Comes from the Dea Lenihan blog
"Just as with athletes developing muscle in training, artists develop confidence and ideas through practice in using their sketchbook to test paints, draw ideas, jot down thoughts, stitch random samples… these are all practice to help build artistic muscle or mileage on the pencil!"
Bren goes on to say:
"If you still find sketchbooking a big step, then try to vary its contents:
The article is a great, informative read so check out the complete post for more ideas.
I was sorting through my decorative and scrapbook papers because I needed black & white paper for a collage. I was surprised to find such a large amount and wide variety of paper designs. The photo above only shows a portion of my stash.
The discovery made me realize that I should check my stash more often. I could be missing out on opportunities to further enhance my art projects because I didn't realize what I had in stock.
The next time you need inspiration or are tempted to purchase new art supplies, start checking out the shelves, drawers and bins in your studio. You probably will re-discover supplies that you had forgotten about. I plan to sort through the drawers in my studio next.
When I travel, I always pack a large canvas bag filled with art supplies and my art journals. My bag usually contains Micron pens, mechanical pencils, assorted markers, favorite art stamps, ink pad, watercolor paints, small scissors, glue sticks, collage papers, sketch pad and my current art journal.
Today I came across a related post on Travel Journals and Art Supplies for Your Next Adventure written by Lisa Sonora. She offers some great tips. I like her idea of using cosmetic bags to hold small supplies and tucking in a package of moist hand wipes. Check out her post for more ideas.
Image from the Weigh Anchor blog
Kat uses watercolor paints, Dr PH Martin Concentrated Watercolors and Walnut Ink. She tapes the edges of her paper down before she begins painting.
For the details, check out her blog post. Then why not antique some paper this weekend.
Finally! I have completed my traditional hooked rug. The latter measures 49" x 30 1/2."
The project was indeed a huge undertaking. What kept me going were weekly meetings with my rug hooking group. Hooking the sheep design in circles took longer than working in straight stitches. The important thing to me was creating a checkerboard border. With a little calculation, the checkerboard worked out.
I must admit that I used an iron-on binding for the back of the rug. Traditionally, the binding should be hand-sewn onto the rug back. The only type of sewing that I enjoy is bead embroidery. I knew that I would keep putting off sewing the binding. So iron-on binding came to the rescue.
I love Japanese pens, pencils and stationery. And lately, I've been on a Kawaii kick. I recently discovered Kawaii Depot which offers an abundance of cuteness. I especially love Rilakkuma.
I ordered these adorable stationery items from Kawaii Depot this past Saturday and my packaged arrived today. That is the fastest service that I ever received from a vendor. The company is based in California. Check out their site to bring a smile to your face.
Here's a collage, entitled Confidential, that I completed today.
When I acquire vintage/antique ephemera, I tend to hoard the papers because I'm always saving them for the perfect mixed media art piece. Do you do that too?
Today I decided to use some of my ephemera. The dark brown paper, in this collage, came from the cover of a book published in 1938. The doctor's ledge paper has a date of 1848, That latter paper is 168 years old. The book pages are literally crumbling but the ledge paper is quite strong.
Check out the complete article for more interesting details.
A while back, I won three tubes of Daniel Smith Water Soluble Oil Colors (in primary colors) via a Dick Blick Holiday Sweepstakes.
I finally decided to experiment with the tubes. I hadn't worked with oil paints in quite a few years. On the first day I really enjoyed working with the oils. By the second day, the paints proved to be more of a challenge.
I was surprised to find out that water soluble oil paints do not dry faster than traditional oil colors.
Then my use of graphite began to mess things up. Some mixed media artists love the grungy look that graphite produces in a painting. Others steer clear of that medium. I think I may use less graphite in the future. I still need to rework the lip area in the painting.
Today I worked with Cyanotype Printing using the Jacquard Sensitizer Set. You definitely have to experiment with this art form since the results seem to vary with each print.
Here are a few lessons that I learned that hopefully will save you some missteps:
I definitely will be making more Cyanotype prints.
Technorati Tags: Bristol paper, Cyanotype Printing Experiments, exposure times, glass sheet, Jacquard Sensitizer Set, mixed media art, photography, Pictorico Premium Overhead Transparency Film, sun prints, transparency film, watercolor paper
Today I created some collage papers using calculator paper rolls. I guess they don't call them cash register receipt paper anymore. I used plain white paper rolls, not thermal rolls.
