Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday Tips & Techniques: Share Your Bounty

Let's face it; as creative entities we succumb to the art of collecting, and as much as we prefer not to admit to it, the collecting can boarder on hoarding.

If I were to live to be 200 years old, I could NEVER use all of the art supplies at my disposal.  My studio and home are overflowing with magazines, decorative papers, paints, stickers, ribbons, buttons, pigments, stamps - you name it!

It's difficult to get rid of materials that you know you'll use "someday".  Each item has been carefully selected and preserved over time waiting for that "special" project.  Sometimes the project manifests, and sometimes it doesn't.  What does manifest is an abundance of materials that might better be put to use in another creative's hands.

I'm in a great position to share items with my Creative Art Journaling students, and I'm looking forward to sharing my goodies with them.  I found these great, adhesive backed, 3D mylar papers the other day.  I only needed a small amount of each paper to complete my journal page.  I could have saved the remainder for another "special" project, but what's more special than sharing a great find with someone else who will appreciate it as much as you do?  I cut the remaining paper into rectangles and I can hardly wait to see my students' smiling faces as they marvel at each color.

Who doesn't love a magazine?  They're a great source of inspiration and art journaling fodder, but really, STACKS of magazines are just a few stacks too many.  Every week I take a stack to the senior center after removing any images that meet my immediate needs.

I've only just begun going through the papers I've collected over the past 10 to 15 years, but I know there will be lots of sharing on that front as well.

Sharing your excessive is a win/win situation.  The pleasure received in surprising someone with a gift is a priceless and monumental feeling.  It's a small thing to put a smile on someone's face, and as an extra bonus you'll gain a sense of renewal when you find yourself surrounded by less clutter.

Remember, you can let your art shine all over the world, but you can also let your generosity but a smile on someone's heart when you share your bounty!  Until next time, "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday Tips and Techniques: Go Monochromatic!

Creating monochromatic pages forces you to not only explore color on a different level, but also encourages more detail to design and texture in your artwork.

Color provokes an emotional response as well as associations to objects and memories.  Everyone has their own unique color story that's as individual as a fingerprint.

As you look through your own completed journal pages, you'll note that you gravitate to the same type of color palette; bright hues, grayed hues, and pastels, earth tones, summer colors, etc.

As you look through your collection of imagery torn from magazines, decorative papers and favorite paints and markers, what adjectives come to mind when you look at them?   What does blue remind you of?  How does blue make you feel?

By finding your associations with a particular color, and by attaching descriptive words to the thoughts and feelings each color represents to you, you begin to understand your color choices on a deeper level.

It's no wonder to me now, that pink isn't a color I use very often.  It reminds me of childhood and frilly ruffles - things that I haven't related to for a very long time.

To me, red is bold, dramatic and larger than life.  It's confident and makes a statement.  I'm not surprised at all that I decided to paint our dining room red and still love it!

Exploring individual colors is a good exercise to do whether you're a seasoned creative or a new beginner in the creative arts.  As we change with new experiences and environments, so do our color stories.  Colors you may have had a strong aversion to in the past may now be pleasant and welcome additions to your current lifestyle and personal growth.

I've only just begun the exploration of color and have just begun my pages.  I recommend that you work on this type of exercise over the summer as you continue to art journal in your usual fashion.  I think you'll find a few surprises along the way, and you might even make friends with a new color or two!

Wherever your creativity is taking you during these warm summer (officially!) months, I hope you're living in "the NOW" as you "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"  I'll be sure to post my pages as I complete them, and I hope you're inspired to give this a try.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Journaling Outside the Book: Planting Flowers

As I sat on my deck this morning drinking my mug-o-coffee and enjoying the flowers, birds, and sounds of the neighborhood coming to life, I thought about planting my last few flowers into pots and contemplated the similarity of planting flowers and art journaling.

I thought about how I approach flower combinations in much the same way I approach paint combinations on my journaling pages.

I thought about adding contrast, color and texture.  I thought about balance and using materials I already have - like digging up some Lamb's Ear from the yard to help fill the space in this pot.

