Saturday, April 28, 2012

Art Journal Fun!

The last couple of weeks I've been having some fun in my various art journals! Sometimes these pages turn into works of art but most of the time, the pages are an excuse to play and experiment with different mediums and colors. I'm currently enjoying two workshops with Jane Davenport who I just adore! She gave us some advice and I quote "Be more attached to experimenting than you are to your drawing." It's advice to play, to be messy, to be creative and just let go! Yea, that's really hard for that little perfectionist that lives inside of me but I'm definitely learning to mix things up a bit. I still could get a bit more wild and free with the paint but I was really happy with the pages that showed up in my art journal this week and I'd like to share a few of them with you! (okay, it's more than a few so be prepared!)
I'm including a list of supplies that I used to create each page so you can tackle your own pages!

Shanghai Orchid
Mixed Media
For the background texture I used bits of paper with Japanese writing, tinfoil (yes! tinfoil! Be sure if you use it to crunch it up first as it sticks much better!), masking tape and tissue paper. All applied with Gesso. I then wiped the Gesso off parts of the paper so the characters would show through. Color was added with Neocolor II water-soluble wax pastels. I then added my drawing on top when dried. Her hair and kimono are 100% watercolor where as her face is a mixture of watercolor, pen, colored pencil and pan pastels. The flower in her hair was done in acrylic and applied using a sea sponge. Finally, the title was stamped in and the birds were added in Photoshop. Truly mixed media!

Mixed Media
I did this piece during a rained-out Creative Saturday with Lita. We had made plans to go to the zoo but a big storm system put the kibosh on photography, so we stayed in and did art! The colors and the spring theme was inspired by a Mood Board I did for Jane's workshop. The background was created using paper doilies, masking tape and tissue paper all applied with Gesso (a few coats to cover the doilies). The background color was once again made using the Neocolor II. It's an easy way to get color in..just crayon up your page, take a wet brush and move the color around! So easy! I then added additional tissue paper that was patterned with birds and the word "dream" using Matte Medium (Gesso is opaque, Matte Medium is translucent) and a paper flower using Gesso and wiping part of it off. I drew the girl and did her face in colored pencil and pan pastels. Her hair was done with watercolor.

Follow Your Heart
Mixed Media
These pages are done in my Moleskine sketchbook. I've been practicing faces (see below for my practice page) and I started a new Moleskine just for that (one can never have enough journals!). The girl was done with watercolor over ink & colored pencil. The background is watercolor and gouache, the hearts and words done with markers and pens. Another tip from Jane...decorative tape is put down over the binding to stop paint from leaking through to other pages. Brilliant idea!
Here is another page from my Moleskine:

I Dream of birds and butterflies, faeries and wanderings.
The girl is done in colored pencil and the background in watercolor and gouche. Rub-on transfers added the final touch. The night I finished this I had a horrible nightmare about zombies! 

Time Marches On
Mixed media on canvas board
The background was a piece I had done during the Art & Soul that I wasn't happy with. I decided to use it to practice my faces and when I drew a face upon the work, it suddenly transformed into a piece I loved. It was inspired by my friend Nichole, who reminded me of those fun days I had in high school during band class. She is done in ink and watercolor.

Faces, faces, faces!
Practicing my proportions! Everytime you draw a face, it's never the same...a new little person emerges to greet you every time! Such fun! I also practiced figure drawing in a couple of my journals, incorporating the sketches into mixed media pages:

The Fashion Figure
Mixed Media
The background on this one was done by using Gesso and Matte Medium to layer in vintage patterns and tissue paper. Neocolor II was once again used to lay in the color. The figures were drawn on top in pencil and colored in with watercolor pencil and ink. A stamp was used at the top to add a design element.

Here's one I did for my creative soul sisters Phoebe and Nichole:

I've also been participating in the 21 Secrets Art Journal Playground and these pages were results of some of the fun challenges:

Mixed Media

Lost on top of Great Gable
Colored pencil and watercolor

That House

And finally, I finished up two projects for Arthouse Coop, The Note Swap and The Map Project.
For the Note Swap, I did another image of my "Lost on Great Gable" and wrote the note about being lost on top. Some stranger, somewhere in the world will get this little bit of nostalgia from me! How cool is that?

I'm not very good at drawing maps, but I decided to do my Butterfly Garden for The Map Project. What made it even more difficult is that it could only be 4x6. I did it on a watercolor postcard:

I also managed to find the time to get all my colored pencils into a reference journal so I could see how each brand reacts to different types of paper and mediums such as Gesso. It's time-consuming to do this with your art supplies but so worth it in the end as it's a great reference tool!

