Tag Archives: Illuminated Journaling

Signposts

mabels 3I have returned, truly just a matter of hours ago, to this luscious land of my rootedness.  There are many travels still to embark upon in coming weeks and I am attempting to float above it all to soak up my experiences in Taos, whilst engaging in things back in Ohio and preparing for more to come.  Attempting not to burn up on re-entry.  Attempting to make sense of a world a world away.

One of my crew of 16 workshop participants this past week wears daily the visage of a frog.  It’s a pretty little thing, made of silver and inlaid with some lovely stonework. I asked her about it one day and she said, ‘this represents the fact that I live in and of two worlds.’  She is a lovely woman who is a frequent visitor to Mabel’s and I immediately tuned what she was saying.  For her, the two worlds seem to represent a going between her ‘normal’ home life, and the rich artistic breeding ground to be found at Mabel’s and other hotbeds of creativity.  For myself, the above two worlds are also the same as I go from Mabel’s and, in a matter of weeks, to music camp.  But I have the added world-switch of going from 7000 ft above sea level to 700 ft. which frankly feels a bit like drowning.

Today I am drowning.

I came home to a clean home.  Coffee in the cupboard and milk to accompany it in the morning.  There was even wine for my frazzled travel nerves to sip upon.  My family knows how to buffer the re-entry from this trip each year, so full of magic.  So very full of hard, hard work.  I am grateful.  But I also came home to things that need to be done.  By me.  The home-steward.  Something I value, actually.  We have a new member of the pack, potentially indefinitely, in the form of a little dog that a family member may or may not be able to care for in the long haul.  First stop was the vet’s office today for that little friend.  Next stop was the market for some fresh food for tonight’s meal, and then a nap.  Between all that and a proper re-engagement online, the day is nearly over.  And still I float.

I have a gagillion photos to share of the workshop week itself, thoughtfully taken by my friend and co-facilitator, Jan Haller from Taos.  But for now I will share what I have here.

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First off, love.  And a whole lot of it.  This year was very different than year’s past.  My dear friend Julie who has in the past helped keep my nose pointed in the proper direction is now stewarding the very place itself so important to my work.  And while this is wonderful, and all as it needs to be, I’ll admit to being really lonely for much of the working side of this trip.  But perhaps, that too is as it should be.

As we grow older, kids move on.  There are no guarantees to how long our beloved partners will choose to accompany us.  Our parents will inevitably move along before us, if things flow as they ought to.  The only thing we have is our right work.  Perhaps I’ll live to be 103 and see the passing of most of those I love…. but I will still have my work, such that it is.  I will still be able to engage the arts on some level.  This may seem a little depressing, but it’s all true.  And for me, it makes me value my loved ones in the here and now, and to allow the work the space it needs at the same time.

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old andtrembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”

― T.H. White, The Once and Future King

I am so fortunate to have folks in New Mexico now who hold a space for me to come ‘home’ to when I go to work there. Portal Keepers in Albuquerque – Ron and CC, who provide me a place to land, on the way in or out, any time, with a mountain view, a bit like that of Taos Mountain.  There is always a nourishing meal, laughter, artwork and a spot of wine or tea awaiting me there.  received_10206969471337528

I simply can’t thank them enough for their support and friendship.

There is also the crew at Mabel’s.  Arriving there is really like a homecoming.

mabels 2This inn sees hundreds of folks a year there.  To do workshops, experience the B&B end of things in Taos, to make a movie or to do research.  The staff at Mabel’s see and hear it all.  And somehow, most miraculously, I can walk in for my week there and be received like family.  (um, yes, that is a ‘Go Forth and Doodle’ sticker on a real live Taos truck!!!)

taos truck 1  Perhaps they treat everyone like this.  I’d not be surprised.  But I adore the people that run this place.  Their skeletal crew keeps this historic treasure running like clockwork, making it seem easy, which I know it certainly cannot be.  They even have their dogs on hand in the off hours for those of us visiting who might need a fix…

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Enzo tells me he is a football fan and may very well need a Bengals tee-shirt just his size.  I am already shopping.  This may be the first NFL item I have ever sought out.

