My friend, Kara and I exchanged a small moleskine journal from May 2009 until March 2010. I will confess up front that she is a MUCH better swap player than I will EVER be. I tend to wait until the last minute for everything and work best under pressure. Crazy, but true. I'll be showing you our pages over the next few days.
Always put your contact information on the inside cover! Just in case!
Kara's luscious pages:
So, I've had a few people email me and ask me why I'm not teaching any painting techniques in either of my A Life Made By Hand or Memories and Reflections online classes. If you've noticed my journals in the last couple of years you'll see that I haven't been using a whole lot of acrylic paint in my books. Instead, I've been focusing on the paper and collage aspect. Yes, I haven't forgotten about paint. I'm not focusing on it right now. I've been dabbling and getting painty fingers with acrylic paint for years. I want to explore more with paper and its many possibilities. I want to learn more composition. I want to learn design. I want to push and pull with paper and to see what I can come up with. That's just me.
That being said, I've been encouraging my students to explore what is most comfortable with them. Start with what you know, or what is comfortable and then work and push past it. So what does that have to do with my online classes??? Well for starters, working and thinking outside of the box.
Yes, you can take the exercises and templates in my online classes and use them solely with paper...but what about pushing the envelope?
What about substituting a piece of paper for a painted background, or a piece of fabric or something else?
What about making color copies of previous journal pages and re-working those?
What about taking old sketchbook pages and using them as collage fodder?
What about using your photographs that you were going to toss as background paper?
What about asking yourself what if?
What if you've already worked through all of the collage prompts?
What if you have already taken all of the prompts, and turned them sideways or upside down (thus creating new prompts!)?
What if you want to go the next step?
What if you're taking someone else's class and that someone else is showing you acrylic paint techniques or you're playing with fabric?
Take THOSE ideas and blend them and combine them with my collage prompts.
You see, friends, the trick with art is to never take things at face value. It's to take the ideas, twist them, bend them, shape them and make them into something new. Something that says you made it. It's to push the envelope and to find new ideas. I encourage my students to realize that when you take a class, don't just take things as they are. Do the exercises. Work with them hands on. Try it again. Don't give up. Keeping making pages. Keep pushing. Keep asking yourself, what if? Don't just stop after working with an exercise once or even twice, push it to the next level. See what happens. If I can do it, so can you.