Tough Enough

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.

Happy is the heart…

…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!”

The Goal: Jesus

“We never give more honor to Jesus than when we honor his Mother, and we honor her simply and solely to honor Him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek – Jesus, her Son.”
–Saint Louis Marie de Montfort

“And all at once, Summer collapsed into Fall.” – Oscar Wilde

Tired of the same old stencils in your stash?  It’s the perfect time of year to take a walk and find some of nature’s best, and they’re free!

This pretty one was brushed with black acrylic paint, pressed onto 70 lb. paper, dried, torn and glued onto a piece of white stitched linen.  A beautiful cover for your next mini journal!

I so enjoy this season of change, which is really God reminding us He is here.  e.

Cover Girl!

 

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! ❤

More Than Words

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!

https://stampington.com/somerset-studio

This canvas is SOLD, thank you!

mini tutorial!

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…♥

e.

“Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and be that perfectly.” – St. Francis of Assisi

Hello artists!

Here’s an example of how wonderful it is to save your drip papers.  This Angel of Individuality is wearing my newspaper scrap as her dress, which I think looks smashing!  What do you think?

This canvas is for a friend who fell in love with this little piece of drip paper while in my studio yesterday.  Custom orders come to me in the most delightful ways, so thank you, creative friend!  ❤

Neons over Brown Kraft

Repurposing another vintage book, “The Potato Garden”, A Grower’s Guide, by Maggie Oster. Not sure of the copyright year since I already worked the first page, but it’s the perfect type of book to journal in. The pages are heavy, brown kraft, have wonderful illustrations you can include in your art and don’t have an overwhelming number of pages. Why spend top dollar for mixed media journals and sketchbooks when you can pick these up for a quarter or so at thrift shops. First page held up beautifully to a layer of gesso and heavy body acrylics through stencils. (Sorry, Maggie!)

I’m loving the bright paints I’m using to cover the brown kraft pages. Here I used an array of Artist Loft neon acrylics applied with brushes, my fingers and a palette knife through stencils. Getting out my heat gun because I can’t wait to turn the page and start again!

SOLD – book angel

Upcycled a vintage book cover from a Florida foliage guide. The Library just throws some of these old donations away. This one didn’t make it by me. Brought it home. Brought it to life. Book angel, I love you! ❤

Collage

Collage is great because you can use pretty leftover ephemera you hate to toss away.  Here I added some journaling, rubber stamps and gel sticks through a stencil to create a pleasing scene.  Even the canvas is leftover – an old sturdy book cover in need of a facelift. I love the result and will keep going until I have a complete journal cover; front, back and binding.  Stay tuned!

Paper and Paint as Background

SONY DSC

Use a variety of papers for your collage backgrounds.  Here, I took ripped pieces from my newsprint drip pad and strips of scrapbook paper, and attached them to my canvas with matte gel medium.  When completely dry, I used a palette knife to spread heavy body acrylics through stencils.  This piece isn’t finished, but will hopefully inspire your next blank canvas!

hope is a waking dream…

Sketched with oil pastels and added ephemera for color.  Cut the butterfly wing from a favorite greeting card.  Created the tag using scrapbook paper and a “BEAUTIFUL” rubber stamp and tied it with torn vintage fabric.  “Hope is a waking dream” is a rub-on transfer.  [Credits: Sorry, rubber stamp and transfers are thrift shop finds…mfrs. unknown].

This hopeful girl sits on a page in my sketchbook and isn’t listed in my Etsy shop.  But all of my art is always for sale…just comment or convo me on Etsy and make an offer!  Blessings!

SOLD – Add Pastels

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!

So I don’t sew. So. I love.

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!

e.

From My Heart to Yours

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!

*****

Five Minute Face

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!

paper garden

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!

forever…

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).

Art Journal Monday

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.

 

Rites of Spring

SOLD

Crinkled tissue paper makes for a great textured background, but apply it to your canvas with a slight coat of thick gel medium, rather than a liquid glue, such as Mod Podge.

Check your ephemera collection for colors and shapes that speak 0f Spring and you’ll find yourself creating with a feeling of sunniness!  Outline your forms with bright-colored pencils and oil pastels rather than dark inks.  Spring is in two days…celebrate with light!

e.

