Skylark Karma

… Fake Journals… not me, but close.


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#IFJM2017… the Wrap-Up!

April was ab-so-lute-ly crazy around here but now it’s May. I’ve had a vacation away and have had plenty of time for reflection on my latest fake journal experience.

 

Goals:

  1. Use my 11 in. x 14 in. portrait-style Strathmore 500 Mixed Media Journal. I’ve had it for years and it was definitely time to see if I could be comfortable using such a large format sketchbook. It’s so large that it was impractical to carry it with me therefore it limited my character to working at home.
  2. The theme for this year was Details Matter. I chose to incorporate this by working on portraits and proportions. I decided to include the pencil and ink thumbnails and observations my character made about the drawings.
  3. All the portraits were done with gouache, some over ink drawings, and later, over pencil sketches.
  4. Journaling would be partially about the painting and partially about her life, with no defined story line needed.
  5. Dates were stenciled onto the page with dilute acrylic paint through freezer paper cut-outs. (Note… do not iron freezer paper onto the pages, even lightly… it does not react as it does on fabric!)

 

What I Learned:

  1. I used the book, Mixed Media Portraits with Pam Carriker as the basis for the detail sketches and proportions. (this is an amazon link for reference only… I receive no commission.) I became more comfortable drawing correct facial and head proportions although profile silhouettes are still a challenge. On the other hand I feel I improved my drawing of 3/4 poses.
  2. I learned that I really prefer working with fresh gouache. I still need to get over what Roz Stendahl alludes to regarding the tyranny of my internal critic and the issue of scarcity. I just need to put out plenty of paint and not be afraid to use it!  Thanks goodness I did get better at this over the month.
  3. I love handling this journal! It’s a beautiful artifact; it has size and weight and a certain presence that my previous, and smaller, fake journals don’t have. But that size carried a big weight as the month went on. I would have preferred to take it out of the house and work on it elsewhere but it was just too big.
  4. My character almost always worked on her journal after dinner and this was so unlike my own work process that it created dissonance in my life… not enough to make me stop, but enough that I was acutely aware that this journal wasn’t being kept by “me”!

 

I created a video flip-though which you can see either in this post on my regular blog, DanaBurrellArt.com or though this link on YouTube.

My thanks to Roz Stendahl for coming up with this project and kudos to all the other creative and imaginative artists who participated this year.  You can get links to their journals and find out more about IFJM, International Fake Journal Month by checking the sidebar at Roz’s Fake Journal Blog… Official International Fake Journal Blog.


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More Fakery… 2017 Edition

“Life is too short for fake butter, fake cheese or fake people.” *

But obviously not for fake journals!

My character isn’t completely fleshed out yet but she does have a HUGE sketchbook ready to go. 11 x 14 inches… Strathmore 500 Mixed Media Journal… Portrait format.

 

And gouache!

This will be my sixth consecutive year participating in International Fake Journal Month. If you want a great introduction to the concept I recommend you watch the interview Diane Gibbs of Design Recharge had with Roz Stendahl, the brains behind IFJM. 

Be sure to check back in with me to see what I do with this year’s theme, Details Matter. Don’t miss out on the fun! 

*originally found on Twitter… http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/life_is_too_short_for_fake_butter


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IFJM 2016 Wrap-Up

The last few months I’ve been reading as much as I could by the cartoonist/author and professor, Lynda Barry. First “What It Is”, then “Picture This: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book”, both interspersed with her comics, and then finally, “Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor”.

I know, I know… I tend to dive into the deep end.

I’ve been fascinated with her fascination with the brain, especially what makes up an image and where do stories come from? And of course, memory.

Memory… What is it and where does it come from?  That’s what I explored in my 2016 Fake Journal.

You can glean my thought process either by reading the entry in the image above or you can read the news release of Kristiina Kompus’ doctoral dissertation in Science Daily.

The pages I’ve included here are from my daily carry journal/sketchbook. Ever since my first IFJM I’ve chosen to complete my wrap up outside the Fake Journal, preferring it to be a stand-alone artifact… no clues or explanations within it.

 

Having no experience with pencil other than using it for rudimentary line work I had a lot to explore. I discovered that there was such a thing as a blending stump, sometimes referred to as a tortillon. Not only does this wondrous stick of compressed paper smooth out the pencil strokes, but it makes the area darker.

The second important think I learned was the importance of shadows, especially the power of a cast shadow. It’s always darkest along the border where it touches the object.  Sometimes the demarcation line is visible and other times the object’s edge is lost in deep shadow.

