Tuesday, June 24, 2014


I must confess, I am one of those people -- the kind that never seem to accomplish anything without an axe hanging over their head. Like, my house never gets cleaned until I know people are coming over, and Christmas presents are still getting wrapped on Christmas eve -- even if I bought them several months before! That sort of thing. So, it should come as no surprise that I have similar issues with my art. As much as I love doing art once I get started, the getting started is a bit of a hurdle. That's why I need things like on-line classes and Circle Journals. They give me that little shove I need in order to get going, and deadlines to keep me on task. Much the same way that all of you keep me on task with my writing and photography. If I go a couple of days without posting, I know I'm gonna hear about it! Which is the only way I've managed to keep blogging for, what? Almost seven years now! Anywho, this all leads to my discovery of this magnificent little motivator.

Now, I have bought quite a few art books in the last few years -- books that I giddily devour as soon as they arrive, add them to the diminishing space on my bookshelves, then proceed to forget all about them. But this book? This one is somehow different, for it had my hands covered in paint within minutes of its arrival, and they have stayed that way ever since!

Pam Carriker's first book, Art at the Speed of Life, was about making time to create art. Since motivation, rather than time, is my issue, I skipped to her second book, about creating art at the speed of life. Creating art at the "speed of life" means that you can do it in little snatches, while life goes on around you, rather than having to lock yourself away in a "studio" for hours at a time. The critical thing is to make it a habit. And, you know what they say about having to do something at least 21 days in a row before it becomes a habit, don't you? Perhaps this is why Carriker has created these 30 projects to be done over a one month period -- to get you into the art habit, and prove to you that anyone can bring art into their life, no matter how hectic that life may seem.

The amazing thing about these projects is that, not only are they fun and simple to do, they also teach you important lessons -- beginning with how to make your own journal from scratch, if you so desire.

The first project has you layering backgrounds and texture, then mixing secondary and tertiary colors from the three primary colors, and using those to paint your own color wheel on a coffee filter, which you then collage onto your journal page. You even get to practice different styles of lettering!

The second lesson is all about the language of color.

By the end of the book, not only will I have explored all the elements of color, texture, shape, perspective, form, line and value. I will also have learned a ton of important "art journaling" techniques, will have learned to assess my own projects, to see what does or does not work for me, and will finally have my first "completed" journal, filled with work that I love and which can serve as a valuable reference tool in the future.

I'd say that's quite a deal, for $26.95. Wouldn't you?

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