Thursday, June 30, 2011
I did this little video MONTHS ago, and never got around to uploading it! I'm always looking for ways to simplify and lighten my load.
Naturally, I've tweaked a bit since then...
I was doing this with the camera in the right hand and moving my stuff with the left, hence the slight...um...weirdness.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
A - Well, I've kept a written journal seen my late teens. It wasn't until about 5 years ago, when I saw some beautiful journal pages that incorporated both art and the written page, that I realized I was missing out on some fun! After just a few tries at combining art with my written thoughts, I was hooked!
|Her skill with watercolors is astounding...|
A - I've been painting for 20 years. Journaling was a tough nut for me to crack....I have purchased dozens of beautiful journals throughout the years, each time thinking "This is the one! I'm going to fill this one!" However, those beautiful, pristine pages held me captive for the longest time. As a recovering perfectionist, I just knew I would mess them up! It wasn't until I made my own journals and started filling them, that I moved past the paralysis of the white page.
A - Imaginary Trips came about because of conversation with a cyber friend. This friend asked me if I taught and I replied "no, not yet." She next told me she would soon be moving to Europe, and if I was interested, she would host me! I decided I needed to get busy with the teaching, except I couldn't find any local venues for my classes. So I decided to go virtual. After running the idea by several artists, friends, and a couple of computer geeks, Imaginary Trips was created!
A - Imaginary Trips has been offering classes since September 2009. There is a full lineup of classes for the next six months now at ImaginaryTrips.com, with a few more still to come. A quick Christmas in July starts on July 7th and then in August, we're going to Italy, then Paris and the NOLA!
A - I used to have travel quite often when I worked in Corporate America. Most of 2009 and 2010 have been dedicated to getting Imaginary Trips up and running.
|This is one of Laure's evolving kits--she tells me she's tweaked it and moved on to new supplies, but still considers this very workable. You can click on it to see things more closely.|
|You can see Laure's strong design background in many of her journal pages.|
Thanks much, Laure, it's my pleasure, and I'm delighted to share you and your work with everyone!
Again, don't miss Laure's website:
Or her blog:
Or her wonderful classes! http://www.imaginarytrips.com/ImaginaryTrips/Welcome.html
|As usual...I am IN the ocean!|
|At Fisherman's Wharf...|
I spoke to the first International Sierra Summit in San Francisco in 2005, a wonderful, delightful, humbling experience! My sweetie met me there and acted as support and facilitator and carrier...and made sure I was FED. We really did the town! (You CAN get too much garlic, we discovered after eating at The Stinking Rose...
I got a new computer that didn't like my version of MovieMaker, but I've finally gotten an update and have been working hard to finish this project! I asked Sierra Club if I could make a slideshow CD of my presentation and they graciously agreed...
So...the new, complete version will be available on a CD, greatly expanded with PDFs and other bits and bobs...it's over 18 minutes long, at present, but I thought you might like to see a taste...
Thank you, Sierra Club!
Monday, June 27, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
|Derwent blue gray, wet to suggest light and shadow...|
|Derwent blue grey and watercolor...|
|Here's my little guy in the sink with watercolor added...|
|Nice and loose...with watercolor pencils in other colors and some straight watercolor|
|Here's a dry pencil at upper left, one with water added at right, and watercolor at the bottom...versatile!|
|And of course you can use any color you want! Here's Jenny in desert earth tones...|
A fun technique I use a lot for sketching...a single pencil in a neutral shade for value, then either just blending that or adding a bit of watercolor!
The squiggles on the right are just to show the variety of lines and values you can get with one pencil...this one is my favorite Derwent Blue Grey 69, which goes EVERYWHERE with me.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
I have a dedicated sketchbook for my ‘trip prep’ and this year I am trying to use it to contain everything associated with planning...there are so many ways that your journal can be useful in the planning stage and I am trying to make my pages visually interesting without too much planning...so here are a few pages – starting with COLOUR first (never too early to start thinking about this as I have used the last month testing a few combinations)
Trying to make my ‘list’ pages a little more interesting (but don’t worry I do have pages of scribbly notes and no images as well)
I have lots of fun deciding on what clothes – I ALWAYS take more than I need so I use my journal I the hope that I will eliminate a few items.
