Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My Garden and Other Pages

I started this page with a piece of gelli printed paper.  The shapes on the right were a big rectangular piece.  Then I added the turquoise and red paint and the rest evolved as pages often due.

I bought myself a Dylusions Art Journal awhile back and had not used it yet.  I thought I would try some spray inks in it.  The paper is supposed to be good for that. So I sprayed through a stencil, some pink, yellow, orange and red dylusion inks. Then I thought what to do next. I painted around the stencil with black gesso.  Black gesso makes such a nice surface for writing on. I added the silhouette which I cut out of red cardstock. I looked through my stash of collage items for the rest of the page. the I added some journaling. My gelli roll white pen just flowed over the black gessoed surface.  It made the finishing touches on the page such fun.

Are you often surprised on how a page turns out? I always seem to get to a point where I don't like what I have done but sticking with it always brings me out the other end to a sense of satisfaction. That is how this page went.

What have your experiences been like?

Monday, September 29, 2014

All For The Love Of Owls

I have a love for Owls, especially the Great Horned owl.  Back in 2009 a pair nested in one of our trees.  We didn't know it until the Branchlings were pretty big. That is what a baby owl is called. Here is one of them out of the nest. Owls don't make their own nests, but commandeer one.  The nest they had used was falling apart, so they never nested there again.

We wanted to invite them back, so my husband made a nesting box. We modeled it off the ones that are used for the Great Grey Owl's in Oregon.  The problem for us was a way to get in mounted in the tree.

Here is my husband up the ladder in the tree they nested in before.

Here he is higher up, as the ladder was not tall enough.  He carried the nesting box, power screwdriver, and hammer with him. At one point he came down for a saw and nippers. My job was to hold the ladder steady. Those branches he was standing on looked so precarious. I had my phone in my pocket hoping I wouldn't soon be calling 911. There was no need, he managed to screw the box in the tree without falling out, which I greatly appreciated.

The nesting box is halfway up the tree. Its that brown spot in the middle. As you can see its a pretty big tree.

Here is a close up.  I sure hope the owls like it and decide to use it. We will have to wait awhile to know anything. Great Horned owls mate in February. So we'll be keeping our fingers crossed that they like their new nest. We have another nesting box on the property. Its for a kestrel and they have used it several times.  I like the idea of creating habitat for wildlife.

Do you have any interesting animals where you live?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Sketches

Decided that I could sketch during football games.   This a window at Coventry Cathedral in the UK. I discovered that these are really hard to draw.

Check out what other sketchers are doing this Sunday

I hope you are having a relaxing Sunday doing what you love.

Kate Robertson

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Winner of 21 Secrets Fall Giveaway

The winner of my giveaway is .......  Number

That means you gma are my winner.  I'll contact you by email and let you know how to get into class on October 1. Thanks to everyone who entered, I wish I could have given away a spot for all of you. Don't forget you can still sign up by clicking on the link in the sidebar.


Friday, September 26, 2014

Art Journal Wisdom

I have been playing along with Connie Hozvicka's Art Journal Wisdom class. Its a free course for nine days. You can join in here

I started this page with lots of oranges, yellows and reds.  Then I did some journaling on a separate page and tore it up and glued it down with gel medium. More paint was added on top.

I first saw the lady on the right and then the other two ladies showed up.  While yesterdays work was about contrast todays has very little contrast. If I painted around the ladies in a darker color they would definitely pop more.

Here I am playing with circles and pastels, both soft and oil.  Its a fun way to play with color. Soft pastel is in the background and oil pastel in the circles. I was using a really cheap oil pastel and you can really tell.  The artist quality ones are so much better.

I am giving away another spot in 21Secrets Fall.  I am picking a winner on Saturday night. Go to this post and leave a comment to be considered for the drawing. To sign up for the course just click on the link in my sidebar.

Linking to Paint Party Friday Today.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Explorations In My Journals

I have been trying to make art every day this week. That can mean working on paintings or in my art journals. Yes I do have more than one. Sometimes I am called to a particular size or style to work in. I have been leaning to bigger and bigger journals. I still like to work in small ones though. Some of my journals were bought for classes I am taking, so I only work in them for the class. That is until the course is over with, but I like to continue using it with the concepts learned.  In today's post I show a few of my different journals and pages.

This is an imaginary landscape. I used Inktense Blocks and colored pencils in the piece. I started with blocks of color which looked like a landscape scene so that is the route I took.  Colored pencils were used to highlight the river and grasses. I like the soft quality that resulted.

