Art Journal Courage | Melbourne

Last weekend I flew to Melbourne to be with some amazingly creative friends and learn a few things in person from the inimitable Dina Wakley.
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To say it was a dream-come-true is an understatement and I possibly got a touch of “fan girl” fever meeting Dina. When I first began art journalling nearly 10 years ago, Dina’s blog was one of the first places I visited often. She had boys (like me), wasn’t afraid to spill some hometruths on her art journal (hello!), and was just so fearless and inspiring to watch, emulate and grow as an artist.
If you haven’t had the pleasure yet, let me give you some links here:
http://www.dinastamps.typepad.com/
http://dinawakley.com/

My gorgeous friend Melissa Millar hosted the event through her shop Artified (www.artified.com.au) and it was beyond a sell-out. So proud of you Mel.
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I got to spend time with old scrapbooking friends who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, and dabble in creative expression like mixed media and art journalling but also meet in person some people I had only known online.
I think it’s amazing when you meet some people in real life and you just click! It shows that your online nature is genuine (check!!).
I probably won’t share some photos as we got up to some truly hilarious things (as Mums do when they’re off-leash) – and we shared a room, so need I say more?

What I will share is a little of what I did that weekend. Some of it was going over territory I learned from her book “Art Journal Courage”, but I think most of you will agree, nothing quite replaces an actual workshop in the flesh.

Before I get to the art journalling, let me show you the new journal I bought to try out.
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It’s only 10gsm lighter than Strathmore’s Mixed Media paper, you get the added bonus of tracing paper in between pages (which is great to stop pages sticking together – a common gripe in mixed media) and it was much cheaper.  The tag says “Drawing Paper” but it handled wet media really well….. lots and lots of wet media. I bought mine at Eckersley’s.

So here we go:

Honestly, I’d forgotten how liberating art journalling is. So I’ve vowed to get into it at least once a week to do warm ups or test out compositions or try out new supplies or just have FUN.

Thanks for stopping by.
xx Giovanna

Thoughts on Exhibiting

The second cARTwheel Collaborative exhibition has wrapped up. The walls at Percolator Gallery are once again bare and wait quietly and expectantly for the next group of hopeful artists to mark their presence on Brisbane’s art scene.
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Being part of this creative community is wonderful! I think every artist can benefit from surrounding yourself with like-minded artsy peeps. My little group began quite by chance after a callout on Facebook. From there we held our first show in 2013 and EIGHT of us exhibited at Percolator for 2 weeks. This 2015 show we had 4 artists and we had the space for 5 days. Boy, it seemed to fly by. I felt that just as we finished hanging….it was all over!
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Every time we’ve exhibited I’ve learned so much about what is required to manage your own exhibition. Choosing the date, flyers, photographs, pricing, entertaining on Opening Nights, rostering, selling, schmoozing, payment facilities and so much more.

This time I felt like I really “owned” it – what I produced came from years of experimenting and learning and moving into my own style and headspace.
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I’m incredibly proud of my current work. For some, being proud of what you’ve achieved and saying it out loud, it is unnatural. It was for me for a long time, but I love this series and I have more canvases ready to go in different sizes and slightly different compositions. I can’t wait to begin.

Thank you again to those that came out in support. Thank you to my fellow collaborators Carol Lee Beckx, Janine Whitling and Vicki Donaldson. It’s been a wonderful experience.

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Art Journal Warm Ups

With limited time while the boys are on holidays, I made myself work through some more exercises from Dina Wakley’s book “Art Journal Courage”.
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Then extending a little further and using up all the backgrounds I made with the GelliPlate.
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I’ve enjoyed the restricted process and am finding new ways to use different media. Oh, and I simply adore writing in Dina’s loopy/messy/scribbly fashion. You should try it, it’s very liberating!!

I’m looking forward to tomorrow when my oldest starts back at school and I can have control of my floors again (heehee). Thank God we don’t have carpet!

xx Giovanna