07 December 2007

Inspiration, Journaling and the Blank Canvas

A loyal and dedicated merry band of art quilters meets at The Country Quilter on the first Thursday of every month and last night's meeting was rousing and inspiring. Our professional topic of conversation was visual journaling. Several members have been journaling this past year and they've inspired the rest of us to give it a go for next year. It's a good time to start planning a long range art project with January fast approaching.

Now that the Journal Quilt Project is officially over it seemed like a good time to launch our own initiative. Some of us are planning to create something once a week, and some once or twice a month. We discussed the advantages of creating a set of self-imposed "rules" or a framework to lend structure to your results. Rules can be things like a theme, a common size or orientation, a medium, a color palette or a combination of things. And since they're self-imposed, you can change what doesn't work if you need to. I've decided on a common size and base - a 6" x 6" x 1.5" pre-stretched canvas is my starting point for every piece - and I plan to mix media at whim. I ordered and received a big box of the canvases so I'm ready to go.

For the meeting I researched artists who journal and post their results on their sites or blogs. Some ambitious souls journal every day!

Jeanne Williamson is an art quilter who has been journaling since 1999.

Randel Plowman creates a 4" x 4" collage every day and offers it for sale on his blog.

Teesha Moore offers a wonderful peek into her process with a look at her journal pages. She also includes a link to an article about journaling and techniques.

Noah Scalin is making a skull image every day for a year!

I also compiled a list of sites that offer challenges and prompts to get you started.

Think Monday, Think ATC presents theme ideas once a week for atcs.

Monthly Postcards and Fluffy Fatbottom's Twisted Tuesday are two challenge sites for those who love making fiber postcards.

Theme Thursday is a paper art challenge site.

For the photography enthusiasts, here are two sites, Moody Monday and See it Sunday.

Mixed Media Monday is just what it sounds like. 4x4 Fridays and Skinny Saturday are both size-restricted challenges.

And finally, Inspire Me Thursday and Illustration Friday offer prompts that you can interpret in any medium you wish.

Most of these sites encourage you to upload your results to a blog or photo-sharing site and post a link for viewers. The feedback and comments can be helpful and validating, and the connections built between artists can be enriching.


melanie said...

I went to most of the sites on the list after the meeting last night (quite merrily, if I say so myself). The skinny staurday lady has bolted. A message comes up announcing that the authior has withdrawn the site.

j.dávila said...

Maybe she heard that a bunch of art quilters were going to come stampeding over to see what was going on!

Sarah said...

thanks for the links. I like journaling, though I have not devoted enough time to it - but with new years goal setting, now's the time. I can definitely see the benefits of it, for growth and even to try out techniques, and getting through some creative blocks. I'm thinkin' about this one.

Vivien said...

I'm game! I'll try to journal / create a small art quilt piece once a week, starting in the new year. I think it will be a terrific exercise and I look forward to discovering the way my work evolves.

Natalya said...

thanks for all the links Jane! I really enjoyed Teesha's work - wow!
I'll be continuing my weekly journaling journey in the new year along with you...

cindy silverstein said...

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to your beautiful and fascinating blog. I'm definitely going to bookmark this one. Great work Jane!

Laura in Andover MA said...

I participated in the 2003 Journal Quilts in Houston. The experience was part of a major change in my life and my art. This last year was fallow time for me. I would love to join up with you all! It's time to shake things up a bit. LOL

Sandy said...

Jane, quite a list of sites to visit! Thanks. Good post about this... I might have to get at it!

yarngoddess said...

I'll be doing something every month... still deciding what exactly. In 2007 I tried to do a journal quilt each month but I only finished seven of the 12.

Plain Jane said...

I too love the 6" (or smaller) canvases and yours are looking wonderful! They'll make such a lovely display.
gosh, after looking at teesha's pages, i feel like a lazy bum! that girl is amazing in all she does.
I've been visual journaling for over a year now and love it. I want to do it more often...but the days fill so quickly.
Happy Holidays Jane D!!

UrbanWildflowerDolls said...

I made creating small weekly art quilts as one of my art goals for 2008. I call my small quilts exploration quilts. You can find my art goals and two of my art quilts posted on my site: http://www.dgbquilts.wordpress.com I have two more quilts on the table to post. I find this process to be incredible for how it is making me stretch. I learn something from every piece I do. New ideas for series are sprouting up everywhere! Deborah GB