This and That

“Your soul doesn’t care what you do for a living – and when your life is over, neither will you. Your soul only cares about what you are being while you are doing whatever you are doing.”

Watson is now 6 months old and such a funny guy. If there is a mud puddle, he jumps in. He hops and gallops and leaps everywhere. And he does not like to be left alone. When he sits by you, he always has one paw touching you. He’s an amazing, sweet, goodnatured, happy dog. Oh – and he finally likes to ride in the car with his face out the window! Zoom-Zoom

I’ve been working in my journal daily in Judy Wise’s Mixed Media Journal class. I’ve kept a written journal since high school and continued until I started online blogging in 2007 – but I never combined my journal writing with any type of art. I never thought I could draw or use mixed media to express myself. What’s interesting is using the combination of left brain/right brain to express my innermost thoughts, really helps to provide a deeper access and that is fueling my art making in all areas! Here are a couple of pages:



These pages are in a journal I made in January! There’s something so satisfying about working on paper you’ve chosen in a book you created. In this particular journal, I used a heavy weight colored card stock that takes wet medium beautifully. Although on the recommendation from Lynne Hoppe, I’ve just purchased a new journal from Stillman & Birn that I’m anxious to try. I am now hooked on art journaling. It’s the perfect way to start my day in the studio.  An early morning light, my favorite music and art supplies sets the right tone for my day.

Yesterday Robyn, on her blog Art Propelled mentioned the books she’s reading now. It was wonderful to see her list and get some ideas for new books.  I also have a stack of books I’m reading so I thought I would share my list, too! They are all nonfiction and I like having the variety of titles to choose from for inspiration.

DayBook – Anne Truitt

The Zen of Creativity – John Daido Loori

Wabi Sabi: For Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers – Leondard Koren

ColorfulWorld – Amandine Guisez Gallienne

The Art Spirit – Robert Henri

 “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action; and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. You must keep that channel open. It is not for you to determine how good it is, nor how valuable. Nor how it compares with other expressions.” -Martha Graham.

I share the above quote, because last week I was appalled by an artist’s attack on another artist on a blog. The artist felt threatened and felt her work was being copied. No names were mentioned but pictures of the artwork were posted. The only similarities I noticed were they were both creating shrines out of clay. The expression was different, but yes, the concept was the same. I can name many artists who use clay and make shrines or reliquaries and all of them have similar aspects. These two artists live many states and miles apart and market in totally different ways. I don’t believe an attack is ever justified especially so publicly and so cruelly. I should probably just keep quiet about this, but it really saddened me. I am of the opinion that the more you share the more you get in return or as the Beatles put it “And in the end, the love you get is equal to the love you give . . “

About Judy Shreve

Blogging for me is like keeping a journal which I have done in various forms since I can remember. But what's great about this format is it offers an opportunity to explore all the things that interest me as an artist with others. Blogging seems to strengthen that sense of being part of both something personal and something universal. It takes the journaling idea and expands it through visitor's comments creating a valuable dialog that connects us to each other no matter where we live. I enjoy responding to each comment and warmly welcome your visits. email: judyshreve at mac dot com
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24 Responses to This and That

  1. smartcat says:

    Watson looks like a love. He reminds me of a guy we had back in the 70’s-80’s called Woolybear, who was too smart for his own good. (This was a dog who could open windows and get out of any clip know to man. We had to use a padlock when he went out on his run.

    You are so very generous to share your journal pages.

    • Judy Shreve says:

      Hi Suzie! Watson is a love! I noticed on your blog you have an new dog too! I read a quote the other day ‘if you think money can’t buy happiness, you’ve never bought a puppy.’ I think that is so true. Hope Watson doesn’t learn how to open windows . . . .Yikes!

  2. LInda Starr says:

    Watson’s tongue is so pink in contrast to his dark color; he’s a happy dog. There is so much energy and color in your journal; I particularly like the blue page. I have kept a journal off and on but only draw in it in pencil or pen and never thought of using color. I can’t believe you have been journaling your whole life, how cool to have that reference.

    I saw a quote recently which said “a lot of trouble can be avoided if we talk TO one another instead of ABOUT one another”. It’s too bad this artist chose to attack another artist publicly rather than speak to the other artist. It’s truly debilitating and depressing to be on the brunt of written and pictorial attacks by other’s, especially when they all know each other, many even having met in person, and furthermore to encourage others to attack as well is unconscionable. A critique is one thing but cruelty is another. Some people’s actions are far different than what they profess them to be. I thought art was a profession without politics but I guess politics escapes no human endeavors. Much anger could be expressed by lashing out publicly, and rightly so, but best to let the negative drop by the wayside and move forward with art, people reap what they sow. Thanks for expressing your thoughts here regarding this timely topic.

    • Judy Shreve says:

      I am really enjoying learning more about visual journaling. I think we can learn to think in pictures. In fact I’m purposefully not writing much on my journal pages, so I can get better at telling a story visually. My journals have always just been words.
      Yeah – It still makes me sad what happened the other day. There’s no excuse ever for being cruel.

  3. Annie says:

    I agree with you about sharing and I think it is sad about this attack. We all take and give and that is the way it should be.
    It looks like you are having great fun, thank you for sharing your lovely journal pages.
    Watson is a living doll, love that photo.
    Have a wonderful week!

