Monday, August 7, 2017

Demeter and Persephone

Mothering and children leaving the nest has been quite big for me of late, my firstborn has not followed any preconceived ideas I had and its been a pretty rough period so when Natasha came around for a visit and to show me her Goddess journal I know I wanted to work somehow with the Demeter and Persephone theme.

Its been quite a stressful, dark and worrying time for me as it was for Demeter and of course Persephone was taken to the Underworld so I wanted to make a cave or a deep cavern to build my pages from and what a way to ground my pages! I also had to weave in the pomegranates,one thing about working with such rich myths is there are many symbols you can include. 

I had been thinking back to when my firstborn was little and I remembered this song chant we used to sing of Demeter and Persephone and I wanted to include those words so each of my Goddess's got her verse for her hair. 

These songs come from the Reclaiming tradition , Starhawk and Anne Hill.

They also released a gorgeous book on raising children in the Goddess Tradition called Circle Round


I have also been wanting to create interactive pages lately so this one needed to have some of that , I ended up creating 2 removable Goddess heads and I had to create little 'holders'to secure them into the cave

I began writing their story on the back of them but it was just too long so I made a mini book to tell the story and it had to be in a pomegranate of course, 

Here is my spread with the flap open showing Demeter, the pomegranate journal and Persephone, they all are easily removable and fit snugly in their spaces. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Diving Deep

Its funny how art imitates life and life imitates art,
I have been delving deep into trying to understand me and searching for things that might be hidden, lurking in the deep, aware too of the association between the element of water and our emotions and my affinity for water and my emotional state of late.

Lately I have had mermaids swimming up from the deep in different art works and the first art journal I received in round 5 of the Australian Art Journal is Danie Mays  "√únder the Sea"

I had no idea of what I would do until I started, that is often the way I work, I know many like to consider and plan and research and funnily enough that is also how many live their lives. I find I operate on a different system I work instinctively and intuitively and trust in the outcome without having to understand every step. I just let it happen.

I started with a sketch and I wanted to work with collage, texture and paint. I stamped some background layers knowing they would be sunk deep into the work along with the collage elements I added. I always use words in my art journaling, somewhere in the piece - I found an old sheet I made years ago with some good words so they became part of the collage and I wanted shimmer so I also added small pieces of aluminium foil. 

It was hard to hold down the fibres I used in her hair and for the kelp strands so I started adding tissue paper, then she wanted to go out by the pool, she is a mermaid after all-
 we found a sunny spot to dry that layer.
That is one of our cats-
on the other side of the pool stalking his territory.

My next layer was using transparent colours, transparency is a real thing for me right now, in trying to know myself and expose more of me to myself as much as others and also in my art work
- there it is again, life imitating art.
I painted her ocean out by the pool in the sunshine, its winter here right now and quite cool inside the studio. 

Next it was time to pull it all together, I painted her, and painted the kelp forest she is swimming in, I added some glitter too, that is not something I do often but she called for it and used gold and green to to find the kelp. I outlined the leaves and the page border with pens. 

Here she is all finished-
She has a few more elements - some animal companions and some beautiful rocks in her transparent watery colours and a 5 petalled white flower.
I added the quote by Anais Nin
"I must be a mermaid.... I have no fear of depths a great fear of shallow living"

Monday, June 12, 2017

Studio Snapshot- June 2017

What is on your easel? what are you up to ? We have had a super wet long weekend here  and I have had some time to try and sort things out and take stock in my life and in the studio. 

I was shocked to discover recently I have been here over 2 months- wow where did that time go and how am I still living in chaos? Thank you to lovely Kathy for the reality check and the talks.

So while I did grab a few moments to appreciate the beauty of the rain on my surrounds- I do love raindrops and could have totally photobombed this post, how cool is the vulva tree in my hedge?

I took this shot looking into the studio from outside I can see my blue parrot over there against the other window. 

I mostly worked on tidying up and cleaning  and getting
I have had stuff in storage for so many years and it is finally all in one space and of course we have grown out of tonnes of it so I am getting it all sorted and ready and selling it off. 

