Monday at the November meeting of the MCBA Visual Journal Collective 19 artists showed up to swap materials they no longer had a use for and share what they have been working on in their journals.
Gwen Partin also shared a favorite book of hers with us—100 Creative Drawing Ideas, by Anna Held Audette. (I'll add this to our 2012 reading list.) Gwen liked the book because as a teacher it provides a lot of suggestions for exercises for her students.
In the first photo here you'll see Ken Avidor talking about his new home in St. Paul at the Depot. You can see lots of sketches from this new venue on Facebook, but if you aren't on Facebook check out Ken's postings on UrbanSketchers—TwinCities. There he and his wife Roberta (another talented artist) have been capturing the events and sights in St. Paul since their move this summer.
Right: Matt McIntosh shares a page spread in one of his journals showing a map of Minnesota and the research he did before he relocated here. This sparked a lively discussion and questions about our state cookie! Artwork ©Matt McIntosh.
Matt McIntosh is a recent arrival from NYC. He shared several pages of his journals with the group. He is an adventuresome painter working in coffee and white out and other unusual items (I remember also honey and chocolate).
Besides using unorthodox drawing and painting materials Matt writes obituaries for his art materials when they run out. He shared one about a tube of paint. They are accompanied by illustrations of the tool or material.
Mark Odegard brought several journals to share with the group on his first visit. He talked about his exploration of nature and the use of natural materials in his journals. (He uses 3M Super 77 spray to attach them.) He has traveled extensively and when traveling he uses smaller journals and works in pen, pencil and watercolor.
When asked if he makes his own journals Mark (who was one of the coordinators of the Minnesota Journal Project 2000 and helped bind all the books for that project) replied "I get a lot of pressure from Roz. I try to resist that. Binding is a whole other thing."
Mark also likes to challenge himself in each new journal to take a different approach. He might work only in black and white in one journal, or only use shading and no lines in another. It keeps his approach fresh and his observant eye keen.
Jean Shannon was on hand to share her journal work (she also organized the swap). Recently she has come to rely on the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen as a favorite tool. It's rich black line is the perfect foil for her saturated use of color.
Book artist Theresa Harsma shared a journal she is working it—an out of date calendar diary in which she is working with freeform doodles and drawings, exploring pattern and shape.
Artist Patty Scott spent almost a year in South Africa and has recently returned. She shared several journals from her time there. They included landscapes, cityscapes, portraits of the locals, and botanical drawings.
There were other artists visiting the group for the first time. Sadly the photos I took of their pages were too blurred to share here, but they were fun to see in person. David Wolley has just started keeping a visual journal and he explained that when he sits down to work he just "picks up whatever is on the table to work with." His goal is to "make the page look different from what I started with.
That's a goal we all share, filling pages as we go along.
Suzanne Hughes shared a wonderful squash painting in her current journal. I didn't get a photo of it, but you can see Suzanne's lovely painting at the link provided, on her blog Suzanne I am.
I hope if you're local, or visiting from out of town on a third Monday of the month, that you'll come and join us and show us what you're working on.
Don't forget our December 17 meeting begins EARLIER at 6:30 p.m. We are having a drawing scavenger hunt (you'll draw things). Read the MCBA Visual Journal Collective page for details. It's free and open to all adult journal keepers. All drawing skills are welcome. I hope to see you there.
Thanks to Jean and everyone else for making November's Swap Meet great fun!