Tuesday, November 30, 2010

True Colors

For as long as I can remember I have been mesmerized by color.  I recall my excitement as a child when I finally received that first box of gigantic Crayola crayons that had the built in sharpener in the back.  I've tried to recall other childhood toys, but aside from my building blocks and a couple puzzles, the memory of that first gigantic box of Crayolas has always remained foremost in my mind.

I spent hours drawing pictures and completing the pages in my coloring books (my favorite was The Flintstones), but often I would just sit and arrange and rearrange my crayons.  I would arrange them in color families, or I would choose groups of 2 or three crayons and examine how the colors interacted with each other.  I loved my crayons better than candy!

Now, looking at my tubes of acrylic paint gives me the same satisfaction.  I apply blobs of paint to my palette, (often a paper plate), and enjoy the creamy, lusciousness of each color. 

I still study the effects of different color combinations as I apply the paint to the paper or canvas.  I look for continuity of color in the composition and allow the color to direct me as I work.

I look for a balance of cool and warm colors, and I often place complimentary colors next to each other.  Using complimentary colors together makes each color vibrate off the other.

Whether warm or cool, bright, pure hues are my true colors.  I can't imagine living in a monotone world of dull, grayed-down hues.  Pure, bright colors speak to my heart and reflect the true nature of my spirit.  Have you found your true colors?  Break out of your usual color combinations and try some new ones.  You may find a new combination of colors pleasing to you, and even if you don't, I know you'll find some "Happy Creating!" while you experiment.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Same Old Story

"fate comes a-knockin', doors start lockin'
your old time connection, change your direction

ain't gonna change it, can't rearrange it
 can't stand the pain when it's all the same to you, my friend.."
~Aerosmith  "Same Old Song and Dance"

I'm having a great weekend all hunkered down from the cold and flurries and hanging out with my hubby.  I spent yesterday journaling and strategy planning to get through the horrordays, er, holidays.  NOT my favorite time of year, but journaling is a great way to navigate around potholes and dodge shrapnel.

I've been forced to revisit some dark, unpleasant places over the last week, and I've been fortunate to have journaling as an outlet for my thoughts and emotions.  Journaling has mostly become a  fun exercise in creativity and experimentation for me, but I never underestimate it's usefulness as therapy.

My new journal gives me almost twice the unlined area that I've grown accustomed to with my Composition Notebook journals.  I began this spread by adhering some magazine photos to my pages. (Fuchia colored mountains and a slate blue/black stone looking pattern)

This spread initially started as random shapes created with water soluble crayons.  I then applied a light layer of super heavy gesso on top of that, and then I finished with artist acylics. Muliple layers are conducive to deeper therpy. 

I'm enjoying my new journal.  The larger format is inspiring me to try new approaches and techniques even though my holidaze, er holiday subject matter is the same old story, same old song and dance.  I used Mod Podge to adhere lots of torn paper to the left side, and horizontl strips of paper on the right.  There's a lot of texture that's difficult to see in the photo.  Doodling the hair was very therapeutic.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and whether for fun experimentation or emotional release, I hope you pull out your journal and favorite art supplies for some  "Happy Creating!"

Thursday, November 25, 2010


On this day of giving thanks, the word that comes to my mind is abundance, and for that I am ever grateful.

I am grateful for the abundance of love & support from "my guys"

A warm, cozy home where I feel abundantly safe and secure

An abundant supply of fresh, safe food

And the abundance of beauty in nature all around me.

I am grateful for the abundance of creativity I've been given to share . . .

and I am grateful to all of you who have allowed me into your lives if only briefly, and showered me with an abundance of love and comradery as we've shared our mutual passion to express ourselves creatively through journaling.

To all of YOU here at Angelia's Art Journals, my sincere thanks and gratitude for your unending support and kindness. My wish for you is an abundant life filled with the love of family and friends, and abundant time to express yourselves through "Happy Creating!"

Monday, November 22, 2010

10 Tips for Holiday Journaling

Here we are at the dawn of the holiday season and the end of another year! The next 6 weeks always seem to go by in a blur of shopping, baking, cooking, entertaining and visiting family and friends. It’s almost impossible to find five minutes to yourself. That’s why it’s important to find time to continue journaling.

Art journaling will not only help to relieve some of the holiday stress, it will also help you to reflect on any difficulties you’re going through and it will help you document those happy moments for future trips down memory lane.

