Tag Archives: drawing

Directive Journaling: Art Habit

The first class in the Art Habit program will be focused around journaling, written as well as art journaling. Most of you know I’m an avid journaler and have been since I received my first diary at age 10. I’ve written almost every day since then. (We won’t talk about college, m’kay?) I think that written journaling goes hand in hand with art journaling. When you can’t find the words art helps and when you can’t find the right shape or color writing helps. So this class is more of a self paced workshop, set 4 weeks long, featuring 4 mid-sized PDF of prompts, questions and text. The goal is to take the PDF, read it, mull it over and start to use it as a guide for directed journaling.

What I mean by directed journaling is when you focus on one particular word, or question while you write or make art; or you ask yourself a series of questions as you write or create art. Some of the questions are designed to get you thinking about the world around you others are designed to make you look within yourself.

This may look like the easiest art journaling course created but it’s probably the most difficult I’ve written. The questions are hard, they make you think and explore your thoughts and feelings on a subject.

These are questions that I use in my written journaling on a daily basis. This course comes from YEARS of journaling.

I have not decided if I’m going to do a video component to the class or not. We’ll see.

I’m very excited about this particular workshop and its implications for each person’s journaling. I know that when I use these directive questions my journaling becomes much more productive and useful.

Like I said, I’m very very excited.

Quick Update

It’s been a long week for me. The holidays always represent an increase in DayJob related work. It’s just how it is. I’ve grown accustomed to this shift but it’s hard to explain to those around me. That being said some things have been really cool.

#1.) We released a holiday issue of the eZine which you can find here.

#2.) I had my first in person live class in years and it went well.

#3.) And I’m developing 2 new classes; one based around prompts and one around painting.

#4.) I have an art show coming up. (see the post about it here)

I have more to say but right now I'm dead tired and need to catch some Z's. Also for those of you who are wondering, we have been having hellish issues with our internet service since the DNS went down at comcast. We've rebooted the modem, the computers, chatted with comcast and flushed the DNS on our modem, stopped and dumped it and restarted it. For awhile the internet will run smoothly, then 15 minutes later crap. So we're looking into other service providers and we'll see how that works out for us. While chatting with comcast the agent who was supposed to be helping me with my issue instead told me that my service package sucked and that I should upgrade. BEFORE MY ISSUE WAS RESOLVED. How about you help me fix my issue before you try and upsell? Anyway, I'm unhappy, my internet is not happy and hopefully high speed will be fixed by sometime in the middle of next week.

Inspiration and technique: Susan Cornelis: Soul Collage

I really really love Susan Cornelis’s work. She does some images of chickens that I simply adore, but I”m also a fan of her collages and sumi ink drawings/ paintings that she calls Soul Collages. It looks to be something of an automitic drawing process that involves sumi ink poured onto a wet page, manipulated with various tools and then collaged on with color added. It would be a great way to work out ideas, get inspiration and to work yourself out of a rut. This could easily be adapted to working in a spread of a journal- smooshing pages together to manipulate the ink. Reminds me of a rorshack test.

100% Recycled

I've been working on this idea of some 100% recycled sketchbooks. I've been fascinated for some time with the idea of gesso'd  pages made of newspaper or magazines. I first experimented with this idea back in 1999, I gesso'd a hundred or so pages of newspaper and drew on them. I have no idea where those pages went or what ever happened to them. All I know is that I love to draw on gesso, especially when it's on top of chunky paper. The rougher the paper the more i like it. So why would I want to experiment with gesso on magazine apges? Color and pattern. It takes away the fear of the precious white page, the empty the making of the first mark.




The first mark is there just whited out with gesso. I used a thin layer of gesso to cover up the words and images from a national geographic special magazine. I snagged 3 copies from the trash, chopped and stitched it up into a 3.5×5 inch book that is just a hair over 1 inch thick. The binding is a standard button hole style binding. I fouled up the spine a tad, but the spine is made of a recyled tyvek envelope that I had recieved somethign in. The book is about 98% recycled. The book board inside is not recycled and the thread is of course new material, but the rest all recycled.



I digress. I went through the book with brush and  gesso and put a thin layer of gesso over images and words. I lightened pages that were too dark to write on. My first intent was to draw in this book with a ultr fine point sharpie or pigma pen. The pages are so slick that thegesso adhere'd well but will still scratch off, which leads to more ideas but wasn't what I had planned on. My initial goal was to use this as a sketchbook and journal. Sketching is easier in this book than writing. Mainly due to that issue witht he gesso scratching off.

I intended for this to be somethign of a prototype of sorts. I wanted to do a limited edition with pre-gessoed pages BUT it took so long to gesso up the 300 pages (all day) that I'd have to charge an exhorbitant amount to sell these and recoup any profits. Anyway, I'm in love with the size and chunkiness of the book and I've been using it a little bit here and there. I am going to make a few one of a kind versions of the book. BUt be aware you'll see some more sketches on here than you have in the past.


Back on track

The weather here is miserable and has
been on and off since the middle of December. As a non-essential
member of staff I am often able to work my schedule around the
weather and today is one of those days. Thank god, the idea of
driving anywhere in this garbage is pretty bad.

My father has been hard at work on the
sewing cradles on the farm in Maine. He has a bunch finished and you
can find them in the supply section of my shop. Each fits perfectly
into a USPS Priority Mail Shoes box. They now fit a 12inch high sheet
of paper and he has rounded the bottom edge for a smoother look. He's
kept the basic design and simplicity of the item. They still come in
a simple linseed oil finish, rubbed on. The linseed oil finish is
used instead of a slick hard finish so that paper will not slide
around on the wood but he natural grain and texture of the wood will
hold signatures in place while they are being punched.

I've also made a ton of matchbook
notebooks. They are 99% recycled, all the paper and covers are
recycled but the staples are a virgin material. (Many staples are
made of recycled steel but I am not sure about the heavy duty staples
I'm using.) I've switched to a 6 pack for $5.99 and will give
discounts for bulk purchases. You can find them in the recycled
section of my shop
. Say I love you AND the environment by getting
someone special some recycled journal for valentines day!

New Hedgehog Moleskin

Immediately after finishing my last hedgehog/ moleskin I started a new one. This one has distressed brown and black sheep hide covers, is 3.5×5.5 in size and was entirely hand made by me. It got kraft paper pages which is something new for me to work on. I used rough wrapping paper kraft paper for the pages too so it has a great texture for drawing and such.

So far it has been taking every sort of abuse I can hand to it, thus far in this book, I’ve gesso’d pages in clear and white, tinted pages with acrylic, glued in magazine pages with matte medium, sanded gesso off the pages, added layers of magazine, acrylic and ink. I’ve scraped with a pallet knife and credit cards. I’ve wiped on and off with a rag. All in all this paper is tough as nails. Unlike the 140lb printmaking paper it does cockle a bit but after drying it smooths out quite a bit. I’m very pleased with the amount of abuse that this book has taken, and to think that this books was one I deemed unsalable because I screwed up and trimmed the cover short. (Note how far the fore edge pokes out from the cover. Looks good with this but not so good when first made.)

After you get done looking at these pictures head on over to my Flickr account and see more pictures. I didn’t load them all here because it takes longer but at flicker you can see all the spreads thus far that are in the book.