Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Book Review - Journal Spilling

During the course of an interview with Rice Freeman Zachary, I mentioned something I had recently read about one's inner critic. The source of my comment was from Diana Trout and her book Journal Spilling. Diana heard the podcast a few days later and contacted me about doing an "exchange" review. She would create a project or two from my book, Collage Playground write about and I would do the same from her book Journal Spilling. I was thrilled and honored. First of all, because I am inspired by Diana's work and secondly I love to see readers create the projects in my book. Yes, weird as it may sound, I relish seeing art projects and inspiration from my book. Please keep that in mind... and send me photos of art you made or sites where I can view them.

Well back to reason I am here today, a review of Journal Spilling by Diana Trout, published by North Light Books, F + W Media

thoughts that come to mind after reading Journal Spilling

the ease at which Diana brings journaling into our busy day

throw down some paint


spill words

approaching journaling in a manner of comfort and simplicity

words spill - literally

like pieces of a scrabble game, the letters on the tray, become words on the board

no limitations

encouraging your process, do you like, write words, paint or collage


art techniques to experiment with

I have never meet Diana Trout or spoken to her, but I feel that we are friends; contemporaries in the world of art-making and writing. Diana brings people together through workshops and her book, Journal Spilling. Encouraging them to creatively express their thoughts with journaling.

I first purchased this book last summer and read it cover to cover. I was so thrilled with it’s content and began journaling for the first time in many years. The ease at which Diana takes the reader into the journaling process is liberating. One of her many talents is, that she does this without boundaries or stiffing rules.

But I am getting ahead of myself, let’s start at the beginning. Diana welcomes you like you were old friends, meeting for the millionth time to have a coffee and chat. You feel relaxed and encouraged by her straightforward writing. The layout is just as straightforward, presenting an idea or technique --- inspiring you to take it and run with it!

The book unfolds in a “divide and conquer” manner, breaking down obstacles before becoming an issue. Diana gets you warmed up, gathering your supplies and before you know it you are spilling. I found the exercise on page 12, Time to Spill, a great starting point (photo).

One of my favorite sections is about taming the inner critic. Diana nails this chapter with humor and wit. It is definitely worth reading and helpful in many ways. Her treatment of the inner critic, pushes us to recognize the overpowering effects of negative thoughts. But she doesn’t leave it there, she show us how to create and tame the critic. This information itself is worth buying the book!

Like the general population, I am intimidated by “self portrait” projects, however Diana’s easy instructions made the project fun and enjoyable. (photo)

Diana takes you under her wing throughout the book explaining and demonstrating a range of art techniques. These page filling processes, like watercolor are ideas that stay with you and are helpful to overcome the “white page syndrome”. She explains the benefits of trusting yourself and letting go. Towards the end of book, there is a section on creative aid, so that you are never without quotes, words or ideas. (photo)

Overall this book contains all the necessary elements for journaling. The page layouts are logical and easy to follow. Diana’s writing style is witty and sincere. I will continue to reference the book and highly recommend it for anyone interested in creative self-expression.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Adventures in creativity

As the snow silently drifts down, I am grateful to be warm and busy. I am packing up some art to send to Katie Beswick at Grafix. She will be showing several of my pieces at CHA, Craft and Hobby Association, January 29th - February 1st in California at the LA Convention Center, Booth 2414. If you are not familiar with CHA, it is a craft show for companies involved in the art and crafts industry. I am honor that Grafix is representing my work. Their product line is a mixed media artist dream. Double Tack Mounting Film, this archive double sided adhesive, is fabulous for adhering collage materials to art. I have never been disappointed in its performance or ability.

I also love using adhesive back transparency sheets, they go through the printer easily and adhere without curling or bubbling. This was the product that pulled together project Bandana in my book Collage Playground and also featured in Paint Box 52 Weekly Projects (Tonia Davenport, F + W Media).

Another product that can another layer of detail to your art is Rub-onz Transfer Sheets, this product enables you to make your own rub-on transfers. The three leaves in art piece X Y Z
were made by pressing leaves and then copying (Kodak AIO printer) onto the Rub-onz Transfer Sheets. The process is very simple and the rewards are tremendous.

Check out this line of products online at or in your hometown arts or craft store.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Let the creativity begin...

2011 - the beginning of the year is always an exciting time; planning my schedule, anticipating projects, workshops and fun that awaits.

Here is the creative forecast:

January 20th - 7:00 - 9:00 PM, The Village Deli, Paint Life Grand - featured artwork "Big Red Flower". Sign up is open, $35 per person includes all supplies, take home a 16 x 20 gallery wrapped canvas.

To date - January 29th - Art Show, Austin Peay Downtown Gallery, 116 Strawberry Alley, Clarksville TN, the gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday noon to four, free. This show features Project 2020, an exciting ongoing collaboration with the future high school graduating class in the year 2020. Drop by the gallery, take a gander and please email me your comments.

February 17th - 7:00 - 9:00 PM, The Village Deli, Paint Life Grand - featured artwork "Pink Heart". Sign up is open, $35 per person includes all supplies, take home a 16 x 20 gallery wrapped canvas.