Thursday, November 6, 2014

Art Journal – Pushing Back the Darkness

A frustrated person and a ship set to sail is the start of my journal page. I wish that I had remembered to photograph the spread before starting to paint in the background.


I was inspired to use a ship and paint a skeleton over the image because of the art and theme of Juliana Coles book “The Legend of Juana La Loca”. The gray day and my own style took over next. Passion tea bag tag from my cup of tea was the finishing touch.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fond du Lac Barcamp & Art Journaling

I attended my first barcamp at Sept. 20th, 2014 at Marian University's Stayer Center in Fond du Lac. I facilitated an Art Journaling session. I think next time I will name it Visual Journaling instead. As “art” seems to imply some type of “artistic” talent needed.

It is an experience hard to describe. To start, this is their facebook description “ …a participant-generated idea swap meet for the infocurious. It's an unconference, folks!”
Here is the link to their website -

This group of people was very diverse and included computer based technology enthusiasts, educators, visual artists, and performing artists.

From Wikipedia “Although the format is loosely structured, there are rules[19] at BarCamp. All attendees are encouraged to present or facilitate a session or otherwise contribute to the event.[17]Everyone is also asked to share information and experiences of the event via public web channels, including blogs, photo sharing, social bookmarking, Twitter, wikis, and IRC. This encouragement to share is a deliberate change from the "off-the-record by default" and "no recordings" rules at many invite-only participant driven conferences. It also turns a physical, face-to-face event into a 'hybrid event' which enables remote online engagement with BarCamp participants”.
Thanks to Mel Kolstad for the above picture.

I jotted down some notes while attending the sessions. Unfortunately I didn’t have my current journal and had to resort to working in my “Fragmented” journal instead. It took several tries to print a quality picture on my laser printer. (see first photo). To waste less paper I printed on both sides. To further lessen waste I added bits and pieces to other journal pages.

Three salamanders crossed my path on the way to Barcamp and another one after I arrived home. They, along with a waste copy of the first photo in this post, were the inspiration for this page.

I added some different shades of gray colored pencils to give a little more depth to the salamanders.

A journal page from my Relief Printing session facilitated by my friend Mel Kolstad and Beekeeping session by

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Quick Starts – Art Journaling

I was having a hard time getting inspired to create a journal spread. I had flipped through 7 magazines and nothing was clicking. I was wishing that I could attend a journaling class or get together with another artist and journal. I needed something to get me started! And there it was…


I cut apart the words and rearranged them to fit a parrot that I remembered seeing earlier.
Next came the phrase “A RIDDLE, OUTRAGE OR SUPERB PIECE OF WORK”? A perfect description to my art journaling. I place it where the line on the “A” crossed and above the part of the “S” so that you could still read the word “STARTS”.


Some paint to start the process of making it my own.

A magazine picture that I had clipped out a previous day that was laying in my stack of magazines. The birds would make a nice addition to my parrot.

I cut apart the picture to fit on the word “QUICK’'. Then find places for the parts that I cut off. This helps to tie the whole spread together.

I extend the floral design and add a string for the parrot to pull. Quick journaling of thoughts in my head. Sign and date and it’s done!
A riddle, outrage or superb piece of work? Smile

Thursday, September 4, 2014

War - The Denominator

I saw some broken toy soldiers on the internet. An idea for an assemblage on WAR was born. Months later I did a search and chose to buy these 3 figures. I wanted each figure to be as diverse as possible from the others to cover a broader range of topics. The figures are each from different eras in time, but the common denominator is war. What they all have in common is they are broken and represent childhood or innocence.
I chose the rider on his broken horse to reveal that war not only affects mankind, but the animal kingdom and much broader all life.
The Indian’s foot is broken off. He represents a culture I know little about and their repercussions of war.
The soldier kneeling has suffered great consequence but is still in a shooting position. Perhaps beyond all reasons of war he as an individual has a family to protect.

The next piece for consideration was this round rusty cylinder that my son found in the woods and gave to me. It reminds me of the large end of a barrel and emptiness.

I needed a substrate for the assemblage. After trying a couple of newer wooden boxes I settled on one of my wood casting patterns. I turn it in all directions to find the best position.

