If you enjoy painting experiments, you may be interested in the following post: On Empty Easel, Alice Sawicki shares a unique technique on How to Paint with Tempera (or Gouache), Watercolor, and Ink.
As you can see from Alice's painting above, you can achieve very lovely results.
I've noticed that Barnes & Noble is offering more and more international magazines. I recently picked up the first English issue of Happinez magazine. There are more than a million readers in Europe.
Inez van Oord, founder of the magazine, says "Since the world around us is changing so fast, it has become wiser to trust our inner world. Getting to know that inner world can be a long journey......It is a journey I would like to share with you, our dear readers. A search for wisdom, insight and balance."
The publication is based out of The Netherlands. I haven't had the time to read the issue yet but so far it looks to be a good resource. The cost is $17.99. Check it out in Barnes & Noble.
Image from Alcohol Ink Tips site
You can also download the 141-page book from the Alcohol Ink Tips site. Experiment with alcohol inks this weekend and have fun!
This morning I had good intentions of de-cluttering my Studio. But I was soon sidetracked by working on this Art Journal page. Does that happen to you?
The page consists of Gelli prints and paper scraps. However, the main goal of my art making was to paste down the quote about birds before it got lost in my piles of papers. The quote came from a book review about birds - and it really resonated with me.
The colors in my Art Journal page are much softer in person than they appear on my blog.
The artist talks about combining watercolor paints and pastels. Johannes suggests finding "ways to correct or improve any areas in your watercolor painting that would benefit from pastel. After experimenting, she realized that PanPastels work the best because it has sponge applicators that force the pigment into the grain of the paper."
Check out the complete post for more tips. I know that I'm going to try out this technique.
Life has been busy so I've gotten a couple of days behind on my blog. I hope you all had a Happy July 4th!
I recently purchased some glass alphabet beads to make jewelry. I was surprised to find that the holes in the beads were so tiny that I could not insert the cording that I had on hand.
Luckily, I had some reamers that I could use to enlarge the bead holes. I found that the best technique is to wet both the beads and the reamer with water as you work on enlarging the holes. I must say that it does take a little patience and a light touch. You don't want to overwork the reamer and break the bead.
I especially liked this point in the article:
“Nothing is a mistake…. There’s only make. When you’re making only for yourself, you’re free to focus on the nuances of the craft stripped away from the pressure to sell, get downloads, visits, reviews, or other forms of public currency."
Just out the complete post for details.
So what do you say? Are you ready to make something that no one else will see?
Image of Oriental Small Squirrel Hair Brush from Artists Network site
I need to purchase some new brushes for watercolor painting so I'm glad that I spotted this post on: Watercolor Brushes: Using the Right Tools For the Job written by Karlyn Holman (discovered via Artists Network).
Here's what Holman says about squirrel hair brushes:
"My Oriental brush is made from squirrel hair and is the only natural bristle brush that I regularly use. Squirrel hair holds more paint than any other brush, and the soft bristles allow the paint to release from the brush easily. Because it readily releases paint, it is essential when I throw paint to create foliage and textured areas."
I seldom use Oriental brushes in watercolor painting so I think I'll pick one up and start experimenting. Check out the complete post for more tips on brushes.
Many times I like to use recycled pages instead of paint for the backgrounds of my Art Journal Pages. The background pages may come from magazines, catalogs, travel brochures and guides.
For these two journal pieces, I used pages from a Naval Museum Tour Guide. The page above is actually the cover of the guide. I added some text and washes of acrylic paint. I like the resulting dreamy look and may not add anything else to the page.
There was also a vellum sheet in the guide covered with blueprint-type images. The latter made for a nice background. I then added Gelli print scraps and collage images from a Teesha Moore Collage Sheet. I plan to add a quote to the page.
Look through your piles of catalogs and magazines to find interesting background pages for your Art Journal.
Via Creative Live, I spotted this interesting post, Three Reasons You Should Pay Attention To Creative Blocks written by Shane Mehling.
I like what Shane says about facing a blank canvas:
"If you’re staring at a blank canvas, it’s time to fill your head with new creations that you’ve never seen before. Go to museums or bookstores or the library or just search through the Internet. Find something that really wows you and the block will start being chipped away."
Check out the complete post for more ideas.
The year is almost half over. Have you recently re-visited your Creative Goals for 2015?
Here's just one of Michaela's points that caught my interest: "Even with specific goals and deadlines it’s easy to get lost in the busy-ness of day to day work. To avoid potential goal disaster create a list every single week where you write up a set of small doable tasks that will move you closer towards achieving your big goals."
Read the complete article for more ideas.
