what is visual journaling?

Last week, I led a 90-minute session at the Colorado State Foster Parent Association’s education conference to introduce foster parents to visual journaling. It was a success, I’m happy to say, and when I mentioned this on Facebook, I had a number of my friends, some of whom have known me for years, ask what that is.

I guess I’m doing a bad job of letting people know what I’m up and marketing my own art!

One of my favorite page spreads in my 2014 journal.
One of my favorite page spreads in my 2014 journal.

Visual journaling, also known as art journaling, is a way to keep a diary of sorts, using both words and images to express your thoughts. Visual journals can be used for a variety of reasons, by a variety of people. There is no wrong or right way to do it. My hope is to bring visual journaling to foster parents as a new-to-them tool for processing events and feelings as they help their kids through their time in care.

my shelf of finished journals...one for each year
my shelf of finished journals…one for each year

I’ve been journaling for years, beginning back in high school, when I’d carry an extra composition book around and used it to doodle and think when I was bored or needed to comfort myself (it was a rough time as my parents were divorcing and things were pretty bad at home). I still carry my journal around in my purse and work in it whenever I get the chance. These days I enjoy taking workshops to learn new techniques and practice new ideas. For the past 12 years or so, I’ve successfully kept one journal per year, usually a composition book, documenting my life, my thoughts, my happenings.

A page spread in my journal from February. This one is heavy on collecting memories of an event (a trip to Vegas).
A page spread that's more heavy on writing and doodling.
A page spread that’s more heavy on writing and doodling.

So there you have it! Watch this blog for more info over time.

WIP paintings 4/12/15

Here be a few paintings in various stages of done. I’ve been reading Tracy Verdugo’s book, Paint Mojo, and I’m fascinated by her techniques and the results she gets from them. I feel like I’m taking all of the things I’ve learned over the years from Kelly Kilmer, Tracy Bautista, Judy Wise, Katie Kendrik, Leighanna Light, Lynne Perella and from my own experimentation and flinging it all upside down and getting something amazing. I’m so happy with these so far.

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what if she kept a journal?

Today my father-in-law brought to my attention that the oldest person in the United States died yesterday. Gertrude Weaver was 116 years old. I loved this part of an obituary I read:

When you asked for advice on how to live a long life she would say, ‘Use a lot of skin moisturizer, treat everyone nice, love your neighbor and eat your own cooking. Don’t eat at fast food places.”

It made me think about banning fast food from my life, of course, but it really made me think about how extraordinary Gertrude’s life must have been and how much I’d love to look at her journals. What if she had kept a journal? What would it look like? I can’t even imagine. I wonder a lot about my own grandparents and what I would give to have even a year’s worth of their thoughts, dreams, musings. It’s just another reason for me to renew my commitment to recording my own life and encouraging others to do the same.

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Written All Over Her Face

The last year or so has been extremely challenging for Tracey Kazimir-Cree on all levels -- professionally, emotionally, and personally, including the deaths of her mentor and brother-in-law. Her enthusiasm for a lot of things naturally waned as she dealt with these losses, but her interest in art journaling grew stronger as she had more challenges and sadnesses to process. Tracey is recommitted to journaling as a tool for helping herself and others to move through the good and less-than-good events the comprise our lives. Written All Over Her Face is a reflection of that, with many layers of collage, paint and words that make tangible who she is.
The last year or so has been extremely challenging for Tracey Kazimir-Cree on all levels — professionally, emotionally, and personally, including the deaths of her mentor and brother-in-law. Her enthusiasm for a lot of things naturally waned as she dealt with these losses, but her interest in art journaling grew stronger as she had more challenges and sadnesses to process. Tracey is recommitted to journaling as a tool for helping herself and others to move through the good and less-than-good events the comprise our lives. “Written All Over Her Face” is a reflection of that, with many layers of collage, paint and words that make tangible who she is.

The 2015 Masks Show Opens this Week

It’s pretty exciting to see my work hanging anywhere but in my own home, but it’s super exciting to see it hanging in a museum. This is the second year I’ve participated in the Masks at MOA silent auction fundraiser that Fort Collins Museum of Art does each year. To the right is my mask for this year and my original statement.

About 200 artists participate, creating one-of-a-kind works that are exhibited for a month and that over 4000 visitors to the museum can bid on. This is the museum’s major fundraiser each year.

I will be at the opening on Friday night, April 3, 2015, to see my mask and that masks of my fellow artists. I hope you can join us — and please bid on a mask!

 

 

 

WIP: Twenty minutes to make art

Today I had 20 minutes to make art.

My baby girl and I have both been sick for about two weeks now and I wasn’t able to take her to day care because of her lingering cough/runny nose + my own inability to wake up in a timely manner because I still don’t feel well. So we had Mommy/Baby Day, during which I counted the minutes till nap time so that I could lie down. (No, I do NOT feel guilty about that.)

And lie down I did, but only for 30 minutes, because I seem to feel worse when I haven’t made anything for days and days on end and I set my alarm for only 30 minutes so that I could make something, anything, today.

So, I napped until I could get up and then ran downstairs to do as much I could in the few remaining minutes until my blessed angel awoke from her nap.