I thought about taking color cues from mother nature.  How fabulous will a yellow, red and magenta art journaling spread be?

I thought about the similarity in rescuing these less than perfect yellow petunias from the clearance bin, and turning a junk mail brochure into a fun journal.  All they needed were some tender, loving care.

As I looked around the deck, I realized they symmetry and balance I had created with color.  I could see pink/magenta paired with red dispersed evenly around the deck with splashes of yellow and deep purple.

I thought about discovering new things, like this phenomenal, black and yellow petunia, and that sometimes a pricey supply is worth it's weight in gold.  I still can't believe I paid $5.00 for this single petunia, but the great joy in watching this spectacular specimen grow is worth every penny.  I've never seen a petunia like this!

I noted that over the years, I have carefully planted my perennial flowers so the colors vibrate off of each other.  I have purple Spiderwort planted in the vicinity of spectacular, orange-red lilies which are planted next to a tall, spikey, purple, sage-like plant.

I looked at the non-flower elements on my deck.  Like old, familiar friends, my sun faces welcome me each time I venture out to the deck, and greet me on the way into the house when I arrive home.

My giant, artsy frog watches over the deck and flowers waiting for any bug or creature who would do harm to my precious flower children!

Different elements of life, like my sun water fountain or the birds coming in to feed, bring vibrancy and interaction in much the same way you stop in to read these posts and leave comments.  

Photo by Nick Thompson

As the beans from my garden box shall feed and nourish me (hopefully!), art journaling feeds and nurtures the spirit.  As a creative spirit, I realize that most every activity I undertake involves some form of creativity.  Are you realizing that in your own life?  Even when I'm not able to be directly involved in the art making process, I am almost always involved in a creative process.

Like art journaling, planting flowers over the last week has been a healing process as well as a creative process.  As we bid farewell to our "baby" as he traveled across the states to a new adventure, there was healing and acceptance as I once again realize that change is inevitable and things are "as they should be".

Photo by Keith Thompson

I'm thrilled to hear from Mike that he's "having the time of my life", and "it's a whole different world out here". After spending a good deal of time on Google Maps Street View with Keith, I know that Mike's new adventure is just right for him, and I have come to the realization that this "extended trip" is probably going to become more of a permanent situation.  I also realize that although separated by distance, we are always closely joined forever in the heart.

Whatever journeys and adventures you partake of this weekend, I hope they're exciting and rewarding, and I hope that you recognize the creativity in your life outside of the art journal.  Above all else, dear friends, remember this life is an amazing adventure, and remember to "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!".

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday Tips and Techniques: Using Previously Prepped Pages

Using prepped pages has always been an intriguing exercise for me, and I think if you give it a try, you'll get some of the same results.  One of the most profound things anyone ever said to me was, "your subconscious doesn't have a sense of humor".  I've found that statement to be quite true.  

Last week's "Tuesday Tips and Techniques" was about prepping pages in a random fashion.  You may remember the first pages that I prepped.

When I looked at these pages days later, I could see the rough shape of the United States as soon as I looked at it.

I sketched the outline of the country in with a marker, and I sketched out my state of Ohio and the state of California.  I added blue to the water areas and green to my Canadian neighbors.  What's all this have to do with the subconscious?  For the last 2 weeks, I've been coming to terms with our youngest son headed west for an adventure.  It's been a roller coaster ride of emotions.  The four of us have remained within 20 minutes of each other for almost 30 years.  This is a significant family event.  

I found an image of a California map in tones of red, green and gold, and a piece of mail arrived that had this Love stamp in shades of blue and gold.  Coincidence or synchronicity?   Either way, they fit the page and the entire spread allowed me to face my emotions instead of burying them in my usual fashion.

When I looked at my second set of prepped pages, I noticed what looked like a hand blocking a face so I sketched it in with a marker.  Beyond that, I wasn't sure where to go with the pages so I looked through the items torn from magazines that I have tucked into the back of my journal.  The Prismacolor pencil and the words "shine on" seemed to fit.