The big decision on which bag to take – this rating system was a lot of fun and had some interesting results.
For more random prep check out the set on my flickr or blog.
As for using your sketchbook to lose weight... I will have to find time to share all my secrets there in the next week or so....
If you've ever wanted to go to Ireland, England, Italy, Paris, or other locales around the world, or you miss the beach, or the garden, but just can't swing the travel, you will LOVE these classes!
|This is one of the Paris images Laure shared for the book, Artist's Journal Workshop--I love the serene, intimate mood.|
Laure also offers foundations and explorations classes on journaling as well as a mini-journaling class, seasonal mini-classes, events and more!
Don't miss her videos and tutorials...they're terrific!
If you've longed for a chance to go somewhere in person with Laure, here it is! Imaginary Trips Made Real will take you to New Orleans in person, this fall! Read all about it at the link...
And of course Laure's Painted Thoughts blog is one of my favorites, full of inspiration and honesty. I learn a lot from Laure...you will too. Thanks for being willing to be next up!
...plus a journal, of course! There are notes on the image, if you click on it, to tell you brand names. Need to take another look at the red pencil...
This is my favorite reconditioned, reloaded Prang box I found on eBay for almost nothing. They're better made than a lot of the new metal boxes with nice rolled edges so you won't cut yourself, but they're light weight. And it's FUN using the same paint box I did as a kid (loaded with good paints, of course!)
Monday, June 20, 2011
I just returned from a trip to Europe and all the colors look different to me at home. Perhaps it's time to change a few colors in my palette? Or it will pass as I adjust to bright sun?
Friday, June 17, 2011
What do you want out of it? What do hope it will do for you? What goes into its pages?
Is there a difference between art journaling and keeping an artist's journal?
For me there is. I am an artist, and I've kept a journal for 40 years or so. It IS my journal, in every sense of the word; a record of the journey of my days.
To me, art journaling is more about making the journal itself a work of art, and if that's what you enjoy, wonderful. Some people even sell their finished journals; I would as soon give away a piece of my soul--it would amount to about the same. I go back to my old journals frequently...for a variety of reasons.
Just like the variety of reasons I keep one in the first place. They're reminders and learning tools!
Sometimes I just want to PAY ATTENTION to my life, to sketch the moments and days--whatever I see before me. I don't wait for "inspiration" or for a grand subject...I just sketch. It's who I am.
Sometimes I use it to reward myself, or take time to kick back, to get away, to create an oasis of calm in an often crazy life.
|Joseph was undergoing tests to make sure he didn't have a blood clot developing in his leg. Not a BIG deal, and he didn't, but it helped me to sketch him, and the technician and all those machines!|
Sometimes I use my journal almost as meditation, or to calm myself in a stressful situation by getting outside of it.
As our friend and fellow journaler John Payne noted in this post, journaling helps us keep track of things. If I don't remember when that medical test was, or what I used to create this or that effect, or when I tried that recipe or went to the Ozarks last, or saw godchild Molly Hammer in that play, or when Finn's birthday party was, my journals can tell me. If I need to know what years we moved away from our old farm, it's there too, in my 30-year-old journal. It's a wonderful memory enhancer.
Lapin remarked on one of his reasons for keeping a sketch journal in our recent interview #11--""I like the way sketching every day what I have in front of me keeps me curious and attentive to the most simple details of my life... "
Sometimes I need to process...an event, a feeling, a project. My journal's the perfect place to do that. It's safe, it's non-judgmental (if I can silence that Inner Critic or Parent!), it's private, and it's a great sounding board, odd though that may sound.
Someone wrote "how do I know what I think until I see what I've written?" I can understand this. I've had some real insights, breakthroughs into my feelings or attitudes...or tendency to procrastinate...once I write things down.
This may be a list, or a chart. I can graph these things, or just write, free-association, till I'm all written out. I can do rough sketches that express what I feel--it doesn't have to be beautiful, it doesn't have to be good, it just needs to get down on paper and remind me!
I can choose to share, or not...if it's personal, very likely not.
Somehow sharing something you're working through with someone else may not have the effect you were hoping for. They may not understand the background, and you can dissipate the energy without action. (Authors often say they can't talk about a current project, even with other writers, because then they won't WRITE it!)