In the Summer 2015 issue of Art Journaling magazine, I share my technique of creating pages of black & white strip stories consisting primarily of words and images.
The article, entitled Paper Strip Stories, offers many photographic examples of my work. As always, Senior Managing Editor Amber Demien did a beautiful job of showcasing both my art - and the work of other artists in this issue.
You're sure to be inspired by the many techniques and ideas that are presented. The latter will provide you with a bountiful Summer of Art Journaling Pages.
Via Artwork Archive, I spotted this article on: Twenty Five Online Resources Every Artist Should Know About.
You may have heard of some of these sites but I'm sure that you'll find a few new resources too. Grab a cup of coffee and check it out.
Image from Canva
Do you work messy? If you do, then you may be interested in reading this article, from Canva, on Five Reasons Creative Geniuses Like Einstein, Twain and Zuckerberg Had Messy Desks – And Why You Should Too written by Andrew Tate.
According to the article, "Researchers at Northwestern University found that people in messy rooms drew more creativity and were quicker at solving creative problems."
The post is a great read. Check out the complete article and interesting photos for more details.
This is the first time that I used a Chartpak Blender Marker to create a transfer. Although this is a quick transfer method, the image is not as dark and crisp as the matte medium transfers that I do.
I placed the reversed, laser image face down on the acrylic-painted paper. I then coated the back of the image with the marker - both with vertical and horizontal strokes. Last, I burnished the image with a spoon and lifted off the paper.
As you can see, my original laser image was quite dark. This image is a few weeks old and that may have affected the final results. Overall, I like the ease of use and so I will experiment with the marker again.
I've heard that Xylene can also be used to transfer images. But the smallest containers that I've seen are gallon size. And Xylene is quite toxic.
Currently, our Tidewater Artist Group (TAG) is holding its annual Summer Art Camp.
Yesterday, member Catherine Mein led a workshop on The Art of Black & White. First, we experimented with a variety of tools (brushes, kitchen utensils, jar caps) to make marks in black & white acrylic paint. My experimental sheet is at the bottom of the photo. Our class handout is on the left and our student packet is on the right. I plan to add some more marks to the page.
Next, we worked on creating a black & white mandala using a large circle, cardboard scraps and bits and pieces of wood shapes. We were all given a small bag of items to paint or use as stamps on the mandalas. I still need to do some more work on my mandala.
The finished mandala will hang from a wood branch supported by yarn. Catherine even provided the branches for all of us. Now that I've taken the workshop, I plan to do more experiments with black & white paint, ink and markers.
Today I made this simple Multi-Strand Bracelet with Beads. I'm still learning how to create jewelry but this bracelet was very easy to put together.
I think I'll be making more of these bracelets. Think of the variations you can get with different colors of cord and a variety of beads.
Via Illustration Friday, I came across this post on Making the Most of Your Sketchbooks written by Kate Leonard. She reminds us to mine our old sketchbooks for inspiration and ideas. Kate says sketchbooks provide:
"Fruits for new inspiration: If at times you’re feeling lost for ideas or aren’t quite sure where to find your inspiration for a new and exciting project then flipping through the pages of your sketchbook might just help you find it. Sometimes we can forget where we found our fruit for ideas but in that little sketchbook may be a scribbled motif that can help you grow a collection of beautiful patterns, illustration for a book, painting and much more."
I definitely agree with Kate. I save all of my old sketchbooks for the reasons that she mentions and more. Check out the complete post for more details. And then pull out your sketchbooks to jump start some new ideas.
Yesterday we visited the 39th annual Norfolk Harbor Fest. The day was absolutely beautiful.
Here is the Coast Guard Tall Ship.
Norfolk is known for Mermaids. We even managed to capture a couple of photographs.
This was my favorite Mermaid. She is perched on a roof top.
And even the Famous Idaho Potato made an appearance. I don't know any of the people that you see in the photos. The event was so crowded that it was difficult to take a picture without people milling about.
All in all, the day turned out great.
The background on this art journal page came from a Gelli print.
I next used a portion of an Art Supply Warehouse paper bag and words from a magazine and lifestyle catalog.
I wonder if this page offers a message. Such as; Art Supplies and a Creative Mood Board can Potentially Grow Awe-Inspiring Art. It's funny how one's art journal pages can channel mystical messages.
According to Gurney, “This rule consists of five general pointers that lead to happier results in just about any kind of painting."
1. Use the Biggest brush possible for a given passage.
2. Paint Large shapes first, followed by small shapes.
3. Save your tonal and chromatic Accents until the last.
4. Try to Soften any edge that doesn’t need to be sharp.
5. Take Time to get the center of interest right.
Read the complete post for the background story behind Gurney's BLAST rule. Then give his ideas a go. I know that I will be trying his suggestions.
