Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Colleen's Page in Joanna's Fairy Tale Journal


Joanna's journal is very wide when opened, so I thought I would do a story across the page.

I  love this theme of fairytales Joanna.

I started with a pastel background made using dylusions paint rubbed on with a babywipe. I added some collage pieces of painted napkin & glued on my images which were originally colouring in pages from Pinterest.

I coloured in the characters with a mixture of copics & other markers. This was not easy as the gel medium I used to glue them on with was resisting the colour. I apologies Joanna for some of the colouring which is patchy in places. With black ink I stamped some text & stars in the background & a larger star stamp was stamped with white paint. I then went around each area with a black pen & then with distress crayons around each one as well. I loved the distress crayons, they went on like smooth butter, but also resisted the writing. Life wasn't meant to be easy they say.


And they lived happily ever after.

Hope you like this Joanna, it will soon be home.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Joans page in Lesley's "Empowerment Journal"

Lesley Journal is A4 and made up of lovely thick paper. The existing pages from other participants are all wonderful and so much better to see them in real life. 

This month I picked a quote I wanted to use first and then made the page to complement it.  I originally envisaged a spread with lots of white space, but it did not turn out that way.  As usual my mind had one thing in mind and my art muse had another.

I started by using a 12x12 stencil which has lots of small shapes randomly placed and translucent texture paste from Tim Holtz,  I used it all over the left page and on top and left side of the right page   I then used some Lindys magicals which are water colours to colour the left page.  As I said before at this point I was thinking lots of white area left uncoloured..I used greens, yellows, blues and pinks from different sets of magicals.  I really just wanted some drips but as usual I was heavy handed with the powers and ended up with lots more colour than I intended. The translucent textured paste took on the colours of the magicals beautifully.

On the right page I imagined a young women with lots of coloured hair making a statement of empowerment. As I can't draw I thought at first that I would cut one out from a magazine and collage on, but then I realised two things, A: as the journal is A4,  finding a face that I did not have to scan and enlarge  and still be able to print out in required size after cutting out was going to be a task in itself.  B: as the page was all about empowerment, should'nt I take the bull by the horn and try to draw my own face and have enough courage to use it. And so it came to pass that I drew freehandly a face on the right side and painted her up with some other watercolors I had.  Apart from vampire like teeth and a long crooked skinny nose, it was passable.  I could live with it mostly but not that nose, so I covered it up and tried again.   The journal then sat on my table for a few days, whilst I decided if I was going to let her live or was going to gesso her out completely.  By the time I had fiddled with her nose and eyes each day she waited, she kinda grew on me and I decided she could stay. I later on  added some feathers and bling to her hair and dress.

After adding some background stamping to both pages, I decided it still needed something. I then added some more magicals, this time some orange and pinks. I also dragged out some gold leaf sheets I bought about 9 months ago but had not yet used.  The foils were a beautiful copper base with green and blue type effects so fitted in with the colours already on the page. The pictures do not do justice to the fantastic sheen and colour of these.  I rubbed on first one colour where I had placed the size and later on when I accepted that I was not going to have much white space and that I should embrace the page that was emerging, I add a heap more in a slightly different colour pattern. I put it on the left page and only on the right page where the textured paste pattern was. I also added a small amount to her hair.

I then stuck on some borders I had in compatible colours to left and right pages.  The left got a multicolour one and the right a metallic pink one. Just as I had decided that it was probably done, and I should print out my quote and put it on, I found a packet of bright gold leaves on a banner. Probably a purchase from an op shop at some time, and I thought I had to add some of these to the page.  As they were gold rather than bronze I painted them with a bronze inka gold paste. I added one to the girl's hair and two to ground my quote.  The quote is from Coco Chanel.
I then sprayed the whole page with a matt protective spray. It is very different from what I imagined when I started out, but I started this year saying that I was going to let the art have control rather than my right brain, so hopefully this is proof that I am succeeding somewhat.  I hope you like it Lesley. 

