Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wild Soul

Happy New Year! 
2013 and I seem to have gotten off on the right foot. This year I want to keep up my painting momentum and also try art journaling. Last month I posted about making a small series of hand bound, travel journals called From Here to There. I liked them very much and kept one to use for myself. I then joined Effy Wild's Book of Days art journaling class and watched the videos, that are available to members, in order to prepare for the class start in January. What I ended up doing was using what I learned in that short time to fill my Here to There journal with as much as I could from my 2012 all at once right then in December. A bit unusual in the world of journaling, perhaps. I think it turned out really cool considering how quickly it all came together and that it is in no particular order. The journal has a fun, quirky, charm to it with lots of color, textures and topics. It was a practice run for art journaling in 2013.

Staying in the "Zone"
The endeavor of getting into the creative zone on a daily basis or at least have a more regular routine of creating I decided to search for some e-classes that offered daily art journaling. I found Wild Souls Art with Effy Wild which is an art community I had discovered earlier in the year so I recalled that she did art journaling daily, and I started my search there. As I became more acquainted with her site I was amazed at how much this one person has going on! In addition to teaching her own classes she takes classes and teaches in other forums besides her own. After comparing my needs / desires for art journaling daily with her course and a few others, not that I needed to look much further, I decided to sign up to her Book of Days premium course.

Elements
After becoming a premium member of Book of Days (BOD) I had access to a whole bunch of cool art videos and I began with the self guided Elements series. Elements is a mini-course that takes you through creating a one or two page spread for each of the elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. And there were bonus lessons: Spirit, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. I made it through the Elements videos in a week or so and within two weeks I had all my pages completed and hand bound together. I'll show you my pages but I didn't want this post to be photo heavy so I made up some collage pictures using Picmonkey.

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For the first collage the first page I made is on the left hand side. It is a page that has all four elements together: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. I've made it the cover page for my Elements Journal. Then on the top right there is a green woman representing the Earth element. Below her is a light blue page for my Air element. I used acrylics, bubble wrap, sand paper, metallic paints & stencils.


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This next collage has Fire on top, water on the lower left and Summer on the bottom right. In these three I have used a variety of techniques including stencils, portraiture and abstract. While I'm not super skilled at these I wanted to go for it and get in some practice.


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This is my page for Spirit. I had this lovely photo from an issue of Vogue of Charlotte Gainsbourg. I'd had this for a couple years and knew right away that I would be choosing her for my focal point for this lesson. I wanted  the background to be very minimal; which is not an easy accomplishment for me. But, I really did not want to go overboard using techniques or embellishments for this page. I'm a person who loves movies so I picked an actress for my incarnation of Spirit. If you're familiar with Charlotte's work you'd know she is an amazing actress and singer but also a lovely person with an interesting life. I feel she's a positive influence and couldn't think of any other person who is such inspiration to me. So I decided that she, rather than a self portrait was worthy of a shrine to the divine feminine. That's my opinion and why I chose her to represent Spirit. I decided not to add any text but rather allowed the empty space balance out the beautiful image. I did add white flocking to some of the swirls that overlap the image; when the glue dried the swirls fade away into the background yet they also integrate the picture into the whole rather nicely. I added a blue rhinestone to her forehead to reinforce the idea of the divine. Photos do not do art journal pages justice they need to be seen in real life to be enjoyed. 



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 This page is my Spring page. Very green. Very whimsical. It's one of my favorite ones from the Elements course. It has lots of visual texture! I made the texture with a variety of tape strips at the base layer then by randomly rolling on paint. On a whim I drew this heart shaped face girl with big hair and had a lot of fun doodling all around and I even added text. I was going to paint her in a bit more but I every time I went to paint her face or hair I just couldn't do it. She was really bringing me a lot of joy just as she is. I couldn't bring myself to change it.This was one of those times when the muse speaks and I was present to listen. The muse helped me to be brave and to try something I didn't know I wanted to try from start to finish. I really had a lot of fun making it. This page is totally different than what I've been seeing other budding and experienced artists doing. So to create it and allow it to be exactly as it is - is more than a bit scary. But I may never be able to make another artwork like it and so I just couldn't make anymore additions or changes to this page. On the flip-side I may continue to make lots of characters like this and she could be the first of many. And with that thought I couldn't not create this then cover it up. That would be silly. Especially since I felt super happy with it as 'weird' as it is. Art is a process, there will be lots of happy accidents! I'm still learning, experimenting and finding my way to my style of creating one painting at a time! So I've made this textured super green happy spring girl in the spirit of new growth and possibilities.


