“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” – Andy Warhol
“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” – Andy Warhol
…out of the tube!
“Creativity takes courage.” – Henri Matisse
This journal page was inspired by the black felt hat my friend Polly sometimes wears, but as you see, our results don’t always match our visions.
It’s all right!
“Creativity is a continual surprise.” – Ray Bradbury
Creating this little cutie was big fun. I cut up a previously-painted and collaged canvas right off its wood frame and ripped the sides for imperfect edges. One of my best thrift shop finds was an 1800’s ledger filled with teeny tiny writing. Using a few of its pages, and following some on-line make-your-own-journal instructions, I created this booklet using a large-eyed needle and some burlap twine. When I showed it to my husband, he recalled making such a booklet in grade school…there you go!
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!”
…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.
Acrylics and charcoal, a Labor Day labor of love! ❤
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…♥
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! ❤
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!
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! ❤
Ran out of canvases, but found some cardboard in the garage. Necessity is the Mother of Invention!
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!
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!
This little treasure was a joy to make this evening. Drying in my studio and available for purchase on Etsy…have a look! And Happy Sweetest Day!
“To live by love is to go through life sowing peace and joy in hearts.” – St. Therese of Lisieux
“To His open Heart the Savior invites
all men to draw water in joy
from the springs of salvation.”
Available for purchase in my Etsy shop!
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!
See more of this sweet angel in my Etsy shop!
…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.
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!
When it’s wet outside, there’s generally something drying in the studio!
SOLD – New tonight in my Etsy shop! Come in and browse!
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…
a page in a life
a journal of lessons
and new fine lines.
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!
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!
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!
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!
Available on Etsy!
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’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 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
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!
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!
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!
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…
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!
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!