Every trip to Taos yields a certain level of unexpected magic or synchronicity that may or may not send me down some unexpected rabbit hole.  I’ll share a couple of these with you here…

Firstly, this year is the 100’th anniversary of the founding of the Taos Society of Artists.  There is much to do in town about all this with art shows and articles.  One artist who’s work caught my eye amidst the to-do is Ralph Meyers.  Technically, he was not an ‘official’ TSA artist, which kind of makes me like him even more.  I enjoyed viewing some of his work at the Taos Art Museum  when I visited and the more I dig, the more I admire.  After the workshop ended, some of my participants (who are now dear friends, of course!!) remarked that they had seen a photo in town in a gallery of a young girl from back in the day that looked a bit like my youngest daughter.  Well, you know how it goes.  One takes these things with a grain of salt having grown up with an every-girl face like mine.  But then I walked by her…..

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I did a double take and decided to ask about her the following day.  Because, Sally was right.  This young woman is the spitting image of my own Madeleine.

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The photograph was of Ralph Meyers’ wife Rowena who hailed from Pennsylvania.  They met in Taos and the rest is history.  Their son, Ouray, is now himself a successful local artist in Taos and I highly recommend a visit into his lovely gallery for a peek at his paintings.

Things like this remind me, as my friend Harold says, that ‘we are all related.’  I’m keeping my ear to the ground regarding Ralph, as even his grave, situated right by Mabel herself, is intriguing in its simplicity and beauty.  I believe we should follow our noses regarding this sort of thing.  Perhaps a historical figure calls to you, maybe you too should follow the winding path and see what there is to discover….

IMG_0177The next turn down the proverbial rabbit hole came at the tail end of my trip…. (pun intended.)

glyph hareglyphs 1Before leaving New Mexico I spent a little (not enough, never enough New Mexico) exploring the Petroglyph National Monument per the advice of my Albuquerque based friends, Ron and CC.

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Amidst the basalt stone, if one looks closely and sticks to the path, there are literally hundreds of ancient images carved into the stone there….

glyphs basaltglyphs 12It was a quick trip, as I had a plane to catch, and it’s hard to leave good friends in a sacred-to-me land, but I am so glad I made the effort.

glyphs 11 glyphs 10glyphs 6I felt a true sense of guidance amongst these images.  They feel like signposts.  Sadly, one needs to ignore the occasional scratches of more modern day people who have felt the need to add their marks to the mix.  But I regularly ignore the stupidity of the modern day in my search for the magical things and once on the trail, it wasn’t so bad.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned, getting as far off the beaten path as possible, leads, generally speaking, to fewer idiots.  Though this has it’s exceptions, and is not a scientifically proven fact.

glyphs 2glyphs 11Glyphs 8I have so much more to share with you as I gather photographs from the workshop itself.  The work done there this past week was the most focused yet compared to years past.  I believe part of the reason for this is the space I gave it.  I didn’t concentrate (at. all.) on my own art work.  I was there to be a steward to the work of the participants there for the week who ranged from beginners to professionals.  And this paid off in folks who worked hard on their books, their artful craft, their soaking up of New Mexico and Taos in particular.  One has even written a blog post already!! mabelsMore to come in due time.  But as you know, time is fluid in summer…..

 

 

 

In other news…

Bogard_Amy_Murmuration (Once We Flew)

 

The above work entitled, Murmuration (Once, We Flew) (oil on paper, found frame, fish bone) has been accepted to be part of the 50/50 Art Show and Sale next month at Covington Arts!  I’m thrilled to be a part of it as the sale always draws a crowd and there is a nice shuffle for purchase by the attendees.  If you are local to us, and would like a one-of-a-kind gift for your Valentine, this is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy an evening out with some wonderful art, and maybe even purchase a piece or two!

Also in February, the 2nd to be exact, the class I’m offering in partnership with Diane Debevec at Women Writing for a Change has been met with great interest!  We are a slot or two away from selling out, last I checked, so if you are interested, do get in touch with us via the link and join us for an afternoon of Illuminated Journaling practice and techniques! I’m excited to work within the WWfaC technique base and to incorporate writing practice into keeping the illuminated journal!  With St. Bridgid as inspiration, we will have much subject matter to draw upon.

 

 

 

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Rumor has it there may even be some collage exercises happening to get the creative juices flowing!!

 

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Ginger Small has also been hard at work.  She and I have started a Society6 page with a few Ginger products available for sale.   These too, have been met with great fanfare by Ginger enthusiasts.  If you are a fan of Ginger and would like to see a favorite image of hers upon a mug or a phone case or some such, just drop me a line!  I’d be glad to upload more images as time goes on!

