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Dragonfly girl

I don’t tend to like the geometric tangles, as I find them too fiddy for my loose style.  However, i found  the arrows and it turned out pretty nicely.  The rest of the page sat blank fror a long time until I decided to play with my alcohol markers.

Out of my markers came Dragonfly girl. Besides playing with the markers, I was experimenting with the hair, trying for a 30’s style. I like her tilted head and jaunty hand on hip. I haven’t yet scanned her, which is why the page has stayed as is.  Once I scan her into tiff format, I feel I can ‘finish’ the page.


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WIP: Inner Peace

This was an odd week – a weird mix of very happy and very aggravating moments.  I won’t go into details because what is important is how I have tried to take the events of the week to inform art journal creations. Before art jounaling, I would have just written and written to get all the negative junk out of my brain.

I’ve had the urge for the past week or so to incorporate positive words and thoughts more prominently in my work. I also want to get away from writing out the bad stuff. I don’t want to leave that ugliness behind. However, I struggle with the concept of affirmations and such in that I spent several years in a direct sales business, which took the whole notion of positive thinking to strange heights.  On the other hand, I embrace Buddhism and 2 of the steps on the 8-fold path are Right Thinking and Right Speech.

It’s a fine line between being positive and Terminally Perky.

Underterred by my inner conflict, I’ve been collecting quotes on a Pinterest Board. I found a quote by the Dalai Lama that struck me as the lesson for this week and I was drawn to make a journal page out of it.

The background is homemade spray inks from Daler Rowney Liquid Acrylics and Goldern Fluid Acrylics sprayed through a stencil.  I like using these acrylics because they are colorfast when dry so with a little patience, I can have both warms and cools in the same piece without making mud.

The doodles and text were done with a Pitt Pen and colored with fluid acrylics, followed by another layer of home made spray inks over both pages. It wasn’t until I stopped and took a photo that I noticed one page has become more warm and the other, more cool, even thought they started with the same background colors.

I’m not sure what will go on the page after the embellishments, but I’ll keep on it until I love it, which is how I know a piece is done.

Journaling has long been my method of coping and I am enjoying the art aspect.  Please leave a comment and share your tip for managing the wackiness life throws your way.

Inner Peace Art Journal pages
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I love this guy

Besides playing with dolls, we have a small army of Dr. Who figures.  Many scale nicely as toys for my ball jointed dolls. Adipose has to be the weirdest.  It’s a sort of stress toy.  Squishy. You can make an eye bulge out hilariously. You can feel the, uh, globules.

One day, I decided to take some silly photos of Mr. Lysander and Adi.  Lysander has that nice pointy finger and the rest was, well. quite silly.  This is just one of the dozen or so ridic pics I took that day.


Commander Lysander Bowie is my Soom Mecha Angel Sabik, faceup by me, outfit by Ayase.

“The fat just walks away.”

Teehee and ew.

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Life Book Week 19

By the time you read this post, 2014 and Life Book 2014 are more than half over!  I’ve lagged behind on my Life Book posts and today’s post is Week 19, taught by Danielle Daniel. Our theme was honoring your inner world and it was another fun week spent exploring painting with acrylics.

This is not the finished piece, but I like it at this stage.  In addition to acrylics, I used purchased and hand made stencils and Prisma pencils.


If you’re enjoying my mixed media art posts, I encourage you to jump and give it a try.  Life Book is a great experience, but if the thought of weekly assignments is too much, Tam has many other classes that are suitable for all levels of artistic experience.  The mini classes, in particular are a good place to start.  I spent about an afternoon on the Quirky Birds mini class. You can check out her classes:

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Digital Dreams Week 3 Homework

The assignment for Week 3 of Tam’s Digital Dreams was to create a simple whimsy page with a positive slogan.  I thought about drawing something new, possibly one of my quirky animals, but what came to mind was Bunny Girl, who I drew in one my journals a couple months ago.  I liked her so much that I stopped after the drawing was finished and scanned her.

Last night, I worked along with Tam to create a page like hers.  Her video is 1 hour 10 minutes.  She works so fast I had to pause the video several times in order to catch up.  In the end, I spent about 2 hours to her 1.1 hour.  This video is not edited, either.  She made her page from start to finish in that time.  And she talks a lot….How she talks and draws at the same time, I’ll never know.  After I finished a page like hers, I started on the homework, to make my own page.  I spent about 30 minutes making the background and the text layer.

