Saturday, July 28, 2018

Gypsy in a Sunflower Garden

An art journal page for Louise in her book "Gypsy"

Life of a gypsy has always appealed to me... living in a gorgeous wagon drawn by a huge, friendly Clydesdale horse, with beautiful surroundings and a peaceful lifestyle - nothing but painting, drawing, crochet, embroidery, colouring and reading. A world of happy, friendly animals and wildlife. Of course my cats wouldn't hurt a fly so they're able to hang out with me in the sunflower garden (birds, frogs and lizards feeling totally safe of course! lol).

I started the page by painting a Dylusional Rainbow. I used a Ranger Ink Blending Tool and at first, painted strips of colour across the page but got quickly tired of the long lines. Dabbing made the colours appear to blend (they just overlap) and was easier to fix when I went overboard.
Amazingly enough, I didn't make a huge mess on the backs of the pages (phew!).

The pic to the right is just to show what the ink blending tools look like. They're wooden handles with Velcro to hold the found pieces of dense foam. Washable and reusable :)
I use them just like I use sea sponges - dabbing, smooshing, blending, spotting, dusting, swirling, whatever the hand and paint want to do. I used to also use those house painter's foam rectangles till I discovered the world of Ranger! They were more furry than foam... meant for fast, drip free wall painting.
I used a variety of stencils... most of the designs were lace, flourish and flower related.

Its usually recommended that less is more when using paint with stencils. Too much paint and it can leak underneath the plastic, giving you a less than perfect design.

Above shows how heavy handed I am with paint! lol :) If you saw a closeup of someone else's artwork, you'd see even coats of paint without those edges, borders, bumps and messes.

An overview of the background as its drying. See? Much nicer than my spotty rainbow :) Love the colours!

Inbetween the different layers of the background were drying, I stamped, coloured and cut out my collage pieces. I was itching to use Dyan Reaveley's gorgeous new stamp set of me with my fave flower, I mean of "Sunshine Girl".

I've never felt so attached to someone else's design before :D She's just like me! lol :) I wear shift dresses over leggings and long sleeved shirts, short boots (always wanted red ones), have a beanie that is just like that hat (Mum made it years ago - she called it my Wee Willie Winkie Hat) and I have purple hair (used to be curly and have always loved ringlets). Naturally purple of course :)

So anyway, as usual these days, I reached for those Mermaid Markers of Jane Davenport's. My greens and yellows are running out too! Lucky I know where I can get more :)

The gorgeous dark brown in the centre of the flower is made up of yellow, green, brown and black.
With white spots made using a paint pen.
The petals are the two yellows with a hint of pink and brown for the shadows.
I cut the flower out with scissors and inked the edges with the lime green marker after gluing it together.

I used Google for help on how a wagon should look, making my own a mix of all I saw that had wooden spoked wheels and fillagrees. I like wooden wheels. Many modern wagons I found had car tyres that while practical, are simply not beautiful.

Sometimes things look so much better after they're cut out...
Do you ever find it can take ages to finally decide where everything should sit?

Ink now, worry later! lol :) I find if I fluff about too much with pencil before I put the ink down, I have too many eraser marks on the artwork.
I practiced in my Dyary first (its such nice drawing paper), then used a bit of scrap with the quote scribbled down, as a guide for the size and keeping it straight (ish). Sorry about the 'O' Louise, if I tried to fix it, I would have totally wrecked the whole thing!

The lettering is from an old book I've had since I was in high school "The Lettering Book" by Noelene Morris (top right, its a bit tired). I flicked through a few and settled on an old favourite Noelene called "Mod Ombre".

"She dances to the songs in her head 
and the rhythm of her heart."

The actual quote I found said "She dances to the songs in her head, speaks with the rhythm of her heart, and loves from the depth of her soul." By the time I got to "head", it was clear I was going to run out of space.

Above is my finished page... best viewed large :) The cats seem right at home and my gypsy looks pretty relaxed.
Looking at it now (everyone's a critic), I feel it could do with some tiny flowers, leaves and fallen petals all along the ground, maybe a mouse, bird, lizard, frog, bug... it goes on doesn't it? Those ideas in the head just don't stop. Its up to you now Louise, as its already left here :)

I'm happy with how it turned out and thoroughly enjoyed the whole process, from looking up variations of gypsy wagons to washing my stencils and stamps. Every part of creating an artwork is a wonderful thing... how it turns out is such a fabulous bonus!

Thanks so much for reading about my page for Louise. I hope it made you smile!

Have a happy creative day!


  1. Gorgeous Jenny, love the stencilling, colours, flowers, cats, everything.

  2. What an awesome spread. You do such a great job of combining all the different elements you choose.

  3. Oh Jenny
    What a wonderful page :) I agree the wooden wheels are far superior and your wagon is gorgeous.Thank you so much.

  4. fantastic! love how you've put these components together, Jenny ❤️

  5. Beautifully done colourful and detailed💚❤💚

  6. Brilliant Jenny,love the lush colours,and particularly love your sunflower! 🌻

  7. I love what you have done here Jenny - fabulous!!


Thank you so much for popping in to see our lovely journals as they are developing. We love to see your comments.