Saturday, March 31, 2012

Weekend Journal


I spent some time visiting both old and new blog friends this week.  I still have some catching up to do, but I've already come across some fun things to share with you.

I stopped by my friend, Connie's blog, Dirty Footprints, to see how her pregnancy is going, and I found wonderful photos of her as well as this wonderful free workshop that she put together.  I watched the first video and bits of a couple others.  They are WONDERFUL!  If you haven't been to Connie's blog, I highly recommend doing so.

I also stopped by new friend, Kristen's blog, Art Play Today, where she was requesting title ideas for her Jesse Reno inspired painting.  I really like the style of her painting and I had never heard of Jesse Reno, so it was time to do some investigating!

I found some great Jesse Reno videos on YouTube - both his own channel and videos by other artists who are inspired by his work and have taken workshops with him.   (I bet you know where all of this is leading!)  Here's a video of Jesse in action.  


Well, of course, I had to try his technique!  I've been feeling in a bit of a rut lately, so I was really pumped to try something new after visiting the blogs and this video.  Here are my first experiments. 

Here's my first attempt at Jesse's technique.  I wish I had documented how many different layers are on these pages.  At first, it looked like a Latin village.  There are at least six other layers beneath this.

These pages only have two or three layers.  "Seeing things" in the initial paint layers or background, is very familiar to me (it's what I call intuitive painting).  I saw these two figures right away and did very little to change and enhance them.  It could use some doodles or something, but I've moved on.

A cow?  Really?  I was quite amused to see this little guy pop up.  As a general rule, I "don't do animals".  (Not because I don't absolutely love them, I just never felt I do them justice.)

These are so far removed from my usual work that I can't even really form an opinion on them.  I can say with absolute certainty that this technique is FUN, FUN, FUN!!!

Here's my WIP (Work In Progress).  It's a real mess right now, but I'm really liking this little frog-like creature.  I can't wait to see where this one goes.  

TAG- I'M IT! (And So Are You :o)

One of the things I really enjoy about blogging is the social aspect.  I love having the interaction with other creatives, and this week, one of my newest blogging friends, Stephanie, tagged me in this game of tag.  It's a great way to learn more about the the people in your blogging network.  Here's my contribution:


1.  You must post the rules.
2.  Answer 11 questions the tagger posted for you.
3.  Create 11 questions to ask the people you tag.
4.  Tag 11 people.
5.  Let them know you've tagged them.


1.  What are 2 names you are called that are not your real name?  "Seeeester" (by my sis) and "Kizzy" (by my brother)
2.  What was the last thing you thought about before you fell asleep last night?  I don't really remember but I'm sure it was either art related or the fact that my CA son  & his girlfriend are coming home for a visit this week!  YAY ME!!!!
3.  What is your biggest pet peeve?  People who are late.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!! Makes me CRAZY! Seriously.
4.  Would you rather have the power to be invisible or read minds?  Without a second thought, the power to be invisible.  (I don't want to be in my own mind half the time!)  I could pull off some wonderfully wicked pranks if I were invisible!  Bwaaahahahahaha!
5.  Are you a leftie or a rightie?  Rightie
6.  Do you ever dance, even when there's no music playing?  Absolutely - YES!
7.  What would you choose to eat for your last meal?  A big, bar style burger - well done with a side of mayo, fried potatoes and onions, and southern style sweet tea.  For dessert - the family size bag of Lays chips and a large container of Helluva Good French Onion Dip.  I kid you not!  LOL
8.  Do you collect anything?  If so, what?  I've been on a beach glass collecting kick for a couple years.  This year, I've also been collecting little girls' plastic barrettes, (you wouldn't believe how many I've found since January), stones and pieces of metal.  Yes - there's assemblage in my very near future!
9.  What is the worse ....and I mean absolute worse present you've ever received?  I'm afraid I have to plead the 5th on this one because it makes me feel sad.  (It has a happy ending though)  Let me state for the record that it was not from my hubby - he gives the BEST gifts!
10.  Are you a Night Owl or Early Bird?  Night Owl by nature, but I've become a bit of an early bird by adjusting to my hubby's schedule.  I'm enjoying it now that the nice weather is here.
11.  Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?  Are you kidding me!  Who could stand to sleep with the closet doors open?  Ghosts, goblins and all things evil live in there!


