Sunday, May 30, 2010

Book Guild - Chapter 8

Welcome to the fourth edition of The Pulse -- The State of the Art -- a survey in words and pictures of the online artist community. Nearly 150 artists have answered a list of questions which make up The Pulse. Their responses will be presented as a series of online and print projects. Secret Sunday was the first project and the links to all the secrets can be found on the sidebar of my blog. The Book Guild is the second project and Chapter 8 starts right now!

All artists participating in The Pulse were asked to name their favorite art books. The Book Guild will present this list, along with links, book reviews, giveaways, and interviews with many of your favorite authors. And as members of The Guild, I am hoping YOU will participate by leaving comments related to the books in each post - for example thoughts, book reviews, personal experiences, or a link back to your own blog posts that include artwork based on a project in the listed book.


Thanks to everybody who entered their name into my double book giveaway from the last meeting of The Book Guild. There were 94 entries and 2 winners. JeriAnn from Commuter's Journal won a copy of Digital Expressions. Glenda from Glenda's Artscapes won a copy of The Journal Junkies Workshop. Congratulations to you both! Please contact me via email with your mailing address. And keep visiting on Sundays for The Book Guild as there are many more giveaways to come!

Chapter 8: LK Ludwig

Several of LK's books were listed as favorites in the artist survey:

Sally Turlington and LaWendula both chose Collaborative Art Journals and Shared Visions in Mixed Media as a favorite.

Collaborative Art Journals and Shared Visions in Mixed Media

Leslie Marsh selected Mixed-Media Nature Journals: New Techniques for Exploring Nature, Life, and Memories as her favorite.

Mixed-Media Nature Journals: New Techniques for Exploring Nature, Life, and Memories

And now, hot off the presses is the newest art journaling book from LK Ludwig. It is called Creative Wildfire and it is sure to generate some creative heat. Publication date is set for June 1.

Creative Wildfire: An Introduction to Art Journaling - Basics and Beyond

As stated on, "This lush, visual book is a must-have volume for both beginning and experienced art journalers. Each chapter presents crucial, basic information for how to get started, and is layered with in-depth sidebars and activities covering advanced techniques, approaches to working, as well as interviews with well-known journaling artists. The book comes with a beautiful blank journal in a take-along size (made from paper upcycled from the printing process), ready to catch your daily inspirations."

I am pleased to say that along with an interview, you can find my handmade travel journal from my 2008 trip to Greece featured in LK's new book.

To see more of my journal as previously posted on my blog, click here and here.

Creative Wildfire is available for purchase on here.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Book Guild - Chapter 7

Welcome to the fourth edition of The Pulse -- The State of the Art -- a survey in words and pictures of the online artist community. Nearly 150 artists have answered a list of questions which make up The Pulse. Their responses will be presented as a series of online and print projects. Secret Sunday was the first project and the links to all the secrets can be found on the sidebar of my blog. The Book Guild is the second project and Chapter 7 starts right now!

All artists participating in The Pulse were asked to name their favorite art books. The Book Guild will present this list, along with links, book reviews, giveaways, and interviews with many of your favorite authors. And as members of The Guild, I am hoping YOU will participate by leaving comments related to the books in each post - for example thoughts, book reviews, personal experiences, or a link back to your own blog posts that include artwork based on a project in the listed book.


Thanks to everybody who entered their name into my True Colors book giveaway. With nearly 100 entries, the competition was tough. But one lucky person has won and that person is Ramona from Create with Joy. Congratulations! Please contact me via email with your mailing address. And if you did not win, this is your lucky day. Scroll to the end of this post for information about today's new double giveaway!!

Chapter 7: Two Thumbs Up

F+W Media has provided me with review copies of two, recently released art books so that I may share my impressions with my blog readers.

The Journal Junkies Workshop: Visual Ammunition for the Art Addict

The Journal Junkies Workshop by Eric Scott and David Modler

This book, subtitled Visual Ammunition for the Art Addict, focuses on visual art journaling. I was eager to see this book, as it adds to the small group of books in the genre of journaling that are written by men. The first thing that struck me about the book was its layout. The entire book is set up as if it were itself a journal. The text and illustrative images are seamlessly incorporated into the visual background of each page. And in sections called "Photo Reconnaissance", many pages are dedicated to consecutive, double-page spreads of actual journals of the authors. They are rich in image and text and very inspiring.

