Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday Tips and Techniques: Psykopaint!

I was surfing the Internet for........hmmmmmm....something long forgotten, when I happened upon this site, Psykopaint.  Can you say "FUN"?  It's as user friendly a site as I have ever used, and the possibilities for creating digital artwork are endless.

How does this tie into art journaling?  It's a way to try new ideas and techniques quickly and easily without using up your paint and other materials.

"Psyko Face"

With a few clicks of the mouse and a little imagination, you can select different brushes, brush sizes, and patterns to incorporate into your work.

"Psyko Vincent"

You can choose multiple tones and values.  You can alter photographs that are available on the site, upload your own photographs, or start with a "blank canvas".

"Psyko Monet"

You can play with texture and pattern, and if you don't like it, it's gone in an instant with a simple click of the mouse.  I like "Psykopaint Monet" enough to try a similar version in my journal or on a canvas.

"Psyko Fern"

Creativity doesn't always have to be permanent to be a rewarding and gratifying experience.  You don't even have to save your images, but if you decide to do so, you can easily save each image to your computer with the simple click of a mouse.  You can then print it out and use it in your art journal.

I hope you're finally catching some glimpses of spring in your neck of the woods, and I hope you're taking time each day to "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"

Friday, March 25, 2011

Journaling Outside the Book: Cleveland Botanical Gardens

Photo Journal of "Orchid Mania"

Sometimes you have to get out of the journal and "feed the well".  That's exactly what Ro and I did today!  We headed into Cleveland for the last weekend of "Orchid Mania" at Cleveland Botanical Gardens.  I took 195 pictures!  I deleted about 10 of them and found the best 20 to share with you.  It was a painful process - I would love to show you more but you can't wait all night for the images to load!

Here are some of my favorite orchid pictures:

My personal pick for "Best of Show"

Even as cold as it was, we had to venture outside to have a look around.  We made a pact to return after the weather warms, but there were still plenty of things to amuse and delight us.

An Incredible metal fence and gate

Mystery seed pods 

A stone sculpture - she's beautiful

Girls just want to have fun - even when it's only 30 degrees!
Not only did we have orchid mania, we also had bird and butterfly mania as an added bonus.  These colorful little birds were just a bit larger than hummingbirds.  I was entranced and spent nearly an hour trying to get some good shots.  The butterflies were too elusive, but I think my patience paid off with the birds. 

We had a wonderful time at the gardens, and once we left were eager to get something to eat as neither of us had the good sense to eat breakfast. We stopped at Red Robin for burgers and fries on the way home.  I didn't take pictures there.  No one needs to see that food frenzy!

I hope you enjoyed sharing our trip to "Orchid Mania", and I hope that if you have a botanical garden or arboretum nearby that you'll treat yourself to an outing there.   No one does art quite like Mother Nature.

Ro - a little "matchy, matchy", don't you think?

 I think I found a lot of material to "feed the well".  I'm sure you'll be seeing orchids and these colorful birds showing up in my art journal pages! Have a terrific weekend, and most of all, "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday Tips and Techniques: Escape Your Journaling Rut!

Like it or not, we are creatures of habit, and that holds true for the way that we journal.  Want to break out of your journaling rut?  Here are some tips to help you change things up a little bit and give you a new perspective.

Journal Somewhere Else
If you're like me, you journal in the same location day after day.  Journal in a different room.  Use a different chair.  Journal outside.  Journal at a coffee shop.  Change your journaling location.

Change Your Strategy 
Do you always begin your journal page by writing your thoughts or other prompt?  Instead, begin with applying paint or collage to your page.  Do you always begin your journaling with an application of paint or other background, just playing with the materials you have at hand?  Begin your page with the written word instead.  Use quotes, lyrics or other thoughts and ideas.

Use Different Colors
We all gravitate to the same color palette.  If you have a tendency to use bright, bold, cheerful colors, opt instead for dark earth tones or soft pastel colors.  If you have a tendency to use cool tones, switch to warm tones and vice versa.

Change Your Music
Try listening to different genres of music.  If you listen to rock and roll, try classical or new age.  If you listen to classical or new age, try blues or jazz.  If you listen to current tunes, try listening to music from the 40s or 50s.  Try listening to music that you typically don't like.  

Change Your Materials
If your tendency is towards paint and other "wet" applications, opt for "dry" techniques with markers, pens and colored pencils.  If you always gravitate to "dry" applications, pull out the paint and mediums and get messy!

Change Your Objective
Determine why you journal.  Do you tend to journal about whatever comes to mind?  Do you journal about your experiences or events?  Do you try to work out problems when you journal?  Are your journal pages all about play and the act of creating?  Change your usual objective for journaling.

Change Your Journaling Time
If you go to work daily, this may be difficult to do.  Maybe evenings are the only time you have for journaling.  What you can do is jot things down during the day.  Doodle while you're on hold with that important phone call.  Sketch during your lunch time.  Collage these daily "art moments" into your journal.  You can try morning journaling on a lazy, weekend day.

Time Yourself
Do you usually spend an hour or more on a page?  Set a timer for 10 minutes and work hastily.  Let your intuition dictate what you put on your page.  Is 10 minutes more the average for your page completion?  Set your timer for an hour and fully embrace what you're doing.  Pay attention to detail.  Be fussy.  Let your mind wander.

