As I paint these little pieces, the term 'friendship feathers' comes to mind...in this day of strife I am grateful for time in my creative space and pray for peaceful resolution.
So...I think it took me about thirty days to finish thirty pages complete with 40 quotes and I'm so pleased with the finished project. All of my favorite quotes in one place, that I can pick up and read over and over again when I need a boost of inspiration. Each of the smaller images can be enlarged by clicking on them and you can view the rest of the pages here and here.
There is something special about working on a large creative project like this...it helps me work through struggles I have with my studio work and also allows my imagination to soar, playing with different media and colour. Over half the pages were removed with some being used in other pages which helps the book lie fairly flat and I find it interesting this way. Most of the pages have been adhered to at least one other page and in some cases many other pages.
I love it when my daughters are inspired to create something of their own when they watch me create, too, and am always interested to see how different their work is from mine. It's quite fantastic actually. Can't wait to see their end results. And if you are working on your own altered book and would like to share, I would love to see photos...via email or tag me on facebook (see links at the top of this page).
I've been enjoying this process so much (see previous pages here) and only have three left to complete (just click on the images to enlarge). In these pages I've included copper leaf, modeling paste, and mixed media, along with all the other materials mentioned previously.
The interesting thing about working like this is that I begin several pages throughout the book at once (I slip a sheet of waxed paper in between to keep pages from sticking together) and then continue working back and forth. When techniques or images or media present themselves, I can begin another page or work on one that's begun...and I like the fact that several pages come together at the same time, and that even though I have no idea what the whole project will look like at completion, they all seem to work together.
I think this would be a fun all day workshop. Not that it could be completed in one day, but it would be a great beginning. It's always interesting to see a group of people come together to work as the ideas really fly. It's a collaboration of sorts.
By choice my wardrobe is quite limited as I prefer simplification, and so is my selection of footware, though not all of my shoes are listed on this page....besides my penny loafers, black patent mary jane pumps, blundstones, and cowboy boots, I also have sneakers, sandals (Clarks Artisan which are so comfy), alligator kitten heels and black flats. I like to keep things simple and so my shoes are brown or black, just like the bulk of my wardrobe, but because we have many different seasons I do require a variety. Plus, my feet are sensitive and I tend to invest well in good shoes so I'd rather have fewer but quality.
When I was in senior high one of the projects our art teacher assigned was to draw, paint, collage...basically work in every media including charcoal, ink, watercolour, acrylic, oil, pencil, etc...a pair of our shoes. At that time my favorite shoes were a pair of creamy white high heels with a small bow (it was the 80's after all) and I loved working on that project. I think it's these kind of tasks that taught me to work in series and to really focus on a single subject matter. So, besides my shoes, that is another reason to be grateful on this Thankful Thursday :)
I'm so happy with my new Libre tea mug that I wanted to share. I always have a mug of tea with me when I work, whether it's in the studio or my office at the library, and I tend to prefer loose leaf teas but my stainless steel travel mug leaves my tea tasting of metal, plus there is no strainer for the tea leaves.
This beauty has a glass insert, BPA free plastic sleeve, a sieve to steep milder white or green teas directly in the mug (so you don't drink the leaves) or black tea in the lid (it's inverted during steeping time and then the sieve and leaves can be removed). It seals well enough to throw into my bag to cycle to work and holds hot or cold beverages., plus it can be used with or with the sieve (filter).
A few of my favorite teas right now are peach white, pina colada green, earl grey vanilla black and, always matcha. I also purchased a milk frother and heater...it feels a little bit like Christmas. I'm hoping this helps keep me out of Starbucks.
Today I received a lovely sample in the mail from Winsor & Newton...a professional water colour stick in French Ultramarine blue. One of the greatest treats as an artist is receiving samples to try out so, of course, I immediately hit the studio to play. This summer as we travelled I sketched a few landscapes and thought that this might be nice to add to my altered book and the water colour stick was the perfect sketching tool. I decided to create a loose sketch and then use water to soften the edges, then finished up with acrylics.
I really like the fact that the water colour spreads and blends with other water media though it is much softer colour than the vibrant acrylics I use so I added Prussian Blue acrylic on top. One of my biggest challenges is to keep my images loose as I tend to tighten them up at the end but this time I decided to allow the image to remain more 'dreamy'. And I like the effect. I think it will be a perfect backdrop for a quote.
"Hope" is the thing with feathers--
Today I thought I'd share my progress on the current altered book I've been working on. It's been fun working with a variety of media - tissue, anaglypta wallpaper, yarn, cheese cloth, and of course gesso, paint and lots of gel media. The title is INSPIRATION and is based on quotes that inspire me. Sometimes the work has inspired the quote and others it's been the opposite way around.
Because I tend to work on altered projects either early in the morning or late in the evening I had an unfortunate small anxiety attack when I realized I had run out of gesso BUT, thankfully, I found my old college recipe which I mixed up right away:
4 parts plaster of paris
4 parts Elmer's glue
2 parts liquitex paint
2 parts warm water
I put this all in a jar and mix it up well...if I want coloured gesso I just use a coloured latex paint.
I'm really glad I've decided to place all of my favorite quotes in one place, and to have it filled with artwork as I know it will be well-read. I'm looking forward to adding the final touches of ribbons and thread once I've completed the work (I think I have about 6 more pages to complete). By the way, for the dark drawings and writing I used extra fine and chisel tipped Sharpees, and for the white I used a chisel tipped Liquitex paint marker and Uni-ball Signo broad pen.
Anyone who knows me (or reads my blog) knows of my love of ravens & crows. In the northern community where I grew up I remember a time when the ravens were as big as I was...yet I was never afraid of them. They can grow to 30 inches in height, weigh up to 4.5 pounds and have a wingspan of up to 59 inches. They
never fail to fascinate me with their communication and survival skills and have been know to live as long as 21 years. The largest flock or murder of crows that I have ever witnessed was 52 and I have to admit that I felt rather blessed. It was definitely a noisy group and felt like a family reunion of sorts.
As a totem animal, raven is known as a messenger and communicator. They remind us to listen to our inner voice, teaching us to trust ourselves rather than looking outward for direction and validation. They are also playful birds...another reminder not to take things too seriously. Breathe. Rest. And be thankful.