I love starting a new, blank journal. There’s something about opening to that fresh, first page and envisioning what type of medium will touch it first. Whether sketching or painting, the first page seems to launch the theme for the remaining ones.
Recently while shopping Hobby Lobby’s extensive selection of journals, I was pleased to find a large, 11″x 14″ sketchbook. While the paper was only 70 lb. and not the first choice for mixed media, I decided to try it because I liked the idea of creating on the oversized pages…a canvas-sized journal! Well, it held up stoutly, which as you can see, is loaded with a variety of medium – acrylics, inks, watercolor, oil pastels, pencils and pens.
The next time you’re ready for a fresh journal, challenge yourself with a larger size. I think you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can fill it up. And if you can’t find it in 140 lb., give the 70 a try, it’s tough enough!
TIP: You can’t go wrong with a first layer of gesso for either weight paper, but I wouldn’t go any lower than 70 lb.
…that believes in angels!
Mixed media angels take practice. This happy herald appeared in my journal last night when I decided to roughly sketch a face over an old background created several years ago. I love her, and do invite my angel in every morning to protect me throughout the day. With a simple prayer and a lot of faith, I feel confident that I’m never alone: “Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here. Ever this day, be at my side, to light, to guard, to rule and guide, Amen!”
“Wish,” now shoppable on Etsy!
…are bright enough to make us believe in Heaven.
When will I see you again? In a year, maybe ten? Into the pile you go…bye for now.
Just ran out into the rain to grab our mail before it got drenched and was so happy to find my carefully wrapped copy of Somerset Studio Gallery! There are so many of my multi-talented artist friends included in this amazing issue, which humbles me greatly to have my angel art on the cover!
Kerry Christiano Molina, Monica Downing, Lynne Moncrieff, Diana D Darden, Kim Collister, Tina Walker, Peggy Dailey Gatto, Sherry Westfall Matthews, Vickie Kammerer, Jill Haglund, Theresa Swiers Goldman, names only a few.
Somerset Studio Gallery and Gracy Wilkins, you are absolutely the best!
This canvas is SOLD, thank you! ❤
I’m over the moon, Somerset Studio and Christen Hammons! Thank you for asking me to join my amazing art sisters, Cat Kerr, Vickie Kammerer, Kim Collister, Jennalee Anderson, Deborah Company and Lynne Moncrieff to mention a few. What a wonderful art community I’ve been blessed to join and be a part of.
This new issue of Somerset Studio is filled to the brim with inspiration that I know you’ll love! I can’t wait to dig in myself! Congrats to all!
This canvas is SOLD, thank you!
Take an old child’s board book and turn it into an art journal!
Technique: Create a background with vintage book pages applied with gel medium; let dry. Cover with a light brushing of gesso and dry again. With a black or charcoal pencil, outline your subject. Grab a fist of colored pencils and color it in, choosing unconventional hues. Add interest with rubber stamps and doodle inside the stamped images with a colored Sharpie. Turn the page and repeat, using a completely different subject. Have fun! Be unique…♥
Don’t be afraid to add oil pastels to the focus area of your canvas. Once you add that pop of color, give it a slight smudge to remove unwanted “crayon lines.” Apply the same shade to smaller areas of your work to bring it all together. Easy as 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8!
SOLD Thank you!
…drying in my Etsy shop tonight…see the entire canvas here!
Try some stitching on your journal pages…it adds texture, interest and fun!
We each have our own talents, but why not stretch them out and see what else awaits. In this case, it was a simple step, but the results show that having an open heart bears much to be grateful for!
What an amazing honor to again be published in Somerset Studio Gallery, the Summer 2016 issue to be released tomorrow, June 1! I received the issue a couple of weeks ago and am thrilled to share a sneak preview of my feature article with you. Thank you Somerset Studio Gallery!
A year ago, I tried my hand at drawing a face after watching Dina Wakley’s tutorial. I wasn’t crazy about the result, but posted it nonetheless (you can see it in my Archives).
Since then, I’ve abandoned the idea altogether. Even in photography, my passion lies in shooting flowers, birds and things – seldom people.