I spent today working on my main image. It took me many hours to edit Bunny Girl’s image to extract her from the background, clean up the lines, erase others, fix a couple mix-placed features. I saved the blank Bunny Girl and started in on a color version.  That took another couple of hours.  Altogether, I spent about 6 hours on this page.  I think it’s adorbs.  The title is: “You’ll wake up my inner critic: Zatoichi.”  I wanted to layer in an image of the blind swordsman, but I didn’t want to get into any copyright issues, so I left him in the title.



This was not a simple whimsy, but it does prepare me for the next lesson, which has more layers and shading. I’m not sure I could have drawn an image from scratch in less time because of my newness with the tablet.  I’m off to spend time digital drawing.  I also need to work on this week’s Life Book lesson, which is a nifty inner eye image.

Overall, I’m loving my Wacom tablet and see a lot more mixing of my various images into new works of art. My progress on the tablet is much quicker than I thought it would be.

Happy creating!

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Abstract digital creation

I got a small Wacom Intuous Pen & Create tablet and my brilliant Bill got it working on Debian.  I spent this evening doodling and getting used to working with the pen. I haven’t used a standard mouse for the past year, so I hoped it wouldn’t be too difficult.

Using the GIMP, I spent 2.5 hours drawing, editing shapes, coloring, shading, making layers.  Six layers in all. The last layer is my favorite, although I’m not sure how the color in the blocks filled some of the doodles and not others, but I really like it.

After my evening of digital doodling, I feel confident enough to tackle Week 3 of Tam’s Digital Dreams class, which is a simple whimsy drawing. At some point, I’ll try using the tablet on one of my photos, but I think I need a bit more control with the pen first.


Happy creating!


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I’ve gone mad with GIMP power!

I’ve been struggling with the GIMP for years.  Last week, I signed up for Tam’s Digital Dreams class.  Even though she uses Photoshop, I have used PS in the past and know that the GIMP is very similar.  I’m on Week 2 and have already learned so much that is worth far more than the $40 I paid for the class.

You may have noticed the new banner.  I just checked and you can see it at the top of each post page.  All thanks to Weeks 1 & 2 of the class. Done with layers, the clone stamps, text, and a little virtual grunging done behind the text layer.

I’ve even learned how to made a cute brush!  All on my IBM Thinkpad T42. You read that right. This machine is so old that it was made by IBM.  Thanks to my smart hubby, I access GIMP from the downstairs desktop.

It is a little tedious to draw and such on the computer’s tiny track mouse, so I’ve ordered a Wacom tablet. I really want to spend time re-working the Digital Buddha collage, now that I know what the heck I’m doing.

I highly recommend Tam’s classes. If you like whimsical art, even if you’ve never drawn before, go now and sign up for a class! Any class!

Thanks and much love to Tam!


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Tenuki Handcrafts Grand Re-opening!

I’m happy to announce that Tenuki Handcrafts is open for business!  For the grand re-opening I’m offering print-on demand for my photographic and mixed media art at Society6 and Red Bubble. As of this post, both shops have the same images. Both sites offer prints, framed prints, wrapped canvases, tote bags, pillows, tee shirts, and phone/tablet skins of various sizes. Each site offers a few different products, listed below.

The image in today’s post is a new work that merges my mixed media art with my photographs. Meet Keiko, seen here on Zila IV, and she will be a recurring character in future work.

Contrary to my 6/22 post, I have included both photographic and mixed media works in my shops.


In addition to prints, Society6 offers shower curtains, clocks, mugs.  Not all images are available for all items at this time, since I have to create separate files for the non-print items. I’m finding some of the file sizes requirements to be, shall we say, finicky.  You may stop by my Society6 shope here.  If you like what you see at any of the shops, please promote items.  Society6 promotes artists on their front page by number of promotions. So yes, it is a popularity contest. You don’t need an account to buy product, but you do need an account to promote items.

Red Bubble offers a niftier shop interface. It’s easier to upload art and they scale it for most items for me. My works are arranged in galleries, which is a fancy way to say I have categorized my work into Photography, Digital Mixed Media and Abstract.  In addition to the prints and such, Red Bubble offers greeting cards, metal prints, and stickers.  Tee shirts and stickers are not yet available in my Red Bubble shop, which you may visit here. You don’t need to become a member to purchase on Red Bubble, who is celebrating the 4th of July with 15% off purchases. Use the code 04JUL2014. 

You’ll have to create an account at each site to purchase.  Both sites offer many payment options.

My original art is not yet for sale.  I will be participating in local craft fairs closer to the winter holidays.  I’ll be updating the products regularly as I create new works, so be sure to visit often.