Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Spirit Cats Deck: Cute Cats, a Sprinkle of Magic and a Lot of Heart

Some people get the magical properties of cats. My artist friend, Nicole Piar, definitely does!!! Among her many talents include loving, playful custom portraits of your favorite feline companion. She captured both Zeus and his sister Angelina's (both now 20 years old) portraits in endearing, and sincerely mystical, ways. 

Nicole has now gathered together many of the feline portraits she has created over the years to form an inspirational oracle deck. On February 1 Nicole has launched her very own Kickstarter campaign "Nicole Piar’s Spirit Cat Inspirational Card Deck". It's a r-r-r-rousing success, which it should be.

Do yourself a favor and check out this beautiful, hand-painted oracle deck. They are available to early-bird buyers at the sweet discounted price of only $15. Each card in the 44-card deck has its own positive and inspirational message that can help to brighten up your day in much the same way as a cuddle from your own beloved feline friends. And if you dig the art and want to immortalize your own cat, then check out the Kickstarter reward for commissioning a painting of your own cat. These cats are just too cute!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Kiala Givehand's Journal Page Response to My Challenge!

"Passageways" by Kiala Givehand
I'm one of the guest instructors for Kiala Givehand's year-long online art journaling class "The Journey Within 2016". As a promo for the course, Kiala hosted in December a blog hop in which each teacher gave Kiala a journal page spread challenge.

I write about my challenge for Kiala in this post. One of my favorite altered book workshops I teach is Altered Books As a Way of Seeing. In it I teach how to use portals (doors, windows, stairs, paths) in altered books as a way to examine your life, your interests and passions, your dreams. Door and windows are particularly powerful because of their deep symbolic meaning over the centuries. They also speak of thresholds -- or moments of reflection -- as well as the more popular concept of future possibilities and opportunities yet to receive, achieve, or move into.

I love the image that Kiala uses in the spread above, because of its mirrored reflection. You actually have two portals with perhaps two different choices of possible movement -- one into the air (perhaps involving thought and mental concepts) and one into the water (perhaps involving emotions and feelings). Plus Kiala adds a smaller portal as a footnote to the page. Love that!

Here's Kiala's blog post on her response to my challenge page. 

My Journaling Challenge to Kiala Givehand for Day 28 of The Journey within Blog Hop

Altered Book: "ABs as a Way of Seeing Course Syllabus"
 I use images of pathways when I am journaling or working in my altered books. In fact I created an entire altered book course called "Altered Books as a Way of Seeing" using portals -- windows, doorways, gates, paths, stairs -- as a way to see your world, your interests, your passions, your dreams.

Paths have always beckoned to me -- whether it be a woodland path, a deer trail meandering through the trees, a freshly mowed swath of grass, a bricked garden path, or stone pavers around the corner of a house. Paths speak of new beginnings, old familiar routes, unexplored territories and well-traveled ones.

Today I challenge Kiala Givehand in The Journey Within Blog Hop to create in her journal a path, either on one spread -- or across several page spreads -- and to use the path as a journal prompt: Where am I going on this path? What is at the end of this path? How do I feel  as I travel it? What are the physical sensations that accompany me as I walk this path? What magic will I come across that will enchant me? 

Kiala could add an image or two to her journal pages and then journal around them. Or she could create a story that is sparked by these images.  Or Kiala could build an accordion fold into one of her journal spreads that is created by connecting several photos of a path that elongates across the length of the accordion fold -- and then journal about the steps she would take along this path.

I look forward to seeing what Kiala does with my challenge in The Journey Within Blog Hop! You can read about what she creates on her blog: www.kialagivehand.com

And it's not too late to  register for Kiala's free seat to The Journey Within year-long art journaling class. I'm going to be one of the guest instructors (September 2016 YAY!) but it's going to have so many cool art journaling techniques from so many great instructors that I'm going to participate in the monthly tutorials as well!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Journey Within 2016: A Year of Handmade Art Journals

I'm considering it a real honor to be invited to be a guest instructor for mixed media book artist Kiala Givehand's year-long art journaling e-course -- The Journey Within. Each month you will receive 6 videos covering how to make the monthly book, page spread process, and art techniques. Not only will it be an opportunity to grow your creative repertoire -- but it will be a voyage of self-discovery!  Go here to find out more and to register and take a look at the line up of teachers below!

