Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Winner Is

The winner of my giveaway for 21 Secrets Fall is:   Netty.  Netty I have emailed the information that you will need when the class starts.

For everyone else don't lament because I will be giving away another spot in the class later in September, so stay tuned to this spot for further announcements. Classes start October 1st.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Gate Leaf Cards

I saw these cards on Julie Fei Fan Balzer's blog.  They are made with a Scan and Cut machine which I own but have not used very much.  So I purchased the file she was selling to make these cards.  This one I made has a mistake in it. Some the green paper tore off on one of the leaves.  The idea is pretty simple and now I think I can go make my own designs.  You could really make stencils out of all the rejects. In fact its very easy to make stencils with this machine. I need to plan some time to do that very thing. That is why I wanted the machine in the first place. To make my own stencils, that are different from what you can buy. Sometimes I look at other blogs and I can identify the stencils that someone used.

I finished with all the preparations for my 21 Secrets class.  So happy that is done.  I think its going to be an amazing group of classes.  Don't forget to sign up here.  Today is last day to enter my giveaway, which is on a post here.  I'll be picking the winner today, so you have until this evening to enter. See my next post to see who the winner is.

I've seen some tea bag art lately on some sites I frequent. I usually drink tea that has round tea bags so I thought there might not be enough surface to draw anything.  Last night this bag was on my desk and decided to play with it. My pens and pencils were in my bag upstairs so I used the closest thing available. This turned out to be pitt artist brush markers, and I drew a simple woman and added her to an old book page.  I also used some distress stain to color around her. This was interesting to do.  I have some full size tea bags drying to try out next.  The surface is interesting and stained so it looks old right away. My friend Palma Rae from Rome has a whole used book full of drawings on tea bags. I think its a fun idea.

Check out the other folks at Paint party Friday.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Angels Among Us

If you haven't entered my 21 Secrets giveaway tomorrow is your last chance.    Go see this post for details.

A group of Angels on O'Connell Street in Dublin, Ireland. I spent a lot of time on this street, it was a great central location.

I didn't think I would miss Dublin that much, but I would love to be exploring on O'Connell street once more.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Looking Through a Window

A view at Coventry Cathedral, in England, or the ruins of to be exact. Another snippet from my trip.  I have always been fascinated by the shape of a cathedral window, so it was great to see so many on my trip. Windows in general truly fascinate me, its that mystery of what the view shows or what's behind the corner that you can't see. Is there any aspect of architecture that fascinates you?  I'd love to hear about it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Moment In Time

I am recording videos for my class this week so I have little art to show you.  So I think this week I'll show some random photographs that I took on my trip to Ireland. Just a small snippet of beauty here and there. This is at my friend Donna Higton's home in England, well her garden actually. Wishing for you, a little spot of beauty today.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Easter Sky - My Version

On 12 X 12 canvas a simple imaginary landscape from my Expressive Landscapes course.   I am still reworking the one I posted early.  I am finding this kind of painting hard to do.

I finished my Tardis socks a couple weeks ago.  They turned out pretty good.

I spent Saturday on the phone with Sarah and Kyle.  She got really sick while they were camping. Told her to go to the emergency room. Turned out to be appendicitis. She had surgery at 9:00 that night. The appendix had not ruptured but the surgeon said if it had been a couple hours it would have ruptured.  It was really inflamed. She is home now recovering.  It sure was hard being so far away and not being able to be there in person.

I did the ice bucket challenge to support ALS awareness and research for a cure. Here is the video I posted on Facebook.

I really encourage all my readers to donate to ALS, it is such an awful disease. Donations can be made at

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Her Raven Friend

A raven was her best friend wherever she went.  Graphite in my fabriano sketchbook, drawn in church today. Posting for Sunday Sketches.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Expressive Landscapes

For paint party friday I thought I would talk about an online course I have been taking. I've been enrolled in Pauline Agnew's course, See Paint Feel - Expressive Landscapes for the past 2 weeks. Its the third course I have taken from Pauline and its really been great. She is such a great teacher, I always learn amazing things from her.

One of our first exercises was to make collages for the four elements, earth, air, fire and water. This is my collage for air.

This is earth.

This is fire.

This is water. These were really fun to make.

This was an exercise with mark making while listening to bird songs.

Here we used Oil Pastels to mimic a water lily painting. This is something that takes a lot of practice. I'll need to do a half dozen of these before I feel confidant at it.

Next we did our first landscape.  This is still a work in progress. I needs quite a bit more work but I'll add it to this post anyways.