Inital face

After I change the nose 

My spread in Annabelle's "BE YOU" Journal

I started with a torn paper collaged background and added paint and pixie powder pigments for colour.

This is a flap that I treated differently.

I used a Dyan Reavely Stencil/Mask with black gesso to create 3 figures (Me).
Added some Washi Tape and Inca Gold in Silver to the background.

I did a lot more fiddling with colour,etc until I felt it was finished.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Fairytales and Mermaids & Seahorses.

I have been a little slack at the blogging so am in catch up mode today bringing you few photos of my creations from the last two journals I have been working in.

I chose Rumpelstiltskin as my theme for Jenny's Tales by Brothers Grimm Journal. 

This theme was going to stretch me so I decided to push even further outside of my comfort zone. I decided to play with some Gelli Prints and other papers and pieced them all together to create my scenes, and I drew some quick somewhat scribbly characters.

I chose to depict two parts of this tale.  I apologize for the quality of the first few photos as they were rushed and not checked prior to sending the journal on its way..

The first being where Rumpelstiltskin appears to the Millers Daughter whilst she was locked in a room in the castle claiming he could turn the straw into gold for her.  My straw bale was created by me cutting and sticking down bits of paper cord. 

The second when one of the men who the Millers Daughter now Queen sent out to find out all the known names of man in the region stumbled upon a small man dancing around the fire in a clearing in the woods.

The second Journal was Sharon's Mermaids and Seahorses Journal  For this I started with a quote I love and went from there. 

I layered paint and gelatos to create my watery background.  Then concentrating on the sea floor I used a little texture paste and some stencils and stamps to add the seagrass, shells and starfish  To create that mysterious feel in line with my quote I chose to work with Distress Oxides and added some stenciled mermaids and more sea creatures  before adding a few extra fish and my seahorses stamped with black ink to give them the appearance of being closer as we look out through the water.

I am getting excited as this was my first journal swap and it won't be long now until we receive our own journals back and I get to see all the beautiful art in this as I have totally loved seeing the wonderful art in everyone else's as they have arrived each month. 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Three Spinners

Jenny's travelling art journal
"Once Upon A Time"
Tales by the Brothers Grimm
has been sitting in my studio all month calling to me whilst I was madly finishing off the biggest collaborative painting I have ever done. 

I struggled for a long time finding a tale or story that felt right for me and inspired me in some way.

Eventually I started to panic about my looming deadline and laid down the background stencil. I knew I wanted to play with my new supplies and once those decisions were made things started to flow more easily. Its funny how just a couple of little steps can get you started on a page.

I still had to choose a tale, I liked some of the animal characters but not the dark and mean themes I found in many of the stories. 

Finally I settled on 
"The Three Spinners"
Mainly because they were 3 kind supportive women and apart from a frustrated mother there were no dark characters.

Of course I enjoyed it once I started to relax and play, the art is the easy bit, it's the chosing what to do that is the tricky part.

 There are threads of words and thinking that connect us through time and space. Reading stories of the Grimm Brothers it is wonderful to see how far we as a species have evolved, and also how we have maintained so many traits.

Oh and that huge painting I have been working on for the last 8 months- "Magnolia Cottage" Fully painted ( and restored) inside and out - yay team!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

An Octopus's Garden for Danie

I do love Dyan Reaveley's adorable critters with their cheeky attitude! One day I'll create something different to bright colours, pretty plants and happy creatures but its not today :) Having been brought up with Alice in Wonderland has had a huge impact on my life, so much that my Mum calls me Um and I use pepper in everything! lol That said, there are no talking roses or daisies bitching to each other on this painting ... its all seaweed (it didn't, its a clean ocean) and coral.

