Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Uh-Oh/Ah-Hah/Mmm-mmmm Good

The Mmmmm-mmmmm goods FIRST. This short video is slightly over 20 minutes long. If you’re rushed and multi-tasking, do return at a quieter time; there’s a lot of food for thought in it for us creatives.  Consider Elizabeth Gilbert’s monumental success as a writer as if it were your own and then listen to her speak. It is insightful and entertaining.

Another mmm-mmmmm good moment, I have returned to my sketchbook practice this past week and am starting my days with a page or two of images, ideas and sketches. The larger book is mainly references from other artists’ works and my responses to them; the smaller one is my studio/idea/application journal. I am jumpin’ up and down happy to be able to quiet down inside enough to work in them again. Does this signal a quieter, calmer creative time ahead?


For the past few months I’ve scribbled and scrawled furiously in one of my old black and white composition notebooks, the ones I journaled in for years. They capture the ideas but aesthetically they’re lacking!


The Uh-Oh. On the home front, the stitching on the second new Pages construction is complete (nothing to see yet, it’s still in its water soluble cocoon and will stay there for a while) and I’m working on two new ones. But the graphite pencil I used to mark the water soluble fabric has left the threads gray (it washed out just fine in the sample, evidently more manipulating and handling led to smudging on the larger piece) and will require stain remover to wash out.  So brainstorming began again to find products that will make a mark on the water soluble and NOT stain the threads that I stitch over the surface.

The Ah-Hahs. Various fabric marking pencils have foiled my attempts to get them to mark the surface, but then – an ah-hah! – I flipped the water soluble fabric over from the smooth side to the toothy one and voila, THAT surface takes the pencil marks just fine (this is the moment where I said “Duh how come you didn’t try this sooner” out loud but honestly isn’t it always the simplest solutions that are the most elusive?!?!)          

So big thumbs up to EZ washout marking pencils (they do wash out of the thread, I did another small sample yesterday just to make SURE) for saving the day. PLUS another option emerged from my storage area – Saral transfer paper in blue and yellow (the blue is easier to see than the yellow), although you really can’t see through it when you lay it down to mark on a surface, so the pencils go back to the top of the list.


  1. Thinking, writing, creating, problem solving, finding inspiration...the life of an artist!

  2. I have always know it is not of me, but through me. She puts this so well. Thanks Jeanne!

  3. I watched this clip a few months ago and loved it. Will come back and watch again. Elizabeth is so inspiring. Your idea books look wonderful Jeanne. I must say my idea books are filling up very quickly since Refresh.

  4. Leslie, as you well know, savoring the process by recording ideas is richly satisfying in itself and a treasure trove for the future. Thank you for acknowledging that I am indeed leading an artist's life; I trust it will continue to flourish.

    Robyn, the course really did its work for all of us, didn't it?! I'm glad I'm not the only one who has new ideas spilling out each day!

  5. Love seeing your notebooks. They are REAL.

  6. Thanks, Terry. That notebook hasn't left my side 24-7 since I dated the first page on 12/02/09 -- this has been a fertile period for me. The various sketchbooks I have get picked up and put down but the composition notebook is the first thing I reach for each morning and the repository for everything from book outlines to affirmations to inspirational ideas that pop in my head. It is a hearty soup that along with my sketchbooks are the richest resources I have for my work.