fiber art, Journalfest, Port Townsend, Slow cloth, tapestry, Washington, Washington state, weaving

The Sunrise tapestries

Both were inspired by a spectacular sunrise seen from a bluff at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend, Washington, on Oct. 25, 2009, the morning I left the first Journalfest. Don’t believe the colors? Look here.

Cotton warp, mostly silk weft – some handspun and hand dyed – hanging in wooden shadowboxes. Each tapestry measures about 7 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches.

$360.00 each, will be for sale at Elements Gallery sometime late next week.

This is why I need the hand surgery – I need to hold a needle in my left hand to do this, and I want to weave more in this series.

art, book arts, Journalfest, Port Townsend

Journalfest 2010 Journal

I finally finished my Journalfest journal yesterday while waiting at the doctor’s office. I’m posting some of the pages here in case you think that art journaling is hard or requires special talent or something like that. An art journal is just for you, and it contains a combination of art and writing, or maybe just art that reflects where you’re at or what you’re feeling that day. I mostly use photography in my art journals. I played with a cheap little mini watercolor set with this one too. Some of the pages were not scanned because they contained some personal thoughts or weren’t very legible.

I did some of the pages at Journalfest and added them in later. Since I didn’t realize I would decide to use this particular journal, they had to be cut down to fit. And I didn’t want to cut down the pages I made in Orly Avineri’s class, so they are not included, but I included photos of them in the making.

Sometimes I thought that a page looked awful and then when I looked at it the next day it looked so much better. So always hang on to the pages you don’t like for a little while. You can always work over them if you decide that your first impression was correct.

The pages are different sizes and shapes. Sometimes I added business cards to the edges and folded the edge of the page over. Sometimes I glued stuff in. I used two-sided tape. I made pockets for treasures. I cut pages into shapes that suited me. If I messed up, I colored or collaged over my mistakes, or I left them there. It’s my journal. I make mistakes and I’m cool with that.

art retreats, book arts, Journalfest, Port Townsend, Washington state

Journalfest 2010

Journalfest was, as expected, another awesome experience. I flew to Seattle and took a shuttle bus over to Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend, Washington. The town itself is beautiful and if I did nothing but walk its beaches and explore its shops and restaurants for a week, I’m sure that I would have been happy. However, I got to combine this beautiful place with inspiring art classes with three top instructors and great food!

The first day I took Painted Pocket Journals with Roxanne Padgett. This is taking me in more of the direction that I’m interested in exploring – fabric/fibers combined with book arts. We painted and stenciled fabric with gesso and acrylic paints, then stitched and fused them together to make folded covers for books. Pure play for me, and I loved it so much that I forgot to take photos. Sorry! But I did take a photo of the journal that I made for Journalfest in this class. I will be filling it with my thoughts, photos, and drawings of Journalfest. I have many ideas for this as far as little cloth journals for sale on Etsy and at the Indie Market.

Thursday evening brought a bonfire on the beach and a journaling party in the building next to it, heated by a woodstove. Believe it or not, I think that I had my first s’more at this party. I don’t remember ever eating a s’more before. I’ve camped a lot, but mostly in 18th century reenactments, and I’ve never been fond of marshmallows. Yes, it was good!

Because I was on East Coast time, I woke up before dawn every day and wandered out to the beach to take photos as the sun came up. I explored past the limits of the state park this time so that I was legally allowed to gather beach stones. Here is my favorite photo, taken on Friday morning before Orly Avineri’s “Mapping Me” class.

On Friday afternoon after class, I walked a mile up a steep hill and back down into downtown Port Townsend for dinner. I had company. The deer in Port Townsend are like squirrels here – everywhere and quite used to people. Unfortunately, most of the town there rolls up the sidewalks at 6 p.m. so I wasn’t able to explore the galleries. I did get to eat a delectable, decadent seafood/wild mushroom pasta at the Fountain Cafe.

I could hardly hope for better weather that they had when I was there. It was chilly, but mostly sunny and I was able to see the mountains clearly across the water. A local that I met on the beach told me of a good place to find sea glass, so I set out in the dark. I didn’t make it to that beach, but I watched the sunrise sitting on a rock below Point Wilson Lighthouse before I realized that I had been so enrapt in the beauty that I didn’t notice that I was very underdressed and freezing! It is hard to take good photos when your hands are shaking.

So I went back for breakfast and Jody England Hansen’s “Finding Your Niche” class.

