of collages.  
Daydream Story
 
Broken Dreams
 
Uncle Jack Was Always Too Hot
 
Stairway of Memory
 This is my father and his two sisters.

Unwelcome

 



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

At Last - finally a new post

I am amazed how hast the time goes. Things are getting back on track here at the house.  Ron has made an incredible recovery.  Such gratitude for that.  Well I have many journal spreads to share and this time I should divide it up.  I will do 5  here in this post.  I will include the dates and the words that went with when I posted these in the art journaling group I am in. Like before oldest to newest.




May 6 ·

I want to take this time to give a sincere thank you to all of you. Your support and love has fed my soul and continues to do so. I am sorry I don't personally respond to each of your comments. I try to sometimes but I just can't always- please know I read them all and they mean so much to me. It is a wonderful thing to be connected with so many wonderful people here through our art. The spread here is a combination of digital and my own- the background is a monoprint I did. I was thinking of that terrific song Stand By Me. Thank you all for standing by me and I can only hope you feel that from me as well. This spread is dedicated to all of you on The Stand. Here is the verse that hits it so well:
When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we'll see
No I won't be afraid
Oh, I won't be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTCfQ6Bb8QE





May 10 ·
I did this spread in a journal I work in once in a while as it's large at least to me spreads are 12" x 18". This spread is titled Building Awareness. That is in the figure on the left side made out of a page from a 1950s art education text. Right now this to me is becoming aware that I need to grow- feeling the need for a new direction. Wanting more direct work- more freedom- hard to explain really. The way I have been working for quite a while now is the result of my combining my collage "style" with my journaling. I have a feeling I will continue this but I also want something else something more immediate and direct. This spread I think is going to be the bridge to that. I love these emotional bold black gesso strokes.



May 11 ·
This spread is 7" x 11". I always am curious about the size of the journals people work in. This time I started with a blank page nothing prepainted. I started with no idea- Usually I have been inspired by a quote or something. I just got out the medium and because I am a pig in the studio, there are piles of things to grab from. The is titled: No Place at the Table.


May 15 ·
I was able to get some journaling in this afternoon. I worked in my large one- this one has fold outs and this spread is done on one of those it's 12" tall and 26 inches long big for me. I started with black gesso and just went from there- had no idea where I was going with it. I am calling it Holding Hands Below the Sky River. I have been reading Orly's book In My Bones again- Ron's cardio rehad sessions are an hour and a half long so I do errands and then read while i wait. Such wonderful book- so I was inspired to just be present- and just begin- no advanced planning.


May 18 · Well I did do a spread this afternoon- I have to say I never use to do this but I have 4 journals I am working in right now. They are all different sizes. I will share what happened this morning I had an idea and worked at the computer getting imagery ready for it and after the morning passes I realized i didn't want to do that. I opened my journal and in my big box of collage fodder I picked an image- then another- I have many many things already cut out- I find cutting to be a calming thing for me-As I found images I wanted to work with an idea started forming. The spread is titled Protectors of the Unborn Ideas. Sometimes I forget an idea i had and other times one I had a long time ago resurfaces. I do feel like I have protectors- these would be friends and as i was doing this I started remembering my wonderful high school art teacher- he is the reason I went into teaching- I knew I would make art but he was so inspirational- Carlton has been dead for gosh 25 or 30 years. This one's for you Carlton.





Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The mostly finished journal

I have collaged all the spreads in the journal I posted last.  I will include the blank one then the collaged one.  So I will divide this up into a couple of posts at least.







Here is the finished spread.  I came across this quote- so it was on my mind.
When you speak from your
heart and say words your soul has only dared
to whisper, that's when miracles happen.

The chair photo is one I took several years ago when we rented a cabin on the north shore of Lake Superior - I printed it on a book page. That image has such emotion for me.

The next spread is split as this opens into a fold out that I will show next.


i was thinking about a friend that we well use to have when I did this spread.  . We were friends since the early 80s- he's in his 70s and 2 years ago fell down his stairs and had a head injury and then had a severe depression- long story short after several tries he no longer responds and I have seen him with other friends on facebook. So this quote helps some and inspired this spread. "At some point you have to realize that some people can stay in your heart but not in your life. It's in that new journal I made it's 7" X 11". Smaller than I usually work. I printed the faces on pages from old books some old art education books.


This is the first fold out- I loved the long horizontal size.

I love Rumi quotes- I came across this one and I really liked it- for many reasons. I have a book titled The Illuminated Rumi - it is a book of digital collages- at least i think they are digital- anyway they illustrate quotes by Rumi. It came out in 1997. Here is the quote:
Everything in the universe is
Within You. Ask all from yourself. -Rumi
This spread is 7" X 22"


On this spread I used stencils when I Gelli printed it.


I loved this quote and it is so true for me.
People don't always need advice. Sometimes all they need is a hand to hold, an ear to listen, and a heart to understand them.

This is the center of the journal.


This next one is: Trying to Find My Way. Trying to figure out how this is all going to play out.

