Friday, December 30, 2016

Get Messy Gifts - Week 4

I still wanted to create a weekly spread even with the busyness that was Christmas. So I made this spread in about 5 minutes!

It was pretty simple and intuitive. I had fun playing with white crayon resist during past Get Messy seasons, so I grabbed a gold crayon for these pages.

I closed my eyes and swirled, dashed, and squiggled it on the page. Next came a few layers of watercolors and the quote! And that's it, a lovely spread with a focus on the blended watercolor.

Weekend Plans:
1. Gift exchange with friends
2. 2017 goal setting

Friday, December 23, 2016

Get Messy Gifts - Week 3

I don't want to be cliche and say this is about the gift of life, but it kinda is. Or at least the gift of personal growth. The strength and confidence we gain when overcoming struggles or trying new things. 

The base of the spread are craft gift bags and a pink metallic gift bag from the previous page. I thought the metallic pink would be great to go with the heart and used the vellum to tone down the shine. 

There's also three types of glitter! Some fine glitter for the heart outline, larger glitter in the swirls, and holographic glitter on the white paper cutouts. I'm really happy with the effect of the glitter outline on the vellum and I definitely have plans to keep experimenting with this technique. 

Weekend Plans:
1. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Get Messy Gifts - Week 2

Week two of Season of Gifts and we're dealing with the idea of living in the present. Of not just letting the days go by. This week I was really challenged with this. I have a few projects to finish up before the end of the year and I'm feeling the lack of time and find myself wondering where that time has gone.

Over the last few years, I felt like I was just existing. Just going through the motions of life. I'd find myself thinking and telling others that I couldn't even remember what I had done the previous week. And that was disheartening. I don't want to look back on the year and only remember the "big" events. 

I was inspired by Matisse's collages, where he would "paint with scissors." To me, theses shapes represent events passing by. Events that I'm trying to capture and remember and to not let the dark pain's gray overwhelm me. 

Weekend Plans:
1. See Rogue One
2. Christmas Potluck

Friday, December 9, 2016

Get Messy Gifts - Week 1

As much as I love Christmas, for me, the month of December is also a time to look back on the past year and plan for how I'm going to start January. It has that exciting feeling of possibilities that I used to get at the start of every school year, especially during college.

So how appropriate that the last season of Get Messy for the year is called Gifts?! Since the more introspective themes are my favorite, I'm going with a list of attributes I want to work on for the new year.

I'm starting of with the idea of persistence. I admit, goal setting is a struggle for me.  Most of the time I never make them, because then I don't have to admit that I might fail at something.

My journal this season is make from a mix of gift bags and mixed media paper. I had the larger, neon pink doilies already, and then die cut more doilies out of pattern papers. I love the look of hand cut letters, so I splattered some metallic mist paint on black construction paper to help break up the solid black. 

Van Gogh has some of the most insightful quotes I've ever come across. And although I've read variations like this before, I'm a firm believer in the idea that sometimes you need to read something over and over before it clicks. 

Weekend Plans:
1. Finish up One Little Word 2016 album
2. Continue with December Daily
3. Kelly Purkey workshop on Sunday in NYC!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Get Messy Dreams - Week 6

Get Messy Season of Dreams wrapped up a few weeks ago. And I just have a couple pages left to share.

I've almost finished reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron and one thing that will stay with me is the idea that my inner artist is like a child. I believe that open sense of wonder and lack of fears children have is great way to push forward creativly. Also I love how when spread this way the ink looks likes nerves. 

A little bit of madness can be a good thing, right? Nothing too serious, more like childhood silliness. I have great memories of art making in college at 2 or 3am, when you're pushing yourself past exhaustion and come up with ideas you usually wouldn't. It can spark creativity and help to keep the creative ripples moving.  

Overall I loved this season. Like Season of Introspection, it dealt with understanding the psyche which fascinates me. It's also the second season where I filled all the pages in my handmade journal, which  I'm really proud of. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Get Messy Dreams - Week 5

This week got busier than I expected, but I still managed to make a spread that's been in my head for a while.

I wanted to convey that sense of bleariness you get after opening your eyes. It's kinda like bokeh, before you're eyes can focus. I also wanted to portray a sense of dreams slipping away. Where these confetti dots drift away as you come awake. 

I made the background with distress ink, rubbing the ink pad on the paper and spraying a lot of water to make the colors bleed and run together. I love the dreamy water quality of it. For the dots, I used the end of a paintbrush and then went over each dot with my fingertip to blur it a bit. 

Weekend Plans: 
1. Get Messy Totems class

Friday, October 28, 2016

Get Messy Dreams - Weeks 1-4

 We're now over half way through the Season of Dreams and this is my first blog post on the season. I have to give props to everyone who posts weekly or even daily in some cases. Being more consistent is definitely a major goal of mine.