1.  Which do you prefer - a stroll on the beach or a stroll through the woods?
2.  Which of the four seasons makes you feel most "alive"?
3.  What song makes you cry?
4.  What art supply could you absolutely not live without?
5.  If you could spend one day studying with any artist (dead or alive) who would it be?
6.  Chocolate cake or strawberry cheesecake?
7.  What is your typical daily breakfast?
8.  If you could spend a week free of charge, anywhere in the world, where would that be?
9.  What kind of music is your car radio tuned to?  
10. What is your favorite flower?
11.  Are you annoyed that I tagged you? :oD

PEOPLE I TAGGED  (Sorry if you've been tagged previously - I didn't check!)

1.  Stephanie at Dragonfly Design Studios (Since turnabout is fair play!)
2.  Geri at My Heart Art
3.  Jennibellie at Jenniebellie Studio
4.  Rosemari at What I Made Today
5.  Jenni at A Simpler Life
6.  Tracey Fletcher King (Who created this monster! :oD )
7.  Tee Thompson at Green Isle Crafts
9.  Kelly at Kelly's Art Journaling
10.  Hanna at iHanna
11.  Lee at Artfully Designed

OK..........that's all she wrote!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and as always -


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday Tips and Techniques: Dollar Store Finds!

Your creative endeavors don't have to be costly - browse your favorite local dollar store with an artistic eye and an open mind!  My last trip yielded these 3 items, worth their weight in gold to me.  How fantastically funky is this tissue paper?  I couldn't pass up animal prints in neon blue and hot pink!  And I don't know about you, but apparently, evil elves take my pencils when I'm not looking because I can never find one - even if I was just using it "a couple minutes ago".  This 3 pack of mechanical pencils will come in handy, and I'm happy to report that the elves haven't found them yet!  My last item was an expandable coupon holder with plenty of dividers to organize and stash those smaller images torn from magazines.

Don't forget to look at things like plastic storage containers often sold in sets of two or three.  So what if they're food storage containers?  I'm sure you can always use them for fibers, paints, pencils.... the list goes on and on!  Don't forget about the kitchen papers - waxed, foil, and plastic wrap.  They're all useful in the creation of your pages.

So don't forget to keep your eyes open for art goodies at the dollar store - the more you can find there, the more bucks you'll have to spend on that art store item that you just have to have!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Weekend Journal

I tend to go through "technique spurts", and this week it's been all about layering.  I created two more journal spreads using the techniques I shared in the last Tuesday Tips and Techniques.

The inspiration from these pages began with the magazine image of the woman running up her pharmaceutical stairs, and another magazine image of a tee shirt which reads " Why would you want to be like someone else?  It's exhausting just being yourself."  Amen!

My friend, Staci, gave me some magazines last week, and these pages were inspired by images from two of those magazines.

The predominant face is a black and white photograph taken by Andy Warhol.  The eyes captivated my attention and she demanded to be placed on the page - with a makeover.  I was also inspired by a headline which declared, "The Mind Has To Travel" - hence the bicyclist.  The fish and bird imagery evolved on their own.

I had a couple pages that had been smeared with magenta paint from a previous project, so I added more magenta, blue,black, and white in irregular geometric shapes.  It wasn't long before the pages began to take on a Piccaso-like feeling.  What else could I do?  I had to go with it!

The pages seemed a little boring to me, so I flipped through my newly acquired magazines and began cutting black and white patterns, words and letters to add some interest.  I couldn't pass on the mouth, and I like that it feels a little whacky and out of place.

