Saturday, February 25, 2012

Weekend Journal

I'm sure you probably think I fell off the face of the earth, but I'm happy to announce I'm alive and well here on the south shores of Lake Erie!  I'm busy teaching 3 art journaling classes and trying to squeeze in some of my own art journaling as well.  I'm also busy teaching myself piano, researching new, healthy recipes, judging art shows and everything in between.  The key, of course, is BALANCE, but I'm afraid I missed that class.....

Collage and acrylic in journal.  Inspired by a 1978 newspaper add for a local circus.

The truth is, I've been much more interested in playing piano.  I can't get enough, and this week I've seemed to hit a new level of understanding.  That coupled with the fact that I'm learning Pink Floyd's "Great Gig in the Sky", ( by my instructor, Mike),  has me absolutely obsessed.  Nevertheless, I do have some art to share with you.


Here are the faces 20 (above) through 24 of the 29 FACES project.  This is the last week - and I have to say I'm a little relieved although it's been quite fun.  I'm ready to move on....

DAY 21

This face was composed using only a scrap piece of cardboard and acrylic paint.  It was a lot of fun adding the layers.  I used 7 colors and white.

DAY 22
Enlarged image showing letter "m" detail

I used the same paint colors for this face, but this time I used the  lower case letter "m" stamp from my Words and Crafts Breezy Typeface Letter Stamp Kit.  I really like the blurry finished look, very reminiscent of a stereograph image. (However there's nothing "hidden" to my knowledge :o)

DAY 23

I switched to India ink, quill pen and watercolor wash for this one.  The blurry effect is only my poor photography skills.

DAY 24

Here's the final face done yesterday.  She's done with pastel pencils.  I'm on the fence about finishing her right now, but if I finish it, I'll post the final image.  I haven't started today's face yet.


I've been teaching a collage/painting technique in all of my classes.   This technique involves "painting" the background with magazine images in a monochromatic color scheme, adding layers of gesso and more imagery.  Slowly but surely, everyone is finding their way out of their comfort zones and seem to be enjoying the process.  I have three of these spreads in various degrees of "finished".  I'm hoping to work on all of them tomorrow, but here's what I've done so far.

Background in shades of pink and peach

This is probably my favorite of the three.  I found an image that reminded me of Klimt's, "The Kiss", when I flipped it slightly and placed it near the top of the page.

Background in shades of blue and green
I just started this one on Thursday.  I like the way it's shaping up and it's far from my usual color palette!

Background in shades of yellow and orange.
(Blurry image not intended - perhaps a photography class is in order!)


I've gotten really good feedback on this feature, and I'll be back to posting them on Tuesday, March 6th.  In the meantime, enjoy the rest of February and be on the lookout for that lion - March is right around the corner!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

29 Faces: Days 14 and 15

DAY 14

I have to say, I really enjoy playing with The Muse.  You never know what's going to happen!  I tore pieces of an old newspaper for my background, and the first headline I tore read "Spaced Out in Painesville".  Well, I was thinking along the lines of "space cadet", but The Muse had other things in mind.  As I began darkening in the background, I could see a vague outline of my little alien.  I'm sure being extremely tired after a day of having a "hair-a-thon" contributed greatly.

DAY 15

I was still in the mood to add layers upon layers this morning, so I rummaged through some more saved items.  I used magazine images that I've had forever, old receipts, a wine label, doodles, etc.  I thought you would enjoy seeing the process:

I almost always use Mod Podge as my adhesive.  I may need a Mod Podge intervention some day.

I always like to tie everything together with a wash of two or more colors.  Here I've used washes of sienna and light green.

Here's my face for Day 15, completed on the left side of my spread.  As soon as I saw the Red Truck wine label, I knew I wanted to use a man's face on this page.  I used a magazine add as my inspiration for the face.  Tomorrow's face will go on the other side.

