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Road Trip

This is the first summer I haven't worked in probably...close to 10 years if not more. I am astounded at the mental capacity I have regained after just a week off from school, and now...I'm a MENSA candidate! (Not even close, but it's fun to dream!) 

The remarkable power of time to think, take space to breath, regroup and refill the well is immesurable. I have been able to see some new possibilities emerge for my work & life and that's exciting! Who knew an actual vacation could do that! (Read:I've been pretty bad at them all these years :) I covered a LOT of ground and will share specifics in my next posts along with a gaggle of images. For now...a fresh new look & dreams of another mini-break before school starts. 

 

 

 

 

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Mixed Media May

Recently I was interviewed for Mixed Media May.com!!! It's a great labor of love that introduces a new mixed media artist everyday for the month of May. So thrilled and honored to be a part of this community!!! Check out a whole month's worth of fab Mixed Media artists at http://www.mixedmediamay.com


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Journaling...a process

So, I have a lot of journals. A lot. Like, an entire wardrobe full of them that stands in the corner of my 600 sq. ft condo...seriously. Some say I have a problem, but I say I have a passion, a commitment if you will. I love the potential of a blank page, however intimidating. I love having tangible proof of my thoughts and feelings in a particular moment. Journaling allows me to purge what is going on inside by putting it on a page and setting it free. It's cleansing, it's medicinal and it's a necessary part of my creative life.

It is also really hard! It's a practice that requires a commitment and I am always practicing. I used to think, "Oh my God, I have to get this right because I teach this stuff!!!" Well, what I didn't realize was that all the while I was comparing my work to others who were knocking their journal practice out.of.the.park. .... was that my style was just what it needed to be.  Because, drum roll please, it was MY style, and that is the whole damn point! I mean, emulating another persons artwork is flattering and a common way artist try learning new techniques and can help to expand their vision. But to expect my work to look like others while strangling my own creative voice was exactly what I was teaching my students NOT to do. Exploring my own style and finding my journal, "Language" as I call it is what this process is all about for me. I believe the use of journals is a portal into so much more than visual imagery as well. At times it can be a meditation, a release, a catharsis of words that you later burn!!! Journals hold whatever power you put in them and hopefully you allow them to empower you back. 

Here's a little step-by-step view of a journal spread I did last summer. I used an old planning sketchbook from school, (I always re-purpose them because the paper is just too good!) acrylic paint and gesso to cover the writing, various ephemera for collage material and my old standby, a Sharpie! I hope to post more of these step-by-step posts soon! I'd love to hear comment and am happy to answer any questions about this or any of my processes! Cheers! Amy~

A cropped view of the beginning...covering the old surface with a layer of gesso, then color that works as underpainting.

A cropped view of the beginning...covering the old surface with a layer of gesso, then color that works as underpainting.

Final surface prepped and ready. I don't now if the blue with show through, but it's there if I want it to.  

Final surface prepped and ready. I don't now if the blue with show through, but it's there if I want it to.  

I collect images from magazines constantly. But when I saw this headline about Paul McCartney performing for 3 hours at the age of 71, I had a reaction. The lotus bloom on the bottom right is actually the inside of a Yogi Tea box...who knew! 

I collect images from magazines constantly. But when I saw this headline about Paul McCartney performing for 3 hours at the age of 71, I had a reaction. The lotus bloom on the bottom right is actually the inside of a Yogi Tea box...who knew! 

The final product. ROCKSTAR!  After gluing the pieces down I go back and forth with additional gesso to blend edges and make space to write and draw. Then the Sharpie comes out. I'd been having a hard time tapping into that which really made me feel joy in my life...and when I saw Sir Paul I was so inspired by how he so easily embodies joy by doing what he does best. We all know we've seen people like this...and it's what I aspire to. Point the way~

The final product. ROCKSTAR!  After gluing the pieces down I go back and forth with additional gesso to blend edges and make space to write and draw. Then the Sharpie comes out. I'd been having a hard time tapping into that which really made me feel joy in my life...and when I saw Sir Paul I was so inspired by how he so easily embodies joy by doing what he does best. We all know we've seen people like this...and it's what I aspire to. Point the way~

Bryan Jernigan Studio Visit

Although I've been an artist for many years, as a teacher I have spent more of my life preparing work spaces for other artist rather than for myself. So when the opportunity arose for me to get my own studio near my house I was beyond thrilled. Although I am not there anymore, my experience sharing a studio with other emerging artist was a formidable period in my life, allowing me to carve out precious time to create while being surrounded by like-minded kindreds. It was amazing.

