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Art Journaling Supplies I Can’t do Without.

Art supplies might very well be my favorite thing to shop for.  They are always colorful, always useful, no worries that they won’t fit (they always fit somewhere!), always make me happy.  I literally (not really, that would be weird) skip home from the art shop.  Maybe I am skipping in my head though as I think about my new supplies and how I can introduce them to my existing supplies.

Some of my essential supplies don’t even come from the art or craft store, they come from estate sales or thrift shops.  I am talking about the paper and even some of the sketchbooks I use. Oftentimes I will print on paper from an old book or music script, or I will use the whole book as a sketchbook.

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Another paper I adore is dry deli paper which is not from the art store either (I get mine from Amazon).  It is the paper which you pick out your pastries at the supermarket with or that your sandwich might be wrapped in.  I am not sure where I first found out about using and printing on deli paper, but I have not looked back. Once it is glued to a page, the paper is almost see through, so I can paint or print on as much paper as I need to get my image right, then stick it into my sketchbook and work over it.  Or stick it onto a background and be done.It does get wrinkled and crumpled, so if perfection is what you are after, leave your expectations behind and see what happens.

I like different brushes for different effects, one I use lots is the huge stenciling brush which I use for all kinds of things, none of which are stenciling! My most favorite has to be my sumi brushes though, I was introduced to them by Kal Barteski when I did her script class and I love to paint and write with them.  They are just so forgiving, every stroke looks like an elegant line, even if it is in the wrong place!

Gelli plates are super fun and I am just learning how to use mine, but what I have learnt is when you get the gelli plate out, you had better have lots of room and lots of paper to print and lay them to dry.  I like to use the deli paper with the gelli plate as well as old book paper, music paper and printing directly into my sketchbook.

The Instax camera is great because it produces an instant photo to stick into my art journal and paint around and write over.  I have a couple of vintage polaroid cameras, but I like the small size of the Instax for my sketchbooks and art journals. They are not always willing to be stuck down, but glue stick and/or washi tape usually does the job.

Black gesso is a wonderful paint to use, it is like velvet and covers so well.  Once it is dry I like to write or draw over it with a white pen.  I will cover whole pages or just small parts.

Yay for art supplies.  What are your favourites?  What have I forgotten to mention?  What do I need? Actually don’t answer the last question, I will be bankrupt!!!

Happy Wednesday x

 

 

Weekly Photos 33/52

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1. This lovely pink flower took a few days to unfurl and it is a beauty.

2. Orange flower upside down.

3. I hope no-one needs to catch a bus from this stop.

4.& 5.  I thought these fungi looked like a gaggle of butterflies on this old tree stump.

6.  Our local YMCA has emptied the pool to give it a clean following a summer of camp activity.  Here it is empty and ready to receive new swimming water.

7. This weekend I helped at a birthday party where the girls were making bracelets.  They were a lovely group and all went home with a lovely bracelet.

Happy Monday x

 

‘I Like’ Friday.

Fridays I often write about things I have liked that week, so here is what I have been liking this week.

Back to school on Monday was eventful or uneventful depending on your point of view. The boys went back to school for a grand total of three hours because the power was out. However as soon as they were all leaving, the lights came on!  I think the whole school sprinted out of the doors just in case the principal changed his mind!! I like that today is Friday and I don’t have to drag them out of bed or make packed lunches for a couple of days.

I very much like the fact that the weather has cooled just a little bit.  When the summer is as hot as we get it, a little temperature drop counts for a lot! Cooler mornings and evenings are the best thing.

Some other things I am liking this fine Friday are –

Nib pen and ink drawing. I picked up my nib pen and ink today to have a little play with them.  To me they are slightly intimidating art supplies, once the mark is on the page there is no going back.  I like this and dislike it all at once, I often find myself making more confident sketches or patterns once I know it is a one time shot. Sometimes I will faff about with a pencil and eraser for ages but with a pen and a bottle of ink, it is go time! If it is not right, go again. If it is an important page, I like to hold my breath as I make the first mark.  I am not sure if this technique works any magic, but it certainly hones my focus! Today I have been working on a zine which is a joint project – so no pressure then.  Maybe a foolish choice to crack out the pen and ink for the first time in a while for this project, but it gave the effect I needed and I practiced a little before putting pen to zine.

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Drawing people and faces is something I want to get better at because I am pretty bad at people drawing.  I am using fashion catalogues to draw from and I am enjoying the practice.

Bacon Sarnies. Lunch came along today and I spied the bacon in the fridge, so I cooked up a couple of slices and made a lovely sandwich along with home grown tomato slices and a handful of spinach. Hurrah for bacon sarnies!

