Friday, November 29, 2013

Journal Fodder Junkies: The Retreat Registration

Are you looking for a great deal on this Black Friday? Are you looking for the perfect gift for the creative types in your life - or even for yourself? Well, the JFJ have both for you.

We are excited to announce that registration is now open for our Summer 2014 Retreat. So, if you weren't able to join us last June, and you want to save $50, $100, or even $150, act now. We are offering both Early Bird and Artistic Accomplice Discounts for our June 26-29, 2014 Retreat.

Register now for our four-day visual journal retreat, and you can save on the regular $450 fee. Our Early Bird Discounted rate of $400 is good now through February 28, 2014. Fifty bucks savings not good enough? Then sign up with a friend or two or three, and save another $50, $75, or $100. In order to take advantage of these discounts, all registration fees must be paid in full at the time of registration, so make certain you click the appropriate Buy Now button after you submit your registration information. For your security and convenience, we only use Paypal for all of our registration payments, so we can accept all major credit and debit cards.

New this year, we will be able to offer 3 graduate credits through Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV for those educators seeking Professional Development credit. This option will require additional payment and coursework, and more information will be forthcoming. Make certain that you meet all of your state requirements in regards to Professional Development/Recertification.

For more info on the Retreat, visit the Retreat page.

To register, go to the Registration page.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Connection and Collaboration: A Call for Participation

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been exploring a web image that represents my connection to others, and in the vein of connection, I am looking to undertake a project that calls for Creative Collaborators. As I have explored this idea, I've been feeling the need to involve others, and this is where you come in.

I've had a few people ask how I make this imagery, and that has trigger an inkling of an idea. I want to include others into my process and have this idea evolve into a true community collaboration. I am picturing a simple process - have others create their own web imagery, share it with me, and I'll create a work of art that responds to and incorporates their imagery.

If you are interested in collaborating with me, it's quite simple, so follow these steps.

1. Email me saying that you're interested, and I'll email you back with an agreement for collaboration and other pertinent info.

2. Watch the how-to video that I posted on YouTube.

3. Make your own web image. Be as elaborate as you wish.

4. Photograph or scan it, and email it to me. Make certain that it's a good quality image. I find my iPad takes great photos for this purpose.

And that's it. The rest is up to me. I'll make a piece of artwork incorporating your image. What that exactly will be? I'm not certain, but I won't make an exact copy because it is important to me that you retain all the rights to your original work. I'll probably do some layering or such by projecting your image onto a large piece of paper. I just don't know. I'm looking forward to seeing just where this collaboration will take me. I'm looking forward to the discovery.

I hope that some of you will want to be Creative Collaborators. Thanks in advance.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Process of Discovery

As artists we must pay attention to the things that we keep coming back to for they hold our greatest potential.

We can intellectualize art as much as we want and have grand reasons for why we make it, but it all starts with a small seed of intrigue - a technique, a line, a color, a notion. We come back to this seed again and again revisiting  that technique, that line, that color or that notion, and slowly it grows into something.

At least that’s the way it is for me. I latch onto something and explore it over and over again until I can discovery the meaning of it. Usually it starts out as an unconscious mark to fill space in my journal or a simple thing to try something new. That is how all of my work has started - my Excavation series, my Palimpsests, my mixed media pieces. Over a great period of time I come back to the idea again and again. I play with it, cultivate it, develop it, and finally figure out what it means to me.

So, it is the same with my latest fascination. For much of the last fifteen years, I have explored imagery that has dealt with Connection - connection to self and connection with others, and the latest iteration of this Connection imagery is a web-like image that first grew out of a tree/artery image (see above) in a journal more than five years ago. Over those years, I have revisited that image, and pushed it and pulled it. I have explored a variety of materials from ink and marker to acrylic paint and paper cuts. Something about it fascinates me, and I am still trying to discovery what it exactly means to me.

It’s web-like, and tissue-like. There is a definite organic quality to it - like blood vessels or microscopic views of cells. I tend to use red a lot though I have explored black and blue as well. I know it’s about connection - connection to and with others. My Excavation series was all about the connection to myself - about digging deep and going within. The web is about the ties that bind us to others, but I’m not particularly sure how or why. But that is the fun of art - the discovery. If I knew what it all meant, what it all was to look like, I wouldn’t have to make the art. It’s all about the process of discovery.

I do know that this line of inquiry needs to grow larger in more ways than one. I do know that I want to involve creative collaborators, and I have some ideas in the works. I’ll share more soon. Until I hope you enjoy my latest direction.