The Struggle

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My biggest struggle right now is balancing the responsibilities of my day job, which are exponentially greater right now than they have ever been, with my creative endeavors. I have been steadily working towards leaving work at work – 7am to 4pm – and then the rest of the time is MY time to focus on creative pursuits be it jewelry, art journaling, graphic design, or technical assistance of all kinds to who ever seems to need it. I guess it should not have come as such a shock that I went from my happy schedule into demanded oblivion of 12 hour days without breaks and the occasional weekend wrap-ups, but it has. I knew it was coming before Christmas; I sensed the inevitable call to arms was approaching, but I think that the holidays and the infancy of the new year sprinkled and glossed over the impeding doom. But alas, here I am on a Sunday, frantically surveying my distress and sadness over untouched art supplies and ideas that have been unable to come to fruition.
Still, I do have some art to share that I was able to squeeze out this last week despite all of the chaos. So here it goes:

I have been working primarily in a handmade journal created by my friend Jessica Hartwell. There are two things that are different about this journal. First, all of the paper in it is black and second, the pages measure 12″ x 6″ – tall and skinny. At times I have been tempted to work an a spread rather than a singular page, but sticking with a left or right facing page has stretched my layout muscles. The size is actually the easier of the two things to work with. Black paper is very interesting. You would think that things would stick out more on black, but black actually absorbs the paint and often things appear softer and with less contrast than I expect. I’m pretty fascinated with the challenge and I have purchased one of the 8 x 8 black Dylusions journals to experiment more. The paper is thicker in the 8 x 8 journal so I’ll be able to do more with wet media than I am able to do in this current journal.
The following are some close ups of the pages which feature painting.  In most cases, I’ve used the Souffle pens for writing and drawing so that they stand out from the page:

I’ve also been experimenting with horizontal vs. vertical layouts. Obviously, the vertical pages are more challenging because everything has to be tall and thin. If I choose to use a larger image, I often have to crop it. But some very interesting things happen with scale when you work with tall and thin vertical pages. You can use leading line for a more dramatic page. This page is a good example – where the girl in the cave is looking up – the accent elements work with this to make the viewer’s eye go to the woman at the top who is emerging:

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Thematically, I think you might have noticed that I am working with traditional beginning of the year themes. My personal watch phrase this month is “Ready, Set, Go!” And going, o boy, am I going!

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