Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Connection and the New Year

The last few years have been a bit difficult for me, and I have felt very disconnected many times - disconnected from myself, disconnected from others, disconnected from my art, and disconnected from my job. As such, I haven't been happy with the direction of my life lately. I have felt stuck, tired, and frustrated. I have felt run down and closed off, but I am ready for a change - ready to reconnect - ready to step out and open myself again.

So, I am setting out to do just that in the New Year, and I have set a mission for the Journal Fodder Junkies. It’s not a new mission. Actually it’s the mission that we have been on since we began offering workshops all those years ago. I have just finally given it voice.

The mission of the Journal Fodder Junkies is to help others connect with their creativity and find their authentic artistic voices. It’s a simple mission, but I have lost sight of it over the years. I want to bring it to the forefront of everything that I do. It was the reason that I started this blog more than seven years ago. It’s why we wrote our two books, and it’s why we continue to offer presentations, seminars, and workshops.

But over the last few years, I know that I have lost sight of that simple mission, and have allowed myself to be dragged down a bit. Recently, my focus has been on figuring out a way to to make enough money doing what I love to do so that I could step away from my job as a public school art teacher. I love teaching workshops, sharing my art and process, and connecting to people through my artistic journey, but I have been diverting my energy away from my true goal of connecting with others to trying to get a sustainable business going. Everything has suffered. I have been focused so much on making a living that I have forgotten to make a life.

With the New Year looming, it seems like a perfect time to set my intentions back on track, and forget about the monetary and business elements. I want to focus again on sharing and connecting. So, in that vein I wanted to share something that I made several years ago, and some people may already have this. I want to share a piece of my art that I made four years ago that went along with my rules for making art. You can read my original post of Eric’s Rules here. Soon, I’ll have to share my updated rules.

Please feel free to download the image above. Print it if you like, and hang it up. Or maybe glue it into your journal, and please share it with others.

Thanks so much, and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Home: The Process

For a little over a year, I have been working on my Home series. It began with a painting that I created by projecting maps of the various places I have lived and called home. I then proceeded to create another painting using all the places that my wife has lived and called home. Other paintings in the series have sprung from layering different combinations of these two painting. For my latest paintings, I wanted to work on a bit of a larger scale and to take the work a step further. Instead of working on paper or canvas, I decided to work on two 22"x30" panels that I had made over the summer using wood and masonite. I originally intended on mounting some works on paper onto these, but I changed my mind and decided to gesso them. Once the gesso dried, I used Golden High Flow Acrylic and painted the pieces with a light blue. Up until now, I have left the background white, but I wanted to try working on a slick, acrylic surface other than white.

Once the light blue was dry, I projected a variety of locations onto the panels. I used several clamps to clamp the pieces to the table and to one another. For the locations, I used the places that my parents and my in-laws have called home, and I traced all the roads and highways in pencil. The image above shows a portion of Washington, PA where my parents lived when they were first married.

I'm in the process of creating the initial web using a pink I mixed up using the Golden High Flow Acrylics. I love using this paint in Montana Paint Markers because it gives me such better control of the paint. It's a slow process of converting the pencil lines into the web, but I have one panel almost finished.

It'll take some time to complete the pink with all the tightly knit lines and spaces. I do like how the accumulation of marks from the various roads build up into an organic structure. But this is just the first layer. Next, I'll project more locations, or I'll project portions of other Home paintings to create at least three different layers of webs. I can't wait to see how this diptych turns out. For more information how this series came about, see this post from November.