Saturday, July 19, 2014

Random Acts of Art

Recently I started making and leaving little pieces of art in public places as a way to spread around some positivity. They are random acts of art meant to surprise, delight, and (hopefully) inspire total strangers.

I've probably left at least a dozen in the last few weeks in and around the building where I work. I place them on ledges, windowsills, walls, benches, tables, and other places where I think someone is likely to find them. Sometimes I go back a few days later to see if they are still there, and I'm so happy whenever they are GONE. I truly and sincerely hope that whoever finds them really needed to hear that particular message on that particular day.

If you've never done something like this before, I recommend giving it a try. It's actually a lot of fun and the world could certainly use more art, more surprises, and more positive messages.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Think Good Thoughts

Think. Good. Thoughts.

This, my friends, is the secret to...well, everything.

Simple, right? You bet! Easy to do? Not so much.

That's why I put these words in a frame right on my desk. To remind myself to keep an eye on my thoughts. Good thoughts are good. Negative thoughts are not good.

Think good thoughts.

What do you do to remember this simple, but important, concept?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Good Journaling Weather

We're experiencing another arctic blast here in the Midwest. In other words--it's good journaling weather. It's the perfect opportunity to stay indoors and cut, paste, paint, and doodle to your heart's content.

I've been working in this particular journal for more than five years.

It was started in a journaling class and has continued from there. I took the class with two friends and since the instructor's name was Judith, we affectionately call these books our "Judith Journals."

It's primarily a cut and paste journal. I've also heard other people call them glue books.

The idea is to collect words and images that speak to you and then put them together in a layout that makes sense to you, or tells a story, or maybe is just visually pleasing in some way.

I collect my images from art magazines, mainstream magazines, old books, research journals, maps, wallpaper, calendars, and anything else that catches my eye. (I know there's a typo on this page but Howard Finster taught me not to worry about that.)

At one point during the 5+ years of working in this journal, I started to feel as though the work wasn't really original since the images were created by others. But then I realized that nobody else in the world but me would arrange these exact images in this exact way. Even if someone else had access to the same images, they would most likely use them to tell a different story in a completely different way.

Around year 3 or 4 of working in this journal, I really wanted it to be done. I wanted every page to be filled so that I could put it on the shelf and start a new journal.

But then something happened and I totally fell in love with the process of filling this book little by little and bit by bit. The journey really has become the destination and now I never want the journey to end.

I keep building on what's already there, and filling the few remaining blank pages. This is a journal that calls to me. And when it does, I usually drop everything else and focus on the book for a few days, or a week, or however long it takes to satisfy the need to cut, paste, arrange, and admire the view to this point. Then I'll put it away and work on other projects until the call comes again. Do you have a journal like this? One that you only work in when you hear the call or feel the pull? One that is more of a journey than a destination? One that you will be happy to never say is finished?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Our Purpose

Illustrating quotes is one of my favorite things to do. So when Lesley Riley put out a call for submissions for a book called Quotes Illustrated: 100 Works of Art Inspired by Words, I answered the call. And guess what? The quote above will be published in the book!

I can hardly wait to check out all the quotes and artwork in the book.

If you want to check it out too, Quotes Illustrated can be purchased from Amazon or directly from CreateSpace.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Give Thanks

Good advice any day--but especially today. Wishing all my friends in the US a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Poetic New Journal

The minute I picked up this old paperback book, I knew I wanted to turn it into a new journal. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the color and pattern on the cover.

I filled it with a tan colored cover stock that I've had forever. I used a corner punch to round the corners of each page because I thought it just called for rounded corners.

I glued the book covers to another piece of card stock to give them a bit more weight and rounded those corners too. Then I glued a piece of soft black leather to the covers and bound it all together with some gifted thread using the long stitch. I made a mistake and the pattern on the back cover ended up upside down--oops.

I considered cutting out the title to make a window opening for my own title, but then decided to leave it as is. How could you not love that old penguin logo on a book called "The Metaphysical Poets?" Really, what does that mean? I gave myself about ten minutes to figure it out then realized I really didn't need to know in order to just appreciate the graphic beauty of this old book.

I plan to use this as a note taking journal and a place to scribble down whatever is inspiring me at the moment. Who knows--maybe I'll even manage to include a few metaphysical poems.

Friday, November 22, 2013

When Housework Pays Off

For me, housework is a necessary evil. I only give it my full attention when either 1) company is coming to visit or 2) I just can't stand the mess for one more minute. Either way, I'm a half-ass housekeeper at best. Good enough is alright by me and I've been known to quickly stash things away just to get them out of sight.

A few weeks ago I was in a I-can't-stand-the-mess-anymore mood, so while I was stashing some things away I found a couple of doodles that had been stashed on a previous cleaning spree.

Finding these again made me smile and was well worth the price of tidying up. Now I want to get out my doodling supplies and make a new mess.

Monday, November 18, 2013

An Adventure So Big It Needed Its Own Journal

Last month I went on a grand adventure to visit my daughter in Bangkok, Thailand. Even though she’s been living in Thailand for over a year, it was my first trip there. (or anywhere, for that matter.) 

Before I left, I made a journal and filled it with a variety of papers and bound it with a long stitch binding.

The image on the cover came from an old book I rescued from the landfill.

I packed a small bag of art supplies that included markers, glue sticks, a travel watercolor set, a burnisher, washi tape, a ruler, and a tiny pair of kid’s scissors which was confiscated by security on the way home. 

I journaled every single day and included whatever ephemera I accumulated or found while I was there. 


The more I wrote, the easier it became and the more I wanted to write. 

I did a good job of estimating and rationing the pages because I ended up filling the book without running out or having too many empty pages.

It truly was a grand adventure, and one that I can relive over and over whenever I page through my journal.

Friday, June 28, 2013

A Peek Inside My Journal

At the beginning of the year, I wrote about the journal I made from painted paper. I use this journal as a place to record my art-related activities and have been slowly filling it up with a lot of writing and bits of this and that. I love the look and feel of the painted paper, but sometimes writing on it can be a little tricky. I've had to experiment with a variety of pens and have to give the ink time to dry to avoid smears and blurs. Although I think most of it looks OK, it doesn't allow me to be as spontaneous and write as often as I'd like. Maybe I'll use a combination of painted and plain paper when I make the next one.