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My First Art Journal

I have long dabbled in art and every few years, would pull out my copy of Nicolaides, The Natural Way to Draw” and work about 3 weeks and then give up. Yet, I kept going back and trying.  Around 1996, I picked up a spiral bound blank sketch book and started what was to become my first art journal. Here is a page from my drawing phase.

The face parts and heads were drawn in the late 90s.  The Squiddy Zentangle was added more recently, as was the sticker.  I credit Zentangles with getting me back into drawing, which since led me to Jane Davenport and Tamara Laporte. For that, I am very thankful.

With Art Journal a regular posting feature on this blog, I will take more photos from pages in this journal to post. I still go back to this journal and work old pages.


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AAA Vellum Pages

Here are two pages of my class journal for Tamara Laporte’s “Awesome Art Journal” class.  The lesson was about different ways to manipulate photographs.  The photo is one of my prints from a long time ago, probably mid-90s, when mom, dad and I took a trip to the Washington coast. I scratched, bleached and punched the photo then added to a paged I’d previously worked on with markers.  I did not like the original pages until I added the vellum and photo, which goes to show pages are never ‘ruined’ you just have to try something else.


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One day in 2006, my friend Lisa and I took a trip to the UW Arboretum.  As usual, I shot a bunch of photos.  I like shooting dandelions when they’ve gone to seed.  Here is one. I really like the texture of the image.  Shot with my Canon Powershot S50 and minor editing in GIMP – cropped and converted to black and white.


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New Series: From the Archives

I have been digging through my rather large photo library looking for art journal doodle inspiration.  However, I get sidetracked by my photo history and decided to post a series I will tag From the Archives.

Here is a photo from 10 years ago of the back of the building that adjoined the former Open Circle Theater building.

Neither the building or tree exists today.


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Week 16

With Traci Baustista.  I love her style and book “Doodles Unleased.” I completed my page and art journal page easily, and have been spending the rest of this week working through Doodles Unleashed.  Also, having lots of fun with Daler Rowney FW acrylics inks! I like the way they sit on the page when dropped, sprayed, what have you.  They don’t run or spread the minute they hit the page.  They dry fairly quickly, but not before they can be blended.

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Meet Sadie

To celebrate my looming half century on this mostly harmless planet, I bought a Dollstown Arin on the Elf body, in Fresh skin.  This is my first face-up since all my art classes and I am very happy I signed up for Jane Davenport’s Express Yourself class, which helped me immensely with Sadie’s eyebrows and expressive face.  I made the wig from Antique Lilac’s Mohair wig pattern, sized down a touch to fit with pony tails I improvised.  I made the dress and pinafore using Gracefaerie’s Seasons for Seola pattern, fitted beautifully to the Dollstown Elf body. Here is Sadie with her friend.

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Connection to Art

I finally finished the Week 12 of Life Book. a dimensional mixed media piece taught by Anna Dabrowska.  I love her work and this technique, although I admit to struggling with it, at first.  The theme for March was Connections and my intention was to celebrate my connection to art by my dad.

Dad took a correspondence course in Commercial Art from the Famous Artist School.  I don’t remember exactly when he took this class, but it must have been in the late 60s early 70s.  I inherited his art books, including the 4 very large 3 ring binders of this class, which is awesomely mid-Century in style. After we moved to Chicago, he took art classes at the Art Institute. Among his books were his sketchbooks and when I looked through them, I recognized some of the places he drew. So that’s what he did all day!  Wandered around Chicago with his sketchbook.

My first attempt for this week was to follow Anna’s instructions and use photos. I made a 9×12 version and class journal version.  However, I got a bit enthusiastic with the 3D portion and they became overworked and unfocused.  I set them aside, stared at it, contemplated my options.  I know there is a way to fix it, but I still have not figured it out yet. So they sit and wait for inspiration.

I really liked the technique and decided to try another piece a little more in my own current style.  I flipped through my art journals, looking for inspiration and found a page of a gal with an umbrella, which I drew from a Sybarite photostory in Haute Doll magazine.

I sketched my gal out then decided I should work the girl last and went to town on the 3-D portion.  For the background, I used various beads, charms, old watch pieces, ribbons, laces, rickrack, sequins, foreign coins, all glued down using the faux encaustic mixture recipe I found in a recent Somerset mags.

The awesome part of the technique is that the color of these items makes no difference because you slather the whole thing with a layer or two of gesso.  For color, I used Daler Rowney acrylic inks, Neocolor 2s, Prismapencils, washi tape, Pitt and Sakura pens.

Every week of this class introduces me to an awesome new technique. It’s a good thing Tam builds in less intense weeks because sometimes a week is not enough to incorporate these into my work. Week 12 was one of those weeks. Last Monday was the start of Week 14 and I’m trying not to think of being behind.  It’s all a learning process and I can go back at any time. I’m still very much enjoying Life Book and am glad that I let of go the fear of being new at this type of art and took the class.