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WIP Contemplating Girl


I liked Week 34 with Cat Geller so much, that I am making an 11×14 wrapped canvas version.  I’m using acrylics,  oil pastels,  collage, Pitt pens. I almost like her sans facial features but I won’t decide intil the current layer is dry.

Stay tuned to find out if she gets a face.

Edited with #aviary >

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My dreams…

Aside stress dreams, my dreams are … odd.

This journal spread sort of captures the random image quality of dreams.

This is a page spread I have been working on for a while. It was very busy and not composed.

Tonight, I grunged and brought out the parts that I like, downplayed other images.


It’s got a disjointed quality I like.

Edited with #aviary >

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Effy Wild’s Radiant Faces e-class starts soon!

I know, do I need to take another class? I’m on week 3 of Mermaid Circus and Week uh…39??? of Life Book 2014.  But I’m intrigued by Effy Wild’s class, Radiant Faces. I enjoyed Effy’s Life Book lesson from Week 25.  It’s an 8 week class and the line-up of teachers include, in addition to Effy, Jane Davenport, Tamara Laporte, Christy Tomlinson, and Dina Wakely.  The lessons are themed archtypal character portraits created in a variety of styles, determined by each teacher.

And now that I’ve written all this out, I talked myself into this class. Effy is giving away 3 spots. You can find out more on Effy’s blog.

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Mermaid Circus Week 2 Face Review


Week 2 of Mermaid Circus is a review of basic Jane style faces and shading with markers, collage Jane style and Teesha lettering.  It’s a full week of mermie goodness.

I used Copics and Spectrum Noir alcohol markers for both, with a white gel pen for highlights and distress stain for hair. I tried to use the same colors for both. And both gals were done in the same journal. 

For the gal at the top, I used Jane’s forward facing girl stencil.

The gal on the bottom is my style gal.

The color of the page is more yellow in the second gal because it was completely dark outside when I finished her so she is lit by the living room led lamp.

I don’t remember the brand of the journal I’m working in. The paper is okay for use with markers,  but it is not made for alcohol markers and  I’m not getting the same blending effect Jane gets. However,I think I did a better job blending on the second gal.

I am slowly enjoying working with markers and am glad I tiik the time for the review.

Edited with #aviary >

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Frolicaholic Art Journal version 1

For some reason, I don’t mind people looking through my art journals. I don’t know when the idea came to me, but I decided to start a series of videos where I flip through my class journals, the idea being I would go through them in sequence and see how my art change changed and skill progressed.

My first experience with Jane Davenport was her Whimsical Faces video, available for purchase at Cloth Paper Scissors.  I subscribe to this lovely journal and found the ad one day and thought, what the hey? I downloaded that video nearly a year ago and haven’t been the same since.  I went quite mad drawing faces, thanks to Jane’s brilliant teaching technique.  $39.99 well spent, my friend.  Jane is an engaging, charming teacher and she makes it very easy and fun to draw.

I went through the Whimsical faces video 2 or 3 times and wanted to learn more, so I googled Jane and found her ning site. She has since moved her classes and you can find out about all of her current workshops here.

Last September, I chose Frolicaholic, for the name.  It wasn’t until later that I found the page where Jane recommends the order in which to take her classes. The sequence is perfect for drawing beginners.

Following Jane’s instructions, I made a Teesha Moore style 16 page art journal. Here is the link to the first video.  It couldn’t be simpler.

The class has a terrific free-form style. Jane provides journalling prompts and encourages you to follow your own art muse.

Due to a variety of technology issues, it took me longer than expected to shoot and post the first video.  In the end, I used my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phone.  Pardon the shaky cam.  In looking over the pages while shooting and re-shooting the video, I see the glimmer of my style. Rather than embed the video in this post, I’ve made a gallery for my art journals over at Vimeo.

Finally, here it is, the phone version of my class journal for Jane Davenport’s self-study on-line class: Draw Happy 2: Frolicaholic:  Frolicaholic Class Journal Tour

I highly recommend Frolicaholic, the price is completely reasonable at $45 and you can use whatever materials you have on hand for the class.  You may find out more about the class here.

Jane gives you 1 year of access to each class.  I tried to revisit the class before my year expired, but I only got as far as the first lesson. Oh well.  I’ll just have to fill the journal up with Mermaid Circus or Radiant Faces!

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Mermaid Circus WIP


Jane Davenport and Teesha Moore offer a live online workshop called Mermaid Circus. The 8 week class is running right now. This week 2, a review of Jane style faces.

It was Jane’s Whimsical Faces video that started my mixed media art journal journey last year. I decided to focus my main effort on exploring last week’s Teesha style collage.

I have been enthralled with her collages for many years. I haven’t had the opportunity to take one of her classes so last week’s lesson was a dream come true.

