Thursday, November 20, 2014


This is from Spectrum class on Flow

Its a simple piece, I had on soothing music and picked out watery colors and just painted. Nothing complex, no unlimited supplies. Just a brush some paint and letting it all be. Sometimes its as simple as that, and that is enough. My wish for you today is that you flow effortlessly through your day.

Speaking of flow, things have been a little too intense and overwhelming lately so I am going to take a little blogging break.  I try to do it all in November but alas its not possible. Something has to give. So I am stepping back from a few things, changing my expectations of others and navigating my way in the world in a different way.  See you in December.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Following Intuition When Painting

I started this background with watercolors and acrylic ink.

Next I took stencils, a StazOn ink pad and a makeup sponge to add another layer. I used several colors of ink and multiple stencils. But what to do next.  I saw a figure on the right side.  I decided to leap with some bold color.  Out came the black paint. I took a deep breath and just did it.

I painted around the figure and then made some trees.  Oh I hated it and chastised myself for adding black.  I removed what black I could, covered it with gesso and used some acrylic paint to try and re-created the page.  I didn't really get back what I had, the watercolor was more vibrant than the acrylics.  It was a lesson that you can't go back, can't cover up. So I kept going. I saw two other figures so I painted around them.

Black called to me again. After the three figures I still wanted some trees. The trees I originally made had no shape to them.  Maybe that is what had been missing from my first try. Then I added more stenciling to the black background with a white stamp ink. It was hard covering up that background but I like what resulted in the end.  It really does help to follow your intuition, to not second guess it. These ancestor figures just wanted to appear today. Trees continue to be an image that calls to me.

So what did I learn with this page. Just follow your instincts and go with it. Don't try to go back and put things back to the way they were.  That never works. Just keep working, push on through that yucky stage, magical things eventually happen.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What Lies Beneath

I have  this quote written on an index card in my studio.  Its a great reminder.

I should have, but I didn't take any pictures during the process of making this page.  It all started out trying to use colors different than by usual. At first I hated the colors, they were dark and drab and not uplifting.  So I let the page go.  I looked at it once a day for several days hoping for  inspiration. Then I thought oh if I add  a new shade of brown I bought recently then it would look like dirt. Before I knew it I was drawing trees.  Not any trees mind you but the 4 willow trees that are in my backyard. Which led to the roots and the focus of the page.  What fun. I painted the trees with India Ink and Golden fluid acrylics in Van dyke brown and Light burnt umber. The I used a white gel pen for the roots and writing.  I am loving the page now.

The journaling I did revolved around roots and what lies beneath the surface.  I am constantly on a quest to go deeper, jump out of my comfort zone, explore where I haven't before. Its often scary but so worth the trip. This was a departure for me colorwise and I learned so  much from the experience.

Where in your life do you want to dig deeper? To explore what's beneath the surface? How do you challenge yourself?


Monday, November 17, 2014

Drawing With a Ballpoint Pen

In Sketchbook Skool this week the class was with Andrea Joseph.  She is amazing, you can check out her work here.She does some amazing work with a ballpoint pen.  This was my first attempt. I drew things on my desk that were black.  It was the only ballpoint pen I could find.  I prefer gel pens so digging up a ballpoint was a little difficult. I found it easier to draw with than I thought I would.

The I found a red pen, so I drew some red pens on an index card.

Our next assignment was to draw a collection of things.  Here I chose some buttons.  I used a fountain pen for this one, basically because I didn't have any blue pens to use.

Our last assignment was to do some lettering.  We started with basic writing and then embellished some of the surfaces of the letters.  It was pretty easy and I think it makes my handwriting look a little more special.


Friday, November 14, 2014

More Work In My New Journal

On this page in the new journal I saw the image of a baby and took to the idea of birthing something new.  I have some ideas for new things for the new year so I see myself peculating these ideas.  All th imagery I created I relate to seed or seedpods, kernels of ideas to let grow.  I am quite happy how this page turned out. I need to remember to take the before pics next time.

I was very frustrated with my writing so I started this black page with writing, my complaint to the universe.  I added gesso and spray ink on top. Then I wrote again, this time more empowering words, covered those with distress stains and then lots of oil pastel.  Then I pulled out a stencil and painted the black lines.  

I tried writing with gel pen and none of my pens would work over the paint. I ended up using a script liner brush and white paint to do the swirls.

Next I decided to try writing in the colored areas.  None of the black markers worked either.  I painted over it with medium to seal the oil pastel but that did not work either.  At last resort I chose a dip pen and India Ink. The only thing that seemed to work.  Finally.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Experimenting With A New Pencil

In my continuing quest to draw my characters I did this drawing.  I found in my stash some Koh I Noor Gioconda pencils in two shades of sepia. I thought they might be fun to use. They feel a little like charcoal on the paper, but they don't blend like charcoal does.   They did give a different look but they don't erase so as a result my drawing is not at all what i intended. I wanted a fierce warrior but I think he is a little too fierce looking.  I think I will try again in pencil or charcoal.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A New Journal Tutorial Sort Of

You know they something about best made plans of mice and men often go awry. I decided on a project, took some pictures along the way, tried a video two but there are som many missing part that its not truly a tutorial anymore. I'll share what I can.

I have a lot of fearless paintings that I have made over the years.  Some when I took Total Alignement, BIG and DEEP and others I painted when I went to Sedona. I thought they would make a great journal.  First I folded the paintings in half and cut them in two.

I took each of those sheets and folded them in half  and then in half again and cut the pages on the bottom. They came out to be about 9 X12, a great journal size.

Here is the pile of paintings all folded. Lots of different colors.

