Monday, January 10, 2011

Anything Is Possible

There is a wonderful art series on PBS titled ‘Art21’, which focuses exclusively on contemporary visual art and artists throughout the world. The series includes the Peabody Award-winning biennial series "Art in the Twenty-First Century." You will be able to observe the artists at work, and hear their thoughts as they deal with the physical and visual challenges of achieving their goal.... If you are not busy starting off 2011 creating new art, maybe this series will inspire you. Visit the ART:21 website

I am involved in the Strathmore Visual Journal Online Workshop Series which I wrote about in an earlier post. Journaling in this manner is relatively new to me. I have lots of sketch books filled with notes a few sketches, etc, but I would not consider them visual journals. This workshop is going a little slow as the lessons are posted once a week and we are just working on one page or two pages. There is no input from the instructor, except for the video, so we are at a loss as to what to expect or how far to take our pages. I am having trouble with the supplies we are using, i.e. oil pastels (mine are old) and covering my images with a light coat of gesso. I didn’t thin the gesso down enough and it killed my work. Someone said, “start another one, it’s just paper”…. What??? After all the work I put into it? I wonder if they would say that to Picasso? I don’t put myself in his class, but I do know that I worked very hard on this one and a do over would not be the same. The energy is lost. I’m hoping that the next step will salvage my pages, and as William Kentridge said, “Anything is possible”.


  1. Yes! I love Art 21 and have watched the special on William Kentridge. Fascinating watching him collaborate to obtain his artistic vision.

    As for your workshop... you made me laugh. I am sorry because I'm sure the killing of your work wasn't at all funny, but the way you wrote it was. I've had a similar reaction to the "it's just paper" advise. Come to think of it, I've probably given that advise, but I'll stop short next time.

  2. Yes Pamo, I was trying to be funny, but serious at the same time. The comment came from a friend and I know she was trying to console me, but for some reason It hit me the way I wrote about it.

  3. Art21 is evr fascinating.

    I see, over on the Strathmore workshop web site that by being honest about your experience you're generating some of the most animated there is that benefit get people thinking and communicating.

  4. Hi Donna, I guess my internet dialog is not everyone's cup of tea, but I had problems with some of the techniques and I put it out there hoping to get some solutions. I agree that a lot of us benefited from my mistakes. Your collages are super!

  5. Hi Eva, love the quote and also "Art21" which I watch streaming on NetFlix. Although I was taught to journal decades ago I gave it up and keep it all in my head. It doesn't seem to be my "thing." However, I greatly admire other artists who do this. I see journals as very personal, so editing should be your choice not someone elses. Keep going!

  6. Dear Eva,

    I have been watching the news reports and see that your region is undergoing some very cold temperatures. Even here in northern California it has been rather colder than normal. I just hope you are staying warm.

    Just saw the Strathmore class you signed up for and I am going to look into it myself since I have always wanted to do a journal but never could. It seems I am better at writing then drawing out my feelings.

    Take care my friend,

  7. Kathy, thanks for support and comments. Actually, when I posted my disappointment about the results I had, I was just reporting my experience. My friends reply caught me off-guard. One of the comments was that I needed to fill in the empty spaces I saved for writing. I am not sure I want to show what I will write in them. However, when you are in a workshop and put your work up for all to see, you have to expect a critique.

  8. Hi Egmont,

    Yes, we are snow and iced in. Just hoping our power stays on and there is no emergency as no one can get to us. Atlanta is at a standstill until at least Thursday!!! My desktop computer went down and my son can't get out to get parts to fix it so I'm on my laptop.

    Yes, come aboard. It's mostly scrapbook and beginning artists, so you may be a little disappointed. But it is a different experience and I'm really caught up in trying their techniques. It would be fun to use your cat as a subject matter. Mine is currently leaning toward spirituality and soul searching, so I haven't put any writing in it that I want to share.

  9. I will have to find Art 21--I tried last night but saw nothing on our DirectTV directory. I live in the Bible Belt--if there is nudity, it might be censored and Lawrence Welk will be the replacement.

    I've considered journaling--sounds great but I'm not organized enough to stick with it. I'm better sticking with piles. It's never just paper--I've found that the first (with feeling) is always better than the redo attempt.

  10. Hallie, you can watch this series online! Just go to the link I provided and then click WATCH which will take you to the videos.
    I think there are a lot of us 'pile' keepers. My history is in all of them, plus I get uneasy when I see my stuff on paper. I tear up anything that I have written down. I almost finished 'The Artist's Way' only to quit and tear up everything I wrote. For me it takes more time to create these illustrated pages as it does to paint a painting!

  11. Eva -- I loved reading about your experiences in the journal workshop. I have done some work along those lines -- might I recommend white acrylic rather than gesso? If painted without any water in thin coats, you obtain a similar effect and it dries much faster. Good luck and stay warm! :-)

  12. Hi Kelly, sometimes I wonder if I share too much as I might have given the impression I'm unhappy with the workshop.Honesty I'm not as it has challenged me and I enjoy a challenge. Thanks for the white acrylic tip. I'll try that.


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