Friday, 19 Jan 2018

One of the positives about a blogging habit is that it helps me keep track of the date.

travel:  it's about time – Version 2

Obviously this card needs some more flattening!  I made this before I went to Barcelona, or maybe just after I returned…not even sure, but I wanted to post it and didn’t have a picture yet.  So here it is, and I like this idea because it helps me consider time as a fourth dimension, and it’s relationship to place.  Travel is a change in location, but also a change in time, and it requires time to travel.   As I get ready to go to the US again, I am keeping this idea in mind.

I am also seeing a relationship between my favorite card “words” and poetry–ambiguity, things that make me think are the ones I like the best.  I want to be able to understand things at least two ways, and sometimes more…because that what makes it interesting–trying to reconcile multiple understandings.  That’s the literature scholar in me that is still buried underneath many other layers…

Normal aching exhaustion.  I found a web store that sells mixed media things and they were going out of business, so I got some papers and other stuff inexpensively, including some music pages and maps.  So today I will take that upstairs to my studio to play with.  Must finish my morning coffee though and hope it gives me enough zip to get moving.



Thursday, 18 Jan 2018

Finally got some of my photos where I can access them from my laptop!  I don’t know why this is being difficult for me, but I am assuming I am just missing something because I feel like I’m not mentally as sharp as normal and so am doing something wrong and don’t know what.

Muscles aching today, I think from cold.

Regret isn't asking

Still trying to find a way to get my cards flatter.  I have been putting them under books but maybe I need more weight or more time.  Trying turning them over and seeing if that is more effective.  This card is unusual in that I ended up using stamps to make an entire word that I did not have from a magazine.  I stamped it on deli paper and then collaged the paper onto the card.  It was an effective method for one word but wouldn’t want to do a whole sentence that way.

I think I thought of using the word “regret” because it is something you never associate with something you’ve done “right.”  You either don’t regret it, or when you are feeling regretful you don’t think of all the things you have done right.

Wednesday, 17 Jan 2018

Dragging today!  Am missing one medicine that helps me with energy/ concentration and which did not get refilled in enough time so I am waiting.  I am definitely feeling its absence so I hope it comes soon.  I also may be getting a cold–my head and ears feel slightly congested.  Leaving for the US in 11 days, so am hoping to be feeling spunkier by then.

Yesterday I worked on some more small collage pieces and added to a 24″ square canvas that I covered with gesso recently.  I had done texture and color etc to it, but wasn’t happy with it, and finally decided to put a layer of gesso over everything and start again.  Some color peeking through, and texture still there, so I started yesterday adding blues and hope I will like it and know what to do next with it…  I came up with a good way to organize my words for collage, but I need the right glue stick–one that puts temporary stick on them that can be removed (like a post-it note) so I can keep words in a notebook instead of piled in a box, and can flip around to see what I have, and maybe rearrange them as I find combinations.  I did this, but the glue stick is holding too well and making it a little nerve wracking to detach them without tearing them.

Speaking of which, I ruined a letter on some words on a larger piece I was working on.  I was trying an A-4 size paper but same strategy as I’ve been using to design my cards, and I rubbed a word too hard.  Now I either have to find a single letter to put OVER the one that’s ruined, or do a bigger change.  I am wondering whether I should start doing lettering–I sometimes like the phrases I come up with, and would like to be able to use them more than once…but I don’t know if I need them to be collage to “work” or if i could do my own lettering and they would still make cohesive art.  If I had a laser printer I guess I could print my own words, but my ink jet prints smudge with medium, so I can’t just do that.  I like the restriction of using words I’ve found in print, but once I have a combination I like, it would be nice to be able to use it more than once.