Tapestry Cat

Keith and I finished our last puzzle of the "winter". ( I have to use the term "winter" lightly as I was absolutely roasting on Wednesday as the thermometer climbed above 80 degrees.)

I've enjoyed puzzles since I was a pre-schooler.  Each little piece is a miniature work of art in itself, and I love handling the pieces.  Even the sound of the pieces being poured from the box brings back a feeling of comfort and nostalgia.

Keith and I browsed puzzles on the Internet one evening, and as soon as I saw Tapestry Cat, I knew I wanted it.  Luckily, it was an appealing puzzle to Keith, too.  What wasn't appealing was the price - $16.00?  I don't think so!  I put Tapestry Cat out of my mind.  A couple days later, I was browsing the shop at a local senior center when what should catch my eye?  You guessed it - Tapestry Cat, and a steal at only 50 cents! (Yay - more art supplies for me)  It was a bargain even if there are four pieces missing!  Gotta love synchronicity.

Now that Keith and I are "empty nesters", it's a great way to hang out together after dinner and "coffee on the veranda".  We turn on our favorite 70's music station and recall "the good ol' days" as we work on the puzzle.   It's a great way to celebrate our lives, love each other, and create a pieced masterpiece.

I hope you've had a wonderful week filled with creativity, and I hope the upcoming week is wonderful for you as well!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday Tips and Techniques: Formula One

I received a very nice email from one of  my subscribers that read in part,  "... I thought I would be a natural, as right handed people are suppose to be naturally artistic, but I can't even get a journal going!  It's really frustrating and depressing.  What can I do to get started?  Sometimes I want to scream!~X( at wits' end"

I was happy to send her my favorite journaling formula, and I thought you would enjoy seeing this formula, too.  I use this formula when I want to work in my journal but don't have anything specific in mind.  In today's post, I'll show you the formula I used to create this two page spread as well as many other spreads.

1.  Begin with a gessoed page.  Gesso will give you a nice surface to work on and will also add texture to the page as well as increased sturdiness for all of these layers.  After the gesso has dried (perhaps with some help of a heat gun or hair dryer), add a block or more of text with a Sharpie, gel pen, or your favorite writing pen.

It doesn't matter what you write.  I like to use this opportunity for whatever is on my mind at the time.  It could be a rant, lyrics to a song, or random ideas.  I usually write these block of texts upside down or sideways.  When you've finished writing, cover all or most of it with a thin layer of gesso or acrylic thinned with water.

2.  Once this layer has dried (it shouldn't take too long), apply a wash of two colors.  I used craft acrylics for this spread.  I selected neon yellow and neon green.  This wash ties your pages together with cohesive background color.  Have fun with this layer!  I apply the paint directly to the page in swirls and drips and add water directly to the pages.  Let the paint swirl and blend together by holding your journal up and tilting back and forth.  Make puddles of your selected paint colors and drop them into the wet background.  Blob areas of color with wet paper towel.  Flick paint specks on your pages by running your thumb across your loaded brush.  Make prints with your finger tips.  Have FUN!

3.  While your wet pages are drying, pull images from your photo files, grab scrap off your work area.  Do it without any rhyme or reason.  Just pull images that appeal to you at the moment.  Be spontaneous!  Pull more than you know you'll use.  That will give you plenty to play with.

 4.  If your pages aren't dry at this point, help them along with your favorite drying device.  Begin tearing and cutting images that appeal to you.  Don't give it a lot of thought.  Just let the magic happen - put The Muse in charge!  Pay attention to composition.  I tend to work in threes with pattern:  I tear each different patterned paper into three unequal sections and place them in an arrangement that's pleasing to me.  I use Mod Podge (no surprise to my avid readers!), to apply everything to my pages.

5.  Once this has dried, add another wash of two colors.  I selected more yellow and burnt sienna for my next wash.  I use the same technique for application as I did with the first wash.  This also helps to tie both pages together and pushes everything into the background.  Don't forget to let some of your original wash show through.  This helps to add depth to your page.  At this stage, I begin looking for imagery.  When I looked at these pages, I thought the checkered pattern on on the left looked like hair.  

