An Artful Journey Wrap Up!


Wow, what a crazy three weeks it's been! I wanted to finally share some of my work from An Artful Journey. Once I returned from the trip, I came home to a crisis at the shelter, so I was absorbed in helping get 15 dogs adopted or fostered or they were going to be put down. We've been working so hard to earn no-kill status each month that we just couldn't let those dogs be euthanized. Thankfully, we found a permanent or foster home for every one of them!

  AAJ 4

So between the jet lag from the trip, working for those dogs and just general craziness at the day job, it's taken me three weeks to finally get back to sharing some pictures with you.  This class was definitely different from my other An Artful Journal retreats. Instead of producing a larger body of work like I did the first two years, I came away this year with just one just five-spread art journal. But I learned a lot and still gained immeasurably from the experience.

AAJ 10

Each journey I've taken with this retreat has taught me something different. The first year, going there not knowing a soul and as a complete newbie to mixed media, I made many new art friends and found a lot of confidence under the amazing and gentle guidance of DJ Pettitt. The next year, I totally fell in love with paper decoration and book making with the help of Albie Smith. This year, well, this year, I definitely affirmed some things about myself as well as learned a few new things from Orly Avineri.

AAJ 11

I will admit, I struggled a bit with this class.  And my struggles were tied to the fact that I am just not very good at following rules. It's funny, because one of the trainings I do on campus is True Colors, a personality inventory that we use extensively with our students (take a quick free version of it here). I'm an Orange. One of our qualities, for better or for worse, is that we don't always (actually, we very rarely) follow the rules. We are definitely out of the box thinkers who like to blaze our own trails. This is helpful in many situations, as we discover new ways of doing things because we aren't afraid to take a risk, and it can also hinder in other situations, as sometimes, well, you just have follow the rules. Orly and I had a long one-on-one talk about that, and I think we both learned a lot from each other about perspectives.

AAJ 12

In addition to getting a little internal perspective, I also learned some fun new techniques from Orly. My favorite is the way she taught us to work with Tim Holtz Distress Inks and matte varnish. Wow! The mixture gave our pages a beautiful, cohesive finish that made our images just jump off the page. Unfortunately, I also discovered that I must be allergic to the matte varnish because I developed a terrible rash on my hands by Saturday that lasted a good week after we wrapped up. Gloves next time!

AAJ 14b

Orly also helped me see how fun it is to incorporate my own photographs into my journal pages. Duh. You would think that since I was a photographer before I was an art journaler that I would have figured that out on my own, huh. I want to work more with that, playing around with how actual photographs, rather than color copies, interact with different mediums and varnishes.

The thing that made this trip the most special was sharing it with Courtney. It was fun to see it all through her eyes, and I hope she gained as much from the experience as I think she did. You can see more pictures from my finished journal in this Flickr set. Thanks for sticking with me through my three-week absence!


Cari Byers said...

Love the artwork (esp the tennies) What awesome work you do for the puppers they thanks WHOOF WHOOF!!!

Unknown said...

Oh boooo about the rash from using the awesome supplies - but WOW, what a book!! Looks like such fun!!

Davielle aka Princess Magpie said...

Kelly, your perspective is probably even more introspective and inspiring BECAUSE you waited three weeks to write this post. I know that once I let things percolate for awhile, especially when it was something that challenged me, I gain so much - and then, God willing, I can put that into words that others might relate to. BRAVO, girl. You done good. And - what a delight, sharing St. Martha's with you & Courtney - although we only passed in the hall, and were in different workshops, it was just a really good feeling to know you were right there, around the corner. I'm looking forward to seeing you & Courtney again, in 2014 ~ at AAJ. Hugs, Love -- Davi

Anonymous said...

Dear Kelly, I appreciate your candidness about your experience at AAJ. Your pages are beautiful and they seem to be meaningful to you which makes me happy. I prefer to believe that we first need to be in the box before we reach for what's out of it. Each and every step in my teaching is designed to lead students to find boundless opportunities for honest and intimate expression. 99% of the time it does exactly that. From my experience when it doesn't its due to great resistance. I consider my methods to be the complete opposite of asking "to follow rules". I do ask my students to trust me enough to lead them toward liberty of expression however uncomfortable and structured the way there may seem. Such retreats are of course designed to give us comfort and pure fun but also to provide us with a personal growth spurt. The key to achieving such a lofty goal is to allow any of the processes that are being introduced to us, to affect, move, and surprise us.

SAMARA said...

These pages are outstanding! Your post is very interesting indeed. Hey, there is this thing (in Canada at least) called ____gloves and they are sold at the drug store. It is a liquid that you put on your hands and it is like a glove but not and it is for people who are allergic to substances and they use this stuff and it protects. I use surgical gloves and this stuff. I forget the first word...maybe liquid. Anyway, what a process you went through. My blog is called Living Outside The Box for the very reason you describe. And yet when I study (2 BA 2 MA Ph.D) I am so rule bound. So I get ya so much. If that is who you are, so be it. G-d made you so that is who you are meant to be...don't change because your art is fantastic and comes from the pit obviously of who you are because it is mysteriously wonderful and unique. I love what you share about the internal journey you went through and the art process. one of the interesting posts of the day! Your art is intensely vibrant. The colors just penetrate. As someone who lives outside the box, I know for me it takes a few weeks to absorb things then boom...i'm off to the races. It is this way with workshops etc. because of being kinesthetic. Maybe same for you? We are interesting creatures, we artist people. Whatever you do...just do it! It is gorgeously fantasticismo, in my one person's opinion! Lovies, Samara

windycindy said...

How gorgeous, your work is...
I didn't know you were into rescue
work! My brother was a veterinarian for 33 years, before he passed away in 2000. We are big time into animals. Thanks for sharing your art experiences...Cindi