Saturday, September 7, 2013

"Looking In Awe"

It's been a crazy couple of weeks around here.  Hopefully things will start to fall into a routine and ease up a bit.
So, a few weeks ago, back when I actually seemed to find my way into the outdoors, I was feeling a bit discouraged.  I went outside to sit on my porch, for a few minutes, to catch my breath, and as I sat there a hummingbird flew up to the day lily next to me.  He stayed there long enough for me to get a good look at him and then he left.
I have a friend who, when she sees a sand dollar, sees it as gift from God...a reminder, just for her, of His love.  Well, that's how I feel when I come across a hummingbird.  It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, I stop and pay attention to the gift that is just for me, at that very moment.  Time freezes and I just sink into the feeling of gratitude and love.  Of course, I had to make a page in my journal to mark the occasion.
The background is mostly just palette cleanings.  I drew the hummingbird with a Stabilo pencil, on a gesso covered book page, and then painted it with fluid acrylics.  Then I stuck it on the background with gel medium and washi tape.  Lettering and details were added with some foam letter stamps that I've had around for a long time, pens, and charcoal.
Well, I'm off to clean my fridge before it is listed as a bio hazard.  There are some containers in there that have gone from "past due" to just plain "lab experiment".  Ah, the life.  It's times like these where the memory of that hummingbird will help to see me through the challenges...even if it's just a fridge.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Big Changes & Priorities

Tomorrow begins a new chapter in my life.  22 years after graduating high school, I am heading off to college.  I am excited, nervous, and already unsure of how I will get everything done, so I'm certain that my art time will be drastically reduced.  I'm sure I will still find time to play with my paints, but my priorities lie with school and family.  So my already irregular blog will likely become even more irregular, but not totally forgotten.
I have been playing with my markers a bit and doodled one of my favorite quotes.
Well, I'm off on my new adventure!  Wish me luck and I hope that happiness finds you today!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lucky Girl!

Here's a little fact that is just unbelievable to me:  When Art Journaling magazine publishes an article, they PAY the artist!  PAY, like with money!  Don't tell the good folks at Stampington, but I totally would have put my journal in their magazine FOR FREE, so this idea of being paid had me more than just a little giddy!  They give you the option of having them cut you a check OR giving you a credit at The Shoppe at Somerset for supplies.  If you choose the later, you get paid a little extra and since I fully intended to spend every dime on art supplies anyway, that was my choice.  In my mind, that's a WIN-WIN!! 
So I turned on the Pitch Perfect station on Pandora, clicked that mouse, and went shopping!
I chose things that I either cannot find in Idaho or that I would have NEVER have kicked down the money for, had I not had a credit, because in my mind, not using "real" money makes it easier to shell out exorbitant amounts for a supply that I have always wanted.  I know, it's a bit delusional, but when it comes to buying art supplies, sometimes it's just best not to think about the net worth of your art supply arsenal.  Plus, you forget all about that kind of thing when the UPS man shows up at your door with a box full of awesome!
That's right!  I bought myself not one, but TWO sets of Copic sketch markers and a set of Copic inking pens.
Here's my test run in my Dylusions Journal (which I pretty much LOVE, by the way.  More about that another day).  By the end of this little experiment, I felt that maybe, just maybe, I could fall in love with Copics.  Then the very next morning, when I went to church, I ran into a friend of mine who is a very talented artist and she opened up her church bag and there, next to her hymn book was a bag of these...
Spectrum Noir markers.  They, like Copics, are alcohol markers with dual tips.  My friend had decided that alcohol markers were not for her and GAVE me all of them.  How cool is that?!!  I used both the Copic and Spectrum Noir markers to make this little doodle.
 I've been really missing the ocean lately.  I'm not sure exactly how or why a ocean loving/needing girl ended up landlocked, but one day, maybe, I'll live near the sea....ahhhh....sorry, sidetracked.  Anyway, as I was saying I used both brands of markers together on this doodle and I learned a couple of things.  1. Spectrum Noir markers are bleeders.  I'm not talking about bleeding through the paper to the other side (all alcohol markers do that).  These bleed out from the point of the pen.  They spread quickly and you have to be VERY careful in detail areas.  2.  Spectrum Noir markers do not play well with others.  When they came into contact with the areas colored with the Copic pens, they caused the normally clean Copics to bleed into them.  The Copics, however, did not do that.  It could have the potential to be a fun effect to work with but it is NOT fun when your crisp black doodle starts running into the other colors.  Not fun at all.
After all my experimenting, I came to the conclusion that I like the Copic markers a little better.  That's not to say that the Spectrum Noir pens will sit idly on my desk, I think that with a bit more experimenting, I can avoid some of their obstacles and I'm ALWAYS happy to have a reason to play with new art supplies.  I am a LUCKY girl!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Treasure Found

