I am focusing of late on art journaling and translating the process to smaller works on canvas (10"x 8") This has been such an interesting and informative period of experimentation. I look forward to warmer months when I can try the same processes in oil on larger canvas in my dedicated studio space.
In the past couple of months, things changed very quickly. I kid you not. We moved states. Literally.
I have not had much time for painting which is most rare regardless the circumstances but I have a designated space set up to work with art journaling and related concepts and exploring how that, now, is translated in the way I see my work.
I am changing, my work is changing.
My journaling time leans toward my studies with Erin Faith Allen's, courses Metamorph and Inner Space, (Love these year long workshops...you have time to dive deep)
I have learnt so much.
I've grown my disciplines, adding collage and multi media to my tool kit and my journals are becoming, it is time to start translating this expression on to canvas.
It has been some months since I have written a post.
Life has been so busy with personal things, there hasn't been much to tell with painting. I had packed it all to move with the exception of my main journaling supplies which we kept with us when moving. It became my staple.
I am yet to begin a new series of paintings in earnest.
We have just settled our family and begun a new adventure. My painting is reflecting that and it is mostly journal oriented.
I have decided to share the process 'of becoming' as this expression finds it's way out.
So in essence , instead of cataloguing work at the time of release with a series, I will share the journal pages as they are created, the artworks that come out of this time will be my next body of work.
I'm surprised by this evolution in mixed media but am deeply involved with the process of daily journaling, and excited at the prospect of broadening some more.
Sculpture is in my sights, as is installation pieces but first, we have some more settling in to do. Foundations are important for a long term vision. The forest is still informing me.
I have been called back to creating on canvas.
The past 8 months I have focussed quite heavily on art journaling and the R-evol-u-tion project,
I have made a few works in smaller tile format but it has been a while since I painted on a large scale canvas. I felt the pull lately and decided to let it out. I am so glad I did.
I have another couple of months to complete the e-course I am undertaking in art journaling (Metamorph- Erin Faith Allen) and will continue to explore suggested topics and techniques, but I feel it is time to integrate the new ways of working into my regular arts practice. How can an artist ever keep new discovery separate?
The style of working in the art journal seems to translate easily on to canvas.
Many of the influences, such as the reference to ancestral bones (past) and sewing like, mark making (integration) have appeared in among fields of color, unwittingly joining the present to the past.
I am enjoying the effect and the way the process feels on a larger scale.
My work has always consisted of layering pigment and glaze in color fields, with mark making becoming more prominent since moving to California in my 'Fog Series' but I'm grateful for the way my experience with art journaling has allowed me to reach deep into the psyche in a deliberate manner to portray that excavation on paper and now on canvas.
There is a freedom in the art journaling that has informed my painting in a way I may not have discovered on canvas alone.
I have to be honest and say the past few weeks have been challenging, I have found it difficult to find my balance, I seem to be either entirely optimistic and full of faith or collapsed inside of a fearful moment. I have felt true emotional exhaustion and questioned my own faith in a benevolent society but I have also felt elation and connection more profoundly than ever before.
I am so grateful for the clarity the process of painting provides me, as it is there I draw the fuel for balance-daily.
There is definitely a shift occurring for all of humanity.
The times I have felt fear are the times I know I have been resistant to change. Deep down I believe that all is well on our planet despite the atrocities still playing out in our growth curve, I know the Universe conspires in our favor.
There is a saying that 'history repeats itself' and although it is often true, it is not steadfast or necessary that it does so.
In fact with true growth it doesn't. When we know better, we do better.
We have reached a point in time where some patterns have come up for review and seem to be highlighted for our attention, this is not so we feel condemned to repeat the past but to awaken the knowledge that we truly create our reality with our expectation and contrast has helped discern our preferences.
That is why balance is so important now, we have a chance to create an entirely new paradigm. Where we focus our attention we add energy. Focus more on the outcome you desire rather than the problems you may perceive.
It truly helps if you turn off the television and spend more time in nature and time spent creating something with joy can fill your soul with the energy needed to stay positive in those moments you feel the wobble.
I saw a wonderful movie recently called 'Arrival', it suggests time is cyclical, which is a belief I have subscribed to for some time, but time is also subject to consciousness.