And continuing with that idea, I prepared my Lukas watercolor set in anticipation of Gina Rossi Armfield's upcoming watercolor workshop Creativity in Flight: 

And there you have it! Two weeks of art journaling fun! I've not caught you all up with what's been going on. This week I will be hosting my own art challenge so be sure to check back mid-week for details! Now, have a fabulous weekend and remember to take time for Creativity!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Visit to Flamingo Gardens

This is the best time of the year for shooting nature and wildlife here in Florida. Besides my own backyard, one of my favorite places to do that is Flamingo Gardens. Enjoy these images today from my recent outing there and be sure to spend some time this Spring with your camera out in nature. Visit your local botanical gardens, zoo's and wildlife preserves. Get back to your roots and connect with all this beautiful planet has to offer us!
On a side note, Congratulations to Robin Scott who won my Spring Giveaway! There will be more giveaways upcoming so be sure to check back often! Now, go out and enjoy the beautiful Springtime weather! :)

Pinks & Greens


 Flamingo Portrait

 Full Color Display

 Green Heron

 Martina shooting the giant pompoms we found!


Soft Purples

Isn't Springtime just grand?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Springtime Giveaway!

Sweet perfumes scent the balmy air,
and life is brimming everywhere.
~Paul Laurence Dunbar

Springtime makes me happy! I love seeing everything in the garden blooming and all the beautiful creatures coming out to play! In honor of this beautiful season, I'm doing a Springtime Giveaway! Enjoy these lovely images taken this weekend in my garden and then scroll down to see details on the prize and how to enter!

A Momentary Spring

Bromeliad and Bokeh

Guava Flowers

Pink seems to be the predominate color in my garden right now...
Pink x 2

The pompom (or powder puff) bush is bursting with spiky pink goodness:

And even my orchids have begun showing off their various shades of pinks:

Deep Pinks

Pale Pinks

Patterned Pinks


Even our Bunco group is getting into Spring with a "Garden Party" themed bunco! I made these cute garden cupcakes for the party:

(idea stolen from the fabulous book Hello, Cupcake!)

Sally & I don our best Garden Hats (and for those Big Bang Theory fans, my pink & green floral dress is the same one Bernadette wore when she said Yes to Howard's proposal. sweet!)

How about a Spring Giveaway? I'm giving away to one lucky person, my beautiful hand-painted Butterfly Box which is filled with my Butterfly Note Cards and organic butterfly seeds I cultivated myself! Now, you can start your own Butterfly Garden! :)

All you need to do to have a chance to win is become a fan of my Photography Facebook Page or click the button on my blog that says "Join This Site" and become a member of my clubhouse! Then, leave a comment   about your favorite childhood garden memory! (If you are already a fan or member, just leave a comment for me so I know you were here!) I'll use a random number generator next week to pick a winner! And, here's another little incentive...if you are an artist or crafter, a little extra something will be in the box! :)  Good luck everyone and I'll leave you with one more image from my garden:


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Creative Play

Here I am!
I hadn't realized it had been almost a month since I have blogged. Yikes! So sorry about that but the good excuse is I have been very busy taking art classes and learning new things! My hobbies and interests tend to ebb and flow with the moon just like the tides of the great blue sea. As soon as I declare I'm going to do something, the universe takes me in a different direction! After the art retreat in Virginia, my many half-completed art journals were calling my name and I quickly answered by finally signing up for Jane Davenport's Supplies Me and I ♥ Drawing classes after quietly stalking her blog for over a year. :)  While visiting Jane's blog, a banner for 21 Secrets in 2012 caught my eye so I signed up for that one too! 21 teachers (including Jane) teaching techniques in what each does best...that's 21 classes for the price of one! So, basically, the bottom line is I have 23 classes to take this Spring! Whoohoo! I'm the first week into Jane's Supplies Me class and just finished Christine Mason Miller's Word Play class in 21 Secrets. Both inspired me immensely and here is the work I did this week:

 6th Floor Memories, Paris
Mixed Media

Mixed Media

Mixed Media
(I have an upcoming trip to Paris, thus I've been inspired by that as well)

This one is in my Poetry Art Journal and is done in ink and watercolor:

the rain fell
among the tall lilies
ever upon the lookout
lofty with thought
by one, drop everlasting dews
and the lilies sighed
one unto the other

This one was done in my "Memories" mixed media journal:

Springtime Memories of Irises

If that was all done last week, what you may ask was I doing the last two weeks in March and I will tell you...still creating! I worked on this digital watercolor piece for my friend Loran's birthday. Once it was printed, it was hand-inked, matted, signed and sent off for her to enjoy! And she loved it! Yay!

The Naturalist
Digital Watercolor

I loved the technique so much that I created another piece:

Ponte Vecchio, Florence
Digital Watercolor

I also added another page to my Doll Dreams journal:

Tangerine Dream
Ink and Acrylic

And last but not least, I did manage to indulge in my first love of Photography with outings to Green Cay with Lita and to Butterfly World with Martina:

 Dawn Treader

The Dappling of Light

 Piano Key Butterfly

The Whispering of Dreams

Well, there ya go! That should catch all of you up with what's been going on and I promise to get back to blogging regularly! I've also got some projects coming up with Arthouse Co-op so stay tuned!