|fanciful experimental pages on apples - 15cm x 15cm (6"x6") pages prepped with masking tape to add 'tooth', napkin apples, stamped images, hand-lettering; learning to circumnavigate failure (created around 2009)|
|Experimental piece for 2010 workshop attended to create a 'book-in--box': calico base, fused herbal napkin images,|
embroidered text and free-machine daisy embellishments
Many people ask how or where to begin. To tell you to "just start" isn't that helpful, and a single blog post can hardly encapsulate every conceivable jumping off point. Most important of all is that you want to try. Honestly, any cheap notebook, paper or textile will do - see what you can re-cycle (charity shops are a good source). If you are given a beautiful and expensive journal, open it a few pages from the beginning and just write anything: a list of seeds just sown, a wish-list of equipment or plants. Shut your eyes and scribble, making a pattern on a page. If you are confident to draw, add thumb-nail sketches; or photos, or images from magazines.
Words can be a catalyst, but for me words alone are no longer enough. The adage "a picture tells a thousands words" is so very true. Use whatever falls to hand - utilise paper napkin images fused to fabric or to brown paper bags painted and folded as book pages; collect old books and maps; outworn clothes, stitched and 'antiqued' with strong tea. Experiment - and keep a notebook of what you do, so you can replicate any effect that pleases you. The seasons come and go; no one year is like any other, set in aspic, and interpreting what you sow and grow in a personally created garden journal somehow encapsulates precious moments forever.
|Coming together: in October 2011, I was invited to participate in a local art exhibition; most of the exhibitors are professional artists - I share this image of my 'illustrated journal' table to show that what began for me some years ago as a 'New Year Resolution' to work in more than just words has become another way of life - and my passion for gardening and nature - that sense of place - was the original catalyst.|
Double click on any image to see it full-screen; and, if you wish, follow my experiments and tutorials on my personal creative blog. Happy new year - may it be productive on and off the page.