This Albino bird was the result of playing with colors. Napthol Red, Hansa yellow light, Titanium White and Quinacridone red.  This was an exercise where you paint for 2 minutes and cover half of it up and then repeat 4 times.  From Flora Bowley's bootcamp. It was fun to do. One I think I will explore again and again. Its a great exercise if you fear the blank page or are just feeling stuck.

In my sketchbook skool journal some crows came for a visit. Pencil, watercolor, a dip pen and acrylic ink were used. There is a new session of Sketchbook Skool starting next week. There are three different classes to choose from. I am doing Storytelling this time and I can't wait for it to begin.

I've been playing along with Connie Hozvicka's Art Journal Wisdom free e-course this week. This is my first page. I also incorporated Flora Bowley's idea of using strong contrast. It really made the image of the woman pop off the page. You can join in on Connies class here. This journal is one I made myself.  It has Fabriano paper in it and if you've ever worked with this paper you know what a dream it is to work with.

In what way are you expressing your creativity this week?


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Filling Up The Cart

My cart all filled up. Haven't started using it yet and i have rearranged things already a coule of times. I could have filled up two carts easily.  What this is doing for me is getting supllies out of drawers where I forget about them.

Top has some golden fluid favorite colors, gelatos, high flow golden colors, 
sennelier oil pastels, acrylic ink. tools, paint brushes,

Second shelf has distress ink, dylusions sprays, reinkers, liquid watercolor, gesso
Third shelf has watercolor crayons, oil pastels, pens and markers, baby wipes, ATC gun

So now I can be at my table and wheel the cart right to me and have easy access to so much more. This cart is from IKEA and is made really well. So worth the 49.00 price. If I lived close to IKEA I would go buy another one. It will have to wait until my next trip to Utah which has the closest store.

Another excess paint painting.  This has been on my painting wall for a long time. I keep adding to it when I have excess paint but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. I am trying to decided to whether take it down and roll it up for later or cut it up for art journaling use.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway in yesterdays post.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

21 Secrets Fall Give Away

Its hard to believe it, but 21 Secrets will start next week.  It seems so long ago that I was asked to teach for this wonderful workshop.  I almost forgot that I have another free spot that I can give away to one of my lucky readers.  Yes that could be you.

What do you need to do to enter:

Just leave a comment on this post and tell me what is your favorite art supply and how you like to use it.

I'll pick a winner on Saturday.


I stopped at Ikea when I was in Utah over the weekend and picked myself up one of these carts for my studio. Got it filled already. Somewhere on Facebook I saw people showing their carts so I had to get myself one. I could easily use another one of these. They are really nice. I saw some people attaching baskets and bicket on the ends to offer more storage.  Its going to be nice to have access to a lot of my supplies in on place. I think I'll probably be changing my mind what goes in the cart after I start using it.

Monday, September 22, 2014

My Weekend Getaway.

This is the only sketch I managed to make this past weekend.  Sitting on the back porch of my friends house, just a view of the trees.

I spent a lot of time spinning and knitting and visiting we friends old and new.  A very relaxing place to be. Sometimes a weekend away is just what you need to get a new perspective on life. I felt very proud of myself because I still managed to write the three days I was there, and even took two walks. Sometimes its the little things that are big accomplishments.

I fell in love with this tree, it was in the front yard of the house I stayed at. It had incredible energy about it. I took tons of pictures. I think I need to paint it at some point.

We replaced some sidewalk and I had to leave my mark. It is not that easy to write in concrete. My spiral symbol came out a little wonky.

Did you do anything fun this weekend?


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Lots Of Work In Progress

I am headed out of town tomorrow so there will be a little blogging break happening here. I started working on some new paintings or I should say continued with them. They are both works in progress as I have nothing else to show you today.

I started to work on the painting of red trees. I had a few minutes before I needed to go to the dentist this morning so I laid in the trees. At least it is a beginning.

This canvas has been the one where I put excess paint from my pallette.  I have been adding to it for months. Today I decided to work on it some more. I made several big mistakes and it ended up quite muddy.  So now I'll let it all dry before I tackle it again.  I should have know better to mix warm and cool colors without letting one of them dry. The next time you see this I am sure it will be totally different.

Here is that lily pad painting I was working on. It needed some more work so I tackled that today.

