As my Meditations on Gratitude online class with Laura Valenti continues, we are encouraged to look around us at everyday moments and objects as worthy a moment of gratitude. I have been taking photographs around the property to celebrate this little corner of the world one quiet corner of June 2016.
I like this shot because it conveys the sense I always have of our house being like a longhouse, full of mythological beings, adrift with stories and dreams.
Cheshire Cat: Oh, by the way, if you’d really like to know, he went that way.
In today’s Daily Create, we were asked to draw our childhood home. I have done this drawing many times over the years, and I notice it has gotten less and less specific as time wears away at the bright stones of memory, polishing them down to their glowing centers.
Now it is mountains, trees, tracks, river, house.
I grew up on the Wenatchee River in the foothills of the Enchantments. The image of me upper left is from an underwater shoot a couple of days ago and seems to me a face full of memory.
Even a rudimentary sketch like this seems beautiful to me, and I stare at it falling into a reverie of a time both long ago and yet still a room I can walk into that is as close as breathing.
The Mysterious Night Journal for me used to be gel pens or Prismacolor on black paper, but as I work in my art journal and so often disappear into the many rooms of memory, I see it is the canvas of the soul.
then a sheet of yellow tissue paper to cover most of it to add texture.
Across the top I carefully stamped “Meditations on Gratitude; Poems N Pixs N Such.”
I drafted the poems in my regular journal then wrote them directly on the prepared surface.
I printed out my photographs, and they came out looking a bit sketchy, but I thought that added to the “folk art” quality of an art journal.
I used Mod Podge (sealer, glue, and finish) to glue the images down,
and then I covered the entire page with Mod Podge. BIG MISTAKE! And I knew better! I should have used a spray fixative first but forgot and the ink on the stamping and photos ran. I replaced the photos and started over, but the stamping was a write off. So…
I re-did the photos
Added strips of tissue paperand sprayed it with Windsor Newton Professional Satin Varnish
THEN Mod Podged the whole…letting it dry between stages
I am documenting my journey through Laura Valenti’s Meditations on Gratitude Online Photography class with short videos. This one introduces my art journal as a place to collect my moments of gratitude.
My favorite moment in it is when I totally serendipitously video my cat Pookie curled around a stone called “Poetry.” I took a screen shot of it, and I’m going to put it in as the first image in the journal.
I just returned from a pilgrimage to her two houses in New Mexico, one at Ghost Ranch where we stayed a few days to explore and photograph “O’Keeffe Country.” Then we visited the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe. It was there that I bought the book as well as many prints, cards, and additional art books focusing on this artist.
My trip was so visually rich that I have been floundering, trying to figure out how to integrate all the visual and intellectual information I’ve taken in. One thing I did was buy a big landscape view watercolor Moleskine sketchbook and began art journaling.
I title all my journals, and this one is called “Working Into My Own,” with an O’Keeffe quote that is meaningful to me at this stage of my life:
Now that I’ve finished the biography, I am looking deeply at her paintings. For this art journal page, I was studying the composition of her “Lake and Mountains” because I was fascinated by the egg shape. It took me a long time to figure out it was supposed to be a lake:
O’Keeffe is the Queen of Simplicity, of smooth, pared-down abstractions and a flawless surface application of paint, all of which I admire but do not personally aspire to.
I added mysterious dark shapes into my landscape using torn tissue paper. I love the spontaneous, unexpected effects of torn paper and the full range of playful collage tools and techniques that typify the art journal aesthetic.
Have you been doing any art lately? Discovered ay new artists or fun techniques?