6.  At this point, I begin making my light areas lighter and my dark areas darker.  I also begin adding more opaque layers of color, especially near the collaged items.  I don't want the collaged items to look like they're just stuck on - they need to blend in with the rest of the pages and become part of the whole design.

7.  Now it's time to add details.  I added splotches of transparent, raw umber acrylic ink.  I dribbled and smudged the ink along the outer edges of the pages to add depth and a nice border.  I completed the details of the face, and I darkened some of the areas.  I usually also add two or three other collaged elements at this point - mostly just because I like the way it looks!  The final step is to write another couple lines of journaling. At this stage, I generally write only one or two sentences that reflect the imagery on my pages.

And there you have it!  A journal spread that's cohesive in color, pattern and composition.  More often than not, you'll find items that you've incorporated are both symbolic and literal in relation to what you initially wrote in your first blocks of text.

I hope you find this formula for journaling helpful as you continue your own journaling endeavors.  If you give this method of try, I hope you'll show me your results.  If you have any questions or additional thoughts, comments are encouraged.  I love hearing from you, and I do believe I have solved the annoying word verification issue!   Happy Creating - and Happy First Day of Spring!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Weekend Journal

It's been a week filled with the unexpected pleasure of an early spring, impromptu visits with family and friends, and annoying (TAXES!) obligations.  In spite of all the activity, The Muse would not be silenced . . .

Acrylic, India ink, white Sharpie paint pen, collage

Monday morning's threat of rain didn't hamper my morning walk at the beach at all; I checked the hourly weather forecast which assured me the rain would not reach us until 10 am.  So, my gal, Ro and I set out on our hunting and gathering glass expedition along Lake Erie's shores.  We were still quite a distance away from the cars when the first rain drops hit at 9:58 am.  Yah - you're talking SPEED WALKING!  We managed to get to our cars before the big rains hit.  I don't know if it was the "speed walking" or the time change that hit me, but by noon I was so tired I couldn't even think straight.  But I could and DID journal this page.

Acrylic paint, India ink, white Sharpie paint pen

As most of you know who live in the midwest of the US, this weather is highly abnormal for March.  It's pretty much all anyone can talk about.  (I had to dig out my capri pants!  I didn't think it was possible to dress too warm for the beach in March, but I did.  I was roasting!)  The birds are securing their homes for the season and every morning sounds delightfully happy as they fill the air with song.  It feels like past trips to Florida in the spring, and I have to keep telling myself, "It's only MARCH - no matter how many seed catalogs arrive in the mail".

Acrylic paint

My journaling lesson in this week's Wednesday night journaling class was what I call  the "controlled pouring" technique.  We created landscapes and I think they turned out great.  I'll try to get some class photos this week so you can see some of the other creations.  I'll also be showing this technique in an upcoming Tuesday Tips and Techniques.

Water soluble crayons, acrylic paint, India ink, white Sharpie paint pen, collage

I created this spread last night.  I was am really annoyed at a friend who in my view is being selfish and manipulative with his wife.  My conversation with him left me feeling frustrated and angry, and before I knew it, I was thinking about the status of women throughout history.  I'll leave it at . . .

So....that was my a glimpse into my week.  What's been going on in your world?  Are you using your emotions, thoughts, and feelings to create some pages?  Have you tried some new techniques or supplies?  Whatever you're up to, I hope you're having a wonderful time!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Eureka! (Blogging Tip)

I'm so excited - no art post today, but I finally (I think!) got rid of that annoying, *($))#^&^$* word verification in the comments section!

The problem I had was that I did not have the "go to old interface" option in my drop down box in the new interface.  Apparently, the option doesn't show up using the Google Chrome browser.

So, after many HOURS scouring the Internet for information, I finally came across this young man's site and the info I needed.  This worked for me, and if you're having the same difficulty, I highly suggest giving this a try.