We directly affect the future with our thoughts and our thoughts are changing.
They are more inclusive and oriented in community than ever before, this is changing the outcome of the cycle we may have been destined to repeat without this growth in consciousness. Just like ripples on a pond, thought waves affect reality.
Sometimes the best thing you can do for others is take stock of your self love and care.
Our outer world reflects our inner, so if you want to see change in the world, you need to find that change inside of yourself first.
The first order of the day is to find energetic sovereignty. You are the master of how you feel about anything.
It takes some getting used to because we are trained from birth to look for guidance outside of ourselves, starting with our parents, but true guidance comes from within, from your direct connection with source.
We are often so busy we don't have the space to connect with our inner self. Making time to do something you love in quietude affords you a place to connect. Some people find this in meditation or exercise, I find it in painting.
Spend some time working out where that place is provided in your life. There is much on offer when you find it.
My hope with the R-evol-u-tion project is that in making Tiny Talisman people would take a few moments out of their busy schedule to create and in doing so, may find more connection with themselves.
It is not lost on me that in taking this time to create something to gift to another, one is gifted with oneself. We are living in a powerful era, what happens next is up to you.
When I began this project, it was really a means for me to create Tiny Talisman's to share with my community for the good feeling it brought me and hopefully the finders. It was originally anonymous but after realizing it would be fun to witness the journey in the pay it forward idea behind them, I numbered them hoping people would log on to the fb page I created for the project (R-evol-u-tion) and share the number on the Talisman they found and we would be able to follow where they ended up. Needless to say I had to moderate the page, so no longer anonymous if people logged on. After many questions regarding how to and 'the rules' (there are none) I filmed a short video on my Iphone to explain the basics of the project and posted it on the page. No time to be shy.
The entire project has been a steep learning curve. I have found many have not logged on to share finds although many have shared what they are creating to share in the same fashion in their own neighborhoods.
I am not sure why people have not logged on with their finds but imagine it may be in part to social media cynicism. I understand not everyone may have access too but in this world of Iphones, some form of connection is usually available, so that has been interesting. It was never the focus of leaving the Talisman so it doesn't detract from the original intent, but it is a layer that doesn't get recognized as I thought it might.
On the other hand the 'seeding' part of the project has grown much more quickly than I would have even hoped and I see a lot of value in that, as it means others are taking the time to create something with the intent for leaving it for another who may not even be known to them.
No boundaries there, just one heart gifting another. I have really enjoyed people sharing their unique expressions with us on the fb page. A moment spent creating is truly a treasure. It is such an easy way to access your inner self and creates space for a few moments in the midst of busy schedules to do something quite simple and rewarding. Such a wonderful activity to do with children too, who are often less shy about committing marks on paper than adults who worry more about perfection, as usual the young have much to teach us!
We have a number of artists in Dallas, Texas creating and leaving Talisman and an artist in Michigan making beautiful works to share, a local writer has been writing notes to give to people she meets in her daily travels breaking down barriers and spreading light as her own expression of love. Of course not all whom are making Talisman are artists but of course it is appealing to those who already create and hopefully inspiring to those who don't normally make things with their hands.
The local paper received an email about the project from a neighbor and followed up with an article which perhaps inspired some to get on board and begin creating their own Talisman too which is wonderful and possibly helped dispel some cynicism regarding the social media platforms, designed to further support sharing of the many layers this project offers for a feeling of community.
The Talisman are gifts, there is nothing to purchase in this project although there is a wealth of good feeling that is generated. That's the currency I am interested in!
There have been some larger groups who are undertaking Talisman making projects of their own now too. This makes me very excited.
An Elementary school in Melbourne, Australia is having a Talisman making day for their students, so they can spread the joy in their own neighborhoods. I love this so much, in fact reading the Principle's post brought tears of gratitude and joy! (What lucky kids to have such an awesome and creatively minded Principle!)
It is amazing to think that each of these children will play a part in widening the reach of the project to the other side of the world. I hope they enjoy every aspect of it from creating to the good feeling of leaving their pieces somewhere, not to mention the goodwill created when someone comes across one on their travels.