This is my 4th effort. I really love the technique and look forward to making it my own. The journal is a Canson sketch. The magazine pages are from August Vogue and September  Harper’s Bazaar. Also used acrylic paint, pastel pencils, Pitt pens, and Neocolor II crayons.

The process is intuitive and I have minimally planned it. I gave thought to composition and the look of the mermaid tail. The rest is unplanned. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Edited with #aviary >

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Whimsical Shaded Gal

For the Lesson 26 of Life Book, I picked up three pencils (2B, 4B, and 6B) plus some charcoal.  When I finish my various class lessons, I fiddle with my various art journals. I thought it was a good time to go back to pencils and make a portrait in my style.  For comparison to the more realistic style, I included my final version of Week 26 gal.

Here is Whimsical Pencil shaded gal.

I enjoy working with pencils, but don’t like so much the smudging.  I sealed the page with Windsor and Newton sealant, but it was a bit smudgy.  I added a layer of clear gesso, my new best friend.  A bit of smudginess with applying the gesso, but ok for an art journal page.

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Life Book Updates

It was about this time last year that I stumbled across Tamara Laporte’s workshops and was intrigued by her Life Book class.  As a mixed media newbie, I was intimidated by the thought of weekly lessons for an entire year. I told myself at the beginning of the class that I would do the lessons that interested me and not beat myself up if I didn’t keep up.

Well, my friends, I’m not having any trouble keeping up.  In fact, I have managed to continue taking other art classes along with Life Book 2014.

What I have fallen behind on is posting my pages here.  Today I thought I’d do a little catch up with the pages I’ve photographed and posted to my flickr site.

Week 25 with Effy Wild. I had a lot of fun with this page and I enjoyed shading my gal in teal.

Week 26 with Kate Thompson.  This was tough as realism is not my strong suit, but I put a lot of time in this gal and am pretty happy with her, even if she looks like a deranged refugee from THX1138.

Week 28 with Tam Laporte. I know, I say I love every week, but I do. I learn something every week.  Sometimes, like this week, I got to enhance what I’d learned with Jane Davenport’s Express Yourself.  The dripping has grown on me.

Week 29 with Marieke Blokland. Ok, I won’t say it again…but it’s true.  While nearly all of the teachers work in a whimsical style, each teacher puts their own stamp on each lesson.  I have noticed that my pages are moving away from strictly copying the teacher and I’m playing with the style and techniques presented.

Week 30 with Carissa Paige, who offered an image transfer technique using clear contact paper. Messy, but super fun.

Week 34 with Catt Geller.  I loved this page so much that I am making a version on canvas. I also want to explore more this visual world I created (more in this post)  It really speaks to me. Thanks Catt!

Week 36 with Tam. Still exploring this complex visual world.

I see I’m still missing a few pages, so come back for another post to pick up the stragglers.  Either I did not take photos of those pages or I did not upload them to flickr. If you’re interested in seeing many of my pieces from all the classes I’ve taken with Tam, I have collected the photos into an album called Willowing Arts.

Even though I was scared when I signed up for Life Book 2014, it has been such an incredible experience.  I was afraid I’d lose interest or just burn out creatively, but that has not been the case. The urge to create art just deepens with each page.

In making this post, I have gone back to pages I haven’t looked at since I made them. Some pages I didn’t like when I finished the lesson, but looking at them now, I like every page.  Although every once in a while, I miss knitting and spinning yarn, I got art in exchange and I couldn’t be happier.

Next Monday, I start Jane Davenport’s class with Teesha Moore, Mermaid Circus. I’m so excited about this class – Jane offered it this time last year, but I was scared to take it.  I still have the last 4 months of Life Book 2014.  In October, Tam and Jane join 7 other artists in Effy Wild’s classroom with Radiant Faces.

If I haven’t mentioned it lately, I plan to take Life Book 2015.  If you have even the tiniest inkling to try art journaling, I invite you to join me.  It’s a safe, encouraging environment and I’d love the company.

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Background Noise


The Spring 2014 issue of Somerset Apprentice had an article entitled,  “Painting the Freedom Within”by Tracy Verdugo that has inspired several of my pieces recently.

The title of the first painting of this post is “Background Noise” to express the vast amount of information we are constantly exposed to. I deliberately tried to keep the gal as part of the background. It was an experiment to contrast to the next 2 pieces, where I tried to blur the background in order to bring forward the main subject.

The 9×12 painting is acrylics, oils pastels, and Pitt Pens on a wrapped canvas.

It looks as if I have my first series. The first is 11 x 14, untitled and inspired by Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good.”


The third piece is in progress and started as a Life Book page. I am waiting for the background layer to dry before moving to the next step. Continue reading Background Noise