26 February 2011

Speak Out: Art Journal Video #2

Success! I'm much happier with the quality of this video! Nick helped me adjust the lighting and reposition the tripod so my head didn't get in the way of the art-in-progress. I added a line of masking tape on my desk to help me keep the journal lined up, too. I'm pretty fascinated watching myself make art, since that's a novel experience, so I hope you enjoy it, too. Something I learned that I didn't know before is that you don't have to worry too much about the sound because you can use a feature on YouTube called Audioswap to add music to the video. I was wondering how people always had great music with their YouTube videos... now I know the secret. And you do, too.

25 February 2011

Test Video: Art Journal #1

I love watching people working in their art journals on YouTube, so I've been wanting to record a video of my own. Today, I finally got Nick to help me set up the tripod and recorded myself for 10 minutes working on my art journal. After much frustration, I finally figured out how to convert the video to a format I can use on my MAC (I bought the camcorder pre-MAC). Then, I figured out how to speed up the video in iMovie and add captions. Next time, I want to make sure the video's in better focus and adjust the lighting. Also, I need to make sure the camera is positioned so that my head isn't in the way... haha! But, if you are interested, here is my laughable first attempt at an art journaling video.

24 February 2011

New Color Theme Journal: Some Starry Night

I never think a whole lot about color when I'm making a journal. I just start splashing paint on my pages. Once all my pages are painted, I start cutting out strips of paper from magazines in whatever catches my eye. A pretty gown might become a border. Or an island view. Or somebody's eyes. I can't even explain how I know where each border piece goes. It either feels right or it doesn't. I try not to overthink things, and I try to work fast. Usually, my pages end up with an unintended color scheme, something that just happens naturally.

For my next journal, I decided to intentionally choose a color scheme and see what happens. I'm inspired by Natty Malik's Technicolor Thursdays. Each Thursday she posts a color scheme and a journal page down in those colors. She invites her readers to send images of their own work in the color story. I already knew I wanted to work in shades of blue with a pop of yellow, so when I found this color palette on Colourlovers, I knew it was the one:


I already had two magazines earmarked for the project, both of which have yellow and blue on the covers. I have two homemade paint sprays: one in yellow, the other a glimmer spray in an ocean-y blue. I thought black gesso would be interesting, since I never use gesso in journals, and the piece of sequin waste and an old credit card to go with it. I have Bombay ink in teal and a dip pen, which should be interesting, again, because I've never really used either. I also found Sharpies in blue and yellow.

When you make art, do you set a color scheme before you start and let one develop organically? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

23 February 2011

Photoshop Magic: Perfect? Imperfect?

I created a custom pocket mirror design recently with the words, "Perfectly Imperfect." My customer's best friend is a dancer and the phrase is one used my her choreographer during practices. She wanted a design that incorporated a vintage map of Paris, a modern style dancer, and the phrase. Here's the result:

Later, my customer discovered that the phrase should have been "Imperfectly Perfect" and contacted me to ask if I could make her a new mirror, in the same design, but with different words. Since I sent the original collage as a pocket mirror to her, I had to either: remake the entire design from scratch or rework the design in Photoshop using my scan of the original. I decided to try PS first. Here's the result:

I am very happy with the result and impressed myself with my Photoshop skills. (Either that, or I am impressed with the powers of PS... hmm...) It's not perfect. I used the clone tool in the lower right to get rid of the original text, so it looks a little weird, also, the "ly" doesn't quite match with the "imperfect." Still, I think if you didn't have the original to compare it to that maybe you wouldn't notice any problems. What do you think?

22 February 2011

Gluten Free Review: Udi's Gluten-Free Bagels

I've been gluten-free since January 5th of this year, and one thing that I've been struggling with is breakfast. I'm just not an oatmeal in the morning type of girl. I don't have a problem with oatmeal, and I do have it for breakfast occasionally. Since going gluten-free, I'll have a bowl of oat bran with fruit some mornings, leftovers from dinner on others. One morning I totally, no lie, made myself some risotto. I was having greek yogurt with gf granola, but I've been having issues with dairy, so I'm staying away from it as much as possible. Really, I'm more of a bagel with cream cheese person. When gluten went bye-bye, so did my preferred breakfast.

I'd heard such terrible things about gluten-free breads: they taste like death, they have no taste at all, they have a metallic aftertaste, they are very expensive, they go bad very quickly, etc. I wasn't planning on every buying any pre-made gluten-free breads, especially after discovering the Bob Red Mill's Homemade Wonderful Gluten-Free Bread Mix was, in fact, rather wonderful. Plus, I never ate very much bread anyway, even when I ate gluten. But when shopping yesterday, I spied these gluten-free bagels from Udi's. They were expensive, $6 for 4 bagels, but I'm already used to gluten-free items costing more. They looked like real bagels! So we brought them home.

They look like stale bread when you split them open, and I must confess I didn't have high hopes when I put one in the toaster. When it popped up and smelled like, well, bread, I was happy. I slathered it with low-fat cream cheese flavored with sun-dried tomatoes (I make my own using tomatoes dried from my mom's garden!). It was good! Great, even! Hurray! The texture is very similar to a "real" bagel, and they toasted up very nicely.

At $6 for 4, I won't be having these daily for breakfast, but I'll definitely be having them occasionally as a treat. I bet these would be great for sandwiches, too, so I'm sure Nick will be happy about that... if I don't eat 'em all before he has a chance to find out! If you are interested in trying them yourself, you can get a $1-off coupon by visiting the Udi's website.

I was inspired to search for gluten-free bagel recipes, figuring I could probably make these myself, so I will be experimenting with bagel-making in the near future. I'll post the results here, once I've tried. Do you have a favorite gluten-free product?

21 February 2011

Found: Dear Artist


Last spring, Nick and I were wandering the streets on the annual art sacrifice night in Providence, RI. When school is over for the year, RISD students abandon unwanted artwork around the city. We don't know if this is an official tradition or something that happens naturally when artists move, but for two years in a row, we've seen random art all over the city the weekend that school lets out. We like to walk around the streets searching for a piece worthy of taking home.

On this night, we parked our car, and when I got out, I saw a letter hanging from a tree. Naturally, I was unable to resist opening, since it was, after all, addressed to "artist." Hey, it coulda been for me, right? I'm going to mail my find to Found Magazine, but I thought I would share it with you here, since it's wicked awesome. You're welcome. Oh, and in case you are familiar with Rhode Island, RISD stands for Rhode Island School of Design. RISD students tend to dress in flashy, odd clothing, so they are easy to spot.



