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 more than twenty years. 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!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Journal Exchange

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 next?

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.


Brian K said...

What a wonderful idea, expand... push... explore! Play!!!!

Mary said...

I for one love that you concentrate on papers. I have used paint in journals for sometime, and having the tools to incorporate papers, and use only papers has been great!!

I love your classes!!!

Jeanne Nelson said...

Beautiful pages from Kara...and great suggestions from you! I'm discovering that the only end to new discoveries of techniques is my limited imagination, ;). I have to push myself outside of my comfortable box to find new techniques. Suggestions and ideas from others help me do so. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Great post! I have never thought of those ways of mixing it up, this is all fairly new to me still but I have learned a LOT doing your class when I took time to really look at the prompts and advice that you give. Frankly the journals alone are worth the price of the class, but along with the prompts and support etc. Even better! I will be trying all of these things that you suggest to stretch myself. I just filled my large moleskine sketchbook and can't wait to try some more fun things in my new one! As always thanks for the advice and the kick in the rear!

Michelle LaPoint Rydell said...

Wonderful advice Kelly.

Margaretes said...

All so true Kelly. And as for the paint - I have chosen your classes over others because I don't want to use paint! I want to COLLAGE!

Sandy said...

I love the journal swap idea and pages, so pretty.

I agree with your words. I think that when you take a class you always have to learn from the class and also do your own thing. You never just follow the rules. If you do you'll never learn your limits.

I also love your classes with paper. I still painted on some of my pages if the urge stuck me. But I still love the use of paper.

I don't think anyone will ever be 100% happy with everything a person teaches. I go into classes with an open mind and the willingness to learn something new and I always do.

I can't wait to start the new classes in July.

jane eileen said...

Jeane's mom said:
1. Kara's work is beautiful.
2. She is one lucky girl.
3. Are you both working in the same book taking turns or in two books, and if it is one book, what happens at the end?
5. You wrote: What about asking yourself what if? Well, well, I dare any doubter to try that one. I can testify that one little question will change your world.

Seth said...

This journal exchange looks really interesting. I look forward to seeing more of the pages.