Thursday, February 28, 2013

Journaling, Having Too Much Stuff (or Thinking You Don't Have The Right Stuff) and What Works for Me

There are two things that I encounter repeatedly as an art teacher: folks who think that they need a lot of stuff to create and folks who are overwhelmed with the amount of art stuff that they have and don't know where to begin.

Now don't get me wrong, I like my art toys as much as the next person but when it comes down to it, I have my absolute bare bones essentials that I need to make something: glue stick (I like something permanent like coccoina yet you should use whatever you can find that you like), a very small selection of favorite collage ephemera (I am finding more and more that I love using found papers from books and magazines more than anything else) and a favorite pen (probably my black .35 Rapidosketch but use what works best for you. My bare bones, basic list of favorite pens is here.) I usually like to use a gluing surface (like a catalog or old magazine that I can toss into the recycle bin when I'm done) and a burnishing rag (like an old rag, paper towel or even a paper napkin when I'm traveling.)

That's it. 

Some of my most favorite pages have come from when I limit myself to using only the tools that I mentioned above.

When did we get to the point where we're overwhelmed with the amount of stuff that we have? I feel bad when I repeatedly hear folks say that they don't know where to begin because they have too much stuff. I gently suggest rotating their supplies and picking a few to put in a small box or basket and limiting them to whatever is there. Then when they get bored with it, they can select new things to use. I call it "shopping in my studio (which is also my living room.)" 

I know a few folks who can't find anything because they spend more time buying than creating. All of that makes me sad. YES, I like my toys but I want to USE them and use what I have. When it boils down to it, I'd really rather spend my time MAKING than shopping. I save up and splurge a handful of times a year (usually when I travel to teach like Frenzy Stamper, Ink Pad, Northern CA, etc... where I know that I will usually find some things and that I should have a budget and some money saved in advance.) I do visit my favorite local used bookstores once a week with my family. It's our weekly family outing where we'll pick two or three bookstores to go to and rarely will I find something every week. I'm also very picky with finding collage materials in bookstores (it has to be dirt cheap and there has to be a lot of usable material for me to want to shell out a couple of bucks for it.) I rarely go art supply shopping unless I need something essential for classes and I can't substitute something else at home for it. (Those of you who think that I'm buying washi tape and pens/markers on a regular weekly basis are mistaken. I'd be living in a box on the street with my art supplies if that was the case.)

It's the same thing with collage materials. I know folks who spend hours trying to find the "perfect" focal image, having to sort through all of their stash trying to find THE PERFECT THING to use. That would make me nuts. It doesn't work for me. What works for me is working from ONE bag no matter where I am (some days that is my regular journal bag and other days when I am limited in what I can bring with me, it's a ziploc bag with what I mentioned above in it.) I rotate my stash like a little kid. I have my NOW bag that I work from and everything else is in a bag or a box in my studio. When I get bored with what I have, I rotate out or put stuff I don't want into my class collage bag where students will find new treasures.

This post isn't to knock anyone who loves to shop but to try to encourage folks to use what supplies they have instead of only collecting them. It's also to make those who think that they need a lot to make a journal page realize that they probably already have what they need somewhere in their home.

I live in a little apartment. When my stash seems to be too overwhelming, I sort through everything. I'll bring stuff to class for students to take. I also like to donate supplies to local places and public schools. Occasionally, I'll sell my excess stuff off. Purging my overflowing stash from time to time helps me also to sort through to see what I have, what I'm using and what I really don't need. 

Any advice that you want to share with folks who think that they are lacking in the tools to make art or folks who are overwhelmed with their art supplies?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kelly's Classes Winter-Summer 2013

8th Stampin from the Heart L.A.  A Beautiful Necessity
24th Stampin from the Heart L.A. Connections

13th and 14th Special Two Day class Personal Mythologies in Santa Barbara (More info TBA)

19th Word is Art Los Angeles Triptych Book Revised and Revisited

2nd Word is Art Los Angeles Wanderlust
7-9th Maria's Studio Niles Section of Fremont, CA Classes TBA!

7th Word is Art Los Angeles Journal This

September 25-29th Art Is You Petaluma, CA
I hope to see YOU there!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Home Again

No one can ever say that I travel light for classes. These are only half the bags.

I'm taking it easy today. Trying to recoup from the weekend and not feeling entirely well (trying to get rid of the lingering cough I've had for four weeks.) Usually I get right back into the swing of things but I decided this morning that emails and unpacking can wait for now.