While I did work yesterday, no new cards “finished.”  So I will choose from something I already completed…I’m pretty sure I haven’t put this in my blog yet.  I seem to have a problem with pictures from my phone not getting to my computer even though it all should be on photostream, so I have to figure that out, because I added a few cards to that.  Howard did new pictures of my cards but I think my newest pieces didn’t get photos, plus we decided he needs to change the camera angle and re-do them so they end up with parallel sides and right angles instead of as trapezoids….Honestly I want someone to take them away and make them work digitally and in prints and not have to do that all myself…


Monday, 15 Jan 2018

Back from a wonderful weekend with friends in Barcelona!  It was wonderful despite losing my cash the first day (no ID stuff or cards) and falling my last day (thank you, MS!).  But so much aesthetic stimulation from two tours of Gaudi buildings and just the interesting things on the street, and sunshine, and catching up with friends….  I definitely want to go back to Barcelona again.  I even liked the temperature–not warm, but that’s good for me–I’m happy to wear a coat and not get overheated, but still have sunshine.

My husband took new pictures of some of my small collages, so I will have to decide which pictures are best in quality and organize them all.  That does not sound very fun.

Today’s featured collage…

Winning combination.jpg

This is how I like my friends: Good people with soft hearts.

This weekend I discussed religion and a little politics and economy with my friends, and I think that even though we label ourselves differently we have a lot of views in common and our self-labels come from growing up in different circumstances and countries.  The uniting factor is that the people I become really good friends with are good people with soft hearts.  They are slow to judge, and can feel empathy for people who are in difficult circumstances.  They want systems to run efficiently, but also fairly.  They see that life is not always black and white, but that there are shades of grey, and also that while there is not always coherent rhyme or reason to life there seems to be some kind of structure/ organizing principle even if we all view that slightly differently.

So today I am thankful for friends, diversity, beautiful cities, and sunshine.

From an art standpoint, there was so much aesthetic input in Barcelona.  I saw two buildings by Gaudi inside–spectacular.  Sunshine, ocean, flew over Alps and saw them peaking up from the clouds.  I went to one art supply store and got a small sketch book to use while traveling, and some rulers with squares and circles (drafting rulers) that I want for my gelatin printing and pattern making in drawing.

I wanted to include a couple of photos from my weekend, but my brain cannot handle getting them into my wordpress account so I can, so I give up for now….


Wednesday, 10 Jan 2018


What is the secret to the bravest thing I’ve ever done?  I don’t know, because off-hand I’m not sure what it is!  I don’t ever remember thinking “I must be brave and do this….” so I’m not entirely sure what I have done that qualifies as brave, and many things I’ve done in life were because I HAD to, though I guess I didn’t “have” to do them.  I just felt there was a reason or obligation that I HAD to do them, so I don’t think of them as brave, just that there was no choice really.  Or they were things that happened and I was responding to them–not making a free choice.  But I guess that doesn’t mean my response couldn’t have been termed brave.

I have had the opportunity in my life to watch Armed forces network TV, and learned from that that the line between stupidity and bravery is quite thin, and also often a matter of perception.  So maybe the bravest thing I’ve ever done was get married while knowing my husband less than a year.  It could have also been the stupidest thing I ever did, but luckily it was not a stupid decision.  In retrospect having children may have been the bravest thing I ever did, but we don’t usually understand the full ramifications of that choice before getting pregnant.  Or maybe moving to Kansas where I knew no one to go to graduate school was the bravest thing I ever did.  Certainly finding an apartment and job and not having friends was a challenge and I probably grew a lot in that time.  It wasn’t very long though before I met my husband, and made a friend who is STILL one of my best friends.

So I guess the secret to the bravest thing I’ve ever done is that I didn’t know it was the bravest thing I’d ever done, and maybe still don’t.  I’m not sure whether the fact that I don’t know is good or bad, but it IS.

Headline from a story (obviously) about someone’s brave decision, but I combined it with “The Secret to…” because I was slightly thinking about “how do you know what you are doing is brave?”  And I apparently still don’t know.  On randomly stenciled/ painted watercolor paper, but then with a lot of collage layers.

