Thursday, February 25, 2016

WORD JOURNAL - Mockingbird

Mixed Media - Altered Book
5 x 8" book

I started this altered book several years ago and I took it out of my cabinet the other day and decided to revisit it.  It still has some pages left....As you can see, the word I chose for this layout is mockingbird.  The New York Times had a huge spread on Harper Lee's obituary on February 20.  They also had a photocopy of the original review of her book, To Kill A Mockingbird from 1960.  I remember reading that book back in the day.  And the movie adaptation was one of those movies that really captured her book.  That doesn't always happen.  So I couldn't just throw her obituary out.  I saved some of it.  It's just my way of marking something important...glueing it on the page if you will.  I added a window...her view of the world, what she shared, what she thought?  On the left side page, I painted a mockingbird on a watercolor postcard and stitched it as a pocket where I could tuck in the 1960 book review.   

So that's my tribute to Harper Lee....maybe gone, but never forgotten.  Oddly enough, the name of the book that I am altering here is ...Time Expired.....

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Napkins Provide Texture

Art Journal
Mixed Media
Using a napkin

Looking for a starting point for a journal page today, I grabbed a napkin.  Napkins are great on journal pages not only for the wonderful art they contain, but also for the texture they add to the paper.  So I tore part of a napkin that, as you can see, has the Eiffel tower; it contained maps, butterflies...kind of an old world look. I glued it down with some Decou-Page.  Then I started covering up parts of the napkin with paint, and isolated the part that had the Eiffel Tower which became a vase.  Cool things happen when you least expect it, but I think the vase looks like clear glass with a design painted on it.  I also isolated the butterfly, and covered everything around it.  The parts that are covered with paint...mostly blue because I love the color blue....add nice texture to the page.
I also added flowers....Overall, it feels nice to run your hand across the page.  I went from doing the large painting of my art supply cabinet...which was much more "controlled" because I was replicating a piece of doing a more "free art" style today....what's my next large painting going to be?  I haven't got a clue.  

Monday, February 22, 2016

My Art Supply Cabinet

Cabinet of My Dreams
Acrylics - 24 x 30
I first posted about this cabinet several years ago....not sure how many.  It's a 1930's dining room cabinet that I found at a furniture consignment store.  It was dark wood (cherry?) and probably had been stored in a basement or attic for many years.  I'm sure at one time, someone displayed their china teacups and such in it.  For my purposes, it was to become my art supplies cabinet and I painted the cabinet as you see in the painting above.  A couple of years ago, I painted this same cabinet on a 5 x 7 canvas board to see how I liked it.  Certainly not with as much detail.  Early on...

I actually learned something after I got the basic drawing on the canvas and that is...if I had broken it down into rectangles and triangles, it would have been much easier to draw from the get-go.  I was looking at it as a cabinet with doors and drawer, etc., instead of breaking it down.  I did not get a good grade from my 10th grade Geometry teacher....

Before adding the red to the background, I painted the background a dark green  (sorry, no photo) so that when I added the would be toned down.  My sister had reminded me about "under painting" and I'm glad she did.

I've tweaked it and tweaked it until I can tweak it no more.  I love my art cabinet, obviously.  So now I have the cabinet and a painting of the cabinet!  I think I'm done with this.  The real one below...excuse the mess, but it is an art room after all.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

When You Can't Be in the Caribbean.....

Create your own island inspiration!

Art Journal
Mixed Media
Don't Worry....Be Happy!
I'm feeling the "island" vibe even though it's  20 degrees here and the wind chill is I don't know what....It's COLD!  When I was at my niece's wedding in New Orleans a few years ago, I wandered into an art gallery that had a large painting...maybe 6' x 6'....and it was a painting of African American people, very colorful.  I can't remember any more about it...except that I remember that I would have liked to have carried it out of the gallery!  It was sooo cool. 
I was looking through some  of my paper stash this forget what you have....and I came across a 2 page flyer from the cafeteria at my former office.  It was from Black History month, probably a couple of years ago.  Inside of it, it had a recipe for Caribbean Jerk Chicken (sounds good), and also explains the difference between plantains and bananas.  I happen to really like plantains.  And it had some other interesting facts as well.  It  also contained a photo of some tropical yellow fruit (no not bananas) and some very colorful beads. I tore the photo into strips. 
 I put some random paint on my journal page...used neon acrylic colors mostly, and then I glued these strips onto the page on top of the paint.  I hadn't actually intended to do a face but, as you can see, I did a face.  Island woman.  I have to say, I love her.  Fun day in my art room!

