Occasional ruminations concerning painted pages, hand bound books, the use of photos in journaling and the contemplation of various other pursuits.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Colorful Fall

 This fall in Colorado has been one of the most amazing color shows of all the autumn seasons we have lived here.  The bright blue skies have been the background for the blazing red, orange, and yellow trees.  We are blessed to live in such a beautiful state.

So very often we do not see the wonderful things in our lives as we run around doing those things we think we have to do.   Take a moment today to look around  you at the beauty in your life where ever you are.

The iPAD app Colorsplash was used to put the color back into the leaf after removing all color from the whole photo.

Friday, November 25, 2011

What is perceived...

This window from a home in Provideniya, Russia can be perceived in a variety of ways.

I can see peeling paint, drab gray in color, echoing the fog and mist that are usual in this far away, forsaken place. Life is so wet, cold, and gray here that living and working here for 10 years earns one a double pension.  There are no roads in or out of the area other than one minor road leading to a small native village.  There are no airplanes in the air.  Only ships coming from the Bering Sea bring people into this formerly important shipping/refueling point.

Diagonal boards draw your eye to the right and left edges of the photo, while vertical boards lead up and down.

One of the window panes has evidently been replaced as the trim is much wider in that area and much different from the rest of the framing.

In the top panes we can see the reflection of another gray Soviet style building across the street.

Yet, in all this drabness, beauty does peak through as evidenced in the lace curtains showing through the bottom panes of our window.

Find beauty in your life today.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Neutrals can be interesting also....

Most of the time the pages I paint for journals evolve into brightly colored folios to be gathered into signatures for the completion of a journal.

Lately, however, after classes with Mary Beth Shaw and Misty Mawn, I am finding neutrals to be a wonderful background to show off the colors in my photos.  The photos supply the bright colors formerly shown on the pages themselves. The photos can also blend into these neutral pages nicely making them look a part of the page rather than merely added onto the surface.

The more neutral backgrounds also offer a wonderful surface for journaling which is sometimes overwhelmed by brighter pages.

Bright or neutral.....what is your choice today?

A book with Albie Smith

Albie Smith is one of my very favorite friends and book binding teachers.  She has a lot of great techniques for painting papers and then forming them into books with unique features and bindings.

Albie is not teaching at a lot of retreats anymore, but you could take some classes with her at her home from time to time.

She is, however, planning on teaching at Art is You in Petaluma, CA next fall, so check out that venue when the site is opened up for registration.

Albie specializes in paper making, paste papers, and book binding and all of her classes are well worth your time and money.

All too often I will make a book in a class and never make it again. I liked this book so much, I made 3 more when I got home. Albie's written directions make it easy to duplicate the class project.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

End of the season

 Every fall brings the death of many plants and flowers.  The stems lose their petals and become bald. Storms batter at the weakened plants and stress them.  This old flower even looks a bit prickly as the softening petals fall away.

 People are just like flowers.  Our parts become weak, our hair falls out. Many days we are very prickly as people around us complain or cause problems. Our tolerance for the storms of life greatly decrease.

Isn't it wonderful that spring brings renewal.  I am waiting with great anticipation!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Just who am I?

I look at many photos from the past and in most cases, I look almost like a different person
in each one.  Some of the photos I hardly believe ARE me, but I know that they are.  This collage made in a class with Jacqueline Sullivan serves as an example of some of the varieties of me.

 When we look in the mirror we see, not reality, but what we perceive.  Our perceptions are greatly colored by our thinking and wishing.  Each person has his own reality and finds it hard to conceive the world he has made is not the same as all the other people's worlds.

It is a weird phenomenon that when I am heavy I see myself as not so bad, and when I lose weight I look so very fat.  When I think I am being informative, another person might think I am way too blunt. (Ask my sister!)

I wonder if I will ever know the real me.....inside and outside.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sudden change can be exciting.....or overwhelming and catastrophic

We had temperatures of 80 degrees and more...and then a day later almost a foot of snow fell on our city. 

The trees still had most of their leaves and the extra weight of the very wet snow was far too much for the limbs to bear. Many residents looked out upon broken limbs lying all around their yards; many trees were too broken to go on living.

The line of trucks and cars with trailers lined up at the recycling center went on for about a mile every day as the residents cleaned up and disposed of the branches that had fallen.

Life can be this way. Sudden changes to our circumstances can overwhelm us and break us. Be filled with faith so that you can go on in the face of adversity and become stronger through your struggles.

Monday, November 7, 2011

My best creation......ever!!

                                           Happy Birthday, Lisa!!!!!    We love you very much. 
              You have become a kind, beautiful, and accomplished daughter, student, wife, and mother.  

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sit a spell....

Some days it is good just to settle down in a quiet place and to contemplate the joys of the day.

Take a book (or Kindle) and read in the calm atmosphere.  Shot some photographs of the vegetation, animals, and birds around you. Pick up a sketch book and a pencil and give sketch journaling a try.  Add some watercolors and writing to finish the page in your journal.

Or do none of these things.  Just sit.   Just be.   Quiet.