I don't know how so many of you manage to keep up the creative pace during the holidays... maybe you have studios in far better order than mine, are able to work late at night, or maybe painting in your sleep? Perhaps it's an illusion. But during my blog visits I saw a lot of work in progress - journals, paintings and assemblage, digital collage... I had to 'do' Christmas in a two-week period, unable to focus on anything else until I delivered the journals that were commissioned in November. I'm happy to report that someone along the way asked the gallery owner if there were any left... fortunately for me she wants more! And that's a good thing because once I completed the 8th piece I was surprised to find myself in withdrawal.
I only had time to make a few gifts, two of them, of course, were journals. The background started out, as usual, gesso and a few layers of gel, some bits of paper and stuff to enhance the texture. I had an idea, albeit vague for the concept but I don't worry about specifics until later in the process.
More scribbling and stamping with gesso then the Turner's yellow. It's one of my favorite colors though it usually ends up covered up by so many layers of paints, media and texturing elements that it only shows through here and there.
Ready to collage I started to think about the recipient - in this case Karen, who has been my best friend for 40 years (oops, am I revealing my age??). It didn't take long to come up with the elements and then the concept... coffee, conversation, much of it via letter and the wires, the denim and watch face; the tiny slip of paper that says "make your rules," which speaks volumes about our teenage years and the journey we are traveling on today.
A few more symbolic embellishments, finishing off the inside covers and painting the back and in the bubble wrap in the nick of time.
Christmas may be over but during the time I spent away from the studio my subconscious was brewing... I believe I could create these without ever running short on ideas. I think I'll go up and spend a few hours (days?) cleaning, so that I can resume with an open path. That and my New Year's plans, the values I want to embrace in the coming year, a few old habits that need to be relinquished... more on that later.
What are your thoughts and traditions for approaching a new year? I'd love to hear about them!