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!

*****

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.

Stations

Lent isn’t just a time to be sorry for our sins; to repent and begin again.  It’s a time of Love.  Jesus suffered greatly and died out of Love for each of us.  Each one!

I want to love Him back.  This canvas is for Him.  Blessed be Jesus, true God and true man.  e.

Jesus is condemned to die
Jesus is made to carry His Cross
Jesus falls the first time
Jesus sees His sorrowful Mother
Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry His Cross
Veronica wipes the Face of Jesus
Jesus falls the second time
Jesus speaks to the weeping women
Jesus falls the third time
Jesus is stripped of His clothing
Jesus is nailed to the Cross
Jesus is lifted up on the Cross and dies
Jesus is taken down from the Cross
Jesus is laid in the tomb

We praise you oh Lord and we bless You, because by Your Holy Cross, You have redeemed the world.

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.

twelve hearts

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…

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!

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!

He makes all things new

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! 

embrace the process

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!

prayer journal

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.

bright matters

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!

Love of Layering

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!

definitions

SONY DSC

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!

“Oh, how sweet to the soul is holy prayer.”

I love the Saints, especially Catherine of Siena.  This is an excerpt from one of her writings in Volume 3 of “Sermon in a Sentence.”

St. Catherine was so graced; she inspired me to create this joyful herald!  I’m not quite finished with her, but the message is clear:  taking time for God brings us to the present where He resides, allowing us to experience a bit of His amazing Heaven.  e.

 

DLP: Writing Challenge

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…

sundance

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!