A couple of weeks ago I went back to A Work of Heart for a Juicy Soul Retreat. I really had no idea what a juicy soul was or how it could be retreated. I went because I needed a bit of a creative change and Andrea and her good energy were just what I needed.
It was the right thing to do. I really enjoyed the day, got a lot done and got my head a bit straighter than it was.
I thought about the journal I wanted to make and wasn’t sure so I bought a new journal and brought my Purpose journal as well. I was thinking I might be able to add to that one.
One of the things that was different about this class than the other journaling classes I have attended at AWOH was that we all introduced ourselves and shared a little bit about ourselves. Some people shared why they were there-what they hoped to achieve- and others shared something about their art. My friend, though quite young, is staring retirement in the face and she was there to work on figuring out what’s next.
That struck a chord with me and I started working on the new journal. Some of the techniques for making backgrounds were similar to those I had used in other AWOH classes, but there was plenty of new stuff as well. Also, I don’t take notes in Andrea’s classes; I try to absorb the techniques, so I don’t remember some of the nuances from previous classes.
I tried to get the backgrounds for the new journal done, but there just wasn’t enough time. It was probably a good thing. I have to remember that it isn’t about the finished product, but about the process.
Andrea is revamping half of her studio space and she has some of her work displayed on the new shelves there. I love the hearts. The pink background is such a wonderful pink. It isn’t too sickly sweet or light.
She has a project of her own in which she is creating 1000 houses-images of houses. I love the idea of choosing a shape and creating a series using that shape. The house shape is simple, but has a lot of possibilities. Hearts would also work. A 1000 is an amazing number of pieces of art. It is large enough to be a challenge, but also obtainable. She eventually wants to raffle the collection off to raise money for a charity.
The A Work of HeartSpontaneous Scraps Journal class really caught me unawares. I feel like everything is sneaking up on me lately. My head is definitely not in its normal spot.
The idea of the class was the a few people were invited (or that was my impression) and would bring scraps to make a journal with a fabric cover. As I was thinking about getting ready for the class on Friday and Saturday, I decided to bring the red mosaic pieces to use to make the cover. I also brought the Malka Dubrawsky piece that TFQ gave me for my birthday and used that for the inside.
I used the mosaic quilting piece to make the journal cover. I had gotten away from it, but am now in love with that process again. I was feeling like I would never use that fabric, because it was too precious. I also couldn’t think of what project would be appropriate. Anything too fiddly wouldn’t work, because there are so many seam allowances right next to each other. The pressing was a bit of a challenge, but I think the journal cover came out very well.
The class called for a nice ribbon for a closure. I brought it, but I didn’t attach it yet. I am thinking that I want to put a button (or a Mah Jong tile with a hole drilled in it – something out of the ordinary/interesting) and some elastic to wrap around it. I need to get that settled before I do much else. I don’t have any of that thin elastic nor do I know how to attach it after the piece has been made.
That bit of mosaic quilting is a pocket on the inside. I guess I can use it for pens. Andrea suggested that putting a pocket in the piece was an option, so I did it. I am pleased with how it came out.
The red dotted page on the left is one of the journal pages. The embellishment (the paper with the white dots) is paper clipped to the page, because it has not been attached to the page yet. I did complete the sewing on some of the pages, but not all. I want to work on that before the concluding class.
I brought some strips that were piling up as well, so I was also able to add bits and pieces to make the piece big enough. Above is what I have left and I am back in the mindset of making this type of fabric. I used the bits and pieces as leaders and enders as I was sewing the journal cover together.
I am thinking that I would like to make at least one more as a gift. We will see how making the pages goes.
I have been slack about posting my various holiday adventures, but, with this post, will try and redeem myself. One of the great things I did on my break over the holidays was go to the SFMOMA with friend Julie. My goal was to see the actual journals from the 1000 journals project in person. Julie has posted a great set of narrated photos about our adventures.
The 1000 Journals project has, for some reason, captured my imagination. Faithful readers will know that I have posted about it, gone to see the film and have been trying to get my hot little hands on one of the journals. The film depicted a lot of back and forth with the SFMOMA about this exhibit because Someguy wanted to allow people to add to the journals. A great idea, but the curators aren’t used to allowing people to touch the art. I was really happy that they finally were able to work everything out.
They ended up putting the project in the Koret Education Center. There are people there to watch you, somewhat, working on the journals, so it probably made them feel ok about touching.
