I found this cool little workshop yesterday on Balzer Designs, which I thought would be a little bit of fun. I picked up a couple of stencils at the recent WA Craft, Quilt & Stitch Show. I've done a few pages using them, but felt some inspiration in the form of a workshop and mingling with other crafty, arty types might be just what I needed right now. Hope you'll join in, too.
Since deciding on a word for this year I've tried to daily incorporate presence into my life. I've worked at enjoying the presence of my family, friends, my mother and other people I know. I've concentrated on the presence of God while in church. I've been present as much as I can with doing things for other people who need me. I've also tried to keep a regular presence in the online communities where I'm a member.
Mostly, I've been finding time to be in the presence of creativity. I've left my art journals open on a desk in the study. Any time I pass by I splash a bit of paint around, paste something in, colour with a watercolour crayon or pencil, drip or mist water or even rubbing alcohol, trickle inks, doodle and draw with all kinds of media. I'm having a great time.
For me the key to actually getting any of this done is to leave the play things where I will play with them. Just seeing them out on the desk, with all the supplies on hand, is a lure to my senses. While showering my little boy I can sit for a total of three or four minutes. It's surprising just how much you can get done in those few moments.
An added bonus is that my little boy is only too happy to join me whenever I pull out my art supplies and journal at the park or in a café. Although I love playing alone, he is a very pleasant companion and we share supplies often. Here's the page I began with him last Saturday and finished over the last couple of days at home. I started this page using only my little boy's colour pencils and crayons.
For ages and ages, well a long time at least, I've wanted to own a set of Teesha Moore's unusual, yet totally practical journal stamps. I've lost count of the number of times I've put them into the cart on her Land of Odd website, but sadly removed them again once I saw the total cost with shipping.
But when I received a newsletter with the wonderful news about free shipping until March 15, well, I knew my time had come. I snapped up a set and then waited and waited for them to arrive. Yesterday my journal stamps came in the mail. Yay!
I've been too busy to play with them so far, but I'm setting aside a date next week to cut them out and ink them up. Why don't you grab something you've been longing for while the free shipping offer lasts?
So, I've been playing and sketching in my journal every day. Perhaps I've missed a couple of Sundays, but most days I write in my handwritten journal and sketch something or someone, usually several someones. But I finally had a chance to read the book that arrived just before Christmas, Journal Spilling by Diana Trout.
Well, I've got to say, you can't possibly read this book and feel uninspired. I just itched to pull out a page a play with paint. So, I did one of the exercises in the book. I grabbed some collage images and words, tore them out, glued them down without thinking about where they went. I spread paint about the place and, yeah, just played. It was fun and I even did this with the family around. They chatted with me while I played and I still felt relaxed at the end of it.
I let the page dry and did some more to finish off the following morning. I can highly recommend you do the same. The image above is the end result.
If there is a word for the art journal community this year, it has to be generosity. I'm sitting here overwhelmed with the free stuff you can learn and be part of just by having a computer connection. Take a look at the Strathmore Visual Journal online course. With Pam Carriker kicking things off in the first month, Linda Blinn in the second month and Roz Stendahl covering March, there's plenty to keep you busy.
If you fancy something every day, there's Millande with her fun Art Journal January 2011. Prompts and videos every day, and the fun community to join in with even if you don't create anything each day.
Or check out the Sketchbook Challenge, with a monthly theme and randomly selected prize winners for each theme if you share you pages on the flickr group.
I don't know about you, but I think that's incredible. I won't even bother to mention the loads of other people who share their talents, time and tutorials with anyone with a youtube or ustream account. Seriously, you couldn't be stuck for inspiration or ideas this year. So, go to it. Create, journal and share about it if you do.