Sunday, February 21, 2010

Autograph Sessions...Journal Spilling with Diana Trout


You may remember back in November, I kicked off this
new feature with internationally-known UK paper artist
The feedback from that session was fabulous and now
I am pleased to tell you that I have a line-up of
tremendous authors and artists to share with you.

Just a quick recap on how this idea came about...

My dear friend Sarah Anderson
(The Art of Moodling) sent me an autographed copy
of Sue's book 'Handmade Decorative Books'
and I thought it would be a great thing if we could do
something similar online, so that we could have a chance
to meet authors and other creative contributors to publications.

Coincidentally enough, Sarah has been featuring the author
of the next session on her blog over the past few weeks, so
I thought now is a terrific time to share her with you, too!

So here is my time with Diana Trout author of...

Diana...where in the US do you live & what do you love about it?

I live in Glenside, PA just outside of Philadelphia.  Glenside is great!
We call it 'Mayberry'.  I could never live far from a big city, though,
and I take full advantage of the arts and communities.
I love the hills and forests of Pennsylvania which have been a
major influence in my art-making.

I would love if you would 'toot your own horn' and share
a few of your professional credits with us...

I've been making art professionally for more than 30 years (yikes!).
I attended University of the Arts and Pennsylvania Academy of
Fine Arts in Philadelphia.
I've been published in several zines such as 'DogEared Magazine',
Teesha Moore's 'Play, Art & Life' and 'The Studio'.
I've had articles in 'Cloth, Paper Scissors' and 'Bound & Lettered'
and have published two zines, 'Something I Forgo't and 'Springfed'.
I've shown my work in numerous art shows in PA, NY & NJ
and at regional craft shows.
I am currently showing with a diverse and dynamic group of 
Philadelphia-based women artists called Mamacita.
I teach from my studio, in art centers and libraries.
I recently began teaching nationally at Art & Soul.

You have recently published 'Journal Spilling'. 
As one who journals, how is this type of writing different?

I love writing 'how-to's' and my years of teaching was great
practice for writing 'Journal Spilling'.  It's quite fun for me to write
this way because I start with the left-brain 'how-to' and then
my right-brain takes over for some magic.
Some areas of the book were written in a
'stream-of-consciousness' or 'spill-writing',
as I do in my own journal.
I enjoyed working with the North Light team.
I'm pretty disciplined and I love deadlines, so I break
projects down into do-able bits.
Most of all, 'Journal Spilling' was a realized dream I have
had for many years; bringing an accessible art-making
process to a whole bunch of people.


It's obvious you have a passion for art.
What else are you passionate about?

The top of my list is family, friends, students and my cat.
Paper and fabric in any form, reading, music, nature, color,
pattern, sewing and soup making.  Creative problem-solving
makes me very happy and I love to work with students
and help them find solutions.

What age group do you find most 'teachable' when it
comes to journaling?

Oh wow, I've taught all ages...teens through seniors and
everyone is super receptive.  When teaching a new group,
I spend a few moments getting a sense of my audience's
interests and experience, that way I can tailor my teaching.
Keeping an open dialogue and circling the room like an 
eagle on the lookout, I try to engage everyone on their
own level.  Very exciting!

What are tools can you NOT live without?

I love my watercolors, Caran d'Arche water-soluble crayons
and Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils.  When I travel light,
I take just the crayons, a water brush, spray bottle and
a black pen.

In the creative world, what have you NOT done yet
that you would really like to do?

Encaustics.  I took a workshop once and am really drawn
to the look of encaustics.  The veils of colors and patterns
and the ability to use collage within layers of wax is
very appealing.


 Who inspires you, living or otherwise?

Carol McDonald.  She is a Vermont artist who I
found on a recent trip there.  I am entranced by her
textile prints.  Of late, I'm in love with
Cy Twombly (again).

Now it's time for a little fun...

If you could be any fictional character,
who or what would it be?

Dr. Ellie Arroway in the movie Contact pops to mind.
Jodie Foster plays this scientist and dreamer.  In my mind,
that's a killer combination.  I have a huge respect for
scientists and mathematicians and sometimes I pretend
I am a scientist.  I guess on reflection, she speaks to me because
she has a solid faith in something and then takes a leap of faith
to prove it.  It's sort of like knowing the answer to an
equation and then working backwards.  I really admire
folks who can think that way.

Coffee, tea...or something more potent?

Irish Breakfast tea in vast quantities in the morning.
Herbal teas the rest of the day.  I love my Yogi Tea.
Something more potent?
Sure!  I'll have a Belgian white beer, do you have draft?

In your creative space, TV or music?
What show or artist?

Music.  I love my iPod.  Some of my favs are:
Josh Joplin, Simon Shaheen, Joni Mitchell,
Nellie McKay, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald.
I love just about anything but rock.


I've really enjoyed getting to know Diana, haven't you?!
I hope you will visit 'Hub Bub', Diana's blog and I
would really appreciate it if you told her you read her
Autograph Session here at The Open Window.
I know her book is available at Barnes & Noble stores
and at

Please leave a comment and let me know what you
think of Autograph will definitely want
to stay tuned for who's coming up next!


Sarah Anderson said...

Fab interview Julie!

Hearts Turned said...

Wonderful interview, Julie! So enjoyed getting to know a bit about Diana--what fabulous style!

Maggi said...

Such a great interview!!! Her style is so fun!

kae pea said...

loved it! Thanks for introducing her and her work!

Aussieleigh said...

julie great insight into an amazing artist,,,, her style is so fresh and free!

Sharli Schaitberger said...

Great interview Julie! Thank you SO much for introducing me to Diana.

Janet said...

Great interview! I learned about it from Diana's blog and came right over. I like her answers....both fun and informative.

Sugar Lump Studios said...

awesome interview and wonderful art pieces! wish I had more time for art right now...I am inspired! :)

Mabel said...

What a great interview, and thanks for your comment on my blog, you've a fantastic one too!! =)

iHanna said...

I'd like to invite your readers to my blog and check out my review of Diane's book! ;-)

Bonita Rose said...

great interview.. I hv an interview series on my blog too.. love Diane's book... it's on my bookshelf!!!

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