Tuesday Tips and Techniques will be back next week.  In the meantime, hope you're getting "over the hump" and having a wonderful Wednesday!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday's Mandala

Mandala 17 of 24

I can't believe there are only 7 left to complete in this winter series!

29 Faces: Day 13

Mixed Media

This is another intuitive face.  I began with a wash of yellow and crimson and stamped the word "transformation".  I also stamped numbers randomly on the page.  I collaged torn images and text from magazines, applied more washes and painted in the facial features with acrylics.  Then I doodled over the whole page with a quill pen and India ink.  I am creating all of these pages in my daily journal.

I'll be back later with "Monday's Mandala".  Have a wonderful day!


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Weekend Journal

I'm having a great deal of fun with the "29 Faces" challenge, but there has been some other journaling going on in between creating the faces.  I completed all the spreads I had started - maybe you'll remember some of them.

Remember her?  I saw her face in the painted background, and I knew I wanted the rest of the page to be very Renoir - like because I wanted her to stand out from the rest of the page.

I'm really pleased with final results.  I have to say it's one of my favorite spreads because it feels like a memory of a warm summer day.  She reminds me of pictures of my mom from long ago.

Here's the spread where I created the border first by just dropping in splotches of water colors randomly around the pages.  The border became flowers and leaves, and I saw shadowy figures in the background.  This became a spread about avoiding the trap of the mind, rehashing things from the past and staying in "the now".

I finally finished the Alice in Wonderland inspired pages by painting in Alice.  This spread is about the surreal feeling of winter and the mania that sometimes happens in my thoughts.  I really need to get outside and in the garden - HURRY SPRING!

Aside from the faces for the challenge, this is the only other spread I completed.  Yet another face that appeared in the painted background.  I love when that happens!



I continue working in my sketchbook, but I'm afraid I haven't found the time to do it on a daily basis.  I really enjoy working with the charcoal pencils.  It's refreshing after playing with all the paint and inks.

I found some wonderful online resources for artists who who want to do life drawing but do not have access to live models.  I'll post links to them at the end of the post.

I couldn't believe how much I had forgotten from the life drawing classes I had taken years ago!  But it's like riding a bike - once you know how, even after many years of abstinence all it takes is a little patience and gradually it all comes back to you.

It's going to take some time, but hey, I can only improve from here!  These life drawing studies have also prompted me to do some studies on perspective.  That's something that I never totally had a grasp on, and something that I've tried to avoid since it was introduced to me those many years ago.  I'll be looking for resources for that, too.

I hope you're having lots of fun in your journal and that is well in your corner of the world.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


I'll be adding to the list.  If you have any sites you would like to add, please let me know!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

29 Faces: Day 9

Did someone say "Mardi Gras"?  I think so!  I can't wait to see who else is coming to the party.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

29 Faces: Day 8


Acrylic ink, acrylic paint
I was thinking about my mom and how much she loved clowns.  She collected clown figurines, and dressed as clowns on occasions such as Halloween.  I recall that she was particularly fond of Emmet Kelly for as far back as I remember.  So this one's dedicated to Mom's memory - maybe I'll get around to painting her favorite hobo clown, too.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday Tips and Techniques: Punch Some Holes!

It all started when I was playing with my hole punch in an absent minded manner.  Staring at my journal page thinking that I wanted to add some texture to the gesso I was about to add.  I was wishing I had some sequin waste, and, Voila! It hit me.  I would make my own!

It's quite simple to do and goes rather quickly.  All you need is some lightweight cardboard (like a cereal box) or scraps of cardstock would work great, too.  At first I tried to line the holes up perfectly, but then I decided it didn't matter.  What I was really looking for was the texture.

I even punched and cut some funky letters and numbers.  Who knows where else this might go?  You can see in this (badly taken) photo, that it worked great.  I pressed the home made "sequin waste" into wet gesso so it would leave an impression.  A few thin layers of acrylic paint and a couple dry washes later, here's the texture I was looking for.

So get out your hole punch and see what your creative muse will do with it, and let me know if you come up with more ideas for creative hole punching!


