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Art Journal Update

The art journal project that I am doing with my friend is really fun!!  We decided to do this as a way to expand our knowledge and jumpstart the creative juices.

I have been lucky enough to have taken numerous workshops throughout the last 10 years with some very lovely & creative artists.I have also taken numerous classes in wheel thrown & hand built ceramics.  And years ago-eons actually, I took sketching & painting classes along with macrame classes. I have slowly and steadily been building my 'toolbox' of techniques and creative processes. The only problem with that is that I have been so scattered as to what I create and what direction I want my work to go in.

This art journal I am creating is helping me to focus during the month on a particular theme or process.The guidelines are very loose as to what we are doing in our journal but we do have some direction each month. Previous posts will show that January was Circles and February was Grid Patterns. Now March is Layers of any sort you can come up with. so you see, it's very freeing to be able to create whatever you want with just a smal guideline. I also limited myself to a sample piece for each month somewhere between 5 x 7  and 8 x 10. Again, it's a rough guideline. As long as it fits in my plastic page protector in my very large notebook that is serving as my journal I'm fine with whatever size emerges. 

With the help of this creative journaling as well as setting small goals for each day, I am coming up with so many ideas for projects. It is helping me focus and it's allowing me to produce something almost daily without any pressure for it to be 'good'. In the past I always created something with the idea that it had to be 'perfect' or it had to be something worthy of selling to someone.  Therefore my creative juices always got stymied because I was afraid to fail which caused procrastination.
I now have a new mindset-just do it! Keep doing the work, keep at it, continue to show and create daily and maybe once in a while I'll create something that I absolutely love and am proud of. If not, keep at it!
Well...so far I am really delighted with the things I'm creating for my art journal!

Here's the final week of the second month- Grids

It is nuno felted using a piece of dyed silk twill with a pretty coarse welsh wool fiber.  The silk is beautiful by itself but I was attempting to create a 'stained glass' effect with the colors and the grid pattern. I used the dark brown welsh because I didn't have any black merino which probably would have worked better. The thickness of the silk twill combined with the coarseness of the wool fibers took me a while to felt. But I really like it even with the little gray/white hairs poking through! If you hold this in front of a window and let the light shine behind it, it really does look like a stained glass window.
Here's a closer view-

































The first piece for this month's Layers is below-
























This is a collage using a piece of lutradur-like fabric that is not woven but spun. It's rather sturdy and takes paints and inks very well. This piece was done using disperse dyes and stamps along with screenprinting.
There was also some plastic vegetable bags that were fused/melted to the piece creating more texture. In the spaces where the disperse dyes did not cover, I used ink and watercolors. Then I cut the piece up randomly and cut out a few shapes. Fused some pieces back to it, along with shapes, laid it on top of black felt and stitched with the machine. I began to see a fish emerge so I took another plastic veggie bag and fuesd/melted it down over the fish shape then I gave the fish an eye with a painted piece of paper towel.
I felt it still needed some Layers so I painted some tyvek and heated it to distort then cut it up and hand stitched it down in areas to look like coral. I took another piece of black felt and zig-zag stitched around the entire edge to give it more stability and used pinking shears to cut the edge of the back piece of felt.
Now I have an underwater garden!
It's fun to watch how these sample pieces grow. Some are very simple basic creations but then others just morph into something so much bigger than I had planned.
Back to my studio to work on my second Layer piece.  I would like to update at least every other week but so far it's only once a month. Oh well, maybe as I continue to get better organized and create more I will post more frequently.
Until then~
cathy

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