I've recently found an old journal of mine from the 1980s...and I'm very much enjoying seeing where I was, then. Some things have changed a lot, some seem to be constants. But it's such a good tool for growth and contemplation...and sometimes laughter!
One of my observations was "If you truly want to be alone, you won't have much competition for available space!" That made me laugh right out loud, 25 years later!
(This particular journal had perhaps two sketches in the whole book...it was still an artist's journal, because--wait for it!--I'm an artist. I wrote a lot about what I was painting at the time, or what shows I'd entered, but at the time I had a separate sketchbook and just added a drawing if I REALLY felt the need.)
What I find myself doing more and more these days is working with my journal more like I did 20 years ago...as a tool for sorting things out, looking at my life, taking "compass readings," as our dear friend Laura Frankstone talked about in this post.
The book we mentioned earlier, The New Diary by Tristine Rainer, has been a great help in this, but most of it is just doing it.
I'd shared that I felt overwhelmed by going off in too many directions, so I'm working through what IS important to me, what I need to do, have to do, want to do...and seeing it in black and white I am far more conscious of what I need to do. And what I don't! What works, and what doesn't.
Sooooo...how do you use YOUR journal. What do you want it to do? What do you give yourself permission to do? Is it important to you?
Please comment, we fellow journal-keepers want to know!
I love the Noodler's flex pen that came in the mail yesterday. I have been super busy at work, but I have decided to try and work in my journal more than I have been lately. Maybe this will help with more balance in my life. The flex pen delivery was a great incentive for a journal page.
It's huge, but if you're vision-impaired you're going to love it.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
One more painting at Sketching in Nature blog. And, the full story on my blog.
Well , cool, it appears the book got to Amazon and is being shipped out earlier than they had expected! Rachel Kopel on our open Facebook group just announced it, and I'm excited to hear what you all think.
|This spread is on memory pages...my grandmother's necklace and a childhood toy, plus blog co-author Vicky Williamson's visit to grandchildren and Roz Stendahl's "Daily Dots," her daily project sketching her beloved dog.|
Here are a couple of representative spreads, but I'd recommend you go to Amazon and click "Look inside!" LOTS more...
Meanwhile, I just got off the phone with Nicole Miller, North Light's terrific new fine arts publicist who has so many ideas my head is spinning. How about a podcast? Webinar? Interview? Babble babble...
Having kept journals for 40+ years, and being completely committed to the benefits, creatively, personally, and even spiritually, I can't tell you how delighted I am!
Some of the books on journaling written 30-50 years ago are being reissued...tells you something, doesn't it! (We'll do some reviews as we get the chance...)
Monday, June 13, 2011
You do need to wait a minute or so when you're using a heavy application of ink, on this paper (Fabriano HP) to let it dry thoroughly, because it doesn't sink into the paper.
Overall, very happy with the pen, as well as with that ink!
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Yep, someone just said they've got these on Amazon now...maybe more easily available, now that a new shipment is out! This is the color I got...quite nice.
They are smaller than a lot of pens, but I like that...fits my hand, and my need to lighten up!
Well this is interesting! You can get the new book on Kindle, right NOW--one of my students is reading it (bound copies are still a week or two out.) I'm not knowledgeable about these things, but looks like it's available for iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, PC and Mac, AND they let you read the first chapter free. Cool!
Has anyone tried it that way? Any idea how it looks? I gather it's not color on her Kindle...and it NEEDS color, with all that lovely art from our contributors!
Saturday, June 11, 2011
I got mine today, and I am VERY pleased. It's amazingly versatile, with a wide range of line widths. Interestingly, when you fill it with their Lexington Grey ink, the lines vary in value too...thinner lines put down less ink, so are grayer. Press on the nib to flex for a wider line, and you get quite dark ones! (You do need to wait a bit for those dark ones to dry...)
The pen is lightweight, which I like, and it writes and draws smoothly, particularly on this paper--Fabriano Hot Press. No feathering or sinking in in blobs...
It has a screw cap, which I like and my husband doesn't--I LIKE it to stay put. It has a built in piston so you don't need a separate converter or a cartridge to fill it, and little translucent "windows" so you can see how much ink you have left.
All in all, I am well pleased...it was worth the wait! For $14, I am in LOVE.