But this past weekend, my husband and I were on travel and I’d decided to bring along a few art supplies. Not wanting to splatter paint in the hotel room, I chose a box of oil pastels, which I use occasionally on my canvases to highlight and add brilliance.
When hubby decided to go to the lobby to to pick up a newspaper, I took out the pastels and began to play around with the black crayon. It glided across the page like silk, and within the five minutes it took him to return, I had outlined this face and filled it in with soft red, orange, rust and green.
I’m happier with this, my second face, but wonder how it might have turned out if I’d put more effort into it. Hubby loved it, and if it weren’t for his raving, I’d have kept it in my private stash. So stay tuned for face #3…hopefully sooner than the last!
…because you are loved.
“For God so loved the world
that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in Him
should not perish
have eternal life”
Arrange paint and ephemera scraps into a pattern you love, then glue together to hold in place. With your sewing machine, stitch the assemblage in several areas using a variety of stitch patterns. Add some flowers using bright acrylics then gesso over an area to write on, making sure it’s completely dry first.
The day I created this, I received a little package in the mail from China and was enchanted with the postage label. Sometimes one small element like that will inspire your entire project.
I’m not sure what I’ll do with this construction – perhaps transform it further into a cover for one of my journals. The possibilities here are endless…another reason I’m in love with mixed media!
Acrylic paint sits well atop this oil pastel background and affords a smooth surface for rubber stamp and gel pen ink.
To preserve these layers, apply a coat of Krylon spray sealant and forget about it (but remember, no “thing” lasts forever!)
“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever” (Psalm 106:1).
Junk mail is always a fun addition to journal pages, especially envelope linings with unique markings. Just tear pieces off and glue them down where you think color needs balance…you can never go wrong with a little black and white.
This 7″ square burlap journal has been a delight to work in. A small surface is just right when studio time is limited and creative thoughts are endless…
Try playing on something you find lying around, like this crenelated square I found inside a mailing box. It was sturdy, held fluid acrylics well, and didn’t allow wet inks to soak through.
Hearts so often grace my work, but today I especially had Valentine’s Day in mind…10 days away! Love,
New in my Etsy shop tonight…hearts by the dozen! This radiant canvas was a joy to create and I know it will inspire you to glow! From my heart to yours…
The Documented Life Project December Theme:
Storytelling with the Written Word
nature has stories of its own…
Every now and then, filling blank pages can be a challenge, and it’s in those times that you look for something to do the work for you. Here, I reached for a sheet of Kate Spade wrapping paper that I’d had for years. I loved how the black birds popped against the bright white, and figured my trusty black Fudeball would too.
Indeed we fill the pages of our life books, sometimes with a little help from our friends.
The Documented Life Project December Theme: Storytelling with the Written Word
December 5 Art Challenge: Words Front & Center
Journal Prompt: Life is a book. We fill the pages.
Stencils, Stamps & Masks
Art Challenge: Use a Hand Carved Stamp
Journal Prompt: Tapestries
I’ll have to say, I’m not wild about creating with rubber stamps. Occasionally I’ll stamp out a word or two with my mini alpha set, but as for images, I’d rather design with the tip of my trusty ink dropper.
Yet each week, DLP challenges me to a technique I might not have tried on my own, and it always leads to something wonderful, like these inky butterflies, taking wing within my pages.
There’s nothing to lose when it comes to art. Years from now, should I return to this page, what will I remember? Perhaps the beginning of my new love for rubber stamps!
“Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels” (Hebrews 13:2).
The Documented Life Project
November Theme: Stencils, Stamps & Masks
Art Challenge: Combine the Three (Stencils, Stamps & Masks)
Journal Prompt: “Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.”-Henry James
Last page in this journal…onward!
“Love”, one of my first canvases now SOLD, was created earlier this year and is spotlighted in Somerset Studio Gallery’s Winter 2016 issue! Love!
SOLD Thank you!
I’m honored to have been published in Stampington & Co.’s Winter 2016 issue of Somerset Studio Gallery, which will be released this Tuesday, December 1!