The book is broken into three sections. The first, "The Munitions Dump", is dedicated to the requisite introduction to the materials used for journaling. This is the shortest section that will be of most interest to people new to journaling.

The second section, "Basic Training", is the main focus of the book and provides detailed information about using watercolor, acrylic paint, collage, transfers, drawing, and page altering as part of your journal. The info and images are clear, easy to follow, and take you a step further than just a basic introduction to these techniques. In addition, there are several sections which focus on layering -- and help you to easily combine many of the suggested techniques to achieve pages of more depth and artistic quality.

The final section, "Sharpshooting", highlights the written portion of visual journaling, with a focus both on content (e.g., journal prompts and stream of consciousness writing) and process (e.g., writing tools and writing on alternative surfaces). I personally found this section of the book to be the most intriguing and helpful to me.

I think this book would make a great addition to what is likely to be your already expanding book shelf. The book is easy to follow, visually dynamic, and has a bit of edge to it. You can read more about Eric and David at their blog Journal Fodder Junkies.

Digital Expressions: Creating Digital Art with Adobe Photoshop Elements

Digital Expressions: Creating Digital Art with Adobe Photoshop Elements by Susan Tuttle

Digital Expressions focuses on the ever expanding area of digital art. Susan takes what can be a very complicated and often daunting process and presents a series of projects using Adobe Photoshop Elements in a highly accessible manner. The books starts with a description of essential tools and techniques which, as a novice in this arena, I found to be extremely clear and helpful.

The majority of the book is dedicated to presenting 25 digital art projects, with step-by-step text and images used to explain the process. These projects are presented across 5 sections of the book: Manipulating Images, Painting & Drawing, Pasting Pieces, Seamlessly Blending, and Altering Art. In addition to her own projects, Susan also presents the digital work of many other artists, each of whom share a very helpful Technique to Try. The artwork that Susan has chosen to present is quite varied in style and approach and includes some of the absolute best digital creations I have ever seen.

The book ends with a very short section highlighting Susan's own work in which she has used a combination of the many techniques from the book. As a bonus, she has included a CD that holds photos, brushes, and textures, many of which were used in the projects from the book.

I think Digital Expressions manages to be one of those rare publications that will be useful for and inspiring to both beginning and more advanced artists in the area of digital art.

Susan has graciously provided the following personal reflection on her art and her book for readers of The Altered Page:

"There is magic to be found through the mediums of digital art and photography. When I create through these mediums, I am able to escape into the dreamscapes and "other worlds" that I create. With the use of Photoshop, I can fly across landscapes tethered to a red, heart-shaped balloon, visit places only found in fairy tales, walk through gardens bathed in white, shimmering light, or chatter with the birds that alight on my hand.

In addition to manipulating single photographs and creating digital collages and illustrations, I enjoy creating seamless montage scenes that have a surreal quality about them, so that when you look at the piece it looks like an actual photograph, but you know that it can't be, due to the surreal nature. I enjoy sharing my digital art and photography techniques through both my book and online classes, so that you may come to discover ways to create your own unique, enchanted landscapes."

You can find Susan at her blog ilka's attic.


I have decided to offer a giveaway to two lucky readers, each of whom will receive either Digital Expressions or The Journal Junkies Workshop which were provided to me by F+W Media. For a chance to win, please leave a comment on this post and include which of the two books you would like to receive. Comments will close next Saturday 5/29. Winners will be posted next Sunday 5/30 as part of the next post for The Book Guild. Please be sure to let me know which book you prefer to be eligible for in the giveaway. If you include no preference, I will randomly add your name to one of the two drawings. Good luck!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Art of the Collaboration

If you have followed my blog for even a short time, you know how important collaborations are for me. Whether they take the form of an online survey such as The Pulse or a handmade art project like Graffiti Wall, they have become a large part of my artistic identity. Join me at the MMCA Marketplace for my third Creative Contributor post called "The Art of the Collaboration". And then, if you find yourself inspired, get busy!