So back to the beginning...?! I was so excited when this season's theme was announced. I have always been fascinated by my dreams and even have some that I remember from when I was a child. I bought a dream interpretation book in college that I still go to today, if there's an element in the dream that sticks out to me.

And that's how I approach dream interpretation. I don't overthink it and I don't dwell on the details. I just think about the overall feeling and what one or two elements stand out. Then if I decide to interpret the dreams and none of the explanations make sense, I let it go. I'm all about just going with the interpretation that "clicks." If it doesn't, it doesn't and I move on. 

I decided to work in an unbound journal this season because I have an idea for the cover that I didn't want to get covered in paint. And I wanted the option of adding in more pages. I will admit this does bring some challenges in that I have to make sure I keep the journal in order. But I'll be worth it once I bind the cover. 

I started making pages a week before receiving the first prompts. I was just so excited to get started. The first few pages were heavily collage influenced and once I came back from my vacation, they moved towards more painted and or collaged with handprinted papers. I'd recommend hand painting paper to everyone. It's so satisfying to know you created every element on the page. 

These last few weeks of the season I think I'm going to try to delve deeper in the dreams and what they represent in a more abstract way. Dreams are so abstract to begin with and I want to convey that; the feeling of not quite remembering a dream or the feeling of coming out a dream. 

Weekend Plans:
1. Rearrange Bedroom
2. Organize craft room
3. Finish up One Little Word prompt for October

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

How I'm Doing: #100daysproject

I started this project later than most. My first collage went up on Instagram May 27th and I've completed my first 30. There are now 75 days left in the year (??!!) and I have 70 collages to make.

Over the weekend I got caught up with the new podcast How She Creates and decided to use the #5minutesofcollage idea to help me complete this project. This was a result of the conversation during the second episode that featured Katie Licht and Lauren Caterson.

My paper scraps are all in small containers and it'll be a nice challenge to rummage through them to quickly make a collage without second guessing myself. I'm also trying to trust my artistic intuition so I think this will be a great excersize for that as well.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Getting Back Into It

The working title for this blog post was "Catching Up." But then I realized that would be implying that I was behind in something.  As I'm trying to be more patient with myself, that idea was just bothering me.

So I took the Season of Music off. This really surprised me as I listen to music pretty constantly. But between family visiting and having to many lyrics to choose from, it got to be too stressful. And honestly, I think the break really helped. It gave me some more breathing space to explore ideas and I managed to take a 30 day collage class during that time, to stretch my artistic self.

I know I just up and ended at week 5 of Season on Introspection but I actually filled my handmade journal! Here are the last of my pages from week 6. This old wooden bench in my backyard is quickly becoming my favorite place to photography my journal.

So moving forward! I'm super excited about the next season of Get Messy. I already completed a spread and prepped another. And I'll be taking my journal traveling with me this season, as I'll be visiting Arizona in the beginning of October. I'll be staying with a friend who's an art teacher, so I may just bring my favorite pens and an alphabet stencil and then play with her supplies. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Get Messy Introspection - Week 5

I set a goal this season to try every prompt. Since I only made one spread last week, I
had some catching up to do.

I attempted a "brain dump." And then covered it up. They were ugly words, written in a moment of self pity. My idea was to have some kind of writing about needing to be selfish every once in while but I decided that would still be to negative for a spread that I really ended up loving. 

Turns out stamping over writing is a great way to create some hidden journaling. The stamped quote reads: "just keep following your heartlines" A slight difference on a Florence + the Machine lyric. 

I'm trying to push myself to cover up layers. This is my art journal, nothing is precious and I need to keep reminding myself to trust my artistic instincts. 

My own definition of intuition: "we all vibrate at our own frequency." It's why we all understand things differently, why we can all look at the same prompts and have an infinite amount of takes on it. 

Another page with layers that got really complicated. So I just painted red over the top and simplified the female drawing. I'm really happy with the contrast of the drippy brush script with the stamped word and white line drawing. 

My take on what my thoughts look like and what's been on my mind. Overlapping and circling in my mind, my thoughts seem to come out of nowhere. 

I used a white crayon to create a resist pattern and LOVE how it turned out. It's such a simple watercolor technique that I will no longer be over looking. 

Weekend Plans:
1. Visit friends upstate
2. Work on #heartjournal
3. Housekeeping
4. Photography #100dayproject collages

Friday, July 1, 2016

Get Messy Introspection - Week 4

I have one spread this week. I was going to say "only one" but decided to go easy on myself. I was a little challenged by the prompts this week since I'm not confident in my writing. Especially with stream of concious writing. I get nervous about what might come out and have trouble embracing that process. So I set that prompt aside and dove into my dreams instead.

I always have a sence of disappointment when I wake up from a dream. Either by the alarm or the need to use the bathroom, I seem to wake up right when things start getting interesting. 

