12/10/12 Journal Page – No Trespassing

No Trespassing I’ve been working mainly on my art journals this year and have participated in several swaps trading pages and journals.  It’s been a very healthy process and I have grown a lot as an artist.  Most of my journal pages deal with the moods that I’m experiencing at the moment.  I always wanted to journal growing up but when I would sit down, I felt silly cataloging my days chronologically like a travel log.  What I’ve learned is that art journaling allows me a much freer expression and rather than being forced to say everything, I am able to focus on only a few things or even one thing and provide that one thing a lot of detail, focus and attention.  Somehow, this is very freeing for me.  I feel too that it has helped me grow as a writer.

The page was added to an altered book.  I gessoed the page background to start and then added the yellow swirls.  Next I found images which express what I am feeling.  The fence seemed perfect to illustrated the strained communication between the man and the woman.  Then I added them in opposition to one another distanced and separated by the barrier.  The man is struggling with his thoughts and the woman is hiding in the dark, masked, but beautiful.  She just wants him to look at her and see her as she is.  She wants him to get beyond the mask.  I used blue for his background and orange for hers because they’re compliments.  They also nicely add a little element of flow between them.  The color was all created using watercolor.  The phrasing and details around the outside of the page were created using Sharpie and the journaling is done in pencil so it is much softer than the Sharpie.


Found Poetry

I’ve been playing with “found poetry” lately and was very excited to find a swap that matched my interest.  The swap’s official title was “Blackout Poetry Journal” and we were assigned two partners.  Our task was to send each partner one found poem.  The host is planning on doing more swaps so that everyone who participates over the course of time will end up with a journal full of exchanged found poetry pieces.

To begin you select a page from a book or magazine.  Then you circle words that go together to make a poem.  Once you’ve done that, you cover the rest of the words, either entirely (as the swap suggested) or partially, but enough that the rest of the text on the page fades away and you’re left with your poem.

I’m currently altering a book I’ve had for a long time (“Love Let Me Not Hunger” by Paul Gallagher) as an art journal (pictures to come).  To prepare the book, I had to tear out about 1/3 of the pages so that the spine does not end up too stressed after the process of painting and altering are complete.  So for my partners, I used pages that I had torn out.  I swear I randomly selected these pages and when I was done with the poems, I realized that one happened to be about day, and the other about night.  So for my partners, I made a color copy of each and then sent each partner an original and a copy of the page they didn’t receive.  I used a black fine line permanent pen and a white pen as well as water-color pencils to highlight the poetry and “blackout” the text.

Here are my pages and my found poems.  Enjoy!

















Untitled (Day)

The tempo extraordinary



The music blaring

He arose

the frightful heat


a jeweled spray rising

in a respectful mood

He wondered


to the edge of nothing


















Untitled (Night)

He felt

his mind


at the very edge of the

setting sun


every star


present and accounted

The sky





Halloween At Last!

I LOVE HALLOWEEN!  Ever since my grandmother let me pick out a card-table sized pumpkin when I was 3 1/2 years old, I’ve been absolutely IN LOVE with Halloween.  That year I was Raggedy Ann, my favorite buddy (I had one that was nearly life sized that was my companion til I became too big to sleep with dolls). 

My favorite book growing up was “The Littlest Witch” about a little witch who wanted to go out and fly around on a broom like her older sisters. 

Today I have more Halloween decorations than Christmas decorations.

So, I had to participate in at least one Halloween ATC swap.  I also wanted to do something special for my partners, so I came up with two hand-drawn ATCs to send off – one to each partner.  The witches remind me of that favorite book from my childhood.  Both are outlined with a Sharpie Pen and water colored.

The Fool: Tarot Series #1

I’m so excited to say that I finished my very first tarot card. 

I am an officer of a fabulous art swapping group on Swap-Bot called “The Swapping Artist.”  When I stated thinking of swaps I wanted to host, doing a tarot swap was the first on my list.  We’ve got a small amount of people swapping right now, but would certainly love more.  While I can’t wait to see what I get in return, making this card was indeed one of the most rewarding processes I’ve been through in a while.

My design is really simple, but to me it captures the essence of “The Fool” – that youthful self-confidence where nothing stands in your way.  The feeling that you “know it all.”  And finally, the abyss of reality that waits you when you “fall,” rather unexpectedly, off the cliff of life.

I will be hosting swaps for all 22 major arcana cards.  Watch for more!

My Favorite Dali

For this swap, the receiver chose the artist.  The ATC was supposed to be based upon the chosen artist, his/her style, etc.  My partner chose Salvador Dali.  I was very excited to get to create my own version of my favorite Dali painting – Persistence of Memory — hence the title of my ATC, “My Favorite Dali.” 

The ATC is simple with a water colored background.  I painted shapes and with colors similar to the original.  The tree is made from twisted craft wire shaped similar to the focal dead tree in the original painting.  The melted clock was created by carving a circle out of an old gift card, heating it and pulling it until the shape and elongation seemed right.  Then gesso was applied to make the clock face white.  Numbers and clock hands added in black permanent ink.  The clock was edged with a gold paint pen.

I am really pleased with the result and heard that my partner loved receiving my mini “dali-esque” ATC.

City at Sunset

This ATC was done for swapper bluehighways who won the January WTA (winner takes all) Commission an ATC contest.  The theme she assigned all of us was “anything city.”  For some reason, an orangey-purple city sunset popped into my head when I read the theme.  I started creating the buildings silhouetted against the orange sky and T.S. Elliot popped into my head.  So after water-coloring the background and layering the black buildings, I printed the stanza from “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” onto transparency film and adhered it to the sky.