Live Recap: Our Wilderness

After an accidental two week long hiatus from this blog, I’m returning to you with a bombardment of posts! Hurrah for filling up you email/blog feed with artsy goodness. (But my apologies for taking so long to get back to you.) Since I’ve been gone, I’ve been obsessively playing with my new Daniel Smith watercolors—a medium that just doesn’t fit among the pages of my art journals. With the holiday last Sunday, I also didn’t engage in a live stream, causing my only scheduled journaling time to be neglected. It’s rather difficult to post about art journaling when one is not art journaling. However, I did host a live stream this past Sunday, and the following photo is of the page that I began during that stream!

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“Our Wilderness” Work In Progress Art Journal Spread

Usually, my spread’s meanings are influenced by the imagery that I use and the color schemes that come about organically. However, this page was directly inspired by a single piece of collage imagery—a picture of two silhouettes at the edge of a canyon, looking out into the long stretch of stone. You see, the husband and I are going on vacation soon, and I have reserved us a stay in an isolated yurt among the mountains of a faraway state; it’s no wonder an image of a couple in the wilderness would speak to me on the cusp of our private adventure! The natural colors of the landscape determined my color choices as well, a collection of browns and greens. It’s a combination that I may not have otherwise used. The following photo is of this spread, after about two days of work, as I struggled to get myself away from watercolors and into an art journaling head-space.

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“Our Wilderness” Completed Art Journal Spread

I was able to test out a few new supplies in this spread, including the Mermaid Markers from the new Jane Davenport series. The colors used in this spread include “Seaweed,” “Siren,” and “Reef,” which are two green colors and a brown. The set of Mermaid Markers includes a piece of paper that discuss the contents of the brush markers, stating that the ink is a dye base (rather than pigment) and are not lightfast. While I have no issue using products that are not lightfast within the confines of my journal pages, it was a little disheartening to see that the markers—which cost over $3 a piece at $40 for 12—cannot be used in any for-sale artwork due to not being lightfast. Please note that this is not something stated on the exterior of the packaging, and—at the time of this post being published—not disclosed on the two exclusive websites that sell the product. The “Siren” color can be seen in the photo below, used to outline the silhouettes in the collage imagery.

“Our Wilderness” Closeup of Left Bottom

Like some of my other liquid ink markers, the colorants in the Mermaid Markers bled up through the acrylic paints applied over top of the marks even though the marks were dry. In this case, the acrylic paint that I used was the Liquitex Professional white gesso, so I feel very confident in saying that only a very thick coat of paint would be able to hide the marks made by these markers. Although I wouldn’t call this a “con,” as it could be used very effectively as a base layer beneath gesso and paint, it’s definitely not a “pro” when it happens unexpectedly. I will, however, be playing with the Mermaid Markers quite a bit, especially during my vacation, as they are wonderfully portable colorants and complement my current infatuation with watercolor. You can see the bleed-though of the “Siren” color in the white icicle shapes in bottom right corner of the image below.

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Our Wilderness” Closeup of  Right Bottom

I didn’t mean to neglect my blog duties, and even though this post is coming out Wednesday evening instead of Monday day, I want you to know that Wednesday’s usual Freebie post will still be coming out this week, just a day late! I sincerely thank you for sticking around while I found my footing earlier this month, and want to remind you: I will be streaming every Sunday at 8 pm EST on my Instagram, working in my art journal for all to see! I hope that you can join me sometime, and I especially hope that you’ll be making art with me, chatting about how awesome art journaling is, and letting me know if you have any questions about the many art supplies that I seem to be hoarding. Also, feel free to drop me a line by commenting here on the blog with any questions—or just to say hi!

 


Disclaimer: I have recently become an Amazon and Get Messy affiliate. Amazon links and Get Messy links are affiliate links. I will receive a small portion of the sale if you use these links to purchase  the art supplies or subscribe to the Get Messy community for an annual membership, without any extra cost to you. You support this blog and my ability to continue making awesome content through the use of these links! (And also gain my unending gratitude!!!) The Jane Davenport website and all other links included in this post are not affiliate links; they are included for educational purposes and for your convenience.