I think it looks a little better but to make it more like the photo I would have to change so much. Really didn't feel like spending that much more time on it. I hate when you think its just a little change you need to make, when it turns into a major redo. To do it properly I would be better off to start over.

See you back here on Monday,


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Connecting Writing And Art

I have these odd silhouettes that were given to me years ago.  I often pull them out to use and then decide I don't want to use them.  So this one was lying around my desk. I liked it over this background. Doesn't that blob on the left look like Africa? I see now I could have made a map out of this page.  Sometimes it seems like I don't see things in my pieces until a photo is taken.  I wonder why that is?

This is the second half of the ugly spray ink exploration I talked about in yesterday post. On this side I muted the page with gesso before I drew and painted the trees.  The stencils in the background look like a ghost image. I think I like it.  Happy accidents are fun to discover in your work. I am really loving these trees.

Wouldn't it be awesome to walk into a forest that had trees this color. It reminds me of something I am adding to my novel.  I have no title yet but I thought I might start sharing some little tidbits here on the blog. It's the idea of a feminine forest. One where men have a hard time traveling through and women gain something special from being there. I haven't decided how this forest will look yet, but this is a pretty good start. I like the idea of exploring some things I am writing about in my art journal.  It gives my ideas a little more life, to see them on the page.

Do you have more than one hobby?  Have you found a way to work on them at the same time like a collaboration?  I'd love to hear about it? Leave me a comment about it.

Monday, September 15, 2014

When Your Art Looks UGLY

I was playing with some spray ink and really overdid all the colors and use of stencils and I really didn't like it. All I could think is what am I going to do with this background. Nothing came to me besides cover it up with collage. But what a waste that seemed of the ink. So I went online for inspiration but no one posts their ugly pages.  I wish I had taken a picture of it so you could see what I mean.

So what did I do get to this portrait.  First I put some gesso on the page.  The ink always comes through gesso but I thought it could tone down the intense bright colors. So then I decided to paint a face and see what came next. I started with pencil and then marker. Then I painted the background pink several times but if you look close you can see the stencils underneath the color. Then I did the dress, and of course now I like this piece so much more.  So what do you do when you feel what you have created is ugly.  Just push on through, jump out of the box, try something new. Once I was ready to let go of my initial ideas, and be open to what it could be, then things began to flow again.

So what do you do when you don't like what you created?  Do you have a process you go through?Tell me in the comments.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Using Pinterest For Inspiration

I went to  one of my Pinterest boards this morning for inspiration. I knew I wanted to draw something in church today.

I loved this image, it is actually a quilt and not a painting. It's called the Ravens of Angel Crest by Thom Atkins. Isn't it gorgeous.

For my version I separated the birds, made the trees a little less developed, added birds to the second tree and added a mountain.  I like my little drawing, it was fun to make. I find Pinterest is fun for collecting images but its also great to use all that collecting for something. I think I may use this image again in the future. Maybe elaborate on the image, or tackle the idea in acrylic, or even on canvas. Or even make the one tree recede further into the background, or make the bird bigger and more of a focal point. There are lots of different things you can do with an initial idea to make it your own.

Linking to Sunday Sketches today.

How do you use images for inspiration? Tell me in the comments.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Release for Paint Party Friday

This is my journal page for Release, a subject in the Spectrum course.  I have painting in strictly cool colors lately, so I thought I would mix it up with some warm colors this time.  I used liquid watercolors that got away from me a bit.  Then I drew some mandalas on the page.  It seemed more personal to do my own drawing from my intuition.  The blob on the top looked like an octopus to me, so I chose to write words of release on the tentacles.  That was a fun module.

You can check out what others are doing for Paint Party Friday here.

What kind of colors do you like to paint with?  Do you mix it up once in a while?


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mandalas and Moons

Today I have some miscellaneous art to share. The first one was for the bloom true bootcamp with Flora Bowley. Every day this month there has been a prompt to share, and this day's prompt involved doing some art. It was all about mandalas today.  Have you ever wondered how everyone makes these wonderful images and they look fabulous all the time.  Well I have never been that confident about my mandalas and this one was surely a trial.

With this mandala I started with a stencil in the center. Then I drew the outer circle and added some triangles, painted them and hated it.  So I covered it with paint and then gesso. I could still see them and so can you if you look close.  So then I drew the leaf shapes, painted them and started to like it again.  So you see any art disaster can be fixed.

Last night the full moon looked pretty awesome.  I was happy to get this shot before the clouds covered her up.