I’m not saying it was good. I’m just saying that I did it.

I took two halves of a scrapbook paper that I had painted on forever ago and collaged over the paint with scraps of paper that I had sorted out last night from my collage boxes. The next step will be to gesso over these scraps and map out a drawing of some sort.

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I <3 Joanne

joanne-vday-2015My friend Joanne is such a delightful woman. She is also uber creative, supportive and so talented. For years, she has graced my mailbox with little surprises that always make me smile, even when all others have forsaken me because I rarely send a RAK anymore. I am so grateful that she always thinks of me in this way, she always comments on my blogs, she holds me up when I’m struggling in my journey as a foster/adopt mom. We don’t get to hang out often, but I really look forward to the next time we get to do that. Joanne inspires me.

Here is the most recent card I received from Joanne. I’ve been enjoying it here on my desk and will be moving it to my Wall o’ Art Fame here in the studio. Thank you, Joanne!

This changes everything

your-art-mattersTwo weeks ago, Fabeku Fantumise and Jeanne Bessette hosted a call for artists regarding changing the archetypes around artists so that we think like THRIVING ARTISTS instead of starving artists. This call was huge and profound and has got me all fired up about a big project I want to take on. I had been talking just the day before with Kat Peters-Midland about this project idea and I was so into it, but left her house feeling more wistful than anything. I didn’t think it was possible on Thursday, even though the idea is a good one and I was excited about it. But while I listened to Fabeku speak, I became more and more confident to

GO IN THE DIRECTION OF MY DREAMS!

I want you to go there, too. This recording is free. But you do have to promise to share it with as many folks as you can think of. Help start a revolution! (FYI, the call is not work safe.)

Download the recording here: Artists Transmission

After you listen, comment here and let me know your thoughts. Let’s talk about how we can spread the word.

new project percolation part 2

Soooo….way back in May, I wrote about a new project that I was percolating. Here’s where the bits of that project stand right now, in a bin on my work table:

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See the glitter? and the doodling? Well, that’s all I had for a while, until yesterday, when I learned that two of my little house canvases sold this past weekend at Lola’s Fresh Patina. Now my mind has gone into overdrive with a mixture of inspiration based off my own little chunky canvases, plus the works of Denver artist Paul Cunningham, which I saw at Old Town Art & Framery last week.

 

Loveland Art Studio Tour – this weekend and next!

Loveland Art Studio Tour2chunkies-web is this weekend and next and it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s free, so pick up a map & artist directory and go to town! I have a few pieces in Lola’s Fresh Patina this month, so I know I’ll be over there for a bit Friday night, for sure. Since it’s 2nd Friday, we might hit Artworks Loveland, too.

 I haven’t shown any work in a while and I’m a little anxious, but I’m hoping folks like what they see. See you around town this weekend. :)

yet another post in which I catch you up…

…though I am sure that I don’t have any readers left here since I’ve been so hit or miss with my blogging. (If you’re still out there, please comment and let me know!)

birds-gone-wild-tkc
Created during the workshop “Birds Gone Wild” with Leighanna Light. September 2014.

Tonight, I had an idea for a blog post and headed over here. Realizing I haven’t posted since early May, I had to sit for a minute, staring at the screen, trying to figure out why. I could have sworn I had written lots of things, but then I remembered what a long, hard summer it was. In mid-May, I learned that my awesome friend and mentor, Chuck, passed away, after battling congenital heart disease. It hit me hard because I had just seen him in April, albeit in his hospital bed, and he looked and sounded good. At least I got that last visit with him, unlike a number of others who have gone before him and I always feel pangs of regret about those folks.

lilys-book-tkc
Created during the workshop “Lily’s Book” with Leighanna Light. September 2014.

Chuck was always so supportive of my work (he loved the prayer flags!), whether it was the web work or more hands-on creative endeavors. I feel so much loss every time I think about him. Same goes for my brother-in-law, Andy, who passed away at the end of May. Andy was also very supportive of my work, though he was more subdued about it. His passing was (and still is) a huge shock for my husband’s family and though I clearly didn’t know him for as long, or as well as they did, there are days that I can barely get myself out of bed to face the day if I think too hard or long about Andy.

Luckily, we still have our little bundle of energy, publicly known as Baby New Year. I’d show you a photo, but she’s a foster child and we’re obliged to maintain her privacy. She is now 15 months old and so cute it’s painful! :) She’s also bullheaded, funny, smart and intense. We love her lots and she keeps me hopping.

faux-etching-tkc
Created during the workshop “Faux Etching” with Leighanna Light. September 2014.

All of that adds up to me being scatterbrained and all over the place, both mentally and emotionally. Not much art has progressed this summer, though I have been journaling. The past few weeks, I’ve gotten behind, but my hope is to photograph some of the pages next week and get them up in my flickr albums.

I shouldn’t say that NO art has been made. I’ve been busy organizing workshops with out-of-state artists and this summer, we hosted Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, Kelly Kilmer and Leighanna Light. Leighanna’s workshops were just this past weekend and I have a few photos of my creations to share here in this post.

There are a few draft posts in my dashboard that I do need to finish up and I have some more workshop photos to share as well, so stay tuned for those!