If you missed my first two MMCA postings you can find "In and Out" here and "Embrace Mistakes" here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Making Waves

He reached toward the sky, as if to say "nothing can stop me." Not the passing of time or the ravages of age. I remain who I am. Forever striving. Forever hoping. And never giving up. Making waves.

He reached toward the sky, as if to say "nobody can stop me." Not those who deny or those who criticize. I live only my truth. Moving forward. Moving onward. And never giving in. Making waves.

Handmade and one-of-a-kind.

Ingredients: found metal + 19th century religious statue hands + time




Available for purchase in The Altered Page on Etsy, where you can see additional images and find more information about the series inspiration.

All pieces sold. Thank you!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

True Colors - The Giveaway

I hope you have enjoyed seeing True Colors through the eyes of the creators. I have never dedicated so many posts on so many days to a single topic before. But to me, True Colors is worthy of the stage. The project, the book, and the participants all represent a moment in time that was original, unique, and endlessly inspiring. I thank all the artists for trusting me and allowing me to share with you all their personal thoughts and reflections.

True Colors: A Palette of Collaborative Art Journals

Before The Altered Page moves on however, I would like to give you the opportunity to experience True Colors first hand. And that means a giveaway! I have one copy of the book to offer to one lucky reader. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post by the end of day on Saturday May 22. I will announce the winner Sunday May 23, when The Book Guild returns to its regularly scheduled programming. And make sure to stop by next Sunday for the opportunity to win one of two books in a whole new Book Guild giveaway.  See you there!

Monday, May 17, 2010

True Colors - Linn Jacobs

Linn Jacobs
Yellowgreen & Copper

Of the fifteen original participants in True Colors, it is with sadness that I need to say that one of these gifted artists, Linn Jacobs, is no longer with us. Two of her friends from the project generously shared some thoughts about Linn.

Lynne Perrella
A Remembrance of Linn Jacobs

When it comes to Mail Art and Collaborations, I feel like one of the dinosaurs. When I recently looked through a big trunk in our guest room, full-to-brimming with Mail Art, it was like time travel at its best. Imagine? – a whole community of artists exchanging Artwork through the Mail…..before computers!

Linn and I knew a lot of the same people in Correspondence and Book Arts but had never actually connected. It was like being part of the same solar system, but spinning in different orbits. Luckily, I ended up being in an art exchange with Linn’s daughter Lesley, and that opened the door to all of us getting acquainted – not only through sharing art, but also meeting at Artfest for a few memorable years. One of my favorite remembrances is having both mother and daughter in my classes, on different days, and seeing their strong shared affinity for lavish crisp color. Hand either of them a checkerboard stencil, or a piece of sequin scrim, and just stand back!

Linn was a masterful quote wrangler, as well as an inveterate list-maker. Many-if-not-all of her True Colors pages included long slender tags of hand-made or specialized papers, inscribed with her distinctive rounded hand-writing. The tags listed……things that are White, the colors of Fall, the shades of a sunset. Always with graceful strands of silky threads and fibers to hold them in place…..Very Linn. I always featured her, sitting at her art table writing out each tag, working fast to keep up with her quick playful mind – and then looking up and finding dozens of tags – and then turning those over to use the backs, too.

More, more, and more. Always more. I wish we had more time with Linn – more time to enjoy her warm generous spirit, her kind heart, her huge talent, and her way with words. She contributed so much to our group, and we’ll remember her always.

Marylinn Kelly
For Linn Jacobs

Not trusting my memory, I did a bit research in the TC text to be certain: yes, Linn Jacobs' Yellowgreen and Copper journal was the first one I received. My paragraph there tells how I began to feel my way into our exchange and, toward the end of the project, with the experience of many contributions achieved, eventually asked for the opportunity to rework my pages in her book.

Throughout the process, Linn and I emailed each other frequently and had a few chances to speak on the phone. Linn was generously open to my recounting of family lore, particularly as it involved my artist mother and her influence on my eccentric passions. We had a connection that touched lightly on challenges we both faced, yet the volume, the real substance, of our traded stories was optimism, a state about which I am not confused: it absolutely is a gift.

