What's In a Name

This week's theme at The Documented Life challenge was to do an embellished name. That kind of thing is fun, and I used to do lots of name projects when I was teaching art. So I enjoyed this art journal page a lot. Here's what I came up with.

Name Art Journal Page

This is all done with markers. It is actually a magenta color, but it looks almost red on here. Oh well. I found some perfect washi tape to coordinate with my journal page too. 

I also nearly completed a new mixed media painting, but I have a few finishing touches to add to it yet, so hopefully I can get that finished this weekend and post it next week.

A Flower Blooms

I had fun creating this week's journal page for the Journal52 challenge. The theme was Flowers/Garden, and as soon as I got that I knew I'd do a rose. I don't do roses a lot, but if they call to me, I answer. :) So this is what I created.

A Flower Blooms Art Journal Page

I decided to use watercolors for this page, and planned on using a resist technique I used to do with my high school art students. So I drew my rose and my swirly embellishments to get started. The next step was to create the resist, and for that I used rubber cement, which I poured into a small applicator bottle that has a very small opening. I applied that over all of my pencil lines and let it dry. Then I used my watercolors to create the rose and the background. Once it was dry, I simply rubbed off the rubber cement. You can do that by hand, but I happen to have a rubber cement "eraser" that makes speedy work of the job, so I used that. I finished it off by add some black to my swirls, and added the quote as well.

I love this new page in my art journal! :)

A Day in the Life of Me in My Studio

For this week's Journal52 challenge, our prompt was, "A Day in the Life of Me." So I decided to take that and make it A Day in the Life of Me...in My Studio. I created my page and then added several words that reflect what I do when I'm in my studio. 

A Day in the Life of Me in My Studio

The background is acrylics that applied with a brayer. The flowers were stamped on, then I embellished each of them with white and black acrylic paint pens. And the words were stamped on as well. I love how this turned out. It's just a happy page, and that's how I feel when I'm in my studio!

Bloom Art Journal Page

So this week's prompt at The Documented Life project was to add someone else's artwork to our journal page. That was tricky, considering I really don't like other people messing with my Art Journals! But then I realized exactly what to do: I'd add a copy of some of my mom's artwork to the page. So that's what I did.

Bloom Art Journal Page

My mom's artwork is the center cut-out portion--of the girl and two flowers. I added more flowers, extended her pony tail a bit, stamped on some butterflies and added some dots here and there to kind of suggest spring rain. It's that time of year, my favorite season will soon be upon us, so this seemed perfect in lots of ways. 

And I love this page, because my mom and I used to do art together--whenever we lived close enough to each other to do so. I sure miss those days. And I love it because it's a little piece of her inside my art journal. She's probably the only person (outside of maybe my grandkids) who I'd let draw in my art journal. I only wish she was here to do it for me.

Mag the Fairy

This week's challenge at The Documented Life was to cut something from a magazine and use it in a creation in our art journal. This was a difficult challenge in the beginning, because I no longer subscribe to any print magazines, so I seldom have any around. But I was digging through my stashes of goodies and found an image of a girl I had tucked away from a magazine ad. I remember thinking, when I tore out the page, that she would be good inspiration for a project at some point. So I'm glad I kept her. This fairy is the result of my creation.

Mag the Fairy Art Journal Page

In the original photo, the girl has long, brown hair that's in a pony tail, and she's wearing an all white lace dress. I changed her up by painting on her, making her clothes blue and giving her pink hair. I'm calling her "Mag" since I cut her out of a magazine. :)

Stars Angel

This week's prompt at Journal52 was "Stars," so I decided to use one of my Suzi Blu stamps and make an angel among the stars.

Stars Angel Art Journal Page

Suzi Blu Girl

I used Inktense blocks for the background color, then stamped on my Suzi Blu girl. The second photo shows how the stamp looks originally; and then I colored the girl with Neocolor crayons and acrylics. I added the quote and some stars to finish it off.

Art and Soul

For this week's Journal52 challenge, we needed to so journal something we are passionate about; it could be a cause, or just the passion we have for something in our own lives. I have many passions, but art is always at the top of that list, so that's what I used for my inspiration this week.

Art and Soul Art Journal Page

I used Inktense blocks for the hair and facial features; the skin is done with Neocolor crayons, and then the butterflies are stamps. I love how she turned out! And the quote sums up what art does for me very well. :)

Song Bird

This week's prompt at The Documented Life challenge was to use a bird on our journal page. I decided to use it both literally and figuratively--using Michael Jackson as my Song Bird, and adding a little bird at the end of a quote.

