Tuesday, May 23, 2017

More Notan

Pass the Fire

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks Notan is cool!


When you're making Notan artist trading cards, you don't have a lot of space to work with (2.5" x 3.5").  I started with 1" x 1.5" scraps of paper for these.

Pass the Star

The cutting gets kid of fiddly and it is harder to do multiple cuts than it was with the larger piece I did in my sketchbook.

Inside Out

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Silly Scraps Saturday

I did cut into a pristine 3"x 3" piece of origami paper for this "Notan" experiment, so I'm not sure it qualifies as a "scrap", but it's my blog, right?

I've been wanting to try Notan for awhile, and this post by Diana Trout inspired me.  I haven't got the book yet so I just used her video.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Things We Do for Fun: Playing around with Photo Editing, Color Palettes and Inktense Blocks

The Upper Room, Jerusalem
Inktense Blocks
5.5" x 8.5"

This sketch was based on a photo I took in Jerusalem:

I played around with the Heat Map functionality in Picasa, and then created a collage in PicMonkey to finalize a color palette.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Book Review: Drawing Calm

Drawing Calm Relax, refresh, refocus with 20 drawing, painting, and collage workshops inspired by Klimt, Klee, Monet, and more

I have become more interested in the reasons that we make art, both the inspirations and emotions behind a piece of art and the effects that creating art has on us.  The coloring book craze, for example, has shown us that some people color because they find it relaxing.  So, when Quarto Group offered me a review copy of their Drawing Calm:  Relax, Refresh, Refocus with 20 drawing, painting, and collage workshops inspired by Klimt, Klee, Monet, and more, I accepted.

Drawing Calm is dedicated partly to "anyone who is looking for a bit of artful calm", and is divided into 3 main topics:
  • How to get started - finding time and space, supplies you'll need, and some warm-up exercises
  • 7 chapters containing an emotion and 3 or 4 projects each inspired by a work of art by a known artist
  • Maintaining the calm - a chapter with more ideas and exercises to continue your artful calm
The projects involve a variety of media - acrylic, gouache and watercolor paint, pencil crayons, collage, and pastels.  A beginner might follow the step by step instructions for each project and a more experienced artist might adapt them to their favorite medium.

Art is very subjective, so naturally, not all of the works selected for inclusion inspired me.  The selection is broad enough, though, that I found several that I hope to pursue.  Similarly, the warm-up exercises and ideas for continuing the journey are varied so that something will appeal to everyone.

The book is an interesting collaboration between an artist and a Creative Healing Educator.  Together, they provide the art instructions and commentary about how and why we respond to art to send you on your creative journey.

Monday, May 1, 2017

A Burst of Card Making

In a burst of card making inspired by Diana Trout, I made eight birthday cards in a couple of hours.   Here are a few of them:

I'm always happy to use some beautiful decorative paper!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Silly Scraps Saturday

April is tax season and this month has disappeared in a blur.  I've been doing a bit of simple journaling of the "cut and paste" variety, inspired mostly by my talented friend Penelope who is teaching an art journaling class at the local community centre.  I haven't been able to attend but she started a fabulous blog full of inspiration!  Check it out if you want to start a simple art journal.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Complete Guide to Bible Journaling - by Joanne Fink and Regina Yoder

When I heard about the recent trend in Bible journaling, I didn't quite get it.  Writing in your Bible?  The thought still sends shivers down my spine.  Then, Fox Chapel Publishing contacted me to send a review copy of this new book, and I hesitated for a few days.  Finally, curiosity got the better of me.  After all, how would I ever "get it" if I didn't read about it?

This is one of the best books on journaling that I have ever read, probably because of its specificity.  Now I "get it", thanks to this beautiful publication and the many contributing artists.  One of the first things addressed in this book is the option to journal inside your bible or in a separate journal, so not only do I get it, but I realize that I've been doing it for years! LOL. 

Also in the first section is guidance on how to choose a bible, should you want to acquire a special journaling bible.  Once I read this, I looked on-line to see what was available, and was stunned to see the number of types and translations available.  This trend is really catching on.

