Nov 22, 2010

such a simple page

Even though it is art everyday month I find difficulty sometimes squeezing in very much art. I DO try to squueze something in each day though, and not just in this November month. I also like to have a number of background pages prepared in advance so I can just add a few words, add a simple sketch and voila - art created.

Autumn in Saskatchewan

Each of the pages below was created on an initial background of one layer of yellow acrylic paint. I had done MANY of these pages in one of my very original journal books in which I am still creating. Sometimes many layers are added. Sometimes it's just one simple sketch and a few words.

~ sunlight ~
looking calm
giraffe ~ self
flower blossoming
dreaming for spring on buffet
birds journal page

What are YOU doing for art everyday month?

Nov 19, 2010

art journal pages ~ about faces and shading

I find myself getting easily bored, at times. Other times, well, there are too many challenges. But around art journaling and art, I sometimes go quite to the extremes, especially with my faces, especially the colours and sometimes the number of eyes, and that sort of thing. I decided I needed to get more realistic. So with a bit of guidance around shading, and also some practice, I think I am getting pretty good at it. I did the first two pages last Friday as we were driving to our farm. 
This was done with pencil and then a blending stump and charcoal pencil. Words were added with my fave black pen. The second was done with exactly the same materials but on a page which had previously been coloured with acrylic paint and words already added.

This last one ~ the words explain it. I was in a hurry. The page did not even have a coat of gesso. There had been some rubbings done - possibly with Crayola crayons. I drew the face. I then added some colour, I believe mainly with Caran d'Ache Watersoluble Crayons. The page was done on thin vintage school notebook paper. I was concerned it would make holes in the page when I added water to blend the colours. I was lucky. I tried to be a bit careful. Our daughter's page ~ I do not think she made the nose purple. I believe she was teasing me. Maybe some day I will have the opportunity to show you.

Guidance around using the blending stump for shading ~ that came from Pam Carriker. I first saw her advice about blending in the Winter 2009 issue of Art Journaling. I caught some more journaling advice in the Autumn 2010 Somerset Workshop. I know Pam also has an article in the more recent Art Journaling publication. There is an excellent video Pam has done about faces at YouTube from which I learned more, but I also used a couple of recent pages Pam shared at her blog for guidance around faces and shading. Thanks Pam.

My advice ~ give it a try ~ making faces ~ be they purple or green or a more natural skin tone. Try some shading too. It can be a lot of fun. And maybe it will keep you from getting bored.

Nov 5, 2010


waiting ~ to fly

A couple of new journal pages from the past days. Very simple pages. I used crayola wax crayons for the young lady on the left. Have you pulled out your crayons lately?

Crayola wax crayons
Sharpie MeanStreak

Nov 3, 2010

November journaling

November is Art Everyday Month and there is also NaNoJouMo. Seems quite appropriate that on Monday I chose to finish some art journal pages. I also did some free motion stitching but I'll share that another day.
 Actually the first page is from about a month ago but it shows some really easy ways I sometimes use to just do some quick creating
pinks to warm a chilly
The next two pages were started earlier but just completed.
dream hope inspire left

dream hope inspire right 
 concentrate on healing "banish all distractions"
What I especially want to say with these pages is that art journaling can be VERY SIMPLE. Much of these pages was about tearing out pictures or papers and gluing them down. If you add a few words, some colour with an ink pad or watercolour pencil scribbles, moistened and rubbed around - you can get a message across. NOTHING says it has to be fancy and all perfect like. My friend Courtney is working on a project with a paper bag glue book for journaling - I say "Why NOT? If you are having difficulty beginning or putting something down on a page - why not start with an old magazine and some glue? Please just TRY.

Today's links:
Derwent watercolour pencils
Art Everyday Month
Courtney's paperbag glue book

Oct 29, 2010

so much to say

I will be doing a post over at winnsangels which will speak more directly to what this journal page is about. In this place, I want to share that I have been adding many fabulous links to this site so it can be a place for you to be reminded of all the inspiration available online and within printed magazines and books. I am quite certain I have left out important sites and publications. But this is definitely a start.

