samedi 30 juillet 2016

V's 52 Pick-Up | 31

Today marks the last card from the second part of The Waste Land. It is the conclusion of the conversation between Lil and her friend. 

Well it seems that all's well that end's well for Lil. Her Albert has returned and everyone seems to have had a grand time. The last line of this excerpt (and of this part of the poem) comes from Shakespeare's Ophelia. Also, note that in the poem, it really is written 'goonight' and not 'goodnight' except at the end.

And here they are, these beautiful ladies.

All in a row with their stunning hats. Some of these intrepid women are part of my family.

I kind of like that my initial is on this card. I added the woman on the right from a McCall's vintage sewing pattern. 'Say' comes from a flash card, I added it because I believe it's important to say what you think. Talk things through as, presumably, Albert and Lil have done. 

Thank you for coming by!

vendredi 29 juillet 2016

Get Messy Season of Introspection Flipthrough

I wanted to share my Season of Introspection altered book before we continue on to the new Season. Enjoy!

mercredi 27 juillet 2016

100 Explorations by V | 81 to 100!!!

Here they are, the last twenty Explorations. YES! we made it, people! What a cool feeling. I am really proud that I stuck through with this project.












Wheeeee! Thank you so much to all of you who have stayed on and encouraged me and have bought my art. All of this has been an interesting journey and I am glad I wasn't alone on it. xo

lundi 25 juillet 2016

Recent art journaling pages

When we moved, I immediately went to the space that will become my studio. It's a beautiful big room that has a lot of natural light. There is a counter that will become my standing desk and that faces the window. Because we are on the 5th floor, we get a lot of light and the view is nice. The jet lag has given me some time to think about what I wanted to put in my journal.

This first spread was done two days after we arrived here and is called The Arrival. I don't always give titles to my spreads but this one warrants it. I'm basically expressing how it feels to overhaul your life completely to move to a new city.

I used clippings of urban settings in magazine photos. I drew some buildings on top with various pens/media. I also used some oils pastels (in green). I tried to seal it with clear gesso which ended up smudging a lot of the buildings I had drawn. These disconnected buildings are a metaphor for how this city made me feel as I looked at it for the first time: urban, dusty, foreboding.

This second spread deals with strange feelings I am having. I feel like I am going back into the skin I had when I lived in Hong Kong. I find myself falling into the same patterns as I did back then. It's something unexpected and I am curious about the process. I am stronger now and better equipped to deal with the change but still, I am interested to see what I will become.

Since taking Amy Maricle's Freeing the Muse class, I've been using my fingers a lot more, exploring texture and color mixing. I did the background using this technique. It feels like I am putting a lot of me in there and really connecting to my pages. I also like taking my time and really developing my ideas.

I used a Polaroid that never developed and wrote on top with my Uni-Ball Signo. More and more when I use magazine photos, I try to transform them to really make them my own and so they support what I am trying to express.

I left a lot of white space on the right side because the future is unwritten. That vintage photo of the woman studying represents the scientific side of me, the one that is dormant at the moment.

Sometimes I need very few words. 'Chrysalide'. It's such a beautiful French word and it holds a lot of promise.

n. s. chrys·a·lid·e (krĭ-săl′ĭ-dē). 1. A pupa, especially of a butterfly. 2. A protected stage of development.

 Thanks for coming by.

samedi 23 juillet 2016

V's 52 Pick-up | 30

We ended last week with a confession. Lil had to take some shoddy pills to help her deal with an unwanted pregnancy after her youngest child almost killed her. She hasn't been the same since.

Again this quote is taken as is in the poem, I didn't make a mistake when I wrote this down. Clearly, Eliot is trying to show that these women are uneducated. That these are problems of the lower dregs of society, the ones who are creating the waste land (remember that the central theme of this poem is the loss of culture and the dumbing down of English society).

I know of a woman who had 18 children. Basically, she was pregnant throughout her fertile life. She was lucky because 15 of them lived. That is quite rare for the time (this was the early 1900s). Can you imagine how difficult it must have been? How hard for her body to be always in that state? In my experience as an archaeologist, I have done many digs in catholic cemeteries in Quebec. The most emotional part of these digs was finding the children's section. In this part of the cemetery, barely born infants were buried in consecrated land, whether or not they had been baptized. There were so many, their little bones attesting to how difficult life was back then. How many parents had their hearts broken because their littles did not survive?