It was a joy working with Managing Editor, Brianne Martin on my articles, both as a Featured and a Spotlight Artist.
What a surprise when I received a “convo” from her in my Etsy Shop asking whether I’d be interested in being published. I was a little skeptical, but when she promised her note was not spam, I was thrilled to be included in a Stampington & Co. magazine!
If you’re new to Stampington, here’s a link to their site, which is bursting with creativity and inspiration from around the world!
The Documented Life Project – November 21 Challenge: Use a Mask
“Sending Love. Loving You.” Tissue paper background.
Art Challenge: Tea Bags, Dryer Sheets, Fibrous Papers
Journal Prompt: Just Create!
October Theme: Translucent Papers
October 24 Art Challenge: Glassine
Journal Prompt: Windows of My Mind
I Googled glassine and discovered it’s very close to waxed paper. So I started with a nice sheet of it and trimmed off the edges. I added old book and magazine ephemera to create a collage then finger painted with gesso and acrylics to blend it together.
With the tip of a black ink dropper I journaled, “Wisdom Window” on the edge of the right-hand page and finished it off with a sprinkling of superfine turquoise glitter.
Crinkled vellum paper is wonderful to use as a drip pad for your art when you recycle it as background material for your journal pages.
Here I applied a large piece of it to the entire two pages of my journal with matte medium, then trimmed the edges. Easy peasy…half done!
More matte medium…I randomly applied pieces of ephemera from my stash, then decoupaged over them for posterity. Next, I used a plastic paint spatula to apply heavy body turquoise acrylic through a sheet of stencil “waste.”
With a popsicle stick, I transferred today’s date, “ten 17 15,” using rub-ons.
To finish, I scratched the words from today’s journal prompt, “Sheer Genius” with the tip of an India Ink dropper, then tapped the excess droplets about both pages.
It was a rough week that continued through today, but this week’s Challenge arrived just in time to help put some art back into my heart. Thanks once again, DLP friends…love having you in my life! E.
Just after the sun reached the top of this morning’s amazing sky, I received DLP’s e-mail with this week’s Challenge. As the aroma of dripping coffee filled the air, I stepped into my studio to see what might happen next.
I turned my journal page to a fresh, but messy blank sheet and added a couple of sprays of Tattered Angels Rich Mocha, then Blue Raspberry. By now the coffee had finished, so I left my page for what I thought was something better.
I poured a cup, then shuffled into the dining room to sit with the birds at the feeder – they nibbled while I sipped until the pot was empty.
By the time I returned to my journal, the sun was pouring in through the shutters and onto my page as though our Lord had personally visited Art5’s leading ladies and inspired them with this week’s prompt. Indeed, “there is no shadow without the light!”
In an instant, the sun moved behind a cloud and my shadow disappeared, but not before I got this shot. Gratefully, I turned the page and left the room – my page was complete.
“I will thank You for evermore; for this is Your doing. I will proclaim that Your name is good, in the presence of Your friends” (Psalm 52:11).
Not quite yet finished, but we’re all called to s l e e p … z z z z z … goodnight, colors.
New listing in my Etsy shop today!
This was “eye-opening” – no pun intended! I watched Dina Wakley’s how-to-draw-a-face tutorial, then put a pencil to a sheet of canvas paper, and less than five minutes later had a pair of eyes! The result sort of stunned me, since I never intended them to be mine – but there they were, looking back at me, and I wondered whether so many years of applying eye makeup played a role in my efforts.
I haven’t tried my hand at the whole face, but can “see clearly now” that Dina was right…you can do it! Thank you, Dina! e.
The April Theme
Color Safari (Exploring Inks and Paints)
Art Challenge: Inks
Journal Prompt: Before the Ink is Dry
The Documented Life Project’s February Theme was, “Layers You Will Love!” and the February 7 Challenge was, “When Not to Stop.”
…July – hey, it’s never too late to start! So in the wee hours of this morning I finished mine, and it’s apparent I knew when not to stop! HOW FUN WAS THAT?
