hello 2010!

After the euphoria of welcoming the new year, the lovely dinner with friends, the fun times with friends and family in snowy cold Boston.. the reality sets in. Back home cleaning up after the festivities, getting ready for more (Russian Christmas), doing loads and loads of laundry...one can really hit the winter doldrums...

My antidote? To see what I accomplished in 2009 and plan for 2010! So while I cannot possibly come up with a list as extensive as Lisa's (my head can't handle that much, but she always inspires me to do more), I have come up with a small list of my own:

~ I created 26 new artworks.
~ I made 30 4"x4" pieces for an art exchange with a group of artists that I belong to.
~ among those 26 new pieces are three that are part of the figure series that I am really excited about.
~ and also among those new pieces are three larger new artworks for the St. Pete series that I am still passionate about
~ I reworked nine old okoshechki/little windows pieces that I wasn't happy with.
~ I had work accepted into 10 juried exhibitions
~ one of those exhibitions is Art Quilt Elements (which still makes me want to pinch myself!)
~ I sold two pieces of art!
~ I taped a DVD for Cloth Paper Scissors Workshop!!!
~ I wrote two online tutorials for Quilting Daily
~ I answered interview questions for Embellishments Newsletter from Quilting Arts Magazine
~ I taped a segment for Quilting Arts TV Series 500
~ I designed and made costumes for Russian school Christmas play
~ I designed and am still working on costumes for the new Russian school Christmas play
~ I attended a workshop with Jane Davila
~ I spent five weeks in St. Petersburg, Russia with my children
~ I spent a week on Hawai'i for our second honeymoon
~ I shepherded a second grader and kindergartener (my most important job!)
~ I took figure drawing classes for a semester
~ and I kept a sketch journal everyday....

OK so not too shabby... I feel better now! Thanks for indulging me.

Now I am ready to dive into 2010 with enthusiasm! I have chosen my word for the year, well, two actually ~ CLARITY and PURPOSE. Those are two things that I want to achieve in 2010 for my art. Which path do I want to pursue? Why do I want to pursue it? To get myself going on this I sighed up for a Blast Off class with Alyson Stanfield which starts tomorrow (aack!!)

Now you are probably wondering what that old journal sketch from last January is doing up there at the top of the post? I'll tell ya. I will not be doing a daily sketch journal this year or a weekly journal quilt. I decided to do monthly journal art quilts. I plan to choose a journal sketch from the corresponding month of 2009 and use it as inspiration for a monthly diptych in 2010. So that red sketch up there is the inspiration for January 2010 journal diptych. How will I translate it? What size will it be? Those are all good questions that I will find an answer to this month. And whatever parameters I choose, I will keep for the rest of the year.

There. That's the plan. What's your plan?

2009 a year in review...

Let's start with the easy part.. the sketch journal review! I took the time after finishing the last journal sketch today to put together this collage of all my journal sketches for the year..(it was a good way to pass the time while waiting for a plane to land..ahem..) Of course going through them one by one made me want to make different arrangements of them: abstract, pattern, shoes, leaves, doodles... maybe one day when I am delusional or have lots of time to waste I'll do that. Doubtful!
Anyhow, I am glad to have this project completed, it feels like a good accomplishment. And at the same time I wish I was a bit more relaxed about it and skipped a few days.. When I try this again (in a few years) I'll try to remember that!
Wishing you all again a wonderful Happy New Year full of health, happiness and creativity!!! Thank you for reading this blog!
Now off to celebrate!!!

december journal sketches...

.... so far...
I've been rather abstract. Mostly doodling, mostly due to lack of time. Had an up and down phase, in geometric and watery swooshes.
Had a pink, yellow and purple phase with delicate little doodles. And a bright yellow, red, orange phase from simple to more complex. Stay tuned to what the rest of December brings. I'd like to know too...

journal sketches.. or collages?

I have been in the mood to collage with magazine pages in my journal lately. Here are three that I am happy with. Last week I also doodled with water-soluble crayons, fast and fun. Something prompted me to count the remaining pages in my journal ~ the looming end of the year? I was surprised to find out that I was quite a few short. I knew that I wouldn't have enough pages, but somehow I thought it would be just a few days. Turns out it will be a few weeks! What a mathematician I am...... now I have to figure out a way of adding pages to my already burgeoning book. But I shall procrastinate on that until the end of the month because I can! so there...

creative everyday

I have joined scores of artists for Creative Everyday Month of November. As some of you know I have been creative (almost) everyday so far in 2009 by keeping my sketch journal going, but this is an incentive for me to post everyday from my journal or about other art that I have been working on.
So happy November 1st! It's my favorite time of the year, and as you can see in my journal pages I have been hugely influenced by the glorious colors of autumn...
do you think I am fond of yellow? don't answer that.....

journal sketches

Once again it's been quite sometime since I have posted my journal sketches. The good news is that I have been keeping up with them pretty well. The bad news is that as I am nearing toward the end of the year (can you believe it!!!) I am feeling a bit tired of the self imposed sketch orders. I am already thinking of what I should and should not do next year...
Here the round up of some of my favorites..

I did geometric abstractions...
waves and swirls....
figure sketches...Hawai'i was well represented..and of course autumn is here now... So here's what I am thinking about for next year... Plenty of ideas have already been tossed aside and here are a few I am still contemplating.
~First is to take the year off from journaling of any kind. Gasp!
~Second is to do monthly journal quilts and just sketch casually but regularly.
~ and third..weeeelllll....I just don't know....I am open to suggestions, anyone have any good ideas out there?? I would welcome them...


journal sketches, remember those?