I feel we shared a view of life that always reminded there was good in everything. This was a woman who wrote in the introduction to her journal, "I love boggy places." Looking today at the pages she created for Sunset, I find in her circle/spiral motifs an expression of wholeness, completeness, overlaid by bright tendrils, rays of the sun that eventually reach every corner. The words that passed between us, her unmistakable joy of each moment, are treasured pieces of the light she embodied.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

True Colors - Nina Bagley

Nina Bagley

it is a beautiful spring day, one in a series of beautiful days, and i woke up this morning feeling that it was time to sit and write about my True Colors experience. truth be told, i wasn't able to keep up with the regime all the way to the very end, as others did; yet, the group stalwartly and kindly continued to send my big ol' journal of Metallics (dubbed by Lynne as Heavy Metal, it is ENORMOUS...what was i thinking?!) around until everyone had done a page or two in it.

my format was unusual: at the time, i was quite taken with the notion of black pages, and found a huge old antique relic of a book on ebay that was originally something in which to tuck one's postcard collection. back in those times, 100 years ago, folks sent lots of mail to one another - postcards were a quick and visual way to stay in touch, and this behemoth had little corner slits in various places on each big, black page. the cover is embossed, heavy to be sure - black - and i set about attaching a lot of metal trims to both front and back. why metal? i'm a jewelry designer, have worked extensively in mixed media, and felt that the dimensions and tones of metal would be in keeping with the rest of my work.

back in the mid 1990's, when i was still attending the new york wholesale gift shows, a fellow jeweler friend took me down to a wonderful little shop in soho that specialized in metal trim - enormous rolls of it, like the sort you used to find on lampshades and such. i found a lovely length of silver toned trim with a pointed, crown-like design, and attached strips of it all around the front in a sort of "frame". i then glued a grid of round glass and metal tin lids with little findings behind them. finally, i hammered the words "True Colors" and the year - 2001 (that long ago?!) into two strips of brass, and wired those to the front.

i just got out the measuring tape and am amazed at how big this book actually is, that i was so stupid as to think it would be convenient for the entire group to mail back and forth across this great big country: 10" x 15", with a spine six inches thick!!! but everyone was a true trooper, and the results are incredible.

what i love about this collaboration most of all, in retrospect, is that it formed a bond amongst the 15 artists that is still there today; our "leader", lynne perrella, still sends out group letters to us all that will trigger responses from quite a few of us in return. we talk of art, and food, and books, and museum visits, we remember childhood stories, childhood dreams. even today lynne sent out a letter talking about housecleaning, purging, airing things for spring and how good all of that feels.

i'm not the best at joining clubs, at deadlines, at rules or guidelines, anything like that; i never have been. consider me a good example of the proverbial wallflower. but this project, along with another i did with 24 fellow artists about self portraits that teesha moore organized, is something in which i'll always be honored and grateful to have been included. the artwork is phenomenal; there are pages that i'd love to cut out and hang on the wall, but i don't dare ruin the collective format within those heavy pages.

it feels a little like everything we did is now sacred, if that makes sense - the time spent on those varied journals was intense and inspiring, and very much treasured by all who were involved. obviously, its format, its concept, spoke to a lot of people when the book came out, and it was fun to see how different collaborations sprang off of that notion of working with one specific color scheme.

lynne is one amazing woman (we took to calling her The Prism, for her sage wisdom and guidance of our many colored ways); she has wisely guided and helped many of us throughout the years, urged us to go beyond our safety zone, made me sit back and think what i could do to express myself in a format that would be shared by many. the work i did - the detail, the emotion - is something that amazes me still.

it was fun getting out the Behemoth just now (heaving it off the shelf is no easy feat!), dusting off the cover and all those little round lenses of glass to see what was held inside. i wish i could have each and every one of you pick it up, feel its weight, turn the pages and watch the sunlight glimmer on the different metal details held there on its pages. Fellow True Colors participants, i send my humblest gratitude out to you all over again, along with a great big hug.

xo nina bagley

Saturday, May 15, 2010

True Colors - Sarah Fishburn/Keely Benkey

To whom it may concern:

I would love to help create an ad campaign for your unparalleled and seminal 2003 book True Colors.