I ended up with 6 signatures with 5 pages in each signature.

 The covers I used were from old pads of paper. I bound the book using the coptic stitch. I always use this video. its the best description of this binding I have seen.

Then I needed to decorate the covers.  This is the front and I used prints I made with the gelli plate.  Some are on tyvek and some on deli paper. I glued them down with gel medium and covered the front with Dorlands Wax medium.  It gave the cover a nice glossy feel and protects the paper.

The back cover included gelli prints I had made into tags.  They were layered on back cover and then covered with the wax.

This journal feels so nice. It is going to be so fun to work in.  Every other page is blank. ON the painted pages I'll be either painting over them or adding to them.

This page has so much color that I am sure it will be fun to play with.

Or this one.

Even the subtle color in this will be fun.

and now my first page in this journal. I think this must have resulted from watching The Big Bang Theory and their episode about the prom. I painted around the part of the painting that looked like a dress.  Add a little journaling and that was it.  Art Journaling is such fun.

Have you ever made your own journal?


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Full Moon Dream Boards

I know I am late, the Full Moon was last week but I say better late than never.  My good friend Claire does her dream boards in a journal.  I thought that was such an excellent idea. Did I do any, well no. It was one of those things I was going to do I just never got around to it.  I even suggested the idea to a coaching client and she started doing them.  Silly me what was I waiting for.  I knew I had a book I could put them in I just needed to find it.  So without any planning today I just did it.  Sometimes that is the best way.

The advantage of doing them in a sketchbook/journal is you have a record of a whole year or more. It will be great to go back and see what I was thinking at any given month. Its a very cathartic process, just cutting out images from magazine that you are drawn to.  This was the frosty moon so I looked for images that resonated with me and then words I was drawn to.

Have you made a vision board like this?


Monday, November 10, 2014

Meet Jariel

This is Jariel, wow that is 2 men in two days thats a record for me. Drawing men is a challenge for sure. Jariel comes from a land called Abakhan, think the Mongolian Steppes.  He lives in a yurt, rides a magnificent horse and laments the loss of his wife and child. My main character Caitlin will become mesmerized by him the moment they meet.

He came out ok but doesn't have the spark of the picture I drew him from.  Something I'll have to work on. He needs to have a cooler tattoo next time.  Drawing my characters is helping me know them better.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Sunday Sketches - Bringing Torin to Life

This is Torin, a character in the book I am writing. I am finding that drawing the characters to be very therapeutic.

Posting to Sunday Sketches

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Drawing My Characters Part 2

I have mentioned the novel I am working on many times, now I am starting to add some art to keep me connected to the story.  My main character communicates telepathically with a wolf. I have been wanting to try drawing one. I hadn't been successful up to this point.  I found a great picture online and thought I would give it a go. This is on mixed media paper using prismacolor colored pencils. This could be way darker than it is and I will continue to work on it.  Colored pencils is all about layering the colors and it takes a long time.

Posting for Paint Party Friday Check them out here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Little River Time

I saw this book at my friend Jolene's house and knew I had to have it.  Combining zentangle like drawings and mandalas, its perfect for me.  There is some good instructions on creating patterns, designing mandalas and even a complex labyrinth.  I can't wait to try some of the techniques in here.

I needed some river therapy on Monday so I headed out for a walk on the Snake River. If I lived on the coast I'd be on the ocean but since I am not I settled for the river.  There is something about water that feeds my soul.

It was very cold out, so I bundled up and enjoyed being out in nature.  It was just what I needed.

Yesterday this little guy hit one our windows and was stunned.  So I picked him up.

I went into the house for my phone to take a few close up pictures. I could feel his little heart beat away. He was still a little out of it and not scared.

Back outside I tried to put him on a branch.  He could cling but then fell over.  Then I found a bush to put him under, hoping he'd be safe from cats.  He ended up flying away after a little bit of recovery time.

I had to head out to a Dr. appointment. while in the waiting room, I drew the pictures on my phone and created a nice little page. Being an artist is pretty cool when you can record events like this.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Using Distress Stains In My Art Journal

I haven't worked in this journal for awhile.  I decided to play with Tim Holts Distress Inks and just get some color on to the page. I don't use them a lot and I wanted to change that.  I created three backgrounds to work with.  This is the first completed page, others will come this week in future posts. I created a image of a woman as I often do. Then came the doodles and a poem. I picked it for just the color and how it looked on the page. It seem like a New year, letting go type of poem. Perhaps there is meaning inside of it if I look deeply. Maybe there are things I need to let go of.  

Later I added journaling to the page.  All those lines flowing out of her head seemed  Here is the poem so you too can enjoy it.

I am running into the new year
and the old years blow back
like a wind
that I catch in my hair
like strong fingers like
all my old promises
it will be hard to let go
of what I said
about myself
at sixteen and twenty six and thirty six
even that thirty six
but I am running into a new year
and I beg what I love and leave
to forgive me

Lucille Clifton

I have insomnia tonight, so I got up and finished this page. This was created with the same distress stains except for the face. I used Golden fluid acrylics for that.

I have a crisis going on with my novel.  I have to change a big portion of it and frankly I am stuck on where to begin.  I need the muse to visit. To inspire me where to go, to lift a depression I feel myself sinking into. Sometime art journaling helps. Just where do ideas come from?  Its a place I need to travel to this week. Yes, even I lose focus and lose my way.  Its all part of the creative process but on days like this is really is not a pleasant place to be. I have techniques, tools I use in times like these and I'll be putting them to the test this week.

Tell me what do you do to call back the muse, to inspire yourself to keep going when the gremlins arrive to pull you down?