Ooooh, I'm hilarious today! Must be all the sidekicks that arrived - their adorableness has leaked into my typing...! lol

Back to Danie - for her beautiful journal I added a page full of vibrant colours and new friends with an Aussie twist. You'll see :)

Wise words from Tim Holtz by way of a stamp... the world of reality has its limits; but the world of imagination is boundless. Suits this page perfectly :)

Starting with stamps from the Tim Holtz Sea Life and Dylusions sets, Under the Sea and Flight of Fancy, I printed out more than I needed of all my favourite critters using black Archival ink.
I toyed with the idea of inking with colour but it didn't suit what I wanted to do. The seahorse and lobster (or crayfish) are from Tim's set. Everyone else is from Dyan's.

After deciding that I probably had plenty of critters to choose from, I left them to one side while I sorted out my ocean.

This I created using acrylic paint and a 2" soft rubber roller - squirting and rolling until I liked what I saw, then dabbing with a sea sponge to break up all the lines.

The seaweed, coral and other underwater plants started off as stamps from Dyan's Ocean Backgrounds stamp set (so this page can be done with just stamping easily enough). Using my new bestie (black pen), I added a few extra lines and scribbles. They were then painted with yellow acrylic paint.

I probably should have waited for the page to dry further or sprayed it with fixative but I went straight on with it and used Distress Inks with an ink blending tool and a bunch of different stencils - all of which disappeared unless they were on the yellow paint. I was having a lovely time, layering and inking so while you can't see anything, it wasn't totally wasted!

Still not waiting for things to dry, I added a few patches of hearts and bubbles with Transparent Gloss Texture Paste. Not waiting caused all my texture paste to get a yellow and blue glow, proof that the Distress Inks were definitely on the page.

Transparent Gloss Texture Paste ... wet.
Transparent Gloss Texture Paste ... dry.
It was cool watching the texture paste dry as I painted all the scenery... magical almost!

I painted the plants using a brush with just the basics, white yellow, red, blue, diox purple and black acrylic. The sea floor was sponged using a homemade mix of browns and greens (whatever was left on my plate after painting the plants).

It was a couple of days before I could get back to it, so by the time I gathered my critters and started colouring with Mermaid Markers (gorgeous waterbased ink in a waterbrush), the background was well and truly dry.

I also used the beautiful shimmery Gansai Tambi watercolours of gold and silver then clear iridescent medium that got painted over everything that "moved". I always colour before I cut out shapes, then ink around the edges hiding the white paper.

Placement was fun... they kept moving around when I bumped the page! Above pic is while I was deciding if I needed to colour more or start cutting out.

Its all coming together nicely :)
Finished page for Danie's Under the Sea journal.
Well, its taken a fathom of text (I know but it couldn't be helped! lol) but here it is, the finished page of my octopus's garden for Danie.

The eyes were repainted to look in the directions I wanted and I used white and black pens to redraw some of the stamped areas of the fish that were covered with paint.

These little guys are blue ringed octopus all the way from South Australia, friends of the giant octopus who claims this garden as his own. Dad came along while I was taking these pics, looking for the yellow submarine...

As the little fish swim around the giant octopus tentacles, they have to change colour so as to stay hidden from being someone's lunch!

The sandworms like to hide in their bright green tubes and watch the others swim about in the octopus's garden. Now you would think a small fish would be smarter than to go after something as big as this octopus...

Well that's it... thank you so much Danie for this magical journey into the world under the sea. I hope you love it as much as I loved creating it.

Have a happy day!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Advice from a Tree by Janie O'Brien in Louise Kirby's journal.

 I did not take photos of my earlier processes, suffice to say it was all completed with painting and markers. The poem was written in two colours and it is difficult to read, so I'll post it here for you:

Dear Friend,
Stand Tall and Proud
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The Energy and Birth of Spring
The Growth and Contentment of Summer
The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall
The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
Feel the wind and the sun
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night.
Seek nourishment from the good things in life
Simple pleasures
Earth, fresh air, light
Be content with your natural beauty
Drink plenty of water
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
Be flexible
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view! 
by: Ilan Shamir

My finished journal, now with the only collaged bird components added.
 There are beautiful pictures is your journal Louise, and I hope mine does justice to their loveliness. I wish you well.