03 January 2016

Thank You to Those Artists Who Share, or, Where I'm Hanging Out These Days

Tabs for my 2016 Art Journal
Pull of the Tides has been on hiatus as a blog for some time now. That is because I am spending my creativity in ways other than writing these days. Namely, I have been making a lot of two-dimensional art on paper and taking tons of photographs. 

My intention is to keep Pull of the Tides right here, where it is, while I pursue other avenues of creativity. I may ultimately come back to writing again. For the moment, I find that several microblogging apps suit my purpose, most especially Instagram

To keep up with me on Instagram, browse here to my ~runningwave~ feed.

While I've been away, I have been taking some amazing art classes both online and in person. I have attended several artists events, visited galleries, and chatted with artists virtually and in the real world. Staying connected to creative communities is very important to me.

Beginning a new journal spread with stencils and ink.
A beautiful background created during Seth Apter's Brick By Brick workshop

Not all of my inspiration is coming from visual artists. Lately, I find myself fascinated by authors, musicians, actors, movie-makers, tv writers and video editors. When you can transmute ideas from one medium to another, that is good, artistic communication. There are so many people out their who are making good art.  

15 January 2015

A Fresh Start & Pointing Toward North

Wow! Time flies. I still am adjusting to 2015.
Between my day-job and the myriad activities that seem to happen every autumn, I had no energy to update this blog for quite a long while. If you are curious about what art I was creating in the past few months, check with me at the ~runningwave~ Instagram feed.

Over the winter holidays, I worked on a new, exciting piece of art for Jill K. Berry's Map 2015 Challenge.  Here's a sneak peek; more later:
A small glimpse of my 2015 Map Challenge artwork

I finally stood up to all of the voices in my head that told me I can never be a cartographer, and made my own hand-drawn and painted map. I used this as an opportunity to test the skills I have been honing. I had been refining both watercolor and ink techniques last year.

As my new horizon stretches out ahead, I am finally beginning to see myself as a pen-and-ink, or draftsman, sort of artist. My art always tended to focus on color and three-dimensional art, but in the past year I have become more comfortable drawing on flat papers.

This map helped me to realize that. All the more so, because I was able to finish it in my parent's studio while I was spending an afternoon with my father. Their studio is always been a place of "serious art" in my world. To spend the day painting and drawing there was a real treat. Something that I had not done since childhood.

The Travels of runningwave 2015, watercolor and pen, 8" x 5.5" inches

This map is a mind-map of sorts, following the trail of where I've been in my inner life and of where I hope to go throughout 2015.  I am intentionally cryptic in naming my places on the map. I hope the map is a beautiful graphic work of art for the viewer, but the landmarks mean something symbolic to me.

I am aiming towards something that The Artist's Way author, Julia Cameron, calls "finding your True North." By "True North," I think she means that locating that direction within yourself that points to your dream, what you really want to accomplish in your life.

The Compass Rose
Here are some more details and a couple of work-in-progress views of my 2015 map.

Eidolon Mountains and village of Vacilla, in progress. No text yet.
I don't know anyone who progresses through life in a straight line. All travels have crossroads. Some paths are better than others for safely arriving at your destination.  Given that water and waves have so much meaning for me, it is only natural that my trek follows the course of a mountain stream, over a bridge and along a river that widens as it reaches a forest and plain.

Detail, Sailing from the metropolis of Kaleidos.
I took the name from "kaleidoscope," from the Greek, beautiful + form
I happen to find the shapes of islands on maps pleasing, so I felt like coming to the great city was a good place to launch out into the waves by sail.   The Isle of Gracia took its name from "Gratitude," a state which I am actively trying to cultivate.

Detail featuring Isle of Gracia, representing one my goals

2015 is going to be -- I hope -- a different kind of year for me creatively. I am starting from the get-go by participating in a community called Year of the Spark! mentored by two amazing artists: Carla Sonheim and Lynn Whipple.

