Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Wisp Brush, Waxed Paper Masks, Remember

Love, Serve and Remember

Stampers Anonymous stamp, home-made word stickers,
K & Co. butterflies, waxed paper mask, waxed paper
cut-outs, Yasumoto iridescent watercolor, Imagine
Craft Fireworks craft spray, stencils, Office Max Metallic
Markers, Martha Steward craft marker

On the left my new Aqualon Wisp brush, waxed paper cutout.
On right a different, just started, journal spread that gives you an example
(around edge, orange outer circle) of what the brush does.

A bunch of cool (to me, at least) discoveries contributed to the top image "Love, Serve & Remember",
the name of a Ram Dass book and a good reminder of what I am here on this planet to do.  The top
spread started out with two circle shapes drawn with a compass, I meant to do a "Lettering in the
Round" (Joanne Sharpe) spread. 

  1. Waxed paper masks
    Discovery one took place when I used the waxed paper I often use behind the pages I'm
    working (on to protect other pages) to cut out a mask to protect the circles from stenciling and
    spray.  Used just a bit of double stick tape to hold the mask in place.  You can still see the
    masked circles (lavender). 

    I used letter and swirl stencils with Fireworks craft spray and used the ghosting technique
    (saw Dyan do this in a video) where you place the sprayed or wet stencil face down to make
    a ghost image of the one you sprayed.  I actually like the "ghost" better.
  2.  Waxed paper cut-outs
    Discovery two, I used a version of this technique with the tissue paper I used to blot another
    spread previously.  When I saw what great spray patterns and colors were on the waxed paper
    I cut out flower shapes with scissor and glue down the waxed paper cut-outs with Mod Podge.
    Love how transparent the waxed paper is.  Maybe you can make out a couple of flowers on
    each of the pages (subtle in this picture).
  3. Aqualon Wisp Brush
    I saw this odd brush at Hobby Lobby.  It's for watercolorist who wants to quickly put in foliage
    or hair or the like in their watercolors.  I thought: lines/texture.  The brushes are by Royal
    Langnickel and come five to a "value pack" for around 14.00.  Sheds just a bit but within the
    acceptable range.  In the "Remember" spread you can see the interest created with these brushes
    when the light spaces where left and interacted with the spray.
  4. Hand-made shiny word "stickers"
    This is a technique you probably already know but doesn't hurt to remind you.  You can print
    out words from your printer, on any older paper, with any color and style of font.  Cut or punch
    them out, glue down, then use Glossy Accents (Ranger) or Liquid Embossing (Plaid) or
    Dimensional Accents (Plaid Mod Podge product).  I used Liquid Embossing here. 
    Cut my "serve" button too small but other than that I like these.  I inked the edges before
    I glued down and added the Liquid Embossing.

    Reflective/Art Therapy Angle: 

    I wanted to make a piece to remind me about the daily things I need to remember to have
    balance in my life.  The first thing that came to mind was the two vitamins for my soul that I have
    been forgetting about lately, Walking and Meditating for more than a couple of minutes.
    Both these activities help me dump worry stress and feel more focused.  The other essentials
    that I seek to do everyday are Create and Teach.  Finally I added "Love, Serve and Remember" which is such a great daily reminder. 

    The doorway shaped stamped images came before the words.  I wanted  to write something
    about answering the door when opportunity knocks.  You know how it goes though--creations
    have a life of their own that the strategic mind may have no idea about.  Think that is what
    tickles me about art. I added the butterflies because they represent radical transformation,
    and brief beauty to me.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Tiger Flowers Revisited

Original Collage (see Tiger Flowers post for how-to)

Tiger Flowers (sharpie pen drawing added)

Tiger Flowers, printed background, painted

Pelican opaque watercolors, Yasutomo iredescent watercolors, Sharpie Pen

As you can see, both of the images above are from the left side of the journal spread. 
I was nervous about painting on my colllage so printed out the Tiger Flowers Collage on textured
cardstock.  Much of the rich texture and subtle colors where lost in the print-out.  When I make a
copy I turn it into an original by continuing to alter it.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to lightly paint
(like right image) or add more saturated color.  If you saw the one on the right in person it looks
like an image from an oriental screen.  The one on the left is more full spectrum but the loss of
the background becomes more evident.  Tell me what you think.  I'm leaning towards the
folding screen colors.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Good Day to Cry

A Good Day to Cry

Yasutomo Iridescent watercolors, Imagine Fireworks Crafts Spray,
Sharpie pen,  Staedtler aquarell pencils, Office Max metallic marker,
Recollections Opaque Marker.