Finished Spread: Overgrown

Today’s art journal spread came about in under 24 hours, which is quite a feat for me to accomplish in a space of 11″ x 19″! There are quite a few elements to this page that I’ve never created before, and are now happily added to my artistic arsenal! The color palette is one, but the use of a radiating ombré is really where I’ve taken notice. There are two places on this spread where this new technique has taken life, but the bottom right hand corner really commands my attention! In this same location, you may notice a faint pattern over top the oval shapes that decorate this ombré. Here, I have used a gloss black acrylic over matte black gesso—and I love the effect!

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“Overgrown” Art Journal Spread

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“Overgrown” Closeup of Bottom Right

Another place where I employed a new-to-me technique is the addition of a border. To keep with my style, this border is not only messy, but also full of details! Using a dip nib pen, I drew tiny bubbles along the edge of my spread with a Golden brand fluid acrylic. Afterwords, I sporadically filled in some of those bubbles with the ink that was used to paint my florals; I also returned to this border with some of the background color, a pastel green, to make a few of these bubbles contrast against the pink! I’ve never been happy with the borders that I’ve attempted to employ on my pages, but I might be giving this messy boarder a new part-time job!

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“Overgrown” Closeup of Bottom Left Corner

I don’t know how it’s happened, but somehow I’m allowing florals to slip onto my journal pages. It’s a bit strange for me, but I’m not at all averse to this spread! The flowers shown here are made from loose strokes of a color mixed from white fluid acrylic paint and bright red India ink—and it was fun to play with this combination of mediums. That being said, if you’d also like to try out this mixture of wet mediums, be sure to give yourself plenty of drying time and use a technique to keep your pages from sticking together, because these florals are super glossy!

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“Overgrown” Closeup of Left Page

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing something different from me today!

P.S. Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of this blog! What?!

Live Recap: Celebration

The live stream from yesterday (3/26/2017) produced a barely complete spread—but today I was able to totally finish the large spread in my altered book…it took a bit longer than expected. (Forgive the late post, dear artsy friends, but the paint was louder than the computer, and the blog was neglected.) However, I am so glad to say that this spread came out far better than expected, and it was one for which I can be proud! This spread of bright pinks and chocolate browns is chock full of layers and happy thoughts. It’s titled: Celebration. Below is the way that this spread appeared at the end of my Instagram live stream.

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“Celebration” Art Journal Page, Work in Progress

It began with one page painted pink, and one page painted brown. After the acrylics were dry, I went to town with more matte acrylics, irredescent paint, and collage material! There were two things that I had in mind when I began the is spread, one being a hanging banner with triangular flags, the other being Neapolitan ice cream; these were items that I saw yesterday which cause me to think, that would be good for journal fodder! I don’t frequently have this thought, so both items stayed on my mind until paint was put to paper. It’s spread like this one which perfectly embody’s Picasso’s quote “Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.”

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“Celebration” Completed Art Journal Page

For my hanging flag, I chose a large page from my designated book of collage material, Extreme Adventure (2014), painted it with the Golden brand acrylic paint in Interference Violet that I’ve come to love, and chopped them into neat triangles. The collage material already contained hues of pinks, so I knew a thin layer of the transparent violet interference paint would be a good combination. Layering gold, white, and fluorescent pink paint on and around the flags gave them some definition, and keeping the imagery on a neutral background of light gray allowed for the shapes to stay obvious.

 

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“Celebration” Completed, Golden Interference Violet Acrylic Paint

I choose some other collage material, but ended up tossing it aside this morning the more that I worked on this art journal spread. It was a good jumping off point, which helped move my hand painted imagery along, but seemed to not work with my spread the longer that I worked on it. It’s a good lesson, however, to appreciated the things that inspire you without the need to take them so literally. This is often also how I approach journal prompts as well, taking them with a grain of salt, appreciating the inspiration that they provide, and then letting them escape me once their job is done. Even though I did not choose to use my collage material, I was not without imagery! As seen below, the item which inspired my color scheme also ended up inspiring my main imagery: ice cream! Very fitting for a journal spread, as it’s my biggest weakness.

