Are You Still Blank?

Your journal I mean? The blank book syndrome I call it. We artists often get these lovely gifts of blank books. They can stay that way without conscious effort. I am the last to guilt trip anyone into using a sketchbook or journal. I am erratic, to tell the honest truth. I am frenetic about sketchbooks at time and absolutly immune to their charms at others.

The key, as I noted in a previous post, is to have a reason. Whether its to make an artful record of one's crative life, or simply to have one spot in which to record, paste, glue, stick and stack all the bits and pieces that float in and out of consciousness (that's usually my approach), a blank book can be your friend.

Here are a few more ways to approach the use of an artist's sketchbook, blank journal or all-too-precious book of emptiness:

1. Glue in every scrap of loose paper you can find in your purse or backpack. Alter the papers (unless their content is crucial) with paint, crayons, colored pencils, cutting and wrinkling. See what you can make with nothing.

2. Save a book to designate for a trip journal. No trip on the horizon. Start planning the dream trip of your artistic creative life. It might even come true. Paste in internet printed documents, research ticket prices, look on AIrBNB bfor the best possible place to stay. Instead of watching another mindless TV show, start planning the dream reality trip of a lifetime. Who knows?

3. Take a magazine picture, cut it in half, glue it down on a blank page, draw and color the missing half your own way.

4. Cut colored paper shapes. Glue. Tear out the page, cut and glue again.

5. Cut and glue a NOTAN a day.

Other ideas? List them in comments. Thanks

PS. Still need help? consider coming to El Cielo this next weekend for Artist Journey, Artist Journal. Or one of the other workshops this spring....

(optional Fri. night potluck & critique session)

This annual workshop has become a tradition at El Cielo Studio. Spend the weekend in creative activi- ties that help you set the stage for a 2012 filled with productivity, imagination, focus and artistic goals. Using original and time- tested exercises gleaned from sources around the globe, we’ll banish procras- tination, make an annual love letter, work on a goals and artist date calendar for the year, and find ways to remind us of what really matters in our artistic lives. Meanwhile, you’ll work with mixed media and surface design techniques to start your artist’s journal.


(optional Friday night potluck & heart-centered gentle yoga session)
In this workshop, you’ll start with common and familiar symbols -- like the heart shape of Valentine’s Day for example -- and through a series of creative genera- tive exercises, you’ll make something new and differ- ent to incorporate into your design, composition and surface design. And then, in honor of the season, make some one-of-a-kind Valentines, too. Tools and tech- niques explored include paper lamination on fabric, hand-cut stamps, and gelatin plate monoprints.

MARCH 23-25
(optional Friday night potluck & work-in-progress critique)

Spend some time thinking and working on using your inner crew for work and support. In this workshop we’ll explore archetypes, inner voices, gut reactions and their influence on your art and art-making with lots of improvisational exercises to loosen up your approach to art. Make a small artist's altar using fabric and mixed media techniques including mono-printing, collage and digital printing on fabric to remind you of a practical and sacred part of your life. (artist altar frame, $10 supply fee) 

And at Southwest School of Art: FINDING YOUR 
ARTIST VOICE, Monday afternoons, Feb 6-March 26