(P.S. I also took home a strange painting of what I can only figure is a female amputee and a Snapple bottle. It has a place of honor in my kitchen, but I'm eventually going to take her to the Museum of Bad Art.)

20 February 2011

Bling Bling Providence: Art Journals

Confessions Of...
Confessions of My Love Life
This week in Bling Bling, we did art journals. I know, I know, art journals aren't jewelry! What happened is that I took in some of my artwork and jewelry to show my new students this session, and at both schools, I had a lot of questions and compliments about my art journals. Since I love art journals, I decided to do a little price research and planning to see if I could add making art journals to my classes. I have a great budget for the program, so I figured I could spend some money on journals, but since art journals aren't officially in my syllabus, I didn't want to go overboard.

Magazines are always a hit with tweens!
I found some decent watercolor paper at Ocean State Job Lot for $3.99 for a book of 12 11 x 15 inch pages as well as a pack of Reeves Watercolor Paint in tubes. For $30 or so, I was able to make enough small 5 x 7.5 inch journals for all of my students. (I bought a Bind-It-All last session to make book necklaces with the students). The only other thing I needed to buy were more glue sticks and markers. Everything else I already had from other projects. I decided that if I was going to do art journals with my students, I wanted to make sure they'd be able to work on them at home: that's why we used glue sticks instead of my preferred Tombow Mono Adhesive rollers. Also, I wanted the students to have at least one marker and a pen, so they could write in the journals. I couldn't get Sharpie poster paint pens for each of the students, but I did find some permanent markers at the recycling center for $2 a dozen. (I also got pens there for $1 a dozen.) The glue sticks were $1 for 4 at the dollar store nearby.

Glue Sticks

I didn't want to waste a class waiting for paint to dry, so I prepainted all of the pages at home. I also pre-bound the books with an assortment of colored pages, as well as a few with just white pages, in case any of the students didn't want all the bright colors. I started the class with a very brief tutorial of how to make borders, use paint markers, and combine images. I told the students that there were no rules when it came to art journals. I said they could use the journal to tell the story of their life, to imagine their future, or that they didn't have to write a single word and could just add a bunch of images. I said art journals were all about self-expression and having fun. I also told them that they'd get a homework kit to take with them so they could finish their journals at home. (They love Bling Bling homework!)


The first time that I tell a new class of Bling Bling students that they'll be getting homework that day, the notion is met with groans and complaints. Once the students realize that Bling Bling homework is awesome (and completely optional), however, they get excited when I announce that they'll have take home kits that day. Today's Art Journal kit included: a permanent marker, a pen, an acid-free glue stick, some masking tape, and some pretty scrapbook paper. Plus every kid who wanted to was able to take home a magazine. Less for me to carry... sweet!

Homework Kits

I couldn't get over how engrossed in the Art Journal project this class was! I could barely tear them away from the project at the end of class, which is actually a good thing! I was psyched that they got to take home a mini-journal and supplies to continue their work. One student told me she didn't have scissors at home so I showed her how to rip the paper instead. I hope they remember to bring the journals back after vacation so I can see their work! I took some pictures of their work-in-progress, so I'll post more soon!

19 February 2011

Art Journal Rhode Island: Artist Trading Cards

For our Art Journal Rhode Island meeting this month, we decided to experiment with Artist Trading Cards. ATCs are baseball-card sized miniature works of art. Artists around the globe make and trade ATCs, so we figured we'd make a night of 'em. Nick cut a stack of cards using Strathmore Acrylic Linen Canvas paper. Sometimes we work with a theme, but this month, we all did our own thing.

Nick @ Work
Nick @ Work
Nick did his background with watercolor paints. For the black card in the back, he cut out an image from his journal; everything else is done in watercolor paint.

Jen @ Work
Jen @ Work
Jen made beautiful backgrounds using a blend of acrylic paints and a piece of sponge which she had so cleverly placed in her supply bag. Excellent thinking! I'll be adding a piece of sponge to my bag o' tricks too! She added collage elements, used chalks to add shimmer, and used paint markers to add really pretty detail work.

Moira @ Moira
Me @ Work
I decided that I wanted to try my hand at making very mini versions of the dolls I've been learning how to paint in Doll Dreams. I was very pleasantly impressed with the results! In this picture I am using a FABULOUS white Uni-Ball Signo UM-153 pen from Jet Pens. I highly recommend you order one, or many, for yourself! I've tried a lot of white pens, and this is the only one that will write on ANYTHING. Very awesome!

Group's Work
The fruits of our labors!

18 February 2011

Happy Customer & Beast

Happy Customer & Beast
copyright Severine Naturel

This morning, after adding a custom listing to my Etsy shop, Literary Tease, I noticed I'd gotten a new feedback, so I clicked over to check it out. With the feedback was the above picture. At first, I thought the white fluffiness was a stuffed animal of some sort, but when I saw the image larger, I realized that it was a dog, a very, very large dog. The woman is holding the Coco Chanel pocket mirror that she purchased from me.  If you are a dog owner, you might want to check out her shop, Severine Naturel, which features a natural product designed to protect a dog's nose and paws from the elements. (Also, I think the dog's name is Eli!)

17 February 2011

Today on Craigslist: Assistant / Stew Meat

Assistant / Stew Meat

Text reads:
"RE:Artist Assistant/Agent Needed. (My Basement)

I will also turn you into stew meat. Please be computer literate and tender."

This ad is in response to a series of ads that have been appearing on Craigslist in the last few weeks. Basically, the person is purporting to be a great artist in a big mansion who needs a little live-in help. Every time I've read one of the ads, I've thought it was creepy, and, apparently, I'm not alone.

Here's the text of the latest ad, that the poster above is responding to:

"First let me describe the situation.

I am a High End Artist. Paintings rannge from 5,000 upwards of 100,000.00 My art is not easy to come by. [eds note: because they are going to be made of your blood.] I do not release works often. [eds. note: lack of victims, erm, assistants.] My Private investors have first dibs. I create portfolios for investors who do not want to risk the stock market. [eds. note: you know, because of the murder and all.] With my system an individual invests x ammount dollars into his account with my firm we then pick the pieces most apropriate for the particular investor. Minimum investments are 25,000. We would rather have investors start with $ 100,000.00 with a two year lock in. 

This is one as[ect of what your duties would include the promoting and planning . Youw ill be my amanda sachs. I will be your everything. I have a live in room avail for the right individual/ .[eds note: don't worry, you won't live there long.].... Please provide a photo so I know you are real. [eds note: I want to make sure you are small and dainty and that I can overpower you.]"