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“Celebration” Completed, Closeup of Left Page

Because I was working in an altered book format, I was able to use some of the imagery already printed on the page—as seen in the photo below. It portrayed the silhouettes of three individuals waiting at a pier, but was altered in order to show only the shapes of the individuals and a poster seen in the background. I love silhouettes, because viewers can understand a representation of human existence, while still providing an element of personal interpretation. I enjoy blending specifics, like shapes, with ambiguity and anonymity. Another great example of this is the illegible cursive writing found on the majority of my spreads; this can also be seen below.

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“Celebration” Completed, Closeup of Right Page 

Hopefully, you were able to join me for this week’s live stream on my Instagram, but if you weren’t, fear not! I will be streaming every Sunday at 8 pm EST, working in my art journal for all to see! I hope that you can join me sometime, and I especially hope that you’ll be making art with me, chatting about how awesome art journaling is, and letting me know if you have any questions about the many art supplies that I seem to be hoarding. Also, feel free to drop me a line by commenting here on the blog with any questions—or just to say hi!

 


 

Disclaimer: I have recently become an Amazon and Get Messy affiliate. Amazon links and Get Messy links are affiliate links. I will receive a small portion of the sale if you use these links to purchase the art supplies or subscribe to the Get Messy community for an annual membership. You support this blog and my ability to continue making art through the use of these links! (And also gain my unending gratitude!!!) The Art Snacks website and all other links included in this post are not affiliate links; they are included for educational purposes and for your convenience.

Live Recap: Violet Desert

This week, my Instagram live stream session was number 5, and to be honest, I cannot believe that I have been live streaming once a week for over a month! Time flies when you’re making art! This hour-long stream consisted on working in my pocket sized Molskine, and was just as productive as last week’s session! I was able to start an art journal spread, add imagery to the pages, and get a pretty awesome dialogue going with this stream’s participants. I continued to work on the spread beyond Instagram’s limit of one hour, but the image below shows the progress from an uninteresting orange background to an art journal spread with some real personality! The image below is a picture of how my spread looked immediately after the live stream.

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“Violet Desert” Art Journal Spread, Work in Progress

 

As you can see, I was able to alter just some of my collage material during the stream. The cliff, seen on the right page, was slightly altered; however, the matte gel medium used to attach the tree on the left page was still in the process of drying by the time the live stream was over. I discussed my process of using this medium in the live stream, and wanted to share this helpful hint with you as well: if your collage material overlaps beyond the page, wait until the excess paper is completely dry before snipping it away. Giving your collage material extra time to dry is the best way to guarantee clean edges when cutting your paper. Gel medium drys quickly on the exterior but can cause paper to be moist beneath the surface even if it looks and feels dry! The sharpest of scissors will not be able to cleanly cut damp paper, so it’s best to wait until you can be sure the paper is dry all the way through.

 

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“Violet Desert” Art Journal Page, Completed

The creation of this spread was completely unplanned, but the color scheme that I chose for this spread ended up including violet—which was quite lucky for me due to the newest art supplies that I purchased earlier this week! One of my newest items is a Golden brand fluid acrylic paint, the color Interference Violet. The interference paints are not like any that I have ever used before! The paint is a very transparent white with incredibly fine speckles of colored metallic pigment. Depending on the light, the paint can appear as an opaque metallic or a gloss varnish filled with tiny pieces of colored shimmer. It’s a little flashy and adds a really unique effect to the page. Note: A little goes a long way!

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“Violet Desert” Completed, Closeup of Left

The collage material for this page was chosen during the live stream session, which came from the book Extreme Adventures (2014), a 240 page full color photography book that displays images of unique locations and exotic animals. I found my copy new for about $7 in a discount store, and purchased it specifically for the purpose of using the imagery as collage material. (At the time of writing this, I found it to be available on Amazon.com for about $6 used with free shipping.) I so recommend using inexpensive coffee table books for their imagery. The pages of these books are thick and the imagery is often perfect for collage!

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“Violet Desert” Completed, Closeup of Right

Hopefully, you were able to join me for this week’s live stream, but if you weren’t, fear not! I will be streaming every Sunday at 8 pm EST, working in my art journal for all to see! I hope that you can join me sometime, and I especially hope that you’ll be making art with me, chatting about how awesome art journaling is, and letting me know if you have any questions about the many art supplies that I seem to be hoarding. Also, feel free to drop me a line by commenting here on the blog with any questions—or just to say hi!