This class was good for me – I really want to include found objects in my work, and so I’ve been trying on my own to create niches and doors. I’m not very good at the technique. I wasn’t very good at it in this class, either, so I won’t post the photo of one work in progress until I get a chance to get it to a point where I’m happy with it. Jodi gave me a lot of useful information and good advice though. She has arthritis in her hands so has the same issues that I have with pain. She repeated, “Persuade the fibers to part,” don’t fight with them. In other words, make many light strokes with the craft knife instead of bearing down and getting in a hurry. We also poured resin over objects in shells and niches – what fun! I can’t wait to play more with resin!

I’ve been saving this book to use for my Alaska journal – I made rather a mess with another one its size on my own, trying to make niches in the text block. Jodi used it for a demo and promptly removed the text block, saying that it was perfect for a box. It turns out she was exactly right, and I now have a great structure to contain my Alaska travel journal and some stones and other natural items that I picked up on the trip. I’ll take another photo when I’m done collaging and painting it.

I felt powerful and blessed and courageous and strong on this trip.

Now I am ready for Journalfest 2011!

art, book arts, Journalfest, Port Townsend

L.K. Ludwig

I took two classes from L.K. Ludwig because I love her book Mixed Media Nature Journals so much and I couldn’t decide which class I wanted to take. She is teaching a monthly online photo journaling class – it’s not too late to sign up because it begins November 1! Take a look at her blog here for the description: The Poetic Eye

Here are a few photos of her and her work from Journalfest.

coffee pot posts, critters, Journalfest, Port Townsend

Saturday morning coffee pot post

Oh, have I been looking forward to this morning. No real plans, other than to study for my exam on Monday and to get materials ready for this week’s trip to Journalfest in Port Townsend, Washington.

Guido is galloping around the house like a racehorse. He is 13 years old and still a kitten. Lucy has become much more of an attention-seeker and purrs very loudly often, which is nice. Miss Jazz is Miss Jazz, queen bee, petite and haughty to the other cats, insistent on constantly sitting on top of us. I saw a cat at Petsmart yesterday that was the exact image of Squirt, face, size, coloring, everything. It was hard to walk away. I still dream of Squirt nearly every night and think about him every day. I wish that I could let him go.

My hand is not broken, and my arm and fourth finger feel much better. It is the pinkie and the muscles on that side of my hand that are still painful, and pain relievers have not helped, even strong doses. I can type without too much pain but I’m not going to push it today. I wanted to make paper but I decided that I’d better wait until this gets better.

Sandy found his wedding ring. He had taken it off his ring finger and put it on his pinkie because it was getting too tight. When he was packing to come home it must have fallen into the suitcase.

It is supposed to get down in the high thirties here this weekend so I’ll make a serious push on the butterbeans and field peas to get the last of them. The field peas slowed down a week or so ago but the butterbeans keep going until the frost gets them. I had a delicious second wave of figs but not nearly as many. My carrots were very disappointing, and almost all that lettuce seed I planted was carried off by ants or the seedlings eaten. I dug up a handful of small Yukon Gold potatoes. I’ve harvested a few very small heads and side shoots of broccoli, enough to make a few dishes from. I have a little patch of tatsoi and other greens, Tuscan kale, lots of parsley, and one lonely golden chard in a pot. The tendergreens that I planted in the spring made a comeback. I’ll have to pick some for Lucy and Miss Jazz. They love them.

A lot of these failures could have been avoided if I had put a bit more effort into it, but this has been the year of the lazy gardener at my house.

I realized that if I wanted to get any classes that I wanted at Art & Soul in Hampton, Virginia in May, I’d better go ahead and sign up. So I contacted my roomie from last year, and signed up for two book classes under two teachers that I haven’t had before, as well as a fun printing technique class from Traci Bunkers called Roller Printing MacGyver Style. I’ve taken a couple of Traci’s classes before and I enjoy her funky free-wheeling style.

But this coming week IS THE WEEK! On Wednesday morning, I will be flying all by my little lonesome to Seattle, where I’ll get on a shuttle bus to Port Townsend, to take a class from Daniel Essig and two classes from LK Ludwig, two book artists that I greatly admire! Journalfest is all about art journaling and takes place at Fort Worden State Park, a former military installation on a spit of land sticking out into the Puget Sound. All I’ll have to think about is making art and I’ll meet a lot of like-minded artists at this one.