Sunday, April 29, 2012

I'm Glad You Came Back

I'm glad you came back to see the second installment of my inspiration journal. 

You may recall that this was a project I designed to get my students inspired to write and make art; along the way, I inspired myself to make a journal with them.

If you like, you may go here to see the first part of the journal, which focuses on the seasons. 

Now I'll show you the second half, which is all about holidays.

See? Here we are at the pine cone photo that signals the end of the section on seasons, and we find another watercolored half-page, announcing the new topic. 

The first assignment was to think of as many holidays as you possibly can, and write them all down in a list. This was to be a no-holds-barred, all-inclusive list; any family-invented holidays, traditional outings, or ideas for future holidays were allowed. 

I made a little book for my list, and wrote them all down inside. I came up with 37.

The next page spread includes two of my favorite projects that I dreamed up for this journal. On the left, you see Holidays in a Box. Using the lists of all the different holidays, our challenge was to choose a favorite holiday for each of the four seasons, and create a drawing, collage, poem or short story about each one, and hide it under a flap.

Now that you have seen the closed flaps, I'll lift each one and give you a peek at what I created.

For winter, I chose Valentine's Day, and drew a little grid full of hearts.

Next I chose the First Day of Spring as my favorite spring holiday, and make a tiny collage that shows tulips blooming. I used a cross-section perspective, so you can see the tiny bulbs growing underground, and I even fashioned little roots out of white thread.

The summer box celebrates Beach Day. I made that holiday up, and I drew a classic beach ball to commemorate the day. Although I am a huge fan of spending the day at the beach, I don't think I have ever taken one of those balls along. 

Columbus Day commemorates the day that Christopher Columbus 'discovered' America, and it is a holiday has fallen from favor lately. He wasn't very nice to the people who already lived here, so I wrote a poem to him and kinda told him off. Do I have mixed feelings about being a European transplant to America? Yes, I do.

That covers the left page of the spread; over here on the right, we have a little holiday poll going on.

As you can see, this assignment covered a three-step process; each step is described on one of these tiny envelopes that I made out of graph paper.

Inside each of the envelopes is a card where I wrote the results of the corresponding step.

Final result: between Valentine's Day, Fourth of July and Thanksgiving, my ten voters were split between Fourth of July and Thanksgiving as their favorite of those three holidays. Poor Valentine's Day didn't stand a chance. Interesting.

Well, we have now come to the place in my journal where I got distracted. I created several other holiday assignments for my students but I never got around to completing them myself. 

Instead, I caught a fever for circles. For some reason, I started drawing, painting and making collages that involve circles.

See what I mean?

I do love circles though, and I'm perfectly happy to give them their own section in my journal. But I want to wrap up the other assignments as well. I've got a serious case of delayed gratification.

So here is my work plan for finishing this unfinished project:

1. Complete the remaining holiday assignments. (Don't worry; since my students did these projects at home, I wrote descriptions for each assignment and I still have those on hand to remind me of what to do.

2. Make a half-page watercolor divider that says 'circles,' just like the ones that say 'seasons' and 'holidays.'

3. Add to this new section a few other circle-related drawings that I have on hand.

Give me a few days to finish up and I'll show you when I get 'er done. I hope you'll come back AGAIN!

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