Monday, February 6, 2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

29 Faces : Gallery

I was visiting my new journaling friend, Stephanie, over at her blog, Dragonfly Design Studios, and was delighted to learn of a February 29 Faces Challenge -  Create 1 face per day for the month of February.  Well, how could I miss that party?  I've been just a little obsessed with faces lately, so I went over to the host site, Ayala Art, and joined the party.  If you're interested, hop on over - there's plenty of room for you and still time to catch up!

Well, the 29 Faces Challenge has ended with the arrival of March.  There are new artistic endeavors to pursue and I'm sure other challenges await.  Thanks, Ayala, for hosting this really fun, February challenge!

DAY 27

DAY 26
Acrylic and water soluble charcoal pencils

DAY 25

DAY 24
Pastel pencils in journal

DAY 23
India ink, quill pen and watercolor wash in journal

DAY 22
Acrylic paint applied with letter "m" stamp in journal

DAY 21
Acrylic paint applied with scrap cardboard in journal

DAY 20

Collage and acrylic in journal

Here I am!  Can you say "burned OUT"?  I've been doing my faces daily, but I just could not for the life of me, make a post.  I couldn't even get myself to do the photographs!  I'm feeling a bit more enthusiastic again,  so hopefully I'll be posting regularly this week.  I can't wait to see what all of you have been doing.  Thank you for all the kind comments - I've got some catching up to do!

DAY 19

Charcoal and yellow ochre acrylic in journal

DAY 18

Mixed media in journal (collage/acrylic)

DAY 17
Acrylic in journal

DAY 16

The other half of Day 15 journal spread

DAY 15

Mixed media in journal.  To see the process, go HERE

DAY 14

Mixed media in journal.  To read more about it, go HERE

DAY 13
Mixed Media in my journal

Read more about face number 13 HERE

DAY 12 


DAY 11

Watercolor and Prismacolor pencils

DAY 10







I created this face on a journal page that had blue and pink acrylic paint smeared on it from a previous project.  I began filling in the white areas of the page with torn magazine images.  I thought I was headed in the direction of Matisse by doing paper cut outs, but my muse just wasn't having it!  So, out came the gesso and I roughed in an area for a face.  I began sketching with a charcoal pencil blending it into the gesso.  She's a tad creepy to me, but I was listening to (a really AWFUL) new age instrumental online.  I really thought I was on the path to "fun and cheerful", but somehow entered the twilight zone! LOL


I created both faces yesterday using background pages that I created in my Saturday art journaling class.  I taught this background technique using multiple layers of collage, acrylic washes, and gesso.  My background became predominantly ochre, sienna, and black and had an aged feel.  That was the inspiration for my faces.  The African inspired page includes potato printed paper that I made last year. ( I was surprised that I remembered I had it!)  The Native American inspired page includes words and imagery such as old coins and buffalo.


The First Four Faces

I found out about the party yesterday, so I had some major catching up to do.  I completed the first 3 faces yesterday, and just finished the 4th face just a little while ago. 


This is an intuitive painting.  I tore wrapping paper into pieces and Mod Podged it onto the page for my background.  I could see the shape of the face and shoulders in the torn paper and brought the features out with acrylic paint.


This was another intuitive painting.  I created multiple layers with torn paper, acrylic ink and acrylic washes.  Sooner or later, I always seem to find a face.  He was no exception!


This is an homage to Modigliani.  His portraits of women, with their unpainted eyes and elongated, sensuous necks intrigued me as a junior high school artist.


Another intuitive painting, this seafarer emerged among the layers of torn paper and paint.  Something about him reminded me of VanGogh's work, so I decided to emulate his impressionist style.  

I can't wait to see where day 5 takes me!  I'll be adding all of the faces to this post, so you'll be able to see my family of 29 as they emerge.

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend, and I'll see you again on Monday with mandala number 16.  Weekend Journal will be back next week - we've got some catching up to do!

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