 


 

Disclaimer: I have recently become an Amazon and Get Messy affiliate. Amazon links and Get Messy links are affiliate links. I will receive a small portion of the sale if you use these links to purchase the art supplies or subscribe to the Get Messy community for an annual membership. You support this blog and my ability to continue making art through the use of these links! (And also gain my unending gratitude!!!) The Art Snacks website and all other links included in this post are not affiliate links; they are included for educational purposes and for your convenience.

Instagram Takeover!

This week is pretty cool for me, as I’m taking over the Get Messy Art Journal official Instagram, @getmessyartjournal. Until January 8th, I’ll be curating the Instagram with photos of my own art, re-posts of Insta photos that use the hashtag #getmessyartjournal, and be responding to questions and comments on any of the photos that I post! I’m still going to be active at @emmykait, my everyday Instagram home, but I’ve been hoarding photos of my art journal spreads specifically for the Get Messy takeover! Here’s a little taste of the photos I’ll be posting on the ‘gram:

This honor was bestowed upon me as a Get Messy Creative Team Member (which I totally posted about HERE), and I was so lucky to be the first to takeover in 2017 and I got to post the 1,000th Instagram photo for Get Messy! I know it’s not like I won a world series, but seeing as how my sports knowledge starts and ends with the fact that “World Series” is a sportsball term, this is way cooler to me!  I quit my 9 to 5 at the end of 2015 in order to pursue my passion of creating, and it seems like that choice was made with perfect timing! Working with Get Messy this year is a dream come true, and starting it off with this takeover is just the icing on the cake! I hope you come visit me there this week!!

Links!

Huge News! Art Journaling News!

I’ve finally taken a break from jumping up and down in excitement to write this post, so let me start out by saying I’m ecstatic to be telling you all my good news!! Are you ready? For 2017, I will be pushing myself to be as creative as possible for my new position as a Creative Team member! I’ve been chosen to be a part of the Get Messy Creative Team for next year, and will be creating videos, tutorial posts, and sharing images of my art work for a group of 1500+ beautiful people who share my biggest passion: art journaling!

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Art journaling is the one thing that has been with me for the majority of my life, before I knew that such a thing even had a name. I could not be happier to share my love of arting between the pages of a bound sketchbook, altering coffee table books, and getting my hands colorfully messy!  I feel like my artistic style has come such a long way in the past couple of years, and finally defining my method of creating—with certain techniques, supplies, and tons of emotion—has not only helped me find my artistic voice, but is now letting me share it with others. (It sounds goofy, I know, but I’m in happy-shock, so please bare with me.)

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A Sampling From My Art Journal Collection

When I was younger, before “art journaling” was defined to me, I called my art journals “my souls,” because that’s what it feels like: pouring my soul onto the pages of these once empty pages. While I may not be an emotional exhibitionist, I’ve always considered myself an open book, and oddly enough, it seems like sharing my “souls” is allowing me to prove it. So, let’s start with my most recently finished spread, one inspired by another Get Messy Creative Team member: Vanessa Oliver-Llyod, aka Dans Mon Crane!

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“Altered Dimension” Art Journal Spread

Vanessa hosted an hour long live event on the private Get Messy Facebook page last week, and while I wasn’t able to participate in the fun during the event, I happily re-watched the video at my desk, following along with her process. I can’t say that this spread turned out looking even remotely close to Vanessa’s beautiful journal pages, (which you should totally check out HERE) but I’m still very happy with my end product! It was so odd to not begin my spread with blocking in shapes of acrylic paint, but starting as Vanessa did instead. I stuck true to all of the suggestions made during the live event, but I just couldn’t stop myself from making all of the wild doodles and drippys that I so love to add to my journal spreads! Her ideas plus my ideas turned up making a pretty unique spread.

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“Altered Dimension” Close Up, Bottom Left

My spread ended up featuring a poker card, the queen of diamonds, which was altered to be far creepier than originally intended; her skin was painted green, her hood turned into a homage to The Bride of Frankenstein, and a third eye added to her chakra point. I’m not complaining by any means, as I fan-girl over weird and creepy pretty frequently, but the contrast of theme from that which was created during the live event is pretty extreme. The photo below is a close up of this altered card, presented next to a queen of hearts from the same deck for a better understanding of how much altering occurred.