Some folks love when Ginger is all bundled up for a winter’s day, (much like today!) and have invited her for cocoa.

Ginger comes to cocoa

Others appreciate Ginger’s love of the ocean and a lovely tropical breeze.  The perfect scene to keep your mind off your computer work, yes?

 

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Speaking of the ocean, this continues to be where my art brain resides, and therefore, some of my sketchbook resides there as well.  It’s difficult to stay primed in our illuminated journals when the wind howls outside and the snows cover most anything that might normally be of interest.  At times like these, look to your imagination, (Ginger drawings), or online for seemingly magical (but very real indeed) creatures of the deep… (this one I drew from a photograph)

Weedy SeaDragon

 

…or perhaps no further than your windowsill for a find from last summer or the last time you were at the beach.  Around here there are always bits of this and that laying around, usually with a magnifying glass to notice the details.  Here’s a page I did with a  few of these finds. (not from a photo)

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No matter how you are keeping your sketchbook alive, I’d love to see it!  There are just over 6 weeks left to sign up for the Taos trip happening this june.    While we may have a few slots left for latecomers, signing up before this deadline is the only way to guarantee at room at the inn as well as a slot in the class.  Part of the magic of this course is spending a week at the magical, mystical Mabel Dodge Luhan House.  While there is more than enough room for a conference at Mabel’s, they do open any extra rooms after our deadline to people who may not be attending a workshop but want to lodge at the inn.  And so, after March 15th, much will be left to chance.  If you have any questions about the trip, feel free to message me in an email and I will answer them for you as best I can.  I hope you can join us!

As my mom would say,”that’s all the news that’s fit to print”.  And so it is.  Stay warm dear readers.

Go Forth and Doodle! A Give-away

In my last blog post, I hinted that there might be some excitement around here as I continue to spread the word about the Illuminated Travel Journaling workshop in Taos Next summer.  Early-bird registration is in it’s final weeks and spots are starting to fill!  While we will be accepting registration for the course through early spring time while space is available, I didn’t want anyone to miss out on the chance for the $200 savings now!.  What better way to spread the word than with a give-away!!  Here’s your chance to win the Go Forth and Doodle sketch-journaling set!

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The Go Forth and Doodle give-away set includes a few must have tools to begin your sketching adventure right now!  There is a moleskin brand blank book, tricked out with GFaD art work, complete with a place for ephemera in the back of the book.  This little book is great for ink or pencil drawings, notes about your travels and doings, a general “butterfly catcher” to enhance deeper work in other books later.  I like to work and write in these books with Pigma Micron pens, so I’ve included one as part of this give-away set.

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There is also, a more watercolor friendly handmade blank book, made by me out of sturdy paper that can take some wet work and color play.  Also tiny in size, this little book is a good one to sit and paint in when out at the park or the public market.

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One cannot watercolor with out some paints and a brush, so this give-away includes a Niji waterbrush and an Altoid tin watercolor set, which you have seen multiple times here in the past.  These tools make it so easy to grab quick, sketchy studies just about anywhere!  And the water is in the pen!!

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The whole set can fit in a coat pocket or a small bag or case and with a little practice, you’ll be drawing, sketching and painting like mad wherever you go!

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So how do you go about getting in on this gift?  The only thing you really must do, so I can keep official tabs of who has entered to win, is to submit a comment to this post on this blog.  I love to hear from you on Facebook and Twitter and beyond, but those comments can get lost in the shuffle, and I’d hate to miss anyone who’s name should be among those in the hat.  So comment below and you’re in for the give-away! Simple and quick as that.  If you know other sketchers who might like to win this give-away, or even better, to join us in Taos next summer, pass the word!  Below is a video to share.  Best of luck!

I’ll pull the name of one lucky winner from the hat at 7 pm, Saturday December 14 (EST), one day before the end of early-bird registration. So have your comments in before 6:55!  Thanks again for passing on the word of this wonderful work.  I hope to see you in Taos!

chrysalis blooming

Pull up a chair and let me pour you a cup of tea.  It’s been a long and delightful summer filled with amazing journeys to magical places and I can’t wait to share it all with you in the coming weeks as I get caught up.  But first… I’ve been remodeling this little virtual space, as I said I might, and I am anxious to show you around!

