Sunday, March 30, 2014

Do you suppose she's a wildflower?

I've been enjoying doing some backgrounds the way Rae Missigman shows on her blog...the 15 minute background. It's quick and can just let loose and work fast. It makes it easy to experiment with colors that you might not use much too. Here is the background I made tonight in less than 15 minutes. I started on a page that I'd taken notes on, so it already had a layer of interest. Then I layered on the paint.
Now, dolling it up, takes a bit longer. I took it to the couch and doodled on it some while I watched TV. Then I got some papers out. The girl on the bicycle is from a candle advertisement that my neighbor saved for me. I love that people are starting to save interesting papers for me! I had a dictionary with the word "foxglove" on it, so I drew a foxglove on the page and glued it in too. More doodling and a quote from Alice in Wonderland, and I had a page I really like. Sorry for the glare..I might take a new pic when I have daylight.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Hanging my own art!

I have mostly original art hanging in my home. I buy it when I travel, and from local artists. Once in a while if the price of an original is prohibitive, I will buy a print. My sister was over the other day and looked around and wondered why I don't have any of my own artwork hanging in my home. Maybe it's because so much of what I do is in sketchbooks.  I'm not sure why, but she is right, there was nothing I created hanging up. So, last night I hung the piece I created while my sister was here that day. Makes me happy when I pass by it.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Jet Pens White Pen Review...

I found this on Jet Pens site. Please visit this blog post to get the entire low down on white pens. They did a fantastic review with samples of all the pens on dark paper, and a chart including the dry times and ideal surfaces.
Jet Pens White Ink Review (click for the skinny on white pens!)

Invite someone else to draw in your planner...

 The prompt at The Documented Life project was to have someone else draw in your planner, and then add to it. This is my mom looking at my planner.
Mom might draw something once a year, and yesterday she picked up a pencil and drew this terrific chair in my planner. I'm tempted to just leave it as is, but the assignment was to add to it, so I guess I will.
      So I added a palm, and a rug, and colored it all in, and called it good! Mom's drawing was great, so I don't need to do much. This chair is in their living room. If you flip the chair tag out, the drawing of a praying mantis is underneath.
The planner page opposite has a background of happy mail paper, and also flowers clipped from happy mail, a bit of gelli printed paper, and a butterfly cut from a magazine page and colored in.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Art Party

Today, my sister and sister-in-law came over to make some art. My sis-in-law just retired. She enjoyed painting years ago, and would like to get started again. I thought an easy way to start would be to use the instructions for how we made the journal covers, but to do it on a canvas instead. That way it's fun with paints and no stressing over perspective or realism ....just getting our feet wet painting.
 We started with a layer of spray ink through stencils, then some interesting paper glued down, then some paint dabbed on, and then more stenciling like Jennifer is doing with a home-made stencil in this picture.
 Here Susette has decided she need some vertical element so she did some dots going down her canvas.
 This is Jennifer using some stamps.
 Collage! We had some dictionary and ledger pages that had been monoprinted.

 Much of the various layers gets covered by later layers, but I like how there is text and stenciling peeking though. It adds some nice depth, and interest when viewed at close range. The last step was adding some doodling in black and white.
 This is Jennifer's canvas. At one point she decided she didn't like the middle of her piece, so she dabbed in some more paint and stamps and fixed it up so she was happy with it! That's the nice thing about all these can always go back in and change things.
Here we all are, when we thought we were was after this that Jennifer changed the middle of her piece. It was a fun day full of laughs and color!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Praying Mantis

I've been thinking about things I want to accomplish in my yard this year. I can't really call it a garden...the back yard doesn't have anything planted except one cherry tree I planted last year. I want to set my fire pit up, I want to plant to draw birds and butterflies, and I'd love to fence it so that I can just let Hawkeye out without having to watch him every second. Here is another critter I'm always happy to see in the garden.

This is drawing on one of the prints made on the gelli plate. The bug was lost in the background completely until I added the color and beefed up the main outlines a bit. I used Sharpie markers and a PITT pen. If I had it to do over, I'd have painted the leaf in with a lighter green so you could see his legs better, but I was at work and impatient, so I used the markers I had.


 Making more monoprints. I love how you can layer these up. I am still keeping it pretty basic. I read of more complicated techniques you can do with it, but I've only printed a few times, so it's KISS for me. I printed on some dictionary pages this time too.

 It's messy and fun. I try to do quite a bit at a go, since it talks me a while to wash up afterwards.
Tags for a swap. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Vintage Bicycle

 I love to bike, and lately I love to draw and photograph bicycles. This was from a photo of a great vintage bike. I got confused on the wheel and majorly messed it up, so I looked around for a way to salvage it. I found an envelope from some "Happy Mail" that had these great circles with flowers in them, and they just happened to be the right size. So, I cut one out and glued it on, and I like it.
Here is the page for the week. The other flower was from some other "happy mail." The rest are stickers from going to Chicago last weekend. When you fold out the bicycle page, you'd see the collage of spring in Chicago.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The wonder is......trees in my art journal.