I hope this helps those of you still trying to get rid of the word verification.  Thanks to Geri and Piarom for bringing the situation to my attention, and please let me know if the problem is resolved - I think we all know we're not robots!  

I couldn't get myself to post without a least one picture, so since I was at the beach this morning, I thought I would post this picture of gulls that I took last year.  We're enjoying near 70 degree temperatures today, and I hope you are too!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Weekend Journal

Well, here we are into the second week of March.  I can't believe what a mild winter we've had here on the south shores of Lake Erie.  I've already been to the beach on many occasions, and I feel absolutely energized!

As if to prove my point of this strange weather season, I discovered a pansy blooming in a pot behind the garage.  Pansies should not be blooming here until MAY.  I was quite shocked and delightfully surprised to see this little gem yesterday.  It's now on the deck railing.

Today, I set up my journaling on the deck table.  This too, is shockingly early.  We've never set the table back up this early in the year.  It actually feels more like May than March, and the maple trees are in full bud.  It wouldn't surprise me to see leaves by the end of the week as the forecast is calling for 60 degree temperatures for the entire week.

There were lots of wonderful things to celebrate this week, not the least of which was reaching my first weight loss goal.  Am I excited?  You bet!

I also finally finished this spread (that you may remember seeing earlier).  I had to laugh - every time I worked on it the Green Acres theme song kept playing in my head.  ("...keep Manhatten just give me that countryside...")

I really like the way this collaged and acrylic painted spread turned out.  I used part of an image from a "famous" painting.  Can you spot it?

We started paper mosaic spreads in my Saturday Art Journaling class.  It's tedious, but a lot of fun.  I'll be working on this one more during the week.

It was a wonderful week, and now it's time for a relaxing evening.  Keith and I just finished this beautiful but grueling  1000 piece puzzle,  "Skywatcher" from Susan Seddon Boulet.  Isn't it beautiful?

I hope you also had a wonderful week, and I hope that you have a beautiful, peaceful evening as well!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tuesday Tips and Techniques: Derwent Water Soluble Charcoal Pencils

I made a trip to the local craft and hobby store.  I had intentions of adding some more of the usual charcoal pencils to my stash when I stumbled upon these little gems!

I've only used them once, but I adore them!  I had a lot of fun experimenting with them.  They're very much like using watercolor pencils.  When you wet them, the black becomes dark, rich and luscious!

Here's my first experiment with the Derwent Water Soluble Pencils.  I drew this face using only the charcoal pencils on an acrylic washed background.

Here's a video of Bob Burridge using these pencils.  They're a little on the pricey side, (I paid $9.99 for my set which includes a sharpener and eraser), but for the usage I get out of them, I think they'll prove to be worth every penny!


Monday, March 5, 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012

29 Faces: Finale!

Well, quite honestly, I'm going to have to refer to this project as "27 Faces" from this time forward.  I'm afraid 27 faces is all I was able to complete in 29 days!  I have to agree with Stephanie from Dragonfly Design Studios:  " has felt more like 329 faces!"  You heard it here first - Angelia is officially "faced OUT"!  None the less, it was a wonderful challenge that took me "out of the box" and encouraged my muse to try a few new things.  I want to thank Ayala at Ayala Art for hosting this fun, February challenge!

Here are my last three faces.  To view my 29 Faces Gallery, go HERE.

DAY 25


DAY 26

Acrylic and water soluble charcoal pencils  (more on those later!)

DAY 27

"Faced OUT"
Last, and maybe least, here is my final face.  It's the only one I titled, and I think the expression says it all! It's acrylic, also in my journal as are the rest.   I hope you've enjoyed seeing my faces from the challenge.  To view the other 51 artist's works, go HERE.

March Journaling Prompts

Here are your March Journaling Prompts.  It's hard to believe the first two months of 2012 are history...
Remember, when using the prompts, think of them in both literal and metaphorical ways.  Have fun!


Related Posts with Thumbnails