Each figure has it’s own compartment and own agenda as they are separated by time.

I also strive to arrange the components in a visually pleasing placement.

Below this figure is the ornamental escutcheon around preconceived riches or prize, but it is covering a hole in the substrate.

I like the rays on this washer.  I chose to enhance rather than cover up this hole with a large brass eyelet.

This hole represents the tiny perspective we have of the giant circle of war.

I painted the recess in the wood casting pattern a darker black to better showcase the toy soldiers.
I have found that words have many definitions and sometimes the opposite of their original intent. So I have included these definitions for my work.

Denominator - the part of a fraction that is below the line and that functions as the divisor of the numerator.
Preconceive - to form a conception or opinion of beforehand, as before seeing evidence or as a result of previously held prejudice.
Substrate - the base on which an organism lives.
Escutcheon - a flat piece of metal for protection and often ornamentation, around a keyhole, door handle, or light switch.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Secret of Time – Assemblage Necklace

I finished this necklace today. It is composed of: clock gears; ammonite fossil set in a bezel; carnelian and black onyx set in tube bezels. The pieces are attached together by micro bolts and nuts. I fabricated the bezels and necklace bail.

I chose a natural leather cord to hang the pendant from.


The inspiration for the design of the clasp was from a necklace made by jewelry artist Ramona Solberg.


The backside of the necklace.

The secret of time for today is evidence of productivity.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Amethyst Crystal Clock Necklace

I bought a strand of Amethyst crystal beads at the Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee.  Here is one of them.

My plan is to incorporate some clock gears to make a necklace. I like the contrast between the gears and the crystal.


I made a bezel for the amethyst and cut sections of brass tube to use as a bezels for beads. At this point I have most of the necklace design worked out in my head.


I chose this particular bead for it’s shape. The bead hole is a bonus and gives me an idea.

This clock piece fits like the hole was made for it!

I just need to fabricate the clasp and then it is done.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Art Journal Page – Spiraling From My Center



It has been awhile since I have worked in my art journal. Journaling helps me to feel centered.

I had the idea of “spiraling from my center”. I drew a spiral and then proceeded to tear out pictures and some words from a magazine that I was drawn to. Next I tore segments to add to the spiral and glued them down.


After I was satisfied with the collage portion I added washes of acrylic paint following the spiral pattern. Then came my favorite step, mark making. I find this step to be very meditative.

“As the world expands – the further away I feel from my center”. Not sure of the wording so I rephrased underneath. Sometimes I feel that I am “spiraling out of control”.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Ring – Fox “A day’s work”



I started taking jewelry classes in Grafton at Terri McCarthy Studios April of this year.  Terri is an excellent teacher and I am enjoying the social atmosphere of the class. After a couple of practice soldering exercises this is my first completed project.

The cabochon was the inspiration for the ring. It reminds me of the red and buff sandstone mountains of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area near Las Vegas, Nevada

I knew that I wanted to make a ring and I had the idea of cutting out the shape of a plant or animal that could be found inhabiting the Red Rock Canyon. After entertaining the idea of several different plants and animals I settled on a fox trotting across the cabochon placed in a horizontal position.

Using a couple of pictures for reference I drew the fox and then reduced it a couple times on my printer/scanner to use as a pattern for cutting out the fox.

The sterling silver was a gift from my sister and brother-in-law several years prior.


I etched the phrase on copper using a portion of a stamp that I had from Stampington & Co. “a day’s work” fit the space and resonates with my quest for productivity.


The ring is rather large but feels good to wear.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Blog Hop – Map Art Lab

Read here to learn how you can win a copy of Map Art Lab by Jill K. Berry & Linden McNeilly. Learn how to start mapping your Road to Success!
Spanky and Edna are looking at our contributor copy of MAP ART LAB.
On this page is the map of Edna’s Road to Success.
Included are the important moments of Edna’s show career, places she has traveled, awards and titles she was given. Spanky is thinking about how much he missed her. Edna is reliving her show career. Edna’s road to success led her all the way to being the 2013 #1 Boston Terrier in the United States.
I think the next map I am going to work on is Kim’s Road to Success! 
52 exciting art explorations in mapmaking, imagination and travel!
This beautiful cover gives a hint to all of the inspiring projects inside. MAP ART LAB can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indigo and at fine bookstores.
Simply comment below how YOU would like to map your road to success, and I'll pick a name using on 5/17/14.  In order to qualify, YOU MUST LEAVE YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENTS USING THE name(at)domain(dot)com FORMAT. For example my email address would be kimnugent(at)yahoo(dot)com. When you use the (at) and (dot) in parentheses, the Spambots can't get your e-mail address (it's how you get on lists you don't want to get on).
Check out the other contributors on the blog hop for more chances to win!