I will be sharing more of my discoveries and work created for that community later.

Thank you for viewing. I welcome and encourage comments.

23 September 2014

Art in Trade

"I Believe in Magic" Artist Trading Card, 2.5" x 3.5"
A grand welcome to the harvest season of Autumn!

While I did love the unusually mild weather this Summer, I am very pleased that Fall is here. It is always my most favorite season of the year.

Since the beginning of Summer I have spent a lot of time contemplating what I will "do" with my art. I have been engaged in asking myself, "What form of art do I want to send out into the world?" It's not any easy question to answer. I love making art, but for the most part I have made it to give as gifts to friends or for my own simple pleasure of manifesting an idea into reality.

In late August, I decided to join several art swapping groups with other mixed media artists. One of them is a closed group on Facebook, to which I was invited, the Artful Mail Groupies. You can join, but they have certain rules to help keep the group active and friendly. (Note: Send me a personal message if you are desperate to learn more about this group.) 

The other swap group is part of an online artist community that I joined in 2013 run by the amazing artist-extraordinaire Tamara Laporte over at willowing.org. Tam is the originator of the amazing year-long online art course Life Book.

I love these online communities of artists. They inspire and amaze me everyday. I really find a lot of solace and comfort sharing my process of becoming an artist with these wonderful people.

The Art Swaps are a great way to send your work out into the world and get another person's art in trade.

Autumn Moon Artist Trading Cards made for Artful Mail Groupies Swap

One way that many artists are sharing these days is to create very small-scaled art works -- the size of a baseball or playing card: 2.5" by 3.5". The small size makes projects easier to complete although there is a real art to using a tiny space well. I have been learning from some talented people. I decided that I am ready to throw my art out into the unknown and receive other art and feedback in exchange. Plus, receiving mail from a person far away is fun! (I always enjoyed having pen pals in other countries as a kid.)

My first swap was the Autumn Moon ATC (ATC = Artist Trading Card) swap with the Artful Mail Groupies on Facebook.  I had so much fun inventing a way to use the Martha Stewart silhouettes of owls, ravens and spooky things for my moonlight purpose. I wanted to create a Harvest Moon shining behind each silhouette. I created all of the moons from cardstock or hand-painted (by me) papers. I added some additional collage elements.

The second way that I'm exploring for spreading my art out into the world is that I'm trying to find a way to make art books that are not so labor-intensive as professional book-binding. I have several friends who are paper conservators and book-binders for a living, so I know very well just how much time and energy goes into creating most books that are bound by hand.

I recently took a workshop at the Queen's Ink with artist Terry Quinn on printing techniques for the Gelli Arts monoprinting plate.  The class is taught periodically and called "50 Shades of Play." Terry took the guesswork out of the workshop by selecting your pattern tools and colors for you, so that our minds were free to play and explore. She taught me that there is no such thing as an ugly monoprint because you can always add another layer if you don't particularly like the color or design that you used. That is a really significant lesson to learn.

Monoprinted Index Card book that I made in Terry Quinn's "50 Shades of Play" workshop
I was able to produce two sets of monoprinted index cards in the class which will become tiny books. Not sure what I will put on the pages yet because I like the patterns and colors so much just as they are. Each page is unique, and that was true of the 50 pages that each of the students made in the workshop also.
Detail, front cover, monoprinted book from "50 Shades of Play"
I discovered, for example, that my new favorite color is called Gunmetal Gray; it offsets bright colors like these golds and oranges so well. I wouldn't have known that if I wasn't limited to a palette within that session of Terry's workshop.  Don't you think this mini-book cover turned out pretty well?  The book measures only 2.5" by 3" -- one half the size of a folded 3x5 index card.

I cannot wait to put my second book together and experiment in collage on these pages! Promise that I'll share.

Wishing you joy in this season of harvest! (Or of new life if you are living in the Southern Hemisphere!)