Thursday, November 5, 2015

American Flag

MIXED MEDIA - 6pages 
Last weekend I glued the American flag onto the page.  It was a photo of a journal page I had done before, but this time I printed that photo on deli paper. Making a print on deli paper from your copier is a cool technique.  Opposite this page is another American flag, albeit not in good condition.  I actually tore this page from another journal (from 2013) where I was trying an image transfer.  The flag looks like it's had a rough time but sustained.  The blue paint chip is called "Bravura".  And I also have glass gel beads around the perimeter.  
When you flip this page over...

The page on the left has 3 heart shapes on the left side that are cut from pages in a Pottery Barn summer, white & blue.  The picture on the right is from that same journal and is a painting of a little summer beach cottage which I call Haven.  The door knocker is a peace symbol. The American flag flies over the doorway. 

 Then when you flip that page over...

you get a 3-way spread.  I know it's hard to is the right side page...

The fish page has a paint chip that is called "Still Life." (A little humor here). I used my sewing machine to stitch the fish page to the chair page.

This page...I just made a messy background which I actually like, and glued the photo of a chair with, white and blue...a closeup..

Journaling is about capturing things on a page that you like.  

Sunday, November 1, 2015


I was sitting on the floor in my art room this afternoon, trying to figure out how to organize at least some of the bits and pieces of papers I have saved that are intended for either art inspirations to paint or draw or for use in mixed media projects. I have come to the conclusion that I'm just going to start glueing them in a book where I can easily view them.  Perhaps it's a face I want to try and paint or a landscape or flowers. 
The page above is a picture of the musician/artist (musicians are artists!), Hozier.  The photo spoke to me. The composition...the way he's standing, his hand on the guitar, the contrast of his light skin that pops against his dark clothing; the position of his head. I could go on. I decided the photo wasn't doing me any good in a folder as I'd probably forget that I had it.  
I found this great paper to use as the background for his photo.  It's part of a store bag (can't recall the store). The paper adds the perfect dramatic background for this very cool photo.  When I cut the figure out, I left a part of the type all the way around him which makes the figure stand out.  What else am I going to do with this....I don't know....for now it just has a home in my journal and I like to look at it.  

How's Your Journey Going So Far?

Art Journal
File folder pages/Mixed Media
I bought this journal a year ago or so at our local mall.  It had brown paper pages inside that were glued so tightly at the binding, that they weren't really user friendly. I removed those pages.  But I didn't buy the journal for the inside...I loved the fabric cover.  I decided to use primarily manila file folders for the inside pages.  As you can see, it's a small journal.

I spray painted and used stencils when I first put colors on the pages.  This made it easy for me to pick up this journal and add embellishments/words, etc. when I had something to add.  Today I had something I wanted to put in this book.  
These pages are very basic in terms of the art.  What was important to me was having a place to capture the words on the paper I glued down.  It's from a little booklet I pick up at church called Day by Day.  Each day of the month has something written by a different person based on a quote from scripture.  Now I'm not going to get "preachy" on you here...I believe faith is very personal but here is what the writer says...and tell me it doesn't speak to you on some level:

We all experience endings.  The hard part for us is letting go of the old dead things.  It is hard to let go of dreams about where we thought we would be at certain points in our lives--jobs we might have had, risks we might have taken or shied away from, happy endings we might have imagined.  But we know that in order to embrace something new, something better, we have to let the endings be what they are and step into the new with joy and awe.

Below are a couple of more pages in this book so you can see how the ink/stencils look.  I have posted a photo of this before but I do love these two pages.  And I kind of think the quote on this well with the one above.  It says:  Happy are they who take life day by day, complain very little, and are thankful for the little things in life. - Anonymous.
  Food for thought.

Saturday, October 17, 2015


5 x 7 Canvas Board
Inspired by the beauty around me while working out in the yard today, I decided to do a quick little painting.  A spectacular day in New England....

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Acrylics, Tissue Paper

Where to begin with describing what happened here.  The inspiration for these two pages was my painting, The Girl with the Paintbrush.  I made a print of the painting on tissue paper,  which was run through my computer. 
I took the print and tore it into 3 pieces.  On the right hand page, you see parts of two sunflowers....that's tissue paper.  Then I just put all kinds of shapes and colors around them.  I have other journal pages that look similar to this one...I think sometimes I need a "warm up" page to get me going!

I only had a portion of the girl from the original painting to put on the left hand page.  I changed the bodice of the dress and the skirt is different as well.  I am amazed at how clear a print you can get on tissue paper.  Blues and yellows are colors I love to work with. I'm sure I've said that before.

