Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Celebrating Canada's 150th Birthday

The Westcoast Calligraphy Society is helping its members to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday.  A few months ago we made red and white books and now we're filling them.

Everyone is choosing their own book theme.  Some people are doing Canadian books, others Canadian inventions, for example.  My book's working title is:  The Things Canadians Say:  Favorite Quotations by Canadians.  Here are the first ones:

Kim Campbell was Canada's first female Prime Minister.  Wayne Gretsky was one of our favorite hockey players. 

I'm having lots of fun doing research for my book.  If you're Canadian I'd love to hear how you are celebrating Canada's birthday.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Bible Journaling

I have weakened and bought a Journaling Bible.  In my defense, a new Bible is not a new journal, right?  Technically, mine is called a "coloring bible", because there are lots of printed designs for the times when I feel like coloring rather than designing an illustration of my own.  (I didn't think I would buy one of these but when I went to the bookstore, I found the one with illustrations so much more inspiring than the blank ones.)

These two illustrations are mine.  I love everything about the new bible and the process:
  • an opportunity to think more deeply about the verse as I am drawing or coloring,
  • the look of the illustrations beside the text,
  • the inspiration provided by the words,
  • the community of Bible journalers on social media,
  • the shape of the margins - just like bookmarks,
  • the excitement of learning and doing something new, and
  • the enforced limitation of supplies.  This helps to narrow down the dizzying array of media I dabble in.  Many people use clear gesso to prepare their thin Bible pages before journaling.  So far I am just choosing media that will work without this process.
I have rediscovered Repeat Pattern Stacks.  They are perfect for the narrow journaling margins.

Pencil Crayons, Micron Pen

Gel Pens work well too.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Silly Scraps Saturday

I've made a few more bookmarks to give away.  These are made with old scraps of watercolor experimentation.  I used Inktense Blocks for these and a bit of white acrylic paint.  You can read about the process here.

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!