Tuesday, July 15, 2008


A book I made for a colleague's retirement gift is featured in the current issue of Cloth Paper Scissors e-newsletter, Embellishments. If you aren't a subscriber - it's free, so do it - here's the link:
Janice is a Master Gardener. She and her husband, Mike, operate a Christmans tree farm in rural Lawrence County.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

News and Reviews

1. Cheryl and I each received a proof of The Book to fine-tooth comb for things like the renegade e. It looks great and I truly hope you like it! There were some parts that made me laugh out loud.

2. After much deliberation, we have chosen an HVAC company to replace our old unit. We will have air conditioning by week's end. It hasn't been too too bad here, but the humidity is beginning to increase, as it does this time of year here. Funny side effect - the girls and I freeze when we go anyplace with AC. I need a sweater for Barnes and Noble.

3. Driver's Ed - 5 classes left - I am not in a panic anymore.

4. Gas prices are out of hand. A guy in line in front of me at Kroger was talking to the checker outer and made the Comment That I Hate - "Well, gas is $10 a gallon in Europe." Hey, dude, look at your driver's license. Look at your address. It don't say Europe. It says IN-DI-ANA.

5. If you are in a long line at Target or the Supercenter and a new check out is opened, the person who has been waiting the longest has the right to be first in the new line. That means the person who is closest to checking out, but still has all of her or his stuff in the cart. This is a friendly reminder for someone who probably doesn't read my blog. It is summer, people, and I'm only trying to save some toes in flip flops from being run over by that lady with all the Popsicles and clearance beach towels in her cart.

6. Next Sunday at this time, I will be in Jemez Springs, NM at the lovely Hummingbird Art Camp. Here is the project I am doing in my classes this year, whole thing and a detail:


Two more new books for you:

100 Artist Journal Pages
by Dawn Devries Sokol
True Vision: Authentic Art Journaling
by L.K. Ludwig

These two books about art journaling came out at pretty much the same time and cover the same topic, but, boy, are they different!

1000 Pages is like Pokey Bolton's 1000 ATC book - no commentary or explanation - just 1000 pages from actual peoples actual journals. In the ATC book, there are 10 or 12 pages of techniques, but in this book there are only two pages of prompts for how to get started. I did not see anything about materials or technique. There are more than a few monolithic girls with wings. I think it was a virus that went around a few years ago. I am curious to see what emerges next in our little community.

True Vision includes something less than 1000 journal pages, but Ludwig gives us information on kinds of books to use, how to use our materials to create art within the confines of a journal and words from the makers of the journals she features. This is my favorite part - reading the maker's own words about her journal. My favorite one is
Bee Shay's Rothko journal. She has taken a book of Rothko paintings and worked over and around them to create a journal. LOVE IT.

That being said, I am slightly uncomfortable looking at other peoples journals. I think it's none of my business. They offered them for publication, so I suppose it's okay with them if I look, huh? I wonder how the idea of maybe getting published changes the way we work? Writing the book changed me for sure. I don't make anything without thinking about how I could write instructions and choosing materials that I know are readily available for everybody.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Just Trying to Be of Service

As you know from our last visit, I have more than a few hours on my hands while my darling firstborn is further ripped from my arms. I really want to use my time wisely and, possibly, help others. My blog readers came to mind. How could I use my waiting hours to benefit all four of us? I have time to browse and sip a Starbucks at Barnes and Noble, so I have time to do


I am not really a writer, much less a real book reviewer, but I can read. I will give you the unsugarcoated truth about new mixed media books. Let's start with Diane Maurer Mathison's new book, pictured at left: Collage, Assemblage and Altered Art: Creating Unique Images and Objects.

1. The Cover - I like it - it has that matte finish that looks a little upscale and the primary color scheme is always appealing to me.
2. The first image, even before any words or anything, is one of Dan Essig's Bridge Books. That says "Quality", right there.
3. In the first section of the book, devoted to collage, Mathison uses a lot of French words, which I also love. Words like - papier colle, grattage, brulage and fumage. It sounds classy.
4. There is a good recipe for paste flour to make paste papers. I have done it before and it's a lot messy fun, but I did not have a recipe.
5. The Assemblage section features work by people you might know - Michael Demeng and Carol Owens and by people you might not know, but should, like Greg and BJ Jordan. I have some earrings they made - love them.
6. The Altered Art section held a pleasant surprise - the mind-blowing genius of Julie Leonard and Dan Essig - two artists I seldom see in the ocean of mixed media. They swim in the deep end, baby. You haven't seen altered book like this anywhere else.

This book contains projects, techniques and lots of images I hadn't seen before - refreshing. It would be a nice addition to your art library.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Driver's Ed.

As I told you last time, Whit is taking driver's ed for the next couple of weeks. We are driving to Bloomington for her classes, about 35 minutes away from home. We're in Bloomington a lot for shopping and sports stuff so it's not like a foreign country or anything. Her classroom bit is for 2 and a half hours every day and the driving part adds on two more hours every other day. Tuesday was classroom only, so I had to amuse myself for a couple of hours. Not much is open at 8:00am, other than Starbucks, so I sat in there and sketched for an hour, then I went to Hobby Lobby and then the bookstore - my 3 favorite places - but I did not enjoy myself at all..I was overcome by thoughts of my impending obsolescence. This model of time killing would not work eleven more times. Yesterday was her first driving day, so Mommy had FOUR AND A HALF HOURS to fill.

I graduated from Indiana University in 1989 and have since taken a few classes there. This summer Courtney is doing IU Track Club. It's for kids from 4 to 18 and they work out at the IU track - super nice just like I would expect from a Big Ten school - and get coaching on their events from IU athletes and area high school coaches. That's 4 nights a week for an hour and a half. I have been parking at the track and taking walks down Fee Lane and through the arboretum. Yesterday, after dropping Whit off, I decided to walk off some of my anxiety and take a full walking tour of my Alma mater. I put in about 5 miles on the landscaped paths shaded by hundred year old trees. That place is beautiful and quiet this time of year. I saw few people - the summer school students, high school kids on campus for some kind of camp, tiny shriveled professors carrying briefcases equal to their own weight. I crossed Indiana ave - going officially off campus to check out the store hours for Pygmalion's Art Supply - the only real art store in town. They don't open until 9:00. I 'll go back another day. It's a mom and pop joint with a cat or two sleeping on the counter and every kind of art thing you could ever want. Back on campus, I passed the Sample gates, the law school, geology, biology, music - all those places I knew in a former life. They still looked the same. The speed at which time moves is relative - very slowly for limestone buildings with Gothic arches and very quickly for daughters who can't possibly be old enough to drive a car.

I had to take Court back up for Track Club last night and put in a few more miles - about 10 total for the day. It's my new way to cope - exhaust myself.