It’s the Little Things

 

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…

Corrugate

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,

e.

birds and words

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.

The Documented Life Project Catch-Up – Using an “Un” Hand Carved Stamp

November Theme
Stencils, Stamps & Masks
November 14
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!

e.

the universal language of kindness

 

The Documented Life Project

November Theme:  Stencils, Stamps & Masks
November 28
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!

The Love of Layering

Created earlier this year as Challenges in The Documented Life Project, my “Layers You Will Love” canvases are featured in the Winter 2016 issue of Somerset Studio Gallery.  Find them here!

Check out my Etsy shop to purchase one or both of these published originals!

Coming Soon…Winter 2016 Issue, Somerset Studio Gallery!

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!

Accidental Stencil

The Documented Life Project November Theme:

Stencils, Stamps & Masks

November 7 Art Challenge:  Stencils – Made or Bought

Journal Prompt:  On the edge of uncertainty…

* * *

Thrift shop find…an unopened package of 3″ square Momenta Designer Labels…priceless!

After printing an entire sheet of Christmas labels, I carefully peeled off the delicate label waste and laid it down onto both blank journal pages…perfect fit!

Next, I spritzed the pages with Dylusions Ink Spray in Fresh Lime and when dry, peeled it off.  Left with blank white lines, I journaled horizontally and vertically then outlined each square with a regular, No. 2 pencil.  After adding some paper ephemera, I used mini alpha rubber stamps to spell, “accidental stencil,” then gave a couple of spritzes of Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in Rich Mocha.

With the tip of a black India ink dropper, I journaled the DLP Prompt then finished it off with a palette knife smattering of burnt umber heavy body acrylic through a journal line stencil.

I love to end my work with a light sprinkle of bright fine glitter and let it stick to whatever’s still wet. Done!

Not uncertain, but certainly accidental!  Thank you, ladies!  e.

The Documented Life Project October 31 Challenge: Fibrous Papers

“Sending Love.  Loving You.”  Tissue paper background.

October Theme
Translucent Papers
October 31
Art Challenge: Tea Bags, Dryer Sheets, Fibrous Papers
Journal Prompt: Just Create!

The Documented Life Project – October 24 Journal Prompt: Windows of My Mind

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.

The Documented Life Project – October Theme: Translucent Papers – This Week’s Challenge: Vellum

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.

The Documented Life Project – October Theme: Translucent Papers

This week’s DLP challenge prompted me to use a few of the messy drip and blot papers in my trash stash.

This is a 12″x12″ thin linen canvas that I started with a coat of gesso then a soft layer of burnt umber.  After both layers dried, I began adding the paper scraps with matte medium.  With a mini flat brush, I added a white flower, some leaves and a vine, which is barely visible after giving the whole piece a good paper towel rub to bring it all together.

At the last moment, I used black India ink to journal on a scrap of printer paper that was splattered with acrylic paint.  I tore it out then applied it to the top of the canvas with matte medium.

I think this piece has an Oriental flair and I’m happy with it, so it’s now hanging in my Etsy shop, waiting for a new home.  Konbanwa!

Shadow. Light. Love.

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).

The Documented Life Project – Challenge: Faces – “I Can See Clearly Now”

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 Documented Life Project – Challenge: Color Safari

Catching up…

The April Theme

Color Safari (Exploring Inks and Paints)
April 25
Art Challenge: Inks
Journal Prompt: Before the Ink is Dry

The Documented Life Project – Challenge: “When Not to Stop”

The Documented Life Project’s February Theme was, “Layers You Will Love!” and the February 7 Challenge was, “When Not to Stop.”

Hmm, February…

…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?

The Documented Life Project July Theme: Ephemera – July 11 Challenge: Focal Point vs. Layering

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).

e.

The Documented Life Project July Theme: Ephemera

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!

SOLD – “Celebrate Love”

It’s dry, it’s finished and I renamed it, “Celebrate Love.”  Still celebrating the love of God I see in the birth of my new little great nephew, Harrison!

This piece has just been listed for sale in my Etsy shop – https://www.etsy.com/listing/239003223/mixed-media-canvas-art-original-hearts?ref=shop_home_active_1

Wet Paint

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!

kindness…always in fashion

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!