87 posts categorized "Art Journals/Altered Books"

January 27, 2014

Announcing :: Lettering & Art Journaling Workshops with Pam Garrison!

I'm happy to announce two of Pam Garrison's upcoming classes in Studio CRESCENDOh!

  • On Saturday March 8th, she will offer a 1-day workshop titled For the Love of Lettering. Enrollment for this class is open and you can enroll here.
  • On Sunday March 9th, she will offer a 1-day workshop titled Art of the Page. Enrollment for this class is open and you can enroll here.


Hip hip hooray! Pam and I look forward to seeing you in the studio as we have fun with letters and art journal pages. :)

January 19, 2014

I See Boat People

Thought I'd share with you some altered art that I've made with pages from Anthropologie catalogs. With every page, I see boat people.

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Ah yes, I see more boat people waiting to emerge. Do you?

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December 14, 2013


During my recent session with Therapist, when I was expressing guilt related to some relationships in my life, Therapist said "You're being hard on yourself." To which I said,

"With all due respect, you are saying that I'm being hard on myself because of the nature of our relationship ... which is that I'm paying you to listen to me and to sort of be on my side. You are not objective."

And then I explained that if I were to be in a room with people that I didn't know and people I wasn't paying, that my behaviors could be assessed with true objectivity ... assessing bad as bad without any stories spun for sympathy.

Jenny Doh 2Therapist's response was this:

"I am not sort of on your side. I am on your side. And, I am objective. How would it serve you to be on your side and offer assessments that were disingenous? How would that be being on your side? Can't I be on your side and observe that you are being hard on yourself at times that you are being hard on yourself and observe that you are being cavalier at times when you are being cavalier?"


What a powerful concept. The concept that really defines my biggest insights this year.

Good and bad.
Serious and in touch with feelings.
On my side and objective.

Not naughty or nice, but naughty and nice.
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October 25, 2013

Paint Paper Print :: 2-Day Workshop with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer

I'm excited to announce that Julie Fei-Fan Balzer will be returning to Studio CRESCENDOh to teach a very cool new class titled Paint Paper Print: A Mixed Media Collage Exploration.

It's a 2-day workshop that will happen January 18-19 and enrollment is open right here.

Julie Balzer

If you've ever wanted to learn how to make your own colorful papers with unique patterns, you won't want to miss this fun workshop where Julie will share her tips and techniques on layering, mixing colors, creating a focal point, and so much more.

Julie's workshops are full of energy and students have heaps of fun creating and learning to enjoy the process in the unique way that Julie teaches. Julie Balzer
Hope to see you in the studio as we start the new year off right with paint, paper, and print.

Enrollment is open here.

July 16, 2013

The Art of Value

Jenny Doh
M.C. Richards writes eloquently in The Crossing Point:

It is dangerous for poets and painters and sculptors and musicians to think that their image, their composition, is the source of value—instead of the reflection of value, the making conscious of an experience of value otherwhere derived. The paint peels and cracks, the pot breaks, but the realm out of which it comes continues to reveal itself in more works of art and craft.

Jenny DohNothing bores me more than convos where people waste inordinate amounts of time trying to protect what they think they own and believe as being the source of true value ...

"Hey, the thick down stroke and thin upstroke in lettering ... that's my idea. You can't steal that."
"The crooked lips and curly hair was my invention, you can't do that."
"The use of black, red, and white ... that's my color palette ... I can't believe you're copying me."
"Are you using images of birds and leaves? Don't you know that I did that first?"

And on and on it goes ... without regard of knowing that all of it ... the thick and thin strokes, the crooked lips with curly hair, the black-red-white palette, the birds and leaves ... were all born and interpreted a million times before us and will continue to be interpreted a million times after we are all gone. Forever.
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December 30, 2012

Love Her Madly

Don't just love her.
Love her madly.

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I've got an angel
She doesn't wear any wings
She wears a heart that can melt my own
She wears a smile that can make me wanna sing
She gives me presents
With her presence alone
She gives me everything I could wish for
She gives me kisses on the lips just for coming home

— Jack Johnson

December 29, 2012

Yellow Stripes on Gray

It was by accident that she stumbled upon the yellow stripes again.
From afar she could still make them out ...
Moving familiarly in the syrupy dark lit by twinkle lights.

Still stitched on gray ...

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jenny dohYellow stripes on gray.
Never and forever.

