Inspiration Book

Art Journal Preview #3 — Panel Discussion Tonight!

Tonight’s the night we have our much anticipated TVAA panel discussion of Art Journaling at 6:00 pm at the Creative Access Arts Center at 500 S. 8th in Boise.

Besides me, you’ll hear from Pam McKnight, Beau Van Greener, Jeanette Ross and Lisa Cheney. The panel’s discussion will be led by Dr. Kathleen Keyes, President of the Boise Art Museum Trustees.

But before that, I have one last preview of one of my art journals — my Inspiration Book. I mentioned yesterday that it’s like a visual bucket list of things I want to have, or do, or make, and because for me there’s not much separation between my art and my home (painted floors, doors, dishes, etc.), or my wardrobe (painted boots, appliquéd bracelets, etc.), or any holiday or celebration, the book reflects a very broad range of things which inspire me….

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I hope you can make it to tonight’s discussion. If not, I hope you are aware of the many pleasures and benefits of keeping an art journal. And, if the whole concept is new to you, I hope seeing a little of the kinds of art journals I keep might inspire you to begin your own.

Art Journal Preview #2 – Painted Rugs

An idea I’ve found intriguing ever since I saw it done in Leo Adams house in the book Renovate, is the painting of rugs directly on large 8′ x 4′ pieces of masonite.

In my own home I just paint the rugs directly on the floor. Which is great until you decide to move to a new house.

The second art journal I’m previewing, before our panel discussion on Art Journaling, is one in which I painted acrylic paintings of painted rugs in 8″ x 4″ sections to give me an idea of what they might look like 12 times that size…

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Tomorrow I’ll have a third art journal preview for you — of my “Inspiration Book”. It’s kind of a “bucket” for the visual lists of things I want, or want to do, or want to make. I liked filling it so much I’ve started a second one which I will bring with me to the “show and tell,” but you’ll have to come to the panel discussion on Monday to see that one in person!

Keeping Busy

I’ve been good about always having a project in the works — never being entirely without some art endeavor which requires my attention so that I avoid the dreaded enervating inertia — and it seems to be working.

This week our collaborative team produced 9 unique prints for the upcoming TVAA exhibition “Four Eyes: An Optical Collusion.” Here are 3 of the more varied versions:

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Perfect repetition was never our goal, in part because we wanted to see how varying the ink would change the final result — and we really do love the variety — but also because we knew we would never be able to achieve perfect repetition and had no desire to take all the joy out of the process by having an unrealistic expectation.

As you know I also had plenty of time to make pom poms this week and this is the end result of my “Hit & Miss” marathon. Pom pow!:

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I’ve also been working on my new Inspiration Book. This one will have things I want, or that inspire me, sprouting out of heads. Here are a couple of pages. Some done. Some not done.

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I’m just keeping busy. Perfect repetition is not my goal, but repeating the pattern with room for variation seems to leave lots of room for joy in the process.

Let it Snow!

Highlighting the four seasons in my post yesterday must have reminded Mother Nature that in fact it’s time for the one which follows Fall because when we woke up this morning and looked out the window this is what we saw…

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Just enough snow to guarantee I’ll be cozied up on the sofa in a heap of faux fur and sleeping pups,

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listening to Pandora on the “Ashokan Farewell” station, sipping a Breve Latte, for the better part of the day while I bury myself in my Inspiration Book.

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Just think of me as a little squirrel cosy in my…

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chicken?

Hey, weaving all these thoughts and images together gets complicated. And now, of course I’m thinking about chicken. A nice roast chicken would be lovely for dinner. Sigh. I guess that means I’ll have to get off the sofa eventually.

Gilding the Lily

As you know, I’ve been spending a lot of time setting up my Sewing Studio and Big Ass closet and I’m very excited to have finally finished and to have the two combined into one space.
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It makes sense for me. Not that I spend any time sewing clothes. The most I’ve done is take normal jeans and make them skin tight — and that highlights my explicative vocabulary more than it does my “tailoring” skills. I just love to embellish things. To decorate them. (Run Lily, run, she’s got the gold paint!)

Here are some pages from one of my early Inspiration Books. Bear in mind “archival” was not a term with which I had any familiarity in 1977…
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Jewelry is the cherry on top of the sartorial sundae and an opportunity to play with color and pattern and have a little fun with this serious business of dressing ourselves. As you can guess, jewelry plays a big role in both my Sewing Studio and my Big Ass closet. I love to wear it and I love to make it. These are some hand sewn and beaded cuff bracelets I made.
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My Freshman year in college I studied Jewelry Design with Don Douglas at Boise State University. What a dear man. He let me spend hours in the studio outside of class time laboring over my complex designs which were far beyond my skill level.
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At the end of the year he gave me a “D” for technical skill, an “A+” for originality and design, and a recommendation to study with John Marshall at the University Of Washington in Seattle.

At UW I did start out as a BFA Metals Major, but quickly moved from Marshall whose specialty was hollowware, to Ramona Solberg who oversaw jewelry. Ramona Solberg was an amazing jewelry designer, but by the time I became her student, her love of teaching had fled. I changed my degree to BA Art, graduated two and a half years after I’d begun, and got on with my life.

My first “art job” was selling my Baker’s Clay (salt dough) jewelry at the Pike Place Market in Seattle. Many of my designs were based on the patterns on the backs of beetles. This is the page I painted to use as templates for myself from a big book of beetle photographs belonging to my parents.
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At the Market my regular fans were the Indians who slept on the street and bummed cigarettes off me, but I had one brush with greatness. Sherry Markovitz bought my work. Man, I wish I had just one of her beaded animal heads.
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Instead her work lives on inside my head. There’s no question her art continues to influence me years later at a deep level. I haven’t thought about all of this stuff for a long time. It’s good to shake things up, stir up a little dust storm, find stuff you’ve long forgotten and figure out new ways to use it.

Now that everything is in one room and all my materials and my inspiration for outfit combinations are in one place I imagine both my wardrobe and my vocabulary are going to get a lot more expansive and way more colorful!

Studio Tour: All things Paper

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I have the whole upstairs to myself. It’s two rooms with a skinny hall between, and on the West end I have the studio where I play with all things paper. I have stacks and stacks of years and years of Martha Stewart Living (I have EVERY copy ever published and am therefore bound by some sort of blood curse to renew annually in spite of my taste having veered dramatically away from hers), W, Sunset, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, O, Bon Appetite, as well as catalogs from Sundance, Pottery Barn, Anthropologie, Crate & Barrel, West Elm, and The Vermont Country Store. All of which are fair game for my scissors and glue stick when I’m composing my Inspiration Books.

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Like my Sewing Studio, this room too will be going through some changes. I’m moving my drawing table with the angled top which is meant for painting into the new space I’ll be sharing with Mike, and a flat top table in instead which will work much better for spreading out my papers and journals and glue sticks and scissors. I also have a bunch of craft papers which are in my painting studio and they need to be moved into this one. I especially love the Asian ephemera I get at the Orient Market on Emerald Street.
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Next time I’ll show you some of the things I do with all this paper I hoard. I’m a paper hoarder. A paper hoarder, and a visual junkie. Stick with me and it could get interesting!