For this journal page, I chose a background I had done a long time ago (cannot remember exactly). I added to it. The page was done in my large Hilroy Studio scrapbook which  had received some water damage while sitting on the floor in our basement during a humid summer. I think it is perfect for art journaling. The water stain adds character.

The next step was the addition of three old small book pages glued down. Looks like I drew some flowers with a white gel pen. The next part I am not certain about. The background colour was done either with watercolour pencils followed by water or watersoluble crayons followed by water. Yesterday I added the black script going vertically (where I discuss this concern of having so much to say). Then I drew the young woman first with pencil, followed by added colour with the watersoluble crayons and water. The white parts of her eyes were dabbed with a tiny drop of white gesso on a stick pin (handiest thing available). I also put a bit of red ink on a stamp with script on it and stamped randomly on top right corner and bottom left corner. I have been using technique of applying ink to only part of stamp, which I learned somewhere along the way from one of my fave artists, Pam Carriker. I used a couple of other stamps with the same red ink. They may not be visible in this part of the page. Whoops.

watersoluble crayons
Pam Carriker
Hilroy studio scrapbook
Derwent graphic sketching pencils
Inkadinkado stamps 
Dawn Houser "Letter" stamp is one of my all time fave script stamps though not the one I actually used on this page
Copic markers
I believe copic markers are "the best" for using on top of background done with watersoluble crayons.

Oct 8, 2010

balance - an art journal page

If I would be asked right now what I seek most within my life, balance would be very high on the list of answers. Of course peace and calm would be marvellous too but balance seems to quite adequately describe everything that I would seek.

As you can see I made this art journal page almost a year ago. If I stop to review the situation, I suppose I have made some progress within the past few months and weeks. Some ways I have tried to seek this balance -
- I try to set the timer for 15 minutes when I am at the computer so I remember to get up and do something different for a few minutes. Sometimes I ignore it or think "just have to finish this". Then I forget. But I am making the effort.
- I am trying to get to bed a bit earlier at night so I get more early hour sleep. Also does not always work. A friend of mine sets her alarm for midnight to remind her to get off the computer. She said doesn't always work either. But sometimes that's when we make our most fabulous finds.
- I am trying to get outdoors to do art when the weather will allow. Even if it is after dark :) It feels good.
- I am trying to go for walks in the country more and enjoy life, rather than just going out cause I need the exercise or need to take dog for a walk.

What are some of the ways you are trying to make more balance? Maybe you would like to write or create a journal page about it.

A little more about the page. As you can see there are words written all over the page beneath the paint. After I painted I think I glued words from a magazine on the number of pages. Later I designed the page around the words.

That's all. How's about going to do a journal page right now? Here are some ideas if you need:
Choose the word blue and journal around that.
Write a question about balance and then answer it. Journal on top of or below some art or maybe around the journal writing.
Choose a word from a magazine. Glue it on a page and try to journal around that.

I would love if you show me by a link or at my Winn and friends group on FB what you come up with. I'll give you new ideas by next Friday, October 15.

Happy Journaling!

Oct 6, 2010

one good place to begin with words

I was very fortunate to attend a mini workshop a few days ago with Ray McGinnis as the presenter. Besides being presented with some lovely poetry suggestions, we had writing time and sharing time.

This page includes one of the writings I penned that evening and decided to share.

Much of what Ray speaks to is the writing in the psalms. They provide many examples of ways to journal. For this particular assignment we were asked to record 5 to 10 questions important to us. Then we were to choose one of the questions and write about answers. Typically in the psalms, more questions followed, together with answers. Usually some positive resolution was found.

Some of us are very much into writing, into journaling. Others of us struggle with words to put to the page. For the next week I would like to challenge us to write in response to an important question, of our own determining. If you want to do it in a journal that is fine. If you want to just write on a piece of paper that is also fine. The idea will be to save the writings, every project that you do, so they might eventually be incorporated into an art journal. Perhaps you will choose to some day totally cover, in paint or some other fashion, the words you have written. That is totally acceptable. If you choose to write on a lined notebook page you might like to first apply a layer of gesso to strengthen the page. If you want to write first, and then gesso, that is also appropriate.If you want to do lots of art around right now, that is entirely your choice.

