What You'll Find Here

I post daily (photos of my journal pages, things that inspire me and personal bits and pieces) to inspire and encourage others. I have always believed that if I can do it, so can you.

You'll find resources (my favorite supplies, books, slideshows of my art journal pages, favorite bloggers, etc...) listed along the right hand side of my blog.

I've been teaching both in person and online workshops for over seventeen years now. You can find out more about my classes by scrolling down along the right hand side of my blog. I strive to make classes accessible to everyone (both beginner to advanced).

I love teaching and truly believe that deep down inside everyone is an artist, capable of creating something. There is power and knowledge in the act of creating something with your own hands, made from your own heart and head.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at EGorey99@sbcglobal.net

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Jet Pens: New Pen Bags

As part of their sponsorship program, JetPens sent me a $25 gift certificate to play with. I always have a hard time narrowing down what I want to try. I'm a sucker for a new bag or two. Here's what I bought for March:

Raymay Tote Pen Case - Black
Cubix Easy Open Mini Pen Case - Red

I wanted a couple of small bags that I could fit my most essential supplies in and grab at a moment's notice. Both bags fit a small handful of pens as well as a couple of rolls of washi tape at the same time. Exactly what I was looking for!

If you're looking for small bags that you can grab and go in an instant, either of these are perfect for the job. The Raymay Tote is cute and slightly larger (in size and price tag) but the simple Cubix Mini works just as well! 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Closer Look at April 2015 Classes

Here is my list of classes for April 2015.

I'm ALWAYS looking for new teaching venues so if you know of any that may be interested, I'd love to hear. I have taught at stores, museums, schools, backyards, garages, studios and private homes. I also am available for teaching home schooling art classes.

My workshops are always process-based learning while creating a unique product. I am well known for not traveling light and bring a large variety of supplies including (but not limited to) collage material, rubber stamps, stencils, pens, markers, tape and more. 

Please note the small supply list for each class.  

If you're not near where I'll be teaching, but you're interested in taking a class, I do offer a variety of online classes (27 different online workshops as of March 2015.) You can find out more info on the right side of my main blog.

Thank YOU for your interest!



28th Making Place Escondido Painting with Paper: Advanced Collage


29th Book Arts LA Deep Within: Journal Bundles



10th Banana Rose Westlake Village Journey in Black and White


12th Scrampers Torrance Journal Bundles

19th Book Arts LA Painting with Paper: Advanced Collage for Everyone


25th Banana Rose Westlake Village Here in My Head

3rd Scrampers Torrance Journey into the Self
9th Book Arts LA An Open Heart
15th Banana Rose Westlake Village Here in My Head
16th Making Place Escondido The Painted Book
17th Book Arts LA An Open Heart
23rd Banana Rose Westlake Village Painted Visions
24th Long Beach Fragile Truths
29-31st Fremont, CA Maria's Studio Classes TBA

19-21st The Queens Ink Savage, MD Classes TBA

15th Guadalupe's Fun Rubber Stamps TBA
16th Blue Twig Colorado Springs, CO TWO Workshops Pieces of Me followed by The Pages Within
17-19th Masonville Artists Studio Loveland, CO

Art Unraveled Phoenix, AZ I'm teaching August 5-8th 

I hope to see you there!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Jenny Read

Many moons ago I was flipping through Sabrina Ward Harrison's first book, Spilling Open. I always take note of recommended books especially when mentioned by other artists. Sabrina kept mentioning something called, "Jenny Read." An internet search at the time yielded nothing. I searched about it on and off over the years in my travels and never found it. I recently pulled Sabrina's book off the shelf and made note of it again. I searched on amazon and google and found nothing. I thought about it for a minute and did a google image search. There it was! FINALLY! After fifteen years I finally have a copy in my hands. The full title is actually, "Jenny Read, in Pursuit of Art and Life: The Journals and Letters of a Young Sculptor."

I didn't know anything about the artist when I bought the book and an internet search doesn't bring up very much except for one article that I was able to find. As a collector of artists' journals, I'm looking forward to reading this. It makes me sad that there isn't much known about Jenny Read or her work. I'm hoping that you'll seek her out like I did. 