I used a love letter that I had in my stash to convey the dilemma these women found themselves in: they loved their husband, they wanted to be with them...but with no birth control they found themselves in precarious economic or sanitary situations. The letter reads 'I miss you so much I long to hold you tight in my arms and feel you touching me.'

Although the bride looks hopeful, her friend seems quite skeptical. Perhaps she knows something about what is coming.

jeudi 21 juillet 2016

Get Messy blog hop!

Hello all, welcome to the Get Messy blog hop! Today the Creative Team is getting together and celebrating diversity in art! We will be giving away an annual membership through this blog hop. Read through my post to see how to participate.

I wanted to share a few thoughts about using an altered book for art journaling. My go to art journal is a Moleskine Art Plus Sketchbook. I love the creamy pages and it holds watercolor pretty well, all things considered. But for the Season of Introspection, I used a children's picture book that I altered. Because of the beautiful illustrations and the format of the book, my approach was quite different.

I encourage you to interact with your book! Fold pages, cut them, alter them so that they really become yours. In this way the book not created by you really becomes altered and is turned into a new piece of art. Try to think of these pages as blank even though they are not. 

I wanted to share a couple of ideas with you when working in an altered book. First, take the time to look at what is on the page. Is there a visual element that you want to keep? Something that speaks to you? Then isolate it. It is ok to completely cover the pages with gesso, but if you are doing this throughout the whole book, then what is the point of using a book instead of a blank journal? 

On the page above, I isolated the image of Odette by using black gesso around her and gluing down a moonscape.

Here are some more ideas on how to alter your book:

1. Make a flap

This was very easy, I simply stuck a magazine page to my altered book using some packing tape. You could use washi tape or masking tape, even thread, to add a flap to your book.

2. Fold a page

This is a very versatile technique. There are many ways to fold a page. Try to use all of the different parts of the page, as I did here. You may have to think things through beforehand so you figure out if the image has to be right side up or not.

3. Cut out the excess on a page

For this spread, I drew the central figure and then I cut out the rest of the page. By doing this, I keep the movement of the page itself. I drew the second figure afterwards.

Try it, there is no limit to what you can do! And if you have more ideas, please let me know.

Back to the blog hop:

Here is how you can enter the contest, just leave a comment on the blogs in the hop. The more blog comments you leave, the higher your chance of winning! The winner will be announced on Saturday the 23rd. Follow along the hop by going over to Torrie's blog (Fox and Hazel) through Instagram here, or with the link below.


lundi 18 juillet 2016

Deepening my art journaling practice

The move to Beijing has brought on a lot of changes in my life. Some are familiar to me, some are completely new. Familiar territory is returning to my stay-at-home-mom role, at least for the summer. Going to the pool, making lunches, exploring our new neighbourhood; these are some of what I'll be doing with the kids during the summer break. New territory is learning to navigate the internet in a country where most websites are blocked. I use Blogger, Google and Facebook a lot. These pages are inaccessible to most Chinese residents. I have to use a VPN (virtual personal network) that makes me seem like I am in another, non-censored, location.  There will be moments when all of the internet is completely blocked. So if there is complete silence from me, you'll know why!

One of the most positive aspects of my move is having the time to go back to my daily art practice. When I lived in Hong Kong, I journaled almost daily. I joined Get Messy in 2014, at the same time that I moved back to Canada. In Canada I had a full time job so I found myself with less time to make art. I mostly did the Get Messy prompts and my personal art journaling became less of a necessity. not only because of lack of time but also because I didn't need it as much. Art journaling for me is a way to cope with stress and anxiety and to process my feelings. Being back home in Canada was not stressful in that sense so I din't need to process through art.

But now, I once again overhauled my life to move somewhere else, left my career and all things familiar to find myself in a new place. Art is my saving grace. This is when I need it the most. So I've gone back to my art journal. I have a wonderful space, that will eventually be my studio once our shipment gets here. I have time to explore, try new things and make mistakes. So I will. Already I have been exploring and playing in my journal. I will be sharing these pages periodically here on the blog, with the tag art journal. I will also be sharing them on Instagram under a new hashtag: #Vsartjournal. 

