Thursday, October 29, 2009


Back from a lovely trip up to Port Townsend, WA for Journalfest. I had never been there in the fall before, so really enjoyed seeing it in the golden light.

Even the dorms look grand in the autumn glow:

Teesha and Tracy Moore always put on wonderful retreats, and this one was no exception. They provided beautiful gift bags full of goodies, journaling parties in the evening, even a live band. The highlight of the retreat for me was spending an evening looking through Teesha's journals.

I had pleasant classes all three days, but they could have been meatier. I was hoping to come away with a renewed zest for journaling and new ideas to improve my sketching, but that didn't happen. I did, though, pick up a few new ideas here and there.

In some ways Lisa Cheney-Jorgensen's class felt like a step backward for me. I keep trying to work looser in my sketches, and Lisa works very tightly with a small brush. Her work is beautiful, but not the direction I want to head. I did though, like her use of colored pencil to heighten her final drawing. This was done in her class, with an example of birch trees she did in the lower corner:

On Day two I took Theo Ellsworth's class. Theo creates his own imaginary worlds and does elaborately detailed drawings of them. He gave us a fun collaborative exercise to work back and forth between drawing and writing then we spent much of the day doodling from our imaginations. These are two of Theo's drawings, a bit from our collaborative exercise, and, at the bottom, a sampling of the sort of doodle drawing we did:

And the last day was with Alex Shur who scrubs on watercolors to create a dreamy background, then draws out whimsical characters and animals from them. She works with a lot of China white watercolor and white gouache, which was all new to me. This was the page I did in her class, with the inset done by Alex:

After Journalfest, Cindy, Traci and I spent a few days in Seattle. It was raining pretty hard, so we didn't get around the city as much as planned, but we still managed to hit a few art stores and two of Tom Douglas's great restaurants--Palace Kitchen and Dahlia Lounge. Those make the rain pretty easy to take!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Scattering of Beads

I've been so busy packing, I almost forgot to post this week. I am heading off to Journalfest tomorrow up in Port Townsend, WA. I'll be taking three days of workshops focused on art journaling. I'm traveling with my friend Cindy, and we'll be swinging by Seattle for a little extra hang out time.

So for this week, some raggedy fabric beads I've been making. They're about .5" in diameter.

I'm looking forward to catching up on blog reading when I return!

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Few More Stitches

I'm really enjoying having an ongoing project that I can pick up and spend a few minutes on here and there. Been adding a few more layers:

And some raggedy crosses:
Just got a great idea for an edge treatment I hope to be showing soon.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Breathing Easier

Now that I'm starting to build layers on my ugly background, I'm feeling much better about it. This will be a slow piece full of hand stitching and layers. The quote from Gandhi feels perfect.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Ugly Phase

I have three projects started, and every one of them seems to be at the ugly phase. It's at this point when I wonder what I was thinking and if it will ever come together. Taking a big leap of faith, I plow on, but I do wonder along the way if it's a waste of time. I think, though, that some ugliness is usually necessary to make for an interesting final piece. I just mucked up a painting I had going because it was too pretty. It bored me. And now, it's definitely not pretty, and I can only hope that something interesting will start to emerge.

This is the background for a long, narrow piece I started. All I know is I want it to be dark and ethnic looking, and have lots of hand stitching and layers. I started with some intuitive piecing in browns and blacks and then hand stitched on some reds to form a background. Now I have to try to move forward without critiquing too much and hope that something evolves out of it.

On another note, I recently signed up for L. K. Ludwig's online photo journaling class and am very excited about the first project. She's only charging $25 for a month of instruction. You can find out more about it here.