Song Bird Art Journal Page

The quote is from a Stephen King book:

“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that's all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.”

The first time I ever read that quote, it immediately made me think of Michael. He was our Song Bird, of course, but in many ways he was also in a gilded cage, imprisoned by his fame. And though he loved his fans, he really couldn't be truly free as the rest of us are. His true freedom, sadly, only came in death. And our world is truly more drab and empty for his departure.

Creative Sandbox Rules and More

I found a great blog this evening called Living the Creative Life, (<--click on her blog title to go to her blog) by Melissa Dinwiddie. She has some great quotes/memes that she encourages other bloggers to share. I've already shared them on my FB page but wanted to share them here as well. These are important because, belonging to several FB groups with newbie artists--and even many experienced ones, I see so many people filled with fear and self-doubt where their art and/or art journals are concerned, and it drives me crazy!

Why? Because it's Art. Because it's nothing more than self-expression. There are no rules. There are no art police coming to fine you or take you away in chains for making a "mistake." Whether it's in your art journal, on canvas, or cardboard, or anywhere else--there is NOTHING to be afraid of. Everything you do, every mark you make, it's all a natural extension of your creative spirit. You should be no more afraid of doing it than you are of eating, or breathing! If you don't like it, fine, gesso over it or throw it away! Then. Start. Again.

The only reason you are "afraid" of anything related to art is because you are comparing your art the other of others, or holding it up to some preconceived and unattainable ideal of what art is supposed to be: perfect, error-free, realistic, fantastic, mind-blowing, AMAZING--or any other word you want to use. And guess what? They're all impossible and unnecessary! 

The only thing your art has to be is YOURS. Pick up a pencil, a crayon, a pen, or a paintbrush. Make a mark on the page. Just scribble it. Whatever that is when you're done, it's YOURS. It's real. It's authentic. And it's art. Is it the Mona Lisa? No. And thank goodness! Leonard da Vinci's work does NOT need to be replicated! But regardless, it is art. If you want to do something more involved, great. Go for it. But focus on the process, not the product. You know what they say, folks...it's about the journey, not the destination. And that is as true in art as it is in life.

So kick your fear and self-doubt (your Gremlins, as Melissa D would say) to the curb and go make some art. Just. Do. It. No rules. No expectations of perfection. Make it yours--that's all. And when you do something you don't like, forget it about and start anew. It's easier to walk forward than backward. :) And if you need a little encouragement, check out Melissa's goodies below. She even offers the Imperfectionist Manifesto as a free download on her site if you sign up for her newsletter. Print it out and put it where you can see it as you create. Live it. Love it. And go make art!


This week's challenge for Journal52 was to use a color swatch for inspiration. So I found a swatch of colors that I liked, choosing something that had some brightness and a spring-like feel to it. And I knew I wanted to use a bright new green acrylic paint I'd purchased recently. My ButterFly mixed media page was the result.

ButterFly Art Journal Mixed Media

Once I picked my colors, I decided I'd use some scrapbook paper on the page. So I flipped through one of my stacks and found one that had great colors to match. I didn't know what I was going to do with the paper at first, so I just started tearing it. The first large piece I had looked like a butterfly wing, so I knew this would become a butterfly on the page.

I scraped on and rolled on acrylic paints in the background, then I used mat medium to glue down my butterfly shapes. Then it was just a matter of adding some embellishments with paint and my Posca acrylic paint pens. I love how it turned out.

Remember Mixed Media

As I was working in my studio on my art journal pages for this week, I also finished up a Mixed Media painting that I started a couple of weeks ago. I just kept thinking it didn't look finished, so I'd add a few more details. I'm finally happy enough with it to share it. 

Remember Mixed Media

This is supposed to be my mom. Not realistic style, of course. But she was my muse for this painting. And I was inspired by the art of Kelly Rae Roberts, after buying one of her books recently. I like how it turned out, and I continue to love exploring mixed media.

Miss you, Mom. NAIH.

All About Me

Time for another Art Journal page for The Documented Life project I'm doing. This week's prompt was to include a list of things about myself in the page. Here's the result.

All About Me Art Journal Page

Not sure if you can tell, but it's basically a drawing of myself in profile (albeit, a much thinner version of myself), and I've filled it with four traits about myself that I like, along with the word 'me,' and a heart for a pop of color. I hadn't originally planned for this to fill two pages, so when my drawing spilled over onto the second page, I decided to add a quote there that I like.

So that is my first journal page for the month of March. And we are ten weeks into The Documented Life project! :)