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.


“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 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.


“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.


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.

Finished Spread “Internal Tide”

It took me about a week, but I’m finally motivating myself away from Murder She Wrote (I’m judging me, too) and back to the paint splattered  beauty that is my desk. I’ve had a gorgeous mess of dried Bombay India ink sitting in my journal for five days, waiting to be transformed from colorful anarchy to repurposed chaos; today, I obliged.

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“Internal Tide” Art Journal Spread Close Up: Center

Working with the India ink was a lot different that my usual acrylics. The thin ink moved more freely than what I’m used to, creating organic shapes and colors, whereas my usual paint needs more guidance. Painting with acrylics provides the artist with a substance that requires manipulation, but letting a drop of India ink flow freely next to a drop of a different color will create unexpected swirls or patterns that the user cannot control. Of course, this could be avoided with precision, paint brushes, and plentiful drying time, but where’s the fun in that?

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“Internal Tide” Art Journal Close Up: Left Page

Working with a more controllable substance has taught me to cause chaos that looks accidental, so being provided with a medium that does most of the hard work for me is both exciting and a little baffling. When I create splatters or blocks of paint, I already have a mental arsenal of the designs and patterns I can add to these acrylic arrangements of colors; when I lay inks down and let them move across my page, motivated only by gravity and surface tension, the movement of color is unique, which pushes me to find new ways to create atop it. Which is great…if I’m not in a slump.

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“Internal Tide” Art Journal Spread Close Up: Right Page

Well, luckily I decided my fingers needed a little busy work today, and working on art outweighs dish washing any day of the week. For those of you who have never worked on dried puddles of India ink, there is a gloss to the transparent ink that you will not find with inexpensive acrylics. I’ve discovered the matte white ink dries much chalkier, and as seen above, can even crack slightly after drying.

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“Internal Tide” Art Journal Page


I used Faber-Castell Pitt pens, Sakura of America gelly roll pens, and UniPosca Paint pens (my review is HERE) on this spread, accenting only slightly with tan acrylic craft paint. I’m not quite sure that I’ll flood my journal page the next time I work with India ink, but I was pleasantly surprised by the results of it. If you didn’t see the post where in which I talked about the set of Dr. Ph. Martin’s India ink that I purchased, which was used in the creation of this spread, you can find it HERE coupled with a YouTube video!

Finished Spread: Printed Reminder

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Printed Reminder AJP

I still have the illness, but apparently that’s good for my creativity as I have created a new spread from start to finish in a day! I love everything about this spread, except that it’s in my private journal, which means that I won’t be sharing with anyone in person. Luckily for you, I can show it off online! All collage imagery (7 pieces in spread above) comes from a large coffee table book about National Geographic photography, which I recently purchased for under $6. I recommend it for any collage junkies out there. I found mine in a discount store, but it is also available online at Amazon, here: Odysseys & Photographs. During the writing of this post, it is currently for sale (as used) for $0.95 plus shipping, which is a total steal for this collection of beautiful images.

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I used so many different materials to create this spread, including my new fine point Uni-Posca paint pens. (If you haven’t read my short review on these, click HERE.) These opaque pens are %100 living up to my expectations! I also used the new KRINK K-90 permanent paint pen, which isn’t the greatest to draw with, but makes perfect little dots…and trust me when I say that I could use a tool which does only that! I’ve been playing around with oil pastels too, and used an incredibly soft yellow-orange Expressionist pastel by Sakura (which is becoming my favorite brand of non-paint supplies) to do a few markings throughout the page. More supplies include: Gelly Roll pens, Golden fluid acrylic paints, Faber-Castell Pitt pens and , Dr. Ph. Martins Bombay India ink. This spread is truly mixed media!


Finished Spread: Vocals

I have finally completed the art journal spread seen as a work in progress in this post: WIP: Orange & Blue Background. It’s not everyday that I feel comfortable with a spread and I can call it finished, but happy day, this one is done!

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“Vocals” Art Journal Spread

Since the last update of this spread, I have used the following supplies on it: white acrylic paint; pens in black, white, and blue; my Faber-Castell blue PITT pen; a white woodless colored pencil; and a sticker (which I “artistically” butchered) that came from my place of employment. I’m not one to regularly use stickers, but I allowed it of myself, as it had originally spelled something different and called for severe alteration. The black lettering on the white background of the sticker worked well with the illustrations that I had drawn onto page, featuring thick black lines framing opaque white paint.

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Detail of Illustration on “Vocals” AJP

I fell in love the the disjointed brush strokes that create the circular design found at both the top of the left page, as well as on the right side of the right page. My husband told me that the clusters of outlined orange dabs, which are overlaid with black dashes, look like koi swimming beneath the surface of water. Even though it was originally a completely abstract pattern, I can now see blurred little fish wading on the page. Whatever it may look like, I’ve never created this design before; don’t be surprised to see it show up in later work, as I’m rather fond of it.

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Detail of Abstract Design on “Vocals” AJP

I think it’s finished, do you? If you have any thoughts about this page, leave me a comment below! (Or if you just want to drop a line and say hello, that’s welcome too!)

I’ll see you Friday!

A Trip to the Museum

Every Sunday, the Columbus Museum of Art in  Ohio has free admission during their hours of 10 am-5 pm. This past weekend, the husband drove me to the state capital where we were surprised to find not an empty museum, but a loud and busy building filled with children and noise. Unbeknownst to us, the Columbus Museum of Art was hosting a Family Day!


