Sunday, May 17, 2015

Journal pages

Do you sometimes wonder if anyone really sees who you are?  The person you are deep down in your heart?  What would it be like if you could be totally understood for your intentions, not for how people perceive you to be?  So many times in this life, you say or do something that is totally misconstued and there you can't fix it, you can't convince them you meant no harm...and it goes on forever.  The page above was made, thinking of those things.

This page was created after a round of visit's to doctors, the ER, and medical people for my husband's health issues.  I felt like I was drowning in phone calls and frustration, trying to get him the care he needed.  I think we're finally on the right track again.  Hopefully he'll feel better but that's going to involve more surgeries and doctor visits.

And this was created because of all the medical issues also, I was feeling the call of the wild, I just wanted to run away and head for the mountains to find some peace.  I could have spent a month there easily.  But life doesn't work out the way we want it too, so we make the best of it!  Make some more journal pages!  It's great to have time in the studio for this.

We watched a show about a woman who had a husband who could not be happy and he could not allow her or their children to be happy either.  It was called something like, The Contest Winner from Defiance, Oh.  That was a super good show and it made me cry, just watching her trying to make a life from an impossible situation.  I spent 25 years that way so I guess it seemed real personal to me.

Same thing with this page, if your instincts are telling you to run, Do it!  

I met Robert in 2003.  We fought fire, worked for a dynamite crew, drove semi across country, worked on a car crushing crew that toured the state, drove log trucks.  In a few short years we hopped around to so many jobs and adventures.  In 2005 he got hurt and our lives changed totally.  Now we stay home and go to doctors and work on our place.  Everything is still good, it's just different than we had it planned.  You never know what's in store!

This page came about from thinking of all the pets I've lost in my life.  I was looking at their photos, and missing them.

This page is purely an art experiment.  I liked how it turned out, it was fun to create and I'll probably do more similar paintings.  Sometimes journal pages are just for creating new ways to make art.  Sometimes they are for helping you to get things off your mind.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Working in a junk journal.

If you are like me, I saw artist's working in junk journals, and wondered the big question-WHY?  Nothing about the junk journals are archival, who knows how long they will last?  You can't sell each individual painting if you create one you really like.

I started creating junk journals anyway!  I gesso over any kind of junk mail we get.  I paint on the pages of books I create from junk mail envelopes and card stock type materials.  

And here's what I've learned...
When you are not worrying about the expense of good art materials, you gain a freedom in expression.  It does not matter what you paint!  You begin to paint for the pure joy of painting.
You do not care how it "turns out".  You do not worry if it "works" or not.  Because there's always another batch of junk mail coming in.  You can make another book and fill it up with ideas!

As you practice over and over you gain experience and knowledge about yourself and what you really like to paint.  You get very comfortable inside your artist "skin".

I've also got completely away from using reference photos, I was always a slave to those photos.  I think artwork created directly from your heart is so much more "artsy".  I love being able to sit at my art table and do nothing more than react to each color or brushstroke.  Just sit there working and let one idea flow from another.  It frees your mind in a way that creates a type of euphoria and let's the world float away.

In my journals, I make my own gesso, I use house paint if I feel like it, I try out the cheaper brands of gel mediums, I experiment making my own texture pastes.  I glue paper to pages, I paint over it, I try anything I feel like doing.  Because it just doesn't matter!  I'm not trying to create a work of art, in which I use archival, expensive materials trying to have something a collector would buy that would last a lifetime and more.

I'm having so much fun, my archival materials are collecting dust!  When I decide now to dig out my watercolor paper and archival paints, I create something totally different than what I used to create, but I feel like it's something that is really "me" and I love it!
Donna Ridgway