The world has its ways
to quiet us down
The world has its ways
to quiet us down comes the rain
But down comes the strength
to lift us up and then ...
—Jack Johnson

December 18, 2012

Handmade Stenciling and Art Journaling Tutorial

I've been making my own stencils for my art journaling lately. Here's how ...

jenny dohUse a black permanent marker to doodle circles or other shapes onto a sheet of acetate or transparency film. (You can find these sheets sold in office supply stores. Nothing fancy.)

stenciling tutorialMake a slit in the centers of the circles with a sharp kraft knife.

stenciling tutorial
Use scissors to cut out the shapes using the slits as the starting points.
stenciling tutorial
It's easier to do this rather than trying to cut all shapes out with the kraft knife.
stenciling tutorial
Place the stencil onto a journal page and apply a layer of paint with a cosmetic sponge. That's just one way. You can add color in any manner that you like. The stencil will be sturdy enough for you to treat it like any other purchased stencil.

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Use a tracing wheel and roll it into some paint.
jenny dohRoll the tracing wheel onto the paper to make some dit dots.

tracing wheel tutorial
Add doodles and text as desired.
jenny dohEasy peasy. My favorite pens to doodle with? Find them here.

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Happy stenciling, doodling, and art journaling. :)

November 24, 2012

Performance Art = Honest Art

There's a friend who was sharing with me her uneasiness about what she thinks is a whole lot of performance journaling going on in our art world. "No one's being honest in their journaling. It's all about performing for the blog or the Instagram," she said. For her, she'd rather see a journal page filled with raw angst and rage rather than one adorned with pretty doodled birds, stenciled flowers, and washi tape.

Jenny DohHer perspective got me thinking not only about art journaling but about every other thing that I do creatively.

There are others in my life who take a different perspective about the sharing that's going on in our creative world ... people who feel that some folks are being "too honest" in what they share as they point out how they really want to be spared the details about a person's cancer, divorce and heartache. They'd rather see more birds, flowers, and pretty girls who dream big and follow their bliss. (Whatever that means.)

There was a great article in The New York Times recently about Judd Apatow. You know ... the comedic genius behind The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Freaks and Geeks, and the upcoming film This is 40. Well, in the interview, we learn that what and how he lives and who he lives with spill into his films to influence characters that he develops, situations that get depicted, and detials that get shared. Perhaps it's because he draws from his real life that his work becomes so honest and hilariously relatable to people.

To the matter of his tendency to draw such details and specifics from real life, the article notes how Apatow's explains it to his children: "I've tried to explain to them why we do it ... this is what creative people do. They share their lives, they let other people see that they feel the same things as them — that we're all in this together."

But surely ... if Apatow is like all of us, he has some days that are happy and bright, right? We all have those days. And of course because he's like us, he also has days filled with angst and turmoil. And the thing is ... we see all of that in his work. The good, bad, ugly, funny, and tragic. Honestly, isn't life is all of that?

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Maybe when I make an entry in my journal, I have an audience in mind that I intend to share the entry with. And perhaps because I have that audience in mind, I don't share some of my deepest and darkest thoughts. Not sure. But so what? Does the fact that I edit some of my thoughts while I journal or paint or collage mean that the end result is not honest? Are paintings and journal entries that deal with the macabre, or depression or uncontrollable impulses only the ones that qualify as "honest" art? Aren't I allowed to have days and therefore entries that are light and happy?

Having said that ... although sometimes what I share may look and feel light and happy, I have also definitely made and shared entries that unveil some of my angst and turmoil. When I do this, I do wonder for a moment whether I've shared too much ... but that wonder is eclipsed by the fact that I have to let it out. And as Apatow points out ... that's what creative people do: We share our lives ... sometimes the pretty, sometimes the non-so-pretty ... we let it all out to let others see that we are all in it together. That some days are pretty, lovely, and funny. And that other days are dark, dreary and depressing. Sometimes tragic. I don't think any of our days have to compete with each other for validation. They simply need to be respected when shared, to show each other that we are not alone.



November 22, 2012

Fiona. She is not afraid.

She is not afraid.

Jenny DohShe has large pink wings ...

Jenny Doh... with lime green dots.

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...that are accented with orange.
Orange ... the color she never knew she would adore so much.

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She loves all colors actually ... and many other things for which she is grateful.

Fast balls come at her. But she can catch them. And if need be, she can throw them too.
She is not afraid.

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