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This is a series of photos for the two page spread I made for Winter. It was done along with about a hundred other women on New Years Eve during a live broadcast hosted by Effy. Talk about empowering! We were all there to support, encourage and make art together! I've never experienced anything quite like it. I think so even more now than while it was happening. The idea was to write a bunch of "stuff" we were releasing from 2012. This text is the base layer of the artwork and nearly everyone contributed what they were releasing from 2012 so I did not have much trouble filling up my two pages quickly. I wrote forwards, backwards and overlapped much of the text so it couldn't be easily read. It is getting covered up anyway so it didn't have to be pretty or legible. It was kind of nice just being messy and releasing  the "stuff" we want to and  have intent to let go of and just put it onto the page.


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Next I added some color chalk pastels and gesso to cover up the text. 


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For the third layer I made an outline of my hand on a scrap page, then I used it as a mask for both pages. I outlined and colored around the hands in pink... You can see my gesso, the mask I made of my hand, paint splatters and some stencils in the background...


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For the next step I wrote RELEASE on the left to represent 2012 and all the things I'm leaving behind. On the right it says RECEIVE to represent 2013 and all the things I'm willing to embrace in the New Year. I also glued on a SUKIE iron on image of a bunny and one of my hand carved stamps of bird images on the right. There is no real meaning in using these "symbols" it's just what I had on hand, they were small enough to use and they're cute. Although many artists do use symbolism in their art I have yet to develop my own personal symbol vocabulary. If you're interested in seeing an example of an artist who does have a developed symbol vocabulary and uses it well in their art I suggest you check out Jesse Reno.

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So, yeah me and 2013 have started off very nicely with my intention to be creative every day, to use the supplies I have and to add in a few new ones. To discover new art techniques and practice them. To try new art styles and cultivate an environment for me to develop further as an artist. I already have several online classes I'd like to take picked out and many fun projects planned to fill my year with creativity. I can't wait to do them all! 
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If you're wondering what online groups I'm a part of check my side panel, on this blog, for current ones at the top and older ones nearer the bottom. And in case you notice that I haven't blogged about every single group I'm in - I like to have a bit of flexibility with what I blog about so, I may not blog about or share the work I make during my time in any particular group past, present or future. I approach blogging the way I do a canvas with a bit of whim and I create what I want. 
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I will continue to update my Zazzle and Society6 accounts with products that have my art on them so you can buy them at your convenience. And of course my Etsy shop. If you'd like to request something specific please let me know. I will do my best to make it happen!
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I also wanted to mention that my word for the year is CREATE. I didn't really have one formally picked out last year but if I did it would have been PAINT. Which I did nearly all year long. I only found out about choosing a word for the year in December when I joined Wild Soul Art. So I picked a word for 2013 that would help me focus on what I wanted to accomplish for the year. I am going to do my best to live in that word for this whole year and I will continue to post to my blog once a month & update with what I'm doing.

Thanks for stopping by and being interested in what I'm up to.... 

Happy Days, 
Stephie                                                                 

4 comments:

  1. wow..! AWESOME! and no doubt you will def keep up your painting momentum at this speed!

    pssst... i HEART charlotte gainsbourg too! ;D

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  2. Just stopping by to let you know I awarded you the liebster blog award. http://www.theginghamginger.com/2013/02/liebster-blog-award.html I'll come back and read this poster later.

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  3. I finally made my way back here. I love how you are evolving! I think Whimsy is a perfect word to describe you. Keep creating and evolving!

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  4. thank you so much Gingham Ginger =)

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