 Altering my own art today!
The original painting on canvas...


Acrylics, Pen
I started this page by dividing it into four blocks.  Below is my inspiration page:

I tore this page probably out of a travel magazine...images of doorways in Morocco.  When I first saved the page, my intention was to actually try and paint the doorways.  What I ended up doing with this is painting the various shades of colors, dark and light within the blocks.  But I wasn't satisfied with that because I'm not really a "linear" person....I like circles and curves.  So I took a large stencil and sprayed over the page with black paint.  Still not enough...I took a black pen and a white pen and just started adding marks to the page.  Am I finished?  Not sure.  I'm just going to have to look at it for awhile....Here are the two pages side by side.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


October 10, 2015
This past weekend, my friend, Jan's daughter got married in NC.  I've watched her grow since she was about 2 months old into an accomplished young woman. 
 I've saved the pieces from her Save The Date postcard to her wedding invitation and assembled them here in my journal, Gifts in my Life.  I've saved her sister, Erica's wedding memorabilia as well. On the left page, I saved the wedding envelope and made a pocket for their Save the Date postcard.  I made it so you can slide it out and be able to read the Maya Angelou quote on the back.  I didn't want to lose the beautiful flower that was the inside liner of the envelope...

I used the polka dot tape to tape the wedding invitation to the page.  This way it flips up so you can see the entire flower....and when the flap is closed, it looks like this...

"Love recognizes no barriers
It jumps hurdles, leaps fences,
penetrates walls
to arrive at its destination full of hope."
Maya Angelou

Wishing them a happily ever after.....

Monday, October 5, 2015

Pam Garrison Download

Pam Garrison, Artist
Faber Castell Pens
Printed on Card Stock

I have done absolutely no art since my last posting.  I have such a love/hate relationship with this time of year.  My weekends are filled with to-do lists.  I can't be creative unless I have enough time to "get in the zone".  
So I was searching some of my favorite art blogs and came across this download from Pam Garrison.  How nice that she provided this!  Not only did I download it, but I sent it on to a couple of other people who I thought might enjoy it.  Pam has such a wonderful, light, doodling, creative kind of art so I sat down this weekend and colored it with my Faber Castell pens.  You might say....I love color!  I also love the saying she chose.  I can look at this every day and be reminded that each and every day can be good if I choose it to be.  I choose it.  This is a no-brainer!  Thank you, Pam Garrison.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Training The Eyes to See

Art Journal
Mixed Media

On the left is the inspiration photo
On the right is my interpretation
I love this photo.  There was a series of photos in the magazine I took this from.  Some had several young women in the hats...they were all wonderful so it was hard to choose which one was going to be my inspiration.  More than the face on this one....I was intrigued as to how the dress would come out in the end.  And I decided to just leave the background with the texture from the papers I had glued and gessoed and not add any color or even the item she's leaning against to the page.  I debated adding some shadows...but again, decided that I was done.  I like her the way she is. I guess that's when you know your painting is finished!

I added some papers to the page

Added white paint that I spread all over the paper

A close up of her skirt

and, alas, her face

Saturday, August 29, 2015


Front Cover
Ink Sprays, Stencils, Pen
My Recycled Art for the Letters

I decided it was time to do something with my art journal cover.  The "grocery store brown bag" color was boring.  So I got out my ink sprays, sequin waste, pens, and even a prrint of some of my previous art.  I decided that art would make very colorful letters for the name of this journal, RE-IMAGINE.  

When i started this journal earlier this year, the very first page in the book...has the word re-imagine in my art.  What is art if it isn't something re-imagined???
It's what the artist feels and sees.  Below is that first page in the journal which I posted earlier this year....

You can see the word re-imagine more than once on this page.  Is re-imagine all about the "woulda, coulda, shoulda's" in life?  Does  re-imagining give you that do-over opportunity?  Or is re-imagining taking something that's already great and ....turning it into something even more wonderful?  I love the word re-imagine.  It conjures up all kinds of thoughts.  I keep revisiting it as I go through the completed pages of this journal and think about that have lots of pages yet to fill.  Letting my imagination...or re-imagination take flight.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Documented Life Project

A Face Altered from a Magazine
My art today in my journal is a face I chose from a magazine to alter.  You can sort of see the outline of the magazine page.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of the original picture.  She had blue eyes and looked straight at you.  I gave her some rather voluptuous lips, extended  her clothing and collaged a little bird and flowers to her hair.  I would have fixed the distance between her nose and the top of her lips, but I didn't.   Using a magazine photo is a great way to practice a face...  a closer shot...

