Artjournalier’s Weblog

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Rethinking things a bit

Posted by artjournalier on April 27, 2008

Ok, it’s looking like I overestimated my ability to get things done.  It’s hard to gear up and run a business when you’ve got a full time job!
I’m changing my Etsy store opening date from May 1 to June 1.

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I’m Back!

Posted by artjournalier on April 23, 2008

I’m back from vacation!  It was a great week, and I’m sorry I didn’t have a chance to write more, but the trip was both relaxing and busy!

The past couple of days I’ve been trying to catch up on work (a week put me way behind!), chores, and get up to speed on my new diet plan (bikini season is coming up!)…so I haven’t had a whole lot of time for artwork.  But I do intend to get back on track and start posting pictures again in the next few days.

I also had a really cool idea involving stained glass, collage elements, and, of all things, resin.  As soon as I get a chance, I’ll try it out and see what happens.  🙂

In any case, I just wanted to drop by and let everyone know that I haven’t abandoned this!

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Beach Bum!

Posted by artjournalier on April 13, 2008

Yep, I’m at the beach! I’ve brought along a travel journal, and I’m working on several entries!

Travel Journal

I bound the journal myself, using a coptic stitch. That’s about as complex as my bookbinding skills get, but that’s all I really need to know – it lets me create my own journals. I used watercolor pages for the signatures, and decoupaged the cover with old oragami papers. I used modge podge mixed with a little green watercolor paint to seal the covers, so it gave the papers a green wash.

Travel Journal - page 1

I probably overdid this front page a little bit, but hey, traveling can be hectic! I also glued an envelope to the inside cover to collect ephemera.

Speaking of collecting things, we went for a walk last night and I got some pretty cool shells. It was low tide though, and that’s not the best time to collect shells – it’s much better right after high tide, so I’ll definitely go back again later this week for some good ones.

Here’s the first page I’ve worked on so far:

Travel Journal - page 2

I’m working on my doodling (which sounds kind of weird, I know, but I want to be able to create neat letters). I’ve also got a beach that I made from my Color Box Petal Point stamp pad. I love these ink pads – they’re so versatile!

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Yep, I’m a Slacker…

Posted by artjournalier on April 9, 2008

I haven’t done much the past few days.  I’m getting ready to go on vacation on Friday…for a whole week…to Myrtle Beach (home – we’re staying with my folks, so we’ll see how much of a vacation it really is…).  Still, I’m going to be gone for a while, and we’re leaving right after work, so I’ve been packing up the last several days.

Don’t worry, I’m bringing at least some of my art supplies – I really can’t go far without them!  And my camera.  And hopefully I’ll come back with a bunch of good ideas!

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The Ghost Ship

Posted by artjournalier on April 6, 2008

The Ghost Ship

Two finished pieces in two days!  I’m on a roll!  🙂

Not really sure how I feel about this one.  I think it may be weighted a little to much to the top; I should have used a smaller image there, but I liked the feel of the reflected, out of proportion ship.

This ship’s a ghost ship, lost, sailing along the routes it used to frequent with the crew that long since abandoned it.  It’s out of place and alone, ancient, without purpose or direction.

The piece is 8.5″ x 11″.  The background is a reproduction of an old map.  I painted the entire background with blue watercolor, concentrating the paint more in specific areas to give it a splotchy, waterlogged look.  The ship is a reproduction of a clipper ship from the Dover archives.  I’ve cut pages from a book, painted them with metallic gold paint, and arranged them around the map to add color.  I also stamped the bottom of my paint bottle around the image to highlight certain areas that may have been important during the ship’s previous life.

The ship is colored in with oil pastel (which resists water color) and details outlined in sharpee.

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Fish in Fedoras!

Posted by artjournalier on April 5, 2008

The Gentleman's Club

Well, I just finished up this new mixed media piece – inspired by a “fish” creative challenge.  Comments and critiques are welcome!

I felt like doing a “fun” piece, and I hope this fits the bill.  The background is done in acrylic, and coated with tiny glass beads.  A clown fish and a butterfly fish, both wearing “gentleman’s hats” float by – their bubbles are made from glass.  The sand is decorative paper, colored with oil pastel to give it a sandy texture.  The seaweed is cut from tissue paper.

