Friday, February 27, 2009

Journal Covers

Thought it was time I post some recent artwork. I have really enjoyed painting composition book covers to use as journals or notetaking notebooks. Here's my first one.

It's hardly any good but I love it. It represents a growing bravery and freedom in my art. I have always loved Impressionism with it's loose and broad brush strokes, it's generalization of objects. But I was always so rigid in my painting, enslaved by a fear of imperfection. After all these years away from art, when I picked up a brush again I deliberately chose to be loose, broad, and general. And forgiving. I wanted a photo of Alaska on it but didn't know how I would paint around it. When I found this out of focus photo of the AlCan Highway I was really attracted to it. My husband took it out the windshield. It would go perfectly with the messy and very imperfect job I knew I would do of painting. The photo just seemed to call for the rest of the cover to become part of the image.

I am loving copper and turquoise lately so I decided to paint this next cover to look like patina-ed copper. It looks much better in person. I took the photo before I painted the label with the word "Sundays". It is the journal I use to take notes in at church. Unfortunately, because I had been using the book for a year already, I forgot to Gesso it before I began painting. The first time I used it (last Sunday) the paint on the binding started cracking and peeling off! So now I'm in trouble. I'll probably have to go back and Gesso over at least the binding tape. So far so good on the cardboard parts.

Next is my favorite. My husband takes all the best photos but this one is all mine. I love birch trees. I'm kind of proud of this photo because it sold once already. Someone actually bought one of MY photos! MY framed photograph is hanging in someone's home! That feels pretty cool. I also like this photo because it represents to me the importance of being open to observing your surroundings with fresh eyes every moment. We were at a certain place taking photos of Denali (Mt. McKinley) for quite awhile. After shooting Denali - THE photo destination - I realized how easy it would be to not see anything else. When walking back to the car I intentionally stopped and turned around, looking for any other possible photos. I turned and there they were. This beautiful stand of birch on a hill just above my head. For the binding I used some birch bark my husband brought home for me a couple years ago. (That was not fun. I used E6000 glue and man, that stuff not only stinks, not only is carcenogenic, but it's super tacky and nearly impossibly messy! But it is also wonder glue.) And yes, I'll probably run into problems again with opening and actually using the book. I'll have to be careful in deciding it's use.

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