The left side reminded me of a flower garden so I sketched in some floral shapes.  I thought about how blocked I felt creatively and suddenly realized that by trying to block my emotions, I was also blocking my creativity.  I wrote, "Embrace and accept the emotions or they will block the flow of creativity".  Once I came to that realization, I've been much more creative.  I spent all of yesterday afternoon journaling from one journal to the next.  I couldn't get things on the pages fast enough!

I finished the spread with colored pencil and also wrote "Comfort is in the sanctuary of the garden and the connections of the heart".  When I initially prepped these pages, I had no idea that they would become a significant source of healing and dealing with my deepest emotions.

Prepping pages ahead of time doesn't always lead to such profound journaling.  Sometimes the results are much more playful and the pages become a catalyst for using some of those magazine treasures that you have tucked away, or for experimenting with new techniques and materials.

My posts have been few and far between in the last month or so, but my plan is to get back on track in the next week.  I'm having a great time with my new Creative Art Journaling class, and this past week has been filled with lots of family time as our days with Mike nearby draw to an end.

Whatever's going on in your life at the moment, I hope you always take the time to "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"



This is the one time I really wish you could click a button and get the full, intoxicating  fragrance  of these Honeysuckle blossoms.  I don't know who's enjoying it more - Keith & I or the hummingbirds!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rich Blacks with Water Color Pencil

Black pigment can often appear lifeless and dull in a painting or drawing, so it's a great practice to mix your own.  I still haven't had a chance to find the picture I want to use for my next drawing in my colored pencil drawing class, so this morning I just took my journal and decided to play with a picture of orchids.

I did a quick sketch of my orchid blossoms and decided to use water color pencils for the background.  My first layer of color was magenta.

My second application of colored pencil was a dark violet.  The strokes were applied randomly in many different directions.

The third layer of color was black.  It was applied evenly over the previous colors, again in a random fashion.

Here's the page after water has been applied.  The strokes have been blended and traces of magenta and violet bleed through the black and give the darkness some life.

The final layer was made even richer and darker by adding a layer of indigo blue colored pencil.  These are just one way of creating a rich, black for your artwork.  You can also try a combination of alizarin crimson, pthalo green, and prussian or ultramarine blue to create a deep, rich black.  Don't be afraid to experiment as you "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"



Charlie came to visit our colored pencil drawing class today.  He was rescued  from the pound  from  his new friend, Tina

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tuesday Tips and Techniques: Prep Multiple Pages

Prepping multiple pages is a great idea anytime, but during these busy summer months it's even more handy.  It takes about an hour to prep a week's worth of pages, and when you get ready to journal you already have a place to begin.

Prepping pages in this manner is all about color and having fun with different processes.  Here, I dampened the pages and dropped red and yellow acrylic inks onto both pages.  I pressed the wet pages together and added more ink drops.

This is a great time to pull out your hair dryer and fast-dry those pages.  It's really the only time I ever use my hair dryer now.  Who knew what a handy art supply it would become?

It's the first time I've used the acrylic inks in this journal, and I found out that they bleed through the paper.  Not to worry!  You can always gesso over the page, or you can make it work for you.  

I applied Neocolor II water soluble crayons to both pages and then I moistened my fingers and rubbed the crayons to blend.

The blended pages are softer and ready for additional artwork.  It's anyone's guess what will be journaled on these pages later this week!

I prepped a third set of pages with colors that I don't use very often.  I like to do this now and then to break out of the rut of using the same colors that I'm always drawn to.  I scribbled on Neocolor II water soluble crayons once more and and lightly blended them with wet fingers.  I'm curious to see what these pages become, too.

Prepping pages ahead of time is the method I began with when I first began art journaling, and it offers many possibilities for each journaling spread.  It's amazing what you see in the paint once you return to the pages days later.  Until next time, "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"


Mentor Headlands Beach Park

Here's the beach like I've never shown you - buzzing with sunbathers, frolicking children, and scantily  clothed  women prancing the shoreline.  Nothing like a warm, sunny day and a holiday weekend to bring city folk out to the beach!
Related Posts with Thumbnails