I will post the last for spreads soon.

 
 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Spring Seems to finally be here

Here are the next group of journal spreads.  Will will post from where I left off in the last post.  Ron's heart surgery recovery is going slower as get got a bad cold. The coughing is painful with wires holding his breastbone together.  Hope that we don't see anymore snow the 3 inches last week was about more than I could handle.

April 20 at 7:06pm ·
I had fun in the studio today- I will post the backgrounds I did on spreads in this journal. It's a two sewn as one journal closed it's 6" wide x 7" tall. So the two page spreads are 12 x 7 and the fold out is 22 x 7 I made this journal 2 years ago- so now I have backgrounds so it will be fun to work in now.


April 23 at 4:03pm ·
The healing is slow but sure here- We had a backslide here with the weather- snow on the deck this morning and rain/snow mix- good day to be in the studio. Once again a passage from that book, Blessed are the Weird, really inspired me. That and a quote- . Here's the passage:
Art is alchemy. The art that changes us has this power because it first changed the artist. When the artist sits down and begins the process of transmuting raw feelings, scraps of ideas, strands of fear, and visions of what might be into a picture they are engaged in real magic. What comes from that mage's fire is gold.
This quote also stuck with me:
Until you spread your wings you will have no idea how far you can fly.

April 24 at 4:25pm ·
Thank you so much for you comments on my spreads I post here they really do mean so very much to me-. Gloomy day here- Ron woke with a cold so had to cancel cardio rehab today- I headed to the studio while he slept today in hopes of staving it off.
The spread once again is inspired from the book I keep mentioning. I loved this passage so tried to illustrate it on this spread. Here's the passage:
There are moments when the mirror sky cracks above and you see times beyond time, worlds beyond this world. Don't ignore them.


April 26 at 4:14pm ·
Well winter returned here- snow and wind and cold- I shouldn't be surprised as this often happens in April in northern Minnesota. It's only 28 right now.... yes this will pass. Ron has a cold and it so far is a head cold and hope it stays that way as coughing is not good when the breastbone is trying to knit back together. Today i was thinking about a friend that we well use to have. We were friends since the early 80s- he's in his 70s and 2 years ago fell down his stairs and had a head injury and then had a severe depression- long story short after several tries he no longer responds and I have seen him with other friends on facebook. So this quote helps some and inspired this spread. "At some point you have to realize that some people can stay in your heart but not in your life. It's in that new journal I made it's 7" X 11". Smaller than I usually work. I printed the faces on pages from old books some old art education books.

April 27 at 6:40pm ·
I decided today was a day for some fun. I wanted to honor friends in a playful way so I made them have houses for bodies. Good friends are like being home with family so I thought it was a good symbol. There seem to be few men in the journaling world so when I met these guys it was so nice- we are from all over the country- there are 5 of us and we call our little group the Creative Gents. So this is for you guys. I feel like this group- The Stand, is a very special place and much like family. Without my dear friends- making it through Ron's heart surgery would have been very difficult and this group sure helped as well. Here's a nice quote:
Good friends help you to
find important things
when you have lost them...
your smile, your hope,
and your courage.

This is the foldout in that new journal it's 22 inches long. Thank you all for your comments and likes- it really makes me feel so good. This group is a real gift. Thank you Orly.


April 28 at 3:53pm ·
Bright beautiful sun today- bright enough to really melt a lot of the 3 inches of snow we got the other day- saw a lone wild turkey stroll through our yard space- love that. I read this quote and knew I had to do a spread. The quote is by Chief Dan George. I looked him up and he was a very interesting and talented man-an actor and poet. Here is the quote:
May the stars carry your sadness away,
May the flowers fill your heart with beauty,
may hope forever wipe away your tears
and above all,
may silence make you strong.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend. Thank you for your ongoing kindness and support.


April 30 at 5:58pm ·
Had some studio time today. I love Rumi quotes- I came across this one and I really liked it- for many reasons. I have a book titled The Illuminated Rumi - it is a book of digital collages- at least i think they are digital- anyway they illustrate quotes by Rumi. It came out in 1997. Here is the quote:
Everything in the universe is
Within You. Ask all from yourself. -Rumi
This spread is 7" X 22"


April 30 at 6:03pm ·
And I did this smaller one- this spread is 7" x 11'. I loved this quote and it is so true for me.
People don't always need advice. Sometimes all they need is a hand to hold, an ear to listen, and a heart to understand them.
Hope you all have a good week ahead.


May 1 ·
This spread is from another quote and really it is very fitting for today. Ron's cold with cough was not good and we had to go to the clinic. Got some meds for that. Things will be ok. Here's the quote and many of you are familiar with this one.
At any given moment you
have the power to say:
This is NOT how the story is going to end.
I am learning that while I can't fix things like a heart valve or make a cold go away but how I react to these things I do have control over. So instead of taking a dip in the pity pool- I am working on the positive things. He's still here- the surgery was a success and this cold is just a pothole on the healing journey.
Thanks always for your kind remarks on my spreads as I post them-