Other community groups are looking at ways in which to use the idea to compliment their own purposes in the future, which I truly look forward to witnessing. I imagine the tendrils of this project will travel widely over time, already a number of US States have people sharing what they have made or plan to do in coming months.
I personally plan to continue making my Talisman alongside of my arts practice daily and seeding them in the community as weather allows. We have had two months of intense rain in California, which is most welcome but not ideal for leaving little artworks out in nature. I have left a number in unusual places undercover lately! So keep your eyes peeled in cafe's, bus shelters and even restrooms. :)
Cheers for now, keep sharing the love!
I really enjoy the process of preparing canvas for painting. I find it meditative and relaxing. A time when I may think about my intention for the painting to come.
Generally preparation for a painting involves 2-3 layers of Gesso for me. (Gesso is essentially PVA and White Acrylic paint) Each layer needs to be dry before applying another. Once on the canvas it provides a base for the paint to adhere to without corruption.
If you do not prime the paint will stain the raw canvas and bleed through to the back, diluting your paint and the color in the process.
It also provides a 'tooth' (grip) for the paint and allows for other additives which can be mixed in to the gesso to change the texture before even painting. Some popular additives are pumice and fine sand. One coat can be enough but I like to apply at least 2 and 3 if I have the time.
Tonight I am gessoing cards for the creation of more Tiny Talisman for the R-evol-u-tion project. The first 250 Tiny Talisman are on canvas card with texture already but I have purchased a high grade card with a coating of vellum, and will gesso for the next series of cards.
It'll be interesting to see if the materials change the outcome in any way. I'll share pics so stay tuned!
I write today so fulfilled with the R-evol-u-tion project and it has not yet been a week. It really has restored my faith that people want to be involved in positive action.
Just the idea of leaving a Tiny Talisman for someone to randomly find seems to put a smile on peoples faces! Actually going out and leaving them around town had my friend and I grinning all afternoon. We felt like a kids in on a secret, it's exciting!
I happened to see a woman walking down the street where I had hung a couple of Tiny Talisman earlier, I was actually waiting to pick up my child from school. She walked past the first one after spotting it but then on spotting a second a block further, must have realized the first was not something left for someone who may had dropped it. She retrieved it from the bush and popped it in her bag to open later. It is so fascinating to see different psychology at work. It never occurred to me people would not stop and pick them up but in hindsight it makes sense. People don't really want to do the wrong thing and pick up something that is not theirs. I hope she enjoyed opening it when she could.
I've opened social media pages (fb: #R-evol-u-tion and Instagram #revolution_artwithheart) for people to share their experience with this project whether it be the making, the leaving or the finding of the Tiny Talisman. I have found the members who have joined the pages are as interested in seeing the pics people post as they are in the activity...seems this giving has many layers of joy.
Thankfully, people are sharing too as the project only grows along with those who get on board. It may have initially started with the 200 Tiny Talisman I have made but many have pledged to create and share themselves.
This is where I think it will get really exciting. We'll be able to see what different people create and hopefully some of the finders will start checking in. Of course if they don't it doesn't mean the project isn't working to make people smile, they may be social media shy or not have time or access but ultimately the idea of following the journey of the Talisman is secondary but it does add another layer of community to the project.
I am truly grateful for the friends whom have helped deliver the original Talisman to area's further than I would travel on my own. It has made it so easy to get them out into the world. It takes a village. Feedback has helped me decide to remove the envelope the original Tiny Talisman were packaged in. I hope it makes the card more visible and the intent more obvious.
This is just the beginning....the Love Revolution continues...A BIG thank you to everyone for helping spread love and goodwill in our communities!
I have been painting 'Tiny Talisman' for a while now but recently I decided to create them with a special purpose in mind, to leave them for people to randomly find in my neighborhood.
The idea is to think Global and act Local.
I truly feel it is the small acts of kindness in a day that make it good and after feeling deflated and somewhat confused the past few months I feel this is a proactive, ground roots movement that could just put a smile on people's faces and remind us how very much connected we all are to one another.
On a deeper level as an artist, it is also a way for me to do what I need to express in the world. The energy of my work is what I have to offer the world. I want to give something of myself that can have a positive effect and ripple outward to others. I have felt a little stagnant of late and this idea has given me energy to create with purpose."
