I like art that surprises. Art that engages. Art that winks. I want to be let in on the joke. I want to be led down the secret path.
I love finding art in unexpected places. And I love the contrast of an unexpected object that becomes art.
My grandfather's saws hang alongside
my dad's artwork.
Whimsical art for the kitchen. A chronology of breakfast cereals.
A mural painted on the side of a barn in a tiny, rural town. Seen only by the owners and their occasional visitors, this giant canvas celebrates Dusty, the llama and Dali.
The side of an abandoned building covered in chalkboard and outfitted with chalk and an invitation to dream. Created by Candy Chang
, public installation artist.
I do my daily journaling in a utilitarian, college-ruled, spiral notebook. These ritual morning pages
are really meant to blow off steam and negative energy. Once I've vented I'm freer to exercise my creativity and to journal for pleasure. I love this fun, colorful and artistic format--the artist journal. This kind of journal is an ongoing process which can involve as many layers of creativity--bookmaking, painting, collage, writing, illustrating, journaling--as you like. A no-rules journal for your doodles or dreams. It is a journal of improvisation--a true creative playground.
My introduction to Artist Journals was a journal-making session at one of Teesha Moore's amazing Artfest
retreats. We learned to make our journal from scratch by removing the pages from a used book, re-covering the book boards, and binding in sets of blank pages. However, it is not essential to build your own journal. Try using an artist's sketchbook or making an altered journal by painting, pasting and journaling right over the pages of a used book. Whatever you choose, it's important to make it beautiful. This is a treasure you're making for yourself!
My journal. Book covered with printed paper. Collage of music paper, transparency, ribbon, clay medallions and gold leaf.
I love to layer my pages. I usually start with a base of water soluble crayons or pencils and blend the colors. After that I'll paste photos or magazine clippings, add more layers of paint (modeling paste creates great texture) and 3D objects. And sometimes I add words, quotations or even fortunes from last night's take-out dinner. After that the entire page can be antiqued, glazed or glittered if that's your thing. Creating one page can take a couple of days with all the layers and drying time. That's OK--because you get a chance to create every day.
Go ahead and scribble. Feeling rebellious, I experimented with an ugly Valentine.
Layers upon layers. I like to paint right over some of the collage elements. It's a good way to keep a secret.
I've included some of my favorite journal artists in my library
like Dan Eldon and Sabrina Ward Harrison. If you're intrigued by Artist Journals look for their books in the library. Here are a couple more inspiring artists.
Teesha Moore's journals are explosions of color. See more samples of Teesha's journal pages here.
Karen Michel's are artfully concise and often include some of her altered photographs. Read more about Karen here.
Explore your dream life, visit your past, journal your future in an interactive, colorful way. Try an Artist Journal. For more photos check the Artist Journal album
on Beyond-Do Re Mi's Facebook Page.
Happy Mother's Day! This is my traditional weekend to start working in the garden. Gardening is an excellent form of creative play. Digging in the dirt triggers memories of the sandbox and mud pies. The rewards are plentiful. Flowers delight with color and texture. Herbs awaken our senses. Vegetables nourish. Beauty and fertility--what maternal symbols!
Garden boxes waiting for seeds and plants.
My parents always had a garden with a border of strawberries. My brother picked quart after quart and logged the production on a piece of notebook paper. The faded page remains on the side of my dad's fridge to this day. My mother took up herb gardening once her nest was empty. I loved to walk through the garden with her, brushing the leaves and inhaling the scents--spicy, pungent, floral.
My first garden was also an herb garden. Built in a far-away town, it was an homage to my mother's herb gardens. My way to throw toil and creativity into a living connection to my mother. The crescent-shaped garden bordered with stones was brimming with basil, chives, chamomile and scented geraniums. The path was lined with thyme and lamb's ear. Tending the perfumed herbs shortened the distance between us.
These days I grow veggies in a set of raised beds. Garden boxes built by my son--a Mother's Day present given 5 years ago. What a lovely gift! He built them in an afternoon so you know it's an easy project. We bought the materials at Home Depot where they even cut the lumber for us. Each box uses four pieces of 1 x 12s. The corners are joined with deck screws. We cleared and leveled the area and put down landscape fabric, placed the bottomless boxes on top and filled with soil. My husband helped with some additions over the years. We now have five boxes which he enclosed with chicken wire to keep out the rabbits. Gates make it easy to work inside the boxes.
The productive garden.
A favorite gardening book is one my father gave me, In the French Kitchen Garden
by Georgeanne Brennan. Full of ideas for a year-round garden, this book also features charming illustrations, garden plans and recipes.