The Journey Within's Amazing Artists:
If one year is too long of a commitment for you, you can sign up for one or more quarters (3 month sessions) of the Journey Within by going here.

I am really looking forward to not only teaching my section in September -- but to participating in many of the classes over the year ahead. It will be a terrific way to increase my "creativity vocabulary"!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Last Day!!!! AEDM2015 Day 30: "

AEDM2015 Day 30: "Protecting the Future"

It's the last day of the Art Every Day Month challenge! Once again it has been a fantastic experience because of these things:

***It reinforced a creative discipline by encouraging me to set aside time to create art daily. 
***I have tangible proof that I am a creative person in the form of a piece of art I create every day. 
***At the end of the challenge I have a journal filled with my art, which I can hold in my hand!

If you are interested in deepening a creative discipline for yourself  using my method (30 days of small pocket-sized collages) -- I will be re-releasing my e-course Your Daily Creative Practice in February 2016. Stay tuned...

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Friday, November 27, 2015

AEDM2015 Day 27: Her Next Move

AEDM2015 Day 27: Her Next Move
I'm starting to think about and brainstorm what I want to be doing artistically and with my art biz in 2016. I have had so little juice or energy to do anything this past year. It's been a year of moving through the grief process and delving into old processes and character traits that just don't serve me anymore.

I still don't know what 2016 will bring but i have a few ideas that I am going to act on, and I will let the details unfold by themselves. When I look at this collage it really seems to represent where I've been and where I'm going. The photo on the left is one I took a number of years ago in a Mexican cemetery. Beautiful and colorful, but there is also a clear separation between death and life. The eye -- looking forward is also seeing between the gap in the bars, and I have the feeling that the person belonging to the eye has the ability to move forward into life. Anyway that's what I see or feel from this piece. I enjoyed creating it -- and with none of this in mind!

AEDM2015 Day 26: "More Color"

AEDM2015 Day 26: "More Color"
I was too lazy to create a page spread on Thanksgiving so I forgave myself for this lack of self-discipline (it went the way of the "I shalt not overindulge" commandment -- out the window). I was going through my images and found this African Bee eater. I fell in love with these birds when i attended the University of Nairobi as part of an exchange program. It was a magical experience for a 17-year-old in 1971 -- and the Bee Eater became a symbol for my once-in-a-lifetime trip. This image requires a neutral background to magnify its colors -- but I decided to do the opposite and see if I could incorporate its colors into the background. I used acrylics and rubberstamp ink pads and am pleased with my efforts.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

AEDM2015 Day 25: "Way Station"

This spread was a bit of a challenge. I'm posting it as is -- but I'll probably work on it a bit more.  I had originally created a half page within the two pages of the spread -- something I do occasionally to extend the story of a page. So it's really 2 spreads back to back but one of the spreads covers one and 1/2 pages. Like I said it was a challenge -- hard to describe and hard to photograph. I really need to film a clip of it but I'm too tired tonight!

I called it "Way Station" because to me this collage has the feeling of where we come from and where we are going to across our many possible -- or reincarnated lives -- and all of the variety and implications associated with that concept. I like the idea of it -- the execution -- well there's more to it and I'll leave it for another day!

Side One -- Middle flap closed to the right

Side One -- Middle flap completely opemed

Side Two -- Middle flap closed to the left

Side Two -- Middle flap opened to the right

Side Two -- Spread completely opened

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

AEDM2015 Day 24: "Reading Clouds"

AEDM2015 Day 24: Reading Clouds
I'm 62 years old and I still see fanciful creatures in the clouds. It's one of my "skills" that I don't every want to give up, along with what the hummingbird is saying to me, or the conversations the stuffed animals have on my bedroom lounge. It's something that I believe my mother and my grandmother encouraged -- along with Southern storytelling tradition as well as a life of never ending emotional drama. This has its good side --  I am lucky to be alive, I believe, because I've spent a lot of my life making up things. It's a good thing too because those aforementioned traits lend themselves to my being the artist I am!