Sunday, July 02, 2006

Following My Impulse

Today I'm working on my last spread in my Book of Dreams. I have been following a dialog that Artsymama and Anahata have going on about an artist's "Symbolic Alphabet" This is Anahata's concept that she mentions here in this post. And Artsmama has started to explore in her work and post here.

So today, I thought to chronicle my work and follow my impulse on this last page. I have realized with each spread that when I start, I never know what the page will end up looking like and have been following my impulse from an inspiration to a vague notion of what the page will be. I just didn't realize that was what I was doing.

My starting inspiration for this page is a quote by Abram L Urban.

In my garden there is a large place for sentiment.
My garden of flowers is also my garden
of thoughts and dreams.
The thoughts grow as freely as the Flowers,
and the Dreams are as beautiful.
The quote led me to my file of garden photographs from last year. I printed them last year not really knowing what I would do with them. I have to tell you that Blogger won't load the first picture for some reason so I will tell you that yesterday, I Gessoed the spread which is the inside back cover. I knew I was going to use my Caran d'Ache Neocolor II watercolor (crayons) and wanted to try them over gesso. I started coloring random colors but had to stop and glue a strip of muslin in the crease because my book is so chunky it was beginning to come apart (*&**heck fire!!!*^**(#)..... I so wish I could show the first picture. Oh well.

In the above photo, I had an impulse to use some wired net-like ribbon that I have used in my BOD to stencil through. Here I wanted to pull color off and that worked and I like it. So I will do more after I get back to coloring.

In the picture below, I have finished coloring. I still don't know what my page will look like, but do notice that I have surrounded my work with all the things I love and think I "might" incorporate. (this just happens and eventually I am so closed in by my stuff that I sometimes have to stop and back it away) Also, after I color small areas, I use a paint brush that is just barely damp (and I do mean barely) and I push the color around and blend and generally just play. The colors are added with impulse and ...........

The net thing worked to my liking and I saw sky in the blue and thought of stars. First I punched some stars in a piece of scrap that I picked up. I tried it. Yes that's good but the paper would not hold up. Reaching a little further I picked up the heavy foil from a coffee can that I saved this week. Punched a star. Yes. I like it. ................I still have no clue what this page is going to look like when finished. But I'm liking it and having fun!
I don't like the way the muslin patch looks and want to break that up so I turned around a ripped a page out of a book and glued stripes down.
More coloring to pull it back together. Yes, it needed this layer. A good impulse to follow. I like it but I still don't have the final vision.

Below, I have decided the background is finished.....or at least for now. I'm thinking, it is time to start with the garden photos. I tore them in little rectangles before starting...that was an impulse......but no, don't
I tear a little more irregular but before gluing it down, I picked up the crayons and started working the edges together. This is fun. I like it. Glue.
The Oleander below is a little fuzzy but ......more of the same....working the edges together....I think (with impulse) to go off of the photograph and paint a little flower and I think of my quote.............."the thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful."
Below, I have chosen the image for the page. It's me July 1946.....and with that I will tell you that today, July 2, 2006 is my happy 62nd. I know now the Rose of Sharon must layer over the image of Sharon.
Below is my progress so far. I am now beginning to know what the page will end as but who knows, I haven't added the quote and I have more pictures...............I will continue to Follow My Impulse and hope you will come back to see where it leads me.


  1. That is VERY creative! Thanks for sharing your process with us. I love how it turned out, and it's neat to see how it got there.

  2. First of all, a HUGE Happy Birthday to you!!! I love this page and I was so engrossed in getting a peek inside your creative process. LOVE it! Thanks so much for sharing. This page is so personal and so vibrant and absolutely wonderful!!!! Cheers to YOU:)

  3. thank you for sharing your process, I really like your spread and the quote. Can I borrow it? My BOD is not finished and it is a lot about gardening too! :-)

  4. Ook ook! Love that you shared all the little detaily bits of this project. Thank you Norah. I want to create something like this!! Thank you for sharing your talent!