Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday Preregistration Sale!

Preregistration is now open for our January 1 online workshop, Cultivating Creativity! Purchase your registration by midnight tonight EST, and save $40 off the regular price. That's more than 25%!

Go to our webpage for more information and to register.

Act fast though this offer is only good today!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


I've been working on these two pieces over the last few weeks when I have gotten some time. I began with 9in by 12in Strathmore Mixed Media Paper, and I have been slowly layering Derwent Inktense pencils. There are seven layers so far, and I plan on adding more in order to create some rich colors and textures. Once finished with the Inktense, I plan on using colored pencil to strengthen edges and develop the color further.

Friday, November 20, 2015

I Believe: First Layer

Today, I began a new two-page spread in my visual journal by responding to the prompt "I believe". This is a staple in the Journal Fodder Junkies prompt arsenal because it can yield a great variety of responses.

Using water-soluble graphite, I wrote across two blank pages until I covered them from top to bottom making certain to press hard and to write big. I then brushed clean water over the writing allowing the graphite to spread and bleed.

Although this technique seems a bit counterintuitive since some of the writing gets obliterated, it is an easy way to get something started on the pages and perhaps establish a theme. Keep in mind that it's not important that you can read what you wrote. It's important that you wrote it.

I'll share more as this spread evolves.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Cultivating Creativity: Black Friday Sale!

Have you started looking for that perfect gift for yourself or someone creative in your life? Well look no further. The Journal Fodder Junkies are launching their first online workshop January 1, and you can enjoy big savings for the holidays. This one-day sale will happen on Black Friday, November 27, from 8AM to Midnight EST. Plan ahead, so that you can save more than 25% off the regular price. See below for details.

Workshop Title: Cultivating Creativity: Working with Spontaneity and Wonder

Regular Price: $150          Sale Price: $110

Workshop Description: This straight forward workshop is for anyone looking to connect with their creativity, whether you’re a beginner looking for fun ways to begin your creative journey or an experienced maker looking for new direction. Everyone can benefit from inviting a bit of randomness and chaos into their art making as a way of opening up and sparking new ideas, and this self guided course is designed to do just that. It will have you loosening up and looking at the unpredictable and the messy with a sense of possibility and wonder as you begin to purposefully cultivate spontaneous acts in order to set aside your fears of making mistakes and to spark creative leaps in your art.

In this mixed media workshop, you will learn to embrace the surprises that arise from giving up a little control as you give yourself a chance to play and reconnect with your inner child. There are no prescribed outcomes or finished projects, giving you the room to discover and experiment without the fear of doing it wrong. Using a variety of basic materials, you will discover how unintentional marks and creative accidents can open you to the beauty of imperfections and break you out of your comfort zone. You will learn to use unconventional and unpredictable techniques, like dripping paint, dragging string, and bleeding marker, to jolt yourself into new artistic directions. These creative beginnings will have you embracing the messier and more chaotic side of life and art making.

What You Get for the Price:

  • 100+ minutes of HD video instruction that explore more than 40 techniques
  • 40+ pages of instruction with high resolution photographs and step-by-step instructions
  • 10+ pages of printable fodder and inspiration that include creative inspiration cards, collage sheets, and technique cheat sheets
  • Private forums and discussions to share with fellow classmates
Stay tuned for more information.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Journal Fodder Junkies Invade Arizona

Dave and I just returned from Arizona where we presented the keynote speech and a hands-on workshop to the Arizona Art Education Association at their annual conference. We had a great time, and enjoyed the hospitality of our hosts very much.

The AAEA conference was held at Camp Pinerock in Prescott, AZ, and we were treated to quite a range of temperatures and weather during our trip. We witnessed a beautiful and intense double rainbow on our derive to Prescott. The picture doesn't due it justice.

The temperature dropped dramatically as we gained elevation the closer we got to Prescott, and snow fell quite heavily at times our first evening. Who would have thought that we would experience our first snowfall of the season in Arizona? The snow did melt, and the temperatures did warm a bit as the sunshine returned for the remainder of the trip.

We enjoyed our time at camp mixing and mingling with Arizona's art educators for a few days. We had some great conversations, and we're glad to have spent time in such wonderful company.

Prescott was a cool and funky place with good shopping and good restaurants. We were able to get out and take in the sunshine one of our days in Arizona as we wandered around town. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Prescott, and we would love to go back.

We want thank all of the teachers who joined us in Prescott, and we want to extend special thanks to Tracy Perry and all of the other AAEA board members for the invitation to present. We look forward to catching up with everyone in Chicago in March for the National Art Education Association's annual convention.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

More Maps

I recently completed several works that use mapping marks. As with my previous post, these are mental maps or maps of contemplation. They don't represent a specific place, though the above piece has a collaged map of Scottsdale, AZ from my summer thrip to Phoenix for Art Unraveled. They are just artistic musings about documenting the journey of life.

These are all mixed media pieces on Strathmore 400 Series Mixed Media paper using Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolor, ink, Derwent Intense pencils, graphite, collage, and Derwent Coloursoft pencils.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Journal Fodder 365: Chinese Version

I had a bit of an unusual surprise when I got home last Thursday. David had already posted about it on Instagram, so I wasn't surprised when I got home to find two complimentary copies of Journal Fodder 365 in Chinese. This is the first, I have seen of one of our books being published in another language. It's a bit surreal to look through the pages, but pretty awesome.

Sunday, November 1, 2015


Journal Spread

I am enthralled with maps. There's just something about them that intrigues me, and so maps have been an element in my art for quite some time now. I've explored maps and map-like images in my journal and in my art for quite a few years now. I've consistently collaged maps into my journal pages as a means of remembering the places I have visited, and I've experimented with using actual and imaginary maps as inspiration for my art. My "Home" series comes immediately to mind.

Journal Spread

So, lately here, when I haven't been creating little monsters, I have been exploring how to use mapping marks as a mean to build up layers and explore where I am right now. These are made-up maps, mental maps. They represent no actual place, but using lines that represent "roads" and "streets" and shapes that represent "borders" and "boundaries", I have been building maps of my journey, my thoughts, and my reflections.

Work in Progress

Maps help us locate ourselves in space. They give us insight into location and distance. They help us navigate our way in the world, and that's what I want my mental maps to do. But like all maps, this artwork is a superimposition of a structure onto something that has no real structure of its own. We see a brightly colored map with its borders, boundaries, labels, and lines, and the world seems like a very orderly and definable space. But take a look at what the area looks like in satellite imagery, and there are no pink countries, or bright orange states, or big dashed lines telling use where one place ends and another begins. Maps are superficial structures that we arbitrarily impose on our world to make the abstract concrete. And perhaps that's what I'm trying to get at with my art - trying to manifest abstract ideas into concrete form, but only yielding arbitrary and superficial forms.

Detail of a Work in Progress