Seeing friends here, then tomorrow traveling and seeing friends there.  So today I am getting ready to see friends, which means packing and tying up loose ends here.  Not sure if I will post while I’m traveling or not…

Last night I realized I have quite a pile of little collage cards, and I wonder if/ when I will stop with them.  Originally I started as a way to experiment with color and composition without the stress of doing a larger piece–quicker, and seemingly less “important” and pressured to do little pieces.  So am I going to transfer what I’ve learned to bigger pieces now?  I’m not sure.  I’m also not sure how I feel about text and image combined for larger pieces.  I guess maybe it will be my next project to see if I need to just make the same thing but bigger, or if I need to do something different.  In other words, do I just need to increase the size of all my elements, or do I need to actually change my approach?


Tuesday, 9 Jan 2018

Suddenly uplifted by raspberries, blueberries and strawberries with yogurt for breakfast.  Reminded of summer in Michigan.  Decent work session yesterday, including a card I would post today if I’d already taken a photo of it, or if it was nearby and I could take a quick photo of it, but at this moment it is too much work to get a photo of for this post!  So I will see if I have anything else I have photographed and not posted yet…

Building blocks of wild

Yes, this one feels right for today!  This flashback to summer, childhood, Michigan–those are definitely building blocks of my wild side…or at least the side that connects with nature.  I never had a “wild side” in the sense of being a super partier in college or anything like that with drinking etc.  Not into extreme sports, or danger, or anything that gives me adrenalin rush–that has never been a feeling I liked, even before I knew that what I was feeling was an adrenalin rush.

Arches watercolor paper, stenciling, some vintage book pages, and I’m thinking some dry brushed india ink.  Fragile magazine paper words “wild side” got damaged in construction, but I was feeling wild enough to leave it instead of trying to make it perfect…

Monday, 8 Jan 2018

Feeling more cheerful, but undirected today–I really need to get myself more organized/ together!  I’m afraid my cynicism became visible with the third part of this one….  Cynicism and sarcasm–are they inherited, or just a social/ cultural aspect of my family?  Because it’s definitely a family trait.   Though I may be more cynical than others…


Sunday, 7 Jan 2018 addendum

I was in my studio creating, but still feeling grumpy and struggling with words, when I decided to look for words that DON’T go together.  I have a collection of both phrases and individual words that have been cut from other things I used, or where a word from a title grabbed my but the rest of the title didn’t.  So when I put these together, I laughed out loud, and that definitely helped my mood.  So here is today’s fresh creation that amused me…

Reading nook collaborators

Sunday, 7 Jan 2018

Mood still off.  None of the cards I have made already fits today.  Not sure if I should go try to make a card that fits, or just pick one…

Sometimes I get in stretches where I feel like every single little thing is off–nothing BIG per se, just that nothing is RIGHT, and I don’t know if my perception at those times is just askew (hence everything is off) or really nothing is quite right.

Well, that actually seems to answer my question…so rather than post a new one, I will post one I have posted before.  It seems more appropriate for my immediate need.

See the Goodness

Saturday, 6 Jan 2018

create more

I read an interesting article on drawing and release of dopamine.  I know that in general if I get into the right mental state in my studio I feel creating is a form of meditation–I get so focused on what I’m doing I am able to shut out other thoughts and my mind can rest.  I’m not always sure what affects whether I can get into that state of “flow” or not.  Some days it seems like nothing works right.  I hope this isn’t one of those days, because I NEED that feeling of happy “accidents” coming together.

Did not sleep exceptionally well, which I think is because I’m feeling anxious about the state of the world.  I slept–just took a while to get sleepy, woke up early, went back to sleep, and now don’t feel rested.  Blah.  Guess I will test out this theory today…

Acrylic paint dabs spread with a plastic card and texture comb, then gesso stamped through sequin waste/ punchinella, and some drybrushing with india ink maybe!  I’m just guessing from what I see–I don’t really remember…