Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Creativity Can Be A Rough Journey!

Well, I have finally finished going through all the blogs that were participating in Seth's Buried Treasure. The butt's recovered and ready to go, the therapist is a damn sight richer than me now, LOL, but alas, between blog hopping, family and work there has been little time for art! Ye gads! I knoooow you are all soooo shocked! (me too!) I am currently head bashing around some art ideas and they are causing some, what had better be very temporary, wrinkling of the forehead.
The subject has been chosen, step one complete!
The format, arrived at, step two complete!
Now do you here the screaming sound of brakes being applied!!!
That's the old noggin grinding to a halt, and herein lies the issue.
I just haven't nutted out all the little details!
Guess I'm feelin a little discombobulated! (Oh yeah baby, look who swallowed the dictionary for breakfast today, aha aha aha! Go out and use that in a sentence today, then let me know how it goes. I'm interested in the unusual stuff!) For any of you completely at a loss now, the dictionary defines discombobulation as: to confuse or disconcert, to throw somebody into a state of confusion. That's me!

I am one of those people that maps it all out in my head when I embark on some major piece. Never does it just go blithely on and develop on it's own. Painting play yes, collage yes, but altering books, no, and that's the problem. I just cannot break, chop or generally destroy a book, even for the sake of art, without some sort of overall plan first. Oh, it may all change after I start, but there was originally a plan! I just loooove books too much to hack one up only to find I am unhappy with the way it is all going so let's just cut up another. Think it was too much time devoted to reading over the years, I loooove reading, so just can't do it! :( Sooo, the current problem is just that I need to nut out the finer stuff. I have no doubt that will happen shortly as I am about to take a two week break from work and intend to spend some serious time arting, woohoo, can't wait!!! Roll on Fridaaaaaayyyyyyy!!!!!

In the meantime, however...

DON'T PANIC!!! No matter what is going on there is always time to journal, phew! Sooooo, here's the latest round of journal fun, just so you know I haven't fallen off the planet!

Umm do you think this reflects my current dilemma? Maybe journalling will help!

Naaaaa, didn't work. Time to watch the storm instead!

Oh yeah, now I rule da house!!! Getting closer I think, LOL!
As you can see a variety of styles from various journals I have going, all at once too I will add. (For my sister in art, Cat, who's got the AADD now baby!! LOL! To all those souls out there wondering about AADD, a common affliction amongst members of the artistic community, AADD stands for Artist Attention Deficit Disorder. An affliction which causes said sufferer to constantly rove between various art forms and ideas without being able to settle on any one particular art form or style. Yeah you know you have it too, LOL!)
As a small aside I also suffer from DTS, otherwise known as dyslexic typing syndrome, which I define as a person who manages to type slower than their brain composes and so ends up with words completely typed in a state of utter chaos which would render any spelling bee champion apoplectic! (Woo that's two fun words in one post! Doin' the fun dance now kiddies!) Thank goodness it only happens when I type. I can actually behave in a semi normal state at other times, LOL!
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Digging Deeper into the walls-Buried Treasure Round 2

So welcome back dear blog readers. Did you enjoy Seth's Buried Treasure? I know I certainly did, although I'm not sure about my butt, LOL! After serious remedial therapy, the butt's good to go for a second round, so on to, Buried Treasure Round 2! Seth has put out the call for another round of willing participants to join in and repost another of their Buried Treasure posts. But what to post??? In the words of a famous WWII poster, Keep Calm and Carry On. (Read this as...Now panic and freak out!!!) Well, the navels already clean from the last lot of contemplation, so... a snap decision. I have only been a participant in blogland for a small amount of time (since christmas last) so not a large vault of goodies to choose from really, but being the ever resourceful soul I am, I have found something for you. Although only posted initially a short time ago, I so enjoyed creating this piece that it's back for another round. And so.... drum roll please...
here's the repost for you

If Walls Could Talk.
(I'll let it speak for itself now folks. Stop clapping so loudly, I already know I talk too much, LOL)

Rolling back about 8 weeks or so...