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Welcome to my new website!!  www.amybogard.com is now a blog-centered virtual world now.  I’ll spare you the tedious techie details, but basically my lovely old website, off of which my blog used to spin, has become a part of the history of the interwebs and is now just a exhaled electronic breath on the virtual ether by now.  I took a few snapshots for posterity before having it turned off and everything redirected to this new space and I now envision the old website and all it’s one-of-a-kind beauty floating ever further out into space like some out-dated satellite or some such.  It served me well for a good long time, but I am thrilled to be here, now, in this space.  Is’t it cozy??  Do poke around and click at will, and let me know what you think.  My friend MB and new “wordpress midwife” is, among many things (like so many mamas I know and love), a fantastic web-master kinda gal with super skills that I am in awe of on a daily basis.  I have her to thank for getting all of the proper widgets in place that can help me stay connected and current in this vast and weird online world, and to navigate amidst it.  She also had some fabulous design ideas and the look of the new site is as much hers as mine.  Big, big love and thanks to you MB!!!

It is said that if you disturb a chrysalis in it’s cocoon before it is ready to face the world, you stand the chance of damaging or destroying it.  My work lately has felt very much this way.  The blog is not the only thing undergoing Big Change in recent months…..

extra  read all about it!!!!!!!!

For the past three summers, I have been leading a group of intrepid travelers to Taos, New Mexico to work in their sketchbooks and create Illuminated Travel Journals, visual diaries of their time in this amazing little town so far off the beaten path, yet at the center of everything, being at the foot of Taos Mountain.  I created this class in partnership with the of the Art Academy of Cincinnati and having a Real Institution behind me gave me the opportunity to sprout some wings and get this workshop off the ground.  For this I am forever grateful.  But as the workshop and myself as well grow and change into a new creature, it became clear to me that I should forge ahead on my own, less a part of a large institution, but rather as the lead wolf in a small committed pack of like minded other wolves who could see my vision for things as they morph into what they need to be.  And so I have amicably parted ways with the Art Academy, with their support and their blessing, to continue offering this trip, with updates, some sprucing up, and forever tweaking the flow of things.  It is up to me to get the word out, get folks registered, answer questions, plan, plot, collect, inform, create and conjure to make the journey once again a reality.  I have taken full ownership and responsibility for it all, complete with a new bank account, the creation of an LLC, and a marketing plan.  And contrary to a time that has now passed, I am not terrified of this side of the work.  This too is something for which I have a whole heap of gratitude.

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(photo credit: Julie Keefe)

Here are the basic facts about the course and you can go to the Join Us In Taos page for even more information and links to all things Taos.

AMY BOGARD’S ILLUMINATED JOURNALING WORKSHOP,  TAOS, NM

June 15-20, 2014

Mabel Dodge Luhan House Historic Inn and Conference Center

Check in after 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 15 with evening welcome reception

Check out by 10:30 a.m. on Friday, June 20 with bagged lunch to go

Learn and apply the tools, tricks and techniques that will bring your travel sketchbook journal to life!

Open to all skill levels from drawing beginners to pros looking for a fresh perspective;

new and lifelong journalers alike are welcome.

Workshop fee includes room with full bath, gourmet breakfasts and lunches, as well as a farewell dinner.

Field trips to iconic sites in/around Taos;  opportunities for self-guided excursions and solitary drawing as well as class time and exercises.

Amy will be available for one-on-one assistance and support.

$1100 shared/$1300 single – payment in full by December 15, 2013

$1300 shared/$1500 single – payment in full by March 15, 2014

More Information:       http://www.amybogard.com

Register Via Email:        abeefrnd@gmail.com

And that is the gist of things in the Big News dept.  In smaller (though no less exciting) news,

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The girls have begun laying.  I am not sure how long this will last, now that fall has begun to wrap it’s golden cloak around our region, but hopefully they will develop their laying skills for a few weeks before taking the winter time off.

Do stop back here to this cozy little space, as I have many tales to tell you of my summer’s journeying.  I have been to many places and have learned a great many things…..

“For some time now it has seemed to me that the two questions we should ask of any strong landscape are these: firstly, what do I know when I am in this place that I can know nowhere else? And then, vainly, what does this place know of me that I cannot know of myself?”

~Robert Macfarlane, The Old Ways