I taped four strips of the papers to a board and then covered them with acrylic paint and various art stamps. I may add some shading to the paper edges.
Image from Dick Blick site
I recently purchased a few Winsor & Newton Oil Bars (aka paint sticks) for experimental art work. Since the product is new to me, I searched for reference information. I found a great article about Working with Paint Sticks on the Art Talk site. Here are just a few of the points that caught my interest:
Check out the complete article for more ideas.
My idea for this abstract painting, done in my art journal, came from Jill Berry's Geo Papers Project.
Instead of using Twinkling H2Os for the colors, I used watercolor paints. After applying the watercolor, I drew darker black lines and circles with a Sharpie marker. I wanted the lines to appear stronger. I also added a text art stamp and small white dots with a paint marker.
The next time that I experiment, I won't use the Stabilo Aqua black pencil. Although the pencil produces a nice wash of color, things got a bit messy with the watercolor paints.
I worked on this art journal page today. The image came from an issue of Womankind magazine which is produced in Australia. The magazine offers the most interesting articles and beautiful photography. And there aren't any advertisements within the issues.
I used a Fude Ball pen for the lettering. The pen easily writes on acrylic painted surfaces. Although it is supposed to be waterproof, the pen does smear. Hence the gray smudges around a couple of my letters. I need to find another alternative pen for lettering.
I had been toying with the idea of purchasing a Midori Traveler's Notebook. But the starter kit is pricey: $49.50 on Jet Pens.
Yesterday, I was at Michael's and came upon (Recollections) Midori-style Notebooks and Inserts at 70% off. Bottomline, I purchased the notebook for $4.49 (Regular $14.99) and the insert for $1.49 (Regular $4.49). That satisfies my Midori needs right now.
The notebook would also make a great art journal.
Via Empty Easel, I discovered this post on Five Creative Touches to Take Your Mixed-Media Painting from Good to Great written by Kellie Day. Here are a few of the points that caught my interest.
Check out the complete post for more great ideas.
I completed this page in my Fabric Angel Book today. That's three pages completed in about one week.
I also began work on this page. I cut a vintage bib and glued it on the page edge. Then I pasted a fabric page on top of the cut bib to cover the raw edges. The fabric page already had a cherub stenciled on it with gesso. It may be difficult to see the cherub in the photograph.
I coated both the stenciled page and bib in matte medium. The matte medium provides a protective coating to pages covered in gesso.
The fabric pages do take a lot of work. I'm going to take a break from the angel book and experiment with some other projects in the coming days.
I finished this page in my Fabric Angel Book today. I think the image would also make a great transfer on fabric or paper.
I tried pasting the lace trim onto the page edges with double-sided tape which didn't work. Then, I tried white glue but that wasn't successful either. Finally, I used Aleene's The Ultimate Multi-Surface Adhesive and that worked. I just discovered this glue and purchased it for embellishing jewelry. The adhesive certainly came in handy today.
Take a few minutes to read the complete article for more inspiration.
I continue to sketch every evening on a daily basis. I like to use a variety of reference books to make the process both interesting and challenging.
I recently purchased the book, Character Mentor: Learn by Example to Use Expressions, Poses, and Staging to Bring Your Characters to Life written and illustrated by Tom Bancroft. Here's a partial description of the book from Amazon:
"Character Mentor shows you how to pose your character, create emotion through facial expressions, and stage your character to create drama."
There's a lot of good solid information in the book. (Full Disclosure: I have no association with Tom Bancroft). Check the book out online or in a book store.
New Day Dawning, Acrylic on Wood, Donne Bitner
Watercolor Painting Tips
"Reapplying water to an area before it is completely dry can dilute color and carry the pigment to the outside edges, where it will accumulate, leaving unwanted hard lines. The obvious solution is to allow areas to dry completely before reapplying water or color. If you do form a waterline, try to soften it with a scrub brush or reapply water and glaze over it."
"To help control the drying time, remove excess water with a clean natural-hair brush. These are more absorbent than synthetic brushes. You can also use the tip of a paper towel, but don’t press too hard or you may lift color, leaving an uneven dry area."
Acrylic Painting Tips
If you also work with acrylics, you may enjoy this post on Talking Texture with Acrylic Artist Donne Bitner who creates watercolor-like washes with acrylic paint. Here are two tips from Donne that I plan to try out.
