Artist and urban chicken farmer Janet Barocco lives in Santa Rosa, California. She submitted this delightful image and haiku as a celebration of early spring.
Gratitude wells up
like fresh water in a green pool.
Heart, be a frog!
Cat curled around stone
announcing “POETRY! in case
we had forgotten.
After canning peaches, I had one
clear jar left. I put my grandmother
in there along with the apples
she was peeling. I added a sharp
handful of mint from my husband’s garden,
a tube of Opera Pink Paint
and the shadow of a summer
fern on a slate rock face.
The sound of a train,
dawn light over the Three Sisters.
I found five memories that would fit
a whole head of garlic down the side
along with a feathery branch
of dill and something
like a song. Pressure
cooked by time,
labelled, shelved, ready
to be given away.
NOTE: In a previous post, Creating a Gratitude Art Journal, I posted a short video explaining that I am taking a Meditations on Gratitude Photography class online with Laura Valenti. She asked us to find a repository for our “grats,” or items for which we feel gratitude on a daily basis, and I began with the Gratitude Art Journal, although I’m not sure how I’ll go forward. She suggested a Gratitude Jar, which gave me the idea for the poem “Canning Grats.”
METHODS AND MATERIALS:
- I use a large Moleskine watercolor journal.
- The pages were first prepared with white gesso
- then a watercolor wash background laid down
- 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
- Sprayed it a few more times and called it good…
I was reminded of the value and fun of a List Poem by Natalie Goldberg in her book The True Secret of Writing: Connecting Life with Language.
Where do YOU collect gratitudes?
Tell us in the comment box directly below!
Welcome to Your Mysterious Night Vision Field Journal Online Class
Mysterious Night Vision Field Journal began one day in Eastern Oregon when sister Cheryl gave sister Sandy a black paper artist’s journal and a handful of gel pens and Prismacolor pencils. Both of us started first to do scribble art.
Out of the darkness of the page emerged the figures of dream and imagination. I was as if we were cave painters putting our hands to the dark cave walls and blowing paint to mark our passing there. Spirit figures emerged from the dark pages of the cave and began to move in living color.
In 2008, we began posting our Mysterious Night Vision Field Journals on our blog. Memories, dreams, and reflections arose spontaneously from the Well of Soul.
In our Mysterious Night Vision Field Journals, we see the outer world in reverse, as if in a mirror. Slightly disoriented, in love with vivid color, we pursue the soul’s uncensored purpose.
We are so glad you are joining us!
In this class, you will be given a short lesson and a drawing assignment or challenge every other day. Videos and examples are provided for direction and inspiration. There are also bonus assignments for those who have time to explore more deeply.
Some of the assignments are:
- Draw a Dream Animal
- Draw a Volcano, Tsunami or Other Dramatic Natural Disaster
- Draw a Jungle
- Draw a Soul Portrait
- Draw a Dream
You will write about your images, then take a photo (with your cell phone, for example) and add to the class. There you will be able to give and receive imaginative, supportive feedback.
Cheryl Renee Long is the instructor for this course. She’s the blonde in the photo.
Her sister, Sandy Brown Jensen, will be taking the course alongside you. Sandy is also the resident techie, so feel free to consult with her with any tech related questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
We love our Mysterious Night Vision Journals, and we are excited to be sharing this passion with you.
On March 5, 2016, Daniel Smith Artist Supplies in Seattle, WA, sponsored a Mysterious Night Vision Field Journal workshop by Cheryl Renee Long and Sandy Brown Jensen. This video captures that event and the spontaneous art produced by the 13 participants. The pool is still open–jump on in! The registration button is on the home page of this blog post.
Woman with Baby
But ideas are everywhere. We mere humans cannot actualize the abundance of creativity that is available to us.
Written after my shock at 9/11 turned into an endless grief
Sometimes, we have to leave the Earth.
Some times are bad times, war time, time
to learn how bad humans can be. That’s
when we order roses from the Moon.
Moon roses show up, brighter than summer
roses, pale and day-glo and neon
as if they were grown in an off-planet
hot house. They appear too good for this world.
We ordered four hot pinks, two purples, and two
creamy oranges, and they last as if their petals
were silk spun by Moon moths
in our winter cool solarium.
As proof of where they came from, the Moon is full.
At night, I can see our Moon roses longing for home.
NOTE: The next Color Your World two week class begins Jan 4, 2016. What makes this class different is the one-on-one daily interaction with an empathetic instructor and with a supportive community of fellow artists. Only $50.00. Click this button to learn more and to register:
Tropical Dreaming (On Such A Winter’s Day)
By Cheryl Renee Long
December 28, 2015
Hello! I’m looking forward to meeting many of you Jan. 4 when the colored pencil online class starts.
