Amazing set of comments on Wednesday's post. I hope you'll read through. Now here's the sticky question: how do you manage to improve your craft without freezing yourself with thoughts of "I'm not good enough and I'll never be good enough."?
Boo writes that she is "accused" of being a perfectionist. Yeah, me too. I ignore those folks and see it as craftsmanship. (And btw, I've responded to all of your comments but they aren't showing up in the list - did you get my replies?)
If you can view other's artwork and craftsmanship as an inspiration to you, this is a good thing. It pushes you forward to make your work speak stronger. Alonquin notes that she's worked hard on her drawing skills over the years and used to confuse this skill with talent. I believe that talent is part of the human condition: it is a desire to communicate (in any artform). The craftsmanship (drawing, for instance) can be learned. Artists are often described as craftsmen in terms of their draftsmanship or drawing.
I knew a little girl - all grown up now. She would sing at the top of her voice off-key. It may have been torturous for some but to me it was delightful. A big joyful sound. Someone finally told her that she sang off key and that was the end of that glorious song. She could have learned if someone had taken the time. It still breaks my heart.
I loved Jill's story as well. Beautiful Oops by Jamie Lee Curtis is her recommendation and she read it to her children. Beautiful. Karen makes the distinction between a critical eye and a judgemental eye. Read her comment!
Note: I'm devoting my art time on my embroidery craftsmanship. It hasn't stopped me from working on my new art pieces. I'm just slowing down, experimenting and learning
I was stickybeaking around the 21 Secrets Ning site and it is amazing this year. Definitely the best yet.
Textile art so that you can wear your art
Good old-fashioned "make it messy" art
Lettering with stitch (oh my)
A playful approach to painting flowers
Card games to get your mojo goin' (moi)
and 14 more
Please note: the artwork pictured here is not necessarily from the workshop projects.
21 Secrets is 21 mini-workshops on art journaling (and related) from 21 artists. The class is hosted on Ning.com (free membership after your tuition). You can come and go in the workshops as you please, at 2 am or 2 pm (or anytime in between). You can visit all of the classes as often as you like for nine delicious months. This is the best deal in town: $59 for all this? You couldn't make a better investment.
Sign up on my sidebar. Yeah, now. Do it for you.
I can't think anymore. I'm thunk out, and talked out and worked out but I feel like writing. So let's just see what this post will be about. Clearly, I would like it to be about my MamaCITA's whom I love like sisters - very much like sisters in that they also drive me nuts at times. But such is the nature of close relationships amongst women. And I'll take it.
We've talked about how we nurture the world around us and our own self-care sometimes goes by the wayside. But if I go to a woman friend with anything: a problem or some joy to spread, I get a ton of care.
I'm going to plug in some photos here now. Let's see what happens. Yeah, that's good. Let's all take a moment to honor a woman we love.
Happy Women's Day. And of course, if you are in the Philadelphia area and would like to attend Miss Representation, here is the info. And PS to my Mamas, I love you and I'm sorry to be such a bossy britches.
There have been several emails over the past few months asking for advice on teaching. Fresh from last Sunday's class at the Ink Pad, it seems a good time to begin to answer that question.
If you've taken a class with me, you may have noticed that I love to teach. I've "taught" 2 year olds all the way through to senior citizens and the common denominator is inspiration. To learn, students need to feel inspired, yes?
Thorough, and I mean OCD level thorough, preparation is really important. You can have the coolest ideas, techniques and all the inspiration in the world but if you haven't planned the pace and the explanations, your students will glaze over. You've lost them.
Listen to your Students
Your students are your divining rod. Let them lead you, not the other way around. That sounds convuluted after advising you to prepare thoroughly for your class but teaching art is an organic, creative process for me. I make sure that the points planned have been covered but there is always flexibility in my curriculum and that is where listening to your students comes into play.
If you are thoroughly prepared and knowledgeable about your subject, you can allow the creativity and skill level of your class to guide you. Sometimes reigning back on techniques and pushing forward in experimentaion. This varies from student to student so you'll need your track shoes.
Teaching art is exhilarating. The world really needs fabulous teachers so let's support that. I'm adding a new category on this topic so it will come up from time to time. Questions and tips are welcome and will add to the pool of resources here.
I'll go into more detail about each of these three topics over time. PS: I took these photos at the tacket stitch class on Sunday. They are all student work.
After a fantastic day teaching at The Ink Pad on Sunday, I treated myself to a couple of days off and after some nice time with my sis in Princeton (Paper Source!), some "must do's" and a nap, I put in some play time with my journal.
One of my students told me about the ghosting technique using Dylusions ink, water spray and a stencil and I was playing around with it. Here is the video.
A lotta bang for your buck with this technique.I tried (briefly in class) with watercolors and technically it should work since both watercolors and Dylusions inks are liftable. We'll see.
I felt an urge to paint some stripes with watercolors. It was a colorful messy afternoon. The overspray and drips made for a lovely "drip catcher" paper. I'm using nicer paper for that these days. Dividend.
A Toni Morrison quote today for you. She's so wonderfully rich, isn't she? And the quote from this post is from Richard Iannelli. Feel free to use these quotes with abandon.
Because I Dream
I have fallen into the habit of making backgrounds in my journal while working on art projects and then - days or weeks later - pulling out all of the journaling supplies for a few days and just working through. This process is working for me right now. I need more time to moodle with things.
And parallels ... I've been working on some papercloth pieces and finding, in the painted papers, bird shapes. The birds are already in the paper, I just need to find them - look carefully.
Notes on materials: The top page background came while I was doing Gelli Prints recently. The stencil was goopy so I stuck it in the journal and made a print then some ink spray. Rub on letters, portfolios smeared, pen and collage. Because I Dream: the illustration was done awhile ago. Then some caran d'ache was smeared around. Marker, inktense pencils and the little black book with some gel pens.
Using Jessica's stencil as a prompt, I began with layers of ink and the stencil. You don't need to use the entire stencil, using parts of it with different colors of ink makes them more painterly.
For a bit of pop, I pulled out my gel pens. Nice warm colors on such a cold day cheers me up.
Next came a hand-carved stamp.
How about some gesso?
And so it goes. Try using a stencil for a journal prompt. Using Jessica's Random Squares stencil lead me in a direction and the process pulled me along for a ride. I'll add some writing and drawing to this page next.
Here are all the blog hoppers in Jessica's hop. Jessica will have a giveaway on her blog as well.
Seth Apter, The Altered Page, http://thealteredpage.blogspot.com/
Carolyn Dube, A Colorful Journey, http://www.acolorfuljourney.com
Kristin Dudish, Art & Stuff, http://kristindudish.blogspot.com/
Corinne Gilman, Sparkle Days Studios
Doing some research lately on women artists who inspired me and here they are:
Candy Jernigan. Elegant, raw and honest. There are no barriers or borders.
There is a wonderful book full of Jernigan's Art called Evidence. I have a copy of it from a few years ago and it is quite pricey now. But you can always stalk it on Amazon to see if it comes down in price.
Eva Hesse: Her minimalistic abstract drawings and scupltures and installations are breathtaking
and Floods of color.
My tastes are tending to the minimalist these days and abstraction. There is something consuming about abstraction. It seems so pure to me right now.