back to my roots

 |  August 27, 2010

Last weekend I went back to my creative roots and worked on mixed media journal covers. I finally finished binding them up last night and put them up at today.

mixed media
6×8 inch handbound blank journal

When I first started on my creative path, I began with making journals. It was something I always did for myself and journaling was always something I have done. It was a natural extension of me. Then I started creating collages on the covers, and that felt right. If you click here you can see my earliest mixed media collage journals I made, starting in 2002. Creating so many mixed media panels reawakened the desire in me to paint and it also allowed for me to grow creatively and gain the confidence in myself that I could paint. In 2006 I started to paint and begain to show and sell my paintings that year. (I can’t believe it’s only been 4 years!)

mixed media
6×8 inch handbound blank journal

I have made *a lot* of mixed media panels for journals since 2002. When I started working on them last weekend, it all came back to me. Kind of like putting on a really worn in, old, favorite pair of slippers. For me, creating these panels is a different brain process than when I paint, even though I use mixed media techniques in my larger paintings. When I create my collages, I feel like a sifter. My drawers that are filled with papers, photographs, transers are all open and spilling out onto the floor. Bins filled with torn pieces of paper that I thought looked too interesting to throw away surround me. All I do is pick up pieces of this and that and somehow it all sort of falls into place.

The four books that I made last week found me translating some of the symbols and imagery that I have been exploring in my paintings. Creating these panels really helped to work things out in my head, clarify the direction that I’m going in. My panels have always served that purpose for me as well- working out ideas, exploring imagery before I go bigger with canvas. An exploratory playground for larger pieces.

At one point, while I was sewing the sticks above to the canvas panel, I looked at my hands- my fingers were covered in paint and glue as I pulled the threaded needle up and down through the holes I had drilled through the covers. How many times in the past had I looked down at my hands like this? So many…but it had been a long time since my eyes had rested upon my hands in this way. And it felt right. I jsut love to combine paint with different textures, thread, papers, sticks even.

This is me.


  1. by Kelly Jeanette on August 28, 2010  2:09 am Reply

    I understand this post completely. My hands are always covered in glue and paint also and I also have bits and pieces of paper, cloth, and just things stashed thoughout the house.

    You have such a creative mind and unique style. You have gave me the wish to try my hand at encaustic some day when I can afford to. It's sometimes mindblowing to look back and see how far we have come as artists, but it is also fun to regress to the more simple styles we had at first. It brings back the reason we first began making art.

    hugs and have a great weekend.

  2. by Sharmon Davidson on August 28, 2010  9:52 am Reply

    I understand the feeling of "rightness" you speak of here. I think most artists feel most completely themselves when creating; after all, "gluey hands are next to God" (I may have changed this quote a bit from the original :) ) These journal covers are so completely you, from what I have seen. I see the same spiritual and symbolic qualities in them as I do in your encaustics, as well as the same excellent workmanship. Your work always inspires me.

  3. by ArtPropelled on August 29, 2010  2:39 am Reply

    Another lovely contemplative post. I get the feeling that you are writing your thoughts in these glorious journals. Gather is particularly beautiful.

  4. by Kathleen on September 1, 2010  11:21 am Reply

    Shoot! I missed them! I am always looking for special journals and yours are the MOST wonderful! I hope to buy some soon!

  5. by smith kaich jones on September 2, 2010  7:02 pm Reply

    I am painting again. It has been a long time - I counted up the other day & it has been 15 months. The canvases I'd prepared were stacked & waiting, new ones just propped against the walls, and I stopped. I have never been able to paint while depressed, sad, whatever, and I am glad to find myself moving past these last 2 hard years.

    And so I come here and you are back to your roots - your gorgeous roots, may I say. And I get it - my hands need to get messy.

    Bless you for such heartfelt work.


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