Here is my completed art journal page for the May 30 Art Challenge - Textured Paper - of The Documented Life Project.
To finish off the piece, I stamped images on tissue paper and glued them down on the journal page. After the glue dried, the page's texture looked similar to plaster instead of just painted corrugated cardboard and Q-tips.
I added pigment ink to accent and highlight the various textures on the paper.
This week the challenge for The Documented Life Project is Paper Texture.
Here's Phase 1 of my art piece. When I work with watercolor paints, I use a lot of Q-tips. To prepare my Paper Texture background, I glued down the used Q-tips and scraps of corrugated cardboard. I covered the resulting textures with white paint and then light blue paint.
Via Issuu, I came across a 35-page synopsis of the book, Change Your Mind written by Rod Judkins. The book reveals tips on how to become more creative at work, at home and at play. The complete book can purchased from Amazon.
Rod Judkins, MA, RCA is an artist and writer who lecturers on creative thinking techniques. He is also the author of the book, The Art of Creative Thinking.
Here are two magazines that I recently discovered which you may be interested in:
Check both of these magazines out - You won't be disappointed.
The May 23 Challenge for The Documented Life Project is Cheesecloth.
First, I covered my art journal page with modeling paste and then embedded cheesecloth into the plaster. I added the word color with the paste and a stencil. I let this dry overnight.
I framed the page edges with two styles of pastel printed tissue paper. Next, I glued on scraps of floral napkins. I first used blue acrylic paint to cover the page and later added some pink acrylic paint.
Last, I distressed the page edges with a dark brown ink pad. The photograph doesn't quite pick up the heavy texture of the plaster and the cheesecloth - nor the soft colors of the finished piece. I do like the organic look of the dried cheesecloth - all those interesting veins on the page.
In my small art journal, I created this background piece by layering on acrylic paints with an old credit card. Next, I stamped script text all over the page.
Since I didn't put gesso on the back of the page, there are some wrinkles on the paper. I'm OK with that. I plan to add a simple painting on top of the background.
For more tips, read the complete post.
If you regularly read my blog, you know that I love learning and sharing ideas about creativity. Here's a roundup of inspiring creative posts - and an Infographic - from Lifehack.
Image from Lifehack site
When you create art, do you find yourself drawn to a particular shape? Then you may be interested in my article on, Paint Chip Art & Circle Symbols in the Summer 2015 issue of Somerset Studio Gallery magazine.
In the article, I talk about a person's preferences for certain shapes and the symbolic meaning behind them. If you want to further explore this topic, check out the classic book, Signs of Life: The Five Universal Shapes & How to Use Them. The book is written by Angeles Arrien.
You may also want to pick up some colorful paint chips from the home improvement store and create your own symbolic art as I did in the article.
In this issue of Somerset Studio Gallery, Managing Editor Natalie Way has brought you a plethora of exciting artful projects. The colorful photographs are sure to jump start your weekend of creative activity.
I needed some embellishments for a mixed media art project. Instead of purchasing them, I handcrafted the embellishments using a Wilton Fondant & Gum Paste Mold and Creative Paperclay.
Here's the steps I took to make them:
*Alternately, you can dry the shapes right in the mold. Since Paperclay shrinks when it is cured, the embellishments should easily pop out.
I purchased my mold from a craft store.
Here's an Art Journal page that I completed today in my small moleskine.
The background paper is a Gelli print. The collage pieces on the top, bottom and right-hand side of the page come from Teesha Moore. The circles on the left come from an old magazine.
I added some art stamps, words and black ink embellishments to complete the page.
Have you been following Seth Apter's cool Living with Art Series?
Here's a description of the project in Seth's own words: "Living with Art is about showing and seeing art in real life settings. Every Thursday I will be posting a series of images shared by creatives showing all of us just how art is displayed in their spaces. Each participant is opening the door and inviting us all into their surroundings."
Today is the last posting in the series and I'm thrilled to be featured as one of the artists. You can see my submission above and on Seth's blog.
You can check out the complete series here. Be prepared to gain inspiration and ideas on how to display your art in your own home. Thank You Seth for this wonderful project.
I took one of my personal photographs (from our Rome trip) and printed it out in black & white. Next, I painted on a layer of matter medium.
After the medium dried, I added color with watercolor paints. I didn't use a large amount of water, when painting, because the matte medium would have deteriorated and ruined the photo.
I took the same image and added a strong contrast in Photoshop Elements. I think I like this second rendition better.