Thinning Acrylic Paint
"I like to thin the paint with water rather than acrylic medium. After years of painting with watercolor it’s what I gravitate to apparently. That’s what gives my acrylic work a softer, more watercolor-like appearance."
"My treatment of acrylic would look rather flat on a wood surface, so I spend time building a unique surface with depth, before I begin my painting. This acrylic painting on wood has a sub-surface of spackling. I am also keen on using gesso, molding paste or joint compound. These materials lend a texture that gives the final work a 3-dimensional quality. I like the rough quality of the final texture."
Be sure to check out both posts for more ideas.
Here's an art journal page that I just finished today. First, I painted some abstract poppies on the page with frisket. Since I used a brush, the stems are a bit thick.
Next, I sprayed on Primary Magenta and Turquoise Misters. I like using the DecoArt Media brand because the misters are permanent. The water soluble sprays reactivate when another medium is applied on top of them. Then, I added some text stampings and pigment ink. Last, I rubbed off the frisket.
I recently purchased a FINELINE Applicator which I'm going to fill with frisket. The applicator will enable me to draw more delicate lines.
Do you apply an isolation coat to your acrylic/mixed media art paintings? I recently learned about this important step in preserving paintings. According to Golden Paints:
"An isolation coat is a clear, non-removable coating that serves to physically separate the paint surface from the removable varnish. The isolation coat serves two purposes:
Check the Golden Paints link for the details on this technique.
Artist Lynne Butt from TextileArtist site
"I like to work on different types of paper, and often put a coloured wash over pages, I paste in scraps of paper to add texture to drawings, I like to use charcoal and pastels for drawing so that I can smudge them."
"I tear the edges of the pages and then carefully paint along the torn edge (giving an aged effect). Layers of pages with torn edges are wonderful and I often photograph these sections using a macro lens which gives lovely blurred out of focus edges."
Since I enjoy working in art journals and incorporating fabric into my own mixed media pieces, I enjoyed reading about Lynn. Take some time to check out the TextileArtist site. There's a lot of good information here.
Today, I did a second rendition of the painting that I completed yesterday for the Cross-Country Clearprint Collaborative Art Project. The dimensions that I had to work with yesterday were 8" x 6."
So today I decided to experiment with a bigger format: 12" x 12" in my art journal. This larger format gave me more room for the quote. My next experiment may be with different colors of acrylic paint.
I'm participating in the Cross-Country Clearprint Collaborative Art Project. I submitted the above painting to the Project.
Participating artists receive two Clearprint Vellum Books. One book is used in the art exchange; the second book is for the artist to keep as a gift.
Each artist uses one page in the vellum book (right hand side) to create art. The artist may choose to create a work on the front of their page or utilize the front and back to create a work that can be viewed from multiple sides.
Artists are allowed one week to create their work once the book is received. The book is then sent back to Cross-Country. They will then scan the images and upload them to the Clearprint website gallery and social media platforms.
For more details on the project, visit the Cross-Country Web site. I really enjoyed creating the painting for this project. I plant to do more vellum paintings in the future.
I was in Target the other day and I was surprised to find that they carry acrylic paints.
Now, I own many bottles and jars of acrylic paints in a variety of colors. But the soft shades of the Target paints just called to me. Starting from the left, the shades are: Lavender, Lilac and Aluminum - all satin based.
Do I need more? No. Will I purchase any more? A good possibility.
A few weeks ago, Vista Print had a sale on posters. I ordered an 18" x 24" poster of one of my collages of hearts.
I'm really pleased with how well the poster came out. As you can see, I also use this collage for my blog banner. I have the poster hanging up in my study.
I tried every which way to take a photograph of the poster without any glare but the plexi glass wouldn't cooperate.
Via PsychCentral, I discovered this post on 10 Creative Prompts for An Instant Dose of Positivity written by Margarita Tartakovsky, MS. The prompts come from the book, The Positivity Kit: Instant Happiness on Every Page written by artist and author Lisa Currie
Here are a few of the ideas that caught my interest:
Check out the complete article for more ideas
Happy Memorial Day!
On Facebook, I saw a fellow mixed media artist using these letter trays as holders for collage papers. I loved the concept so I picked up a couple at Target for $4.99 each.
I find it much easier to sort through, and find, ephemera than looking in paper folders or envelopes. Most of my ephemera is stored in folders. I may purchase a few more of these trays.
Since the trays are covered in paper, I protected them with an acrylic spray to make them more sturdy.
