My round robin art journal and the Evil Eye

Evil eye
I've been obsessed with the "Evil Eye" ever since my mother told me about a sinister neighbor who she knew and feared growing up in Oakland. Her mother warned her to avoid the old woman because she might put the "Evil Eye" on her. 

What a delicious story for a little girl! (Me, not my mom, who was probably terrified.) No wonder, then, that the theme for I chose for my first round robin journal was "Looking." And that my first spread was all about the Eye.

What will my fellow artists think? 

I guess it depends on what they know about Evil Eyes. The kind I'm most familiar with comes from Southern Italy. 
Evil eye
This is a charm, made out of metal, found throughout the area, that can be used to protect against the malocchio.

Originally I wanted to put this image on the cover of my journal. But the theme is broader -- "looking" -- and I didn't want to limit (or scare) the other artists who would be contributing spreads.  Here's what I came up with instead.
Evil eye journal cover
These eyes belong to artist Georgia O'Keefe. There's a woman who really knew how to look! The texture on the background comes from masking tape, adhered to a cereal box, and then painted. The black and white images are tape transfers.

Here's my spread, inspired by (possessed by?) the Evil Eye. I got carried away, to say the least.

Evil eye journal spread
The dark oval shapes in the background are my version of the Evil Eye. I made a stamp out of foam and covered deli paper with the shape, then adhered the paper over the painted background of the spread. 

In hindsight, I wished I'd chosen different colors for the background. I was inspired by the outfit of the lady in the lower right, but pink and baby blue seem too soft and…girly. 

The text in the circle comes from a book I found in New Mexico about votive offerings and amulets:
"A person's eyes contain his or her life, yet they also possess a mysterious quality that is seductive and enchanting, evasive and grasping. Eyes have a bewitching quality that captivates but can potentially be negative and hostile…"
To hold the journal, I created a pouch out of a Tyvek envelope. I made my own stencils, tracing a pair of 3D classes my husband brought home from the movie theater. Those "E"s come from old eye charts.
Pouch to hold my journal

I can't wait to see how the other artists in the Round Robin interpret my theme. I'll report back in about 9 months, when the journal makes its way back to me.


  1. What fun - that will be the most unusual journal, I suspect. What will people see?!

    1. Who knew there were so many fun puns about eyesight?

  2. Great pages, Claudia. 'Looking' forward to working in it :)

  3. What fun this page is! Thanks for sharing your stories- I had to laugh aloud! I really like the Georgia O'keefe page also- you nailed this one spot on!!

    1. Thanks, Jackie -- it makes me smile to think I made you laugh.

  4. Interesting... I love the symbols you used. Thanks for taking the time to explain your inspiration.


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