Tag Archives: Janice Lowry

A Peek at My Newest Art Journal

Greetings!  I hope you’re having a great week thus far, dear readers.  Today I’m sharing a peek at my newest art journal – art journal number #16!  I just started it last week, and thought I’d show you how I customized it.

The Book Itself
journal

The journal is an 8 ½” x 11” book that started out with a blank white cover and blank white inside pages.  I love getting these Possibilities Blank Books from skybluepink.com.  The proprietress of skybluepink, Christina,  is a longtime supporter of my art journaling program for at-risk kids.  Hooray!  :]  I believe the style I order is the large portrait journal with 46 sheets…

Personalization
cover

I decorated the exterior of my journal by covering it with vintage wallpaper.  (Thanks for the wallpaper, Karan!)  The central image on the cover consists of an original black and white vintage photo that I mounted on black cardstock and a vintage label stamped with the word “sixteen”.  I also traced around the edge of the label and photo with a bronze metallic gel pen.  The exterior of the journal is treated with a clear sealer in order to protect it from spills and muck.

The Spine
spine

I customized the spine of my journal with another number 16.  This helps me order and locate the journals quickly if I have them on a shelf.  The number was cut from a page of vintage ledger paper – I wanted to carry the vintage look throughout on the exterior…

Inside
inside-left

I always make sure to put my name and phone number inside my journal, in case it gets lost.  I also like to include the date I start and finish the journal.  Because I date virtually all the pages/entries in my journals I could also look at the first and last entries to figure this out, but I like having this quick reference in the front as well.

inside-right

On the right side of the inside spread I like to mount an envelope.  I use this envelope to hold odds and ends like movie tickets while I’m working in the journal.  In this particular case I’ve embellished the envelope with some washi tape and a butterfly that I die cut from fine wire mesh.  However, the envelope embellishment varies from journal to journal.

Credit Where Credit is Due
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Many of the ways I customize my book (decorating and sealing the cover, envelope in the inside, numbering journals) were adopted from the supremely talented artist Janice Lowry – I was lucky enough to take a class from her several years ago.  She was a lifelong journal keeper, and her 100+ journals are now part of the collection at the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art.  Janice was an incredible artist and a lovely person, and I’m thankful to have had her for both a teacher and a friend.  :]

I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick peek at my newest art journal.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Warm regards,
Melody

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The Art of Assemblage

assemblage_-baby

Assemblage is the perfect art medium if you’re a collector like me.  A collector of what, you ask?  Odds and ends.  Quirky bits and pieces.  Vintage photos and doodads.  Assemblage is a fantastic way to use some of these found objects I’ve squirreled away.

For those of you who may not be very familiar with assemblage, it’s defined by Wikipedia this way: Assemblage is an artistic process. In the visual arts, it consists of making three-dimensional or two-dimensional artistic compositions by putting together found objects.

Some assemblage artists of note include Robert Rauschenberg, Joseph Cornell, and my late friend, Janice Lowry.  Janice was an incredibly talented assemblage artist, and it was a treat to see her work in person at her different art shows over the years. I was able to purchase one of her simpler pieces around ten years ago, and am so glad I did!  It’s a wonderful piece featuring a crow (below), and is a lovely reminder of Janice.

janice_lowry_assemblage

Two New Assemblages!
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I recently completed two new assemblage pieces, one centered around horses and the other based on an image of a baby girl (shown at top of post).  Here are some photos of these two new pieces…

Equestrian: 6″ x 16″ x 1″ – mixed media assemblage

horse_assemblage

horse_top

horse_nails

horse_bottom

Sugar & Spice: 13″ x 8″ x 2″ – mixed media assemblage

baby_assemblage

baby_detail

baby_left

baby_right

Sources of My Materials
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I love that each of these pieces contains elements gathered from many different places on many different days.  Here is a brief run down of the places where a sampling of my creative elements came from:

Smaller wooden box (baby assemblage): junk store near Lake Isabella, CA
Rectangular wooden box (horses assemblage): an estate sale in Cambria, CA
Horse show ribbon (dated 1936): an antique store near Julian, CA
Horse shoe nails: metal junk store in Missouri
Photos: antique stores, flea markets and eBay
Baby food spoon: estate sale in Orange, CA
Baby shoes: CA antique store

As you can see, they came from many different places and were purchased over several years.  I didn’t know quite how the materials would be used, but they caught my eye for some reason, and I knew I wanted to add them to my stash of supplies.  I love how all the individual pieces came together to form these two wholes.

Balance in Assemblage Composition
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I strive for balance when I create my assemblages, and here’s what I mean by that:

  •  I include enough items to properly fill out the boxes, but not so many that my composition is chaotic and overly cluttered.
  •  I use a bit of color with the black and white/sepia that vintage items often have.  Some color, but not too much that the eye gets no rest.
  •  I use a variety of textures, so there’s visual interest, but make sure these textures fall into the color scheme and into a few major types/groups – so they’re not overpowering.  For example, in the horse assemblage I use metal, paper (including the photos), and fabric/ribbon – in addition to the wood of the box.

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing these two new pieces of art, and found the overview of my collection and composition habits interesting.  Have you ever created an assemblage?  Do you have a favorite assemblage artist?  Do tell!

Warm regards,
Melody

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