Here are some tips to help you continue journaling through the holiday season.

1. Prep your pages beforehand. Create some autumnal backgrounds to recall your 2010 Thanksgiving activities. Use your favorite holiday colors to record your Christmas events, thoughts and feelings.  Apply them in random patterns across the pages.

2. Prepare some spreads that include lists. The holiday season is full of planning, so why not make lists in your journal on beautifully decorated pages? There are menus, guest lists, gift lists, holiday card lists - it’s endless! By creating lists in your journal, you’ll always know where they are and you won’t have to keep track of a lot of different papers!

3. Adhere paper mementos into your journal spread or tuck them into pockets that you’ve made or attached to your pages. Paper napkins and restaurant menus, coasters, school programs, holiday greeting cards and other event notices are good reminders of your holiday fun.

4. Incorporate wrapping and tissue papers into your journal. Even small scraps can be incorporated into fun artworks. How about some triangle hats or a funky purse for one of your spreads? Or how about designing an envelope for holding mementos?

5. Don’t forget the ribbons! Tie them on the binding or glam up your spread with a little bling! Use them as little handles to flip pages.  Double sided tape works great as an adhesive.

6. Research those recipes - and put them in your journal! If you’re like me, you like trying new recipes during the holidays. Be sure to make a couple journal spreads for those. Leave space for the recipe on the left side, and record adjustments and reviews on the right. Don’t forget to take a picture of your gourmet creation!

7. Remember and reflect on those loved ones who are no longer with you. The holidays are notoriously difficult for coping with loss, and if this is the first holiday season without a loved one it can painful. Don’t suppress your sadness, but instead acknowledge the pain by remembering your loved one in your journal. It’s bound to put a smile both on your face and in your heart.

8. Dream On! Your mailbox will be stuffed full with catalogs and sale fliers. Cut out those items you love and create a virtual Christmas page for yourself. It’s an indulgence that won’t cost you anything more than a glue stick!

9. Say goodbye to 2010! Don’t forget to create a spread for New Year’s Eve. Even if you stay home in your PJs and watch the tube, it will be nice to bid 2010 a fond farewell.

10. Look ahead to 2011. Create a spread for the New Year! This is a good time to start a fresh journal with new ideas, new possibilities and  new opportunities for “Happy Creating!”

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Birthdays and Burgers

As my birthday weekend draws to a close, I reflect back on what a great birthday it was!  It began with well wishes from all the wonderful friends I've made here in our virtual world of art journaling and social networking.  Thanks to all of you for making number 54 an AWESOME birthday!

Here's my birthday cake made by Nona over at the 21 Secrets playground.  Not one calorie found it's way to my hips!

Keith took the day off to spend with me, and we were happily surprised with a visit from our son, Nick, who spent the the afternoon with us and took us to lunch at Melt Bar & Grilled. Here are some pics from Melt.  The restaurant itself is a feast for the eyes - it's like they knew I was coming.  And of COURSE, I went for the Fat City Burger - yummy, juicy, drippy goodness!

And chocolate for dessert?  You bet!

Sometimes, having fun and and making memories leaves little time to spend  in a journal, but creating memories with family, friends and photographs is even more pleasing.  Don't forget your camera on your adventures, and "Happy Creating!" can still be just a couple clicks away!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pears, Pears Everywhere

I've got pears on the brain because I want to do a large pear painting for my dining room.  Problem is, I'm not sure exactly what I want to do.  Eureka! 9" x 12" journal pages are the perfect way to experiment and that's just what I've done.

The first page I did was my experiment with the Super Heavy Gesso.  I gessoed the background and the pear, too.  After the gesso dried (overnight) I painted my first pear painting!  I love the texture - definitely out of my comfort zone.

This is pretty straight forward.  Gesso and artists acrylics were used.

I decided to go a little funkier with the next pear.  I use the term "pear" with artistic license - looks more like a deranged apple to me!  This is water soluble wax pastels with a touch of craft acrylic.

As long as I was experimenting, why not go hog-wild crazy! There really is a pear in there - somewhere.  This is gesso, craft and artists acrylics.

This is one of my favorites and the one closest to my usual style. This is artists acrylics.

