Registering Now: Photo Passions – Mixed Media Magic with your personal photos

There’s still time to register to learn how to turn your personal photo collection into a source of art journal inspiration. With a few tricks of looking closely, your smartphone or digital camera is now an INSPIRATION MACHINE.

Find out all you want to know here: (and see a rad quick video of this process in action)

Working this way has really saved me from looking at blank pages in blank books and not knowing where to start. Also, looking at beautiful backgrounds with nothing else in them and wondering what to put on them? In the past. Word.

Sign up – we’ve got limited space and lots to do! I can’t wait to see you there.


Illustration – Softie – Alligator pink cardigan and floral skirt collage

I dragged my buttocks just a little too much with the illustration Friday prompt this week, which was “Soft.” Boat missed, we are now onto “Window” but I think she’ll find a good use of some kind.

Everything started off swimmingly in the morning, but by 12 noon I was picking out a background from three different possibilities.  Four hours of gelli plating, doodling, gluing, going through old pages, scanning, painting, and generally not having much luck – I found an old 8×10 in a suitably mucky putty color that I had put aside. I think it works here, actually.

She’s 8×10 with a digital final, almost completely manually/practically/analog made.

SoftieThere’s a short list of things I’d like to come back as next time around, and near the top lately is “‘Gator.”  Basically I realized that life would boil down to a warm bath, sashimi and rare steak, reproduction, and avoiding a few dedicated crazies with guns. Sign me up.

Pug Paper Dolls and the Great Internal Mashup

Things are synthesizing for me in a really interesting way! It’s all because of one little bit of zeitgeist:


My main source of frustration hasn’t been a block.  Well it’s another kind of block, a conceptual block, not a making block.  I’ve always been suceptible to a feeling that the work just isn’t gelling into anything cohesive. I imagine a lot of people who journal and work in mixed media suffer from this identity crisis. How to make all the different external influences line up, how to sound like one person interested in lots of things rather than one person just throwing themselves at stuff to see what will stick?

Enter Andy Miller:

This series is kickass. In this much-needed installment he touches on a bunch of great things, but one of the ones that really stood out for me was the fact that mashup can be an approach to the world, sure. It can also be an approach to your own self – to your own creative history and image bank.

I believe that my scissors are now my most important tool (or the lasso.)

In a way, cutting is another reductive way of working, like carving and scratching versus inking and painting. It’s the push and pull, the tension and the dialogue, that I think makes things more interesting.  Amateurish and “bad”, and refined and observed.  What happens when you put more of this into your very comfortable and usual that?

Listen to this one, I guarantee something will jump out at you as useful!


Sketch Night at the Bell Museum

Bell Musem - drawing of black bear (brown phase) and buffalo skull from collectionI make a point of getting in some observational drawing from objects in front of me. There is always a benefit to this. Always. Whether you need humbling, reference material, meditation, or don’t know what you need, it will point the way.

A lot of the impatience I’ve had with this process has been a lack of connection to the subjects. I still remember how uninspiring that cow skull, plaster cone, and plaster hand cast were.  The human figure – sure. But  non-moving things were generally frustrating and dull for me. Frankly, this was due to the disconnected sameness of art studio “draw an object” object choices.

The day my painting professor brought in a cake was the day I realized things could really be different.

Overheard at the museum: “All non-functional intermediaries boil down to sexual selection. Sure it might kill me, it might seem stupid, but it gets me laid.”