Posts Tagged ‘digital’

My Beautiful, Altered Brain | Altered Book

November 18, 2012

Here are some altered book pages I’ve been working on for My Beautiful, but Altered Brain series.  I transformed a children’s board book with some of the photos I had made of the digital art I created of my MRI scans with some text content from the recent issue of Momentum Magazine, the quarterly publication of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Altered Book Pages | My Beautiful, Altered Brain

 This altered book includes 10 years of my MRI scans and shares my experience.

I’ve also been creating more digital art with the most recent MRI scans that I just had:

During my neurology appointment this month, I gave my neurologist one of Elizabeth Jameson‘s beautiful catalogs that I received from her a few months ago to keep sharing her inspiring work and the grateful impact her art has had on me throughout this year.  My altered book is dedicated to Elizabeth and her reminder that “the brain- even a brain with a disease- is beautiful, complex, and intriguing“.

More Gluebook Goings On @ 6 Degrees of Creativity 2

October 11, 2012

 It’s time for another gluebook round-up and inspiring happenings from my 6 Degrees of Creativity 2 e-workshop Creative Goodness with Gluebooks!

I am excited to share only a sampling of the books, pages, and ideas being created from workshop participants (!) :

Nancy’s Gluebook

Nancy Lautenbach facilitated a file folder gluebook project with a workshop she offered for Arts at Smith student orientation with the theme of managing the upcoming year.  The gluebook above is Nancy’s example that she made for students. You can see more of Nancy’s pictures from this gluebook workshop on her Flickr Set

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Janet’s Gluebook

Janet McLeod has also been busy with file folder gluebooking in New Zealand!  On her blog Positive Art Therapy, Janet posted how she has used her file folder gluebook to explore her Ikigai and the intentions Create, Inspire, Share, Care and Be. Learn more about this gluebook’s theme by reading Janet’s post My Ikigai: What gets me up in the mornings.

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Hannah’s Gluebook Spread

After receiving some inspiration from a NY Times Arts article, Hannah Klaus Hunter decided to dedicate her gluebook theme to all the art exhibitions around the country she wants to visit in 2013.  Read more on her blog and post Gluebooks on the Move.

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Emma’s Gluebook

Emma Parker continues her pages in her gluebook created from envelopes at Stitch Therapy Headquarters in the UK.  On this spread above , Emma uses a page from an old nurse’s dictionary combined with fiber art.  Follow Emma’s gluebook happenings and stories on her blog here.

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Gluebooks from Natalya

Natalya Garden-Thompson was inspired by the brown paper bag gluebook idea to start experimenting with it in her adult art group for storytelling.  Check out this beautiful pic of Natayla’s embellished brown paper shopping bags drying in the sun in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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Jolie & Sandhya Digital Smashbooking

Inspired by the Paper Stash Swap we had in September, Jolie Buchanan and Sandhya Artique have taken this activity to a new and virtual level!  They have both been collaborating on & exchanging “digital paper images” with one another to use in their smashbooking.

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Susanna’s Gluebook Pages

Another upcoming collaboration within the Creative Goodness with Gluebooks Workshop is a gluebook page exchange this November.  The photo above is a batch of gluebook pages received from Susanna Suchak this week from Ontario, Canada.  Participants in this exchange are creating a series of 5 x 7 gluebook pages that will be swapped with other community members next month!

I’m excited to see what continues to develop over the last few months of this workshop. Thank you to all the workshop participants for sharing their art, inspirations, & ideas!

Creativity and Crisis: Unfolding the AIDS Memorial Quilt Then & Now

July 20, 2012

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”  ~Herman Melville

A project with a very special place in my heart marks its 25th anniversary this year: The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.  I was introduced to The Quilt while in college at Bowling Green State University and soon became a volunteer for the project when sections of The Quilt would be shown on campus.

Words cannot describe the amount of honor and emotion I felt to be part of this experience and how humbling it was to be surrounded by such love, sadness, loss, humor, life, grief, and celebration stitched, painted, glued, ironed on, and uniquely created on each of the 3 x 6 foot panels in memory of a loved one’s life who had died of AIDS.  It was overwhelming.

My senior year at BGSU I dedicated to volunteering and interning at a community AIDS service organization in Toledo, Ohio called David’s House Compassion that provided a continuum of services for individuals living with HIV and AIDS, including residential housing, case management, respite, home visitation, and more.  I have many special memories of spending time at David’s House (making and eating Saturday night candle light dinners), making home visits to drop off food, providing respite to family members at the hospital to stay the night with their loved one, or helping out and making some art in a support group with children whose parent had died from AIDS.  I learned so much from everyone I met at David’s House about life, death, compassion, gratitude, and respect.