This was way too much fun!  No paint brushes were used except to apply the stem.  I used craft acrylics and applied red, yellow and orange randomly with an old credit card.  After that dried, I roughed in the pear shape in black craft acrylic with the tip of the card and dragged black paint over the background.  Then I took green craft acrylic and applied it to the top of the pear directly from the bottle.  I tapped the journal against the table and let the paint drip.  This may just be my inspiration for a large canvas.

Am I having fun "Happy Creating!"?  I would say so!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Put Your Records On!

That's right - put your records on and have some journaling fun by trying something new!  It's easy to get into a rut once you find a journaling formula that's tried and true and feels as comfy as your favorite pair of shoes, but changing your routine is as exciting as buying a new pair of shoes!

I have been the queen of Composition Notebook journaling, but going through some of the workshops at 21 Secrets prompted me to try some new materials and I'm having an absolute blast!

First of all, I bought myself a mixed media, spiral bound pad.  It's 9" x 12" (larger than a Composition Notebook) and unlined. 

I also bought a jar of Liquitex Super Heavy Gesso.  I can't begin to tell you how much fun I'm having with this.  Think about a stucco wall, and that's what you can do with this super heavy gesso. 

 It's smooth and creamy like marshmallow cream, but a tad heavier.  It stays exactly where you put it on the page.  I've used an old credit card and an empty toilet paper tube to apply some to the page. 

 You can get different effects by varying the angle of the card and by varying the pressure you apply to the page.

Whether it's trying something new like gesso, or trying a different size or type of journal, try something new for your journaling!  It's always rewarding to take a fresh approach to your creativity.  Remember, your creative muse likes to play and will thrive in the atmosphere of experimentation.

So go ahead - put your records on, let your hair down and try something new for your creative journaling.  There's just nothing else like "Happy Creating!"

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Secret's Out!

The secret's out! We're having a blast over at the 21 Secrets playground, and there's still time for you to join in!  Lots of  love, joy and amazing art are being shared by journalers (currently 317 of us!) all over the world here on the playground.  What are people saying about the 21 Secrets workshops?

"This is the greatest playground EVER!"  ~Natasha, New York, NY

"I feel like I am at the best slumber party EVER."  ~Susan, Toronto, Canada

"I'm finding these workshops to be profoundly healing in many ways." Barb, Columbia, Missouri

"...techniques shared from the teachers and students have been amazing for me." ~ morning dove, Williamsburg, VA

"I don't know if I'll be able to put anything down on paper, but this already helped me very much." ~Nona, Rixensart, Belgium

"...and (I) know how powerful these types of exercises are." ~Heather, Perth, Western Australia

"Only started art journaling within the last month but having a blast already!" ~Zoe, Shropshire, United Kingdom

Whether you're new to art journaling or a seasoned  veteran, there's something for everyone at the 21 Secrets playground!  Don't miss out on this great opportunity to learn new techniques and make new friends.  Hurry!  Registration closes at the end of November and on February 1, 2011, the playground will be closed forever.

For more information on the workshops and to register, go to the 21 Secrets link at the top right of this page. Have a great day and remember to set aside some time for "Happy Creating!"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Journaling Prompts

The rest of the November Journaling Prompts have been published.  (See "Daily Prompts" above)  Think of the prompts as a "jumping off place".  They can be taken literally, but I hope you'll be more inclined to use them as a catalyst to journal about the emotions or memories that come to you when you first read them.

Creative journaling is a personal process.  Think of it as turning yourself "inside out".  Get past the physical and look deep inside to the spiritual you.

I can never tell you too many times that you are special!  There is no one else like you on the entire planet!  Allow yourself the freedom of inner knowing and self expression through your creative journaling.

Inner knowing and self expression can only lead to peace, happiness and "Happy Creating!"

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Both Ends Burning

Hello fellow art journalers!  Here it is, Wednesday, ALREADY! I've been frantically trying to finish up my art commission and burning the candle at both ends.  Here are the preliminary sketches I did for the paintings.  Each painting is 3' x 4', and each painting is near completion. 

I'll post pics of the paintings when they're finished.  Meanwhile, I'll post November journaling prompts for this week. 

Painting gives me lots of "thinking time", so I'm cooking up lots of new and exciting things for Angelia's Art Journals for the coming weeks and new year.  Stay tuned!

Happy November! and as always, "Happy Creating!"
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