Feeling a little Bob Marley now?
Don't happy.....

My messy desk

Monday, February 8, 2016

What's It All About?

Art Journal
Acrylics, watercolor crayons, ink

I'll start at the beginning when I sat down to do something in my journal today.  When you don't have an idea for the overall page (9x12), it helps to break it up by creating boxes of different sizes and then decide what's to be in each box.
Here's the sketch....
What's on your mind?  I didn't write anything here, but these boxes do represent things going on in my mind.  I won't elaborate, but suffice to say, the largest box has a baby boy and next month is my son's 28th birthday...
Below is the first box I added color to with my watercolor crayons...

It's of course, easy to fill in the parts of the boxes you absolutely know what you want to do to them.  The rest became a progression.  A close-up of the baby below.  The tiny little bed in the box above his head...could represent the sleepless nights I have!  

Perhaps I yearn for those nights when I used to sleep like a baby....but I think those were way before the baby!  And the baby's been out of the house for awhile....This is an exercise I would do again.  More boxes, fewer boxes, animal vegetable, mineral....I've debated putting a stain over the entire page, but I'm afraid I might ruin it.  The colors are bright....

OK, I put a coat of Decou-Page over the picture and then sprayed walnut stain on it and then wiped the stain off.  Some of the white stars in the moon square ended up fading a bit but I like the effect.  That's it for now.

Friday, February 5, 2016


Inspired by a Starbucks bag
and heart month...

My fingertips are recovering from shoveling snow off of my cold!  It's a good thing I sat down to create some art before I went outside.
This collage was created by things I had on my work table...which is a mess.  There are so many paint containers and lots of paper...tissue, napkins, just bits paper!  I love paper.  The cup, as  you can see, is a heart shape that I cut out of a napkin. That, along with the Starbucks bag which has its own art, were the inspirations for this piece.  Added to that, I have this wonderful tissue paper with the bees all over it.  There's nothing better on a snowy, winter day than a hot cup of something and a little creativity.  Enjoy your cuppa!

Snippets of Life


It's a snowy morning here and I'm wandering around my house with thoughts whirling in my head, much like the snow outside.  What to paint next?  While I'm thinking about that, I'm sharing this book that my sister recommended to me...a wonderful little mystery I picked up at our local library.  It takes place in a fictitious village that has one bistro...where you'd really like to go and have a cafe au lait and a croissant and sit and observe  its' life and people.  A wonderful character, Inspector Gamache, leads the murder investigation and his insights on life and people in general are so well written.  After all, that's his job.  Here's an observation from the inspector...."Homes, Gamache knew, were a self-portrait.  A person's choice of color, furnishings, pictures.  Every touch revealed the individual."  The writer is a very good storytelling artist.
Think about all of the "vignettes" in your home, the little things you love, the things that make it home...this is a little corner in my kitchen.  Home.

Monday, February 1, 2016


Napkin Collage
Art Journal
I have an abundance of napkins.  They are fun to incorporate into journal pages, not only for the designs and color, but for the texture as well.  So what to do with all of the napkins?  It's not like you're going to use the same ones over and over again in your work.  So I decided to piece lots of them on to the pages in my's a closer image...

I always find it interesting how the "universe" comes together when you're working on any art project.  It does for me anyway.  Not always instantaneously; sometimes it has to percolate a bit. Today is the beginning of "heart" month...not just Valentines, but heart health, taking care of your heart.  And when I went to church yesterday, one of the readings had to do with love. I wrote an excerpt from the reading on the heart.  While I was working on the collage part, which I started a few days prior, I had no idea what I was going to do with the heart.  It was this big blank staring at me.  So many ideas were floating through my brain...lyrics to songs, lines from poems, quotes.  But nothing was quite right for the spot....until I went to church and there it was...the reading.  I'm not one to be preachy about's a very individual thing. But I can't tell you how many times things come to me, in my life, that are just the right thing...the words I'm looking for, at the right time. There's a reason for that. Take care of your heart...