There were also sad and difficult moments. Several of the women and men that I visited or spent time with throughout my work at David’s House died before I finished my internship. This experience of multiple loss was important for me to process through journaling, supervision, as well as spending one night on the floor of my small dorm room working on a fabric panel for the AIDS Memorial Quilt in memory of these seven individuals: Arnetta, Bob, Frank, Jack, John, Nancy, and Neshelle.  I then mailed my panel to the NAMES Project in the Spring of 1995 to honor, celebrate, and recognize their lives and the significant impact they each left on my life.

In the Fall of 1996, my brother and I decided to travel to Washington DC to view The Quilt displayed in its entirety at the National Mall over three days.  To my surprise on the train ride from Cleveland, the stop in Toledo (to pick up my brother) also included picking up some of the staff I knew from David’s House, as well as surviving family members who were also in route to see the display and had panels attached to the same block my panel was sewn into. There were so many people who attended this display, which stretched from one end of the Mall to the other with a sea of fabric.  Again, the visual surroundings, emotions, and sensory experience was overwhelming. It is a moment I will always remember.

In Memory of Arnetta, Bob, Frank, Jack, John, Nancy, & Neshelle

In June 2012, The Quilt was shown throughout the DC area to mark the 25th Anniversary in various institutions, centers, and organizations serving as hosts.  The Quilt has become so large, several locations were needed to accommodate the space needed to show it.  The panel I created was on display as part of Smithsonian Folklife Festival in late June.

Click on this image to view a short video introducing this event:

Creativity & Crisis: Unfolding the AIDS Memorial Quilt [VIDEO]

Beginning July 21 through July 25, The Quilt will be on display again in its entirety through rotated stages on the National Mall in Washington DC , as well as throughout 50+ venues around the DC Metro area.  For those who cannot attend this special event, this year’s anniversary also launched the application and site AIDS Quilt Touch, which allows locating panels online through keyword search of an individual’s name and will track panels as they travel to other venues for future displays.

AIDS Quilt Touch | Block #4083

I was able to search for and locate (on the first try!) the block that my panel is a part of through the AIDS Quilt Touch website, as well as discover its recent showing at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. What a helpful resource through the use of technology to connect this community together, as well as create a virtual, worldwide environment for memorializing and still much needed awareness through the power, stories, and history of The Quilt.

You can read more information about the 2012 AIDS Memorial Quilt Display and 25th Anniversary here:

Learn how to host a display of The Quilt in your community herecheck out upcoming displays for viewing, or how to contribute a panel.

MRI Digital Art for My Own Beautiful, but Altered Brain

June 13, 2012

Here are the first eight digital art images I’ve created with my MRI scans for My Own Beautiful, but Altered Brain:

First I photographed some sections of my old MRI films, then used photo editing software to transform the photo into digital art.

I really enjoyed the creative process of altering these scans. The process of experimenting & transforming each image provided me with an openness and freedom to explore different themes in a way that I couldn’t before.

As I faced each image and reflected on my experiences, I started to focus on those personal strengths that I believe have helped me the most in times of need related to managing illness: hope, bravery, learning, perseverance, and gratitude.

To my surprise I started to view these images, my driving need to create them, and my overall experience as a celebration of so many important things related to support, treatment, trying to stay healthy, active, being positive, gratitude, and balancing life.

I thought about everything I’ve been able to do, enjoy, create, give back to, and appreciate since my diagnosis 10 years ago.  While it hasn’t all been easy and can surface feelings of denial, isolation, frustration, worry, and uncertainty, there’s still lots for me to be thankful for.  These images are a reflection of that.

 My experience has inspired & contributed to making choices & doing things I didn’t think I could do, but I did- and it’s all good!

A big part of helping to be able to start this process of art-making with my MRI scans has been the inspiration of Elizabeth Jameson and her art, so this is definitely worth another mention. I’ve so admired her work, story, and advocacy from a distance via the Internet for awhile, but throughout the last few months I’ve enjoyed an e-mail correspondence with Elizabeth which continues to motivate me even further, has helped with additional reflection about how one views illness & has put much into perspective for me. Very grateful for this connection and support!

I hope to continue to develop this series further through perhaps using the images to create an altered book, a video or maybe use for some digital storytelling content. Making progress… 🙂

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