I am a HUGE fan of Sharpie water based paint pens.  I love those things.  I love their ability to write over almost anything, their opacity (how's that for a word?), their ability to just keep on working, and that they are so accessible.  They're in every store.  In fact, the ONLY two complaints that I had about them was that I couldn't get a smaller tip than "fine" in my neck of the woods, nor were there many color choices.
And then I walked into Michaels....
It was as if a beam of light came down from Heaven and fell upon them...
Choirs singing...
That's right!  Water based Sharpie paint pens in EXTRA FINE and pastel colors.  Peach, blue, aqua, lavender, and PINK!  Not neon pink!  Just plain, old, regular pink!  I slapped down my Michaels coupon without hesitation!
Oh, how they make me happy!  I had to take them home and test them out immediately.

I love this quote by Twyla Tharp and if ever there was a week I wanted to run away from home it was last week.  The house made from the tag that the mechanic put on my keys as I left my car with him is just one of the many souvenirs left over from a tough week.
I have some amazing 140 lb. Fabriano hot press watercolor paper in this journal and it was calling for me to just play with watercolors, pens, and my "fancy" crayons (Caran D'Ache Neocolor II's)...oh, and my spiffy new Sharpies!  I LOVE them.  I thought that I couldn't love a pen more than these and then, as I was finishing up this page, the UPS man arrived....and THAT is a story for another day!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

All War Belongs On Paper

So, during my long blogging absence, I have been dealing with some tough things.  Most of them are still fresh and precious and I'm not really ready to share too many details, but I will say that I am learning to allow myself to be a little more vulnerable (slowly) and trusting.  Vulnerable and trusting is NOT my talent.  I am (and I'm sure that I'm not alone in this) my own worst enemy.  Between learning to manage my fibro and breaking down my very well built walls, I end up feeling a little banged up sometimes.  It is during those times that a bit of divine intervention shows up and the basis for this page is no different.  This quote and the words of Byron "Katie" Reid came into my life at exactly the time that I needed it.
How GREAT is that quote?!!!  This quote sums up in five words why I journal.  Sometimes it is happy and bright.  Sometimes it is just, well, NOT.  Either way, it is part of me and my expression of whatever battle I am in at the time and it's ALL okay.  In fact, this page is from a journal that I lovingly call my "Welcome To Bolivia" journal and there is a good possibility that I will have to BURN it at some point.  There are things in there that I'm not sure I will ever be comfortable with them seeing the light of day!  Only time will tell.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Love and Fear

What's this?  Two posts in two days?!!  Shocking!
I thought it might be nice to share a little bit of journal art that I have been experimenting with.  I was looking to try something new to me when I saw THIS tutorial on Pinterest by Nine Scrap.  Her awesome blog is in French, which I don't speak, but her work is GORGEOUS.  Fortunately for me, her photography broke through the language barrier and I was able to follow along.  Here's what I came up with.
I don't own spray ink (yes, dear husband, there are art supplies that I DON'T own), so I just watered down some Golden liquid acrylics as a substitute.  I actually love using liquid acrylics in place of inks because they are permanent and won't move around when I add subsequent layers.  Layers moving around when I don't want them to is a bit of a pet peeve of mine, you know.
After following along for the first few layers, I sort of started down my own path and used gel medium to attach a heart torn from a Japanese book.  I added color to the heart with Gelatos and then blended it all together with gesso and my finger.  When the heart was totally dry, I sanded it a bit to reveal the layers.  After the whole thing was dry, I used an Inktense pencil and a waterbrush, to shade the heart and the letters, because, apparently, I just can't help myself. 
While I was finishing up the page, the neighbor girl was looking over my shoulder. She said that it was "so cool".  I thought so too.  So thank you Nine Scrap for the inspiration.  Both myself and the neighbor girl are impressed with your skills!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Still Around

