Sunday, February 26, 2012

Inspiration -- day 3

So day one, I was struck by the beauty of some yellow beets and organic squash. I took photos, painted a bit with watercolor and carved an eraser stamp of a beet.
Day two, I assembled various scans, prints, and paintings into a collage palette. I started playing with layout, and printed some more bits and pieces to make a collage. My eye was caught by the pattern on a yoga tea box, and that got cut up, scanned, and printed on for the final page. and here we are at day 3, the finished product.
I included a favorite poem by Mary Oliver, talking about the courage to leave those inner voices of bad advice behind, and turn toward your own truth. Why beets and why a journey? I don't know, and I am not worried about convincing my brain it all makes sense. It doesn't really make sense, and that is actually the power and beauty of it all. Visual journaling is not usually about making sense. You just have to try it and see what emerges.
Somehow, this page pleases me, and makes me feel that Mary Oliver poem all the deeper. and that is what inspiration is all about.

The Journey
One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice --
though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles.
"Mend my life!" each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations,
though their melancholy was terrible.
It was already late enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen branches and stones.
But little by little, as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own,
that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world,
determined to do the only thing you could do --
determined to save the only life you could save.  
-- Mary Oliver

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Where inspiration comes from, day 2:

Yesterday I shared the photos and paintings of yellow beets and organic squash. Today, I take it further with mixing up the media a bit, using the paintings to generate some fodder for my next journal page:
After painting a beet, I love to scan and print my watercolors on various surfaces.  This is the inside of a Yogi Tea package - I have always loved the pattern on the cardboard in those boxes, way too nice to just toss!  Those two little dots are where the box was glued together,  which reminds me of the wabi sabi, the not-so-perfect, but more beautiful, nature of re-using found materials.....
Then my favorite thing to do is carve an eraser stamp in the theme of the day - beets are pretty easy to depict in strong lines and colors.  I first printed it in black ink, then I inked it with my trusty copic markers, nice variations on the colors in reds and oranges, I think!  And repeating something always a good idea.
So with my various paintings, scans, prints of paintings, and even a few bits and pieces from the Yogi Tea package, I spread out all my creations and begin to play with pattern and layout.  Tomorrow .... I will assemble the collage in my journal, no doubt adding more stamping, inks, colors, and lots of words. Come back tomorrow to see how it all turned out.

“Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.” --Mary Oliver

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

where inspiration comes from . . . .

Yesterday I brought home some healthy organic produce, part of my new anti-inflammatory diet way of eating. 
These yellow beets and winter squash from Mexico were just too pretty to simply eat. 
An excellent TED talk about this diet is here:
Just look at these colors!

These water colors will be scanned and used in a journal page, along with some of the original photos I took.  I also plan on carving an eraser stamp, perhaps of a beet, so that will be incorporated into the collage as well. . . . . the finished page will come soon, right now my scanner isn't working so it might be a few days.
and of course it all then got chopped, and roasted with some olive oil and sea salt. . . .
I will dry these seeds to be started in the garden in the Spring. . . . the cycle of life goes on!

"Have you ever read King Lear?  But anyway, I think I shan't urge you too much to read such dramatic books when I myself, returning from this reading, am always obliged to go and stare at a blade of grass, a pine-tree branch, an ear of wheat to calm myself.  So if you want to do as artists do, gaze upon the white and red poppies with the bluish leaves, with those buds raising themselves up on stem with gracious curves.  The hours of trouble and battle will assuredly come and find us without our going to look for them." -- Vincent Van Gogh

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

doodle collage

A drawing is simply a line going for a walk.
-Paul Klee

Thursday, February 16, 2012


I am getting ready for a journaling workshop I am teaching in two weeks, and picking up a travel journal from two years ago was like getting together with an old friend for coffee.

 I have not opened this one in a while, and it was so cool to see things I had dreamed about and hoped for just two short years ago that now are actual realities in my life! (having a studio, for one.)

and a very favorite quote of mine that I have not read for a while: "The secret is that words create the Universe, and we control the words."

Here are 5 random pages from this journal, it is not large (about 5" x 7") and is mostly bound calender pages, magazine pages, music paper and other miscellaneous scraps from the paper pile. I gessoed the pages to give them some heft, then just added lots of ephemera. Then wrote words here and there. I probably could do lots more painting, or doodling, or stamping in this one, but for now, here are some of the pages I like:

"Whatever relationships you have attracted in your life at this moment, are precisely the ones you need in your life at this moment. There is a hidden meaning behind all events, and this hidden meaning is serving your own evolution." --Deepak Chopra

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

the octopus page . . . .

Paint the page.
Paint an octopus and print.
Cut out, sew onto page.
Carve an eraser.
of a seahorse.
add some seahorses.
Print another octopus and sew onto page.
Add some green and red paint sprayed through a swirly stencil.
Tear some tissue paper and maps, and glue them down.
Add more paint.
and some words.
and some dots.
"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." --Pablo Picasso

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hooray for a day that celebrates love . . . .

"Passion is universal humanity. Without it, religion, history, romance, and art would be useless." --Honore de Balzac

Friday, February 10, 2012

need a . . .

"Come on you raver, you seer of visions, come on you painter,
you piper, you prisoner, and shine!"
--Pink Floyd


"A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." --Oscar Wilde

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Meditation on Shells - a sneak peak

“The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea”
--Isak Dinesen

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

due date

"Those things that nature denied to human sight, she revealed to the eyes of the soul." --Ovid