If I owe you an email, I apologize but it will be answered this week. Today is a day to stay in my pjs, lie in bed, read and try to feel better. I am learning. It will get done but it doesn't have to be right now.

Monday, February 25, 2013

When the Oscars Invade Hollywood

I'm home from just returning my rental car from the weekend at Budget in Hollywood which is right across the street from the Dolby Theatre (formerly Kodak Theatre a.k.a. where The Oscars are held now.) I thought I'd share a couple of photos that I snapped while walking down Hollywood Boulevard.

The photo with the bleachers is from Thursday morning. The other two photos are from tonight at 5 p.m.

It's a Traffic Hell for folks in the neighborhood and anyone who has to go anywhere near Hollyweird at all the last week. Businesses are forced to close on Sunday (without compensation for the employees.) Forget it if you want to get in or out of Budget. I start waving my rental contract as soon as I make eye contact with security. It's fricking insane!

I didn't watch The Oscars this year but David taped it so I watched the couple of clips that he said were interesting (the Tim Burton commercial, Ted opening the envelope (neat how they did that though I don't think that he was funny at all) and my favorite sequence that I like to call "I didn't know that he/she died!"

Folks keep complaining about how bad MacFarlane was but the Oscars haven't been good in years (decades and decades!) I thought MacFarlane was an odd choice from the get go and never had high hopes but than again I haven't had much hope for the Oscars in a long time.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Wonderful Weekend

Thank you to my wonderful hostess, Maria for another weekend of fun classes filled with fabulous people; my students including sweet Nathalie who came from France for the workshops (merci beaucoup!!!!), all of my amazing and talented friends and students for the loveliest of weekends. It was full of art, laughter, lots of sharing, good food and some seriously fun times. I loved every moment.

This photo is of my students work and some of my journals. Thank you to Liz who brought back a finished journal for me to ogle! Holding books that my students make in my hands makes me so happy. I am always reminded that THIS is why I teach. I am grateful.

Driving home Monday morning I'll be thinking of all of the fun we had and what fun times we will have next time!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Little Moments

I always try to make the time to work in my journal every day even if it's something little like coloring something in or gluing a piece of paper down. This page is a work in progress that I started last night. It will be interesting to see how much it changes.

Sad that tomorrow is my last day of teaching in Niles (Fremont.) It's such a good group that it will be sad to say goodbye!

Friday, February 22, 2013

One of Three

One of three tables, that is! I hope it looks like we were having fun!!!! Looking forward to seeing what folks come up with tomorrow!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dangerous Places

Some places are more dangerous than others! 4th Street in Berkeley is especially dangerous! Between Scrapbook Territory, Castle in the Air, The Japanese Paper Store, the two book stores, Paper Source, the Caning Shop up the street and Dick Blick around the corner, it's all a paper lover/book artist's dream! Here you'll see some of the goodies that I found tonight. I had a great time seeing and shopping with two of my friends!

I'm all set up for classes in the morning. Happy to be here!

For tonight, I'm in my pjs and fuzzy pink bathrobe listening to old time radio (what did we do before we could listen to it anywhere and on our phones?!?!) and eating a spinach salad.

David, don't watch Elementary until I get home. ;)

Life is good.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Worst Thing for a Bibliophile

Trying to decide which books to take before I leave for Fremont! It's not like I'll have that much time for reading after teaching, but I like to be prepared. Decisions, decisions...

I'll be blogging from my phone the next few days. I've prepped extra supplies for a few last minute sign-ups, just in case. I'm looking forward to a good weekend!!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

And the Winners Are...

I decided to pick a few names from the contest. 

The folks below are the runners up. They can choose a seat in any one of my online classes on the house:

 -Auntie Karen said..."I would very much like a surprise from you. It would make my month."

 -aguasulis said..."Kelly, You are amazing and I am so grateful for your consistent sharing and support." Michele

- catherine said..."I love looking at your journal pages. They are such an inspiration. I am just starting to art journal and it is not easy for me. Thanks for posting your pages!"-Catherine C

The grand prize winner is Jon who said, "Happy Valentines Day to you and those you love!"

Jon, I have your email address and will be in touch. You're going to get a surprise something in the mail from me AND you can pick a seat in any one of my online classes on the house.

Thanks to everyone who entered. This was fun and I'll do it again sometime soon!

Back to prepping for Fremont this weekend. There are still a handful of seats left...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Paper Love

This is a small selection of the papers that I picked up at Artist and Craftsman in Los Angeles for my classes this weekend in Fremont (there are a couple of seats left.) I cut all of the handmade paper last night for classes. I still have to cut the paper for the pages as well as print the handouts!