The "I will be your everything" line is particularly spooky! I tried to google Amanda Sachs, since I didn't get the reference, and the best I can figure is that he's referring to the high-profile exec at Microsoft. and not a random college chick with a Facebook page.

Also, I wouldn't trust any "High End Artist" who doesn't include any images of his/her artwork, though I must confess, I am reminded of another consistent Craigslist poster who posts in the arts/crafts for sale section with paintings that are done in blood. One in the same? Let's hope not, but perhaps!

16 February 2011

Iron Craft #7: Gold, Gold, Gold

Her Royal Majesty
copyright 2011 Moira Richardson

When I heard that the challenge for this week's Iron Craft was gold, I wasn't sure what I'd make. Sure, I could easily make some jewelry using gold-plated findings, but I've been into painting lately, so I wanted to stick with that. An image of a crown popped in my head and I knew just what I'd do: create a royal painting complete with gold-leaf. I did a quick sketch on the canvas in pencil, outlined it with waterproof ink, then worked on the shading for the face and skin. I used Stewart Gill Alchemy paint in Afterglow for her eyes. You can't tell from this picture, but her eyes really sparkle in the light. The green gems were colored with Stewart Gill Byzantia in Acanthus. To make the gold on her crown, scepter, and throne, I used an 18k. gold leafing pen from Krylon. This pen has been in my "box of tricks" for years, but I never use it! I love how this painting turned out.  What do you think?

Today On Craiglist: WWHFD?

Today on Craigslist: WWHFD?

Because, you know, Harrison Ford is reading Missed Connections...
Text reads: "Harrison Ford would read these messages and say "Man up, stop being a sissy !"
He wouldn't be crying or yapping over a relationship, he would be out flying his helicopter...
Sure, it hurts to lose someone. Move on."
What made this person think of Harrison Ford? Why not, say, Jesus? Or Lady Gaga?

15 February 2011

Best Wii Fitness Game: Walk It Out Review

If you are looking for a fun way to work out without breaking the bank, you should definitely check out the Wii game, Walk It Out, by Konami.  Don't be fooled: while Walk It Out definitely looks like a kid's game, it's definitely more well-suited for teens and adults. I suspect that most kids would get bored easily with this game. Some adults, too, I suppose. Still, at $20, it's a steal! You don't need any special controllers either, just a Wii console, controller, and nun-chuck. The game is compatible with both the Wii Balance Board and DDR Dance Mat, but neither is required. In fact, I don't recommend using the balance board with this game.

The premise of the game is that you are on an island (Rhythm Island, to be precise). The island needs your help in its development. In order to help, you need to earn points to unlock event capsules around the island. For every step that you make on the beat with the music, you earn a point. But, be careful, because if you don't have rhythm, you'll lose points for missing the steps.* Events include such things as "building" a palm tree for 100 steps, a potted plant for 10 steps, or a streetlight for 70 steps. You can build a car for 200 steps, an apartment complex for 600 steps, or a suspension bridge for 1000 steps. You also unlock routes around the island with your stepping. 300 points get you a trip to Fountain Park, 400 takes you to the beach, and 20 points unlocks a residential street. (*I recommend changing the settings so that you don't get a miss penalty!)

In addition to the event capsules scattered around the island, you'll find special event capsules, like song capsules, which look like CDs with green borders, magic clock pieces, zodiac capsules, and rainbow spheres. Unlike the event capsules which always stay in the same place on the island, no matter what time of the day you are playing, the special events appear at different times of the day and in different locations, too. The constellations only show up at night, and I suspect you can only get all the rainbow spheres during the day, but I'm not positive. The magic clock pieces, once you've collected them all, allow you to change the time of the day on the island, so that, for example, you don't have to walk at 3 AM in order to unlock the special events available at that time. That's the other thing I like about the island: the time that you play influences what's going on at the island. If it's daylight for you, it'll be daylight on the island. If it's dark, it will be dark there, too. 

I've played this game every day since I got in the the mail about two weeks ago. I play anywhere from 20 minutes to 50 minutes, depending on how I'm feeling, how into it I get, and my mood. The best part is that by "playing" I mean "exercising." It might not be the most strenuous exercise out there, but it gets my heart racing and I'm always super sweaty when I'm done, which is a good thing! Sweating equals weightloss, and if the Wii Balance Board is to be believed, I've lost 10 pounds in the last 25 days. (I'll write more about that in a few days when I detail my 30 day Wii Fit challenge.) 

Sometimes I focus on just collecting and unlocking song capsules, other days, I focus on getting a suspension bridge. Sometimes I don't think about anything at all and just walk wherever the game takes me. I'll use my points later, when I've amassed a bunch. I've probably unlocked about 25 songs of the 105 songs available, which means I still have a lot to go! I've unlocked probably 90% of the routes available on the island and completed maybe 20% of the town building. Which means I still have lots of walking to go before I've finished everything on the island. And when I finish the island? Word is that I can either create a new profile and start over or just keep walking the completed island and not spend those points. I'll probably start the island over and come up with a strategy for unlocking it, just to add a new challenge. Or maybe I'll put that miss penalty back on?

I'd write more about how much I love this game, but I just found this Walk It Out Guide and I'm busy reading it. Also, if I haven't convinced you to cough up $20 for this game, check out the Walk It Out Facebook page to connect with over 2000 fans.

14 February 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Some Bunny Loves You
Some Bunny Loves You - mixed media painting
copyright 2011 Moira Richardson
8 x 10 inch canvas
Materials: watercolor, gouache, glitter medium, paint marker

I love the way mixing a little bit of white gouache into red watercolor paint turns it into this creamy, delicious color. I like using art journal techniques (i.e. the polka dots) to add dimension to a painting. This is one of my pieces created during the 30 days of art for Fun-A-Day Providence in January. I ended up not displaying my work, but I did participate and created something using mixed media every day in January. I'll post more of my work sooner or later. :)

Today On Craigslist: 3/4 Cello + Bonus

Today on Craigslist - 3/4 Cello + bonus

This isn't actually a listing posting today, but since I read it today, I figured it counts. This is from the best of Craigslist section.

Text reads:

"So my sister gave me this cello a couple years ago. It's a nice cello. Actually, it's a great cello. It's probably the best cello, but I don't really know much about cellos. Also the neck snapped off. Of the cello. So it's really more like 3/4's of a cello, but the other 1/4's still there, it's just not attached. It's kind of like you're getting two cellos, only one of them doesn't have a body and the other doesn't have a neck. But if you stand them up next to each other it's like old times. You could probably fix it with like some music glue or something like that.