Sometimes I have those days when tears seem to be closer to running down my cheeks. 
Same life facts as yesterday, likely the same as tomorrow, but something triggers that feeling,
and suddenly I'm crying in the car on the way to a starbuck's for an iced tea and Michael's for
craft supplies for a kid's summer program; activities that would usually put a smile on my face. 

I already had this pinkish background with blue sprayed spots so thought I would do a
"Good Day to Cry" page and also my number 8 lesson from Joanne Sharpe's "Letter Love":
Groovy Gridlines.  I got the idea of doing bumpy lines in watercolor pencil and letting
the drips drip down when I added water.   I felt satisfied with my journal entry on the
right side, especially the last sentences:
"Some days are just like this.  Great to have this page to mop it up."

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tiger Flowers Collage Pages

Cadmium Orange Watercolor with Imagine Craft Spray (Lady Bug).
On the left side sprayed while paint was wet, on the right sprayed when paint dried. 
Variation is brush strokes with the watercolor paint caused the streaks and lighter spots.

I used sticker sheet waste (stickers by Doodle Bug) as a stencil.
Found out it is hard to rise off and dry more than once.
I blotted the craft spray with yellow craft tissue paper
(I think my Art Journaling British friends call this "Mopping"). 

I used the mop-up tissue to cut out flower shapes with scissors.
  I glued down the flowers with Tacky Glue
and/or Iridescent Medium (Winsor Newton) to make the collaged background.

This is the completed background before I added the Tiger Flower drawing.
  I also used a circle stencil and a spiral stencil to add a little bit more texture and interest.
I used spray ink to stamp simple flower shapes (INKADINKADO),
gold metallic markers (Office Max) to make a few details. 

Here is the completed piece, "Tiger Flowers".
I used a sharpie pen to draw the Tiger flowers using a picture
from Garden Gate magazine (1995) as reference.
  I think I will leave these pages alone but will use acrylic paint
to paint the flowers and their leaves in the future.

I am really pleased with these pages.  This page looks to me like what the Denver Botanic Gardens looked like, to me, last weekend.  It has  rained a bit more than usual and the flower borders and beds are bursting with color.  I feel like my beauty-loving heart could burst with pleasure as well.  I am really allowing myself to really drink it all in.  Hope you can get the feeling too.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Artist Works

Background with watercolor layered with Fireworks Craft Ink Spray

K and Company butterflies with lines decorated with markers on previous background

Lettering added to above butterfly lines

I used the Alma Gluck quote (she was a famous Soprano in the early 1900's) "Just as the bird sings
and the butterfly soars, because it is his nature, so the artist works".  I have been feeling lately that I
can more own the title "artist" because I now have the habit of working very near daily and also
making the effort to strengthen my skills and knowledge of techniques. 

This started out as an experiment with watercolor and craft spray and I decided to make it into a
"Whimsey Grid".  I like the way this turned out and wish you could see more clearly the rich colors.
Time for a new printer/scanner with better resolution.  In the meantime I am going to also try to show
you the steps in my process. 

In terms of the craft spray (some popular ones are: Tattered Angel's "Glimmer Mist", Ranger's
"Dylusion Spray", and Imagine Crafts "Fireworks") I suggest that you have a first layer of watercolor
instead of spraying and blotting off tons of spray (wasting lots) to make a first layer.  The brush strokes
you make with your watercolor brush makes an interesting texture under the ink.  

The Whimsey Grid

Letter Love Lesson 5 "Whimsey Grid"

Office Max metallic markers, Sharpie Highlighters, Copic Sketch Markers,
Recollections Signature Special white marker, Sharpie Pen, Identi-pen Markers
Hampton Art Glimmer Chalk, Faber Castell Pitt Pen

The Whimsey Grid is what Joanne Sharpe calls this undulating grid.  I can see lots of possibilities:
looks like flags or streamers floating in the wind.  Prayer Flags. 
Could be the index for a book (yes, it will be).  Lists of goals and inspirational words. 
A life spanning to-do list.  Since its so playful its a great place to experiment with fonts. 
Reminds me also, a bit, of Art Nouveau.  Love those expressive and organic lilting lines.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Letter Love Lesson 4: Create 20 "Fun Fonts"

Really like the "Floral", "Forest", "Eve", "Flood Light"

Really like the "Flo" and "Electric" and "Art Makes You Grow"

In Joanne Sharpe's "Letter Love" online class.  I've only just completed Lesson 4.  So much fun to realize that I can create my own fonts!  Also found out that I can have them made into fonts for my computer at .  Not sure if I will but that sounds so cool.  Also found out that the Denver Botanic Gardens is offering a class called "Botangles".  Botanically based Zentangle type doodles.  It's in October, can't wait.  In the meantime I'm going to make flower specific alphabets (for example, Rose or Lotus).  Very appealing to not only draw flowers but "write" in them too.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Play! Practice! Write! Repeat!