The whole peice is done on a canvas board.

This was a fun piece to make!  I kind of like doing fun stuff like this – the normal with something slightly abnormal thrown in.  There are definitely more to come!

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What Makes Art Good?

Posted by artjournalier on April 4, 2008

This is a thought that I’ve been bouncing around lately, and something I think I want to come back to in the future. What makes art good? Especially with mixed media – what’s the difference between a random assortment of stuff that appears thrown together on a page and a piece that’s worth thousands of dollars?

When it comes right down to it, there are two real schools of thought here – art for art’s sake and art for money. Art for art’s sake is beautiful – it’s an expression of soul and raw emotion that just can’t be expressed in any other way. While I think we’d all like to do art for art’s sake all the time, eventually, unless we’re independently wealthy, in order to keep making our art, we have to start making money at it. Is there a way to make art for art’s sake and still make money?

For some of us “making money” means enough pocket change to keep subsidizing our art supply habit, while for others, income must be equivalent to a full time day job. But for anyone who intends to sell art, to make money with art, the art must be something people want to buy. I think that the best artist are also art buyers. They know what appeals to them, and they’re able to appeal to others in the same way. Not by copying technique or anything, but by making others feel the raw emotion put into the work.

Because that’s what makes a piece of artwork sell. The most famous works of art – the Mona Lisa, Starry Night, the Scream – are all about raw emotion. Every time you look at those pieces, you feel something, again and again. And not necessarily the same something. But the piece never gets old. It does soemthing to you, it sucks you in. That’s what makes art good.

So if all an artist has to do is convey the emotions they feel all the time, then it should be easy, right? Why is it so hard to get that out there? I think there can be many reasons.

I know, at least for me, the culprit can be as simple as poor planning – once I get going, I can focus on a detail and forget about the whole. If I haven’t thought the whole piece through, my finished product looks like a mish-mash of totally unconnected details. Poor planning can cause all kinds of problems with color and form, just depending on the piece. Sometimes my work can become cluttered or the layout is badly weighted. So it’s a good idea to plan things out first!

Clearly, technique is pretty important too – in order for your artwork to be appreciated, you’ve got to be well practiced at doing what you do, whatever that may be.

Another problem is fear. It’s easy to get stuck in the rut if you have something you know people like. On the flip side, you can be afraid to try anything that might do well because you think it may not be well-received. Artists have to take risks and be daring in order to truly be great – but also have a good idea of what their audience is, and what their audience likes, even if they draw on experiences outside the visual arts.

Well, I’m sure that’s been confusing enough for now. I’ll probably touch on “art philosphy” again at a later date – now, I’ve got to get out of the office!

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Stucco?

Posted by artjournalier on April 2, 2008

I went to my local Art Store (Jerry’s Artorama) today, and when I was browsing the Liquitex acrylic section, I happened upon something I hadn’t noticed before.  Apparently, Liquitex makes these really need paint additives that create all kinds of neat effects when mixed with acrylics – which is perfect for the mixed media artist!

Liquitex Ceramic Stucco

So, I picked up a few ounces of their Ceramic Stucco additive, and I can’t wait to try it out!  According to the folks at Jerry’s, it creates this really neat texture.  I’ve got a few ideas already – wouldn’t this make a really cool background?

Maybe I’ll use it for a brick wall or building. Anyways, discovering new supplies is always fun for me, so I figure I should share what I find!

stucco texture

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Beginnings…

Posted by artjournalier on April 1, 2008

Begin Journal Page Originally uploaded by artjournalier
I just finished up this journal page last night.  I do collaged journal entries on a regular basis, and this came from a challenge group I belong to (take a look!).  In creating the page, I started thinking about where I want my artwork to go, and what I want to be.

I think I’ll continue learning about art – new techniques, new ideas – as long as I live.  If I want it to go somewhere, I’ve got to just get up and put it out there.  So here goes…

My goal is to open up a shop on Etsy by May 1st. That may be a bit ambitious of me, since I don’t have many finished pieces, but I want to be able to share what I have. I see a lot of potential paths to take with my work, and everyone has to start somewhere, right? So here is my beginning!

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