Confessions of a bloghopper.
I am always jumping from one blog to another, sometimes I admit, I get lost and can't find my way back to where I was, or worse see something I love, close a page then can't find my way back there again! Do you do this too? Terribly frustrating! I am slowly becoming more disciplined about my blog hopping and bookmarking pages and sites I love so I can refind my way there again, but I still madly bloghop, driving my family nuts as they ask, "Are you downloading pages again?", all the time! :) Umm, yup, that's me, sorry to all the obsessive online gamers at my house, but raspberries to you I say!!! In my mad dash from place to place I often find myself returning to Le Divan Fumoir Bohemien (if you haven't caught this wonderful blog, then do. It's full of the most incredible fragments of interesting things!) So while there in recent weeks, an amazing piece of texture caught my eye. Paper and resin, brittle from the passage of time. Okay I'm hooked just from this alone. LOVE texture! But vintage texture!!! Ooooo! The piece was all about this fantastic house built from paper. Okay, a quick bloghop over to Rockport, Massachusetts (don't you just love the spelling challenges presented by some words!!!), and it's a quick spin through the paper house. Walls, furniture all made from paper and resin, how interesting. (Read that as brain ticking starting up). Alright, so now I'm thinking about the paper house and remembering a news article I saw sometime ago about how many years ago (that's centuries past), folks in the U.K. would bury sentimental items from loved ones who had passed away, in the walls of their homes. Baby shoes, clothes etc, and now workmen called in to do repairs are turning up all manner of strange items in the walls. Now, I have been watching with interest Seth Apter's Disintegration Collaboration where artists are making up bundles and leaving them out to the ravages of the elements for a period of time, only to reclaim them and produce something using their altered pieces in an artwork. Great stuff too Seth, can't wait to see more of this one! (If you have been under a rock somewhere and haven't caught this one, then jump to it and check it out, it's a must see!) So with all of this churning around in the noggin, the beginnings of an idea. Keep with me here, we are going somewhere, albeit slowly. The birth of a creative idea. What would your walls reveal about you? What would you imagine someone putting in there, preserving for all time? What could be hidden from view, secreted away in those spaces? Precious things, posessions, secrets waiting in time. Ahh, so here is the idea. Following along with the disintegration line, what would happen if there had been a fire? What would be lost or revealed?

And so...

the layers peeled away...

Under the wallpaper, inside the walls, what was hidden is now revealed.

A secret love...

a choice made...

a love lost.

Under the wallpaper, inside the walls the fire reveals, pictures of a love forsaken. Love letters hidden within the walls, kept close in the secret heart of the home.

The piece in its entirety.

Layers of paper, glued and colourwashed, then covered in dimensional magic. Now for the fun part, burned. Yes that's right, bubbled and blistered to form the texture of the piece. I had so much fun with this, burning the paper and dimensional magic to my hearts content. The family constantly checking to see I wasn't personally alight, (or at least the house!). I think I must be some sort of closet arsonist, LOL! Anyway, after the burning, lots of embossing in black, red and gold. More burning!!! (said with glee and maniacal laughing). I seem to be on some sort of upswing lately, everything rolling along so well. I am pretty pleased with this one (just in case you were in any doubt. LOL) Here's another glimpse of the textures, click away for a closer look.

Now I think I might have to contemplate the issue of water and how to apply it. (Just to put out all the fires you know)!
So there you have it dear blog readers, a wordy post from the vault but I wanted you to understand the piece, and how it evolved. I do hope you enjoyed it! Now to initiate another round of butt therapy by watching all of your posts. See you at the therapists. I think I will recognise you all as you'll all be bent over double like me! This therapist is sitting on a fortune, LOL!
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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Convicts and Emus in the Nest-Buried Treasure