"She also gave me a cello bag that I can give to you too, now that I won't have a cello. It's a really nice cello bag. You can fit everything in it. Actually, there might even be a bow in the bag, I'm not sure. I don't want you to think that there's 100% a bow in the bag. It's way over there, I can't check right now. But if it's in there it's yours.

"If you're like me and you don't know how to play the cello then you could use it as a coin bank. It's hollow and there are two S's on the front that you could drop the coins through. Then when it's filled up you could drop it off of your roof or carry it around like a change purse. Ooh, in the cello bag. It'd be like a cello purse. I'd do it but I'm moving across the country and it won't fit in my car. What else could you do with it. You could saw the front off and use it as a sled. Or give the neck to a baby as like a wizard stick for Christmas. Totally give this cello to someone for Christmas. Or Hanukkah.

"Please come get it. I'm in Echo Park. I'd actually go somewhere to meet you if wherever we're going is a cool place. Like the desert or something.

"I'm 90% certain the bow's in there." (link)

What I want to know is: who broke the cello?

13 February 2011

You Are Here: Art Journal Flip Through

You Are Here - Cover

I'm working on a journal with the theme "You Are Here" with the same materials that my students will be using in their art journals this week: pre-painted pages in a handmade by me art journal, glue sticks, pens, markers, and magazines. I hope these pages will inspire students to tell their own stories! Since I think my journal is shaping up to be pretty awesome, I wanted to share!

I used a page from a World Atlas to create the border and text, Sharpie marker for details, and star stickers. As soon as I find my roll of packing tape, I'll be covering the cover with tape to make it sturdier. Book is made from 140 lb cold-press watercolor paper. I bought 11 x 15 12-sheet pads from Job Lot for $3.99. The quality is fine for a decent practice journal, but Fabriano Artistico this stuff is not! Still, since I'm teaching a jewelry class, not an art class, I figured I should keep the costs pretty low in order to justify the expense! The kids can make jewelry-themed journals if they want to, but I'm going to tell them they can make whatever they want. More fun that way! 

All in all, it cost me about $35 and 4 hours of my time to make 32 5.5 x 7 inch journals with pre-painted pages, and I still have plenty of watercolor paint leftover for future journal projects with students. I don't even mind the time spent making the journals, either, because it gave me an excuse to watch Netflix television shows while I did it. Plus, painting is fun! The only reason I didn't have the kids paint the pages themselves is that I knew a) it would be insanely messy and b) we'd have to use a whole day of class just to paint backgrounds. With pre-painted pages, a one-day, one-hour class will be plenty of time to get everyone started.

Oh, yeah, the pages are bound with the Bind-It-All machine that I bought for class last session. Spending $90 on book-binding supplies might seem like a really weird expensive for a jewelry-making class, but, let me tell you, the kids thought the book necklaces were as cool as I did! Since I already have the machine and some binding wires, I was able to use the leftovers from last session to make the journals. The short pieces cut off from the 11-inch O-wires will be put to good use making more book necklaces before the end of the session!

You Are Here - 1st Spread
You Are Here - pages 1 / 2
I wasn't sure what I'd be writing in the journal when I started, but I soon realized it was going to be a mini-story of how I came to be here... or, You Are Here (in my head). The first page talks about how I was born in England and moved to America when I was four. Page two is me admitting the weirdness of my inner child. If you can't read it, the figure in the top right corner is saying "I fear only kids with sticks." Funny, and so true.

You Are Here - 2nd spread
You Are Here - pages 3 / 4

Since I'm planning on presenting this project to a group of young librarians next week as a possible summer project, I decided to make a page that detailed the kinds of books I liked (and didn't like) to read when I was a kid. (I already admitted I was weird, so no one should be surprised by my selections!) On page 4, I wrote about how my whole family, except for my mom, dad, brother, and sister, were in England and wonder if a me born in England, growing up with that family, would still like the me who grow up here without them. Also, I gave the Beatles silly headgear.

You Are Here - 3rd spread
You Are Here - page 5 / 6
I drew a picture of Pennsylvania and a star that is sort of where I grew up (upon reflection, I think the star should have been more to the right and tiny bit higher?). One page 5 & 6 I wrote about how since it was pretty boring growing up in the country, we had to invent games like "tie brother to apple tree." (I wonder if he remembers that?) I also wrote about how I didn't like being sent to get the eggs from the chicken coop because I was scared the hens would attack me.

I love how this journal is turning out. I'm hoping that kids will be excited to try making their own. I still have 3 spreads and the back cover left in the journal, so it's a good size for a first journal. The kids have February vacation the week after next, so we're doing art journals on the last day before vacation so that they can take them home (along with a magazine, marker and glue stick) and work on them during vacation. Since I knew kids are always hungry for projects to work on at home, I'm pretty psyched that I thought to plan ahead to have this project ready to go pre-vacation. Each student will get one journal, but I'm going to tell them that anyone who finishes a journal and brings it in for me to see / scan will get another one. Sure, it might mean I have to make 30 more journals... but so worth it to spread the love!

12 February 2011

Summer Doll Painting

copyright 2011 Moira Richardson

This painting is by far my favorite one so far in my series of four seasonal paintings. If you check out Winter and Autumn, I'll sure your see that Summer is much improved. I wasn't sure, at first, how I was going to represent summer, but then I pictured a girl with sunglasses on her head and knew that was the way I wanted to go. 

I think that the shading on this face is the best of the three paintings, and the eye lashes look much better, too. I found a smaller paint brush, which really made a big difference. I might have added more glazing medium to the black paint as well. Again, I think her checks are fabulous. 

I am also quite proud of how the sunglasses turned out. I drew the outline of the glasses before I painted the hair and decided that I wanted a transparent look to them. I did the hair right on top of the outline, then, when the paint was dry, used my PITT artist pen, brush tip, to redo the outline. I used Stewart Gill Alchemy paint in Afterglow for her eyes and the sunglasses, also a touch on her tank top. You can't see it very well in the picture her, but in person, the glasses and her eyes twinkle just like they would in the sun. 

I love the Stewart Gill paint, available in the U.S. from Artistcellar, and will definitely buy it in more colors, just as soon as I can afford it! The paint is about $8 for tiny 30 ml jar, so it's wicked pricey... but it's so worth it! (It totally helped that this was a Christmas present from my fabulous Mom!) Also, as long as it doesn't dry out, I'm pretty sure this paint will last for ages. Since it's so expensive, I'll only be using it for small details that need a little oomph! 