Who doesn't love trees? Incredibly, I've actually known a few who don't, but to me trees are a wonder. I did another 15 minute background for this one, but using entirely different colors from the last one. It made me think of the woods. I seem to have a lot of quotes going in this journal, and I think I'll just keep adding more of my favorites.

15 Minute Journal Backgrounds

I've been watching Rae Missigman's video's about making backgrounds in 15 minutes. It's a great way to overcome that fear that sometimes hits when you are faced with a blank page or canvas.  Click on the link to watch her video. It is fun to do a background so fast! The picture above is the background before I started doodling over it. I started with a page that was written on when I was taking notes on a book I was studying. so that is the script you see behind the paint. There are also a couple of pieces of paper ripped from a gelli print.
After I turned him on to Sharpie water based pens, my friend, Warren Ludwig, sent me some fine tipped ones! So I've been doodling with white over everything! Warren has a great blog, and he reviews the pens in this post. I'm thinking spring again. It was sooo cold and windy here today, but eventually it has to warm up, right?!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Art Journal Cover

Today is my Sunday, so I am cleaning house and working on some art I'm cleaning and making a mess at the same time! There are a group of artists who are involved in a "Pay It Forward" movement, and I'm making this journal to send to them. They are providing patients at a rehab clinic journals for an art therapy program at the center. It gives me practice and does some good at the same time.  This one is all painted up, and ready for some doodling in black and white ink. I'm loving the orange and green.

Here it is all done. I think I liked it better before I took the pens to it. Oh well, live and learn.

It started out plain black. Here are a couple of pics of it in earlier stages:

The yellow paper is old ledger paper washed with thinned yellow acrylic paint. The orange is a beautiful napkin that someone sent me in "happy mail."

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Documented Life Prompt: Cut up a magazine...

This weeks prompt was to cut up a magazine and use it in your planner. I did that, and I also used literature I picked up at the Chicago Creative Expo. I used an Artful Blogging magazine, and it happened to have a lot of butterflies in it. I am thinking spring in the city here!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Draw a Bird (part 2)

Today felt like spring! I decided to draw a robin on the back of the Big Bird page. Luckily for me, it was already painted robin's egg blue! I don't think I've ever tried to draw a bird head on, but I like this mama bird.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

The Documented Life Prompt: Draw a bird

Draw or collage a bird. My kids loved Sesame Street when they were growing up, so I chose Big Bird. I might draw a real bird later in the week ;)  This was done with a Pitt Pen and Sharpies, and a Sharpie highlighter, and a Sharpie water based white pen.

Happy Mail...Mail Art

More mail art going out today. I've received some very cool handpainted papers, ATCs, tags, charms, and postcards and pictures from around the world doing these trades the last few weeks.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Documented Life Prompt: What makes me me?

This week's prompt was "What makes you you?" I'm  work in progress and so that's how I started this page.
 Drawing a caterpillar on an old book page...used a little pencil first to make sure I got him about the right size to fit on the page later.
Extreme caterpillar closeup. 

This is moving along, at a snail's pace, because I'm not sure what I want to write. I knew I wanted to approach it from the idea of being a work in progress, and changing, hence the caterpillar to butterfly. I think many of us can relate to the hopeful idea that we can go from where we are, and grow and improve ourselves. Sometimes we might even have to hide in a cocoon for a while along the way!  As usual, I read a lot when looking for images to draw, and have learned from this article in Scientific American this amazing bit about how the metamorphosis happens.

Here it is all done (I think). I wanted to mostly think about what makes me me, in a positive fashion....and a few of the things I try to work on and do better.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014's spring time as far as I'm concerned.

I worked on a planner page today, inspired by my the beautiful pictures of butterflies my cousin posted on Facebook. I don't have the page done, but I did a little drawing of a monarch butterfly and glued him to a bright yellow planner page. Lately I've been using a lot of strong sunny colors and I think it's because I'm craving something besides cold, snow, sleet, and gray skies. I can't make it happen outside, but I can make it happen in my art journal. It might hurt your eyes to look at this one when I get it done. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Tags...some to sell, some to trade

 I'm making some tags to sell at the shop, and some to trade with other artists. I started with plain shipping tags from an office supply store. Then I used the gelli plate to print them up with color and pattern. I used fluid acrylics to print these, and I like how easy it was to ink over without clogging the pen.

Next I added some rather bold stenciling using black and punchinella. I have a stamp I carved in the shape of a highway sign, and I stamped that on, and also used the stamp pad to ink the edges of the tags black.

After a little inking to add the 66 and the word "route" and some doodling, they are pretty much done. Some are to trade, so I left some of them plainer so that those artists can add what they please to them.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Gauche Alchemy hits a home run with the art supplies!

I did a little shopping at Gauche Alchemy. I am so pleased with the service and the products. Look how they were packed too...all rolled up in old sewing patterns and tied with jute. What can I reuse out of this package? Absolutely everything! You have to love a company that puts that much care and thought into it. 
I never had any punchinella. Used bubble wrap to do little circles, but that gives a whole different look. Well, I have some now! This is the 5 dollar variety pack, and there is such a nice variety of sizes and shapes. Can't wait to play with it all this afternoon.