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Today is World Photography Day so I thought I would use my beloved Construction Camera which is a Polaroid from 1992, to snap some snaps. It was designed for use on construction sites hence the yellow stripes.  Seems a very specific use for a camera to me, but I am glad to have it!

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Are you pleased to be at Friday?  What are you liking? Do tell.

Happy Weekend x

Get Messy Got Messy. Art Journal Pages.

There are strange forces at work in my world today, everything is just a little bit off.  Everything.

It all started off alright, coffee was fine, walking the dog was uneventful, but the podcast I had chosen was tedious and I switched off halfway through.  I didn’t say the world had ended, just a little off.

Then I moved onto the things I really wanted to do, I watched today’s Creative Bug daily art journal prompt which was nice and vague so I could do almost anything. I formed  an evil plan for what I was going to do for that.

I need to write a Get Messy Art Journal post, which means I have to make some pages and I really should make the pages relevant to the current season of music. I have been enjoying the art prompts this season, but I don’t often add words to my pages, quotes and lyrics don’t do it for me. I know I am weird, but they really don’t.  Sometimes a line in a book or even a song (actually never a song) has caught my imagination and I will jot it down, but not very often.

Handy tip about me, I can’t quote ‘quotes’, like I don’t remember lines from films. Maybe it is a memory thing or maybe I am just rebellious like that. So don’t rely on me in the quote section of your trivia quiz!!

I decided to paint a day/night spread in my Season of Music handmade book, I chose my pages and got to work. As if to follow the theme of the day, one page worked fine (but not amazing) and the other page just looked bad. The paint went muddy and the bright ‘day’ look was far from achieved.

What to do?  What do you do when it all goes down a ditch and you just can’t get back onto the road?  Well, I decided to stay in the ditch for a while, get a cup of tea and think what I could do. Gesso? Magazine cutting? Cut out the page altogether?

I ended up grabbing my acrylic paints and following the Creative Bug prompt which was ‘Start where you are’. Serendipitous methinks, considering I had just created a new ‘start’ albeit a mess!

I ignored the ok page for now and worked into the new page which was now completely separate from it’s neighbor. This is not usually how my journals work, I normally open a spread and work across the whole thing.  Here were two pretty different pages and I am not sure they can be friends.

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As I had come this far, I thought I would just work on both pages as separate entities and they could chat about it later. They turned out to be not too bad, so off I skipped to grab my camera to photo them for this lovely post.

Snap snap snap and all done. Oh no, not so fast. When I looked at the pictures inside, there was a  subtle but intrusive shadow over the photos I had not seen when I was taking the photo.

I know, I know, I should have just handed the day over to the washing up and laundry and called it!

Instead I went outside again to a different spot and took the photos again.  No shadow!

So I ended up with half a Get Messy page and half a Creative Bug page.

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I did work on some pages for another project and they went swimmingly, so yay for something going right.

I think to be honest I put the pressure on with the Get Messy pages, there is a theme and I am using a book I have made with random paper in it which sometimes is a joy and sometimes I just want white mixed media paper.  The more pressure to do something right, the more chance I will do it wildly wrong. On the other hand, if I just have to do something with less pressure (all self inflicted of course!) it usually turns out and I suppose if the pressure if off and I have to chuck it out or turn the page, I will.  Isn’t this often the case in life though?  Try to take the pressure off and do your thing. If it doesn’t work, try again or move on, you know which to choose.

As soon as I wrote those last paragraphs, I grabbed my sketchbook and gelli plate and quickly slapped on some black and blue paint with a ‘moon’ cut out from paper. I printed opposite an exisiting page which I had flipped upside down and I love it even though I left half the ‘moon’ behind. This was supposed to peel right off, but it decided to stay and give a ‘clouds across the moon effect’.  The whole thing must have taken me no more than five minutes and I ended up with a nice spread and two more backgrounds.

No pressure added.

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Aren’t we funny artistic, messy, sensitive human beans?  I clearly do not thrive under pressure!

I hope you have had a non glitchy day.

Happy Thursday x

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photos 32/52

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1. The tomatoes are coming along nicely, I am still picking a handful of ripe ones every day.  It has rained heavily over the past few days so the plants have tilted slightly, but the tomatoes are all growing and ripening.

2. We got a Sno Cone lunch this week.  I had a coconut cream sno cone and a ‘Chicago’ hot dog. Not the healthiest of lunches, but it was good!

3. The trees are starting to drop a few leaves. We have had a cooler few days and it has been so lovely.

4. The dining table during the summer, G.I. Joes and paints in harmony! I paint and sketch in my journal while my 11 year old sorts out his G.I. Joe accessories.