This is what is called a network drawing. The original photo was a scene looking from underneath a flowering bush.  I am learning lots of new techniques in the course and of course new ways of looking and seeing.

You can heck out what others are doing on Paint Party Friday here.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

500 Word Challenge

I listened to a webinar put on by Jeff Goins yesterday. It was called "The Four Keys To a Prolific Daily Writing Habit" Quite a bit of what he talked about were things I had tried before, but one element was missing.  That was to write everyday at the same time.  Its the best way to create a habit. I haven't decided what time that should be though.  For me that is the hard part. It may mean getting up early, yikes I am so not a morning person.  But then sometimes if I wait till nighttime I am too tired and it never happens. So I joined in this challenge to write 500 words a day for 31 days.  Are you having trouble getting to your writing maybe you should join in with me. You can sign up here.

So you may know that I do challenges like this quite often.  I am still in the midst of Lisa Sonara Beam's 30 Day Journal Project. I have also done 30 day Face challenges where you paint a face every day. So what does participating in challenges do for me.  For one it makes me commit to something. The repetition helps me to get deeper into the process, helps it become a habit.  Its a way to focus on something that I might not be able to any other way.  Its a tool, just another tool in my creative toolbox helping me to get where I want to be.  

Do you participate in challenges like these?  Do you find that they help you or hinder you? 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Studying Under The Masters - Portraits and Self-Portraits

The lovely Jeanne Oliver has done it again. She has created another Studying Under The Masters course. This one is focused on Portraits and Self-portraits. Once again 6 weeks, 6 fabulous artists exploring 6 master artists. It sounds like it will be fantastic. Jeanne is having an awesome giveaway of art supplies. You can enter here. here She is giving away 450.00 worth of supplies.

The artists teaching this course are:
Jane Davenport
Jeanne Oliver
Gillian Lee Smith
Cori Dantini
Robin Fingher
Theresa McFayden

The masters are Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, Mary Blair, Frida Kahlo, Brett Whiteley, Max Beckmann

I've signed up because I can't resist.  Oh there is an early bird price at 49.00 till the end of the month.  Class is available for 2 years, what a deal. Class starts September 30th. Why don't you join me in class.  I have no affiliation, just love the idea. Plus I am sure hoping to win some of those fabulous art supplies.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sketchbook Skool Is Finished

Sketchbook Skool is over with for now.  It was six weeks of a whole lot of fun.  I love it when you are really changed by a class.  I will be taking the next session which I think will be  in October. Meanwhile I saw these books talked about in class and thought they would be great to go through in the meantime.

This is full of advice on getting started along with lots of great tips.   I think it will be invaluable.

This one was described as the nest book on watercolor and so far I really like it. It started off explaining how watercolor paint is made and then went right into colors and where they came from.  I love history so this will be great to learn a little more.  The rest of the book looks great too.  I've got some fun reading ahead of me.

Monday, August 18, 2014

At The Zoo

 I took myself to the zoo to sketch. I got to use my brand new Derwent bag, but I forgot a paper towel, so any mistakes in color I was just stuck with. I took my 3 legged chair and it worked perfectly. Most people said not a word to me. One little girl said "she's a painter" and inside I felt pretty proud at that.

Here the female kept pacing, so I didn't record her at all.

The lions were my best subject.  They just slept in the sun.

The camel cooperated only so much, I never did get their head.  There were two of them and they kept moving their heads around each other and then completely changed positions.

At the Penguin cove I got some contour drawing done.

The pig just slept while I was there. A sleeping animal is so much easier to draw. That is all I did in the two hours I was there.  The next time I will stay longer.

 Some music for your enjoyment.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

21 Secret Fall Giveway

As many of you know I am teaching a course for 21 Secrets Fall.  As one of the teachers I get to give away a free class.  So this is your might be your lucky day.  If you click on the picture above you can go look at the course and see all the amazing classes.

So how do you enter?

1. Just leave a comment on my blog on this post and you get one entry in the drawing. If you could offer one art journaling tip, what would it be?
2. Follow me on twitter - 1 entry, if you already follow me you still get 1 extra entry.
3. Follow me on Facebook - 1 entry, if you already follow me you still get 1 extra entry.
4. If you post or tweet about the drawing - 2 entry's.
Just tell me in the comments your number of entry's and where you have posted. Also let me know how to contact you if you win.

So when will I choose a winner?

The giveaway will happen two weeks from today on  Friday August 29.  So enter and pass it on. Then check back here to see if you've won.