This week’s DLP Art Challenge is to create with a focal point and add layering as you go.
As you might have guessed, I’m all about hearts; all about love!
So after journaling in white over my shabby background of teal, lavender and yellow-gold acrylics, I began layering hearts with a cosmetic sponge through a stencil with red and pink acrylics to create an upward motion. The illusion is that the hearts get smaller as they rise, but in fact they were laid down using the same stencil I drew and cut from a magazine cover for stability.
In following with the ephemera theme, I chose a small piece of an antique staple box, which blended right into the page. I inked and splattered over it, which led me to my focal point of lettering, “focus on love.”
I’m so passionate about these journal prompts and look forward to seeing what other members create as they inspire me with each weekly challenge! Supplies used: Artist’s Loft Acrylics (Michaels), Black India Ink (Michaels), White Uniball Signo Gel Pen (Everything Stamps & Stencils), Cosmetic Sponges (Dollar Tree).
This week’s DLP Art Challenge is to use old maps, letters, tickets “& more,” and the journal prompt is, Life…with a history.
When I hear “ephemera,” I think of magazine clippings, junk mail envelopes, cancelled postage stamps, artsy product labels and bits and pieces of receipts.
I enjoyed this so much, I added a second page, which well documents the days following my July 4th holiday. A cancelled postage stamp of the Madonna, cascading roses (her favorite!) from the latest Real Simple magazine, a Mix & Mingle stationery box label and pink acrylic painted hearts made for a bright page, which perfectly reflects my week of happy surprises! To tie this all together, I used a cosmetic sponge to blend the same shade of pink onto the roses to make them mine.
A peek at the second page reveals part of an emptied brown kraft Fresh Market package of espresso beans, which I painted and journaled over. A piece of an Anthropologie receipt will later remind me of a drive to Palm Beach Gardens to spend a generous gift card from a friend who always brings joy to my heart.
I’m passionate about these journal prompts and look forward to seeing what other members create as they inspire me with each weekly challenge!
It’s been quite a day for my family. My dear nephew and his beautiful wife gave birth to a gorgeous, healthy baby boy. They named him Harrison Steven and he is amazing! Tonight my art reflects the love in my soul…one after another heart filled with something different.
I titled this post, “Wet Paint” because I couldn’t wait until the canvas dried to photograph it. In fact, it’s not yet finished. Tomorrow’s another day, but I can’t imagine it being any better than this one. God is great!
Sometimes an image from a magazine is the only prompt you need to create. This gorgeous illustration was taken from a Caroline Herrera perfume ad. Acrylic paint, a gel pen and a glue stick were the only other supplies used…for kindness in a hurry!
Did you know…”blessed” means happy? Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8).
Journal pages should invite…like these pears do, to a hungry bird’s appetite. I don’t know about you, but my appetite for recording what’s in my heart is enormous, so I write daily. It’s like stopping time with a photograph…you come back to it years later, reunited to each detail.
For tonight, however, my thoughts are new, and I’ll record them on a page similar to this one, which is for sale in my new Etsy Shop, Pink Soul Studios…here’s the link!
Try using acrylic paint on your rubber stamps, but take the time to clean them afterward, or they’ll be ruined when you go to use them with an ink pad. This pear stamp worked well with Artist’s Loft Acrylic in Neon Green. Just brush it on and press it down gently. After this dried, I stenciled sloppily with Artist’s Loft Neon Purple on my fingertip to finish the page. Ready for journaling!
For me, journaling will often fill an entire page, especially when my heart is full and I’ve got a UniBall white Signo in hand! It’s pure blessedness, how it glides across a painted page.
I chose this typewriter image from my stash of magazine cutouts. When you see something that catches your eye, tear it out and save it until the piece “fits.” The jet black in the image against the pink [acrylic] background brightened the repeat stenciled pattern and made for the perfect end to my journal with coffee morning…happy June 1!
This canvas is now featured in the Winter ’16 issue of Somerset Studio Gallery and is available for purchase in my Etsy shop!