Since it's a long holiday weekend, I'm going to hold my Valentine's contest open for one more day. I'll pick a winner sometime tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. You must comment on my "Happy Hearts Day" post from Thursday (2/14 which is here) to enter the contest. I may be picking more than one winner and you don't know what the prizes are... 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Moment in my Moments Class

Such a good day with a great group. I love seeing how artists interpret ideas.

Picked up paper for next weekend. I'll show you that tomorrow!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

13 January 2013 Journal Page

For the past few months, I've been trying to make room for more of the daily, little things that make me smile. Making a cup of hot black tea to sip while I am on the computer doing work, more daily journal time, more reading books and magazines, etc... I want less stress and worry of the things that aren't important. Funny how something big can make little things that once caused you big stress seem so insignificant.

I keep watching videos of the meteorite in Russia. Such an astounding, humbling, awe inspiring sight. It's weird how little of a reaction the drivers (whose dash cams are recording everything including the music that they're listening to) have to the sight of a white ball dancing across the sky. Considering the number of views some of these videos have on youtube, I'm not the only one who is fascinated.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Hearts Day!

Sending you lots of x o's today! Thank you for making my heart happy!

Let's have a little contest. Leave a comment on this post (with your email or some way to get in touch) and I'll draw a winner Sunday night. The winner will get a little surprise from me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

MOMA, how do I love thee?

 Above is my journal page talking about our trip to NYC along with our MOMA tickets taped in. 

David and I loved our trip to MOMA. While I was disappointed in the Quay Brothers exhibit (don't get me wrong, it really was worth seeing but it wasn't the same experience as the Kubrick exhibit where you really got a sense of the man and the artist and I LOVE The Quay Brothers.) 

If I could, I would hop on a plane right now and camp out in front of the Duchamp piece Box in a Valise. Below you will find a small selection of my favorite pieces. Nothing will ever compare with seeing a Picasso, Kandinsky, Klee, Chagall, Duchamp, Cornell, Van Gogh, Kahlo, Rivera, Modigliani or Munsch in person. I never truly appreciated Picasso until I saw his pieces in person. I could have spent all day just sitting in the room with the Chagall and Kandinsky pieces and have been superbly happy. I could spend a life time looking at the Klee pieces and see something new each time. It was a surreal experience and one that I have revisited in my dreams many times since. I can't wait to go back.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

11 January 2013 Journal Page

I'm teaching my Moments class this Sunday in L.A. The sample is in the store as well as online.

My local classes for March-May are slim pickings. It's getting harder to find venues with all of the stores that are closing (and have closed.) I'm looking for a teaching venue in April and/or May that's within driving distance of L.A. (No CA, Nevada, San Diego, etc...) Any ideas and help would be greatly appreciated. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

So, What Do You Call It?

Art journal. Scrapbook. Catch All. Diary. Glue Book. Books. Happy Place. Why are we obsessed with naming and labeling things? Does everything have to fit into little compartments with clearly defined labels stuck to it? Does it matter? What do you call your book where you cut and paste things into? An inquiring reader wants to know. 

I call my books my books or my art journals. "I'm going to work in my books." You either get it or you don't. To me, it's past art making. It's definitely on a whole different level than crafting (crafting to me means finding something to do to fill your time. This doesn't fill my time, it fills ME.) It's my place of sanctuary, my place to process and ruminate. It's my Church, my Temple, my forest, my quiet place all rolled into one.

Who am I doing it for? For me, honestly. It's my one place where I can be selfish in a healthy way. I make my books for me. Sure, I hope that my son will enjoy them but they're for me and they're for me RIGHT NOW. It's what keeps me happy, sane and present all at once.  

What do you call what you do? Inquiring minds want to know.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

How I'm Spending my Sunday

If you're looking for me, here's where I'll be today. My headphones are plugged in and tuned to Old Time Radio. For the record, I'm still in my pjs and fuzzy pink bathrobe.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Journaling on the Train

I started the above pages on the train into New York City with David. I'd glue something down, look out the window, color something in, look over at David, bits and pieces from that ninety minute train ride are cemented in my mind because I made the time to stop and look at the life occurring around me. Journaling slows me down and opens my eyes. It's funny what you start to see when you put pen to paper. It's intriguing the little moments of a day that you can remember while you cut and paste. Life rarely slows down but sometimes it slows you down, waves at you and whispers, "You're here. Enjoy it a little."