I am still fully committed to Get Messy; those pages will still be shared on Fridays. I am still fully committed to the Awesome Ladies Project; those projects will be shared on Tuesdays from now on. And now there will be Recent Art Journal pages posts on here too! I hope you'll come with me on this journey.

samedi 16 juillet 2016

V's 52 Pick-up | 29

The conversation between the women is coming to a close. Lil is finally telling her secret to her friend, explaining why she looks so old.

'It's them pills I took to bring it off'. Them pills prescribed by some shady dude. Them pills helping her terminate another unwanted child. Them pills taken because she didn't have access to safe abortion. It is truly tragic to me to think that women had to take matters in their own hands when faced with another harrowing pregnancy. Another potential child that might ravage their body and kill them or another mouth to feed when conditions were already hard enough or another child that might not make to adulthood.

Here is little George, in his fancy suit. Such a charmer and thank goodness. All these children. Of course they were loved. And probably for most women, it was just the way it was. people had many many kids. But I can't help but feel that this must have been a terrible burden for many of these women. A burden on their body, their lives, their education, the loss of the possibility to own their destiny.

The stitching evokes the love for the children. In the past, children died more often because of unsanitary conditions and economic precarity. This would cause their mother's hearts to break even more. You have child after child after child and many of them just don't make it. It is so much to ask.

I say thank goodness for birth control, for planned parenthood, for medicare. Thank goodness for resources that help us take care of children once they are born, to make sure they have access to a life worth living instead of blindly making sure every embryo comes to term without any consideration whatsoever of the type of life that child will be given.

I know these are heavy issues that don't sit well with everyone. I am amazed that TS Eliot even broached the subject of abortion in 1922. I think it is so important to keep the dialogue going, to talk about things. Otherwise people stay camped in their positions and there can be no discussion of ideas. Please feel free to leave me a comment here.

vendredi 15 juillet 2016

Get Messy Season of Introspection || 06

Oh I can't believe this is the last week. I have been under the spell of this Season. My book is almost complete! I'll be sharing a flip through on July 29th. And next week there will be a blog hop and I'll be sharing some tips on how to alter a book.

Here is my first spread for the week.

A lot of elements here are linked to earlier pages in this Season. First though, the image of the woman on the right is the backside of the red robed woman holding the clementine in last week's spread. I though the back page looked really cool and loved the colors so I stuck it in my book, highlighting the moon and the swans that were already on the page.

My Mystic Jackalope came by (just click on the tag to see more versions of him). I used some of the same colors as those in the woman's coat to link the pages. The background I painted with my fingers, gesso and some acrylic inks. This was done after I took Amy Maricle's Freeing the Muse mini-workshop. I love how Amy talks about art in her videos and I encourage you to check her out.

The tears falling from the woman's eyes recall the page I did about seeing the raccoon mother. I think this brings a nice cohesiveness to my altered book, especially since these are the emotions that make me cry.

I chose this image because the colors were fitting and I liked how it only obscured part of the jackalope. I wanted to write ten words about me on the back but loved the image too much and decided to go with simple tears instead. I attached this flap with packing tape!

This spread is the very last one in this Season. It is for the prompt about ten words that represent you now. I didn't do the timer part of the prompt (I like spending lots of time on my pages). I did a two-part spread over four pages. I decided to work with the theme of my altered book, Swan Lake. The first five words describe the Black Swan part of me and the last five the White Swan.

The Black Swan represents the darker aspects of my emotions concerning my move to Beijing.

I paired it with the image of the woods on the right. The 'wilderness' is a metaphor for being lost in a new environment that you have trouble adapting to. Notice the drawing of the high rises, the moon phases and Artemis, all symbols that support the symbolism of this page.

The back part of this same half-page shows the rest of the swans (my friends, my colleagues) and Aphrodite with her own swan.

I am crossing the desert in the sense that I must start anew, new friends, new context, new everything. There are good and bad sides to this as well.

And finally, the White Swan part of me and this move. I am able to adapt although it never comes easy to me. In the end, good things shall come of this.

And this concludes this Season! I have completely filled my altered book. Next week we are having a blog hop. On the 29th, I will be sharing a flipthrough of my complete journal. I hope you'll come by!


Get Messy Art Journal is an art journaling program/community. We are a group of like minded art journalers who have come together under this art form to learn, share, practice our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. Our community values consistent creating, encouragement and support and trying new things. We would love to have you join us as a member of Get Messy Art Journal. Join Get Messy now!

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