I {literally} have more ideas than you can shake a palette, or more precisely, a brush, at!

Here are a few of my notes, just in case:

True Colors: Kinda like an encyclopedia, but better.
True Colors: It's got Poetry, it has Imagery...what more can One Girl need?
Tru{e Color}th vs. Fiction: Watch {stunned} as the color wheel takes down all comers.

Bodice ripper, anyone?
Read the sordid tale of Violet, who slept with Yellow, when really in her heart, she loved only Green...

Appropriated, and altered {appropriately, from Yellow Submarine}:
Red, orange, green, oc-h-re, can I have a little more,
Blue, white, black, turquoise, tan I love you.

Also appropriated, altered, and especially for Lisa Hoffman:
She's a little bit Aqua and a little bit Forest Floor.

Or, especially in honor of Lynne Perrella, Teesha Moore, and Linn Jacobs:
Come White, come Hot Pink, come Yellowgreen & Copper - to the Greatest Show on Earth!

Ala Fiddler on the Roof:
A little bit of this, a little bit of that, a leaf, a twig, Metallics, a cat...
What do we leave? Nothing much - only Green and Se-pia...

Maybe a hologrammed Audrey Hepburn, perched waifishly in her Breakfast at Tiffany's window,
singing wistfully to the tune of Moon River:
"Blue & Och-re, dark-er than A-qua..."

These are only the tip of the iceberg...

Anne {"Out of Control"} Copywriter

Sarah, Lisa H. and Monica at book signing

And Sarah adds that her favorite line from True Colors is in the Tip & Techniques section on page 274...

#1 Adopt this philosophy: When it comes to art journals, anything worth doing is worth overdoing!

Keely Barham Benkey

Written by Lynne Perrella

The Art Bar in California hosted a True Colors event, and many of us travelled there to teach and participate in a wonderful Panel Discussion; also attended by many of the editorial staff of Stampington, including publisher Kellene Giloff and Kathy Bold, the editor of True Colors.

I think, BEST of all, was the chance to see all of the True Colors journals in one place, at one time. The organizer of the event, Nicole Steinam, thoughtfully gave all of us an extra hour to be alone with the journals, before the public arrived for the Panel Discussion. I don't think I will ever forget the scene of seeing all the attending artists circling the journals, lost in appreciation and exclaiming over all the details or a new-to-them page. It was a total love fest. For many of us, it was the chance to see how a journal had turned out - perhaps one we had worked on in the earliest stages.

Keely generously invited all of us to her home one evening, for a beautiful dinner party with delicious Mexican food and other homemade treats; and we had the joy of meeting her family and being surrounded by her wonderfully artistic decor. Keely had transformed her living room into an art room, and the results were spirited and beautiful. As soon as we entered her home, we were literally surrounded by her whimsical and colorful works of art, perfectly arranged - almost like being in a Keely Gallery.

As Keely busied herself with the dinner preparations, we were all
invited to take a seat and make ourselves at home. Lisa Hoffman and I noticed that each of the dining tables had a centerpiece consisting of a wooden bowl full of AMAZING small dolls, each one dressed in stunning colorful costumes. Obviously, a bonanza of Keely artwork. We carefully looked at the dolls, exclaiming and marveling -- when Keely appeared at the doorway. "Oh! You've found YOUR dolls!" she said, with an ear-to-ear grin. OUR dolls!?!?

In a customary gesture of over-the-top generousity, Keely had literally created a doll for each of us, according to our True Colors color-of-choice. There was a doll for each of us. Mine has a halo of white maribou feathers surrounding the face, and the body of the doll is covered in a white-on-white damask fabric, with an off-white canvas printed tape, and a tiny white-washed wooden dollhouse fence.

Everytime I look at it, I think of Keely and the wonderful True Colors event and how marvelous it was to finally meet some of the artists for the first time -- and to reconnect with other longtime friends.

Written by Lynne Perrella