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Create with Me, Series 2: Art Journal

Hi ho art friends!

Please join me for the 2nd Create with Me series, where we are going to make an art journal from 1 piece of 15″x20″ 140 lb cold press watercolor paper and 1 piece of kraft paper the same size.  In the first video of this series, I’ll also explain my plan for this journal. I’ll update this post as I create new videos.

For Part 1, you need the paper listed above, white gesso, a scraper/old credit card, scissors, metal rule, awl, tapestry needles, waxed linen thread, bone folder.

Happy creating!

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Life Book Week 9

Hi ho friends.

Life Book Week 9 had 2 lessons.  This post is about the mini lesson with Effy Wild. I’m familiar with Effy’s style, so I downloaded and reviewed the pdf and remembered that I’d painted over some journaling.  This lesson was a great way to make use of the background.

I mixed some gold mica flakes with Finnabair gold mica power and smeared the mixture around the pages with a palette knife.

The flowers were drawn with Pitt big brush pens.  I used Finnabair soft gel to glue down the tissue paper with the words written in Pitt pens.

I enjoyed this lesson and I like the way these pages turned out. It reminded me of one of Effy’s previous Life Book lessons, which I also enjoyed.

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Life Book Week 7

Hi ho, friends.

Life Book Week 7 had 2 lessons.  This post is about Tam’s mini lesson, featuring a quirky bird.  I loved her Quirky Birds lesson from Life Book 2014 and had a lot of fun with this one.

I watched some of this lesson.  This week was in the middle of Noir City, so once inspiration hit, I got to work.

I’m working these lessons in my Leuchterm bullet journal, which is my planner and diary.  I’ve been journaling since collage, but it wasn’t until I found mixed media art that I realized I could just paint over journal entries that I don’t want read.

Such journaling is the background of this page.  I Golden white gesso mixed with a little bit of Golden Teal acrylic and fluid Quin Magenta, using a palette knife that has a pattern on one side of the blade and if flat on the other.

The bird itself was rendered in Pitt Big Brush pens. I really like the way this page turned out.

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Life Book Week 6

Hi ho friends.

Life Book Week 6 is a main lesson with Tam.  I love Tam and her videos, but there were 2 hours of video and I had to get my household chores done in preparation for Noir City 2018 the following week, so my time was limited.  I watched her intro video and about half of the first video and got an idea.

I wanted to work with Dylusions sprays and more of the textured stencil designs.  I used London Blue and Bubble Gum pink.  Once the inks were dry, I pushed some modeling paste through the doily-flower stencil and some heavy gel through the smaller flower stencil. I let the gels dry overnight.

When I came back the next day, I found the inks had reactivated a bit with the modelling paste and partially colored the paste.  I really liked how some of the paste was colored and some wasn’t, giving me some contrast. I added a bit more of the blue and pink sprays and added my gal. I hadn’t made a 3/4 face in a while, so it was a nice refresher.

I’m pretty happy with these pages.

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Life Book Week 4

Hi ho friends,

Life Book Lesson 4’s teacher was Lucy Brydon, another teacher who is new to me.

This was a lesson in making a page with experimenting with acrylic paint layers using a  gel plate prints. This was a lesson where I watched the videos. The lesson involved making a number of gel plate prints then choosing one to feature.

This was the best background page. I added a Stampington tempting template bird, Planner Society confetti, a scrap of Tim Holtz wrapper and a blob of Stickles for the bird’s eye.

I spent the best part of an afternoon pulling prints. The page used half of my best pull so I have a lot of pages for the future.

Overall, I’m quite happy with this page.

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Life Book Week 2

Hi ho friends,

Week 2’s Life Book teacher was Andrea Gomoll.  She’s been a teacher on Life Book before and Ever After.  I love how she works with watercolors, deepening the colors further than I thought possible.  Her technique requires quite a bit of patience to letting layers dry then adding layer after layer of color.

My time for watching the lesson videos has been limited since the beginning of the year, so I’ve been reading the class handouts and letting my muse run.

The first layer of the background was with my pan watercolors. Once it was dry, I used one of the butterflies are from Laporte’s stencil set.  I pushed heavy gel medium through the stencils, hoping to get a resist effect.  Once the gel was dry, I added 2 addition watercolor layers.

The resist effect didn’t work as well as I’d hoped, so I rubbed silver Lumiere paint over the top of the gel.  The contrast of the pages was too low for my taste, so I added the stamps with black Archival ink.

When I get the chance, I’d like to revisit the gel resist technique.