The next section covers the expected journaling tools and techniques that I have seen in other journaling books:  drawing, patterning, painting backgrounds, using stencils, pencil crayons, watercolors, acrylic paint, washi tape, rubber stamps, stickers and die cuts, and lettering.  What is unique about this section is the focus on the specifics of bible journaling:

  • how to approach these techniques with thin Bible pages,
  • preparing Bible pages to accept wet media,
  • using the format of bible pages,
  • tips for highlighting and emphasizing the words found in the Bible,
  • a longer section on lettering, due to the emphasis on writing God's Word, and
  • layout techniques, providing clear instructions on the process of Bible journaling, including deciding what to write, choosing how to emphasize specific words, combining text and illustration, sample layouts, and conceptual illustration.
The third section of the book features 11 artists who each write about their motivation and background in bible journaling, as well as their journaling process.  These pages show beautiful colored samples of their work.  It is amazing how unique each artist's work is!

The next section is a bible journaling gallery showcasing 24 other artists' work.  It is divided into 9 different themes, some focusing on media or technique (watercolor, for example), some on style, some on subject, and some on approach such as outside the bible (for those who approach bible journaling like I currently do).

The final major section of the book is a Bonus Section with over twenty pages of designs (some on vellum) and stickers which you can use in a variety of ways.  You can trace them, copy them, color them, cut them, stick them, use them as tabs, whatever you creatives out there can dream up!  The generosity of the authors and artists who contributed to this book is evident throughout and culminates here, in the final section.

I keep returning to this book to indulge my senses in the beautiful eye candy and to read the inspiring stories of the artists.  The authors and publishers have done a fabulous job on a most inspiring and generous book.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Gelli Plate Party

The kind soul who organizes the Vancouver Artist Trading Card Swap hosted a Gelli Plate Party on Saturday.  She does so much for us and she is one of the most creative people I have ever met.

Most of the people who attended made lots of gorgeous prints using stencils.  I already have file folders overflowing with these prints and lack the inspiration to make anything out of them.  Mine aren't so gorgeous.  So, I decided to try something different, and made wrapping paper!  It's longer than you can see in the photo.  

I might leave it the way it is so that I have some color choice when I cut it up to use.  Or, I might add more green and yellow to the part I haven't got to yet.  Any ideas anyone? 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

It Feels Like Forever


It feels like forever since I played with my toys, but early last week I got out my Inktense Blocks and painted a few bouquets.

These are so much fun.

I try to remember to take a few pictures of bouquets every time I go to the grocery store.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Silly Scraps Saturday - My Room

Stamps by Rubbermoon and Studio G

Last week I posted my imaginary town.  This is a room inside my house.

Monday, March 13, 2017

"Greek" Bookmarks

The partial letters I learned recently look a bit like Greek letters, so I used them to write some Greek words on bookmarks.  I used watercolor, mixing the colors directly in the nib.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

More Alisa Burke Inspiration

Alisa Burke recently did a fabulous demonstration about Mixing Pastels and Water and water, which inspired me to give it a try.  Who knew this was possible?

That led me to try the same thing with Inktense Blocks:

And I even worked a little bigger!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Calligraphy Inspiration

The Westcoast Calligraphy Society featured a presentation on Laurie Doctor in February.  We learned her alphabet of partial letters, which she uses to create patterns.  It is like a code - the three blocks of partial letters shown in this piece actually do spell out lines from our national anthem, O Canada!

Friday, March 3, 2017

What have I Been Up To?

Not blogging, obviously.  LOL  I've been stuck at home with a cold this week, getting sucked in by the Internet mostly.  I did find (again), Andrea Joseph's wonderful "collection" drawings, and they inspired me to do a couple:

Before I got sick I made a visit to Vandusen Gardens, inspiring this page:

Monday, February 27, 2017

Gelli Play Day

I spent a morning with my gelli plate and some folded paper.  Fabulous fun.

I might make an art journal out of these, although they might make nice card backgrounds too.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Silly Scraps Saturday

Time is getting away from me somehow.  But it is still Saturday and time for some scraptivity!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Silly Scraps Saturday

Today we're finishing artist trading cards for tomorrow's swap.  Here are the scraps I used: