Monday, April 18, 2011

The Transitions Begin...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments and messages to my last post - it is a very exciting time for me and the transitions are just beginning! Luckily, I was able to participate in a fabulous art journal workshop that was a great way to kick-start the transitions taking place in my life...

On Saturday, I attended an art journal workshop hosted by Orly Avineri who taught an art journal class at the Artful Journey Retreat I attended in February. I wasn't in her class, but when I saw the final projects of her students, I knew I would find a way to take a class from her. On the last day of classes, after the student show and tell, I ran into Orly in the lunchroom at the retreat and we began to talk. It turns out that she lives in Redondo Beach, which is not very far from me. Furthermore, she hosts a monthly art journal workshop in her home and when she described the previous workshop she hosted before the retreat, I was enthralled! We exchanged contact  info and before I knew it, I was on my way to learn some art journal techniques...

Transition into Shapes Workshop for Spring
The workshop began with everyone being asked to go outside and find a place in nature to sit quietly. We were each given a scroll that was to be opened after we had settled ourselves and were ready to open and read the message contained within the scrolls. We were then to pick a blooming flower, cut it and bring it back to the table we were going to work at. Here is the location I sat in front of, to get quiet and contemplate the beauty of Nature:

It was lovely to sit in front of so many blooming flowers and then I opened my scroll to read the message within:

The scroll of magic and mystery!

I let the message soak into my soul for a few minutes, then I picked and cut a flower to take with me back to the work table:

Colorful and in full bloom - a reflection of how I've been feeling lately!

This opening ritual was very calming and very magical...

We then went through a series of exercises and Orly shared elements of what goes into art and art journaling - line, shape, color, texture/pattern and TEXT, the final element that makes mixed media art into art journaling.

I don't feel that I am much of an art journaler and said so, but when I spoke of my mixed media/collage art books that I've created, Orly stated that it is a way of art journaling. It's not always about words and all acts of creating are a form of journaling ourselves...I really liked that outlook! 

Using a book was a requirement for this workshop, no loose pages were allowed, so I was happy to have found this beautiful unopened journal at a Goodwill Thrift Shop the day I returned from the Artful Journey Retreat. I think now that this journal was meant just for this purpose of learning the elements of art journaling...


I worked in watercolor for this workshop and had the opportunity to learn how to use watercolor pencils from Orly's collection of supplies. I also used some new super fine tipped pens I bought for this workshop - I loved using them to copy the message of my scroll around the shapes of the flower renderings I had made...

My two-page spread in process...

 My two page spread incorporating line, shape, color and texture/pattern...

One of the students brought some feathers and birds nests that we used as models to work from - here is how they looked in the basket she had brought them in:

I loved the rustic look of this collection of Nature...

and here is my interpretation of them:

I'll be adding some written text to this two-page spread soon and call it "Feathering the Nest"!

It was fun to work very specifically with exercises in the beginning and then be given more freedom as the exercises progressed until we were given the freedom to approach the next two-page spread as we wanted. It would allow us to assimilate and incorporate everything we had just learned into our own personal style of working...it's a great way to learn new art techniques!

I also met some great folks who are all on their path of Artistry and discussions of what life as an Artist could look like took place, as well as sharing reflections on how life is too short to get bogged down in things that do not serve you...

It was a wonderful way to reflect on Spring and all that Spring means:

transitions *  renewal *  rebirth

I was exactly where I needed to be...


Orly will be teaching at Journalfest taking place at Port Townsend, Washington in October - check out her blog to see what and where she's teaching or peek at her local teaching schedule if you're in the Los Angeles area. I also recommend watching her art journal videos - her work is just AMAZING and she is an inspirational teacher and artist!

4 comments:

Diana said...

Sounds like it was very inspiring for you, Monica! Your journal pages are beautiful, too.

Kathryn Hansen said...

i'm not one to draw in my journal..i just write, but that looks really fun!!

it's fun to see your journey as i feel i am one the same page as you...looking for opportunities instead of a new job!! so interested where it all leads you!!

oneartistjournal said...

Monica, beautiful images, stunning and delicate journal pages, your coverage of the 'event'...magical...I wish I was there...haha
XOXOrly

Kat @ I Saw You Dancing said...

What a heavenly (or should that be "earthly!) journal you've made, Monica. Welcome back! Your musings on creativity and the art-full life have been sorely missed.
I'm thrilled that this is a time for new beginnings for you, and can see that you are open to all the gifts this may entail.
Much love,
Kat x