Now its time for some art, I am linking to Paint Party Friday, so here is some painting in my journal.

This is a 2 page spread in my journal for the Spectrum course.  The lesson was from the Desire month and focus was on the Sacred Feminine.  Each month in Spectrum we work with a different word and have several women giving classes.  Its been a wonderful course.

I started out by writing on the page my intentions, then slopping paint on top.  On the right side I focused on feminine symbols.  The noni, the chalice, moon and spiral amongst them. I chose the colors specifically for my intention. Purple for imagination, blue for trust, red for energy, passion, ambition and determination, and green for balance and growth. The dots represent the breath, that giver of life.  I've been using the oil based Sharpie for the white dots and it works pretty good.  It doesn't smell or anything like that. I know I am always looking for the perfect white pen. Often what others use just doesn't work for me. I found my gelly roll white pen worked over this paint too. I never seem to know if my pen is going to work on not. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't so its a long time before I toss them.

On the left side page was more a ghost image of the intense colors on the right. I immediately saw this Goddess figure in the background so I drew her with a scarlet-lime pen and colored in her hair with Pitt artist pens. I added more symbology with markers.

Inspire - Mandala

This is my spread from Spectrum's Inspire section on creating sacred mandala's. I have been having problems getting to my writing so I wanted to create this mandala with the intention of making it better. The page was gessoed first to add some texture. Then I added golden paints in favorite colors, turquoise thalo, quinacridone, nickel azo gold, indian yellow hue, manganese blue and titanium white. I used a catalyst mini blade to spread the paint and then sprayed water on the page to move the paint around and let it dry.

The mandala was drawn with a compass.  I added the inner circle with some paper I had stamped words on. The rest was drawn with a Scarlet lime pen and a Prismacolor marker.

I perused Pinterest inspiration boards for great quotes on writing. The face was a stencil that I painted black. I chose to add a feminine image along with birds from nature and images relating to writing. I used colored pencil on the black and white print of pens. This piece became a conglomeration of many things.

This bird is a stamp. I chose a light area to add her so the words would show up.

Little sweet spots of other birds were added. I love all the different colors that show up in this background close up. This was a fun piece to create and is full of deep meaning for me.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Drawing My Kitchen

My kitchen, oh my there are so many mistakes in this drawing.  Nothing is the right size or shape but I kept hearing Tommy Kane's voice in my head saying "finish the drawing" so I kept plugging away. The handles on the cupboard are different for a reason. I when I made the error on the left I was dismayed but decided to make the other side correct. I learned a lot with this drawing. Its always encouraging to realize that the next drawing is going to be better.

I got my Derwent Pencil Bag in the mail yesterday.  I love it.  It will hold 130 pencils, a sketchbook, watercolor box and more. There are three sleeves to hold pencils and you can add more.  Right now I added all my Inktense pencils and my Graphitint pencils.  Whenever I get to the zoo to do animal drawing I'll take it for a real test run.  Just using it at home has been great because everything is right there in the bag.  I don't have to go looking for anything.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Creative Urge

I gave a talk the other day for a church service on Creativity so I thought I would share it here too.

The Creative Urge – Just where does it come from, is there a little creativity fairy that takes her wand and taps people on the head to inspire them. Or is it a genetic trait passed on down in families. Sometimes I think its just a habit.

 Most people who know me, would describe me as creative. But where did that creativity come from. I came from a lower middle class family in a suburb of Detroit Michigan. There were 6 children in the family, so we didn't have much. My mother sewed most of our clothes. So as a young girl I learned to sew too. As I look back on that time, I realize that my mother sewed so much, because we wouldn't have had, many clothes otherwise. So in a sense my creativity came from a need. You want something, then you make it, I still relate to that thought. I often see things and I don't buy them because I know I could make them. I want the experience of making them in addition to having them. Its probably why I have continued to learn new things, my entire life.

 Sewing was the only thing my mother could teach me, so I sought out other ways to learn new skills. A friend taught me to embroider, a sister in law to crochet. I took classes to learn to spin, weave and knit. I explored art when I was young, but I gave it up when I felt, I was not good enough. I continued to take classes in painting or drawing here, and there but never pushed beyond my fears until my next defining moment.