Sculpture at CMOA

Although the experience was far less calming than I anticipated, the artwork was just as awe-inspiring as expected! Notable artists, such as Claude Monet and Diego Rivera hang on the walls of the CMOA. It also houses ancient pottery, an array of sculptures, and an interactive area for children. Multiple lawns lined with statues surround the building, so before guests even enter they are welcomed with the product of great imagination.


Bunny Statue Outside of CMOA

The huge rooms were a pleasure to wander through. The CMOA has both permanent exhibits, as well as traveling ones. This time around, one of the exhibits that filled their temporary rooms was an amazing setup of barbed wire. One piece hung from the ceiling and was wrapped in chains, another attached to the corners of the room in a pyramid shape, and a third swung from the walls like a (terribly uncomfortable) hammock.

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Barbwire Exhibit

While the barbwire exhibit was interesting, I would like to share a few of the things that inspired me and held my attention. The photo below shows a sign that is painted across the street from the museum. I’ve been thinking about it everyday while creating; the phrase “Think. Do.” is forcing me to stop overthinking while making art. When I pause while painting and think, “Should I or shouldn’t I?” I’ve said to myself, You thought it, so do it! Because really: what is the worst that could happen? This photo also shows a huge cloth blow-up Buddha, and a particularly stunning Monet.

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Inspiring Art at the CMOA

As silly as it sounds, I was also pretty excited to see my favorite pens being used at the museum. The CMOA was inviting the participants of Family Day to comment on the art with black post-it notes and white pens—Sakura Gelly Roll pens, to be exact! The interactive boards were art in themselves, as a living piece containing the thoughts from budding minds. Not to mention, the white-on-black effect was pretty cool.


Children’s Commentary at the CMOA

So guys, if you live near enough to make a trip to Columbus, Ohio, try to get to the Columbus Museum of Art. You won’t regret it…especially if it’s a Sunday, when it’s FREE!

(COMA hours are as follows: Tuesday-Wednesday, 10 am–5 pm; Thursday, 10 am–9 pm; Friday-Sunday, 10 am–5 pm; Closed Mondays)

Bonus Photos…


Art Supply Haul 1: Challenge

What’s awesome about an art haul challenge is that a) it allows for you to use all your fun new goodies and b) it forces you to use items together that you may not have thought to combine. It’s makes you think just a little harder about the work you want to do. This isn’t something I routinely do, but its good practice and a great excuse to make something new.


I’ll be using the spray inks, black and silver pens, stencil, and collage material that I unboxed and tested in this blog post. With the knowledge that I’ve gained from my quick testing, I have some ideas about how to incorporate all of these supplies in one cohesive piece.The sprays were a little difficult to control, so I knew they would be the basis for my background. I also decided to use the stencil, with its large size, as a background element, creating an already very busy page. I’m not one to usually use collage material as the main focus for my art work, but some simple circles and large text found in my package of ephemera seemed like a perfect contrast against the already complex page. I wasn’t sure how to use my silver pens, but after the adhering the collage material, I realized outlining them with some glimmer would help separate the shapes from blending into the background. The black pens were used for detail work, as intended upon purchase, and the smaller silver pens served for the same purpose.

Where AJP

Along with the six art supplies purchased in my first blogged-about supply haul, I also used acrylic paint, markers, and other gellyroll pens to create this page. Because the of my decision to use the globe ephemera, I knew I was going to create a page displaying a representing the solar system. I was also drawn to the image of the pointing hand. Using the text ‘where’ pushed me to add words as a main focal element. After much brainstorming and scribbles on post-it notes, I came up with the phrase, “Figure out where you are before you decide where to go.” I relate pretty strongly to this phrase right now, especially in starting this new project in blogging!

This video below is, from start to finish, the creation of the journal page pictured above. Enjoy!

Art Supply Haul 1: Unboxed & Tested

In this post I’ll be sharing with you a quick video where you can watch me unbox each item and catch a glimpse of five different art supplies at work, as well as what pieces of collage material come in a very stuffed package. I will also be challenging myself to create an art journal page using these items, so make sure to come back tomorrow for that video! But before we get to that, let me explain why art supplies are the fuel for creative fire.

First of all, you’ve caught me…I don’t actually need any new art supplies. But, while making art is my passion, buying art supplies provides me the instant gratification that cannot come with literally watching paint dry. Its easy to become discouraged by a bad sketch or a slip of the paintbrush, but fresh pens and new paint is where the potential for greatness hides! Even ‘cheap’ acrylics and office supplies can transform a plain piece of paper into the blueprints for a masterpiece. Regardless, even if they don’t produce greatness, trying new supplies is always a fun experience.

Art Haul #1 Used

Purchased Supplies (seen above):
• Vintage Style Collage Material, 63 piece pack (Tim Holtz brand)
• Honeycomb Stencil, 1 piece (Tim Holtz brand)
• Metallic Silver Gellyroll Pens, 3 piece .4mm tips (Sakura brand)
• Brush Tip Wink of Stella Marker, silver (ZIG brand)
• Ink Sprays, 2 pack w/ 2 oz purple & 2 oz turquoise (Dylusions brand)
• Micron Pen Set, 3 piece w/ .45mm & .35mm & .25mm tips (Sakura brand)

Well, I haven’t splurged in a while (on  art supplies, that is) and  decided to go to the store just to see if there were any deals worth exploiting. I was able to get 2 items on sale, 1 item on clearance, and—with the help of my husband and a coupon code—get 2 of my last 3 items each at 40% off retail price! I’ll be honest by saying that all of my shopping excursions don’t usually end up looking so thrifty, but I wasn’t willing to spend as much as I might during a more impulsive trip. It also helped that the store was only open for another half hour, strictly limiting how many products I could handle and covet.

So, without further ado, here is the video you’ve skipped through the text to get to…