Season of Color!! (Blog Hop)

Oh where, oh where has EmK gone? Mostly vet offices, unfortunately. Two sick little boys have been keeping me busy these past couple of weeks, and I’ve become a full-time pancreas for one of my furbabies. Unfortunately, blogging had to take the back seat for a while as I got into the groove of learning how to watch insulin levels and convincing fuzzies that not-so-tasty medications are worth the far tastier treats and cuddles. (The only sugar level that I was ever used to watching was the decent of Ben & Jerry’s as it slowly disappeared from the pint.) But I’m happy to say that all surgeries are scheduled, I’ve become a master medication granter, and I am so ready to get back into the studio and share my love of all things creative! Starting next week, I’ll be back on the following schedule!

I’m beyond thrilled to share with you that this post is more than just a recap on where I’ve been—it’s also part of something MUCH BIGGER! This is stop number three of nine on a rainbow road, aka The Blog Hop of Color! The Creative Team for the art journalling community Get Messy is connecting today to celebrate Season 15: Color! We are sharing spreads today from our personal art journals…featuring specific colors of the rainbow! I am sharing a yellow page with you today, the happy color of life, warmth, and enlightenment. I think we all could use a little more yellow in our lives, so this spread was just the kind of art that I was needing to make!

Yellow Art Journal Spread

If you just ran through the old “ROY G BIV,” you may have realized that there are seven colors of the rainbow, not nine.  But what about the combination of all to create white and black?! Every color combined in the visible spectrum creates white, and every color of pigment combined creates black. Two very talented Creative Team members have been granted these colors to portray in their art journals, and I’ll be the first to admit they have fabulously succeeded!! Want to know how? Stay on the train and get off at the next stop to follow the links!

Yellow Instax Instant Camera

As you can see in the picture above, my yellow spread features a photo in a golden hue and a yellow instant film camera. That’s because I took the photo with that camera using a golden filter, and then adhered the picture to my spread with a liberal amount of matte medium. I specifically purchased this camera for instant photos that could be used in my art journals. So far, it has been a perfect fit! The photos are small enough to fit on any page without giving my spreads a scrapbook look. I even found a set of physical filters for the camera, which clip to the lens and change the  hue of my photos, guaranteeing any photo that I take to match my style of limited color schemes!

Do you have any new supplies that you’re in love with?! I’m always on the lookout for fun and unexpected supplies like this camera! Thanks for visiting me, and don’t forget to follow the rainbow by hopping along for the Get Messy Celebration of Season 15: Color!

NEXT on The Blog Hop of Color:
The beyond talented Vanessa aka Dans Mon Crane!


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Live Recap: Helix Vision & Messy Pages

I don’t know about you, but I’m an online art class lover. In the past, I have purchased classes from Connie Solera, Tamara LaporteRoxanne Coble, and Vanessa Oliver-Lloyd. They’re all amazing, by the way. But this week, I have been having a BLAST participating in the newest art journaling class over at Get Messy! The website just released a course called Messy Pages (in the Classes tab located at the top of the GM site) by the incredibly talented Tanyalee Kahler. Tanyalee has been an inspiration to me since I joined Get Messy last year, where she was a Creative Team member.  (Her blog is also place of painty goodness.) So I thought that, for this week’s Instagram Live Stream, I would open my hour long stream by working on top of a background that was created using a technique inspired by Messy Pages! The image below is how my spread looked immediately before my live stream.

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“Helix Vision” Art Journal Spread Background, Created with Messy Pages Class

This is only similar to how I usually begin my altered book spreads in that the background is a combination of acrylic paints. I usually use acrylics in my altered book for their opacity, as there are many elements on a spread that I may want to cover—such as text and page numbers. Because this background was so thick with paint, I gave it about two hours to dry before going live. During the stream, I began working over top my pages in the usual way, applying more paint, marking with pens, and drawing with markers. I was able to accomplish a surprising amount of work in the hour-long stream! Had I not had plans on how I wanted my spread to end up, I could have happily called these pages finished after the stream! The image below shows how the spread appeared at the end of this week’s stream.

“Helix Vision” Work in Progress

As you can see, the bottom right corner of the spread seems empty (by my usual standards), and the imagery left from the original spread (a series of eyes) don’t exactly command the attention for which I’d hope. However, I did love how the yellow and white KRINK brand solid paint sticks marked on top of the matte black gesso; they gave the effect of chalk on a blackboard! The scribbles and X’s and O’s were my favorite part of the page, and I didn’t want to lose that look, but I was willing to sacrifice some of it in order to bring attention to my focal point.  In the image below, you can see that this spread boasts no empty spaces and now guides the eye to the center of the page.

“Helix Vision” Completed Art Journal Spread

I hadn’t planned on incorporating any more techniques from Messy Pages, but I pulled some inspiration from the class and applied it to the once empty corner. Here, I covered some collage material that ended up muddied, making it unrecognizable as imagery for the finished spread. Because of this, I knew that I wanted something else to pop in that space, and I brought in some imagery that I had originally created in another spread, In this area, I also decided to reintroduce gold, which I had used on a whim during the live stream. I’m not a huge fan of metallic, due to it’s inability to photograph, but the contrast of metallic on matte black is something that I’ve been playing around with since the creation of my “Fabulous Faces” spread, created during Get Messy’s last season, Art 101. Its one of my new favorite techniques, something that I discovered when playing with the paints that came in my set of neutral matte paints by Dick Blick.