Yesterday I purchased sturdy rubber boots with a confetti pattern to enliven gray days, rain and wading across flooded trails. After-Christmas shopping for myself included warm fuzzy mittens and wool hiking socks. It is winter in the Pacific Northwest – wet, cold, and flooding. We are delighted, of course. Last summer we fought a forest fire in our local Hoh Rainforest. Water is essential to maintaining a rainforest with its giant cedar trees and acres of hanging moss. Rain is a must.
However, desert rat that I am, my paintbrush longs for sunshine, palm trees, blazing orange and pink sunsets and enticing cenotes.
Cenotes are small lakes or pools of fresh water in the jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
Today, I drew my imaginary go-to place to relax and meditate. People swim and snorkel in the cenotes. The trail across the landscape is populated by two cars and people walking. The gulls are ever present along with the colorful sailboats in the Caribbean.
What is YOUR go-to place?
NOTE: Cheryl Renee Long’s “Color Your World” Colored Pencil Sketching class begins Jan. 4, 2016 and is only $50. Click here to view the sales page and/or to enroll: https://app.ruzuku.com/courses/11010/about
NEW CLASS ANNOUNCED
In late February 2016, Cheryl Renee Long and the hard working behind-the-scenes crew at Toucan Create! will introduce a brand new online class on how to loosen up your creativity and really explore your artistic imagination drawing with gel pen or colored pencils on black paper. This is your Mysterious Night Vision Field Journal!
GETTING READY FOR THE CLASS
Here are some tips about some supplies you might like to get you started.
TALKING ABOUT PAPER
First things first! Check out the Toucan Artists Bookstore or your local art supply store and buy yourself a black sketchbook. Size is up to you, but personally I like something small that says “field journal” to me. The one I just started is by Artagain and is 9″ x 6″. It’s pretty spendy at $29.70. If I had my way, it would be about 5 1/2″ x 5 1/5″.
If you like working on a little larger format, the Pacon Basic Black Sketch Book, 8.5″x11″ is a good choice and only costs $4.99. I have been known to buy a sketchbook this large then take it down to my local copy center, cut the pages in halves or quarters and have the resulting custom-sized sketchbook spiral bound with my own cover on it.
TALKING ABOUT GEL PENS AND COLORED PENCILS
When it comes to gel pens that glow in the darkness that is your Mysterious Night Vision Field Journal, one pen rules them all: the one, the only, the fabulous Sakura of Gelly Roll fame. Their huge line of pens glitter, glow, and pouf. Here are a couple of charts to help you better evaluate which pens do what:
Of the pens that look great on black paper, Moonlight at $6.99 for a pack of 10 is the best. I know Souffle looks good, but it is a weird, three-dimensional ink that takes a couple minutes to dry, and then if you flip another page down on top it, the poufiness crushes down into a peculiar mess. Proceed at your own risk!
On white paper, again, the Sakura 10-Piece Gelly Roll Moonlight Gel Ink Pen Set rules.
However, gel pens are not the only choice for your Mysterious Night Vision Field Journal; colored pencils work great, too. Cheryl Renn Long recommends Prismacolor:
Today’s Daily Create is to draw a picture of a place you have been to in your dreams.
I think this activity is a good way to introduce a class that Cheryl Long and I are developing to run at the Toucan Create! Online Art Classes Creativity School sometime early in 2016. It is called The Mysterious Night Vision Field Journal. It is all about using black artist sketch paper, gel pens, and colored pencils to explore memories, dreams, reflections.
It is, in many ways, the opposite of Color Your World. In the Color Your World class, we are looking out at the world and making an artistic representation of it. When we have black paper, we have a dark blank slate. It is our interior darkness. It is the world of dream, of spontaneous creation. Here we may draw our deepest thoughts, our most ephemeral emotions, the world that lives behind our eyes. It is the well we go down to where we may draw up the water of our own personal Source Imagery.
In this dream, I am sitting with Mom at a cafe outside the Museum of Modern Art, although I have significantly and unconsciously labeled it “Musee.”
We see my dad, long since gone from this world, climbing the steps and entering the “Musee.”
That’s it, but this 2008 dream is still strong in me seven years later. You’ll notice (or maybe not) that I can’t draw. That matters not at all to me.
I am fascinated by the way the dreaming mind likes to rhyme. My parents were inseparable except by death, but even in death, dad enters the MOM-A. I think that speaks to their bond, which built the strong foundation of my life.
But the element that still engages me is the connection to me of Modern Art–and I have tried to live a life in art–and the cross meaning of “Musee,” or “muse,” that which inspires. In Greek mythology, there were nine Muses, and still today, each artist is said to have his or her own Muse or inner source of inspiration.
What I understand now about the dream is that my father’s spirit entered into the storehouse of modern art and became my Muse, an artistic spirit who still advises me. But I have to say these meanings only come to me now as I reflect on the dream so many years later.
THE DREAM MANDALA
I love the idea of drawing such elusive inner experiences inside a circle. It is a spiritual or ritual symbol representing the universe. Knowing that, my dream fills up the space of the universe for the page of the moment and reminds me to think expansively, to look not only inward but outward.
Do you draw your dreams?