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.

a riddle

"a riddle" art journal pages by Misty Oliver-Foster
“a riddle” art journal by Misty Oliver-Foster
The next few volcanoes took me down
I was starting to feel very sorry for myself
Why couldn’t she play the piano until the next day?
music is medicine.
Finding myself covered with regular words,
it was a very long time before I dared to
believe my recklessness.
“Enough of this nonsense!”
Ugh.  She tried not to groan.
“Keep it moving!”
But she didn’t.
She just said, “No.”
The word was right under my supplies.

 

A riddle.
awesome april (day 23) – o beautiful

awesome april (day 23) – o beautiful

O Beautiful -- altered book visual journal
O Beautiful — altered book visual journal

This is from my first visual journal, which is actually an altered book.  I gessoed out the pages before adding acrylic, collaged photocopied images, collaged wallpaper, watercolor and permanent marker.    See more of my visual journals HERE.

The mother and child image is universal to all cultures, and is always one that is close to my heart.

 

What are some of your favorite topics for your visual journals?  I’d love to hear your comments!

awesome april (day 18) – visual journals

awesome april (day 18) – visual journals

So in yesterdays post, I spoke of how journaling has helped keep me sane through the years.  About twelve years or more ago, I heard about the concept of “art journals.”  I had been doing something similar, but not the the degree of the artist’s I found online – and I was so inspired!  I have always liked collage and text, and this was a great way for me to combine both of them.

Inside -- a journal page from an altered book
Inside — a journal page from an altered book

I began working in an oversized altered book — using gesso to block out a lot of the images and text on the pages.  In it, I collaged photographs of Greek and Roman sculptures, stained glass windows, and any type of image that I found interesting.  Then I painted, drew and collaged more until the images looked the way I wanted them to.   That book, started in 2004, is still a work in progress.  Some of the pages are complete, and have come out of the book.  But many are still in tact.  Some have just the background started, and others are almost finished — just waiting for that final je ne sais quoi.

456 - another altered book page
456 – another altered book page

A couple of years ago, I discovered spiral-bound sketchbooks that have thick mixed media paper, and are marketed as “visual journals”.  My first one is filled primarily with just doodling.

possible side

a doodle based on one of my paintings
a doodle based on one of my paintings

As I’ve progressed, and I’ve seen my pages get a lot more colorful and painterly, and I’ve collaged a lot more.

My ideal breakfast at Tiffany's
My ideal breakfast at Tiffany’s =  put some art supplies in a pretty turquoise box

 

I have four volumes in progress right now, with volume 1 almost complete, and volume 4 in it’s infancy.  I’ve just added an ART JOURNAL page to the blog, with galleries from each volume.  Stay tuned for more!

My tears...
My tears…