I would like if you share with us your writings. If you are not comfortable sharing the entire piece, then just give us the question, or whet our appetites witha portion. Either leave a link to a blog post or flickr entry here or share a picture or the link at my Facebook group called Winn and friends. If neither of those options works write a note in the comments.

I look forward to your sharings, and to your thoughts.

Sep 30, 2010


or that which may help you to get away from your computer (as if anything I say could help to make a difference I know the magical secret). Remeber, this is called tips and tuts - not the answers to every mystery of life.

Some days, many days, my to-do list seems very long. I never seem to get to art. I get tired. I feel frustrated. I know I should do art. I start to feel guilty about not doing art. Suddenly a few minutes open up before me. While I know it would be terrific to paint, I also know I do not have the time to set up for that. I do not have the time for clean up afterwards. Maybe my creative work space is filled with other projects and supplies.
Should I just sit there and mope? Should I cruise around on facebook or twitter? Should I see who I might add to my facebook friends or twitter friends? Maybe I could play a game or two or five or whatever it takes of solitaire? After all, I need to exercise my brain so I might not develop dementia, as many I know.

You know the answers to those questions as I do. The thing is - can I actually follow through on doing the better choice?

The possibility of journaling would be a fabulous choice. Though what if I am too brain tired to even do that? Unfortunately, I find it happens often. So if journaling gets counted out and painting gets counted out - what might I do?

If I want to stay sitting by my computer, probably not the best idea, but, there are a few places I like to visit if I need to be inspired. I find it best to just watch something, like a video. It is best if I try not to have to get involved with comments or questions that need to be typed. Of course there is you tube - I find most of Suzi Blu's videos to be inspiring, also the videos of willowing and Milliande. For me the viewing of fave flickr slideshows can be inspirational as well.

When I am able to talk myself away from the computer, I sometimes find my spirits lifted if I choose one specific stash - fabric or beads or charms - to look through. Sometimes I am inspired. Even if I do not have time to actually start a project, I can be reminded of the splendidness of previous choices and items available.

There are also a couple of creative ventures I have recently found to require very little thought and concentration. The end results can be quite beautiful. One is to crochet with some lovely coloured crochet cotton. I can only do chains, so far, but they take very little thought. The other thing I really enjoy is making long strands of beads. The closures can be a bit more challenging. Provided you have a safe place to keep a strand - leave it to finish for another day.

I need to get away from my puter now so I will wish us all well in finding inspiration even when there is very little energy.

A few links for today:
Suzi Blu early days
Suzi Blu more inspiration

Flickr slideshow of suesviews

Angels be with you.

Sep 23, 2010

what can I paint on?

Truthfully, if you look around I suspect you can find something quite close by on which you can paint. Many art friends prefer only moleskins. Myself - I have never owned one. I have this TERRIBLE habit of buying and buying and buying more art supplies. I have so many supplies and surfaces to paint on and art toys with which to play ~ at times my mind feels totally boggled. I find times when I limit myself to often be more productive. Sometimes I limit the amount of time to find some things with which to create or the amount of supplies to take along for traveling to the farm or just away for a few days. When we are at the farm and I notice a huge roll of paper (so what if it was wrapped around the new sewer pump) or a paper roll or old phone book, I will ask if I might use it.

The blocks of wood I found, can't remember where, will serve very nicely for painted backgrounds to a collage, photoprint or mixed media piece. 


The above photo with painted book covers is another example of surfaces on which I love to paint. Vintage books are good choices providing not a book you treasure for its contents. The inside pages of course will make good pages on which to experiment and journal. I also like to purchase very inexpensive children's board books on which to paint and then journal. If the pages are shiny you may need to roughen them a bit first with sand paper or try applying a coat or two of gesso and then sand with more applications of paint to get more texture. The book pictured above in the back, is actually a composition book with a hard cover. I have gotten some really neat effects with painting and further mixed media techniques on these covers. The pages inside are thin and lined. How do you paint on these? Best is to apply a coat or two of gesso first. Also the recommendation is not to use water with your paint. Less probability of the paper curling up. If you have painted on one side of something, like a piece of card stock, and it wants to curl up - a suggestion I was given quite some time ago was to brush a thin coat of water on the back side. Works for me.