These days even the most dedicated blog hopper, (myself included here), will find it difficult to catch all the posts of favourite bloggers. There is just so much out there to see of interest and only so many hours of the day one can plant one's proverbial butt in a chair and blog hop and still retain one's job, physical shape and family devotion! So what to do dear blog readers? In order to prevent long hours of eye strain, broken chairs with permanent butt impressions, and millions of sleep deprived zombies from roaming the land, Seth Apter of The Altered Page has devised a plan!!! Buried Treasure! A call for willing participants to repost their favourite blog post. This action is intended to provide scores of deprived blog readers with the opportunity to catch up on posts they may have missed from favoured sites, and so provide said blog readers with the minimum of flat bottom exposure time needed to complete their blog roamings. Yes, yes cheer the Apter child for his insightful clear thinking, well deserved it is too! (Why , oh why didn't anyone think of this before!) This has, of course, led to much dilemma in the blogging community. Entire communities of people suffering from sleep deprivation as they decide what to post! Even I, a decision maker of extraordinary speed, required time to contemplate my navel over this decision. And then, after many moons of deep thought, and a lint free navel, there it was. The decision. As many of you know I have been busy over a few months creating a book construction for my mother. The piece is the culmination of an extraordinary journey into the lives of the members of my family. I feel I know them so much better now. It has also been a learning journey artistically. It has challenged me in both technique and creativity and I have loved every minute of the ride. And so this post is an amalgamation of some of those posts which show a few of my favourite pages from the book.

This is the first, a page about my great grandfather. The emu represents both where he lived and his career. The original name of the town was Emu Bay (now known as Burnie, in Tasmania, Australia, Pooh, bring back the original moniker I say!). His job for most of his working life was as an engine driver for the Emu Bay Railway Company. One of the first railway company's in Tasmania, and the last privately owned one to sell to the government only a few years ago. During his working life he saw many changes and under the picture of the emu, the page includes photographs and ephemera representational of the years he worked for the company. The original post for this page is in two sections. To view them click for part one here and part two here.

The next page is about my great grandmother, Ivy. The page is a favourite as it incorporates copper wire and metal leaves as a visual representation of her name. Love these items! Under the frame, a poem and some dried hydranger flowers which always grew in her garden, and a photograph of Ivy. To see the original post click here.

Next, a frame construction incorporated into the book. I just loved this one. Making it and how it turned out. Hey, what can I say, we all have our favs! You can see the original post here.

And lucky last, the doors to the nest! This page is a reference to my grandparents. At this point in time they have embarked on their married life together, hence the doors to the nest. I enjoyed the change of focus with this page and the switch to a more fabric constructed page. And, lets face it, who can resist vintage laces and doilies! The original post is at the same site as the frame above.

So there you have it! Some of my personal favourites. In all seriousness thank you to Seth for a brilliant idea. Can't wait to catch up with the other bloggers and check out their posts. OMG, I am going to need some serious butt therapy after viewing the number of sites that look like they've joined in!!! For those of you wondering about the convicts referred to in the title of the post, both of my great grandparents referred to here are directly descended from convicts sentenced to transportation and sent to Tasmania. More about that on the original posts. Oh, and Seth, best leave some bright ideas for the rest of us. It isn't at all fair you have so many in one year, LOL!!!

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Journal Chillin

It's been a weekend to relax and catchup on a little journal play. I have been so busy recently it was nice to just sit and play at something without any pressures or expectations for a change. I have been reading art books, magazines and blogs and taking a few lessons from them all. So here's the first one. The first page is a sort of hybrid creation after watching Pam Carriker and Sharon Tomlinson create portraits for their journals. I've never been tempted to do a portrait, always felt I couldn't draw for quids, but, in for a penny... (and you have to learn sometime, right? Yeah... right! LOL). So here she is.

She's a little washed out from the scanner, but you get the drift! I can live with her, so that wasn't a complete failure!
(P.S. Ro, notice your fabulous stamp!!! LOVE it!)

Onto the second page... texture play!!! Woohoo!

Again I wanted to try something completely new, so, I'm gazing into the garden comtemplating the trees and what captures me...
Bark!!! Hmmm, must be able to use it somehow, what about a major texture play. Incorporate as much as I think the journal will hold up to without completely caving in! So off I went. Tissue paper and gel medium. Modelling paste with background and foreground stamping (I told you I love this poppy stamp Ro!!!). Then sheet music and gel again, then layers of acrylics and oils, followed by gel and bark. Add a few words and the piece d' resistance (did I spell that right???) wax!!! Oh yeah baby it sneaks in again! Gotta say I love, love, love the feel of the page, can't stop touching it! (Makes me sound a bit suspect really, but you know how it is with us texture peoples, LOL) Not an earth shattering picture but the texture... drool!