Wow!  This is one neglected little blog! 
Well, I'm still here and I'm still throwing paint around every now and then.  I'm just not awesome at keeping my blog updated, but I did want to stop in and share a bit of AWESOME news to anyone who may still check in on this blog.  If you remember, back in December, I sent in my little art journal to Art Journaling magazine and I am happy, honored, excited to announce that it can be found in the current issue.

See??!!!  That's MY name right there!  It's just so exciting for me.  I love Art Journaling.  It's one of the tools that helped me the most on my art journaling path.  I studied each issue to glean every technique, style, and supply I could learn.  It's so amazing to think that now, maybe, someone else is out there learning from my journal.  It's a "full circle moment" for me and I'm SO GRATEFUL for the opportunity!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Doodle Valentines

A couple of years ago, I made some doodled Valentines for my family.  Maybe you remember them.  If you need a refresher you can find the original post HERE
Well, the other day, I was going through my blog stats and found that those Valentines are, hands down, the most popular thing I have here on this little blog of mine.  Thanks to Pinterest, that page has been viewed nearly 1000 times and I've seen it pinned EVERYWHERE!  I think it is so cool to be searching around Pinterest and see something that you have created.  I'm so grateful for all of the support.  So in honor of Valentines day, and in gratitude to all of you who like the Doodle Valentines, I have made a little gift.
I made you your own Doodle Valentines.  All you have to do is print and color them.  Now since I gave away the original Valentines to my family, I had to doodle new ones and while they are not exactly the same, they are pretty close.  You can find the PDF HERE.  I used watercolors on the original Valentines, but I wouldn't recommend using them if you print the PDF with an inkjet printer.  Use a dry media, like colored pencils.  If it were me and I wanted to use watercolor (which I would), I would print the page and have it photocopied on 110 lb. cardstock.  You can read more about the other supplies I used on the original post.  I hope that you enjoy coloring them and giving them to your loved ones this year.
Disclaimer:  To say that I am not technologically savvy is an understatement, so it is likely that making this PDF has taken me ALL DAY.  Also, it is highly likely that this link won't work and if that is the case, let me know and I will try banging my head on the keyboard again!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Just Can't Let It Go

How can you NOT love the day when the new Dick Blick catalog arrives in the mail?  You know, the BIG one.  How can you NOT cancel all plans and items on your to-do lists on the day that a catalog that states, right on the front cover, "over 70,000 art supplies inside" finds its way to your mailbox?  How can you NOT love when that day rolls around each year?  It is an absolute joy!  (By the way, I think I should mention here that I have not received the new catalog yet.  I can actually hear people yelling, "What's going on?  I didn't get mine!") 
I crazy LOVE the Dick Blick catalog, which is why I think I have such a hard time letting go of the old one.  I have (almost) no trouble getting rid of the old phone book but, while the phone book IS full of good collage fodder, it only has a page or two that are really interesting to me.  Not true with Dick Blick.  Nearly every page contains something that I didn't even know existed, but now must have.  The Dick Blick catalog represents POSSIBILITIES to me.  Beautiful, colorful possibilities.  So, in an effort to make myself feel better about discarding the old catalog, I've been trying to use it up.
See all of these itty, bitty, color swatches?  Well, that's what's left after I used about a bajillion of them making this:
This entire page is made from bits and pieces of the 2010-2011 Dick Blick catalog.  I'd like to say that making use of my old catalog has made it easier to get rid of, but no, I think it has made us even better friends.  Now I am just thinking about even MORE possibilities!