My plan for this evening - I'm hoping my daughter will join me in painting on some pages from one or a few of these books. Kat's Dad got them from his mother after she had done some major cleaning up a few years ago of all her grown children's "things" remaining in her house. 

What are you going to find to paint on tonight?

May 15, 2010

photshop - invert

I have to be careful about photoshop and what I say to you as there are already many fabulous people teaching classes about the art of photoshopping. One of these fabulous people is Susan Tuttle who teaches "Visual Poetry" I have been fortunate to take the first round of classes through Visual Poetry. I would highly recommend the classes as well as Susan's latest book.
I can give you just some little tips. As with much in art, you need to practice and play with the techniques. I also know that I am only on the very beginning levels of playing with photoshop. You can often learn lots if you just google the technique you would like to learn or try. Flickr also has a number of groups where you can learn and get prompts.
I did have a specific question about the following picture. I can say that the background was basically achieved by going to "filter", then "adjustments", then "invert".This is on Photoshop Elements 8. I was very excited when I found this technique.

I will NOT

And actually now that I think about it, Greg was the one that found it initially when he was first installing my photoshop program. He is not into the art but he is certainly into playing with the technology.

I practiced with the following picture also before posting here. It started as a light purple background with a number of multi-coloured stamps and marks on it. I first desaturated - that is, turned into black and white - and then I increased the contrast quite a lot before I did the invert.

Invert 1

Please remember to ask any further questions. I will try to get back to you here at some future date.

May 7, 2010


Why would I mention clips? I do not really have a great need for that ever popular duct tape. OK, stop the booing. Instead I tend to like to have clips available.
Bull dog clips are not a must have, but I think are very handy to have around. I thought about them because they are handy especially for holding open altered book pages for creating.

They are also great for attaching mini lights to a shelf. Aprons can be hung handily on them.

Smaller decorative clips are great for adding interest to altered pages. Certainly they are necessary for marking places that you want to save in a book or calendar to be easily found or reminded of.

These days one can find such an array of clips. I chose swirly, circular ones for these inspiration board words and pictures:

you can draw


Back to duct tape – I do not really care for it myself, but it CAN be useful for a unique touch to a book binding that is falling apart or for use in decorating an altered book page with a suitable feel. I know there are numerous colours available. I know that you will be able to find exactly the right choice to suit your artistic needs.

I also show a UHU glue stick in the first photo. The reason I wanted to include it - the UHU glue stick is great for gluing pages of the book you are altering together so the number of pages is not intimidating. You can decide about the number of pages considering what you want to use the book for specifically. If you want a particular theme you may not want as many pages. Perhaps you want to use it for a notebook, a list book, a journal, or for doing specific techniques. Perhaps you want it to be multi-purpose for whatever you may need at the moment. These are some things to think about for the number of pages in your book.

Clips and a UHU glue stick – important items for you to keep on hand.

May 2, 2010

try to create everyday

If you want to start being more of an artist or even just being more creative you will want to choose to try to create every day. You might just want to do a little doodle on a scrap of paper or even the corner of a phone book page or newspaper. Or maybe you want to splash some gesso on a canvas or watercolour page. You could even buy a whack of card stock and apply gesso on a few of those pages. From there you can spread a bit, or apply lightly perhaps I should say, some acrylic paint of your fave colour. I sometimes like to add just a bit of another complimentary colour and blend lightly with a plastic recycled spoon or stir stick, a palette knife if you have. Apply with a sponge brush,

or a paint brush if you must. My choice for quick, large scale applications is a foam brush. Alisa Burke likes using a wall painting brush, particularly an old one if you have. They are really good for large surfaces. She uses latex wall paint too. I haven't done that much. One time when I was painting the floor in one of my studio spaces, I did this FREQUENT trick of putting out far too much paint. I'd mixed some acrylics with it to vary the colour. So "hey - why don't I just grab a foamy brush and put it on some watercolour book pages."


~wistful ~ wandering ~ wishing~

Most importantly ~ have fun.