Friday, December 29, 2017

More work from the class

While some of the work for the class  was done on loose sheets I also did a fair amount in my journals.  There was a time when I would work in one journal until I had filled it- not any more.  In fact I have at least five going right now all different sizes I will share a few spreads that are recent here. This will be my last post for 2017  So Happy New Year to you all.

This spread was inspired by a wonderful thing- right before the snow covered our deck- I looked out one morning and there was this beautiful bight white ermine. Lots going on here- not sure just yet on the levels of meaning but there are several. This is a fold out in my big journal- 12 x 25. The traits of this spirit animal are interesting. I feel our hearts/spirits are connected to everything-Weasel Animal Totems traits include: Quick wit, forethought, good mental acuity
Encourages intense observation of life situations
Ability to analyze these situations and deduce probable outcomes

This spread like the one above is a fold out spread.  I have dealt with some challenging things this year. A few health things that are getting better and some  issues with people in my life. This quote is what inspired this spread.
Sometimes the person you'd
take a bullet for ends up
being the one behind the gun.

This spread is in my larger journal- this fold out is 12 inches tall and 25 inches long.
The background was fun-  I have an eBrush  this is an air brush for markers-  you can get adapters for various markers-  sharpies work- and copic markers- prismacolor markers and there are a couple of other kinds. I drew and cut out some chairs and used those as masks.  More working with the houses on the chairs.  Is the house inviting you to come in and sit or is it keeping you from being comfortable?
I did a positive negative thing with the chair- I have set my boundaries and feeling protective and protected. People have asked how I can stand to cut out detailed things- for me it is a sort of zen like I have music on and I cut away- I will say the barbed wire was tricky but yet that helped me think about the concept of keeping one out of a space or keeping someone from getting in your space.

The ending of a year always has me thinking about my life- what I have experienced- what I enjoyed about this year what was challenging- and then I send out my hopes for the new year to the universe. The large door in this is a photograph of mine that I altered- this house ruin is near where we use to live- I was so drawn to it. It is like a portal in this context. Best not to get trapped in the past.


Friday, December 22, 2017

Some new work

I have been taking an online class from Fonda Clark Haight. The class is titled:  The Down Deep- Mining Your Truths on the Creative Journey.  Part of this was very much out of my comfort zone and it is why I took the class.  I was not disappointed. I tried out some new ways of working and that's always a good thing.  The people in the class were an amazing group- lots of deep sharing and so supportive of one another. I still am amazed at how close  I can become with people in an online class- this class was a great way to end the year- had lots to process and this was a great place to do just that.  Here are a few of the pieces from the class- these are all mixed media collages.

I have certain images that I use frequently in my work.  Chairs, houses, doors, windows, birds are part of my visual vocabulary.   2 big symbols for me are houses and chairs- what you see here- the house is a very potent symbol with lots of good and bad feelings associated with it. Chairs for me are are big and the meaning depends on the piece. Chairs can be a place of power- or a place of punishment or a symbol for intimacy- when you pull the chair up close and rejection it is turns away. Of course I had to collage- also used stabillo pencil. I drew the chairs and cut them out of chipboard and placed under the paper and did rubbings over them.
On this one I used the house symbol- I also cut out the house swish symbol out of chip board and did a rubbing.  A house  can also be viewed as simply a place where we can express my private and unguarded self.   The house has meaning with memories both good and very challenging- happiness and sorrow.

Each of us carries within us our own ideas and memories of home.

Ravens are very special to me-  I am very fortunate as we have them around our house and I love to hearing them talking to one another.  I have such a deep connection to nature.


Monday, December 11, 2017

Finally I am doing a post

It has been a long time-  what can I say- life happens. I wanted to share some good news- Our Watermark Art Center, here in Bemidji had it's grand opening December 2nd.  The center had been under construction for a year.  I was honored to be asked to have a show in one of the 4 galleries in the new center. The center is 10,000 square feet- there are 4 galleries and a beautiful space for art workshops- a retail shop and The Region 2 Arts Council has their offices  there.  Here are a few pictures. I will be posting some new journal work soon.

Here I am with The Watermark Art Center's director, Lori Forshee-Donnay
during the opening.
View of the reception desk from the Lake View Gallery.
That is my wonderful supportive husband reading my
artist statement.

A shot of part of my show

Another shot of my show- I have 25 pieces in the show


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.  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
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.  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.



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

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.