Saturday, January 09, 2010

New Year, New Project

Wow! It's 2010 and I don't want to believe it. Too many big things will happen this year; things I am not ready for...Courtney will get her drivers license, Whitley will turn 18, have her senior pictures taken, start her senior year of high school, and, gasp, play her final high school soccer season. Mommy's not ready.

As some of you know, I did year-long art challenges for five years, beginning in 2004 with the Purse Book Project. I took last year off for a variety of reasons, the main one being that the projects had lost a certain amount of their soul. I was doing it for the sake of saying I had, for the sake of the challenge, not for the art.

I have to tell you, it was strange not to have that thing I had to do every day. I often felt I had forgotten something or had one one black shoe and one brown something wasn't right. So for 2010, I hope to find a balance of sorts; a gentler year-long project that will benefit me in some way other than having created another monument to my stubbornness in the form of a stack of 365 useless objects.

Art Journals, right? Everybody does it. I see so many incredible pages online from Teesha Moore, Judy Wise, Kelly Kilmer and so many others and it makes me want to art journal. So I make a book - that's the easy part - and start to fill it, but then I don't like it for any number of reasons, so I abandon the journal and give up on the idea of art journaling for a few months. I mean, maybe it just isn't for me, right? I can't do everything; nobody can. So maybe I file Art Journaling in the same mental folder as wearing a size 0 skinny jean, the one labeled "It Ain't Happenin', Sister".

It seems just plain wrong that I can make all kinds of books from the old ways Gothic to a single-sheet and not be able to fill them. So this is the year that I conquer Art Journaling. I know I need help. I need an expert. I signed up for Kelly Kilmer's online class "A Life Made by Hand" to get started. I made this little book - a simple hardback pamphlet for my first book. Not too many pages and lots of space built into the spine to accommodate collages on the pages. The image on the cover came from philosophy packaging. I decided to number my books, with the modest goal of filling one per month this year.

I love the way this little book went together, so I made a few more. We had two snow days and I couldn't waste them cleaning. They don't have cover embellishment yet. Not sure which one I'll use next. Those are pictured at the top of this post. These books were all made from materials I had on hand at home. The pages are white cardstock of a Very Pedestrian Variety. Two of the books are made from full 8'5 x 11 sheets and the smaller ones are half-sheets. One is folded the tall way, the other width wise. Very economical. That has always been a peeve of mine in bookbinding - all those off cuts! Strange sizes of paper that I save, but never use. NO SCRAPS, I say, in 2010!
I'm working in my book every day and using the prompts from Kelly's class. It's January 9th and my journal isn't in the landfill yet. Maybe there's hope.


Kelly Kilmer said...

Nooooooooooo, don't put your journal in the landfill *ever*.

I know the hardest part with journaling is NOT comparing your work with others. You don't want your work to look like Teesha's, Judy's or mine. You want it to look like you made it. It's something that takes time. I look back at my earlier pages and cringe a bit. They're not bad but you can see I was learning. I was developing my style and really, finding myself. I've come to believe that it's all a process. The nice thing about working in a journal is that you can look back and SEE that process unfold.

don't think of the pages in terms of 'good' or 'bad'. Think of them as a learning experience. If you don't like a page, finish it and then turn the page. Don't tear it out. Don't give up. I don't like every single page that I do, but I don't tear anything out. It documents that moment in time. Journaling is about the good, the bad and the ugly. Ya gotta let it go. It'll be okay...keep playing and experimenting and see where that takes you.

I know you can do it.

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Dianne said...

just got your book "Mixed Mania" and love it! have fun with the art takes me a whole year to fill up my journal, and I put in whatever I want. each page doesn't have to be a masterpiece! quotes, doodles,sketches, collages--well, a lot of the ideas in mixed mania, actually...Belinda is having her mixed media art friends yahoo group do a "book study" on your book, and we are really going to have fun with it! thanks for the great ideas!!