I did also spend some time resetting my studio alter and my Tree as Spirit journal is safely sitting there soaking up all the lovely energy now I just need to sort the rest of the studio for this weeks classes. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Tree (as Spirit) is ready

I have been making my Tree journal
for the next round of the Australian Art Journal Swap
that I run through our facebook group
the Australian Art Swap Group

I am a passionate tree lover
and see trees as sacred
 and have so many ideas of pages to do on this theme

My journal is made using Stonehenge print making paper for the signatures - this is my favorite mixed media paper ever and I usually use it for any hand made book binding I create, and I used some repurposed Arches heavy weight water colour paper for the covers. I wanted a really heavy strong cover as I knew I wanted to include a "tree" 

 The tree I wanted to include I found in a local street it is an actual branch but resembles a whole tree and has been flattened by being run over by cars but was still so beautiful I saw it as a metaphor for life, so often we can be run over but we do still have a real beauty.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Tree (As Spirit)

I was well enough to finally start my travelling art journal today and its coming together very nicely :)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

New Rounds of the Australian Art Journal Swap

It is very exciting over at the Australian Art Swap Group with us all getting ready for the next round of our Art Journal round robin.

Positions are filling fast and there are some fabulous themes being considered. To keep the circle tight and length of swap manageable we are slitting into 2 groups Round 4 and Round 5 

I am going with
 because I am a tree lover
I lover their beauty and their meanings
i love there space in our world
I love the sound of the wind in their branches
I love the life cycle of deciduous trees
I love the promise in a seed
I love to get my hands in the earth and grow trees
I love to watch them grow
I love to climb them , sit under them, look at them.
I love trees

There are also a plethora of clever and lovely art journal pages online about trees to inspire my fellow artists. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Myth and Magic Mini Art Journal Swap

I am trying to create a very safe and inclusive environment for the Australian Art Swap Group, I don't always achieve this and sadly there are some who have left the group because they did not feel either of those things, however for those of us still there I am  constantly working on improving it.

One of the ways I strive for inclusion is to encourage everyone to host or co host swaps or to share their ideas for swaps or any other group activity they would like to see happen. Consequently we have a wonderful diversity of artists who all bring different skills and inspire us in different ways. 

Janie O'Brien, one of our ladies recently introduced a mini booklet swap  and her theme was Nature. I was looking for something to work on over the long hot summer holiday time and remembered how I had enjoyed working on "Birds on the Brain" so ran a "Myth and Magic" mini art journal swap.

I  enjoy this swap format, it is 12 A5 size pages - just 3 A4 sheets folded and bound and is an ideal size to really explore a theme and the number of fairly small pages is really manageable. It also fitted easily into my bag so I could take it out and work in it and some days it is just nice to art out in the world, particularly on those hot and humid days we have been having lately, the peace and calm of the air conditioned library was such a relief.

I explored the Wheel of the Year and wanted to make it look old and weathered, like it has been a well thumbed reference for many years, laying about in kitchens and getting splashed on, taken on long rambling walks and journeys, carried about and shared.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Art Journal Prompts

Every month in our Australian Art Swap Group I am putting up art journal prompts - this one is all about layers and is one of our February prompts. 

It was created for a travelling Art Journal and we are getting ready to launch our next round of the Australian Travelling Art Journal, it will be round 4 and numbers are strictly limited. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Inspiration Deck Swap

The friendly bunch over at the Australian Art Swap Group are really hopping this year, with swaps travelling to all corners of the country, we are always welcoming active new members as long as they are residents in Australia. 

So far this year we have been making Dottee Dolls, a few rounds of A.T.Cs, a Myth and Magic mini journal, deconstructed art journals,  journal prompts for our own journals and Joan has started another amazing monthly prompt- that is bringing out some incredible art. 

We are also running and Inspiration Card Deck swap where we all alter half a deck of playing cards and then they all come to me to mix them all up and send them all back- sounds like fun :) 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Monotone Travelling Art Journal

It was a real pleasure to receive my mums travelling art journal- Monotones, and have it in my hands, to touch and look at and then to play in the remaining pages.

I wanted to try and work in the colours not present yet and it was pretty hard because this gorgeous journal already had a rainbow

Monotones is a bit of a challenge for me who is very partial to the entire range of colours and using them quite liberally. I found there was no gold and no red so I went with them. 

The first 2 pages were play and fun and I am also using them as journal prompts in our Australian Art Swap Group and the third one was much more personal.

 I recount memories from a long ago family holiday and include some natural elements from that trip.
I have another page in process and am leaving a double page for my beloved mama to play in and then her whole journal is filled!

I did this little on on the back page and I made a video if you want a look through the whole thing. It features many artists work from the Australian Art Journal Swap.