Will you join us?
I have enlisted the help of my local meet up group, 'Spirit Sister' friends to distribute 100 Tiny Talisman created over the past two months, throughout our neighborhood this week.
My hope is that when people come across them on their travels and open the package to find the 'Tiny Talisman' that it makes them feel good and smile.
Science has proven that smiling automatically makes a person feel good as endorphins are released in the body.
I hope this project makes many people smile and a flood of endorphins for all.
It has also been proven that helping others creates a feeling of purpose and wellbeing, so this project has a two fold effect.
The recipients have a choice to keep the Talisman, but if they decide to keep it, my hope is that they will create something to leave in the same fashion, for someone else to find in 'pay it forward fashion'.
A person who writes might leave a positive quote or a poem, some may draw, paint or even create a collage to share, in fact the possibilities are as endless as the imagination.
Painting is what I have to offer but this project is not restricted to my creative expression. In fact I sincerely hope seed groups begin and others may feel inclined to create multiple items to share themselves. This project could grow itself exponentially as seed groups form.
I would love to see what other people choose to create and leave for another too, so I created a Facebook page called R-evol-u-tion and Instagram at revolution_artwithheart where a person can leave a comment on where they found the Talisman (not a specific location, more a description such as 'under a tree' or 'on 'a park bench') and perhaps whether they have decided to keep the Talisman or have left it in a new place for someone else to find. I have numbered the cards and would love to be able to observe how far they travel and how many times they are replaced for others.
There is no obligation to leave a message but wouldn't it be cool to see exactly how far we can pay it forward?
The ultimate goal is just to spread good feeling and as wide as we possibly can. It's my way of sending love out into the world and I would love it if you would join me.
We can be the change we wish to see.
I finally took the plunge and worked on a painting on canvas with the same intention as I undertake a journal spread.
I painted an abstract piece I liked very much but decided to push it further and consider it a sacrificial piece in order to satisfy the process.
Our theme for November was fire.
I painted her, I cut her up, I sewed her back together with thread and finally set her alight.
She lives. She is transformed.
Destruction is an interesting process in itself. When you put aside the judgement of 'breaking' something, or the idea of loss in regard to what you already had created, it allows you to let go of a desired outcome in powerful way.
I often sacrifice what I have created for the pleasure of pushing further to see what comes next (as I am sure I have covered in previous posts regarding the multiple 'stopping points' an artwork has along the way of it's making) but the idea of incorporating scissors, thread and fire was new.
I wonder if I will be cutting up and burning older works I have stored in the studio now? It is somewhat addicting!
I too feel transformed.
I am into month 5 of my year long art journaling course and still as inspired as I was in the beginning. It has really been an interesting learning curve. It's not just the techniques and topics that are inspiring but the digging in to personal narrative I find so exciting.
I always have an internal dialogue when i am working, it is one of the reasons I love creating art as much as I do but removing the pressure of creating a piece on canvas is liberating, it removes the necessity of seeing work in progress as part of a body of work and allows a more personal investigation.
The fact the materials are not expensive also helps to liberate the experimental nature of what I feel drawn to do next and no need to justify in terms of how that reads with work before it or after.
The pages of my journal do seem to have a kind of sequential storyline but it is of their own natural unfoldment. I guess thats how the mind works, one thing leading to the next and here it is getting put down on pages that come after one another. It is interesting to look at with hindsight and see the connections more clearly, but I love the fact I am not thinking about any of that as I am creating.
The delight is in the details. The tiniest piece of paper means something personal and although it may not be evident to anyone else viewing the work, each piece holds some meaning, has some significance to me.
This little piece of drawing paper (pictured) is a potion of a self portrait I did in the very first month. I ripped one of the ink drawings up into smaller pieces and have been incorporating them along the way in various spreads. A letter to myself also got torn up and repurposed in among other detail on other pages. As I flip though the journal, I can see how bits of the story bleed over the spreads and unite them. I can't wait to see the finished book.
I also find I have a personal style reading through the pages in much of a similar way my paintings have a signature feel to them. I guess thats what happens as you uncover your own visual language. I recognize that in my paintings because you notice these things over the years (16yrs to be precise) but the journaling is new and it feels more like a discovery again.