I also painted under the full moon last night.  The moon always has such good energy about it.  I have not decided what this really is.  What are your impressions? Tell me in the comments.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Revisiting A Journal

When I was preparing my class for 21 Secrets Fall I created a video of some of my journal pages involving animals. This led to looking through all of my old journals. I found quite a few pages that could have more work done on them. I guess that I am a more complete journaler now. I did find a 2 page spread where all I had done was a background.  I set that journal aside to work on the pages.

For one side of the two page background I saw a figure in the background, I rendered the figure in pencil first and then painted the background with black gesso.  I like how it really makes the image stand out.

On the next page I decided to keep more of the background intact.  I drew the woman in pencil and then marker and then painted her dress and face.  It's a great an example of taking a similar background and doing 2 different things with it.

Have you had any fun surprises in your journal lately?

Tell me about them in the comments,


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Bookstores I Have Known And Loved

After a conversation with my friend Claire, where she mention there are no bookstores in her town where she can go browse the aisles. She misses that. I thought it was incredibly sad, but its probably the sign of the times. It made me think of some of my favorite bookstores over the years.   The first I remember was when I was in college in East Lansing Michigan. Jocundry's bookstore was an amazing place. Wood interiors, music being played, a real ambiance about it. It was the first bookstore to have comfy chairs and nooks where you could sit and read a book. There were wonderful sections set up with different genre's and you could sit and have a cup of tea. I loved the place. It closed in 2001, destroyed by Barnes and Noble and Borders.

Photo credit - Amy - The Wherever Writer

This is the Book Peddler  in West Yellowstone Montana, thankfully this store is still open. Probably because their is a coffee shop inside.  It has a lot of regional authors and a western feel about it. There was another bookstore in West but I just discovered it closed. It was called the Bookworm and was one of those old bookstores with lots of volumes and old books. It was so much fun finding a treasure hidden in the stacks. I am sad that it is now closed, what a loss to the community.

When we first moved to Idaho Falls there were 4 bookstores here, now we have two. The Blue Unicorn was an independent New Age bookstore. At one time it was the only place to find anything alternative. There was a local bookstore downtown which I can't remember its name. It was owned by a woman named Grace Hardin. She carried local and regional work.  It was a little oasis in town that had calm music and a charming owner. She retired and closed the store a long time ago. The local mall had both a Walden Books and B Dalton both stores are now defunct now replaced by Barnes and Noble. We do have a Hastings which is a chain that also sells, music and games. They have a good book selection and a coffee shop, but its not like being in a real bookstore. We do have bookstores that just sell used paperbacks, but they are in a different category.  Just recently we had another one of them close. We do have a nice bookstore that sells used hardbacks and paperbacks, but once again it doesn't have the ambiance of the stores of old.

image source

This is Moose Rack Books in Big Sky Montana, I happened on this bookstore traveling to Bozeman, Montana. Its pretty small but has great charm and local and regional authors. Its a nice place to stop.

These are steps in the only Big Bookstore I'll share in todays post.

In case you guessed yes its Powell's in Portland as the sign show you.

Nice clean aisle, nooks and cranny to look at books, lots of nice amenties. They have lots of used books too.  A really nice place and you don't feel like they are trying to put everyone else out of business. I admit that I am guilty as the next person in buying online but I still think bookstores are a must and they will all go away if we don't start supporting them better.

Tell me,  do you have any great bookstore that you have been to, or remember fondly. Tell me in the comments.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Bloom By Moon

I had the background of this page painted and waiting for whatever was to come next.  I also had a painting I thought I would cut up for collage elements.

I hadn't decided yet how to cut it up, I mean which parts I wanted to focus on so I ended up just cutting off 2 inches so the painting would fit into a cardboard sleeve I have to store papers.  I took the scrap into my studio and it blended in really well with this page. After added the collage elements a couple images appeared and the rest flowed. I'll still take apart this painting but at a later date.

I have been reading Amy Palko's Bloom by Moon ebook and exploring this new full moon.  In the Celtic tradition its the Vine Moon and in the Native American tradition its the Harvest Moon.  I really loved the phrase "What Seed Dreams will You" so I added it to my page.  I think I'll be doing some further writing on the idea.

Then I finished this page which was waiting for some words of wisdom.  Its seemed right to continue with the moon theme.

On Friday I was featured on Dirty Footprints Studio, go here to have a look. It all part of all the fun for 2 Secrets Falls coming up on October 1st.