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Glamour girl

Hi ho friends.

Today’s post features one of my oldest art journal pages from Draw Happy, one of the first online art classes I took with Jane Davenport.  Actually, it may have been my first online class. Honestly, I don’t recall – I’ve taken so many classes. This glass is one of my first mixed media portraits as well. I used Prismacolor pencils and alcohol markers.  The funny thing is, I really like my early drawings.  They have a kind of primitive style that appeals to me.  I keep trying to deliberately get this type of look in my work.

I have noticed a few changes to my faces since then: I have lowered the eyes to the middle of the head; the eyes are a bit smaller; and I moved the nose up toward the eyes – closer to where the nose actually falls on the head. I don’t shadow as deeply.

Some of the aspects I’ve kept include: a deep side part in the hair, which is inspired by women’s hairstyle from the 30s and 40s; I’ve kept the nose minimal; the shadows on the face are shallow; one eye is a bit cockeyed; and I don’t use a single light source. In fact, I’m not really interested in the light source.

Which is a bit ironic because I was a theatrical lighting designer, a long time ago.  Lack of a focal light source is part of the look of my work. Combined with the direct gaze of the portrait enhances the disturbing aspect of my work.  Many of portraits gaze directly at the viewer. A sort of artistic standoff.  Who will look away first?

It ain’t gonna be the painting, my friend.

What little things comprise your style?  If you haven’t thought about it, take pictures of your work and look over several pieces.  The things that unify your work will begin to stand out.  When that happens and you see it, you will make your work truly your own.  Leave a comment and link to your latest project. I’ve love to see what you’re up to.

Happy arting!

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Frolicaholic background

Hi ho friends.

The art journal review continues with a background page I made for one of my first online art classes with Jane Davenport: Draw Happy.  This is the class she recommends as the starting point for newbies and it eases you into drawing with art journals, doodles and very simple faces.  I believe I made this page using homemade acrylic paint sprays, Distress Ink, and markers.  My art supplies were limited at the time.  The art journal was one of the Teesha Amazing 16 page art journals.

To be honest, I haven’t seen the actual art journal in a while so I’m not sure that I ever finished this page.  That’s the great thing about art journals – they are never really finished. I like making background pages, stashing the art journal and then digging it out years later to work on it again.

My backgrounds have progressed quite a bit from the early days.  I’ve learned so much. In fact, one of my favorite ways to start a background is to take an alcohol marker, like a Copic, and doodle.  Any color marker, it doesn’t matter. Then paint or spray ink over it.  The alcohol marker keeps floating to the top.  Well, technically, the alcohol is breaking down the acrylics or water-based materials.  The same is true if you use Alcohol inks, such as Ranger alcohol inks, only you can get a more droppy and spattering effect, especially if you spray water on your page before you drop ink on it.  Try it, it’s fun!

What’s one of your favorite background techniques? Leave a comment and a link and I’ll stop by and check it out.

Happy arting.

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Minimalist page

Hi ho artsy friends.

I’ve had some trepidation working on some of the pages in my large Dylusions journal because I really love the way the backgrounds turned out.

I was flipping through one my old Somerset Studio magazines recently and was inspired by an article featuring Jodi Ohl’s works.  I love her imagery and wanted to try another minimalist style page.


This page features Dylusions and Distress spray inks, Dyan’s ghosting technique with one of my stencils, black Stabilo All pencil (activated with water) and the fine point Posca white pen. I really like the textures on this page.

You can probably expect to see more minimalist pages…when I manage over surpress the urge to fill every square inch with collage, stamps, doodles, etc.

Happy arting!

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White text obsession

Hi ho art friends.

A while ago, I picked up Danielle Donaldson’s “Creative Girl” book, which started my enchantment with drawing tiny, wonky houses and using a white acrylic pen on dark backgrounds.

It occurred to me that I should try using a white pen on my dark backgrounds.  I queued up several arty youtube videos and my large Dylusions journal, white Posca pens, Intense pencil, and Jane Davenport’s Mermaid pens and created this page.


The page started with doodling along with Molly Hollyberry’s youtube video on Crazy Huggins, a tangle variation of Huggins.

Next. I watched one of Jane Davenport’s youtube videos and I love to art along with Jane and wondered what the Mermaid pens would look like over the white acrylic pen work.

I like the look and contrast achieved with this technique. I’ve been exploring it in my art journal, so you can expect to see more of this.  I also want to incorporate this more in my future works.

Stay tuned and happy arting!