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“Altered Dimension” Comparison to Unaltered Playing Card

I had so much fun with this exercise, switching up my process, and doing new things in my art journal that I would have never done without Vanessa’s input! I wasn’t alone either, as this exercise got a lot of the Get Messy community members in the mood to create. Seeing everyone’s pages was pretty awesome, as each member applied the suggestions to art journal spreads while guided by intuition and staying true to their style! As you can see in the close up’s below, I also didn’t stray too far from my usual aesthetic.

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“Altered Dimension” Close Up, Top Left

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“Altered Dimension” Close Up, Top Right

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“Altered Dimension” Close Up, Bottom Right

I’m so excited to not only work with Vanessa, but continue learning from her—and my new team members—over the course of this next year! If you haven’t joined this group, feel free to visit the Get Messy website and check out the FREE class, so that you can see if it’s right for you. I’d LOVE to see you there!! (Note: Even if you decide not to join, I’ll still be sharing a lot of stuff here, and I’m not going anywhere!)

Art Journal Speed Process: “Enlighten the Untransformed”

I (finally!) got around to finishing a spread that I’m currently recording the process of, and I’m sharing it with you today! I don’t know how excited about this you are, I’m pretty stoked, because it’s a rarity that I can focus myself long enough to make sure all aspects of a page get recorded. If you’re like me and leave your art laying out, you probably find yourself stepping past, only to double back in order to make a mark or two. I often can’t cram everything onto a page in one sitting, simply because a completely detailed art journal spread usually takes about six or more hours to finish. I know many other artists can bang pages out in just an hour or less, but my aesthetic is all about clutter and chaos, so I love lots of little designs and details…which can take a LOT of time.

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This journal page, which is all about trying to enlighten those who are unwilling, is both a statement about myself and others. I think that everyone should strive to have an open mind and an open heart, and even though many people believe themselves to be ‘open minded,’ I’m not quite sure they’re correct. The Socratic paradox says that a wise man knows that he knows nothing, and to accept that you have ignorance is to accept that there is always more to learn and understand. This page speaks both to my personal beliefs and to my political beliefs. As an American, I think that this message is especially relevant right now, during the 2016 presidential election.

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Although this page was not specifically created in response to anything, this is one of those spreads in which the meaning developed as it took form. I’m a strong believer that inspiration comes most often when we aren’t looking for it, and sometimes my muse doesn’t speak until I’ve already started working; this was one of those times.

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Anyways, lets get past the heavy stuff and enjoy how our minds can take the ugly and form into something beautiful, which, in this case, is providing me with reason to reflect and create! Being able to create another art journal spread (where I can meditate and breathe easy for a while) is great comfort for my anxious mind. I invite you to watch this process video, take a moment to unwind, and even play in your own journal! Enjoy! (If the video below doesn’t work for you, click HERE.)

 

Finished Spread: Catcher of Dreams

For a week, I’ve been out of arting commission, babying a bruised hand. Thankfully, none of my knuckles retained any of that lovely plum hue that both inspired and impaired. I’m not at full capacity, but I decided to take a peek at the Get Messy blog, and couldn’t help myself from shifting from computer to art journal. One of the many lovely prompts from this past week recommended using the imagery of a dream catcher, and while I’m not one to interpret prompts too literally, I decided to have a go at it. Little did I know, my inability to think in geometric shapes would cause me to spend hours trying to figure out how to draw the netting of the catcher. That being said: I’m 99.9% happy with the finished net design of my dream catcher! (My favorite dream catcher, a heart shaped frame wrapped in teal leather, was the only one that followed me into my teenage years; after this drawing experience, I thank myself for not attempting to draw it and it’s complicated net work!)

