Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Journal

A while back, my 2 sisters, Pam and I started a traveling art journal. Each of us would do a page or two and then mail or pass it along to the next person on the list.

Here is the box complete with instructions and a 'goodie bag' we're always adding to and taking from.
The page on the left is by my sister Ruth (Corky), the one on the right, by me. Very coordinated if I do say so myself!
Here's one of my first entries.
And one from Pam.
Here are two pages from my sister Carol. For some odd reason, we've all been compelled to create circus-themed art. Hmm...
Here's one of my latest. My attempt at the more abstract.
And one more from my sister Corky.
We still have a lot of pages to finish. And now with my sister moving back to our neck of the woods, it should go much faster!

I highly recommend trying a traveling journal with your friends. It's fun to wrap it up, add goodies to the package and send it on its way. And it's even more fun to crack the box open and see what treasures are inside!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Valley Ridge Art Studio Bliss

What could be lovelier than a weekend spent in the rolling hills of western Wisconsin creating art in a beautiful space with creative people?

I had such an opportunity last weekend when I went to Valley Ridge Art Studio for an amazing workshop taught by the super smart and talented Jill K. Berry called Personal Geographies: Mapping Your Life.

And map we did! Here's an example of the body map we did with layers of vellum telling the story our body holds - with words & symbols.
Then it was on to mapping our brains. I managed to censor most of my darkest thoughts, but that pesky fear of falling had to have it's way!
And then onto a cheerier subject - a map of my basic needs!
Everyone really loved this folded map. We all mapped a place we were familiar with. I chose Wilson Park circa 1977 and even included the pine trees aka the 'make-out woods'.
We created a happy mess. Here's Kathy's artfully arranged work station and glimpse of her amazing mind map loaded with Egyptian imagery.
This is a simple strip map of my journey to Valley Ridge. I decided on a more metaphorical route and took some time after the class finishing this. Here's a hint - don't work on items that require good spelling when you're tired. Can you find the typo? I didn't find it until I was done. Completely. Neat, eh?
This was the largest type of map we did - a timeline. This is a brief history of my life. I didn't bring a lot of personal images to use, so I went for symbolism. It's not what I intended, but I felt like I needed to jump in and just try it and let go of the result.
And finally, the finale... a well-crafted atlas holder to carry our maps home. I had to snag some of Jill's hand-painted paper to use on the cover as a remembrance of this wonderful class.

What did I learn? A whole lot of cartographic history. Jill is a storehouse of knowledge and freely shared stories of stolen maps and history gone wrong with the class. I also learned that my drawing skills are very very rusty. I need to practice! I learned that to enjoy the process and let go of the outcome. I also learned that I can push a car up an icy hill. But that's a story for another day!

Thank you Kathy, Jill and all the wonderful women in the workshop. You made it memorable and spectacular!