One thing that I forgot to mention in my other painting post is that I outlined the girls using a mixture of black and white pan pastels. I basically did the outline in black then added white to blend and smooth it out. I like how it make the girl "pop" from the background. I decided to leave the background pretty plain. I thought a nice sky blue was just enough to add to the summer vibe without detracting from the focal point. The canvas is small, 8 x 10 inches, so there's not much room to play.

Want it as a pocket mirror?

As seen on CraftGawker.

Autumn Doll Painting

copyright 2011 Moira Richardson
Here is the second doll in my series of four seasonal paintings, Autumn. I made the first painting, Winter, as my entry for last week's Iron Craft challenge, and when I was finished, I figured I might as well try to paint dolls for all the seasons. It's definitely nice to think about spring, summer, and fall when it's cold and wintry outside.

I'm much happier with the shading on this painting than on the first one, Winter. I think the cheeks turned out perfectly. I'm still not happy with the eyelashes, but I think the problem is that I'm not using the right size brush. Also, I might have a better result if I use soft-bodied acrylic paint instead of using tube acrylics mixed with glaze. (Though, really, same diff, right?)  The swoop of hair is a little off, but I still think it's super cute. I love how the shading on the hair turned out... much better than the first painting. 

My favorite part about this painting are her lovely eyes (eyelashes excluded). I think I got the sparkle just right. I'm happy with the little blowing leaves in the background, too. I wasn't sure if I could paint leaves, but they turned out just fine. All in all, I'm very happy with this piece!

Want is as a pocket mirror?

11 February 2011

Recipes: Best French Onion Soup (Vegetarian / Vegan)

I love French Onion Soup. LOVE it. When I took a trip to San Diego many years ago, my friend and I went on a quest to find the best French Onion Soup in the city. We even tried French Onion Soup in Tiajuana (Sopa de Cebollas, I believe). So I'm something of an expert, and I'm picky. Not just any French Onion Soup will do. It has to have just the right combination of flavors to really hit the mark. This recipe resulted in the BEST French Onion Soup I've ever had; my boyfriend agrees. The flavors are just right, and when topped with day-old French bread and thin slices of Gruyere cheese, this soup is a sure winner.

A note, before you decide to get started: Don't rush the onion caramelization process. If you can't let the onions cook for the full time (2 1/2 - 3 hours), make something else. It's not like you have to stand over a hot stove for three hours using my method, but you do have to be able to let the onions cook properly, or your soup won't come out as great. If you are hungry, make something else for dinner. This soup is best started around lunchtime in order to have an AMAZING dinner experience. Save this recipe for a day when you have some free time. If you are going to be home all day cleaning one day, that would be a great time to make this soup. Allow about 4 hours from start to finish, which sounds like a lot, but trust me, this soup is worth it.
You will need:
5 large sweet onions, about 4 - 5 pounds.
1 T. salt
1 T. salt
fresh cracked black pepper
balsamic vinegar, about 2 T.
olive oil, about 1/4 cup
1/4 cup butter (use margarine for your vegan version)
3 T. all-purpose flour
2 t. thyme
1 t. basil
1 bay leaf
1/2 t. mustard powder
2 T. soy sauce
1/2 cup wine (I used Trader Joe's J.W. Morris 2007 California Gewurztraminer, but any red or white would be fine)
1/4 t. liquid smoke
7 cup vegetable broth (I used Better Than Buillion vegetable flavor, but use your favorite)
Gruyere cheese, to serve. I got about 1/4 pound, which serves four
[If you have making a vegan version, see the Vegan Gruyere Cheese recipe below)
Large 12 inch cooking pan, oven-proof
Large crock pot (mine is probably 3 quarts?)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove outer skin on onions, cut off top and bottom. Cut onions in half, then slice. You don't have to have uniform pieces. I make my pieces no bigger than about 1/2 inch thick. Break apart pieces with your hands so you have separate slices and chunks. Add all onion pieces to your large cooking pan. Cut 1/2 butter (or margarine) into small chunks and divide over the onions. Add pan to oven and wander away.
You will need to stir (with tongs, if you have 'em, for best results) about every 30 minutes for the next two hours or so. You want the onions to reach a nice golden color and be soft. You don't have to be super particular. Just try to remember in 30 minutes to stir, but it's no big deal if you leave it a little longer.
After 1 hour, splash with olive oil, about 1/4 cup, but you don't have to be precise.
After about 2 hours, your onions should be looking pretty cooked and smelling good. Add 1 T. salt and 1 T. sugar and stir. Cook for 30 more minutes. Now your onions should look light yellow or brown and getting the delicious golden appearance so important for this soup.
Splash the onions with balsamic vinegar, about 2 T, and sprinkle black pepper generously over the onions. Stir. Cook for 15 more minutes.
Now add 3 T. flour, stir, and cook for 15 more minutes. (Note, if you like caramelized onions as a pizza topping, pick out some onions before you add the flour and refrigerate for up to two weeks until it's pizza night. Yum!).
Now it's finally time to actually make the soup. Plug in your crockpot and turn the heat to high. Add all the onions and any juices to the crockpot. You can deglaze the pan with the wine, if you'd like. I didn't bother, but you certainly can. Add the thyme, basil, mustard powder, soy sauce, and wine to the crockpot. Stir and although to cook for about 5 - 10 minutes. (A note on the thyme: some people might find 2 t. of thyme to be too overpowering. We found it delicious, but you might want to start with 1 t. then add more to taste.)
Add liquid smoke (use a careful hand with this stuff!) and broth. If you don't have liquid smoke, you could certainly skip it and still have yummy soup, but it's cheap (about $2.50), found near the BBQ sauces, and adds a lovely smoky flavor that makes this soup more reminiscent of the meat-broth versions.
Allow to cook until the soup is hot, about 30 minutes to 1 hour. (Use hot broth if you want the soup to heat up faster.) You can add slightly less or slightly more broth to taste. In fact, I added 7 cups off broth, then after we both had dinner, I added 3 cups more to fill the pot, since I felt there were plenty of onions to stretch the soup a bit. Tastes just as good today. In fact, this soup tastes better the second day, so definitely prepare the full batch. I hear it freezes well, too, but I haven't tried that yet.
To serve:
Slice day old French bread into rounds. Heat a non-stick frying pan to high. Without adding any oil, add bread and lightly toast on each side. You just want to remove extra moisture from the bread. Slice Gruyere cheese into thin slices -- you could grate it, too, if you'd rather.
Looking for a vegan version? Try this:
Vegan Gruyere Cheese
You'll need:
1 cup water
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp flour
4 tsp arrowroot (or cornstarch, if that's what you have handy)
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into a small pan and cook over medium high heat for about 5 minutes or until thick. Spread this cheese on your French bread rounds.
Preheat your broiler. Before preparing your soup, make sure your soup bowls or crocks will fit under the broiler -- I was going to use a toaster oven, but they wouldn't fit so I had to use the oven's broiler. Taking a second now to make sure might save you annoyance later.
Ladle soup into bowls. Add bread flat across the top of the bowl. Add cheese. Broil for a few minutes until the cheese is nice and bubbly. Serve with a glass of wine (see above) and enjoy. Oh la la!