I used an assortment of Gelli Plate Prints to create the background for this art journal page.
I purchased the alphabet stamps (PLAY) from Teesha Moore a while back. Well, probably more than a while back. I kept putting off the drudgery of cutting the rubber. I put the cut stamps on Ez Mount Static Cling Mounting Foam. A really great product.
Have you ever been attracted to the designs or typography on paper shopping bags?
When Ron came home with a purchase from DSW Shoes, I was immediately attracted to the shopping bag he carried. The bag was covered with bold black & brown stripes. You can see a small swatch of the bag on the right.
I covered a small art journal page with the striped paper and added some blue acrylic paint. Next, I stamped butterfly images on tissue paper and glued it to the page. I included ribbon since the May 2 Art Challenge for the Documented Life Project is Fabric.
More paper bag ideas: Recently, I shopped at Whole Foods and my groceries were packed in this shopping bag. Don't you just love the typography? I can envision using this phrase in my art journal and inserting an appropriate word, e.g. Feed Your Artistic Goals. Or maybe, Feed Your Creative Goals.
What do you think?
Technorati Tags: art journal page, collage, creative goals, decorated paper bags, Documented Life Project, Fabric art, feed your artistic goals, May 2 Art Challenge, mixed media art, ribbons, shopping bag art, typography, Whole Foods
I needed an image printed on a transparent substrate for a mixed media art project. I tried the tissue paper technique in the printer which did not work.
Next, I attempted to print blue and brown images on deli paper but the colors were not vibrant. I did achieve a bright blue image when I printed on matte photo paper. But the latter substrate would not have made a good fit for my project.
Finally, I changed the image to a pink color and I achieved a brighter result. I was amazed at the effect that the deli paper had on the different colors that I experimented with. I also noticed that printing on the dull side of the deli paper produced better color.
I can always use the extra images in my art journal.
Today I discovered a blog that is new to me: The Art Instruction Blog. Resources on the site include free art lessons on: oil, acrylic and watercolor painting, pastels and more.
Check out the post on: How to Turn Your Artwork Into Museum-Quality Prints.
There's also an interesting tutorial from Sandrine Pelissier on: Watercolor and Mixed Media Painting: Playing in the Grass.
Technorati Tags: acrylic and watercolor painting, art resources, free art lessons, mixed media art, oil, pastels, Sandrine Pelissier, The Art Instruction Blog, Turn Artwork Into Museum-Quality Prints, Watercolor and Mixed Media Painting: Playing in the Grass
My RÅSKOG Utility Cart arrived from IKEA today and I'm just in love with it. I plan to use the cart for storing the art supplies that I am using for a particular project. Since I'm painting at the moment, I'll put my paints, brushes and specialty papers in the cart.
When I move on to a different project, I'll outfit the cart with the related supplies. I like the idea that I can easily move the cart from room to room. So I can make art on the go.
Right now the cart is selling for $29.99 with $10.00 shipping. The initial price was $49.99 so if you're thinking of purchasing this cart, do it now. I have no affiliation with IKEA. I just love the cart.
I've gotten a little behind on my hand lettering practice so I googled some tutorials to get me back on track:
Now I'm ready to practice. How about you?
Technorati Tags: Creative Hand-Lettering Tutorials, doodles, drawing letters, hand lettering, Introduction to Hand Lettering for Beginners, Made by Marzipan, mixed media art, The Postman's Knock, Three Easy Mail Art Ideas
So I was reading this business-focused, Forbes article on Five Questions To Ask Yourself Every Morning To Advance Your Career written by Jason DeMers when the following paragraph really resonated with me:
"What Did I Learn From Yesterday? No matter how simple or complex your day was, you must have learned something. Did you master a new skill or learn a new process?.... Did you have an experience that will help you in future, similar situations? Find at least one thing that you learned from the previous day and consider it."
"On one level, this is going to help you reinforce the new ideas and skills that come to you on a daily basis. On another level, it’s going to help you look for new opportunities to learn. Since you know you’ll be asking yourself this question, you’ll be driven to force yourself to learn something new every day, and you’ll therefore be improving yourself every day."
Although the article is targeted to people in the corporate world, I really believe the point of Learning from Yesterday can apply to artists as well.
Why not begin to ask yourself every day: What Did You Learn from Yesterday?
I was testing out different paints on a scrap of muslin. Next, I wanted to see how a stamped image would appear on the painted surface. I glued the fabric scrap in my moleskine and added other torn pieces of paper, some acrylic paint - and that's how this art journal page evolved.
Playing with paper scraps can turn into a satisfying endeavor. No pressure. No purpose. Just playing with the pieces.