Category Archives: Inspiration

Continuing journey


A week ago, I was driving home from Rupert, VT, just having finished my second Collage Journeys workshop with Jane Davies. It's an intense five days (three full days and two half days) but an absolute gold mine of inspiration and direction. Jane is a great teacher and I've learned a ton both years. The theme was working in series, and we had several series in the works by the end of the week.

Here's the venue, the Rupert firehouse, and Jane dispensing pearls of wisdom during a break.

Here are a few of my 4x4s, all works in progress (they aren't busy enough yet!)


Here are a couple of cruciform studies. These are probably busy enough, but also not finished.


I have lots of stuff to work on and more directions to take. Such a great time!


Heart days


Got Dina Wakley’s new book, Art Journal Freedom, last week and I think it’s the best art book buy I’ve ever made. It’s kind of funny because when it became available for preorder on Amazon I ordered it because I like her style; I didn’t realize it was based on lessons in composition (I know, read the subtitle!) and color. I think I do okay with color (orange obsession aside) but I need help with composition; too much left-brain influence. I like Dina’s writing style, too. It’s intelligent, engaging, and encouraging, a combination that seems hard to achieve.
I started a journal page based on the second chapter (the first chapter is a materials list, good stuff for beginners), then discovered my lovely squares are too big for the page. Oops, oh well, as Dina says! I used scraps to make rectangles (so my page has asymmetrical symmetry) and I started a canvas to use with the squares.
Here’s the journal page. More photos of the rest on the DRCH Studio Facebook page


A little more bookmaking


This is my design notebook for 2012. I have an 8×10 shop pad (actually, I have several) from Lee Valley Tools that I use for ideas, doodles, designs, lists, techniques, notes, snide comments, quotes, fiendish plans, recipes, calligraphy practice, shipping confirmation numbers, reminders…it sits on the arm of my chair and I tear sheets off and save them, eventually collecting them in a spiral-bound notebook for the year. Last year’s cover aptly features stenciling with spray paints.

I suppose this is an art journal of sorts. It’s a record of what I’m working on and planning to work on, and I keep looking back and getting ideas.



This spread was for the Fall Fearless & Fly challenge #5. My favorite color from childhood, pink, and my favorite color now, orange, were already part of the gelatin print on the left-hand page. I thought about the subject of heroes and did some journaling on the right page. I remember reading about Harriet Tubman in about fourth grade or so, and wondering how anyone could survive being a slave, and how brave she was to lead slaves to freedom over and over. The word ‘hero’ is overused, but someone who risks life or freedom to help others will always be a hero.

I chose the phrase to integrate the number 4 embedded in the collage; it’s a stencil from a wooden house number. And yes, it is a double entendre.


Fearless into the future


Here’s my entry for the Fall Fearless and Flychallenge. This looked like some fun inspiration and I was ready to get into some warm colors. I had a challenge for myself to use more red this year and this helped as a reminder. I made a useful discovery, too: graphite doesn’t stick to India ink. ๐Ÿ˜‰


Inspiration out front


Took a few photos in the garden beds out front. The iPad isn’t a great camera (mine, anyway) but I like having a cache of photos of colors and textures from nature for inspiration or to use as backgrounds or image transfers. It’s also good eye candy in February or March when I’m sick of the winter neutrals.
Incidently, I didn’t plant the sunflowers; the squirrels did…






Couch studio


I do a lot of journaling and detail work while watching TV. Tracing, starting backgrounds, cutting out images; I do all these things while watching rugby, cycling, football…yes, I can watch other people compete all day. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m working on a spread in my 8 x 5 Strathmore Visual Journal here, using the palette from the latest Somerset Studio.

Here’s the tray that sits in the middle of the couch with some of my favorite supplies. That’s Willie over there on the other side. He loves the Tour de France, as you can tell.