I love tearing paper and the texture it gives. And when working in collage I like to lay out the layers first. This is a snapshot of my layers when I was deciding where everything would go. I think about color, shape, and pattern repetition. At first I thought every piece of paper would be its own unique image but ultimately decided against that. It would be too busy and my dreams tend to have repeated elements, so I stuck with three main images and repeated the others. 

Weekend goals:
1. Work on my #heartjournal
2. Catch up on my One Little Word album
3. See some fireworks
4. Watch some Euro 2016

Friday, June 24, 2016

Get Messy Introspection - Week 3

It's hard to believe another week is gone. At least I have two spreads to show for it. I was a little challenged by this weeks prompts, but I pushed through where I normally would've stopped.

I totally trusted my instinct/intuition for this page. I wanted to work with layers and give myself the freedom to use any colors I wanted. I'm really happy with how this spread evolved and ended up. There are areas underneath that are all covered up and knowing that adds a depth to the spread that otherwise wouldn't be achievable. 

Being my authentic self is an concept I've been spending a lot of time meditating on. I settled on five "ways of living" for myself, at this time: live with honesty, live with laughter, live with heart, live with gratitude, and live with art.

In my own life I'm coming to better understand God's gift of grace.

I was inspired by time lapse photography of the night sky, where the stars look like streaks across the sky. I went with a more muted galaxy to remind myself that God's words are often more quiet and for me, come softly when I'm ready to receive them. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Abstract Zine

I was incredibly surprised and honored to be asked to be a collaborator for the Zine Squad. I love following this amazing project headed by Julia, Katie, and Vanessa. This abstract themed zine was made for Kate who creates inspiring abstract pages herself.

(LEFT) I added the texture paste on top of the washi before sending the zine off to Vanessa. I was expecting her to cover it up but I like the tone on tone and subtle bit of texture, since it was left alone. 

(RIGHT) I wanted to add something to the zine that expressed abstract thoughts and I thought collage would be perfect for that.  I made the whole collage on a transparency that I had sprayed gold on the back of. 

(SPREAD) I wasn't brave enough to just leave a whole spread abstract. So I washi taped in a transparency to hold the quote: "Life is filled with abstractions and the only way to make heads or tails of it is going through intuition."

Side note: I'm glad I photographed this spread because apparently not all pink paint is created equal when it comes to scanning. Some neon colors don't show and that was the case with this pink. Once scanned it dulled down to a grayish pink. I'm going to have to test all my neons!

(RIGHT) "I like to look for things no one else catches." For this page I zoomed and cropped a photo I had taken at the New York Botanical Garden last year. When you zoom in this closely, it creates a lovely abstract image.

(RIGHT) Going along with a new series of collages that I started.  I love how it plays with its neighbor to the left. 

(RIGHT) This page came covered with the cutest guinea pig washi! All I did was add some gold to emphasize some triangles. 

(LEFT) Another page that I just added to. When I received the zine, this page was covered with lovely strips of wash. I wanted someway to emphasize the colors and decided on outlining the letters. I love how opaque black gesso is but that you can still see the pattern of washi underneath the black. 

Once again thanks to Julia, Katie and Vanessa for including me. This was so much fun and make sure you go check out everyone's blog to see the rest of the zine.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Get Messy Introspection - Week 2

This week I made another three spreads for Get Messy. Two from the prompts and one that's been in head for a while now. You'll notice there's an overall dark theme this week. There's a lot of blacks and grays and this started as an unconscious effort on my part. 

Incubus changed my life at fifteen and I have plans to make a whole journal inspired by their lyrics. But first this phrase kept circling in my mind for the first prompt. Procrastination is my biggest flaw. I don't like change and by procrastinating, I think I can put it off.

I started by writing out why I procrastinate and some other related flaws. Next I tore up that list and painted black gesso (my new love) over most of the page, just leaving a bit of my writing under the word procrastination. I then added the rest of the lyric with a white paint pen.

"Do I even know you anymore?" I found myself asking this question in response to all the craziest that's been going on in the U.S. for the past months. People I thought I knew are saying things I would never believe they could and it's heartbreaking. 

These black and white photos where perfect to look like old family photos that where torn out of an album. Blacking out the eyes turns these people into strangers and the questions marks ask the question: why? Why did you say that? Why do you believe that? Why does it bother me? Why can't I except it? Why does this have to change?

With all the heaviness of the previous spreads, I wanted to make a silhouette filled with color. I love the idea of us radiating our light, our strength, in the chaos and darkness and not giving up hope. 

This spread came together rather quickly. The longest part was probably waiting for the watercolor to dry. I started by gluing down black and white pattern papers. I couldn't find any solid gold paint, so I went with a gold glitter paint and I am happy with the effect. Added the silhouette and the quote: "Nothing can dim the light that shines from within." Which sums up what this week has been all about.