Category Archives: Artsy Stuff

Art Journals: Unblocking Your Inner Artist

Art is not about thinking something up. It is the opposite – getting something down.
Julia Cameron

Let go of linear time.

We tend to live our lives in such structured and disciplined ways, where the clock rules our every moment, we lose touch with the freedom of being in the moment. Art journals and art making in general enlivens the part of our brains where we let go of time and experience the innately creative selves that we are.

Many of us find our daily activities a grind without as much time to focus on aesthetics, feeling, and creativity.

The time we spend making art journals is our time and our opportunity to be free from the constraint of our obligations to perform, be perfect, and to please others.

Ah, good taste! What a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness.

Pablo Picasso

Keep a journal in your purse or on your person.

One of my favorite places to work on my art journal is a local cafe. Over a latte, I simply allow myself to get in touch with what is on my mind and start writing, drawing, or doodling. I begin to get clear on how I feel and what my place is in the world. Sometimes I save spaces to later add in collage, paint or photos. Often, I have a glue stick and some scissors in my bag along with a magazine and actually add collage elements then and there. Sometimes, people will become intrigued and ask me what I’m up to. When they take a look at my art journal process, they often go out and by a journal of their own.

Mystery is at the heart of creativity. That, and surprise.
Julia Cameron

The Tao of Women

Surprising ourselves is part of the fun of making art. We don’t need to know the outcome, we just need to start and the outcome will take care of itself.

If you need some inspiration to get unblocked, I recommend, Julia Cameron’s, “The Artists Way.”

She offers tips on getting in touch with our creative energy, moving beyond our creative blocks, and living an authentic and creative life.

 

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Creating Collage Art Journals: Discover Your Personal Mythology

“The function of mythological symbols is to give you a sense of ‘Aha! Yes. I know what it is, it’s myself.’”

Joseph Cambell

What draws us to the images we choose for our art work?

Symbols help us to interpret our personal reality, explain the mystery of the cosmos, and help us gain insight into ourselves. All religions and cultures abound with symbols that speak to our beliefs and cosmology.

When making a collage, I notice  I keep finding and choosing to use certain symbols over and over again. Even though I’m not always conscious of why I choose these images, I trust they are meaningful on a deeper level. For example, I frequently draw or use circles, spirals, birds, hands, feet, angels, portals, archetypal wise women, vessels, and a variety of animals. And, I’ve come to see how they relate to my personal mythology. They have become part of my artistic vocabulary. Then I start to investigate what these symbols mean universally as well as how they relate to me personally.

Symbols allow the soul to speak to us directly.

The creation of an art collage from the soul is an inner journey that allows your soul to speak to you. Your soul’s voice can be heard through the images, feelings and insights that surface… (Kathleen Carrillo)

The more aware I become of the symbols I find myself consistently drawn to, and the more I incorporate these images into my art journals and other art works, the more I discover interesting things about my psyche, and the more interesting my art becomes. And, that is what I’m going for.

 

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Creating Art Assemblages Using Mask Forms

Mixed Media Art Assemblag

 

Assemblages using simple and inexpensive mask forms

During my mask-making period, I began integrating my decorated mask forms onto boards using collage, paint, found objects, shells, beads, feathers, fabric, etc.This project was spontaneous and unfolded in a magical way.

Materials:

  • Mask forms (I found nice paper forms at Dick Blick).
  • Any kind of strong supports for your assemblage, such as: pieces of wood or Masonite (Masonite can be purchased at hardware stores and cut to your desired sizes).
  • Mat medium for adhering papers.
  • Gesso for prepping your support boards.
  • Glue-gun for adding three dimensional objects.
  • Paint, paper, and ephemera—this is where you can get really creative—the list is endless.
  • Hangers for your support—you can find simple kits that make this an easy process.

The most important material in art making, of course, is your imagination.

