On the old blog, I used to chronicle my daily art posts in a weekly round up. It only occurred to me this week that I needed to continue the practice here. I’m not going to try and go back and pick up the old stuff. If you are desperate to see it, as I know all of you are, you are welcome to scroll back through my Instagram feed.
What I hope to do here is give additional information about my thought process for what I’m working on. Info that is too long or detailed to attach to the Instagram photo I post every day. I’m writing it down so you can read it and so that I can remember it. I’d love to see your comments and feedback, or answer any questions you have.
Sunday, March 20, 2016, 79/366
I started making a shrine box this week as a way of processing my grief at the loss of a friend’s baby. I wanted to make it to give to my friend but also as a reminder to me that I will choose to remember this tiny person, whose life was so very short. I’ve made shrines before but they’ve been more humorous in nature. I’ve shied away from making a serious shrine since it’s always been tangled up with idols before in my head. After doing some research, I realized that it can be a great way to work on healing when dealing with grief.
I started with a cream cheese box (shown above) and I was super excited about it but it quickly became apparent that it was too flimsy. Even with multiple layers of paint, I could tell it wasn’t going to hold up to any actual wear and tear and never mind actually trying to carry it anywhere. I’m stubborn though, I painted on it diligently all day.
Monday, March 21, 2016, 80/366
When I got married, I made the headpiece to my Aunt’s antique veil that my great-grandmother crocheted the lace on. I dyed a RIDICULOUS number of tiny white flowers just like this in tea. Every once in a while my Southern appears in more than just my accent. I wanted these tiny flowers to go in the shrine.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016, 81/366
After I scrapped the cream cheese box, I dug out an Altoid’s tin. I have a ton because at one time everyone knew I was using them so friends would just randomly walk up to me and hand me an empty box. It was great because I don’t particularly like Altoid’s so hardly ever buy them myself and now I have a nice stash.
Once I switched boxes, I realized that I was going in utterly the wrong direction stylistically so I changed my approach and felt it fit my friend and her style AND my style better than the previous version. The right side looks a little blank in the shot above but it is going to hold a picture of the baby and I’ll arrange the tea-dyed flowers according to what shape the photo is.
Here’s a photo of the front of the box:
These are some additional resources I read on shrine making during this process:
Day of the Dead, Decoded: A Joyful Celebration of Life and Food
Some Thoughts on Shrine Making
Make a Thing: Sacred Queer Heart Shrines
Wednesday, March 23, 2016, 82/366
This year I am a member of the Get Messy Art Journaling Community. It is a program that is: a school, art playground, and family. We are a group of like-minded art journalers who have come together around this art form to learn, share, practice our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. Our community values consistent creating, encouragement and support, and trying new things. I’ve loved being a member because there is some accountability to keep me working and because I’ve met some amazingly talented women who inspire me with their work. If you are interested in starting an art journal practice, I cannot recommend this community highly enough. Month-to-month membership is $10 USD. I was lucky enough to WIN!! my yearly membership back in January.
Get Messy works in six week cycles we call seasons and the season that starts on April 4 is the Season of Lists. I wanted a journal this time that reflected my mental ideal of a list notebook so it is 9 inches tall by 4.5 inches wide and made out of mixed media paper. It is bound by snap rings at the top. The shot above is where I put down a base consisting of a torn piece of old book page and some Liqutex Ink! (totally obsessed with this stuff right now) on the pages so when I start my weekly creating, I’m not starting with a blank page. I’m also attempting to create some cohesiveness for the whole season by starting with the same “look” on all my pages.
Here’s the cover of my Season of Lists notebook:
I actually cut up an old art piece (Day 74-77 from 2013) to use as a base and then I added the Liqutex ink, gesso, stamped the words, and added some marks with a Bistro Chalk Marker. I’m happy this old piece, that was just collecting dust on the shelf, got a new lease on life in this way.
Thursday, March 24, 2016, 83/366
One of the art journals I’m currently working in is a copy of “King Arthur and His Knights” from the 1950s. I bought it at a used book sale with every intention of using it in this way. It has a super kitchy cover that is VERY colorful and I thought it would be perfect for art journaling. I started working in it a few weeks ago and am really giving myself the freedom to do whatever I want in it.
This spread came from thinking about the people I know who have very tender stories in their past or present. Stories that are hard and painful and real. So while I was getting ready Thursday morning I started thinking about the trust it takes to share those hard stories with another person. And I wanted to illustrate the word trust by squishing the letters together so it becomes an entwined web, a safety net. So that when you have that trust relationship it is a sacred center and the rest of the world is outside of that.
Here’s what it looks like all finished:
Friday, March 25, 2016, 84/366
I’ve been reading iHanna’s blog for several years. I love her style and her adventurous craft spirit. I’ve somehow always managed to miss her postcard swap though which always makes me excessively sad when I see other artists talking about the postcards they’ve received. Good news though, if you were waiting in suspense: I managed to make the open enrollment this year!!
These are the first few postcards I’ve made to send out for the swap. I started with a sheet of 18×24″ mixed media paper and glued some book page pieces down and then used my Liqutex Ink!s on them. (Wait, didn’t I tell this story already? Ha.) After those layers dried, I cut the big sheet down to 4×6″ rectangles: prime postcard size. Then I added cut paper embellishments, stamps, stencils, and more ink and paint. MORE INK! MORE PAINT! Maybe I need a tattoo that says, MORE PAINT! Hmmm…
Enrollment for the swap ends May 1, 2016 and costs $8, USD. Check it out if you have a sweet, sweet love of old-fashioned mail.
Saturday, March 26, 2016, 85/366
My kids still love to dye Easter eggs. I’m pretty fond of it as well. And we particularly love the tie-dye kit. It makes spectacular eggs and it’s so fiddly that we have a blast doing it.
I really wanted to make at least one postcard today. I sorta did this one as a speed round with materials I had close at hand. I love how this turned out. Every once in a while, the stars align and the nearly perfect thing happens. This is that thing for me this week.
Most artists that I know and love always sort of end up becoming activists and I think it’s because an artist’s job is just to pay close attention, to notice. To notice people and to notice the world. I think if you are paying close enough attention, like artist’s have to do to be good, you just fall in love. My job is to pay such close attention to people so I can write about them, so I can write about being human. I don’t know how you can notice, really notice people, and not fall in love. And then when you fall in love you just wanna serve and help. I think that good art always turns into activism. It’s like you can’t stop it. …We show up to use our gift and it’s like a current that takes us directly to serving each other. You heal yourself and you end up healing other people.
So, so, so good.
What I read this week:
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
I wrote down so many quotes out of the library book that I finally admitted to myself I needed my own copy to highlight. I consider this book essential reading for anyone working as a creative.
What did you work on this week? I wanna hear all about it!