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Challenged by Flowers

3.5 x 5

At my sister's prodding, I've started a small journal to practice drawing flowers.
She's doing the same with faces.  I have a love/hate relationship with flowers.  I've seen so many wonderful paintings of flowers might not even be able to identify what flower it is...but nevertheless, you know it's a flower.  I don't really want to paint realistic flowers....just impressions.  It's not that simple.  Sometimes, they look like blobs.  I bought this little book to practice  different mediums, different flowers.  I need to loosen up!

Here are two more....the one on the left is done with watercolor pencils and the one  on the right....I just drizzled ink straight from the dropper.  I actually like it better than the stylized flower on the left.
These are coneflowers, painted with acrylics.  There was a photo of these on the  cover of the Home section of our weekly newspaper this week so I tried to copy them.

And with these two pages, I made a copy of one of my journal pages and cut it up to create these two pages....which I kind of like.  Is this cheating?

I'm going to continue this exercise of trying to paint a flower(s) almost everyday.  It's a nice little exercise and being that's it's on 3.5 x 5 in. pages, it's do-able.  I want to do paintings with flowers...I have to get over my fear of them!

Saturday, August 8, 2015


for a prayer book
Rosin paper, oil pastels, acrylic gold paint
Lots of elbow grease

Several years ago, my sister and I attended an art workshop hosted by Lynn Perrella. She taught us this interesting technique where you take rosin paper (it's the paper that roofers use) and you spread a thick coat of gesso on it.  While it is still wet, you take your texture tools--bubble wrap, combs, stencils, sponge, paper towel, ...anything that will make an imprint in the gesso. Once you've added the imprints, you let it dry.  This could take awhile due to the thick coat of gesso.  We used Portfolio oil pastels to add the color.  Lynn swore by this product because it is inexpensive and they work well.  You take the crayons and cover all of the gesso...overlapping colors and such.  Use lots!  Then comes the workout...take a clean rag and start blending the colors.  Go over it and over it and over it until you get a look that you like. You can rub it to the point where you see white ridges from your imprints and that looks really nice.  I even sprayed ink with a stencil.  I wasn't sure that would work on top of the oil pastel, but it did.  (Chemistry was not my best subject in school and when you start mixing different's kind of like a chemistry experiment)!

Then you can add rubber stamps, collage materials...anything you want to it. The back of this book cover is a little different from the front. 

 The front I kept fairly simple.  I used a tree-of-life stencil which is barely noticeable in the background.  And I added gold paint to make a cross embedded in the tree.

This book cover I made for a pamphlet-sized prayer book we use in the summer at our church.  For whatever reason ( I don't know) these booklets don't have covers so I made one to give to our Rector for her copy.  Here's the inside....

I used a sheet of scrapbook paper inside.  After you rub the oil pastels into the rosin paper, it no longer feels like almost feels like leather.  It's an amazing product.  The one thing I did make sure our Rector doesn't end up with any blue I sealed it with some matte decoupage.  I loved making this book cover...and I have a huge roll of this paper.  Fun to play with...I highly recommend it.

Saturday, August 1, 2015


Ink, paint, collage
Working in my art journal is like having a tangible "Pinterest"'s a place where I can practice and store ideas, just whatever is whirling in my head at the moment.  I love that photograph that I got from a magazine on the left-hand page, but I decided I didn't want to really paint it.  I like looking at it.  And then the lyrics to this song came into my head..."The Windmills of Your Mind".  Such poetry and imagery.  It's a beautiful would the words translate into a painting?  "Round like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel, never ending or beginning as an ever spinning reel".....and that's only the beginning of the imagery in the words of this song.  So I sat down yesterday and wrote the words down, going around in a circle.  The song was written by Dusty Springfield...if you're old enough to remember her...and it's a song I don't want to forget...."As the images unwind, like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind..."

Saturday, July 18, 2015


Watercolor Pencils

Practicing some sketching today.  This is another page created from a magazine photo inspiration...

This page was a challenge...the hardest part are the straps on each of these shoes.  Having the inspiration photo...I can't recommend this enough.  I find it's training my eyes to really look at the shadows, angles, negative space, etc. etc.
I sketched them first, and then used my watercolor pencils and, lastly, a paint brush to go over all of the colored pencil work.  The paper in this book is not for watercolor and I did not gesso it...not sure why.  It might have been better if I had put the gesso down first.  All in all, happy with the results.  
A close-up of one of the shoes... Just have to keep practicing my art.  Before you recycle your magazines, see if there are some photos that speak to you and give them a try in your journal.