The basic definition of fodder is the coarse food fed to livestock, but another definition is the widely available materials for a given purpose. For me, fodder is the flotsam and jetsam of everyday life -- the ephemera that gathers from some of the most mundane places. I don't go to an arts and crafts store, a thrift store, or an antiques shop and buy papers, materials, and photos to use in my journal. I collect it from my life -- movie tickets, business cards, labels, maps, name tags, and much, much more. These are the things that I collect on my excursions out into the world whether I'm going to see a play or traveling across the country to teach.
Over time these bits and pieces gather into piles, trays, and bins, and they seem to take over my studio. Although I collect all of this stuff, I'm not great about gluing it all into my journal, and it piles up. So I sat down this week, and began using up some of this fodder. I dug through old and new alike, and decided to use as much as I could, and in fact, I spent a couple days where about all I did was glue things into my journals - maps, tickets, labels, drawings, and so much more. I used up an entire jumbo UHU glue stick.
When this fodder is glued into the journal, it's transformed from the mundane to the extraordinary and it becomes a great way to document my travels, my activities, and the little things that happen along the way. So I glued pieces to pages with lots of layers and also to blank pages as the initial layer.
With some of the fodder, I worked and layered over top of it with ink, watercolor paint, and watercolor pencil as a way to push the collage into the page. This makes these somewhat random pieces become an integral part of the page. Since this ephemera is food for the journal, the journal slowly becomes fatter and fatter as the extra layers of stuff build up on the pages.
Along with gluing fodder into my large journal, I worked quite a bit in my smaller book. I began this book a couple of weeks ago as I began pondering ideas for a new workshop that I'm hoping to teach in a variety of places in 2019, but my approach has been a little different.
I've been thinking about how pages can relate and tie together, and I've been linking pages with similar colors, similar lines, and similar ideas. This week, I added more fodder and collage to the book as well as ink, paint, and watercolor pencil. I've also been trying to create more interaction between and among pages with windows, cutouts, tunnels, wrap arounds, and even page tears. It's been a challenge to think of the journal in this way, and though I'm using ideas and techniques that I've always used, it's been great to stretch myself in a new direction. It's been interesting to explore how to create a visual narrative that threads through, between, and among the pages.
As I have worked in both journals, ideas and themes are beginning to emerge, and though this emergence is still in the early stages, certain pages have started to take on a direction all their own. I love witnessing how these pages take shape. I never have a specific idea in mind when I start, and ideas and concepts emerge in the making. I can't wait to see where these pages and ideas are heading!