Monday, March 26, 2012

Flower Line Drawings

This post will be released on the "Sketchbook Challenge" today as well.
Click over to read (almost) daily posting from 13 other artists showing their sketchbooks habits.

Like everyone else, I am busy as a bee but I am also feelin' kinda lazy as well.

I recently spent two weeks away from home, teaching and being a teachers aide as well as helping one of my buddies vend at Art & Soul.

Wow, what an experience.

I had never attended Art & Soul before and was blown away by the creative support that was evident there.
From the instructors to the students themselves, everyone was so very supportive of the creative work that was taking place.
I met online friends there for the first time in person (waving to Jill!) as well as friends that I had met at other creative events (Hi Joanne!).
I tried my best to share the message (and website) of what we are doing here at "The Sketchbook Challenge". I feel that daily sketchbook work is so valuable to every artist.
We learn to flesh out our ideas, capture new ones and try out other ideas without using a lot of our expensive supplies.

I'll go back to my opening confession of feelin' kinda lazy here lately.
I have some health issues that kick up their heels every so often, zapping me of physical energy.
There are times that my creative energy follows that same path.
I have learned a few little tricks through the years to keep me occupied until one or the other (or both) returns.

Enter my sketchbook.
I have found that making marks in my sketchbook will often trigger an outpouring of creative energy- oftentimes prompting the skeleton idea for a new piece of artwork.

And yes, there is always the dreaded "I got nothing" day as well.
I can doodle, sketch, draw, research, paint or stitch little bits of this & that only to find that nothing I do interests or inspires me.
The difference between letting that stop me and plugging on through the "nothing here" days is equivalent to a body of work.

"What?" you say.

Well, if I allowed every "off" day to define my work habits, I would never get anything done!
I think that the universe rewards those of us that keep pushing and keep making marks even though we feel totally uninspired.

I'll share some of those "I AM going to draw today" marks from my sketchbook.

Loosey goosie marks made by a frustrated (and stubborn) artist.
This is a sketch of a wonky type flower I drew when I was trying to design a shower curtain motif a while back.
Nothing that I drew suited its purpose so I scrawled out this flower in my frustration with myself.

Not the flower that I was looking for to go on my shower curtain but I have since used it for a thermofax screen image.
A perfect use for this flower.
So - no time or work lost and a cute little thermofax screen to use in my surface design or art journal.

I have been fixated on these little round flowers lately...must be my OCD kicking in, but I can't seem to stop drawing them in my sketchbook...over and over again...

I will keep drawing it until I find some combination that I like or I get tired of it.
Or both.

The lesson in all of this is to keep making marks.

You will not only grow in your sketching/drawing skills but your "stick to it-ness" will grow as well.
You will find that working in your sketchbook becomes a daily habit - one that you begin to look forward to.
(it also gives you a safe place to channel your OCD impluses!)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Looking Forward

I'm trying to clear a few layers of rubble from my studio table and get back to the doing what I love to do.
Making art instead of cleaning up packing/unpacking messes.

I'm ready to start working on more ideas for "Art Camp For Women".
I'm teaching a brand new book class that I designed just for Camp!
It's going to be great for people (well, women in this case) that have been wanting to try their hand at bookmaking as well as those that have made a few books.
We're combining three different book binding stitches to create a beautiful handcrafted spine.
My roots are in fiber/textile art so I love being able to see the waxed linen stitching along the spine!
I'll be bringing a lot of different colors of linen thread with me so there will be several colorway options.

We will also be covering several design options for the cover collage. The ladies at Camp will have a ton of supplies (and I bring goodies from my own stash!) so options will not be an issue.
If you have an image, a postcard, photo or some other item that you want to use on the cover of your book, feel free to bring it. Otherwise, leave all of that to us!

I love building the book but one of my favorite parts of this class is the surface design for the inside pages.
My students always love the time that we spend adding color and other things to the pages.
You could leave your book pages blank but it's a lot more fun to put your stamp on them while you're building the book.

I can't wait to see the mountains of Colorado again!
I've looked at the Camp website photos (at least) a hundred times and am so excited about spending time nestled in the Colorado Rockies.
Just look at this view -

There may be a few spots left at June's Camp - check it out before it's too late!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Playing Catch-Up

I've been a bad blogger, haven't I?

I really do have a great reason though!
I've been away from home the last two weeks, busy as a little bee.

I spent two days teaching at Judy Gula's awesome shop in Alexandria Virginia "Artistic Artifacts".
If you are ever close to the shop, you should definitely stop by. She has everything from hand painted batiks (a new business that she recently purchased) to  acrylic paints in her shop. And she can find just about anything that you may want to create art with.
I taught my two day book making class "Bound by Heart, Made by Hand".
I was remiss in getting photos (as usual) so if any of the people in the class are reading this - Send Photos! I'll post them on my blog or on a Facebook page.
Everyone loved the books that they created!
I love seeing how each person makes their book so personal.
It's a joy to see them work through their doubts (in making art) and succeed in making a truly spectacular piece of work.

I also spent a week helping out at "Art & Soul" at Virginia Beach, Virginia.
This was the first time I had ever been to "Art & Soul" and I was blown away by it!
Glenny has certainly created a fantastic art retreat as well as a supportive team.
It was so inspiring to see all of the creative work that was being done and to meet all the the teachers and students that came through Judy's shop during the retreat.
I was honored to be able to take one of Jill Berry's classes "Spontaneous Deconstructed Journal".
It was sooo much fun!
Jill is a great teacher. You should definitely sign up for one of her classes if you ever get the chance.

Even though I had a lot of fun, met a bunch of cool and creative people, had time with two of my best friends Liz and Judy), I am SO glad to be at home with my sweetie (my bestest best friend).
He met me at the airport gate with a dozen red roses...every woman there appeared to be swooning at his feet and the men probably scowled at him for raising the bar higher for them.
What an awesome way to be welcomed home!

I promise that I will put up another post soon - I've got some fun things to talk about, some exciting news in the works and a new project on my work table.

Even though I worked hard while I was gone, I feel so rejuvenated artistically. Everyone was so excited about creating art at the retreat that it was contagious!
I can't wait to get to my studio and put some of my ideas to work.