    • Judy Shreve says:

      Hi Annie! I am having great fun! I think I will be keeping a visual journal from now on. It’s a great way to settle in to my studio each morning.

      Watson is such a great pup! I am so happy he’s part of our family now. Hope Bella is doing well.

  4. Annie says:

    P.S. I just bought 3 new novels for myself for my birthday, I will share after I read them. I have been meaning to do a book post soon. Your list looks yummy. xoxo

    • Judy Shreve says:

      Please let me know about your new novels. I need something mindless and entertaining to read. I can’t seem to find something right now.

      • Annie says:

        Judy, Run right out and get “Among Others” by Jo Walton, not mindless, but beautifully written story and it has fairies! This is the first book in my stack that I picked to read and I am almost half through, I love it. xoxo

        • Judy Shreve says:

          Heading over to Amazon now . . .
          Here’s a book for you to check out:
          The Wood Wife, Terri Windling – it takes place not far from where you live and is filled with mystery and art and fantasy . . . a great read.

  5. Gay says:

    I checked out “Colorful World” (the only book on your list I do not have). Very colorful indeed! But color is not my ‘thing’ right now–still fighting with clay glazing–well there is color there! We have had the great good fortune to study under John Lori Daido, a very interesting man, he is greatly missed. And it was with a group of his students that we visited Japan–what a treat. Many connections–but we’ve seen that before! I love discovering these threads of connection.
    Your art journals are fabulous.

    • Judy Shreve says:

      Hello Gay! The ColorfulWorld book is just for inspiration. I can open that book at any page and be totally moved by just color.
      What good fortune to have met and studied with John Lori Daido – and the trip to Japan with his students, too – that is a treat! We do have lots of similar interests. I love discovering those threads too!

  6. Michael says:

    Hi Judy,
    Thanks very much for trying out one of Stillman & Birn’s new sketchbooks. We’re very interested in your feedback. Please write to us at

    • Judy Shreve says:

      Hi Michael – your journals come highly rated. I have two to fill – a 4×6 Gamma series and a 9×12 wire bound Delta series. I’m looking forward to working in both of them soon. I will follow-up with my thoughts.

  7. Meredith says:

    and the other- had to be said!
    Love what you are working on!!

  8. lynne hoppe says:

    heya judy,

    last week i read a very angry post by an artist/art journaler re: people posting images of her work on tumblr or pinterest. this person wasn’t just upset, she was full of hate for anyone who would put her art on either site. i was floored…. and in her mind it didn’t make a difference if the images linked back to her website and blog. wow, i forget that there are people out there who are filled with anger over copyright infringement and how they think it’s cutting into the money they could be earning. out of respect for those that feel as she does, i’m now being extra careful about not reblogging images where credit isn’t given. otherwise i’ll continue tumbling as usual… anyway, i think i know exactly how you felt after reading the ‘shrine copying’ post…

    smiling that you’re gonna give the stillman and birn journals a whirl… : )


    • Judy Shreve says:

      Hi Lynne – yes I am always so surprised by anger. I think artists that lash out at other artists must have some issues with a lack of self-confidence, insecurities or just plain insanity. It always makes me sad when I witness it though. This wonderful world can hold lots of creativity – original, similar, re-interpretations . . . and the artists that share get an extra benefit — love.

      Yes – thank you for all the info on the Stillman & Birn journals – can’t wait to start . . . .

  9. Thea says:

    Your journal pages are beautiful, Judy! The first one I had already seen on the Journal Page and loved it. Thanks to you I’m in the same class and having a blast, dragging out all kind of forgotten art supplies out of dark corners…;-)
    As soon as I’ve some time I’m going to blog about my creations too. And I’m going to check out those journals from Stillmann & Birn!
    I also very much enjoy the smart quotes you always seem to find. Your last one really hit the mark, and it gives me permission just to let go and not worry about “marketability” of the work.
    So sad about that artist getting upset: Linda Starr really hit the mark with her remark about talk TO one another instead of ABOUT one another!
    Big hug,

    • Judy Shreve says:

      Hi Thea! Thank you for your sweet comments — and I am so glad you decided to take the journaling class. Isn’t it fabulous. I’m loving your pages too.
      I’ve heard wonderful things about the S&B journals. I won’t start mine until this class is over — want to finish my book first.
      I love collecting quotes. I keep a folder on my desktop and add to it when I find good ones while online.
      Yes, Linda did get it right – talk TO one another. And if that artist had just communicated before lashing out, it might have been resolved without all the drama.

  10. Alisa Noble says:

    What a cutie!

    I really agree with you… creating within pages you have created yourself is very satisfying, as well as, special.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  11. I’m reading our posts backwards from later in the week and the more I read about your art journals the more inspired I become. I journaled every day through three deployments when my son was in Iraq. Words and sketches that I haven’t looked at since but kept me sane. Or not. But looking at this approach, as making it be a creative start to the morning intrigues me, says hey, you can do this Susan.

    Thank you for sharing this Judy. xo

    • Judy Shreve says:

      Susan – I can’t imagine dealing with the worries of having my son in Iraq. I’m sure those journals were great therapy! I try to work quickly in my journal. I’ve made up a small box of papers and photos, etc that I can pull from. I use my acrylic paints or water color crayons because they dry fast – so it just takes 30-40 minutes to do my pages. And then when I’m finished – I’m ready for a canvas! 🙂

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