Archive for May, 2014

Pam Carriker – How To Create Art at the Speed of Life

CreatingArtSofLife Creating Art at the Speed of Life by Pam Carriker
Published by Interweave/F+W

I’m reviewing two books today by the same author/artist, Pam Carriker.  Both books are full of can-do optimism, a very personal and lively voice,  handy tips, and mainly achievable projects.  These books are best for those new to mixed-media and/or art journaling, for those with experience who are experiencing a lull in their creativity, or for those seeking new techniques to add to their skill set.

Let’s start with the newer book (shown above), Creating Art at the Speed of Life. What a great way to start a book : You first create a journal in which work through the seven chapters with lessons about color, texture, shape, perspective, form, line, and shading.  In 30 days, you will learn not only some art basics, but have a handbook of various techniques you have tried. Each lesson is well-organized with an objective, a short description, a supply list, and step-by step directions.

Kudos to Pam also for including a self-critique sheet for you to copy and include with each lesson in the book.  She even critiques a few of her own pages to show you how self-critiques work as a key to making better art. Pam has also created a Facebook page on which readers/artists can post their work from the book to receive feedback or ask questions about techniques. How generous!

Although the book uses some specific art materials, there is an EXCELLENT Glossary in the back of the book that offers substitutes for many of the basic supplies.

I hope readers skip over the included clip art. Better to use Pam’s techniques of using your own photos OR even do a less-than-perfect self-portrait/drawing.  We have all seen plenty of generic looking women in art journals – best to go for something unique even if it is less than perfect, no?


Art at the Speed of Life by Pam Carriker

Pam’s first book, Art at the Speed of Life, was published in 2010  and is different enough from the sequel to be included in the library of mixed-media artists who are just exploring mixed-media or are contemplating making art as a more serious endeavor.  It’s all about finding the money, time, space, and motivation to be a practicing artist.  Instead of the the 30-day art journal developed above, this book invites you to create a seven-day journal with specific techniques.

The rest of the book is as though nineteen other successful mixed-media artists and Pam sat down around a big round table and shared with you some of the realities of making art/living as an artist.  Each of the essays is lavishly illustrated with artwork and many of the artists share a special project.  It’s a book that takes some time to digest and that makes it perfect for those seeking “motivation +inspiration for making mixed-media art every day.”




05 2014

In the Studio: Work v. Show


Way back in 2009, I wrote a blog post about Happiness is Good Fabric Storage after I added this Ikea unit to my studio.  How spiffy looking!


This is what a working studio looks like this week. I’ve blown through a lot of that fabric that I painted during my residency at Karey B’s Franch and now I store most of my fabric in the nice dark closet.

I’m working on a couple of things.  On the table: Collages for the Junk Mail Art Collective on Facebook.  I’m also working (when I’m not out in my landscape garden) on a textile artwork, perhaps just for myself, perhaps not, about my family’s Horseradish Day.  Here’s a tiny part made by layering commercial fabric and photo transfers on my own dyed fabric:


I haven’t used commercial fabric (except for screen printing on upholstery fabric) since I started making art quilts.  But my sister had lots of bold stripe and dot fabric from a quilt that she donated to my bunting project.  There were lots of leftover pieces from the bunting; it’s a fun palette to work with on an artwork that I am developing like a cartoon (think along the lines of Roz Chast).


05 2014

Java Art Extravaganza!

Above are the first three six-inch square artworks I have received as part of the Intentional Printing Java Art Exchange.  They are from Eileen Hallock (pink kimono), Gisela Towner (blue cup), and Jay Dodd (orange cup).  Everyone really did a great job on this exchange based on Lynn Krawczyk’s new book, Intentional Printing.

See the complete sets of artworks of these and 17 more artists here.




05 2014

A Visual Publications Portfolio


Two articles by me will be published in the Summer 2014 issue of Art Quilting Studio hitting the stands June 1.  To celebrate, I created a visual Publications Portfolio.

It’s a fun way to see many of the books, magazines, exhibition catalogs, and media showcasing my writing or artwork.


05 2014