Every year about this time I start thinking about making a journal of the year, a way to remember the highlights (and lowlights) of it. I am pretty good about keeping a written journal/sketchbook, but I'd like to do an art one, too.
One year I did a 4 inch square every day...that lasted about 9 months. I participated in the first QuiltArt Journal Pages, which was one a month. I even finished up that year.
But this year I was looking for something different. One of my favorite contemporary artists is Virginia Spiegel (www.virginiaspiegel.com). I was looking through her website the other day and saw a series she did of birch trees, one for each month of the year. So I stole that idea, except I am doing potraits of a red buckeye tree that lives outside my studio window. It's a quirky little thing, struggling to survive at the northern edge of its range. But hummingbirds love it when it's blooming, the buckeyes it get look improbably large for the size of the tree, and the leaves are heavily veined. So I'm going to study it for 2006.
Right now, of course, it is bare except for the occasional bird sitting on a branch. The worst part of winter in the midwest to me is the drabness, the absence of color.
So I took a picture I have of winter grass. I opened Photoshop Elements, and took a long and narrow slice of just the grass. I widened the pixels to make the striped background (and rotated the slice). This I printed on some tablecloth linen. Then I fused the tree made out of discharged black cotton, added some stitching. Something was missing. The winter sun, which is pretty weak and not often seen around here. I made it out of painted misty fuse, and applied it. Then I did something new for me, I added words--January sun reclimbs the sky.
And a faint hint of a cardinal--one of the few colors I see daily--on a branch with a Shiva paintstick.
It's only January 3rd, and I'm already thinking of the February piece...I've thought about doing this weekly, but know myself too well to attempt that...