Friday, June 10, 2011

Journal Fun

This particular journal was started in January 2008, when I was teaching art at St. James School. While it was enjoyable, and I really liked the kids and the staff (my sister in law Barbara teaches 7th grade there), I missed being out in the professional art world. I decided it was time to do an whole new portfolio, and I would take it out to textile companies. I was a freelance illustrator for years, and before that, had worked designing fabrics. And when the boys were small, and we lived in Los Angeles, I did my own line of hand painted children's furniture, which I sold through a wonderful store--Imagine That. They were so hugely popular that they had three branches--West Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Sherman Oaks. It was a great outlet for me, and I loved working with them. But when we moved back East, I could never duplicate what I was doing out there--the market was too different. So, I started working as a substitute teacher, and then got a job teaching art. But it was as if I lost part of my identity, not doing my artwork. Not that I ever stopped doing it, but I wasn't selling it. So this journal kind of reflects that period of time when I was putting together my new portfolio, and getting ready to go out with it. I set my sights on Michael Miller Fabrics, and that was my goal---to work with them. I ended up doing my Modern Home collection for them, and my Old West collection.

Fooling around:
These are two doodle pages from last year, just done on notebook paper. I'm in the mode right now of making books of everything. I just organized all my vintage scrap that I've been collecting since our flea market -going- days in LA. I had it all in different folders, in this filing cabinet in the basement. But now I put everything in acetate sheets, and made a book out of it. I also made a decor-inspiration book, which was all my favorite pages of the now defunct Country Home Magazine, and Country Living. Pictures of rooms decorated with vintage, garage sale, side of the road items with chipped paint and rusted patinas. I had STACKS of these magazines going back to 1996, when the whole Shabby Chic cottage style started. And I'm also trying to archive all my Ruby Ritz material, and see what kind of form I can get it into. is a website for self publishing, and they have all kinds of sizes and formats. So we'll see what happens...maybe I'll just get some made up for gifts. What do you call it when you're just trying to organize all your material? Anyway, if you're not keeping a journal, I advise starting one!
I stick everything in mine, and it's a real hodge podge of stuff. You can take any notebook that you think will work, and paint over the cover, or decoupage something on it. It's nice if you have one that has a combination of blank and lined pages. Use any kind of supplies that you want: colored pencils, cut outs, rubber stamps, paint, old photographs (or better yet, copies of them), and even pieces of fabric. The more texture the better. I also buy antique books and glue the old, yellowed pages into my journal. Then, paint, stamp, or do whatever right on them. I like the idea of a journal being a sketchbook and an experimental place for new ideas. xoxox