Stupidly I didn’t plan ahead and bring an art kit like I had planned, so I rummaged through my purse to see what I had:
an old temporary drivers’ license
breast health center “how to get your results” sheet
Golden Gate Ferry schedule from 1997
With the pencils, glue sticks, pens, etc that the SFMOMA provided my theme turned into bureaucracy. I was able to make a page with which I was pretty satisfied. As Julie said, it was hard to make art standing up. Not very comfy. Other viewers of the exhibit also have a different sense of personal space than I do, so I had to glare at some people who were just too close, and ask them to step back.
I was disappointed to see that some contributors had basically defaced the books with a message of anger and hate of their own. If I had had colored paper, I would have glued it over those messages, which, I guess, is defacing the books as well, in a way. There was a lot of 13 year old boy potty humor as well. Sad to think that people aren’t enlightened enough to think up something that they would be proud to have endure through the ages. Perhaps I am just being a snob because what they wrote doesn’t fit my idea of ‘good’.
I had fun. I found that I actually can do a visual journaling piece. It made me think that, perhaps, I have too many options at home.
I am happy that I got to spend the day with Julie (no children/young adults=freedom) and that I got see and write in the journals. I feel like I made a contribution. The journal I wrote in was number 754.
You are probably wondering why it took me so long to get to this post.
Life. Travel. Back to School.
You know how it goes.
Still, I wanted to post some photos from the actual journals. The Roxie in SF showed the 1000 Journals movie. It was the first commercial showing in the country.
The 1000 Journals project is coming to the SFMOMA as an exhibit starting in November and the exhibit will be open through ~ April 2009.
I think that the images I was able to snap are from the most photographed journals (because they are in possession of Someguy), but I thought I would post some images anyway.
Some entries are homages. Some entries look like a mess, but that is one of the beauties of the project: everyone can express themselves anyway they want regardless of age or ability.
The artistry of some of the pages is remarkable.
I like the way these entries were created in landscape format.
WARNING: Political images next. Stop reading if you may be offended.
I am not exactly sure what these images are saying (remember the journals went out right around the time of 9/11 so there is a lot of 9/11 imagery included), but I admire the creativity and thoughtfulness (especially the double entendre) regardless of whether you think it is positive or not.
This artist, to whom I was directed by Deirdre, has done some gorgeous visual journaling (at least that is what it looks like to me). She seems to have sewn a design and then placed it in a journal. This is a fantastic idea!
I need more turquoise like I need another hole in my head, but I bought some additional lovelies last week and the color has been on my mind. As well, I am still trying to do some visual journaling. So far not very successful, but I am making progress and that is what counts to me. So, when I saw these photos of Friend Julie’s visual journaling, I had to take a closer look.
I really like the overall water feel. Those bright white buildings in the first picture are such a nice contrast to that water feeling. I also like the bits of other colors that she incorporated into the piece to set off the blue. Nice job!
I have never been to a film festival that I can remember (my parents took us to a lot of strange and culturally significant places), but I went to the San Francisco Film Festival last night to see the 1000 Journals film. It made me really excited to go and to see an indie film.
I am so lame about celebrities, never knowing who they are and who is sleeping with whom, but at the film festival I felt how other people must feel about TV and movie stars. The director, Andrea Kreuzhage and Someguy were both there. After the movie, there was a Q&A and people asked thoughtful and good questions. Of course, everyone wanted to know where the journals are, but people also asked about whether they kept journals (both do to some extent), the exhibit that Someguy is working on getting together.
Today I went out and bought the book. I haven’t read it yet, of course, but I glanced through it and am already more excited than I was.
There is something about this project that is so great. First of all journals are close to my heart. It isn’t just that I have been stumbling along trying make visual journals for the past little while, but I have kept a journal since high school. They can be really powerful and helpful. It means a lot to me have somewhere that I can just blather on about the stupidities and irritations as well as the triumphs of daily life without worrying about my handwriting, grammar or vocabulary and spelling.
I was excited to be at the movie and see the celebs, because it is a collaborative project that Someguy started in his living room. Someguy works. He is just a regular guy. He looked the same *at* the movie as he did *in* the movie. No tux or entourage. It shows that one person can REALLY touch other people’s lives. It is inspiring. It also showed that people are really creative and can take a project and help. It also showed that people cared about the journals and the project. You can see a lot of other footage about the project on YouTube, including interviews with Someguy (above with Andrea Kreuzhage) and Andrea Kreuzhage.
I think people just want to be part of something greater than themselves.
Towards the end of the Q&A, a woman stood up and said she had one of the journals! She said she had had it, I think, since 2003. She had been giving it to people, but it had continually returned to her. As soon as people started leaving I jumped up and asked Someguy if I could have it. Sadly, someone had beat me to it! She, kindly, offered to send it to me when she was done, so I gave her my address. Life happens so we will see if I ever get one.