Play! Practice! Write! Repeat!
Letter Love Lesson 3

As you can see I am inexperienced with my lettering but Joanne was right to recommend that we make a sign for our work area encouraging us to Play! Practice! Write! Repeat!.  I discovered two big things.  One, Copics can bleed through watercolor paper.  The other revelation is that my Office Max Metallic Pens act as a resist with Copics.  I just meant to outline my letters in Ultramarine Copic but discovered the resist effect.  Then I couldn't stop.  Turned out pretty crazy but I'm glad that I had a chance to Play! with markers, Practice! my lettering skills, Write! and embellish.  I know I will Repeat! this activity SOON.  Decided that I can't really afford a good Copic marker color range so I bought some Sharpie Highlighters (great colors) and Prismacolor Markers as well.  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Letter Love Alphabet Practice

Alphabet Practice with Copics, Identipen,
Sharpie Pen and Pitt Pens

Lesson one in Letter Love, with Joanne Sharpe was to make a journal cover for a composition book practice book using duct tape and basic lettering.  Lesson 2 was to practice upper and lower case letters and experiment with different kinds of pens.  The big thing I discovered was that a shadow on the letter makes any alphabet look good.  I remembered that Teesha Moore said to choose a light source direction for your whole journal.  I like the idea of a light source from the right which I associate with the future.  Just tickles me to have that light coming into my journal from the future.  Optimistic!  

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Joanne Sharpe's Letter Love

Composition book with duct tape: Duck Red,
"Fancy That" patterned tape, Gelly Roll "stardust"
clear gel pen (Sakura), Identipen black, Martha
Stewart dual-tip marker "Love Bird"

I am so psyched!  I just started Joanne Sharpe's lettering class "Letter Love" and just started the day one homework.  We were asked to decorate a simple composition book with duck tape and some sort of lettering.  The duct tape strengthens the book since it will be getting a workout with the course exercises.  I have lacked confidence in my lettering skill--which has kept me for putting words and pictures together the way I really want to.  I am so excited to finally get some artsy and professional training.  Also interesting to see how an online class like this is run.  Website, Videos, Flicker, Yahoo Group, Facebook Group, emails.  Very cool.  I'll keep you posted as I make my journal into more confident lettering. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Make a Mess--Self Express!

Make a Mess! Self Express! Journal Cover

Metallic markers (Office Max), Liquid Embossing (Plaid),
Sharpie Pen, Metallic Watercolors (Yasutomo), Dual Tipped
Pigment Ink Markers (Martha Stewart).

I really like this journal cover created for my Canson journal because it looks like a chalkboard with doddles on it.  Who can resist brights with black?  I came up with the phrase "Make a Mess! Self Express" for a summer program for kids that I am developing.  I hope to teach art basics and visual journaling to 7 - 18 year olds 2 days a week at an Arts Center called "A Child's Song".

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Flower Mandalas and Paisley Background

Flower Mandalas and Paisleys (R)

Flower Mandalas and Paisleys (L)
Tried a new way to make a background.  Looks like ink spray and stencils, but its not.  Started out as absently using the waste from a die-cut from the Tim Holtz Tattered Florals die to trace flower shapes onto a page spread.  Used Derwent's Inktense Watercolor Pencils to make them more elaborate and to scribble and brush in the yellow-green background.  Finally used foam paisley stamps with a green Marvy Brush Marker to add some interest and finished (for now) with the red-orange foam flower stamps with a orange-read Marvy Brush Marker. 

See the funny yellow triangles in the foam stamped flower image?  That's where my cat chewed into these stamps.  Something about the texture or smell of them--he would not leave them alone.  gives me an idea to add texture to store-bought foam stamps, though.  Thanks for the idea Sammy!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Be Brave Revisited

Be Brave! Absolutely Final Version
Bead tape, gold microbeads, Yasutomo iridescent watercolors,
metallic marker, Sharpie pen, tissue paper petals and white Jelly Roll gel pen.

Yikes, tried to update the picture (I changed the page again after I posted) and deleted the whole post. Frustrating. Just not used to the new Blogger configuration. Anyway, made the flowers brighter, added the gold beaded centers, added journaling. This page initially had the Serentity Prayer glued to it, but I removed it. When I finally journaled on the blank page part of the prayer returned. It is the courage to change that I need help with--serenity to accept is easier. But then, that's the way it is--easier to make the change in mind, not so much the behavior/action.