Iron Craft #6: Winter Doll Painting

Winter Doll
copyright 2011 Moira A. Richardson
Here is my submission for Week 6 of the Iron Craft challenge. Each week, crafters around the globe are given a theme and one week to complete their project. This past week's theme was Winter. Since I had just started the Dolls Dreams class with Adriana Almanza, I knew I wanted to make a winter-themed dollie. She's the very first doll I painted using Adriana's techniques, so she's a little wonky. I didn't use the right shade of brown, so her skin is a little muddy looky, also, I was still learning how to do the shading. This scan got a little cut off, since the canvas was too big for my scanner bed, but you get the gist. Original measures 9 x 11 inches. See the rest of the series here in the next few days or visit my flickr page. Buy this design as a pocket mirror.

Today on Craigslist: Write My Book, A'ight?

Another installation of Today on Craigslist...

You got problems? That's awesome! I want to write this book about the 33 problems that women face in their lives, but I could only think of 5. Choose your own problem and write 15 pages about. Oh, and don't act white. Also, don't be a bitter whore. Got it? Great!

Original text reads:

"I need your help.
It is a grave desire of mine,
to put out a book that speaks to the woman.
I would like the book to identify,discuss,
and offer solutions to 33 problems
that women face in life. 33 chapters,
and each chapter will be about a void...
- Incarceration
- Unemployment
- School drop-out rate
- Low self-esteem
You can choose any topic in the world,
but the focus of the book will be to show
women how & why...improvement is

I need 33 authors, to write 1 chapter each.

The 5 topics that I listed were just examples.
Please choose another topic....dig deeper,
what topic would you like to write 15 pages about?

ALSO: You will be credited as the author & receive royalty
checks for the rest of your life.

Traditional family structure is necessary.

Speaking proper English is NOT ?acting white.?

Kids reciting rap songs should not be tolerated.

ALL single mothers are not mean and bitter.

Women must stop picking men that are using their potential to land them in jail instead of the boardroom.

There is no shame in seeking professional help to mend broken relationships and work through mental issues.

Sexual promiscuity exists in the absence of self-control and respect."


10 February 2011

Today on Craigslist: Bleeding Heart Liberal TV

I love Craigslist. I found my apartment and my boyfriend on Craigslist. At least half of the furniture in my house came from curb alert listings. I've bought plenty of jewelry and art supplies on Craigslist, and I've sold things, too. I've used Craigslist to advertise yard sales, to get rid of crap I don't need, and to find jobs.

I once kept a log of Missed Connections listings for an entire week, categorizing the listings by type (such as: long lost love, booty call, deadbeat dad huntin'), until I realized the quest was futile and I could never keep up.

I even made a series of Craigslist-themed buttons, just in case I wasn't alone in my obsession. Sadly, I think I am, since I haven't sold a single one. Boo!

I used to check Craigslist free listings several times a day, in the hopes of finding fabulous junk I never knew I needed, but after a while, I realized I just didn't have any room left in my house for any junk, no matter how fabulous.

So, yes, my obsession has, like all crushes, faded away, but I still check in from time to time, the same way I might look at an ex's Facebook page just to see if he's gotten fat or bald. I can't help myself.

And, sometimes, I see an ad that calls out to me. Like this one. Sure, I have no use for this "bleeding heart liberal" television, but a part of me sure wishes I did after reading this ad:

"Free 20 inch Pioneer TV. It is old, but it still works. As long as you don't want to watch any channel above 45. My own theory is that since The Fox News Channel is channel 46, it refused to tune past channel 45. I don't know why it won't go above 45. I am just assuming that since this tv is so old and still working, it's probably liberal.

Maybe you want to harvest it for parts. Or turn it into a fish tank. Or take a sledgehammer to it. Maybe you can take it to the State House on tax day for the Tea Party demonstration.

Save it from being buried in a landfill (although we all know that is where it will ultimately wind up). Prove me wrong and turn it into art that lives forever in a museum.

If this tv doesn't find a new home soon, I am afraid it might go and file for section 8.

You let me know when you want to pick it up, and I will lovingly place it out on the curb. If I am going your way, I'll even drop it off to you. Let's figure this out.

I live in Providence, on the Cranston line, off Reservoir Ave. " (link)

This is a Craigslist ad worth remembering, and so I'm starting a new blog feature called Today On Craigslist. When I find an ad that leaves me speechless, whether with laughter, terror, or whateva, I'll share it with you, my dear unknown reader. I hope you are suitably moved.

05 February 2011

Winter Sneak Peek

Originally uploaded by literarytease

Here's a sneak peek of my completed project for the "Winter" challenge of Iron Craft (http://theironcraft.blogspot.com). Check back on Wednesday to see the full painting!

04 February 2011

Recipes: Vegetarian Enchiladas and Perfect Spanish Rice

My boyfriend loves cheese enchiladas, but I hate the pure fat content of a dinner that is basically corn and cheese, plus a little red enchilada sauce. I wanted to beef up the veggie content and decrease the fat without having enchiladas that tasted bland or boring. I also wanted to create a meal that was as filling as it was delicious so that one day's dinner could feed two tonight and four tomorrow night, when we'll have company. So I whipped up a batch of Spanish rice to accompany the enchiladas. Yum! The dinner was delicious and disappeared quickly from our plates. Try it, and let me know what you think!

