Friday, May 31, 2013

Seek Out What Will Inspire You

Seek out what will inspire you.  A life without inspiration is a half-life only. - Stephanie Dowrick

Spritzed background
Art Nouveau lettering

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Frida Kahlo Copy

Frida Kahlo painted mostly self-portraits.  I've long been an admirer of her art and of her strength during a difficult life.  So, when looking for faces to draw, it wasn't hard to choose one of her.

This page had a few splotches of paint on it before I started.  It is done with watercolour pencils.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Admit One

Today I've turned to collage to cover up a journal background I wasn't thrilled with.

This is a watercolour background with collage elements cut from patterned paper.  There's that hand carved tree stamp again.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Still Finishing Art Journals

I'm still working my way through an art journal I started in 2010.  Most pages have backgrounds; some have some imagery completed.  This one started as a stencil and stamp clean off background.  I didn't like it so when I saw Dina Wakely using black acrylic paint to outline stencils with it was just the answer!  All it needed this week was a quote I saw on A Bird in the Hand.

Akim Cursive hand

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Link Love

If you need some card designs - check out Clean&Simple.

Check out Glue-It Tuesday on Lost Coast Post.

A Bird in the Hand:  This one is new to me but I'm enjoying it a lot so I thought I'd pass it on!

Made by Nicole:  Lot's of Art Journals here!

Teresa McFayden does beautiful journal pages and paintings.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

You Must Do the Things You think You Cannot Do

For me right now, that's drawing faces.

Watercolors , Oil Pastels, Pan Pastels, Pencil Crayons

A bit of everything here - cow faces, human faces, many media. For this face I took my inspiration from Lynne Hoppe.

You must do the things you think you cannot do. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Finishing Art Journals

Many moons ago, I did a series of grids for one of Michelle Ward's GPP Street Team challenges.  This red one was only partially finished, so as part of my current goal to finish up some of my art journals, I finished this grid with stamps and bit of ephemera.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

So I Keep Trying

Watercolor pencils

In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure. – Bill Cosby

So I keep trying.  For this I took my inspiration from Jane Davenport.

Monday, May 20, 2013

If You Don't Try You'll Never Grow

In my last (link sharing) post, I mentioned that I'd been drawing faces in my art journals lately.  I guess it is time to share one, humble though it may be:


Honestly, it is a bit hard for me to believe that I'm daring to draw faces, and even harder to believe that I'm sharing them with you.  I don't like failure much, and it makes me reluctant to try.

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Links for Faces

This week I have been focusing on finishing some art journals, and I've learned that a face will go on any page.  It is easier to draw a face than to figure out what other image would go on a half finished page!

Here are some of the links that have helped me out:

Balzer Designs:  Art Journal Every Day!

Ponderings:  Dina often uses faces on her terrific journal pages.

Jane Davenport  really knows how to draw faces.

Pigment of My Imagination:  What a great blog name!  Michelle also has a great Pinterest board All About the FACE.

Lynne Hoppe paints a lot of faces, and I've been interested in combining oil pastels with other media.and this how to was very useful.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Rubbermoon Houses

Artist Trading Cards
Houses by Rubbermoon
Background Stamps by Hero Arts and Inkadinkado

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Calligraphy Journal

I have found a few quotes this month that I wanted to preserve, and I'm trying out all kinds of lettering hands (fonts).  Here we have architectural, Italic, Akim Cursive, Fill In, and Gestural.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Art Journal Dilemma

I have confessed here that I have many art journals.  Some of them are multi-purpose journals, and some are for specific things (e.g. calligraphy or my Unification Project).  This proliferation of journals has become a bit of a dilemma.  (Yes, there are two allowable spellings for this word).

Mostly my dilemma is with my multi-purpose journals.  Usually I start a new journal because I want a different size or a different type of paper.  My problem with this is that I don't have a chronological record of my art work or my journalling.  (Oh dear, this applies to my special purpose journals too, I guess).  What to do?  Start a new journal and stick with it?  Oh no, not another journal!  That sounds a bit counterproductive.

