going retro

RetroArtJournaling promo2

Anyone that has been in my studio or my classes, knows that I have been practicing art journaling for several years now.  It has gotten me through times when I just didn’t have any fresh new paintings in me.  Since I was in elementary school, I have loved collage.  I used to make calendars for my mom for Christmas, creating a different theme for each month and hand-drawing the calendar (this was way before Microsoft Word.  No PCs in my house).    I loved collecting images and then putting them together thematically, and the cutting and pasting is still as thrilling to me as it was in my childhood.

I have a growing collection of vintage magazines, including McCall’s, Good Housekeeping Life, Newsweek and National Geographic.  I am interested in the stories as well as the advertising.  I honestly don’t know how women made it in the 40’s – 70’s  (although many of those same ideals and expectations are still around for us today).  But I find the glamour mesmerizing, as well as the rationale that the softness of your hands after washing dishes will positively affect your husband’s desire for you.

In my new Retro Art Journaling class, I’m sharing my vintage magazines with you as we create some fun journals.  The base of these journals will be booklet cookbooks, so many of your backgrounds will already be in place.  We’ll use collage, paint, markers, gel pens and more to create one-of-a-kind art books. I personally have created a couple of these retro-themed books and have loved it.  I know you will, too.

Find out more about this new class by clicking HERE.

hot mess


Productivity is never pretty around here. Making art is like childbirth to me. I start out hopeful and full of promise.  At some point it makes me sick (I call it the “ugly phase”), but I keep going, knowing it’s worth the struggle. And toward the end, I will do anything – endure any torture – to get this thing finished and out of my space.


I have been finishing three new comissioned pieces – I just returned from installing one, and two more are awaiting delivery this week.

completed art for the offices of David Kesel, CPA

Meanwhile, my studio is ashambles. Unlike childbirth, there is no nesting going on here, just complete  violent, creative chaos.


As I came back into the studio this afternoon, the amount of stuff I have strewn everywhere is insane.  Paint, dirty brushes, bits of cut paper all over the table and floor, awaiting placement on some collage or journal.

 Project ideas, notes scribbled on lined paper that was torn out of some book.  Scissors, glazing medium, screwdrivers, nails, art supply catalogs, plastic bags, ideas for teaching art projects…

But it means I have been making art, and that is good. 

The A/C went out last week, just in time for summer’s last stand.   Fortunately, I am married to quite a handy man. He’s helping me out by installing a fan today.  Come on, cool weather, I need you.


And, athough I’m exhausted, I’m really thankful for this hot mess of a studio.

On to making more art.

look around

look around reception1

Here are some photos of my current solo exhibit, “Look Around,”  which opened on Friday, January 9 at thegallery8680.  It was a bitterly cold night (by Texas standards), but we still had a great turnout.

drinks

Robyn always has the most beautiful reception table — a work of art in itself.

food2

pano of works on paper
Works on paper in the front gallery.

reception4a

reception3a

reception7

insightful

There will be a closing reception this Sunday, January 25 from 2-4pm.

look around promo 2

I’ll be sad to take it down – I liked each piece in my studio, but hanging my art in the gallery really transformed the work into a cohesive unit.  Here are some pieces that will have a new home after the show.

Perception
Perception
Bravely Done
Bravely Done
Tree of Life
Tree of Life
awesome april (day 30) – i did it my way

awesome april (day 30) – i did it my way

ATC 38  23(Grace)  23 SeriesI set a challenge for myself this month to post on my blog daily, and this, my friends, is the final post for the month of April 2014.   I did it!

There were days that were a lot more inspiring than others, some very exciting with good news to share, and others that I just didn’t feel so motivated about.  But I’ve found that this has been a really good exercise for me — it has kept me focused each day, because I knew I would need to share something interesting each day with you.

Just like my journals, my blog posts are a good resource for me to see what was going on in my life at a particular time.

An overview of this month’s posts:

  • I have gotten to share some of my visual journals with you, which until this month I hadn’t published online. Posting on my blog daily has encouraged me to finish some of those journal pages that I had started but had been dragging my feet on finishing.   See awesome april posts # 18 22, 23, 25 and 27 for new journal entries, and I have a new visual journals page that I’ve been adding to all month.
  • I shared things that inspire me along the way(days # 5, 6, 7, 14 20, 28) and the advice I would give to my artist self 20 years ago (#16).
  • My trip to Europe is officially on the books, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a while.  It’s been 10 years since I traveled overseas, so I’m happy to have something fantastic to look forward to next year.  jens studio 3
  • You got a few glimpses into my studio (day # 10, 15, 26, 28),  and the studio of my friend Jennifer Cowley (day #2).  I also shared a few of my art friends (day #11 and # 24), as well as some of my students’ work in progress (day #3).
  • I’ve had a great month getting my work out there.  I revealed the news that I was selected to complete a public art mural for McKinney this spring. ( I’m still waiting on a start date, and I’ll keep you all posted on the latest  developments with that project). Meanwhile, I’ve also sold a few paintings this month, and been selected for a juried show.

Thanks to all of you who have been reading my blog this month, and to my new ‘followers.’  As always, I’d love to have comments from you on any of the posts.

Here’s looking forward to a Maniacal May.

 

awesome april (day 26) – enjoy the process

awesome april (day 26) – enjoy the process

a reminder as I go into my studio each day
a reminder as I go into my studio each day

 

Sometimes in life I get very focused on the goal, the outcome and the purpose.  I forget that the point of all of this is the journey — our little experiences that make up life.

The same is true for my life in the studio.  Sometimes I spend too much time thinking about the finished product, rather than clearing my mind and thinking only of the materials before me.  When I do get to that point of clarity, my work is better, more creative and a purer reflection of my intent.

I made this prompt for myself a while back.  It hangs on my screened porch at the entry of my studio, reminding me that the true point of my art is the process itself.

Enjoy the process!