As a member of Art 5 Academy’s Documented Life Project, I recently jumped into my first Challenge, “Layers You Will Love.” And I did love them! I titled the page, “P’s and Q’s,” after a final layer of random alpha stencils. Thank you for the inspiration, ladies! Thank you, Somerset Studio Gallery!
Loved using my newly replaced black Sharpie to draw these flowers on vintage dictionary pages that I prepared with bright acrylics and colored inks. Added some journaling, then let it dry so I could turn the page and create again!
Blank canvas books are hard to find, but I ran across this one, discontinued at Michaels. I absolutely loved working on the thin, rectangle canvas board and after gessoing the page, my colors seemed to really pop, especially the Phthalo Blue Fluid Acrylic by Golden. So happy with the results! Would buy another of these books if I could find one…
…it’s the word that always comes to mind when “messaging” my art, and rather than change the beat, I lay it on the page – again and again. Love never fails.
I love the Boho fabric patterns in Robert Redford’s Sundance line. Rather than spend the money on his expensive fashions, I satisfied that craving by collaging my favorites from his catalog onto my journal pages, which resulted in a paper quilt of colorful shapes that ultimately lifted my spirit and set my mind back to simple things…thanks, Bob!
Some Golden Acrylics in Green Gold and Teal, an old credit card and a canvas page made for a fun ten minute paint escape…loving 2015!
a glimpse at my art table…a folder of dreams, waiting to be transformed.
I didn’t draw this bird, but cut him out of an old book and collaged him onto the center of two journal pages. I love him and wonder if he’s running from the surf. Artist unknown…
Here, I created a distressed background by cutting an image from a fashion magazine and photocopying it onto a page from an old book. Next, I decoupaged the page onto the right side of my journal, then trimmed the edges. For added effect, I removed a piece of yellowed tape from the book’s inside cover and added it to the page.
Alpa and numeric stencils in different fonts styles are my current passion – I found this one at a dollar store! I sprayed through the stencil with Heidi Swapp’s Black Color Shine and let it dry. Then I gave it a couple of last minute spritzes with Seafoam Color Shine, which is subtle on most surfaces. I love that, because it’s a sure thing “finish” when I can’t decide what’s needed to say, I’M DONE!
Check out your local thrift shops for such unique, antique finds!
I’m thrilled with my new Uniball Signo white pen. The word, “love” flows out of it like silk. A travel “must” for my pencil case!
It was such a pretty mess to straighten, I thought it deserved a photograph before it disappeared forever…
There’s a lot happening on tonight’s page. But art is so very personal; there’s never too much or too little, and there are never inapt color choices. So unless you’re creating something custom, you get to choose!
Art is about mood and music, what’s handy on your art table and what’s not. It’s about pulling out ephemera you forgot you had and about creating something new on the spot.
Putting your heart on paper with abandon allows you to come back to it, perhaps months later, and recall exactly how you felt.
“In our life there is a single color, as on an artist’s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love.”
– Marc Chagall
“Ephemera” was one of the first art journaling words I learned, and it’s really just anything you come across that you’d love to add to your journal page. It can be bought, found, cut out, torn out, unpeeled, unglued, unstapled (you get the idea), then saved and stashed for later. At the moment, I have three folders full.
Inside one of the folders are mail remnants. To me, there’s nothing worse than seeing a trash bag filled with paper sitting next to an empty recycle bin. So, I do my little part and save the security envelopes inside the junk mail that comes to our house. I never realized how many great patterns there are, mostly in black or baby blue – I love them all. Here’s one that I glue-sticked down and lined over for journaling later.
You might never look at your mail the same again! Have a closer look at tomorrow’s to see what’s interesting…
REUSE, RECYCLE, REJOICE!
Layers are wonderful; colorful, but can also simplify when limited to one area of the page.
I love the work of Roben-Marie Smith! I learned to journal from watching a handful of my favorite artists, but I always return to Roben-Marie for inspiration. She’s wonderful and her art really does “pop!” I created this piece attempting some of her amazing techniques…thank you, Roben-Marie!