Thirdly, I found that I do not like smudgy pages and working with graphite certainly creates smudges. My character didn’t have issues with them, but I did!  I sprayed it with some fixative I had left over from another project but that created the issue of why isn’t it smudging!  Well… I created a daughter for my character… let “her” do the spraying.

This year the journal narrative came easily. I wrote slowly using an unfamiliar cursive style as I reflected on the drawing, letting it trigger memories. The deliberateness of my writing allowed the memories to surface effortlessly. This has not always been my experience. I’ve often struggled with what to write, as if it needed to be “meaningful”.

This year had other surprises. Pencil work requires patience and I found that I had more than I realized. I have a newly found appreciation for graphite, not so much that it will become my media of choice, but I won’t fear using it to get a desired result. I also found I became quite fond of my character. I’ve always had some distance between myself and the characters I’ve created so this was unexpected. I’m going to miss her.

I hope I can take what I’ve learned about the workings of my brain and memory and use it in my own journals and again in next year’s IFJM.

Again, If you just came upon this post by chance and you’re wondering what IFJM is and what all the fuss is about please visit Roz Stendahl’s Official International Fake Journal Month site.  And if that appeals, please check out the Blogs, Flickr, Instagram and Tumblr sites of the other fantastic “fakers” who also participated.  You can find links to their work in the sidebar on Roz’ IFJM site.

 

Hmmmmmm…….. What will 2017 bring?

IFJM 2015 Wrap Up

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IFJM WRAP UP 3

May 4th  2015          5:30 am           sunrise

 

Goals:

  • Carry journal & supplies with me and work from life.
  • Create small thumbnail sized art using watersoluble ink for line and watercolor for wash.
  • Pay attention to design as the art is placed across the spread… balance.
  • Journal one gratitude each day and see if a story would emerge as the month went on.
  • What type of person would create this journal?  Someone busy.  A young mother balancing family demands and her desire to be herself.  No real story needed, just a daily entry conceived as part of a year long project.

IFJM WRAP UP 1

IFJM WRAP UP 2

Results:

  • Hated the paper (Richeson’s Finest Studio Watercolor – CP – 135 lb.).  It was fine for the art work but was irritated with every word I wrote.  Tough on pens… too rough.
  • This was the second year in a row using the same small-sized journal but there was too much writing this time.  I found I really missed the white… too little negative space on the page.
  • Project fit easily into my day… the art thumbnails took only a few minutes; thinking & writing actually took a little longer, especially at the start, as I worked to get a grasp on my character.
  • Loved the spontaneity and unpredictability of working with watersoluble ink.  Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, but it was always fun.
  • Loved designing the spread for balance and eye-appeal.  Thinking of that design choice also had an effect on what I painted.  Some days design drove the subject choice, others, the subject drove the design.  I also thought of the book as a whole and made sure the thumbnails varied from spread to spread.
  • all events were drawn from my memories.  They actually have occurred but all names and relationships are fictional and years have passed since the actual events.

IFJM WRAP UP 4

 

2016?  Oh yes!  But I definitely will work in a larger journal with smoother paper.  Thanks Roz, this is a great art project creativity project!

IFJM WRAP UP 5

 

If you just came upon this post by chance and you’re wondering what all the fuss is about please visit Roz Stendahl’s Official International Fake Journal Month site.  And if that appeals, please check out the Blogs, Flickr, Instagram and Tumblr sites of the other fantastic “fakers” who also participated.  You can find links to their work in the sidebar on Roz’ IFJM site

It’s been a wonderful April;  join us next year.  I guarantee… you won’t regret it!


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Fake it ’till you make it

Yes! … it’s almost time for IFJM. This will be the fourth year I’ll be participating in Roz Stendhal’s creation: International Fake Journal Month and although every year I have a mini stress-out over my character, I can’t imagine not joining in!

April 1st is just over two weeks away and I’ve been diligently planning. Deciding on the journal and the media my character will be using is always the easy part.  I’m going to use a double pamphlet journal, 5.5″ x 6″, 32 pages, that I made using a few sheets of the cheapest student-grade watercolor paper I could find.  It’s labeled cold-pressed but it’s the roughest cold-press texture I’ve ever seen.  We’ll see how it performs!?!

IFJM2015a

IFJM2015b

Now for the hard part… as I said, I always struggle as I formulate my character. Who is she? Where does she live? Does she have family? friends? work colleagues? enemies? lovers?

Hmmmmm…  it’s getting interesting.

Come… join the fun and create your own fake journal… as Roz says…

“Life’s so short, why live only one?”