“If you want to really hurt you parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”
Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

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One of My Art Journal Pages: Women Who Heal the Planet

Art Journaling From Your Heart…

The power of doodling, collaging, free writing, water coloring, and experimenting with all kinds of media, including found objects, is that it allows you to express and record what is in your mind and heart at a given point in time! You don’t need to be trained to play with the media. Just pick up a paint brush, watercolor crayon, or a simple pen and go for it. Anything goes—it is your journal, your playground, and place to experiment. Anyone can create interesting and beautiful art journals.

I Refuse to be a Blocked Creative!

Everyone needs a form of creative expression, and even those of us who have been what Julia Cameron calls, “blocked creatives,” can come out of the closet in a non-threatening way and create art. That is why so many people have discovered the joys of making personal art journals.

 I used my computer to generate images of some of the women I consider my mentors. These women inspire me because they have influenced and changed the lives of millions of people and helped heal the planet.

I love art journals with water color paper – they are perfect for mixed media and allow you to paint and use markers.

Gouache paint is fantastic! The beauty of  gouache is that you mix it with water, like watercolors, but the medium is non-transparent so the effect is more opaque, with great reflective qualities. You can, however, dilute the pigment with water to give it more transparency and lighter tones.

One of My Art Journal Pages

“Most of us are not raised to actively encounter our destiny. We may not know that we have one. As children, we are seldom told we have a place in life that is uniquely ours alone. Instead, we are encouraged to believe that our life should somehow fulfill the expectations of others, that we will (or should) find our satisfactions as they have found theirs. Rather than being taugh to ask ourselves who we are, we are schooled to ask others. We are, in effect, trained to listen to others’ versions of ourselves. We are brought up in our life as told to us by someone else! When we survey our lives, seeking to fulfill our creativity, we often see we had a dream that went glimmering because we believed, and those around us believed, that the dream was beyond our reach. Many of us would have been, or at least might have been, done, tried something, if…
If we had known who we really were.”
Julia Cameron

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Women Do Not Understand Art – “From a Young Man’s Perspective”

Tree Deva from Kartika’s Art Jounal

What do you think? As you can see, perspective is not my forte.

This guy thinks women are clueless about art. Take a look – Women Do Not Understand Art – “From a Young Man’s Perspective.

What is your perspective on perspective? I used to be terrified to draw because I thought I had to make a woman holding a jar look like a woman holding a jar.  I thought first I had to understand perspective and be able to draw realistic images before I could create art. But now I’m free to enjoy myself. Why? Because my art mentor gave me permission to reject perspective. I can now love my “Girl with a Jar.”

She teaches me something every time I look at her – she teaches me I can trust myself, trust my instincts, and follow the muse. She teaches me it’s okay to play and not take art making so seriously. She teaches me sometimes the best things happen when we just loosen up and let go.

But the perspective of this young man reminds me of those critics out there who just don’t appreciate the abstract or irrational. He reminds me of those antiquated teachers who admonished us for not drawing in the lines or making a tree look like a tree. He reminds me of another guy I was with who thought of himself as a “real artist,” who had mastered the craft of perspective.

I say, don’t buy it and keep drawing outside of the lines and making trees look like dinosaurs.

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October 19, 2012 · 1:55 am

What is your perspective on perspective?

One of the pages from my art journal is a piece called, Girl with Jar.Image

What is your perspective on perspective?

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October 19, 2012 · 12:00 am

Am I an Artist Wannabe?

I am a fraud in a field where absolute truth and honesty are required for any modicum of success. And so, I often stay up past ten or eleven and sitting on a chair in front of the easel purchased on e-bay even before my decision to embark on formal but actually informal training, I stare at my board, gesso-ed and painted, with scraps of cut paper, faces of skulls, photos of tubes of lipstick, words, lightly glued (still in process). I stare, worrying that I suck and that I am a wanna-be, and fuck the “process only” preachers who are adamant that product is not where it’s at, while they stick cool looking product on the pages of their books that claim process is the only thing that matters. And sometimes when in process, I feel that flow, that sugary rush of time suspended, and that light headed no-fly zone when I know that picture of the Goth girl is perfect for that spot directly underneath the orange torn paper in the right corner. I just know it and all is well.

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