You'll need:
For the enchiladas --
1 bottle Trader Joe's enchilada sauce (you could substitute your own choice, but I loved TJ's brand)
1 bag shredded cheese (about 2 cups) - use cheddar or a Mexican blend
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black olives, drained and cut in half
1 large white onion, diced - reserve 1/4 cup for the rice recipe (follows)
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
1 8 oz. package tempeh, crumbled
1 t. ground cumin
1/4 cup salsa
1 cup water
3 cloves garlic, or 1 t. Trader Joe's crushed garlic
2 T. olive oil
1 egg
corn tortillas, about 2 dozen
For the rice --
1 cup white rice
1 cup salsa
1 pinch saffron, about 6 strands (optional, but gives a great color!)
2 cups vegetable broth
1. T olive oil
1/4 cup diced white onion (reserved from above)
3 cloves garlic, or 1 t. Trader Joe's crushed garlic
You'll also need:
wooden spoon, for stirring veggies as they cook
large frying pan
small saucepan, with cover
large bowl
11 x 13 glass baking dish
aluminum foil to cover
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In frying pan, heat 2 T. oil and saute onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and diced peppers. Cook for a few more minutes until soft. Add the crumbled tempeh and cumin, stir well and cook until warmed through. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
In large bowl, mix beans, olives, tempeh mixture, 1 large handful of shredded cheese, egg, and ricotta cheese.
To assemble enchiladas:
Set up an assembly line like this:
1st - wipe out frying pan and heat over medium high flame.
2nd - large clean plate, stack of tortillas
3rd - bowl of enchilada filling
4th - small bowl with rest of cheese, less 1/2 cup reserved for topping
5th - glass baking dish
In the baking dish, add salsa, 1/2 cup of water, and about 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce. Mix this around a little, but it doesn't have to be perfectly stirred up. You just wanted a little liquid all around the bottom.
Heat corn tortillas, one at a time, for 5 seconds on each side. Add to plate (you can use tongs, but i just used my hands to grab 'em quickly from pan.). Add small amount of filling, about 1/4 cup, and a small sprinkle of cheese, about 1 T. Roll gently and place seam side down in the dish.
Repeat until the dish is full. You might have extra filling (I did). Save this for a future batch of enchiladas, just make sure to cook it within a few days because of the egg. Once cooked, the enchiladas will keep well in your fridge for another week. Freeze them for quick dinners later!
Pour about half a bottle of sauce over the enchiladas, doing your best to cover them well. Use the back of a spoon to spread the sauce around a bit. Add about 3/4 cup of water to the bottle of sauce, shake well, and pour the liquid all over the enchiladas. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes until the cheese is bubbly.
For the rice, heat saucepan over medium high heat and cook onion in oil until soft. Add garlic and rice, stir and cook for about 2 minutes, until the rice is lightly browned. Add the broth, salsa, and saffron to the pot. Cover and bring to a bowl. When the rice is boiling, turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered until ready to eat.
This recipe will easily feed six to eight hungry adults. If you have leftovers, pack small servings for office lunches during the week and make your co-workers jealous. Enjoy!

03 February 2011

Artist Interview: Leslie Herger

If you haven't heard of Leslie Herger of Comfortable Shoes Studio, you've been missing out on some seriously good art journal pictures, tutorials, and loads of inspiration. I first stumbled across Leslie's work when searching for art journal tutorials on YouTube. I found a fascinating video of Leslie working on an art journal page from start to finish, and I was hooked. I soon found her blog and joined her Art Journaling group on ning. Recently, Leslie's been involved in the zine Art Journaling: It's All Good, which currently has 4 issues available for download, and 21 Secrets, an online art journaling course. and When I wrote to Leslie requesting an interview, I was psyched when she agreed.

cog control
copyright Leslie Herger
How did you discover art journaling? 

Art journaling is a mix of everything I’ve done artistically in my life. I’ve always kept a written journal and a sketchbook. I moved to Massachusetts and was hit by a car when I was commuting home from work on my bike. While I wasn’t hurt it’s sort of the genesis point for when I started to glue “shit” into my journal and started to write in my sketchbook. I had mixed some notes in my sketchbook but never to the extent I do now.

How would you define art journaling to someone who is brand new to it?

I like to show people the Dan Eldon website, Sketchbob’s site and a couple of books like Journal Junkies or Gwen Dhien.  Art journaling is a combination of visual and written, it’s journal and sketchbook combined. It activates the right side of the brain for out of the box thinking.

Why did you decide to start

I have been a member of Julie Pritchard’s lostluggage network, Williowing’s and another person’s. I love all those sites but I wanted to create something that was solely focused on art journaling. I wanted to create a group that was free to join and had the feeling that Willowing’s group but with less focus on drawing faces, pretty girls and the like. I work grungy and I knew that there had to be more people like myself who are interested in exploring the darker side of art journaling and with it our own dark side. I wanted a place where all people felt welcome. I avoid pink in my site purposefully.

Essentially I wanted to create a site like lostluggage, but open to anyone and with the sort of camadre that willowing had on her site.

What's been the best part about the art journal group? 

The open discussion, if you delve into the forums for more than a glancing look there is a ton of information. If you search for a term you’ll find a lot of discussion on it.

What's the worst part? 

Administration and having to tell people no. I decided early on that the focus of the forum had to be narrow- art journaling ONLY. That means if you journal on ATC and load it up you better explain that in the description of your images. There are plenty of places to discuss ATC/ACEO and scrapping. We’re the only open forum for art journaling.

twitter hand experiment Amanda Palmer's Hands
copyright Leslie Herger
What are your "essential" art journal supplies/tools/materials?

A fountain pen with waterproof/resistant ink like noodlers- a good ink in a good pen feels really good. Even good ink in a cheap fountain pen. You can get a Platinum Preppy FP for $3 on Jetpens.com and noodler’s for $13 and it’s worth every penny. Even though it’s a cheap pen the preppy performs well and you’ll find yourself wanting to draw and write with it. It’s the power of a good ink. I have a few pricier pens but I reach  for the cheap pens first. 

Watercolors- pans, tubes, crayons or pencils, I like color. I use a cotman pan travel set of watercolors and some water brushes to apply large washes and small areas of color. If I want a toned page I’ll reach for something else. Most of my travel journals are watercolor and ink.

A good journal with 140lb watercolor paper, I like strathmore and fabriano. When I’m feeling snobbish I go for Fabriano then cheap strathmore. All my travel journals are made with strathmore 400 series cold pressed. It’s 140lb, very inexpensive and easy to work with when binding. I’ve made an assortment of other books with Fabriano, but I’m cheap and balk at prices. Jerry’s artarama and Cheap Joe’s have good prices.

Pencils- I use an assortment of pencils in my journals ranging from H up to 6B. 

gesso- Don’t leave home with out it. Seriously, I even put gesso, both clear and white in my travel kits.

