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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!