Despite the craziness of the last few weeks I have actually kept up with my journal sketches. I had no time but for a few minutes each day, but what matters is that I did them. I am only bummed a bit that I didn't take the time to gesso every page, things would have looked better. oh well...
My journal seemed to have taken on a life of it's own that had nothing to do with mine. Here are some of my favorites. First we had fashion week in water-soluble crayons:
Then we had shoe week in pen and colored pencils: And then we jumped into a nature week in colored pencils: I'll be updating my Picasa album shortly, so if want to see all my journal sketches just click on the sidebar.

I have not been forgetting...

... my journal sketches. I've actually been quite good about making them everyday. I've been sketching with markers, watercolor pencils, watercolors and making collages. I can't scan them in, so I took pictures of my favorites. Yes those are my stubby fingers you see...

doodalicious...

I've been doodling on my journal pages again. Finding moments of meditative calm in the wirlwind summer days. Think I might have been inspired by fireworks in some of these. Things are crazy around here with kids at home, various trips, packings, unpackings, loads of laundry... that reminds me! gotta do laundry... sigh...

cat...

I do not remember the last time I drew a cat. Must have been in high school.. But down in North Carolina, a friendly neighborhood cat presented the opportunity to me. Every now and then when she would tire of allowing my children to pet her, she would lounge around long enough for me to do a quick sketch. Thus my journal sketches for those days... I better practice some more! I am experimenting with watercolor pencils, it's fun.

new work and journals

Wow... it's been a while.. sorry! But I have got stuff to show! First I did a bunch of small new works that I was pretty happy with. My friend challenged me to create some new work using techniques that I have not used in a while. It was a challenge, but I persevered and was quite happy with the outcome. I can't show what I did because it's for a top secret project, but I did keep a piece all to myself 'cause I liked it so much. I can show that one without discussing the techniques, sorry. This is Piterskoie Okno/St. Pete Window 19:
My journal pages have lately been off shoots of projects I have been working on. I was printing dryer sheets and used the scraps in these two: Then I needed a fence for another project. I altered a photograph of mine in Photoshop to print on TAP sheets and these are my test printouts that I glued into my journal. I took a two day workshop with Jane Davila and carved stamps in it, that became fodder for my last few pages. As of tonight I am almost packed and ready for drive tomorrow to North Carolina. The girls and I are visiting my parents. I wonder what journal pages will NC inspire in me. I'm ready for that...

another journal round up

I seem to be playing a lot of catch up lately... who knew June would such a busy month? But it is as it is full of end-of-the-school-year activities and deadlines.
For ease of mind I went back to doodling on a few journal pages:
Then I was in the mood for tissue paper collage and water-soluble crayons: How will the mood strike me next? Tune in to find out during the next journal catch up segment..........

journal sketch round up...

Here's what I've been up to with my journal sketches... I did a few more abstracts, just doodling on gessoed pages with water-soluble crayons. Here's my favorite of that bunch: and then I was challenged to paint roses, so I chose watercolors on gessoed paper.. hmmm... not my best work, but it was fun. And now I'm behind a few days, the pages are prepped, but the sketches not done. I'll get there...

psychedelic?

...landscapes... is what my journal sketches seem to have become.. don't ask. I do not know why. But I am having fun with them. Still using acrylic gesso and paint as a base for water-soluble crayons. Try it, you might like it too...

journal sketches

Here's what I've been up to in my journal lately. I have been combining acrylic white gesso with acrylic paint and using that as a base on my journal pages, painting the pages a few days ahead. I did a couple of wimpy abstracts which I will not bore you with. Then I moved on to negative space again in a different way. I am not doing exact renderings or realistic color, just having fun with shapes and colors. Using water-soluble crayons to draw with and then smudging with a wet finger.
Oh and I have been doing some work in my studio, mainly stitching away furiously by hand and machine. Nothing finished, everything still in progress and unfortunately many interruptions. But here are two teaser pictures.. When you get a moment, go take a look at my friend Vivien's blog, she's got exciting news to share! I'm so proud of her!

back to abstract

I got tired of reality... well in my sketchbook anyway! So the last few days I have been working with abstract imagery. And experimenting with acrylic gesso with added acrylic paint for the base. It is interesting to see what effects I get with water colors and a really wet brush or water soluble crayons and pencils on the acrylic base. Here is a selection:
Have a great weekend everyone!

negative space

A comment by Kristin has sent me into negative space... I decided to practice drawing that space a bit more, it is a fun challenge to set for myself.
here's my ironing board...
my industrial bernina...
my workhorse-oldie-but-goodie bernina...
the top of my studio bookcase...
my rubber tree plant..
my kitchen utensils...
Oh and then something prompted me to work some surface design on the cover of my red book. I whipped out my stamps and acrylic paint and went to town. Phew! That was fun...
Look how thick my book is getting and it's not even June yet...

chairs?

Yep, chairs.... I have decided to document the chairs in my house for no apparent reason. Well maybe I was inspired by Elin's chair stamps from last year.
I have been covering the pages with acrylic gesso so that the markers don't show through to the other side. I really like the texture of the gessoed page. I think I'll continue doing that as long as I don't get too lazy.
kitchen stool...
my studio chair...
kitchen chair...
an armchair...
a kids rocker...