For now I've pledged to finish the oldest journal this week.  Keep using it until it is done.  I promise.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Share the Link Love

I'm sharing a few more links today.  Consider sharing some link love of your own if you have a blog!

Creative Explorer:  She's participating in the 365 Collage Project (I think this was started by IHanna), and I love to see these collages as well as her restraint journal.

bits & pieces:  A fellow Canadian and I love her cards!  Strong design and use of white space.

Some fiddling on the kitchen table What lovely art creations her kitchen table yields!

Happy Mother's Day!

Stamp by Hero Arts

Thursday, May 9, 2013

CST Challenge

2.75" square

I don't participate in challenges very often.  Mostly this is because their challenges seem to conflict with my own natural inspiration.  By the time I am to take up the challenge the time has passed. LOL

Recently, however, the Canadian Stamp Talk (CST) Yahoo group extended their challenge deadlines, which gave the latest challenge time to percolate in my brain.  The challenge invited the creation of "small" cards.  I like working small, so this one ap-"peel"-ed to me.  (I used a Peel-Off here.)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Rorschach (Inkblots)

Rorschach (Inkblots) is one of the design prompts of the Vancouver Artist Trading Card swap this month.  I thought I'd try my hand at a couple:

"Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music." - George Carlin

Monster Meets Ghost

Monday, May 6, 2013

Back to My Roots

I'm currently reading "The Happiness Project", and I was immediately struck by the "Be Gretchen" commandment, which reminded the author, Gretchen Rubin, to be herself.

I've tried a lot of different art media and card styles over the years, some more successfully than others.  (For a less successful card style, see yesterday's post about "one-layer" cards).  When I am reminded to "Be Susan", I am more successful, and yes, happier.  Unlike the one-layer card, this "clean and graphic" card came together quickly.  It made me smile:

Stamp by Just for Fun
Greeting by Studio G

Sunday, May 5, 2013

One Layer Cards Lesson

Earlier this week I CASE'd this card from Amusing Michelle.  I love its design and the "Spirograph" nature of those flowers.  Isn't it fabulous???

I learned a lot of lessons during this process, and finally came up with a version I can only describe as "not very spectacular":

I had 4 attempts at this.  Here's what I learned:
  1.  When I CASE a card, I'm not using the same stamps, so I should test them on a scrap first.  I'll save a lot of expensive card stock this way.  For example, I didn't have a dot border stamp, and the ones I tried to substitute were too busy and had to be eliminated in the final version.
  2. The same goes for ink. Now that I look at the cards together, my inks lack the punch of Michelle's.
  3. Although I love pearls (and own them), I'm reluctant to send them through the mail, so I don't use them on many cards.  Here, I've used dimensional paint dots instead.  Lesson learned:  don't buy bulky embellishments.
  4. What I thought were similar flower stamps weren't really vivid enough to make a one layer card like this.  I decided they were better suited to paper piecing, so I did this as well:

Flowers by Autumn Leaves
Greeting by Biblical Impressions

I like the punch of this much better!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Silly Scraps Saturday

The Tulips Come Out

More Great Blogs

I seem to be getting more comments on the links I share than on anything else I post, so I'll keep doing it!  Thanks to Daisy Yellow for starting this!

If you like collage, check out these great ones:

I like Willy's journal pages.

Back to the Drawing Board - mostly cards, I love her design and collage skills.

Less is More is a Clean and Simple (CAS) challenge blog.  I believe that less is ALWAYS more.

And because I like grids and inchies:  My grid and inchie projects


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

It All Started With a Tree

I seem to be in a phase involving cutting simple collage shapes out of various art papers.  It all started with the hand carved tree stamp you see in the lower right corner of the first page.  Now I'm adding houses and birds to my "town".

Watercolor journal pages