"When we all think alike, then no one is thinking."
— Walter Lippman

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Our theme this month was 'Predictions' and my thoughts turned to the little slips of paper in fortune cookies.   For years I have collected these whenever we get together with friends at our favorite Chinese restaurant.  I have a whole jar full.   As I went through them, this one stood out, and the photo of 'Frank' seemed to connect with it.  He looks like the patient type.  The photo is from my extensive collection of 'lost people' that end up in a shoebox at some antique store for $2.
Here's hoping that Frank is rewarded for his 'everlasting patience.'

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Become Who You Are

Thoughts about diversity and uniqueness were the prompts for these journal pages.
It takes courage to become who you really are.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Play Art

Creativity is about play and a willingness to go with your intuition. If you know what you are going to do, why do it? --Frank Gehrey

People tend to forget that play is serious --David Hockney

Today I'm revisiting one of my favorite themes:
Play..... get some.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Begin Where You Are

Every day brings the opportunity to try something new. This was the prompt for my journal page yesterday. As usual, a wide variety of materials were used, starting with a gesso ground on the pages. Watercolor, torn paper, acrylic paint, printed images, markers and watercolor oil pastels were all within reach and found their way onto the page.
Begin where you are but don't stay there too long. Move forward on your journey.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

You Go Girl !

I like to work intuitively most of the time which means I don't always know where the muse is taking me. It's the most wonderful feeling to just let things happen without over-thinking, trusting your immediate instincts. Remember, you have more paint to cover up anything you really dislike later. (If and when you do cover something up, consider using a semi-transparent wash to allow the layered imagery to show through and create interest).
Here I began by playing with the background with no further expectation. Layers of paint, colored pencils, and stamped textures were all used. Images were added and the theme of the page became obvious.
The linear borders on top and bottom were made with a strip of corrugated cardboard that was placed on acrylic paint and then pressed on the pages like a stamp. What other 'found objects' could you stamp with? When I'm working, anything within arm's reach is fair game. (Try little plastic drinking cups for circles, bubble wrap for pattern, fork tines for lines of dots, etc).
Soft water-based oil pastels were used around the imagery to help them blend into the background, and then the writing was applied with waterproof pens.
I'm not sure it's finished yet but decided to post it here anyway. As Anne Boelyn said, "That's how it's going to be, no matter how much people may grumble."
What's next? Guess I'll get a background started and see where it takes me.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Journal Play

Remember to play often.
A visual journal is the perfect place to play with ideas, color, materials, words, whatever you want. You are not obligated to make a masterpiece. You might even paint over the whole page if you don't like it.
Here are some recent 'play pages' in my journal. None of them are really noteworthy, but they each represent a moment in time and document what I was thinking about.
Compare this to the concept of writing down your thoughts in a diary...... it's very related to that, only more visual.
The prompt for the above pages: A co-worker's birthday celebration and remembering the importance of celebrating life each day.
The prompt: A friend gave me a piece of vintage ephemera and said "here's something for your journal." I had also recently listed all of the daily expectations of teaching in a large public school. The two items merged on these pages very spontaneously.

The prompt: Recalling a time in my childhood when I wanted to become invisible. Not a happy time, but something that later helped me grow. Making these pages allowed me to revisit and remember a significant event in my life.
There is power in putting images and words on paper. If you have not tried visual journalling, it might be a new adventure for the new year! There are so many resources online to inspire and get you started.
What would you like to journal about? Silence your inner critic and have fun.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Invite Peace

I've always avoided making New Year's resolutions. Why risk the guilt? But when one of my friends on Facebook (You know who you are Lauri P.) posted an article entitled "20 Ways to Add More to Your Life" by Dr. Frank Lipman, it inspired me. I like the idea of seeking more of the positive things life has to offer, and less of the negative.
This morning after reading the list again I selected some of the items and used the term 'invite' as in 'opening the door' allowing these things to come and go in my life.
The resulting journal illustration is mixed media including markers, watercolor pencil, oil pastel, decorative papers and ink.
Once again, inspiration is all around us all the time, just waiting to be recognized and asked to play. Thanks for sharing the article Lauri.
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