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“Catcher of Dreams” Art Journal Spread: Upper Left

As someone who doesn’t include a lot of text within the spread of my journals, I can be pretty picky with the imagery that ends up on my pages, but a dream catcher does speak to the memories of my youth. Living in an area where sacred burial mounds and beautiful Native American earthworks speckle the landscape, I was always aware of native culture, especially because of the the annual festival of Native culture that is held in my hometown. I was afflicted with night terrors as a child, and the ceiling above my bed held as many dream catchers —mostly from that festival—as I could ration for the thumbtack holes, like constellations, above my head. For this reason, my spread also portrays an eye (on of my favorite images) crying, the coloring mimicking the dream catcher and its blue dangling strings, a representation of the fear and panic that sleep can cause me.

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“Catcher of Dreams” Art Journal Spread: Upper Right

I also liked that using a dream catcher in this spread would date it for me, as the Dakota Access Pipeline protest continues to dominate the news. With the beautiful people of Flint, MI still struggling with ruined water pipelines, and now the Natives in the Dakotas struggling to guard their water sources, my heart aches for those who must fight for their freedom to drink clean water. I don’t usually get political when it comes to art journaling, but sometimes your subconscious speaks before you can censor it.

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“Catcher of Dreams” Art Journal Spread.

Now that I’ve been a part of the Get Messy art journaling group, I have a lot to say, and say I will next post. Thank you guys for hanging out with me! Feel free to drop me a line via comment below; I’m thrilled to be back in business and painting away!

Art Journal Speed Process: “Making Shadows”

I have a certain love for hanging lanterns. Honestly, all party supplies stir something inside me that just gets me in a good mood, whether it be streamers, balloons…presents. I have a bad habit of leaving decorations up far beyond a reasonable time frame, and in fact, have a string of green paper lanterns dangling from the ceiling in my studio; as of now, there are no plans to remove them. It’s should be no surprise that hanging lanterns would eventually find themselves layered into the artwork of my journal.

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“Making Shadows” Art Journal Spread

Unlike most of my journal pages, which are created impromptu, this spread had a moment of conception when the muse struck me outside of my studio. I had this strange urge to use a wet paint technique to create red, multi-hued hanging lanterns. I wasn’t quite sure what this journal spread would be about (other than my affinity for celebratory ephemera) but I got to my desk ASAP, and started gluing down collage material to get my creative juices flowing. It wasn’t long before I had thick circles of red paint adorning my pages! For this spread, I also brought out my inks, KRINK paint tools, pens, and markers and let the magic happen.

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“Making Shadows” Close Up (Left)

Some of these collage images came from my purchase of a coffee table book about National Geographic photographers, which will be my next altered book. Before I begin altering a book, I always remove some pages from it to alleviate stress from the binding, as my altered pages thicken the book quite a bit. The pages removed from my NatGeo book had some pretty interesting images, so I kept them for collage material. If you have interest in this book, you can find it on Amazon.com HERE. At his time, a new version of this book is available for $3.24 (plus shipping), which is an awesome price for the amount of beautiful images this large hardcover holds.

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“Making Shadows” Close Up (Right)

To see the creation of the journal spread “Making Shadows,” you can watch the video below or click HERE.

As always, if you have any questions about supplies used, applied techniques, or just want to drop me a line, feel free to connect with me in the comments below!

“Creatures” Spread

About 5 months ago, an artist who specializes in art journaling, Roxanne Coble, released her first solo online art class called Creatures. I had previously taken a class from this individual from a group course that she was involved in, and was very interested in taking another class with her. She’s had professional training in art, meaning she knows what she’s talking about, her illustration style is cute and quirky, and she has great eye for detail. After months of thinking, “Should I, shouldn’t I?” Roxanne released her second solo online class, Lyrical, and began selling the two as a package deal; I finally broke down and spent the cash. When it comes to the new dual course from Coble, I have only taken the time to sit down and work while watching the set of Creatures videos, and today I’m sharing with you my first (and so far, only) spread from this course.

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For those of you who have never taken an online art class, let me explain the basics. The first thing you do is give someone your monies, usually $25-$75, via paypal through etsy or another similar website. This cash gets you a PDF, which usually contains a supply list, some words from your instructor, and instructions on how you can view the how-to videos that pertain to the course. These videos are either emailed to you or online and accessible via a password, which may be included in the PDF file. I’ve purchased about 4 online art classes now from different instructors, and it has always worked this way for me.

The Creatures course is available on etsy HERE for $55, and the Creatures and Lyrical course bundle is HERE for $95.