I look forward to creating with the same unrestricted feeling on the canvas.
Through journaling I have found another portal to self discovery.
I am using art making as the medium to evoke memories of my own and unlock memories stored in my DNA because there are family members no longer on this Earth who's stories remain a mystery, as there was much they would not speak of while here. They are survivors of WWII.
My Grandparents had the courage to travel with a small child (who later became my Mother) across Europe, from The Czech Republic to Italy to board a ship bound for a foreign country (Australia) in the hopes of creating a new life.
They, along with many others, managed against all hardship to do exactly that. I am eternally grateful for the courage and faith they had in their ability and future, assuring mine.
This spread is a way for me to connect more fully to their journey. I am surprised by the depth of emotion I have felt using this process of art journaling.
The act of collaging old photographs, building and excavating layers of paint, pastel, ink and graphite, mirror the emotional digging, revealing and concealing so much more than I anticipated. It is a truly rewarding process and one that I will use as a means of expression, alongside of my daily painting practice.
I am currently enrolled in an on-line art journaling course. It has had my full attention for the past 3 weeks. I have been absorbed in translating my painting process into the journal pages using different media. Oils take too long to dry to achieve the very quick results I need to work at the pace I am.
Acrylic, collage, pastel, and ink are among the materials I have been playing with and it really is play.
Each step has been a new path to explore, from the inner realms to the physical art creation. The two mirror one another as they do in creative flow but it has been a refresh button to abandon my known techniques and act on impulse alone and in the spirit of discovery without any other purpose. It is very freeing.
The pages (double spread) have been given themes, all originating from a master theme of getting to know yourself. I am working through my heritage in various forms and formats.
There's a truly rewarding dialogue that occurs along side of the creative process . Each mark, tear or paste a metaphor, something shifts in recognition inside.
This is my 3rd spread. 'Siblings'.
The most exciting moment is also the most anxious. Just before making your first mark.
Once you have begun, it is exhilarating following each movement and inspiration to the next.
By no means have I stopped my regular painting process but I have taken a little sabbatical to dive into the course instruction and pay attention to what comes next. It is already informing me of new directions.
I am deeply attracted to tiles, blocks and multiples in painting. I just love the concept of many small parts that contribute to the whole. A metaphor for life really, we can appreciate the detail while still seeing the big picture.
While working on my larger paintings, I usually have a smaller, multiple work on the go at the same time. I love designing the multiples to read as one and yet be able to hang individually.
I am especially thrilled when a client purchases a set, as I create I do intend the work to be hung as one but understand available space and finance have a place when purchasing a work.
'A Rose by any other name' has been collected in it's entirety, consisting of 9 blocks @ 6"x 6".
I hope my new collector is inspired everyday.
I have been continuing my 10" x 8" works and loving the lighter palette....I have never combined pastels and neons before but really like how it's working out! I will paint washes of oil and glaze over these and share when complete!
I have been finding my personal balance in painting.
Restoring connection to source energy, as dialogue occurs between the canvas and the paint.
'Go forth and be kind' it says.
18" x 36" Oil/Canvas
Detail: (This is only a detail picture not the whole painting.)
I find I wait until my paint clothes are on and I am in the studio and ready to work to open to the inspiration of what action to take.
I have found lately my inspiration for what color to apply next has had an interesting correlation to the nail varnish color I am wearing on the day.
It didn't occur to me until I had posted a couple of photo's on social media over the course of a couple of weeks, that this is what was happening.
I have no preference for how I am inspired, intuition has always been my guide for what color or technique I will apply in any given session. Lately when asking my higher self 'what next' my eyes have found the answer right in front of me...in my varnish!
I heard about the '1000 Postcards Exhibition' Black Swan Arts (U.K) was holding to raise money to help refurbish the historic Round Tower as an educational centre and thought I would lend my support. Sharing my work is definitely one of my favorite ways to contribute to charitable organizations.
What I didn't know at the time of creating is the Gallery is in Frome, Somerset, which is very close to Stonehenge.
I have been thinking about Stonehenge and other such energetic power points across the globe lately, wondering if being there and adding ones own energy of love at such sites could help the grid all over.
