Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I PLAY and create a Hand journal

I just returned from 4 wonderful days in Port Townsend PLAYing at journaling with 40 wonderful artists. Here is my one photo of the activities, Teesha is talking to us about some aspect of visual journaling. Several demos were given throughout the weekend, but they were optional, and Teesha and the others used a microphone so if you didn't want to stop working, you could listen. This worked really well for me, I went to the retreat last year and saw all the demos then. It was nice to just listen and be able to keep working.

And work I did! The first night I got help making a 16 page journal from a single sheet of watercolor paper and a "junk" journal, and I started working in the 16 page journal right away. I decided to work on the theme of hands, specifically my hands, so I could explore what this injury means to me.

These two pages are a spread. Each page is 8 x 10. The bottom page is one of the flaps in the book. It counts as one of the 16 pages. It is fun to have the smaller work surface the flaps create.

Creating these two pages was a real challenge. I was trying to do "my own style", which I like to think of as being very loose and sort of grungy, but initially they were a mess! I knew they were, and asked Teesha for help. That was one of the best parts of the weekend, getting one-on-one help. I made a bit of a fool of myself, saying that I didn't want to copy her style, so hadn't put borders on my pages, she was so patient, explaining that borders tie the whole page together, and draw the eye in. I also had a lot of glaring white on the page, and she showed me how to tone it down, so the eye didn't go immediately to the white spots. I had to sleep on her advice, but while I was sleeping, I "got it" by osmosis.
The next day I worked for about 8 hours on my pages, I was in the zone and so happy. I have learned that I can work on my pages for as long as I want to, adding color, collage, borders, doodling, words. It is all fun, it is all meaningful, it is all intuitive. I thought that intuitive meant "do it fast". Yes...and no. It is also intuitive to keep working until it really speaks to me.
This spread isn't necessarily my favorite in this journal, but it will always be important to me because of what I learned while working on it.

This page speaks to the fear I had/have about my livelihood as a massage therapist. Including the photo of myself, happily working at PLAY despite my cast, speaks of survival and hope for the future.
And that photo, that is a print from Fran's Pogo, a tiny Poloroid printer that you attach to your camera. The prints are a little smaller than a playing card. The best part? The print is a sticker! Just peel off the backing and slap it in your journal! Fran says that your camera has to be pict bridge enabled, but many newer digital cameras are. Thanks, Fran, for sharing such a cool toy!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Finally, I learn something in Photoshop!

Many thanks to my dear friend Paula, who spent some time with me today showing me how to do a few things in photoshop! She helped me make a header for my blog! I learned how to put text on photos! I learned how to do invert! And, most of it was really as simple as everyone told me it was!

Now I just have to spend some more time playing so I don't forget how to do it... I am in the photoart journal yahoo group, and now I will be able to put text on photos. I am so excited.

And speaking of "play", the retreat at Fort Worden was incredible. I learned so much, I had creative break-throughs right and left, and hung out with the coolest people ever! I have pages to scan, check back tomorrow...