Make It Your Own

While drinking my first cup of coffee this morning, my blog browsing took me to Michelle Wards Green Pepper Press Street Team Challenge.

This is one of my favorite challenges because Michelle is so inspiring and pushes the envelope encouraging others to do the same. I have been too busy to do much participating lately, but when I saw this challenge it so hit home with me that I had to take some time to answer it today.

Make it your own. I think that all artists truly long to do this. It is a process though. We see someones work and think ‘Oh, I love that, I want to know how they did it’! Sometimes through workshops or classes we are afforded a glimpse of the ‘how’ part. We then take that new found knowledge and add it to what we already know and slowly but surely our own ‘style’ evolves. This is the process. Michelle said the difference between art and crafts is the ability to ‘make it your own’. Are you wanting to make the product or learn the process?

This is what I so struggled with when I kept getting asked to do a ‘face’ class. I truly love teaching and sharing techniques and encouraging people along their art journey, but I really don’t enjoy teaching a ‘product‘ nearly as much. That is not to say that there aren’t times when that is the only way to do something. Short, live workshops lend themselves to that type of teaching. So while I am completely open to teaching my techniques, giving tips, guidance and encouraging the creative process, I didn’t necessarily want to see lots of little ‘Pam’ faces all over. They may tend to look like that at first, but through this process they will become more and more your own.
My answer to this is Pursuing Portraits. I want to share the joy of discovering your own face with you! I share all of my techniques and guide you on the process of finding your own face! It is a continuing process as our art is always evolving. The class is open ended so you will have unlimited access to the materials and can revisit the videos again and again, working at your own pace and discovering the joy of Making it your own!
P.S. all of the journal pages here have been either inspired by one of Michelle’s challenges or made using some of her wonderful stamps. Thank you for the inspiration Michelle!

Green Pepper Press Street Team Challenge

I am trying to squeeze in all of the fun art challenges that I love to take part in, during this slightly hectic time of year. This months GPP STREET TEAM challenge is to add the sense of ‘smell’ to your journal pages. How yummy is that? While pondering this challenge in the back of my mind, in the midst of baking cookies like a mad woman, and wishing I could capture the smell of the roasting, candied pecans, I opened my personal journal and realized that I had already added a scent to the pages that marks some exciting happenings in this holiday season. These pages were done while on the way to visit my son during his Basic Training. Only having limited supplies on hand, and being stuck in the airport, waiting for a flight, forced me to get creative. Isn’t that a GREAT thing?! I decided I would only use things found in the airport. As you can see, there are ticket stubs, some old Jeps (pilot talk for maps, as DH was doing revisions to his charts while we waited)I sketched DH’s aviator glasses, ripped off old tags on our luggage, and wondered how to add some background color to the page. I took a sip of my Starbucks and the light bulb went off! So much to my families dismay (they never know what I might use in my journal and always ask before throwing anything out-lol) I started dripping my coffee right onto the page and smooshing it around with my fingers.

Now when I open my journal, the scent of coffee wafts out and reminds me of early mornings, travel, and warmth. This Christmas, said son is coming home on leave and getting married to his sweetheart. We will again be traveling, this time to Washington, to take part in the wedding and welcoming a daughter to our family. She called me the other day and asked if I wanted to go and get my hair done with her for the wedding, now that is something I have waited for my whole life, Mother-daughter time! I love my boys dearly, but it will be so wonderful to have a daughter in our family.
A little Shout Out to Michelle, ‘Somerset Art Journals’ is featuring an article of mine and some journal pages, due out January 1. 2009, and one of the pages uses some stamps from Michelle Ward, and another page was done using handcarved stamps from one of her earlier challenges. This page talks about GPP Street team and Michelle! So very cool that these are some of the pages that they chose to use!

GPP Steet Team Monthly Challenge

This months GPP Street Team Challenge (Green Pepper Press, Michelle Ward) is to experiment with GESSO. This is one of the pieces that I played around with. I use gesso all the time for surface preparation, but it was fun to use it for a bit more. I started with a bit of leftover blue paint on the background of a watercolor journal page. I didn’t have enough to cover the whole page, but that didn’t matter. I then dry brushed some black gesso in both directions, here and there. For the next step, I took a palette knife and applied gesso to a foam stamp and stamped this on the page, giving it a nice texture. When this was thoroughly dried I painted a wash of Golden’s Titan Buff over the whole page and ragged it off. The gesso acted as a resist and let the stamped elements show through nicely. To this background I added collage elements, stamped images, stenciling, and text. The end result is a Pamified Steampunkish look. Yes, I am making up words as I go-lol!