Do you have any favorite books on artists' journals, sketchbooks or diaries?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Remembering My Uncle Joe

 My Dad and Uncle Joe
 Jackie Smith 38 Marcella St Roxbury MA meets Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr Photo by Joe Runci (My Dad's big Brother)
April 22, 1965: The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. used a bullhorn to address the crowd at the Patrick T. Campbell Middle School in Roxbury. On segregation he told the crowd, "This is not a battle of white people against black people. It is a struggle between the forces of justice and injustice."  
Wide Angle View From Above State Street

My Uncle Joe Runci. His front foyer was filled with photographs. Photographs of his two beloved children (Robin and Jay), Martin Luther King Jr, The Kennedys, actors (like the cast of All in the Family), infamous criminals, snapshots of daily life, on the street photos in and around Boston...all photos that he had taken as a Boston Globe photographer. It's this photo of a raccoon escaping a burning house from June 1983 that always stands out the most for me.

I remember it being my favorite as a little girl. There was a framed grouping of the raccoon on the wall as you walked in the door. There were several action shots of the raccoon attempting to escape the burning house. He made it and I would stare at the photos in awe of what the raccoon's determination and what my Uncle was able to capture at that moment in time.

Racoon Escapes Fire 

Sad to admit, I've never paid much attention to photographers. Sure, there are some that we instantly can recognize their work when we see it. As I was searching through various Boston Globe photographers at the time, I started noticing that each one had a specific style, including my Uncle. He wasn't going for artsy. He was going for real life, in the moment, trying to capture the human experience. His photos mark a specific place and moment in time. When you look at his photos you see that he was there. Right in the middle of it all. He lived his life and captured the world around him vividly with his camera by his side. The photographs buzz with life, history and the human condition. They're alive in your hands. 

Citation: David Berger and family in his home studio, 1962 / Joseph Runci, photographer. David Berger papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

In 1986 I started my first ever fanzine. It was for my favorite band at the time, the Monkees (they were making their twenty year come back.) My Uncle was my first (and only) paying subscriber to a free publication (how in the heck did I think that I could publish a free zine when I didn't have any money is beyond me! I did have a handful of subscribers. I eeked out a small handful of issues and I still thank Uncle Joe to this day.) I always appreciated how he tried to encourage us in whatever we were doing. 

Uncle Joe, me and my sister, Erin

My heart is very heavy. I will miss him. I miss his piles of photos. I miss his stories. Oh God, the stories. Someone needs to take note of all of them on Saturday night since I sadly won't be there. I miss the summer pool parties, BBQ, watching the men play horseshoes, the Jerry Lewis telethon, my Nana knitting, hanging out with my cousins.) I miss this goofy bunch and the yarns they'd spin together:

Cousin Charlie McLean, My Uncle Joe Runci, Cousin George McLean and my Dad, Jack Smith

I'll be holding on tight to the memories and carrying them with me. Always.

Aunt Jini, Uncle Joe, Nana (her 80th birthday), my Dad and Aunt Sis

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

19 November 2014 Journal Page

A very BIG thanks to all of you who looked at, passed along links or bought one of my journals the other day. It really is very much appreciated. It is always scary putting your work out there. My focus has always been on the teaching and selling work scares me a bit. Thanks again from the bottom of my heart!

Two more pages left to show in this journal. I hope that you've enjoyed seeing the pages so far. I kept this page simple image wise as I wanted the focus to be on my text and what I *had* to say at that moment. It's not a favorite page and it would definitely be interesting to rework it sometime. I always emphasize that when you're working in journal form, every page doesn't have to be a masterpiece. The most important thing for me is expressing whatever I need to say at that moment in time.

A Bit of Housekeeping:

Classes this coming weekend are:

27th Banana Rose Westlake Village The Painted Book

28th Making Place Escondido Painting with Paper: Advanced Collage


29th Book Arts LA Deep Within: Journal Bundles

I hope to see you there!

Monday, March 23, 2015

New Books Added to My Wishlist


I have no idea what this is since you can't really see inside of it but it looks VERY cool.  

Two words: Maira Kalman. Want. More books coming out this year: Beloved Dog and Keepsakes: A Design Memoir.


Because I clearly don't have enough of Van Gogh's Letters already on my shelf. This one is gorgeous.


Comics and Autobiography. Lynda Barry is in it. So is Marjane Satrapi. Sign me up. 

Artists journals. Had this on my wishlist since it was announced. It's not just because my stuff is in it. I love looking at journals, diaries and other peoples' books. Call me nosy or an artist.


I can't get enough of book arts.


Book Arts and Interviews with Artists? Need.


The world needs more books on collage. At least my bookshelves do.


The title sucked me in but then I looked up the author and had to add this to my wishlist.


I don't know if I necessarily need this but I really want to see it. I love looking at sketchbooks and what I've seen of the pages, I find it intriguing.

What books am I missing?