Cut to 4 years later. Thanks to social media I have been able to keep in touch with several of my former mates and finally got my act together to go visit my friend Bryan Jernigan at his studio in Arlington...a mile away from my place. Have I ever mentioned I overbook?

Bryan is both a member and studio manager for Gallery Underground in Crystal City. The studios are reclaimed offices that sprawl through the Crystal City shops underneath the bustling sidewalk above. The Gallery itself is nestled in the center of the shops at an inviting angle welcoming visitors with its well lit, balanced space that has an approachable quality most galleries strive for. After meeting Bryan at the gallery he walks me through to his space where we get to chat & catch up.

Bryan is an exceptional painter. When we shared a space he was working primarily on landscapes that explored color which have progressed over the years to be more abstract, some incorporating figures. His work balances solidity of form with a beautiful use of layered color to infuse light. Several pieces in various states of completion surround us as we talk and I snap a few shots. A foray into a more expressionist style that integrates non-representational drawing has been a recent focus in his work. Here is a little peek into his studio but for more info on Bryan & his work check him out at Gallery Underground!

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Finding a thread

I have something to admit. I'm really slow and inconsistent with my editing during the school year. I go in spurts when I have a new batch of images, find my faves, and ride the wave of those few gems for probably longer than I should. As a result I overlook a lot of other images that although not cast in a leading role, still could play another part, in another story. I am learning that this actually is my process and am slowly embracing it as ok and actually quite exciting. Here are a few understudies I've played with that although from different shoots, (From NY to Scotland) I see a story unfolding, and have found a connecting thread through all of them.

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Opposite Dualities Show

So excited for tonights opening at Killer ESP Coffee House In Old Towne!!! Heather snd I had a great time hanging to show and are so thankful to Rob and the team at Killer for being so awesome!!! More pics of the action to come, but here's a sneek peek!!

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Small Victories

Day 2 Grid Drawing progress in my Studio Art 1 class. I am optimistic! Oh, & I found a purple China Marker! #oldschoolphoto

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New Work and a show!

Back from a long winter's nap with some great new stuff happening!

Have a show going up at a local coffee shop this month! Dipping a toe back in & w good people you can't go wrong. Check it out...
http://oppositedualities.com/

I also have been accepted into UGallery.com as a New Artist. Will be shifting some work around w some limited editions available w them. Very exciting!!!
http://m.ugallery.com/artwork/photography-Glen-Coe

Am also starting some new pieces going back to my alt. photo/mixed media bent. Having fun...isn't that what it's all about?
:)

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Renaissance Clouds

So...I have a bit if an obsession with clouds. They are what soothes me when I can't get out of the city. These 4 images show the difference between each edit w/in the apps & filters I use.
1) Original shot unedited. Early morning light is so beautiful!
2) I first brought it into Camera+ and used the Diana filter at about 30% to bring in some contrast and boost the saturation.
3) Then I applied the Overlay filter at 30% as well because it gave a little vignette and age.
4) The last image is the cropped version I posted to Instagram using the Low-Fi filter. I'm not convinced this is the best version of this image but it's so fun to play with apps instead of laboring over actions.

If you like this mini app recipe, leave a comment or find me on Intagram @Obscuragirl! Happy Apping! :)

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Stuck in a Fairy Tale

After a Friday night at the laundromat (blankets need big machines :) I pulled some shots I've taken over the past month as the season changed. I really find that my everyday shots are fresh raw material ready to use to communicate a narrative. As of late I've been investigating myth & legend...thus the moody trees :) More to come~

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