Okay Kim, wipe your drool up and move on!

And finally the outpourings from too much time spent at NASA/JPL's website.
The eye of the universe. Read into this piece what you will, I'm not influencing your take on this one!

The orange is actually copper but once again I succumb to crappy photography skills. Perhaps I should have stuck to reading photography for dummies instead!
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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Constructing the Covers

Well as promised here is the book finished at long last. It has been a wonderful experience to construct, both from the family reminiscing point and also for the book construction techniques learned along the way, lots of fun there! I admit to being somewhat headstrong here, (there are so many gurgling noises and throat clearings going on in the background you would think I was at the doctors surgery! The whole family's a comedy act!) Anyway, as I was saying, being the determined soul I am I proceeded blindly into the construction of the covers and assemblage of the book without any prior experience in construction techniques. Never even read a book on the topic. Naive, YES, ABSOLUTELY!!! Yes the construction presented some challenges (read this as design problems extraordinaire!), and I almost caved and sought advice, but (being me) I persisted and eventually solved all obstacles myself (oh, yeah baby, I am soooo proud!)
So here it is the finished article, proudly presenting...

The Book of Hearts

The front and back covers are constructed from book board and covered in a fine kangaroo leather, (well it is Australian) rather than a book leather. The finished article is quite large and heavy so I felt a heavy duty cover construction was needed to prevent the possibility of needing repairs in the near future due to weight issues from a more flimsy construction, and I have never done this before, and the tannery isn't too far away either, so there you are! Brass fittings and leather strapping to bind. The front piece is an old wooden frame I found for 20cents, left in its pre-loved form and into this I have placed the front piece from a vintage book.

(It reads, Book of the Hearts - Loves Emblems)

In constructing the book, the pages are of course heavily embellished and decorated. This meant the in order for the book pages to sit flat and present like an ordinary book that spacers had to be constructed to fit between the pages along the binding edge. Each one individually designed for each double page spread according to the size spacer required for that particular spreads needs. This done, I covered the spacers in a black fabric to enable them to blend into the background (which they do beautifully). Now the assembling! An extraordinary number of eyelets, hammering, leather strapping and the odd colourful language lesson later, tada! Fini!

The spine...

Here's the side view. As you can see it sits flat!, Yahoo!

The finished book was rushed off to my mother in time for Mother's Day here, (JUST!!!) and is well loved, phew!

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Last Pages

And so onto the last pages in the Book of Hearts, my mother's pages. My mother is eighteen at this point, and I decided that this was enough, at least for now. The book is so much larger than ever first envisaged and it seems a good point to finish at both as a new chapter of her life began after this (namely the married with children phase ) and also the book worked well at this size before it became in danger of becoming clumsy and awkward to negotiate and utilise. So here she is at eighteen.

The page has a frame constructed using modeling paste and has been stamped and had tulle embedded into the paste to add some texture (got to love the textural stuff :), then a few coats of paints and wax finishes to deepen the effects of the texture additions. At the bottom of the page pictures of myself and my brothers as babes, (the future yet to come), and a cameo at the top because i always regarded this particular picture as a cameo of sorts and, well, just because both I and she love them, OKAY! Under the frame (which has a layer of mica over the pic too), an old doiley and some beautiful embossed papers I really was fond of and wanted to send to a good home.

On the other side of the spread a window frame (curtesy of Jen Crossley, thanks Jen!) coated in paint washes and small gold embroidery threads embedded in an impasto painted onto the surface. It's hard to see here but they glisten beautifully in person. A mica window covers a poetry piece and some seeds from my garden. All this and a wonderful green velvet background, (I also love green!) chosen to represent the future that blooms before her at this stage of life.

And on the inside of the frame...

A little quote for my mother and an image I couldn't resist to finish off the book. (You can click to see details of the pictures if you like).
And so the end is nigh.

The construction of the outside covers was a whole other story so I will post the pics of them in the next couple of days. Needless to say that was frought with obstacles but was a wonderful learning experience in itself.

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