I may not be even close to getting there right now but took great joy in realizing this connection when writing the envelope for my contribution this morning.
Artworks seem to know where they are meant to be placed. I am so pleased the piece I chose for this exhibition is called 'Abstract Love' it seems even more fitting now.
Wishing the team at Black Swan Arts a successful exhibition and kudos on the idea of using art to raise funds for education!
I've been busy this month with a commission. It's been an interesting process. Once again, I have learnt many things through the process of collaborating.
There have definitely been many stages thoughout the whole push/pull relationship with the canvas and palette changes, along with an entirely new midsection, in the style of the 'Thick series' that have challenged me but as I've pushed through it always rewarded. The work began as 'Sunrise on the Mountain' a 36" x 48" painting from the Weave Series.
After discussing which series on my website my collector responded to and in what way, I decided the best way to meet the request was to begin with a painting, from one of the preferred series already complete.
I then factored in the extra detail and contrast using the colors already present in the undercoat/painting and created texture with a palette knife of Titanium White.
My client explained he is actually color blind, so I photographed it with the black and white filter to see if I could see the work differently.
It was very interesting, they way it highlighted the area's of contrast so easily and enabled me to visualize more clearly the area's to solidify. He wanted the windows to the darker ground visible in parts and a lighter 'Spring' feel to the highlights included in the more textured top application.
At present the entire top third is painted Titanium white with hints of a glow of the palette that lies beneath. I will always know it is there and feel it's contribution but how much of that glow will remain to be seen is still unknown as yet.
At a certain point it will just be right, even though some stages don't seem to make much sense on their own. It is always the whole with a painting. Each layer contributing in ways unplanned and building on from there to create a work that at some point just cries finished, complete. and you know it.
This work is about renewal and the windows through to the under layer painting are a salute to past, the fabric that goes into the weave. Although, with paintings it often feels as though the future is painting the now. The layers know why they need to be expressed in terms of the final outcome. I just have to trust.
Finally, the finished painting. My client signed off on it today and I am preparing her for shipping.
I am excited to be able to contribute to the new environment my client is establishing, for the beginning of a new chapter in his life. What an honor it is to journey in collaboration with another. Co-creating at it's best!
(Unfortunately there is no time to photograph this work professionally so here is an iphone picture to share.)
My Tiny Talisman have found another size appropriate show to participate in at the ActivistartistA Gallery in Boynton Beach, Florida.
The show is titled Tiny Works and tiny they are but it is interesting to note small work still carries a vibrational imprint that is large, particularly when there are multiple works hung together!
Kudos to Rolando Chang Barrero for organizing another great community event!
Tiny Talisman I
Tiny Talisman II
I have been painting Tiny Talisman for the better part of a year,
The idea was in part dictated by available space and a desire to continue in some way, with the tiles format of paintings fitting in together, parts to the whole. I've held a fascination, since studying Latvian Artist, Immants Tiller in my early painting years for tiles and canvas paper that joins, pages telling a story.
The original idea stemmed from a clients request to have a piece of art she could carry around in her purse for the energy it imbued to travel with her, hence the title Tiny Talisman.
Since making these 2.5" x 3.5" paintings on canvas card, I have explored a number of themes with them. In the process of their completion and during the assemblage of the multi card projects, (the mixed media 10"x8"s of 2016) I have found a renewed sense of play.
At times I painted them into the canvas at other times I removed them leaving a space where they were once. They have become an index of the palettes used in creating my larger works along the way.
They are in progress, all around the studio most of the time. I use paint left on the palette after a studio session and apply a certain stamping to the cards with it. The layers build over weeks and even months until they feels complete.
I mainly print 2.5"x3.5"'s but occasionally will use a larger size of canvas card to begin. This entry to the Twitter Art Exhibit , titled 'Rebirth' is postcard size.
I have entered a couple of Exhibitions with my smaller works in the last month. It's been great to see these little works make a difference somewhere, regardless of size.
The proceeds of the sale of work in TwitterArtExhibit go to Foster Pride NYC. It's nice to be part of something that can make a difference. :)
There is so much good work to look at or purchase too!
My painting: 'Rebirth' 2016
Thanks Twitter for organizing the TwitterArtExhibition!