I’m happy to share the news that my essay, The Yellow Bowl, appears in the summer 2016 issue of Bella Grace magazine. My article pays tribute to early family memories and my mother.
In this issue, Christen Hammons, Editor-in-Chief, offers readers a treasure trove of stories, ideas, tips and worksheets to make this your best summer ever. Beautiful photographs and soft velvety pages enhance the reading experience.
Make sure you pick up your own copy. Then snuggle up in bed with a cup of tea, sweet treat and Bella Grace this summer.
As you can see, the vibrant illustrations, by Jane Dyer, drench the book pages in a dreamlike, color scheme.
This gentle tale tenderly guides readers along the wondrous path of nature. We hear how: A cloud knows how to rain. A kitten knows how to play. An oak tree knows when to sprout new leaves.
The cycles of the natural world know how to march along no matter what we do.
And best of all, a mother knows how to love her child. No one needed to teach her. She just knew.
This book is the perfect bedtime story to soften the time spent before children drift off to sleep. It is also a classic book that parents and grandparents will want to keep handy for a frequent re-read.
Note: Linda Ashman is the author of more than thirty picture books for which she has won many honors and awards. She also leads writing workshops and contributes to a group writing blog at Picture Book Builders. For more information about Linda, visit LindaAshman.
Lately, I'm really enjoying creating abstract art paintings. This 8" x 8" piece was done with acrylic paints, turquoise ink and a Donna Downey stencil.
Originally, when I worked with stencils, I would clean them after I was done making art. The latter practice made it difficult to remove the dried paint/ink. Now, I immediately wipe the paint off the stencil with a baby wipe. So much easier to do.
First, I covered two pages of my moleskine journal in black gesso. Then I used stencils to create black and white designs.
Last, I painted Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide over the white areas. The Yellow Iron Oxide is a new color in the DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic line. I really like working with it. The color is rich yet its transparency enhances a painting.
I may make some copies of this painting and use pieces of it in my other mixed media art projects.
Today I came across this inspiring blog called Creative Live. Lots of good information here.
Here's a post that caught my attention: Five Drawing Exercises that will Turn Anyone into an Artist written by Emily Potts. One of the exercises suggests trying:
One Day, One Theme.
"Choose one theme or one kind of object, and only draw that thing during the course of a day. You can vary your approach to this by choosing an animate or inanimate object, a color, a size of something, things that are scary or make you laugh, or things that start with a specific letter."
"You can also use synonyms, such as things that move you emotionally versus things that literally move you, like modes of transportation. The more thoughtful you can be, the more you exercise your concept-building abilities as well as you hand skills."
Read the complete post for more ideas. Then take some time to check out the archived articles for more inspiration.
Using a small glue gun that I had on hand, I created two abstract stencils to use in painting. When I make more of these stencils, I'll purchase a more heavy-duty glue gun. The latter will be easier to work with.
If you plan to make stencils, work on a heat-resistant pad or parchment paper. The stencil easily lifted from the parchment paper that I used. I let the stencil cool first.
I recently purchased silicone caulk. I'm going to experiment and make some stencils with the caulk too.
Happy Mother's Day especially to all those Moms of Furbabies!
In her new book, abstract artist Jo Toye encourages readers to begin work with a background of black gesso.
I purchased black gesso but I didn't think I would like working with this (new to me) medium. To my surprise, I really enjoyed the challenge.
Here is my first 8" x 8" experiment on watercolor paper. I created the designs with a variety of stencils. I may add one more color to the painting.
Via LifeHack, I discovered this post on 24 Creativity Quotes to Bring Out Your Inner Artist written by Ciara Conlon.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Check out the complete list for more inspiration.
In January, I signed up for Donna Downey's 2016 Inspiration Wednesday series.
I've been so busy that I haven't viewed any of the videos yet. However, yesterday I completed my art journal for the program.
I used cardstock for the interior pages (as suggested by Donna). To keep the project simple, I purchased 12" x 12" cardstock and folded the pages in half. I didn't want to do any cutting. I created a two-hole signature for the book.
Since I haven't done any bookbinding in a while, my signatures came out a bit loose. To remedy the situation, I added glue to the signature folds. I then covered them with wax paper and clamped the pages with small binder clips. I let the signatures dry overnight.
Next, I covered two boards with sheet music fabric. I added a button and fastener to the boards. I glued the end sheets to the boards and my art journal is done.