 That was when I sprained my ankle, about 8 years ago, I was immobile for a long time. With the internet as my only entertainment, my love of creating art was rekindled. I decided then and there that I would become the artist I always thought I was. I began a journey of taking risks, learning new things, stepping back to evaluate, and then plunging ahead again. Creativity is not linear, its a spiral process. Doubt can creep in anywhere and we need to work oursleves back out again. Creativity also has natural cycles or rythms that occur throughout the year. Sometime you are in the flow with so many ideas bursting out of your head that you can't sleep and other times you just can't seem to get going. It's just the nature of creativity, and you learn how to accept the flow, and work with it.

 There is way more to creativity than just making things. When I am being creative either by spinning, weaving, painting and drawing, I am getting something back, besides a finished project. Each activity seems to do something different for me. When I am drawing something, I really look at it, get to know it, I feel the energy, the essence of the thing. It makes me appreciate everything more. When I spin yarns, its relaxing to me, I have a connection to the sheep who gave the wool, the shepherd who raised it, and all the women before me who did the same thing. Its such a pleasant activity, and I get an amazing product when I am finished.

Weaving is more cerebral, there is the math and calulating and figuring out if some new idea will work. Once I've made my plans, chosen my yarns, warped the loom and began to weave, it is like all these parts intersect to create something that wasn't there before. It is emmensly satisfying and always leads me to the question “What if I try this” how would that work. It always leads me to the next project.

When I am doing an intuitive painting or art journal page its another kind of journey. I start in one place, and I end up in another one, that I had not anticipated. The painting changes, it morphs into something new, something unplanned. It is different and so am I. We go on a journey together, so much of me goes right into the paint. When looking at pieces created this way, you can not help but feel the emotions of the artist. When I am creative I learn more about myself and the process, and the world as I see it. Often its about how, being creative makes me feel. I truly feel more alive, more at one with the Universe and all there is.

 So what inspires me to create something. Initially I think its three things, color, texture and nature all inspire me. New Ideas inspire me, what other artists create inspire me. Just the other day I drove by a train, and was inspired by a railroad car. It had once been red, but its color had faded to pink and there was rust on the car that had a cool pattern of drips going down it. It was a striking combination. Immediately I thought oh alizarin crimson and white to make the pink and some burnt sienna for the rust. I can't wait, to try the combination out in my journal. Or I'll see colors in nature or texture that make me think of a weave structure, and it might lead to creating unusual yarns and patterns. The world is full of inspiration, sometimes I'll see something over and over again, so I know its time the put that into my art. If the Universe sends that many messages, its up to me to give them form.

 There is something about making something from hand, that is more than just the act of taking certain materials and making them into something else. Its about the process, the amount of pleasure you get from it, but something else happens too. Creativity changes you in ways you can't measure. Everyone is creative and that means you too, even if you don't think you are, you have the potential to be creative. You just need to take some time to discover it.

The color of this page was inspired by the railroad car.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Simple Play In My Journal

These two pages were started by using Panpastels and stencils. In this one, I then outlined the feathers and painted around the background.  Then I stamped other feathers on the page. So what else could go on here but a bird.

On this page panpastels were used to make the oval shapes.I first outlined them in black and then decided to paint the whole background with black gesso. I think it makes them look like a stained glass window behind her.

These two pages were created in a different journal.  I started out with paint on this page but it was so ugly I pulled out the stencils and spray ink and kept layering until I had a very detailed background. All this talk about rooted came from Lisa Sonora Beam's 30 day journal project which I am participating in. Its been fabulous.

I sprayed ink on this page too, I pulled the image from a day planner I use. It was such a peaceful image and she looked well with the colors on the page.  I printed the words on my printer and then added soft pastel to tone down the white of the paper. So I'll ask you the same question.

What does tending your roots look like to you?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Inspire - Breath

This piece is also a part of the Spectrum class. The focus of Inspiration and particularly the breath.  I started with images and words but painted over them.  I thought of the 2 shapes on the right as being the lungs but now that I look at it again they look like knees to me.  All the other imagery seemed to connect the body and its inner workings.  Lots of cell like objects and flowing things. When I began it was like some manic painting but then I remembered that I was supposed to focus on my breath.  Was it shallow or deep, fast or slow.  When I started paying attention  to the breath the work slowed down and I felt more present.  An interesting exercise, when you slow down and are more present in your life, you can see the little details easier.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Working With Activate

One of the modules for Spectrum was on the word Activate.  First we painted a intuitive style painting and then we ripped it up and used bits of it for collage.

This is the painting and I hated it, I was so happy to be able to tear it up.  I should have just painted over it or something but I didn't. Ripping it up gave great satisfaction.

I used pieces from the painting as collage elements and then added more. Its a great way to use something you don't like.  Just recycle it into more art.