May 8 Kim Rae Nugent
May 9 Cynthia Morris
May 10 Amy Smith
May 12 Sean Corcoran
May 13 Janet Fox
May 14 Tony Kehlhofer
May 15 Laurie Mika
May 16 Jill Berry

Congratulations to Jo Murray, you are the winner of the book MAP ART LAB!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Transform Your Life – Journal Page



This journal page was developed over several months. It started with packing tape transfers using stencils. You can find these Artistcellar Signature Series Stencils by Jill K Berry here:

Later I added the collaged text. Another day I painted the background. Finally I added the collage elements. I am not sure if it is finished. It certainly gives me another perspective looking at it on a computer screen,

Monday, March 17, 2014

And Out Like a Lamb.

At this date the title of this journal page is only wishful thinking. This is a continuation of theme from my previous journal page “March Came in Like a Lion”.  I found the bird that had escaped from the cage. I looked for spring flowers and these sprouted. The March lion hasn’t completely left, he is gnawing on some spring flowers. I chose the metal chair for it’s geometric qualities. The chair legs from the chairs on the previous page for added continuity.

Next I added several washes of a mixture of Golden pthalo blue and burnt umber. The lamb has appeared without planning, do you see it?

A rough outline first and then I begin to work on the eye.

The finished journal page! I really enjoy working this way. Starting with collaged elements take me on an artistic journey I would have never traveled by drawing alone.

March Came in Like a Lion



My journal page which I completed last night. This reminds me that I need to date this page! I started with the idea “March comes in Like a Lion”. The long Winter has weighed heavily on my creativity. It is past mid-March and the snow has yet to release it’s stronghold on the surrounding terrain. No Winter thaws this year! Just a few spots of brown grassy earth peeking through so far.

I was at an antique mall looking for old black & white magazines to work with. Poor condition was a plus because I always feel a bit guilty repurposing old ephemera. A magazine with two lion cubs on the cover reminded me of my earlier journal idea. At a price of $1.75 I couldn’t resist. Inside I also found the photograph of the lion. An image of some interesting metal chairs from another magazine were placed upside down on my journal page. I painted washes, over the entire page, of a mix of Golden Dioxazine Purple and Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold in various opacity. The bird cage attracted my eye and reminded me of the birds of spring that are still missing. The text at the bottom right corner caught my eye and is just the advice I needed to see. “If we were asked to specify the most important thing the _____________ amateur or professional, can possess in his work it is that of an active mind. A stagnant mind gets us nothing and nowhere.” I covered the word photographer to have it be more pertinant to myself, even though I do consider myself a photographer too.I applied washes of paint to the bird cage and text to blend them with the rest of the page.

Next I drew a lion with Prismacolor pencils, building up several layers in some places. The text was added after the majority of the pencil work was done.

Maybe I will work on my “lamb” journal page today.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Westminster 2014



Wishing my daughter Brook Berth, our dog Edna and friends good luck at Westminster 2014!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mapping 2014 Artfully



Above is the result of the map making challenge, Mapping 2014 Artfully, hosted by Jill K. Berry on her website here -

I procrastinated on the project for weeks. I’m not really sure what my goals are for 2014. I had an art play date by my friend Kim Geiser, so I decided to get to work. I started gluing down images that I felt drawn towards in a manner that was pleasing to me. The advantage of working while chatting with a friend is that it helps to not overthink the process. Next I painted black around the collaged images. Finally I added map-like marks with a white jelly pen to further add direction.

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions as I’m not even sure of all the meanings myself. As the year unfolds I will return to this map to rediscover it’s hidden meanings. Perhaps I will make other maps with more definined goals.