Sunday, July 13, 2008

Studio Journal

Bet that got your attention!

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I'm taking an online course in studio journals from Sharon Boggon through We're in week three now, and I have to say that it's an interesting experience.

This is the first online class I've ever taken. That aspect of it is going well. Better than anticipated perhaps. (Technology is still a little scary for me.) What I'm having issues with are the exercises in design that she's giving us. Mind you, she's very good about not pushing us to do things we may not have time for. She's just trying to get us in the habit of using our journals on a regular basis. Every day if possible. So we've cut up magazine pages to do color studies, and this week we're cutting shapes out of paper to play around with design elements like repeated motifs and postive/negative relationships. All well and good. But something about these exercises makes me cranky! I love color, I love pattern; why in the world do I find playing around with paper and scissors so annoying?! Sharon also encourages us to try interpreting some of this work into fiber, whether with threads or fabric or whatever. I have absolutely no desire, so far, to do that. I do not find any of these exercises inspiring in any way whatsoever. {sigh}

This week she gave us the link to a kaleidoscope-making tool. That was fun. What you see here today are only a few of the many variations I made. You can even insert your own photo from which to make kaleidoscopic images. I haven't done that yet, but I'm sure that will be another hour or two on the computer!

I have tentatively come to the conclusion that I have actually been keeping a studio journal for several years. I just wasn't using it quite as visually as other people might, nor was I "composting" in it the way Sharon recommends. In fact, I have had more than one journal going at a time whereas Sharon advocates keeping everything all together in one volume. After the paper-cutting exercises in my journal I now have pages and pages of handwritten notes taken from Twyla Tharp's book, The Creative Habit, which someone in class recommended. I also have notes from a blog post Sharon did about how she manages her time that I'm going to add to my journal. Apparently these things are currently more important to me than the elements and principles of design. The beauty of the class is that I can go back at any time to do whatever exercises I may skip this time around :- )


  1. I understand your resistance to the paper exercises Sharon suggested. I've taken two courses with her and have followed her blog for over two years, so I've tried such exercises myself--without much satisfaction or inspiration.

    I've got volumes of journals related to my needlework, but in my own way.

    Nevertheless, Sharon is a wonderful teacher. I've gotten so much learning and pleasure from her courses.

    Your quilts are fun to look at, especially the preemie one you made.

  2. I almost took this course. I wasn't thinking of it as a way to learn design but to organize myself better. Do you think this course helps with that? I am currently (and getting behind just as I am with the BJP and everything else) taking her Crazy Quilt class. I'm enjoying it a lot and wish I could find the time to keep up better. But then I go and get sidetracked with things like getting an award and getting to post it and pick some new awardees - and you are one of my picks! You can see my post on my new drawing blog (which I am behind on too) here.

  3. I do hope you will be feeling more inspired soon,I have the same thoughts as you regarding cutting out "snowflakes" and kaleidoscopes leave me cold.Like you I have kept at least since doing C&G a notebook or several and thanks to Sharon it is all now in one journal "composting",and when I look through some of my own ideas they will be of use.Lets hope we find next week more useful

  4. Thanks for the link to kaleidoscope creater! That's a blast to play with - I've spent way too much time on it now. Try putting in a picture of one of your quilts - that's amazing! Do you mind if I mention this on my blog and/or have a link for it?

    I've often wondered about taking an on-line course. I think I would have a hard time focusing and staying motivated. I wish you luck in yours!


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