5. The caterpillars are making kale lace in the garden.

6. I spotted the most beautiful colour palette in these berries.  They are growing on a vine which is all along the fence in my back garden.  So I had to pick a few off and paint them and photo them!

7. The hibiscus are flowering and they are so pretty.

The kids were back to school today, but then they were home again at 11am because the power was out.  So the first day back was more of a trial run.  Tomorrow will be ‘first day of school – take two’!

Have a wonderful week, Happy Monday x

Get Messy Art Journal. Season of Music. Week 2.

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I just realized how different these two pages are!  Both from the season of music and both influenced by a close time period.  However that time was the eighties and when I was a teen and my taste moved from trend to trend by the minute.

Which I suppose is how it should be as a teenager, lots of different experiences in music, fashion, make up and all the things.

The first page features lyrics (ha, I use the term loosely!) from the first single I bought for myself – Mickey by Toni Basil.  I loved that record and played it and played it while bouncing around the living room!!!

I wrote the words on tracing paper which is between some pages in my handmade book.  I added crazy colour on top of some gesso on the original music pages.

The second page I started last week when I glued the gelli plate print to the pages of my book and painted in some neon pops.  This week I painted the names of some of my favorite  bands from my teenage years onto the background.

The colours fit with the gothic influences on my clothes, music and make up at the time. How I wanted black or blue lipstick around 1985.  Instead I used my existing lipstick and mixed in black or blue eye shadow, of course now you can buy skybluepink lipstick if you want it!

What were your music choices from your teen years?  Do you still listen to them?!

If you are interested in the Get Messy Art Journaling Community, head over to their website for more information.

Happy Friday x

Ways to Forge Creativity into your Day.

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I like to create something everyday, even something small like a layer of colour on a blank page. If I don’t know where to start, colour is my kick off point most times, grab some paints and choose 3 to 5 colours and make a background to work on immediately or another day.

Things I might do to fill my creative soul daily

I like to follow an organized prompt based challenge. This month I am taking photos with Susannah Conway’s August Break and art journalling with Creative Bug and Dawn De Vries Sokol.

Art Journal a background or finish a whole page in one of my sketchbooks.

Sketch a flower from my garden or a mushroom spotted in the woods. Maybe a quick pen sketch or a watercolor impression or a combination of the two.

I will pull out my Gelli Plate and see what I can print with it, or try and use my stencils in a new way. There are so many ways to use equipment like this, the results are seemingly endless and often pleasantly surprising.

Taking a photo of the aforementioned flowers and mushrooms or anything which catches my eye. Remember to always look everywhere, including over your head and close up.  I will often get right down to ground level to capture a fresh mushroom while it is in it’s prime.  They only last a day or two, so I love to see a new one pop up!

Make a sketchbook/journal from scratch, I have just discovered this and I may well be addicted to combining paper to make my own book. By making your own sketchbook, you can use all the same papers or mix them up with plain sheets, patterns, music paper, used notebooks, tracing paper and even fabric.

Add to or browse my ideas books which are full of clippings and ideas from magazines over the years. I recommend keeping a book just for sticking in clippings for future ideas, mine are full of fashion, recipes, quotes, jewelry, nature and colour ideas.

Absorbing other people’s creativity is also a fulfilling thing to do and I like to

Listen to a podcast like The Jealous Curator or Elise Gets Crafty, usually when I am walking the dog by myself and I can look like a maximum fool as I smile and laugh along with the presenters and guests of these enlightening interview podcasts. The Jealous Curator’s chat with the wonderful Kate Bingaman Burt had me laughing aloud while wandering the streets recently!

Read a book , I am currently reading Amy Snow by Tracy Rees which is great so far. I picked it up mainly because it is by a British author and set in the UK.  I am not usually a big historical fiction fan, but this is a good read.

Browsing a magazine. Current favorites are  Flow and Illustoria.

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Visit a museum or gallery and stop every so often to make some notes or sketch a part of a painting or a pattern. In fact, I have not done this for a while and now I write about it, I am keen to visit the St Louis Art Museum with my sketchbook! I tend to look for snippets to draw or note down, a quote or description or a colour palette.

Visit the library and browse a new section, see what is in the wild flower section maybe? How about kids picture books?  Looking at kids books must be one of the most joyful opportunities in the library!  Even though my boys are too old for picture books, they are full of ideas and I still love to browse for the illustrations.

So many ways to keep your creativity alive and inspired.  A little everyday.

A little creativity and a little exercise for your body and your brain.

Don’t forget your notebook, you never know when a genius idea will strike!

Happy Wednesday x