Here are some photos from the event. This is Erin with journal #270 right after she told Someguy that she had the journal to give back to him.
Andrea and Erin with journal #270.Someguy, Erin and Andrea.
Someone was there with a Flat Stanley and wanted to take a picture of Stanley with Someguy and a journal.
At the end of the Nance O’Banion class today, we had to talk about what set us off in the direction we went and the themes we saw emerging our work. Both of my pieces were driven by the beginning of the class when Nance said to be open to serendipity and surprise. Because of the “personal pieces” I chose, the themes that emerged were themes that I had worked with in the past: One Night Stand and the Goddesses.
Nance’s class was full of different types of supplies and things to inspire us.
Rubber stamps lined up and ready to use in the books.
The book on the bottom is full of wonderful bits of embroidery and quilted books.
I was intrigued by the way she lined up everything.
This was waxed linen thread that she offered for our use. I used my own hand dyed thread.
We were supposed to bring three meaningful things with us. I wasn’t quite sure if she meant things we could use in our work or just things in general. I chose the former definition and these are the items I came up with.
Dots, of course.
The little woman figure is very like Desiree and I like her shape.
I am really into taking time for tea right now, thus the cup.
Cover: Here is the cover of the finished piece. I made this one MUCH smaller. We had less time for this second book and I wanted to accomplish a lot, if not finish the piece. Page 1 and Page 2: First I went through and drew all of the figures. I alternated between the shape from the bead and the Desiree shape. The little figure on page 1 said that her name was Paulina. Not sure why or what her goddess responsibilities are, but there you have it.
After I was done drawing the figures, I went back and modified colors, sewed a bit, added beads. I think I want to stiffen the pages on this book as well.
Page 3 and Page 4: I merged the two shapes in the figure on page 3.
Page 5 and Page 6: Page 5 may be Referencia, but may be someone else. She did not reveal herself. The wings are a flash of brilliance, I think. The house in the Little Mother’s tummy is supposed to be a Gwen Marston house.
This is the end. I used a rubber stamp that I bought from Karenlee (finally!). You can also see the binding very well. It is called a stab binding. I still need to sign and date it.
Today I made fast art again, which, on this blog, is called a One Night Stand. Start to finish is all one session. A One Night Stand here has nothing to do with sex.
EBHQ, the East Bay Heritage Quilters, had a workshop with with Nance O’Banion. She is the head of the printmaking department at CCA (formerly the California College of Arts & Crafts) and teaches, among other classes, book making. I mentioned, earlier in the week, that I thought this class would be interesting in the visual journaling department. I was correct.
Nance O’ Banion doesn’t teach many workshops, as she is a full time faculty member at CCA and doesn’t really have the time. She taught this workshop for EBHQ as a special favor and it was fantastic!!! First, of all, we worked quickly. I finished two books today.
Second, we worked with a limited “palette.” It wasn’t a palette in the sense of colors, but a palette in the sense of materials. She gave a us a group of materials and our job was to make something out of the materials she gave us and what we brought. Since I couldn’t bring my entire sewing room, this limited what I had to work with, but it was fine. It was actually great. I think working with rules, even if they are self imposed, makes for more interesting projects/pieces.
Third, Nance was a very nurturing instructor. Not in a gooby, “I want to be your best friend forever” kind of way, but in a “you can do great work and I will support you” kind of way. I would love to take a semester long class with her. She normally teaches bookmaking with paper and I don’t think I would mind taking that with her.
Fourth, she was really organized. She had a packet of stuff that she had prepared for us (magazine pictures, pages ripped from books, blank paper, etc. She also had a schedule, let us k now what it was and stuck to it. I really enjoy working in that kind of environment. I am good with deadlines. I am not bothered by deadlines unless I don’t know what they are.
Cover. My book came out a little big for the first exercise, but I used it anyway. I wanted to play a bit with the double meaning of One Night Stand. Remember, I didn’t have much time, so I did what I could. I could always add more to the piece. I think I will shore up the pages with some interfacing as they are very floopy.
Page 1 (left) and page 2 (right): The red and white motifs on page 1 are on the back of the fortune card (Nance’s words) that was in my prepared packet. I didn’t want to lose them by gluing the card onto the page, so I sewed it on with Laura Wasilowski hand-dyed Perl cotton and cut the back out so the motfs would show through. Page 2 just plays more with the meaning of One Night Stand.