I got mine from Goulet Pen Company, who were very nice to work with, but I understand there are a few other places that sell them, like ISellPens.com. They go fast, though...looks like Goulet's mostly out again!
For this price, they can't be beat...and I'm delighted that they flex as much as my beloved antique Waterman 152, which wants to leak all over the place!
*Note: There have been some negative reviews too, please read the comments below...
And nope, I don't get a cut from Noodler's, I don't work for them, I just trust Nina's judgement and had to try one. As I said, for the price I am delighted!
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Urban Sketchers blog--I fell in love and I know you will too. As we noted in our teaser--and as you can see in this interview--he works on old ledgers and lined paper a lot, to amazing effect.
He goes by lapinbarcelona on Flickr, so take a peek, there's a lot to delight you there. His portfolio shows a lot of his illustrating work, as well...a versatile fellow!
Here he is in his own words, but keep reading--interview below!
I'm a French illustrator living in Barcelona for 4 years and a half.
I’m graduate of the private art school Pivaut (2001, in Nantes, France), and worked for 5 years as a graphic designer in Paris and in Barcelona, and than decided to work as a freelance illustrator.
I'm working for edition, fashion, advertising and magazines, and participate to many exhibitions in Europe, mostly about travel books and sketchbooks. I’m also used to teach “sketching” during workshop in university and in art school.
I am an Usk correspondent from Barcelona, and was one of the instructor of the first urban sketchers symposium in Portland last summer.
My illustrations were published in “Illustration Now 3” (Taschen) and “Illusive 3” (die Gestalten Verlag) and by many creative review as Elephant (UK), Computer Arts (UK), Grab (Italy)…
|Whether he's drawing boats, buildings, people or nature, Lapin's work is immediately eye-catching..|
And now to our interview! This time, Lapin's answers are in italics...
Q.- Do you work in your sketch journal every day?
A.- I have to sketch in it every day, and I’m in a very bad mood when I do not have time to do so. It became an habitude and a necessity.
|I love this whimsical tree with a face, feet, and tail...|
Q.- How did you happen to start using ledgers and graph paper?
A. -I’m sketching in notebooks for nearly 10 years now, and very quickly, I was wondering which kind of notebooks will fit the best to me.
My love for the flea markets is part of the answer. I found there some old diaries of the 60’s and 70’s, and decided to bring one for a trip in Mexico. I immediately fall in love for this lined paper that create a new dimension to my sketches, and I’m still amazed by the quality of this “vintage paper”.
Each time I show one of those sketchbooks to some other sketchers, they can’t believe that a paper that fine support some watercolour on the both side.
So I’m looking for new ones every time I go to a flea market along my trips.
I actually published 3 facsimiles of my sketchbooks numbers 98, 108 and 120, which are originally some old Spanish book accounts.
Q.- What interests you most? (people, travel, buildings, and why?)
A.-More or less in that order, meeting people, travelling every day, and sketching the cities I visit. It’s how I record my surrounding, and all my sketchbooks are my personal archive.
Q.- How does your sketch journal relate to your job, if it does?
A. It relates to the place I visit for my job, but today my sketchbooks ARE my job, the most important part of it. I had some commissioned sketchbooks about some village in France, more recently about the Sagrada Familia of Gaudi in Barcelona (coming soon), and I'm working secretly on a personal guide of Barcelona, and this will be a very long job, there is so much to tell about this lovely city.
I could tell you a scoop, I will publish my very fresh Istanbul's sketchbook, but don’t tell it.
Q. - Other thoughts? Whatever else you feel is more important, personally, to YOU...
A. I like the way sketching every day what I have in front of me keep me curious and attentive to the most simple details of my life. It’s also a spontaneous way to meet any kind of people everywhere!
|Lapin's sketch of correspondent Nina Johansson|
Lapin gets to meet up with a number of other sketchers, many of whom are devoted to travel sketching. He's met our own Laura Frankstone (Interview # 5, here), Liz Steel (Interview #2), and again, Nina Johansson, Interview #10! (Click on the links if you missed them or would like to revisit!)
Don't miss Lapin's blog, with new work all the time...it's HERE.
And thank you, Lapin, for sharing with us, here an in the upcoming book!