“Helix Vision” Closeup of Bottom Right Corner

It’s only the first week of the Season of Contrast over at Get Messy, but I already feel like this season is going to be perfect for me! I cannot wait to share with you the spread that I’ll be posting here on Thursday; it’s so very different from my usual color palette—and I’m loving it! Of course, the hurricane of pink and yellow that’s found on this page is equally satisfyingly, especially layered over this background. I am having so much fun trying new things! Art journaling isn’t just about expressing myself with a paintbrush, it’s also about expanding my artistic arsenal, which is the number one reason why I find new art courses so exciting!

“Helix Vision” Closeup of Center

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 awesome content through the use of these links! (And also gain my unending gratitude!!!) The Dick Blick website and all other links included in this post are not affiliate links; they are included for educational purposes and for your convenience.

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.


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.


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.


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.)


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!

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!

Art Journal Speed Process: “Ink Blot Buffalo”

Forgive the tardiness of this post, as I was involved in a pretty intense car accident that left me so shaken and exhausted that I collapsed on my sofa upon return instead of blogging to you, dear follower. (I have a feeling you might be understanding in realizing that the situation was an unexpected incident which could alter anyone’s schedule.) But I thank you for your patience and present you with almost 20 minutes of an art journal speed process video!

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“Ink Blot Buffalo” Art Journal Spread

I created the above spread as my first week’s participation in the Get Messy group (discussed in this blog post), which offered multiple prompts as part of the current week for this six week season. The theme for these six weeks is introspection, and I chose to do an inkblot type design with my acrylic paint. The Get Messy prompt inspired a great many of us to see what we would find in our homemade “inkblots,” which mimics the famous Rorschach test.  I’ve done this before, as you can see in the photo below, but it’s been a long time since!

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“Not All That Bites Is Bad” Art Journal Spread

This video took me quite a bit of time to put together, as it not only shows an entire start-to-finish process for my newest art journal page, “Ink Blot Buffalo,” but I also took the time to add commentary though out the video. This commentary provides you with my rationale during the creation of this spread, detail of the art supplies used, and gives you a little insight on how it is that I create my spreads. The video is sped up to four times the original, so there is a lot of content crammed into it! Enjoy!


More photos of the “Ink Blot Buffalo” art journal spread can be seen below.

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“Ink Blot Buffalo” Close-Up: Bottom

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“Ink Blot Buffalo” Close-Up: Right Page

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“Ink Blot Buffalo” Close-Up: Right Page

I hope you gained a little insight and a lot of inspiration, and I will see you Friday with a new post! Feel free to contact me before then by leaving me a comment below; I’d love to hear your thoughts!!!

Light and Dark: Working With Hues

Let me begin this post by saying my husband believes my wardrobe to be far too colorful and bright for any normal person; I am drawn to neons and pastels and any patterns that might be considered loud by some! But sometimes, I find myself thinking that I need to tone down my color palette just for a little variety. So this week, as my Art Snacks glared at me from across the desk, I worked diligently in my art-art journal to create beautiful, though contrasting, spreads.

The following photos are the two art journal spreads that I’ve created this week: one brightly colored (my usual scheme type) and the other painted with dark hues, including a lot of black line work and imagery.

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Neon Grasp AJP

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Somber Fingers AJP

As you can see, both spreads feature hands but convey completely different tones due primarily to their contrasting color palettes. It’s a good exercise for me to step outside of my usual realm and work with dark colors, especially when they help to relay darker emotions or ideas I may have. It’s still comfortable for me to create this work in my own developed style, so changing some things, such as hues, is a great way to help me evolve with my art!

Feel free to let me know how you step outside of your comfort zone…idea are always welcome! (And comments are encouraged.)

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!

WIP: Creating a Chaotic Background

I’m one of those people who thinks they’re going to “ruin” an unfinished piece; it sounds crazy because how can you ruin something that may as well not even exsist, but I know I’m not alone in this fear. One of the things that I’ve discovered to help me overcome this fear is to create wild and chaotic backgrounds that include little or no details. This way, I can cover up any part of the page and not feel like I am giving up some great part of my spread to make room for something that might turn out mediocre. If the page has multiple points of interest, removing just one of them is not so hard for me.

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WIP Chaotic Background, 4/13/2016

Creating chaos is also one of my prefered methods because it doesn’t force me into a corner. Chaos begins (and can end up) as abstract forms. If I imediately create coherent imagry, I can become preoccupied with making sure that the rest of the page matches. Chaos gives me the ability to tell myself that things don’t need to make sense or look orderly. For example, if I painted an elephant on a plain page in my art journal, I’d begin to ask my self, “Should I draw a circus tent next?” or, “How do I fill in the space around it’s legs without obscuring them?” Thoughts like that disrupt my creative process so harshly that they often force me to step away from the art.

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Chaotc Background 4/13/2016 Details

The following video shows you one of the ways that I create chaos for my spreads. I use 5 different colors of acrylic paint, two paint brushes, and a credit card to fill an entire spread with abstract shapes, paterns, and lines. This page is in no way finished, but will provide me with a wonderful base to add imagry, details, and if I so choose, words. Enjoy!