Journal Your Anger
We're taught early on that anger is a bad emotion.  Learn to embrace your anger through journaling.  Your anger doesn't have to be about anything major. Your anger can be as mundane as forgetting an item at the grocery store or seeing that gas prices rose another 7 cents since your last fill.  Journaling anger is enlightening because one often finds that anger is often misdirected.  You might think you're angry because you forgot that item at the  store, but what you're really angry about is the fact that you have to come up with "Plan B" for dinner tonight!

Don't Journal Today
That's right! If you have a tendency to journal every day, skip a day or two.  "Feed the well".  Engage in a different activity during your journal time.  Take a walk, watch the birds, surf art on the Internet, go to a museum.  Visit family or friends. Do something different to stimulate your creativity!

My awesome son, Nick!

Life is both short and precious.  Remember to always take time to "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"

Friday, March 18, 2011

Playing with Water Soluble Pastels

Here are pages from my journal that I did last week.  I hadn't played with my water soluble pastels for awhile so I took them out one evening.  I didn't want to turn on any lights, so I decided to sketch by the light of the television as Keith and I tortured ourselves with the Food Network.

I used an ochre yellow pastel and began sketching.  I began with a fluid line and before I knew it, I was sketching faces.  The next day, I softly blended the features and I liked the ghostly appearance that resulted.  I darkened some of the features and added hair with a black pastel and did more blending.  I added blue to the shadow areas and more faces with the same blue, softening each layer.  

I continued playing with my pastels and another face emerged.  I recently discovered that I can print right to left writing each letter backwards as easily as printing normally.  Who knew!  I had no idea I could do this and it was a fluke discovery.  I incorporated printing in this style on this journal spread and I think it adds to the overall feeling of mystique created by the chiaroscuro.

Speaking of faces, my colored pencil drawing is coming along nicely.  I'm really enjoying my very laid back class.  My classmates are awesome and we're rapidly becoming friends.  I've learned a lot about colored pencil - mostly that it's nothing to be hurried!

I'm not finished with her face, but the self proclaimed "queen of color" had to get away from the skin tones for awhile and add some color!  The leaves are a pain (it crossed my mind to put a head wrap on her!), but I decided to stay true to the original image.  I only work on her during class.  The lighting there is fabulous!

I've also been using colored pencil more in my journal.  This detailed spread is collage (The sun/moon mirror, the tree and the head, torn from an old Design Tuscano catalog), Pilot VBall pen, and Prismacolor pencils.  I worked on it mostly in the evenings.  It was inspired by my prompt for March 10th: "I don't want to", and the song by Gavin Degraw, "I don't want to be".  The writing is lyrics from that song.

I hope you're having fun in your journal.  I hope you're experimenting and breaking through "blocks" that you may have.  Most of all, I hope you're finding time each day to "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday Tips and Techniques: Sketch Once, Copy Twice!

Take your labor intensive sketches and drawings and let your copy machine do the work for you!  I tend to use a lot of bird imagery in my work, and drawing these wonderful creatures doesn't come easy for me.  I decided to  do some drawings of birds that I could photograph and store on my computer.  Using my Paint program, I can alter the images in a number of ways.

I took two pages of my original drawings and altered them in Paint.  I played with contrast, brightness and color saturation.

I altered the sizes and the directions of the images, and I also cropped some of the images tiling an entire sheet.

You needn't draw images specifically for copying.  Magazine and catalog images also work with this method.

I photographed this lion from an old catalog and uploaded the image to my computer.  I played with the image in Paint, removing the color and playing with the tint and contrast.  I also made a mirror image.  I wonder what secrets they will guard one day?

Going back to my birds, I cut several of the different sizes and designed a composition around them.  I adhered them to the page with Mod Podge and worked around them with oil pastels.

Speaking of birds, Keith captured this great shot of our Japanese Maple filled with blackbirds during last week's (hopefully) last blast of winter.

Photo:  Keith Thompson

Whatever your favorite imagery is, I hope you'll find this a useful method to use in your journal.  While you're at it, why not flip through your journals and apply this method to some of your favorite pages.  It's always nice to revisit your old pages and see them in a new way.  I hope that you're safe and warm and allowing yourself plenty of time to "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"  Spring is right around the corner - a little birdie told me so!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Angelia's Art Journals: Blogiversary!

"Angelia's Art Journals" blog is officially one year old today!  I can't believe a year has gone by already, and what a year it was!

I hope you've enjoyed the journey as much as I have, and I gratefully thank each one of you for your continued support of my endeavor to bring you creative inspiration and hopefully, a few laughs along the way.  I'm also ever so grateful to my gal, HP, for her encouragement to begin this blogging journey.

I've met many wonderful people through this creative, sharing community - many of whom, as blogging veterans, took me under their wing and welcomed me into this creative paradise.  Special thanks to Kelly Watts, Phoenix Peacock, Connie Hozvicka and Leslie Herger for all their support, encouragement and help from the very beginning.

To celebrate the occasion, here are some of my favorite images from the past year.  I hope they are some of your favorites, too!

It's was a great year and I'm looking forward to the year ahead.  I plan on making more videos, getting back to the beach and enjoying warm, southern breezes as I create works of art from my deck, surrounded by beautiful flowers sweet bird songs.

I hope you're looking forward to a great year, too, and that spring is making it's way into your backyard.  I also hope you'll find creative journaling a pathway to discovering all the wonderful things about yourself that make you the unique blessing that you are.  Most of all, I hope you'll remember to take time to "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"
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