Acrylic Paint- As a painter I use liquitex brand paints and I use the same heavy body paints in my art journals with a variety of mediums. I can glaze my pages, tone the pages, put a painting in the journal or whatever on them. Versatile and fun, acrylic keeps my pages from being boring.

What artists inspire you & why? 

Hannah Hoch and other Dadaists- Hoch was one of the first peopel to cut photos and images from magazines and turn them into amazing images. After the weimar era she didn’t do much artistically but when she was making art, wow, was she AMAZING! the rest of the Dadaists can be blamed for modern art. 

Picasso- While he was a misogynist his variety of work and ambition are amazing to me. His prints are delightful. There is a movie of picasso working on frosted mylar. It shows his drawing process andit’s backed with silence or jazz. Great movie.

Matisse- I’m a HUGE fan of matisse, who did amazing things with cut pieces of paper. He and Hoch approched collage in 2 very different manners.

Van Gogh- He’s proof that hard work pays off. take a look at he online gallery of his work. The early drawings were rough and he had issues with perspective and the body. After delibirate work his work emerges as some of the best drawings I’ve ever seen. The fact that he drew them with a reed pen is even more amazing. Everytime I look at his work I want to pick up a bottle of sepia ink and a reed pen and draw.

Hockney- Constantly changes and tries new things. A modern picasso for sure. I love his work on multiple canvases and his photo collages.

All the artists on Art Journaling Ning. every day as I approve photos I’m amazed at the talent and diversity of experience reflected in the journals posted.

What is the most rewarding part of finishing a journal? 

Starting a new one.

This is the most magenta i have ever  used in one sitting
copyright Leslie Herger

How long do you take to finish a journal? 

It varies a lot. I tend to work in 4 or 5 at a time. If I’m working in one I can make it through in 3 months or less. Currently I’m developing a class, so I’m writing a lot in a separate journal and my art journal is mostly for large washes of color and gluing stuff in.

How do you know when you are finished with a journal page? Is it a gut feeling or something else? Artist Teesha Moore says that you should push past the feeling of thinking a page is finished at least twice. Do you agree or disagree? 

Disagree. When its done its done I don’t work on it any more. I work on a thought or a feeling on a page and once it’s worked out I move on. Sometimes a page isn’t “done” but I move on anyway. I have pages I’ll never finish in some of my art journals, and I think it’s part of the process.I don’t look at my art journals as finished pieces of art, more of process. I don’t strive to create finished art in my journal at all. I use it as a place to work out thoughts, feeling and ideas about other art. It’s part sketchbook and part written journal. I happen to combine the two. When I start to feel like I’m creating finished pieces of art, I shift gears and force myself to work with just pen, ink and watercolor, or just gluing stuff to a page. 

How does art journaling reflect your personality? 

Most of all it reflects my thought process. I tend to think about stuff in depth only when I’m ready, ignore it until I can deal. In my art journal I’m much more direct. It also reflects my daily life. I’m a big fan of gluing in the detritus of daily life. I’ll collect wrappers, business cards, receipts and other junk and tape or glue it to the pages of my art journal. Sometimes I’ll layer acrylic paint over it, sometimes just leave it. 

NaNoJouMo- Search
copyright Leslie Herger

What's your art background?

I started making art in elementary school. My family is very crafty. My mom does cross stitch, knitting, crochet, stamping and now quilts almost exclusively. Growing up where I did you had to have a hobby or go crazy in the long cold winter nights. I think my parents were happy that a pencil and a sketchbook kept me busy for hours.

In HS I proceeded to take all the art classes I could and much to my school and parent’s disappointment started to apply to art schools. I went to the University of Maine, Orono campus on a presidential scholarship that paid for 1/3 of my tuition. The rest came from private endowments. I was very lucky to go to school for nearly free and even more lucky to have found a contact in finacial aid that took an interest in my staying in school and helped me to apply for scholarships throughout my years at UMaine. It enabled me to explore a lot of art methods and materials. My degree is in art with a concentration in education. I also have an unfinished minor in Psychology. 

How does your day job tie in with your art making, if at all? 

It doesn’t. I’m in HR for a fortune 500 company. I took the job because it was 40 hours a week and when the work day ended so did my job. I did this so I could focus on art outside of work.

What resources would you recommend for art journalers just starting out? 

I think ArtJournaling.ning.com is a fantastic resource. I also think that looking at YouTube videos by art journalers like Millande, Willowing, EvelineTimeless and others is really helpful. Also there is a network of UStreamers where you can watch hour to 2 hour long shows on art journaling almost every night of the week. It’s amazing, inspirational and a treasure trove of information. I’d also suggest ofr the less techie people Journal Junkies, Any Gwen Diehn book and a few others.

Lino and Wood blocks
copyright Leslie Herger

Do you have a favorite journal / paper that you use for your work? 

My go to for inexpensive paper is Strathmore 400 series watercolor and drawing papers. My lust after paper is Fabriano Artistico. I bind my own journals from larger sheets of paper rather than relying on prebound sketchbooks.

What do you do with your journals when you finish them? How many would you estimate that you have finished? 

I’ve probably got 30 finished journals, another 15 or so partially finished with no intent to finish them ever and 3 or 4 in process. I’ve got the most recent dozen stored on a shelf over my desk for quick reference. The rest are stored in a shelf in my studio. I’ve lost 2 or 3 over the years. And I’ve got another 2 in storage at my parent’s place.

Do you work in your art journal daily? Do you have any other daily creative practices? 

I go through phases, right now I’m in a non-art journal phase and in a written word phase. I’m working on class development and spending a lot of time researching my ideas and writing up what I want my class to entail. I’m big on planning and once I have things planned I can wing it on camera. As long as I have an outline of what SHOULD happen it does. My classes have been referred to as very Zen.

So probably until I’m done with my class development I’ll remain writing and then I’ll start to art in my journals again. I’ve got 3 art journalis in progress right now all waiting for me to work in them.

What do you do if you are fresh out of ideas? 

I head to my book shelf or flickr and look. Sometimes I’ll just read something not related to art at all, sometimes I’ll crack open a book binding book, it all varies depending on my mood. Sometimes just stepping away from the issue solves it. I’m a fan of taking a break and walking to the Atomic for a cappuccino.

Do you have any favorite teachers / instructors?

Tamara Laporte of Willowing.org is amazing

Julie Pritchard and Chris Cozen of lostluggage.com put on some high quality classes geared toward fine art but put forth a lot of info that related to mixed media.
Klair Scattergood of Rhomany’s Realm


See all of my Artist Interviews here.
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