Page 3: Here I wanted to get the reader’s mind out of the gutter and tell them that a One Night Stand is about creating quickly. It allows things to happen with my work that wouldn’t happen if I thought too much about it. I also tried to incorporate a piece of the motif of the iron grille with the shadows I saw in Seattle. I was a also trying to reintroduce the woman shape I used for Desiree. This was the first attempt of the day and she looks a bit wonky. This page had a bit of a problem, because I had cut a piece out of the yardage and didn’t realize it was in the middle of my book until I was well into. I had planned to have the camera peek through, but I didn’t line it up properly. I may leave it but I may fix it somehow (door? sewed on ‘patch’?) . We’ll see.
Page 4: At this point, things started to pop into my head and I would write them down. I was feeling like the piece was a bit word heavy, but just went with the flow. The pink card with the compass came in my prepared packet.
Page 5: Here I am back to a little bit of wordplay with the double meaning.
Page 6: The ‘think,’ ‘try,’ ‘do’ are relevant to creativity, I think, but they are also a take off on something that Yoda says to Luke in Star Wars, Episode 6: Return of the Jedi.
Page 7: While you see this page in the same orientation as the other pages it is actually oriented 90 degrees to the right, so you have to turn the book. This is one of my favorite pages, because it just told me what to put on it and I like the layering of the leaves.
Page 8: I wanted to have a closing credit, so I started on a “The End” page. They I thought of the phoenix rising from the ashes and new beginnings came to mind.
I’ll write about the second book later.
I stopped at New Pieces to see if they had interfacing for the bags and bought, in addition to the interfacing, the following:
The turquoise dots on the bottom will be a bag outside and the pink flowers with the black will be a bag inside for the white dots that I bought from fabric.com.
The view above was what I could see as I ate breakfast. It is the interior of a fabulous breakfast cafe called Boulette’s Larder. Boulette’s Larder is in the Ferry Building and sort of hidden in the back.
I went to Boulette’s last Friday in an effort to jumpstart my attitude. The lingering effects of the malaise that I described in Second Cup of Tea are still with me and it was getting to the point where I wasn’t drawing anymore. Boulette’s Larder looks out over the Bay Bridge and has a wonderful atmosphere. I walked in, a little unsure, and the proprietor came over to me and asked me if I wanted to sit in the restaurant with them or outside at a little cafe table. I thought being around some people would be good so I sat at the big farmhouse-ish table inside. I had a nice view outside, of interesting jars on the wall and of the activity in the kitchen. I was interested in the fact that the stove was right next to the table and there was no yelling among the staff. It was a very calm and pleasant atmosphere.
By doing something out of my routine, I realized that I was no longer able to see anything new in my regular route and my muse was getting dried up. I needed to get out of my routine and do something different.
Since I am on a visual journaling kick, different types of visual journaling are catching my eye. Dawdler is an anti-Twitter and I enjoyed some of the postcards they posted to their site. Not exactly what I think of when I think of VJ, but in the arena.
I just finished reading Jennifer New’s book, _Drawing from Life: the journal as art). Thank you, Pam Rubert! I love this book. It has lots of great inspiration and knowing about why people create visual journals provides the background that my brain needs to do it myself.
In DFL, New talks to Brian Singer, the creator of the 1000 Journals project, which can be found at the website below. The 1000 Journals project is project where Mr. Singer sent 1000 journals out into the world to inspire average people to rediscover their creative selves.
Unfortunately, Mr. Singer has only received one journal back and he says that the odds of getting one to work on is like winning the lottery. As a result, he has created a new project, the 1001 Journals project and one of the subprojects is possible.
I would like to create a journal, which people who read this blog work on. I would like to fill it up with your art and send something to Mr. Singer that reflects the tone of this blog and its wonderful readers. If you are interested in participating, make a comment on this post and leave some way for me to contact you (not your snailmail address-I’ll get that from you later). If there is enough interest, I will work something up.
The 1000 Journals Project is an ongoing collaborative experiment attempting to follow 1000 journals throughout their travels. The goal is to provide a method for interaction and shared creativity among friends and strangers.
Those who find the journals add something to them. A story, drawing, photograph, anything really. Then they pass the journal along, to a friend or stranger, and the adventure continues.
Unfortunately, you’ve got a better chance of winning the lottery, then of getting a hold of a journal. That’s the problem when there are only 1000 of them. Now, you’re best bet is to check out 1001 Journals where you can sign up for a journal, or launch your own traveling, location, or personal journals.
You can also check out the new book, which contains entries from journals around the world. It looks just like a journal, has these crazy stitched pages inside. Check it out on Amazon.
I received the Clairefontaine journal yesterday- the one I talked about in the March 5 post. I like it even though I haven’t tried it. It is a different shape that other journals. I’ll let you know how it goes.