Wednesday, 2 July 2008

You know you are an artist when....

1. The highlights in your hair are from your palette and not Clairol.

2. You are having lunch with the girls and the fragrance you wear is eau d'linseed oil.

3. The only piece of new furniture you have in your home is a $2000 easel.

4. You butter your toast with your fingers, just to feel its texture.

5. You know what shade of green the lichen on the trees is.

6. You can't find a nice outfit for your date because everything has paint smears on.

7. Your date ends up with paint smears on him.

8. You're late for the date because you suddenly knew exactly what that detail of what your latest painting needed and just had to fix it while it was fresh in your mind.

9. You chose to buy that new Russian Sable Number Six Round instead of a Big Mac, a Large Fry, a Milkshake, Desert, and five gallons of gas.

10. You purchase a ton of books, and most are blank inside.

11. When viewing a sunset, you think in terms of cadmium yellow (light hue), salmon and gold, a tinted teal mixed with gold for the water....

12. There are Prussian blue fingerprints on your phone.

13. You clean your brushes in your coffee.

14. You carry pencils instead of pens.

15. You have watercolor swatches on cardboard in your pocket.

16. You explain your deplorably bad housekeeping by saying, "it's a work-in-progress..."

17. You do judge a book by its cover.

18. You watch the latest kids' digital animation movies and drool over the effects as much as the story.

19. You bought paint instead of food!

20. You draw your letters instead of write them.

21. Dust bunnies are part of your mixed media.

22. You get a feeling of calmness from holding and stroking the bristles of your clean paintbrushes.

23. You know more than 28 colors.

24. You never look at a person's face as a whole. You break it up into shadows and lines and shapes, and think how they would look on a canvas.

25. When others are needing to be with the in crowd, you feel lost in the crowd.

{My Favs are 10, 19 and 21! LOL}

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Art Heals... I Swear

I've been ill for so long, in fact I'm sick of being sick, if that makes sense. Being ill is hard, it takes away your focus and purpose. The working man or woman may think that it could be great fun being at home all the time, watching TV, reading, surfing the net... but in reality when you are ill you have no focus.

You watch TV, but don't really remember what you watched as halfway through the programme you were in pain and it made you miss what was said for 5 minutes, or your drugs made you sleepy and, "you know...I'm sure I nodded off for a few minutes then".

But the worst of being ill, is not knowing one day to the next how you will feel, not being able to plan your life, not even the minutiae. You may have 2 great days, so you think "tomorrow I will clear out that cupboard" you don't even realise that you are feeling a little better, you just have the energy to focus on something and... strangely... you are looking forward to clearing out that cupboard. You can't remember what's actually in the cupboard, there may be new shoes, new art supplies, an unread book... and so clearing out that cupboard has become "something to look forward too".

Then tomorrow dawns bright and clear... and you feel crap. You can hardly get out of bed, your head is pounding, you feel sick and you think to yourself, "but I was going to clear out that cupboard today..." and you realise that you don't feel well enough... not even well enough to clear out a cupboard.

I guess that's about when I discovered the healing nature of art. If I am in pain, I find relief in focusing on scrawling in my art journal. It doesn't have to be artistic, it doesn't have to be a fabulous work... just splotching paint or ink or watercolour pencils or wax pastels takes me to a different place... and suddenly two hours have gone past.

Since I added art to my life, things have definitely got better for me. I have started to *enjoy* more, I have started to relax more, I enjoy letting go and making art heals me... I swear.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

What is Ephemera?

I was talking to my friend today about Art Journaling and said that I often use ephemera, "what's FMerra?" asks she....

Ephemera is *actually* bits of paper that should have been thrown away, pieces of paper such as leaflets and newspaper cuttings, sweetie wrappers and train tickets. Pieces of everyday life that are mostly discarded, the minor documents of your life, things that you use fleetingly and barely remember... thats what makes them ephemeral (Meaning: Being only present briefly)

And Ephemera used in art journals (and scrapbooking and keepsake making and altered art) should mean something to you, evoke a memory, remind you of a trip, a meeting, a hug, a good time... you keep that sweetie wrapper because your man gave it to you on your first date, you keep it tucked inside your diary, its a little reminder of *then*. You keep that train ticket because you went to visit your aunt and you had such a cool time. *Real Ephemera* means something to you.

And... that's why I don't understand packets of ephemera sold in art supply stores:
  • Firstly:- by the very meaning of the word ephemera, it is generally designed to be discarded, not purchased

  • Secondly:- Reproduction copies of postcards and cigarette cards and bus tickets have no memory evoking properties, they are just faux snippets of someone else's time

  • Thirdly:- You keep, save and use ephemera to add to your journal or scrapbooks to help you remember a time or can a reproduction cigarette card do that? It holds no memory for you...

...think of that sweetie wrapper and that train ticket - add them to your journal or scrapbook, write about *that* time, make art about *that* time, use the ephemera as a starting point for your recollection so you can document that memory and the related ephemera together.

So my answer to "what's FMerra?"... little paper pieces of me and my time gone by.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Virtual Journaling?

I've been a journal keeper for such a long time, one-line diaries when I was small, 'a week to two pages' as I got older, and a 'page a day' during my working career. I've had Filofaxes in all sizes, from the smallest handbag size (is it called the Micro?) through to the huge desktop A4 size. Every one of these diaries has a snippet of my life inside it and they are all stored up in the attic...somewhere.

In recent years I've moved onto journals, there's more freedom in a blank page than there is on a lined one that has today's date at the top. I guess over the last few years my journals have morphed from daily records, into travel journals and now more so into Art Journals. I love the freedom, the freeform, of Art Journaling. I don't just have to use words, I don't just have to use pictures, I don't have to write, I don't have to draw, I can stick 'that' in becase I like it.... I guess that's why I like Art Journaling so much.

But just like my diaries, my Art Journals are pieces of me - snippets of my life are kept inside... so I find it odd this new fad of recording your life on a weblog, of 'sharing' your soul, sharing your art, sharing your life with the entire internet viewing world... and have thus bucked the trend for so very long. But my friends are persistent, they tell me they love my journals, they want to see more entries, that I should "upload" them.

And then as I surf around the net, I find so many other AJ'ers sharing their work, sharing their knowledge, being lighthearted and open... and I know it's time.